|MISSION BRIEF||MISSION START||MISSION DEBRIEF|
Alpha Team Edit
This mission took place on an anomaly that was going to be approaching dangerously close to Hephaestus, one of the major UWM Forge Worlds. As such, the HMRC was discovered to find out what it was and neutralize it. However, 3 teams had been deployed before the PC team, with no indication as to what did them in. Usually, this would be unnoteworthy, but one of the members of the missing squads was Eric, a 7 mission Synthflesh vetran with 4 arms. With no indication of what happened, it was noted that he might be there, and if he wasn't dead he was originally friendly. And if he was dead... well, something killed him. Good luck.
With that, the team was deployed... into a field of perfectly normal grass. And so began the insanity. The team split up to cover the anomalies.
One pair discovered a set of circular clearings, completely devoid of plant life, but with something identifying in the center. One had a zen garden, another a short stack of books, and a third larger one a had a large structure in the center of it. There turn out to be a lot of clearings like this, each with a different item in the center. Standing in or near the clearings seemed to cause hallucinations. The large clearing also contained a few men, in suits similar to what our team was wearing. They looked sort of absent minded, and when a gauss rifle clip was throw into the clearing, the men slowly wandered over to it and stared at it. They didn't respond to any other communication, until Ivan stepped into the clearing. To his eyes, he was instantly transported to some other world, but the men inside were still there. At this point, they saw him, screamed, and attacked! From the outside, it looked like he was as brain dead as the rest of them. The only indication of what was going on inside was the other men suddenly falling over, dead. Inside, Ivan successfully killed all of them, then walked towards the structure inside the clearing. Wherever he was, that structure corresponded to a launch structure of some sort, with a weird rocket with a metal base and a massive organic thing sitting on top. Nearby was a control panel on a stand, but it was displaying equations similar to what a field manipulator would use, rather than anything related to launching. After some examination failed to bear fruit, Ivan cut the wires of the console. This broke the illusion, bringing him back to the clearing and revealing the console for what it actually was: a field manipulator, sitting on top of some organic thing that had been hanging onto the manipulator. The structure inside the clearing remained intact.
Another was a clearing in a forest. In the center was the ruins of a spaceship with men in similar suits to ours; presumably part of one of the squads that were sent here previously. The ship wasn't theirs, it was just here in the center of this clearing. The pair investigating this one discovered that radio did not leave the clearing... and that they couldn't either. All paths seemed to lead straight back into the clearing. The men in the center informed our pair that they had been stuck in here for a while, and then showed them what was in the metal structure: an old man holding a large seed, that had sprouted and wrapped itself around him. They suspected that he or the seed was the cause of the anomaly, but couldn't take it from him and lost a few members trying. Two dropped dead when they tried to approach, and another tried to shoot him and died before he could fire. After trying and failing to leave by other means, they came back and decided to try and bake the old man with an amp. The old man attempts to strike back at Mason as he had the other men in the clearing, but a successful will roll redirected the bulk of the assault. One overshot later, the man was burnt to a crisp and the illusionary forest collapsed around them. The old man turned out to be something vaugely organic with a manipulator, much like the thing at the center of the other illusion.
Victor, the member left alone at the ship for the first portion of the mission, decided to go straight for the central anomaly, a set of very large domes. Most of them don't seem to have an entrance, but the largest one does. Creeping closer, he sees that nearby the entrance is a marble statue of a massive, heavily muscled, 4 arm man. Erik. Victor wisely decided to retreat from this and help out Ivan. So of course Faith "Worst Medic Ever" Valentine wanders away from Ivan, who's standing oddly in a field, and over to the main temple, see's... something raiding up from behind the temple, and hears something that will haunt her for the rest of the game, and will be the end of team #4's effectiveness in the field.
Apparently, her future doom terrifies her so much that she continues hallucinating and hides in terror... while Ivan comes over to the door and sees Erik. A few Hallelujah's later, and Victor's entire lower half has been obliterated by one of Erik's kinetic amps, Ivan has had both his arms dislocated, been choked unconscious, used as an improvised weapon, and dragged back into the temple, and Adrian's head has exploded, resulting in the first permadeath. With the only other non-terrified team member staring at a wall, the pair of them called it a day.
