81. Medbots, Displacer Beasts & Phase Spiders

Kalam stopped in his tracks and strained his senses to see if he could gain some more information about the possibility of a predators near them, crossbow at the ready.
Kalam tries but the dwarves around him are a bit noisy and he is in the middle of the party.

Gildor, hearing Kradorns signals, stops immediately and looks for movement or any sounds or signs of the beast and takes note of the smells as he makes sure he is positioned in the middle of the group.
Being in the middle of the group hampers Gildor’s senses somewhat but he’s sure he hears the padding of many feet off to the south, perhaps a group of vege-pygmies?
Gildor makes sure to look behind them also just to make sure nothing is sneaking up on them too.
He can’t see anything coming up behind them. The security golem is still at the far end of the eastern corridor watching impassively.

Gildor signals the others that the third yellow door down is the one they need to go to.
“We should move quickly to the door and get inside if we wish to avoid a fight”, whispers Gildor. He makes sure his bow is ready just in case and will be ready for a fight if they have no choice.

No beasts appear as the party shuffle across the junction and Gordon opens the yellow door indicated by LG. Talo stands ready with his axe, Munin and his fellow dwarf poised behind them.
Gildor glances down the corridor to the south but sees nothing moving.
The door to MED 2 opens to reveal a spotless white room whose glare momentarily dazzles the whole party. Looking inside reveals two waist high tables on the right and three padded, white leather seats against the left wall. Against the far wall is a small desk of white metal at which sits a motionless mechanical golem of indeterminate sex.
While nothing moves in the room, crystals begin to glow and various parts of the room begin to make humming and bleeping noises, as if the room is coming to life. After a few moments the golem looks up at the party and stands. It moves from behind its desk and begins talking to the party in same tongue LG used initially. It raises its hand, fingers spread apart and moves toward Kalam. While its face is clearly a mask of some sort, the golem exudes humanity and its eyes look warm and friendly

Gildor says in magic tongue LG understood,”I am Gildor. If you can understand me, my friends and I seem to need healing. The humans need help first though.” pointing to them individually. “Gordon can translate for the others too”, pointing to Gordon. “If you can link to LG it can provide a possible diagnosis on our ailments. I think LG called it Radiation sickness or something like that. Perhaps you might have some healing potions we could take with us too?”
Gildor translates for the others as needed.

Having heard Gildor, Kalam let the golem approach him.

The golem listens to Gildor while passing its open palm over Kalam’s head and body. Once Gildor has finished speaking the golem looks at him and says something incomprehensible to the elf.

Then the golem takes Kalam’s hand and touches his wrist with its index finger leaving two tiny drops of blood, one on the fighter’s wrist and one on the end of the the golem’s finger. The drop soaks into the golem’s finger and it ushers Kalam over to one of the white, padded leather seats set against the north wall. It removes the fighters pack and indicates he should take off his boots, scabbard etc.
The black glass panel in the wall above the seat comes to multicoloured life, covered with hundreds of symbols and alien text. There’s also a simple depiction of a human form, orange in colour apart from its head, hands and feet which are red. When Kalam is down to just the mindflayer’s chainmail, the golem undoes it to the waist and indicates that he sit in the seat. It puts its thumb to his neck and Kalam feels a tingling and then a coldness where the thumb touched him.

Kradorn watches Kalam move over to the golem figure. Feeling the effects worsening he looks for a place to sit. Then succumbing to his weakness he lets himself slide down the wall until he is sitting.

The golem moves over to Kradorn, picks him up (it’s stronger than it looks) and sits him on the edge of another seat and proceeds to try and take off the fighter’s pack, his weapons and finally his mithril armour. Once that is done it passes its hand over Kradorn’s head and body and then pushes him gently into the seat.

By now Kalam’s nausea is gone but a white multi-armed device has risen from the side of the seat. One of the arms sprays a blue metallic paint in a strip across his chest which seems to sink into his skin leaving a pink, itching patch behind while another takes another drop of blood.

The golem moves on to Cynan, indicates he should remove his pack, armour, etc. and points him in the direction of the last seat. The golem finally runs its hand over the other members of the party, giving the dwarves and elves an odd look. With their permission it takes a sample of blood.

The seats and their devices perform the same procedures on all the humans and after taking another blood sample, injects them with three separate, though small quantities of fluids. There don’t seem to be any side effects from the treatments and all three humans feel great once it’s finished. The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes.

