Bleed Out: An Ashen Stars Campaign

Episode 1.2 "Carrion Crew" Part 2 of 2

NCC-1701 piloted the shuttle safely into the Shengli’s now-abandoned shuttle bay; the Missec scout ship picked up its unmanned shuttle and made haste for a translight corridor.

Scans revealed a half-dozen Missec aboard, heading their way. The crew prepared for the attack, but it never came. Instead, two of the Missec did something at the hatch leading into the ship’s interior from the shuttlebay, then the Missec made contact with the Lasers via Combine radio frequencies. The two groups parleyed a mutually-agreeable plan to help each other: the Missec would help the Lasers find what they came for, and the Lasers would shuttle the Missec off the ship before the gas giant crushed it.

Before opening the door, the Missec disarmed Combine grenades they had planted inside the hatch, then joined the Lasers. They were dressed in Combine military armor, wielding Combine assault rifles: they had clearly already ransacked much of the ship’s stores. The leader of the Missec boarding party introduced himself as Ganglia, and he kept as wary an eye on the Lasers as they kept on him.

The laser crew proceeded with the Missecs to the Shengli’s power plant, to which the Interociter was attached. Deadbeef pretended to be fixing the engines while he detached the Interociter; Deadbeef and NCC together repaired the engines.

The Missec went to explore the rest of the ship and set off an explosive booby trap: Ganglia survived mostly unharmed, another Missec was critically injured, and all the others were killed.

Vedeg and NCC proceeded to the bridge to recover mission data; they encountered corpses and internal damage along the way, all consistent with a Crysolis attack. At the bridge, they discovered that they needed more power to run the consoles and download the mission data; fortunately, NCC was able to jury-rig a battery from dead Shengli-crew sidearms. The data recorded revealed that the Interociter had been powered on but never tested; the Crysolis ship arrived just before the test was to begin, and it demolished the Shengli’s defenses, boarding it and taking some material from the cargo bay, as well as making a sweep of the ship, slaughtering crewmen. The Combine crew had been completely overwhelmed.

Once the Interociter was detached, Deadbeef transformed himself partially into a wheelbarrow and dragged it back to the shuttle. Vedeg give the ship enough thrust to escape Psi Parada II’s orbit, and he and NCC prepared to return to the Earwig. They discovered life signs along the way and found four surviving crew members hiding in the galley, in a relatively scan-proof area of the ship behind several redundant bulkheads. The Lasers convinced the Shengli crew to join them in departing the ship.

As everyone boarded the shuttle, a remote proximity alarm from the Earwig sounded: the Missec scout ship had returned from a translight corridor, this time with a massive fleet in tow.

The crew raced back to their ship, and Vedeg and one of the Shengli crew hurriedly installed the Interociter onto the Earwig while Deadbeef stalled in negotiation with Captain Spaller, who was offering to drop the crew off at the nearest semi-inhabitable planet in exchange for the Earwig. Once the device was installed, the crew fired an incredible, one-time blast of Interociter-powered alien fury, a warning shot through a gap in the Missec fleet, which turned tail and ran, leaving Ganglia and the other wounded Missec in the Earwig crew’s care.

The crew activated a secure Combine beacon to alert the military where to salvage the Shengli. Then they returned to Bleed space to collect their reward and spend their hard-earned bigcreds.

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