Most of the crew, in their upgraded gravity-resistance morphs, stock up on gear at the various outfitters shops on Pandora and prepare to crash. PJ and Paz hang back to run the op and make sure their corrupt gate tech doesn’t sabotage them. Nikki decides to join up on the first checkin after taking some time to track down heavier weaponry that the team can’t initially access.
RD, Demi, and S-O head through, the first time using a gate for most. They emerge on the other side seemingly instantaneously, but S-O isn’t with them. Meanwhile he’s in some sort of strange liminal space and witnessing some difficult to process imagery, seemingly involving some sort of ELE. He emerges 10 minutes later, and finds the other 2 launching recce bots and setting up a base camp.
Demi ID’s some relics of past terraforming that looks non-human (and ancient), and some subsequent geological violence which has disrupted the planet’s surface. They also spot some strange mobile plant life with symbiotic blobs attached that seem similar to the streange blob morph Nikki wound up in on Extropia, suggesting this was their origin point. Hearing some haunting music on the wind, they follow it and find some strange carved spires with pathways between them.
They engage in a fight with 3 exhumans who are collecting small discs there, and defeat them in an ambush. They collect their stacks, and the discs, and head back to the Gate for their first checkin. They also determine that the ruins are likely Iktomi, a supposedly spider-like alien that has never been encountered, and no remains have been recovered. S-O has strange dreams, and realizes the discs are Iktomi artifacts that are supposedly benign but effect dreams in nearby biomorphs. They plan to sell or trade them later if FW doesn’t seize them.
Nikki comes through in the middle of the night, just as they come under attack from a horrifying predator exhuman. Luckily they’re mostly in synths, so the deadly poisons the predator attempts to use have no effects. They eventually defeat it, with S-O providing some critical distracting taunts. Nikki’s heavy weapons prove very useful as well, once she figures out which end is the dangerous one after burning herself.
They manage to track the predator back to another Iktomi ruin, and find the rest of AW’s exhumans there, including some horrifying limb monsters seemingly assembled into flesh drones from spare parts. They do some clever hacking and sneaking, and manage to mostly trigger another solid ambush. AW is in a weird expanded brain morph, and nearly kills both RD and Demi before they manage to drop him, his 2 guards, and the limbwalkers. They collect the stacks again, but see that AW burned his with an emergency farcaster.
Nikki does some fast hacking and pulls the destination coords, to pass to FW later. Demi cuts an Iktomi mural out of a wall to sell or trade later. They also appreciate more weird sculptural music. They head back to the Gate but get lost badly, and miss their pickup. Luckily, they brought an emergency blue box, and got some info on the Gate from Nikki’s hack.
Failing to understand the Gate interface, they plug in the one destination they can: the Ultimate-controlled Discord Gate at Xiphos. They emerge and Nikki manages to use her previous encounter to keep them from being killed, by trading a lot of info on the planet and the exhumans. The Ult’s try to recruit Demi and RD, and seize Demi’s morph due to various contaminations. Beyond that, they offer to trade the team for morph costs if they want to cast away, or allow them to fly if they prefer, but nothing’s free…..
The team reports into FW as well with AW’s cast coords and the rest of the news, and get a “job well done” from their server.