Learning of a mishap with a long-term isolation simulation as part of the Gargorian Deep Space Initiative, Yalara, Cydelia, Adrian and Jakob volunteered to go into the simulation in hopes of recovering the remaining first crew safely and discovering what went wrong that left them all thinking the simulation was the real deal.
They quickly learned that, from the perspective of those in the sim, one of their own had murdered a team member, leaving the remaining members terrified that one among them was a killer. The new team, armed with personality profiles of the first crew, did their best to investigate the murder, splitting up into teams so that no one would be left alone and unaccounted for - except for 8-Ball, the team's life support specialist, who had already barricaded himself inside the control room and only spoke via the intercom.
Testing samples from the body, Yalara discovered that the victim's neurochemistry had been altered, something she soon learned the entire initial team had in common. It seemed someone had interfered with the experiment, possibly hoping to make it fail. The spiked levels meant increased paranoia and decreased inhibitions all around. Meanwhile, Jake snaked his way into the surveillance system to try and get a sense of what happened, learning that someone had artfully deleted the capture from the time of the murder - someone who knew signals well enough to also wipe the buffer space to avoid recovery.
At the same time, Adrian joined one of the first team's technicians and their remaining doctor to help repair a failing power relay before it endangered the whole (virtual) ship. The lights flickered, and in the brief chaos the doctor was found unconscious. Adrian and the technician squared off, opting to trust one another long enough to get repairs done and link up with the others to sort out which of them might be working with the killer.
Following the operations manager, Cydelia learned about her romantic relationship with the victim and some of the other tensions among the first crew. They headed to 8-Ball's nest in the control center to try and convince him to join the others while they worked to uncover the truth. En route, Cydelia noticed a shadow following them. They managed to avoid it, and vice versa, but when they arrived at the control center they soon learned that it was unoccupied. 8-Ball had been roaming the ship freely, using the comms as a ruse to sell the fiction that he was still barricaded inside.
They hurried back to join the others who had already met up with Adrian to cart the remaining (and unconscious) doctor to the med bay where Yalara could see to her. Comparing notes, the group agreed that 8-Ball was the most likely suspect, and agreed to enter cryo for their own safety while the new team tracked him down to get some answers. Unfortunately, before entering cryostasis, the up-till-now helpful signals technician revealed himself as the killer, lashing out at Jake and Adrian as they assisted with the freezing process. The two traded off for Patterson's attention, narrowing avoiding a few blows before Adrian was caught and slammed face-first into one of the tubes. Patterson's aim backfired, however - waking up outside the simulation, Adrian immediately unplugged Patterson's connection, causing him to vanish from the sim just as Jake was working on tangling him up.
Back in the med bay, Dr. Kim awoke and revealed her own secret: as an active psion, she sensed from the get-go why the second team was here. She also sensed who the killer was, but had lacked an opportunity to come forward without risking immediate danger. The trio of medical techs started toward the cryo bay to help the others when they were intercepted by 8-Ball, who was all too thrilled to let the biologicals kill each other and leave him all the more peace and quiet to work in.
Thanks to their charm and confusion, Cy and Yalara were able to avoid the one shot from the robot's bolt gun and rush past him before he could reload. Jake sent a digital haymaker to storm the robot's senses while the others raced to cryo, tagging out of the simulation one by one just as 8-Ball hurried up the hall to finish them off. They awoke to find the medical techs already seeing to the members of the first team as well as desperately trying to stabilize Patterson.
News of the chemical anomaly pointing to a saboteur has Sona, the head of the project, deeply concerned, but her initial worry is for the survivor members of both teams to recover. The simulation project will need to be shelved until the mystery of who's responsible, and why, can be resolved.
- Yalara: 3C, 2I, 2S, 1X
- Cydelia: 3C, 1I, 2S, 2G
- Adrian: 2P, 2S, 2I, 1G, 1X
- Jakob: 3S, 2I, 2C, 1X
- Gargorian Colonists +8 reputation
- 250s stipend for hazard pay