- Inside the Maze City, the Explorers take stock of the situation, noticing that over half of the indentured workers, two thirds of the mercenary guards, and almost all of the xeno-archeologists had survived the alien assault.
- The pilot Sativa also made a surprising return, having pulled his vessel back in for a dare-devil’s landing out front of the gates.
- After Knack makes an impassioned plea for the three groups of survivors to band together against the common threat, a small contingent of the guards reveal to Lucius a plan to sneak out through the hastily-erected barricades and flee aboard the dilapidated shuttle squatting on the landing pad. Unable to convince them otherwise, around five percent of the mercs make their escape back into the dig-site. Their screams echo through the night for several minutes afterwards, prompting a fresh assault by the Rak’Gol.
- A trio of the bony-white creatures break through into the city and charge directly into combat with the Explorers. Although a lucky grenade blast nearly incapacitates three of the crew, they are able to dispatch all three beasts in short order. One, blinded by the expert shooting of Lucius, is corralled into a beast cage, although several of the indentured workers and guards are slain when the creature appears to detonate a small explosive within its sternum, triggering a chain effect on its bandolier of grenades.
- In the aftermath of the combat the Explorers realised that their pilot’s morale had broken in the face of the enemies, and had fled deeper into the city. Quickly organising rescue parties, they prepared themselves to head deeper into the maze.
- Recovering his senses, Sativa quickly realised two things; one, he had no idea where in the city he was. Two, there was a heavily-chewed and long-dead body at his feet, Rifling through the corpse’s closing revealed that he was an indentured worker in the dig site.
- The crew spent several hours exploring the city, trying to locate their lost companion. After some time they were able to meet up with each other by using a combination of the Navigator With No Name’s warp-senses and Sativa’s vox-caster backpack, although the former came at the cost of the Navigator’s sanity.
- The crew are overcome by the sensation that they are being stalked through the twisting passages of the city, a feeling that is proven true when Sativa spots a figured cloaked in raven-feathers ducks out of his sight. Despite this fore-warning their pursuer proves too wily to be easily caught, neatly dodging past several ambushes.
* Displaying a sudden affinity for stealth, Sativa manages to disarm and capture their pursuer by flinging a bottle of 500-year aged amasec – previously stolen from Overseer Leerus’ personal drinks coffer – into the back of the xeno’s head. The bottle itself is unharmed by this, however the collective psychic wail of alcoholics throughout the Imperium will haunt the nightmares of astropaths throughout the Expanse for decades to come.
- Literally backed into a corner and disarmed, the Eldar Corsair Badb-Ra exchanges a promise with the Explorers; if they help her to the centre of the maze city and accomplish her objective, she will assist them with the horde of Rak’Gol preventing them from leaving the city.
- The roar of an inhuman monster can be heard echoing through the halls, and the comms channels abruptly erupt with desperate chatter from the barricades, with the Rak’Gol attempting to force their way through with redoubled fervour.
- At Knack’s order, the survivors begin a fighting retreat away from the Rak’Gol, with the intent to meet up with the Explorers at the centre of the city.
- Using their tracking expertise, the Explorers swiftly arrive at the dead centre of the city, revealing a colossal crystalline structure surrounded by hundreds of thousands of bones, and a 3-metre tall monster with an all-too-human face…
- Although an almost indomitable creature, lucky strikes from Ol’ Bessie and the more heavily-armed members of the crew are able to whittle away at the beast, though it shrugs off blows that would have slain regular humans a dozen times over and regenerates so swiftly that the wounds they do manage to inflict close over almost immediately.
- A lucky shot from Ol’ Bessie shatters a crystal embedded in the creature’s chest, putting an end to the regeneration and much of the hideous strength the mutant displays, though not before a pair of vicious swipes nearly end Perriman’s life.
- The last two remaining slugs in Ol’ Bessie put paid to the creature, the final shot tearing its face into unrecognisable shreds.
*Badb-Ra manages to complete her mission, retrieving a brass-and crystal sphere from within the larger crystal. With chagrin she passes it over to the Explorers for safe-keeping, and opens a way for them to escape to their ship while the Rak’Gol horde is lost inside the maze city. Unfortunately, the way out will last less than a minute…
Rogue Trader: Just Here for the Explosions