The team returns to the Station HQ doors. By the eerie green light of ancient glowsticks, the team investigates the upper reaches of the dark headquarters including a lobby, administrative offices, garage, and finally a Stage III security office door. Arik discovers a hidden floor safe in the office of the ‘Station Director’, but the safe will take too long to crack and no one wants to risk the precious energy weapons trying to cut it open. Also discovered is the office of a James Keeg, Director of Horticulture. The Station HQ is without power save for a few red emergency lights and intact doors.
It becomes apparent that at some point in the distant past the headquarters was left open to the elements for an extended period of time. Long before that the Station HQ was apparently assaulted by hostile forces. Most of the interior doors are blown out by explosives, the walls scarred by energy beams and pockmarked by shrapnel and bullet holes. Cassey follows the trail of Pritchard and Hoyle to the blasted doors of an elevator shaft. A dropped glowstick reveals the twisted remnants of doors resting atop the elevator car at the bottom of the 30 meter shaft. A hole has been cut in the top of the car. Without rope it’s going to be a long drop…
While Airy and Grek are busy breaking into the security office door, Arik and Cassey take the Stage II card and return to the Medium Scale Habitat to harvest the dead vines in Environment Bay 4 for raw materials used by Arik to fabricate 30 meters of usable rope. The Security Door slides open after several hours of effort by Airy and Grek. Grek uses several carefully emplaced pipe-bombs to blow open a security cabinet found inside. Airy takes possession of the good-quality riot armor found inside…the white letters ‘STATION 3 SECURITY’ are stenciled across front and back. The security terminal fixed to a desk is without power and can’t be accessed.
The team lowers Cassey down to the bottom of the elevator shaft. Cassey peeks her head into the elevator car and sees the doors on the other side of the car are cut out and lying in the hallway beyond. The rest of the team drops into the car and finds the fearsome shape of a Class I Security Bot standing in the hallway beyond, seemingly inactive. Six fresh shotgun cases are scattered on the floor and the Bot has been struck by a number of ineffective shotshells. Sidling past the 2+ meter high half-ton Bot, the team investigates a medical office, living quarters and common area, liberating a stash of medical equipment, pre-war survival rations and other loot. The pulverized body of Corporal Hoyle is discovered in the medical bay, apparently dragged there by the Security Bot according to the tracks on the floor. Arik scavenges a discarded poor-condition medi-kit which Airy uses to treat some of Grek’s wounds.
At the end of a long hall is the STATION POWER CONTROL room with another door labelled MAIN BUILDING COMPUTER. None of the teams Stage I and II cards will open that door. Arik uses survival skill to detect intensity level 1 radiation…spending under 12 hours in the room should be fairly safe. Airy is able to access a status readout using the powered/unsecured terminal fixed to the huge 2-meter column:
UWS HEAVY INDUSTRIES MODEL 3B 18-MEGAWATT THERMOCOUPLE FUSION REACTOR
MEAN FUEL CELL LIFE AT CURRENT USAGE RATE: 5.3 YEARS
Below the terminal is an unsecured access panel hanging half open with a bank of 23 toggle switches:
1. STATION MAIN POWER = DOWN (OFF)
2. MEDIUM SCALE HABITAT = UP (ON)
3. CONTROL SUBSTATION 1 = DOWN (OFF)
4. LARGE SCALE HABITAT 1A-1F = UP (ON)
5. CONTROL SUBSTATION 2 = UP (ON)
6. LARGE SCALE HABITAT 2A-2F = UP (ON)
7. CONTROL SUBSTATION 3 = UP (ON)
8. LARGE SCALE HABITAT 3A-3F = UP (ON)
Substation 2-3 and Large Scale Habitats 2A-3F would seem to correspond to the partially visible buildings at the south and east sides of the valley – all crushed under millions of tons of rock. Control Substation 1 must be the small pyramidal building at the center of the still-intact Large Scale Habitat buildings 1A-1F.
Airy also figures out that she can trigger an emergency test simulation of a reactor radiation leak, though its not clear what effect this will have on the base systems.
Cassey and Grek squeeze past the still-immobile Security Bot and find a blasted doorway opening to a 3-meter cylindrical room with no exit and a blue access panel on the opposite side. Above the blasted entry are the words RESEARCH WING. The various access cards cause no reaction from the access panel, which according to the color/access scheme encountered so far should correspond to a Stage II (green/white) access card.
The team is now faced with several options. Turn on STATION MAIN POWER and risk possible activation of the Bot? Try to destroy the bot in advance? Try and crack or cut open the floor safe in the Directors office above? It must be several hours after midnight by now…7-9 hours since the team entered the station HQ.