Gildor takes his uniform off since he has time and while the golem is working on the humans casts Comprehend Language and speaks in the magic tongue again, “I was unable to understand you. I have made it so I should be able to understand you now. Can you understand this language that I am speaking now?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. Can you speak any of the official United Planets languages? I’m afraid I don’t have access to a translation service at his time.” says the healer golem.

Gildor tries to thank the golem and tries to establish communications asking if the golem can link to LG for guidance. Talo, maybe we can see if it has some general healing liquids we can fill some flasks with to take with us? Gildor tries to relay his needs/wants to the golem showing a flask and stating he and the others would like some of the liquid that makes Humans feel better that can be taken orally. He also asks for the the dwarf, Gnome and elf if they might have something similar. If there some way for him to talk to LG hear so he can have LG translate for him to the golem he tries that. He asks the golem if there are any restrictions for the humans? Do you have something to assist us in case we run into that radiation again a preventative medicine? Are the rest of us ok since you did not need to put us in those chairs? Can you begin working on medicines for the non humans should we need it later on? We appreciate your helping all of us. If any of the others have questions to ask he translates their questions to the golem.”

Though Gildor can understand the golem, it cannot understand him. After ten minutes of back and forth attempts at communication using hand signals and mimes the golem makes it clear it cannot issue the party with anti-radiation drugs as they are not trained in their use. It also has no spare emergency treatment packs but the party are welcome to return if they are injured. It recommends however that the party refrain from dangerous activities given the current state of emergency on the ship.
It also explains that while those effected by the radiation sickness may feel fine it may be an hour or two before their full strength returns to them.

“Saphiria are you feeling ok? I think I will have to Talo help you out as you may melt the golem and then there would be no one to help us.” Gildor explains that Saphiria is very hot to the touch and only want the golem to examine her if the golem can do so safely. The priority here is that Saphiria not damage anything in the room.

Saphiria seems fine as do the dwarves, who are eager to be out looking for their king.

Gildor is relieved the others are getting better and starting to show signs of recovering.

Talo proceeds to inspect Saphiria as much as he can without getting burned or invoking her wrath. “Hey there, wee dragon.” Talo tries to keep it as friendly as possible with plenty of smiling and gentle tones, but he understands there are a lot of limits to his capacity to settle the beast.

Gildor says as Talo tries to check Saphiria over, “Easy girl, he’s trying to make sure you are feeling ok. Let him help you out.”
“Talo, I told Saphiria you’re trying to help her but she may be too hot for you to touch her still so be careful handling her.”

Talo cringes as he gets closer to the ‘wee-dragon’, shading his face with a heavy glove he inspects the winged drake for any signs of illness. “Does she feel ill, Gildor?” Talo listens to the elf carefully while trying to observe the skin tone and mannerisms of the familiar.

Saphiria growls at Talo’s approach but isn’t hostile, she seems fine and shows no sign of sickness.

After the treatment of the team, Talo seems anxious to proceed to clearing the corridors and making a connection for LG to regain control of the rest of the ship. “We need to get started working on removing the obstacles to finding the king. Lets make for the undiscovered portions of the ship and see if we can find the His Majesty and perhaps the badges necessary for LG to help us. Let’s head out and commence some clean up. Kradorn and Cynan in the front rank, me and Gordon in the second, Kalam and Gildor in the third unless you, Gildor would like to scout ahead, and my brothers can form the rear phalanx. Let’s go.”

Gildor says, “I agree Talo but we need the card LG was looking for so it would open up other areas of the ship so he can see better which might tell him where the king is. LG had asked us to search the north west area and possibly the south (east or west I don’t remember) areas for the cards I believe, so I suggest we check all the southern parts. Let’s try and avoid combat where possible and I will stay near the front and be ready to fall back if we spot something bad.”
They move out if everyone is ready to go. Gildor will listen at the door before opening it and peek out if it sounds clear by having Gordon activate the door.

“Sounds great!” Talo seems anxious to get moving about the ship to find the king and the cards.

