|PHASE 9 - 00:58|
MIDNIGHT: In a very steady voice, Midnight answers Vareq, "You get Kyle and go. I can't let that bomb (assumption) go off with all of these people here." Then in a much louder voice, Midnight yells "bomb, run!" as he heads towards the device.
MIDNIGHT: He'll look at it closely to determine if it is an explosive device, detenator, etc. Demolitions roll to determine nature of device (I think 12-). [rolled 12]
GM: Applicable skill at this point is Electronics, which is 15- for Midnight with his levels.
Upon closer inspection, the device is some sort of remote controller. It has a total of 12 small, red buttons in two rows. Above these buttons is a larger red button and above this is the counter, which now reads 00:57. Two of the small buttons have already been depressed, as has the large button. With his electronics knowledge, Midnight guesses that the two small buttons were what triggered the explosions that went off about 10 seconds ago. The large button probably triggers all of the remaining remote devices and also started the countdown timer. As Midnight looks it over, the timer continues to count down.
PHASE 10 - 00:57
VAREQ: Vareq turns towards the device. "Holy drek. A bomb. Vindictive little bastards, aren't they? Can you disarm it?". Then he runs over to Kyle and grabs him in a fireman's carry over one shoulder.
TECH: Half-move and grab Kyle. (1 END for move, 1 END for 10 STR grab)
VAREQ: Vareq turns to Surge and Jack, with an unconsious Kyle over his shoulder. "We just ran into some nasty little mothers who ambushed us and tried to kidnap Mek. We got Mek, but they left us a little present. A bomb. I'm guessing they plan to blow the entire station."
VAREQ: He turns on the communicator again: "Vamperina, you'd better unlock the ship. There's a bomb on the orbital. And track any ships that have just left docking. Our attackers might be on one of them."
TECH: Communicator reliability roll [rolled 14] Save half-move.
Jack and Surge are waiting for Vamperina to get the hatch open.
JACK: As we wait, Jack looks over at Surge and says, "Who's in the bar with Mek, Midnight? Any word from him since the initial call? My commlink seems broken, I'll have to replace it.
SURGE: "Sadly, the comm's been silent since the initial transmission. I'm guessing Kyle and Midnight are there too. He asked them to act like normal patrons in the bar before he sent the request for backup. Apparently an enemy psychic was controlling Mek." Surge frowned as the conclusion was pointing towards a previous adversary. "The Brotherhood?"
SURGE: Here's Surge's PER roll for when he enters the bar. PER 18- [rolled 13]
PHASE 11 - 00:56
At the end of phase 11, the hatch opens and Jack and Surge dart through. The door opposite, heading into the passenger lounge is also closed but Jack opens it (with casual STR) and the two pass through. Surge spots the sign for the Iridium Bar straight ahead on the far side of the lounge and through a wide passage between groups of kiosks.
GM: There are at least 50 to 75 people in the lounge, most looking scared as they don emergency vacc suits. Others are helping children into their suits. There are no signs of panic, but there are plenty of scared people. There are some people running out of the Iridium Bar.
PHASE 12 - 00:55
Jack and Surge reach the entrance to the Iridium bar after a full move (4" from Midnight and the device). Vamperina is not far behind.
SURGE (GM): Does Surge have any action left on 12 or am I done until 3? Also, was there any visible damage to the station along the way? How chaotic is the scene? How many bystanders are present?
GM: Moving to the entrance to the bar was a full phase action.
SURGE: Upon arrival, he surveys the bar. Turning towards Midnight and Omen, Surge asks, "What's going on here?"
JACK: Assuming no other communications from anyone, no, I can't react further. PER roll to notice the patrons screaming and panicking out of the bar being anything unusual (i.e. hearing someone scream bomb). Base PER 13- with level, [rolled 10].
GM: You see Midnight about 4" ahead of you down the narrow tunnel that leads into the bar. Next to him, lying on the ground unconscious, is Kyle. Omen is beyond Midnight, closer to the bar (maybe - Omen still gets his phase 10 and 12 actions).
SURGE: Surge will be watching warily. He'll be ready to abort if he senses any impending danger. BTW, radar is active as well as HRRH.
MIDNIGHT: "Surge, thank god. This timer has 57 seconds left before I think another 10 bombs detonate. Any chance you can stop it? If not, we'd better get in ship and undock immediatley!"
SURGE: Surge's eyebrows raise at the mention. "Well, I can have a look. If this device is just a remote control then it's possible that other controls could trigger the same bombs, but hopefully not."
VAREQ: "Surge and Midnight, if you can't figure out how to disarm those bombs we have two options. One, find all ten and neutralize them. Two, evacuate the orbital. If you can't locate all ten immediately we have to start the evacuation now."
SURGE: "This is only a remote control for the bombs. I'm doubtful it will lead to an easy way to shut off the bombs, but I'll look further into it. In the meanwhile, we should definitely start the evacuation. Better to be safe than sorry. I can remain here considerably longer as I do not need a suit if the station is exposed to the vacuum of space."
