Star Trek: Serenity

A Box full of Trouble

For a while the Hellraisers stood in silence looking at them. 4 vials of blue liquid, warm to the touch, recently freed from their rodinium cage. What was it?

Savar suggested the safest coarse of action was to toss it into the sun. Derev Stahl decided to put it on ice while he thought about it, but wondered if that might kill it.

Bander cam on board and set up his rodinium cutter, he dug and sniffed for information but the Hellraisers gave up none.

Stahl and Shad went over the numbers. How were they going to move this much solid rodinium, and every day they keep this refueler the more chance someone is going to find it here. But didn’t Bander run a chop shop? Didn’t Bander cut up rodinium to sell it?

The deal was made, Bander would get in touch with his people and get enough people together so they could make the buy.

Weeks later on New New Aberdeen it all came together as planned. Three big movers in the Orion Syndicate, invited by Bander, came representing the money. Their leader rolled black walnets in one hand, every once in a while breaking one open to snack on it tiny meat,

Like Bander they were full of questions, no one wanted to get in the grill of the Romulan Empire, but Stahl convinced all present that the refeuler was long lost, and no longer being looked for.

Unsatisfied, the deal was never the less concluded.

As they waited for their load so they could leave New New Aberdeen the news came over the wave. Three grisly murders, a mans eye sockets filled with walnuts, and no arrests. And no sign of Bander.

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Gut Check

Vertigo threatened to strangle his mind. The stars spun around him in so fast they looked like fading streaks across the cosmos broken only by the grey-brown swath of the asteroid field. Draven forced himself to focus on the derelict ship. The time for hesitation was over. He took three sharp breaths, prayed to the Father of Shadows for success and jumped.


The trip to New New Aberdeen went as well as planned. The crew found there old friend Bander, the chop shop mechanic who had sold out to the Syndicate, to which the Hellraisers returned the favor by exposing the whole operation and getting the crooked mechanic shot!

But credits heal all wounds. 72 million for the rodinium chain link fence on the Romulan Refeuler “Antius”, Bander has the equipment and skill to cut the fence, the Hellraisers knew were it is. Together they could make a lot of money.

This much pure profit put Shad on edge. Bander was the only wild card. Just looking at him, remembering his betrayal, even now his eyes shift quickly from side to side, like a preying scale cat. Despite Shads protests and an ill-concieved plan to run the cutter himself, the crew sided to take him along.

It was six days at warp four to get to the derelict ship, Mootar suspected no trouble. They had moved the ship to a secret location in an asteroid field, far away from people or food sources that may have attracted the savage Reavers whom they found here before.

Stahl kept Bander busy with his Romulan power armour, removing the slaver whip and net and replacing it with a plasma rifle and sword. This put Shad at ease, but not so much so that he wasn’t going to take precautions

Draven was loving it, making a big show out of looking out the window and back at his brother. “Where are the asteroids?” he said in a clear raised voice. “Did you loose us? Are you kidding me?”. Shad’s brother went on and on. At one point Z’haftan pulled back his coat revealing his disruptor and motioned towards Draven with his eyes, his intention clear. Shad shook his head sharply.

After the sound of Draven’s laughter disappeared behind the bridge door Savar spoke “Coming out of warp early, trying to entice Mr. Bander to, how do Trills say, bare his spots?” Shad smirked at his subterfuge “Exactly Mr. Savar”.

No signal was detected however, whether that meant Bander was on to them or not could not be known. Two days later they came upon the Antus, just where they left it. Kind of.

The crew gathered around the view screen, they didn’t like what they saw. The Antius must have been hit by a large rock, the odds were against it, but there it was. The ship was blown off its axis and was spinning sidways very quickly.

“Oh my look at the time…” whispered Draven and he turned and made his way off the bridge. Stahl whistled “I knew he wasn’t Hellraiser material, and to think the others wanted to make him a partner…”

Draven spun on his heels, his eyes were focused. “I’ll suit up”.


Shad lined up the Black Shadow to the end of the Antius and used the rotational thrusters to match her spin. From this perspective all of space was spinning and the Antius looked still. However, the doors were along the side of the Antius. Draven jumped across, attached a tether to the refeuler, walked along the hull, all the while hoping the magnetic boots would hold out against the ships spin, and made it to the airlock. Moments later he was followed by the repair crew.

It only took a couple of hours to get the ship under control and righted again, the damage from the asteroid hit was minor. With the ship stabilized the Black Shadow was able to dock and the rest of the Hellraisers went aboard.

The large metal box was on a pedestal that was on a metal slab, towards the door was another pedestal that ended in two buttons at chest height, one says “Electricity” the other “Gas”. The fence itself has one door locked by a numerical key pad.

The key pad jostled something in the Vulcans’s four lobed brain. He remembered a numerical code written down on the captains computer console. Savar scanned his records, stepped forward and typed it in. The fence door slowly swung open.

