Granna plans to take the slaver back to civilized lands, but she knows that nothing he did here will stick legally. We still have at least six more days until their relief ship arrives. Yartar and Ando stay behind while Kade takes the helm and ferries everyone else to the other dropzone. Alpha does voice a strong concern that more slavers might be in the area and if needed we would not be able to get back to rescue them in time. Standish backs his team and so breaks up our security into smaller teams to cover a larger area for the biologists on the second continent.
During the night Thundarr has a dream in which he is toyed with by someone in matte black armor calling himself the Dark Solarian. Strangely enough Alpha is pulled into this dream as well. The Dark Solarian tells Thundarr that he must kill alpha if he ever hopes to challenge him. Thundarr draws his blade and charges the android – just as his blade would hit him the figure changes from Alpha to Thundarr. Both of them wake simultaneous and look at each other across the cargo bay. Alpha wisely moves to a different area as Thundarr still looks ready for battle.
During the flyover the next morning Jack spots a derelict pact world ship. Kade brings the ship down nearby, but out of sight. The four of us sneak towards the ship through the tall grass and wheat. It is clear from the agriculture that someone survived at least for some time. Kade goes inside and looks around, but finds that it has been empty for about six months. It left Verces for some type of scientific study. The logs we find are very vague so there is not much information to gather. They obviously left the ship, but they left behind some of their survival gear.
With more work we get the ship’s sensor logs functioning and can see that the surviving crew got their buggy out of the ship and left in a northwesterly direction. We go in that direction until we find some camouflaged huts in a bamboo field. It looks like the place was abandoned three months ago. We toss the three survival huts in search of clues. Thundarr looks through the notes and discovers that Dr. Zephys , a convicted bio-engineer, who escaped custody from one of the harshest penal colonies. The research shows that up to three months ago he was preforming some very black genetic engineering far from the arm of the law. We grab up everything we can from his notes.
The other huts are filled with several cages filled with dead animals, including one that has been torn through from the inside. There are more scattered notes and feeding schedules. The vast number of experiments were failures, but the cage that was torn open contains more positive notes. It would seem that Dr. Zephys successfully engineered a super-predator of some type. The last hut something violently broke out of several months ago. The inside is heavy damaged with things scattered. This was the crew quarters. We find a body that has been torn apart by something with large claws. The body itself is not quite human; although it was at one time. It is possible that Dr. Zephys was experimenting on his own crew.
In the large office at the rear of the hut is a heavily secured door – at least least it was before Kade hacks through them. Inside we find a heavily muscled dead body on an oversized bed. There is computer equipment and a small kitchette. There are multiple journal entries by Dr. Zephys about his muscle mass growth and feeling of strength and youth. In his later entries he notes his muscles are so heavy that he can barely move from the bed without breaking his own bones. He died three months ago; although he did hear what happened outside, but by then he could not even crawl out of bed.
Alpha runs back to the ship and is nearly run down by a pack of predators, but they could not keep up with his speed. When he gets back to the ship Pulos seems less surprised than the others about what they found. Alpha pilots the ship towards the camp to pick up the rest of crew and allow the scientists to look over the material we found. Standish tells the scientists that this falls outside of the scope of his contract and recommends pulling out, but Granna over rules him because of the potential for discovery.
Before the Chimera can arrive we hear thrashing in the outer rooms and some garbled shouting about “my Emiline” in Common. Jack and Kade move to the far point of the room and draw their guns while Thundarr stabs at the creature through the holes it made in the door. The creature forces its way through the door and runs into Thundarr. With support from Kade and Jack Thundarr manages to hold the line. Unfortunately the creature proves to be more than his match and nearly kills. It would have killed him except for Jack and Kade killing the creature.
Alpha arrives with the ship and “escorts” Thundarr to the other ship. The ship is locked, which it was not when we left. Inside is Golintha, the last surviving member of the research team. She refuses to open the door until Kade hacks through the system and Thundarr threatens to just kill her outright. Everyone else locks Thundarr (who was bit and clawed) and Kade (who was clawed) into the derelict ship while they work on a cure. During the days they work on the cure they find the body of the last mutated scientist, who died from the mutation several weeks before we arrive.
Thankfully the cure works and a week later we are ready to move on to the third continent. On the down side the rest of the team comes to distrust Thundarr enough than they spike his drink in the evenings.
On the third continent Jack is exploring when he overhears some gypsy radio chatter on low-power. He navigates and finds a small gypsy colony hidden in the forest. Kade is shadowing behind, but at a very discreet distance. Jack makes peaceful contact with them and stays for dinner. The gypsies had other ideas and drugged Jack. When Jack did not succumb to the drugs they would have resorted to violence but Jack read the situation and pretended to fall unconscious. When Jack was “unconscious” the gypsies take all of their stuff and flee the area. Thundarr and Alpha detect the gypsy ship fleeing, but not enough time to give chase.
The survey is finally complete, so we pick up Yartar and Ando and leave the planet. The mission is considered so successful that we earn an additional bonus. Alpha does decide that the attention of the Dark Solarian and the rabid nature of his companions makes this ship too dangerous for him.
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