I ran a survival horror scenario based on Event Horizon a while back, and my players loved it! Fatepoints lost, potentially revolutionizing tech advances lost, insanity points gained.....
A resume in case anyone wishes to steal parts of it
The Acolytes are following clues in their investigations that lead them to a research station in orbit around Heed, a dead world in the middle of nowhere. They pull some strings and are able to arrange transport to a location only 3 weeks sublight travel from Heed on a patrol ship, that will pick them up on the way back, same place, 10 weeks later.
This was of course to make sure they were stuck on this station with no means of escape (their system ship does not have supplies for an extended trip, so they need the resources of the space station)
They arrive, but find the station dead and unpowered. Investigation is slow and tedious, as they have to wear void-suits and mag-boots to move around. No power to the doors means lugging around portable power packs just to move between rooms. Most systems are unavailable, but some clues were found on dataslates left in deserted rooms, suggesting research into cross-system teleportation. They found a lab with the portal, which is deactivated and unmoving, and basically a direct copy of the drive core from the movie Event Horizon.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 580.816.M41
The results of the cellular regenerator are encouraging. The theory of neural path dynamics has proven itself well suited to practical application in neurolinked nuclei transmogrification, and we now have stable, repeated success in organ regrowth without need of VAT chambers, surgery or other invasive procedures. Of course, all Gaelos seems to care about is his member. Fine, I accept that we all have different motivations, and we all work towards the same goal, but how that man ever came to be recruited is beyond me.
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 1.726.816.M41
Dreamt of Minorva again last night. It's been 7 years, now, and I really thought I was over that... But I seem to dream of little else these days, and these thoughts distract me in my work also. On that note, there seems to be no progress with the probes. It can't be much longer before we proceed with live subjects.
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 5.757.816.M41
The dreams are getting more and more intense. I see her death again and again. I know that it wasn't my fault, but I still can't help feeling responsible. She calls to me in my sleep, even as her eyes bleed and flesh shrivels, she calls to me.
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 4.775.816.M41
I cannot stay away any longer, I must go to her. Perhaps it is not too late to save her, and if not... well, I must be with her again.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 7.649.816.M41
Savant Antoninius Briehl]
Miles and Trevor opened the gateway again today. Passing a pict-probe through the black surface resulted in lost pict-transmission, but after a delay of about 5 minutes the pict-probe appeared through the terminus on the surface below. Inspection of the probes integral pictstore reveals a blank over the whole interval where the probe was in transit. 536 metres of nano-wire was 'inside' as the probe emerged.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 2.731.816.M41
Savant Antoninius Briehl]
36 attempts have been made to glean insight into the state or nature of the 'between' termini. Nothing has been learned. No records are transmitted from within, and nothing is stored. 3 days ago we sent a servitor through, and have been inspecting its biological neuro-transmitters and psynaptic cortex through biosynthetic scanning and with the help of our resident wyrd, Dr. Steimer. Apart from signs of above-average strain, nothing was learned. We will be sending in our first human test-subjects tomorrow.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 5.735.816.M41
Savant Antoninius Briehl]
Test subjects entered the terminus on our side, but after just a few moments ceased all movement and had to be retrieved by umbilical. No sign of physical damage, but both subjects are in a catatonic state and are not responding to stimuli.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 2.751.816.M41
Savant Antoninius Briehl]
The test subjects woke up today, and presently lapsed into severe attacks of hysteria. In the end we had to sedate them with extreme amounts of D-34, and I wonder if we will ever get a sane word out of either of them. Second batch of test subjects being sent in as I write these words.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 8.759.816.M41
Savant Antoninius Briehl]
Second round of test subjects was a failure. Exact same results as first attempt. An unexpected development, however, as Dr. Schneider insisted upon joining the experiment. "Can't leave important matters of scientific examination to those without the proper faculties to understand them" or something. While I admire his dedication to the cause, I can't help but wonder if his actions are a little misguided. We shall see if it was worth the risk when he wakes up.
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 1.778.816.M41
It would seem Steimer has gone of on some research on his own. He was nowhere to be found this morning, but his still glowing lho-sticks were left in their tray at the lab. Why he would voluntarily go in there after the limited success we've had with the other subjects so far is beyond me.
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 3.785.816.M41
Steimer is back, but from where is anybody’s guess. He seems lucid enough, but distant somehow. Driven. He keeps muttering something about miscalculated coordinates, insufficient correction for planetary gravitation. Not my field, but the experts are all shaking their heads, claiming to have triple and quadruple checked all their calculations. Who knows, but this is the closest thing we've had to a breakthrough since we got the gateway open in the first place. We’ll se tomorrow if he is right.