They stood there looking at the open doorway to two buttons and a sealed box. Built by Romulans. The Hellraisers were not afraid of Romulans but never underestimated their treachery. Speculation led some to question if the box was meant to keep people out or something in.

“Cut out the floor” Stahl said, carry the whole thing back to the Shadow. We can worry about the rest later.

Savar scanned the fence. “It’s electrified. We need to sever its power source.” Savar went below decks to do just that.

Mootar stared at the cage, it was as it was taunting him. His crewmates tried to out maneuver it but the door was open, what was a warrior to do?

Mootar reached in, not stepping on the metal slab and hit the button marked “Electricity” he then thew his knife against the cage. No sparks.

The Klingon then leaned in and depressed the button that said Gas. A quick hiss sound could be heard for a moment and then nothing.

Stahl screamed “Mootar is pressing buttons!” The Vulcan raced back to the cargo bay.

Mootar stepped into the cage, he noticed the floor depressed slightly and made a soft click sound, but that was all.

“The top of the box has buttons with symbols on them!” announced the Klingon.
“Stand by.” responded Savar as he referred back to his database.

“Press the buttons in this order”. he commanded Mootar. The Klingon did as he asked and as the last button was pressed the lid raised slightly. The Klingon ran his knife and flashlight along the edge, then opened the lid. Inside was another box 2 feet by 5 feet, on the side of this one were three buttons, Red, White and Blue.

Savar spoke in a loud clear voice “The white button.” Again the Klingon did as he was asked, the lid popped open to reveal three crystal vials packed in safety foam. Under the flashlight Mootar could make out the distinct blue color of liquid within the vials.

Savar approched with his tricorder buzzing. “It’s giving off heat. What is it?”

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Back to Basics

After the dust-up in Revelation the Hellraisers decided to take care of some unfinished business.

The first piece of business was business! The took a load from K’linsann to sell on Gamon to get some spending money. Then back to Zoag.

Z’haftan comtinued his search for a master gunslinger so that he may increase his skills, he heard of two men, Marcus Bitterwater and Findol Bass. Z’haftan found Bass working a farm on Zoag and tried to convince him to train him to train him but pissed him off the old slinger so much, he left the planet for peace. Oh well, where is that Marcus…..

The Hellraisers ran interviews and took on five more crew (D’vork female blue Orion, Huckleberry McBride 17 yr old human, 17 yr old Reman, and two more…) to handle both of their ships and headed with a load to New New Aberdeen to pick up a rodinium cutter so they can dismantle that cage on the Refueler.

They are keeping Marta with them in stasis monitoring her process, the Reman has indicated he has picked up stray thoughts from her.

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Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire

Stahl could feel the Facehugger’s tail tighten around his neck, he dare not exhale because the creature would take advantage to increase its grip. It took all the Trill’s streagth to pull the body of the creature away from his face but its many legs tried to close in behind his head in order to complete its death embrace.

The corrosive slober from its maw splashed across Derev’s face burning. He was loosing his grip. Just then the Klingon grabbed a hold offering his assistance. Working together the Facehugger was pryed off and tossed into the air, Zhaftan’s dead aim turned the thing to mist.

The Facehuggers were jumping out from behind bushes and falling from the ceiling as the Hellraisers did their damnedist to raid the Garden before leaving. Brains suspended in fluids, vat grown body parts, brain cabbage, Biomechanical sap, with the help of the remaining three scientists they took the most fantastic creations from Zain’in’s Garden not the least of which was Marta, brain restored as she recovered in a anti-grav cryo-bed.

The Facehuggers kept on coming, staying would eventually mean their death. Zain’in’s security plan was simple but effective. He would have anyone who knew his secrets strangled. The Hellraisers turned their jeep to the exit, it was time to go.

Their egress went much faster with the vehicle and with a few hours they were at the cave entrance, late for their own welcoming party.

The Donnelleys led by little Bridget and the Consortium accompanied by Dretch set up a killing field in front of the cave. The used fell trees as cover and took aim. Two of the Consortium wore power armour. The odds were against the Hellraisers.

But that never stopped them before.

Stahl removed his gun belt.

“What the hell are you doing? You will need your weapons out of the cave!” Z’Haftan staterd flatly..

“I’m not afraid.” Unarmed Stahl walked towards his enemies.

Bridget saw him coming. “You Hellraisers are hereby under arrest for murder of two sheriffs, destruction of city property, and aiding and abetting a fugitive! My cousin is the Judge we can have the trial right now, and my posse here can execute the damn justice.”

“Now maybe you found something red a shiny down there? If so we talk about dropping all charges!”" Bridget’s grin was barely concealable, even in “mourning” the death of her brothers her greed couldn’t be suppressed.

