It was a Saturday morning and we had just completed a walk along the canal near the house. I asked Irfan if we could try out the Alien RPG. So I grabbed my gear and set things up…
- Dr. Westerlund, Xenobotanist (Irfan)
Dr. Westerlund is a botanist assigned to Hadley’s Hope, the colony on the moon Acheron, which orbits the gas giant Calpamos. His task is to monitor the Botany Stations at various locations on Acheron, which might some day
One dreary morning, he receives an alert from Botany Station 2 in Demeter Valley 30 km away. As per security procedure, Deputy Marshall von Oy accompanies him, driving out in an NR-9 ATV.
Botany Station 2
The uneventful drive to Demeter Valley takes 30 minutes over shadowy skies and black soil. Meanwhile a Company shuttle arrives from off-world with a Weyland-Yutani senior officer; von Oy monitors the arrival via radio.
Upon arrival in the valley, Westerlund assesses the Station 2 damage. There is damage to an electrical junction on the external wall of the greenhouse. All power is down. He is certain that debris from a dust storm destroyed the junction box.
It takes 10 minutes for him to replace the broken parts and restore power. Then, they head back to Hadley’s Hope. As they drive up the path on the side of the valley, a minor rock avalanche sends small-sized boulders down at them, but the Deputy Marshall is able to evade them.
15 km from Hadley’s Hope, a shard of rock tears a tyre to shreds. Salvaging a pistol, a flare gun and survival tent, they both begin their hike back. But bad weather at the horizon is approaching them quickly.
Before the ionising dust storm hit, Westerlund spots a pile of rocks they could use as a lean to. Von Oy pitches the survival tent & takes refuge against the rocks. The storm batters their tent but it withstands her fury. After a meal, he tries in vain to contain the city. He blames it on the ionising storm. They go to sleep for the night.
The next morning, they extricate themselves from the black gravel drift and continue their hike.
Just before midday, they arrive within sight of Hadley’s Hope but still no radio contact can be made. A Lockmart XL Starcub shuttlecraft is berthed on the landing pad, indicating the arrival of the Company rep.
As they travel closer they hear a recorded voice over the PA system, “This is an emergency message. All colonists must immediately assemble at the main storeroom on the sub-level for safety.” The recording replays over and over again.
They approach the West Lock. The heavy doors open easily into a ransacked storage bay. Westerlund finds a fire extinguisher among the detritus. What happened here? Where is everybody?
The inner door is locked which von Oy easily unlocks because his job privileges. The doors slides apart and reveals a barely lit corridor, mostly covered in darkness. A single gunshot from the settlement echoed from within, shaking both their resolves. Looking through the mess, Westerlund finds a fire extinguisher. They press on through the long hallway from West Lock to the interior of C Block.
The Thing in the Air Vent
Level 1 C Block in the interior Commercial Sector. Hallways and shops are empty. As they creep up the stairs to the next level, they hear a skritching sound, echoing softly everyone. They both realise it is coming from the air ventilation shafts hung from the ceiling. As von Oy reaches the top of the stairs, a flimsy grille explode downwards and a leathery, spider-like creature with multiple long, finger-like legs leap onto the landing behind Westerlund.
The botanist loses it, drops his fire extinguisher. It is about to launch itself at Westerlund when von Oy’s bullet kills it. Its blood sprays out, missing Westerlund – which is good because the blood begins eating into the metal structure of the stairs. He leaps away. What is this thing?
Level 2 C Block is the Administrative Sector, which is also devoid of people. They both head to the Security Office. The monitors are down. Westerlund attempts to fix them, but fails, rewarded by a shower of sparks. Meanwhile von Oy reminds him they need to move on. From a weapons cabinet, he grabs an Armat 37A2 shotgun while Westerlund takes .357 Magnum revolver.
In the Command Office, sitting in the darkness is the corpse of the Company Agent Reynolds, her body mutilated in an violent manner. Blood has splattered all on the office walls. Above her, an air vent grille has been ripped into shreds. The duo keep their cool long enough to take the shuttlecraft key from Reynold’s neck, then take leave of her.
They descend back to the first level via another stairway, which would lead outdoors to the streets between the colony blocks. But it would be quicker to reach the landing pad back through C Block to the West Lock.
The Thing Hunting Them
Searching a surplus hardware store in the Commercial Sector, Westerlund finds a old, working military motion tracker. He scans for moving objects before them as von Oy points his shotgun forward.
Approaching the long hallway to the West Lock, the motion tracker begins to ping loudly. Something is moving in the West Lock… and now it was rushing towards them through the darkness. Panicking, they both bolt back into the Commercial Sector, weaving in and out of the inner hallways and shops. Something large and bulky, as well as inhumanly agile and fast, is chasing after them.
They safely reach the door on the far side of the building and rush through it. Now under the dark grey skies — and getting darker — the motion tracker reading vanishes. What was it that pursued them in C Block?
The only other way to the landing pad is northward up the street, so they push on. As they pass a public comm panel, they notice its calling light was flashing. von Oy picks up the call. A panicked voice was screaming at them, while a heavy thudding echoed and repeated in the background. “Hello? Who’s that? Help me. This is Osterman! I’m trapped in Billy’s Bar! Something’s killed everyone and it’s trying to get in! Help!”
Westerlund says, “We have to help him.”
von Oy mutters, “We’re not in the best shape to help. With how I’m feeling I might just accidentally shoot you rather than the thing we saw earlier.”
It is then von Oy begins yelling in pain. Westerlund asks, “What is it? What’s wrong?” while figuring out what new problem this is.
But it is actually me, the GM, getting a painful muscle cramp on my right leg out-of-character. Which goes to show that I should have drank some fluids after our long walk earlier that morning. Game session TO BE CONTINUED while I writhe in agony on the floor for some time…