VAREQ: How many people/ships on the orbital, and how long would an evacuation take realistically if we ordered it right now? How would we get access to the signal that orders an evacuation?
GM: The orbital probably has a population of at least 2 to 3 thousand people. An orderly evacuation would take at least a couple of hours. However people who live on orbital are supposed to know how to don an emergency space suit in less than 15 seconds. All orbitals also have emergency lifeboats that are really nothing more than pods with hardly anything in the way of propulsion, but with an air, food and water supply that should keep the inhabitants safe for a week or so until a rescue unit can reach them. Lifeboat access points can be found all around the station.
JACK: Jack's face turns ashen, "Ten!? No chance of finding them all then? Right... crowd control and civilian assistance, everyone who can't help any other way. Surge, radio the ROCK and tell them to prepare to lift off, and if you can communicate that to any of the other ships, do it. Is there a way to broadcast station-wide in here or do I have to talk to station control first?" Jack looks around for any kind of official orbital comm station that he can use to either make a public address or at the very least communicate with station personnel in the control room. If he has no other options, he goes to help civilians like Vamperina is doing. (PER roll to find a way to communicate with the outside ships or station- wide, or station control, base PER 13- [rolled 5]).
GM: You see a telecomm not far away and know that you can dial the control tower from there.
SURGE: Surge nods to Jack. "Aye, will do."
JACK: Ideally we could search just the central core areas of the station and disarm/remove the bombs, or at worst control their explosions using my force wall, so that we can keep the station intact, but I don't hold out much hope of finding even 5 of the 10 bombs in 50 seconds, and that leaves no time to get away. If someone has a better idea like Surge's device scan to find them faster than I expect, time to speak up.
MIDNIGHT: Midnight gently hands the timer over to Surge for inspection.
OMEN: Vareq crouches down. He opens his hand and places his palm on the ground. Vareq's eyes turn black as he shifts into Omen.
OMEN: "57 seconds. Time. Only time. Space and time are only barriers to what is real when you look far enough."
OMEN: Omen looks backwards. He no longer sees the now but the before.
OMEN: He sees Brother Gray reappear, Mek jump into his hand. Vareq falls to the ground, and then jumps up and is hit by TK attacks from the Anubi.
OMEN: Kyle and Midnight walk out backwards. Vareq back-walks out.
OMEN: Omen speeds up the time reversal, following Brother Gray to see what had transpired before.
TECH: Activate Clairvoyance with Retrocognition [rolled 11] Attempting to follow Brother Gray backwards, see where
he came from, how he contacted Mek, etc.
GM: Omen sees Mek sitting at the bar. Then he sees Brother Gray suddenly appear on the stool next to Mek. Apparently Brother Gray teleported there. Mek turns and sees Brother Gray and a short conversation ensues.
PHASE 1 - 00:54
PHASE 2 - 00:53
Vamperina arrives in the bar. She did not hear Vareq's message over the communicator. "I have the feeling that something really bad is about to happen!" she says as her Danger Sense red-lines. "I'm going to head out and start helping these people get into suits and onto a ship. I don't care if it's ROCK or Solar Suns." She departs again immediately.
PHASE 3 - 00:52
Kyle wakes up.
KLYE: Pushing himself off of Vareq's shoulder Kyle gets to his feet. "Clearly I've missed some of the fun," he says, still looking a bit shaky. "What's happening?
TECH: PER Roll to take in what's happening. (15-) [rolled 5]
KYLE: As he looks around the bar he quickly adds, "Pardon me, is that a bomb?"
KYLE: "Surge, what's the range on that transmitter likely to be? I can get it about ten miles from the station within about thirty seconds. Would that be enough? We could also try and block the signal to minimize transmission ranges. Vacc suits are designed to block radiation. We could pop it in one of those. I'd be surprised if sealed in a vacc suit ten miles from the station it would have a signal strong enough to so much as open a hangar bay door. But you're the expert on electronics."
TECH: Just to confirm the theory on what Kyle said - SCI: Radio Theory (16-) [rolled 9]
GM: If everyone is correct, then the remote is meaningless and getting rid of it is like shutting the barn door after the horses have already run off. The device has probably already been used to trigger the bombs and even as you speak, they are counting down.
SURGE: "For starters, I can EMP blast the device rendering it useless. I can also black it out to all radio contact. But I don't know how tied in the controller is to the bombs. Both methods may backfire on us. So until I can see one of the bombs or get a fuller read on this device, I won't be for sure."
SURGE (OOC): Surge would know how good of a transmitter the device is after he scans it. I'll wait for that answer but I think it's mute as he can disable its ability to broadcast via the Radio group.
Surge looks over the device and comes to the same conclusion that Midnight came to. This is probably nothing more than a remote control trigger for bombs that are already planted around the orbital.
MIDNIGHT: "There's a chance Surge or I could stop the timer, but we have no way of knowing what safeguards or other triggers are in place. I agree with Jack disarming 10 separate bombs in under a minute won't happen even if Surge would be able to find them all that quickly. I have a feeling it would take longer to even find them since we don't know exactly what we're looking for.