Dretch stepped forward, ahead of the guns to add her plea. “Give us the Red Firestones! It doesn’t have to end this way!”

Stahl directed his comments to Dretch. "Do you know what these Donnelley’s have been doing? Do you know what happens to those who dissappear on Shasta Peak? Derev raised a brain suspended in fluid in one hand and a clear package of vat grown organs in another.

“Organ Harvesting! That’s what these hillbillys have been doing on the side. How do you think that will look when Consortium upper brass finds out they are funding a body farm! And you thought people were upset about the Blood Diamonds…”

Dretch almost threw up in her mouth. “Arrest them!” she screamed! Bridgit couldn’t believe her ears: “He’s a fibbin! It aint true!!”

Dretch pointed her finger at the nearest Donnelley “Tim Donnelley, you are the new sheriff. Take you sister away for questioning. Don’t make me have to take you away too…”

“I’ll kill you Hellraisers!” Bridget laughed as her cousins dragged her away, “When I get out of this the Donnelleys will hunt you down and kill you!” she was almost singing now, clearly mad with hate.

After they left Shad came with the Black Shadow, after much discussion the Hellraisers sealed the cave with a torpedo. The explosion delighted Shad. Moments later they hit the Black.

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Using "Your" Head

Mootar’s plasma blade cut deeply into the Andorian. Z’haftan screamed in agony as his felt his flesh sear. The Klingon had lost his mind.

Seeing an opening the rest of the chorus piled on to the blue gunslinger, it was only a matter of time before he faltered.

The largest of the Chorus was the biggest threat and as such became the focus of Z’haftans aggression. A focus well rewarded as he shot off his entire left arm. Desperate the rest of the Chorus doubled down on the Andorian, his death was their victory.

Mootar used his fingers to make funny sounds with his lips.

The mad Andorian loved it, here dancing so close to death, but he never faltered. Never distracted himself from the kill. The Big Guy was confused and tried to pick up and attach his arm, but couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. Z’haftan turned his guns on the blonde.

Stahl peeked back into the room took a shot at the easiest target. The Big Guy was now missing two arms.

Terrified, Mootar runs out of the room.

Z’aftan made short work of the blonde and Stahl set her on fire with his plasma gun. Assessing the situation the women offered their surrender.

Z’haftan lowered his gun and told the brunette to put out the fire one the blonde. She turned her back on the Andorian to do so. Z’haftan he shot her. Wounded but not dead, and afraid, she ran for the door. The Andorian shot her again disintegrating her.

Stahl grabbed the blonde by the sholders. “Unless you want to be next tell me where to find Marta’s brain!”

The blonde was hystterical, tears streamed from her eyes. “I’ll take you, but you may be too late, Zain’in wouldn’t go back to his box, not when he is so close. He will try to activate his body. He will try to birth himself, and in the process drain Marta’s brain!”

Mootar returns, out of breath, but sane. “Take us to her now” he commanded.

The blonde took them to the black tent, it was huge. Inside there was a throbbing beating plant 100 feet tall, it was so incredible the dimensions didn’t seem to make any sense. Next to the plant was a container which held five brains, and a tube below them carrying the psysinonine.

Z’aftan and Savar opened up their rifles on the massive growth but strange shield popped up around it. The vulcan felt a surge of psyionic energy. “Telepathic shields” he surmised.
Savar’s eyes flashed to his tricorder which started to alarm “Everone out, the radiation is deadly”.

“Psysinonine” the blonde explained “All telepathic beings produce psysinonine in their brains. In order for Zain’in to have a host that could utilize his massive telepathy he needs to infuse that body with psysinone.”

Savar re-entered the room monitoring the radiation carefully, the control panel lit up at his advance. “Telepathic interface” he remarked “only I can operate this machine, the operating system seems to us a telepathic algebra…” he trailed off as he mind became of sea of numbers.

Stahl hears screaming down the hallway. Hopping on a jeep he drives off to investigate. On his way he sees scientists running past, some getting dragged down disappreaing under the foiliage.

The Trill’s curiosity was soon answered as a face hugger leapt out of the bushes and latched on to his head. Its many legs pulling his head closer. Even with both hands he couldn’t escape the creatures grip, then its tail snaked around his throat. It was then that Stahl realized he was going to die down here.

Running through the bushes Z’haftan arrived adding his own strength to Derev’s as he assisted in prying off the critter. Both of them managed to throw the creature so that Z’haftan could shoot it at range to avoid the acid blood.

Meanwhile Savar managed to remove the brains from their cases. “Facinating” he remarked as he saw clearly that one of the brains had bio-mechanical implants". He recalled the blonde “Zain’in tested Marta and saw that she had high levels of psysinonine he knew he must have her brains”. Were these implants the cause of her high levels of psysinonine? Did she always have them or did something happen to her after she disappeared?

Savar set Z’haftan;s explosives to cave in as much of the chamber as possible. Zain’in must never leave.

