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Ensign: The Adventure

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Your name is Jorden Poe, and you’re a recent graduate of Starfleet Academy. You’ve already gotten your uniform, which is soft and fits like a glove, and you’re just about to open your secured message about your first post.

You suppose all the other graduates have the same rush in their veins, their heads filled with dreams of new races and undiscovered space. You know that’s not everyday life out in the stars, but it’s what sparked your desire to join Starfleet as a…

…science officer.
…security officer.
…ship engineer.

Chapter Text

When you read your message, you learn that you have been posted aboard the USS Trumpeter under Captain Max Hamilton. You report to the space station in a week.

The first planet the Trumpeter is assigned to with you aboard? Earth. It might not be the far reaches of the galaxy, but at least it’s more exciting than it sounds: the Trumpeter is to investigate a hole in the universe, discovered when a comet slipped through from some other universe into yours.

Captain Hamilton makes the call to slip the Trumpeter through that hole. You can see this universe’s Earth through the windows, devoid of all satellites but its moon.

Yet, there are strange readings coming from the planet that the Trumpeter believes might be responsible for the hole. Captain Hamilton assigns several away teams, and you’re on one of them as light security.

Your team is transported to a manner with a paved road that stretches toward a nearby city.

The away team’s leader, a man called Lieutenant Commander Jacques Alfarsi, instructs you to head to the city. You pass rounded bushes on your way, and for just a moment, you think you see a red eye watching you from its shadows. When you blink, it’s gone.

You…

…put a hand on your phaser in case it becomes a threat.
…investigate the bushes.
…report the eye to Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi.

Chapter Text

When you read your message, you learn that you have been posted aboard the USS Hela under Captain Conrad Stein. You report to the space station in a week.

In the meantime, you and your academy buddies want to go on one last hurrah before you leave Earth. One of your friends, Mikah, proposed an urban exploring trip to a centuries-abandoned animation studio a few cities from San Francisco. You all agreed.

You meet your friends in front of a one-story building with the much faded words JOEY DREW STUDIOS painted over its entrance. Each of you are equipped with a flashlight and a first-aid kit, though you note that your Vulcan friend also has her student-model tricorder attached to her belt. Now you’re just waiting for the last member of your group to mosey down the cracked, weed-growing sidewalk that serves as the walk to the studio’s entrance.

There’s you; there’s T’mus, a scientist; there’s Mikah, a medical officer; and there’s Miyu, an ambitious security officer determined to be the next Captain Picard. The four of you ignore the last DANGER KEEP OUT signs, and Miyu opens the door.

You’re greeted with a gaping hole in the entrance hall.

Miyu looks at you. “You’re the engineer. Are the remains of the floor stable enough for us to use this entrance?”

T’mus unclips the tricorder from her belt. “Might I suggest scanning the studio instead of entering it?”

That’s right. Miyu convinced T’mus to come by convincing her that it was “illogical” to leave history unexplored and thus forfeit any knowledge that could be gained from it. The Vulcan’s not in this for the adventure.

You step up to the door frame. “I’ve got this.”

The walls and floor have been stained black, and some of that taint is still liquid. It smells like dirty ink.

You take a flashlight from your pocket and examine what you can see through the hall – walls, pipes, and one long fall. Ink gleams at the bottom, but there are some wooden supports remaining to hold the rest of the floor. “I think it broke when this place flooded.”

Where did all the ink come from in the first place? You shine your light into the entrance hall, where faded posters fail to advertise antiquated cartoons and ink drips from a pipe dangling from the ceiling. You…

…think it should be safe enough for one person to jump the hole at a time.
…ask T’mus to confirm the remaining floor’s stability.
…recommend finding a different entrance.

Chapter Text

When you step closer to the bird, you notice that it’s got something attached to one leg, and it’s blinking red. Faster. Faster. Faster.

Thick white steam pours out from the tree trunk, and you step back. When you scan it with your tricorder, it identifies as the chemical you’ve been sent to collect. You pop off your tricorder’s back to get a sample tube.

The steam is coming from all the trunks now. It thickens to the point where you can see the tip of your nose.

You’re wearing a gas mask, not an oxygen tank. It can’t filter all the chemical out at this concentration.

Within five minutes, it clears up, but you jump when you hear a badge chime on your chest.

“Captain Smeets to Ensign Poe.”

You stare at the badge. “Who?”

Distantly, you hear someone say something about Sickbay, but Captain Smeets is quick to say, “Jorden Poe, does that name mean anything to you?”

You relax. “Jorden. Yes, that’s me. Am I Jorden Poe?

“Yes, you’re an ensign on the USS Elizabeth. Are there others with you? We’ve lost contact with the rest of your away team.”

You look around, but the forest and the road is empty. There’s an empty shuttle and a locked phone booth nearby. “No, it’s just me.”

“Ensign Poe, prepare to energize.”


You spend the next few hours in Sickbay, recovering your memories. In the meantime, the rest of your usual team are analyzing the sample you collected.

They know from its effects on you that the chemical is psychoactive, and by the time you’re cleared to resume duty on a limited basis, they’ve concluded that it’s naturally-occurring on Penury. But not at that concentration. And with all other planet-side officers still missing, it was likely an attack.

With your experience on the away mission, you’re being trusted with more of the data now.

Scanners show a considerable minority human population on the planet, but not one of the many probable intelligent species detected has a majority. It’s like the planet’s a melting-pot, and most species are noted as unknown.

This data is being shown to you in hopes that you’ll remember any pertinent information.

You don’t remember much, but you mention off-hand that…

…the parrot welcomed you.
…there was a wallet laying discarded on the road.
…there was an old-fashioned police box looking out of place.

Chapter Text

You scan the vine mat itself, but it’s not particularly interesting other than being your first bit of alien infrastructure.

The wallet is a bit more interesting, primarily for what it doesn’t have – anything except a blank piece of paper. You’ve still got it in your hands when you’re suddenly blasted in the face with a bit of steam.

You start a scan with your tricorder, but the steam gets to the point where you can see to the tip of your nose. Then, with such a concentration, it gets through your gas mask’s filter.

What were you doing again? No, better questions: where are you? Who are you? You remember your name is Jorden, and that’s it.

When the gas clears, you’re left to blink at the two total strangers sharing the road with you.

“What was that?” one asks you.

You look at the tricorder in your hands, but its scanner is only reporting a decrease in an unknown fluid. “No idea.”

The other points up the road. “Maybe they’ll know.”

There’s a hovercraft slowing, piloted by a pair of skeletal red androids. It comes to a stop next to you, and one of the pilots climbs out. It looks over your face. “Scanning. Scan complete. Unauthorized devices detected.”

Your tricorder is confiscated, as are your gas masks and the badges on your chests. The three of you are taken to a nearby city for further processing.

You don’t know what they’re going to do to you. You don’t know where you’d go if you got away either. You’re not sure if they’d confiscate the wallet in your hands – the only asset you have left. But granted, it’s just a leather case and a blank piece of paper.

You…

…ditch the wallet.
…clutch the wallet tightly.
…hide the wallet in your boot.

Chapter Text

Your tricorder acts strangely next to the phone box. It detects wood, but it also detects metal. It picks up that unknown substance, but it also picks up no atmosphere at all. It reports bounteous life and the fall-out of a planet that’s been decimated by its own sun.

All the while, your tricorder hums and displays the message SOS.

Deciding to peek inside the box, you nearly drop your tricorder: it’s bigger on the inside. It’s a round room with a domed bronze ceiling and coral struts, and in the middle is an apparatus of terminals and displays. “Lieutenant Lund!”

You step into the alien ship. Lieutenant Lund does the same.

Behind you, the third and final member of your away team, Lieutenant Tibert, has his com-badge chiming.

“We just lost contact with Lieutenant Lund and Ensign Poe. Report.”

Lieutenant Lund grins. “We’re alright, captain. There’s just interference from the distressed vessel. No sign of its crew or our away team yet.”

“Proceed. Report when possible.”

Lieutenant Lund wants to look for your shipmates, keeping your eyes peeled for your mystery chemical. You volunteer to…

…help search the ship.
…wait in this room in case anyone comes back.

Chapter Text

You keep your hand there in case anything comes of what you saw, but nothing does. The three of you – you, Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi and science officer Ensign Tithee – keep along the asphalt until you reach the edge of a city. The streets curve, showing a glimpse of a station with an old-fashioned steam engine.

Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi leads you to the station, where he checks the map. Amestrian National Railroad: Central Station.

The map shows several lines through this circular country, and you’ve arrived at the aptly-named Central City.

Your superior officer glances at Ensign Tithee. “Unless steam power can tear a hole in the universe, I’m going to assume this isn’t it. Where do you suggest we look?”

You tag along as the group looks for any sort of government building, keeping your eyes out for threats instead. You especially keep your eyes on…

…the shadows.
…a blond man dressed all in black.
…a man with red eyes and a scar on his face.

Chapter Text

“Hold on,” you say to your group as you stride across the grass. You ready your phaser.

There’s nothing in the bushes, but a green-and-white beach ball bumps against your side. A little boy runs up to retrieve it. He gawks at the phaser in your hand. “Nice toy! Where’d you get it?”

Lieutenant Command Alfarsi steps in. “From back home. Little boy, what’s your name?”

“Selim Bradley.”

He bends down. “Well, Selim, I think we’re lost. What’s the name of that city over there?”

“That’s Central.”

Beside you, the third member of your party, science officer Ensign Tithee, grumbles about the generic name.

But your leading officer smiles. “How far is that from Paris?”

The kid blinks. “Where?”

Puffing his chest, Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi lets his accent slip. “Eet izz ze best city in ze world!”

“What country is that in?”

The lieutenant commander stares at the kid. “It’s in France. Learn your geography.”

“I’ve never heard of France. You sound Cretan.” Selim smiles. “You must be really lost! I bet my mom would let me show you to the immigration office if you like, I’ll go ask her!”

As he runs off, Ensign Tithe raises her eyebrows at Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi. “If I may…?”

“Yes?”

“This is an alternate dimension. There may not be a France here. After all, things are different enough that we’re in Central Europe and hearing an authentic accent on their English – these are native speakers. Selim is either foreign, or this Earth may as well be an alien planet to us.”

He nods. “Your point being?”

“If Selim thinks you sound Cretan, let’s go with that if we’re asked where we’re from.”

In a few minutes, Selim comes back with a gray-haired woman and some servants. They give you a ride to Central’s immigration office.

The rest of the group gets inside just fine, but the guards at the door are wary of your phaser. They’re not sure what it is, but they recognize that it’s weapon-like.

You…

…hand it over for safe-keeping.
…wait outside.

Chapter Text

“Thank you, Ensign. Now go check it out.”

You draw your phaser and approach the bushes, but a little boy comes running toward you before you can get there. “Hey, mister! Where did you get that awesome-looking toy?”

The rest of your away team step toward the boy, warning him of danger.

The moment they step into the shade, solid shadows shoot from the boy’s body, covered with eyes and mouths.

You fire your phaser at them, but it causes only a momentary delay. You ramp your phaser up to kill, but your shipmates are already wrapped in the shadows. They gag you, and the mouth closes around you to match your group’s fate with your own silent

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Miyu goes first. She leaps over with the grace of someone expected from someone who’s gone through physical training and steps further into the hall. “It seems solid enough here.”

She’s examining the old posters as first you clear the jump and then T’mus does.

When Mikah leaps across, his foot lands half-on, half-off the boards. T’mus throws herself to the ground and reaches for him, but the floor isn’t as sturdy as you thought it was. It begins to break.

You grab T’mus by her legs and pull her back. Miyu is helping you in an instant. The floor falls out where T’mus just was.

The wood thuds against a pipe on the way down and meets the bottom with the splash. Down the hole, you hear sloshing. “I’m okay!” Mikah’s light turns on and glares off the ink. “There’s a valve to drain this stuff. I’ll look for the stairs and meet up with you.”

“Understood!” Miyu calls down. “We’ll see if we can find the stairs from up here, or if we need to get you a rope.”

If it comes to getting your friend a rope, you’ll have to find another exit first because the hole is now too big to be jumped. You three leave the hall and find yourself in a room with tables in its center, and a chair beside a lifeless projector.

Beside the set-up, a faded cut-out looks on with pie-cut eyes. You’re not sure what the character was supposed to be, but you hope there aren’t too many of those things around to stare at you.

Miyu is busy trying the closest door, but it’s locked.

From here, you can take a hallway on the left, a hallway on the right, or try the one other door. You start walking toward…

…the hall on the left.
…the hall on the right.
…the other door.

Chapter Text

You trample weeds as you look around the building, which is situated on a hill so steep that what’s ground floor at the main entrance is the second story around back. You and your friends spot two other likely entrances to the building: a single window through which you can see a room piled with litter and caked with graffiti, and a steep staircase leading down to a back basement entrance.

Additionally, you see a shack with surviving letters B_ND__A__ __TR____ that you may also want to poke around.

You try…

…the window.
…the stairs.
…the shack.

Chapter Text

T’mus scans the hall. “With the floor that’s across the hole, there’s a chance that all of us could make that jump, or there’s a chance that hitting it wrong will make it fall in. It’s fascinating – my tricorder is picking up invisible ink on the walls.”

You crowd around her tricorder, which displays words like DON’T TURN ON THE INK MACHINE and I’M SORRY, BUDDY, and even a wall full of tally marks directly beside the hole. But as you watch, the tricorder’s battery goes from 80% to 60% to 40%.

Pointing at the battery indicator, you ask, “Is it broken?”

“No.” T’mus turns off her device and clips it back to her belt. “Student models are vulnerable to certain energies interfering with their operation, but if we can find a way to counteract the drain, it will be informative to find more of those messages.”

With T’mus fully on-board with the urban ex trip, she keeps close to the rest of the group as you…

…get ready to jump the hole.
…circle the property for a safer entrance.

Chapter Text

The officer interviewing you hums and nods. You’re free to go.

Hours later, the ship wails a red alert. It doesn’t last long, seeing as how the Elizabeth is meeting an explosive

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

In any case, you remain on limited duty, so while the rest of your away team returns to Penury, you’re aboard the Elizabeth when she enters red alert and meets an explosive

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

In any case, you’re returned to full duty. You and the rest of the away team are returned to the surface, though this time with oxygen tanks on your backs as further protection against chemicals.

Lieutenant Lund takes you inside the police box while the final member of your party, Lieutenant Tibert, picks up the wallet and keeps watch with a basket of pears.

The box is bigger on the inside. You step out, circle around, step back in, and blurt out this fact.

“I know,” Lieutenant Lund says. “It was a shock to Lieutenant Tibert and I too.”

There is a six-sided console in the room’s center, and Lieutenant Lund takes you to one of the screens. On it, is a skinny man in a pin-stripe suit. You memorize his wild brown hair and freckled face. “Who is he?”

“We think he’s the captain of this ship. We think her crew disappeared and she sent out an automated distress signal.”

Your eyes wander over the ship’s round domed bridge and coral struts. They land on a hallway.

“I wouldn’t if I were you,” the lieutenant says. “We got lost in there for all that time the Elizabeth didn't know where we were. Our communicators do not work in here.”

You give a progress report when you exit the ship, but the Elizabeth doesn't answer. Worried, your away team walks up the road until you find the nearest city. Here, Lieutenant Lund wants you to look for your missing shipmates and the other vessel’s captain.

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Chapter Text

In Sickbay, you’re surprised to find the rest of your away team. The ship doctor, Doctor Yi, is finishing up with them.

He smiles as you approach. “Go ahead and report to the captain,” he says to the others. “I’ll send Ensign Poe along if mentally fit to resume more intensive duties.”

The doctor tests your memory mostly. You suspect you’re borderline, enough so that the deciding factor may be whether you, without looking, remember correctly that the name of the lieutenant who supervised your first away mission was…

…Land.
…Lend.
…Lind.
…Lond.
…Lund.

Chapter Text

“Do you know who it belonged to?” The officer interviewing you opens a new note on her PADD.

You don’t. She thanks you anyway and you’re free to go.


Hours later, you are summoned to Sickbay.

Chapter Text

You don’t have much you can do to escape your situation. Really, you can only just pretend that your life could have a better

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You don’t have much you can do to escape your situation, but you can take out your wallet and pretend sometimes. Pretend that you’re anyone else. Pretend that you know what was supposed to be in here.

You forget. Frequently. Every time they douse you with a fresh batch of fog.

The wallet is a surprise every time.

It takes years, but one day you have the wallet out and someone looks over your shoulder and says, “I know what that is – it’s psychic paper!”

You…

…ignore the stranger.
…talk to the stranger.

Chapter Text

Your captors take your retina, scan your fingerprints, and collect a genetic sample. They then give you a pair of clothes and confiscate your jumpsuit.

They drop a lanyard around your chest, with an id clipped to it.

You take a look.

It’s got your picture. Jorden, Cashier at Grocer 2339 from 30:00 to 6:00 daily. Residence at 1238947123987d.

In the back of the lanyard is a key.

They turn you loose and you stumble blindly around the city. Eventually, you notice the signs directing you to the different numbers and make your way to your new apartment.

It’s more like a new cardboard mat on a warehouse shelf.

Click here if you have the wallet.
Click here if you do not have the wallet.

Chapter Text

Your captors take the wallet and scan it. “Psychic paper? On a Starfleet officer? Who are you?”

You’re forced to admit that you found it on the road.

You hear them whispering something about a doctor, but the knowledge won’t do you any good: they take you outside to be hit with another blast of the chemical fog. You forget the whole thing.

Chapter Text

“Perhaps.” Lieutenant Lund goes for the door. It’s closed and locked.

The three of you spend several minutes trying to get it open, during which time Lieutenant Tibert speculates that this door may no longer go outside anyway. Lieutenant Lund shoots him a look you can’t interpret.

Just as the three of you give up, the door opens of its own accord, and yes, out to the same bit of road from which you entered the ship.

Lieutenant Lund calls the Elizabeth.

"We picked up a spike in that unknown atmospheric fluid. Can you see what happened?”

The three of you look around, but nothing looks different.

Lieutenant Lund says, “No, Captain. We can report on the ship though. I can’t identify its name or the race that built it, but it's very different than our ships. There was no sign of the vessel’s crew or our own personnel. What we do have is an image of a presumably missing captain and a basket of fruit labeled for Time Lord consumption.”

“Time Lord?”

None of you know what that is, so Captain Smeets queries the Elizabeth’s computer. It doesn’t know either.

“Very well. Return to the Elizabeth and-”

“Captain. We’re being hailed.”

Captain Smeets asks you to hang on a moment, but she doesn’t hang up. Through Lieutenant Lund’s com-badge you can hear a deep voice say, “CO HO MA RO GO FLO SHO TO RO FLO SO PO MA SO SO KRO NO GO SHO VO FLO RO DO KRO CO TO SHO GO TRO KRO LO TO YO.”

There’s a slight pause.

“I’m sorry?” the captain asks.

A moment later, the voice speaks again. “UNAUTHORIZED VESSEL DETECTED. CHARGE: TRESPASSING. VERDICT: GUILTY. PREPARE FOR IMMEDIATE DESTRUCTION.”

There’s just enough time for Captain Smeets to voice, “Shields up. Red alert!” and for the alarm to wail before the communication cuts out.

You can see streams of red and orange explode against the pale sky.

Lieutenant Lund has you run to the shuttle for cover. Once there, he sends a distress message to Starfleet.

In the meantime, the three of you agree to go to the city to look for your missing shipmates and the alien vessel’s captain.

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Chapter Text

You and Lieutenant Lund enter the ship’s hallway. It’s straight and stretches on further than the eye can see, lined with its same bronze-and coral theme.

It’s empty. No people. No view ports. No doors.

All you can see ahead of you is a niche with a wicker basket in it.

The two of you walk through.

When you reach the niche, the wicker basket drops in front of you as though in front of an invisible spring. It has a note inside, written in English: for Time Lord consumption.

Otherwise, it looks like a basket of typical Earth pears. At the lieutenant’s request, you pick it up.

The two of you keep walking until you find a solitary door at the end of the hall. When you pass through, you find yourself in the same front entrance room as Lieutenant Tibert, who is looking at one of the ship’s monitors.

He glances up. “Did you find anyone?”

Lieutenant Lund shakes his head. “I don’t see how this ship is fit for long-distance travel. It’s literally just this room and a hallway that somehow loops back on itself in a straight line.”

Frowning, Lieutenant Tibert nods to the monitor. “I think I might have found something. It started blinking once you left. Maybe this was an automated distress call in a crew’s absence?”

On the screen is a skinny man in a pin-striped suit. You memorize his wild brown hair and freckled face. “If this is the image the ship pulls up automatically, perhaps that’s the captain.”

Chapter Text

At first, you stand by the door as Lieutentants Lund and Tibert go further in the ship. But you can’t stay away from the alien console for long. You walk around and examine the buttons, levers, dials, as well as the strings and tape that keep it all together.

The ship may be more advance than anything you’ve ever heard of, but it must have seen better days.

You run your hand along the keys of what looks like an old Earth-style typewriter. Your fingers come up coated in black.

You make a face, but you continue circling the controls.

As you do, a light suddenly starts blinking. It’s labeled, and you wipe away get a better look at the alien language.

What you find is English: touch to display.

Display?

When you look up, you find a screen turned on, and the picture of a humanoid man displayed. He wears a pinstripe suit and has wild hair and freckles.

Soon, the lieutenants return with a basket of pears of all things, and you alert them to the image. “It came up automatically when I approached. I think it may be an escaped prisoner of this ship's.”

Lieutenant Tibert shakes his head. "Unless that hallway serves as a brig, I think it's more likely he's the captain."

Chapter Text

You watch them throughout the day, but the eye doesn’t seem to have followed you. Your group walks unhindered around Central and reports a heavily-damaged government complex to the Trumpeter. The others both think that it could be a sign of military research gone awry.

You suppose if anything on this planet could put a hole in the multiverse, it would have to have gone awry. After all, this Earth acts like a pre-warp civilization.

The away mission takes on a more covert edge as the three of you sneak in to take a closer look at the damage. You follow the destruction deep underground, where you spy another red eye, this one watching you from mid-air.

Immediately, your hand goes to your phaser, but it’s disappeared.

A shadow wraps itself over your mouth. Insubstantial limbs covered in eyes and mouths separate you from your group, and you are rushed through vents and tunnels to dangle eye-to-eye with a smirking little boy. “Not so tough now, visitor from the stars.”

All the living shadows are sprawling from him. He steps forward and sniffs at you. The glints in the shadows’ eyes sharpen. “You smell human. I could rip you apart so easily.” His smirk widens. “Or I could eat your friends one limb at a time. Talk, and one of you invaders might survive.”

With this, the shadows release you from their gag. “What are you?”

“My name is Pride. I am a Homunculus, and this is my home.” He narrows his eyes. “I do not appreciate your war machines endangering my… pets. Tell me everything about yourselves.”

When faced with such a threat, you…

…talk.
…keep silent.
…ask about the war machines Pride mentioned.

Chapter Text

Your eyes meet before he slips into a phone booth. You alert your superior officer to his presence, and he commands you to keep him informed.

Not an hour later, a host of locals in blue uniforms approaches you with guns raised. They confiscate your phaser and pat you down, stripping you of your devices. Only your com-badges are spared. Then they march the three of you into a half-destroyed government complex and escort you into an office.

A man is glaring at you across the desk, black eyes smoldering. “I am the Flame Alchemist, General Roy Mustang. Identify yourselves.”

“We’re lost travelers from France. We don’t understand why-”

General Mustang cuts off whatever Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi was going to say. “Do you think I’m stupid?”

He holds a hand out to one of your escorts, who gives him your phaser.

You caution him that your phaser is dangerous, but he scowls. “I wasn’t expecting it to be anything but. You carry yourselves like soldiers.”

You stiffen. So do your shipmates.

The general is examining your phaser. “This is the strangest gun I’ve ever seen. Tell me the truth this time: where are you from?”

You and Ensign Tithee both look toward Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi. He shakes his head.

General Mustang hands the phaser off to a soldier with her blonde hair in a high bun. “What can you tell me about this?”

The soldier shakes her head. “I’ve never heard of such a gun.”

“Very well.” General Mustang stares down your lieutenant commander. “We’re charging them with espionage. Take the two subordinates to solitary confinement. I want a word with the leading officer.”

You are escorted out to an ancient-style car and driven to a state prison. For several hours, you sit there, studying your cell and listening to the guard. At one point, you think you hear light snoring, but you can’t tell if it’s the guard or another prisoner.

You take the chance to…

…get some shut-eye yourself.
…report in to Captain Hamilton.

Chapter Text

If he’s noticed you, the man ignores you. He’s busy approaching another dark-skinned man, this one in a robe and sash.

You cross the street and relax on a bench nearby them, where you pretend to watch pigeons.

“Take the priests back to Ishval. Whoever is hanging around the lab is dangerous. Another alchemist killer.”

The other man, presumably a priest, nods. You wave to your team and quietly report.

Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi has your group trail the man until he leads you to a building surrounded by walls and barbed wire. Outside the wall, he quietly reports back.

In the call, the Trumpeter scans your nearby coordinates for anything unusual and orders you to prepare to beam back to the ship.


All the away teams have been recalled. You talk among yourselves, gossiping and speculating, but you never find out what you learned on the alternate Earth: that’s for senior officers to know. What you do know is that you’re on course to return to your home dimension.

You serve on the Trumpeter for another six months. The ship sticks around Earth to monitor the hole between dimensions. It’s stable, and the rest of your time at your current post is quiet.

About the time transfers come around, you put in a request for shore leave. It’s a popular time to request off. So popular in fact, that Starfleet grants it in batches rather than all at once.

Your chances of getting shore leave between assignments are fifty-fifty.

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Chapter Text

Your people never retrieve you. Alone in prison, your life ekes by and wastes to its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi claims you’re lost travelers from Creta. But when the locals ask to see your paperwork, none of you can provide any.

You’re taken and locked in jail as a standard prisoner. They take even your com-badges away from you.

You are separated from your shipmates.

Click here if the first ship you had a chance to serve on was the Trumpeter.

Chapter Text

In a matter of minutes, you see your shipmates being taken somewhere in handcuffs. You…

…use your phaser to rescue them.
…slip away before you can be arrested too.

Chapter Text

When you reach the end of the hall, you’re standing on old papers that surround a desk in a niche – walls, ceiling, and floor. A few papers even rest on the desk: a model sheet and a rejected concept art for a demon character whose cut-out is standing to the side.

Overhead, you spy a burned-out light that would have illuminated the desk better than the hallway.

You’re curious, but you’ve got to make sure Mikah’s alright before you look into the old cartoons.

At the end of this hall, there is also a door. The three of you go through.

Inside is a room with burst pipes, desks with old light boxes, and knocked-down chairs. That devil character covers this room too – from the cut-outs, to the posters, to being the sole character you can see abandoned on the desks. You pass a poster that tells you that the demon’s name is Bendy.

You and Miyu walk to the doorway at the other end of the room, but it’s boarded up. You can see what’s behind it anyway – just a toilet and another creepy cut-out to watch the workers who would once have used it.

When you turn to try a different way, you see T’mus standing in front of one of the desks. You call to her.

She places her hands to a yellowed paper instead. “He’s calling out in distress.”

You and Miyu exchange looks. She mouths, “This place is haunted!”

You waste no further time dragging T’mus away from the strange paper. As you do, you think you see a drawing of Bendy waving goodbye.

T’mus asks you to unhand her. You tighten your grip on her arm. “Are you going to try to mind-meld with a cartoon character again? Isn’t that illogical?”

“If it were the cartoon I was trying that with, it would be illogical. But it wasn’t. There is a katra stored there, and it’s calling out for help.”

You have to ask T’mus what a katra is, but you get it. The thing is, if it’s a Vulcan concept, why would there be one here? Unless there was a human equivalent. In this context, a ghost.

Miyu’s eyes are dull, so you guess she knows just as well as you do that it’s hopeless to convince your alien friend to leave this alone. You volunteer to…

…stay with T’mus.
…look for the stairs.

Chapter Text

You keep going. You find another locked door near the graffiti. Near it, ink is dripping from the ceiling.

As you proceed down the hall, the first thing you notice is a giant pipe running up the wall. You stop, shine your light on it, and notice a black liquid leaking from its seam. Is that ink?

You poke your finger in it. It feels like ink.

You drag your finger along the wall. It writes like ink too.

Why fill pipes with it?

As you keep going, you check the doors for stairs. You find one locked and another leading to a small office.

At the end of the hall, you find one that does contain stairs.

You shine your light to determine their trustworthiness.

They’re old and smelly, but they look trustworthy as anything else in this old ruin. They aren't the stairs though. They just lead to a room. You narrow your eyes at inky footprints trailing down the stairs: four-toed and not quite human.

Your flesh erupts in goosebumps. You…

…investigate.
…try a different way.
…go back to your friends.

Chapter Text

The others don’t know. In any case, you find another locked door near the graffiti. Ink is dripping from the ceiling.

As you keep going down the hall, the first thing you notice is a giant pipe running up the wall. You stop and shine your light up it. “It’s not for water. It’s not for gas. I don’t know what it’s for.” When you step closer, you notice a black liquid leaking from its seam.

Miyu pulls you away. “We’ll let you take a good look at it later. Mikah is waiting.”

You’ve seen enough anyway. “I think it’s ink.”

You try more doors on your way through the hall. You find a small office, a locked door, and stairs – that only lead down to the break room. It itself has doors inside. You find another closet and a groaning, creaking doorway boarded up – beyond it, you see a trap door, but it has signs that say DANGER, KEEP OUT.

Miyu turns around. “I doubt that’s what we’re looking for.”

You follow her up the stairs and under a door frame labeled INK MACHINE. Your heart pounds with excitement, even as you know she won’t let you stay to get a closer look. You glimpse an ink output schedule measured in gallons that you itch to examine more thoroughly later.

The three of you round a corner and have to jump a pipe, only to round another corner.

This corner leads to a boarded-up door, but you see a balcony on the other end. You shine your flashlight inside and see only chains leading from a hole-riddled ceiling into a seemingly bottomless pit.

“Any stairs?” Miyu asks.

You press yourself to the boards and stick your arm through a gap. You can’t see the likely corners though – only pipes, collapsing walls, and a few ill-placed vents. “I don’t know. I’ll see if he can hear us. Mikah?”

Your voice echoes back to you. His never comes.

Back to the hallway and around the corner. You walk to a fork marked by a door.

Miyu leads you to the left. You pass shelves and pipes. Around a corner, you find a closet and a little table with an ancient recording on it. She checks a door beyond the table. Locked.

She shuffles back and leads you onward.

More pipes lead you past another locked door and another closet. The hall empties into a small cinema with a torn screen and scattered chairs, filled with an eerie off-tune whistle.

T’mus glances behind you. She whispers. “Something’s coming. It’s not Mikah.”

The hall is filling with ink. Thick ink. Ink covering surfaces like ivy.

You…

…hide.
…investigate.

Chapter Text

Old gears are turning on one wall. You shine your light on them. JOEY DREW STUDIOS. You ignore it for the hall, where you immediately pass a crate, a loose board, and what looks like a dresser to get to a niche with a closed door. Stairs?

Locked.

You continue further down the hall. Turning the corner, you are met with large graffiti on a nearby wall: DREAMS COME TRUE.

In the corner of your eye, a sign catches your eye. You turn your flashlight to it and find directions to the art department behind you and an ink machine, theater, and break room further down the hall. “Ink machine? Did old animation studios use a machine like that?”

Click here if you're alone.
Click here if there are others with you.

Chapter Text

On your way there, you notice a door you couldn’t see from the entrance. You check that first. It’s locked.

As you approach the door you first saw, you hear a whirring and clicking. The projector's light is long burned out, but somehow, it’s still attempting to play a film. There’s a speaker near the set-up too, crackling out a faint piano.

The cut-out's pie-cut eyes watch you from the corner as you discover that this door too is locked. Next you try…

…the hallway that was on the left as you entered the room.
…the hallway that was on the right.

Chapter Text

There’s a chill next to the entrance, or maybe it’s just you. It remains when the four of you shove open a jammed door to a hall that’s flooded with ink.

Someone whistles.

Everyone but T’mus jumps. The Vulcan shines her flashlight at a bit of copper, which she traces up the door frame and outside to an audio tape.

As an engineer, you recognize the set-up and explain it to the others: it’s set to start up every time the door is slightly ajar, such as when it’s being opened or shut.

Miyu shines her flashlight around inside. Walls okay, ceilings sound, floor – well, solid enough to support inches of ink anyway. “What do you think?”

“It looks adequately safe.” To prove your point, you’re the first to step in.

T’mus grabs your shoulder. “What is that sound?”

You strain your ears, but Vulcan hearing is better than human hearing. “I don’t hear anything. I suppose the only thing we can do is check it out.”

Slosh. Slosh. Slosh. You wade through the ink, and it’s when you step onto some dry floorboards that you hear what T’mus was talking about: there is a loud snap followed by a clank. When you shine your flashlight ahead, you see a floating fire ax.

“Hello?” a man’s voice calls to you, but you can’t see the man. But you hear his footsteps approaching you. “You need to get out of here if you still can.”

All the humans in your group take a step together. “Is it a ghost?” you ask the others.

“Don’t be stupid,” Miyu hisses back.

You catch T’mus raising an eyebrow at the three of you, but she redirects her gaze toward the floating ax. “Your phrasing makes it sound like you can’t leave. Why?”

The ax clears a last board from the hall and breaks in half. It’s left to fall to the ground.

You still don’t see anyone there, but for a moment, you get the impression of a young man with strong arms and soft eyes. “Do not investigate. You might get trapped here too.”

Mikah sets a hand on her shoulder. “It’s a thing for… I guess it would be the human equivalent of a katra. He’s probably bound to this place.” He looks straight ahead. “Are you Henry?”

“Yeah, and you shouldn’t be-” Henry’s voice cuts off when vines of ink suddenly cover the halls. Cold hands grab you and shove you around the corner. “Run!”

You try to look back, but you’re shoved onward. You do glimpse someone tall and covered in ink, who’s reaching out toward your friends. “Mikah!”

“I’ll help him. Go!”

The three left in your party run through the hall until you’ve all passed a door. You get another glimpse of Henry, blocking the door behind you. Something bangs on the other side. Your invisible new friend pounds the door in return.

For a moment, sounds are limited. You hear your own thudding heart, your own heavy breaths, and scattered dripping.

Miyu is the first with the courage to speak. “Where’s Mikah?”

“I’m sorry.” Henry’s cold hands prod you forward. “I’ll do what I can for him, but we ought to attend to the living first.”

 

Henry takes you to meet a silent being made of ink – a lupinoid named Boris. He looks like a cartoon wolf.

You, Henry, and Boris, the five of you hide away in a safe spot of Boris’s. Henry discusses the possibility of sneaking some cots from an infirmary, past the Ink Demon, to this place; but he firmly refuses to let any of you help.

The ghost goes off alone. When he comes back, he’s carrying only Mikah’s body, wrapped in an old sheet. He reports that the hallway between the safe haven and the exit has collapsed.

In somber tones, you all discuss how you’re going to escape Joey Drew Studios. Henry describes the studio as being full of monsters like the one that killed Mikah, although the one that did was the worst of the lot.

You decide the best course of action is to…

…wait for a rescue.
…clear the hallway.
…learn more about the ink creatures.

Chapter Text

“I can scan it,” T’mus says, “but is it worth the battery to you?”

You put it to a vote. Miyu votes yes. Mikah votes no. The deciding vote is yours.

Click here if you're traveling with the Doctor.

Otherwise, you vote for…

…T’mus to use her tricorder.
…T’mus to save her battery.

Chapter Text

It’s hard to imagine what could have caused it, but it looks like giant claws tore through a metal casing and left this bit here: silver, and covered in yellow bumps that match the one in Miyu’s hands. “I don’t know of a machine that would leave it dented like that or any human practice that would leave that sort of debris here. In any case, it’s sharp enough to be a safety hazard.”

Mikah crosses his arms. “Thanks, Ensign Obvious.”

You eventually reach a door, which leads into a closet of half-assembled turnstiles. Miyu sets the metal bump atop one’s peeling painted angel. “To answer your question, Jorden, I think this place was large enough to possess the capacity to house an amusement park and the ego to demand one, but small enough that it couldn’t fund it to completion.”

“Duh.” You shine your flashlight around the room, but the only thing you see is dust and ink splatters. However, just outside the room, two rails glint at you. “I think there’s a ride in there.” You walk over and check the rails out in both directions. You see bits of stone peeking out where wooden planks should be, but the ceiling is holding and there are no drops.

Your friends follow you past the back of spring-loaded ghosts and fake boarded-up areas until you reach the ride’s official entrance. There’s a bit of what may – or may not – be graffiti there: TURN BACK. Further inside, you see a white cart with painted eyes and a grin. “I’d have to take a thorough look, but I think this might be safe enough to ride if it works.”

Outside the ride are some game stalls and a bunch of shelves. You and your friends take a vote between trying out the ride, playing the games, and exploring the warehouse.

Roll this die for your group to make a decision:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 1 or a 4.
Click here if you rolled a 2 or a 5.
Click here if you rolled a 3 or a 6.

Chapter Text

The Vulcan pulls it out. Before long, she hands it to you. “It was in perfect working condition and at full battery when I arrived. Can you determine why it won’t turn on?”

Click here if you're traveling with the Doctor.
Click here if you aren't.

Chapter Text

The shack is locked, but the lock is more rust than metal. Miyu breaks through it in less than five minutes.

You step inside and shine your light. You’re met by a sign with a grinning cartoon something-or-other with a yardstick down its middle. YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE. “Was this place ever large enough to have its own amusement park?”