SURGE: "Quite right, I'll see if they're leaving some sort of traceable signal and if not I can start doing some education scans for them. Midnight, any clue to what sort of explosive trigger they might be using?"
MIDNIGHT: Electronics Roll to gauge range (15-) [rolled 13] "That sounds like the best idea to me. If you two can get this transmitter FAR away from here, great. Meanwhile, we'd best make sure everyone else gets on a ship stat."
TECH: Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Midnight will wait for Surge/Jack to advise him on what to do. He'll help with the device if he can; otherwise, he'll join Vamparina and Jack in getting people on some ship.
JACK: "What if the transmission has already been made to the bombs, and they are still on 50 second timers, and the transmitter is no longer needed. Worse, what if it's broadcasting a dead-man's signal that if interrupted would cause the immediate detonation of the bombs? Shucks, if you just want it unable to broadcast I can reduce it to its component atoms in about 5 seconds... I was assuming simply breaking it would cause the detonation to happen immediately.
KYLE: "And what if it's a fake timer and the bombs are really going to go off in ten seconds? We just don't know, Jack. But we have to try some thing. I agree, we shouldn't t count on my plan working, and we should keep up the evac. But I think if Surge and Midnight give the go-ahead, we should try. It might save the station. And at worst you just lose my help in the evac."
KYLE: "Surge, if it's broadcasting or receiving a dead-man signal, you should hear it, right? You hear anything? Midnight, you're our demo expert. What do you think? Does my plan seem sound to you? I'll bet the detonater has something that sets it off immediately if it's tampered with, so Jack's right, destroying it is right out. But aren't transmitters typically of relatively short range?"
SURGE: "I think we have some options. Give me a moment and I'll see what approach seems most logical. If the device has no further control on the bombs themselves and is only showing the time left as a informative convenience than we're left trying to find a bomb and going from there. Kyle, could you easily teleport one of the bombs off the station if I could point it out?
KYLE: "It depends on how big they are. I can manage them if they're up to about 400 kilos with ease, though I can manage greater loads at need. I can get them over a kilometer away in one jump. Also keep in mind my abilities to see things from a distance and phase through solid objects. The former might be useful for finding the bombs, the latter for getting to them."
KYLE: If Surge has to spend time examining the detonator, Kyle will likewise spend time trying to memoriz a floating location for the Iridium Bar.
JACK: Jack moves over to the telecomm terminal on Segment 3, calling out loudly to the citizens nearby, "Everyone remain calm, and move to the lifeboats in an orderly fashion. Evacuate IMMEDIATELY, use the lifeboats, get as far away as you can. We have reason to believe there are several more bombs hidden aboard the station, but there is plenty of time if you don't panic." He then turns to the telecomm and dials the control tower.
TECH: 1/2-move to telecomm, PRE attack on the crowd, assuming at least +4d6, my base is 5.5d6 so I'll just roll 13.5d6 and you can take the ones you need. [rolled 2 3 5 1 1 4 3 3 2 1 4 1 2 (1) - Total: 33, Body: 9] effect.
TECH: dial control tower, you tell me when I can talk to them...
SURGE (GM): Okay, here's my list of questions...
1) With an initial scan of the device with EM sense do I know what frequencies it works on. Is it IR, microwave, some other device? What is the range on it? Is it actively sending or receiving any signals? If I don't have enough information with a simple scan, then I'll use an EM probe on my next action, which should get whatever else I need. The reason I say that some of this would be known immediately is if it's made up of known parts that Surge is familiar with (how transmits, range, power, etc). Let me know if you need any rolls such as...
Electronics 18- [rolled 16]
GM: The device is a very good transmitter. It is not actively broadcasting at this time. It does not include a radio receiver.
SURGE (GM): Okay, so it has no way to receive a data signal? This is curious with the 'ha ha' message. That would suggest that it has some way of getting a response back. So with HRRH, there is no 'conversation' happening with it?
KYLE (OOC): I assume the "HA HA" message was preprogrammed in. The device's creator probably assumed that anyone looking at it might come to the conclusion (as we did) that all ten bombs were set to go off at the end of the 60 seconds. When two went off after ten seconds, the message came on to give us a little jab, letting us know that we don't really have the full 50 seconds remaining. It's probably meant to unsettle us and feed into the bomber's need to be in control and his need to cause us mental distress.
TECH: SCI: Psychology (16-) [rolled 5] ;-)
2) I'm guessing that Surge knows all the common frequencies that the station uses. Can I easily broadcast on one that gets pumped through the station. First thoughts are broadcast a bomb warning on the frequency that all pilots/captains would be using. That should warn all ships with crew on the bridge.
GM: You can easily broadcast on the orbital-to-ship common frequency.
SURGE: Surge will transmit on it with the following message, on phase 3 (0 phase action): 'Evacuate Black Moon Orbital. Credible bomb threat in 50 seconds.' I'll do so in the proper Radio Operations protocol.
3) With the internal intercom, how easily can I broadcast on that? Or is there some access point nearby that can allow someone to send an alert.
