The crew’s search-and-rescue mission keeps getting weirder, all signs pointing to the giant glistening plant orifice before them … and the voices emanating from within.
O2 and Albie finish up their work on the IMV Grasshopper and get a ride from Nip to join up with the rest of the crew on the space hulk Iblis. Dr. Alex Hardcastle tends to the two sweaty crewmembers and studies the effects of the fruits on them as the rest of the crew investigate the area.
Active Crew: 02BZ Sasha Denisovich J. Olivia Hanlon Albie
Used some of the loot tables from Dead Planet for this.
They check out the plant that they heard voices coming from and don’t really want to go into its pitcher-plant-like opening, so they back out and try and find another way in by prying open a bulkhead door. They find an ancient medbay inside, and Albie scoops up some very old meds and a creepy book on bedside manner. J finds a ventilation shaft in one wall, and 02, being an android and the only person not wearing a vaccsuit, climbs in to explore. He drops down a meter into a shaft, which seems to have a few cm of thin but slightly viscid liquid in it. He crawls his way forward and finds that the vent shaft veers slightly downward and the liquid fills about half the shaft. Shining his light ahead, he sees the surface of a plant-like structure, with a similar opening to the one they saw earlier, only this one is open a bit wider. He doesn’t want to crawl in, fearing it might close on him, so he backs himself out of the shaft.
The crew returns to the machine room with the large plant structure in it. Albie starts chopping up vines with Sascha to braid into ropes while Olivia and 02BZ bring some gurneys out of the medbay and, with Dr. Hardcastle’s help, move the two drugged crewmembers back to the airlock. On their return, they tie a vine-rope around 02BZ and he steps into the plant’s glistening green-black pitcher-like opening. At the end of it is a sphincter-like opening, too small to crawl through.
They try a bunch of stuff: prying it open, rubbing fruit pulp on it, sensually teasing it with a fruit, shooting a tranq dart at it, and eventually just attacking it, which ultimately does the trick, and it opens up. O2 enteres the dark plant chamber it reveals, and the walls suddenly close in on him, starting to crush him. The crew manage to quickly pull him out with the rope around his waist, but he does sustain some damage.
This area is based on an early playtest version of The Burrows from APOF.
As he recovers outside the entrance to the plant, the walls of the chamber slowly retract. J, seeing another sphincter on the other side of the chamber, shoots it, causing it to open. O2 has an idea and gets one of the steel gurneys from the medbay and rolls it into the chamber. The walls once again close in, but the steel gurney is well-made and holds the walls at bay, creating a narrow crawlspace between its legs that the crew quickly crawl through. J, bringing up the rear, dives through just as the plant’s engorged walls overcome the gurney and crush it.
The crew find themselves in a slick-walled plant chamber with some kind of human form emerging from a wall in front of them. The plant wall opens up and a faceless humanoid, seemingly made of the same material as the walls of this place, slips wetly onto the floor, picks itself up, and starts lurching towards the crew. 02 panics at this and glitches, repeatedly hitting himself. This further frightens the crew, but J keeps her cool and unloads a clip of her pulse rifle into the creature, exploding it into bits of plant matter. Albie gingerly approaches the body and studies it, and discovers that it appears to be a plant-based facsimile of a human, though featureless. The crew suspects they may be in a pod people situation.
The crew explores the web of chutes inside the plant, finding more fruits, sphincters, and a nodule that sprays acid, badly damaging Albie’s vaccsuit. They eventually come upon another room with a humanoid growth in the wall, and approach it carefully, worried that it might be one of the crewmembers they were sent to find. They enter the chamber and, just as before, a plant-based humanoid slips out of the wall and onto the floor. Then they hear three more slip out of the wall behind them. The creatures mob the crew, further damaging 02BZ.
We used James Young’s Gambit rules here: to attempt this maneuver, Albie’s player had to use both actions and roll 2 attack rolls. If both succeeded, Albie pulls it off. If one succeeds, it only kinda works, or works with a cost. If both fail, something bad happens. Both attacks failed, one critically!
Albie attempts a fancy maneuver, diving and slashing at the legs of a creature with a vibechete while shooting it with a revolver. This fails miserably, the vibechete getting caught in the ground and the gunshot missing the creature and hitting J. in the side as the others dispatch the rest of the creatures. The creature Albie failed to kill, now alone, attempts and fails to attack Sascha, who shoots it point-blank, spraying chunks of plant matter everywhere. The crew finds themselves knee-deep in salad.
To be continued…