Beta Team Edit
Not actually a rescue team. They were actually told they could shoot Alpha team if they wanted. Alpha team was essentially added to the list of 'teams lost in the anomaly' and written off. Beta team was given the same mission, with an extra incentive that the threat would be over regardless: a giant bomb, configured to go off 5 hours after it lost contact with Steve! Is there nothing explosives of irresponsible size can't solve?
Beta team reconnected with the remains of Alpha Team, and then moved on the temple. The temple decided to fight back by trying to mind control everyone, but by and large failed this time. Once everyone finished hallucinating, they finally entered the temple, a huge domed building with great murals along the walls of stars, galaxies, and other portraits of celestial bodies. In an outdoor area behind the temple, the team found a large and very out of place garden. Wandering through it, they eventually found a grove of trees, containing the last few members of the previous teams. 2 of them had been recently shot, but one remained alive, propped up at the edge of the grove. Her team had gone slowly insane on the way to this grove, coming to a violent end when one of the team members killed these two and ran off. They 'talk' with her for a bit before moving on to investigate the rest of the area. They discover an odd clearing, with statues around the edge. In the center is a stone, which appears to be some sort of gravestone, having human names alongside 2 dates, but the time between them is unusual, in excess of a thousand years. As they enter the clearing, they all start to feel very sleepy, causing some of them to back quickly out of the area. Others aren't so lucky, and start to fall asleep. The rescuee they found seems to nod off, but then pulls out a monorazor and attempts to bring it down on Faith. This brings a rapid response from those that got out of the field of sleepy, bringing her down, but not before a feedback from Jim knocks him unconscious and sets the grove on fire. They eventually discover that the field of sleepiness happens when touching the ground in the clearing, but never do find the cause. The team recovers and then moves back to explore the rest of the temple.
While the group gathers in the temple, Erik bursts through the wall and attacks. His screams of HALLELUJAH behave as physical attacks, crippling team members several at a time. He manages to get Milno's leg with his surprise attack, but other than that does surprisingly little damage. He is eventually taken out by combined amp fire taking out his legs, before finally being killed by Jim detonating the braincase in his chest. With the former HMRC veteran, they can finally move on to the next chamber.
The next room appears to be the bridge of a massive space ship. In the command chair is an ancient man, partially entombed by the cables plugged into his flesh. The man cryptically asks them why they are destroying this place. Faith speaks up first, explaining their mission and asking who she was speaking two. The man responds to the second question first, answering cryptically that "We had names once, when we were many, but now we are one and we simply are." He then repeats the request for explanation, and Faith repeats the mission, and that they responded because their members were losing their minds because of this place. The man seems confused about this, and asks Faith to open her helmet. She reluctantly does, and he touches her and invades her mind much more directly, leaving something behind in the process. The man seems satisfied with this, and informs the team that the last of their team, Ivan, still lives, but that they have 'communed with his flesh." He directs them to him, and then stops responding to anything else. They then head into the other room, which looks more like the first temple room, with a massive map of space set in stone into the masonry, with a complex machine in the center. At the base of that machine is Ivan, still alive and intact. Somehow.
Before they leave, they start to play around with the clearings with random things in the center. The old man hinted that these clearings were actually his people's memories, so they decided to investigate more thoroughly, using several of the clearings before finally packing up and leaving. One of them, with a pile of books in the center, seemed to contain a memory of someone who was reluctant to join whatever this place became. Another seems to be of a small playground with children laughing in it. Another, with a hoe in the center, leads to a farm. Removing the item in the center causes the clearing to stop doing anything, but it could be replaced with another item! Milno tested this by placing Jim in the center, and then stepping into the clearing, receiving the memory of Jim choosing to be placed in his robot body. It doesn't seem to work when reversed, though.
Upon return to the ship, Ivan and Faith were both immediately carted away by groups of men in black uniforms, as both of them had been altered by their interaction with the ship. Ivan's biology had been changed to something quite similar to the Altered, an ancient threat that forced the creation of the UWM in order to effectively counter it. It is incurable, and will eventually cause him to go insane. Faith, on the other hand, had her mind altered by Erik's screams. She can now go berserk at certain stimuli, screaming Hallelujah, gaining strength, and losing control.
- Adrian Conagher (Permakilled by kinetic amp to the face)
- Victor's lower half
- Milno's Leg
- Ivan's destiny
- Faith's self control