GM: You will have to take some time to find a connection to it and analyze it. Once you do so, it should be pretty easy. In all likelihood, the telecomm that Jack is using has some way to key in a specific code to allow broadcast over the intercom.
4) A different avenue, how easily can I send a message to the station's computer system to kick on the emergency alert?
GM: There is already an emergency evacuation alert going out.
This may all be redundant since Jack is also going to the comm terminal on 3. I believe Surge can transmit via Radio as a free action any time, right Steve? Just like talking?
Meanwhile time is passing as you discuss your options.
PHASE 4 - 00:51
VAMPERINA is helping with evacuation.
JACK is calling the control tower.
OMEN has finished retro-scanning and learned that Brother Gray teleported to the seat next to Mek.
PHASE 5 - 00:50
In the distance you hear the sounds of two distinct explosions elsewhere on the station. The readout display on the device changes briefly to "HA HA" and then returns to the countdown timer. At the same time, two of the ten buttons on the bottom of the device flash briefly. Surge did not detect any emissions from the device, which seems to indicate that it has no purpose now except to show the countdown which presumably correspond to the countdown timers on the bombs.
KYLE: FWIW, Kyle will put up full force fields this phase.
JACK (OOC): Well since it can't receive radio, it either has some kind of mental receiver for their mental powers or it was actually programmed to read out the "HA HA" as the timer for those two bombs reached zero, and the flashes were part of that display to show which devices went off, but it's still just programmed that way for informational purposes. Either that or it's a rudimentary AI programmed to enjoy its work ;(
PHASE 6 - 00:49
A voice comes over the PA system "EVERYONE TO LIFEBOATS IMMEDIATELY! EVERYONE TO LIFEBOATS IMMEDIATELY!" The message continues telling everyone to drop whatever they are doing proceed immediately to the nearest lifeboat.
SURGE (GM): Surge should already have a good idea of the type of system its running. His goal is to learn these things:
1) What frequency does it transmit on (this may already be obvious with em sense and electronics roll)?
2) Does it have a way to identify each bomb? Surge would use this information in an EM scan for the bomb's receivers.
3) How did it get the 'ha ha' message?
4) Generally what is its programming? Anything interesting such as a trigger that if it's tampered with it sends the 'blow-up' signal to all bombs? How intelligent is it?
GM: The device did not receive the "HA HA" message. It was programmed to display it at 50 seconds. Another HA HA message is programmed to display at 00:38. At 00:24, it is programmed to display "BOOM".
GM: The device is programmed to send out specific code sequences on a particular frequency 187.998 MHZ. There are 11 different code sequences - almost certainly one for each bomb and one to trigger all of the bombs. It seems reasonable to believe that the bombs themselves have radio receivers built into them and if the correct code sequence is received, they trigger, beginning a countdown to detonation. It is nothing more than a radio transmitter with preprogrammed signal codes. It was almost certainly programmed by another device.
JACK: Well that seems to negate the need for me to talk to the control tower, and even if they could help us find the devices in time, it seems quite obvious that the bombs are NOT timed to all go off in 50 seconds, but some sort of cascading sequence every 10 seconds or so. It might be useful for Surge to check the locations of the bombs that have gone off to see if there's some logic to them, are they destroying access to the lifeboats at all, or just ship docks, or mostly random? Do we have any clue from the size of the explosions how big and nasty these bombs actually are? They don't seem HUGE since the station's still here...
JACK: Jack turns to full time crowd control and civilian assistance duties, especially concentrating on children or elderly that may need extra help. He is always ready to abort to snap his force wall globe on to protect himself and those around him if a bomb goes off nearby.
OMEN: Omen will look for the Anubi that attacked him, and follow them out of the bar backwards, seeing where they came from. Especially if he can see them planting the bombs. He will also make sure to memorize all of their faces, including Brother Gray, in case he sees them again.
PHASE 7 - 00:48
PHASE 8 - 00:47
KYLE (GM): Is there a data terminal anywhere around that might provide at least a general schematic of the orbital station? (I assume that isn't too hard to get since newcomers would want to find their way around). It occurs to me that it might help if we had a general idea of what our terrain is like in case we want to try and find any of the bombs or need to rescue anyone before they all go off. If so, Kyle would like to quickly scan through whatever is available.
TECH: Computer Programming (15-) [rolled 9], Speed Reading (x100), and Eidetic Memory.
PHASE 9 - 00:46
Time continues to pass as you pursue your various options.
JACK and VAMPERINA are busy helping people get into life boats. With Jack's phenomenal people skills, and Vamperina's speed, they are doing an extraordinary job. Danger Sense roll to see if she can determine exact location of any nearby bombs, 14- so she needs a 7- to pinpoint locations [roll] [roll]
OMEN is using is Retrocognition to try to find where the bombs are planted. He concentrates on the Anubi who pushed the button. He has so far learned that the three Anubi (other than Brother Gray) entered the bar shortly before Mek did. Before that he can see the Anubi programming the device that is currently setting on the table.
SURGE and MIDNIGHT are working with the device.