The explosion flashed behind them as they raced to Zain’in’s lab, time was of the essence! The way was blocked by Face Huggers jumping out of every tree and bush. All guns were out as the only way to get them was mid air before they landed. Stahl hit the gas.

The lab had a surgical machine, cutting edge, no doubt what the Medusan used to remove the brains. Again Savar activated the telepathic interface. The Vulcan would have to access the data base and mind meld with the Trill who would actually do the surgery.

In about half an hour it was done. Although she was unconscious Marta was whole again. mind and body.

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The Horror on Shasta Peak

Shad was knee deep into doing maintenance on the Black Shadow when the proximity sensor went of. Ships were approaching his location. Wasting not time the Grey Orion sped to the bridge to assess the situation.

Some 20 clicks to the East he could make out a Consortium ship shooting out trees making a landing pad. It was only a matter of time, with the trouble caused back in revelation and the number of ship battles that eventually led to their current location, they made it easy for the local constabulary to find them.

After the Consortium ship landed it didn’t take long for the Black Shadow to be approached by a posse of Consortium soldiers, and Andorian and Terran Donnelly’s all led my thier smallest member Bridget “the Midget” Donnelly.

“open up” she hollared “You are under arrest for the murder of two sheriff’s and absconding with a prisoner!”

“Look here!” Shad responded “Those sheriff’s shot at us first!” Using a version of “He drew on me” that he saw worked so well in Revelation. “Furthermore, we cured Dirty Pete of his madness and he wanted to leave with us!”

The sound of the plasma shotgun blast off the hull of the transport echoed through the ship. Shad was in disbelief. That little bitch shot his ship!

“C’mon out right now!” she demanded, loosening a few more shots at the Shadow.

Shad can take a lot but this was out of line. The Shadow was his ship! Within a few minutes he had her up in the air to the shagrin of the Donnelly Posse. Searching the mountain Shad found a large inconspicuous cave in which to hide the ship.

Where ever they where, the Hellraisers were on their own.

“Bullshit!” the blonde chorus member woman said pointing her finger accusingly at Mootar after he casually remarked that the Garden would have existed during the Iconian age. The fact was true enough but unlikely to be known by a bunch of lost gem prospectors who found themselves in the heart of an Iconian garden.

The blonde member of the chorus recognized the antagonism immediately and moved to dissipate it. “Surely out friends are just being cautious. This is a strange situation for all of us.”

The Vulcan made vocal his agreement.

“Perhaps we can make a compromise”, she continued " we both have an interest in Iconian technology, we are doing out own research, perhaps we can share information. It’s time they met Zain’in."

“Who is Zain’in?” Darev inquired.

“He is out leader, we are his chorus. He sent us here to check you out first.”

The chorus lead the Hellraisers to Zain’in’s lab. The technology was definitely cutting edge. There was even a next generation auto surgeon here, it could basically remove in and install organs remotely. Other items were covered in a tarp. The most unusual thing was the black environment suit that to Hellraisers spacer eyes was extremely modified, for what purpose though was not entirely clear. The face plate was tinted black making it impossible to see what lay beyond it.

The blonde spoke again: “Zain’in welcomes you to his garden.”

The large man of the chorus spoke: "Have you heard of ‘The Long Night’? If all societies are mapped to a mathematical equation they reveal that societies tend to collapse at the same time leading to a period of sterile chaos, the Long Night, these “nights” can last ten thousand years. But if one were able to control the chaos, bring about an orderly end, then this period could be substantially less, perhaps a single century. Zain’in believes the technology of this garden can bring that orderly end. Not to worry, however, this Long Night may not occur for a hundred years or more."

Then the brunette: “You have seen our many accomplishments that we have been able to create in this garden, but the Iconians were telepathic and accessed their computers that way, we are having a tough time accessing their proto-gene sequencer, and we were hoping the four lobed Vulcan brain may have better luck.”

“We will compensate you of course with money or what we have learned in our research. Please help us!”

“Why doesn’t Zain’in speak for himself?” Stahl asked. The blonde replied, “Zain’in does not speak because he does not have a mouth. He is sentient electromagnetic energy suspended in a cloud. He is Medusan.”

“Doesn’t one go insane by looking at a Medusan?” Stahl asked.

The blonde smirked, “Who is to say if they are to horrible to bear, or to beautiful to bear?”

Faced with an exceptional opportunity to learn the Vulcan agreed after Derev negotiated for a few red Fire Gems for payment.

They were led to the hub. The room had a natural pool in it with clockwise current, in the center was a small mound of soil which bore a large cabbage like plant but at its core was a large brain. A strange mix of plant and flesh.

Zhaftan looked closer in the pool and saw the current was propelled by many tiny little fish, he reached out to touch the water but was warned off by the blonde. “Careful Andorian, those fish eat flesh…and are electric.”

