And the second overgrown shrimp is torn to pieces.
Resting on the ground, in pieces, the cleaner now needs to be cleaned up.
Pyksi can dig around and get her gun back.
It is a bit wet, but... clean.
You look at one another, and see that all are fine.
So, you keep on traveling down the shaft for a total of about an hour as the temperature steadily rises.
Eventually the tunnel, bending at a 45-degree angle, empties out into an enormous spherical chamber 120 feet in diameter.
Dozens of tunnels like the one the you traversed lead up from this chamber, some directly from the ceiling and others ascending more gently around the edges.
The temperature here is 120° F, which is hot enough to deal damage to each of you were you not protected by your armor.
The heat emanates from a massive, golden crystal about 90 feet in diameter that almost fills the chamber.
It is suspended in the center of the chamber by many gray, shell-covered columns that each stretch across the 15-foot gap separating the crystal from the walls of the chamber.
Mora contacts you on your comm units and asks you to use their handheld geological survey scanners to please analyze the crystal.
"I can process the data through the computers back at the research station, and together we can learn more about Big Mina."
Just realized I can't install that gun because tiny weapons are actually different than medium sized weapons in starfinder (cost double). I'm pretty sure I can still buy it off the chronicle as a tiny weapon for double though if I needed to.
"Sure, you got it boss." Gogglez says as he waves his custom rig on his arm around the crystal, "Don't mind me mister big alien thing, just trying to figure out what you are. It sure would help if you could talk to us, yo."
Croaker nods to that, and draws his laser rifle checking the level of his battery (16/20).
"Let's get this over with. Turn it on."
Ysoki looks around nervously.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Baròleg helps Gogglez as he can, and sends back video to the Doctor if she requests it.
Any rolls to scan or figure out what the crystals are? My creds are on a nerve cluster...
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Pyksi takes a moment to cut her pistol loose, wiping it on her leg (in the absence of grass or other non-organic material).
"Either something really bad is going to happen, or nothing is going to happen," says Pyksi. "Regardless, hopefully we haven't given this thing a taste for Ysoki."
Your creds are on a nerve cluster? That's wild, I keep mine on credsticks!
Cashara pulls out her unused pulscaster and looks around
Both for possible hiding spots and other living creatures
perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Croaker and Cashara cannot make much out, and it takes the scanning Gogglez and Baròleg do, coupled with the power of the professor's computers...
After a few minutes, Mora calls back:
“Well, Big Mina is definitely not from around here. There are enough traces of cosmic particle decay that she must have spent a long time moving slowly through deep space. Our preliminary growth estimates suggest that was millions of years ago, and she must have been very small—maybe no larger than your fist.
But it looks like Big Mina and my little one have something in common: a big appetite! This alien creature can consume anything: rock, water, organic material... it’ll take a while, hundreds or maybe thousands of years, but eventually Big Mina will consume the entire planet!”
Mora’s face appears on the computer screen.
“I’m not sure if we should allow that to happen. Vabaimus has a rich ecosystem, and while there aren’t any sapient creatures here yet, it’s only a matter of time before these sloths, or something else, make that critical step. Can we sentence them, and every other species on the planet, to certain death? On the other hand, Mina is a unique life-form, and it doesn’t seem evil. It’s no more intelligent than a giant clam. Can we bring ourselves to murder it when it’s just doing what it’s evolved to do?
Starfinders, you’ve taken the lead in so many of our recent discoveries, I would really benefit from your perspective. What do you recommend?”
Ah, gogglez isn't really the philosophical type, so out of character, I think the morally correct thing to do is to figure out where sentient creatures factor in. Did sentient creatures bring this creature here to destroy this planet, like the Kasatha possibly? Yes? Then we should kill or remove it since it wasn't supposed to be here. Did it get here on its own accord? Yes? Then we should leave it and not interfere with the natural order taking place.
"Just let me know where to put the grenades if we blow this baby up yo! I'd love to see a cool explosion if we go that way!" Gogglez says as he pulls some grenades out of his cheek pouches.
in my understanding, it has no consciousness, so we could just blow it to hell Cashara says but on the other hand, with what little intelligence it does have, its innocent. So is there any way to contain it? We could just find a way to launch it into space again. she continues but if none of these are viable options, is there any possible way to reverse its process of growth and consumption to stop it from growing or even get it to shrink she seams to be lost in thought at this point as she thinks about each solution.
Croaker listens to what doc is saying and responds:
"Overall I believe that every being has the same right to live. I can't see reasons to say sloths are more important than Big Mina. However, our current findings say that Big Mina works as a parasite but on the whole planet. Vabaimus has natural goods that could be of use to civilization, it can as well create intelligent beings. On the other hand when Big Mina will consume the whole planet probably it would move to find a new source of food."
He let his words to sing and says:
"I vote for exterminating Big Mina, if we can do it without getting us killed."