Gildor moves out into the junction and heads south, followed by the party, with everyone moving as quietly as they can and keeping a look out ahead, behind and on either side of them. They are half way down the corridor when something barrels out of one of the rooms on the right (west) into Gordon knocking him down, then lashing him with a tentacle and sending him crashing into the eastern wall. The gnome, though surprised, manages to dodge a second tentacle as it whips out at him.
Before anyone can react, two large, dark shapes with glowing green eyes come hurtling up the corridor towards Gildor. It’s hard to make out their forms which seem to shift and twist but they are distinctly feline in essence.
Tentacle after tentacle lashes Gildor and the elf’s shortsword misses wildly, he’s almost on his knees before Kradorn drags him away from the beasts and Cynan steps up to deal with them.
Gordon dodges a tentacle and lashes out with his axe but misses and Talo is forced to change to his axe for fear of what the needler might do in such close and confusing combat.
Kalam shoots at almost point blank range and hits the flickering beast attacking Gordon. One of the dwarves next to Kalam swings his axe but misses completely

Gildor winces at the pain and as Kradorn grabs ahold of him and saves his butt. “Thank you Kradorn, these beasts are fast.” Gildor moves more to the middle of the group to lick his wounds and defend himself. “Do we want to do a fighting retreat to the security golem so it can assist us?”

“They have likely learned the danger of the golem and its reach.” Talo continues to press the attack with short powerful chops at the indistinct blurs darting around him.

“Then it’s a safe zone should we need it or back in to the med room if we need.”
Gildor switches to his bow and assists the team. Firing arrows when he has a clear shot although it may be blurred.

Kalam waded into the combat to help his comrades. He preferred to stay out of reach and use his crossbow, but if that wasn’t possible he would use his melee weapons in that case he would fight defensively.

“Anytime my friend.” Kradorn replies then moves to attack. Drawing his sword and attacking the creature with sword and shield.
“What have we run into this time?”

The creature, distracted by Kalam’s hit with his light crossbow, leaves Gordon enough time to cast Mirror Image and five more gnomes appear in the corridor.
A tentacle whips out at Kalam and knocks him to the ground, he’s down not unconscious. The young fighter reloads his crossbow and shoots again but misses, the image of the beast before him, twisting and jumping as if distorted behind a series of wine glasses.
Talo and two of the dwarves all hack at the shape but miss. Behind them the dwarves at the back of the party shout warnings and curses.
Kalam dodges another tentacle, which gouges and tears at a section of the odd wooden/bone wall material behind him.
Gildor shoots his bow, trusting to his luck and proximity as much as his aim. He hits and the beast roars in pain and turns on the elf.
More roars, curses and groans erupt from the back of the party.
Kradorn’s sword leaves a bloody wound on the creature fighting him while he manages to dodge and parry its barbed and taloned tentacles. Cynan isn’t so lucky, taking a glancing blow but is unable to connect with his fiery sword.

Kradorn pauses and waits for the beast he’s fighting to close before burying his sword in its chest. With a roar the beast tries to pull away but Kradorn twists the blade and pushes the thing to the floor before finishing it. Beside him Cynan is hit twice but his plate saves him from all but a bruise. Kradorn closes and swings at the beast, missing but distracting it enough to let Cynan swing and leave a bloody, singed wound along its flank.
A tentacle whips out at Gildor and knocks him to the floor, unconscious. Gordon closes again and his axe connects but where exactly on the beast the gnome is unsure. It whips out a tentacle at him but the dwarf ducks beneath it. Kalam shoots into the melee and misses but Talo manages to hit the beast, his axe splits its jaw and when it goes down for a moment stunned, the two dwarves next to the cleric waste no time in finishing it.
Gordon moves to the rear of the party, dragging back one of the dwarves from combat, who is staggering and ready to fall. Munin does the same to the other dwarf at the rear. Gordon pushes forward but misses as does Talo, the dwarves and gnomes forming a line of axes across the width of the corridor. Munin and his fellow hit and the beasts break and run. Kalam shoots over the heads of the Gordons and hits a fleeing animal. It goes down in the middle of the junction and the dwarves and gnomes follow and finish it with fury. The other beast looks back, its green, glowing eyes filled with hatred, before it flees into the darkness.
At the front, Kradorn and Cynan regain the initiative, circling and killing the last beast.
Everyone is up, just, apart from Gildor who is unconscious but he doesn’t seem to be bleeding anywhere too badly.
Two of the dwarves are seriously wounded and Kalam is badly wounded too.
A quick look at the beasts reveals them to be six legged felines with short blue black fur and two long tentacles emerging from their forequarters ending in a mass of talons. The strange distortion and warping of the space around them they displayed while fighting has vanished with their deaths

Talo disengages from the defeated beasts and sees the downed elf. He quickly administers blessings to Gildor to restore him to consciousness. He proceeds to bless the dwarves as well and continues to bless whichever individual is hurt most severely until only cuts and scrapes remain.