KYLE is at a terminal quickly memorizing the layout of the station
SURGE: Surge will activate his force fields. He will mention to the group that at 38 seconds left he predicts another set of bombs will blow with another message, 'boom', to happen at 24 seconds left.
SURGE (GM): How close were the other explosions? I don't have a real good sense of the size of the station and how close the various explosions were, can you give me a rough estimate?
GM: Black Moon Orbital has a classic "wheel and spoke" design even though centrifugal force (i.e., spin) is no longer required to create artificial gravity). ROCK is moored to an access tunnel connected to the wheel. All four of the explosions sounded like they happened some distance away, possibly on the far side of the wheel from where you are. The second two explosions sounded a bit closer than the first two.
SURGE (GM): Rough size? I'm going to estimate how large of an area I should scan to try and find a bomb but not get too many machines. See below...
GM: It is about a kilometer in diameter.
SURGE (GM): Also, how well can I match up against the radio receivers for the bombs based on the knowledge I have for an EM scan?
GM: You can easily tune into the same frequency.
MIDNIGHT: Midnight will put on one of the emergency suits since he has no LS in case of a breech. He'll then return to assisting others in need since the timer is in Kyle's and Surge's hands now.
GM: You now have an emergency life suit on. This reduces your effective DEX by half.
SURGE: Surge begins to electronically sweep the nearby area searching for the bomb's radio receivers.
TECH: E-M Scan on the bomb's radio receiver capable of listening to the known frequency: 12d6 Mind Scan vs Machine OECV 7, [rolled 13] [rolled 6 2 4 2 2 6 2 2 2 6 4 6 - Total: 44, Body: 16] going for EGO +20 effect END: 6
SURGE (GM): I don't want too large of an area but it should include all of the bar and part of the hallway outside. Not having the station's map in front of me, I don't know if there's a major spoke nearby. I also don't know how many machines will be in a certain area. Hopefully, I can keep the penalty under -6.
SURGE (GM): Also, I would assume that Surge's familiarity with this type of radio receiver would give some sort of bonus.
GM: Surge does a scan of the immediate area but fails to locate any devices.
SURGE (GM): How confident do I feel in my ability to find the device this way? Was it just too many machines or do I feel confident that a radio receiver such as would be on the bomb is not in the area. My inclination is to increase the area and try again. However, if I'm doing a needle in a haystack thing then I probably should change tactics.
GM: Surge is confident that the radio receivers that he is looking for were not in the radius of his search.
KYLE: For a while Kyle seems lost in thought, eyes unfocused and face intent. "It's a distraction," he says abruptly, breaking out of his reverie. "They tried to kidnap Mek to learn our plans, and when that attempt failed, they needed a distraction to cover their escape. I'll wager these bombs have been here a long time, set against just this need. And I'll further wager that you'll find more than just the ones that are set to go off if you look hard enough. They probably set them to go off in a pattern that will distract us but not interfere with their escape route. And since you say that the final blast is set to go after thirty-six seconds, not the full sixty, I'd guess that wherever they want to get, they can do it in thirty-six seconds."
KYLE: "I'll bet you credits to cookies that they have *not* rigged the entire station to blow. But with ships leaving, escape pods launching, and the like, the Anubi will be easily able to get away without pursuit - probably on one of the fleeing ships. If we can just figure out where the bombs *aren't* going to go off, and where you can get to within thirty-six seconds, we might have a chance of tracking them."
KYLE: "Already I can say they won't be heading for any of spokes three through five since those are too far away. That takes out any ships docked at docking bays 13 through 30. We can knock out wherever the first bombs went off - any idea about that? It would also help if we knew what ships were actually docked here so we could pay closer attention to those.
TECH: With what he's learned of the layout of the station, Kyle will make some rough predictions of where the Anubi could or couldn't be going. SCI: Mathematics (16-) [rolled 9]; Lightning Calculator.
GM: There are quite a few ships docked at the orbital. Based on the information you have, and assuming that they have their own ship, you narrow it down three possible ships. Two of them are "to spin" and the other is "to counterspin" (the orbital does slowly spin - basically two ships are to the left as you exit the Iridium Bar and the third is to the right. A four possibility is the SOLAR SUNS which is docked right next to ROCK.
KYLE: "Surge, if I were a guessing man I'd say that there are four possible ships the Anubi could be trying to escape in - those in docking bays 3, 7, 11 and 44. One next to ROCK; two to spinward; and one counterspinward. I'm going to see what I can do to scout them out." Kyle will then try and focus a dimensional window in on the first of them, picking the farthest to spinward to start with. He should have a general idea of where it is since he's checked the maps and such.
TECH: Clairvoyance targeted on the docking bay of one of the ships identified ships. OCV 6, DCV of hex 3, range mods, unknown. Base roll of (14-) less range mods. [rolled 10] If (when) I miss, start moving the focus of the Clairvoyance by 6" a phase towards the right place. Look for Anubi, etc.
GM: Kyle does not hit the target directly and starts moving his perception point towards his most likely target. He will have it within the access tunnel in two phases.
