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27: A'Hunting We Will Go.../Selene's Vacation, Days 20-23

[Run by Yours Truly, arcangel]:

Larana had a vacation too -- she went w/ a group of fellow Kylarans to rescue a captured Kylaran & do Bad Things to the pirates that captured said person (& used braintaping & cloning to break the poor prisoner -- three clones were rescued, one catatonic, one cringing in a corner, & one beserk). A Unar doctor [the sadistic mastermind behind this plot's execution] & Thral pilot escaped in a fairly fast shuttle, & were pursued by the hunter-ship that Larana was on (she was basically along for the ride, & would have been dropped off at Caulder anyway). The fugitives tried landing on a terrestrial world (about 15 parsecs from Caulder), got their engines shot out, & crashed. The Kylarans were about to make a surface expidition when an Artemis BSI probe ("Georgie") popped up & started having hissy-fits about anyone landing on this planet because he'd found NeatStuff there (anomolies -- like the jump drive, sorta) & he didn't want a buncha Kylarans shooting it up! Larana got voted into explaining things. (Clones in "various stages of mental distress.") We warp over (Selene's been poking around the artifact for nearly a week, so she's not adverse to looking at something new, like what Georgie reported, & 3 days later Larana is delivered onto the Bat (along w/ a braintape machine machine {a full cy worth -- Selene makes commentary about the huge size} & a fridge for clone samples) w/ instructions to catch the quarry & bring back at least a braintape. They don't much care about death-trauma problems. (They want to find out if anyone else was involved in the mess.) The hunter ship leaves.

We scan the place. Yup, there's a shuttle w/ vaporized engines down there. Also lots of animals. The order, from east to west is: plains, mountains, rain-forest jungle, beach, ocean. The shuttle is in the middle of the jungle, pretty much. We go zooming through the mountains (Celeste does her own version of the Han Solo Memorial Astroid Belt Maneuver, but is persuaded to slow from Mach speeds before we get to the jungle), & peep over the top of one. Eventually we spy a Thral w/ a C-cell about 2 miles from the shuttle, & a Unar in some caves in the mountains, about a mile & a half to 2 miles from the shuttle in the opposite direction. Larana insists on going after the Unar first. Eventually Handy is landed on a relatively flat spot in the foothills of the mountains & everyone climbs down (Frank sprains his wrist, Celeste is graceful going down but lands on her rump, Larana takes no damage but falls on her face at the bottom. {Selene can see that the tape of this is going to need some editing before she sells it to an exploration company.} Damien, who put the pitons & rope there, & who is in his exoskeleton, is fine. Moonfur is stuck on the ship because Lura is teething & Bessie doesn't want to have to baby-sit.

[Translation: I'm GMing, & don't want to have to deal w/ Moonfur...]

Selene is on the ship because there are animals down there!). Selene has been picking up anomalies every now & then -- in pairs: one out in the jungle or mountains or somewhere, & one right after that in the caves... Frank thinks its a possible transporter, Selene adds that there's the possiblity it's some sort of packet-switching comm device. (Georgie is out scanning the glow-in-the-dark second planet. This is the 3rd planet. This planet is nothing but a parkland; no mineral wealth to speak of at all.)

Everybody heads into the cave. Larana is afraid of caves. Larana is having fits. [[Larana's player should have known better than to think that she'd never have to pay for a specilized claustraphobia that she got 10 points for...]] There's one small tunnel that gets to the rest of the cave network that the Unar seems to be hiding in. Damien goes first. Damien crit-fails a DX roll & steps on one of the two silver disks on the floor.

Damien vanishes in a flash of light. An anamoly is reported. Most of Damien's comm stuff is fried, but Selene finally manages to patch into his mostly-working multiscanner & look around. Damien, unconscious, is lying on a silver oval in the floor.

Various things are tried -- tossing a rock onto the circle that Damien didn't step on, putting a glow-worm on said disk, & finally putting a glow-worm [fished out of the pool in the cave w/ the disks by Celeste] on the disk that he did step on. The worm vanishes & appears at a somewhat different location from where Damien is.

Celeste tries swimming into the caves from the pool in the cave where they are now -- she can make it, but she's skinny! No way Larana's going to make it.

