In the previous instalment of this campaign log, our heroes became acquainted with each other and their prison cell on BIG-16. Byzi, eager to escape, is restless and stays awake during the night. He witnesses guards hauling off and returning prisoners and wonders what they are doing with them...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Byzi is still pacing his cell while the others sleep. In the early morning, he decides to test whether his magical abilities still work despite the magic-annulling bracelet the guards gave him. He tries to cast a spell, which fails, and an alarm goes off, waking all the inmates. Byzi is at first terrified that the alarm went off because of his attempt at spellcasting, but shortly realizes by the routine of the inmates in other cells that this is the wake-up call.
The cells open up and everyone is aligned into a neat row, then marched off to the canteen. After they’ve been given some nutritious but tasteless crud, the prisoners are transported by teletrain to an area where they are supposed to operate mining drones.
Oberth is quick to realize that the simple task they’ve been given, although much better than the physical labor he had feared, could have easily been automated, and he wonders why they must do this. As our heroes get to work, Oberth tries to bypass the security on his workstation to get into the main system and see what he can find.
This would have been a great chance to test the hacking rules I wrote. Characters can hack using the Science (control) skill, and the rules for doing so are not included in the Core Rulebook, but rather part of the supplemental rules for the Monarchy. However, I forgot to take those rules with me and, for some unfathomable reason, didn’t have them online either. So, I winged most of it, and the true testing of these rules must wait until next time. Oh, well.
Oberth manages to bypass the security on his workstation and access a non-detailed map of BIG-16. I’ve copied in the map below.
There appear to be two mines, a residential zone for civilians, and facilities for processing and transporting prisoners and ore. However, the location at the far end of the asteroid marked ‘Alpha’ is a mystery to Oberth, and he can find no more information on it. He also pulls up the files of his fellow inmates, but is unable to access the contents of those files.
Meanwhile, Liam finds out that--while control over the mining drones’ laser systems is very limited--he can use them to target the large metal struts that shore up the mining shaft. He gets Byzi in on this and together they target one of the struts. However, as soon as they fire, the systems power down and they are shut out of the drone control system. Red lights flare up at Byzi and Liam’s work stations.
The supervising guard calls them forward and demands an explanation. Byzi immediately starts making up some story to get them off the hook, but the guard doesn’t buy it. The guard grabs Byzi by the wrist, places his hand on the table, and raises a baton to bring it down on Byzi’s fingers. Liam intervenes; his hand shoots out to grab the guard by the wrist, and--although Liam misses--Byzi manages to pull his hand free in the confusion. The guard immediately sounds the alarm, and reinforcements arrive to take Byzi and Liam away. Byzi tries to make up an explanation again, but the guards still don’t buy it and this time hold him down together to knock a tooth out with their batons.
When they’re done manhandling Byzi, the guards drag him and Liam away...