The Traveller Tuesdays game resumed this week, where our intrepid band of misfits found themselves subduing the mentally unstable ship's engineer.
The engineer's "disease" wore off, and he collapsed into a nearly unconscious state. The players were able to question him briefly, but he was more concerned with denying that he had been eating the dead bodies they found him with than he was in answering any relevant questions about what was going on.
While they were tranquilizing him and tying him up, another swarm of ratoids attacked. The ex-soldier was bitten, but the damage was negligible. (I'm using the rule that unless you zero a stat, first aid restores you completely.)
The players approached the bulkhead's iris valve and opened it. It immediately snapped shut, and a voice over the intercom said, "Ah, I see my little lab rats have learned a new trick...." Though discomfited, the characters bypassed the door control and moved onward towards the bridge. They investigated a few staterooms along the way, but found little of interest until they were within visual range of the bridge. (One stateroom had signs of a struggle and evidence that someone had been murdered, in contrast to the other bodies which appear to have died before being chewed on.)
The lead character saw something scuttle away around the "horizon" of the deck. Flicking on his IR goggles, he detected a single pair of human-sized footprints moving away from the bridge's doorway. Very soon afterwards, the sound of another iris valve door closing was heard down the hall. The players decided to investigate the bridge.
The bridge was largely operational, though a few of the lights were smashed out. One of the powerplant modules reported itself as being off line, most of the ship's fuel tanks are empty, and of course the long range communications gear was not responding. The ex-merchant came up with the bright idea of using the ship's security cameras and systems to the character's advantage. While many of the cameras had been smashed along with the lights, and a few more cameras were looking into dark areas, the players got a few glimpses of the laboratory areas and their disorderly states.
Meanwhile, the ex-navy character was examining the ship's computer's logs, turning up evidence that not only was someone sending reports to an unknown factor back on Earth, but that Solomani mercenary officers had visited the station - a bit suspicious, since Lysani corp has an Imperial charter. She was unable to determine the subject of the research from the coded messages however.
She did, however, discover the ship's anti-piracy software package (standard issue on a covert research laboratory), and the party immediately began to plan how to use this new capability to their advantage. Anti-piracy measures include locking out ship sections, modifying gravity and atmosphere withing bulkhead zones, and releasing sleeping gas as required.
They know that at least one human is out running around, and that he knows "his" ship has been invaded. It's also likely that he knows the capabilities of the ship, and won't hesitate to use those capabilities to his own advantage.
This is where we broke for the week.