This is a story from GaryCon VI held in Lake Geneva 2014. Our team of seven players sat down with Jim Ward in an attempt to survive the hazards of his latest Metamorphosis Alpha module "Dark Colony" due to be released this summer, around the table we have Marv, Morgan, Hans (myself), Jobe, Jeff, Doug and Andrew. In advance we were told that we were all crack marines armored with the best full body armor and military rifles. We would be fighting fungus creatures, fungus creatures that had invaded an expensive terra forming facility on a mining colony and all communication from the place has been lost. Our marines in preparation for this mission were allowed to bring along any 10 items we wanted.

Pilot Morgan landed the space ship 1 mile from the domed city; it was a rainy night, acid rain. Commander Jeff decided we should land closer, no one thought it would be a good idea to walk one mile in acid rain. We didn’t even like the idea of our ship staying in this rain. Pilot Morgan moved the ship closer, 100 yards away from the domed city, still too far. On his third landing we were right next to the city and the domed city’s automated welcome wagon kicked into gear. A large tube extended out and connected the ship to the entrance of the city. We disembarked and ran through the tube hearing the load pounding of acid rain above us. We were under a canopy looking through glass doors into what I would have called a mud room back home. Who knows what they call it on a far away planet, a planet were acid rains from the sky.

This room we looked into was full of large, 9 foot, black leaves. The entire floor was covered and part of the lower walls too. Andrew sent in his R2D2 unit into the room to analyze the leaves. As marines we did not need to wait for any scientific analysis as we saw the leaves engulf Andrew’s R2 unit and bury him in black leaves. I think Andrew shed a tear, hard to say when we all are wearing full body armor, as the heap of leaves slowly melted down R2, R2D2 had been dissolved.

No one was eager to enter this room so Marv tossed a de-foliage grenade into the center of the room. It made a nice sized clean circle. Morgan sprayed a trail of fungicide from the doorway to the center of the room. Jobe entered the room using the clean path made by Morgan. Jobe sprayed his fungicide fogger into the air, he filled the room with fog, that’s what triggered the sirens. He ran out of the room straight through the tunnel and right back into the ship. As we watched him run we noticed that the elastic tunnel connecting the canopy with the ship was leaking. Acid rain had eaten its way through. Commander Jeff dropped his receiver disc, he has a pair of teleporter discs one a receiver disc and the other a sender disc, on the ground and ran into the ship after Jobe. Using the sender disc Jeff and Jobe teleported out of the ship and back under the canopy to be with the rest of us. I understand that Jeff needs to have physical contact with others to bring them along when teleporting but holding hands doesn’t sit well with all space marines.

From inside the room we heard a mechanical noise then the sound of crunching leaves. Damn fungicide fog we couldn’t see a thing. Out of the fog and right into our faces stepped a 10’ tall humanoid mushroom with a spear covered with green goo. The marines hacked it with a machete, shot it with guns, no effect. It took a spray of fungicide to melt this creature away.

Next we heard a bouncing noise coming from the fog. Jobe decides not to wait and opens up with full fire using his rifle. These rifles are amazing pieces of equipment, one shot, triple shot or full burst. Later we will see the damage to the walls, doors and electronics in this room but not to the large purple ball that bounces out of the fog and adheres itself to Jobe. The purple ball swells to the size of a beach ball on Jobe's chest and weights 110 lbs, heavy but not heavy enough to take down a marine, a SPACE MARINE! I pulled out my fungicide spray canister and melted the ball off of Jobe. I think Jobe is one marine that is gonna be a big problem keeping alive.

Morgan starts up his she-comp, it’s a tablet with a female operating system, Tabatha. He request Tabatha to do a fungi analysis. Sure fungi is everywhere and worse we are covered with it, can’t see it but it is there. Morgan requests Tabatha to connect to the dome city computers but Tabatha’s access is blocked by the security program. Personally I think the security app insulted her because she was not being cooperative for Morgan after that encounter, Morgan ran his Beauty Treatment app and even the famous Diamond Jewelry app but he could not coerce her into submission. I think next time he should leave Tabatha at home and bring a set of Google glasses instead.

Well enough is enough, we are marines, SPACE MARINES, and our mission is to get inside and discover what has happened. We formed a single column with Doug spraying de-foliage and Jeff using my pitch fork testing the ground to make sure it was clear. Did I say pitch fork, yes I did, I loaned Jeff my pitch fork, I brought along a pitch fork as one of my ten items. You can never fully take the farmer out of a man, even a marine, a SPACE MARINE! We made it all the way through the room to the badly shot up and now useless door. Marv and Andrew used cutting torches to make a hole in the door large enough for us to go through.

Finally we are inside the domed city proper. It is a large dome with many domed shaped building inside. The ground is covered with grass and black paved roads. The roads connect the domed buildings. We can see a giant crack in the earth, umm dirt, ground whatever? Anyway this large crack is several meters wide and cuts a line that separates almost a third of the city and cuts straight through many buildings. As we stand on the road two bouncing purple balls head our way. We shoot to no avail, so after they connect and adhere we dissolve them with fungicide.

