As the crew struggled for answers, Jahus managed to confirm that the bodies hadn’t died more than twelve hours ago, preserved by the cold. Aside from identical cold suits, any goods or items they had been carrying were gone. Another tense discussion broke out, as people tried to decide if they should keep going. Eventually, it was decided that the only way out of the situation was forward.
Shortly thereafter, the ground levelled out and the crew found themselves in a monstrous cave. Shining with the flashlights revealed little, while scans indicated the tunnel proceeded for considerable distance to the right, gently pitching up as it went. To the left was a massive metal alloy reading, so that seemed the better destination. Their journey towards the reading was uneventful, right until they found yet another collection of bodies. Torn apart by what appeared to be flechette rounds, and with a destroyed autonomous Klingon battle drone resting nearby, Jahus and Larian were unsurprised to find that the bodies were again mirror images of the crew. Where were all of these bodies coming from? An inquiring scan with the tricorder indicated the presence of chroniton particles. Someone muttered, “Temporal shenanigans.”
Continuing, the party quickly noted that the metal reading was a huge duranium door, measuring some fifty metres tall by one hundred metres wide, and a solid third of a metre thick. They were not going to be cutting through that. Heading off to the side, the crew found what appeared to be some kind of security shack with two skeletal Klingon bodies inside. Again long since decomposed, and with bones registering as more than a millennium and a half old, Jahus noted similar scratches on their rib cages, and Klingon daggers at their sides. “Did they commit suicide?”
Nearby the bodies however was a giant metal wheel jutting out from the wall. As a team effort, the party cranked on the wheel, hearing a hiss and rumble sound emanate from the wall. As they continued to turn the aged and frozen wheel, the sound grew louder and a great creaking and clanging noise started coming from the huge door. Exiting the security post and making for the centre of the door, they watched as shards of ice and frost rained down from the metal plating. A great hiss and boom punctuated the dark cold as the two halves of the door separated, revealing a mass of bones strewn about on the other side. Disruptors and Klingon battle implements lay scattered throughout, and Jahus recoiled with horror as he realized some of the bones had what looked like Borg implants attached to them, though any useful parts appeared to have been stripped. From what the crew could tell, there had been a battle here at some point roughly 1600 years ago, if the tricorder was to be believed.
Gingerly picking their way through, their lights shone on a map of the facility as the entrance bifurcated into left and right sides. Identifying what seemed to be the facility power room, the party decided to go left. As they trekked into the dark, the ground beneath them was no longer silica sand, but appeared to be paved and solid, though the walls were still cut from rock. The tunnel narrowed from the entrance until it measured roughly twenty by twenty metres, with smooth vertical walls covered with an inch of ice. Periodically finding more remains, the party walked carefully to avoid potential traps, stopping when they saw a row of icicles hanging roughly at waist height in mid-air.
Suspecting a trip wire of some kind, everyone took turns throwing ice at the row for some time, until a direct hit was scored. A flash of light broke the darkness and at the distance the crew was at, more steel ball bearings started falling on their heads, though at the end of their trajectory and without the capacity to inflict harm. The team pressed on.
Finding themselves in front of a series of glass doors frosted over, the crew pushed their way into the power room, only for Sal Vaxx, ever the engineer, to choke at what had to be the most poorly designed and constructed power room he had ever seen. There were no consoles and power readouts, no E.P.S. conduits in clean lines, no labels or markers, or even a power generator. Instead what Sal saw was a crazy spider’s web of what seemed like steam conduits and pipes badly welded together and coming from the walls to converge on one misshapen mess at the centre of the room.
Contorting around the pipes, the crew quickly found the epicentre of the engineering nightmare – a rectangular reactor set into the floor, using what appeared to be plutonium fuel rods and operated by levers, wheels, dials, and pulleys snaking around various pipes, all well frosted in ice. Disgusted, Sal and the others elected to leave for the time being and see what else they could find.
As the team continued through the large corridor, they found themselves at an intersection. From the map they knew the left path would lead to one of the Jach’Eng launch bays. On the chance they may find a working ship, the crew decided to take that direction and entered a monstrous chamber that measured higher than a skyscraper according to the tricorder. At the centre of the chamber, the flashlight reflected off of a towering array of scaffolding and support columns to reveal a large ship standing vertical in the midst of them.
It was a Jach’Eng – superweapon capable of annihilating an entire solar system via subspace shockwave. As the crew approached, they could shine their lights up the rear of the craft and see into the open and exposed engineering compartment. Sal and Larian could make out where the warp core was supposed to be, and it appeared to be missing. It seemed that this vessel was at one time under active construction. Deciding to take a closer look, the crew began the laborious climb up the ladders and scaffolds to reach the Klingon ship’s midsection, where a gangway allowed entrance to the ship. It struck everyone as they climbed that they were venturing inside the belly of a suicide ship…