Episode #22

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Participants: Billy Eagleclaw, Cookie, Stephanie Fox, Father Gerald Trent

NPC's: Martin Lloyd, Kaz Suzuki (Martin's informant on Argos), David Murphy (MAC Administrator)

The group is persuaded to aid Ellsworth's father Martin despite the bad blood that is obviously now simmering between father and son. One of the statements that Momir Haresh (the Pax researcher captured during episode 21 and subsequently tortured by Martin Lloyd) was that he had heard from one of his bosses. "That it didn't really matter if the Pax summoning project was successful or not, what VoidCorp is doing on Argos makes it all look like child's play." Martin Lloyd seized on this statement and despite further "encouragement" apparently Momir had no further information. The elder Lloyd says he has a contact on Argos that sent him an urgent message requesting a meeting a little more than a week ago, he asks the group to take him to Argos aboard the Crusader. The group agreed and set out for Argos.

At Argos Martin Lloyd excused himself and went about attempts to contact his reclusive informant, leaving the group a little time to check out the planet itself. Argos does not have a breathable atmosphere and so all human habitations are sealed facilities. The planetary capital is basically the remnants of a huge geo-thermal well several miles across and a hundred deep, covered by a massive pressure dome. The population is sarcastic and sullen in attitude and as a group would be classified as impoverished. The Terrans quickly found that there was little diversion within the capital except in the tiny foreign quarter. VoidCorp allowing very few foreign nationals on planet. Billy, Cookie, Steph and the good Father eventually wandered into the offices of the MAC (Mennonite Agricultural Cooperative) the only slice of Terra Sol here on Argos and the corporation for which they secretly were working. The MAC had a contract to operate several harvesters on Argos. They were introduced to David Murphy the guy who runs the MAC's harvester operation. He invited them to lunch which ended up taking up half the afternoon as they exchanged pleasant remembrances of Terra Sol and Kansas City. While being vague Mr. Murphy intimated that there had been some trouble with the harvester operation and he could use the groups help. They promised to return after they run a few errands (they wanted to make sure that Martin Lloyd didn't need them to help him out).

That evening Martin Lloyd rejoined the group and announced he had arranged a meeting with his informant. He asked the group to accompany him and they agreed. The next morning they all proceeded to a particularly seamy part of the capital. They descended down an abandoned access tube into the bowels of the city to meet Martin's contact. On the 56th level they came to an abandoned control station which was the informants abode. In exchange for a 250k cred stick and transportation off planet he has a story to tell. Martin quickly agrees and their informant relates the following information. The krill on Argos are tainted with some form of virtually undetectable toxin. Which a VoidCorp exec bragged would "bring the sector to its knees" when they performed some unknown triggering process. At about this point the informants automatic security devices began going off right and left. The PC's had to hold off the charge of a VoidCorp security team while the informant accessed his escape route, through which they all fled. The informant advised they'd need to split up and he'd lay low for a few days contacting them when he deemed it was safe to try and get off planet.

In the interim the group then decided to look up David Murphy and see what it was they could do for him. He advised that they had lost contact with one of their harvesters just 36 hours previously. They had of course informed VoidCorp officials who assured him they were conducting a massive search for the harvester, but Mr. Murphy said he'd feel better if some Orion's were searching as well. Murphy provided them with an air car and the last coordinates he had for the harvester. The group began their search at the coordinates and established a circular search pattern. After only a few hours the westernmost swing of their pattern took them over the shoreline of the biggest landmass on Argos. In one shot they noticed what looked like unnatural gouges in the terrain. The gouges turned out to lead inland and they followed them for about 15 miles. There they discovered the harvester. This seemed an almost impossibility given that the harvester had no locomotion ability on land and was a large as a small city. It would take something like a planetary former to move something that large.

The group next proceeded to investigate the seemingly abandoned harvester. There most notable discoveries were a large number of footprints leading away from the harvester and towards the interior of the land mass and the dining hall. In the dining hall they discovered trace amounts of blood and Father Trent used one of his mental abilities to try and determine what had happened here. The mental images he received of the recent past in this room left him comatose for a time and shook his mental stability, possibly for some time to come. The good Father saw the residents of the harvester, men, women and children (whole families live and work on the harvesters) lined up single file in the dining hall. His perspective was that of an individual in line. He felt as though he was in a trance and couldn't force him self to look around or take any other action than taking a step ahead when the person in front of him did. Finally he came to the head of the line at which stood a human sized bipedal creature the likes of which he'd never seen before. Unbidden he tilted his head back exposing his neck and the creature took a wicked looking blade and slowly sliced his throat. It was at this point the alarms on Father Trent's med kit began to blare as he went into cardiac arrest. The Father was eventually revived although extremely shaken through the use of his med kit and first aid administered by Billy.

The group determined to follow the tracks that lead to the interior of the landmass. The Father eventually composed himself and despite the fears of his teammates again used his mental abilities to see into the past of these tracks. He saw a large number of people all without filter masks (without which a human cannot breath the primordial soup of an atmosphere that Argos possesses) shambling towards the interior. Following the tracks they eventually came to a large complex of standing stones similar to the ones they had encountered on Terra Sol, Dorlass and Tol-in-Garhoth. The difference was these standing stones created a circular site (similar to Stonehendge) only it was fully a half of a kilometer across. The group found a ridge line some 5 or 6 miles from the location that offered a good view of the site with their long range viewing devices. They observed the location for 8 hours noting the following. The stone circle was some kind of transportation device. They noted on two occasions the area seemed to build up an electrical charge and give off a burst of light. After the burst the area contained a number of creatures that weren't there before. These creatures resembled large insect or spider like creatures and each group was lead by a Gardhyi. They immediately proceeded to a ramp down which opened up in the center of the circle and closed again once all the creatures had descended. The other significant observation they noted was the presence of a Gray saucer. Seemingly patrolling the area. This was the first time they'd ever seen Grays and Gardhyi in proximity and brought into question the statement offered to the group by Brien Dulvolchett at the end of season one. He had said that both the Orion's and VoidCorp had their own Alien allies. Those being the Gardhyi for VoidCorp and the Grays for the Orion's. If these alien allies were actually in league with each other could that mean that either one or both of the human nations were being played for fools? At any rate after 8 hours the players retired from the scene fearing discovery by the Gray's ship. They returned to the capital to inform David Murphy of the fate of his harvester. At least as much of the story as they thought he could handle!

GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)

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