Other than the sign, the only things in the shack are a trap door and a semi-spherical piece of yellow metal that Miyu picks up. She tosses it up and down. Then she tosses it to you. “What is it?”

It’s sturdy, but it’s lighter-weight than you expected. You examine it under your flashlight and put it through what tests you can conduct on it on the spot, but you can’t identify it. “I have no idea.”

Click here if T’mus has used her tricorder at this studio.
Click here if she has not.

Chapter Text

You climb in and try the interior door. Locked.

Instead of trying another entrance, you and your friends take a look around the room first. T’mus reads the graffiti. Mikah examines a black stain on the floor. Miyu walks over to a faded cut-out and a framed newspaper.

You join Miyu.

From this distance, the cut-out’s black inky eyes grin at you. Whatever the thing is, it’s wearing a bow around its neck and has either horns or very pointy ears. “I don’t recognize this Toon.”

Miyu is wiping dust off the glass. “Neither do I. I assume it was one of the star creations here.” She scans the article and hands it to you. “Take a look at this.”

T’mus and Miyu join you, reading over your shoulder.


ANIMATOR FOUND DEAD AT DESK

Bendy creator, Henry Stein, was found at his desk the morning of August the 31st, lying over his last ever completed sketch of his little devil darling. Investigators suspect the artist died of fatigue brought on by overwork.

Joey Drew Studios says that it will set his desk as a memorial to the man who brought joy into the lives of so many movie-goers in these tough times.

You turn to meet Mikah’s eyes. “Are you sure we’re not here to hunt ghosts?”

He grins. “Hunting ghosts. Investigating this old place. What’s the difference? Besides, I’ve got an interesting factoid about one of our superior officers: Captain Conrad Stein is the great-something-nephew of the Henry Stein who died here. His family protests whenever someone tries to tear this place down.”

“What illogical behavior.” T’mus hasn’t so much as raised an eyebrow at the conversation.

It’s Miyu’s turn to look over her shoulder. “Illogical, maybe, but we humans are still rational creatures. If the Stein family is protecting this place, they have to have a reason for it. It could be in honor of their deceased kin, or it could be that they have something to hide.”

You bite your tongue. Miyu could be a bit paranoid at times, but wasn’t that the job of a good security officer?

T’mus nods toward the graffiti. “I fail to see the rationale in leaving that.”

“Oh, that? That’s the result of people proving they were here, of being stupid enough to break in just to prove something. We won’t leave any. After all, we’re here to learn. What interests me is where else we can explore here. Do you want to try the back door or the shack next?”

Click here if you want to try the back door.
Click here if you want to try the shack.

Chapter Text

A ship? You’ll play along if there’s any chance of escaping. “Sure.”

Lore gives you a tour of various vital facilities, but you never get to remember them. In fact, the next thing you remember, you’re standing on a road of woven ivy in front of a blue telephone box. You know nothing except that your name is Jorden, and you have nothing except for the lanyard around your neck.

Confused, you look around and start walking toward the nearest city. Eventually, you find your way home. And there you stay.

Chapter Text

You walk away, but a few androids heard you. They put you in a hovercraft and fly you to another city. One of them makes a call on the way there.

The ship lands atop a tower unlike any in your poor little town, and the androids escort you into a penthouse, where you’re greeted by a smirking, plastic-faced, golden-eyed android in a flashy gold suit. “Welcome, Doctor.” He rises from a red velvet armchair and offers you his hand. “I am King Lore of Penury. I’ve been curious to meet you since your ship was reported in my humble abode. I trust your stay has been exemplary?”

You cross your arms. “Exemplary? I’m a prisoner. You’ve taken my identity from me.”

“My apologies. I’d heard that Time Lords are a superior species, so I assumed that your mental abilities would also be superior.” Despite his words, there wasn’t a note of contriteness in his voice. “Then again, if you’re the last of them, perhaps they’re not so superior after all.”

“What do you want?”

Lore’s smirk grows. “An exchange, Doctor. I will give you a tour of the planet for a tour of your ship.”

Click here if you’re alone.
Click here if the Doctor is with you.

Chapter Text

The stranger is a tall man with eyes of different colors. He offers you a hand. “Time Agent Haden Dennis. And you must be Time Agent Ryan Gaston?”

You shake his hand. “Jorden Poe. I think.”

Haden frowns. He eyes the ID clipped to your lanyard. “Where did you find the wallet?”

You shrug. “I’ve had it as long as I can remember.”

He curses. “Right. The neurogas. More inconvenient than a premature dose of Retcon.” He reaches for the wallet. “That’s property of the Time Agency. Return it.”

You…

…run.
…hand it over.

Chapter Text

“It’s alright,” you say. “We’re not jailers. I am Ensign Jorden Poe, and these are my superior officers, Lieutenant Lund and Lieutenant Tibert. We received your ship’s distress call.”

Lieutenant Lund raises an eyebrow at you, so you hand him the woman’s shopping list in response.

The woman is crying. “Oh, thank goodness! My husband and I thought we must have a ship somewhere, but this planet makes you forget things. We weren’t expecting to be rescued.”

The woman introduces herself as Donna. As she leads you to her home, she tells you about the documents she and her husband have that let them piece together what little they know about their lives before Penury: they were dear to each other somehow – enough that they knew they didn’t want to be separated, and that they’d come to Penury to look for something or other.

She shows you a melded metal ring on her finger. “It’s not much, but we really care about each other. At some point, we must have figured that if we didn’t want to be separated, we might as well get married. Never mind that we’re different species. You’re the first other humans I’ve seen here. Maybe. I mean, he looks human too. Maybe I thought he was when I agreed to marry him.”

As you look around, you notice that her observation is true. You see potato-men, you see lizard people, and you see a tall green being who’d blend right in with a documentary about Roswell, New Mexico. You don’t even recognize any of these species.

When you reach her home, you find the tall skinny man from the ship’s console lying on a dirt floor. Donna grabs a pear and runs to his side.

He eats it and recovers, although he grumbles that he hates pears. He sits up, goofy grin on his face, leans over, and kisses Donna. “Did you get my hangers?”

Lieutenant Lund clears his throat.

The man blinks. Then he grins. “Hullo. I’m the Doctor. And you are?”

“Doctor?” you ask. “Doctor who?”

“Oh, just the Doctor.” The Doctor gets to his feet. “Friends of Donna’s?”

Donna introduces you to her husband, who gives you each a handshake with his cooler-than-human hand. “They got our ship’s distress signal.”

He brightens. “Oh, brilliant! I love a rescue party, me.”

Seeing how you found the alien ship’s crew, you lead them back to their ship. Now that you have someone who should know how to navigate a Time Lord console, you accompany them inside to see if there’s a roster with more people you should be on the look-out for.

The Doctor grins at the bronze ceiling. “Hello to you too, Old Girl! It’s good to be back. I don’t remember you, but still. Well, I suppose it’s good to be anywhere but in prison. But I’m sure I’d have missed you too. If I could remember you. I wish I could: you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!”

Donna slaps him. “Oi! What about me?”

“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.” The Doctor leans in and pecks her lips. “Come on, Donna. You know what this means? You, me, the baby. We’re free!” He hops toward the console. “Just got to look for any friends we have here.”

He barely reaches a typewriter when a pipe sticks out from the console and blows a blue steam in his face. He steps back, coughing.

“Doctor!” Donna runs toward him.

She’s the first, but you all join her soon.

The Doctor is quiet and subdued. His eyes are running up and down his wife. “Oh.”

Donna crosses her arms. “What oh? Are we in trouble?”

“We swore we’d be just mates, but things are different now. I’d never have imagined this.” His eyes are stuck on the baby bump.

Donna looks like she’s going to pick a fight, but Lieutenant Lund is quick to step in. “You might have missing friends?”

Silently, the Doctor turns to the controls. He avoids eye contact with anyone until the ship makes a vworp, vworp sound. “I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t just leave you on a prison planet after you rescued us.”

“What about Starfleet?” Lieutenant Lund asks.

The Doctor blinks. “Starfleet? What’s that?”

When you tell him what it is, the Doctor guffaws. “You mean the Earth Empire? I doubt they’d be able to handle it. Something is very wrong here: humans should have been alone on Penury in the twenty-sixth century. And there was none of that increasing the planet’s natural neurogas to wipe memories.”

When you look at your superior officers, you see they are just as confused as you are. “You speak as though you’re a time traveler.”

“Oh, yes.” He says. “From another timeline apparently. Starfleet, really? That’s what it’s called here?” Sparing you a glance, he says, “I’d be happy to drop you home, but I’d appreciate it if you stuck around as local guides. You being more familiar with your timeline than I am and all. I really do need to investigate what happened to Penury.”

You exchange looks with your shipmates, the silent concern seemingly weighing your superior officers down even more than it’s burdening you: there are unknown species attacking Federation ships that tried to visit your own colony and your still-missing colonists. You still have shipmates on the surface somewhere.

Lieutenant Lund agrees for the three of you.

The Doctor welcomes you aboard. As he does so, he takes Donna by the wrist and steers her in front of the pipe, but when he talks, he still speaking to you all. “Anyone who was hit by the neurogas needs to stand here for the antidote. I’ll be scanning the environment.”

The blue steam reaches Donna’s face.

The Doctor glances at her as he steps back from his console. “Right. I’ve found two places we need to check out, and I don’t care which we hit first. Both seem exciting. We can check out a temporal anomaly on twentieth-century Earth, or we can check out a hole in the universe in the twenty-sixth century.”

The Doctor leaves you to make a decision as he goes to get the taste of pear out of his mouth. You and your shipmates ask yourselves quietly if the Doctor might be telling the truth, but you agree you can only wait and see until you can contact Starfleet. You decide to trust him enough about the antidote, so once you’re done coughing over the blue steam, you help the others and Donna decide to check out…

…the temporal anomaly on twentieth-century Earth.
…the hole in the universe in your own century.

Chapter Text

Donna grabs a pear and runs to her husband’s side.

He eats it and recovers, although he grumbles that he hates pears. He sits up, goofy grin on his face, leans over, and kisses Donna. “Did you get my hangers?”

Lieutenant Lund clears his throat.

The man blinks. Then he grins. “Hullo. I’m the Doctor. And you are?”

“Doctor?” you ask. “Doctor who?”

“Oh, just the Doctor.” The Doctor gets to his feet. “Friends of Donna’s?”

Donna introduces you to her husband, who gives you each a handshake with his cooler-than-human hand. “They got our ship’s distress signal.”

He brightens. “Oh, brilliant! I love a rescue party, me.”

Seeing how you found the alien ship’s crew, you lead them back to their ship. Now that you have someone who should know how to navigate a Time Lord console, you accompany them inside to see if there’s a roster with more people you should be on the look-out for.

The Doctor grins at the bronze ceiling. “Hello to you too, Old Girl! It’s good to be back. I don’t remember you, but still. Well, I suppose it’s good to be anywhere but in prison. But I’m sure I’d have missed you too. If I could remember you. I wish I could: you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!”

Donna slaps him. “Oi! What about me?”

“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.” The Doctor leans in and pecks her lips. “Come on, Donna. You know what this means? You, me, the baby. We’re free!” He hops toward the console. “Just got to look for any friends we have here.”

He barely reaches a typewriter when a pipe sticks out from the console and blows a blue steam in his face. He steps back, coughing.

“Doctor!” Donna runs toward him.

She’s the first, but you all join her soon.

The Doctor is quiet and subdued. His eyes are running up and down his wife. “Oh.”

Donna crosses her arms. “What oh? Are we in trouble?”

“We swore we’d be just mates, but things are different now. I’d never have imagined this.” His eyes are stuck on the baby bump.

Donna looks like she’s going to pick a fight, but Lieutenant Lund is quick to step in. “You might have missing friends?”

Silently, the Doctor turns to the controls. He avoids eye contact with anyone until the ship makes a vworp, vworp sound. “I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t just leave you on a prison planet after you rescued us.”

“What about Starfleet?” Lieutenant Lund asks.

The Doctor blinks. “Starfleet? What’s that?”

When you tell him what it is, the Doctor guffaws. “You mean the Earth Empire? I doubt they’d be able to handle it. Something is very wrong here: humans should have been alone on Penury in the twenty-sixth century. And there was none of that increasing the planet’s natural neurogas to wipe memories.”

When you look at your Lieutenant Lund, you see he is just as confused as you are. “You speak as though you’re a time traveler.”

“Oh, yes.” He says. “From another timeline apparently. Starfleet, really? That’s what it’s called here?” Sparing you a glance, he says, “I’d be happy to drop you home, but I’d appreciate it if you stuck around as local guides. You being more familiar with your timeline than I am and all. I really do need to investigate what happened to Penury.”

You exchange looks with your shipmate, the silent concern seemingly weighing your superior officer down even more than it’s burdening you: there are unknown species attacking Federation ships that tried to visit your own colony and your still-missing colonists. You still have shipmates on the surface somewhere, Lieutenant Tibert among them if he's alive.

Lieutenant Lund agrees for the both of you.

The Doctor welcomes you aboard. As he does so, he takes Donna by the wrist and steers her in front of the pipe, but when he talks, he still speaking to you all. “Anyone who was hit by the neurogas needs to stand here for the antidote. I’ll be scanning the environment.”

The blue steam reaches Donna’s face.

The Doctor glances at her as he steps back from his console. “Right. I’ve found two places we need to check out, and I don’t care which we hit first. Both seem exciting. We can check out a temporal anomaly on twentieth-century Earth, or we can check out a hole in the universe in the twenty-sixth century.”

The Doctor leaves you to make a decision as he goes to get the taste of pear out of his mouth. You and Lieutenant Lund ask yourselves quietly if the Doctor might be telling the truth, but you agree you can only wait and see until you can contact Starfleet. You decide to trust him enough about the antidote, so once you’re done coughing over the blue steam, you help the others and Donna decide to check out…

…the temporal anomaly on twentieth-century Earth.
…the hole in the universe in your own century.

Chapter Text

Donna slaps his face, but he just groans. “It’s a delayed effect of the gas. He needs pears! You stay here with him. I’m going to market.”

You and Lieutenant Lund stay with him, but neither of you are medically trained. By the time Donna returns, the man is gone. You help her bury him, and you stay nearby her as she’s mourning.

While you wait for Starfleet to rescue you, you look for your missing shipmates. There’s no sign of them. When the USS Hela arrives, you, Lieutenant Lund, and Donna are all taken aboard and sent straight to Sickbay.

The Hela puts some distance between itself and Penury because with the missing colonists and the missing crewmen, there’s a lot of concern about the planet’s safety for human life. Donna’s testimony about her husband’s cause of death is also worrying. You are ordered to undergo a thorough medical evaluation.

Roll this die to get the results:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 1, a 2, or a 6.
Click here if you rolled a 3, a 4, or a 5.

Chapter Text

“It’s alright,” you say. “We’re not jailers. I’m Ensign Jorden Poe, and this is my superior officer, Lieutenant Lund. We received your ship’s distress call.”

Lieutenant Lund raises an eyebrow at you, so you hand him the woman’s shopping list in response.

The woman is crying. “Oh, thank goodness! My husband and I thought we must have a ship somewhere, but this planet makes you forget things. We weren’t expecting to be rescued.”

The woman introduces herself as Donna. As she leads you to her home, she tells you about the documents she and her husband have that let them piece together what little they know about their lives before Penury: they were dear to each other somehow – enough that they knew they didn’t want to be separated, and that they’d come to Penury to look for something or other.

She shows you a melded metal ring on her finger. “It’s not much, but we really care about each other. At some point, we must have figured that if we didn’t want to be separated, we might as well get married. Never mind that we’re different species. You’re the first other humans I’ve seen here. Maybe. I mean, he looks human too. Maybe I thought he was when I agreed to marry him.”

As you look around, you notice that her observation is true. You see potato-men, you see lizard people, and you see a tall green being who’d blend right in with a documentary about Roswell, New Mexico. You don’t even recognize any of these species.

When you reach her home, you find the tall skinny man from the ship’s console lying on a dirt floor.

Click here if you were the one who picked up the pear basket.
Click here if Lieutenant Tibert was the one who picked up the pear basket.

Chapter Text

Your group has to hide from a variety of suspiciously-equipped androids from time to time. After searching the streets for half an hour, the wind blows a piece of paper into your face. You grab it.

Shopping List – HIDE from jailers

Bread

Beans

Bananas

Pears – DO NOT FORGET THESE

Clothes hangers – METAL ONLY

A pregnant red-headed woman is running toward you. “That’s mine, thank-” She stares at you.

Click here if you have Lieutenant Tibert with you.
Click here if you do not.

Chapter Text

After half an hour of searching the streets, Lieutenant Tibert says he sees something. You go and see bronze-and-silver robots entering a building.

Lieutenant Lund narrows his eyes. “Suspicious. Well-spotted. Now how to get past the door?” He smirks. “Is there anything like a key card in that wallet you picked up?”

“It looks like a blank piece of paper. There’s as much chance of it being a key card as it being anything else.” Lieutenant Tibert takes a leather wallet from his belt.

Your group ditches the pears to look around the building more easily. You reach the door, which remains shut on your approach. You’re looking around for anything that takes a key when the door opens.

There’s a black robot there, staring at you with a single eye stalk. Behind it is a large circle drawn in chalk, a pentagon encompassed within it.

The eye stalk swivels to the wallet. “THAT IS THE DOCTOR’S. YOU ARE HIS COMPANIONS. WHERE IS THE DOCTOR? WHERE IS THE DOCTOR?”

“Doctor?” you ask. “Doctor who?”

“THE DOCTOR’S COMPANIONS WILL TELL US WHERE HE IS, OR THE DOCTOR’S COMPANIONS WILL BE EXTERMINATED! EXTERMINATE!” The robot aims a whisk-like appendage at Lieutenant Tibert and fires a burst of red light.

The light hits the lieutenant, who screams. A moment later, there’s nothing left of him.

You and Lieutenant Lund run. You make it across a patch of grass, through some gravel, and across an ivy road. The robot is screaming exterminate behind you the whole time.

You’re about to leap some bushes when you hear Lieutenant Lund cry out.

“EXTERMINATE!”

A blast whizzes over your shoulder and hits a nearby post.

“EXTERMINATE!”

Maybe this one could have gotten you, but you are taken in a transporter beam and deposited in the semi-familiar surroundings of a Starfleet vessel’s transporter room. A Vulcan at the controls is speaking into his com-badge. “Confirmed, Captain. We have the survivor.”

You are sent to the ship’s Sickbay for a medical examination.

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Chapter Text

In half an hour, you glimpse one of the varied androids heading into a building – this one a black-cased being with a plunger and a whisk as arms. You point it out to Lieutenant Lund, and the two of you try to sneak closer.

The android’s head whirls around. It looks directly at you with an eye stalk. “SUSPICIOUS HUMAN ACTIVITY DETECTED. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!”

You turn and run.

Something burns your back, and you quickly vaporize to your

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You’re only in the streets a matter of minutes before Lieutenant Lund looks at his tricorder and says, “I think I have a lead: I’m picking up some cybernetic signals.”

“Cybernetic? Like androids?” you ask.

The lieutenant confirms it, so you all follow the readings to a group of red, skeletal androids who chase you.

You and Lieutenant Lund get away, but the androids have nabbed Lieutenant Tibert. They take him off in a hovercraft that you lose in seconds. You have to add his name to the list of your missing crewmen.

Until then, you continue searching the streets.

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Chapter Text

You climb in and take a look around a small room covered in graffiti, black stains, and old pieces of paper. T’mus reads the spiky spray-painted messages on the walls, Mikah examines one of the stains, and Miyu walks over to a faded cut-out.

You stop in front of a heap of envelopes. When you bend down, you find that they’re covering an ancient cardboard box. You clear it of envelopes and read the paper that’s taped to it: LETTERS FOR HENRY.

You read one.

Dear Henry,

I wish I could have known you better – I’m just a new hire, the guy who mops the floors – but let me tell you, you were the heart of this place! People just aren’t smiling without you around. It’s not exactly the atmosphere I expected when cleaning up after people whose job is to make people laugh.

Did you know Joey made a new character in your honor? Alice Angel, he calls her, supposedly hangs out with you in heaven sometimes. He’s thrusting her into the spotlight, crowding out your creations. There was even an episode where Bendy didn’t appear at all!

It’s been months since you died. I swear, if people keep up this level of mourning, I’m outta here!

- Wally Franks

You riffle through the papers, curious if you could maybe find a picture of this Henry or a hint of what happened. He had to be programmed into the holodeck for a reason, right?

You can’t find a picture, but you do find a letter that catches your eye for being without an envelope and typed in all-caps at an angle to its paper:

DEAR HENRY,

IT SEEMS LIKE A LIFETIME SINCE WE WORKED ON CARTOONS TOGETHER. 30 YEARS REALLY SLIPS AWAY, DOESN’T IT?

IF YOU’RE BACK IN TOWN, COME VISIT THE OLD WORKSHOP. THERE’S SOMETHING I NEED TO SHOW YOU.

YOUR BEST PAL,

Joey Drew

Frowning, you turn the paper over to look for any hint why it’s so different from the others. Everything else you’ve seen mentions that Henry is dead. There’s nothing on the back except a muted lemon scent. “I think I’ve found something.”

“Something more than a graffiti artist telling us to beware this demon?” Miyu asks, waving a hand toward the cut-out.

“Something suspicious.” You hold the letter toward her. “There’s some sort of memorial for a dead artist over here, but one of the workers seemed under the impression he was still alive.”

The others join you at the pile of envelopes. Mikah frowns. “I’ve been serving aboard the USS Hela, and Captain Conrad Stein is my commanding officer. He mentioned that he based this simulation off something that happened to his great-something-uncle, Henry Stein.” He gestures to the office door. “There should be a real version of this building just a few cities away from here. From what I can tell, its mysteries were never completely solved. There are some rumors that the authorities never took seriously.”

Miyu crosses her arms. “Like?”

“That this place is haunted by a demon.”

She scoffs. “Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you believe that?”

He smirks. “Not in real life, but we’re on a holodeck. Who knows what scenario was set up for us?”

None of you have anything to say to that. You complain about the feel the set-up has, but you’ve got to finish your training with this simulation. You…

…explore further inside the studio.
…ask T’mus to use her tricorder on the back of Joey Drew’s letter.
…search the room for anything you could use to defend yourselves.

Chapter Text

Hours later, you’re summoned to the first officer’s office. “You’ve been aboard less than a month, correct? And this is your first assignment.”

You nod.

“These things happen to us all. However, when we return to our own universe, the captain thinks it’s a good idea for you to undergo a review of hostage situations and get some additional training via holodeck. Are you willing to attend?”

Thanking your luck to not be disciplined further, you agree.

For the last two weeks in the alternate universe, you remain posted aboard the USS Trumpeter while a more experienced security team goes on a recon mission where you were. You attend counseling in that time.

You get sent back to San Francisco for a week of additional training. It only takes a day to review hostage situations, but then you join others for hands-on techniques of staying calm under pressure. Your final day is that holodeck training your superior officer mentioned: an intense scenario designed by one Conrad Stein of the USS Hela. You are put outside an abandoned old studio with three others from your training group: another security officer named Miyu Takahashi, a Vulcan science officer named T’mus, and a medical officer named Mikah Fairbanks. Each of you have a holographic flashlight, and T’mus is also given a holographic tricorder. You all check your equipment’s programmed conditions and put them away for later.

The scenario? You’ve been assigned to investigate rumors of disappearances across the centuries. Rumors that surround a minor animation studio, Joey Drew Studios.

But the moment you open the creaky old door, there is a large hole in the floor. T’mus strongly suggests you look for another entrance, so you circle around and find the back door locked. You…

…climb in through a window instead.
…search a shed for anything you can use to unlock the back door.

Chapter Text

Pride scowls at your story. “You had two companions when you came in. Now you have one. Tell me the truth this time.”

Your pathetic attempts to convince him that you had nothing to do with the war machines that apparently invaded his country end with your losing the surviving member of your away team. He narrows his eyes – all of them – at you. “How do you contact your superiors?”

“On my chest, there’s a badge. Push it.”

Pride does.

“Ensign Poe to Captain Hamilton. We got caught by an angry local. Not a human. He calls himself a Homonculus. I’m in custody.” You take a breath, preparing to deliver the first bad news of your career. You hope that it doesn’t cost you your job – assuming you get out of this alive. “I have reason to believe that Lieutentant Commander Alfarsi and Ensign Tithee have been killed.”

“I’m prepared to return your little agent in exchange for information.” Pride’s shadows sharpen. “The rat is unharmed at the moment.”

There’s a slight pause. “Understood,” the captain says. “Stand by.”

Lucky for you, Pride seems unfamiliar enough with transporter technology to stare for a moment as you dissolve into molecules. You’re greeted by a dark-skinned Vulcan who informs you that the captain is on his way.

As soon as you’re done with the immediate debriefing, you’re sent to be checked over in Sickbay.

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Chapter Text

Pride eggs and prods you, but you hold your tongue. He narrows his eyes – all of them – at you. “If you won’t talk, perhaps one of the others will.”

If there’s one thing to say for him, at least he ensures that yours is a quick

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Pressure hangs heavy in the air, as though you could feel Pride’s patience vanishing.

You…

…talk.
…keep silent.

Chapter Text

“Those bronze robots you sent, covered in all those bumps and with whisks and plungers for arms.” He crosses his arms. “If they acted remotely human, I’d accuse you of soul binding. Now talk.”

Click here if you have not encountered anything like the machines before.

Chapter Text

“Hang on.” You step away from the group and pick up the piece of metal.

Click here if Pride told you about the war machines.
Click here if he did not.

Chapter Text

It’s silver casing, covered with bumps like what you found in the shed. Looking around gets you a destroyed whisk-like instrument and a plunger.

T’mus raises an eyebrow.

You glance at her. “What do you know about this?”

“I know that it’s caught your interest. I’m… not as aware of Earth history as I’d like to be in this situation, but if I’m correct, that is a hand beater. This seems hardly the place to find one.”

Mikah and Miyu look equally as bewildered, so you…

…demand to be let out of the holodeck and given answers.
…keep information on the matter to yourself and plan to report this to your captain later.
…mention what happened on the alternate Earth and consult them about what you should do.

Chapter Text

You don’t get to learn what caused the hole in the universe yourself, but what you are briefed on is what the Amestrians know of the suspicious party you are to investigate. There have been numerous reports, descriptions, and sketches delivered to the Trumpeter’s security team of various-colored war machines – robots, they look like – that roll along and are covered in bumps. Each unit has an eye stalk and two appendages: one that looks like a whisk, and another that looks like a plunger. They are known to speak English and have no indoor voices.

A few of the reports have them screaming, “EXTERMINATE!” and vaporizing anyone they spot.

Starfleet categorizes them as dangerous and potentially-hostile. You don’t know what they call themselves, but for now, they’ve been given the name Exterminators.

For the next month or so, the Trumpeter hangs around the hole in the universe and performs scans. It’s your job to help examine any suspicious objects found.

Nothing comes of it.

Eventually, word comes of a ruined machine matching the Exterminator description in a training holoprogram created by Captain Conrad Stein of the USS Hela.

When a pair of other security officers checks the program on the Trumpeter’s holodeck, they return and report a match. Your department reports this to Captain Hamilton.

In turn, Captain Hamilton reports this to Starfleet and attempts to contact Captain Stein, but the Hela reports that he’s leading an away mission and has been out of contact.

Your department holds a meeting in preparation for the senior officer’s meeting. You vote on whether to recommend rendezvousing with the Hela, staying to monitor hole until Captain Stein can be contacted, or checking the California location on which the holoprogram was based. Personally, you vote for…

…the rendezvous.
…monitoring the hole.
…checking the base location.

Chapter Text

You shrug. “We are here to investigate a hole in the universe. Whatever made it would need a lot of power.”

“Right.” General Mustang glares at Pride. “If you’re telling the truth, it’s time to back off. The military has it covered.”

“For now. I’ll step in if you humans can’t handle it.” The shadows retreat altogether.

General Mustang makes sure of the fact by checking everywhere. He turns to you. “I can’t let you out. Even if I was sure of your claims, I’d need approval from the Fuhrer. For now, I’ll ask if it’s Pride you were keeping an eye on, or something else.”

You relax. If the general’s this reasonable, perhaps things will work out. “It was Pride. We haven’t been on the planet long enough to run into much.”

General Mustang nods, turns, and marches from the jail.


It’s only a few days later that you and your shipmates are released. The Amestrian leader, Fuhrer Grumman, makes an agreement with Starfleet: Amestrian scientists – astronomers and “alchemists” – know where the hole in the universe came from. They will release that information in exchange for the Trumpeter looking into whatever party took their top-secret alchemic research.

You are given a thorough medical examination when you return to the Trumpeter, but you don’t have anything worse than a slight bug that a hypo-spray near-instantly neutralizes.

Click here if you really are a security officer.
Click here if you're an engineer acting as one.

Chapter Text

As you toss and turn on your stiff cot, you spot particularly thick shadows near the bars. They retreat as footsteps come in.

You turn toward the wall and pretend to sleep.

There’s a scuffling and scraping like someone fumbling with keys in the lock.

Your breaths swiften. You make a conscious effort to make them longer, deeper, with maybe a light snore.

Click.

You spring from the bed and find a handgun trained on your heart. That blonde who examined your phaser is scowling at you. The general who interrogated Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi is there too, holding out a glove. “Your com-badge.”

You unpin it and hand it over.

General Mustang pockets it. “I understand that you’re the security officer for your excursion. Your superior noticed you’ve been wary since you arrived on our planet. I need you to tell me of what.”

You frown. “There was something watching us.”

“Something?”

You nod.

“Of our world something, or from another?”

Not that you’d know unless you recognized it, but you didn’t get a good look at the eye in the bushes anyway.

General Mustang scowls, eyes slipping toward the same shadowy bars you noticed earlier. He snaps.

Flames leap from his gloves, scorching the prison walls. You see clearly: there are thick shadows with red eyes and toothy mouths. They just grin at the fire. “Good to see you’ve kept your touch, Flame Alchemist.”

“Pride!”

You study the general’s tense posture and note the wide eyes on the blonde officer with the gun. And yet, the only significant movement is General Mustang posing to snap again.

Pride’s mouths move. “I’m not the bad guy here this time. I’m just looking into whoever is. I’ve regained my powers, but this time, I’ll use them to protect all I have left. After all, I have grown rather attached to my mother.”

“If you’re lying about any of that, I’ll make sure you regret it.” General Mustang lowers his hand, but his middle finger remains on his thumb. “Why are your shadows here?”

“The Starfleet officers appeared in front of my house without using a philosopher’s stone. I’ve only seen the war machines pull anything like it. I thought they might be connected.”

You frown. “War machines?”

The shadowy eyes narrow. “Silver screaming robots covered in bronze bumps. You’re not familiar with them?”

“No.”

Shadows wrap to the back of your cell. “I find that hard to believe.”

“The commanding officer says they’re here to investigate a hole between their reality and ours. If that’s true, there may be multiple foreign entities running around.” The general crosses his arms. “I think he might be telling the truth too: I got a letter from Fullmetal the other day, describing those same screaming robots going through the English alchemy libraries. I wouldn’t imagine they’re the same group, given Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi’s reaction to my flame transmutations.”

“Perhaps I was a bit hasty.” Pride pulls back.

Mustang meets one of his eyes. “Did you have something to contribute?”

“Lab 5. They confirmed our research as a power source for themselves.”

“They what?”

You straighten on the cot. Power source? This power source couldn’t be strong enough to punch a hole in the universe, could it? “You’re not talking about steam power.”

All eyes in the room glare at you.

Click here if you have not seen any of the ‘screaming robots’ yourself.

Chapter Text

You tap your badge and whisper a report to your captain. He has your team beamed out of there and examined in Sickbay.

When you all pass your health checks, the Trumpeter is still performing scans, and the away teams are still investigating the surface. Your team is sent back to help out, this time in the alternate British Isles.

As you accompany Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi and Ensign Tithee to a public London library, you hear a soft step-thump step-thump step-thump following you through the shelves.

The others haven’t noticed. Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi is asking Ensign Tithee, “How might they have organized their sciences?”

The step-thumping stops the next row over.

You…

…wait for your stalker to make a move.
…alert Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi and go for a confrontation.

Chapter Text

In the following week, Captain Stein has the security team running brutal drills. He even comes and spars several of you himself – especially you new recruits. After your second time having your butt handed to you by the captain, you seek Tim out and ask, “Where did he learn to fight?”

Tim shrugs. “He started as a security officer like us, but they say he’s been big on knowing how to defend himself since his teens. Don’t know why.”

“Buchanon!” the captain calls. “You’re next.”

Tim does better than you did – seeing more of the captain’s ploys – but he still loses to the old man. If he weren’t concerned with running a star ship, you’d say the man could be the ship’s security by himself.

Captain Stein advises a scowling security chief on what further training to give you before he returns to the bridge.

Effective immediately, you’re all enrolled in judo. The first lesson will have to wait though: the Hela has entered yellow alert, and your team has got to search the ship for anything suspicious.

When you report for your next ship, the head of security has the newer officers drawing straws for where you’ll be assigned for duty for the day. You qualify as a newer officer, so he offers a mason jar to you, filled with multi-colored straws. You reach in and draw…

…a red straw.
…a black straw.

Chapter Text

He humphs. “I suppose you’ll have to do. We set course for Penury immediately. Get on with your duties.”

Once you’re out of the captain’s earshot, you ask a fellow ensign why you’re going to Penury. Isn’t that colony known for being lost?

“The USS Elizabeth found it, but then Starfleet lost contact with the Elizabeth. We’ve been assigned to see what happened to her.” The ensign offers you a calloused hand. “Tim Buchanon, by the way. Don’t take Captain Stein’s attitude personally. The Hela is usually assigned to the dangerous missions, so he wants his crew tough enough to take it.”

What a ship to be assigned! You shake Tim’s hand, grinning. “Jorden Poe. Good to meet you.”

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Chapter Text

You’re reassigned under Captain Conrad Stein; aboard the USS Hela, currently docked for repairs. It’s a boring several weeks of patrolling the halls before the captain finally greets the new recruits.

He’s a muscular, silver-haired man with permanently thin lips. As he glances up and down the line of new recruits, he scowls.

Chapter Text

The lieutenant commander promises Pride you’ll keep in touch and has you call the Trumpeter. They beam you aboard.

You search the computer for civilizations with anything like Pride show you, but the search turns up nil. Instead, you monitor the alternate Earth for almost two years.

It takes that long for anything interesting to show up, but eventually, a bronze flying-saucer-like ship comes. Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi asks you and Ensign Tithee for a volunteer to go back to the surface to tell Pride.

Click here to volunteer for the task.
Click here to let Ensign Tithee do it.

Chapter Text

Your superior officer holds up his hands. “We’re not trying to be trouble. We’re here to investigate it, actually.”

The eyes narrow. “I’ve seen you use the same things as our other visitors from the stars: teleportation and weaponized energy beams.”

Other visitors? You all raise your eyebrows.

“Tell me,” says the lieutenant commander. “These other visitors, did they harm anyone?”

“Yes. They vaporized one of our State Alchemists as they were breaking into a secure facility.”

What could interest a more advanced civilization enough to break into a pre-warp civilization’s secure facility? You’d like to ask, but your superior officer is already speaking.

“These other visitors, did they look like us?”

“No, but your machines don’t have to look like you, do they?” In the shadows, there are mouths grinning now. Mouths with sharp teeth.

Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi holds up his hands. “Hang on. What makes you think they’re ours? It’s like what you had to ask earlier – what country we’re from – how many civilizations do you think are out among the stars?”

The shadows go quiet.

“What makes you think the machines are ours? Did they have our insignia?” He gestures to the com-badge on your chest.

The shadows retreat. They pull themselves into a little boy – Selim Bradley. “Come with me. If you really are here to investigate, perhaps you could identify the other Visitors for me.”

You gape at him. “They’re having a little boy take care of this?”

“You’re talking about my outward appearance. I’m older than this country itself, but my looks never change.” Selim smiles. “My people were lab experiments, long ago. We were superior to the humans that live on this planet. But I’m the last one. I protect humans now. My name is Pride.”

Pride takes you back to his home and shows you some skilled sketches he made of round, bump-covered machines with eye stalks, and two funny-looking appendages each: one that looks like a whisk, and another that looks like a plunger.

Click here if you do not recognize these at all.

Chapter Text

Your training serves you well. You dodge the first shadow that he shoots at you. You dodge the second.

With Selim trying to kill you, you turn your phaser up to kill. You hit his shadow, and your blast makes a hole the size of a quarter. The shadows grow back instantly.

You’ll have to turn your phaser all the way up to disintegrate and hope you can figure out where to hit this being to stop his attack before you tire out.

Roll this die to determine your success:

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Chapter Text

“Who are you?” You peer into the shadows and see the shape of a little boy – Selim Bradley.

The shadows retreat from his face. He’s scowling, and his eyes are a bright purple. “I can’t let you go now. You’ve seen too much.”

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Click here if you're an engineer acting as one.

Chapter Text

“You’re quite troublesome, aren’t you? You’re too slippery to be much use. You have to die.”

Click here if Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi is with you.
Click here if he is not.

Chapter Text

With your phaser on stun, you open fire on the local guards. You run toward your shipmates and melt through their handcuffs. They’ve been relieved of their com-badges, you notice.

You're too busy following Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi to tap yours.

Eventually, you lose your pursuers in a shadowy sewer. All around you, red eyes open up.

Chapter Text

You know you were sent as security, but surely it’s much smarter to go in later with a negotiator than to run in now with phasers blazing?

