There’s a sudden jolt to the ship as Hodey’s tinkering about the engines seems to activate them with a burst of purple flames coming out the back end.
I grab my head as I’m overcome with a sudden sharp pain… and a vision that lasts only but a moment. Flashes of faces familiar to me from my past, yet… unfamiliar at the same time. What could it mean?
I shake my head to clear it, as we’ve no time for analysis right now. “I’m going to head to the bridge to see if we have any way of defending ourselves!”
Okay… weapons…weapons…this ship has to have weapons somewhere! I scan the console full of blinking lights and buttons in a panic as the three hammerships loom nearer.
“Crap… that’s the flag of the Crimson Pirates!” exclaims Constance before running down to try and help Hodey and Solon with the engine.
Many of the words I’m finding on the console are just too archaic for me to grasp… even if they do seem to be from a form of Common. There’s part of one, however, that I recognize: auto-pilot.
“Well, since it doesn’t have a Helm, maybe this will work!” I take a deep breath and push the blinking green button, fully prepared for the ship to suddenly start moving. What happens, however, is something I’ve never seen before. That seems to be happening a lot lately, actually.
With a whir of noise a section of the console opens up to reveal a small dais that emits a strange green light to form the illusion of a humanoid head that looks at me patiently.
“Um… hello? Could you please move the ship for us and take us to Bral?” I ask cautiously. When dealing with unknown entities, manners never hurt… unless you’re in Acheron.
“Negative: unable to comply due to current location.”
“Well Hells… how about just getting us out of here, then? We seem to be under attack!”
The ship’s systems begin to activate as lights flicker on and engines begin to hum into a building crescendo of power. A purple light akin to the fizzle from that gun we found shoots out of the front of the ship and turns one of the hammerships into rubble before taking off in a burst of speed.
“By the Gods… what just happened!” exclaims Constance as she makes her way back to the bridge.
“I think we just took off,” I reply in barely concealed excitement. The sheer power of this ship…
My dreams of grandeur are soon interrupted by the sound of straining and snapping ropes. “What’s that… oh no… The Greyhawk!” Constance runs to the window to see the boarding ropes we had left attached to the Greyhawk split one by one. “Stop the ship!”
“Please stop the ship!” I beg the floating head, and breath a sigh of relief as it slows down and elevates itself to avoid the Greyhawk as it drifts to a stop in front of us with two ropes left still attached to it.
“Where are we?” Constance asks as she looks out the window. “I don’t recognize these stars at all…”
“Can you tell us where you’re from or what happened to your crew?” I ask the floating head.
“Please enter Command ID. Command ID:Mordenchainan required for requested information.” Hmmn.
“All records of Command ID were destroyed in battle.” I reply and cross my fingers.
“Scanning… scan completed. Genetic markers in 3 of 6 accepted.”
“Do tell… which three?” I ask in curiousity.
“The human female, the half-elf male, and the Giff male have the necessary genetic markers for identification.”
“And just who are they related to? The previous owners?”
“Command ID:Mordenchainan required.”
“How do we enter the Command ID?”
“Retinal scan and thumbprint required.” replies the machine running the ship as a panel lights up on the console.
After a talk with the floating head and a discussion with the crew, we decide to keep moving forward until it’s able to identify any landmarks in the deep flow that can get us back to the main flow rivers. Waylond re-secures the Greyhawk with new tow ropes, Constance discovers the manual controls, and Hodey follows behind everyone with his new labeling device in order to help everyone with all of the controls.
“Why are we bringing that thing again?” asks Khal as we move along at a slow steady pace.
“Well we can’t exactly leave it for anybody to find… they could use the Greyhawk to track us!” I reply. “Besides… think of the money we could get for it, even if we do remove it’s special abilities first!”
“Good point…” he mutters.
“Wait a minute…” I mutter as I turn to watch Hodey at work on the console. “Temporal and Dimensional Access Controls? This thing travels through time too?” I reflexively reach up and wipe at my chin because I’m sure I must be drooling.
“Considering the other systems I discovered geared towards fighting off Illithid, I would assume that this ship also travels as they do,” offers Khal. “There’s a Dimensional Anchor to even keep them from shifting dimensions.”
“They can travel through time and dimensions?”
“Not exactly… they travel by manipulating probability. The dimensions they travel in are not like here with the planes… more like almost here, just slightly different; alternate realities.”
“That explains what I saw, then…” I mutter as a shiver runs down my spine. That also explains that book…
Hodey skitters past us with his label gun and shakes me from my fears as Constance starts arguing about where we need to stop to refresh our air supply. Greatspace seems to be the winner, since our lives are pretty expendable back on Refuge.
I sigh as I smooth out my skirt and take a seat in front of the glowing green head of the auto-pilot. “Computer… could you please take us to Greatspace?”
“Negative: Ship is programmed to return to Prime upon entering of designated Wildspace.”
“Well that’s just bloody great! Hey Constance… if we leave the flow this thing is going to take over and go home!”
“Frak! Well what are we supposed to do now?”
“Hmmn… teleportation abilities would come in might handy right now,” I mutter. “Computer… do you…”
Hells. Teleportation…teleportation… “Wait a minute… what about that magical set we found with the dagger, ring and tapestry?” I exclaim with a snap of my fingers. “Hey Hodey!”
The next hour is spent with Hodey and myself going over our magical options while Waylond and the others see about prepping the Greyhawk as our landing craft just in case the items aren’t powerful enough.
I watch eagerly as Hodey runs his hands over the symbols on the tapestry and they change to reflect the front loungs of the ship, a desert terrain with a wooden village and funny cacti… and a room in a dungeon somewhere. Interesting… but I don’t know if it’s going to help us get to the planet.
I can’t help but think Wayland was more than happy to take the Greyhawk instead of using teleportation anyway.
In the meantime, I think the Computer and I are going to have some more talks…