Thursday, February 10, 2011

[Aftermath!] GURPS Operation Morpheus, Session 5, Part 1

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Session Five: Part 1: "When You're Falling" (April 4 - 5, 2104)

Important PCs: James (S), Bill (X), Bob (E), Alexis (C)

Important NPCs: Robbie the PolRob, Nasdaq the Robot, Miles Dayton, Rich Johnson, Amanda Hayes, John Ritter, several Giant Spiders, several MilRobs, the University Defense Computer aka UDC, Matt Borselli, PhD Physics, and various other Uni Survivors.

The spiders are observing Group B from the top of the Carslaw Building when James spots one Giant Spider waving what appears to be a bit of white cloth - a truce or surrender?

Pointing it out to the others, James calls out to the spiders to come and talk. He moves to the front door and removes the axe holding the door shut. Opening the door, with his gun to his side, he calls to the spiders. The spiders do not respond.

Calling for the rest of the Group to support him, using pilot fly codes ("Group, diamond formation, forward!"), James enters Carslaw once again, with Bill in a support position. Bob and Alexis stay at the front doors while Robbie and Nasdaq remain outside. Bob blocks the doors open with the axe and some rocks.

James gets frustrated that the Group is not following his orders and again calls for a diamond formation as they move towards the foyer opening. Alexis finally complies but Bob remains in the center of the foyer, watching their backs.

Robbie enters the building but Nasdaq remains outside. James again calls to the spiders and the Group notices that the dead spiders are gone. The spiders do not respond. The Group tries the stairs up spotted earlier but they end after a few feet in a ruined mess.

The Group exits Carslaw again and James asks Nasdaq why it didn't enter the building with the rest of them. Nasdaq responds that re-entering the building is a waste of it's resources and that this situation is not important.

The Group decides to try to find a way to climb the sides of the building to see if they can communicate with the spiders. Returning to their car, they find one of the passenger doors open. Quickly going to combat mode, Bob and Alexis approach the car and notice that there is an box on the passenger seat.

Bill determines, to the best of his ability, that the box is not trapped. In the process, he finds a piece of paper under the box that says "This is not a bomb" in the same handwriting that the envelopes from the Security Vault in Anderson Stuart were written in. Bill cautiously removes the box from the vehicle and opens it, revealing two books titled: "The Last 25 Years of US History, 2003 edition" as well as a thick manila envelope. Opening the envelope, they discover about 300 pictures - pictures of them and the rest of the Uni Survivors.

Bob and Bill return to Anderson Stuart for climbing gear and extension ladders while James, Alexis, Robbie and Nasdaq watch Carlsaw from the front. After a couple of hours, Bob and Bill return with the ladders and the Group climbs to the top of the two story auditorium. From there, they stretch the ladders across to the roof of Carslaw and climb one by one, starting with Bill and ending with Bob.

When Bill gets to the roof, he notices the large holes in the roof as well as a large pile of bones about 70 feet away. Cautioning the others to stop, he figures that the pile of bones is made up of human and animal bones. There are no signs of the Giant Spiders. With everyone on the roof the Group attempts to open some of the fourth floor metal shuttered windows.

Bill is lowered to two windows and manages to open them. Using his flashlight, he looks through the windows and finds that the whole building, with the exception of the foyer, is just an empty shell, with girders and beams and spider webs.

The Group return to the ground and drive around Carslaw again, to determine if there are any basement entrances or windows. They do not find any so they give up on contacting the spiders and return to Anderson Stuart.

For the rest of the day, James readies his weapons and gets another pistol from Supply. Meanwhile, Bill, Bob and Alexis examine the books and photos. The books are mostly the same with some very different contents. Book 1 contains the history that Group B remembers. But Book 2 contains history that never happened on Earth, to their knowledge. It seems that in Book 2, the US returned to the moon in 1980 and built the first of three moon bases in 1984. That, coupled with great advances in technology, brought the Book 2 US into early TL8 in the mid-80s, and late TL8/early TL9 in the mid-90s.

Alexis does some research on possible alternate realities/quantum physics/dimensional travel on the computer and comes up with several theoretical papers from the Physics department. She also finds about six documents that require a Gold/1 Military Key Card to access. Alexis brings the theoretical papers to Matt in Supply and asks him to review them and make conclusions. He tells her that he'll get back to her in a few days. Alexis also shows Matt Books 1 and 2. Matt has no memory of any moon bases. He sends a quick email questionnaire to everyone in Anderson Stuart, outlining several historical facts as well as some facts from Book 2, just to see how many people remember Book 1's view of history as opposed to Book 2.

With many questions, the Group goes to bed, with Amanda from Group A on night watch.

Bob wakes up because his feet are cold and fully wakes up when he realizes that two unknown robots are carrying him outside of Anderson Stuart and onto the University Campus. When he is fully awake, in only a t-shirt and boxers with his Silver/2 Military Key Card around his neck, the two robots allow him to walk.

They escort him down Eastern Avenue to City Road and up to the Sydney University Regiment (SUR) Building. Warning him to obey all orders and not to deviate from his escorted path on pain of death, the robots have him use his Silver/2 Military Key Card to enter SUR. The robots take him into the building and into an elevator. The elevator descends several floors below the surface of the street.

He is walked out of the elevator and down a hallway. One of the doors that he passes contains a fully operational repair facility for security robots and he sees many being repaired. Finally, they bring him to another elevator, which takes him down several floors to the Reactor Control Center for SUR.

The robots tell him to get to work and then set themselves up to guard the door. Bob notes that the Reactor level is about 10% of full and that the draw is about 10% of maximum. With this draw, the Reactor has about 10 years of fuel left. Bob remembers what Andy told him and starts the Water-to-Fuel conversion process, which takes several hours. When the robots escort Bob out of the Reactor Control Room, he notices that the Reactor level is now at 100%.

The robots take Bob by a different route and he passes by several rooms that contain *occupied* cryosleep modules, about 20 modules in all. Then they bring him into a room with video equipment set up. Pushing him into a chair, a video starts playing.

The video shows Alexis on the computer, with an over her shoulder view of the computer. The date stamp on the video says April 3, 2104. A message screen pops up on Alexis's computer that says "I make a better friend than an enemy" and then shows a montage of images that show the Anderson Stuart bunker losing power, SecRobs entering the bunker and killing all the Uni Survivors. Then the message screen pops up again and instructs Alexis to install the Trojan Horse program on all computers she can access, and provides her with a program that makes the Trojan Horse program invisible.

Then another video starts. This shows at least four security night-vision camera angles of the inside of the Carslaw building and the great number of Giant Spiders that reside there. The date stamp on the video says April 4, 2104. The video shows Group B enter Carslaw and their subsequent combat with the Giant Spiders in exacting detail.

When this video ends, the machine punches out two video disks and the robots tell Bob it is time to go. Bob surreptitiously takes the two video disks from the machine and is escorted out by the robots.

He is taken to another floor of SUR, hopelessly lost, and put in another room. Several robots there take his Silver/2 Military Key Card. They take his picture and return to him a Gold/1 Military Key Card.

His robot escorts take him out of SUR and back to Anderson Stuart, where they leave him at the vehicle lift. Bob re-enters Anderson Stuart bunkers and goes to bed, without telling anyone what happened.

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