2011/02/21 - The Dark Zone
Something doesn't feel right about the time.
We head back to the shuttle to get some rest overnight. Peri threatens to kill Victus again. In the morning, we notice that there are a lot of barefooted tracks around the shuttle. It looks like someone was snooping around here - there is a bit of damage to the back of the shuttle, as if someone has been gnawing on the shuttle. In the meantime, breakfast is adequate.
A quick debrief is given of what was behind the wibbly gateway. Apparently some labs, possibly belonging to the Adrontai. Some demon summoning stuff and gateways to a couple of other places (a desert, and an asteroid). There were people held in stasis in tubes, with cybernetic implants.
Peri shows Zuriel pictures of some of the demonic items found, and Xenosbane feels unhappy. The sword is only satisfied when the datapad is destroyed by fire.
Zuriel, Cain and Victus head off after the footprints, whilst Peri stays behind to wait to speak to Maegos. The footprints lead us back towards some hills, following fairly obvious paths. There are two or three sets of tracks. We find an entrance to a cave. For some reason Victus seems more trustworthy than usual.
Creeping up to the cave, there are sounds of movement inside. Going in, we follow a tunnel that leads to a big cavern. There is a crude barricade with three mutants on top. We converse with them. Apparently the metal attachments sprouted from their skin a few weeks ago, when they were 'saved' from the plague. They don't know why, who or how. Victus than walks up the wall onto the ceiling. The mutants panic, one leaps back the other two try and strike at him with their spears, but are unable to reach. Zuriel leaps up on top of the barricade and slays the two standing there.
Victus does something, and the third one explodes in a burst of burning blood. The rest of the mutants cower in terror. There are boxes here which just contain foodstuff. We leave the rest alone and head back to the shuttle. Peri is studying a map, and gets together to discuss it with Victus. After some time, they claim that there are magic patterns in the distributions of the population centres on the planet, which have been designed by the Adranti. These patterns are apparently causing an increase in the number of mutants. Zuriel is not convinced.
Speaking to our navigator, we identify one of the worlds as near the Adrenti nebula. We head to the adrenti nebula. A month later we come out of warp very badly. We are close to a white dwarf star. There is some damage to the ship which will take a few weeks to sort out,
Flying round the system, there seems to be something odd about things. Something is pulling the ship off course. More observations of the asteroids in the system eventually locates some other source of mass having an affect on the system. However, the ship's gravity sensors aren't picking up any gravity field from whatever it is. This is another sign of wibbly wobbly wierdness.
A blank missile is fired towards the source, and it just vanishes about a million kilometres from the point. Then it reappears a while later. There appears to be a zone of blankness through which we can't see anything. We fire another missile through with recording equipment on it. Picking it up on the other side, we recover images of a planet, what appears to be a barren airless world about 7000km in diameter.
We get into a shuttle and fly into the dark zone. There is a feeling of double oddness. The hand of the Emperor does not reach here. The planet is near the centre of the zone, and we can detect a power signature on the surface of the world. As we close in, we see that there is a landing platform here, and landing lights come on as we approach. We land. There seems to be a power drain, which will prevent us from getting back to the ship in about 50 hours. The shuttle sinks through the shiny surface of the landing pad until we're in a large chamber several kilometres across. We float down towards the bottom of the cavern, into a tube, continuing to descend for another four or five hours until we finally reach a bottom.
The shuttle indicates that there is a breathable atmosphere and reasonable temperature outside.