Life in the Vast

Chapter 1: They Forgot Us
Or: You stopped calling

The crew of Tachros is settled in for their return journey to Absalom Station after completing their most recent salvage job when Connie, the ship's AI, comes on the comm.

"We are approaching the Drift marker for Absalom Station ahead of schedule. Please return to your station and prepare to jump out of the Drift."

Once settled back in normal space, the crew immediately realizes that they are not at Absalom Station.  Instead they are faced with a barren looking planet they do not recognize.  Cables, worried that something is wrong with the ship, immediately heads down to the engine room to check the Drift drive only to find there is nothing wrong with it.

Returning to the cockpit he sees Milx running scans of the planet's surface.  Other than not being where they expect there is nothing wrong with the planet that he can tell.  Still worried that there is something wrong with the ship asks Connie what is going on.

"Cables, I told you Triune was talking to me, but you didn't believe me.  So I took us here.", says Connie.

"Ugh… Not this again.  She believes that the three gods of Triune are speaking to her."

"They say there are people here and that maybe we can help them", Connie says, with some frustration.

The fact that the ship's AI is making decisions on its own is alarming to Milx who takes some time to examine the central processor.  Finding nothing amiss, but still concerned he turns to the rest of the crew to resume the conversation.

After some discussion the crew decides to land the ship and find these people who are supposedly in need of help.  Flying through the planet's atmosphere they pick up on a beacon of some kind and track its position to an abandoned looking compound.  The central building has a sign saying "Deep Treasure Mining Company", but the power is off and the doors are locked.  

Searching the surrounding buildings they find the maintenance building, inside which they find the generator and some building supplies.  With time Cables is able to repair and restart the generator and Milx is able to access a terminal found in a back corner of the room.

The terminal contained maintenance logs and some communications between the mine's director and head of maintenance.  Memos detailing dwindling supplies to keep the mine running and several complaints that repair manuals and logs are missing.

With the power restored, the crew returns to the main building.  Aetta knocks on the door… No answer.  She knocks harder… Nothing happens.  She shouts that they are here to help… Still nothing happens.  Cables makes short work on the lock on the door and the crew enters the building.  They are in a large room with catwalks above with ladders leading up to the roof and a security check point off to the right guarding a heavily armored door.  After gaining entry to the room the crew determines this must have been the central operations or command center.  Here they find the source of the beacon.  It was a distress call saying that the crew of the mining camp on Sobos-1 was in need of help.  They also find some credits in a safe, a map of the facility, and more logs.  At some point during operation, Deep Treasure Mining Company's home office stopped all supply drops and communications with the mine, despite continuous attempts to reach them.  A database search by Aetta finds that Deep Treasure Mining Company is now wholly owned by Abadarcorp, but there is no mention of mining operations on a planet called Sobos.

Having done all they can on the surface and finding no signs of life the crew takes a freight elevator down into the mine.  Stepping out of the elevator they see a hallway going straight ahead of them and another to their right.  Aetta, Cables and Junk head down the hallway ahead of them while the rest go right.  Aetta and Junk find the crew barracks, after surviving a mild shock from a malfunctioning control panel and enter.  The beds are full of well preserved bodies of the miners.  One datapad is still functioning and contains a suicide note.  The mine's doctor provided medication to those who wanted it which would render them unconscious and kill them humanely.  

Meanwhile Milx and Grey find the med bay and security office, though the latter is locked.  He punches it to no avail.  Rejoining the crew Cables bypasses the security on the door only to be faced with an ancient security robot with a rather large riflle who tells them to stand down.  Cables stands aside and Milx blasts it with two magic missiles to draw it out of the room.  Once out of the room the crew has it surrounded and defeats the robot with ease.

Moving into the mine proper, they find a smuggler's cache of drugs hidden in a supply closet.  At the other end of the mine they are ambushed by a pack of Mytoan soldiers. Grey blasts them with his breath weapon and the others finish them off, though not before taking a couple strong hits from them.

Finding another elevator, they make their way down to the second level of the mine.  Walking out of the elevator the crew nearly misses a hidden door which leads them to the Archives and vault.  Deep Treasure Mining Company found more than they bargained for and had to create a vault to secure the more impressive finds and brought in archaeologists and anthropologists to study onsite.

Moving out of the archive and across a bridge they are greeted with the sight of a great cavern with a lake one hundred feet or so below them.  Jutting out into the lake is a pier leading to an altar.  The crew finds their way through the cavern and down to the pier.  Immediately upon stepping out onto the pier a giant aquatic creature leaps out of the water and onto the altar.  Milx recognizes this creature as some kind of crossbred Naga and tells Aetta that there is no use trying to talk it down.  These are highly aggressive creatures with roots in another dimension.  

Junk at the head of the party is immediately attacked and restrained by the Naga.  Fearing for their companion's life, Aetta attacks with a psychic blow, Grey stabs repeatedly at the Naga's carapace, Milx fires his magic missiles, and Cables fires with his pulsecaster rifle.  Junk is eventually freed and Cables lands the final blow rendering the Naga unconscious.  Not willing to risk further aggression, Grey finishes off the Naga by crushing its skull. 

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