Where our heroes escape from the dangerous Shining Temple...
- Dexx: Young thief, trying to leave behind his former life in the street gangs of the Boneyard to make a living scavenging out in the wasteland;
- Craig: Pacifist Super Mutant, seeking peace in a life of spirituality out in the desolate wastes; formidable hunter and medicinal healer;
While his friends returned to the biosphere in search of fresh water and medicinal plants, the seriously injured Dexx, met up with their two guides Al and Frank, who had stayed behind to cover the approach from the village. Having learned a little first aid on the dusty trails, Frank cleaned the wounds to the best of his abilities and bandaged up the nasty wound one of the giant insects had inflicted on their unfortunate companion. In the meantime Al had spotted a second group of villagers making their way up the mountain, and the three of them had to come up with a course of action soon or risked being overwhelmed. When the villagers had almost reached the summit, they noticed to their dismay that some of them came bearing rifles and pistols. Dexx tried talking their leader, the robed man called Asarum, out of storming up the mountain, but his threats were received with scorn and derision. Dexx then noticed some figures creeping nearer, sprinting from the cover of one solar panel to the next. The three of them realized they wouldn’t stand a chance against the Keepers’ superior numbers, and prepared to fall back to the temple. Just at that moment Craig and Rhiannon, their newfound robot companion Mr. Floaty and Iris, the captured woman from the village, came out of the greenhouse. Al, Frank and Dexx ran as fast as they could, the villagers hot on their heels. They all ran into the small vestibule, feverishly trying to find a way to block the doors. While they instructed Mr. Floaty to go cut some wood in the jungle, Iris made use of the general confusion to try and slip out the doors. Craig tried to stop her, reaching for her leg, but all he was left with was a dirty moccasin as the woman ran out to freedom. Barring the outer and inner doors as well as possible, they gathered in the small clearing in the jungle beyond the vestibule. Realizing the Keepers might break through at any moment, they decided to put as much distance between them as possible and head deeper into the jungle. Hoping to find another way out or force an exit somewhere if need be, they ran in the direction of what Iris had called the abode of the Old Ones.
Traversing the narrow jungle paths, keeping an eye out for carnivorous plants and other things lurking in the brush, eventually they reached a small doorway set in the metal walls they had observed from outside the building. Past the entrance lay darkness, only the emergency lighting providing small pockets of bright red light. Going in, they found themselves in a set of living quarters, everything covered in a thick layer of grime and rotting leaves. From the looks of it, no one had been using them for many years. They took a few moments to explore the different rooms, hoping to find anything useful to help them in their escape, with some degree of success. In the neglected infirmary they found a few remaining healing and radiation chems. Meanwhile Rhiannon, looking through the storage room for useful parts, found a curious laser pistol, forgotten in an equipment locker. Appraising it, she came to the conclusion that in all likelihood the unconventional weapon was solar powered, which would make it an extremely rare and lucrative find indeed. They also gathered some potentially useful spare parts and a heavy machine part, planning to break through the glass walls of the temple, putting it in the capable robot arms of Mr. Floaty. In a corner of the boiler room they found a half filled fuel barrel, which they decided to use for refueling the robot’s empty flamethrower tank. In the meantime Dexx, having looking through the remainder of the rooms, had found a working computer terminal in the systems control room. Eager Rhiannon set to work, trying to restore the terminal’s functionality. Unfortunately the memory decay and corruption seemed to have progressed too far even for Rhiannon’s computer savvy, and she only managed to retrieve some ancient logs from the biosphere’s original research staff. As there was no other way out from the quarters, they made for the central clearing again, trying to find a way into the temple’s Inner Sanctum.
Heading back, they happened upon two villagers going the other way. Our heroes managed to hide out of sight, but the hapless Mr. Floaty hovered on, drawing the attention of the two men. They began examining it, trying to remove the junk our heroes had loaded on it, when Craig gave the robot the command to attack. The robot sprung to life again and hit one of them over the head, leaving one of the terrified villagers with a nasty bump. As the two seemed quite harmless after all, the party left their cover and walked up to them. The men turned out to be afflicted with some form of genetic disorder and only of childlike intelligence. After hearing their story of being attacked in the jungle by carnivorous plants, the party decided to let the two go their way again.
As the group pushed deeper into the jungle, following the path they hoped would lead them to the Inner Sanctum, they suddenly were beset themselves by four of these mutated plants. With their lethal thorn attacks they managed to seriously injure Frank and Rhiannon, while the rest of the party took them down one by one. Rhiannon’s wounds were so grave that she could not continue, the others decided their best hope was to turn back and hope to reach the entrance. It fell to the brawny Craig to carry his unconscious friend over his shoulder. Retracing their steps, they returned to the central clearing, only to find a small group of Keepers there, searching for them. Tough two of them were armed with rifles, their unfamiliarity with the weapons made them less of a threat than our heroes had feared, and after dealing with two of them, the other villagers fled. Not wasting time, the party made for the entrance, only to find more Keepers waiting for them there. With the recovered rifles from the villagers and the help of the imposing Mr. Floaty however, our heroes quickly managed to cut a path through them, leaving the survivors to run away into the thicket.
Craig, Dexx, the unconscious Rhiannon and their guides left the biosphere and descended down the mountain, hoping to retrieve their belongings and escape the demented Keepers. A short way down the path Mr. Floaty refused to go any further and returned to his station; with their engineer out of action and no time to spare, the party had little alternative but to let their robot companion go. Without encountering another soul, they made it to the village, to find the square equally devoid of life. They burst into the common house where a few of the village women had remained behind. The distraught women quickly complied with our none too happy heroes, returning them their belongings which the Keepers had taken from them. Still in need of the evidence they had come looking for in the first place, Craig and Dexx also grabbed the bag holding all different sorts of personal knickknacks and an empty crated branded with the Far Go Traders logo.
With this the five of them left the village, leaving behind the Keepers, their unique temple and its mysterious god, preparing for the long way home…