Talo exhausts his magical reserves trying to fix everyone’s wounds. Even then Gildor and the dwarves still carry some wounds but none are too bad.

The war priest spits a bloody clump from his mouth which he bit from the inside of his mouth during the scuffle. “Dirty kittens!! My eyes deceive me or were they awful shaky?” Talo wipes his axe clean on the side of his leg as he stands to survey the hall. “Let’s keep going.” The dwarf cuts an ear from one of the aberrations and stuffs it in his pack.

Gildor wakes to Talo’s healing, getting up still weak. “What happened and what were those things? I’m still feeling banged up. Perhaps we should rest and eat in the healing room to get our magics back and get fully healed up. This place is taking it’s toll on us all and we will not be in any shape to find the king if we can’t stay healthy and rested. If we want to push on we just need to clear these rooms around us then move back to the healing room to rest. If we push on Gordon can lead the way as he has the card anyway to open the doors. I’ll stay in the middle of the pack with Saphiria.”

“What world have we entered my friends.” Kradorn says as he looks at the other-worldly beasts.
“What are we doing here my friends. We are closer to death then finding the king.” he continues as he wipes his blade clean. Reflecting on his near-death experience. Looking about the hallway with his sword ready playing the role of defender.

The party head south again, after Gildor first checks out the stinking room from which the first beast sprang. Inside are hundreds of bones, mostly small humanoids but a few more exotic looking ones, birds, monkeys etc. Finding nothing more interesting, the party carry on south.
The two other rooms along the western wall are ruined and empty of anything useful. To the east are two larger rooms which smell of animals but there are no bones or spoor to be seen.
At the end of the corridor is a side passage heading west, leading back to the lounge the party explored earlier and to the South is a large stinking room, the floor covered with spoor. A black door in the southern wall of the room has a glowing red strip over it that pulses every couple of seconds.
Munin screws his face up at the stench from the room to the south, looks down the western corridor and shakes his head. “We’re going round in circles Lord Cynan, let’s head back that way.” He says indicating back up to the eastern junction

Crossbow still in hand with bolt cocked and ready, Kalam asked Gordon and Gildor, speaking in a low tone of voice:
“Is there a possibility for what we are looking for to be beyond the black door in the southern wall?”

Gildor says, “Kalam, I’m not sure but I don’t like the red flashing band on it. We got sick near something like that last time I think.”

“Have we had a clear path for a while? Are we just set on clearing this place of beasties? Are we going to return to our world and find us trapped below.” Kradorn comments.

“Kradorn, I’m trying to find the card LG needs. He said it was in the West area and East area north or south for each so I’m just trying to find the card so LG can help us find the king”, Gildor mentions.
“And Kradorn we’ve only been here for a bell or so. We got a bit of time.”

“I understand that and it was a horrible experience. What if the thing we are looking for is behind the sickness behind that door and that is the reason why the LG creature cannot see it? It would be of benefit to us not to go around securing areas with regard to finding what we are looking for and at the same time leaving areas unchecked for within secured areas of this vessel. My idea is to go back and ask the healer creature if it could do its magic on us in case we get the same sickness and or find it within us again. If we have that assurance, I am willing to go again and get sick. If getting sick while having the assurance that I can be healed again afterwards is the price to pay, I will pay it if it helps lead to finding what LG needs to look for the dwarven king and therefore for us to escape this strange vessel.”

After a thorough heal check on his comrades, Talo scratches his head before breathing out heavily, “Back to the med bays, gents. There is more goin’ on here than I can tell and help with.” Turning to the cadre of dwarves he continues, “I know this is frustratin’ but we are in wilds of unimagined strangeness and we won’t do a bit o’ good fallin’ dead. Now, let’s hoof it back, toot sweet.” Talo lends aid to those who are struggling to hustle.

“Talo, I agree. Let’s head back to the med room and get a rest in and then we need to try and find that card thing like what Gordon has”, comments Gildor.

The party stagger back into the med room and the healing golem moves straight to Gildor and Grunor, assessing their wounds and getting them to strip off their armour, while it places them on the white couches. A faint blue substance is sprayed over the wounded areas, then it is carefully cleaned before the wounds are glued together and stitched with a thread as fine as spider silk. After the wound is closed another substance is spayed over it which hardens in seconds to a thin, flexible layer. The golem says this layer will fall off when it is no longer required.

