Scorched Earth

Diurnal Investigation

In the latest adventure we were missing Rednar which affected the some of the decisions of the group though we did background his character for when he returns. On to the story now…

Lantus, Plato and Malar (and Red) were last awaiting the arrival of an agent and reinforcements from the Sons of Tolaris. Their ally, Capt. Melosa of the Earth Preservation League was also anticipating this meeting. They had a week to kill while they awaited the arrival of their new allies so Capt. Melosa returned to TF28 (an abandoned underground Tolaris Facility the Preservers are using as an outpost) to report to his superior. Near the end of the week he returned and the group was joined near the end of the week by a man in a tan suit but without a tie. He introduced himself as Daiwen, the agent promised to them and after the group was re-gathered from their various personal outings they departed for a town called Piklas, which is supposed to house Diurnal Facility 94 and the prototype Diurnal Vault 1. Accompanying them in the three refurbished SUV’s provided were nearly a dozen SoT armsment.

En-route Daiwen explains that the town of Piklas has a heavy New Earth Heralds presence, somewhere in the range of 75% based on their research, in a town of about a thousand people. He also gave a brief history of the SoT interaction with the Heralds and explained that due to past negative encounters between the two, the majority of his armsmen would be remaining in a hidden camp outside of town. Daiwen, however, would accompany the party into town in search of the information.

On that point, Daiwen explained that in their search for the location of the Renaissance Project they discovered that it was a joint venture between Diurnal and Tolaris and they are hoping to uncover more information within this facility regarding its storage location. The Heralds have been here awhile but they have little concern over their computer skills and figure any locked or hidden information would have remained that way even with their occupation of the town.

Once in town, Malar simply announced to the market square at large that he wanted to join the Heralds and after some brief interrogations he and the party were admitted and given rooms in the facility until they could get proper homes built in the city. During the process, all weapons were confiscated from them, but their pistols were returned to them upon admittance to the ranks.

After being told to explore the town and settle in for the day while leadership decided how best to utilize their skills a few members of the group took brief survey of the area while others settled in for meditation and/or relaxation. During their admittance interview the group got to hear the Heralds side of the story, about how the Renaissance Project is capable of successfully terra-forming the planet to restore plant and animal life to normal routines without killing all current life on the surface despite the claims of the SoT and the Preservers. He also told them of the Heralds past encounters with the SoT and the Preservers and how each encounter has ended in bloody massacre on the side of the Heralds. During their break, Lantus and Malar took Capt. Melosa and Daiwen aside (separately) to inquire about these events. Assured of there exaggeration they decided to stick to the plan.

Somewhat later, Daiwen comes to the group to tell them of zero guard presence on the second floor and an oddly guarded elevator shaft on the third floor … none of the elevators on the second floor were guarded. On the way up they stopped on the second floor armory and Lantus picked the lock with ease so they could re-claim their weaponry.

On the third floor they did indeed discover a guarded elevator shaft. Just as they were preparing to investigate further, perhaps approach the guards, one of them flipped out and went insane screaming about voices, ran down the hall, fired his rifle at the window and leapt out of the building. The second guard freaked out as well but retained enough wits to draw his weapon on the unknown intruders when he rounded the corner. His fear got the best of him though and he surrendered easily enough.

In an attempt to stop pursuit, Lantus set up a grenade trap on the stairs (with on of the two grenades she had brought) but it was spotted and intentionally (and safely) triggered by the Herald armsman that were coming to investigate. With little time left, the group quickly descended the ladder in the elevator shaft which descended one floor, skimmed over about 20 feet and then descended another 150 – 200 ft to an underground lab.

In the lab the party turned up several supply closets of wire and various computer components, a nano-tech reserach lab where they acquired a little information unrelated to their task and several nano-bot programming cases (which they immediately added to their inventory). In Maintenance they found a few more items worth picking up as well as schematics of the facility which led them straight down to the fourth floor in an effort to access the mainframe directly.

The fourth floor was a large dark room with thigh sized pipes and bundles of cables runing vertically up the walls and horizontally across the ceiling. In the center of the room was a large round room in which they presumed the mainframe to be housed. Before they could reach it, however, the party encountered a seemingly insurmountable automaton of gray goop what was slow but hard hitting. Lantus used her second grenade with little effect, but the resulting damage to the cables on the wall revealed a source of electricity. After some luring and positioning, the group was able to jam a live power cable the Plato had pulled free into the body of the creature, shorting out or burning up whatever it was. Afterwards the creature collapsed into a pile of gray and black powder.

Inside the mainframe Lantus and Daiwen worked at accessing the necessary files while the rest of the party used local fire extinguishers to put out the fires popping up due to the damage from the grenade in the previous room. They handled this easily and were soon on their way out after Lantus copied the files over to Malar’s data card and powered down everything except the elevator’s to keep the mainframe from overheating and causing more fires.

Now, they must make their way out of the facility which is pitch black, with only a single flash light and an unknown number of angry opponents descending towards them.

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