Episode #24

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Participants: Billy Eagleclaw, Cookie, Stephanie Fox, Father Gerald Trent, Jordan Fox, Jared Carson, Stone Mason

NPC's: Thaddeus Turnbaum Captain of the Flying Eel, William Kidd Privateer Captain, Madame Ebe Voodoo Priestess, Shamus MacDonahue, Ellsworth Lloyd (as played by the GM)

Description: It all began with a fiery entry into Unnight's atmosphere by Ellsworth and an unconscious Rusty. They managed to crash-land the badly damaged VC shuttle (acquired in Interlude 23) into the swamp at the mouth of the Moultaire river very close to the Flying Eel.


The vacc suit was a little clunky Elsworth thought as his gloved hand fumbled with the controls on the arm of the command chair. A chair recently occupied by Tom Sunderland who had undoubtedly died when he'd been sucked out of the gaping hole, which was now in the roof of the bridge. Humans don't survive very long in vacuum unprotected. While Tom had been insistent on everyone else getting suited up when the attack started he had been preoccupied with maneuvering the ship to avoid the two small alien vessels which were pummeling the Crusader. When the strange black laser weapon had hit again it blew a hole in the top of the bridge and out went everything that wasn't nailed down including the commander. Fortunately both Elsworth and Rusty had been suited up and strapped in. Rusty sat slumped over in the navigators chair though, apparently he'd been hit by something but Elsworth wasn't sure what.

Elsworth was trying to engage the autopilot and transfer all controls to the command chair so he could try and figure out how to avoid the next attack by the two small craft. Fighters he guessed by the size of them. Their configuration was like nothing the computer could find in the Jane's database. Their weapons were also of an unknown type, black lasers Elsworth called them because they behaved very much like a laser weapon but did not emit visible light waves. The alien invaders were doing a number on the Orion fleet as well he saw when he'd sneaked a peak on the long range monitor, although the fleet had started to mount a credible defense by forming up on the Saratoga and the fleet carrier Pegasus. The alien ships had plowed into the fleet without warning seemingly coming from nowhere. The two little guys that the Crusader had drawn seemed to be more than a match for her Elsworth thought as they came barreling in on another attack run. The Crusader came over hard to port in an attempt to evade and Elsworth yelled over the com to his father and Clutch in engineering to brace for impact.

And an impact there was, but this time sensors showed it had been towards engineering. With the hit the Crusader's auto pilot had cut maneuver as the ship's artificial grav went down. If they'd continued with their 16g turn without it they'd all have been smeared on the walls like so much raspberry jam. Without the A-grav they were virtually helpless with very limited turning ability they were virtually dead in space, confined to their current heading and speed. In short sitting ducks. Elsworth considered the problem for only a few seconds before giving his first and last command as captain of the Crusader.

"All hands abandon ship!"

Stone asked Ellsworth to check him out given his lost time from Episode 23. Ellsworth did so and spotted an anomaly in Stones brain only because he'd checked Stone out so many times in the past. He noticed a very slight difference in the mass between Stones right and left frontal lobes. The anomaly only amounted to about 3 grams but it was there. Ellsworth and Rusty decided to stay behind and attempt repairs on the shuttle so the team might have a way off planet later. Billy asked and Ellsworth agreed to loan him his medical gauntlet, mainly to monitor Stone with.

The Flying Eel then set off to the southern continent and the city of Massawee one of the main bases for the Wizards and the home to one of Phillipa's main contacts a Voodoo Priestess named Madame Ebe. On the high seas they were attacked by a group of the same sea-creatures that the Indian Shaman Ranny Wolf had claimed to have summoned in Episode #16 for Morton Bionetics and were presumably the basis for some of their biological weapons experiments. Latter in that episode they were encountered on an ocean cliff in Massachusetts. The group also encountered these lizard/amphibian bipedal creature creatures on Tol-in-Gaurhoth in Episode #19. One of the creatures managed to make it's way onto the boat and after a spirited fight (keeping Stephanie, Jordan and Stone occupied for quite some time) was defeated. Additional creatures were driven off by Cookie aided by the liberal application of Bantam Missile fire to the rest of the creatures before they had a chance to climb onto the boat.