Damien finally wakes up & starts heading out, across the [interior, in the middle of a large cavern] pool. Clank, clank, clank... No way to be stealthy in an exoskeleton. The Unar starts heading his way, Selene scans. Oh, well. Damien is climbing out of the pool when he hears a "Hold it right there." He looks up -- from a small passageway he can see a somewhat scrawny female Unar w/ a laser rifle. She asks what he's doing there.

Damien tries to fast-talk her into believing that he's there to save her from the Kylarans. He fails miserably & she shoots him -- the exoskeleton is holed, & only luck prevents him from being dead -- she aimed at his right shoulder area rather than between his eyes. Damien falls back into the water, unconscious. Fortunately for him, laser wounds cauterize, so he's not bleeding to death, & his suit manages to seal, so he's not drowning.

Larana finally takes the plunge (after having a panic attack [& losing about 5 fatigue] & bamfs into the cave where Damien appeared (she took a shot of superstim -- it maybe worked, since she's not unconscious, just sick...). ["Make a Stealth roll to throw up quietly." "Gee, the things they teach Kylarans..."] A few laser beams get directed towards her, but none hit. She had turned on her force-screen, so was out of communication w/ people... She sneaks back & asks if anybody has any bright ideas. There are floating, glow-in-the-dark, "jellyfish" things around. They float by means of hydrogen. Selene suggests shooting one of those for a distraction. Larana sneaks back & does so. A large fireball appears, & the Unar goes "Ack!" & vanishes back into the passage way. Larana pursues, climbing out of the pool at a point that is least likely to be shot at.

Unbeknownst to Larana, but known to Selene, the Unar has retreated to a point just past where one has to go on hands & knees, figuring this to be the most stratigic position. Selene cannot tell Larana this, because Larana has her force-screen on again.

28: A'Hunting We Will Go 2/Selene's Vacation, Day 23

[Again, run by me. Darren is M_Goodrich@unhh.unh.edu, but his style of gaming & ours did not mesh well. Oh, well.]:

[Another Kylaran (Assassin clan) shows up in a TL10 StellEx "truck" -- tracking down the Unar as well, for personal reasons (captured person was friend). Finds planet. Finally contacted by Moonfur. He lands on the ocean (only place an old clunker like the Joyride can set down), is transported to the caves by Handy (who babbles some). Selene & Frank conspire to get him to step on the transport pad w/out telling him what's going on. He goes unconscious for a few minutes, has the usual reaction {urp!>. His only light is his flickering forcesword & the glowing slug that got teleported. (Urp up on 1) not self, 2) not pad, 3) not slug.) Larana finally puts her force screen down to ask where the Unar's gone. She hears about the other Kylaran, goes to talk to him. They team up. (He is impressed by how quietly Larana urps -- that fear of caves is amusing. I love the fright-check table.) He has a gyroc. They catch the Unar in cross-fire -- Larana takes some hits on her force screen, turning it red, & the Unar gets shot in the back w/ the gyroc. The missile goes all the way through & hits next to Larana, followed a millisecond later by the Unar (knockback!). Unar tries to get away, gets grabbed, goes unconscious. "Darren" {other Kylaran} tries to turn on his force sword. It flickers. [[Jada: "Hit it." Judd: "Whap." Me, rolling dice: a 3... "It works!"]] He hits it, & it stablizes. One decapitated Unar. He stores the head in the bloody remnants of her ship-suit. Damien is hauled up, given Quickheal (not in that order). A construction-'bot digs a tunnel out under Damien's guidance. Larana has fits about the cave, Darren plays flute for her. One of the ubiquitious swimming lizard/snake things (that go "wHaaaah!" [based on Tybor from Space Bestiary]) warbles at him. Larana narrowly misses getting teleported back into the caves on her way out.

Everybody leaves & piles into Handy. The Thral pilot is at the beach, making tracks for the Joyride. He gets hit w/ a hypnogogic projector, shot in the knee by Darren when he tries to get away, & faints (on board the Bat) when he sees the bloody sack... Selene, under much protest, brainscans both the Thral & the Unar's head. Larana owes her for that head.... (Celeste is flying the Joyride into orbit...) The Thral figures out that Selene is Not Thrilled w/ all this & begs her for help. Selene insists that he be turned over to the New Garavaran authorties, rather than taken to Kylar w/ Larana & Darren & the braintapes & samples. Selene & Darren don't seem to like each other much.]

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