Is there even any question?
Is there even any question?
Maybe we'll see a sudden upswing in voting for building some proper houses!
With the rovers able to carry the bulk of the gear and maps having been made from the previous trip out to Pod Eight the going was relatively easily. Again, there are a few times when the map bears no damn relation to the actual terrain, at some point it was going to be necessary to actually agree on some kind of cartography standards, or just build some doohicky to automatically map new regions of the planet.
This time, the expedition is rather less rag tag. An uninformed observer might even believe that these were some kind of enthusiastic rambling hobbyists rather than a motley gang of hardened criminals mixed with a former civilians from Earth. Arriving back at the crater, a small team offloaded the comm laser and scrambled up to the nearest suitable spot, aiming the laser back in the general direction of the nearest xenofarm to try and send the first report back. Meanwhile, the ten burly men chosen to actually venture inside the wrecked pod donned their suits.
They rolled down the side of the crater in three of the rovers, making the most use of their new tools. Parking up just outside a large rend in the hull of the crashed pod, they ventured inside. One of their rovers was equipped with its own comm laser and receiver dish, allowing the team to send messages without climbing back out of the crater. Their suitlamps illuminated the interior briefly but quickly faded leaving the rest of the team standing outside squinting down for signs of life.
[Exploration roll, difficulty 11. It's a 10. Failure.]
This pod had crashed much harder than Pod Six. Almost everything had been destroyed, it was difficult enough even recognising what the various sections had once been. Even stranger was the feeling that this place had already been plundered for the choice items. Here and there, the group stopped and poked around, primarily concerned with trying to extract data cores from computer clusters. Every one that they find is damaged, but they pocket them regardless. Perhaps the information could be recovered somehow.
One crushed chamber contained a pair of suspended animation pods, both intact but both open and empty. It was a scene that the explorers came across a few more times, the bulkheads for these rooms must have been heavily reinforced. Each bears a serial number, but no names, just like on Pod Six. The only real hope was extracting a passenger manifest from one of the dozens of damaged datacores.
Continuing on to the centre, the explorers find a large pod section that has survived almost unscathed. A huge set of blast doors block the only entrance, however. They've been stencilled in huge block capitals "HRH - Nexus". Beside the doors a small screen flickers uncertainly, this section still had power but the terminal was damaged beyond use.
Switching tactics, the group followed their Geiger counters towards the damaged reactor. It was not difficult to find. Lights above pulsed and sparked, and strange gases vented from broken pipelines. It was fortunate that the damage had been so limited, any more and the reactor could have gone super critical and detonated like a low-yield nuke. Odds on it would have killed most of the survivors from Pod Six instantly and left the rest to a much slower end of the coming weeks. Still, thank God for small favours. Some of the control systems were even still active. Tapping away at various panels a few things became clear: The mysterious core of the pod was in lockdown due to the radiation levels and the very same region was drawing considerable amounts of power.
Trekking back to their rover, the explorers shared the news and asked for instructions.
Shiny New Toys wrote:
Whats a little risk? Lets see whats in here.
Jam Warrior wrote:
Plus we're at two successes for five (published) dice checks. My rudimentary understanding of probability says we're 100% guaranteed to succeed this time.