This is part of an ongoing campaign. You can find the other sessions over on the sidebar. This session was run on December 1, 2022. This session contains secret communications between me and the individual players. This means that these recaps do not cover everything that happened in the session. I will be reporting only the information that all players had access to. This portion of the campaign uses Zozer Games excellent Outpost Mars setting for Cepheus Engine.
This session picked up where Session 8 left off, with the characters rushing towards a crashed transport to rescue any survivors. On the way, each character received an email from their handlers detailing their secret secondary objectives for the mission.
When they arrived at the crash site, they found the transport mostly intact with a large hole in one side. The cockpit was also badly damaged in the crash. Two passengers, Mimi Cawthorn and Oleg Blazek, were resting against a nearby rock in emergency suits. The two introduced themselves over the open channel and explained that they knew there were two dead passengers inside. Another passenger was badly injured and crushed between two seats. They managed to get an emergency tent around him. A fourth passenger was in the bathroom at the time of the crash and had reported through the door that it was independently pressurized. He was still inside. They believed the pilots were both dead in the cockpit.
Further questioning revealed that neither of them knew what caused the crash. Something caused the hole in the side of the transport right before the crash. They thought there had been a man sitting in one of the seats that was cut away along with the side of the aircraft. They were engineers from AIMCON who were heading to Reunion from Adrienne to take advantage of some leave they had built up and did not know any of the other passengers.
Hunter and Romilius went to the cockpit to see if either of the pilots had survived and if they could get any information from the computers. Lukas, Zalf, and Wilson headed inside to help the injured and trapped survivors. Mildra worked on getting Mimi and Oleg into 10wPink.
As he entered the passenger compartment through the hole, Zalf noted that it was a meter in diameter and appeared to have cut a perfect sphere out of the aircraft. The center point of the sphere would have been in one of the passenger seats that was now missing. The cut on the skin of the transport was perfect, as though done by a laser.
Unfortunately, the sphere had also cut a chunk out of one passenger’s back. As they entered, they could see a man slumped over, inside an emergency tent, with a heavily bandaged back. His legs were pinned to his seat by the seat in front of him. He was still breathing.
They could also see the bodies of an elderly couple who had died before they could get into their emergency suits. The cockpit door was partially blown out, buckled breaking the seal between the two compartments. Lukas and Wilson moved to help the injured man in the tent while Zalf headed for the bathroom. Mildra, finished cycling the engineers through Pink’s airlock, joined Zalf.
By pressing the helmet of his suit against the door of the bathroom, Zalf was able to determine that the man inside was named Randolph Hertz and was uninjured. After a brief discussion, the team decided to seal both the cockpit and the hole in the side with emergency plastic and then pressurize the aircraft by running a hose from Pink. Zalf began sealing the hole in the side, while Romilius did the same in the cockpit. Mildra moved Pink closer and began running the hose.
While the pressurization work continued, Hunter located the flight data recorder and switched out with Romilius to allow the computer expert to analyze it. Romilius was able to access the data on the recorder and determined that the initial incident was rapid depressurization of the passenger cabin about 15 km away from the crash site. He was also able to access the passenger list and seating chart. From this they determined that the dead passengers were Lars and Katrien Grefelman, that the passenger who had been sitting in the seat where the center of the sphere was located was Darryl Hall, and that the injured man was a marshal named Daya Viswan.
Once they had the cabin sealed and partially pressurized, they cut open the tent surrounding Daya and coaxed Hertz out of the bathroom. As soon as Hertz opened the door, Wilson slashed at him with a knife, cutting him across the stomach. A brief struggle followed as the others attempted to subdue Wilson in the cramped passenger compartment.
They eventually managed to capture Wilson and patch up Hertz and Daya. They then transported everyone back to Pink. Romilius worked on backtracking the flight path to the site of the depressurization incident while the others interrogated Wilson. He admitted that he was working for the Cydonians on the side. Hertz was a Green Mars terrorist who was being transported to Reunion for trial. He killed three people and destroyed an archeological site when he detonated an explosive that released an underground reservoir. They restrained him for the trip back.
They followed Romilius’s projection to backtrack to the site of the incident and found a strange, black, one-meter-diameter, sphere on the ground. Initial experimentation with the sphere showed that it seemed to absorb all energy transferred to it by heat, electricity, or light. They were eventually able to load the sphere onto Pink’s trailer to take it back to Reunion.