Monica Gabrielli is the security chief that we will be working with on the Mariner of the Stars. She escorts us down to the engine room, and there are two security guards posted here. We go further down to the energy flow regulation system which is between two of the main transit drives.
After checking the scene, we are positive that he was struck from behind with a very heavy object, splattering his brains all over the place. The control unit was also struck, as there are cracking and dents on the machine.
Jeff sees from the computer that the the flow control went off at 1:32am Standard Earth Time. On the surveillance feed he sees a figure running wearing a dark cloak which obscures their characteristics.
Dr. Reilly checks the body and doesn’t find anything strange. Gabrielli tells us that Maria Mayamoto found the body, but was too emotionally unstable to give any information.
There is a UWC political delegation led by Rep. Helen Falk also on the ship, and they have taken an interest in the murder and keep badgering the captain and security personnel about it.
We speak to the cruise director, Petra Mendoza. Hardy, the man who was murdered, was pretty old school and called the Mariner “his ship.” He was regarded highly as one of the best engineers, but was short tempered and didn’t have much time for others. Hardy’s behavior has been strange of late — he was arguing with several people before launch. He was seen arguing with Dr. Sebastian Wells and also Helen Falk before launch. Petra Mendoza, the cruise director, may know more about Dr. Wells.
The ship was headed toward Saturn when it was sabotaged. Jeff checks out the damage to the engine and he sees that it would not be fixed easily — it will take time, but he can do it.
We head to the infirmary and Thomas asks Maria about what happened. She found out about the problem and woke up the head engineer from hypersleep. He was very grumpy and went to go fix the problem when he was murdered. A very large wrench which was used for opening a housing on the engine is missing — this was likely the murder weapon.
Then we head to Petra Mendoza’s office and ask her about Dr. Wells and Rep. Helen Falk. Hardy was getting along with Gunther Eichman — a politician from Saturn — Falk approached them and started an argument with them. She says that Hardy was having a conversation with a colleague of Dr. Wells — a research assistant named Nate Carkinson. Dr. Wells is part of a research team heading to Titan, and they were part of an archaeological study on Mars. We notice that when she mentions Miyamoto, her voice softens a bit. The last person she saw Hardy with was an actress named Zarina Bahar.
Mendoza says that Maria and Hardy were having an affair, and that she was far too good for him.
Thomas does background checks on all of the people on the ship. We decide to interview Gunther Eichman first. He says that Hardy’s brother Samuel is part of the Saturn delegation; there is a play to reduce tarriff’s so they can build an industrial facility on Rhea. Eichman says that he is opposed to an industrial yard being built since it is UWC encroaching on them. Hardy told Falk to piss off. We toss his apartment while he is being interviewed but we don’t find anything — he was signed in to his gravity couch during the time of the murder.
We interview Nate Carstinsen. He says that he went to live on Mars a few years ago with his wife, Mattie, and worked for Dr. Wells. He says that Wells had found information on an ancient manuscript that he thought would lead to the discovery of another race living on Mars before man. He says that he regrets taking the job, because he has since lost his wife. Wells found an alien burial chamber and inside, a large object with concentric circles inscribed on it. He thought it was like a sarcophagus, and his plan was to have it removed and studied at the University. They put it in their warehouse, and soon afterward strange occurrences began. Equipment was malfunctioning, and shortly Mattie passed away for unknown reasons. He says that the sarcophagus is on board, in the cargo hold. This is what Wells got into the argument with the Chief about, since Wells was asking for additional security around the sarcophagus. Hardy told him no, and Wells was furious. He is obsessed with it, and doesn’t eat or sleep, he just watches over it. Carstinen says that he was at the casino during the murder, but the cameras don’t see him. We also check his bank account and he did not go to the casino that day. Katya cold cocks him and then steps on his neck until he admits that he was down in the cargo hold…he has been trying to get the doctor away from the sarcophagus. However we check the feed on the cameras, and he wasn’t there either.
We head down to the cargo area and speak with Dr. Wells. He seems disoriented, but when we introduce ourselves as Wardens he responds with excitement, telling us all about his discovery in a manic fashion.
Dr. Wells, we’ve determined, is crazy. In interviewing him, Thomas recognizes the symptoms of a Nyphelous, otherwise known as a “night terror”. These things float through space until they detect a mind up to 10,000 miles away. Once they detect something, they fly towards it and control minds. They are telepathic and can search through memories for phobias and fears, driving them crazy and living off of the fear that they generate. Eventually once they are completely crazy, they feed off of the body. They can appear as other people, alter perceptions, coercion, etc. They however can only affect one mind at a time.
Now that we know what is going on, we decide to lock the doctor in the conference room. As we are doing this, we see on the security cameras that there is a riot going on on the promenade. Security Chief Gabrielli and Zarina Bahar are about to get swallowed by an angry mob.
We rush down to the promenade and save the two women and the security guards who weren’t already killed. We look out and we see Nate heading toward the Captain’s quarters, and assume that he was responsible for the murder. We catch up to him and Katya and Jeff shoot him and he drops the weapon that he was about to brain the Captain with. Just before Katya puts him down for good, he starts speaking in a cult dialect saying “The bringer of terror has awoken!”
We decide that we need to find this thing and kill it, so we head back down to the engineering department.