The other injured party members are given first aid and injected with a substance that will boost their natural healing by 400%. The golem also says that a few hours rest are required for the more serious injuries to finish healing. More serious injuries still should be taken to the surgeon next door, if it is still functioning.

When back to the med bay, Talo allows the golem to perform its duties on his compatriots while paying close attention to its actions without getting in the way. He tries to learn the magic and mending it is exercising on his companions.

Most of what the golem does seems straight forward enough but he thinks Gildor’s translation must be wrong when the golem starts talking about invisible creatures in the wound which can cause illness. The dwarf is well aware of the necessity of cleaning out a wound to make sure there’s no dirt in it but he’s never heard anything about invisible creatures.

Gildor will allow the golem to examine him and treat him should he need it. Based on what the golem said before he will translate what he remembers to the others if it asks them to do anything. If needed he cast comprehend languages again with his armour off and after treatment puts it back on.
Gildor suggests waiting for time needed for all casters to rest and recover their powers if no encounters disrupt their sleep.

Munin’s not waiting days for the magicians to get all their powers back, “We’ll (indicating the dwarves) wait a couple of hours but no longer. We’ll have brew, a bite to eat, a nap and then set off north again.” he declares.

Two hours later the party venture cautiously out into the eastern junction and turn right, heading north, the way the last of the displacer beasts went. Gildor and Gordon scout all the rooms along the way, the yellow doors on the right and the black doors on the left. The black doors contain nothing of interest, their contents and purpose lost in the chaos of their gradual destruction. The yellow rooms remain largely untouched. The first two yellow doors open into small rooms with chairs and skeletons and windows through which you can see the rooms beyond, containing large beds surrounded by complex machinery and glowing glass panels covered in alien symbols. Both of the beds contain skeletons, an adult and a child. Two bodies lie next to the child. All the bodies look well preserved, mummified even.
A large yellow room at the top of the corridor is freezing inside, 9 large cabinets stand against the eastern curving wall and the floor hidden by a thin swirling mist.
The door at the end of the corridor opens into a large (18x18m) square room, empty apart from some unidentifiable equipment scattered about and various large coloured squares, circles and triangles marked on the floors and walls. The edges and corners of the room are piled with litter and the odd bone. There are two doors on the other side of the room and an arch into a corridor in the west wall.
Heading west down a long east-west corridor, Gordon gets to a junction and feels something tug at his thigh. By the time he’s realised it’s a web, probably a trip or trigger, a huge spider, some 4′ across has landed on him. Gordon twists and avoids the spider’s fangs but before he can ready his axe the thing has vanished.
Talo has a similar problem, jumped by two spiders from out of nowhere, one 4′ across the other a monstrous 7′ across. The large one misses wildly and the smaller one hits but its fangs just scratch across the dwarf’s plate. Talo grabs at one of the creatures so he can hit it with his axe but his hand passes right through it and in an instant it is gone

“Blast… Sorry my friend” Kradorn curses. “We need to move quickly back or beyond. Not waste time with these creatures.” Kradorn continues as he moves to be back to back with Cynan.

As soon as he detected the spider and while it was doing its disappearing act, Kalam shouted a warning:
“Watch out for an attack, another one just disappeared!”
He continued his vigilance for himself as well and tried to do better with the aiming of the crossbow.

“If we move forward we are likely to collect more attention and more combatants. Brace for something more solid to feed your blades!” Talo then casts dispel magic.

“Then OUT, let us find another path.” Kradorn staying close to Cynan. Shield and blade ready.

Gildor says,”Perhaps we can move south towards the golem then.” Gildor readies shield and sword.

Talo’s spell reveals the spiders as they make their attacks and the party are waiting for them. Gildor stabs at the smaller spider leaping at him, he misses but Kradorn slams his shield into it and slays it before it can recover.
Gordon meanwhile misses the spider closing on him and Talo and in protecting the spell casting dwarf is bitten. Luckily the gnome is able to resist the worst of the venom and when the spider turns in preparation to make another attack, Cynan leans over the gnome and pins it to the floor with his glowing sword.
The largest of the spiders leaps at Kalam and the dwarves and the fighter’s crossbow hits it as it flies through the air. One of the dwarves hits it with his axe too, now it has lost its ability to phase out of the world. The spider bites back but the dwarves avoid it and as it crouches to leap again the dwarves close and kill it.
With no more spiders evident, the party move south, reforming their lines and checking each door as they go past. There is nothing in the rooms but debris and death and soon enough the party emerge back into the east-west corridor, between the central command section and the medical bays.