[Voxslate :: signo temporis 729.815.M41
Capsa scientia of Savant Ignacia Bonsell]
I am pleased that you feel you are making progress with the Sing-gates, but forgive me if I do not share in your elation just yet. I am a practical man, and I believe in practical results. I know your goals are more academically inclined than mine, and while I certainly see the value of keeping food and resources flowing smoothly across subsectors, or even sectors, I do not think you fully realize the military capabilities of this technology!
Imagine legions of the Guard unleashed upon our enemies, countless regiments arriving on location without the limitations of the Navy’s capacity for transportations. Distance and state of the Warp no matter of importance… Think of it man! The Imperium would be unstoppable! We would finally be able to smash all His enemies with the Hammer of the Emperor, and we might even find we have the right caliber ammunition available for our guns, and not have to endure while they are shipped to the wrong sector.
By all means, push whatever buttons gets you juiced up, but know that the fate of the galaxy depends on your success. No pressure.
- General M.
As they make their way to the core control room, they find the first remains of the stations crew: a single, dead man, floating in zero g, frozen stiff, with a knife stuck in his chest. They reason that he must have shut down the power, executed the manual override of the automatic engaging of backup auxilliary power, then killed himself. Everyone else have left in salvation pods, but this man stayed behind and made the supreme sacrifice?
Why? They can't find out without activating the station. Probably a bad idea, but they have little choice.
So they do
Now investigating the station becomes much simpler, and they find more logs. Which again tells them they are in real trouble, but now they can't turn the power back off.
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 2.770.816.M41
Terra, what is happening, here? Schneider was rescued (sort of) today as he attempted to flush himself out a void-lock. He is severely damaged, and restrained in medicae lab 16 awaiting the arrival of Churgeon Ajoku from planetside. At the same time test-subject 13 has woken from his coma-trance, and promptly tore his eyes out in a hysteric fit of laughter and mumbling nonsense in some unknown tongue
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 4.779.816.M41
Steimer went through the portal, alone. The others just shrug, and seem mostly annoyed that he didn’t follow proper procedure for logging and documenting his experiment. Am I the only one in here who seem to think this perseverance as insanity?
[Memoria mechanicus :: signo temporis 9.786.816.M41
I found a reference to the strange words spoken by test-subject 13 in one of the books Laurentz has compiled on the research of the Sing. It's High Gothic translation is something like liberate tutemet ex inferis. Save yourselves from hell.... And yet Steimer wants to go back.
[Adnotamentum vocis :: signo temporis 780.816.M41
Savant Probus Mojaris]
Sure, it is never pleasant to experience setbacks, but remember that through strife do we ever grow and learn. We all knew there would be difficulties to be overcome, and that sacrifices would have to be made.
Recent events are no exception, and not really of significant consequence either. How do you think the first experimental test-flights with Warp drives went? What with no Gellar fields to protect the crew? Imagine if their setbacks led them to abandon work on the project! Where would Man be today if we never learned to journey through the Warp? Decades to reach our neighbors inside sub-sectors? Transport of food would be impossible, military support unfeasible. The Imperium could not survive, perpetually over extended. No power structure could! We would be a scattered collection of petty tribes, feuding over resources and territory. Easy pickings for Orks, Eldar reavers or worse!
No my friend, conquering the Warp enabled us to spread amongst the stars, and was the greatest achievement of Man ever made! The heroic perseverance of the adepts working staunchly in the face of failure and the malefic effects of the Warp upon them and their test-subjects.
And now we are poised for the greatest discovery since that time! Our dedication and commitment must be similarly great.
This is when things start to go wrong.
Suddenly walls that were just plain grey a few seconds ago are now covered with bloody graffiti, occult symbols and other disturbing images. Then the light cut out and they're left in darkness. Shining a torch on the wall reveals a sentence in High Gothic: "Mighty Emperor, spread your Divine Light to protect me from the Darkness". The Litany of Protection. Reading this aloud makes the light come back on, and the walls turn back to normal.
Spooked, they hurry back towards the control room, but on the way the station is rocked by some enormous explosion or power surge. The shaking throws the Acolytes off their feet, and the find themselves suddenly in the middle of a crowded and busy laboratoria, being addressed by a well dressed gentleman.