Arriving in Massawee the team looks up Madame Ebe. She supplies them with the information that Philippa was convinced that the Wizards were somehow involved with an alien invasion. Beings from beyond the Star's as she put it. At about the time contact was lost with her she had told Madame Ebe she was going to try and sneak into Umbashra Castle to obtain more information on the forthcoming invasion. That is the last time Madame Ebe had heard from her. As Billy, Stephanie and Captain Kidd were inside Madame Ebe's residence having their conversation the rest of the team had staked out positions outside and observed a group of very short oriental men moving towards Madame Ebe's. Shortly they realized these were Tikara the same earth originating (Laos) group they had encountered in Episode #13. Jordan quickly decided the only good Tikara was a dead Tikara and opened up on the little pukes. After a brief firefight the Tikara were all killed and the team immediately set out for Umbashra Castle.

The team found the castle unguarded and simply walked in. They were immediately met by an old friend of Stone's. Shamus MacDonahue was Stone's favorite sponsor from his days at the orphanage in England. After Shamus thanked Stone for bringing the party to the castle he ordered Stone to kill them. Stone resisted and opened fire. He hit Shamus squarely but Shamus simply said he was very disappointed in Stone and vanished in a manner reminiscent of the Gardhyi who the team found and captured in Episode #20 but who subsequently simply disappeared on them. Going further into the castle they ran across several of the beautiful oriental women as in Episode #13, who exuded pheromones stimulating the sex drive. Stephanie immediately fell under the influence of the pheromones and was engaged in some lesbian action before the rest of the team became involved. They attempted to separate Stephanie from the other women eventually killing the others but not before Stone fell under the sway of the pheromone as well. Suffice it to say that it took Billy intervening and using Ellsworth's override on his medical gauntlet of Stone's trauma pack. Injecting Stone with enough sedative to bring down an elephant.

The team's next discovery was much more disturbing. They found a room lined with what looked like electronic/computer equipment. Several rows of what turned out to be cribs where in the center of the room. Inside of each was a baby with what looked like a spike driven through their heads. The spikes were connected to the electrical/computer equipment via wires and each back was in turn connected to an outlet in the ceiling. The team quickly exited this room vowing to come back and destroy it later. The next discovery was a Tikara Queen. In the room with the queen they also found Philippa naked and chained spread eagle on a metal gurney. She was attached to an exo-womb. The ensuing battle saw massive mind blasts directed at the team between bouts of baby throwing. Several of the team were severely damaged. Fortunately most of the damage was mental (fatigue) and so quickly recovered from once the battle was won. However all members of the team are still troubled by especially vivid and terrifying dreams (some more than others) of the experience. After the defeat of the queen the team relied on Jared to rig the baby room for demolition which was accomplished and the room shortly blown.

Postscript: The destruction of the baby room cut off the power supply the Externals were using to power a gate on Unnight's moon Orb, through which they were bringing in a steady stream of ships to combat and overwhelm the Orion fleet. Philippa offered the following information and analysis: The Externals invaded Unnight (and the Twilight Sector) in search of an ancient enemy of theirs. There main invasion of human space at the moment appears to be in the Verge. The destruction of the gate on Orb appears to have hamstrung their ability to quickly and easily transport assets into the Twilight Sector. Much of the Alien/External activity that the group has run into in the last few years has obviously been part of a greater plot to see this invasion carried out. She believes that Shamus MacDonahue was a surgically altered Gardhyi plant and that Stone and others like him were useful tools of the Aliens/Externals designed to sow fear and suspicion as well as keep the Orion's from discovering the plot.

The External fleet is now scattered. Many of the alien vessels have escaped to unknown parts. The threat appears to have been averted for the time being. The identity of the External's enemy remains unknown at this time. Are they a friend or foe of humanity? What the extra mass in the left frontal lobe of Stones brain is remains unknown. To what extent is VoidCorp complicit in this plot is a mystery. The team is at a cross-roads, what will they do next?

GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)

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