After locating the coordinate fragment on a gas giant mining station, the crew of the Blind Jump heads for a new star system. The new system has ten planets, six of them gas giants. Three rocky inner planets orbit close to the star, and one of the planets appears possibly to contain life. Some electromagnetic emissions radiate from the planet as well, so the crew heads their ship in-system.
Orbiting the planet, the crew discovers a treasure – a nearly intact Founder City. They land on the outskirts and begin to explore, looking for signs of coordinates as well as artifacts. Lefty finds a brightly-glowing small orange crystal. When he picks it up, it plays some strange atonal music, and Whooey thinks it might be a Founder music player.
Max picks up a flat panel with a blinking green light in one corner. “Hey, Whooey, hack the panel!” yells Max. Whooey grabs it and starts studying it, concluding it is a document storage device. He pokes at it for a bit, but is then distracted by a splash of garish color to one side. He goes over to look, and finds a set of small, articulated figurines of Founders in colorful outfits and capes. When he touches one, it is ice-cold; he tucks it into a pouch on his environment suit.
As the crew proceeds further into the city, Whooey’s bag starts moving. “They’re cursed living dolls, throw them away! I’ve seen this tri-vid once,”
says Max. Whooey opens his pouch and looks at the figurine, which climbs up his environment suit brandishing tools, polishing the environment suit as it goes.
“Go fix Shuhb’s head,” jokes Whooey. The figurine continues to crawl about, apparently looking for anything to fix. As it does, a strange eight-legged furry creature approaches Shuhb. He grabs it and it gives him a big eight-legged hug, and when he goes to eat it, he sees that it is a robotic construct. Shuhb immediately begins training the spider-bot to sit.
Whooey deploys his scanset and determines that the electromagnetic radiation is coming from the center of the city, so the crew heads out to track it down. They reach a large stone building covered in elaborate carvings with a large double door leading in. The crew lines up, draws weapons, and throws open the doors. Inside is a large space with three exits and two large mechs standing still. The crew enters, and the mechs do not react. Whooey decides to try to hack the mech, but it seems to be completely inert. Max walks over and opens a door, and the mechs immediately activate and attack.
Shuhb reacts quickly and fires his autoneedler at a mech, sending it reeling. Whooey apologetically moves up and swings his welding torch at the reeling mech, melting through its carapace and damaging the mechanisms inside. Lefty fires at the damaged mech with his plasma bolter and explodes it. The surviving mech fires a plasma gun at Max, but Max ducks aside. Max returns fire, but the mech’s armor deflects his needles. Miaulong fires a pulse raygun, blasting through the armor and damaging the mech’s innards.
Binx, from outside, runs in yelling “What were you idiots thinking?” and firing her needle rifle in full auto. Like Max’s, the needles ricochet off the mech’s armor.
Whooey pats the downed mech, saying “Rest easy, son, you did your job,” then charges the other mech and slams his welding torch into its hide, incinerating it. He then returns to the other mech and starts examining it, determining that it is a combat unit.
Max enters a side chamber filled with statues of many different species. A altar in the center of the room is covered with a moire pattern cloth with hundreds of different colors, ranging from infrared to ultraviolet. Max walks up and pokes the cloth with his rifle butt, then takes it when nothing happens. He returns to the group, asking if anyone knows what the cloth is.
The group decides to move through the double doors, figuring they lead to the main chamber. As they enter, they spot four mechs of a different design, which immediately attack. One mech fires on Max with an autoneedler. One needle strikes home but shatters on Max’s armor. Max returns fire, punching needles through the mech that fired on him and bringing it down. Another mech fires a plasma burst at Max, but strikes a statue in front of him instead. Lefty moves in and fires his plasma bolter, striking the mech and blasting it into shrapnel.
Another mech moves in, firing a burst of plasma at Max but striking a column instead. Miaulong bursts in from the side door and fires his pulse raygun, taking down the mech that fired at Max. Shuhb fires his needlers and punches through the armor on another mech, dropping it as well. Whooey closes in on the last mech, moving from cover to cover, while Binx fires her needle rifle, punching through the armor on the last mech and sending it spinning to the floor.
Now that they have leisure, the crew examines the room. Huge stained glass windows seem to tell a story of strange beings of pure light raising up various species – including the Founders themselves and the Tlainax. Unsure what to make of this revelation, the crew continues their exploration with the final room of the temple.
The walls of this room are lined with garment racks, with robes made of strange, psychedelic color-shifting fabrics. A similar rug sits in the center of the floor. “Let’s load the mule up with these,” says Shuhb. Pulling the rug up, he reveals a trap door underneath. He also notices a false panel on one wall, revealing a safe within. “Hey, Whooey, can you crack this thing?”
Whooey looks up from looking a mech and says “Sure,” then goes to work on the safe, cracking it in a matter of minutes. Inside, he finds a scroll with religious iconography and two Founder devices. Whooey examines the devices and determines that one is an illusion device and the other is a Persuasion booster.
Max opens the trap door, revealing a laser grid. Whooey disables the grid, and the crew prepares to descend…