|Appreciating the bounty of Martian vegetation.|
Nathaniel was quick to open the gates and welcome us to Olympus once he had verified the three signatures. I suspect we were also helped in no small part by the fact that one of the signers was indeed now traveling as part of our number. Olympus proved to be a relatively bustling community, and we spent a good while exploring its nooks and crannies, and talking to its citizenry. We learned much from the many notable figures we found there. Marie Curie, for example, told us of her research into radium, how the Martians may have used it to power some of their machines, and the affinity the Martian worms seemed to have for the substance. Apparently the creatures grew quite rapidly when exposed to it, and so the physicist hypothesized we might be able to conclude the presence of radium wherever we found abnormally large worms. She invited us to take the lead box in her laboratory with us so we could collect our own samples should we find any.
|Taking in the Olympian sights|
But more than anything else, talk in Olympus seemed to revolve around the Dream Machines. Segal, the leader of the colony, insisted on us avoiding the machines, talking about the madness that had afflicted those who had used it at Elysium, and a dangerous man in Hellas with a working Machine. He had ordered the one there in Olympus destroyed and guarded, and that seemed to be that. Edison, however, still seemed to be interested in its workings - he had had a chance to study its control panel before the Machine was destroyed, and thought he'd be able to rewire another control panel for its use. Perhaps there would be opportunity to take advantage of that fact, too. Legrande Couillard, the man guarding the ruined apparatus, suggested he'd be willing to let us see it if we could find his missing brother Jean, who had been sent to the Olympus mines and had not been heard of since.
|...yeah, I'd believe this guy reads Machiavelli.|
There were a couple things I could follow up on after chatting up the residents of Olympus, and the first one I decided to pursue was getting the power going. It seemed like it would be an important part of my own explorations of the Red Planet, and besides, I'd already been to the power station, so I at least knew where I was going and at least some degree of what to expect. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought to take the damaged conveyor belt with me when I was there, so I had to go back and fetch it to bring back to Trippet so he could repair it. (Yes, there was a lot of back and forth in this session.) Along the way I had my first brush with the dreaded oxy leeches, who stole oxium from me whenever they managed to land a blow. That just reinforced my decision to get the power running again - I'd need to do so in order to track down Cooter's oxium motherlode, and with my supplies dwindling thanks to leeches, it seemed all the more urgent to find a way to replenish them!
|Let there be light!|
Next it was back to the surface through the other exit in the tunnels to check on the broadcast towers. Sure enough, they were in a state of disrepair, and making use of a spool of cable I'd found near the oxium bins, the pair of pliers in the toolkit we had brought with us, and Spector's pair of rubber gloves, Aric made short work of getting the entire planet crackling with power once more. That taken care of, I decided I'd need to make a pit stop at Calamity Jane's to restock on ammo, both Nellie and Spector were getting dangerously low. But I couldn't go back the way I'd come. Going back through the tunnels proved not to be an option, as steam vents were blocking the way. I'd have to take the overland route from where the towers were located.
Navigating from there wasn't too much trouble, although it did lead to a bit of a crisis once Spector ran out of bullets completely. It was therefore very much a relief once I made it to Arsia, and could exchange a fair portion of my newly obtained oxium for some sorely-needed supplies. Once I was reorganized and restocked, I next made my way back to Olympus. It was high time to explore the tunnels there and seek out what happened to Legrande's brother in the mines. On the way, I stopped by a small room I hadn't been able to enter previously due to the power being out. Peary had pointed it out as some sort of transport system, and turning the power back on had seemed to activate the system once more. That would certainly come in handy when I wished to explore further, but for now, my steps led me to stick close.
|You tell 'im, Nellie!|
That was for later, however. We still had Legrande's brother to find. In the mines, we found Carnegie himself, who told us once again of his need for iron, as the Olympus mines had run dry. Jean had ventured deeper in the hopes of finding more, but had never returned. Duprey had found another source where we'd rescued him at Syrtis, but there was no way to transport it to Olympus. Perhaps, the steel magnate suggested, refilling the canals might provide a solution to the problem. In the meantime, we continued our search for Jean, and found worms in the process. Large worms... but we could muse on what that meant later. Fighting our way past the beasts, we did indeed find Jean, but too late. He was clearly taking his last breaths, and his final thoughts were of his brother, insisting we take his Masonic symbol back to Legrande. The poor man died moments later.
|Yup, those are some big worms all right.|
While Legrande attended to his sorrows, we brought the control panel to Edison, who made quick work of rewiring it for use in a Dream Machine. Which left us with a few options - clearly the Machine itself was our next object of investigation, but what was the ideal means of going about it? Hearsay around Olympus suggested Marcus in Hellas knew a thing or two about the Machines, and with the transport system up and running again, we'd have quick and easy access. Then there was Elysium. Was it possible we could learn something from those affected by the machine previously? Or should we just take our chance to examine the one here at Olympus while the opportunity presented itself?
That was a decision I left for my next session, as I closed this one there.
|This was clearly necessary, but felt like it happened on my terms.|
Of course, I still need to decide which thread to pursue now. But that's a subject that can wait until I fire up the game again. 'Til then!