You slip into an alley and are met with shadows. They wrap behind you, and all around you, red eyes open up.

Chapter Text

When you and T’mus turn back to the paper, Bendy is grinning and holding his hands out as though for a hug. You shiver. T’mus places her hands on the character’s temples and closes her eyes.

You glance around the room as you’re waiting for the mind meld to finish. Creepy posters grin at you:

WORK HARD
WORK HAPPY

You doubt anyone could do either having to share a room with those things.

“We need to get the others and go.”

You look at your Vulcan friend. “T’mus? That still you?”

“Of course.” She raises an eyebrow at you. “It’s illogical to assume otherwise.”

As the two of you leave the hall, you keep questioning her about the possessed picture.

She gestures for you to keep quiet. “There’s a hostile being trapped in here that has exceptional hearing, the Ink Demon.”

You swallow. “Your ghost friend tell you that?”

She glares at you.

You’re young, and you don’t have any personal experience yet with Vulcans taking in katras that aren’t katras. You voice your concern about T’mus.

“I’m alright. It was very interesting: that katra wasn’t a full katra. It was just a fragment of human thought. The rest of the katra is still within the studio, and the fragment was calling out for someone to rescue him. The logical thing to do is to remove unprepared combatants and send a rescue team in better prepared. Now let’s not attract the Ink Demon’s attention.”

When you catch up to Miyu, she’s coming down the hall with an old paperclip. “No obvious stairs. No way out either. We’ll have to start picking locks.”

T’mus quietly informs Miyu about the Ink Demon. You…

…watch Miyu pick locks.
…call a warning down to Mikah about the Ink Demon.

Chapter Text

Creeaak! The stairs whine as you walk down. You reach a landing, turn, and shine your light around. You’re in an old break room. There’s a punch-clock, tables with old books, and a dartboard mounted next to an open closet. You follow the footprints to the back of the room, to a hall that’s blocked with old boards.

Your flashlight reveals a trap door and a faded DANGER KEEP OUT sign.

You…

…clear the way to the trap door.
…look elsewhere for a way down to Mikah.

Chapter Text

You step through a door into a sharp hall. It has a whiteboard on the wall, still with a report of how many gallons the Ink Machine produced in a day. How much ink did old animation companies need?

The door at the end of that hall is boarded up. You shine your light through and find only a balcony overlooking a pit, where something had to be hung down below on the giant chains.

You go back and turn in the hall. Quickly, you come to a door and a fork, and decide to go through…

…the door.
…the hall on the left.
…the hall on the right.

Chapter Text

“I didn’t check everything. I did see signs of something’s presence here though. Something bipedal and four-toed.”

You and Miyu look at T’mus. “Yes, it could be the Ink Demon.”

The three of you together…

…keep looking around.
…confront whoever made the footprints.

Chapter Text

When you find them in the front room, Miyu is on edge. “T’mus says there’s someone dangerous living here. Keep quiet and avoid attention. What did you find? The stairs? The back door?”

Click here if you did not find either of these things.

Chapter Text

You make it to a nook that has a switch labeled INK FLOW. Your friends aren’t so lucky. You hear Miyu’s screams.

When you peek out, you see the back of a skeletal, ink-covered being with uneven horns coming from its head. Plop! Roll. There is Miyu’s head.

Moments later, there is a thud. The demon turns and walks off through the wall. All at once, the inky veins disappear.

When you check on T’mus, you find a gaping hole in her chest where her internal organs should be.

You…

…stop to mourn.
…keep looking for Mikah.
…risk falling through the floor to use the one known exit.

Chapter Text

You’re the first to step into the hall, and there you see it: a tall, skeletal ink figure with a twitching grin like the studio star. Its horns and bow tie are crooked. Its hands are mismatched, and one foot is twisted. Its ink is dripping down over its eyes, and still, somehow it sees you.

It rushes. Before you can do a thing, it grabs you by the throat, and you swiftly meet

The End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You recover in the Hela’s sickbay. There, you’re visited by one of the lieutenants, is an engineer like you. His name is Robert Okonkwo.

You tell him about your adventures in Joey Drew Studios, and he tells you about the USS Hela: she’s often assigned the dangerous missions, and there’s a running joke in engineering that Captain Stein has started a competition with the USS Enterprise to see which ship can sustain the most damage.

When you’re well enough for duty, you see for yourself what the joke’s about. It takes you a month to get the Hela space-worthy again after a recent run-in the Borg and a more mysterious Borg-like enemy.

Once the Hela is shipshape, she is sent out to the recently rediscovered human colony planet of Penury, where a Federation ship, the USS Elizabeth has gone missing. There are several yellow alerts before pieces of debris believed to be part of the Elizabeth are delivered to your department for analysis.

You get what you believe is part of a door consistent with Starfleet design standards. Robert gets a bit of the computer, from which he retrieves shuttle records.

There is one shuttle launched that never returned. Your friend believes there may be survivors down on the planet.

It takes two hours and three more yellow alerts before orders return from the captain: the bridge found the shuttle on the surface, and he wants an away team to take one of the Hela’s shuttles down to assist. He assigns a pilot, a security officer, and two medical officers to the shuttle, as well as your friend Robert. There’s enough room for one more engineer to help repair the Elizabeth’s shuttle if needed.

Robert chooses you to come along.

As the shuttle is approaching the ground, misty clouds spray out from the trees. They rise and block all visual. The shuttle jolts as well. It twists, and the pilot’s side smashes into what turns out to have been a brick wall.

The shuttle is on a cement floor, and rubble is scattered across it. Inside, the pilot is slumped sideways into the passenger’s seat, and a male nurse is lying limp on the floor. The only conscious nurse checks on them both. She shakes her head. “Lieutenant Cruz is dead. Nurse Hallowell needs intensive care. Is it safe to use the teleporters from here?”

“It should be. We’re not sure why the Elizabeth sent a shuttle.” Robert is opening a side compartment and pulling out a first aid kit. “Here.”

The nurse calls the Hela and has Lieutenant Cruz and Nurse Hallowell beamed out. Then she checks the rest of you over. You’ve all got minor scratches, and the security officer, Lieutenant Heikkinen, has a small bruise on his cheek, but the only one not cleared to complete the away mission is the nurse herself: she’s having trouble moving her left arm and cannot treat any patients.

After consulting with Captain Stein, the nurse beams back aboard and the rest of get the gas masks to protect you as you search for the Elizabeth’s survivors. You start by…

…tracking the way to the Elizabeth’s shuttle.
…looking for locals to ask for information.

Chapter Text

Henry moves Mikah’s remains somewhere more hygienic as time goes by.

You survive on rainwater that Boris collects from the pipes, but the three of you still alive are very ill by the time there’s a knock on the safe house door.

Click here if you're traveling with the Doctor.
Click here if you're not.

Chapter Text

Henry’s family is angry that you stepped foot in Joey Drew Studios. One of them, your commanding officer, presses trespassing charges to get you kicked out of Starfleet before you’ve even reported for duty.

Roll this die to reach the court decision:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you roll a 1 or a 6.
Click here if you roll a 2 or a 5.
Click here if you roll a 3 or a 4.

Chapter Text

Henry’s the only one who can’t die by the Ink Demon’s hand, so he keeps a look-out as the rest of you clear the debris. He walks through the ink pool, to the door and back, to determine that it’s safe.

T’mus asks about his katra being stored in the studio, but he sighs. “My family knows I’m tied to this place. They’ve tried having a Vulcan priest carry me out, but he couldn’t even, what’s-it-called, melt? with me. They’re keeping this place standing for my sake. I wish they wouldn’t.”

Click here if you're traveling with the Doctor.
Click here if you aren't.

Chapter Text

Henry tells you a bit: when the studio was still running, the owner, Joey Drew, contracted a dodgy engineering company called Gent to build contraptions for the studio.

It built what he calls an Ink Machine. There used to be a prototype sitting on the top floor, crafting special ink from seemingly nothing. There’s a bigger version now. And the ink, it’s alive. It has many human souls trapped within it – most of them insane and violent – as well as a life form born without a soul: Henry’s once-favorite cartoon creation, a demon named Bendy. He’s called the Ink Demon now, and he’s the one who killed Mikah.

He’s not sure how any of it works, but you catch Boris looking mournfully at a collage on the wall, a frowning humanoid thing made of cartoon parts.

Click here if you’re an engineer.
Click here if you're a security officer.

Chapter Text

You don’t recognize the alloy either, nor the metals she was talking about. Her battery is draining quicker than ever and is soon dead, but this urban exploring trip is an adventure all right.

Miyu is frowning around at the shack. “It looks like we’re the only ones to force our way in here in centuries. Either that’s old, or there’s a way to access this place through that trap door.”

You’re all too excited now not to continue onward, so you open the trap door and shine your light down past its rickety ladder. At the bottom is an earthen staircase. “We should be okay going down as long as we’re careful.”

You lead the way so that you can provide ongoing assessment of the structural stability of what you’re exploring. It’s mostly stairs winding down a natural underground cavern, and it’s surprisingly stable.

The four of you shine your lights around the cavern, hoping to glimpse metal that could be one of those you can’t identify in the alloy. It’s just rock, and… ink? Ink spots are everywhere. You do remember something about an Ink Machine. What you found couldn't have something to do with that, could it?

Mikah finally spots metal at the entrance to a separate cave. You all make your way down to it.

It’s hard to imagine what could have caused it, but it looks like giant claws tore through a metal casing silver in color, and covered in yellow bumps that match the one you found in the shack. It’s got a few panels set off from each other.

You pick it up and examine it. “Earth didn’t have any alloy so advanced as the one this is made out of. Heck, the only ones I can think of that might are the Borg. I can’t think what could have caused the dents and tears.”

On the far side you find a place missing a bump, and you frown at what’s underneath. “I don’t think this was just protecting something. I don’t know what that device does, but if I had to guess, that’s a computer or a power source.”

Miyu squats beside you and runs a hand over a slight line in the stone. “Drag marks. I think this was brought here as a trophy.” She follows the line back to the wall. She comes back to the cave entrance, bends down, and shines her flashlight inside. “I don’t think we’re getting through there, but there’s not much to explore anyway. It looks like someone’s hideaway.”

You take a look yourself. Inside are some blankets, some empty cans, and a giant black plushy with horns and a white face. You’re not sure how that got inside.

Miyu fishes out one of the cans. Its label is unreadable now, but you can make out something with pie-cut eyes. Probably the same character as a plushy. Crinkling her nose, Miyu shows the can to T’mus. “How long would you say that’s been in here?”

T’mus shines her light inside the can. She checks out the label. “I say it would have gone bad decades before my people made first contact with yours.” She bends down and shines her light inside the cave. “Judging by the general state of decay, I’d say this has been abandoned that long. It’s surprising. It’s like we’ve come across a piece of the past that no one in the Federation knows about.”

You carry the damaged casing with you as you proceed down to an eventual door, through which is a closet of half-assembled turnstiles. They’re rusted, but they’re more recognizable than the casing. On their tops, you see paint peeling away, but the designs are still clear enough to be identified as three unique cartoon characters: a canine, an angel, and the horned thing you’ve seen around. It looks like a demon here.

You hand the casing off to Mikah in order to shine your flashlight around the room. There’s nothing else in here but dust and ink splatters, but just outside, you see two glinting rails. Is that a ride or a mine? When you shine your light up and down the tracks, you see rotting, spring-loaded wooden ghosts and an old sound effect system. It looks safe enough to explore, so you lead your friends on.

As you reach the ride’s official entrance, you glimpse a white cart with painted eyes and a grin. When you take a closer look, you find a metal bench seat and a safety bar. Looks like an early amusement park ride alright.

“Jorden!” Miyu calls from outside the ride. “Come explore this warehouse with us.”

You walk out and see some game stalls and a bunch of shelves.

Chapter Text

She scans the metal bump. “Fascinating. This alloy is not known to be produced on Earth. Some of its metals are not known to occur anywhere.”

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Click here if you're a security officer on a holodeck.

Chapter Text

As your friend is putting her tricorder away, you open the trap door and climb onto a rickety ladder. “We should be alright as long as we’re careful.”

You lead the way so you can be sure the structure you’re walking through is safe. There’s not much to warn your friends of when walking on a natural surface like this – just beware that drop over the stairs’ edge. It goes down a while.

And then, there’s a bit of metal with jagged edges, covered in those bumps. “It looks like part of the casing for a themed ride. If that’s the shape it’s ended up in, I recommend we stay away from any other bits of rides we find ahead.”

As you continue further down, you eventually come through a door that leads through a closet of turnstiles with peeling paint, and down an old haunted house ride’s tracks.

This ride looks more structurally sound than whatever lost its casing, but it’s electric-powered, and you’re not sure you trust its electricians to have done any better with the wiring.

At the ride’s official entrance, you catch sight of the ride cars further in: white, with painted eyes and a grin. Ignoring it, you step out into a room full of shelves, with some old game stalls in the corner. There, you and your friends vote between exploring the warehouse and playing the games. T’mus wants to explore. Mikah wants to play some games first. Miyu has no preference. The deciding vote is yours, and you vote to…

…explore the warehouse.
…take a break to play the games.

Chapter Text

The extra training serves you well. Sure, you make mistakes now and again, but you’re also a decent asset to Starfleet by the time you hit retirement age as a Lieutenant Commander and your career reaches its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You continue down, through a closet with half-assembled turnstiles and through a haunted house ride. The moment you leave its official entrance, a dark inky figure in a mask snatches Miyu. He has an ax in his free hand and is holding it to her throat. “Why, what do we have here? A whole flock of sheep.”

All of you use your training to talk the madman down.

Click here if you have nothing to report to Captain Hamilton.
Click here if you do.

Chapter Text

Maybe not this Earth, but it’s not like Captain Stein would have based anything off the other Earth.

You don’t find anything in the shack, but you are able to climb in down through the trap door, to some stairs to a natural cavern. You find more metal in there: casing with bumps.

Click here if you asked Pride about the war machines.
Click here if you did not.

Chapter Text

You press play.

The only thing that works around here is my ulcer. Half these people don’t know a wrench from a dang steamroller. Buncha morons is what they are. Spend their day in the warehouse arguin’ over who’s supposed to be doin’ what or playin’ them silly games. Still, I’m not complainin’. I get most my time to myself. Suits me just fine. Only thing that bothers me is that mechanical demon in the corner. Bertrum’s been workin’ on it for a month now. Says it will walk someday and maybe dance. All it does now is gives me the creeps. I swear, when my back’s turned.. that thing’s movin’.

“Mechanical? I don’t think people from back then would have described those inky beings as mechanical.”

Miyu nods. “I agree. So what was she talking about, and why isn’t it lying in the corner anymore? Everything else here was left to rot.”

You and the others search through the work station until someone finds a letter and calls your name.

Dear Bertrum,

So sorry to hear about Bendy. I’m having trouble with Lore myself. He’s up and working, but the colonists have been running scared from him.

Have you tried using cybertronic wiring? I’ve sent you a sample with this letter.

Your friend,

Noonian

You set the letter down. “How does a letter from a twenty-fourth-century cyberneticist get into an abandoned animation studio?”

After some discussion with your friends, you decide to…

…look around some more.
…report the situation to the proper authorities.

Chapter Text

T’mus is scanning one of the Toons with her tricorder. “It’s an android,” she reports. “Made with a special ink full of nano-computers.”

Miyu crosses her arms. “Don’t turn on the ink machine. Do you think they were produced here?”

“Of course they were.” It’s your turn to point to a poster. “It’s their studio, isn’t it? I’d love to take a look at the Ink Machine.”

You stick behind to examine the fallen Toons as the others explore around. As you rub your hand against the ink, you notice a slight buzz against your skin, as though there was electricity was still flowing through it. The buzz is fading. You have time to notice that the eyes have formed X’s before the form melts into a puddle. There’s nothing left of any of the Toons except stains on the floor.

You take out a piece of gauze from your first-aid kit and dip it in the ink. You want some of this ink to examine when you leave.

By the time you have it put away, you’re friends are beckoning you to look at something they found down a hallway. It turns out to be an empty table with a demon-like shape protected from the rest of the wood’s fade. On its edge is an inky question: ARM?

“Listen to this.” Miyu shoves an audio tape at you, an old piece of tape labeling it as the voice of Lacie Benton.

Chapter Text

There are a couple halls shooting off from the room you’re in. One dead-ends with a lever, but the other has a work station at its end. There’s a table with a demon-like shape protected from the rest of the wood’s fade. On the table’s edge is an inky question: ARM?

Nearby, you find a cassette player labeled as having the voice of Lacie Benton.

Chapter Text

You let her have a moment. Finally, she shakes her head. “The only way to tell if they’re hostile is going to be to approach them. Everyone hang back while I go greet them.”

She walks around to the stairs and down to the center of the room. “Hello. My name is Miyu Takahashi. What are your names?”

The three Toons turn around and rush Miyu, weapons raised. “I just want to talk,” she says, but she has to side-step a swipe with a pipe wrench.

Your friend uses judo to take the Toons down. She bends down next to one. “I think I killed them.”

The rest of you join her downstairs. “What were those?”

“If I had to guess, people who don’t like the demon that’s everywhere.”

Who? You have to ask.

Miyu gestures to a faded, yellow poster on a wall upstairs. “There’s a poster Demonic Tonic. The three I just fought had the demon trapped in a bottle.”

Click here if the tricorder still has battery.
Click here if it does not.

Chapter Text

You don’t have to wait long to find out what happened to it: there’s an old robot with red eyes walking through the hall behind you. You’re in a dead end.

The robot goes after the nearest member of your group, T’mus. You and Miyu attempt to rescue her, but the fight ends with the holodeck shutting off, displaying only the message overhead: YOU DIED.

You’ll have to try again after lunch.


When you do, you…

…climb in to the top floor through a window.
…climb down to the amusement park warehouse again.

Chapter Text

You look around. The only thing you can find of remote interest is another audio recording that mentions a mechanical demon. Supposedly, it’s rotting in the corner – and you can see where it was – but it’s not there anymore.

Click here if you’re on a holodeck.
Click here if you're not.

Chapter Text

The only way to tell if they’re hostile is going to be to approach them. You go with Miyu when she does so.

You ask for the Toons’ names, but they attack. You end up having to fight.

The moment you throw the spider into a wall, it slumps.

Miyu’s handled the others, so you go to check on the spider’s condition. Its good eye has become an X, and you can’t find a pulse.

Behind you, you hear two steps of footprints creaking down the stairs. “What were those?”

“If I had to guess,” says Miyu, “I’d have to say people who don’t like the star demon.”

Mikah’s asking for more information on the three creeps, but you don’t have any to give.

Click here if the tricorder is out of battery.

Chapter Text

There are three games across the room, over near some stairs: “Bull’s Eye Bonanza,” “Bottle Wallup,” and “The Strength Test.” Miyu goes to the bull’s eye game, you go to the bottle game, and Mikah goes to test his strength. Meanwhile, T’mus picks an old cassette player up from the bottle game’s counter. The audio is punctuated by Miyu’s shot gun, but it’s still clear enough for you listen as you toss balls at the bottles.

These guys down here in the warehouse get to play games all day while I’m stuck cleaning up after ‘em! They keep locking themselves out of their own back – The audio is interrupted by Mikah hitting the strength test’s bell – I says to em, look guys, I says, you’re smart, right? Here’s an idea! Why not rig these games up to knock open the door if ya win? It’ll be fun for you guys, and it saves me the trip down here every day.

 

They went for it like a dog to pot roast. I tell ya! If these guys don’t start realizing who the real genius is, I’m outta here!

You aim a ball at the last stack of bottles and miss. Miyu and Mikah snicker. “Come on, Jorden. After hearing that, you’ve got to finish opening the door for us!”

T’mus slips into the booth and knocks the remaining bottles down herself. Off to the left, a door opens.

It’s not surprising that an amusement park would need its own power generator, but to have it still working and hooked up to warehouse doors? You’d love to look for why that is. It’s like someone’s been maintaining the thing.

You and your friends all go through the door, but there’s nothing but a bunch of old cartoon demon costumes and a lever. You pull it and follow the power cord to a lever station with the first door lit up.

Another door opens. This room has a surprise: living, chattering beings made of ink down in the center of the room. Three of them: a spider with a prosthetic arm and teeth on its head; a pirate whose head hung from a fishing pole; and a bald… something-or-other… in a suit. They look like living, deformed, cartoons, made of ink and everything.

Miyu makes you stop and observe for a moment. “They’re armed,” she whispers. “I want a better idea of if they’re planning to attack someone or they feel the need to defend themselves.”

Click here if you’re an engineer.
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Chapter Text

Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.

As you turn around, you notice ink lines running from under a door. Then, with the door still closed, the ink runs up the steps, and then it forms a portal on the door through which steps a lanky skeletal figure with horns and a lopsided bow tie.

It catches sight of you, and charges up the steps.

Mikah screams.

The demon raises its hands toward you.

The holo-program shuts off, leaving only the words YOU DIED overhead. STAND BY TO CONTINUE.

“Why are we supposed to continue if we died?” you ask the others.

They don’t know, but when the simulation starts up again, you’re down inside the warehouse, and there’s no demon in sight. Now knowing of the threat, the most urgent thing to find is…

…a weapon.
…a hiding place.
…a way to open the doors.

Chapter Text

Having no way to open it, you…

…play some games.
…go home.

Chapter Text

There’s not much of interest in the warehouse shelves, so you and your friends go upstairs and find the electric door closed.

Click here if you’re on a holodeck.
Click here if you’re not.

Chapter Text

Isn’t that Henry Stein?

You call Mikah over. He thinks it looks like the guy too.

You’re not sure what to make of the dead walking around this studio, so you decide to leave it up to the authorities.

When the authorities show up, your new captain isn’t far behind. He’s arguing with them about what to do with Henry, but he’s not too busy to shoot you and your friends a glare.


You and your friends get fines for trespassing, but you’re not punished too much in light of what you’ve uncovered. The biggest consequence comes in the form of Captain Stein: he refuses to let you aboard the USS Hela, suddenly having more than enough engineers in his crew to repair the much-damaged ship.

His actions don’t harm your career at all: you are simply reassigned to the USS Elizabeth. It’s an easy job for the first month, especially for an engineer of your skill: you’re doing simple maintenance.

You catch the eye of the chief engineer, Lieutenant Hangai. When the Elizabeth receives a distress signal from an alien vessel stranded on the planet Penury, he has you put on the away team to give some assistance.

Four of you beam onto the planet’s surface: Lieutenant Hangai; yourself; a security officer, Lieutenant Bloomberg; and a medical officer, Nurse Popov.

As it turns out, the distress signal is coming from… a twentieth-century police telephone box?

Lieutenant Hangai wants to at least discover how this thing is transmitting a space-worthy distress signal, so you open the door and step inside.

It’s much bigger on the inside. That, or you transported onto a holodeck. Your tricorder scans indicate otherwise: they’re picking up a distortion in the time-space continuum centered on the box, as well as organic signals inside a console in the center of the room.

You and Lieutenant Hangai stay to inspect the vessel for damage as Lieutenant Bloomberg and Nurse Popov search for the crew.

The console is a mess, a hodgepodge of technologies: an old typewriter for a keyboard, a twenty-fourth-century child’s bead maze for… you’re-not-sure-what, and what looks like an enlarged honeycomb made of silicon that slides from a compartment. What displays you understand, you can barely read – and that amounts to some of the clocks!

Lieutenant Hangai is on the other side of the central console stations. He calls you over. “I found a touch pad. It’s got an image pulled up.”

You circle around and find yourself looking at a human-looking man in a pinstripe suit. Two parallel lines in a lower corner make you narrow your eyes. You tap the touch pad.

The man pulls away from the screen. “Hello,” says a British accent. “This is the Doctor, explaining Emergency Protocol 999. It shouldn’t ever come to this, but if you are seeing this, my ship has sent a distress signal on behalf of me and my friend, Donna. We’ve been away for a year, and we’re stranded.”

You raise your eyebrows. “You only call for help after a year?”

“Now me,” says the Doctor, “I’m the expert at getting out of trouble, but sometimes the whole universe is in danger and I could use a little extra help. Just a touch. Someone I can prattle off to to help myself think if get separated from Donna.”

“Does he think he’s a doctor, or the captain of the universe?” your superior officer asks.

“-like Albert Einstein. He was lots of fun to prattle onto. Mind you, he didn’t understand a word about theoretical translinguistic Silurian ecology, but still.”

This has to be a madman. His image stops, blinks, and says, “Sorry, getting off-topic. Anyway, the TARDIS will give you whatever equipment you need. I need you to come get me and Donna to wrap up whatever we were doing here and get back to traveling time and space.” He swallows. “If I’m reluctant to go… remind me that… I’m the last of the Time Lords, so all the responsibilities fall to me.”

The images freezes, just in time for Lieutenant Bloomberg and Nurse Popov to return with a box with a muave cross. “There was a note saying these are inoculations against a gas outside. As far as I can tell, they’re safe. Should we take these or not?”

Inside are six pills, four of which are labeled for each member of your away team, and the remaining two are for the Doctor and Donna. You try to call the captain, but your com-badges aren’t getting through at all. Instead, you discuss it among yourselves.

Roll this die for the group to come to a decision:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled an odd number.
Click here if you rolled an even number.

Chapter Text

You find an intercom, identify yourself, and use it to guide the man to you. He introduces himself as Henry, shakes your hand, and thanks you. “I’ve been waiting too long to have a chance at things turning out differently for me this time.”

“This time?”

He nods. “I’ve been trapped in a time loop since the 1960s. The loop’s been interrupted by a few visitors over the years – dumb preteens who broke in mostly – but no one’s been able to break it altogether. I don’t expect you to know how to free me either, but it will be a nice break not playing Susie’s twisted games. Maybe Boris and I can even control our own destination on the elevator.”

When the authorities show up, Henry’s brought out of the studio as well. He takes a deep breath and looks at the stars with tears in his eyes. “It’s been so long.”

You’re all taken to the station to give your testimonies, and Henry’s closest living relative is called in: his ninth-great-nephew, your captain, Captain Conrad Stein.


When you report for duty, you learn that Henry and Alice ended straight back up in Joey Drew Studios hours after you all left it, still trapped in the time loop. It’s something that Starfleet is looking into now.

Officially, the Hela is not involved, but since she is docked for repairs, there’s little to keep your captain out of it. He calls you into his office and asks you what happened down in the studio.

There’s a team of you looking into other reports of time loops and how various ships broke out of them, but no one’s sure how to help Henry. After all, you got him out of the studio. That should have been enough to prevent whatever outcome the time loop was avoiding, shouldn’t it?

It’s with reluctance that the Hela leaves the system a month later, on her way to investigate a missing ship, the USS Elizabeth. Captain Stein has engineering pay special attention to shield, warp, and weapon systems. There are several yellow alerts when you reach Penury, the Elizabeth’s last known location, but none of them turn to red alerts.

One of your fellow engineers is sent as a pilot for an away mission. Hours later, you are called into the captain’s quarters, where Captain Stein is waiting for you with a tall, skinny man in a pinstripe suit.

“Doctor, this is Ensign Jorden Poe, the one who explored Joey Drew Studios. Ensign Poe, this is the Doctor. He’s a time expert who’s agreed to help save Henry.”

The Doctor shakes your hand. His is slightly cold. “Hello. Sorry to hear about the Bendy show. But then, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. It would have been remembered well into the fiftieth century.”

“Hello.” You’re not sure what to make of the Doctor, but you’re not sure what difference he can make this far from Earth. Still, you tell him exactly what you remember of your expedition.

He stops you when you mention the casing.

“Does that have something to do with the temporal anomaly?” Captain Stein asks.

“Maybe. Who knows. But even if they don’t, they’re worse.” The Doctor stands up. “The three of us are going on a little trip to Joey Drew Studios. Don’t tell Donna we went on a trip without her.”

The captain gestures for you to remain seated. “What? Right now? I am the captain of the Federation star ship, the USS H-

“Knock that off! It sounds pretentious.” The Doctor circles around the captain. “Besides, you’re a ninth-great-nephew too. Aren’t you worried? I have a time machine. I can get us back a second after we leave. You won’t have to abandon your ship at all. And who knows but we’ll need some story about Joey Drew Studios passed down your family?”

Captain Stein nods and stands. “Ensign Poe, if you’re willing to join us-”

“Yes.”

The Doctor grins. “Let’s go then. You’ve been following the investigation. Can’t mess with that part of the timeline, but the sooner we get to the studio the better. Now should be a good time.”


He leads you into Shuttlebay 1, where he leads you into a blue telephone box.

It’s bigger on the inside. An engineering marvel. You and the captain gape at it. “How did you fit all this into a square meter?”

The Doctor’s eyes gleam. “This is the TARDIS. Stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space.”

You watch as he runs around the central console, turning random knobs, pressing random buttons, and then he flips a giant lever. “Here we go!”

The TARDIS jolts. She jolts again. And then she’s steady.

Striding to the door, the Doctor says, “Welcome back to Joey Drew Studios!” He flings the door open, and you’re greeted with a road filled with early cars. You’re feet away from Cinema CA, now playing Bendy in “TOMBSTONE PICNIC.”

“Where are we really?”

The Doctor looks around. “I’d say… San Francisco, nineteen twenty… eight? No, nine. 1929.” He catches sight of the sign. “Oh, brilliant! I’ve always wanted to see the end of that one. They lost it, you know, after its first showing. Oh, but the theater doesn’t open for another couple hours.”

Your captain crosses his arms. “Are you sure you know how to pilot your ship?”

“Yup.” The Doctor peers at something down an ally. “In fact, my flight instructor flunked me out of jealousy. But anyway, isn’t that him?”

You look down the ally. A young Henry’s there in a business suit, with a man in a wheelchair and another young man who’s standing on the theater’s back doorstep. “Yeah, that’s him.”

“Not the right city. Not the right time. Am I supposed to be impressed you got us to the right planet?”

“Keep up.” The Doctor strides down the ally and shows the arguing men something in a wallet. “Morning, gentlemen. Is there a problem?”

They stop. Instantly. “Alan David? You’re the Alan David?”

“Voice Bendy! I’ll double your salary!”

Henry jaw drops. “Joey, we don’t have that kind of money. You can’t just-”

“It’s fine. We did just get our royalties raised to-”

The Doctor holds up his hand. “I’ll gladly voice Bendy. I’m bored with romance leads. I want to try a different sort of role. Buuuut….”

“Yes?”

“You’ve got to answer any question I ask you about the company. Completely and honestly.”

“Done!” Joey offers the Doctor his hand, which the alien stoops to shake. “The name’s Joey Drew. It’s a pleasure to be working with you. Shall we work out the details of your contract in our studio?”

“Oh, absolutely! Let me bring my two personal assistants with me. These are Jorden Poe and Conrad Smith.”

Sticking his hands in his pockets, Henry leans and whispers something to Joey.

“It will be fine. Just stay here and finish up the details with Cinema CA.” Joey wheels his chair toward the road.

“Who’s going to drive my car back there?”

“You will. We’ll get a taxi.”

As you ride to Joey Drew Studios, the Doctor whispers some objectives to you and your captain. You need to figure out how time deviated from the history he remembers – that might teach you how to free Henry from the time loop, and you’ll need to tell him at the first sign of aliens in personal tanks – Daleks, he calls them. They wear casing like what you found in the future. While he’s talking things over with Joey Drew, he wants the two of you to split up and look for anything out of place.

Captain Stein will search administration. You’ll start by checking…

…storage.
…the art department.
…a map of the studio.

Chapter Text

You take a look at it and close some circuits. The ride is ready to go, and you board by twos.

The ride is as you can expect for being so early: decorated, some automated pop-outs, and spooky music.

The sound track is faded and tinny until you hear some screams in a coffin-filled hallway. Then it hits you: the screams sound real because they are. Miyu is already sprinting for the nearest access shaft, and the rest of you are close behind.

You barge in on an inky woman with horns and a lop-sided halo with a blade in her hand. She has an anthropomorphic spider strapped to an upright table, and she’s cutting into his chest. The woman turns, revealing a half-melted face and a missing eye. “Well, well. How… refreshing. I haven’t seen a new face in forever. What do I do with you? Do I fuse you with ink? Torture you to see how long it takes for your minds to break? Or… do I amuse myself by sending you against the Ink Demon? Yes… I’ll let you see what’s become of our studio.”

Miyu tries to talk her down, but the woman becomes upset and rushes her with a blade. Your friend side-steps and trips her to the ground, where she pins the woman to the ground. “Your name?”

The woman talks a lot about nothing, but you’re able to extract that her name is Alice before Mikah hisses to you, “Get your first aid kit over here. I need a lot more gauze.”

Miyu has Alice handled, and T’mus is sent to get the authorities. You and Mikah work on helping the spider. Mikah patches him up, and you work him free.

He runs off the moment he’s out of his bonds.

You notice a security station nearby and go check the cameras.

The studio is massive, and teeming with inky life: more little Toons, another angel, some wolves, lots of humanoid blobs, and one lanky demon with trails following him wherever he goes. There’s something else there too: a human in ink-stained clothes who is clutching a pipe wrench.

Click here if you read an old newspaper in this studio.
Click here if you didn’t.

Chapter Text

There are cords that head to a power box with four switches, but none of you understand how to turn the thing on. You look around for an operating manual and find an audio recording.

Some idiot named Wally Franks suggested rigging the carnival games to open the doors.

Cursing Franks, you head over to the stalls. You take the shooting game for yourself, leaving Miyu to toss bolls at bottles, Mikah to slam a hammer, and T’mus to observe any changes.

Together, you get one door open – and that leads to a storage closet with creepy old costumes and a lever.

At least the lever opens another door. But through this new door is a surprise: living, chattering beings made of ink down in the center of the room. Three of them: a spider with a prosthetic arm and teeth on its head; a pirate whose head hung from a fishing pole; and a bald… something-or-other… in a suit. They look like living, deformed, cartoons, made of ink and everything.

Miyu makes you stop and observe for a moment. “They’re armed,” she whispers. “I want a better idea of if they’re planning to attack someone or they feel the need to defend themselves.”

Your training has you thinking along the same lines.

Chapter Text

The question of how to power the ride is answered easily enough: there are cords headed to a power box with four switches.

Click here if you’re an engineer.
Click here if you’re a security officer.

Chapter Text

You bound through the streets, the Time Agent on your heels. Someone calls out, “Oi! What’s going on?”

A cool hand pulls you around a corner, and another clamps over your mouth. You stumble and lose sight of the main road.

Your heart pounds. You squirm.

You’re held in place.

After a minute, the hands remove themselves. “It’s alright. I think he’s gone. I’m the Doctor. And you?”

You turn and see a scrawny man in a pinstripe suit. He’s offering you a hand.

You’d be in a better mood if you knew who to trust, but you give the Doctor’s fingers a limp shake and mutter, “Jorden.”

The Doctor smiles as though nothing was wrong. “Nice to meet you. Ooooh, is that psychic paper?”

He bends over. “It’s got an arrow. Wonder what it’s for.”

You shove the wallet out of sight, but the Doctor’s already pulling you somewhere. “Let’s see where it leads.”

As you’re walking down the streets, you sneak a glance at the paper. Why would the Doctor see an arrow? It’s always been blank, hasn’t it?

To your surprise, there is an arrow. If it’s there, you want to follow it, even if it means letting this strange man come along.

He prattles on about his excitement about the paper until he annoys you enough for you to tell him off. He stops. “You shouldn’t have done that.” He nods off to the left, where you see a group of your android jailers roaming the streets. “If they stop us, you’re me, okay?”

You narrow your eyes. “Why?”

“I’ve had a few close calls with them, but I’ve got to get home to my wife and child. I promise I’ll come rescue you. I'll remember to.”

You can’t say you have much to live for. All you can do is hope that you didn’t attract your captors’ attention.

Chapter Text

A ship? Sure, you’ll play along, and with the real Doctor with you, you think you stand a chance of escaping. “As long as it’s not just me.”

Lore’s eyes drift to the man at your side. “Of course. I’ve heard about the Doctor’s companions.”

It’s the most exciting thing you can ever remember. You make sure to pay attention to the tour of the various facilities, just in case you ever need dirt on this place.

There’s an empty workroom with a large circle on its floor, looking much more like a ritual room than a product of your current century’s science.

Lore claims that his employers are close to a breakthrough, and will soon need Penury’s populace as resources for the next stage of some illustrious plan.

The Doctor coughs. “What sort of plan, might I ask?”

“Oh, one that won’t end well for organics like them.” Lore smirks. “They’re not bright enough to be my equals.” He looks at you. “But you, I was hoping you’d be more interesting. Think of these tours as explaining the rules of our game before we play, Doctor. May the best species win.”

“Game?” you ask. “What game?”

“A game to settle the question of who’s superior once and for all: Time Lords? Or androids?”

You’re not sure what Lore’s employers are hoping to do with the research, but you see several androids dragging bound prisoners into the room as you leave. The tour continues with workstations, in which android “parents” are allowed to assemble their off-spring.

Lore mentions off-hand that he himself created several workers and adopted one son.

Just what this planet needs – an heir to continue such ethics when someone manages to do Lore in.

You get a tour of everything but an area sealed by heavy gates. You ask about it, but Lore shakes his head. “Old enemies of yours. They’d be furious if they knew about our little game. I suppose, in sportsmanship, you can withhold one area of your TARDIS from your tour for me.”

“Sounds fair.” You grin, trying to pass off your enthusiasm as being for Lore’s “game.”

The Doctor clears his throat. “Just one problem. The Doctor’s not immune to neurogas – little things, you know, like where we parked. We’ll need a lift back to the TARDIS before we can give you the tour.”

