General Notes

The pyramids were built by a long-dead alien race far older than the builders of the ruins that Humanity has previously discovered. However, long after it was abandoned, the ancient aliens who left the other ruins found and explored the pyramids, much as the Horizon is now doing. Although they, too, abandoned the complex, they left some equipment behind (see below) which many help the players take advantage of the pyramids' capabilities.

The pyramids were originally designed as planetary defense and space traffic control centers. They are spaced around the planet in such a way that, between them, they provide complete coverage of the entire sky. No matter where in the system you are, you are on the sensors -- and under the guns -- of one of the three pyramids. The three pyramids are connected by a high-speed transport system (see below) which runs deep beneath the planet's surface. Buried within the transport tunnels are fiber optic data cables which allow the complexes to share sensor information and computer data, allowing each to have full-sky sensor and communications coverage. There is no redundant capability, however. If one pyramid is destroyed or blinded, the other two will lose sensor and communications coverage of that part of the sky. They are powered by highly efficient fusion reactors, which are fueled by hydrogen electrolyzed out of the local water supply and can provide power for the lifetime of the planet.

The interior of the complex is divided into two levels, an upper control center with living quarters below. Interior walls are strong and well-built, but not as impenetrable as the exterior armor (treat as AT 30). Communications with the outside world or between levels are impossible. Within a level, communicators and sensors may be used, but there is substantial interference. Any use of such devices is a medium maneuver, with the percentage of success indicating the percentage of intelligible data received.

Power and life support are on within the complex. The light is very bright and pure white, with a high ultraviolet component. The temperature, however, is very cold, about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The complex is free of dust and the air is fresh, if cold. It appears to have been designed for beings who were essentially humanoid, perhaps a bit larger than Humans.

Most of the rooms within the complex are labelled on the map (and most of those labels can be read on the scanned copy thereof...). These labels are intended primarily as a guide to the GM as to what remains may be found therein. However, in the abandonment of the complex and the tens of thousands of years that have passed since, most of the interior contents were removed, looted, or simply decayed. Thus, most rooms will be bare or largely bare of furnishings and items and most of what remains will be both decayed and very alien. If you can't read something on the map (which really depends on your screen resolution), just make it up.

The security system is functional, but was disabled by the previous explorers, fortunately for the players.

Top Level (map inset)

This level is buried near the center of the pyramid, surrounded by a thick layer of armor and much of the machinery of the complex, including power reactors, sensor systems, and the main gun.

Elevators: There are two, one leading to the top of the pyramid, one to the complex below. Each has only two destinations and is controlled by a single button on the rear wall of the car which closes the door and moves the car to the other level. If the players can figure out how, the elevators can also be controlled from the complex's control center. There is no other way the elevator can be called to a given level (this may seem silly, but it is intended as a security feature; the pyramid's builders expected the elevators to be controlled from the main control room under normal conditions, anyway). The elevator doors are sealed before the car will move. Players will not be able to climb or even run communications wires through the shaft.

System Traffic Control: On the left side of the main (long) corridor, this is the heart of the complex. It is a large room filled with monitor screens, control panels, and computer equipment. Workers in this room can operate the pyramid's sensors, weapons, and communications systems. The sensors have a range of a light year and a bonus of +100. Communications include a TBD array and standard microfrequency communicators. These systems, if the players can get them working, are the only way they can communicate with people outside the pyramid. With the three pyramids networked together (as they are by default), an operator in any of the pyramids has a 360 degree radius of coverage. The weapon is a single beam which uses the matter/anti-matter warhead attack table and treats all targets as AT 21. It fires through the top of the pyramid and will destroy anything parked thereon. The weapon can be fired at anything at higher altitude than the top of the pyramid, although firing at targets inside the atmosphere can have unfortunate shockwave effects, possibly destroying the pyramid's external sensors (players attempting this will receive a warning message from the fire control computer...but it may not be able to translate it). The weapon has a +75 HUD.

In one of the pyramids (the first one the players explore, as it happens, or the jungle pyramid with the landing site 15 km away, if they explore multiple pyramids at once), the earlier explorers set up the headquarters of their research activities in this room. The center of this effort was a large research computer which was moved in and hooked up to the pyramid's main computer system. It will be very obvious that this computer was not part of the room's original equipment and they should be able to recognize it being of the same manufacture as computers in the ruins they have found in the past. This computer can function as an interface to the pyramid's computer and an operator can use it to control and display data from the pyramid's systems. The explorers were also able to use it control the complex's internal computer system (see the next room description), allowing it to be used to control life support, power, etc. Unfortunately, the interface is not perfect and, in any case, this group of explorers never fully translated the language of the pyramid's builders. And, of course, the players themselves will have, at best, rank 3 in the language that the interface computer operates in...

