Asteroid Episode #20

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Participants: Jordan Fox, Stephanie Fox, Billy Eagleclaw, Ellsworth Lloyd, Gerald Trent, Cookie, Rusty Knuckles, Tom Sunderland

Diana - A young girl from the Ghian L5 colony in orbit around Gaurhoth.
Gardhyi - At least that's what it said it's name was although you know that is the name of it's race as well. It is an alien (Gardhyi as previously mentioned) that was encountered on the asteroid inhabited by the robots.


The crew of the Crusader encountered a SecureTek (Austrin-Ontis) resupply torpedo approaching Gaurhoth at high speed. They managed to discover it when Billy was practicing with the sensors while the crew was completing their orbital survey of Gaurhoth. They tracked the torpedo down to the planet surface and notified Admin Island of the covert torpedo. Admin Island responded with a flight of atmospheric aircraft, which appeared to launch munitions at and destroy the torpedo and possibly some of the individuals who appeared to be waiting on it.

After completing the orbital survey, the crew stopped at Wytherby Memorial Space Station, to file their plans for surveying the rest of the Tol-in-Gaurhoth system. While taking on supplies and completing some routine maintenance the crew decided to take a pit stop at one of the several lounges on the station. The facility was sparsely attended when they arrived, there being no more than a few asteroid miners and some station personnel. After having a round or two, three women wearing long robes that all seemed to match in style (the crew would later discover that these women where Ghians, members of an all female L5 colony orbiting Gaurhoth) entered the lounge. A very young looking girl approached Billy and asked him for a biological sample. Billy a little taken aback, politely declined based upon moral and religious grounds.

Meanwhile one of the miners that Rusty had struck up a conversation with appeared to become quite agitated by the fact that Billy was talking to the girl. He approached Billy's table with fire in his eyes apparently intent on doing harm. At this point Rusty was tapped on the shoulder and another of the women asked him for a biological sample. He quickly agreed and left the lounge, with a worried Stephanie trailing a respectful distance behind. Meanwhile Ellsworth saw the miner coming and decided to try and slow him down by tossing his mug at him. Unfortunately Ellsworth had trouble adjusting to the stations slightly lighter than earth standard gravity and held the mug a split second to long flinging it well wide of his target and onto the bar in front of one of the locals. The Priest, Father Treant was observing the incident as well and decided to use some of his mental abilities to try and deflect the miner from his apparent intended course of action. He mentally picked up a barstool and proceeded to whack the miner with it. At approximately the same time Jordan turned around and seeing the miner approaching in anger stood between him and Billy. Billy was looking on in wide-eyed amazement, not believing what was going on. The local who had Ellsworth's mug land in front of him was just know starting to turn towards the action and was apparently angry as well.

Ellsworth had meanwhile gotten up off his barstool and was coming around to help Jordan and Billy. However on his way he was cut off by the angry local who grabbed him by the neck and started choking him. Ellsworth turning blue started flailing away at his attacker. Meanwhile Cookie who had been sitting at the table with Father Treant, quickly made his was over to the scuffle that the Doctor was in. Coming up behind the local, he bopped him on the top of the head with one huge Weren fist, sending the attacker crumbling to the ground. At the same time Jordan was involved in fisticuffs with the miner, this not being Jordan's forte he was attempting to keep his attacker at a distance while looking for counter punching opportunities. He was less than successful, the miner landing several roundhouse rights that staggered Jordan but didn't send him down. Billy continued to look on dumbfounded. Father Treant continued to pummel the miner with the barstool that he was mentally manipulating. Eventually one of these blows struck the back of the miner's head and he tumbled forward into Jordan's arms unconscious.

The excitement didn't seem to phase the young girl, who introduced herself as Diana; she seemed quite excited and unaffected by all the action around her. The stress of the situation apparently caused Billy to rethink his position and after some conversation with Diana he took her up on her original offer. Funny thing about it though, what he thought would only be a physical act may have lead to a real emotional attachment. Only time will tell.

After filing their survey plans the Crusader took off from Wytherby to complete their system survey. They decided to start with the inner belt and work their way out. They would survey the inner belt, skip Gaurhoth, since they'd already completed the survey of that planet. Move on to Mytoka and then the gas giant Gysilar and finally the outer belt.

