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Ascension Session Notes: 27 October 2012

Ascension Session Notes: 27 October 2012

Later that week, Colonel Becker holds a funeral and honors ceremony, during which she recognizes the boarding party with Silver Stars and issues several promotions – including elevating Janks to Command Sergeant Major and Mitch to Major with a commission to command Normandy.  Mitch offers the XO and chief helmsman position to Stella, but she refuses, so he recruits the staff from the Coyote – Faro, Spunkmeyer and Chief Wilson.  Though not mentioned in the ceremonies, Jeremy Blake receives a spot on Agamemnon’s memorial wall.

A few more weeks and a few more jumps brings the small fleet finally to New Samarkand – where the meticulously-laid plans of Jameson and Sims come to fruition with hundreds of new recruits fleshing out the ranks and millions of tons of supplies and materiel brought onboard.  The Cynae-2 and Marathon-2 also arrive and berth in Agamemnon’s freshly-repaired docking rings.

A sizable fleet has gathered at New Samarkand, including the Texas-class battleships Dire Wolf (Natasha Kerensky’s flagship) and Kojiwa (Admiral Ling’s ship).  Kerensky and Ling come aboard for a tour and war council.  Becker returns Lev Arris’s sword to Ling, who obviously had a deeply personal relationship with the man.

The tactical discussions bring some facts to the table:

  • The Ghost Bear fleet is definitely heading for New Samarkand – the destruction or capture of the planet has always been critical to the invasion plans.  If New Samarkand is destroyed, its four billion inhabitants would of course be casualties, but also nearly four trillion people – a measurable percentage of the human race – are dependent on New Samarkand sprawling and highly-efficient farms for food.
  • Kerensky has a little information about the green men, who she refers to simply as “Warriors”.  She doesn’t have any advice for the dozen incubators the team found on Prinis Prime, as the process of awakening these soldiers upon maturity is a highly-guarded secret.
  • Kerensky knew nothing of the Consu or any non-human influence – but she qualifies that by stating that the information flow to the Dragoons from the Clans ended over ten years previously.
  • Kerensky confirms that there is only one mass driver, and since it took nearly thirty years to build, it’s highly unlikely that another was constructed since her defection.  It’s an extremely simple machine, which will make it difficult to destroy through surgical means.
The Agamemnon sits in refit for two weeks while the crew rotates through leave on the planet, and another two weeks pass with the entire fleet on high alert.
The session ends with a report of a massive gravitational anomaly coming in from one of New Smarkand’s moons.  Summerville calls the ship to battle stations.
“Here they come.”

 

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Ascension Session Notes – 13 October 2012

Ascension Session Notes – 13 October 2012

After the surge, the lights flicker off again, but it’s apparent that several systems are now operational.  After some work, Mitch finds that the glasses are part of an augmented reality system, and pulls the ship’s floor plan.  Pvt. Buck doesn’t respond to Janks’ orders, but makes an obscure statement over the radio about there being a “piece missing, but there’s a head”.

The squad moves down to deck three, at which point Blake notes that his suit had been compromised in the firefight and stops for a moment to repair it.  The team moves on to the medical suite – upon gripping the latch for the door, it comes free in Hudson’s hand and begins to crawl up her arm.  Janks and Stella pull the thing free, but it begins to chew through Janks’ suit.  They cast it down and Hudson puts a few bullets into it before it goes still.  Aaand then it jumps up and attempts to drill through Hudson’s face plate.  Jack snatches it away and casts it aside and Blake riddles it until it’s obviously destroyed.

Moving into the computer core, the team finds a section of the core missing, and in its place, a severed head.  The augmented reality glasses allow Mitch to access a series of master controls for the ship.  He immediately uses the security cameras to locate Pvt. Buck in the forward gunnery bay, and then begins re-pressurizing the ship in order to let the air scrubbers identify if there are any foreign elements in the air.  A futher review of the internal security cameras reveal no other obvious hostiles on the ship.  Janks notices that Blake is becoming increasingly agitated, and attempts to calm him a bit.

The team moves to the forward gunnery bay, and Janks starts sneaking up on Buck, who is facing a small observation port.  Hudson notices flashes that may be explosions in the port.  Janks tackles Buck and subdues him and finds that Buck has a one-inch hole in his faceplate and a similar hole through his left eye socket.  He can see a glint of the silvery material in the marine’s brain cavity.  A high-pitched wail ensues from Buck and the team evacuates just before his head explodes.

Back in the computer core, the air analysis reports no unknown elements.  Also, a view through the ship’s external cameras reveal a raging battle taking place outside.  A League-era Aegis heavy cruiser is firing torpedoes on Normandy, which are being intercepted by Agamemnon and her fighter screen.  The team decides to power-up the ship and attempt to join the fight (or at least maneuver out of harm’s way).