Using the interface computer, a player can make a moderate research maneuver to decipher and operate a single aspect of the pyramid's systems (internal communications, life support, elevator controls, etc.). Multiple successful maneuvers are required to decipher the operation of multiple systems. Attempting to operate the pyramid's equipment without the interface is a very complex research maneuver. Even with the interface, the players are attempting to use a computer that operates in a language they don't understand very well to hack into a system that operates in a language that the interface computer itself doesn't understand very well! Even under the best of circumstances, the players should be treated to ambiguous data, untranslatable messages, and unplanned effects ("an error occurred: press X to ehoahf; press Y to nvqpueygh"; "OK, you think this one turns the security system on and off, but you can't tell what it's set to now..."; "I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that you now known that's definitely the 'fire' button."). By increasing the difficulty of the maneuver by one level, the players can be sure that (short of fumbling) they won't send any commands that they don't want to, but even then they can't do anything about the bad translations.

Internal Controls: Across the hall from the traffic control center, this is another complex control center. From here, technicians can control the internal functions of the pyramid, including life support, maintenance, security, communications, computers, elevators, etc. Most rooms within the complex have communications and computer terminals (although many of the computer terminals no longer function). If the players can get the internal communications working, they can use them to communicate with other personnel within complex.

Other: The rest of the level includes a barracks, armory, and storage room. All are empty and abandoned. In the pyramid with the interface computer, the previous explorers used these rooms as their base.

Main Level

This is living area for the pyramid's personnel and support staff. Most of it is largely empty and can be filled with whatever alien knick-knacks the GM desires. Only those few rooms with items of note are detailed here.

Security: These rooms are bristling with sensors and weapons, ready to detect and neutralize anyone who doesn't have proper ID. Fortunately, the previous exploration party deactivated them all. The players, of course, can reactivate the system to defend the complex against the pirates, but the system will be hostile to them, as well. Activating the defenses in these rooms will also activate the complex's security robots (0-5 per complex still function, use the Combat Bot Type III on page 33 of Tech Law), which will register anyone in the complex who isn't the same species as the original builders and/or doesn't have their genetic code listed in the complex's database (i.e., everyone) as intruders and seek to neutralize them.

Holodecks: Holographic recreation areas for the station's crew. Images displayed in the holodecks will appear solid, but have no substance and are incapable of harming anyone. The holodecks may or may not be active when the players find them, but will certainly have something in memory to load if someone starts messing with the controls.

Zero-G Gym: A recreation area with an artificial gravity generator set to cancel the planet's gravity. There is a warning sign on the door, but the players won't be able to read it...

Aqua Gym: An underwater recreation area. Similar comments as with the zero-g gym, but the entry to this one is an airlock, which might be a clue...

Subway: Underground transport tubes which connect the three complexes. The tubes are armored in the same material that the pyramids are made of. The tube cars can be controlled either from a simple onboard control panel or from the internal control room in any pyramid (or the interface computer). There are six tube cars and the computer will try to juggle things such that there are always two at each station. Travel time between any two pyramids is 21 minutes.

Hanger: A parking area for small spacecraft. Spacecraft herein can be taxied onto the vehicle lift and then raised to the surface next to the pyramid (unfortunately, these areas are rather overgrown now). Two of the hangers are empty, but one (at the swamp pyramid) has a small "lifeboat". This is a small unarmed craft capable of interstellar travel at a speed of 2 LY per day and possessing a sublight acceleration of 15 MTs. It has space for a single pilot and six cryogenic capsules. There are no stores onboard (the pilot is expected to freeze itself once the ship is underway), but there is fuel for up to 100 LY of travel. The ship is supposed to be idiot-proof. The pilot need only select the destination system and hit the activate button and the ship will automatically maneuver to a safe distance and execute a hyperjump. When the ship arrives at its destination it will automatically begin emitting a distress signal. Idiot proof, of course, is a relative term. The designers assumed that the idiot in question would speak their language and be familiar with their general level of technology...