A Gamma World Hell Hole

A Gamma World® play-by-post adventure run by gammaworld_gm

Chapter 8: Hunted

jonndukas

Jonn

Veggie-tails, Leoparoid hails, Duckoid pales, humanoid sails: it all happens within a blink of the Pure Strain eye.

Before Jake hits the corridor floor, Jonn is already marshalling his crew to the corridor's side. He quickly drags the prone Howard by the strap of his grenade launcher, which is looped around his wing.

Hidden in the shadows (well, everything is dark except for a few flaming mounds of cellulose here and there), Jonn checks out his ducky companion. Whatever took him down left no mark. He is out cold, and only time will mitigate the effects of the hit.

As Lamia trains her black ray pistol down the end of the corridor whence came the pot shot, and Geo scans the hall for its source, Jonn slaps another clip into his trusty auto rifle, and wonders about the mysterious appearance of the Leoparoid. "One up, one down." It is almost as if her appearance precipitated Howard's fall. She is barely visible behind her column again on the opposite wall, but she appears cautiously friendly; maybe she is the one who took out the plants' rear guard? He notes Brimstone's agitation at her presence, probably her scent. Then again, something was always bugging that Cougaroid.

Absent-mindedly, Jonn sloughs off some plant goop from Lamia's well-toned back as he awaits Geo's report.


gammaben

Howard

""

OOC

And now for something completely different:

"I wanna new duck.
One with big webbed feet!
One who won't make a mess of my car,
And keep his room, real neat..."

-- Weird Al Yankovic


gammaworld_gm

OOC: a clarification

Howard, this special weapon used on you (a new one I discovered in an old issue of Dragon magazine) doesn't actually do damage per se. It just stuns you for a certain length of time depending on your CON score and a dice roll to resist it. As stated before, you will be unconscious 4 hours. Although you did have 20 damage taken during the battle, this will not effect your unconsciousness.


gammaworld_gm

GM

You (Kicker) don't see where the shot came from, just the fleeing plants. Firing one last shot, Jake hits a fleeing plant directly in the bud, and it falls over leafless... er, lifeless. Everyone does see the new tall, lean Leoparoid with spotted gold fur approaching, talking to you.

Geo

"Right-o, Jake!" Geo says, in his best imitation of Jonn. Walking over to a lightswitch, Geo flips it on and suddenly the entire 180 by 300 foot room is lit. "I thought you guys wanted to fight in the dark. Ha, ha, ha <beep, beep>, I always wanted yo say that! Uhoh, troub---" before the robot can finish, it malfunctions, shuts down and topples over backwards onto the floor.

GM

Everyone who is looking notices some damage to Geo's chest area. The overhead lights are special phosphorescent lights that plants can use. Other than the almost 30 dead plants, you see no one else but a room filled with a jumble of odd machinery. Brimstone walks over to the leopardoid and eyes her as would any respectable Cougaroid.


lamia_best

Lamia

Standing, I regain my composure, happy to see any new female, anyone who might be able to answer questions I have about the bathroom. "Hi, I'm Lamia!" I say lamely to the Leoparoid. I also introduce the others.

Captain Leghorn

"I say, I say my well-curved Gren, shouldn't someone give Howard mouth-to-bill resuscitation?"

Lamia

It would only inflate the bill, I think to myself, looking down at the overly drooling yet adorable, smooth, and yet overly soft-feathered mutant duck.


cpt_leghorn

Captain Leghorn

"Ah well, we will miss poor old Geo. I say chaps, 'twas a mighty fine job you up and did, saving me and all. It's a shame Howard had to die too though." I straighten my feathers with my beak, shaking out the loose ones.


jonndukas

Jonn

Jonn corrects the Roosteroid, "Captain, he's not dead, just unconscious. Like he's in a coma or something."

"Frak!" Jonn mutters. "What is happening to us?" With no apparent enemy in sight, Jonn bends over to examine the damage to Geo's torso. Geo embodied the best of the Ancients' cybernetic genius, and thus Jonn hadn't the foggiest clue of what could have gone wrong with their beloved bartender. He does note that Geo's internal "thermonuclear device/lighter" is intact. "Hey guys, what do you think hit him? Jake, can you repair him?"


cpt_leghorn

Captain Leghorn

"Are you darn tootin' sure Howard's not dead, because I say, I say boy, he looks dead to me. Can we at least divvy up his stuff just in case he doesn't make it, Jonn?" Tapping my chicken foot, I look at Howard.