Lore smirks. “So much for Time Lord superiority. Maybe we don’t need to play our little game.”

“If you want a tour of the TARDIS,” you say, crossing your arms, “you’ll have to take us to her anyway.”

“Very well.”

 

Lore has you flown along an inter-city road until you reach a blue telephone box. “Here we are.”

The Doctor presses something into your hand. Something small a metal. It feels like a key, but there’s only one thing around it could unlock. You stroll across the grass and unlock the box.

You step in and gasp. “It’s bigger on the inside.”

Lore raises his eyebrows. “I’m starting to think you aren’t the Doctor.”

The Doctor rushes you into the ship and slams the door in Lore’s face. “That’s because I’m the Doctor!”

You’re in a round room with a domed bronze ceiling supported by coral struts. In the center are alien control panels arranged in a hexagon, and the Doctor starts circling them. “Right. I keep getting my memory erased, but who on Penury doesn’t remember the basics of their own culture? There’s got to be a way to fly this thing, or a medical kit that can reverse the effects of the neuro-gas. Help me look, will you?”

You join the Doctor at the consoles and started twisting knobs. You’re about to reach for a big red button when blue gas shoots out at the Doctor and leaves him coughing.

“Are you alright?”

He steers you around and lands you with a face full of the same gas. Slowly, your memories start to return.

The Doctor gives you a moment to recover, then…. “Who are you?”

“I’m Ensign Jorden Poe of the Federation starship, the USS Elizabeth. I came here on an away mission, but that was years ago.”

The Doctor checks something on his controls. “I’m not sure the Earth Empire knows the Elizabeth had any survivors. I’m so sorry, but she’s gone: there’s still bits of her debris orbiting Penury.”

You stand silently for the coworkers you were just starting to know. It was longer ago than you care to remember.

“Jorden,” he calls. “Were there any others? We can get them to safety if you know where they are. I’ve got people I need to go back for too. Or… we can go after the baddies first. Get the planet sorted first, support structures in place for those who survive whatever that plan is.”

You frown. “Earth Empire? What are you talking about?”

The Doctor’s eyes widen. His fingers rush over buttons that shouldn’t even be buttons – screws and yo-yos and stuff. “Oh.” He swallows, glances at you, and asks, “Have you ever traveled through time before?”

“What?”

“You heard me. Have you ever traveled through time before? We need to nip back through time, just to observe. Someone’s changed things. Someone’s here who really shouldn’t be, and I’m willing to bet they were on Earth too. Have you traveled through time?”

Since he brought the topic up, you mention…

…that the man he saved you from called himself a Time Agent.
…that you haven’t personally, but you know of Federation ships that have.

Chapter Text

You tell the Doctor when he gets back. “Twentieth century it is then. Allonsy!” He runs around the controls. After a few minutes’ lurching, he announces that you’ve arrived.

You’re skeptical of his claims, but when you step outside, you recognize the planet you’re on by looking up at the night sky and recognizing constellations: you’re on Earth. Northern hemisphere.

Lieutenants Lund and Tibert are similarly impressed.

The Doctor comes out of his ship. “Seems we’re still in the twenty-sixth century. Sorry about that. I’d stick around to help, but Donna’s having a bit of an emergency.” He holds up a probe-like stick and buzzes it at your com-badges. “There. You should be able to contract me if you find anything. I need someone taking a look at this old place-” The Doctor is pointing behind him, where there’s an abandoned building with a bunch of NO TRESPASSING signs, “-and someone asking around Starfleet about Joey Drew Studios.”

A scream comes from inside the TARDIS. The Doctor pales. “Right. If anyone has my psychic paper – the thing in my wallet – you’ll need it to ask around Starfleet, but other than that, I’m sure you can divide that up among yourselves.”

He runs inside his ship, slamming the door behind him.

Click here if you're a science officer.
Click here if you're an engineer.

Chapter Text

You tell the Doctor when he gets back. He grins and cracks his fingers. “Just sit back and watch my piloting skills. This will be fun! I haven’t been to another universe since-” His smile drops instantly. “What I mean is, going into another universe, there are always things I don’t know. It’s fun. I hope.”

He busies himself at the controls. Several minutes of bouncing and lurching later, he announces that you’ve arrived.

Donna is not up to “lots and lots of running,” as she puts it, so she goes further into the ship to take a nap. Everyone else on board steps out onto an alternate Earth.

You’re the last to do so, and you step out just in time to see a giant pepper-shaker-like robot vaporize Lieutenant Lund.

The Doctor shoves you back into the TARDIS and shoves the door. “Daleks!”

“You know what those are?”

He doesn’t answer you until he’s run to the controls and his ship has finished it’s vworp, vworp, vworp. Then, staring into space, he says, “The remnants of the Time War.”

“The what?”

“The Time War.” He slides to the floor. “The Daleks loathe all forms of life, everything not Dalek. They wanted to destroy the universe. My people tried to stop them. They’re gone now.”

You’re not sure what to say for that, so you let the silence last until the Doctor breaks it himself. “There were times, I thought the Daleks were too. They’re weakened, but every time I’ve encountered them since…” He swallows. “Anyway, if they’re here, we’ve got to find out what they’re up to and put a stop to it. Could you peek out the door and see if we’ve parked in a safer spot this time?”

You do. And you have. “What about Lieuten-”

“Dead. Nothing we can do now but put a stop to the killers.”

And so, when you’re both composed, you walk through the TARDIS door and through the shelves at a public library. You spot a blond guy in a braid sneaking behind someone.

You press beside him to spy on whoever he’s spying on too – it’s two Daleks!

The blond stiffens. His amber eyes scowl up at you.

The Doctor gestures for him to hush and nods back to the Daleks.

“GOOD NEWS, DALEK CAAN! THE THIRD EXCURSION HAS RECOVERED THIS WORLD’S PHILOSOPHER’S STONE RESEARCH!”

The blond gasps, and the Daleks turn.

You all run, and you have several near-misses with energy beams. You retreat for the TARDIS, but a third Dalek crosses your path. You run…

…through the shelves.
…through a nearby door.

Chapter Text

You tell the Doctor when he gets back. “Twentieth century it is then. Alonsy!” He runs around the controls. After a few minutes’ lurching, he announces that you’ve arrived.

You’re skeptical of his claims, but when you step outside, you don’t recognize your surroundings. Instead of seeing vines and grass, you’re indoors with reason to believe you really did travel to the past: on a nearby wall is a black-and-white poster for a cartoon: a grinning horned thing with a giant dripping paintbrush behind its back, and a bunch of sheep. BENDY IN BLACK SHEEP.

The Doctor joins you and Lieutenant Lund outside. “Welcome to California in the 1930s.”

Click here if this is your first time to this animation studio.
Click here if you and your friends went exploring here the week before you first reported for duty.

Chapter Text

It’s not something you’d notice in your everyday life, but Penury’s atmosphere has caused permanent nerve damage that makes you unsafe to work in high-risk environments such as Starfleet. So once the Hela’s Captain Stein has asked you for everything you know about the planet, you are transported home. You are discharged from Starfleet, with your career acknowledged as meeting an honorable

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Captain Stein frowns as you tell him about the trespassing charge. “Do you know who was behind it?”

You describe what you heard, but you don’t know who’s behind it.

After a week of investigation, Captain Stein is ordered to contact the civilization currently running Penury. You hear later that he draws on your testimony to proceed with caution.

The next thing you know, the Hela’s officers are being introduced to a species called the Judoon. The science officers and engineers are being ordered to learn the basics of cybernetics, and the security team is being ordered to learn how to deal with androids.


A few days later, Captain Stein wants to take an away team to negotiate with King Lore of Penury for the return of Federation citizens. He wants someone with any prior experience on the planet to come along, so he asks if you’re comfortable returning planet-side. You…

…are.
…aren’t.

Chapter Text

The interview doesn’t take long. Hours later, the Hela enters red alert.

It’s the last thing you remember before you are jolted against a wall.


When you wake up, you’re in Sickbay and the Hela has left Penury. You’re told she’s rushing back to Earth.

You never learn the details of what happened on Penury, but the thrill of discovering new substances, new species… that’s enough of a thrill for you. You don’t need to solve a mystery completely to be sure of your contributions to the Federation. Performing your duties aboard any Federation ship lab is enough of an adventure for you, even if your career proves to be a dead

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

There is some damage from Penury’s atmosphere, but it’s nothing that the Hela’s doctor can’t treat. You’re reassigned to the ship that picked you up.

When you’re medically cleared for questioning, the Hela’s Captain Conrad Stein calls you into his office and asks what you know about all the disappearances on the planet – the colony’s, the Starfleet officers' on the surface, and the Elizabeth's herself.

Click here if you heard the Elizabeth’s final moments.
Click here if you did not.

Chapter Text

There’s not much, but there’s a single empty glass bottle that you could smash over someone’s head in an emergency. Miyu picks it up.

Now somewhat armed, you try the door, but it’s locked. You…

…ask the others to help you break it down.
…search the shed for anything you can use to pick locks instead.

Chapter Text

To anyone who finds this,

It’s said that mental illness runs in my family. What’s actually been passed down among us is ownership of Joey Drew Studios, and we get hit with the mentally-ill label whenever we try to seek help with the property.

When I was a kid, I broke into the old studio and saw for myself what’s in there: monsters, secrets, innocents trapped for centuries. I would have told the police about it too if my family hadn’t taught me to keep quiet.

I’m keeping an eye out for solutions in the final frontier, but I’m the last Stein who’s concerned for the uncle who’s trapped in Joey Drew Studios. I gave this holo-program for Starfleet to use for training purposes, but I created it in hopes that, one day, someone will rescue the victims.

- Conrad Stein

The four of you frown at the letter. The frown deepens as you notice the rate at which T’mus’s tricorder battery is draining. It was full when she got it, and now it’s at forty percent.

She turns it off to save power for when you need it most.

With the steel in the others’ eyes, you suppose you’re not the only one wondering what Captain Stein put in the holodeck, and if the man is mentally fit for duty.

Having read the letter, you…

…explore further inside the studio.
…search the room for anything you could use to defend yourselves.

Chapter Text

After some arguing, the arch appears, and all of you are ordered out.

An admiral is standing there, scowling.

Off to the side, a lieutenant in charge of the holodeck is gaping at her.

You swallow. “Could you tell us about the casing in there? On my last assignment, one of the locals told me about some war machines that stole classified research from his planet, and it matches that description perfectly.”

“Those are Daleks,” she says. “The USS Hela reported them causing casualties yesterday, as they were searching for survivors of the USS Elizabeth. They also showed up here in Starfleet. No one saw them, but they caused an accident that brought down the search-and-rescue branch of mission control.”

The lieutenant is trembling. “Admiral, weren’t you, weren’t you killed in that accident?”

She blinks. “It’s funny how you forget about dying.”

The moment the admiral is done talking, a metal eye stalk sprouts from her forehead.

Roll this die to determine how you fare against her:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 2, 3, or 4.
Click here if you rolled a 1, 5, or 6.

Chapter Text

Once they report, Captain Hamilton reports to Starfleet in turn and is ordered to visit Fyzlik.

You are assigned to the away team, but you’re not the only security officer on it this time. The visit is mostly uneventful – nothing worse than you having to catch one of the science officers before she can slip off a cliff.

What you find is the same thing the Warner reported: unexplained low ink levels in a lake with energy readings at its bottom, and no safe way to investigate further.

Given the holodeck, you have a hunch that the ink might be going to Joey Drew Studios, but no one can explain how it would end up there – it’s way too far to teleport the ink.

By the time you’re back from the away mission, the Hela has contacted the Trumpeter and asked to rendezvous at some coordinates distant from any populated planets. In less than a week, Captain Hamilton is meeting Captain Stein aboard the USS Hela. Hours later, you’re asked to help beam him back aboard, along with Captain Stein, several security officers, and a small medical team.

A madman in a suit known simply as the Doctor is running around the Trumpter with the strangest tricorder you’ve ever seen – it’s more cylindrical and he insists on calling it a sonic screwdriver. Luckily, he doesn’t have much interest in you except to declare you clean.

You aren’t sure what the rendezvous revealed, but the Trumpeter soon parts ways with the Hela to return to monitoring the hole in the universe from the other dimension. The Doctor was left on your ship, and you are charged with being his bodyguard.

He doesn’t like it. He's clever enough to give you the slip. Frequently. At one point, he tells you to buzz off, but you…

…use the time you should be guarding the Doctor to research him.
…follow your orders, using the ship’s computer and your shipmates to locate the man whenever he gives you the slip.

Chapter Text

Once they report, Captain Hamilton reports to Starfleet in turn and attempts to contact Captain Stein, but the USS Hela reports that he’s been leading an away mission and is out of contact.

Your department holds a meeting in preparation for the senior officer’s meeting. You vote on whether to recommend rendezvousing with the Hela, staying to monitor hole until Captain Stein can be contacted, or checking the California location on which the holoprogram was based. Personally, you vote for…

…the rendezvous.
…monitoring the hole.
…checking the base location.

Chapter Text

You pass training by taking down a madman named Sammy Lawrence. When you return to the Hela, you go straight to your captain and tell him about the things out-of-place in the holodeck program.

Captain Hamilton has a few other members of the security team run the program and verify what you saw.

Click here if T’mus told you about where she saw the ink before.
Click here if she did not.

Chapter Text

T’mus mentions that the casing isn’t the only thing here that’s out of place: there’s an ink here that’s native to the planet Fyzlik. She visited it with the USS Warner.

The advice the others give you is that your captain will still be there when you complete training.

Chapter Text

The Trumpeter is a month away from Penury, but she sets a course there. In route, she receives word of Captain Stein’s away mission from the Hela – the captain encountered your quarry there, and they chased his team screaming, “EXTERMINATE!”

Half the away party were vaporized before the Hela could beam them back. Strangely, Starfleet ordered him not to report it, not to monitor the situation.

He’s going against orders, and Captain Hamilton is inclined to agree that there’s something fishy and dangerous going on. Security is on high alert as you meet up with the Hela, and you’re pulled away from aggressive surveillance on your shift only for another round of questions about what you know of the – Daleks, your new interviewers call him.

Your interviewers, a young skinny guy and a pregnant redhead, exchange looks. The man pulls the redhead close and whispers in her ear.

When he looks back at you, he asks, “Is there anything else?”

You’ve told them all you know, so you’re dismissed and the interviewers leave the room behind you.

Because you’re only an ensign, you don’t hear anything further for another month. And then, what you hear is only that the Trumpeter is being called back to Earth because Captain Hamilton is facing a court marshal.

In fact, he is removed from Starfleet and the rest of the Trumpeter’s personnel are reassigned. You’re posted on Earth as part of the domestic defense force – and what a time to join!

The next week has you training to fight ink beings – Toons, experimental life forms from your own planet. They’ve escaped an old animation studio and are focusing their attacks on Starfleet Headquarters.

They’re not easy to take down either – phasers do not work on all of them.

That’s the case for an angel armed with a blade, who you’re currently facing down, your partner dying of a stab wound at your feet.

The angel scowls. “Don’t you have any idea what’s going on here?”

You don’t, but you know your duty.

Click here if you keep fighting.
Click here if you listen to her version of events.

Chapter Text

The Trumpeter hears from the Hela days later, but the signal is dropped. Starfleet reports that the Hela was lost to a warp engine malfunction.

While the ship’s researchers try to track down the names of anyone else who might know about Captain Stein’s holo-program, the Trumpeter keeps monitoring the hole.

One day, a flying-saucer-type ship slips past you, and Captain Hamilton orders the Trumpeter to follow it. The ship is put on yellow alert.

Soon after, you are sent to the surface to assist the local populace – Central City’s streets are speckled with war machines stunning the people. There’s a military there, but their tanks and guns are ineffective against the casing, and their soldiers are just adding to the bodies lying in the streets.

You point your phaser at the enemy, it being turned up to vaporize. It does nothing but attract attention to you.

You’re hit.


When you wake up, you’re hog-tied atop of some large circle. So are many other people.

There is a bucket of ink and one of the enemy in the circle’s center. Then, the circle glows. You’re ripped from your body and thrust into the ink. At first, it’s like a well of screaming voices, and then more souls are packed inside.

You can’t even tell which scream is yours. You’re not sure what was done to you, only that your agony has no

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

As soon as you’re within transporter range of Earth, Captain Hamilton gains permission to beam part of the Trumpeter’s security team directly into Joey Drew Studios. You are assigned to the away party, as are the security officers who checked the holo-program.

The group is beamed down underground, where the holo-program had a casing placed. The casing is there in reality as well, sitting just outside a cave whose entrance is too narrow for you to comfortably pass through, and there are drag marks between it and a natural stone wall.

The first thing you check is…

…signs of life inside the cave.
…how the drag marks could start from the wall.

Chapter Text

You’re put on an away team with your chief of security, Lieutenant Bryson, and a few of your fellow security officers, Ensigns Arnold and Un. You are only to locate the ones in possession of inter-dimensional technology. You dress in period clothing, but you’re armed with phasers and have a tricorder with you to follow the readings.

The trail leads to a small building with a huge sign that says Joey Drew Studios. It has a grinning, black-and-white, pie-eyed horned thing.

How do the four of you investigate a small, private animation studio without drawing attention to yourselves?

You…

…enlist help from a studio employee.
…familiarize yourselves with the company before doing anything else.
…send just two people in, who are to act like they’re supposed to be there.

Chapter Text

“You are an alchemist?” You ask.

Ed gives you an incredulous look. “Shouldn’t you know that by now?”

“Could you explain the basics? We’re not from around here.”

He narrows his eyes and curls his fists. “No. But I will tell you this: if you don’t know alchemy, you have no business sending your war machines around to steal our planet’s research.”

Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi steps between you and Ed. “We don’t know anything about war machines. What did they look like?”

He describes salt-shaker-like personal war tanks with bumps, eye-stalk-cameras, and two appendages: one that looks like a whisk, and another that looks like a plunger. They scream exterminate and vaporize people. He informs you that he’s already called British authorities.

Your lead officer calls the Trumpeter and you are pulled off the planet again. All away teams are, as it’s considered too dangerous with the locals on high alert.

No one’s sure what civilization it was that tipped this pre-warp civilization off about life from among the stars, but there’s a lot of speculation that they were the ones who created the hole. None of you can explain why they were after the alternate Earth’s science unless to explain how their civilization is different than your own. The idea makes the ship nervous.

It makes Starfleet nervous too once Captain Hamilton reports back in. The Trumpeter is ordered to look for signs of other ships.

There’s nothing there that matches the strange energy readings from the planet, but you hear Lieutenant Yamaguchi found tachyon patterns consistent with time travel, and they lead back to your home dimension.

Warning: time travelers have their eye on your civilization.

The captain gets permission to follow the trail, and the Trumpeter chases it to your Earth in the early twentieth century. There, scans show that Southern California has small amounts of those strange energy readings native to the other dimension.

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Chapter Text

You keep an eye on the situation, but your stalker bugs off with books stacked over his head. Still, you study him as he limps off: he’s got long blond hair and is on the shorter side of average. With his gait and the step-thumping sounds, you assume he’s got a prosthetic leg under his dark pants.

He plops the books down at a table that resembles an avalanche.

Meanwhile, your shipmates are using the knowledge that alchemy is still respected enough in this dimension for a general to introduce himself as an alchemist to figure out the library’s organizational system: what other common thread would connect gardening, literature, and the history of shoe-making than coded research?

That’s their realization. Your realization is that your possible stalker has taken up half the alchemy section for himself. You glance back at him. The table is full now, and he’s sitting on the floor, which now holds stacks of its own. You’re sure your suspicion is showing on your face as you look back toward the blond.

His head is up, and he meets your eyes with his amber ones. He matches your scowl.

You barely hear Ensign Tithee beside you when she says, “Here: The Zodiac, Xing, and Xerxian Sky, and A Guide to Garden Gates, both by the same author. I don’t know how much faith we can put in the topics, but they look like a possible astronomical alchemy text and a possible book about inter-dimensional portals. Do you think this Van Hohenheim might know something about the hole?”

The blond pales. He springs to his feet.

You reach for your phaser.

In colorful language, the blond demands to know what you all are looking into. He speaks with an Amestrian accent.

Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi gestures for you to stand down. He asks the blond who he is.

“My name is Edward Elric. Van Hohenheim was my father.” He narrows his eyes. “Explain why you’re interested in his research.”

Chapter Text

“Is that a threat?”

The blond sets the books back on the shelves. He’s holding himself with confidence and keeping an eye on his surroundings. “Who are you?”

You peer down into his amber eyes. “I should be asking you.”

“I asked you first.”

You had a class on this in Starfleet – handling people who don’t want to cooperate – but it was years ago and you barely passed anyway. What you remember is that you’re supposed to try to talk him down. “Do you think it’s a good idea to pick a fight when you’re half-a-head shorter-”

The blond rushes you. He thrusts his fist into your stomach. “Did you just call me short? Who’s the runty electron around here?”

You shove him back.

He catches himself, locks his eyes on you, and charges.

Click here if you really are a security officer.

Chapter Text

Your stalker is a young man with a blond braid, who is busy stacking books into his arms. He stops when he notices you, and you catch his feet shifting into a defensive position. “What?”

“Stop snooping.”

He raises an eyebrow. “You’re in the alchemy section and wondering how England organizes its sciences. It’s like you’re amateurs or something. Not that I care if you get yourselves in trouble, but alchemy is dangerous if you don’t perform it correctly.”

Click here if you really are a security officer.
Click here if you're an engineer acting as one.

Chapter Text

The Hela is evacuating the colonies, and it needs half its security ashore. Because you took a red straw, you’re assigned to planet to keep an eye on the first evacuation area.

You’re down on the surface now, standing on an emerald road of woven vines, and gathering a bunch of amnesiacs together. A gas mask is securely on your face, and a phaser is in easy reach.

The people are gathered amidst tall thatch-roofed buildings, and a hovercraft is pulling up. You and other security officers aim phasers at some red androids who are parking.

Near you, one of the colony's men stumbles and falls. A woman sets down an infant and kneels to check on him.

You…

…keep focused on the androids.
…check on the man.

Chapter Text

The Hela is evacuating the colonies, and it needs half its security ashore. But half of security has to stay in case danger arises aboard the ship.

It doesn’t.

You have a smooth job in keeping peace aboard until the Hela can deliver the colonists to the nearest friendly planet. During the journey, your judo lessons start.

Soon after, the Hela returns to investigate how the colony was lost in the first place: who is that hostile party that blew up the USS Elizabeth?

Captain Stein knows a bit: the security force on shore encountered hostile androids – Soong-type, you’re told – and the medical team treated a man who called himself the Doctor. The Doctor claimed that the USS Elizabeth was likely blown up by a hired security force of a race called the Judoon.

Your department are all put through a holograph simulation based on an incident that happened aboard the USS Enterprise with Data and Lore. You all need to be prepared to take down Soong-type androids if needed.

You train your best, and Captain Stein has the security chief test every one of you on the holodeck. It is to determine who can be used on the surface, and who is better to remain on the Hela.

Test your reaction speed to get your results:

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Click here if your reaction time is 215ms or faster.
Click here if your reaction time is slower than 215ms.

Chapter Text

You leave the department behind, discussing what you know of the ink. You want to keep exploring, so you decide to search the main warehouse instead, but in absence of anything interesting, you decide to go home.

It will take more than four young officers and a tricorder to unravel this place’s secrets. You suggest alerting your superiors for further investigation.

Chapter Text

You emerge into a spacious room with fake wheels spinning on the wall. Your friends find a sign that directs you all to explore the art department, the Ink Machine, or the cinema.

All of you come to an agreement to check…

…the art department.
…the Ink Machine.
…the cinema.

Chapter Text

You climb in and try the interior door. Locked.

Instead of trying another entrance, you and your friends take a look around the room first. T’mus reads the graffiti. Mikah examines a black stain on the floor. Miyu walks over to a faded cut-out and a framed newspaper.

You join Miyu.

From this distance, the cut-out’s black inky eyes grin at you. Whatever the thing is, it’s wearing a bow around its neck and has either horns or very pointy ears. “I don’t recognize this Toon.”

Miyu is wiping dust off the glass. “Neither do I. I assume it was one of the star creations here.” She scans the article and hands it to you. “Take a look at this.”

T’mus and Miyu join you, reading over your shoulder.


ANIMATOR FOUND DEAD AT DESK

Bendy creator, Henry Stein, was found at his desk the morning of August the 31st, lying over his last ever completed sketch of his little devil darling. Investigators suspect the artist died of fatigue brought on by overwork.

Joey Drew Studios says that it will set his desk as a memorial to the man who brought joy into the lives of so many movie-goers in these tough times.

You and Miyu exchange looks, but the most interesting part of the article comes when T’mus picks the lock to access the rest of the studio.

Chapter Text

Miyu agrees. The four of you get drinks instead of explore further, but the supposedly-abandoned studio runs through your imagination as you wait for your assignment to start.

You ask around and learn rumors that the place is haunted by a demon.

 

A week later, you’re lined up among the Hela’s other new personnel, being greeted by your silver-haired captain. As he glances up and down the line, he scowls.

Chapter Text

There’s a chill next to the entrance, or maybe it’s just you. It remains when the four of you shove open a jammed door to a hall that’s flooded with ink.

Someone whistles.

Everyone but T’mus jumps. The Vulcan shines her flashlight at a bit of copper, which she traces up the door frame and outside to an audio tape.

But Mikah spots a cassette player over the door. The whistling is coming from that. It must be rigged somehow.

Miyu shines her flashlight around inside. There is a pool of black liquid in front of you. Although there are no footsteps leading from it, there are recent disturbances in the layer of dust on the other side.

“We should leave,” you say.

Chapter Text

You trample weeds as you look around the building, which is situated on a hill so steep that what’s ground floor at the main entrance is the second story around back. You and your friends spot two other likely entrances to the building: a single window through which you can see a room piled with litter and caked with graffiti, and a steep staircase leading down to a back basement entrance.

Additionally, you see a shack with surviving letters B_ND__A__ __TR____ that you may also want to poke around.

You try…

…the window.
…the staircase.
…the shack.

Chapter Text

The shack is locked, but the lock is more rust than metal. Miyu breaks through it in less than five minutes.

You step inside and shine your light. You’re met by a sign with a grinning cartoon something-or-other with a yardstick down its middle. YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO RIDE. “Was this place ever large enough to have its own amusement park?”

Other than the sign, the only things in the shack are a trap door and a semi-spherical piece of yellow metal that Miyu picks up. She tosses it up and down. Then she tosses it to you. “What is it?”

It’s sturdy, but it’s lighter-weight than you expected. You examine it under your flashlight and put it through what tests you can conduct on it on the spot, but you can’t identify it. “I have no idea.”

You open the trap door and shine your light down a rickety ladder that leads to an earthen staircase. T’mus leads the way down stairs that wind around a natural underground cavern.

You pause to examine a bit of metal at a cave entrance.

Chapter Text

Miyu goes first. She leaps over with the grace of someone expected from someone who’s gone through physical training and steps further into the hall. “It seems solid enough here.”

She’s examining the old posters as first you clear the jump and then T’mus does.

You and Miyu pull your friends up. Everyone escapes with nothing more than scrapes – which Mikah promptly patches up – but you’ll have to find another way out when it’s time to leave.

Shouldn’t be too hard.

Chapter Text

You wish him luck.

You’re the one who needs it more: soon the Trumpeter is on red alert, and moments after the alarm starts, the ship jolts. You’re checking something in Engineering at the time, and you’re thrown into the warp core, where you meet a sudden

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

The Trumpeter explodes while you’re ashore, and it doesn’t take long for hostiles to show up. You help the locals flee someplace safe.

Pride gives you cover.

You advise the Amestrian government on basic space-age warfare for weeks without ever hearing from Starfleet. You never do. Starfleet never comes for you either.

In a few years, you become an Amestrian citizen. You join the military, learn alchemy, and start a family.

It’s a tough fight against the Daleks, but the alternate Earth survives past the time when you, at age 70, General Jorden Poe, the Dalekanium Alchemist, meet your natural

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You get a shot near his body and run off, but Pride’s shadows lash out and claim your arm for themselves. You hide, gritting your teeth and clenching your bleeding stump.

You peek out at Pride.

He’s eyeing your blood trail.

You…

…call for help.
…run through the crowded streets.
…skip town to put as much distance as possible between you and this monster.

Chapter Text

Something grabs your foot: some of Pride’s shadows slipped behind you. You’re hoisted. Your phaser clanks to the ground.

Pride drops you in one of his mouths, and you meet your

End

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Chapter Text

They ask why Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi and Ensign Tithee aren’t with you, and you have to explain.

After an inquiry and a psychological evaluation, you are deemed unfit for duty and are discharged from Starfleet. Any security officer would be dishonorably discharged, any other would be simply released, and your outcome is as expected from someone of your position. When you return to Earth, you get counseling, but your Starfleet career has met its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You walk over to the hole. “Mikah, can you hear me?”

The voice that responds is not his: “Who is it that calls from above? It is not our Lord. Perhaps it is a lost sheep.”

You shiver. “I’m trying to warn my friend about a dangerous demon. Have you seen him?”

“Bendy? Yes. Many times. He is… magnificent. He is powerful. And… he will set us free.”

You scamper away from the hole and rejoin your friends. They’ve picked open an office door and are opening a window. When you’ve caught up with them, you tell them about the voice.

T’mus goes to reason with the madman. The conversation ends with blobs of ink popping out from the pipes on your floor and tossing you through the hole.

As you black out, you see an inky man wearing a mask made from a cut-out’s face. “Sheep, sheep, sheep. It’s time for sleep. Rest your head-”


When you wake up, you and all four of your friends are tied up with weak, frayed ropes. You break through easily and run for the exit.

There’s a pool of ink in front of you. A demon sprouts eight feet tall the moment one of you steps foot in the ink.

You turn and run instead. Down the hall until you can slam a door shut behind you. You and your friends work together to bar the door.

Pound! Pound! Pound!

After a few moments, you hear the demon go off.

“What are those things?” Miyu asks.

T’mus examines her hand. “The most logical explanation is more katras or part-katras. They’re made of ink, and the one we just encountered is called the Ink Demon. He barely touched me, but look.”

Green blood is dripping from her hand. Mikah pulls his medical kit out immediately and gets busy.

Miyu frowns. “Yes, it's obvious what they're made of, but where are they from? What are they doing here?”

T'mus can’t answer that fully. The mind she melded with only knows that a twentieth-century man named Joey Drew was somehow involved.

No one knows you’re here, and none of you have a communicator. It will be days before anyone starts looking for you. You’ll have to survive yourselves. You start by…

…finding weapons.
…finding a better place to hide.
…looking for an unguarded exit.

Chapter Text

As for the Steins? The court dismisses the charges against them. It’s been centuries since whatever happened, and they aren’t responsible for the safety of trespassers.

Roll this die for the court to reach a decision about you:

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Click here if you roll a 1 or a 6.
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Click here if you roll a 3 or a 4.

Chapter Text

She tries the door closest to the entrance hall first, and you’re good – there’s a window through which you can escape.

You wait at a nearby police station to answer questions while a search-and-rescue team is sent after Mikah.

He’s injured. So are some of his rescuers.

The Stein family is under investigation, but you’re not off the hook for trespassing. One of the family, your commanding officer, presses charges to get you kicked out of Starfleet before you’ve even reported for duty.

Click here if you did not clear any hallways inside the studio.

Chapter Text

You remember seeing a doorway and another hallway at the top of the previous room’s stairs. You’ll try those.

Carefully, you make your way back to the hall.

Chapter Text

The boards blocking the way are old and rotten, but it takes some effort to pull them all out. When the way is clear, you open the trap door and examine its ladder.

A moment later, you climb down and find the stairs. “Mikah? Are you around? I found your way back up.”

But the stairs lead to a small room with a swirling golden tunnel. Still active after all these years? There’s got to be a reason for that.

There’s got to be a reason it was blocked off in the first place too.

You…

…go through the tunnel.
…go tell your friends about the stairs.

Chapter Text

You walk over creaking boards, passing empty shelves and empty cans. Around the corner, there is a table, and on the table, an ancient tape player.

You…

…stop to listen.
…keep going.

Chapter Text

You press play, and a man’s voice crackles out. The voice complains how his boss, Joey, lost his mind and installed a leaking, breaking ink machine. The man also made his employees offer workplace items to some gods.

It seems Joey’s contemporaries didn’t know what the machine was for either.

Chapter Text

You look for signs of anything that could help Mikah as you walk through the hall, but it dead-ends with an ink-flooded cinema. The projector is turned on, and the studio’s demon character is dancing to a whistling tune.

You go to check the other way.

Chapter Text

You pass a railed-off section of hall that only has a creepy cut-out in it. Soon, you reach another fork, where you turn right.

You enter a room.

Click here if you’ve listened to the recording.
Click here if you haven’t.

Chapter Text

There are six pedestals in the room, each displaying mundane items for the 1930s animation industry: ink, a doll, a vinyl record, a wrench, a book, and a gear.

Did someone try to turn this place into a museum? Other than the general state of neglect, the only thing that would be out-of-place is a lever station on the opposite wall. STATUS: RUNNING.

What is that, a back-up generator? From how long ago? At the very least, someone has to be around to maintain it.

When you step into the hall, there’s another room ahead, and there’s a half-skeletal corpse stood up on display.

Nope. You’re not staying here to meet whoever left that out. You’re going to find an exit, and you and your friends are getting out of here.

You take the wrench from its pedestal in case you need to defend yourself, and you do a quick check for another exit.

Nothing.

You find your friends coming up the stairs. They’re whispering to each other.

T’mus says something about advanced technology.

Behind them, ink is seeping into the room.

Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Thu-thump.

“What’s that?”

Your friends turn around. T’mus clamps a hand over your mouth and nods to Miyu.

Through the wall limps a tall, skeletal being with lopsided horns. Ink covers his eyes, but nevertheless he looks around.

Something draws his attention at the back of the room.

Miyu’s attention stays on the ink trails until they disappear altogether. “Did we just unleash the Ink Demon onto another planet?”

T’mus releases your mouth. “That is the most logical conclusion.”

“Anything else here dangerous?”

“Most life forms within the studio are hostile. In absence of a usable exit, I recommend we find Henry.”

Whatever they’re on about, you’re lost. “Who?”

“A human katra who is trapped here. He’ll be the most helpful resident of Joey Drew Studios. He’ll be in the lower levels.”

So now you have to find a safe way down to the next level with Mikah having drained the ink. You suggest…

…using old power cords to climb down.
…flooding the studio with ink again to cushion the landing.

Chapter Text

It has six pedestals like the recording mentioned. You go to one with a framed ink splatter behind it.

Click here if you’re an engineer.

Chapter Text

You press lightly on the top and hear something click. “Was Joey Drew more madman or mastermind?”

Fallen beside another pedestal is an old wrench. You take it and disassemble the pedestal. It’s full of wires and gears and a substance you can’t identify. You’ll have to get T’mus to use her tricorder on it later.

You follow wiring from the pedestal and to the wall. Where does it go?

Tucking the wrench somewhere on your person, you glance around the room for any more clues. There’s just one: a lever station. STATUS: TOTEMS MISSING.

No, maybe there are a few more clues: the pictures hung behind each pedestal. One is a wrench, and you’d rather use the one you found to examine something than to trip a pressure plate.

You’re leaving the room when Miyu and T’mus catch up with you. “Help us look for a rope or something – we know where the stairs are, but Mikah can’t use them.”

You suggest using dead power cords, as rope isn’t something animators often have on hand. Then you…

…help transport and tie power cords.
…stay to examine the machine.

Chapter Text

The room through the door is no more interesting than the rest of this place, but it’s got another door on the other end.

You open up to graffittied words: WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?

To the left is an inky corpse that would have once looked like the Toon in a nearby poster: Boris the Wolf.

I’ts old, but there were those inky footprints too. You look around. No one.

When you pay your respects, you hear a whispering from the pipes overhead. The words are not clear.

“Living Toons.” You swallow. “There’s one here. Are you the other?”

That demon. Where is he? Dead, probably. Even if Toons can’t grow old and die. Unless he was the one with a motive to kill the wolf.

You’re turning when something drops from the pipes. Knee-height and crawling.

It attacks you.

You kick it, but the thing is tougher than you expected.

You’ll never get to tell anyone, but you learn that, no matter what adventures you have, everybody dies in

The End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Following the footprints leads you down the stairs to a room with tables, chairs, a dartboard, and books that look like they’d fall apart if touched. They go to the back and into a boarded-up hallway.

“The footprints look newer than they are – I’d say these boards have been here for centuries.”

And with Miyu’s expert opinion, you shine your flashlight toward the back. The hall ends with a trap-door and a faded sign: DANGER KEEP OUT. You search the room for other ways out, but there’s just a closet with long-expired bacon soup.

The door clicks shut. You look up, and there is a humanoid being made of dripping ink. It runs downstairs and curls up in the corner, covering its glowing yellow eyes. “He’s coming. He’s coming. He’s going to find me. Oh no. He always finds me.”

You…

…calm the humanoid down.
…prepare for a fight.

Chapter Text

You only find one way out – death – such as met a poor canid whose cadaver is strapped to a table. You’ll have to find a way to cross the hole in the floor. Maybe there’s a back door Mikah could use to get out.

Between the three of you, you gather what wood you can. As the engineer, it’s your job to make a usable bridge of it.

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Chapter Text

Your heart is racing. Your palms are sweating. Your mouth is dry. You tip-toe through the halls. You look around every corner before you round it. You memorize the nearest hiding places. You keep an ear out for that tell-tale heart and an eye out for that snaking ink.

There’s no way down except through the hole. You’ll just have to get help.