“Ah, Captain Fordwell. So good to see you, we have been anxiously anticipating your arrival. Welcome to Enlightenment”. The man speaking is obviously in charge here, as his dress is more formal and extravagant then the scientists and assistants that are busily at work at various stations around the room. “We have prepared a modest welcoming buffet in your honour, if you will step this way, then we can talk more comfortably. But excuse me for a moment…” He turns his attention to a man amongst you, obviously a schollar, and speaks “Magister, you are most urgently expected in the Ambassador’s Ward, he has been waiting for some days now already. Danas here will escort you”. A young man bows respectfully and leads him off down the main corridor to the right. The man turns to Warn: “The Tekniarch gave unmistakable commands that you were immediately brought to his presence, Magos. He is in the vaults, making the final repairs to the constructor-artifact from site 13. He seems most determined and enthusiastic. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was experiencing … emotions” A thin smile as he waves another attendant, a robed man with obvious bionic enhancements, to your side. Warn is led down another corridor to the left.
You are brouht to a conference room, where you are served refreshments. Delicacies, wine, amasec. On the way in, Uthak catches eyes of someone he recognizes.. but who? The man turns to you, as attendants hand you glasses of sparkling wine. “As you have no doubt realized, I am Allectus Deguise, and again I welcome you to Enlightenment. It’s not much of a place, but the work we do here, ahh.” He turns to Castus. “And you, dear Dr. Laurentz, your arrival has been most welcome! I had the honour to attend your lecture on the sub-Adrantian dialectic patterns at the Magnopticon in 813. Most illuminating! And you will find some old colleagues down in the labs, too. They have some relics there for your study that will make the samples we sent to Scintilla seem, well… you will see for yourself shortly”. He raises his glass, and turns to Brutus. “You will be pleased to know we have finished refurbishing and repairing your ship, Captain. The prototype Void shields are working beyond our expectations, and the new hyperplasma drive as increased speed and maneuverability by 48,7%. Whenever you are ready, I will take you and your first officer to inspect it”
(Warn, Castus, Uthak and Brutus are the Acolytes real names, and Dr. Laurentz was the missing scholar they are searching for, the clue that led them here in the first place.)
The illusion disappears as suddenly as it had arrived. The chrono-piece tells them that 15 hours have passed, and they are being frantically voxed by their pilot. Turns out their ship (which has been docked to the station by an umbilical) was badly damaged by the blast, and has been venting atmosphere for 15 hours now.
They now have to fix their ship, taking turns working outside the hull with their void suits, while the rest stay on the station. Where things start to go bump in the night. At the same time the vision has triggered some irresistible curiosity amongst the Acolytes (as it was designed to do). The tech priest believes no risk is too great when there might be an STC on board. Brutus has ambitions of getting his own ship, and Captain Fordwell has already crossed the Acolytes path before. And Uthak... poor, simple, feral Uthak has been hopelessly in love with Octavia Niles ever since she seduced him onboard the Cygnan Martyr in The House of Dust and Ash. He saved her, protected her from the other Acolytes even though she had tried to kill them all (him included, but he refused to believe it)
So while the others are fixing the ship or passing the time in other ways...
“Uthak, darling! I’ve missed you terribly!” You start up from your regimented exercise regime, hanging upside down holding onto a 50Kg hyper-density base support used for generating appropriate resistance for stomach crunches. You’d recognize that face anywhere! She’s been in your dreams regularly since you parted ways at the docking of the Cygnan Martyr. Octavia! “Darling, there are rumours that you and your friends sold me out to those horrid traders people. Tell me it’s not so?” You open your mouth to speak, but she just smiles and gestures for you to follow as she disappears around the corner.
What follows is a strange chase scene as Uthak is chasing the vision of his lost love, spectacularly failing a series of WP and Perception tests. He is led through air ducts and vents, and then runs straight into a shaft leading some 20 metres straight down onto a swiftly rotating fan, then onto a lab-bench filled with spiky metal bitz used for wierd sciency-stuff. All bones broken, internal bleeding and 1 FP gone.
He looks up, and find himself lying in the lab with the gateway, which is now active and open. Octavia is standing next to him, arms stretched towards him and eye-sockets empty and bleeding. "I have such wondrous things to show you"...
The tech-priest is almost tricked into opening "the vaults", which are really void-locks leading outside, but extreme paranoia saves his life.... barely.
In the end they manage to fix their vessel, leave the station, spectacularly fail to resolve the situation planetside, burn all their leads, hide out in their cargo hold for 7 weeks as they drink urine-re-cyc and wait for pickup. They then re-route the naval patrol to go blow up the station, further eliminating all possibilities of following their investigation any further.
Ah, but who knows what happened in the time after they left, eh?