Savar crossed a plank that lay across the pool prepared himself and melded with the plant.

The big guy clapped his hands and rubbed them together. “Well he’s going to be there for a while maybe all night. Let’s leave him be and go back to the mess while we wait. We can set up a tent for you.”

“We will not leave him here alone.” The Klingon stated, not changing his position even as the chorus tried to convince them of his safety. They agreed to split up, Zhaftan stayed with the Klingon and Mootar and Stahl left for the mess hall.

They set up the Trill and the Klingon in their tent and wished them a good rest. Cautious Stahl watched them leave. Just before leaving the room the Big Guy bumped into two scientists. He made an insufficient check over his shoulder to see if he was being watched then continued to have a conversation with the men that became animated. Stahl cannot be sure what was said but there was a lot of thumbs drawn across throats and pointing at the tent and the direction of the Hub.

Stahl waited till they left and planed to sneak back to the Hub to warn the others, he left the Klingion because he sucks at stealth and they were going to expect someone in the tent.

Not long after Stahl left the scientists returned. Mootar waited as he watched their shadows grow large against the tent wall. The slight rustle of canvass and the sound of skittering over the floor made their plan clear. The Klingon was not alone in the tent any longer. Two facehuggers, long legged bugs with eight legs and a long tail they use to strangle their prey.

Mootar drew Gre’Leth and cleaved the creatures in two. The victory was not flawless however as the concentrated acid they used for blood severely melted his armour.

The Klingon burst out of the tent and ran down the scientists to interrogate them. Catching them was easily done as the scientists were not experienced runners. Unlike the clean and effecient way the Vulcan interrogates their prisoners, the Klingon still believed his technique could be just as effective.

He raised Gre’Leth over his head, ignited the plasma blade and screamed “WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND HERE? WHERE IS MARTA? WHY DID YOU TRY TO KILL ME?” The scientist spilled his guts, it was good to be a Klingon.

Stahl made it back to the Hub without being seen. Savar had not moved from where they left him. The Trill’s medical assessment was that his body was stressed but that was normal for a mind meld.

A few sharp slaps to the face and the Vulcan snapped out of it.

“There was nothing in there. Nothing,. He lied.” he said as he straitened himself out stretching tight muscles.

At that moment two scientists carrying a stretcher came into the room but turned to leave when they saw the Trill who was supposed to be strangled in his tent talking to the Andorian.

Stahl silently waved them into the room, with his gun.

They learned the truth of things. During the war between the Terrans and the Klingons, a small group of Klingons took refuge in these hills. Years later Zain’in arrived to find the Klingons strangely mutated and savage. He considered this a gift and after learning the secrets of this change began to make more and more “Grievers” from any stray groups of Klingons he could find.

He delved into the secrets of the Garden and started many projects. He grew a body for himself but in order for it to be able to process his telepathic abilities it needed psysinonine a chemical found in the brain of telepaths. When he found Marta he found her brain had implants that increased her psysinonine production.

Zain’in removed her brain so that he could directly extract the chemical and implant it in his new body.

The Hellraisers gathered up and took off their safeties. They decided to head back to the tent and set up an ambush. It was time to take these freaks down and save Marta.

As they entered the room the Andorian and the Klingon were caught flat footed in an ambush. The Chorus opened fire and Stahl and the Vulcan returned it. Zain’in made a grand gesture of holding his arms stretched outward as the tint on his faceplate flicker off showing his true face.

Mootar couldn’t cover his face in time a saw the Medusan for what he was. He was immediately inflicted with madness.

The battle raged on. The Chorus used their enhanced Halanan telepathy to create mirror images of themselves that danced around them until they were indistinguishable from the illusion. Z’Haftan stood his ground eyes tearing and twitching as they strained to turn away from the monstrosity that was Zain’in’s face, but the Andorian forced himself to stare down the barrel of his disruptor at his target. The report from his pistol came out at an even beat, the exact time it took to regain his aim. Even as Zain’in flashed and others struggled to turn away Z’Haftan fought through it to deliver his deadly payload. Madness? He Is Z’ Haftan!

With each shot that penetrated the suit, the Medusan spilled into the room exposing all those enclosed to his great heat before sucking himself back in. Stahl watched as the heat blistered his exposed skin, forcing him to retreat back to the hallway. Even with such an extreme situation he still felt shame as a Hellraiser.

Finally the suit burst and the Medusan was fully exposed. Everyone covered their eyes and suffered their burns and the cloud raced out of the room and down the hallway.

Slowly everyone got back to their feet and looked around. The Klingon stood facing a corner breathing heavily.

“Mootar” Z’Haftan called out. The Klingon responded screaming his Bat’ Leth raised high and burning with a plasma fire.