Andrew suits up with his jetpack to view the city from above, another purple ball starts to bounce down the road and heads right for him. Andrew lands on the grass and we all move off the road. The purple ball bounces right past us. Either the purple balls are programmed to stay on the road or perhaps they do not like the grass.

The first domed building we go to, now staying on the grass, is marked as Barracks. Inside are rows of empty bunk beds and the large crack that runs through the city. We move closer to the crack and see large splatters of blood everywhere. Dropping a glow stick down the crack reveals nothing other than earth, no I mean dirt, ground, whatever.

Next stop an Air Supply Generator dome. Marv decides if we can pump enough fungicide through the air supply system maybe we can clean the place out, unfortunately tampering with the vital life support equipment alerts two security bots. These in-air floating bots approach Marv and command him to cease and desist, then zap him unconscious for good measure. The security bots start to drag Marv away, finally we have solid targets to shoot at and we open fire. Nice shooting guys we nailed the two bots and missed Marv. That’s why they call us marines, SPACE MARINES! More security alarms start to ring out so we decide it's time to move on to another building.

We approached an Administration building and out of the earth, umm ground, pops up a fungus tree that drops 9 purple bouncing balls. De-foliage grenades and fungicide sprays destroy the balls. We moved on to another building, a power generator dome. Inside we see a large black cube with the cracked ground under it. We have all seen this type of generator before but to actually turn one on, yikes! We have not lived this long by being dumb. We decide not to play with all those high powered dials, switches and levers. Next to the Robot supply dome.

We open the door to the Robot supply dome, Jobe steps in first and vanishes. He doesn’t melt away, fade away or go pop and boom, he just disappears with a swoosh. Next over our shared comlink we can hear Jobe screaming in pain. Jeff uses his holographic image projector to appear to walk into the room and a large tentacle swipes around through his image. Jobe’s blood begins to rain down from the ceiling. I stepped up to the door to shoot up and swoosh I am gone. Commander Jeff decides it is best to remotely turn off our comlinks so the group doesn’t have to hear our death screams, listening to our death screams was deemed “Not good for moral”. Besides there are other buildings to be explored, a Communications dome would be the real target.

Next stop the Vehicle Supply dome. The group finds a large garage door to enter through but without power it will not open. Again cutting torches are used, but as soon as a cut is made strange purple gas seeps out from the dome, everyone steps away from the gas. The group, without me and Jobe, can you believe they continued to play this game without me and Jobe? I am still in disbelief. Well the rest of the group moved to the front door of the Vehicle Supply dome and entered through the front door. Commander Jeff entered first and from the ceiling three giant yellow sponges drop on him and pin him to the ground. These sponges are throbbing and maybe eating him so Morgan steps into the room to toss a de-foliage grenade on Jeff which kills one sponge, but causes more sponges to drop on himself and the explosion hurt Commander Jeff quite badly. Commander Jeff activates his teleporter disc and teleports back to the ship, unfortunately taking the two remaining giant sponges with him. Morgan is crushed and consumed by the sponges in front of the remaining three marines Marv, Doug and Andrew.

The three remaining survivors decide it is time to retreat. They make a run to the ship, through the mud room still full of fog and through the acid rain because the connecting tube in now thoroughly dissolved. After Commander Jeff's losing struggle with the two sponges in the ship, the ship’s take-off controls are damaged, thanks to Commander Jeff. An onboard repair bot says it can fix the controls but it will need a replacement module. The replacement module can be located back in the city inside the Vehicle Supply dome, it weighs 1.5 tons and can be transported by other equipment in the Vehicle Supply dome.

Andrew takes Jeff’s teleporting discs, he wanted to have a quick way to teleport back if things go bad, Commander Jeff made it look so easy the way he used these disks, it is a shame he did not keep the instruction manual. Andrew accidently teleports himself away with both discs, fortunately he is inside the dome and not on a nearby moon. Andrew heads to the Vehicle Supply dome, steps in and that invisibly fast giant tentacle attached to the ceiling grabs him and swoosh he is gone.

Doug was not going to rely on any technology smarter than himself and decides to run right through the acid rain again and into the dome. Unfortunately for Doug a fungi tree popped out of the ground and dropped 7 more of the bouncing purple balls. They all adhered themselves to him and Doug was purple balled to death, leaving us with just Marv back at the ship.

Marv decided to wait it out, perhaps backups or reinforcements would arrive. Alas the empire does not send out rescue teams for marines, SPACE MARINES! Marv waited two weeks before he realized that. He then decided that he would try and fly the damaged ship himself. He got the engines started, that's usually a good sign, he even gained some altitude before wobbling and nose diving down to the surface of the planet. Then he did something incredible, just before he crashed, he jumped in the emergency escape pod and the pod did exactly what it was programmed to do and flew him safely to the orbiting base ship. Marv better speak well of his fallen comrades because it would be terrible to be haunted by the spirits of dead marines, especially SPACE MARINES!


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