The crew of the wormhole prospecting ship Blind Jump has discovered a Founder space station in orbit around a red giant. The station turned out to be both active and defended by biomechanical creatures with sharp claws, but thus far the crew has been able to defeat them. Now the six members of the crew are headed towards the center of the station seeking for a command station of some kind.
As the team proceeds further into the station, they suddenly find themselves bouncing off the deck – gravity abruptly shifts from 1g to .5g in less than a second. Shuhb stumbles and nearly crashes into a wall, but manages to recover, while Max nonchalantly activates his grab-boots. Gravity continues to fluctuate for several minutes, but the prospectors manage to cope with it without any serious issues. As the gravity returns to normal, the crew notices an interesting side passage. The passage itself seems to be a sort of cutting device, with plasma beams intersecting in a grid pattern across it. Inside the patterned beams is an interesting-looking Founder device. Hooey and Binx weave their way acrobatically through the beams, Binx with cat-like agility and Hooey with tentacles flailing madly. The device, close up, resembles a small cylinder with stubby projections protruding at random angles, and has a hole at one side that might fit a manipulator appendage of some kind. As Binx calls out the description, Max turns to Shuhb and says, “I’ll give you ten minutes of printer time to stick your proboscis in there.”
Binx looks around for a way to turn the plasma beams off and finds it – 30 feet straight up. Meanwhile, Hooey examines the device, and, with his extensive knowledge of Founder technology, attempts to activate it by placing a tentacle in the whole. With a bit of work, he manages to discover that the device can manipulate objects at a distance, and using it, he deactivates the plasma beams.
The crew is now approaching the core of the station, and they begin to hear clanking, arcing, and sizzling up ahead. Miaulung sends her microbug ahead to check out the situation, and finds a pressure door leading to a spherical room, 50 meters in diameter. Around the perimeter of the sphere is a walkway, with several of the guardian biomechanical creatures patrolling it, while different, larger creatures work on repairing a pressure door on the opposite side. The sides of the sphere are covered with controls of various sorts, and the noises come from the repair units. “Great footage,” Shuhb compliments Miaulung. Looking more closely at the repairs, it appears that someone blasted their way through the door. The crew also happily notes the absence of any guardian-producing cylinders.
After a brief debate, the crew decides to move in, and Max leads the way, only to find that the gravity shifts down to .3g in the room. Max and Shuhb fly up into the cylinder as the rest of the crew enters. Miaulung opens fire with his raygun, but does no damage. Max lets out an unearthly shrieking oath and then says on broadcast, “I hate this place! I’m going to make sure you all star in the sequel to All Proboscises Must Find Holes!” shocking everyone in the room, even the constructs. In the moment of distraction, Max fires his needle rifle and shreds one of the guardians, which explodes. Lefty fires two quick bursts from his raygun and explodes two more.
Hooey tries to hack into the guardian systems, but fails, unable to crack the complex Founder encryption this time. The guardians shake off the effects of Max’s outburst and charge, attacking Max and Miau, both of whom dodge. Shuhb fires needle pistols akimbo, knocking both attackers off balance. Binx dives for the wall controls and locates the gravity field systems. She changes the direction and magnitude of the gravity in the room – the floor is now a spot just above the entry door. The repair units begin falling in that direction.
Miau fires his lightning gun and another guardian unit detonates, knocking Binx back into the wall. “Sorry, that’s the first time that happened!” yells Miau. Shuhb fires his needle pistols at the last guardian, and it explodes just as the falling repair units land on the new floor of the room. They march out through the door, adjusting their trajectories with claws as they make the transition, and Binx restores the gravity to normal. Binx spends a few minutes examining the controls and concludes that they require some type of interface she doesn’t have, but also that they seem to control most or all of the mechanisms on the station.
The explorers press on through the damaged hatch. In the next room, they find a large circular console with a photosensor and holoprojector in the center. Beams of light from outside the station pass through curious mechanisms and fall on the console. As the prospectors approach, they find a list of ten wormhole jump coordinates in metal lettering on the console. Max, a bit suspicious, checks the light beams and finds that they are both adjustable in direction and labeled. With Hooey’ knowledge of Founder speech, he determines that each beam is labeled with a color or frequency of light. With a bit of experimentation, the prospectors determine the correct sequence to train the beams on the photosensor, and a holographic projection appears., showing something… impossible.
The projection shows a massive ship, kilometers in diameter, passing through an equally massive wormhole. No Founder technology ever discovered could create a wormhole that size. The astonished prospectors deduce that there might be more clues at the coordinates they discovered, and return to their ship to assess them.
All but one of the coordinates are unmapped. The mapped exit node is the Tlaina system, home to an ancient civilization and one of the first to discover wormhole technology. After some debate, and knowing that other prospectors must have seen the coordinates, the crew transits to the ninth exit node on the list. The system where they arrive has a gas giant with an Earth-like moon orbiting it. Knowing such worlds tend to be more likely to hold Founder installations, the crew steers the Blind Jump towards the moon…