For all my preparation, I actually had no idea what I was going to do once they actually reached the temple. So session 9 I just let momentum carry the game and made up stuff as we went along.
They went back the the secret stairwell, and using a coin opened the door and went up the stairs. Dr Tong pulled the coin back but failed both his athletic roll then the save roll. Rather than squash the academic under a few tons of stone door, his camera instead got crushed. Death was perhaps preferable to the good doctor....
A quick search in the upper floor of the temple yielded a chamber with large crystals and a stone table with a patterned notch that looked to fit the crystals. In the meantime, they started to hear the Germans yelling for Dr. Mader, who is now with the group. While most of the group searched the room for anything else, Ace (or was it Archie?) moved some stone tables to block the stairwell a bit. After clearing the room of everyone else, Isla took a crystal and placed it in the groove. Suddenly, the ceiling seemed to disappear, and fresh air flowed through the room. They recognized the constellations as being the ones over Apex Island, so they were not seeing some strange new world. The next crystal made the walls in front of Ilsa seem to go away: they could see some lights from the guards as they were searching, and voices saying that she must be in the temple. Fearful that the disappearing walls and ceiling may also make the floor go away, yet needing to know what the crystals did, she picked the next one. This made the floors transparent, and they could see Captain Heinlich (yes, there is a Heinlich in every game I run. And sometimes play...) and a coupe of soldiers preparing to blast the secret door with charges. It was going to take them a few minutes to do so, and it appeared that while our group could see and hear them, the Germans were unaware of being spied upon.
The next crystal caused a great beam to pierce the skies: the ceiling was again gone and this 4" wide beam seemed to reach the heavens. Ilsa stuck a dagger in, and it sheared off the blade. The handle was not hot, nor was the beam emitting any heat. Tong thought to see if the blades did the same, and with great trepidation, she put the point in, edgewise. It felt like an oar in the water, but did not seem to affect the crystal blade. Taking the next step, Tong placed one of the charging or sharpening crystals on the flat edge of the blade and gingerly passed that in. It was not the player's night for rolls as he failed that one, and the blade twisted in the beam, dropping the charging crystal. No damage and no one was hurt, but they noticed the beam changed direction with the angle of the sword. They managed to slice a slot in the temple walls in short order.
After hearing the secret door get blasted, they put the floor-seeing crystal back in. Using that, Archie managed to get a good shot at the first German up the narrow stairs: killed him with a single headshot. The Captain started yelling up the stairs that there was no way out, and to surrender. The group decided otherwise, and with some good rolls they managed to fashion a sort of parabolic surface from three of the swords. Using that, they started to basically destroy the temple in their attempts to kill the soldiers down below. They did kill the first group, including Captain Heinlich much to the player who hates my Heinlics (there is a history there) great satisfaction. Killing the remaining soldiers, and having the temple start to become very unstable, they used the floor clearing one to take another look.
The zeppelin crew and remaining two soldiers were running off. Turning the beam on the zeppelin, they destroyed that but not before seeing one of the soldiers run into the tent with the radio. Collecting the crystals, the used the wall clearing one to get out of the temple. While Ilsa and Dr Mader took off after the soldiers to prevent their escape, the others tried to get the remaining crystal out. Using a rope, they tied it to the crystal, stepped outside the walls, and attempted to pull it out. As soon as it lost contact with the base, the walls became solid, and the rope was neatly cut at the walls.
Ilsa kills the soldiers but ties up the zeppelin crew. With the sun rising to the east, and the zeppelin burning brightly behind them, a pack full of the remaining 5 crystals, we close that chapter.
So...I do have a few ideas what to do next. They do want to get back to the town, so we have a few more sessions to manage that. Of course, there are those crevasses to get back across, an escarpment to get back down as they took an ornithopter the way in, and a weeks worth of jungle to hike through. And of course, there is a German fort just below where they left their damaged boat. Archie does have the tools to fix it now at least. And I have 3 groups of NPCs that may yet be encountered, perhaps even four. We do know that Archie wants to find the source of the apple pie scent they encountered at the tower.
On a side note, I'll probably do another Traveller post: trying to work out the travel times for D10 and D100 based on planet size and maneuver drive. Actually did it in a spreadsheet. I know there must be a chart out there somewhere that already does this but heck if I can find it. Though I am using the straight formula T = 2 √ D /A where D is the distance and A acceleration. All in meters and seconds, so it really works out to Hours = (2 √ (planet size * 1609 / man drive ) / 3600. The planet size * 1609 is the conversion of kilometers to meters. Units matter.... Anyway, I'll go into this in another post with a table. I've just been guessing on transit times as it really does not matter a whole lot in my case. But an interesting thread on COTI has a comparison of a classic free trader with 1G vs a faster ship travelling the same trade route. And if time is money, then the faster ship in a few months of travel is several days ahead simply by shaving off the transit time to the jump point.