As the psychic interference grew too painful to bear, Astropath Gailen went back to wait in the shuttle. He was replaced by a high-ranking Voidmaster who had come with the security detail (Matt couldn’t make it, and Mike joined us for the session), and the part pressed on towards the bridge of the derelict ship.
They came to the large double doors of the lift shaft. Echo got the doors open, and everyone got inside the massive lift, but behind them, a shadow detached itself from the darkness and swooped towards them. It was blurry and dark, all wings and claws and shadows. They tried to close the doors against the chaos beast, but they were slow and old. Torque opened fire on the thing, hurting it, and Skull Commander Malcoms finished it off with his power sword. Even as the Commander pushed the creature out the lift doors, it was already dissolving back into shadows.
At the top of the lift was a long corridor leading to the bridge. There were bodies on the floor, torn to pieces. On either side were control panels, and the door was guarded by several security servitors. Echo used the language of machines to talk to the servitors and convince them that the party was not a threat. Vitor Mattox access the control panels and discovered they were part of the security system. Through them, he pulled up a video image of what was happening in the bridge.
On the video, the team saw the captain of the ship waving his sword and shouting at his crew and navigator. They were able to make out more dead bodies in the bridge, and began to suspect the worst.
When they entered the bridge, the captain was suspicious, but not openly hostile. Vitor Mattox kept him busy by claiming that the team had come to rescue the ship by command of Aspyce Chorda.
“Chord’a alive?” The captain was incredulous. “Impossible! Her ship was torn apart. That wolf pack came out of nowhere!”
Looking around the area, the team confirmed their suspicions: the bridge was full of dead crewmembers – including the navigator. They looked to have been dead for about three months, but showed no signs of violence.
Suddenly, the captain saw something coming down the hallway.
“Secure the bridge!” he barked into his write-comm to the servitors. “We have intruders!”
While the rest of the team took up their positions to engage the invading shadow-wings, Skull Commander Malcoms tried to talk with the captain. The captain, who was obviously mad, was overcome with terror and fled before him. As the firefight raged in the corridor, the captain drew his sword and attacked the Commander; the two of the dueled for control of the ship.
Finally, the shadow-things were defeated, and the captain fell, bleeding but alive, to the Commander’s power sword.
“You are relieved of duty,” said Commander Malcoms as he ripped the wrist-comm from the captain’s arm.
Now that the ship was somewhat secured, Echo and Mattox set to digging through its computer banks. They found star charts and ships’ logs, and notes about a “beacon”—enough that, with some analysis, they might be able to figure out where the ship had been. According to the ship’s log, it had been in a battle 35 years ago. When it jumped away, it vanished into the void until now.
Mattox ordered crew members from Pandora’s Skull to come over and start stripping the ship of all its cargo and usable systems. Torque ordered a security crew to keep the workers safe and ensure that none of the shadow-things make it to the Skull. The plan was to take what they could quickly, then sell the location of the ship to salvagers at Footfall.