Relics and Rayguns Episode 24: The Vortex

The Blind Jump crew have discovered a gas giant mining station… and another prospecting ship docked nearby. In the midst of a fight with Founder biodrones, a group of power-armored figures entered and demanded the crew leave at once. Max disagreed, and the fight was on.

The nominal leader of the enemy fires a plasma bolter at Max, burning through his armor to injure him. The swarm moves over and Binx’s armor starts to corrode as the creatures attack it. Another enemy moves and fires an autoneedler at Miaulong, but misses and punches needles into the wall over his head. Miaulong falls back into cover. Max draws his plasma bolter, dives for cover, and returns fire, scorching one of the enemy’s power armor. Lefty fires and hits, punching a needle hard into the scorched enemy and knocking him back. The wounded enemy returns fire with a plasma bolter, blasting Lefty into unconsciousness, then jumps into space.

Another enemy fires an autoneedler at Max, injuring him again, and then they also jump out into space. Binx swings her welding torch at the swarm, but doesn’t connect. Whooey fires his microwave raygun without effect. Shuhb moves out of cover and fires his gauss needlers and microwave rayguns, hitting with all four. The needles ricochet harmlessly from the armor, but the enemy screams in pain from the rayguns and flees into space. The last enemy fires at Miaulong and Shuhb with a plasma bolter, hitting Shuhb and seriously burning him, then flies out into space.

Binx swings her welding torch at the swarm, but it sputters and dies. Binx follows up with her raygun and the swarm flees into space. As the crew works to patch up their wounded, Binx looks out to the Blind Jump, and sees that the enemy prospectors have carved the words “Back off!” into the hull of the ship. “Rude!” exclaims Shuhb.

The crew heads out into the station. They reach a section of corridor with high speed debris ricocheting around. Max charges through, taking a few hits on the armor but no serious damage. Shuhb is less fortunate and takes a hard hit to the body. Binx neatly backflips through the debris and avoids it all. Lefty calls out calculations for the group, pointing out likely directions. Whooey is hit several time but his armor takes it. Miaulong makes it through without trouble, but Lefty takes a hard hit and has to take a few minutes to recover.

Further into the station, the crew enters a large control space. A huge number of consoles fill the room, and one of them displays a coordinate fragment. The crew notes it down immediately and investigates the rest of the consoles. One display shows a view of the central vortex of the station. The image shows a strange Founder device attached to the wall of the core.

Binx, with help from Whooey, manages to slow the vortex down and make it more feasible to reach the device. She volunteers to make the climb since she is the most athletic of the team. Shuhb uses his spray armor on Binx to provide her with added protection. Max and Lefty decide to accompany Binx to assist her in the vortex, while Shuhb, Whooey, and Miaulong monitor from the control center. Lefty calls out debris trajectories to help Binx avoid them; Max uses the smartrope to anchor Binx as she moves up the vortex.

Whooey and Shuhb work the consoles to provide guidance for Binx as she makes the climb, but Shuhb’s bafflement at the controls interferes with Whooey’s work and frustrating. Flying debris strikes Lefty and Max, injuring the latter as he tries to steady the rope for Binx. Binx takes a glancing blow as well from debris, but keeps climbing quickly, and reaches the device. Returning safely, she hands the device to Whooey, who determines that it is a decryption device. With the coordinate fragment in hand, the crew heads out on their next jump to find the complete coordinate set…

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