SURGE (GM): Is there a frequency that I can expect Rockora to listen and respond on? Also did Storm establish a mindlink with me recently that is still active?
GM: Yes, you have a standard frequency over which you can communicate with Rockora and yes, you currently have a mind link active with Storm.
SURGE: I will ask Storm how things are going on the ship. I will ask him to tell Rockora and the professor that the station is rigged with several bombs and that the Brotherhood of Anubi is behind the attacks and to be wary. I'll ask him to update me if anything unusual happens.
SURGE: Over the comm, I will ask Rockora to ready the ship to depart, but not disconnect the airlock (my guess is she couldn't).
GM: Rockora, Professor Ricket and Nanci Ricket are continuing to ready the ship for departure.
OMEN: Omen is still searching backwards in time to see where the Anubi came from or where they hid the bombs.
PHASE 10 - 00:45
Meanwhile, the display countinues to count down.
JACK is doing a superb job of getting people organized and heading towards the lifeboats. Many have already entered the lifeboats. His voice is calm and reassuring, but succeeds in getting people moving in the right direction.
VAMPERINA is busy getting people into lifesuits and then into the lifeboats. She has wandered quite a ways from the rest of the group in an effort to find and help those most in need.
KYLE is using his Clairvoyance to try to find the Anubi agents. His perception point will enter the access tunnel for the target ship on phase 3.
OMEN is using his retrocognition to try to find where the Anubi agents planted their bombs.
SURGE is scanning the vicinity for bombs.
MIDNIGHT is awaiting the results of Surge's scan. He has taken stock of what tools he had on him, wishing he had more. He has managed to scavenge a few other useful items that might help in defusing a bomb from the bar.
Surge hits paydirt. In a utility room not far away, Surge senses a radio receiver tuned to the frequency of the remote control. He quickly passes the distance and direction to Midnight who is off like a shot, with Surge right behind him. Surge's abilities will make disarming the device much easier. The two will reach the utility closet on phase 6.
PHASE 11 - 00:44
PHASE 12 - 00:43
PHASE 1 - 00:42
PHASE 2 - 00:41
OMEN continues to follow the actions of one of the bombers backward through time. He has covered the last hour or so of the agent's time.
PHASE 3 - 00:40
KYLE's perception point for his clairvoyance penetrates the access tunnel for the target ship where he thinks the Anubi agents might be heading. At the moment, the access tunnel is empty but it is quite possible - even likely - that the agents have not reached the tunnel yet. Is Kyle going to keep watching?
PHASE 4 - 00:39
PHASE 5 - 00:38
The remote control device that Surge is still carrying briefly displays "HA HA" again and two more explosions can be heard. They are much closer than the previous two. As before, two of the buttons on the device flash briefly.
PHASE 6 - 00:37
SURGE and MIDNIGHT reach the utility closet. It is locked with an electronic lock. Precious seconds are lost as Surge scans the simple lock and activates the sequence to open it. Once that is done, Midnight opens it and rushes in. The closet is a combination janitor closet and utility room. There are access points for many of the systems required to support the station, such as water, waste, electricity, etc. Midnight does not see any sign of a bomb and begins searching frantically.
PHASE 7 - 00:36
PHASE 8 - 00:35
KYLE sees the access hatch at the end of the access tunnel open up.
PHASE 9 - 00:34
SURGE enters the room and with his scanning ability quickly locates the bomb, which has been disguised as an electrical control box. It looks like the bomb has been there for a long time. The two work to begin defusing the bomb. Surge's EM Sense tells him that they have about 12 seconds before the bomb will detonate. Christopher, please send me a Demolitions roll. Deactivating the bomb would normally take about 5 minutes, with a -2 penalty for each step down the time chart. You could take an entire turn (-4 to your roll), which would mean that if you fail, then the bomb goes off immediately thereafter. You could take half a turn (-5 to your roll), which would give you about 6 seconds to get out of there if you failed. Or you could take a full phase (-6 to your roll) which would give you more time if you failed.
KYLE sees the three Anubi agents enter the hatch and run down the corridor towards the ship. The hatch automatically closes behind them.
KYLE: As soon as he sees the Anubi agents he starts moving the focus point of his dimensional window into the Anubi ship. His goal is to find a good spot and begin memorizing a floating location inside the ship. (Preferably somewhere out of sight.) As he does so he'll say, "Surge, Midnight, I found them. They're in docking bay 7." [Yes, I know they've left. But Kyle is blind and deaf when he's looking elsewhere and wouldn't have known they'd gone off.]
GM: Omen is still in the bar and can hear Kyle. As Kyle moves his perception point through the hatch and onto the ship, it suddenly becomes very unclear and full of static. Kyle is barely able to perceive anything on the ship.
MIDNIGHT: Midnight examines the bomb briefly. "Surge, we don't have enough time to do this the right way. We won't have time to run if this doesn't go
exactly right, so you may want to get moving back towards Rock in about 6 seconds." Midnight turns back to the bomb and begins working carefully. He'll continue to speak out loud as he examines the bomb hoping Surge can provide some insight into what he sees. "By the way, if you're a religious man, this would be a good time to pray." Just before Midnight makes his final cut, he'll activate his force field power and density increase power hoping to gain a little defense if he messes up.
