Day 31: Alpha Labs, Factory 17 (Five Klicks)
From the Journal of Maya Ceros, Day 31.
I should have listened to my gut. I should have turned around, but something keeps drawing me deeper. We breached the doors on Alpha Labs today. Looking back, I wish we never had.
I thought those horrors from yesterday were bad. They weren't easy, that's for certain, but what we went toe-to-toe with today? These were much worse. I feel like we were lucky to even get out alive.
Power was down in Alpha Labs. Merlin snuck in ahead of the rest of us and tried to get the lights on, but nothing could get the power grid going again.
I should have pulled everyone out the instant I noticed the chewed wires, the stinking goop stuck to the walls. By the time we realized we'd entered their hive, it was too late.
They let us get comfortable, let us get our guard down, spread out and separate from each other, vulnerable and alone.
When they struck, it was like lightning. Suddenly, they were among us, rushing in, their slavering mandibles tearing at armor. They were huge, grub-like, each armed with a storm of frantic, barbed legs that lashed at us through the darkness.
There were other horrors in the place too. Something huge and bipedal, with an exoskeleton like a bug rushed out of a broken console and lashed out at Merlin. Fortunately for all of us, he turned his Heavy Machinegun on it before it could strike him and pinned it to the wall with a hail of lead.
Bringing up the rear, Dora and I rushed in after the horrors attacked. In the darkness, our aim was off and we hit nothing but steel walls.
Then came the screams.
I knew instantly that we'd lost Kate. There was blood in her scream, a gurgle. Polybius's digital shout was unmistakable, but seemed more full of rage than pain. Even Nike cried out, and I knew in seconds that we were about to get completely overrun.
On her own, Kassandra used her spear to hold back one of the horrors that had come out of the darkness at her. I heard her battle cry, and, maybe I'm fooling myself, but it sounded like it was full of fear.
They had us on our heels. Only Sally and Merlin were quick enough to take shots before the things could strike again.
Sally's heavy machine gun chattered and cut down one of the horrors, driving back another.
Merlin took a shot in the darkness, cut down one of the things and drove back another.
And when the horrors moved in again, I heard more screams. Three screams. Three screams to curdle your blood and leave you breathless. We were broken, outnumbered, and my people were being eaten alive.
But the sweet sound of Nike's needle rifle singing out in the darkness gave me hope.
Inspired, I put down another one of the horrors.
And as they closed, Dora wounded one of them before it could reach Merlin.
There was a tussle. Merlin shouted and pushed the thing off him.
We were down to four, and a ragged four at that.
Shouting something that sounded like "Abracadabra, Motha--" Merlin cleared the breech in his Heavy Machine Gun in a single pull.
And rattled enough rounds, between him and Dora, to cut down the closest horror.
For me, that's where things get hazy. I remember one of those things rushing down the corridor at me like it was made of greased lightning, throwing itself against me so hard that I went down and lost consciousness. I learned later that Nike and Merlin were rushed as well, but both managed to hold their own.
Nike's needle rifle sang again, cutting down another horror.
The things were aggressive, pushing and pushing, but my people held their own.
There was more noise further in, and I think everyone was praying that we wouldn't have to deal with more of these things.
Nike was quick on the draw, cutting down the last of the horrors trying to eat her.
Another volley from Merlin cut their numbers down again.
And still, more of the horrors came.
Dora let lead fly, dropping another one of the things.
And Merlin found himself fighting for his life again.
By some miracle, nothing else came out of the darkness.
We were down to three, but three against two is decent enough odds for me.
Merlin and Dora worked together to cut down another one of the huge bugs.
The carnage was enough to scare off another one of the horrors, or at least, to send it skittering back into the darkness for a moment before it came at us again.
And when it did, when it went for Dora, Nike was there, wading through a pile of corpses, her needle rifle raised, cutting the last of the things down with an angry, vengeful shout.
I think the worst thing about these horrors was their venom. I was grateful we had so many stimpacks and medi-kits on hand when it turned out Sally and Polybius had nearly gotten a lethal dose.
Kassandra was perhaps the luckiest of all. Though she went down, she was still kicking when we found her.
We had to use one of our Diagnosers on Polybius to keep his complex, bio-mechanical workings from going critical. On second thought, he probably would have been fine if we'd just waited for his filtration implant to kick in, but the toxin was tough and honestly, I'd forgotten he'd had it installed.
I was grateful to hear that Kate pulled through, worn out but otherwise okay.
I was feeling about the same, honestly. They had to use a diagnoser on me to help me pull through as well.
Maybe it's some solace that Greene found more information about that government base in the terminals here. He thinks we're close, that we're within a day's journey. Once we finish clearing out the factory, Sigma IV may be our next target. Greene seems to think the place will be a treasure trove of advanced tech.
Nike is MVP (+1xp)
All others gain +1xp
6 AP spent on training.
Sally and Polybius are now Injured.
Maya and Kate are now Worn
All status effects cleared! (-2 Medi-Packs, -2 Stimpacks.)
Loot (1 +1 [First item = Mundane] +1 [Treasure Hunter]): Sturdy Binoculars, Purifier, Scrap Cannon)
Salvage (per Loot Mod): None
Special Module Loot: Security Chief's Pistol
Wealthy Trader Item: Under-Barrel Launcher with 1 Grenade. (Taken)
Trade (5 + 2 From Scrap): Shard Grenades (4), Under-Barrel Launcher (3 Grenades),
S hotgun, Scrap Rifle, SAW.
Convoy does not level up
Nike leveled up! +1 to Speed!
Kassandra leveled up! +1 to Initiative!
Dora Leveled up! Gains Talent: "Dodge!"
Recruit: A Rookie
Progress Toward finding Area Sigma IV: 1 (2 of 3)
Big Jimmy prepares a dose of Sprawlwort to give Daedalus an advantage in fighting fish. He then goes in search of herbs, but doesn't find any. He does not run into trouble.
Daedalus goes fishing and finds a spot that is Not Great with two fish he can try to catch. Fish 1: 4/6; Fish 2: 1/5; He decides to go after Fish 1, hooks it easily and after a protracted battle, he drags it in. He then goes for Fish 2, hooks it, but it breaks away. Trading his catch to Greene, Daedalus shares 2 Scrap with the rest of the Convoy. He does not run into trouble.
Henrietta goes in search of hogs to wrestle and finds a whole pack! Hog 1: 3/4; Hog 2: 3/1; Hog 3: 4/6; Hog 4: 3/3; Hog 5: 3/3; She decides to chase down Hog 2. She catches it, but it escapes when she tries to tie it up. She does not run into trouble.
Post-Play Notes: Campaign Turn 31 - Factory 17, 10 Mega-Centipedes. Settlement Event: Wealthy Trader in town. Unusual: Power Outage.
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