Chapter Text

You tremble the entire way to the hole, but once you’re there, there is enough adrenaline in your body for you to catch the boards on the far side and pull yourself up. You launch through the doorway.

Free.

Chapter Text

You don’t like seeing your friends as a gory mess. Your stomach doesn’t either.

Up comes everything you ate for lunch. Bits of bread. Leafy vegetables. Lots of liquid. It reeks. The vomit dribbles down your chin.

“Hello?” a voice calls. It’s young and male and there’s a bit of hesitation in it. “Is someone in here?”

You warn the newcomer about the demon.

The floor creaks and footsteps come toward you, but you don’t see anyone there. You feel a cold hand rub circles against your back though. “I haven’t seen urban explorers end up this badly in a while. How did you get in here? We’ve got to get you back out before something happens to you too.”

Whether you believed in such stories or not, you know what this guy is – he’s a ghost. But he’s not like the ones from the horror stories. He’s too kind for that. “The demon killed you too, didn’t he?”

“Can you stand?” The ghost’s arms wrap around your torso and help you up.

Your legs are a little shaky, and you throw an arm around an invisible back for support.

“How did you get in here?”

You tell the ghost how you all cleared the hole in the entrance – all except Mikah, who made the hole bigger when he fell.

For a moment, the ghost is silent. Then, very softly, he says, “My name is Henry. I used to work here. I’m familiar enough with the building to know there was no other exit on this floor. I was hoping you used a hole in a wall to get in.” His grip tightens. “I’ll have to get you and Mikah through the Music Department’s exit.”

Henry has you hide in a closet as he goes to flood the floor with ink. The liquid drains through the hole and provides a soft landing when you leap down there. You drain a stairway and climb down, passing pentagrams and coffins

You’re shivering by the time trudge through a hall flooded with ink and – finally – emerge into a room on this floor that’s actually well-lit. MUSIC DEPARTMENT.

“The good news is your friend’s smart enough to solve the puzzles that open the doors here. Let’s stay away from the puddles. Just in case.”

You’re not sure what’s so threatening about puddles of ink – they aren’t quite the same as that Ink Demon who slaughtered your friends – but you trust Henry on it. You’re approaching a pool of ink that separates you from the exit when loudspeakers blare, “Sheep, sheep, sheep. It’s time for sleep. Rest your head. In the morning, you may wake. Or in the morning, you’ll be dead. Hear me, Bendy! Arise from the darkness! Arise and claim my offering! Free-”

“Oh no.” Henry pushes you toward the exit. “Get out now.”

You…

…do.
…help him rescue Mikah instead.

Chapter Text

It doesn’t take long for you to find locals. You presume Lieutenant Heikkinen has found them anyway when he greets someone through an open door.

“INTRUDERS! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!”

A red blast hits Lieutenant Heikkinen and vaporizes him in front of your eyes. Robert is soon met with the same fate.

“INTRUDERS! INTRUDERS! EXTERMINATE!”

You haven’t been seen, so you hide behind an open crate of chalk.

Metallic beings covered in bumps roll through, taking a look around with their single eye stalk each and screaming to each other in grating, tinny voices.

Hela to away team.”

You tear the com-badge from your chest and ditch it, retreating through the rows of crates. You don’t dare to breath as the beings look down at your com-badge.

If they find you, you don’t even have a phaser to defend yourself with.

“OBJECT IDENTIFIED. IT IS A COM-BADGE. THE INTRUDERS BELONG TO STARFLEET.” Your shipmates' killer aims a whisk-like appendage and destroys your badge with a red beam. It looks up at its fellow. “PRIORITY: PEST CONTROL.”

Pest control? Killing Robert was pest control? You feel sick. Your skin crawls. The worst part? Although you don’t know who these are or where they’re from, they easily answered those questions about you.

You hide until they’re gone, but how are you getting back to your ship?

Chapter Text

You slip through the halls, memorizing every twist, every turn, every room. The ones containing only a large chalk circle are disturbing.

It’s only a matter of time before you run into another life form.

At least you aren’t shot right away. You don’t even see a weapon on this one – yes, he’s mechanical, but he’s black and white with small horns, a painted grin, and large, pie-cut eyes. The white bow tie around his neck is the only place you can think of where he could have an immediately-accessible weapon, but considering that he’s backing away from you, you really suspect there isn’t one.

Click here if you don't know his name.
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Click here if you do and you also saw casing from your attackers at his studio.

Chapter Text

You stare at him. “Bendy?”

He stares back. He turns his head 360 degrees before he nods.

“You’re a long way from Joey Drew Studios.”

Bendy toddles toward you. You’re about to run back through the door, but you hear the distinctive calls of the more hostile beings. Better to let Bendy get you instead.

When he reaches you, he wraps his hand in yours.

Is he friendly?

Squatting to meet his eyes, you introduce yourself and ask about the other androids out there – if that’s what they are.

He leads you to a broken toy train and points at it.

“I can fix it, but I need you to answer some questions for me.”

He nods.

Maybe your first question should be if Bendy can speak. You ask, and he can’t. You’re stuck with yes-no questions then.

Click here if you came with the USS Hela.
Click here if you came through a portal.

Chapter Text

You get the shuttle’s coordinates from your own shuttle’s computer and trek through thick forests to get there. You reach it within an hour and take a look around.

The first thing you can determine is that this shuttle had more luck navigating the atmosphere than yours. It’s been landed neatly on the grass, parallel to an ivy road. The door’s security codes are in place, opening only with your Starfleet authorization code.

Inside, the shuttle is crowded with safes and science equipment. “I’m just an engineer, but I’d guess they were here to collect a volatile sample of something. Who knows? Maybe of that gas we encountered.”

Lieutenant Heikkinen nods. “But why?”

There are soft sounds of a computer’s beeps and of fingers against controls. Robert gets your attention. “I think I found something.”

With a tap of Robert’s finger, a woman’s voice starts playing.

Mission log: we found the source of the distress signal. It looks like a phone box, but there’s more to it than that – more on that later. There’s no sign of the missing away team. No remains either. No relevant bio-signatures. We have yet to collect a sample of the gas, but we have no reason to suspect at this point that it’s fatal.

Ensign Patrick has discovered a potential lead on the away team: we couldn’t get into the box, and she noticed some interesting readings on her tricorder when she switched away from fluid-scanning mode. The phone booth is a juggernaut of temporal-spacial displacement. If the away team got in, it’s quite possible the dimensional shift cut off communications.

After a collection and basis analysis of a gas sample, we’ll request permission to return to the Elizabeth.

The three of you exchange looks. “Do you think the box is the answer?” Robert asks.

“We may have to take a look.”

But Lieutenant Heikkinen crosses his arms. “No. Two teams have disappeared inside it so far. I suggest looking for a member of the alien crew to get more information now.”

You have to agree with him.

Lieutenant Heikkinen calls the Hela and asks her to analyze the planet’s bio-signatures. An ensign on the bridge tells you that there is a diversity of life on Penury, even among any recognizably intelligent species. But there are two signatures that stand out – a male of a humanoid species and an unborn child. The only two of their type.

And furthermore, they’re relatively close to the alien vessel – only an hour’s walk away.

You’re directed to a filthy village of cement and cardboard, through streets of dirt and vine, and into a building with a large black 46513adf654 painted on its side.

Its got a dirt floor and a couple of wooden shelves filled with feathers. A basket of pears sits in the corner, and a skinny, wild-haired man in a pinstripe suit is tinkering with tin cans and wires. “Just missing a sonic converter.”

Lieutenant Heikkinen clears his throat.

The man turns around, wide-eyed. He takes stock of all of you. “’Ello. Isn’t this exciting? Not every day I get uninvited armed guests in my home, is it? Course, in my experience, most uninvited guests are armed. Or lost. It’s really easy to get lost on this planet.”

He bounces to his feet, laughing slightly. “But the thing is, the armed uninvited guests are all androids. You aren’t. You need gas masks – and it is brilliant that you have them! - Maybe you’ll keep your memories that way. I don’t know.”

You exchange looks with Robert. Keep your memories?

“But weapons? Gas masks?” The man eyes your badges. “And am I to assume those are some sort of communication device? What makes you so special? Are you in charge here?”

The lieutenant rests a hand on his phaser. “We’re looking for missing Federation personnel. We have reason to believe they’re in your ship.”

The man raises his eyebrows. “I’m willing to help you. There’s no need to threaten me.” He pauses, and flinches. “Of course I’m willing to help you, but the thing is, I don’t remember where my ship is. You’ll have to take me there. Me and my wife.”

Rolling his eyes, Lieutenant Heikkinen grabs the man. “Hela, four to beam up.”

The moment you materialize, the man starts protesting the action. He yammers as Lieutenant Heikkinen leads him away, and you get the impression that the alien never shuts up.

You and Robert report to Sickbay for a more thorough check-up after the crash.

Roll this die to get your results:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled an odd number.
Click here if you rolled an even number.

Chapter Text

You may have a phaser, but you’re not trained for this. Your best chance is getting transported away.

Roll this die to see if you can contact the Trumpeter:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 1-5.
Click here if you rolled a 6.

Chapter Text

You’ve been transferred to the USS Warner under Captain Ainara Otxoa but you have a week off before you report. You spend that time on Earth, visiting friends and family.

As you’re returning home the night before you report, you’re stopped by a heterochromiac with a device strapped to his wrist. “Are you Jorden Poe?”

You don’t recognize this guy, and you hesitate to say yes.

The man relaxes. He pulls a wallet from his pants pocket, flips it open, and shows you a photo of a mechanical demon – just like the one whose cut-outs were all over Joey Drew Studios. “You were charged with trespassing in that old animation studio, correct? Is that where this character came from?”

He’s investigating that, is he? You tell him what you know about Bendy.

“Thank you.” He offers you his hand. “Lieutenant Ky Tibert. I need your help.”

You don’t know if you’re willing to go back to Joey Drew Studios, but you’re okay answering questions.

Lieutenant Tibert grimaces. “Is the studio that bad? I don’t have to go there yet, but it looks like I might be heading that way.” He pauses. He looks at your face, chewing his lips. “Maybe I’ll have to leave you something to think about. Look, I’m in really big trouble – we’re all in really big trouble – and I need you to make a decision quickly.”

Does he sound nuts to you? You hear him out, not sure if you’re just humoring him.

“I was last posted to the USS Elizabeth, but she exploded while I was on an away mission on Penury.”

You’ve heard of it. Its disappearance was never as famous as say, Amelia Earhart’s, but it’s still well-known. “Penury?”

He nods. “We found it while answering a distress call. Our first away team disappeared while they were answering it, so I was on an away team to investigate what happened to them. And then…” He blinks tears away. “When she was totally destroyed, only those of us on the surface survived. But Penury? It became a prison planet run by androids and a group of time-travelers from Skaro.”

Not only are time-travelers rare, but you’ve never heard of such a planet as Skaro.

Lieutenant Tibert glances over his shoulders and leans in. “Look. On Penury, I was forcibly recruited by Time Agents from the forty-second century because I was involved. If they don’t Retcon you – selectively wipe your memories, that is – they’ll do the same to you. I think it’s better for both of us if you’re working with me instead of with them. If you need proof, you can look me on the Warner’s database. Officially, I’m listed as missing, presumed dead, with my last known location orbiting Penury. I’ll pop in on your first day, but I won’t expect you to make a decision until then. Deal?”

“Deal.” You shake his hand, expecting your looking him up to be more of reporting him.

With a smile, he presses the device on his wrist and vanishes. No sign of a transporter.

You go home, have your sleep haunted by everything, and report to duty the next day. Aboard the Warner, you look up Ky Tibert, just to see if he is Starfleet.

He is. And it’s true what he said about being presumed dead on the planet Penury. He’s true to his word about popping in as well.

It’s time to make a decision, and you…

…agree to work with Lieutenant Tibert.
…would rather not get involved with his crazy situation.

Chapter Text

Tim’s a security officer, and he continues to reassure you that the captain’s attitude is solely because of his proper paranoia.

In your case, you think there’s more to it than that – Captain Stein limits what duties you’re allowed to perform in engineering. It’s not like you don’t know why he thinks so poorly of you either.

But after serving aboard the Trumpeter, he’s not kicking you off his ship, so you…

…request a transfer.
…stay aboard the Hela.

Chapter Text

Alchemy. In your reality, alchemy used to be the same thing as chemistry, but the words split when the scientific method came along. Alchemy was discredited. But here, it’s held in such high regard.

You…

…ask what the blond means by alchemy.
…ask the blond to demonstrate some alchemy.

Chapter Text

“Most of them were made out of ink, but there was one who I could best describe as a ghost. I don’t know what he really is. Henry Stein. He used to be human.”

You tell the security chief what you can, but you don’t know that much about the life forms in Joey Drew Studios.

Your testimony still helps – you hear that Henry is in this time – alive.

You’re sorry to hear it when he’s found dead at his desk a few days later. Still, you have a job to do – an away team retrieved a copy of blueprints for an Ink Machine, and you’re to help analyze it. So you let the medical staff replace the period coroners for Henry while you are working away on the machine.

It’s alien technology alright, advanced beyond the Federation. As best as you can tell, the Ink Machine is a long-range transporter technology that is bringing alien ink to Joey Drew Studios and processing it.

When you work alongside a medical officer and a science officer to identify a black substance found in Henry’s brain, you confirm it – Henry was poisoned with the processed ink.

“It’s got to have psychic properties – at least some sort of block,” you say to the others. “Henry told me that Vulcans have been unable to meld with his mind.”

Your work puts you into a trusted position for this investigation, and you get to choose: would you be of more help shutting the Ink Machine down from Earth, or from the ink’s planet of origin? Captain Hamilton is willing to authorize a shuttle to take you back to your own time to track it down.

All things considered, you feel the best approach is for you to…

…work from Earth.
…work from the other planet.

Chapter Text

You spend the rest of your week comparing the tachyon signature to the Starfleet database, but you can’t find a known method of time-travel the matches the trail.

Captain Hamilton gets permission to follow the trail, and the Trumpeter ends up orbiting twentieth-century Earth. Less than a day there and the security chief calls you into his office to ask you questions about Joey Drew Studios.

Is that where the trail led?

“I didn’t see anything I recognized as advanced technology, but there were beings there that I didn’t expect to find.”

The chief looks you in the eye. “What kind of beings?”

Click here if you didn’t ask Henry more about the ink creatures.
Click here if you did.

Chapter Text

In a few days, engineering is handed sketches and diagrams of the machines the Amestrians spotted, and finally you have something to do. But you have to admit you’re stumped.

You can identify the function of the machines’ single eye stalks. You can identify some energy pathways running down wires that meet at the end of their whisk-like appendages. Engineering as a whole is fairly confident in the theory that these are neither androids nor robots but protective suits.

There’s no explanation for the plunger-like appendages, and only a weak one for the bumps that cover the lower half of the machines. You can’t find these things anywhere in the Starfleet database either, nor can you see any identifying symbols on them.

At least, no one can at first. Your heart skips a beat when a fellow engineer, Lieutenant Gracia-Hernandez, identifies a matching casing lying destroyed in a holographic simulation of Joey Drew Studios.

You actively avoid checking it out, but it just delays the inevitable anyway – engineering holds a meeting on whether to recommend contacting Captain Stein or checking the real studio.

You vote for…

…contacting Captain Stein.
…checking the real studio.

Chapter Text

Physically, you’re fine. Mentally, you’re not.

You are assigned counseling, and your duties are suspended as you recover.

You’re not at all in trouble for the way you handled yourself on the planet’s surface. Captain Hamilton, on the other hand, has to answer for the improper assignment.

The situation gets resolved by having a Mark Chan put in as the Trumpeter’s new captain, and Captain Chan is a lot more careful with his approach to investigating the hole.

It’s classified what he finds out, but you learn when the information is made public later on – a slight difference in the alternate humans’ biology sent them down a field of research that was never viable in your home dimension: alchemy. It was that which tore a hole in the universe.

The rest of your run on the Trumpeter is uneventful. You’re transferred to the USS Warner a few months later.

You’d tell your grandchildren that you had an unremarkable career there, but every Starfleet career has its stories. Your biggest problem in relating them is when to bring your stories to their

Ends

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You’re fined and reassigned, but you’re not discharged. Your new assignment is to the USS Trumpeter under Captain Max Hamilton, and it’s short-term in nature.

The thing is, the Trumpeter has enough engineers, so you’re used as an errand boy for your first week.

The only reason you get a break from such a use is because the Trumpeter has been assigned to investigate a hole in the universe, and on the other side is Earth – another dimension’s Earth – and the Trumpeter’s best guess of how there’s a tear in reality has something to do with the planet. The entire surface needs to be searched, so you’re handed a phaser and told to go as light security.

Your team is transported to a manor with a paved road that stretches toward a nearby city.

The away team’s leader, a man called Lieutenant Commander Jacques Alfarsi, instructs you to head to the city. You pass rounded bushes on your way, and for just a moment, you see a red eye watching you from its shadows. When you blink, it’s gone.

You…

…put a hand on your phaser in case it becomes a threat.
…investigate the bushes.
…report the eye to Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi.

Chapter Text

You would have gotten off with a fine, but the Steins’ lawyer gets charges of not just the trespassing, but of breaking and entering and reckless endangerment to stick. You’re all discharged dishonorably instead.

Life’s tough at first – you have to adjust your career path, and with your tainted record, the only thing someone will hire you for is to clean up all the spills at a local garage. It’s only when T’mus decides to sell investigative services into unusual events in exchange for the opportunity to research human katras that your life gets more interesting – she needs back-up. A team.

The first she hires is Miyu, but you’re recruited soon after to maintain her equipment. Eventually, Mikah joins the team too, as the job proves dangerous.

Essentially, you are modern-day ghost hunters, but who’s to complain if it pays well and gives you the adventures you’ve craved since your Starfleet career’s

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You’re fined and reassigned, but you’re not discharged. Your new assignment is to the USS Elizabeth under Captain Sara Smeets, and it’s short-term in nature.

The thing is, the Elizabeth has enough engineers, so you’ll be acting as a science officer for a few months – only the basic parts of the job and bits where your training overlaps with theirs.

Chapter Text

When you open your messages, you find that you’ve been assigned to the USS Hela under Captain Conrad Stein, but you’ve got a week of shore leave before you report to duty. You contact all your academy friends to see who else has time off on Earth. You should do something together.

There are three of your friends who are available: Miyu Takahashi, a fellow security officer; T’mus, a Vulcan science officer; and Mikah Fairchild, a medical officer.

T’mus has an activity to suggest: on one planet she visited with the USS Warner, there was a naturally-occurring ink that shifted between solid and liquid without changes in pressure or temperature. On that planet, she found a white-gloved, grinning design that more closely resembled early versions of Mickey Mouse than any native art.

She traced the design back to one of California’s forgotten animation companies, Joey Drew Studios. Its building sits abandoned just a few cities from San Francisco, and T’mus wants to satisfy her intellectual curiosity about it. She can’t explain how the cartoon got from Earth to the newly-explored planet the Warner visited, so she would like to look for clues in the rotting building.

The rest of your friends are up for a little urban exploring, so you set a date and time to meet. You all agree to bring your own flashlights and first aid kits.

T’mus is already there with her Starfleet-issue tricorder by the time the rest of you arrive. She is staring at the device.

“Something wrong?” Mikah calls.

T’mus brings you to the open front door and points out black ink that is dripping from the ceiling, down through a hole in the floor. “It’s the same ink. How did it get here?”

Your belt feels a little empty. You wish you’d brought a phaser. “Is it dangerous?”

“Not from what I’ve observed. However,” she shows you her tricorder, “there was no sign of civilization on its native planet, so I struggle to think who could have traded ink for art. Whoever brought it here seemed to know what they were doing with it. Observe.”

As you and your friends peer at the tricorder, T’mus points out several features unusual for a studio: First, pipes filled with ink through every major room in the studio. Second, messages written in an invisible variety of the ink: tally marks, I’M SORRY BUDDY, and DON’T TURN ON THE INK MACHINE. Third, cavities that extend deep below the apparent one-story building, suggesting that the Depression-era studio built down instead of up. And finally, the tricorder battery. As you watch, it ticks down from a 5% charge to death. T’mus says it was at full battery when she arrived, and it had no issue with the ink on its home world.

You’re stumped. But if it stumped a Vulcan science officer, of course it would stump you too.

You peer into the darkness. What secrets is this studio hiding? Before you get any, you’ll need a way inside. You…

…look for a safer entrance.
…leap over the hole in the hall one at a time.

Chapter Text

The Elizabeth spends two months examining a meteor field thought to have been Penury, a planet once colonized by Earth. You spend that time preparing petri dishes whenever your higher ups have an ice sample they think might contain bacteria.

They never do. Whatever happened to the long-lost colonists, this isn’t their resting place.

It’s not until the Elizabeth’s greenest navigator steers you off course on the way home that things get interesting: you hear rumors that the Elizabeth has picked up a distress signal.

At first, it has nothing to do with you. Surely, Captain Smeets will just talk to the distressed vessel and then assign engineers to help with repairs or prime the Elizabeth to tow the other ship to the nearest star base.

Hours later, the labs get a call from the bridge: the Elizabeth sent an away team planet-side to answer the distress signal, but the Elizabeth has lost contact with them. The bridge needs the labs to perform a deeper analysis of scanner readings to look for environmental explanations of what happened.

You get the job of looking over chemical distribution charts, and you notice a sudden spike in an unidentified atmospheric fluid shortly before the Elizabeth lost contact with her personnel.

When you tell your supervising officer, he requests that a shuttle be sent to collect a sample. Captain Smeets grants the request, and you find yourself on your first ever away mission.

You’ve just figured out how to wear a bulky gas mask and look over its top at your tricorder at the same time when you arrive on the unknown planet. Your team disembarks onto a woven-mat road of ruby vines.

“Welcome to Penury! Welcome to Penury!”

You turn, but the one greeting you is a parrot perched in a nearby tree. You turn to your shipmates, grinning. “Penury?”

Lieutenant Lund, your immediate supervisor for the trip, shakes his head. “Don’t get too excited. Could be someone’s mistake. We need to find the away team.”

Tasked with continuing your analysis, you take your first readings…

…under the parrot.
…above an abandoned wallet on the road.
…near a bright blue box that reads POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX and looks like something from Earth’s history.

Chapter Text

Henry protests that it’s not safe, but his tone wavers. You’re able to talk him into escorting you to the machine anyway while your friends go tell someone where you are.

Click here if you're traveling with the Doctor.
Click here if you aren't.

Chapter Text

Looking at others, you volunteer to...

...search Joey Drew Studios.
...ask around Starfleet.

Chapter Text

You tell the others what happened to Mikah on your recent urban exploring trip to this place. You return to the TARDIS to tell the Doctor too.

Inside, he is holding a bundle of pink blankets in his lap and cooing. "She's a bona fide Time Tot, Donna!" He bends to kiss his wife's forehead.

You...

...interrupt to give him your information.
...go with the others to ask about Joey Drew Studios around Starfleet.

Chapter Text

The three of you get to exploring, and it’s not long until you find something out of place: a giant machine with an inky moat around it. You wade through and take at a hallway covered in windowed niches. Through one, ink is dripping from a nozzle onto a multi-limbed something.

With the Doctor babbling about something-or-other, you go further into the machine.

“Oi, you! You’re not supposed to be here.”

Lieutenant Lund is rounding a corner, and it looks like he’s been spotted. From the corner of his mouth, he whispers, “Go!”

You and the Doctor hide, watching for an opening to rescue him from a large gruff man with a cigar butt hanging from his mouth, but the guy seems jumpy. He keeps looking around. He’d see you coming.

“I wish I had my psychic paper,” the Doctor grumbles. “All we can do is follow and see what happens.”

The Doctor’s advice is sound enough for you, but you really regret going along with it. Some things you can never un-see. You’re staring at one of the niches again, but this one is just starting out. You don’t really see it though: you see Lieutenant Lund melting into ink, mouth wide open for the worst screams you’ve ever heard.

Beside you, something whirrs. “That’s him,” the Doctor whispers. “That’s still Lieutenant Lund. He’s in there. Somewhere.”

You…

…stick with the Doctor.
…wait for Lieutenant Lund to regain a solid form.

Chapter Text

You swallow. "I came here once with my friends. The place was in ruins, there were ink monsters running amuck, and one of my friends didn't make it out alive."

The Doctor raises an eyebrow. "Ink monsters?"

You point at the demon in the "Black Sheep" poster. "A knock-off of that character was the most terrifying thing in there. He killed Mikah the second he caught him."

Click here if you asked Henry for more information about the ink creatures.
Click here if you did not.

Chapter Text

You're able to warn your group that the ink monsters were once human. You suspect they all would have been alive around this time.

The Doctor nods. "We'll all be extra careful then."

Everyone's quiet as you get to exploring and find a giant machine with an inky moat around it.  You wade through and take at a hallway covered in windowed niches. Through one, ink is dripping from a nozzle onto a multi-limbed something.

You exchange looks with Lieutenant Lund. Meanwhile, the Doctor is breaking into a panel and messing with the wires. "If I can find a way to let this fellow out, maybe he can tell us who did this to him." He twists a wire and pop! Off comes the glass. The inky figure melts out with the rest of the ink.

The ink bubbles.

"Easy there." The Doctor bends down and puts a hand in the ink. "I've happened to have watched the Bendy show, and I have a good idea of what you were trying to look like."

Slowly, a spider forms out of the ink - a spider that should be too cute to be one, with its big grin and wide eyes. It squeaks. It points down the hallway.

"Oi, you! You're not supposed to be here."

"Run!" The Doctor leads the way back to the TARDIS, and the four of you - you, the Doctor, Lieutenant Lund, and the spider - lock yourselves in his ship.

You...

...ask the spider what happened to him.
...ask the Doctor to tell you anything he knows about what's going on.

Chapter Text

“Most of them were made out of ink, but there’s one I could most closely describe as a ghost. They all used to be human.”

Once you’ve finished giving your testimony, your department is assigned to look into the Gent engineering company. You retrieve an address, and an away team obtains audio records of what they’re doing at Joey Drew Studios.

A separate away team goes to Joey Drew Studios to investigate the Ink Machine.

It’s only a few hours later that the Trumpeter meets an unfamiliar ship and her

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Leaving the simulation early results in your failing the module, and your Starfleet career is suspended until you complete another semester at the Academy. You still report what you found to Captain Hamilton.

If you have to go back to school, you might as well make the most of things this time and…

…focus on your studies.
…make friends with the students talking about an urban exploring trip to the real Joey Drew Studios.

Chapter Text

You pass the module, and as soon as you’re back aboard the Trumpeter, you report everything you saw to Captain Hamilton. He requests Captain Stein’s simulation for the Trumpeter’s holodeck and puts you in charge of leading a few engineers there to confirm your sighting.

Afterward, he reaches out to Captain Stein about the message he left in the holodeck.

You don’t know all of what the captains talked about – you’re too low-level for that – but you know that he gave the Trumpeter permission to explore the studio with lots of caution for the building’s integrity and high security for the studio’s current residents.

Since you found alien technology inside, could it be more than mental illness?

All things considered, the Trumpeter needs to send a security team who can differentiate between harmless victim and aggressive monster. The chief of security, Lieutenant Abrams, reviews your record and the notes from your recent training. He calls you to the holodeck to test your skills himself.

At one point during your test, you’re given a holographic phaser and directed to deal with a tall, grinning thing that’s just crushed a civilian shuttle with its bare hands and is reaching for a screaming crowd. You…

…try to talk the being down.
…aim the phaser directly at the shuttle’s attacker and fire.
…shout and use your phaser to intimidate the monster.

Chapter Text

When you do so, they laugh at you. The crazy Steins have been rubbing off on you, they say.

Being the ones who own the studio, the Steins are unhappy about your trespassing. They say they’ve got something to protect in there, but it’s too dangerous to have people entering unprepared, thus the signs.

You hear that one of the family, your captain, has been muttering about your recklessness, disregard for authority, and complete lack of intelligence. The only reason he’s allowing you on his ship is your backing his family’s long-ignored pleas for help with your own experience in the studio through your reporting this to the authorities at risk of your own punishment.

The day you report for duty, you stand in line with all the other new members of the Hela crew. Captain Stein takes you aside and asks you to update him on the studio. He asks in particular about his ninth-great-uncle, Henry Stein.

You’re not sure news there would be on a man from so long ago – discovered remains perhaps – but you tell him what you can. He warns you about his tolerance for stupidity on his ship and sends you back to the line.

He looks up and down at his new crew members and humphs. “I suppose you’ll have to do. Get on with your duties.”

You report to engineering and gawk at the metal toothpick that’s supposed to be a warp core and the piles of metal everywhere. “What happened?”

One of your fellow engineers, Lieutenant Robert Okonkwo, fills you in: the Hela sustains heavy damage because she’s often assigned the most dangerous missions. There’s a running joke in engineering that she’s competing with the Enterprise to see which ship can sustain the most damage. If it weren’t for the number of previous Enterprises that were destroyed in the line of duty, you’d say the Hela was winning.

It takes about a month to complete repairs, even with the starbase’s engineers lending you a hand.

Once the Hela is shipshape, she is sent out to the recently rediscovered human colony planet of Penury, where a Federation ship, the USS Elizabeth has gone missing. There are several yellow alerts before pieces of debris believed to be part of the Elizabeth are delivered to your department for analysis.

You get what you believe is part of a door consistent with Starfleet design standards. Robert gets a bit of the computer, from which he retrieves shuttle records.

There is one shuttle launched that never returned. Your friend believes there may be survivors down on the planet.

It takes two hours and three more yellow alerts before orders return from the captain: the bridge found the shuttle on the surface, and he wants an away team to take one of the Hela’s shuttles down to assist. He assigns a pilot, a security officer, and two medical officers to the shuttle, as well as your friend Robert. There’s enough room for one more engineer to help repair the Elizabeth’s shuttle if needed.

Robert chooses you to come along.

As the shuttle is approaching the ground, misty clouds spray out from the trees. They rise and block all visual. The shuttle jolts as well. It twists, and the pilot’s side smashes into what turns out to have been a brick wall.

The shuttle is on a cement floor, and rubble is scattered across it. Inside, the pilot is slumped sideways into the passenger’s seat, and a male nurse is lying limp on the floor. The only conscious nurse checks on them both. She shakes her head. “Lieutenant Cruz is dead. Nurse Hallowell needs intensive care. Is it safe to use the teleporters from here?”

“It should be. We’re not sure why the Elizabeth sent a shuttle.” Robert is opening a side compartment and pulling out a first aid kit. “Here.”

The nurse calls the Hela and has Lieutenant Cruz and Nurse Hallowell beamed out. Then she checks the rest of you over. You’ve all got minor scratches, and the security officer, Lieutenant Heikkinen, has a small bruise on his cheek, but the only one not cleared to complete the away mission is the nurse herself: she’s having trouble moving her left arm and cannot treat any patients.

After consulting with Captain Stein, the nurse beams back aboard and the rest of get the gas masks to protect you as you search for the Elizabeth’s survivors. You start by…

…tracking the way to the Elizabeth’s shuttle.
…looking for locals to ask for information.

Chapter Text

“You’re from Joey Drew Studios. There was a robotic demon that went missing, with hints he was really an android. You're him, aren't you? Based on one of the characters. Bendy.”

The android freezes.

You glance over your shoulder. “I knew I saw casing like on those banshees back there before.”

Bendy shows you the way out of the building. As you’re about to leave, he grabs your arm.

You…

…break away.
…see what that’s about.

Chapter Text

It’s easy enough to find a hiding place – there are some conveniently empty wooden cabinets around. They’re labeled as Little Miracle Stations and have a bench and a slot that fit an average adult. It’s suspicious how obvious a hiding place they are, but none have signs of forced entry or any injury. If no one knows you’re down here, they should be adequate.

The main problem? There aren’t enough for all of you in any nearby location. You’ll have to improvise hiding spots for everyone else.

In the meantime, the entrance doors have opened, and though you know it’s dangerous, going through is your best lead in getting more mission information.

Chapter Text

In the room that opens after the one with the three deformed Toons you find a room with an old octopus ride and a desk, and in the desk is an ax. There is also an item there that helps with one of your mock mission objectives: a cassette player. Maybe it has information about the disappearances.

You press play.

The biggest park ever built, a centerfold of attractions.

You can’t place your finger on it, but something about the recording feels off. Too high a quality of audio for the time? Something wonky with the speakers?

Each one, more grand than the one before it. It makes my eyes come to tears at the thought. But then… oh Mister Drew. For all your talk of dreams, you are the true architect behind so many nightmares.

I built this park. It was to be a masterpiece! My masterpiece! And now you think you can just throw me out? Trample me to the dust and forget me?

No! This is my park! My glory!

You may think I’ve gone, but I’m still here!

The octopus ride has panels in its center. They open, revealing a large head with ink dripping from its mouth. And now you understand why the audio was off: it wasn’t coming from the cassette player at all. It was coming from the head.

The ride’s arms lift. They twirl and crash down, as if the ride is throwing a tantrum.

You and your friends move out of reach – far enough to see that the door has closed behind you. You have to pull Mikah back from getting a closer look.

Mikah frowns at you. “He’s like the cartoons who attacked us earlier, but he’s fused inside that ride. I want a chance to examine a live specimen. I have a few suspicions of who and what that is, but the technology to create something like this should be way beyond the twentieth century.”

“You will get hurt if you approach him now.”

But Mikah’s still looking at the living ride, so you hold him still while Miyu subdues the ride by chopping its arms off with the ax.

The weapon breaks as she cuts the last joint, but the ride covers his face and allows you access to a switch that opens the doors.

Quietly discussing what you learned about the park, you go check out the last room off of the main warehouse: storage attraction. On the other side of that door are the inky words CHOO CHOO dripping from the wall, as well as a poster with that cartoon demon that attacked you earlier, only small and cute. “Bendy in Train Trouble.”

The vault turns left and heads downstairs to an ink-filled room, where you hear something splashing around. You and Miyu leave the others behind as you go to check it out.

It’s a humanoid, man-sized ink creature with a projector for a head. It’s wandering around an old train engine and a table piled with preserved ink hearts.

Neither of you spot any weapons, but you agree to use hand-to-hand-combat to take the projector-head down if necessary. You need to investigate.

So the two of you slosh through the ink, where you get the projector’s attention right away and get attacked. Reason doesn’t even seem to reach the creature’s ears, so you take him down. You guard him while Miyu looks around a bit more.

She comes back unarmed, but she has a cassette player in her hands. You walk back up the stairs with her, where Mikah and T’mus are waiting with the heavy vault door open only a hair. T’mus is listening through the crack. “I think he’s gone.”

You and Miyu glance at each other. “Did something happen?”

“The demon showed up again.”

The news has you looking around as though you could catch sight of ink lines.

Mikah frowns. “I’m not sure it’s in its right mind. Its wandering around aimlessly, and I noticed some definite nerve damage. It’s completely emaciated and dripping ink. I think it has a serious illness that might be causing its behavior. Mostly physical, but there’s a psychological component to it too – much like rabies. But unless we have a way to subdue the creatures, they’re too dangerous to approach. I had a chance to examine the mechanical Toon as well – I have reason to believe that these creatures are the missing people. They enter, they get experimented on or else attacked by previous victims who are out of their mind.”

“So we need to investigate more before we can do anything,” you say. You glance at Miyu. “You found a tape down there, right?”

She nods. “This one’s labeled as belonging to Joey Drew.”

You frown. “Let’s see if he has anything to say about the accusations the merry-go-round threw out.”

I believe there’s something special in all of us. With true inner strength, you can conquer even your biggest challenges. You just have to believe in yourself and remain honest, motivated, and above all, who you really are.

Ok, let’s stop it right there. I can only do so many takes of this trash a day. And tell the guys in writing I want more use of the word dreaming in every message. Keep railing on that, get it? Dreaming! Dreaming! Dreaming! People just eat up that kind of slop. Hmm What? It’s still on? Well turn it off, damn it!

Nothing about turning people to ink, but someone must have. Drew sounds more like a grumpy businessman than anything else, but you don’t know enough about him to draw any definitive conclusions. Still, you don’t think you like the sound of his morals. At the moment, he’s your prime suspect.

What’s left to investigate around here? Outside the warehouse? The haunted house ride itself? Or should you salvage the wood down here to make a bridge over that hole in the entrance to the studio proper?

You try…

…getting through the main door again.
…the haunted house ride.
…making a bridge into the studio proper.

Chapter Text

You can’t find a weapon in the main warehouse, but you do find a recording that tells you how to open the doors: win the games whose booths are sitting at the side of the warehouse.

Miyu takes the ball toss, you take the shooting game, and Mikah takes the strength test. Soon, you’ve opened the first door. There’s nothing in there but rotting demon costumes and a switch.

The switch opens another door in which there are some weaker ink creatures: a sailor, a primate, and a spider – all deformed versions of the cartoon characters on a nearby “Bendy in Demonic Tonic” poster. You and Miyu are able to defeat the clones bare-handed, and in a back room on some shelves, you find a custom-made gun. It’s long and shoots cans of bacon soup.

Its ammo isn’t the easiest to carry, but all of you take a few cans.

When you get back to the main warehouse, there’s nothing in sight, but the entrance doors are sitting open. You don’t know who’s there, but between luck and a bacon soup gun, you may be alright to investigate.

Chapter Text

On the other side is a wide open room whose only entrance itself has to be up the stairs, next to which is a sign: COME UP AND SEE ME→.

“Does someone know we’re here?” you ask.

Miyu looks upstairs. There’s not much you can see there but a dome that looks like the top of a horned cartoon character’s head. “If they don’t already, they’re about to.”