Stella, Jack, and Mitch get Normandy moving and make a few passes at the Aegis before Agamemnon, now free to maneuver, closes in for the kill.  When the battle is done, Becker dispatches medical and security personnel to help secure the ship and quarantine the team.  During Janks’ report, he mentioned that Blake had to patch his suit, to which Becker replied, “Blake who?”.  Everyone looks at each other in shock (and Becker quickly verifies with Summerville, Barrett, and the ship’s roster that no Jeremy Blake ever served on the ship).  It becomes apparent that no one outside the team on the Normandy knows who Blake is.  When confronted, the man appeared to take up a reverent pose, and speak in a very inhuman voice:

“This place has been sanctified in cunning and blood.  It is good.”  He then looks up, adding, “Do not presume to steal from the Consu again.”  A fire then consumes Blake and the ashes drift away, as if he were made of paper.  Immediately, the team’s memories of Blake begin to get somewhat fuzzy.  The team finally concludes that Blake never truly existed, but was instead a construct implanted in their memories at some point after boarding the Normandy.

The session ends with the team being examined by the Agememnon medical staff.  Darryl Gerst, who remembers Blake as a career-long best friend, kept asking the nurse how many people she saw in his squad photo.

“Darryl, there are only eleven people in that picture,” she insisted.

Gerst sighed in frustration and despair.

“I see twelve.”

 

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Ascension Session Notes – 29 September 2012

Ascension Session Notes – 29 September 2012

As the team moves aft, they lose contact with Agamemnon, but remain in contact with Cpl. Davis and Pvt. Spears in the Cheyenne – the skin of the Normandy appears to absorb emissions and no signal appears to be able to leave the craft.

Janks gets a flash of danger and stops the party, but not before Pvt. Page is sliced neatly in half by a mono-molecular tripwire stretched across the passage.  After Hudson comes up with a strategy for sweeping the party’s path, and removing the dead marine’s remains to the dropship, they continue into a CIC area.  Stella notices that there are small cabinets of eyeglasses scattered around the ship.  When examined, they have a flashing “Offline” in the corner.  They also appear to have a wide-angle sensor mounted in the bridge of each pair.

The party follows the blood trail through the CIC and into a small lounge, through a conference room and small lab, and into a large intelligence center, where they find a human skin stretched across a holographic map table covered with strange lettering, presumably written in blood.

Leaving Jack, Blake and Pvt. Stearnes to guard the retreat, the party files down a service shaft to the engineering deck.  There, they find what they presume is a majority of the crew in a service space, all having been horribly, but carefully and ritually mutilated, including two of the green-skinned Clan warriors.  They proceed into the engine room, where Janks chooses not to restore power to the ship, but the party discovers the following about the craft:

  • The engine core is not a typical fusion drive, but a sphere that seems to pulse and glow.  It’s made of the same silvery material found in the Alabama’s K-F field stabilizer.  It is referred to as a “BigBang Drive” on the nearby controls, which fills the engineering-minded of the party with a certain amount of apprehension.
  • Near the top of the reactor space appears to be a K-F drive coil wrapped around the perimeter of the chamber.  Again, the engineering-minded of the party attempt to describe why a non-straight K-F filament is theoretically impossible, but can’t find the math.
  • Near the bottom of the reactor space, Stella notices a device that looks much like the gravity-altering device found on Prinis Prime.
  • Also near the bottom of the reactor space, the party notices a conspicuous absence of a device – there’s obviously a piece missing, but the team didn’t research further.
The party realizes that Pvt. Buck has gone missing, having become separated from the party while bringing up the rear in the access shaft.  He doesn’t respond to attempts to contact him.
At roughly the same time, from their vantage point in the intel center on Agamemnon, Barret and Becker observe Davis and Spears’ life signs flatline, though they see no sign of what could cause it.  They assume equipment malfunction, but the two marines fail to respond.
After attempting to relay to Agamemnon through Davis, Janks orders Blake and Stearnes to investigate the dropship.  At the same time, Becker observes Spears making his way to the cockpit of the transport.  When Stearnes comes around the corner, Davis riddles him with bullets, and begins a brief firefight with Blake and Jack.  Janks and the team rush to assist.  As they’re passing through the CIC, Blake finally scores a hit on Davis, and Spears engages the Cheyenne’s drive, rocketing it away from the Normandy, causing a violent evacuation of the craft’s stale atmosphere.  Stella and Rance are barely saved by Janks and Hudson, while Jack is similarly rescued by Blake.  Stearnes and Davis are presumed ejected into space.
Rance takes remote control of the Cheyenne and attempts to guide it back to the Normandy, but Spears retakes control and sets it on a collision course.  The team slams the outer door of the Normandy shut and takes cover, while Agamemnon fires a shot and destroys the transport before it can ram Normandy.  After the debris has passed, Janks re-opens the outer door to converse with Becker and receive orders.
As they’re talking, Pvt. Buck comes on the line, saying “Hey guys, I think I found the computer core…”.  The outer door slams shut, and the Normandy interior lights blaze into life.

 

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