ENTRY 131: The Locker
In life, they estimate, the beast would have been just a hair over a hundred meters tall, and weighed up to 60,000 metric tons. The first gatecrashers emerged in a hall, a portion of its central spine running along the roof, twenty meter-long vertebrae whose spiny protrusions merged seamlessly with the arching rib-analogues on the outside of the chamber. It wasn’t dark exactly, but most of the light in the ultraviolet spectrum and the air was hot and humid—hovering around 188 degrees Celsius, with an atmosphere laced with hydrofluoric acid that swirled around as a supercritical fluid, condensing on the smooth, cold ribs that faced vacuum. The floor was littered with the corroded remains of dozens of other beings—shells, bones, scraps of clothing and equipment, anything organic, plastic, or glass was highly degraded, and most of the rest had pooled and solidified on the floor under a rime of salt. Short on time, the gatecrashers did a quick survey, took some samples, and retreated back through the gate just before their morphs disintegrated.
There wasn’t much to tell: it was a space-going vessel at least eighty meters long, no crew visible, though almost certainly built by aliens. And they had built it out of the carcass of the most massive megafauna anyone had ever yet recorded. The survivors of the first mission called it the Locker, joking that it was where gatecrashers went to die, and the name stuck.
While first accessed through the Vulcanoid Gate, the Locker is also accessible from the Pandora Gate. The atmosphere in the locker is both toxic and corrosive (Eclipse Phase, p.201), though not quite as corrosive as Venus (damage is only 5 points of damage per minute). Temperature is the other major issue; even a biomorph with temperature tolerance (p.305) or vacuum sealing (p.306) will succumb within a few minutes—less if they stumble into a pool of hydrofluoric acid. The preferred expedition gear for exploring the Locker is a modified hard suit (p.334) with anti-corrosion coating and improved cooling, and even those operate at the upper limits of material tolerances, which mean the suits are no longer self-sealing.
- The last survey of the Locker has revealed what researchers believe is a vacuum-lock leading to the outside hull. While conditions inside the alien craft are hellish, pure vacuum would actually be easier to handle, and if conditions are suitable a small research station or supply point could even be erected on the outside of the craft. TerraGenesis is looking for a few good gatecrashers to go through the Vulcanoid Gate, navigate forty meters of passages partially carved from the bones of some indescribably massive beast, and then venture through an air lock into what everyone hopes is hard vacuum. It’s a big rep boost and a pile of creds for anyone that survives!
- The last group of gatecrashers into the Locker has gone dark and have not returned. Their last transmissions spoke of a possible exsurgent synthmorph and something attacking them. TerraGenesis is looking to launch a rescue mission through the Vulcanoid Gate, but Firewall has caught wind of it and assembles a seek-and-destroy team to go through the Pandora Gate. The PCs can join either group—only to find themselves facing off against not only their opposite numbers, but a group of shifters (p.370) eerily adapted to the environment, able to operate without the corrosive effects.