She leads the way, and you guard the rear.

There’s no one upstairs. Just a recording that introduces the grandiose amusement park designer Bertrum Piedmont, who considered Bendy Land his glory.

Click here if you’ve met what’s become of Bertrum Piedmont.
Click here if you haven’t.

Chapter Text

You look around, but there’s not anything else of much interest up there – just the switch for the warehouse door. You’re not sure how anyone from the past could get to this room to pull the switch unless they could walk through the walls like the Demon.

As you go back down the stairs, you’re alert and watchful, and you notice…

…a pounding heart.
…a flickering light.
…sounds in the vents.

Chapter Text

Furthermore, you have more evidence of bad blood between Bertrum Piedmont and Joey Drew: Piedmont complains about Drew calling him “Bertie” in front of investors. You’d say Piedmont’s ego is large enough to construct a machine to ruin Drew in revenge, but who in their right mind would turn themselves into a permanently stationary amusement park ride to do so?

But who at all in that century would have the knowledge to do something like this? Drew – who owned an animation studio? Or Piedmont – who’s known to at least have been an engineer? Or could it be someone you don’t know about yet?

You look around, but there’s not anything else of much interest up there – just the switch for the warehouse door. You’re not sure how anyone from the past could get to this room to pull the switch unless they could walk through the walls like the Demon.

As you go back downstairs, you’re alert and watchful, but there are no signs of life. You look around downstairs as well and find that the screws on a large vent cover are very loose. The air duct itself is relatively clear of dust in its center. “Someone’s been crawling through this,” you say to the others. “We’re going to have to see where it goes.”

And you do. It leads through several otherwise sealed-off rooms and ultimately out into one largish room packed with ink creatures who just stand there. They ignore you, or else they stare at you with glowing yellow eyes. One of them is sitting in the corner, crying.

None of them talk to you, but there are messages on the wall that speak for them: NO ANGELS and HE WILL SET US FREE. They’re waiting for something.

Mikah identifies them as the victims, and you escort any of them that you can convince to leave to follow you through Bendy land and up the stairs, out into the night. From there, you contact the ship you’re assigned to on the holo-program to arrange transportation for medical evaluations for the victims.

You’ve learned what’s going on, but the job as a whole is too big for four young officers.

Mikah and T’mus have passed their training modules, so they’re released from the holodeck. You and Miyu remain inside to wrap up with your hostage situation module.

The scene is changed for you to that of a star ship. You spend some time in a meeting about the victims – not the victims themselves, but original creatures made using human brainwave scans and some sort of ink. Most don’t identify as the same people the originals would have been either - although some inherited a name and a few memories from their human counterparts. The program itself indicates a passing of time that has been skipped over, in which your ship has found a way to communicate with one of the studio’s inky leaders.

Miyu has been put in charge of an away team awaiting orders. You have been called to the bridge, tasked to give the captain advice on how to proceed as he talks to someone called Sammy over the intercom.

Sammy has a fresh human victim named Henry that you didn’t even encounter, and he’s threatening to sacrifice him to the Ink Demon.

Sammy’s voice sneers, “He’s a family man. Don’t you care what happens to him? Go ahead, Stein. Tell them why you want to get out of here.”

“I haven’t seen Linda for days now.”

Everyone else on the bridge is frowning as Sammy gives you all a half-hour time limit to deliver Joey Drew’s remains to the studio.

The moment Sammy hangs up, you advise the captain…

…that Henry Stein is already dead.
…to send a large security force in to intimidate Sammy into releasing Henry.
…to play along with Sammy’s demands until you can get Henry away from him.

Chapter Text

He runs off, and a few minutes later, you’re being nabbed by some skeletal red androids. They take you to that toonish android and a golden-eyed model you recognize from your history books: Lore.

“Well done, son.” He’s smirking at you. “The Daleks are looking to make another batch, and I think this one will do nicely, don’t you?”

You ask what he’s talking about, but his answer is to have you bound. The androids escort you to a room with a giant chalk circle on its floor and drop you on one of the points. They escort other human prisoners in as well.

And then you see them – the same ones that killed Robert. “CONFIRMED. MATERIALS IN PLACE. PROCEED!”

Those are the last clear words you ever hear. For the rest of your long existence, you’re unaware of whether you’re alive, dead, or if you even existed at all. You see nothing but red, and you hear nothing but screams. Yours? Not? You wouldn’t know the difference.

After all, every human in that room has become one screaming mass in

The End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You had some fun exploring Joey Drew Studios, but you come down with a bad cold during your last few days of civilian life.

On the day you report for duty, you have a bad sneezing attack and nearly fall through the broken handrails in engineering. If it weren’t for a few lieutenants with quick reflexes, you’d be dead.

The ship’s doctor orders you on bed rest for a couple days.

Chapter Text

You go back outside and start following the road. As you’re walking along it, pink gas sprays from your surroundings until it’s too thick to see. You cough on it, and when it’s cleared, you’re left blinking at the three total strangers who share the road with you.

What were you doing again? No, better question: who are you? You know your name, but that’s it.

You can only hope someone else knows, and the others don’t seem to recognize you. But one of them is calling out to a vehicle ahead that’s filled with red androids. It stops and picks you up.

The androids give you a change of clothes and a lanyard to remind you of your identity: Jorden Poe, Building Care at Apartment Complex 35132adfa6s5df132. Residence at 35132adfa6s5df197d.

The lanyard seems like a mercy until you get a look at a misting device mounted on a tree. That gas! Someone did this to you on purpose, and you think you know who.

You…

…wait to be rescued.
…find a way to disable the androids.
…sabotage as many misters as you can find.

Chapter Text

You take the pills. None of you feel anything different, but Nurse Popov is keeping an eye on you all.

You go back outside and start following the road. As you’re walking along it, pink gas sprays from your surroundings until it’s too thick to see. You cough on it, but once it’s cleared, Nurse Popov confirms it did no lasting damage to any member of your group.

With clean bills of health, you keep going. Up ahead, you see some locals. Good. You need someone who knows the way around.

But your Lieutenant Bloomberg cuts into your relief: he cautions that he saw tiny misters responsible for the gas, and someone must have planted them there. The locals may be dangerous.

You…

…hide.
…call out to the locals.

Chapter Text

You ask Joey to give the Doctor a map before the interview starts, pointing out that Alan David will need to know the way to his recording booth. Joey hands one over, and the Doctor slips it to you.

Immediately, something jumps out at you: the Ink Machine? What’s that?

There’s a locked film vault in the way, but some idiot left the electrical panel open, and you disable the lock – for both doors between you and the machine.

You twist through hallways until you reach a large, inky moat between you and the machine. You wade across and find yourself in a hall where a life-size model of Boris the Wolf leaning in a hallway, next to a nook where an ink-like substance is being poured to make a very deformed one of Bendy.

Dolls? Are those what the deformed cartoons that attacked you were supposed to be?

Click here if you know about the missing mechanical Bendy.
Click here if you don’t.

Chapter Text

Regardless, this one isn’t moving. You poke its chest, and it stays still. You laugh. “Guess they don’t have versions of these that can move yet.”

You speak too soon – you notice movement from the nook in which the Bendy figure is forming. You bolt back toward administration before it can escape its confines and warn the captain about it. He steers you toward an elevator. “Bendy? Tom’s recording said he was weird when he was first created, but he seemed harmless enough. I bet if we get the one person who cares the most about him, he might turn out alright this time around.”

The elevator goes all the way to the ground floor, where you get off and follow the captain to the hallway that serves as the art department.

At the very end is a desk, and Henry Stein is slumped over it. The captain runs, caps the ink, and shakes Henry awake.

His eyes open, but he’s very pale.

You take one of his arms, and you and the captain take him outside to get some fresh air. You lay him on his back on the grass, where he spends the next few minutes coughing and gulping in mouthfuls of the air. “You just saved my life. Thank you.”

Captain Stein puts a hand on Henry’s shoulder. “Did anyone warn you you’d be testing special ink today?”

“Joey mentioned something about it, but I didn’t think it would be dangerous.” Henry starts to sit up, but Captain Stein pushes him back down.

The captain keeps his hand on Henry’s shoulder. “Just rest. I want you fully recovered from that ink.”

“Joey’s convinced it will make our characters more life-like. Someone’s got to go tell him to get rid of the stock before anyone else is harmed, and it’s got to be someone who has a shot at talking that knucklehead out of it.”

Captain Stein gives you a pointed look.

You…

…go right away.
…ask about Bendy first.

Chapter Text

Regardless, this one isn’t moving. So a giant printed 3D Boris doll before 3D printing was invented? You’ve always had a soft spot for fun, and it couldn’t hurt to take a better look at the doll before you continue on your mission, right?

You test the model’s flexibility by putting the wolf into all kinds of comical positions. Unfortunately for you, the Bendy figure finishes while you’re playing with Boris, and he’s a little more lively than Boris.

You startle when he smashes the glass from the nook and climbs out. When you realize he’s staring at you from under all the ink that’s covering his eyes, you run off. Through the machine and around a few corners. You run right into a room full of Daleks.

They notice you. “INTRUDER! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!”

All it takes is one connecting shot from them for you to meet your

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

The art “department” is on the first floor. It’s just a hall that dead-ends at a desk, but there’s an ink well there, and you swear you see the liquid inside it move.

Click here if you took an ink sample earlier.
Click here if you did not.

Chapter Text

You take out the strip of gauze with the ink sample, find a pen on the animator’s desk, and write the year with the moving ink on a clean spot. You cap the ink and take it with you back to administration.

The bottle isn’t completely sealed, and you pass out on the way there.

You wake up on a water bed, your captain standing by and the Doctor pointing a buzzing stick at you and frowning. “You’re lucky. It could have been much worse. You might get dizzy spells and random visions, but they should clear up in, oh… a week? Is there anything you want to tell me about the ink I found you with.”

He gets it out of you – the other ink sample you were planning to analyze and the missing android you failed to report.

Frowning, the Doctor asks for the gauze. Captain Stein tells you to give it to the Time Lord.

You promise to give it to him when you get back to the Hela.

You and your captain are both chewed out for your behavior in the past, and you are returned to the USS Hela three days after you left.

The first officer, Commander Van Alst, hisses at the captain, “Where were you? The USS Trumpeter was asking about you. We had to lie and tell them you were on an away mission.”

“I’ll deal with that shortly. Where are we?”

“Still in orbit around Penury.”

The captain quietly asks if you have any more ink samples. You don’t, so you’re dismissed to return to engineering.

You remain on normal duty until the Trumpeter sends the Hela sketches of war machines that have been stealing research from an alternate Earth. You recognize them by the casing – it’s the same stuff you found in Joey Drew Studios – part of the personal war tanks of the Daleks the Doctor warned you about.

You report it to your captain, but he was already aware. He’d seen the casing for himself when he broke in as a dumb teenager.

The Hela’s away team reported active Daleks on Penury’s surface too, so the Trumpeter is coming for a rendezvous. You’re told to tell the rest of engineering to prepare to analyze one of the Dalek tanks the moment one is captured.

You stand by to do so.

You hear it takes a lot of casualties to get such results, but a Dalek is subdued and retrieved. It’s not the only thing either – there is an android that has been captured, and there’s an energy crystal that has also been brought back to the Trumpeter for analysis, and they’re requesting that the two ships pool engineering resources in case either team has experience with something that the other does not.

Click here to volunteer to look at the Dalek.
Click here to volunteer to look at the android.
Click here to volunteer to look at the energy crystal.

Chapter Text

You take a blank sheet of paper from the desk, uncap the ink, and draw a line across it. You stand there and wait to see if it moves. When you blink, it’s changed directions.

Click here if you know about the mechanical Bendy that went missing by your time.
Click here if you don’t.

Chapter Text

You cap the ink and hurry off with it to show the others. You’re able to meet up with the Doctor in the recording studio, and he has a long, skinny probe with him. He points it at the ink bottle and scans.

There’s nowhere for a readout of the results, but he seems to understand them anyway. “Careful with that. It’s incredibly toxic and full of psychic nanobots. Looks like someone’s experimenting with psychic extraction and is willing to murder to do so.”

Captain Stein is clenching his fists. “You found it at Henry’s desk, didn’t you? There was something in administration that referred to him as subject 001.”

He turns and runs from the room.

“Oi! Where are you going?”

“To warn Henry!”

You and the Doctor can only chase him up the stairs and through the studio. The three of you arrive at the end of the hallway that is the art department and find Henry slumped over his desk, a new inkwell open, and a fresh sketch of Bendy on a page.

Captain Stein caps the ink and shakes his distant uncle. “Henry, you’ve got to wake up! You’ll be alright. We’ll get you medical attention.”

“Can you help me?” Henry’s voice asks back. Something’s wrong though – the voice is not coming from inside his body. “Something’s wrong. I’m seeing something, but it can’t be real.”

The Doctor scans the body. He lowers his probe slowly. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I’m so sorry, but you’re dead.”

How? You met Henry Stein in the flesh in your own time. He’d been trapped in a time loop, and that’s it. You ask how it’s possible for that to have changed if none of you did anything to cause his death.

Your captain narrows his eyes at the Doctor. “Ensign Poe has an excellent point. You are going to do something to revive Henry. Don’t think you’re getting out of it.”

There’s a thump against the wall. “What are you talking about?”

You look toward the wall, where Henry has to be.

The Doctor explains for you so you don’t have to, but Henry is less than convinced that you’re time travelers here to save him from being trapped inside a time loop. “The Alan David is a time traveler?”

The Doctor pulls out that wallet again and opens it up. Inside is a driver’s license that identifies him as Alan David. “I could have picked any name I wanted. Jack Harkness. David Tennant. John Smith.” The name on his ID keeps changing as he speaks. “It’s psychic paper. It shows you what I want you to see. My people invented it. Time Lords. We were the first to have access to anywhere in time and space we wanted to go. No, I’m not the Alan David. It was just a good name to get me into your studio.”

“Your people?” Henry’s voice is trembling. “Time and space? Are you… aliens?”

“Nah,” the Doctor shoves his hands in his pockets and leans back against the wall. “Just me. Jorden and Conrad are perfectly human. Or I’d assume so. Human enough anyway. In fact, Conrad Stein here is your ninth-great-nephew.”

“You’re treating this too lightly.” Your captain gets in the Doctor’s face. “Why is Henry dead right now?”

“Because he inhaled too many fumes from that toxic ink.”

“I’m not interested in how. Tell me why. We weren’t supposed to change history. Don’t your people care about the integrity of the time line?”

You catch the flinch on the Doctor’s face as he slides past Captain Stein and starts examining Henry’s corpse. “I don’t know that any more than I know why he would have been stuck in a time loop, except that it wasn’t a fixed point in time. It can be changed without the universe exploding – we just need an explanation for your personal time lines. Did you learn anything else from that thing you found with experiment 001?”

Captain Stein’s body is trembling. He’s crossing his arms and gritting his teeth. “I found Joey Drew’s notes on that ink. It’s the first step in some sort of immortality experiment sponsored by the Daleks-”

“Daleks!” The Doctor straightens up. “I thought I told you to tell me at the first sign of them.”

“I came to, but Jorden showed up with the ink. Saving Henry’s life was more important. And it still is!”

Something cold brushes past you. The next time you hear Henry’s voice, it’s between you and the captain. “What are the Daleks?”

“More aliens.” You don’t like the look in the Doctor’s eye. Is that hatred? “A race of soldiers genetically engineered to feel nothing but anger and hate. They want to be the only form of life in the universe. They’ve murdered so many worlds, driven even the most advanced species to desperation. Even the Time Lords…. And they have their own time travel technology. Once they’ve completed whatever they’re up to here, I wouldn’t be surprised if they used it to prevent the human race from ever existing. No you. No Conrad. And from what he tells me, no Linda.”

Goosebumps break out across your arms.

You hear a similar effect in Henry’s whisper. “They’re here?”

“Oh, yes.” The Doctor swallows. He looks at the space between you and Conrad, as though trying to look Henry in the eye. “So sorry, but I think I figured out how you ended up alive and trapped in a time loop. Are you willing to keep an eye on the Daleks for us?”


The moment you haul Henry’s corpse into the TARDIS, the Doctor asks you and the Captain about any good cyberneticists you know of in your timeline. You land on Omicron Theta and track down Dr. Noonian Soong.

Dr. Soong is putting a disassembled android in storage when the Doctor asks for his help constructing an android body for Henry.

He declines the Doctor’s offer until the Doctor promises to teach him how to make an exterior that looks and feels completely human. It takes the better part of a year between you all working on it, but the moment the physical body passes all the tests, you take it back to Joey Drew Studios and have Dr. Soong help transfer Henry’s consciousness into the body.

There is a minor incident when Bertrum Piedmont catches you all in his workshop, but Dr. Soong smooths that over and gets Piedmont to promise to keep his mouth shut.

You activate Henry’s new body and test that he’s got full control over it. He smiles as he finishes his stretches. “This feels much better than being a disembodied nothing. If I ever find a way to repay you-”

Captain Stein holds his hand up. “It’s alright. What’s family for?”

“Besides,” says the Doctor, “with all the centuries I need to keep you in the time loop, I might still owe you something when you get out.”

Henry nods. “Alright, let’s talk about what exactly you need me to keep an eye out for.”

The Doctor gives Henry his instructions and sends him away from the studio to say his goodbyes. He says he’ll send a letter for Henry to return to the studio unless Joey has regrets and does it first.


Back in your own time, the Doctor takes you to Joey Drew Studios and breaks the time loop he himself set up for Henry's own protection. Henry’s relieved to see him. “This means I’m free now, doesn’t it?”

“It wasn’t the best of experiences, was it?”

Henry tells him that’s an understatement, but he gives his report anyway: everything from Dr. Soong using time travel technology to keep in touch with Bertrum Piedmont to an android named Lore taking the mechanical Bendy to the Daleks perfecting some sort of circle and leaving through portals he hasn’t been able to access himself.

“Do you know where the portals are?” the Doctor asks. “I’m going after them.”

Henry tells him, and the Doctor tells you that going after the Daleks is dangerous. He gives you and Captain Stein the choice to keep helping him or to return to your ship. You choose to…

…keep helping him.
…return to your ship.

Chapter Text

You’ve never been able to pass up a bit of fun, even if it means delaying a moral duty like reporting things to the authorities or to the Doctor. You stay there and play with the ink, creating several sketches with it to see if they’ll move on their own.

By the time you realize you’re not feeling well, it’s too late. Everything goes black.

When you wake up, you’re looking at your own body, slumped against the desk. Soon after that, Henry Stein returns to Joey Drew Studios and finds you like that. You try to talk to him, but he gets spooked and runs off.

Captain Stein retrieves your body, and you talk to him too. His body tenses and moves into a defensive stance, but he listens to you telling him what happened.

He gets the Doctor, who pulls a mechanical stick from his pocket and scans you with a whirr, whirr, whirr. “I’m sorry,” he says, “I’m so sorry, but this is

the end.”

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You recognize Bendy Land’s storage from your time there in the future, but there is much more left on the shelves at the moment.

Click here if you know about the robotic Bendy.
Click here if you don’t.

Chapter Text

You pass by a model coaster and find something much more interesting – how could anyone here be in contact with Dr Noonian Soong? There’s a letter for a Bertrum Piedmont that outlines the basics of implementing cybernetic wiring into an existing system.

Clunk! Clunk! Sizzle!

You look up and see immediately that Piedmont’s project didn’t go right – there’s a mechanical demon limping toward you whose body is sparking. It drops the charred remnants of a doll next to a crate and stares at it. It looks up at you.

“Hello. Are you Bendy?”

The demon nods. He raises his arms out, as though for a hug, and runs toward you.

You jump on a workbench. “Whoa! Slow down! You’re too dangerous for humans right now. But I think I can fix that for you if you’ll give me a chance.”

Bendy nods.

You’re no cyberneticist, but you get the electricity contained to the android’s body. “Feeling better?”

He is. You take him with you to administration.

When Joey and the Doctor come out of the meeting, Joey is scowling, but the Doctor’s delighted to see him. He shakes his hand and introduces himself.

It doesn’t take long for him to slip away and tell Bendy who he really is. Once he does, he asks for Bendy’s help.

It looks like Bendy does know something, but he can’t speak, and his hands are too clumsy to write. What the Doctor does instead is hooks up recording equipment inside him and makes a promise to come back.

The two of you collect Captain Stein and return to the TARDIS. You hop forward a few centuries and pick Bendy up from storage.

As the Doctor and your captain are reviewing what Bendy collected, you’re looking him over and performing basic maintenance.

“We’re going to have to get you another arm.” Even without the missing arm, Bendy’s in poor shape: rust, frayed wires, and burned-out lights, to name just the basics. “Are you mad at us for taking so long?”

Bendy doesn’t answer.

A few minutes later, the Doctor pulls away from the tapes. “Good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”

Captain Stein crosses his arms. “I’m assuming it’s news to me too, as I couldn’t understand anything at the speed you played the recording. I’ll take the bad news first.”

“The bad news is that the Daleks were using Joey Drew Studios for experimentation. If we break the time loop without getting him out, he could easily be killed and stay dead with any of their psycho test subjects. Also, they were using some sort of design, and I have no clue where they got that from. Daleks aren’t creative enough to come up with something like that on their own.” In your opinion, the Doctor sounds a little too chipper at the end of that.

You can hear the captain’s breath from a yard away. His voice comes out tight. “And the good news?”

“I know how to get him out of the time loop. I think. Also, I do know where all the ink is coming from.” The Doctor kneels down and looks Bendy in the eye. “And… I think I can get him to stop being scared of you. You see him like he’s your favorite uncle, right? Or maybe your dad. But he caught you moving just once, and you didn’t want to try again.”

The Doctor jumps you forward in time again. This time he lands you several months after you originally visited the studio, when Starfleet’s efforts to save Henry have died down. The entrance hall has at least been repaired, but Captain Stein assures you that won’t last long. He leads the group of you through the halls and into a cinema.

You wait there for ten minutes before Henry shows up. The man’s eyes widen. “Conrad? What are you doing here? It’s dangerous.”

“We’re getting you out.”

Conrad introduces everyone his uncle doesn’t know, and his introducing Bendy does the trick to place Henry’s trust in the android.

Then the Doctor explains why Bendy’s the only one who can stay to help Henry – Henry is trapped in a time loop because he wasn’t supposed to survive getting his psyche caught in the ink – at least not in his human body – so he’s given Bendy a device that can disentangle the psyche at the source of the ink. But the device is dangerous, so Henry’s the only organic life form that can be around when it’s activated.

The rest of Henry’s rescue involves waiting outside the studio to see if anyone comes out alive and listening to the Doctor scold Captain Stein for preventing Henry’s death in the past. He shouldn’t alter history.

Captain Stein points out that he never knew a timeline where Henry died. He just hopes Henry comes out alive after all this.

Henry does, carrying a Bendy who has claw marks in him just like the ones in the Dalek casing.

“Who did that?” you ask.

He shudders. “The Ink Demon. He’s gone now. We’re gonna be alright.”

Captain Stein – Captain Stein’s future self – makes arrangements for Henry and Bendy to stay aboard the Hela as his relatives. There will be a ship that meets up with the Hela to do so – the USS Trumpeter.

But someone’s got to learn cybernetics for Bendy, and the Doctor’s asking for someone to go with him to investigate how the time loop started in the first place. He doesn’t want to take your captain with him.

You…

…go with the Doctor.
…return to the Hela and learn cybernetics.

Chapter Text

Last time, you came here for fun. Not even knowing about a missing person could distract you from your fun. This time is only a little different – you may not have come here for fun, but who are you to turn down a chance to play with a model coaster left on one of the work desks?

You spend a little too long looking at it – in very little time, you’re cornered by a horned robot that’s sparking. It reaches toward you and electricity runs through your body, bringing your life to its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You’d have to guess it’s been about a week since you came to the studio, and that's enough time to understand why Boris is hiding in the corner, hands over his eyes, knees trembling.

Pulling a lever handle out of a tool chest, Henry says, “It’s all right, Boris. When’s the last time you heard a monster knock?” His footsteps cross the room. The handle is put back on the lever, it lowers, and the door opens.

Standing on the other side are three uniformed Starfleet officers – a captain and two lieutenants raising their phasers. The captain gestures for his subordinates to lower their weapons. “Conrad?” Henry asks.

Does Starfleet know about this place?

You step closer to the door. “Sirs.”

Three pairs of eyes come to you. They leave to look at the others.

“Identify yourselves,” says the captain.

You do.

He scowls at you. “Ensign Jorden Poe, you say? The Ensign Poe assigned aboard the Hela?

There’s not a chance this isn’t who you think it is. You swallow and nod. “Yes, sir.”

“It was stupid and reckless, breaking in here like that. I won’t have any of that aboard my ship.”

You glimpse a hand on Captain Stein’s shoulder. “Your ship? Good for you. As for these kids, I think you’ll find they’ve learned a lesson about caution. I had to lay one of their friends further down the hall. Bendy got him.”

As one of the lieutenants escorts you safely to the hall, you overhear your captain say, “I’m still looking. For a way to free you and shut down this nightmare.”

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Chapter Text

It’s the Doctor, Donna, and your other self. They must have worried when you didn’t come back.

T’mus raises an eyebrow. Miyu stares. “You never told us you had an older sibling. Why not come with us yourself?”

Your other self shrugs. “I couldn’t. I mean, I did. That’s me. Time travel, apparently. I’m still wrapping my head around it too.”

You cross your arms at the Doctor. “I’m still not convinced this was a good idea.”

He sets his arm against a wall. “We had our own investigation and found a machine of human design, modified by Daleks. It had a long-range transmat pulling psychic ink here from the planet Fyzlik and the strangest psychic circuits I’ve ever seen programming it. My best guess is that it transfers brainwaves from dying humans and puts them in the ink as angrier, more hateful versions of themselves. That’s Daleks for you – the only two emotions they value. Why would they give anyone anything else? Well, maybe fear and sorrow, but that’s a different story.”

The floor creaks. Most likely, Henry is taking a step toward the rescue party. “Is that why Bendy turned out like that? Someone programmed him to be evil? But they said he was harmless at first.”

The Doctor’s eyes widen. “Note to self: beware of Bendy clones.” He swallows, reaches out, and shakes and invisible hand. “I’m the Doctor. And you are?”

“Henry.”

“Henry?” A smile is spreading over the Doctor’s face. “You’re not… Henry Stein? Bendy’s creator? Blimey, you must have aged well! You don’t sound older than twenty-seven!”

“I was twenty-four.”

Donna and the Doctor exchange looks. Donna steps closer. “Donna Noble, never did get a chance to change my name after the Doctor and I got married. If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to you? You were supposed to live to eighty-three.”

You explain to your friends that the Doctor’s from an alternate timeline, so history didn’t happen the way he remembers.

Henry was likely listening too. “Eighty-three? I’m not sure how I would have lived that long. Maybe if I’d taken a better care of myself? But then, it wasn’t like I was doing anything to harm my health other than working too long of hours. I just got sick and died one day.”

The Doctor flattens his lips. “That shouldn’t be enough to do it, and it really doesn’t explain why you’re still here.”

Click here if you have ever read a newspaper article about Henry’s death.
Click here if you have not.

Chapter Text

“They found him at his desk, slumped over a drawing of Bendy.”

“Drawn in ink?”

You catch a glimpse of Henry again. He’s got a smile on his face. “I was testing a new type of ink that day. Joey thought it would make our cartoons more life-like, and he was right. The results were beautiful.”

“The ink was probably from Fyzlik.” The Doctor flinches. “Refined Fyzlik ink can be very toxic to humans if it’s not treated correctly. You were probably a victim of the early experiments who died from the fumes. That explains things actually. On the bright side, there shouldn’t be any Dalek influence in your mind.”

Henry asks for the Doctor’s help – in getting you out of here, and if it’s possible, in freeing himself from a time loop that traps him in Joey Drew Studios. The Doctor promises that he’ll save everyone left to save.

Those of you who are alive exit Joey Drew Studios, carrying Mikah with you, and you say goodbye to your friends and your past self. You return to the Doctor’s TARDIS where you…

…keep helping the Doctor set things right.
…ask to be dropped off at Starfleet in your own time so you can report in and reassure your family that you’re alive.

Chapter Text

There’s not much that can be done to figure that out now though, so Henry asks for the Doctor’s help – in getting you out of here, and if it’s possible, in freeing himself from a time loop that traps him in Joey Drew Studios. The Doctor promises that he’ll save everyone left to save.

Those of you who are alive exit Joey Drew Studios, carrying Mikah with you, and you say goodbye to your friends and your past self. You return to the Doctor’s TARDIS where you…

…keep helping the Doctor set things right.
…ask to be dropped off at Starfleet in your own time so you can report in and reassure your family that you’re alive.

Chapter Text

You and your friends thank Henry and get out of there, carrying Mikah’s body with you. You call the authorities.

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Chapter Text

You gaze at the sheet covering Mikah’s corpse. “At first, I came here because he wanted to go exploring. But then I met someone who needs to investigate this place, and I was helping him out. I want to get to the bottom of this. For Mikah. And for my new friend. Can I bring him here to ask you some questions?”

Henry lifts the corpse, giving the illusion that it’s floating on its own. “I’d rather he not come here. I don’t want anyone else to end up like this.”

“I haven’t known him long, but I get the feeling he’s not going to take no for an answer.”

There’s a sigh. “I suppose Boris and I could stay in the safe house another day, but we won’t be able to help if Bendy gets after you.”

You get your friends out of there and go get the Doctor. Your younger self is shocked to see Mikah wrapped in a sheet, but the Doctor hurries you off and leaves your friends to explain it to your past self.

Your brow twitches in annoyance. Don’t you deserve a better explanation than that? You were just effectively kidnapped and replaced with a stranger who looks like you while Mikah was getting killed. And your friends don’t really know what they need to to explain you to your past self.

Still, you take the Doctor to the safe house and introduce him to Henry and Boris.

The Vulcans failed to mind-meld with Henry, but the Doctor wants to try it with him anyway to make sure Henry’s mind is still in-tact after all these years of disembodiment. He does warn Henry that he wouldn’t be able to get him out of here like a Vulcan would.

The Doctor presses his thumbs to some invisible temples and closes his eyes. A moment later, they snap open and the Time Lord draws back. “Joey Drew sold you and the rest of the human race out to the Daleks. I’m so sorry.”

“Daleks?” Henry asks.

“Another race of time-traveling aliens who want to destroy everything not Dalek. This place was a ground for them to experiment on non-Daleks before testing a new regenerative technique on themselves.” The Doctor’s face is pale, and his eyes are distant. “I’ve got to go. I’ll be back to save everyone here who can still be saved.”

He rushes you out of the studio too, back to the TARDIS.

Chapter Text

It’s several days of close calls with the Ink Demon and other hostiles. Each time, Henry has you hide in a cramped little box until the danger is past.

Even before you reach the Ink Machine, you’re surprised that Joey Drew could have his studio built with this many levels of basements back in the 1930s. You get the chance to examine some smaller machines that can program the ink, and when you get a chance to look at the machine itself, you think you know why Joey Drew Studios could pull off such engineering feats – the Ink Machine is too advanced even for your time. You find elements similar to transporter technology, and you can identify pipes and a spigot, but that’s about it.

The question is, who helped build this place? No one you recognize.

You ask Henry what he knows of the machine, and he shows you to a few audio logs. After listening to Thomas Connor’s report to the Gent company, you know who built the machine – humans of the time, but not who originally designed it. What worries you most is the part about Bendy being a “prototype.”

A prototype that much stronger than the ink creatures that came after it? Somehow you doubt that.

By the time Henry gets you back to the surface, copies of blueprints in your arms, you’re late to your first assignment.

It doesn’t matter much anyway – Captain Stein refuses to allow you aboard his ship. You have a few days’ wait before you’re reassigned, and you spend the time…

…relaxing.
…studying the blueprints.
…telling people about Joey Drew Studios.

Chapter Text

You have several close calls with the Ink Demon and other hostiles, but you don’t get far before Donna and the Doctor catch up with you. You introduce them and your current companions and promise they’re harmless.

You tell the Doctor that you’re going to have a look at the Ink Machine.

“Donna and I have already done that – up on the first floor.” He sets his arm against a wall. “We had our own investigation and found a machine of human design, modified by Daleks. It had a long-range transmat pulling psychic ink here from the planet Fyzlik and the strangest psychic circuits I’ve ever seen programming it. My best guess is that it transfers brainwaves from dying humans and puts them in the ink as angrier, more hateful versions of themselves. That’s Daleks for you – the only two emotions they value. Why would they give anyone anything else? Well, maybe fear and sorrow, but that’s a different story.”

The floor creaks. Most likely, Henry is taking a step toward the rescue party. “Is that why Bendy turned out like that? Someone programmed him to be evil? But they said he was harmless at first.”

The Doctor’s eyes widen. “Note to self: beware of Bendy clones.” He swallows, reaches out, and shakes and invisible hand. “I’m the Doctor. And you are?”

“Henry.”

“Henry?” A smile is spreading over the Doctor’s face. “You’re not… Henry Stein? Bendy’s creator? Blimey, you must have aged well! You don’t sound older than twenty-seven!”

“I was twenty-four.”

Donna and the Doctor exchange looks. Donna steps closer. “Donna Noble, never did get a chance to change my name after we got married. If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to you? You were supposed to live to eighty-three.”

You explain to Henry that the Doctor’s from an alternate timeline, so history didn’t happen the way he remembers.

After you do, you still hear skepticism in Henry’s voice. “Eighty-three? I’m not sure how I would have lived that long. Maybe if I’d taken a better care of myself? But then, it wasn’t like I was doing anything to harm my health other than working too long of hours. I just got sick and died one day.”

The Doctor flattens his lips. “That shouldn’t be enough to do it, and it really doesn’t explain why you’re still here.”

Click here if you ever read a newspaper article about Henry’s death.
Click here if you have not.

Chapter Text

“They found him at his desk, slumped over a drawing of Bendy.”

“Drawn in ink?”

You catch a glimpse of Henry again. He’s got a smile on his face. “I was testing a new type of ink that day. Joey thought it would make our cartoons more life-like, and he was right. The results were beautiful.”

“The ink was probably from Fyzlik.” The Doctor flinches. "You were probably a victim of the early experiments who died from toxic fumes. That explains things actually. On the bright side, there shouldn’t be any Dalek influence in your mind.”

Henry asks for the Doctor’s help – in getting you out of here, and if it’s possible, in freeing himself from a time loop that traps him in Joey Drew Studios. The Doctor promises that he’ll save everyone left to save.

The living exit Joey Drew Studios, and you return to the Doctor’s TARDIS, where you…

…keep helping the Doctor set things right.
…ask to be dropped off at Starfleet in your own time so you can report in and reassure your family that you’re alive.

Chapter Text

Henry asks for the Doctor’s help – in getting you out of here, and if it’s possible, in freeing himself from a time loop that traps him in Joey Drew Studios. The Doctor promises that he’ll save everyone left to save.

The living exit Joey Drew Studios, and you return to the Doctor’s TARDIS, where you…

…keep helping the Doctor set things right.
…ask to be dropped off at Starfleet in your own time so you can report in and reassure your family that you’re alive.

Chapter Text

The alloy matches the Doctor’s description, but it doesn’t look like there are any Daleks still around. You should report this to the Doctor, but you’re probably safe to keep looking around if you want to.

Click here to report to the Doctor immediately.
Click here to keep looking around.

Chapter Text

You can’t. Not with limited information and resources. All you can do is promise to run further diagnostics on it when you have the proper equipment on hand.

As T’mus is securing her tricorder back to her belt, you open the trap door and shine your light down a rickety ladder that leads to an earthen staircase. “We should be okay to go down as long as we’re careful.”

You lead the way so you can provide on-going assessment of the structural stability of what you’re exploring. It’s mostly stairs winding down a natural underground cavern, and it’s surprisingly stable. The only things you advise your friends not to approach at all are the edges of the rail-less stairs and a cave with a bit of metal at the entrance.

Click here if you're on a holodeck.
Click here if you have yet to report for your first Starfleet assignment.

Chapter Text

He groans. “Of course the Time Agency’s here. It just makes my job harder.” He rubs his face. “Right. Do you know where anyone is?”

You don’t.

He goes, picks up a redheaded woman and child, and takes you all through the TARDIS into a brightly-colored jungle-themed playground filled with giant, moving gummy bears. He bends to the child’s level. “Gemma, I need you to stay here and not wander off.”

The woman taps the back of his head. “Oi, Spaceman. Tell her like that and she won’t understand how important this mission is.” She looks at the child. “She needs to know how important it is that someone keep the bears occupied while Mommy and Daddy run for enough groceries to feed them all.”

“I wanna go shopping too! Don’t forget me!”

The Doctor smiles. “We won’t be forgetting you any more. We’re going somewhere there is no gas.” He briefly explains to the child what a space ship is and that everyone’s on one.

“I wanna see the space ship!”

Gemma goes running out of the room before anyone can stop her.

The Doctor shakes his head. “She’ll be fine. The TARDIS will look after her.”

You head back to the control room, where the Doctor gives you a brief, shaky ride. “Right. Welcome home, Ensign Poe! You’re back in California. Way before your time, but still.”

“Finally,” says the redhead, “somewhere normal for a trip. Would you remember to introduce me and your friend there?”

The woman is apparently Donna, a friend whom the Doctor married because he forgot why he was off the market. He introduces you to her and then realizes he doesn’t know what you actually do in Starfleet.

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Click here if you’re an engineer.

