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Relics and Rayguns Episode 19: Ascending the Obelisk

The crew of the Blind Jump continues their exploration of the weirdly-biological Founder obelisk. Moving through one of the rubbery tubes that connect chambers in the structure, the crew encounters a hideous pustule pulsing with green and orange fluids on the wall. “I can’t tell if I’m fascinated or horrified, but that might be infected,” says Whooey. “I’m going to go study it.”

After a bit of work on Whooey’s part, he concludes it is an encapsulation of an irritant. “I want to dig it out!” says Whooey.

“Capture every single frame of this,” mutters Max to Miaulong. The rest of the crew backs off as Whooey lights up his Founder welding torch. Thinking better of the idea, however, he swaps the torch for a utility knife.

“Lance it,” yells Shuhb. Whooey follows his advice, stabbing into the pustule, which bursts all over him, drenching him in a viscous mix of green pus-like fluid and orange blood. In the cavity that remains sits a Founder medkit, which Whooey promptly extracts.

“Tune in next time, fans, for what this infected fluid might do to our companion,” says Max.

“Obviously nothing!” yells Whooey over his shoulder.

The crew continues on, and begins to hear a loud whistling sound. As they move further, the sound gets louder and louder until they reach a tall, oval chamber. The walls of the chamber expand and contract, driving high winds. An array of webbing leads upwards to the single exit, and flying creatures circle far above.

The crew decides to lure the flying creatures down, and Max opens fire with his needle rifle to draw their attention. One creature is hit and falls to the ground, revealing itself as a sort of winged bear. The other creatures shriek and descend to attack. Miaulong fires a missile, which explodes harmlessly near the descending creatures. Shuhb opens fire with his autoneedler, but misses all the creatures as they spiral wildly. Max fires again, punching a needle through the wing of one creature. Binx fires as well, bringing the creature Max wounded down and punching a needle through the skull of another.

Max continues his lethal needle fire, dropping another creature with a needle through the torso. Miaulong fires as well, but misses the fliers. Lefty fires his raygun but also misses, as does Binx.

“It’s shooting bears in a barrel!” shouts Max, winging another creature. Shuhb fires again and finishes it off, killing another and wounding a third with his autoneedler. Lefty fires his raygun and his plasma bolter, incinerating the wounded beast. Miaulong fires his needle rifle, wounding another, and Max finishes it off. Whooey fires his microwave raygun, sending one beast shrieking back to the top of the chamber as Binx fires and wounds another two creatures. Miaulong fires again, killing another beast, and Lefty fires again, incinerating another creature, leaving only the retreating beast.

Whooey moves over to study the fallen beasts as Max finishes off the last beast, which narrowly avoids hitting Whooey as it falls. Whooey whirls at Max and says, “You’re lucky these things are so heavy, or I’d throw one at you!”

The crew ascends the webbing to the top of the chamber, exiting into another rubbery tube-passage. Climbing further, the crew encounters an animate corpse-like creature. Whooey thinks that this creature is wounded or malfunctioning. “Well, shooting first worked last time,” says Shuhb, and opens fire with his needle pistols, shredding the creature. In the debris, Whooey finds a Founder device. “It’s mine, I shot it!” yells Shuhb.

Whooey examines the device, concludes it is worthless, and stomps it, crushing it. “So what was that, a parasite or something?” asks Binx.

“First mechanical parasite I ever saw,” answers Whooey.

Further up the tube, the crew encounters Founder characters charred into the sidewall. Binx and Whooey examine the characters and conclude that they describe a process for reanimation of dead tissue. The writing doesn’t provide enough detail to understand the process, but does say that there is a degradation in cranial bone density in re-animated creatures.

As the crew continues on, Shuhb notices something strange in a side chamber. Glancing in, he sees some technology that looks more like galactic standard than Founder tech. Shuhb investigates, finding a dead Shdraktha prospector in a broken environment suit. Shuhb scavenges a plasma thrower and a mobile lab from the body. Examining the body, Shuhb determines that some sort of claw breached the suit and killed the Shdraktha.

Further up the obelisk, the crew finds a low oval room with a fetid brown slimy substance covering the floor. Shuhb samples the substance, determining that the covering is at least a meter deep, and that some sort of probe would be needed to determine where it is safe to walk. A spirited argument about whether to soil the smartrope in the bile ensues, with Binx very much not in favor. Finally, she says, “Oh for gods’ sake. I’ll send my smartrope in but one of you all is going to clean it!” and probes the bile to determine the depth…

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