Pyksi raises an eyebrow. "It's not even a question, to me. If a bear wanders into your colony, you don't stop to consider whether it has any malevolent intentions; you chase it off or gun it down before it eats anyone you care about. If it's this one, non-sapient organism versus the entire planet and its probably-sapient-by-then organisms-- plus, who knows?, it might end up floating through space eating more planets after that-- then it's a no-brainer.
Or, in this case, a no-crystaller, I guess."
She clears her throat. "Besides, if we end this, Little Mina becomes the biggest Mina I know."
I'm thinking the same thing as Gogglez
"Is there anyway to tell if Big Mina is a biologically engineered creature or naturally occurring? Or what degree of sentience it has? If this is a natural occurrence I'm not sure we have latitude to disrupt it. Though I am concerned about Big Mina procreating, if it's able to do so asexually and at a high litter volume... It could destroy whole systems." He thinks a little longer, "There's a lot to learn from this creature. If it's engineered we should study it to find out what its purpose is; if it's natural we should find out ways to safely divert the species to 'edible' worlds. I think we should contain first, exterminate second."
GM ruling for 'Detect Thoughts', what needs to be in range for the spell to work? Just part of the creature or the part that thinks? If I can, I'd use 'Detect Thoughts' to see how aware this thing is...
|Korl "Voidfist" Larst|
When the doctor calls back in, Korl is busy watching the various tunnels, hoping to prevent any possible ambush.
"Doc, do you have an idea on HOW many years exactly? Could we just let the planet be for the next thousand years or so and then evacuate the locals when or if its necessary?"
Korl starts eyeing the giant crystal nervously.
Cashara looks up I didn't even consider that option. she says Boraleg may have something, but if practically consumes everything, I'm not sure we can contain it unless we can find the one thing it can't eat. she says and then thinks the best viable option right now would be destroy it know, or evacuate and destroy it later. But we might be able to still find a way to reverse its process of growth
If Baròleg thinks he can use 'Detect Thoughts' he will. A'la Spock and the Horta...
Including the doctor over the comm, "Do we need to decide now? This creature isn't a planet-wide threat for centuries at the earliest... That's more than enough time for scientists and experts to get here, study it, and either technologically or magically neutralize it in a manner that's planful. If anyone has a relatively benign method to slow down Big Mina, in case the centuries estimate is wrong, we can try it. Otherwise, why make a hasty, uninformed and potentially irreversible choice?"
Mora tells Cashara that "I wish we could talk to it, but, based on what I’m reading, it’s not intelligent as we understand the term. It’s an animal, and can feel pain, but it doesn’t have a language.”
To Gogglez, she says that "I do not know if there is a way to slow or stop Big Mina’s growth?“
To Korl she says that [b]it is millions of years old, but, if we leave the creature alone she will eventually consume the entire planet.
The bigger she gets, the faster she’ll grow.
She’s already 85,000 square miles.
Projections show she could finish the job in as little as a few centuries, but it might take one or two thousand years.”
To Croaker she says that "if you kill it, multiple species have adapted to life on Big Mina. Those shell-covered birds you saw, the cleaner parasites that live in her tunnels, even the crest-eaters brought on the kasatha ship. The more specialized of those creatures would also die, as they lose their primary habitat. Others might survive by migrating to a different part of the planet.”
She adds: "I believe the sloth creatures will not achieve sapience in time to stop the alien from consuming the planet. It could take tens of thousands of years for them just to develop a language or agriculture, much less combat a global threat. Mina will consume the entire planet long before then.”
Baròleg does not detect thought, just some primeval feelings: EAT...
Well, lots of life is at risk on both sides with no way to contain slow or stop it, so there may not be a right answer Cashara said at this point, what would be the lesser evil? Probably killing this thing before it consumes another world.
|Korl "Voidfist" Larst|
"Eat or be eaten is the way of the universe...this creature has found its way here and nothing can stop it, it would seem to have earned its meal..." Korl looks off into the darkness of the tunnels "But perhaps this is the world's way of fighting back. In a way, the sloths' have found the strength to fight back through the Doctor, though us."
He flexes a few times forming and dismissing his void doshko, examining it as he does. "I'm just a soldier, we were hired by the doc and the she seems to think eating an entire planet is an issue. So if that's the case, we should handle the issue."
He drops his fist and looks back at the group "Damoritosh might disagree but we are strong and we're here now."
"I think we should just kill it now. It'll kill the species dependent on it, but no one can blame us for being the idiots that didn't kill it when we had an easy chance to do so and now it's eating the entire known universe with no way to stop it." Gogglex says as he juggles his grenades to concentrate. "Plus life tends to adapt, we might create entirely new species that rely on the dead carcass of this creature."
She does give the air that she may be tired of this assignment
ok, Gogglez, set up the explosives she says we may need to blow this thing to whatever its after life or hell might be
She puts her hand to her head well that's odd, I don't remember those behavioral rueteans. she shakes her head and mutters note to self; run self diagnostics later
As the group talks about killing it, and is moving towards that decision, Mora says: "Let's make sure all in your party are on the same page about that, but, in the meantime, let me check and take more time to consult with the rest of my staff."
