5 – Old Friends and Odd Events
The crew are taken under armed guard to an office, deep within the Iderati highport. In the room is Gihren Stone, who Wade and Jexa have a bad history with. A younger man indicates that Gihren is now a General, assigned to this region of Imperium space, while he is Retan Jorn, system commander of Investigative Intelligence. They leverage the punishment of the actions the crew took at the Flammarion highport, which caused major damages, over an investigative job they need performed in an old Scout base on one of the outer planets of the Iderati system. Retan explains that due to a delegation of Darrian Confederation representatives attending an event on-planet, they have to minimise any large change to their routines to not arouse further suspicion. The crew, and their old Scout vessel, would be a perfect camouflage. In return for assisting Retan, suspicions relating to the crew with the Flammarion incident will be wiped clean.
Asang flies them to Iderati X, a smallish, cold planet. As they enter into the atmosphere, they find the scout base, with a crashed Droyne ship nearby. Asang stays with the HIGHNDRY, while Wade and Jexa move to investigate the crashed ship outside. They break open the sealed iris, but a brief search reveals no clues for them. Asang begins to head inside the scout base, which so far appears to be dead quiet, and Wade and Jexa follow shortly behind him. They begin to feel an immense feeling of dread wash over them as they press further into the base. Several rooms inside are devoid of furniture, which is later found to be clustered into a pile on the far side of the base. Asang hears a noise inside and finds a humanoid figure wandering deeper into the base. He identifies the figure as a man dressed in typical Imperial Scout uniform, and the crew launch an ambush, surprising him. They tie up the man, and work on dismantling the barricade in the base.
With the barricade dismantled, they dig deeper into the base to find an assortment of both human and Droyne bodies on the floor. Along one corridor, another unknown figure shoots a few rounds at Wade. He calls out to the figure. Wade and Jexa’s minds are bombarded by further strong feelings of dread, but they hear no audible reply. Wade throws a canteen towards the figure, and positions himself around a corner to get a better view of it, seeing that it is a Droyne, an alien being. Asang regroups with the crew, while Wade and Jexa land shots against the alien, incapacitating it. They advance, and kick away the Droyne’s pistol. As Wade edges closer, a further sudden intense wave of emotion washes over him, invoking immense anger on Wade towards the alien being and he makes a final shot against the creature, killing it. Wade and Asang are troubled by this change in behaviour, but continue along.
They arrive at an elevator that leads to the upper-level ops centre and control tower, and slowly rise to the higher floor. As the doors open, they see another wide stack of tables and chairs blocking their path, and a single Droyne. Jexa moves to attack, while the Droyne reacts quickly with a psionic message, trying to indicate it is not a threat. The crew are hesitant, but listen to the alien. Through a series of telepathic messages, it informs the Travellers that there is a larger threat that also uses psionics. It directs them to the base’s medbay, and they agree to withdraw as the Droyne is cornered. As they travel back through the base and enter the medbay, they open the doors to find a room full of a pink, goo-like substance. As they explore the medbay, two aliens with hard exoskeletons, and wide, beady eyes begin to emerge from the goo and attack the group. After a brief battle, they kill both aliens. Asang falls in the process and, due to the emotional link the goo seems to emit, sulks quietly. The unknown beings now dead, a Scout technician of the base emerges from hiding to speak with the crew. He explains that the unknown aliens had returned on a scout ship performing a standard refuel and resupply, and had slowly took control over the minds of the human crew on the base. When the Droyne arrived from their crashed ship, ther inherent psionic ability shielded them from the aliens, causing the unknown aliens to invoke hatred into the Scout base personnel against the Droyne. A fight ensued between the mind-controlled Scout personnel and Droyne, causing the damage and forcing the remaining Droyne to hold up on the other side of the base. With the unknown aliens dead, the psionic control was released. Jexa takes samples from one of the alien corpses, and they leave the remaining scout base personnel and Droyne to await assistance they’ve now called in.
The crew fly back to the Highport, to ensure Wade can pick up his armour, and report back to Retan through a video call. They show Retan the head they took from the unknown alien’s corpse. Surprised, he informs the crew that the alien creature is an El’tek, a very uncommon race, located further spinward from the Iderati system. He confirms their side of the deal is done, and any warrants and suspicions on behalf of the Imperium towards them have been cleared… for now.