DM7.03: Dark Matter Finale

The scruffy nerfherders for this finale

Aethelair, the gunslinger;
Dantas, the hacker;
Kincade, the tank

Ably supported by Kofi and Triples, matokai warriors, and Alfred3020, in a BB-model body, and Arisa/Unrisen Angel, looking for some payback

Baludan ex machina

On reaching the lower level there is little doubt about where to go, to confront Baludan and rescue Selexi. The humming of powered units leads them to a central corridor. There are doors set along it but these seem not to have been opened for a long time. Only ahead are there lights and machinery… and a squawking, protesting voice.

A large chamber, divided somewhat by an impressive control bay about 20′ in. A small Neimoidian in technician attire stands waving a barrelled shooter of some type… about him, five other such technicians lie in pools of body fluids.

Beyond, along each wall, stand massive pods – four each side, three in the rear row. It is the rear where the central pod is deployed with… something vaguely humanoid… in it. Some type of field shimmers between two generator pylons, protecting it. A similar arrangement is deployed in front of each pod, except for one of the other rear pods, where Selexi hangs in stasis, connected by cables.

The creature in the pod glances from the Neimoidian to you. “Ha! Think you can win against a God?” It says in Baludan’s voice.

The Neimoidian fires twice then finds the gun is empty: it throws the weapon down on the floor where the five other technicians lie in death. Then it notices the incoming heroes, drops to its knees and begs for mercy.

“I don’t think we need to kill everyone, let’s try talking” – Aethelair

The creature beyond notices them as they file in!

Monologue and Big Reveal!

Baludan, for indeed this is he, brags:

“For years I convinced Mikan Presan that we would work together to bring light to the galaxy. He turned on me and fled, but I saw to it that he would never return. Then I searched for his hidden code, the zephyr code…. and it was hidden in a sim star’s implant! You thwarted me when I was about to use it but a great mind cannot be brooked… I have extracted my source code from her now, and harnessed it. And now I am become God!”

Arcs of power play over Baludan’s multi-limbed form and wings unfold. The cables flex. Four of the pods open. The creatures that emerge are smaller than the Phaedan like monsters above but these have implants.

To the horrified nerfherders’ surprise, Alfred3020 rolls forward and speaks in a somewhat different tone to the respectful servitor vocal they know:

“I did hide a zephyr code sequence within my daughter’s cybernetics, but did you really think that was everything? I hid a vital sequence, the jump nav, in the droid named Alfred3020 and sent it away in an old freighter, the Basilisk. By an odd twist of salvage you nearly got it back, when you tried to steal the Hyperlance. But now you will never get it – and do you know why? Your precious new ally has destroyed the Hyperlance while we broke in here.”

Baludan screams “Noooooo!!!!!” then steps from the pod, claws flexing spasmodically. Alfred3020 rolls back away and says, “I shall prep med packs, please assume Selexi may be harmed from feedback to the controls here.”

Let’s see if plain ol’ pain works!

Inits: Baludan, Aethelair, Dantas, matokai/bio-brood/Arisa/Alfred, Kincade

The first phase of the battle involves Baludan staying off at some distance using his beam energy, while the four bio-brood attack the matokai, put them down, and gang up on Kincade. Those two matokai are positioned out of cover and get very much the worse of close quarters combat! In the background Alfred uses med packs to Spare the Dying, and in the foreground Kincade tanks up. In the mid-ground Aethelair helps deal with the bio-brood. The Neimoidian dies the moment Baludan’s energy beam hits it.

Stage right, Dantas flips around the stasis pods, slowly working his way to Selexi. But it looks as though he can’t simply unlock Selexi’s pod – the bio-cables on her require real strength. Dantas falls back on his sneak-attack and hide skills, sniping at Baludan as he advances on Kincade!

The second phase of the battle comes when Baludan flaps his wings and lands on the control bay, sending a vast beam of energy up the passage to fell Arisa. Luckily for all, Alfred makes its save and stabilizes her. Then the droid returns but is too late to save Kofi who has become collateral damage in the Kincade fight. Aethelair discovers that his two blasters can’t harm Baludan, who is surrounded by a field that is immune to radiant and necrotic damage!

The last phase comes as Baludan pulls back, hoping to keep them at bay and activate more bio-brood from his pod. Dantas tries a bold Shove from atop the pod but that ends in a fall for our hero! Then Triples rolls a nat20 on Death Save and sends accurate carbine fire into the last bio-brood then turns it on Baludan. By this time the arch-nemesis is weakened by several telling shots from Dantas and Aethelair who has switched to the captured heavy rifle. With Triples avenging his partner, Baludan falls and the battle ends!

Securing Selexi and away!

With Kincade battered but still on his feet, the task of removing Selexi becomes simple. She revives, but remembers little of the capture or transit. Naturally Alfred3020 is solicitous!

A search of the area turns up some cred chips and a control key for Baludan’s craft, which is up in the hangar area. So although it has taken quite some levels, the nerfherders do get a ship for themselves!

As for the faction Baludan fled to, they deny the connection, insisting the Obsidian Knights are a heretical rogue faction. But the galaxy is saved from deadly peril and our heroes fame is secured!

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