"For more corrupt the soul, the more painful it becomes to look upon the pure.
So it is with crystal and jade and the creatures of the dark lands.
Remember this Hantei, for it will one day save your life."
This ship is too big, and far too infested for our tiny crew.
Liam thought as Doc, the new guy, wanted to power up a mainframe computer for more information so as to explore the ship. Both Doc and John had agreed, tyranny of the majority at work, and Red would probably agree with them. They were clearly forgetting the monster in the ships water storage, the ghoulish creatures that lurked behind every door. Hell, behind the door next to the mainframe, probably.
Watching the hallway through which they had entered, suddenly the lights started flickering on. Doc then announced he had gotten access to the mainframe, only to be silenced by the clawing of the creatures on the other side of the door. Liam and John drew their weapons, preparing for the locks to fail. Ste…- Doc still too caught up in the influx of information too care, maybe even notice.
Suddenly silence. The clawing stopped, had the ghouls given up? Could they?
Pale bodies, screaming, running through the hallway. The first warning was Johns' scanner. He barked a warning, but they almost caught Liam, as he advanced retrograde to get some space. Two ghouls, John opened up with that oversized boomstick and drew the attention of the rearmost one.
One for John, one for Liam, split up the ghouls were swiftly dispatched. Their danger seemingly ended with the surprise ambush.
Doc had still not budged from the screens, about as useful this fight as tastebuds in an asshole.
Finding more of Lieutenant Harry Yagai and his logs. It mentioned radiation, and odd symptoms, suddenly the very air felt prickly. They quickly checked their radiation scanners.
The next room did wonders explaining the fate of a significant part of the ships' crew. Torn bodies, rotten meat and gnawed bones. How long had those ghouls laired here? Enough "food" for this to be considered a larder.
Seaching the bodies yielded little in the way of answers, some medical supplies.
The room had another exit. Spilling out into the main hallway, a service hatch with a hidden inlaid panel. That must have bene where the ghouls exited to get around them.
Securing the entire mainframe compartment from further break-ins, Doc and John started scanning through the walls for possible entryways to other parts of the ship. Behind one wall they picked up no gravity, and maybe even no air. Another wall showed another compartment, but this time the scans read gravity, uncertain as to pressure or air. They decided to open a small hole first, to get a feel for the air flow, a standard tactic for breaching in damaged ships. An unknown concept to Doc it seemed, but both John and Liam had seen what vacuum could do to the unaware in the past.
Using a lasertorch to open a segment of the wall worked, until the metal plate dropped. It made more noise than they wanted. Much more. Peeking through the hole revealed a spiral staircase, the uneven reflection of light from water shining up from its bottom. There was a door, barely open, on the other end. An unspoken agreement to not go near the stairs, they all too clearly remembered the monster that almost killed John and Red, the stairs might just open into that water reservoir.
Leaving only the door across the room as a viable option for further discovery. Sneaking slowly across the room Liam peeked through the crack. A ships galley, more bodies, nothing moving.
Giving John the "all-clear" handsign, they entered the galley. The bodies, for the first time the bodies were not clad in unremarkable spacers jumpsuits, but uniforms, of different services with rank insignia. Three bodies, all three officers, one lieutenant and two ensigns. Searching the bodies left little in the way of results, only the dogtags. Lieutenant Yagai, whose scrambled writings had so motived Doc to stay was found. A worse sign was the door out of the galley, barricaded. Another door that should probably stay shut.
Leaving the galley as silently as they could, Liam and John met up with Doc near the mainframe exit. Being yet unwilling to leave, John and Doc decided to press on, simply in a different direction. On the first day, they had found what probably was the cargo hold. Searching that way might yield answers as to what all of this was for, or better yet, loot.
Walking the main corridor, John decided to scan the way ahead. Scans showed an unknown lifeform, humanoid and arachnid in appearance. John saw it react to his scan, his presence. then disappear off the screen unlike anything he had seen before, not active camouflage, not a signal distortion. It simply was not there, suddenly, not there.
They quickly huddled, nervous from this alien specter, and made a new plan: Liam would watch their rear, John and 'Doc' would advance cautiously, John in the lead.
The incessant thumping from the large door by the elevator banks, came to an abrupt end. It ended not with silence, but with a screech, as if metal tore from metal.
Liam, John and Ste.. Doc moved forwards into the room preceding the cargo hold. Liam wanting to keep an eye out for whatever might yet come from the elevator banks, John and Doc seeking to explore the hold. Mindful of the disappearing creature, remembering the sound of metal yielding to force. Unknown, probable hostiles, on both fronts.
The waiting got to Liam, fast.
John and Doc had already entered the hold. Being alone in the void of space is bad enough, worse yet is being alone on a unknown ship. He followed them into the hold, never getting a chance at seeing whatever it was busting up that door down the central compartment.
Doc and John in the cargo hold found only the bodies of ghouls hanging from the ceiling, dripping stalactites, beneath them the remnants of others of their kind. No sign of the weird creature from John's scans, yet.
Faint scratching from the far end of the hold caught their attention. They withdrew from the feeding area. Doc, looking for safety found an armoured door, and wanting to get behind it started hacking the system using a carelessly placed dataport.
John wanted to locate this thing, once more, even trap it, drew out his scanner wanting to force it to his location. It worked too well. Tentacles, the colour of shadows wound around his legs. Seeking to drag him to an dark unwanted end. Unable to see the source of the webs, and busy trying to hold on to something anything, he did not see Liam sprint forth to open fire on the dark. Something was hit. Hit badly enough to relinquish the grip on John. Shocked higher on adrenaline than a fighterpilot on himself, John and Liam moved back-to-back to the Docs' gate.
Doc had barely gotten the gate open when they arrived. a hallway, with what might be the Nova Terras' main power generator at the end. Against the walls of the room stood emergency lockers.
Locking the door behind them, Liam opened a few lockers and found envirosuits, rated for vacuum and other hazarduos environments. They were trapped. Far too many unknowns. A real clusterfuck.
"Told you we should have bloody well left alone."
"Shut up, Liam."
"Yeah Liam, shut up."
Blue Falcons, the lot of them.