I’d say this one writes itself, but this article only relates the inexplicable results. The Fortean Times relates how of a ten students on a skiing holiday in the Ural Mountains in 1959, five are found frozen to death, four have mysteries injuries including a missing tongue. The sole survivor had to turn back early in the expedition because of illness.
Let us maunder in the realms of high strangeness for a bit, mulling over the possible causes of this admittedly gruesome tale.
- They ran afoul of secret Russian experiments in emotional and sensory control. A fledgling “volunteer” in psychic ability trials inadvertently targeted the skiers, creating a psychotronic mindscape that not only drove them out into the snow with insufficient cold weather clothing, but kept them from finding their way back to their campsite. The force of this tragedy fed the clairvoyant’s ability, fusing the skiers mental essences into a single raging gestalt that roamed the countryside, forcing the government to close the pass to other skiers and travelers until it could send in a team of troubleshooters to deal with the threat.
- The skiers escaped the torments of Dero, only to arrive on the surface kilometers from camp in the midst of a storm. Using the machinery left behind by the Titan-Atlans, the Dero used a travel ray to draw the group right out of their tents down into their caves for a sadistic game of cat and mouse. Fortunately, the skiers found aid in the form of the Tero, integrative robots who oppose the dark dwarves. But that wasn’t enough to save them from the elements. Perhaps the search party will have better luck against the Dero.
- The skiing holiday was an artificial reality leisure simulation gone horribly awry. Clearly, something has gone wrong with the station’s artificial reality suite. It’s up to the players, in their roles as Crichton Sector’s roving justiciars, to determine not only how the skiers died, but who tampered with the safety interlocks and most importantly, why. And someone’s going to draw the short straw to play through the simulation again in a suite known to be compromised.