You’d just returned to the XCom base with the Sextant of the Worlds and the Phaistos Disc recovered. The base looked different. A number of propaganda posters hung in the hallways. Looks like Laurent had gotten busy with Photoshop or something. Speaking of the dwarf he is waiting for you just in the base’s entrance.
“You like?” Laurent asks. “Well, you better cause I got more of them. Figure if this alien shit hits the fans we need to be ready to win the hearts and minds. Anyways walk and talk, tell me about the artifacts.”
Smoke lights up a joint and starts talking. “The Phaistos Disc is a tricky one man, because it appears to have multiple functions. The easier-to-understand one involves it acting as a sort of Rosetta Stone for the other artifacts. Properly understood, the symbols on it provide a guide for how the others can be used. Note, though, that you really have to look at the symbols, both physically and astrally. One thing I noticed while assensing it, though, was this— that thing is way to powerful to just be a glorified instruction manual. There’s some serious shit going on inside that thing, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what that is.”
“Whisky Tango Foxtrot! Alien Exterminators?!” Andre interupts
“Yeah, I particularly like that one.” Laurent says, “Continue.”
A couple of seconds of silence and then Allan continues for Smoke.
“Umm yeah, it may, perhaps, have something to do with the hidden part of the object’s aura. You get a weird sensation that something is missing, like there’s a closed door in your field of astral vision, but behind that door is a light shining so bright that some of it can’t help but get through. It’s evasive, though—every time I tried to look directly at this closed-door thing in order to figure out just what I was seeing, it skittered to the edge of my vision. Needless to say, I couldn’t figure out what was going on, and I certainly couldn’t figure out how to open that door. We left the experience certain that the disc had some other function, but hours of staring at and trying to interpret the inscriptions brought us no closer to the truth. Roy’s flying didn’t help. I swear he mapped out where the most turbulence was and flew through it.”
“You think Roy’s flying was bad, you should have flown with Grace.” Andre says taking his eyes off the poster as he reacts to Grace slapping the back of his head.
“The Sextant might have had a hand in that.” Midnight interjects. “The two things I’ve been able to discern is that it has chaotic effects on the astral (and occasionally material) plane around it, and that those effects seem to be growing stronger over time. Whether that is something that is built into the artifact or that is occurring due to increased exposure to the other artifacts is unclear. But if you’re Awakened and you come near this thing, you can feel its presence. It’s difficult to describe, but think of the opening of a football game when the team rushes onto the field through some paper banner or something. Now think of what would happen if the entire fabric of reality was made of paper, and the sextant was a football team moving in slow motion, ripping its way through. That’s what it feels like to be near it—you can almost hear the reality of space and time tearing as you get close.”
“Is it just me or do I just look damn good in all these posters.” Roy says.
“How did C Team do?” Grace asks.
“They failed to acquire Shantaya’s Compass, the final artifact.” Laurent says. “And if it’s function is anything like it’s name it may lead them to the other artifacts and us. For now, the base it on lock down, while Smoke, Midnight and Allan see if they can unlock any additional information from the artifacts we have.”
“Oh and one more thing, what caption should this poster have?” Laurent asks.
“Someone’s going to die for that!”, Grace turns and stalks out of the room.