As Der Mobile continued up through the stratosphere, the sky eventually darkened and stars came out to play...
A ship shaped like a hammerhead shark appeared to port, bearing down on Der Mobile at a good clip while Iryien's mind goggled at recent events. A ship that's a turtle? A hammerhead shark?? In space??? Luckily, the plucky half-elf gained her wits in time to see the shark ship slide silently aft, four figures frantically flailing their arms in an attempt to gain the attention of Der Mobile's crew.
Saladin recognized the two flags that one of the crewmen were waving - white for non-aggression and orange for fouled air. The hammership also appeared to be drifting in orbit with no helmsman to steer. Much debate ensued - should they be rescued? Should we let them asphyxiate and take their ship? Eventually Takemiya counseled compassion and Saladin had the ships brought level but care was taken to keep the atmospheres from mingling.
A comedic bit of communication then took place, with written messages being stuffed inside potted plants and hurled from ship to ship via sword catapults. Four survivors of The Hammer of Grapthar asked to be taken aboard and, at the risk of their own air quality, Der Mobile swung into action.
The ships quickly came together and the survivors were taken on board - two humans, a halfling and an amphibious little guy wearing decorative shells known as a hurwaet. The ships then separated, but as they did so a large hole was blown in the hull on the hammership, and from it hurtled a large hippopotamic being named Gorth. He hurtled through the interrmediate space and landed feet first on Der Mobile's aft deck. Whilst the crew of Der Mobile drew arms and prepared for battle, the crew of the Hammer seemed overjoyed as they believed him to be lost. The crew then hastily told a tale of taking on a shipwrecked man by the name of Ivo MacBligh. He had been left on an asteroid by his crew and swore a debt of service to the captain of the Hammer in return for being rescued. MacBligh was taken to sick bay and soon afterwards crew members, including both spelljammers, began to fall ill. A number died, but by the time the remaining crew figured out that MacBligh was to blame over three-quarters of the crew had fallen ill or were dead. The survivors worked to barricade MacBligh and the afflicted crew members in the hold of the ship and drifted in orbit for three days until sighting Der Mobile.
A heated argument ensued on the aft deck of Der Mobile, with Gorth wanting to destroy the Hammer outright and Xoe wanting to destroy the 5 survivors outright. Unfortunately the fracas distracted everyone from the fact that the Hammer had now left orbit and was circling around behind Der Mobile. Zombies poured up from below decks and manned the Hammer's dual catapults and ballista. The dark figure of Ivo MacBligh stood on the deck, gazing malevolently at Der Mobile. With a cry of "Battlestations!" Der Mobile sprung, no - skipped, no - slooshed into action - weapons manned, bows and wands drawn.
It took some time for the crew of Der Mobile to get the hang of maneuvering in the heat of the battle, but once the Hammer was engaged the battle was short, if not sweet. Taking a hit from an enemy catapult, Der Mobile was no worse for wear until an attempted rollover move turned into Der Mobile heading straight for the Hammer's deck, kamikaze-style. Xeno unleashed a fireball, all but clearing the deck of the Hammer of undead crew, while Gorth's arquebus (a strange tube which uses contained explosions to launch projectiles) and Iryien's bow raked the zombie captain about the head and shoulders to no end.
It was at this point that the Hammer lurched upwards and, catching Der Mobile by surprise, smashed into the bow of the armored turtle with great force, which suddenly pitched Der Mobile's plane of gravity 90˚, making 'front' suddenly 'down'. Takemiya felt a blinding flash of pain and passed out, with Kobayashi's attempts to revive him proving fruitless. The halfling manning the bow ballista (or is that 'halflinging'?) was, most unfortunately and gruesomely, smeared to death between the colliding ships. Xeno fell forward onto the deck of the Hammer, sticking the landing into a waist-high pile of melted zombie flesh. Iryien caught herself on the entrance to Der Mobile's cargo tunnel, and Xoe, sliding the length of the tunnel, evaded death by grasping Iryien's heel as she flew by. Fortunately, she was now a mere 4 feet from the Hammer's deck - unfortunately, she was within reach of the zombie captain who produced a sword and tried to cleft her twain in two.
Quickly hoisting herself up on Iryien's legs, Xoe avoided the sword, uncoiling just in time to see Xeno, up to his waist in muck, pointing the Finger of Overkill. A Cone of Cold caught MacBligh full on, but grazed Xoe's hind quartes, bringing her to the brink of oblivion...
Two ships joined at the midsection and drifting who knows where, one crew member dead, four injured and a zombie captain muttering 'I'm not dead yet!' in the corner. Plenty of fun left to be had when next we meet in...
Episode 6: Junk Wars!