Kellon’s Coffee Talk
The party woke up in the medlab, newly registered to the crew roster and upgraded nanodes allowing them to read the terminals around the ship. They had a bit of a Q&A session with Kellon, and discovered that the ship was built over 250,000 years ago as an interstellar colony vessel, and Kellon was a member of the original crew. The ship’s mssion to seed an Earth-like exoplanet with Terran flora and fauna.
However, due to unspecified political turmoil, the originating government had scrapped the mission and stranded Kellon and the rest of the crew at the top of the beanstalk. The crew put themselves into stasis to wait out the unrest, but the government itself collapsed, and the space program was lost entirely over the years. After several centuries of being stranded, the crew gave up their entire civilization as lost, and assumed they would never be recovered or their mission resumed.
They instead used the terraforming resources of the ship to create an artificial habitat and by going into and out of stasis, bred the animals in the valley over millennia into sentience and their own society. During the intervening ages, however, the crews bodies eventually began giving out, and one by one they would become unable to wake from their stasis.
Many of the crew turned to genetic self-manipulation to attempt to increase their longevity. This tended to result in eventual insanity, and the crew began devolving into abhumans. The remaining human crew sealed the RHEA valley and a few sections off from the rest of the ship in an attempt to protect themselves and the animals from the rampaging abhumans.
Now that Kellon has made contact with other humans, he asked the party to accomplish 3 tasks:
- Seal the entrance of the ship to prevent the Heart of the Forest from being removed.
- Obtain entrance into the “forsaken sectors” of the ship, where the abhumans presumably have the Heart
- Locate and retrieve the Heart
Kellon also asked the party to, if possible, find a way to exterminate the abhumans. He would like to re-introduce his sentient animals to the Earth (or another planet if the ship can be restored and equipped), but does not want to risk populating the world with the abhuman monsters as well.
To accomplish these tasks, he advised the party to recruit help from the animals. He mentioned that any animals venturing into the forsaken lands would likely be making a one-way trip, so he asked them to form small teams, with the party as his A team, and assemble at least a B and C team for backup. He also agreed to use the automated fabricators to create equipment to aid the party.
Aside from creating a self-sealing barricade for the door and a remote interface module to allow Kellon to access the forsaken systems firewalled from the RHEA systems, he allowed the party to design their own equipment. Astro designed a breastplate that can use gravity to push or pull nearby foes. Armen designed a durable suit of armor with special gecko-based climbing capabilities. Balfor upgraded his “teleportation bracelet,” and Wally crafted a suit of armor full of holes with a giant novelty horn in the middle and some kind of butterfly wing tuille contrivance in the back.
Even More Exposition
With promises of newly-minted loot awaiting them, the party headed out to accomplish Kellon’s first task, and seal the ship’s exit. As they placed the gear-shaped barricade on the door, it began to automatically bar and weld the door shut. Yes, Wally touched it.
Minutes later, a tall, thin, robed figure approached from the woods. In a somewhat less-than-polite manner, he introduced himself as Gordevont, and asked them to open the door so he could leave. After some back-and-forth, the party learned that Gordevont has been up on top of the Beanstalk for about as long as Kellon, and he was visiting the ship in search of the Heart and its antimatter power source.
He less-than-patiently explained to the party that the Beanstalk station’s orbit had been decaying since main power was lost, and he was attempting to use the Heart as a power source to correct the orbit before the Beanstalk snapped and the station and everyone on it came crashing down to Earth. This is a matter of some urgency, as he has only about 100 years to correct the orbit.
It turns out it was he who had taken the heart, though the abhumans have relieved him of its possession. He mentioned this was not his first foray to this ship, and not his first attempt to use the ship’s resources to correct the failing orbit. The theft of the heart seemed to be a somewhat drastic measure.
The party wanted to introduce him to Kellon, though he mentioned that a) he was already acquainted, and b) Kellon was dead. After some more back-and-forth, it was revealed that the Kellon the party has been talking with is nothing more than a semi-sentient AI construct built from Kellon’s brain scan to keep the RHEA running after his death.
Gordevont was hesitant, but eventually agreed to at least observe the party’s plan to recover the heart, as they made bold claims to be able to restore main power to the station. As a display of their newly-forged alliance, Wally looked up his cloak while he slept.