Chapter Text

“Splendid! Advancing the human race, understanding the universe one step at a time, oh good for you!” The Doctor opens the TARDIS door, and in floods a black liquid that the Doctor determines to be ink by tasting.

You stare at him. “You identify unknown chemicals by eating them?”

“Yep. Sometimes. But you know what the interesting thing is? This is Earth, but the ink’s not from here! Hold on tight: we’re going to Fyzlik!”

Donna circles the console. “Wait a minute. I thought we were going to investigate other time travelers?”

“Yeah, well. Can’t get out here: we’re at the bottom of a river.” The Doctor flips a switch and the TARDIS jolts.

This time, you land on a white-surfaced planet with rivers and lakes of black. Ink. Just like the TARDIS is emptying itself of at the moment.

The Doctor is surveying the cliffs. “Should be around here somewhere – ha!” There’s an ink-fall, but the lake at the bottom is lower than you’d guess. You follow the Doctor’s eyes to a pipe.

The three of you hike down and get a closer look. The Doctor stares. “There’s a generic transmat inside a generic pipe. How are we going to figure out who set this up?”

Donna gives him a look.

“What?”

You see what she does: large letters on the side of the pipe that say GENT.

“Ooh, brilliant! … No idea who GENT is.”

“Maybe it’s a local company?” Donna suggests.

The Doctor shakes his head. “Nah. There’s no known life on Fyzlik.”

You proceed by…

…looking up the GENT company.
…diving through the transmat.
…checking to see if anything’s coming back from wherever it’s going.

Chapter Text

“Oh, brilliant! You can help me keep a look-out then. I’m not positive it’s them, but I heard funny rumors on Penury that makes me suspect the Daleks are involved. If you come across any Daleks or Dalekanium or anything like that, let me know immediately.”

You have to ask what those are, but you’re told about an alien race and an alloy they manufacture.

When you step outside, you find yourself looking at the back of T’mus’ head. She’s putting a fresh battery in her tricorder and wearing the same outfit she wore the night you explored Joey Drew Studios. In fact, that’s where you are right now – Joey Drew Studios.

You grab the others and step back inside the TARDIS. “This isn’t way before my time. Do we have a way to check the date?”

The Doctor looks off one of the readings and gives the date in the Gregorian calendar, but you recognize it anyway. “I’m about to meet up with my friends out there – my past self, that is – and we’re going to have an awful urban exploring trip.”

“You’ve been here?”

“Yeah.”

The Doctor’s eyes light up. “What did your friend find with her scanner?”

“Not much really.”

“Oh, right! If there is something there….” The Doctor bends under the console and opens a compartment. He hands a thin disk to you. “Some metals and technologies I can think of drain certain types of batteries. That should stop anything like that from happening. The battery indicator might be a bit off, but keep that with you, and your friend can use her scanner as much as she wants.”

You look at him. How did you not notice he looks crazy before, with his flyaway hair and big eyes? “But it’s my past self going, not me.”

“We’ll take care of your past self. You take your own place. Come straight back here if you find anything. If it helps, try to get in the mindset you were in that night.”

The Doctor hands you a flashlight and a first aid kit and shoves you out the door. You stuff your lanyard under your shirt.


Try to get in the mindset? You try to remember what happened that night, before everything went downhill. You had dinner with your parents to say goodbye to them, and you decide to open your message in front of everybody.

Chapter Text

“But it’s too early for you humans to have time travel technology that can send entire spaceships through time!” Rubbing his neck, the Doctor asks you to describe the incidents for him.

You give a brief history, and he pulls a large book out of a smaller pocket and starts thumbing through. Inside the book are many notes he left himself on Penury, and some of them are about the captors. He wants to know if you’ve heard of any of them – and more importantly, if any of the Federation ships that had traveled through time had heard of them.

As you’re looking at the book, you notice a sketch of an android he has labeled Lore. You point toward it. “The Enterprise D met him a few times. One of their officers was his brother. Same model of android, but less faulty and violent.”

He grins. “Enterprise D it is then.”

The Doctor yanks down on a giant lever and runs around the central consoles. There are several bumps and shakes as the TARDIS is on her way, but less than a minute after the Time Lord started piloting his ship like a madman, there’s a chime.

He grins and flips a switch. “Hullo. Oh, good! We’re in the right place. Hello, Enterprise!”

You join the Doctor at an old TV screen fixed to an overhead arm, and on the other end of the call are several faces you recognize from the history books. Standing front and center is a balding man in a red uniform.

He’s scowling. “I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Identify yourselves!”

“Is that a French accent I hear?” the Doctor asks.

You heard no such accent, but you know that Captain Picard was – is – a native French speaker.

As the Doctor fills in Captain Picard, the captain glances at the helm, where the ship’s resident android confirms, “Indeed, Captain,” to the two of you having just popped through time. “The TARDIS is surrounded by tachyon bursts that seem to indicate time travel. She is surrounded by enough that it looks habitual for her.”

“Yes,” says the Doctor, “that’s Time Lords – my people – for you. Expert observers of time. But something in the future’s gone very, very wrong and my companion and I need to learn more about Soongian androids. Got loads of questions.”

The captain glances at Lieutenant Commander Data, then back at the view screen. “In that case, I welcome you aboard the Enterprise conditionally. I will not allow you to harm any member of my crew to obtain this information you seek, nor will I compromise Federation directives and procedures. Prepare to enter Shuttlebay 3.”

The screen goes blank.

“Nicest welcome I’ve had in a while.” The Doctor takes a few moments to pilot his ship, more smoothly this time, before he walks toward the doors. “Coming along?”

In the shuttlebay, the two of you are met with a scowling Klingon and some other security personel. They escort you to a meeting with the senior officers.

The Doctor starts the meeting off by scanning Lieutenant Commander Data with a long metal stick. You don’t see how he’s getting the results, but he slips it back into his pocket a moment later. He shakes the android’s hand.

The Enterprise wants more details on the situation, at least as far as how they pertain to why you sought them out; but the Doctor wants to demand answers without giving any of his own. On the one hand, you understand the Enterprise’s position, but on the other, you’re worried about how the temporal prime directive applies here. You…

…side with the Enterprise.
…side with the Doctor.

Chapter Text

The blond has the same idea, only he knocks them over on the Daleks and buys himself more time. You follow his example.

The Doctor gets you and the blond both to the TARDIS, which has the blond gasping. But he tenses up in a second, amber eyes on you and body posed defensively. “Who are you?”

“Friends,” says the Doctor. “Or at least the enemies of your enemies out there. You seem to know something about what they took.”

For a moment, you think he’s not going to tell you at all – but the blond, Edward Elric, just wants proof of your intentions before you spill the beans – so the Doctor takes off back for Penury with him aboard. He hands you all pills before you step out this time.

Apparently, these will make you immune to the amnesia-inducing properties of the neurogas.

You land inside a long, windowed hall, and with how nice the surroundings are, you know you’re not somewhere meant for the prisoners. The thought crosses your mind that you might not be on Penury, but a glance out the window gets you the same woven-ruby-vine roads you’ve come to associate with the planet.

Ed is looking around too. Eventually, he faces you and the Doctor with crossed arms. “You still haven’t proven your intentions.”

“We just need to show you how bad things are here, that’s all. Maybe see if your research has anything to do with it. We’ll take you home if you can’t help us.” The Doctor’s looking around for something as he speaks. He relaxes. “Right. Should be safe to continue.”

You explore…

…to the right.
…to the left.

Chapter Text

The door leads to a bathroom, wherein you’re trapped in a dead

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You may not be medically trained, but with this many evacuees, it’s alright to have science officers helping out with some basic lab work and engineers standing by with shuttles for those not using transporters.

You’re between tasks when you see one of the colony’s men stumble and fall. A woman sets down an infant and kneels to check on him.

Chapter Text

You run out and help him up. He’s pale, weak, and surprisingly heavy, but you think you can help him finish the ten meters to his medical examination.

The woman with him is free to pick up her similarly-pale infant.

Click here if you’re not a security officer.
Click here if you are.

Chapter Text

You get him to the doctors in time – apparently, the man’s species is sensitive to even the natural levels of gas on this planet, and he’s been dying for the past five years. His half-human infant isn’t doing much better.

The two are cued for immediate transport to your ship, where they go on to make a full recovery.

The family seeks you out later and thanks you. They also promise you a reward if you return to them something valuable they left on the surface.

Click here if you ask to go back for it.
Click here if you think it’s too dangerous to return to Penury.

Chapter Text

You never learn the details of what happened on Penury, but the thrill of discovering new substances, new species… that’s enough of a thrill for you. You don’t need to solve a mystery completely to be sure of your contributions to the Federation. Any Federation science lab is enough of an adventure for you, even if your career proves to be a dead

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Captain Stein scowls and crosses his arms. “Security officers in this simulation, did you forget the warning about the ink demon in the first room? Did you not notice the bubbling ink? You need to be more aware of your surroundings before I can pass you. I think another round ought to help.”

And so you find yourselves right back at the beginning of the simulation, where you and your three teammates opt to check the shack. Inside, you find Dalek parts, but you have to continue down to where you solve a door-opening puzzle, fight some ink creatures, and encounter an amusement park octopus ride that attacks you.

The ride has a head in its center that’s disturbingly realistic. It talks about how he built the amusement park, and how it’s his glory – not Joey Drew’s.

Mikah tells you he believes the ride was once human.

Still, it’s attacking you, so you take a convenient fire ax and chop the ride’s arms off.

Only then do the doors open that presumably connect the warehouse you’re in to the main part of Joey Drew Studios.

Chapter Text

You take mental notes for your investigation, but you can’t do anything about it now, so you…

…wait for a rescue.
…clear the hallway.

Chapter Text

T’mus asks what a sound ahead is. You don’t hear anything, but you know Vulcan hearing is better than human hearing. As you keep going, you keep your eyes peeled.

Slosh. Slosh. Slosh. You wade through the ink, and it’s when you step onto some dry floorboards that you hear what T’mus was talking about: there is a loud snap followed by a clank. When you shine your flashlight ahead, you see a floating fire ax.

“Hello?” a man’s voice calls to you, but you can’t see the man. But you hear his footsteps approaching you. “You need to get out of here if you still can.”

All the humans in your group take a step together. “Is it a ghost?” you ask the others.

“Don’t be stupid,” Miyu hisses back.

You catch T’mus raising an eyebrow at the three of you, but she redirects her gaze toward the floating ax. “Your phrasing makes it sound like you can’t leave. Why?”

The ax clears a last board from the hall and breaks in half. It’s left to fall to the ground.

There’s a flash of an image on the holodeck – a young man with strong arms and soft eyes.  “Do not investigate. You might get trapped here too.”

Mikah looks straight ahead. “Are you Henry?”

“Yeah, and you shouldn’t be-” Henry’s voice cuts off when vines of ink suddenly cover the halls. Cold hands grab you and shove you around the corner. “Run!”

You try to look back, but you’re shoved onward. You do glimpse someone tall and covered in ink, who’s reaching out toward your friends. “Mikah!”

“I’ll help him. Go!”

The three left in your party run through the hall until you’ve all passed a door. You get another glimpse of Henry, blocking the door behind you. Something bangs on the other side. Your invisible new friend pounds the door in return.

For a moment, sounds are limited. You hear your own thudding heart, your own heavy breaths, and scattered dripping.

Miyu is the first with the courage to speak. “Where’s Mikah?”

“I’m sorry.” Henry’s cold hands prod you forward. “I’ll do what I can for him, but we ought to attend to the living first.”


Henry takes you to meet a silent being made of ink – a lupinoid named Boris. He looks like a cartoon wolf.

You, Henry, and Boris, the five of you hide away in a safe spot of Boris’s. Henry discusses the possibility of sneaking some cots from an infirmary, past the Ink Demon, to this place; but he firmly refuses to let any of you help.

The ghost goes off alone. When he comes back, he’s carrying only Mikah’s body, wrapped in an old sheet. He reports that the hallway between the safe haven and the exit has collapsed.

In somber tones, you all discuss how you’re going to escape Joey Drew Studios. Henry describes the studio as being full of monsters like the one that killed Mikah, although the one that did was the worst of the lot.

You decide the best course of action is to…

wait for a rescue.
clear the hallway.
learn more about the ink creatures.

Chapter Text

Miyu scoops ink into the bottle and says she wants it analyzed back on your assigned ship, the Hela. The moment she does, it disappears and the simulation itself tells you the ink is capable of supporting life.

What’s behind the disappearances – a species that drinks ink instead of water?

Chapter Text

As you open the door, something whistles overhead. You glance up and see a recording rigged to the door frame. “Power still works,” you grumble. “Wonder who’s been maintaining it.”

You all step inside a hall flooded with ink.

Click here if Miyu has a bottle.
Click here if she does not.

Chapter Text

Miyu is white. Her eyes are wide and looking at Mikah, who is trembling. “Daleks!”

He wraps his arms around himself. “It’s just a holodeck. We’re not going to die. We’ve just got to find another weapon for the next one and hope they’re all made of ink.”

You have to ask the two what’s going on.

Miyu and Mikah both came here from the same ship – the USS Hela – after a recent mission to the recently-rediscovered colony of Penury. The colonists were still there, but they were being ruled by androids and squid-like beings in personal war tanks who called themselves the Daleks.

Miyu screamed the moment Daleks started vaporizing crew members and her phaser was completely ineffective against them.

Mikah’s a medical officer who was assigned to examine a red substance retrieved from the planet for organic remains, but he’s part Betazoid and he shut down on hearing dozens of screaming voices inside the substance.

It’s understandable why green Starfleet officers would have moments like that, but the Hela is typically assigned to the more dangerous missions, so Captain Stein sent them both here until his holoprogram toughens them up.

Mikah and Miyu tell you that Captain Stein is the most paranoid person they’ve ever met, but if he commands a ship like the Hela, that’s to be expected. Furthermore, if he was able to program a species only recently encountered by the Federation into this not-so-recent holoprogram, it seems that something’s going on with the real Joey Drew Studios.

T’mus watches with a raised eyebrow as the rest of you agree to report to your respective captains after you finish this training module - that Captain Stein needs help bringing a matter to Starfleet attention, and that Captain Hamilton is a potential ally.

In the meantime, you search the rest of this studio for clues of the mock missing persons’ mystery. There are inky, four-toed footprints that lead between a boarded-off observation room (and you’re all asking yourselves what the Ink Machine is it’s supposed to observe) and into the boarded-off area of a break room: down a hall, and through a trap door.

In the trap door, you find a key with a taped label: MUSIC DEPARTMENT ENTRANCE.

You hold onto it as you finish searching this floor. There’s no music department here and no stairs to another floor, but there is a vivisected cartoon wolf (Boris the Wolf, according to the posters) on display. A wall to its side asks WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?

Stepping closer to Miyu you ask, “Did we get a list of the missing people? Was there a Boris the Wolf on it?”

She shakes her head. “No list. Just the rumors, remember?”

The last hint you find before you go to the music department is a tape recording of a Wally Frank’s, who’s complaining that his boss, Joey Drew, has lost his mind and started believing in the occult. He even made his workers sacrifice everyday work items to “the gods” by putting them on pedestals in the break room.

You frown. “I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but it looks like Joey Drew did lose his mind. He might have been responsible for the initial disappearances, and dangerous conditions here at the studio for all the rest.”

It’s your working theory anyway.

You leave the ground floor through the same window you entered and go looking for the music department entrance – it looks like it’s in the back, down some stairs. In fact, it is – the key works.

Chapter Text

Your group having lost its desire to investigate the floor you're on, you go look for something to pick the lock on the back door.

The shack is locked, so you all go together to see if there’s any other way of opening a back door to get into the studio. You end up ramming yourselves against it until it’s loose enough to open.

Chapter Text

How could even a madman imagine up with something like this? It’s more than likely that there really is, or at least was, something dangerous in the real Joey Drew Studios than that this is all a product of Captain Stein’s mind. You’ve got to report this.

Click here if you demand to be let out of the holodeck immediately.
Click here to report after training.

Chapter Text

The inky machine aims the whisk toward Miyu, and she smashes the bottle over its top. It melts into a puddle.

Click here if Pride told you about the war machines.
Click here if he did not.

Chapter Text

The ink being sprays ink toward Miyu and the holodeck goes blank except for a YOU DIED message. The arch appears and an admiral and a lieutenant enter the holodeck.

The lieutenant is shaking. “Admiral-”

“What are those?” the admiral asks. “They look just like the things that caused an accident in the search-and-rescue-branch of mission control.”

Miyu’s opening her mouth, but the lieutenant speaks first: “Admiral, weren’t you killed in that accident?”

The admiral blinks. “It’s funny how you forget about dying.”

The moment the admiral is done talking, a metal eye stalk sprouts from her forehead.

Roll this die to determine how you fare against her:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 2, 3, or 4.
Click here if you rolled a 1, 5, or 6.

Chapter Text

It takes all four of you to knock the door from its frame. You find yourselves in a foyer with two hallways, another door, and a board that says Joey Drew Studios over some spinning old film reels.

T’mus walks to other door and opens it.

“EX TER mi nate.”

The Vulcan dodges flying ink.

You and Miyu run over. From a closet rolls an inky robot – a pepper-shaker-like tank covered in bumps, with an eye stalk, a whisk, and a plunger as appendages.

Click here if Miyu has a bottle.
Click here if she does not.

Chapter Text

You and Miyu take up defensive positions against her, but a whisk-like appendage spurts out of her chest. She aims it your way, and a burst of red brings your life to its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You and Miyu take up defensive positions against her, but a whisk-like appendage spurts out of her chest. She aims it your way, and a burst of red hits your chest.

When you wake up, you’re back aboard the Trumpeter. A doctor on Earth has already given you full clearance to return to duty, so you return to the usual routine as the Trumpeter rushes to Penury to rendezvous with the USS Hela.

You’ve been chosen as one of the security officers meeting with both Captain Hamilton and Captain Stein to discuss an energy signature on Penury that matches that from the alternate Earth, but as soon as the doors are closed, you find yourself sealing everyone inside.

“Ensign, explain yourself!”

You turn toward your captain. He’s scowling. Beside him, Captain Stein is narrowing his eyes.

An eye stalk bursts from your forehead. “EXTERMINATE!”

You shoot the puny, pathetic, loathesome humans who were glaring daggers at you and proceed to bring the rest of the lives trapped in with you to their

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You find many references to “the Doctor,” with at least thirteen known different faces. Some of them match the freckled idiot running around the Trumpeter. The thing is, they’re all in historical documents dating no nearer than Earth’s twenty-first century.

A time traveler? That’s interesting, but it doesn’t teach you how to do a better job at guarding him.

Unfortunately for you, while you’re doing your research, the Doctor goes missing, along with a blue box the Hela left in one of the Trumpeter’s shuttle bays. The computer can’t locate either one, and a manual search turns up nothing. You’re given a demerit for neglecting your bodyguard duty.

As you’re leaving the captain’s office, one of the senior officers approaches him and starts saying something about a link between the alternate Earth and Penury. You don’t hear what though.

Before long, you’re summoned for an interview with one of the officers from the USS Hela. It doesn’t take long.

You never learn the details of what happened on Penury or on the alternate Earth, nor how Fyzlik ties into anything, but you do spend a career trying to avoid enough demerits to get kicked out of Starfleet aboard each ship you’re assigned to. You never warrant a promotion, but you get all the adventure you’ve craved, and that’s enough that you’re alright staying in a career that proves to be a dead

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

On one occasion, you catch up with the Doctor as he’s climbing into a relic in Shuttlebay 1 – a blue telephone box. For once, he smiles when he sees you. “Do me a favor and tell your superiors that the missing officers from the USS Elizabeth are in one of the red stones the Hela picked up, will you?”

He climbs in the box before you can ask him what he meant, and in a matter of seconds, there’s a strange sound and the box starts fading away. What else can you do but report what you saw and pass along the Doctor’s message?

A Betazed aboard the Hela examines the stone and determines that the Doctor was telling the truth – or at least that there are dozens of intelligent minds screaming inside it.

You have to wonder if that’s what Pride meant by “soul binding.” You suggest the possibility to Captain Hamilton, and he orders the Trumpeter to go to Penury and have the site examined by the ship’s own officers.

You’re not on the away team, but you hear that they find something familiar from the alternate Earth – one of their alchemy circles takes up the room where the Hela reported finding the stones.

On multiple ships, your fellow officers continue the investigation, and Captain Stein opens up about his youthful misadventure in Joey Drew Studios as well.

In less than a month, the full story emerges, or at least a full story that Starfleet has adequate confidence in: a race called the Daleks beat you to exploring the hole in your universe and discovered the alternate Earth’s energy source. They used time travel technology to observe it directly in action and tested it out for themselves on your own Earth – in Joey Drew Studios. And when they’d finished their experiments there, they found a planet that could not call out for help to exploit its population’s resources.

It’s not a perfect explanation – why not just use Earth’s past to create the stones? – but it fits well enough to give Starfleet something to go off.

Your contributions to the theory must be fresh in Captain Hamilton’s mind, because he promotes you to a lieutenant, bringing your days as an ensign to their

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You fire your phaser at her eyes to blind her momentarily and retreat, calling for back-up. Several higher-ranked officers rush to the scene, eye-stocks sprouting from their heads. “EXTERMINATE!”

By the time the Daleks look your way, you know you’ve made a mistake that will bring you to your

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

The angel takes something from her belt. “Your leadership has been compromised. Does this mean nothing to you?”

She shows you the cylinder in her hand. It’s the end of a Dalek eye-stalk.

“Where did you get it?”

“The studio.” She tells you how, long ago, there was an Ink Machine created in Joey Drew Studios. It created her and the other Toons. Monsters. Most of them. One of them, a being known as the Ink Demon, was the most fearsome of the lot, and had a tendency to take trophies – film reels, headless corpses, and ancient bits of armored tanks made of a strange metal. Lately, the metal has been growing more active until the Toons were able to use its power to break out of Joey Drew Studios.

You don’t follow the angel’s full explanation, but you pick out that she’s called Alice and she and the others are following the lead of a man named Henry. Together, they tracked alien activity to inside the bodies of several admirals.

If true, hers is a troubling tale, and how can you go against Starfleet without proof that it’s true? You ask…

…to speak to Henry.
…for the name of one admiral being impersonated by the Daleks.

Chapter Text

There are more Dalek parts and a mothy old plushy of such size that you’re not sure how it got through the cave entrance. But there’s nothing in there.

As you bend over to investigate the drag marks, something black and wet covers the walls and your ankle. Ink?

It’s coming from inside the cave. The ink has covered a cave wall, and something tall and lanky is stepping through. It catches sight of you and growls.

The grinning creature charges, but your hand is already flying to your combadge. “Trumpeter, emergency beam-up!”

You get a good look at your attacker: black and white, two horns, no nose, skeletal, and mismatched limbs: one foot twisted, and two hands of different sizes and finger counts. A swollen, gloved hand is an inch away from your nose.

And then you’re in the teleporter room, the casing still in your hands. “They were there. What was left of them. There’s something else there. Something more dangerous. It looked kind of like a cartoon.”

You make a more official report to the captain and give the casing over to the specialists to be analyzed. The Trumpeter keeps its eyes on both sides of the hole while you’re waiting for more information.

Roll this die to get results:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 1 or a 2.
Click here if you rolled a 3 or a 4.
Click here if you rolled a 5 or a 6.

Chapter Text

As you’re bending over, something black and wet covers the walls and your ankle. Ink?

By the time you look up, there’s a bloated four-fingered hand reaching from the cave. The moment it touches you, your life reaches its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

You take turns loitering around to observe. At the end of the day, you’ve identified three employees you may want to recruit.

There’s a man with thick blond hair, a far-off look in his eyes, and keys dangling from his belt.

There’s a sharply-dressed man who struts to a shack with a sign that reads BENDY LAND ENTRANCE.

And there’s also a thin, wiry dark-skinned man who lurks in the shadows. Ensign Un thinks he may have spotted him anyway.

After discussing the matter, your team decides to recruit…

…the man with the keys.
…the man who works in Bendy Land.
…the man who lurks in the shadows.

Chapter Text

You explore for a bit before you find a bump-covered pepper-shaker like thing. It has a head with a light on either side and a long camera-stalk serving as an eye.

It doesn’t care about the lines of ink trickling in, staining its bottom and covering its appendages, but when you get closer, it turns its head toward you. Then its body. “EXTERMINA-”

An inky hand springs from a wall behind it and grabs its head.

Ink covers the walls and something steps through. Something tall, lanky, skeletal, and with a vague resemblance to the studio’s star cartoon character. In fact, if that painted grin, those wobbling horns, and that drooping, lop-sided bow tie are supposed to be Bendy’s, it is a version of the character.

Bendy tears the mechanical head from its body. He tosses it aside.

It clangs at your feet.

Next, Bendy tears the casing apart. Inside was a small tentacled creature with one eye. Now there’s half of one and tentacles across the floor.

One of the metal bumps drops to the floor.

The moment Ensign Arnold shuffles back, Bendy turns his head toward you. His grin twitches. He growls.

You…

…flee.
…fire.
…try to talk to him.

Chapter Text

You reach the administration floor, where Ensign Arnold puts a worker to sleep with a nerve pinch and the two of you look through records until you find Joey Drew’s collaborative project with a company called GENT – he wants a giant version of one of their new ink-shaping machines capable of creating life-sized figures of his cartoon characters. In the document, he alludes to a mysterious partner who knows more about creating things life-like than he does.

Are those your time travelers?

The two of you find a map to Drew’s “Ink Machine.” It leads you to the film vault, which you have to break open. And through the film vault is another door that you do the same thing to. You follow some halls to an inky moat and a giant machine.

You wade across and start exploring. The first room you enter has you raising your guard: there’s a throne made of gears and a chair and covered in ink, and there are broken chains on either of its sides. The final links are stretched thin.

With your phasers in your hands, you proceed.

Click here if it’s just the two of you.

Chapter Text

On your way to a second elevator, you run into Lieutenant Bryson and Ensign Un going the other way. Lieutenant Bryson stops you. “You don’t want to go down there. We’re going to check the restricted areas of the upper floors. I suggest you join us.”

You…

…do.
…go down anyway.

Chapter Text

You and Ensign Arnold hear two interns whispering in the break room. One is trying to convince the other to go to the lower levels of the studio and see “Bendy.”

You don’t know how much success the intern is having, but the two of you go to investigate the studio’s lower levels. You take an elevator down to Level S and silently agree to next time take the stairs over the shuddering, creaking machine.

Nearby is a sign for this level, one way leading toward an accounting office, and the other toward the archives. The two of you enter the archives.

Ensign Arnold has her hand on her phaser as you turn the valve on the archive door, but there’s no one on the other side – just a giant statue of Joey Drew Studio’s star demon and a bunch of books. You take a look around anyway and find a door without a handle. Overhead are five light bulbs.

Who is hiding what behind a puzzle?

It’s laughably easy to open the door – you straighten the books on the shelves and it unlatches. The other side is a mine shaft with stairs that spiral up to a cart over the drop.

Again, you see no one. You don’t encounter anyone until you reach a doored hallway across the abyss – a young woman with dark eyes, thick curls, and a cigarette hanging from her lips. She narrows her eyes at you. “First day?”

You answer.

“What’s wrong? Can’t read the map? Not surprising, given the layout of this place. I wish I knew which of these morons planned our development space. I hope you at least know the difference between a screwdriver and a measuring tape, but that’s too much to ask nowadays it seems.” The woman proceeds to give you directions to the main warehouse – through the next room, and a crawl through the vents, complete with turns, and on the left.

When you reach Storage 9, you’re greeted by a sign vandalized to read WELCOME TO BENDY HELL. At least there are people down the stairs who are hammering together some carnival booths, and you ask them for directions to the lowest levels.

Click here if all four members of the away team infiltrated Joey Drew Studios.
Click here if it’s just the two of you.

Chapter Text

Back on the Trumpeter, you do some research on the studio. According to records, it was an early animation company that shut down in the 1940s due to bankruptcy and mistreatment of its workers.

It had a final hiring spree just a month before it shut down – and that’s the month it is. It would be easy for you to either recruit a current employee who is dissatisfied with their job or get yourselves hired.

But before you go, you discuss how to approach some funny rumors about the place – there have been plenty of disappearances over the years. One of the interns even claimed that the studio is haunted by Bendy, the cartoon demon that’s its biggest star. It’s dangerous, but it’s your job. You’ve got to go. Especially if the rumors are connected to the time travelers you’re tracking down.

The four of you…

…enlist help from a current employee.
…get jobs at the studio, or at least pretend you did.

Chapter Text

None of you know anything, but your superior officer promises to have Starfleet look into it.

“I’ve returned to civilian life. I’m curious about the war machines – why wouldn’t an alchemist be? No one knows anything about the metal they’re made of – but it’s more a job for the militaries of our world.” The blond starts limping away. “Just stay here. I’m going to tell my old commanding officer about you and the hole in the realities. If I report this, he’ll work with you. I’ve just got to make an international phone call.”

You’re beamed up to Sickbay after he leaves. Later, you’re surprised to hear that your team is now working with the same General Mustang that threw you in prison. In fact, you’ve made an agreement with Amestris: the war machines stole alchemical research from all over their world, including from their country. They’ve agreed to tell you what caused the hole in the universe in exchange for your investigation into the responsible party.

You both keep your ends of the deal.

Chapter Text

The biggest problem? Although Penury was a lost Federation colony, when it was rediscovered, it was being run by a hostile race of androids and guarded by a hostile rhino-like race called the Judoon. When the planet was first rediscovered, the Judoon passed judgment on the USS Elizabeth for “trespassing” and blew her up.

Captain Hamilton is being sent to negotiate for a safe passage for a small group of scientists to retrieve data for the girl and her lost people. If he’s successful, you’ll be one of the security officers assigned to keep a watch for the hostile factions.


You arrive at Penury in a few days, and the captain is successful at negotiating with King Lore.

Lore is a Soong-type android whose brother Data used to be a member of the USS Enterprise, and given his history with humans, he is not to be trusted. The best chance of this being an easy mission is if Lore is in fact as curious as he claims to be about Time Lords and leaves the science mission alone because of that.

Everything is quiet as the resident androids show the mission to a little blue telephone box that gives off strange readings. Everything is quiet over the next couple weeks as the scientists try to find a way inside. Everything is quiet until the USS Hela arrives with a metal key that successfully unlocks the box.

And then it’s not the androids that threaten you: you accompany a party of androids and Federation scientists into the box, but on the inside it’s not a box. You gawk at a large circular room that shouldn’t fit inside an old phone booth. Its center has a console station covered with buttons, levers, and bits that shouldn’t be part of a ship’s controls.

The party splits into two groups – one to investigate the controls, and one to explore the rest of the ship. You’re assigned to the group that explores the rest of the ship.

Of course you’re sticking close to them, but when they turn a corner, you follow them and suddenly find that they’re not there. You call out, but there’s no answer. Your com-badge isn’t working either. There’s just a long hallway with a fork at the end.

You…

…go left.
…go right.
…turn around.

Chapter Text

You tell him what you know.

Wide-eyed, he runs off.

All you can do is go to Sickbay for some medical attention. By the time you recover, it’s been determined that the hole in the universe was created by practices on the alternate Earth which are not possible for humans of your dimension – some very powerful energy-channeling that they call alchemy. Specifically, it was created after the undisclosed events of something called the Promised Day.

The alternate Earth might not be close to warp along the typical technology-path, but the hole demonstrates that they are close to having interdimensional technology instead. And with alchemy, who knows? Maybe they’re closer to warp than they appear.

Other science vessels are called in to set up monitoring of the planet, but the Trumpeter is reassigned elsewhere. Over the next few years, your ship analyzes comets, collaborates with Vulcan archaeologists, and investigates a reported temporally-anomalous cloud traveling close to a Federation colony, just to name a few missions.

You vie for a promotion, but you’re not sure your superiors are impressed by your performance. However, you have one last chance to prove yourself before they hand the promotions out: there is a young, sick, half-human orphan who is the last of her father’s race. It’s thought that she’s sick from artificially-introduced environmental factors on Penury, where the only possible examples of Time Lord technology are thought to rest.

Click here if you’re really a security officer.

Chapter Text

You fight at your best, but your opponent is highly skilled in a martial art that you can’t identify. You’re lucky to even land a blow. Plus, the blond’s got a metal leg and it hurts.

You go down. You’re aware enough to know that the blond interrogates your shipmates about what you’re doing in England.

It’s strange that he cares though: he sounds like an Amestrian rather than a local.

You hear something about war machines that came from “the Gate,” just like you, apparently. This young man must have seen you beam down to London, and you – Starfleet – aren’t the first ones he’s seen doing so.

Nonetheless, Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi is able to explain the situation to the blond’s satisfaction.

The blond growls under his breath. “Tell me anything you know about the war machines, and I won’t mention to the British authorities that you’re here.”

Click here if you haven’t even heard of machines like he’s talking about.
Click here if you have.

Chapter Text

He is one tough opponent to beat – he’s highly skilled in a martial art that you can’t identify, and that strategy – are those military tactics?

You end the fight injured, but he’s the one who’s down.

When you check on him, you find that his life is not in danger but he does have a few broken bones, and he’s staring at your phaser, pale-faced. You bend down. “Have you seen anything like this before?”

“The war machines. They had energy weapons too. And a similar transportation technique as you. But their weapons were stronger.” The young man meets your eyes. “Who are you?”

You glance at Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi, and he nods.

“My name is Jorden Poe. I’m a security ensign on the Federation Starship, the USS Trumpeter. This is one of the ship’s senior officers, Lieutenant Commander Jacques Alfarsi, and one of our science officers, Ensign Lily Tithee.”

The young man’s eyes go wide. “Starship? Where are you from exactly?”

“Earth. In another dimension. We came to investigate a hole between your reality and ours.”

There’s a flash of emotion across the young man’s face, but it’s too brief for you to identify it. He sits up. “My name is Edward Elric. I’m an alchemist. If there really is a hole in reality, I might be able to tell you why.”

With Ed’s permission, Lieutenant Commander Alfarsi has him beamed up to the Trumpeter for some medical attention and questioning.

You’re being treated for your injuries too, so you’re there to see that Ed’s arm is an enigma to the medical staff: he has scars through one of his arms, as though it had been severed and reattached. His society shouldn’t have the technology to do that. Especially since there are signs that his arm had once had a prosthetic attached, much like his left leg currently. And yet they think his arm is his original one. How was it still usable after a long period of detachment?

You may not know much about medicine, but you get the impression that Ed’s world is more advanced than its steam power would suggest.

After Ed’s injuries have been treated, you accompany him to talk to Captain Hamilton.

The captain has you both sit down and offers you all tea from the replicator.

Sipping at his steaming drink, Ed gives you an overview of his world’s alchemy: a powerful art possible for humans in this dimension who have something called an inner Gate. It has diverse applications, and it can generate an energy enough to open portals to other dimensions. Ed says he himself has done it three times before, but it’s not something he’d demonstrate even if he still had his Gate.

He also says that someone called Father generated a nation’s worth of energy to open a Gate on a day called the Promised Day, and he suspects that might have caused a portal between your realities. Yours isn’t the dimension Father wanted to go to, but there was enough energy that it’s possible to have ripped holes in the fabric of reality.

If this is all true, Ed’s Earth is definitely more advanced than its steam power suggests. In fact, Captain Hamilton is saying something about asking Starfleet about technology “equivalent” to warp drive in terms of first contact.

At least, he’d love to be able to work a little more openly with the alternate Earth to look into the war machines Ed mentioned if they turn out to be a threat to both peoples.

Then on the topic, he asks Ed more about war machines. And here, you pay a little closer attention as it might become your job.

“Losing my Gate ended my career as a State Alchemist, but I didn’t really want to stay in the military all my life anyway. After I was honorably discharged, I went home and rebuilt my life, but I’d grown too used to traveling. My brother and I decided we were going to travel the world to learn more about alchemy – I’d go one way, and he’d go another, and we’d keep in touch.”

No mention of the war machines yet, but you scowl. If Ed’s taking the time to mention all this, there’d have to be something large-scale going on.

“About a week ago, I’d gotten access to a British alchemy lab through a local friend. When we went, there were war machines that showed up – just popped in like they were spit from another dimension, but there was no portal – they had metal bodies covered in bumps, with an eye piece and what looked like a whisk and a plunger as arms. They were looking at the alchemy research too, and when they saw us, they started screaming EXTERMINATE! I got into a fight, and I was very lucky because they shot my leg and I was in too much of an electric shock to move. They left me for dead, but they vaporized my friend in one shot.” His fists curl. He shakes.

Captain Hamilton orders him more tea from the replicator and hands it to him.

Ed thanks him. His hands curl around the cup and he takes a visible breath of the spice-filled steam. For a moment, you wonder if he’s going to continue.

And then he does, and you were right about the scale: “Because of things that led up to the Promised Day, I was worried, so I gave my old commanding officer a call. But when I call him, he says that the same machines were stealing alchemic research from Amestris too, vaporized… another friend of mine. They terrorized a camp of Ishvalans still in the Xerxian ruins, and… my brother also gave him a call. He got injured escaping them in Xing, where they were stealing alkehestry research. They’ve committed an act of war toward our entire planet.”

The captain frowns. “What did they steal?”

“From the other countries? I don’t know. But they stole military secrets from mine. If they hadn’t been dangerous before, they’d have become so. I don’t even know if your Federation could stand up to them.”

With the hard glint in Captain Hamilton’s eye, you can tell he’s going to push as hard as he can to make First Contact with this Earth. Or perhaps he’s going to skip clearing it with Starfleet altogether. You haven’t been under his command long enough to know his regard for the rules.

