The troubleshooters did not spend the night in the shuttle after all. They chose instead to hole up in the chapel, which they had already searched. They took turns watching, first the two guys (Eowan Addison and Jotunn), then the two gals (Krater Constellation and Genevieve).
In the last watch of the night, Genevieve realized that she was being watched. Through a broken window, she saw a vacc suited figure looking in at her. The face plate was shattered – and there was no face inside the helmet!
out for her comrades, she tried to bring her autopistol to bear on
the figure. Once again it darted away upon being spotted, heading in
the direction of the shuttle and the arrival station.
The gang gave chase, but it seemed once again that the mysterious figure had eluded them. Eowan and Jotunn entered the shuttle to inspect it, fearing sabotage. Genevieve and Krater searched the exterior of the shuttle, then Krater spotted the vacc suit figure again. This time, it was on the roof of the station! Bullet and laser beam found their target, knocking the figure backwards. The guys climbed out the shuttle's top hatch and jumped over to the roof. No vacc suit!
But wait! There it was, rushing away down one of the 'streets' of the town, probably planning to lose them in the darkness again.
Eowan (my son's PC) pulled a neat trick. He teleported to a spot in front of the fleeing figure, and body-blocked it into the dirt. Did I mention that all four of these troubleshooters were Psi-trained? This is only the second time in my history as a Referee that psionics came into play.
From the roof, Jotunn used telekinesis to launch a handful of steel balls at the vacc suit figure. He realized his shotgun would be ineffective at the range, but TK could cover the distance! Between them, they finally put the rogue suit on the ground.
Eowan realized while grappling the suit that there was no normal body inside. Once they had it subdued, he cut into the suit with his Blade, to reveal
a robotic apparatus. Two legs, two arms and a torso, but on an open frame. Most of their gunshots had gone through empty space rather than causing damage. The robot was also equipped with a grav belt, which explained how it was able to 'vanish'. it would simply rise off the ground, its footprints ending abruptly, and without a sound. The grav belt became Eowan's immediately.
Eowan also realized that the robot was not operating autonomously. He disabled a transmitter/receiver which was allowing someone to control the robo-suit. But who?
Krater used the shuttle's electronics to search for the source of the robot's orders. She found that the source appeared to be right in the center of town, but when she reached the spot, could find nothing. She even began to dig, thinking the source might be buried beneath the street.
Meanwhile Jotunn and Eowan went back to the warehouse to examine the big box of rocks – the one thing in town that seemed really out of place. Despite emptying the 3m cubical container, they found nothing of significance.
Meeting up again at the town 'center', Jotunn had the insight to look up, with his electronic binoculars. Sure enough, there was a small drone hovering over the town, 100 meters or so up. It was too small for the shuttle to have picked it up on their approach.
Krater shot it down with one laser burst.
Before it hit the ground, though, a second raggedy vacc suit figure swooped in and grabbed it! This one sailed off into the darkness, in the direction of the mine.
Armed with a much clearer understanding of the situation, the troubleshooters gave chase, and found what they suspected. The source of all the trouble was a man hiding out in the abandoned mine. The fellow was dubbed The Puppet Master. He had used the robo-suits and contra-grav drones to create all the spooky effects. The hovering drone had infrared cameras, so he was able to follow the PCs everywhere they went in town.
He didn't really mean (or cause) any harm. He explained that his uncle had worked in the town during the active mining phase. There was a Macguffin that the miners brought up from below the surface, that he wanted to find as Macguffins are very valuable. The relocated mine site had no records of it, so the Puppet Master guessed it was still in the abandoned town.
Long story short (too late!) the Macguffin was still there, but it was stored in a semi-secret locker beneath the warehouse. The big box of rocks was sitting atop the trapdoor to the locker. None of the PCs moved the box, even with a fixable load-lifter leaned up in a corner.
They decided to let the Puppet Master go, with the Macguffin. They reported back to the patron that there would be no more mysterious happenings in his ghost town.
Yes, I admit, a very Scooby-Doo type adventure. But my players all had a good time, so what's the harm in that?