The Ghost in the Machine
|Note that if Tarkus is destroyed, Steele cannot follow Anno to the Ghost Deck.|
|The Ghost Deck|
Map of Deck 13
Having been assigned to Tarkus seemingly out of the blue, Anno is looking for some reason for her banishment to the backwater planet. She finds it in strange power readings from between listed decks in Novahome, the huge colony ship-turned-city. Realizing there is a hidden deck that's been swept off the blueprints, Anno asks Steele to accompany her to investigate. She hopes that solving the mystery will allow her to transfer off of Tarkus -- and to Captain Steele's ship, if Steele so desires. In the course of Steele's investigation, Steele will learn the secret behind the Gray Goo and the mysterious past of the Nova.
Recommended Level: 4+
Anno will accompany Steele for the duration of the investigation, and assists in the fights that ensue. She can also be relied on for input and assistance outside of combat, such as helping Steele access a locked room or providing her opinion on possible decisions. In combat, she has the following abilities:
- Holdout Pistol - Anno attacks with her modified holdout pistol.
- Targeting Computers - Anno boosts Steele's accuracy.
- Health Boost - Anno restores a small amount of Steele's health.
- Sneak Attack - Anno deals bonus damage to disabled enemies, much like a Smuggler.
Areas and Encounters
The first area Steele can explore is an airlock, which Anno uses to access the Ghost Deck via grappling gun. Immediately outside the airlock, the party will run into several security droids which attack on sight, using outdated but powerful laser guns. After the fight, Anno and Steele can work together to break into the armory, with Steele either boosting Anno through a vent, getting boosted, or using a Smuggler or Tech's class abilities to bypass the lock. Inside the armor, Steele and Anno will discover several more security bots in storage, plus spare weapons for them, which Steele can take as rewards.
Further ahead, Steele and Anno will find a secondary reactor bay on the deck, though it is sealed by blast doors. While investigating, the bulkhead collapses and Anno is grabbed by a huge gray hand. Steele jumps in after her, and ends up confronting the Goo Prime, a gray goo that takes the form of the Nova's original captain. She explains the fate of the crew, why the ship crashed on Tarkus, and the origin of the gray goo after her boss fight.
Once the Gray Prime is defeated, she'll allow Steele and Anno to question her. Eventually, though, Steele must decide what to do about her and the gray goo. Steele will have the option of either forcing her to accelerate her work -- and kill the emergent gray goo in the process -- or promising Steele Tech's help in restoring the crew's bodies via prosthetics. Alternatively, Steele can trigger a second boss fight and attempt to kill her and, by extension, put the Nova crew's suffering to an end. She'll either kill Steele, or Steele kills her.
Notable Items and Rewards
- Nova Rifle and Nova Pistol, both found in the Armory.
- Several deactivated security mechs (no use yet, though they may come into play later in the game).
- Depending on whether or not the Shields have been turned on during the mission will affect the whereabouts of Aurora if Tarkus explodes in consequence to the Stellar Tether adventure.
If Steele is defeated by the security robots, Steele is shot and killed. Being defeated by Goo Prime, on the other hand, results in Anno and Captain Steele being bodily thrown into vats of raw Gray Goo. The goo surges around Steele, trapping him/her its warm, unyielding embrace, and begins to sexual violate Steele and his/her ausar companion, milking Steele of sexual fluids much like the goos outside. The vat of goo will continue to milk Steele until he/she and Anno give in, possibly keeping Steele as lubricant suppliers for weeks, months, or years.
If Steele and Anno survive, Anno will report her findings to Steele Tech, and allow the company to begin work to research the gray goo material and, if Steele chooses to help the crew, Steele Tech will begin working with them to provide cybernetic bodies. Steele can talk to Anno again in her shop, and she'll give Steele the option of recruiting her onto Steele's crew.
Nova and/or the crew of the Nova will likely appear again at a later date.