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The Savage Garden

Wary of Griever attacks, the Hellraisers searched Shasta Peak for their landing pad. They found it although it was obscured by overhanging branches. After they landed they made plans to head out back to the river and to head to its source and hopefully find Marta. Their plans were waylayed however by the attack from Grievers hiding in the woods.

Trees snapped like twigs before the massive Griever mount. It was a large Bull like creature with long blue fur the had a rainbow-like sheen in the sunlight, the beast was large enough to be driven by a Greaver behind its massive horn-lined head and four more that wrapped their legs around the hair at its side so they could use their slingshots.

They were only able to loosen a few of their fruit ballistics before the Hellraisers shot back. Killing the beasts driver did not stop the beast from charging toward the ship. Next the creature was shot in the head causing it to keel over on one side and slide along the ground, leaving a blue/ red streak in its wake which ended when it hit the ship nudging it slightly.

Shad left the fight to inspect the damage to his ship which was later assessed as to be nothing. The other two Grievers fought until their inevitable ends.

Searching the camp Stahl found a golden statue. The artifact depicted Kahless wrestling Morath. Stahl recalled the tale of how Kahless and Morath wrestled for 12 days until Morath’s defeat. Later Kahless would travel to the depths of Gethor and retrieve his damned soul so that Morath could rest in Sto-vo-kor.

Shad stayed with the ship as the rest of the Hellraisers returned to the river to continue their Search for Marta.

The river led them to a tunnel in the side of Shasta Peak. It stood out with its unnatural roundness and channel cut into the floor that guided the river out of the mountain. Mootar did not hesitate to enter the passage way, Stahl and Savar followed.

The tunnel was slightly angled upward, the farther they traveled the more hot and humid it became. The tunnel changed the farther they went. The passage became slimey, then mossy, then plants started to appear, then insects and small critters, after an hour they were walking in a lush jungle like environment underground. The plants exhibited strange luminescent properties and, even stranger, the leaves and branches of the plants moved out of the way as the Hellraisers approached.

Creeped out they moved on, an hour later they entered the Garden. The river came to an area with many tunnels and caves and lush growth. The heat was almost unbearable making the Klingon remove his armour for a while, but wary of this strange place he did not drink from the river to cool down.

They began to explore the caves and came to a place where the plants grew in rows and large bugs moved orderly among the rows eating dead vegetation and leaving fertilization in its wake. The river was diverted to this area and filtered before being spread among the plants. The filters caught up a lot of crap which was dumped in piles around the filter stations. There was also what appeared to be an emergency shower unit in this area. As they entered, two people in head to toe white coveralls left the room, seemingly without noticing them.

Mootar followed them while Savar and Stahl examined the plants. Moving into the next cave Mootar found himself surrounded by mushrooms. Hard to avoid he kicked over a few that sent a cloud of fungus into the air causing the Klingon to cough and have a trippy reaction. It only took a few moments for the klingon to get totally preoccupied with the pretty colours that he could only see in his mind.

The Trill and the Vulcan found many interesting things in the garden. The plants were amazing feats of bio-enginnering. Things like 4 grain wheat Quadrotriticale, and stranger things like explosive flowers.

It didn’t take them long to realize the klingon was missing however and they sought him out. Stahl fell to the mushrooms as well and Savar was getting ready to burn the whole room down when he was approached by a tech in a full body coverall asking “What the hell are you doing?”

A few conversations later they were in the mess hall waiting to speak with the facility management, known as the “Chorus”. The Chorus consisted of three people, a large man rippling with muscles and a beautiful blonde and brunette woman. In matters of conflict and agression the male spoke, in matters of compassion the blonde spoke, and in matters of knowledge and science the brunette spoke. All three where Halanan (ears like Vulcans but larger with two peaks. Telepathic).

They, kindly, answered the Hellraisers questions and revealed that the garden was 200 000 years old. Dating it back to the time of the Iconians. The Hellraises tried to pass themselves off as prospectors who heard that Red Fire Gems could be found on this mountain, and that they didnt see any Grievers outside. Mootar mentioned that this may have been an Iconian installation causing the brunette to call “bullshit” on his story.

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Fury of the Hellraisers!

The Hellraisers continued the next day, with Mechs moving forward to make another landing pad for the Black Shadow on what they figure would be the 2nd of a three day trip.

An hour after the away team started to clear the woods they heard the scream of ships over head, upon making a visual they could instantly tell who was attacking them based on the broken down state of they ships. Grievers were attacking.

Although they attacked the ship on the ground Shad and Zhaftan were able to get the Black Shadow up and take the ships out of their sky.

The Hellraisers took to the air to find were the ships took off from and a keen eyed member fo the group spotted a Greiver camp.

The Hellraisers jumped into action. They dropped off the Mechs and Zhaf and Shad took positions with rifles on the circling transport.

There were 15 Griever in that camp, and they were all dead in a matter of seconds.

