[SPOILERS for Starfinder Society Adventure #1-09 Live Exploration Extreme! which I plundered extensively for this subplot]
26 Desnus, 318 AG | Salvation’s End
The krewe, followed by Kevir and the undead film crew, fall in with Ylsa’s dwarves as they head through the curving corridors deeper into the complex. Falak and Iliana are unable to detect any sign of active power or functioning tech behind the stone, despite glimpses of tech through cracks in the facade.
As they enter the cavern where Ylsa said her clan was encamped, they see a frantic bustle of activity. Falak overhears the dwarves as they rush to update Ylsa. It seems their holy man, Holsin, is trapped by a cave in. They theorize that it was probably caused by the Exhaust Drinkers demolitions, the same explosives that caused the hole they entered through.
Roughly forty dwarves of varying genders and ages rush about, trying to enlarge a fissure through the tons of debris. The krewe examines it and can dimly make out a supine dwarven figure, pinned by debris with a slowly widening pool of blood around him. The dwarves tell Falak that they despair of being able to reach him before he bleeds out. The fissure is almost chest deep with synth fluid and hydraulic fluids, too deep for a dwarf, but manageable for some of the krewe. In addition the top half is filled with toxic vapors which the krewe’s armor filters out. Kevir cuts in, “Fan Vote says Take the Fissure!”
Attuning to graviton mode Iliana takes the lead with Falak and Melisande behind her. They navigate the fissure until it opens into the main chamber. Iliana grabs her solar mote, transforming it into a sword and enters the chamber. As she steps into the knee-deep fluids of the chamber she is attacked by a figure that rises from their depths. An autonomous synth torrent, gone rogue from its repair routines. After a fierce battle, she disperses it and they proceed to Holsin’s side.
While Falak and Iliana lift the rubble aside, Melisande focuses on healing his wounds. Once they have him stable and conscious Falak rigs up their helmet so that Holsin can use it to safely get past the gas. Not needing to breathe, the android can brave the vapors unprotected. As they wade through the hydraulic fluids Falak feels something graze their calf. Something alive. It happens twice more as they navigate the fissure and then when they emerge from the gunk an autonomous synth fluid follows. It seems like a puppy and seems to have imprinted on Falak 13. After a brief discussion, they decide to let them keep it as long as they clean up after it.
The dwarves break out in celebration as the krewe carry their holy man out. As they trade questions with him they discover that he hears the voice of his god, Torag, and the words communicated to him are in an archaic dialect of common. Krysa asks if he can take them to the last place he heard Torag’s voice and the dwarf assents.
He leads them to a strip of the wall where the stone has shattered, revealing complex machinery showing a trickle of power. Falak jury-rigs a way to jack in and downloads as much as they can without root access to the fragmented network. Surface scan of the data reveals that this is one of 20,000 habitats, at least 2/3 of which show as having failed. The hardware and software are extremely advanced and utterly alien, although similar enough in aesthetic that it can be interfaced with easily. Falak relays this information to the others through telepathy with Iliana and Melisande in order to keep it from the viewing audience and hungry cameras. They are also able to download partial schematics of the immediate complex. As the dwarves have been climbing to the surface each level below them has been deconstructed and a new one 3D lithoprinted above them giving the illusion of upward progress without any actual gain.
Using the schematics they are able to lead the dwarves to the surface, eventually coming out in a large room one level up. The roof above has been blown out, probably by the space goblin excavations. At the edge of the hole, behind purple velvet ropes, elite ticketholders raise their glasses and cheer as the group comes into view. Zo!, First Seeker Luwazi Elsebo, and Historia -7 are in a hovering press box above. A cheer goes up from the viewers as the krewe is brought to Zo!’s box via hover platform. As they do so spotlights zero in on Zo!
“What a discovery! What a destination! What a band of unlikely heroes! What could lie deeper in Salvation’s End? Find out on the next episode of Live Exploration Extreme! when the Starfinder Society returns to—”
“What?” shouts Luwazi with alarm from near Zo!’s microphone. “That was not part of our deal, Zo! You can’t just
add a sequel when we haven’t—”
Zo!’s voice insistently cuts back in. “Ha ha! And now a word from our sponsors!”
26 Desnus, 318 AG | Salvation’s End
Post Show Offers Received
- Krysa – VitariTech (Disruption tech) product sponsorship, invited to be a guest at Gap Con, request for an interview on Absalom TV 5, Alucci Leather Goods endorsement, Zeizerer Munitions product sponsorship
- Morg – an invitation to gladiator games in Eox’s Halls of the Living, Magnari Pieceworks sponsorship, sponsorship
- Melisande – request for a “tell-all” bio, Ereus Teletech product sponsorship,
- Falak 13 – VitariTech product sponsorship, VitariTech integrated product sponsorship, nomination for The Dallas Corbin Award For Emotional Range (Deadpan of the Year)
- Iliana – an invitation to MC and participate in the Busty Dragon’s wet t-shirt contest, walk-on role in a sitcom, Ereus Teletech product sponsorship