TECH: Activate Density Increase (15-) [rolled 10], Demolitions (12-, -4 time penalty (full turn) 8-) [rolled 12]
GM: You forgot to add your skill levels in. You have a +3 with three related skills (Security Systems, Electronics and Demolitions). It still puts you a little short. You needed an 11-.
SURGE (GM): What would be the side effects of hitting the receiver with an EMP Shockblast? By my guess the receiver would be too damaged to function but it should have no other effect on the explosives. Does my analysis of the device seem accurate? Assuming this approach would work, I'll let Midnight take his shot at disarming the device (which he already has) and it seems this might be the best last chance we have.
GM: A EMP blast should destroy the radio and the electronic time on the bomb itself. This could shut down the bomb or it could trigger it, you are not sure. Finding out the answer would normally be quite simple if you had a little time.
JACK (OOC): From common sense an EMP shorts out such systems with a large charge. The detonator is designed to send a charge to the explosive as it is, sending an even bigger charge would seem very likely to set it off.
SURGE: As Midnight works on the device Surge asks the young man, 'How big of a bomb is this?"
GM: In game terms, Midnight knows that the bomb is roughly the equivalent of a 5d6 or 6d6 killing attack. It certainly won't destroy the station, but it will cause significant damage and will probably puncture the hull or the orbital.
SURGE: As Midnight works on the bomb, Surge keeps his focus on the circuitry offering tips as they come up to the young man. EM Sense 18- (+1 level, -5 modifier) needs 14- [rolled 7]
JACK: Jack had made it clear that if you found a bomb and needed to detonate it safely that he would be glad to protect you guys and the hull from the bomb with his aura. Might not have time, of course. Kyle also mentioned teleporting it away.
PHASE 10 - 00:33
PHASE 11 - 00:32
OMEN has been following one of the Anubi agents back through the last couple of hours of his life, running the replay at high speed. The agent spent the last couple of hours on the station doing nothing of particular significance as far as Omen can tell as he follows the very high speed replay. The replay slows down as the Anubi walks down an access tunnel to a ship connection hatch. As the image enters the ship, going backwards through time, the image is much more diffiuclt to follow. Clearly there is something about their ship that interferes with retrocognitive images that Omen is receiving. With little alternative, Omen speeds past the "static" looking for the next clear image. He finds it as the agent once again exits the ship, still docked to Black Moon orbital. GM: This is what Omen has learned thus far.
OMEN (OOC): I'm guessing that the ship connection hatch is clearly labelled, so that Omen knows what bay the ship is in.
OMEN: OMEN: Omen snaps back to the present. He looks around to find Kyle similarly snapping back. He turns on his communicator again. "Omen to team. We know where the Anubi ship is. What's our status? Can we disarm the bombs or do we need to clear out now?"
KYLE: Hearing Omen's comments, Kyle adds, "It's docking bay seven. The three Anubi from the bar arrived there a few seconds ago. I'll bet the teleporter is already in there. They're shielded from scanning so I can't see more. Charles, can you follow their progress from the ROCK? Also, it mightn't be a bad idea to charge up the ship's weapons. They might try and use the confusion to take a few potshots at ROCK."
OMEN: Omen turns to Kyle. "I don't know how much time we have but I suspect it's not much. Let's find the others and teleport the hell off of this death trap."
OMEN: Omen will look for the nearest emergency vacc suit on Phase 12. He's been around the platform so hopefully he can find at least one or two.
OMEN (OOC): Has Mek woken up? I take it he's still snoozing in my pocket. Are there any mental powers at work on him?
KYLE: "By my guess it's seven seconds before the last bomb goes off. [TECH: Absolute Time Sense] But I doubt it'll destroy the station. I'll bet the Anubus ship is breaking it's docking clamps as we speak. Once they're gone they don't need any more distractions. But you're right, better safe than sorry. Do you need a lift, or do you have a spot memorized?"
KYLE: If he needs the lift, Kyle will teleport him to the medical bay. If not, Kyle will head out to the main lounge where Jack and Vampirina are. He will keep a careful track of time, however, and will turn desolid before the count reaches 24. True, I think the station isn't likely to be blown up - but it never hurts to be careful. :-)
KYLE (OOC): Like Omen, I assume that the rest of everyone is outside of the bar. Is that correct?
PHASE 12 - 00:31
If the time is correct, then you have 31 seconds left before the remaining bombs blow. If the BOOM message that Surge discovered indicates that all remaining bombs will blow, then you have 7 seconds left. Let me know what you want to do.
Having seen Surge and Midnight running our of the Iridium Bar and towards a utility closet, Jack is able to guess what has happened. He finds a way to extricate himself from the evacuation, now that it is running fairly smoothly, and hurries after them. When he arrives at the utility closet, Midnight is working quickly but carefully on a somewhat ominous looking device. Surge is standing nearby.
