Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Laboratories

Part 3 of the Caverns of Tantalus

In the last episode, Rugen and Tee survived a pit trap and an attack from a giant spider. They found the entrance to the laboratories on the lower level.

We made our way down the metal staircase that took us into the laboratories that had been meticulously excavated from the caverns. Instead of rock, the walls and floors were made of metal. As we carefully wound through the hallways, we heard the clank of footsteps on the metallic flooring. I peered around the corner. Two armed men in gleaming red power suits stood in the hall, blasters drawn. Fortunately, they faced away from me.

"Imperial legionnaires," I whispered.

That was my mistake. The artificial walkways acted as an echo chamber and the sound of my whisper carried to the troopers. They turned and fired but I ducked behind the corner. I could hear them rushing towards us. I looked at Tee; he nodded; in a blink of an eye, our plan was set.

We jumped into the hallway, surprising our foe. I leaped forward and slashed my foe. My stun blade shorted his suit and he collapsed. The other trooper turned toward me, but Tee blasted him. He stumbled backward, wounded but saved by his suit. He tried to activate his comm device, but I was too quick. My blade hacked through his helm and he went down as well.

We tried to find our way through the maze of corridors but soon became lost. We entered a room that held a lot of technical equipment. As we peered around, we heard a voice.

"Halt!" it commanded.

We turned to look. Facing us with a drawn blaster was a Federation security bot.

"What is your business here?" it demanded.

"We are Templars serving as agents on behalf of the Federation. We are acting on official business."

"What is the password?"

My mouth dropped. Password? I looked at Tee, my expression of surprise clearly indicating that I did not recall receiving a security password during our mission briefing. Tee just shrugged his shoulders.

"If you cannot provide a password, you are clearly intruders. Prepare for elimination." The bot raised its blaster at us.

"Elimination? Wait!!!" I yelled, raising my hands.

"Password reset, authorization code Alpha 3281 Uniform Tango." Tee commanded.

"Password reset initiated," replied the bot. "State Federation security ID code."

Tee then rattled off his ID code and proceeded through the lengthy security protocol. We were then rewarded with a friendly "Password has been reset. Welcome to Inventory."

We then had a brief conversation with the bot. It had not seen any Imperial troopers but it was able to provide us directions to the main laboratory. With a courteous but unnecessary thank you we headed to the door. 

"Remind me to have a little talk with Mission Planning." I commented to Tee.

Just then we heard a stern "Halt!" I turned to see the bot pointing its blaster on us again!

Will Rugen and Tee survive the fickle moods of a deranged security bot? Tune in to find out in the next episode of . . .


Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Creepy Crawly in the Caverns

Part 2 of the Caverns of Tantalus

Last time, our heroes fell into a pit trap but Rugen managed to grab the edge, and Tee, before plunging into the yawing, bottomless, chasm. Let's return to the action.

I began to slide into the abyss. Suddenly, I felt two strong hands grasp my arms. I looked up. Tee had made it to the ledge and was pulling me up. Saved!

Once we were again standing in the cavern, Tee easily jumped across the pit. He then threw me a rope. I swung over and rappelled up to the other side. From there, we continued to make our way through the cavern, using the oil trail as our guide.

Finally, we came to a door cleverly disguised in the rocky wall. Nevertheless, there was a small control panel. Tee accessed it and began to try various passwords to open the door. As he was doing this, a tremor shook the caverns and rocks began falling on our heads. We took cover as best as we could by kneeling up against the wall. Fortunately, the tremor subsided, but it left us distracted and unaware.

That's when I felt it. A large mass fell upon my back and I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder. Howling with surprise, I spun my body, flinging the mass to the ground. It was a large spider-like creature.

I felt a searing in my flesh. I recited a quick prayer, and the pain subsided. The monstrosity circled, looking for an opening. It pounced again, but our reactions were faster. Tee blasted it with his laser while I struck it with my stun blade. The impacts knocked the creature to the ground, wounded and dazed. We did not hesitate but attacked again. I leaped upon the spider-thing while Tee shot again. Both our attacks struck home and the monster was finished.

Tee was then able to return to the control panel and shortly thereafter the door opened. We gazed down a flight of stairs into the gloom of the research station's laboratories.

Tune in next time for Part 3!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Caverns of Tantalus

A New Space Templars Adventure

In neutral space between the Federation and the Empire, disaster has befallen a Federation scientific expedition. On the planet Tantalus, the scientists had been studying the indigenous life forms when a series of severe meteor showers forced their evacuation. Unfortunately, some prized research was left behind. It is of such a sensitive nature that it cannot fall into the hands of Imperial agents. Sending the Federation military to the planet could spark a major confrontation with the Empire so the Temple has volunteered to send two of their agents. The task has fallen to Brother Rugen and his trusty robotic sidekick Tee.

[Note: The adventure outline can be found here.]

Here is a summary of Rugen's video record:

Tee and I landed upon Tantalus very close to the caverns that housed the scientific station. We cloaked our vessel and proceeded on foot to the entrance. We encountered no danger along the way.

When we entered the caverns, Tee immediately spotted a trail of brownish liquid upon the ground. He bent to investigate it, touching his finger to the viscous fluid. His eyes performed a spectrographic scan and with his lips he "tasted" the liquid, performing additional scans.

"Bad news," he reported, "M351 oil."

"Imperial," I replied anxiously. They had obviously arrived before us and had some machinery in the caverns.

"It looks like they knew where they were going. We can follow it."

[Note: I rolled a boon for the first encounter. The oil trail may not look like good news, but I decided to create a trail that will help them find their way through the caverns.]

We proceeded into the caverns, following the trail of oil. At one point, the oil trail abruptly ended and then began again several feet further into the cavern. Foolishly, we continued to walk forward while we discussed the implications of this turn of events. Suddenly, the floor opened and we found ourselves falling into a deep pit. Frantically I reached out and just managed to grab the rim of the pit. Tee fell past me so with my other hand I grabbed his arm. He swung, hitting the side of the pit with a sickening thunk. I looked down and saw a rock, dislodged by our fall, dropping into the pit. I watched it until it disappeared into the blackness. I kept waiting, but never heard it hit the bottom.

My attention was diverted, however, as fingers began to slide from the rim of the pit.

"Tee, I can't hold very long! You need to get up."

"The servo in my knee is malfunctioning. I cannot move my leg at this moment."

"Use your other leg! Just hurry!"

Tee starting swinging in an effort to grasp the ledge himself. As he did so, my fingers continued to slide.

"Almost got it!"


At that moment, my I lost my grip. I began to slide into the abyss.

Tune in next time for Part 2!