[eclipse-phase] 18.2 The Devil in the Icehouse

Lev Lafayette lev at rpgreview.net
Sun Dec 23 19:17:47 AEDT 2018

18.2 The Devil in the Icehouse

The crashed Cessna was quite damaged, however the passengers mostly
suffering slight bruising. The exception being pilot Vivian taking the
worst effects. Under Hermann's suggestion the Sentienls moved away from
the wreckage and away from the base, working on the assumption that
reconnaissance from Vostok would be sent soon. This was at least partially
confirmed as they had to go to ground as drones flew overhead.

Making their way to Vostok base, the Sentinels noticed that the station
proper was ringed by a small number of pillboxes with security cameras.
Behind them was an short airfield with three small craft, and next to that
the base proper, guarded by Stalkers, Warbots and a Think Thank, with
several Flexboats about. Further, as the Sentinels observed the base
several rockets were fired from two silos, with a distance flash of light
indicating their explosion. Vivian reckoned that this was beyond the

After much discussion Hermann stealthily made his way to one of the
pillboxes, and placed the camera on a fixed feed courtesy of loop made by
Vivian. Once inside there were stairs leading down; cautiously the party
made it to the first level, some 15m underground, where they discovered a
mass storage area for flexbot accessories. Beyond that there was the hum
of machinery, which turned out to be a disgusting mix of the discarded
remains of biomorphs, crushed and mixed into a blended puree. These were
being fed into place by a conveyer belt from resleeving facility which
would place characters into flexbots.

The following level had an alarmed door, so the Sentienls continued
downwards where the stairs ended. Here, at close to a 100m below the
surface, the Sentinels discovered a storage room full of small sat-cubes,
each with radiation shielding, a small solar panel, space for propulsion,
guidance system etc. In the room beyond was a factory floor making the
cubes, with numerous flexbots working in the low-light environment. Spying
a lift in the centre of the room, Hermann and Nihai made their way to the
lift, dispatching a couple of flexboats on the way.

The lift dropped a couple of kilometres down to a numbe of mines. These
were not of use, so they made their way back up to one level below the
factory, where there was a power supply complex. Taking the lift back to
the sat-cube factory, they sent a burst transmission to the rest of the
Sentinels to make their way into the alarmed room, where they correctly
ascertained that the TITAN was located.

The TITAN, Mogwai, was protected of course behind plates of metallic glass
[1], but there were two Stalkers present to greet the intruders. The
Sentinels however opened fire with the force of the plasma rifles that
they had from the previous encounter with such beings and with an
additional attack vector from those on from the maintenance and fire exits
the Stalkers were quickly dispatched. Whilst forcing their way into the
TITANs data centre proved difficult (even with the plasma rifles), Vivian
reviewed the console information in the room and made a startling

The TITAN's core programming, its instinct if one likes, was quite simple;
protect itself, destroy its enemies, and expand. With this in mind, it had
decided that it could by-pass the interdict with a massive number of small
spaceships, which would be preprogrammed and carry information to both
rebuild itself on another planet, whilst also destroying opposition on
that planet, and building a Dyson sphere to create itself a Type 2
Kardashev   civilization, and with plans to build a solar sail and push
the solar system into the galatic centre to build a Type 3 Kardashev
civilization. The rockets being fired past the interdict - and it knew
where to fire them - was part of this plan.

Dozens of flexbots in quite a mood were making their way towards the
Sentinels, who fought their way to the missile launch silos. They made a
guess it wouldn't be long before the base was crushed by transhuman mass
drivers. But there was an option to escape - the Sentinels could have
their stacks removed, placed into a (reprogrammed) satellite cube, and
fired into space. "I'll be glade to leave this place", remarked Hermann,
referring to Earth, "And I hope never to come back". The missile silo
however proved to be protected by a warbot which ended Hermann's
consideration of such things quickly. When the warbot was destroyed,
Adrien cut out Hermann's stack, and followed on the gruesome task as each
Sentinel executed themselves, placing a stack in a cube.

Finally it came down to Basil and Adrien. Basil didn't have a stack, and
the quick calculations indicated that he wouldn't survive the journey if
placed in the box. Adrien of course couldn't cut out his own stack, but
Basil was a smart rat and he knew what to do.

I guess this is goodbye, said Basil in Catalan sign-language, and let out
a squeak.

If I survive the destruction of the base there will be plenty for me to
eat. For years.

Don't be sorry, you've given me an interesting adventure. Good luck, my

With that Adrien placed his blaster against his head and fired. True to
his word, Basil chewed out the stack from the base of his skull and
carried it gently between his teeth to the last satellite cube, as it made
its way into the missile.

As a great rock hurtled towards Vostok station from Luna, the missile took
off, and Basil made his way down towards the mines.

[1] New metallic glass is stronger and tougher than steel

Adrien La Fontaine: 4 Rez  (+1 participation, +1 lessons learned, +1
challenging opponent, +1 mission completed), +5 iRep

Di Yi Nuhai: 4 Rez  (+1 participation, +1 lessons learned, +1 challenging
opponent, +1 mission completed), +5 iRep

Vivian: 4 Rez  (+1 participation, +1 lessons learned, +1 challenging
opponent, +1 mission completed), +5 iRep

Hermann Blank: 5 Rez  (+1 roleplaying, +1 participation, +1 lessons
learned, +1 challenging opponent, +1 mission completed), +5 iRep)

Lev Lafayette, BA (Hons), GradCertTerAdEd (Murdoch), GradCertPM, MBA (Tech
Mngmnt) (Chifley)
mobile:  0432 255 208
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RPG Review Cooperative, Inc. http://rpgreview.net

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