JACK: "Can you find any other similar devices nearby Surge?" Jack starts to say, but then shuts up immediately when he realizes that Surge is helping Midnight with disarming the bomb."
JACK: When they are done disarming it he will apologize for interrupting, didn't realize Surge was helping with the disarm process.
Meanwhile in the Iridium Bar...
OMEN: Omen's eyes flicker back to their usual blue-grey hue as he becomes Vareq. To Kyle. "Seven seconds? Crap. Your teleportation is a lot more reliable than creating a wormhole. Take me to the medical bay, or as close to the cockpit as you can."
OMEN: Through the communicator to Rockora. "Rockora, there's a ship in docking bay seven which is filled with Anubis Brotherhood. Please get a sensor lock on it."
OMEN (OOC): Hmm...Rockora is in love with Xorn. Xorn is an enemy of the Anubis. I wonder if she'll try to take a pop shot at them?
KYLE begins a Long Range Dimensional Shortcut. Arrival on phase 3 (00:28)
PHASE 1 - 00:30
PHASE 2 - 00:29
MIDNIGHT and SURGE continue working on the bomb. The situation is tense though the stress is weighing more heavily on the younger black mutant. Nevertheless he does not let it affect his work. He has opened the case and is indicating specific components on the cluttered circuit panel, asking Surge for precise voltages, exact resistances, and so on. Surge calmly replies to each of Midnight's request with precise and concise details of the indicated component or circuit.
JACK stands nearby, not fully understanding how close they are to disaster or salvation but knowing that the clock is ticking.
VAMPERINA has strayed far from the lounge outside the access tunnels leading to ROCK and the SOLAR SUNS. She doesn't know how much time they have left before more bombs go off but is determined to not board a lifeboat while others might still need help. Several times she wishes she had Jack's knack for handling people but does the best she can with what she has. People are boarding the lifeboats. She is personally carrying the slow and the young herself, with emphasis on the young.
PHASE 3 - 00:28
OMEN and KYLE arrive at the stateroom that Kyle has converted to a sick bay.
PHASE 4 - 00:27
ROCKORA reports over the radio that the ship at docking bay seven has departed. The name on the ship is OLTACEA. The ship is actually an Aerospace Fighter/Bomber. She also reports that many lifeboats have already been launched from the orbital.
PHASE 5 - 00:26
KYLE: Kyle would spend the phase grabbing emergency medical gear.
PHASE 6 - 00:25
PHASE 7 - 00:24
The device in Surge's hand reads "BOOM". At the same time, Midnight looks up from the bomb and says nervously, "I that's done it. I think it's disarmed."
JACK: When the device reads BOOM, do any of the other buttons flash? Do we have reason to believe all the bombs are either disarmed or exploded after the booms on 9?
JACK wastes no time. There were no sounds of other bombs going off. He quickly wraps his Force Wall around the bomb.
JACK: "Should I rip it free from the wall and take it with us for further study? How sure are you that it's disarmed?" If they indicate I should, I will.
PHASE 8 - 00:23
KYLE: Kyle opens a dimensional window to somewhere on the orbital that he thinks likely to have people still around. One possibility is the orbital's medical facilities where patients might not have been in a condition to move. He is looking for somewhere that people are injured and in need of medical care. If he finds such a place he'll do a blind teleport there immediately. If not, he'll either shift the focus point or just move the window to a new spot - whichever seems best given the layout of the orbital station.
PHASE 9 - 00:22
The entire station shakes as the five remaining bombs explode (Midnight successfully disarmed this one). All of the lights go out as do the artificial gravity plates in the floor of the station.
MIDNIGHT (OOC): I've never had a character go out in a blaze of glory; this came too close for comfort. Thanx Surge for dropping all of that chatter and helping Midnight!!!!
MIDNIGHT: "Thanx for the lift, Jack, my flight's not quick enough by a long shot. Plus, I don't know that I have it in me right now. Surge, thanx for your help, that was way too close." Midnight tries not to relax too much knowing they may be at full battle stations as soon as Rock undocks from the station.
JACK: Jack braces himself in place in case a section nearby was opened to hard vacuum and the atmosphere tries to blow him out the hole, but when nothing happens he grabs Midnight and starts maneuvering in the now Zero-G conditions back out toward the docking ring. Could be comical to have Surge grab on and provide steering jets with his flight while Jack provides the bouncing thrust with his leaping ;)
JACK: Given we are not positive there are not more devices, I think we still need to evacuate. Jack awaits confirmation of everyone's status through Surge.
All of the bombs have detonated. The structure of the station is still intact but there has been a lot of damage. There have also been a lot of deaths and injuries. Some of the bombs penetrated the hull of the orbital but automated damage control kicked in to reseal the breaches. It seems obvious that the main intent was not to destroy the orbital, but rather to cause a lot of panic and confusion.
GM: Let me know what the team wishes to do. You could obviously return to ROCK and be on your way or you could remain behind and help with the rescue and recovery effort. You are fairly certain that all ten bombs did explode. Obviously that does not mean that there couldn't be more. Let me know what you want to do.