After the slaughter Savar noticed a woman sitting by the river that ran next to the camp. He approached and realized that the woman was Marta! She was dressed in a white gown and was soaking wet running her fingers through the river.

“I’m cold and wet Savar. I don’t know where I am but I am linked to this river somehow. Up there.” She pointed up stream. When Savar returned his gaze to Marta she was gone.

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Into the Wild

The Hellraisers had decided. Savar and Stahl would mosey on over to the Mad House with a bottle of spiked whiskey. Stahl would get the guard drinking and once distracted Savar would be free to do the mind meld.

After a perfect execution Dirty Pete was in his right mind. He thanked Savar for his sanity. Questioned by the Vulcan Pete reveals that they were hired by Marta to go to Shasta peak. She was searching an area marked by abnormal UV absorption. On they first run out they took some samples and had them tested at Consortium. On the second run they had planned to hit the top of Shasta Peak which may have been the source of the anomaly.

One night they were hit by things out of the woods. Savage things. There was a man that was more than a man. And less. He shone a intense light and that was all he knew.

The Donnollys happen to be close by and rescued him and brought him to the mad house.

Savar had heard enough. It was time to get out of here and hit Shasta Peak to get to the bottom of this. As they walked down the road towards the space port a kid ran into the saloon which was in between,

That was enough to cause them to turn around and head back to the mad house. Derev called Shad for an extraction. Skipping the pre flight check he gave a 10 minute eta.

Finnegan Donnelly burst into the room asking a lot of really good questions but was duped into a nerve pinch by Savar. Uncontious and defenseless the vulcan probed his mind. He saw the men of the Donnelly clan eyes shine’n and grinnin from ear to ear. Their leader Johan held a Red Fire Gem, taken from Marta’s sample, Patty Shaw saw too much and had to be silenced. Next time Marta goes out to the Peak, the Donnellys will be close behind ready to do some good olde fashioned claim jumpin . Unfortunately Marta’s team were attacked and the only person left who knew where they were going was Dirty Pete and he lost his mind.

Shad arrived with the Black Shadow and as is usually the case when the Hellraisers travel, they made their quick get away.

They set course for Shasta Peak but were pursued by two Donnelly ships, words led to shooting, and although many of the Shadows systems were damaged in the melee the two pursuants were reduced to ash by the transports plasma cannon.

The Hellraisers landed at Pad One, the same pad that Marta took all those weeks ago. It was decided to leap frog the ship by scouting ahead with mechs to clear a landing spot.

It didnt take long in those woods to realize something was wrong. Sentient being strung up like butcher meat. Wooden dolls hanging from the trees. Shadowy figures among the trees on drone surveillance. Then Mootar had to say the word: Grievers.

They started to take watches. On the second day their ship was surrounded by bare foot prints in the snow. The Grievers had been everywhere. In the woods they noticed somethinhg glinting in the snow.

Stahl grabbed it with the mining mech setting off a number of bow traps. Dirty Pete identified it.

It was Marta’s backpack.

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A Town called Revelation

The Hellraisers arrive in Revelation under the guise of businessmen trying to set up a mining operation and selling mining equipment.

They meet the local constabulary as soon as they land at the port. Clad in black with a black hat and wearing a star made from a few tin tiangles bolted together, we meet Johan Donnelly one of the many Donnelly sherriff’s of Revelation.

Johan smile can be made out underneath his thick black beard, a few yellowish white nubs reveal whats left of his teeth. He proudly shows off his compressed air assist pistols which he says gives the bullets extra punch. Johan questions the Hellraisers and allows them enter Revelation.

Revelation is just a few buildings nestled in the mountains of Yel’ Camac. Everyone there is covered in dirt and dust to just below their chest. Only the most desperate of miners come to Revelation, years ago a Yellow Fire Gem was found here and it has been drawing out the greediest of miners ever since.

As the crew moved through town the notice a few other lawmen with the same kind of look and home made badge throughout town. The Consortium building is the nicest in town and guarded by men in hi-tech body armour brandishing disruptor rifles.

They make there way to the local saloon (with actual saloon doors) to mix it up with the locals. Another Donnelly is in the bar plucking away at a banjo, its clear he doesn’t know how to play. In the corner is a loud drunk that is occasionally told to shut-up by the bartender. Every once in a while he yells something intelligible about “those damn Donnellys!”

Unable to resist a card game Stahl settles into one of the games currently in session. Ever the smooth operator Stahl begins to ply his opponents for information about the town and eventually Marta. Shad does the same with the drunk, buying him even more booze ( only two things to drink in Revelation water and whiskey, they are both the same colour).

Stahl mentions Marta’s name out loud to stir up a reaction. All the Hellraisers notice the Donnelly on the banjo almost break his strings and the bartneder gets noticeably shaken.