She will come back to you in some 10 minutes, once Baròleg and Croaker have spoken.
Croaker nods to what others are saying: "Let's kill the Big Mina. Our interference here will bring unexpected outcome, but I am afraid of beings conquering planets and moving to the next ones."
It is a little bit before Cashara speaks again
how do we know we can even harm the thing she says it may be impervious to most things
She looks for a rock, once found, and throws it at the bulbous part of the creature you can currently see, more as a demonstration than really trying to hurt it right now.
Cashara's rock bounces off the crystal, but does chip a minute piece off.
At the same moment, Mora calls back in: "Our analysis says that it is pretty simple to execute the alien without interference... just bang away at the crystalline brain structure. That should be sufficiently lethal."
Dealing 100 damage and it is dead - which we thus would hand wave as an RP action if you all shoot or bang away at it
Cashara looks at Gogglez
how many explosives do you have? she asks, she says this with a hint of excitement because we may only need a handful depending on their yeald
Ack, left a post late last night but Paizo ate it!
Baròleg asks the doctor, "Is it possible to slow or halt the creature without killing it?"
While waiting for her response, "If the group consensus is to kill this creature I won't hold up the mission. I will make one last attempt to change your minds. I don't think we have the authority, right, or need to kill this creature now . It will be years, likely DECADES before it's a threat to the planet. Let's report back and let the Starfinders determine the best course of action. Whose to say killing it doesn't cause planetary issues, or that studying it won't help avoid future infestations on other worlds. Or maybe researches decide it is too dangers and safely terminate and remove it from the planet. The point is we have time to decide."
Baròleg steps back and waits for the doctor to report any relevant findings, and let the group carry forward.
"I've got ten frag grenades, but only because that's all I could fit in my cheeks!" Gogglez says as he pulls them out one at a time. "Don't think they're going to be enough though."
Rather just have us let the melee's swing at the thing so we don't waste resources.
|Korl "Voidfist" Larst|
Mora thinks about what Baròleg says: "Mmmhhh... well, if you decide to decide to cripple Big Mina, I think the best is to carefully destroy enough of the brain to stop Big Mina without killing it outright... but it is difficult.
You first need to identify the appropriate targets--"
DC 20 Life Science, Medicine, or Physical Science check.
"--and destroy them carefully, so to effectively lobotomize Big Mina, ensuring it never grows much larger but not killing it."
With Croaker's help, Pyksi identifies the appropriate targets.
She notes two sections that seem to be auxiliary nerve clusters and thus are ideal targets.
You now know that destroying a target requires dealing 20 points of damage to it with a steady hand.
To keep a steady hand to and precisely damage that section--
either a successful DC 12 Life Science, Medicine, or Physical Science check or with a successful attack roll against AC 11.
--and there are two sections that needed damaging.
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Baròleg will help coordinate strikes while others attempt less aggressive methods... If I can I'll use Get'em to give a +1 to hit
|Korl "Voidfist" Larst|
"Looks like I'm punching something either way...that one there?"
Korl brings his solar weapon back to existence, reaches way back, and asserts himself.
Attack nerve cluster vs KAC: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Damage(b): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8 +1 damage if this counts as enough of a challenge to manifest solar powers, in which case, photon.
...and I rolled a d20 for damage...here's the 6 but feel free to use the 2
Damage(b): 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
What the hay, I have a standard action...
Baròleg takes out his baton, and helps Korl disable one of the lobes.
Attack/AC 11: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Damage/B: 2d6 - 2 ⇒ (6, 6) - 2 = 10
Damn! apparently Baròleg isn't ok with killing things, but mentally disabling them is A-OK!
|Korl "Voidfist" Larst|
Assuming Get 'Em
Attack vs KAC: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Damage(b): 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Attack vs KAC: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
Damage(b): 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
If the party steps out of range and 1 or more of nerve clusters are the only targets. Will not use if there's risk of hitting the core
Supernova: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 3) + 1 = 7 DC13 Reflex for half
Croaker slashes a chunk of stone off... and Korl bangs again with the fist, and that node breaks apart.
Only one to go!
Then Korl turns to the other, and last, node... but misses hitting it, and his fist smashes part of the main crystal, chipping part off.
He then refrains from the supernova, because the idea is to target this last specific part, that will block the crystal's growth, without damaging the whole part more.
Cashara sighs and pulls out her knife.
She targets the intended part and stabs it
attack vs KAC: 1d20 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 3 + 1 = 18 the +1 is from get 'em
knife damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
Baròleg continues to help direct attacks against the node. He also takes another swing with his baton.
Attack/AC 11: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Damage/B: 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
If we miss does it damage the other sections of the brain? If so, we may just want to let our best melee fighters have at or assist the Medicine roll (that's our only other option correct?).
Gogglez aims a laser pointer from his custom rig at the correct spots to aid the attack rolls.
aid another attack roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
aid another attack roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
aid another attack roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
aid another attack roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
aid another attack roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6