In the inner belt they spent several days picking their way through the asteroids, doing cursory surveys of the larger bodies and randomly sampling the smaller ones. On the third day, Billy at the sensor station picked up a ship moving through a particularly dense section of the belt about 5 megameters distant. They took IR and EM readings on the ship and established long range visual on it as well. The ship had an unusual configuration and a quick check revealed it did not match any known designs, indicating it might be alien in origin. After shadowing the ship for a time they turned on their active sensors, multiband radar and painted the unknown vessel with Ladar to establish a more accurate range at the same time they attempted to open communications. Apparently the other vessel had not been aware of the Crusader until she turned on her active sensors, because at this point it broke right and increased speed. It did not acknowledge the attempt at communication. The Crusader turned to match course and had no trouble increasing speed to keep up, but at this point things become a little fuzzy. The unknown vehicle fired on the Crusader, scoring several hits on the vessel. The crew returned fire and while maneuvering to avoid incoming fire the Crusader went out of control. Several attempts to regain control of the vessel were not successful and the problem degenerated into a full-fledged tumble, which found her careening dangerously close to a small asteroid. A mere 250 kilometers from the asteroid and in danger of immanent collision Stephanie managed to time the tumble and accelerate away from the asteroid just in time, avoiding certain death. After a few more moments she brought the Crusader under complete control, but by this time the unknown vessel had increased the range between the two vessels to approximately 20 megameters (20,000 kilometers). At this point the vessel slowed as it approached a large asteroid, and a huge door on the asteroid opened. A large, light cruiser sized vessel emerged from the interior of the asteroid. At this point the crew decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and began to turn their vehicle back in the direction from which it had come. However shortly after the large ship emerged it went into starfall, quickly followed by the smaller one.

With this turn of events the crew decided they should explore the vacated asteroid. Entering the huge asteroid bay, which could easily have accommodated 20 Crusaders, they found the entrance to a small base. A boarding party was formed and proceeded to the base using the Crusader's boarding pod. They entered the unpressurized base and were immediately attacked by a robot. Massive fire from Cookie, Jordan and Stephanie quickly dispatched the machine, blowing off whole sections of it. Ellsworth used his psionic ability to figure out that the doors within the complex were opened by a laser security scan of the robots sensory apparatus. The crew quickly retrieved one of the bits of the robot they'd just destroyed that they believed was its sensor input. This ploy worked and they opened the first set of blast doors into the complex proper. Searching through the base they found a room with a data crystal in a stasis field similar to the one they found on Gaurhoth. They managed to deactivate the field and take the crystal. Using the jury-rigged data crystal reader they had devised after their trip to Gaurhoth, they were able too later figure out the crystal contained the schematics for a robot. The plans were narrated by a voice in an unknown language. The voice however sounded similar to a human male.

Pressing on further into the complex they discovered a room containing another stasis field. This one however contained an alien. After a little puzzling the boarding party figured out the creature was a Gardhyi. The alien race they had come to associate with VoidCorp. They determined the creature was totally constrained by the stasis field and was still alive. The only movement detected was the creature's eyes, which would shift and follow individuals in the room in its field of vision. Both the Doctor and Father Treant attempted to use their psionic ability to contact the alien, but the field apparently prevented this. After a time a plan was devised to free the Gardhyi from it's prison and restrain it once the stasis field was brought down. The team wanted to capture and give a live specimen to Delta Green for examination. The plan initially worked, but when they were escorting the creature back to the Crusader, Doctor Lloyd using his mind reading ability detected that the alien was going to attempt an escape. Fearing that the attempt was immanent he removed his personal med kit and loaded several doses of sedative, which he then injected into the creature from behind. Only seconds later the Gardhyi went into starfall.

During the period after the alien was released and until it fled, the boarding party was able to engage it in conversation. They asked its name, which it said, was Gardhyi, which they found initially confusing since that is the name of its race and so presumably not its individual name. Questioned why it was here, it told them the robotic servants of the Pakara captured it. It also translated a snip-it of the language that was on the recovered data crystal for them. It claimed to have no knowledge of VoidCorp.

A Working Theory

Based on the Asteroid episode and the previous episode (Gang Wars) the crew can put together this working hypothesis on the history of the Tol-in-Gaurhoth system: The original inhabitants, The Sky People, (the Pakara ?) were involved in a war with an unknown insect like race. During this war the insects used gravitic weapons which caused extreme volcanism on the planet, rendering it uninhabitable. The original inhabitants were set up for this attack by yet another race (the Gardhyi ? if you accept the premise that the Sky People were humanoid which would allow the Gardhyi to pass among them relatively unnoticed, much as they do on human worlds) who could disguise themselves to look like the sky people. The robots you encountered were the servants of these Sky People, possibly a rear guard.

Much of this is speculation based on the evidence you've managed to uncover so far. Further reading of the recovered data crystals from the surface of Gaurhoth, might shed more light on this subject.

GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)

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