The banjo boym a blonde haired kid who always seems to be grinning, introduces himself as Sheriff Finnegan Donnelly. He tells the tale about how Marta was here with here crew and they left for Shasta Peak and came back because they found something they wanted tested. They then went back out to the mountains. The Donnellys just happened to be at the right place at the right time when they ran into Marta’s team in the woods. They had been attacked. They rescued all they could but the only survivor was Dirty Pete who had gone insane. The others had killed themeselves in their madness including Marta.

Finnegan took Stahl across the street to the grave yard to show him the markers and to share a drink to their memory. Stahl dumped his drink on their grave out of respect and caution. Stahl made his way to the mad house.

Shad began to get the drunk talking, his name was Patrick Farrell, he was run out of business by the Donnellys. He calls the Donnellys a bunch of low down, cheating, murdering, scum!

“Murdering?” Shad inquired, that was all the prodding needed to get Farrell to spill about the time he saw the Donelly’s moving what may have been a body into their cowfort ( to protect against gweezils of course) up on Donnelly farm.

Derev Stahl arrived at the Mad House and remarked that it was odd for such a small town to have a mad house. He was informed by the “nurse”, a coverall wearing Andorian of questionable hygiene, that people who go to Shasta Peak either come back dead or insane. Keeping the crazies in a box is an act of kindness compared to what would happen to them out in the mountains. The nurse shows him Dirty Pete the last one to come back from the Shasta. Derev Stahls medical examination indicates a mental break with brief moments of lucidity. His conclusion, psycoactive drugs could eventually restore his sanity if his brain chemistry is rebalanced or perhaps a mind meld could restore his sanity.

Shad learned from the bartender that people disappear all the time in the mountains, even here in town, Patty Shaw, they pie lady, she disappeared too. She used to work as a secretary at the Consortium office and the company hired rangers to go out and find her to no avail. Everybody liked her and her honey pies that she made. Life is rough on the frontier.

Finnegan Donnelly tells Patrick Finnigan to “Fuck Off” and takes Shad to the bar to buy him a drink. At the same time he whispers into his communicator. Moments later a gunshot is heard from outside the saloon. Patrick Finnigan is dead, shot by a Donnelly with a badge.

“He drew on me.” That was good enough for the other Donnelly sheriff that was standing beside him and pardoned his kin on the spot.

This angered the crowd. “Patrick Finnigan never hurt nobody!” they yelled. “Murderer!” yelled another. The Donnelly’s retaliated, two against a crowd of a dozen or more, telling them to “Shut up!” and “Get the hell out of here!” until the onlookers became despondent dispersed.

When Derev comes out of the Mad house he notices he is being watched by a Donnelly who tells him to be careful where he sticks his nose. His partner a small female Bridget “the Midget” Donnelly informs him that Dirty Pete is wanted as a witness in a criminal investigation. The Donnellys are excited by the prospect of returning Pete’s sanity and encourage the doctor to help.

Darev is more than suspicious at this point and is certain the Donnellys are hiding something. As he is heading back the the saloon he is approached by a man in a long black coat, top hat and a tape measure, clearly the town casket maker. He approached as if her were “measuring up” a client, Darev wondered if crossing the Donnellys had anything to do with it. His pleasantries and salutations were a cover however, as quick whisper revealed his true intent. “Check the registrar’s office.”

Darev did as he said immediately. The registrar takes the names of all the miners and gives them an official badge. Out there in the wilderness if you are found without it, you can be deemed a claim jumper and shot on sight. The office was the only clean building in town and run by an annoying Tellerite which is common for the species. In reference to Marta the clerk revealed that she had registered eight members on her team. Six graves, one in the mad house, left one body missing. Was Marta alive?

The Hellraisers regrouped and compared notes. Blowing up the entire town came up a number of times and was discarded for various reasons. Ever the diplomat Darev and the crew approached the Consortium reviving their businessman cover. Once inside the met Dretch the overseer of the Consortium in Revelation. She eagerly listened to new investment opportunities for the region and offered Consortium help in such endevours, but her attitude soured when conversation turned to the Donnellys. She would not entertain any idea that removed them from power. Despite their bad reputation and ill manner, Dretch seemed quite happy with the situation as did her chief of security. They did try.

It was Shad’s turn. He wanted to go raid a cowfort! Later on that night they sneaked in. Well most of them did, Mootar crashed and rolled through the woods like a wounded targ. Once inside they found a trap door locked by a padlock that Darev was about to shoot off but Shad reminded them they were sneaking. The trap opened up into a pit with papers and a coffin like box. Well more than coffin like because it contained the body of Patty Shaw (or some other middle aged missing woman) shot three times in the head, chest, and stomach. and a bunch of maps and papers. Darev wanted to grab all the maps and papers, but again Shad reminded them they didn’t want anyone to know they were there so they took pictures and left. Probably no one saw Mootar. Probably.

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