Officially, he waits for Starfleet. Unofficially, he sends one of your shipmates with Ed to go see General Mustang, who then introduces the two of you to the Amestrian leader, Fuhrer Grumman.

In the meantime, several of you are deployed to look for the alternate Earth’s other visitors and anything they left behind. While you’re there, you take a liking to Ed and even spar with him several times.

Unfortunately, Starfleet rules that First Contact is inappropriate, but before the Trumpeter goes on its next assignment, you and some other Trumpeter personnel are given “shore leave” to take a quick look around Central for the technology thieves and to set up a line of communication between the Amestrian and your ship.

While you’re there, Ed approaches you and asks to keep in contact with you as well.

You…

…agree.
…decline.

Chapter Text

While you’re helping the man, the androids open fire. The first victims are the woman and the infant. Then an old guy. Soon after, it's you who are meeting your

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

The androids are looking back at the security detail, and you shift into a more combative stance. The stand-off turns into what amounts to a kind of staring contest before the androids go on their way.

After they’ve gone, you're free to go help the colony man to his feet.

Chapter Text

You’re deemed adequate for the away team. You, your friend Tim, and the chief of security, Lieutenant Heikkinen, accompany one of the engineers, a skilled hacker named Robert Okonkwo, to the surface. Before you go, you’re all given inoculations against the gas.

The four of you start by…

…locating the androids who disrupted Penury’s evacuation.
…following a tip that Robert got from one of the evacuees.

Chapter Text

You’re told to stay aboard the Hela, but your friend Tim promises to tell you all about the adventure when he gets back.

While he’s gone, the Hela enters red alert. The ship wails and lurches.

You…

…take cover.
…evacuate your shipmates to a more secure part of the Hela.

Chapter Text

Stepping carefully through creaking ink-flooded halls, you find a desk set outside the main workroom, as though placed in memorial. And on the desk is some ancient concept art of a character whose cut-out is standing beside it.

T’mus examines the spot. “This is the same character. The sketch is of local period ink.”

But inside the room is a page whose occupant – that same character, a cartoon demon – moves around by himself. He, T’mus says, was drawn with that alien ink.

“But why is he moving?” Miyu asks.

“The ink has psychic properties. The planets’ natives used it to make pre-programmed soldiers, which they used to kill each other off.” She raises an eyebrow at the demon. “As a humorous character confined to a page, he should be harmless.”

Mikah crowds close. “Are you sentient, Bendy?”

The little cartoon, Bendy, grins at your friend.

Mikah looks back at the three of you. His green eyes are shining. “This is so cool!”

When you look at Bendy again, he’s holding a sign: HELP!

“We’ll help,” you say. “Are there others like you in here?”

Bendy’s wide grin turns upside down, and he’s biting his nails.

You…

…get Bendy to safety.
…search for other trapped life forms.

Chapter Text

It’s at the end of a long, dark hallway, through a labeled doorway that bends into another bit of hall. On the wall is a whiteboard with marker permanently dried to show the last recorded week of Ink Machine maintenance.

T’mus raises an eyebrow at it. “During the period of Earth’s history when this studio was active, was it normal to have machines putting out large amounts of ink?”

You’re no historian, but you could have sworn they didn’t have printers during the age of typewriters.

Mikah went ahead, and he calls you over to make a risk assessment. “Do you think it’s safe to get past the boards on this door?”

Peering through, you see a large room through whose ceiling moonlight is streaming. Most of it is down below you, encompassing a pit that has chains hanging from the roof and down out of sight, but there is a balcony long-stained with something black.

You squeeze your foot under the boards and press. They clang to the floor below. That floor is at least holding their weight. “If we can find a safe way down there, we might be able to take a look.”

The four of you look for the stairs, but it looks like they might be boarded off for safety reasons themselves. In the meantime, there are three options of interest to your group: Mikah wants to take a look at the life-sized model of a dead cartoon character, Miyu wants to see if any of the old reels will still play on the projectors, and T’mus wants to report her findings of interest to her captain. You join one of your friends in…

…calling it a night.
…watching an ancient show.
…examining Boris the Wolf.

Chapter Text

The cinema is through a maze of hallways filled with dust, ink splatters, and demonic cartoon cut-outs. When you reach it, there are chairs scattered across the floor and something dark has congealed on the ground. There’s a projector aimed at a patched-up screen that flickers on as you approach.

T’mus takes a look at how it might have turned on, but her most logical explanation is still a bit concerning: there’s a short in the cord that has it turning on and off intermittently, but for the bulb and the electricity to still be working, it’s likely that someone’s been around to maintain this place.

You check for footprints in the dusty hallway, but there are none there but yours.

“We’ll keep our eyes open, but I think whoever it was may have stopped.” Miyu goes as far to backtrack along the hallway. She stops and meet your eyes. “Unless you’re seeing anything that I’m missing?”

You shake your head.

Miyu opens a closet and brushes aside some cobwebs. “There are some reels here with that character that’s everywhere. Are these what you wanted to see?”

“I want to see if there are any clues about how the character ended up on Fyzlik.”

The question is, are the reels in as good a shape as the projector? Straightening the chairs, you suggest you try to watch an episode.

Chapter Text

Miyu takes a reel from the cinema’s nearby closet and you figure out how to set it up. You take your seats and sit down to watch a demon named Bendy in “Hellfire Fighter.”

There are more reels in the closet, but some are blank, some are damaged, and there’s one that has nothing but a dancing demon on it – no background or anything.

At the end of the episodes, you leave and mention the site to your superiors.


You report to your new captain: a muscular, silver-haired man who scowls as he glances up and down the line of his new crew members.

Chapter Text

Pride’s shadows follow you, but you outrun them. Once you emerge onto the first crowded, brightly-lit street, his pursuit stops, as though he can’t follow you here.

With your remaining arm, you tap your combadge. “Trumpeter, one to beam directly to Sickbay!”

Back aboard, you’re patched up and prepared for a prosthesis. When you’re up for it, your commanding officers summon you to a briefing room.

Chapter Text

Pride’s shadows follow you, but you outrun them. Once you get to one street with other people around, the darkness and the eyes and mouths disappear.

You’re still not sure you haven’t been followed.

You’ll track down Lietenant Commander Alfarsi and Ensign Tithee when you get the chance, but your first priority is to get away from Pride, and then not to bleed out. You’re still eyeing the shadows, half-convinced they hold him within.

You don’t feel safe until you sneak aboard a train, on which you pass out.


When you come to, there is a blonde teenage girl wrapping gauze around your stump. The moment she sees your eyes, she turns her head and calls, “Granny, the patient’s awake!”

The girl and her grandmother care for you until you’re stable.

The two of them have given you life-saving medical care for free, but you’ve incurred on yourself a fee for stowing away and you have no money with which to pay it.

You have no way back to Central until you do, but your host family, the Rockbells, are willing to let you do some household work for a bit of cash. They also try to talk you into buying a shiny, strong, type of metal prosthesis called automail from them.

So you work and save until…

…you can pay for your transportation.
…you can pay for automail surgery.

Chapter Text

There are the scattered words of a message that you check out using a tricorder on the way down, but it’s not clear why anyone would bother to write them unless they had way too much time on their hands: BE KIND TO THE PEOPLE YOU MEET ON THE WAY UP BECAUSE YOU’LL MEET THE SAME PEOPLE ON THE WAY DOWN.

This sort of thing would be interesting if you weren’t trapped in a building with a psychotic Ink Demon and the possibility of hostile aliens.

You’re heading to Level P, but there’s something strange on the stairs: a shoot-off. Evidence of non-terrestrial interference in the building’s design?

You…

…take a look.
…explore Level P.

Chapter Text

You’re only looking for an exit, but you notice a strange off-shoot of stairs on your way.

You…

…take a look.
…explore Level P.

Chapter Text

There isn’t much – a bunch of old squeaky dolls, some bulging tin cans, and one pipe wrench you could share between the four of you if necessary.

Miyu keeps it accessible as the four of you search this level for a better exit. There’s nothing. You’ll have to keep going down.

Chapter Text

With a bit of exploring, the four of you find a bit of hall that’s been separated off with a thick door. Only problem is it’s closed.

But with the large ventilation shafts, you think there may be another way in, and thus you’re the one sent to check. There is.

On the other side of the door is a small room with a stove and table, covered in dust. It’s attached to a hallway with a bathroom and a room with the remnants of a cot and hammock.

You go back to the front and let your friends in.

But you can't stay forever. You’ve got to keep looking for an exit, and there’s nothing on this level.

You send out scouts in shifts of two.

Miyu and Mikah take the first shift. They’ve searched Level 11, and all they report is to stay away from the elevator.

In a bit, it’s your turn.

Chapter Text

On the other side is a bright empty room with carpeted floors and automatic doors. There’s a dark-skinned man poking his head through the door and taking a look around. When he catches sight of you, he stares.

“Hello?” You call.

The man comes through the doors. He’s wearing a Starfleet uniform with all the decorations of a second lieutenant. “Finally, one of the colonists. What’s up with those psycho robot guards out there?”

You’re not sure what he’s talking about, but you correct him about being one of the colonists. “I just came through this portal h-” As you gesture behind you, your hand hits solid wall.

It throbs.

Shaking it off, you take a step away and turn toward the portal.

There is no portal.

“Who are you?”

You tell him. You don’t think he believes you until you mention current events back on Earth.

“We knew something’s up here, but if there is a portal from back home, that’s worrying. I want to take you back aboard the Elizabeth. Captain Smeets will want to hear this.”

He introduces himself as Robert Okwonko prompts you to follow him sneaking through several snaking halls to look for a place where his com-badge will get through to his ship.

Before you find one, the two of you run into one of those psycho robots he mentioned – ones that look like giant pepper shakers with a whisk and plunger attached to their sides. Atop the pepper shaker is a camera on a stick, which whirs toward you.

Robert pushes you down behind a crate.

“INTRUDER! EXTERMINATE!”

There’s a blast of red, and Robert is gone.

You hide until Robert’s killer leaves, but you aren’t sure how you’re getting home. You’ll have to look around in case there’s a second portal to take you back.

Chapter Text

“I met the ghost of a man called Henry Stein. Do you know who he is?”

Bendy doesn’t just nod – he dances and grabs your hand too.

You pocket his broken toy. “You want to see him, don’t you? If you help me find a way back to the studio, I’ll take you to him.”

He takes you through the halls, keeping a careful lookout all the while, and leads you into a shuttle. He points you to the pilot’s seat and straps himself in the copilot.

The shuttle’s a bit different than anything you flew back at the academy, but you think you can work the controls. A check of the coordinates reveals that you’re back on Penury. “We’ll have to stop at the nearest friendly planet if we want to get all the way back to Earth, but we’ll get there.”

You only wish you could contact the Doctor and tell him what happened.


It doesn’t matter that you can’t contact him – you land on a little planet called Alto, and the moment you step outside, he’s there, leaning against that TARDIS of his while Gemma plays with Donna in the pine-needle-like grass.

Bendy is right behind you, close enough to bump into your knees.

The Doctor ignores him. He flips up that wallet of his. “I got your message. It is Daleks, then?”

How does he do that?

You put a hand between Bendy’s horns. “I think Lore’s working with them. That son he mentioned adopting? This is him.”

The Doctor raises his eyebrows. “Question is, what interest does Lore have in Joey Drew Studios?” He looks at the android. “Do you know, Bendy?”

When you glance down to see Bendy’s response, you find him pointing at himself. It doesn’t make much sense, unless he’s talking about the other Bendy? Would Lore have an interest in an intelligent being made of ink, another android, you suppose?

Click here if you asked Henry about the ink creatures.
Click here if you read a newspaper article about Henry’s death.
Click here if you did both.

Chapter Text

“Henry Stein might know something,” you say. “He’s still haunting Joey Drew Studios, if we can find him. I promised Bendy I’d take him to see him.”

He nods. “Next stop, Joey Drew Studios. Welcome aboard, “Bendy.”


Together, the group of you avoid the ink creatures and track down Henry Stein. He’s cautious at first, but you suppose he must end up hugging Bendy because Bendy is hugging something invisible back.

“I don’t know anything about those Daleks of yours or that Lore, but I’m really glad I got to meet Bendy as I meant to create him.”

Bendy is leaning into what you suppose must be some touch.

“With where technology is today, would the law consider him my son?”

Bendy looks between you and the Doctor.

You’re the one to answer. “Well, the best-known example of family relationships between humans and androids are the Soongs. Dr. Noonian Soong created multiple androids, and they’ve been acknowledged as his sons. You could make a case for you being Bendy’s father.”

“Good.”

You get a glimpse of Henry’s spirit – his arms are wrapped around Bendy, and he’s beaming with pride. He has enough time to turn Bendy around and place a hand behind Bendy’s head before he loses visibility again. “You are my son, and I love you so much. That’s why I don’t want you hanging around a place as dangerous as this. You’ve got a cousin right now, Conrad Stein, who should be grown up by now. I want you to live with him. I’ll write you a letter, okay?”

Bendy lowers his head, but he nods.

“We’ll see each other again someday. I promise.”


When the Doctor tracks down Conrad Stein, the captain knows you only as the new recruit who disappeared in Joey Drew Studios several years before. He seems pleased enough to have heard from Henry that he doesn’t complain about you being aboard this time.

You…

…finally report for duty aboard the USS Hela.
…keep traveling with the Doctor.

Chapter Text

“Joey Drew Studios had technology advanced well beyond its time. It’s possible that Bendy – this Bendy – was made while it was still in operation, and Lore was curious about him.” You look at the android. “Am I right?”

He nods.

The Doctor’s face goes blank. Unreadable. “Get in the TARDIS. I’ll drop you off anywhere you want in your own time, and then my family and I will go get a friend and put a stop to all this.”

Something about that look sends shivers down your spine. You supposed it had better be the Doctor you’re keeping an eye on, hadn’t it? You go with him, but Bendy’s reluctant to climb in the ship. He might not have at all if it weren’t for Donna’s gentle coaxing and Gemma’s eagerness to play with him.

Once aboard, you…

…go along with the Doctor’s plans.
…bug the Doctor to be sure he’s doing the right thing.

Chapter Text

You tell them why the stairs are inaccessible. If T’mus hadn’t found out about someone living here through her mind meld, the tunnel still having power would be a dead giveaway.

It’s not that someone’s still living here: it’s that this place is better-maintained than it looks.

You all know then that you’re in over your heads. You’ll have to send someone back for Mikah, but the rest of you have got to get out of there.

As quickly as you can, you explore the rest of the top floor.

There is no back door, but Miyu manages to pick the old locks until you find a door that leads to an office with a window. You make your escape.


The four of you are in trouble for trespassing, but Starfleet doesn’t do much more than reprimand you and put marks on your record: it was only a misdemeanor after all.

But your captain, Conrad Stein, is part of the family who owns Joey Drew Studios. He’s furious that you stepped foot in there.

He owns that? That place that hides strange technology and houses something dangerous? With that in mind, you can’t bring yourself to be too upset when Captain Stein arranges for you to be transferred to the USS Elizabeth under Captain Sara Smeets.


Your first several weeks are nothing but routine maintenance – just what you need to get used to working aboard a real ship.

But then, as the Elizabeth is nearing an asteroid field that some believe might be the remnants of a lost Federation colony, she receives two separate distress calls from near coordinates.

Captain Smeets has the Elizabeth attend the rescue first, and the bridge has engineering monitor the engines as the ship enters high warp.

T he coordinates the distress calls are coming from? That’s Penury, and the planet sends its first status report to Starfleet in over four centuries the moment it answers the Elizabeth ’s hails.

The information the bridge gains from the planet’s leader – an android king named Lore – requires two teams of engineers to answer. One: Lore called because something has been attacking androids on the surface that they can’t handle themselves. Several need repairs, including Lore’s son. Two: no one was able to speak for the other distress call, but it’s believed to be a damaged spaceship.

Who knows? Maybe the two are linked.

Most engineers will be required on the surface, and if you volunteer now, maybe you’ll get your choice of missions:

You…

…volunteer to repair androids.
…volunteer to look at a damaged ship.
…wait to be assigned.

Chapter Text

You tie the power cords securely, but as you’re climbing down, you hear groaning noises beneath you. A crawling inky thing wearing a miner’s hat has grabbed the power cord and is tugging it toward a power box.

“Leave it alone. We’re just coming to find our friend.”

The being strips the rubber coating from the end of the wire, opens the power box, and wraps it around the battery.

It’s too much for the circuit – the wire buzzes. Flames start out where it’s too near the wall, and it doesn’t take long for you to be trapped in a burning building.

You can feel yourself roasting, but what’s worse is the smoke – it’s choking on that which causes your

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

In the cinema is a lever that controls the ink pressure. You turn it all the way up and walk toward the exit.

A pipe bursts and a gate slams shut behind you. The ink is rising rapidly. If you don’t run now, you’ll have to swim.

Slosh! Slosh! Slosh!

The three of you hurry toward the exit.

You know there’s a hole in the floor, but the ink isn’t draining. Instead, the front door is opening. Someone sloshes in, but you don’t see anyone there.

“Alright Joey,” says a male voice, “I’m here. Let’s see if we can find what you wanted me to see.”

If the exit is reachable after all, you might just leave. As you rush forward, the floor breaks under you.

Splash! You’re surrounded by cold ink. It’s whispering.

Something heavy lands on top of you, forcing the air from your lungs. You gulp the ink and start panicking.

Freezing hands pull you up. They hit your back until you’re done coughing. “Is everyone alright?”

Everyone’s alive, but the whispering in your head will not go away and you feel nauseous. Your lungs ache every time you take a breath. “I think I’ve been poisoned.”

The invisible newcomer slides an arm around your back and helps you to your feet. He stays there to support you. “We’ll have to get you to a doctor. You lot were trying to get out of here weren’t you?”

“Duh,” Miyu says. “Who would willingly spend another minute here? Are you Henry?”

“How do you know about me?”

“I found your imprint in the art department.” T’mus is looking at a spot beside you, as though she can see Henry. “It wasn’t expecting you to finish the last loop so quickly.”

You’re lost, but you’d rather just get out of here than try to catch up. Your head is really starting to ache. You let out a little groan.

Henry tilts your head up and swears. “We’ve got to get you out of here. If we all work together, I think we can do that.”

Your friends briefly introduce you to Henry and express concern for Mikah. He promises to see what can be done for him and directs T’mus to turn a valve and drain the ink from the stairs. He has her repeat the process until you get to the bottom of a stairwell.

Through the door is a small room with giant graffiti: THE CREATOR LIED TO US. The opposite door is boarded up.

“Oh no.” Henry hands you off to Miyu. His footsteps stop at a desk, from which he lifts an old fireax. “I hope your friend was able to keep an ax when this nightmare reset."

Moments later, the ax is chopping through the boards, and you’re following Henry down a hall. He removes the boards from another doorway and opens the door to a room with coffins and an inky pentagram on which Mikah is passed out.

Miyu steps forward.

Henry’s freezing hands stop you two. “Keep off the pentagram. Keep him off the pentagram. We’ll have to go around it and get the way cleared for your friend when he wakes up.”

Miyu bites her lip, so you press her to…

…check on Mikah.
…get an exit ready.

Chapter Text

All the clanking you make as you keep disassembling parts attracts attention: you hear the heartbeat first and call out to see if someone’s there.

Ink shoots across the walls, the floor, the ceiling. A horned being, seven feet tall, sprints in through a wall. And with a big, twitching grin on the thing whose hands are squeezing your throat, your life reaches its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Quietly, you ask him if he’s seen anything like the Daleks.

“He has the remains as trophies. If you see them, he might be near.”

Doesn’t that make the Ink Demon more dangerous than the Daleks? You’ve got to get this guy back to the Doctor, but can’t you get Mikah out in the process?

Click here if you focus on getting to Mikah.
Click here if you focus on getting to the Doctor.

Chapter Text

Because the demon is gone, you and your friends look around the ground floor one final time. There aren’t any stairs, and the most accessible exit is gone. Miyu starts picking locks until you find a room with a window to crawl out through.

You try to bring the humanoid with you, but he stops at the window and stares at the outside world. With a sob, he turns and runs off through a wall.

Click here if you're not here with the Doctor.

Chapter Text

“We’ve got you,” you say. “My name is Jorden. What’s yours?”

T’mus shushes you both before you can answer. “Speak and he will find us.”

The next several minutes are spent in silence, interrupted only by a pounding heartbeat upstairs and the squishing of the ink that’s seeping through the break room door. Moments after the ink disappears, T’mus indicates that it’s safe to talk.

You question the humanoid, but all he knows about himself is that he is male and very afraid of the Ink Demon.

Click here if you’re here with the Doctor.
Click here if you're not.

Chapter Text

Ink completely blackens the walls, the floor and ceiling, the furniture. An eight-foot being runs in with a grin that seems to quiver in delight. It’s down the stairs in seconds.

Miyu punches it beneath its ribs. It grabs her. It tears her head off.

Then it’s your turn to face the demon.

Is this something you ever imagined when picturing your

End?

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

The best you can do for him and for Mikah is to tell the authorities.

In the meantime, the family who apparent owns the property is angry that you stepped foot in Joey Drew Studios. One of them, your commanding officer, presses charges to get you kicked out of Starfleet before you’ve even reported for duty.

Roll this die to reach the court decision:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you roll a 1 or a 6.
Click here if you roll a 2 or a 5.
Click here if you roll a 3 or a 4.

Chapter Text

When you stumble back to the TARDIS, the Doctor gives you something that heals all your wounds in a hurry. You tell him you didn’t find anything at Joey Drew Studios.

H e grins when you say that. “ Good! Very good.”

B ut he doesn’t explain what he means as he flits around the TARDIS controls.

Doctor?” you ask. “What’s good about not finding a lead?”

Well, it’s good if you live in the studio – not having a Dalek around is always a good thing. And it’s good if you live in Southern California – again, with the not having Daleks. But you know what else? If the Daleks knew this place absorbed the temporal energy given off by a burst of time travel, they’d probably be around that place to prevent me from tracking them, but that wasn’t the case. They’ll never see us coming!”

H e pushes a big red button, spins on his heels, and turns to you. “How good are you at running?”

You…

are eager for adventure, so you say you’re good.
…don’t want to be involved with anything you have to run away from.

Chapter Text

You go to sleep that night excited about reporting for duty in a few days’ time.

But there’s some breaking news overnight – a tall, malnourished being made of ink has been terrorizing the town. The anchors interview civilians who speculate that the being is on Earth illegally.

A message from Starfleet seems to agree with the speculation: because there’s an unspecified “hostile party” ashore, all available personnel must report for duty. Even new recruits like you are to report to Starfleet headquarters.

You meet up with Miyu and T’mus outside HQ. Mikah is there, looking pale.

Are you alright?” you ask.

It was us. I thought I heard something squishing out behind us.”

As it turns out, Mikah is right. You, he, Miyu, and T’mus are called into an admiral’s office, where you are chewed out for leaving open the front door of Joey Drew Studios. You are all told to turn in your uniforms – you’re out of Starfleet. Arguing and appealing doesn’t do good for any of you.

Y ou walk through the halls and whooshing doors with your heads hung low when a captain starts striding toward you. “Are you the four who opened Joey Drew Studios?”

T’mus says you are before you get the chance to decide whether you want to tell the captain or not. Strangely, when he hears this, he smiles. “Thank you. I’m Captain Conrad Stein. My family owns the studio, but until now, we couldn’t get the help we needed to deal more humanely with its dangerous occupants or rescue the victims trapped within it. But now we can, and one of our own relatives, Henry, has finally been let out of that old place.”

C aptain Stein wants to repay the four of you somehow. His offer? For most of you, letters of recommendation for any organization you want to join. For you? He knows of a job you might be interested in, even if it’s nothing but a consolation for getting kicked out of Starfleet: there was an inventor trapped in Joey Drew Studios, and he could use some help.

You are interested…

in the job.
…looking for something else.

Chapter Text

Y ou tell the others about da Vinci’s self-supporting bridge as you construct an example of one and set it over the hole. You get yourself a few splinters and a smashed fingers in the process, but it’s worth it. Minor injuries, right?

Because none of you saw a way down to the basement floors from the inside, you circle around out here and sure enough, there is a door around back that leads to the lower levels. You open it and call for Mikah, who is lead out by the sound of your voices.

O n the way off the grounds, you’re able to relax and joke around about your adventure.

Click here if you’re with the Doctor.
Otherwise, click here.

Chapter Text

He starts tending to Miyu.

While you’re waiting your turn, you might as well get some sleep. You are pretty tired.

You close your eyes, forever bringing your waking life to its

End

Ready for another adventure?

Chapter Text

Beside him is an old metal box with a red cross on its side. He opens it and starts tending to your head.

You get a stern command not to fall asleep, which the others make sure you follow.

Once you’re all patched up, Mikah leads you down several flights of stairs, through some halls, down more flights of stairs, and to an elevator. You don’t see anything wrong with it, but the others want to test it first – something about not trusting your judgment at the moment.

The elevator moves down smoothly. As you’re waiting for it to come back up, shadows form on the walls.

Is that just you? Are you passing out?

But the others are nervous too. In fact, you catch Miyu asking T’mus, “Is that ink ?”

The elevator returns, and you all get in. Mikah has already pressed the button when a tall, lanky, grinning form walks out through a wall and turns its head toward you. It charges.

The elevator car rises and continues several levels. You and your friends are asking yourselves what that was – and not making any sense, although they tell you you’re mostly just confused and they’ll fill you in later.

They take you to a hospital. Mikah’s the one still there when you’re allowed to go home, and he gives you a lift.

Your friends make good on their promise to fill you in the next day, but they don’t have a lot of information themselves: there was a deformed life form charging you that had an eerie resemblance to the studio’s demon character, Bendy.

Click here if you’re here with the Doctor.
Otherwise, click here.

Chapter Text

Mikah leans forward to check on you, gently pressing fingers to your most vulnerable areas. Once he does so, he reaches for an old metal box with a red cross on its front.

Roll this die to help him accurately find who needs what medical attention:

Open me in a new tab.

Click here if you rolled a 1 or 2.
Click here if you rolled a 3 or 5.
Click here if you rolled a 4 or 6.

Chapter Text

Y our hero had many fascinating inventions, but you don’t know of any that would help you out. You’ll have to try to jump, and you swear to each other that anyone who makes it out will send help.

T’mus jumps and falls. Miyu tries next. Then you.

Your foot reaches a board, but it snaps below you. You fall, hitting your head against a pipe on your way down, and land on your back.

The one good thing that came of this? You found Mikah, and he’s fine. Blurry, but fine.

Click here if the tricorder still has battery.
Otherwise, click here.

Chapter Text

But you’re still jumpy. Every rustle of grass in the wind is a predator breathing down your neck. Every moth that flutters past is a spy from the Ink Demon. The teleporter noises that are so sudden have you diving into the thorns.

A man in a red Starfleet uniform is scowling at you. You notice four pips on his neck. “Are you Ensign Poe?”

Two other officers are with him.

Someone noticed you were missing and came looking for you here? You laugh until your lungs run out of air, but your neck hairs are still stiff. Your ears are still pricked for any sound of the demon. And then you’re sick. Right in front of your superior officer too.

Once your stomach’s empty, you mutter what happened. Once they have you calm enough to be coherent, you tell them again.

The captain – Captain Stein, as luck would have it – is displeased to hear of your adventures. Not just because it was stupid and dangerous. Not because two young officers are dead and another missing. He apparently knows about the Ink Demon and is furious that it could have been released through your carelessness. Your fellow officers get in around back and come out with Mikah, but Captain Stein presses charges against the both of you.

He's under investigation himself, with his family owning the studio that imprisons such a dangerous being, but your own charges stick.

It wouldn’t have mattered if they didn't – you’re not mentally fit for duty after what you saw in the studio. Although neither you nor Mikah blame each other for what happened, you can’t look each other in the eye either. Both your career and your friendship comes to an

End

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Chapter Text

My Lord! Untie me! I beg you – set us free!”

I nk trails instantly cover the ceilings and walls as Bendy steps through the closed door. He’s closer to Mikah than you are.

Henry shouts, getting Bendy’s attention.

Bendy charges at something invisible that must be Henry. You take the chance to slip past Bendy and untie your friend. “ Let’s get out of here before Bendy kills us too.”

Y ou sneak toward the exit, but Bendy is blocking it. He’s grabbing at something and lifting it above his head.

There are choking sounds. Is it possible to kill a ghost ?

Suddenly, Bendy drops to the ground, writhing. He shrinks by a foot. His frame fills out so it is no longer skeletal. His horns become stubs and his clothing gains enough detail for you to tell where his black shirt ends and his pants begin.

He groans, but he groans with Henry’s voice.

You stare at him.

“What happened?”

It’s still Henry’s voice, and Bendy – or Henry, whichever one it is – is pushing himself up. When he turns around, you see a human face.

Henry, is that you?”

Yes.” He flinches and holds his head. “And it’s Bendy. We’re both in here. He’s not happy about that either.”

H enry orders you both out, and when you hesitate, he pushes the two of you through an exit door and closes it behind you.

Outside, you have to tell Mikah what happened to T’mus and Miyu, and the both of you go to the authorities. They reprimand you for setting foot in a studio obviously not meant to be entered, but they let the two of you go home with just that warning.

However, when you wake up the next morning, there’s some breaking news you wish you knew for sure you had nothing to do with – an inky man wearing nothing but overalls and a beat-up mask of Bendy has been terrorizing the town. The anchors are interviewing civilians who speculate he’s on Earth illegally.

A message from Starfleet seems to agree with the speculation: because there’s an unspecified “hostile party” ashore, all available personnel must report for duty. Even new recruits like you are to report to Starfleet headquarters.

You meet up with Mikah outside HQ, but neither of you can look the other in the eye. You stand in silence until the both of you are called into an admiral’s office, where you are chewed out once again for entering Joey Drew Studios.

Mikah protests that the guy running around is the psycho who tried to sacrifice him to Bendy that night, and that last he knew of him, he was begging Bendy to let him go. He doesn’t know what the two of you did that would have let him out, and frankly, neither do you.

The two of you are kicked out of Starfleet anyway. Your protests don’t do you any good.

You’re walking through the halls and whooshing doors with your heads hung low when a captain starts striding toward you. “Are you the two who survived Joey Drew Studios?”

Neither of you answer, but the captain smiles anyway. “You’re nothing but scapegoats. Captain Conrad Stein, a relative of Henry’s. I’m looking into what’s going on here with Starfleet. I’ll do what I can to get your careers back.”

Captain Stein wants to keep the both of you close for his investigation? His proposal? For you, a job – there were more people than just Henry trapped in the old studio. One of them was an inventor, and he could use some help.

The only obvious move forward is to take the job.

Chapter Text

No, my Lord, stay back! I am your prophet! I am your-” the madman’s speech ends with the type of shout you’d rather not hear ever again.

You won’t.

As you’re getting close to Mikah, ink trails burst across the walls and ceiling. Through the closed door steps Bendy.

He looks straight at you. You retreat, but you can’t outrun your

End

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Chapter Text

You sprint back in, leaving Henry to run after you. Soon, you find Mikah, who’s been tied to a pole using some old rope.

The madman summoning Bendy screams behind the nearest door.

Click here if T’mus had part of a katra inside her when she died.
Click here if she did not.

Chapter Text

“Were you brought here against your will?”

He points at something on his chest. It’s a little dent. And there – those are scratch marks. Severed wires. A chip poking out from the back of his foot.

“You’re a Federation citizen. I’m a Starfleet officer. That makes it my duty to protect you. If you show me a way to contact my ship, we can get you out of here.”

Chapter Text

He nods.

Why would he admit to being a part of the group of hostiles? But if he was, why wouldn’t he call them to come attack you?

You’ve got to get more information.

Chapter Text

He shakes his head.

No? But you could have sworn this was an Earth colony, and he’s from Earth.

You get a horrible thought.

Chapter Text

He nods. He’s got to know something about what’s going on here.

You see two possibilities: one, that he came with the colonists and witnessed a familiar party taking over Penury; or two, that he came here with the hostile party. If you asked, do you think he would tell you the truth?

You…

…ask him if the hostiles brought him here.
…ask him to let you call the Hela.

Chapter Text

You and Bendy are beamed to the Hela. You’re assigned to go to Sickbay for a more thorough check-up. Bendy is to go to Engineering for his.

You’re fine though, so you get sent back to Engineering, where Bendy is still being examined. The other engineers are asking his permission to install some hardware that will allow him to speak, and he’s nodding. Bouncing a little really.

Because neither of the shuttles have been retrieved, Bendy is the main engineering project for the next little while. You’re assigned to identify a black liquid coating his insides and clean it out.

Identifying it’s easy – it’s ink. Getting it out? That’s a different story. You have to take it to the science lab for an officer there to identify its chemical makeup and suggest a cleaning solution. It’s not normal ink either – it’s got temporal residue caught in it and… psychic… properties. In fact, the science officer you’re talking to suggests it might be a part of Bendy’s circuitry.

Regardless, there’s no obvious container for the ink, its coating isn’t uniform, and it’s threatening to short out the cybernetic parts of his brain. It’s your job to clean those delicate bits out at least.

Between all of you, you do get him back in shape, and once you get him speaking, you’re the one to take him to Captain Stein.

The captain’s lips are up in a smile for once. He bends to Bendy’s level and offers him his hand. “Hello. My name is Conrad.”

Bendy shies away from him.

“It’s alright. Do you remember Henry?”

Bendy hides behind your leg. “Yeah. He’s tough! He can kick your butt!”

“I know he can. He’s a distant uncle of mine.”

“Jooorden! This guy’s creepy. Why do I have to talk to him?” Bendy starts tugging on your hand. “I wanna play on the holodeck!”

You prod him toward the captain. “If Henry were here, I think he’d want you to talk to him.”

The captain puts a hand on Bendy’s casing. “If I ever find a way to rescue him from Joey Drew Studios, I’ll do it. Until then, I’m your legal guardian, and I want to know who hurt you. Was it the Daleks that took you from the studio?”

“You tricked me! You told me I’d be safe going with him!” Bendy runs off.

The moment he’s gone, Captain Stein is scowling again. “Ensign, did you see any signs of Daleks at that studio?”

You tell him everything you did see at the studio.

He grunts. Crossing his arms, he asks, “Any idea why Bendy would think I’m involved in his kidnapping?”

Your mind goes back to what the science officer said. “Well, sir, it may sound crazy, but it’s possible you were. Ensign Scotton found traces of time travel in Bendy’s circuitry.”

Captain Stein points down the hall and turns his back on you. “Go get him calmed down.”



It’s only a few days after that when something goes wrong with the Hela’s tractor beam – you’re only towing an object of a few metric cubes, but the Hela acts as though you’re trying to tow a solar system. To make matters worse, Bendy is running around in circles, knocking into everyone’s work stations.

When you tell him to stop, he climbs his heavy self on your back and wraps his arms around your shoulders. You fall backwards on top of him. You don’t fall on his horns, but his steel casing doesn’t make for a good pillow either.

He doesn’t seem to care. He crawls out from under you and curls up on your chest, pinning you to the ground. He twists his hands into your uniform. “Don’t let them take me again. I wanna stay with you!”

What is he so scared of?

You…

…show Bendy that there’s nothing to be scared of.
…let him stay on top of you so he’s at least away from the work stations.

Chapter Text

You start to request, “One to beam-”

Bendy tugs on your arm and holds up two fingers, so you stop. “Captain, Bendy is requesting to come aboard.”

Unfortunately for Bendy, he acts like he’s a kid, so your captain isn’t willing to grant the request without the consent of a guardian. Oddly, his voice is tense, as though there’s more to his refusal.

You glimpse Bendy hanging his head as you’re teleported back to your ship and get a fleeting feeling of unease, as though there’s something you’re missing. You remember it when you hear that the next away party found Bendy in pieces, scattered across a road. They reported it just before the Hela loses contact with them.

It’s on that note that you work with a security officer to look through the database of known alien species and technologies, but the hostiles on the planet are unknown.

After consulting Starfleet, the Hela sets quarantine beacons around Penury and breaks orbit.

Over the next three years, you serve Starfleet to the best of your capacity. You breeze through promotions until you become the first officer of the USS Hope. You just wish the circumstances were different.

The reason you were promoted so quickly? That hostile party on Penury, the Daleks, as they call themselves, didn’t stay on Penury. They spread across all known space and throughout time like the dimensions were no larger than a single street. And they brought their weapons with them. Weapons not even the Borg can stand up to. The mortality rate is high enough that less experienced officers like yourself might be promoted if only they survive.

It’s as a first officer, helping evacuate a Federation colony, that you distract a Dalek from fleeing civilians, staring it down and knowing it means your

End

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Chapter Text

He takes you through the halls and shows you to a com station. You use it to call the bridge. You report in.

Click here if you asked who brought Bendy to Penury.
Click here if you did not.

Chapter Text

You’re fine, but the Hela’s current lead on the Elizabeth comes to a quick end – the alien you apprehended has escaped using the teleporters, and a scan of the surface has revealed that he’s left – him, his family, and their ship.

The next lead comes by all of you in engineering working hard to increase the effectiveness of the Hela’s scanners – there’s another ship in orbit. You’d imagine that Captain Stein would try to contact it, and the rest of you would hear the results quickly.

You do. You hear the results more quickly than you would like – red alert is blaring through the Hela after only a minute. You’re scrambling to monitor the shields when the entire ship reaches her

End

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Chapter Text

You breathed in the traces of an unknown gas on Penury, and the doctors hold you in Sickbay for observation. You’re still there when the alien you apprehended waltzes in and sneaks the medical equipment from behind the doctors’ back.

He winks at you.

You…

…keep quiet.
…ask what he’s doing.