Thursday, 23 June 2022

Extradimensional Research Facility Theta

 ERFϴ is a private building on the Meridian city satellite. According to the satellite’s owners QGC, the facility researches the gate anomaly with the aim of improving their service.

This is where the mysterious persons in black aboard Meridian work. Investigating or tailing these individuals will lead the players here.

Anything locked can be opened only with a keycard.

1. Lobby. The only entrance. White tile, marble counters, healthy potted plants. Stylishly curved sofas that look as though they have never been sat on. There are security cameras in the upper corners. As with the rest of the building, there are no windows.

The unmanned reception has a computer, not connected to any network or containing any data. Files and folders behind the desk contain hundreds of blank pages. To either side are doors marked Research and Administration.

2. Research. A sterile, stock-photo laboratory. Brand new microscopes, empty flasks, Bunsen burners with no gas. Otherwise empty.

In the far wall is a large mirror, reflecting the lab. On the other side of the glass is Observation.

3. Administration. Spotless cubicles, each with a QGC branded mug and the same framed family portrait. Cabinets of blank files, unopened packets of stationary. Nobody here.

Anyone inspecting the cabinets notices a slight draft from behind the rightmost. Moving it aside reveals a door marked Observation.

4. Observation. Grey tile, floor to ceiling, and a single bare bulb. In the wall is a large window, the other side of the two-way mirror in Research. There is also a small door to Administration with a filing cabinet on the other side.

In the centre of the room is an adult female goat. White pads arranged about its head attach with twisting copper wire to a little machine, the size of a VHS player, sitting on a metal folding chair. The machine is on, lights flashing, but does not appear to actually do anything.

The goat is docile and unperturbed by visitors. Doors on the opposite side of the room are labelled Containment and Intelligence. The latter is locked.

5. Containment. A spacious corridor, bright white lights, spotless. At either side, glass specimen tanks are set into the walls, lit in ultraviolet. Several contain biohazards, one contains a crop of glowing mushrooms. Some are empty. All are locked.

A chute, torso-width, leads down into The Pit. It is unmarked except for various esoteric hazard signs. Next to it are black sacks, each containing an unconscious person in a smart black suit, drugged, bound and gagged.

At each end of the corridor is a door, marked Development and Observation respectively.

6. Development. A large cuboid room, neutral earth tones, soft lighting. The floor is slightly springy, faux tatami. The sound of gently trickling water plays from speakers in the upper corners, a repeating clip only a few seconds long. Beside the speakers are cameras, watching and feeding back to Intelligence.

In the centre of the room is a giant ivory chess piece, like a knight but with a ram’s head, over 10 feet tall. It is made of solid stone, or something equally heavy. Two persons in black stand either side of it, appearing to be in deep thought.

If anything distracts them from their training, they attack. [C:55 Subdue 1d10; I:55; W2(11), holding only a chess piece with a ram’s head containing a listening device]. One is holding a keycard.

The door to the right reads Containment. A door to the left reads Accommodation.

7. Accommodation. Dull cream walls, mottled green-brown carpet. Bunk beds, khaki hammocks taut on scaffold frames, enough for twenty or so. Each bed has a small, dense pillow containing a listening device which feeds back to Intelligence. 1d5 persons in black are asleep here, still in their suits and dark glasses. If one wakes, they all do.

The doors here are marked Development and Extraction.

8. Extraction. A long, wide hall. Occasional large, grey smudges on the otherwise pristine tile. The centre of the floor is a large grate with a hatch, locked from this side. Below is The Pit, a trench full of some slowly writhing gelatinous mass.

There is equipment here set up to extract elixir from the slugs below. This substance can be injected into the bloodstream to induce psychic awakening, though the results are unreliable.

Either side of the hall are exits to Accommodation and Intelligence. The latter is locked.

9. Intelligence. Cramped, musty, unlit except for banks of monitors and bleeping machine lights. Monitors show feeds from any security cameras in the facility. Banks of headphones, like a phone operator’s desk, monitor audio from any listening devices here or elsewhere on Meridian.

3 persons in black sit at the monitors here, wearing crisp white lab coats over their suits. They all have the PSI 1 skill and will use it in self defence, though they are largely unaware of its limits and may overextend themselves. Each has a syringe with a single dose of fast-acting knockout serum and a keycard. They may exit Intelligence to investigate if they notice more than one unusual occurrence.

The computers here contain files detailing the facility’s operations, scientific research mixed in with pseudoscience and veiled references. Agents are trained and tested here for psychic abilities. Candidates who react poorly to the tests are disposed of as food for the grey slugs, as are any interlopers.

The slugs are extradimensional aliens found through gate travel, as are the other life forms here. The ultimate aim of training these psychic operatives is unclear, but QGC’s research into extradimensional travel seems to be entirely predicated on mastering and understanding these abilities.

10. The Pit. Dank, dark, completely filled with forearm-sized grey slugs. Dim light from an overhead grate in the floor of Extraction, as well as a chute from Containment.

The slugs attach to the temples and consume brainwaves. Anyone not in an airtight suit must make a Body save in their presence or take 1 Stress per round as the slugs feed. A failed Panic check during feeding always results in a loss of 1d10[+] Sanity. Reducing Sanity to 0 this way results in brain death.

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