Seeing Lamia's sudden glare, I drop the subject.


gammaworld_gm

GM

Everyone considers Jonn's mention of Geo's internal "thermonuclear device/lighter." Stepping in front of Jonn, Lamia is suddenly hit by a single neutron weapon blast (aimed at Jonn), which strikes Lamia square in the back (doing a CON 22 hit) and causes her to fall into Jonn's arms unconscious. (Lamia will be unconscious for one hour for every point her CON is below 22. Her CON is 16.) The blast came from somewhere in the machinery to your left. No one sees anyone, even though the area is well lit.

Captain Leghorn

The wise-cracking Roosteroid dives for cover.


hunter_brimstone

Brimstone

Quite disappointed that it is not my mother whom I smelled, I let a few moments pass awkwardly before saying, "Nice spots."

Pulse Rifle

"Blue Warrior needs tact, badly!"

Kicker

The female Leoparoid's eyes widen and she takes a cautious step backward.

Brimstone

"I mean, uh, my name's Brimstone. Don't mind the talking rifle, he's all talk. Well, mostly talk. When I shoot it he does pretty well, I guess to make up for all the talking he does too. But don't mind him, he's harmless. well, not entirely. He's harmless as long as I'm not shooting him at you. But otherwise, yes, he's pretty harmless."

Pulse Rifle

"Knock her dead, ace! What a loooser..."


gw_kicker

Kicker

I join the Gren in giving the Roosteroid a hard look. His companion isn't even dead, and he wants to grab all his belongings? And after this duck helped save his mangy feathered ass?

I turn and smile at the Gren. "Well, Lamia, my real name is 'Ah Ah Wah Tah Hey Yo ARRRRGH,' which roughly translates to 'kicks loudmouth rooster in gonads' But you can call me Kicker."

As soon as I introduce myself, I see their robot compainion topple lifelessly (hmmm, is 'lifelessly' the right word?) to the floor. And my new friend takes a shot meant for the Pure Strain and is as bad off as the duck! I drop back behind my trusty concrete pillar. These guys are dropping like flies! I see whatshisface (Lukas? Dukas?) haul Lamia to shelter. She looks in good hands. I'm sure he'll give the 'Gren aid.'

Seeing how desperatly they need my help, I use my agility and claws to try to scale this pillar and scout around. Maybe now that we have some light, a different vantage point might give me an idea where these mysterious attacks are coming from. Breathing a swift prayer to my ancestors, I climb.


jake_omega

Jake, to Jonn

"Well, Duke, if we can get him to a safe place then I can sure try!"

Jake

Realizing that we're all sitting ducks here, I come up with what has to be the lamest plan in all history. Carefully sliding my Mark V blaster over to the machinery where the blast came from, I call out, "Don't shoot me, I surrender." I stay behind cover, intently looking for the neutron ray's next appearance.

OOC

OK, here's my plan. When the ray next fires, I will use my Telekinetic Arm to pick up the Mark V Blaster and shoot at the point that the ray is coming from. With my Increased Speed, I should be able to do this very quickly. With any luck, I may actually damage the weapon, if not the thing that's firing it. Pretty lame, huh? <Is that sounds of derisive laughter I hear coming from the direction of the GM and my fellow players?>


jonndukas

Jonn

As Jonn scurries for cover with Lamia in his arms and Dodgers in tow, and Brimstone drags his offline employer behind a bulkhead nearby, Jonn furiously crunches his tired brain cells for a plan, to no avail. A grenade lob, all he can come up with, is for the moment not viable---he can't estimate a blast radius without knowing where Kicker or the Captain are hiding.

Jake, calling out to his left, seems to have an interesting plan up his sleeve, so he defers to him for the moment, and checks Lamia's condition. "Out cold, just like Dodgers," he mutters. He is thankful that there are no signs of damage from whatever hit her, and that she is still breathing, but he is enraged that she took the shot clearly meant for him.

"Hang in there, lassie," he whispers, kissing the beautiful Gren's forehead tenderly, and gently lying her down behind a mound of machinery providing what he hopes is complete cover from the sniper. "Gonna NAIL that bastard!" Jonn vows.

Checking on Howard, Jonn takes the duck's grenade launcher and loads one of the duck's frag grenades. He peeks over his cover to train the launcher and his auto rifle on the machinery near Jake's blaster rifle on the opposite side of the corridor.


lamia_best

Lamia

Even unconscious, I somehow understand pieces of Jonn's sentence, "Out cold...Gonna NAIL that...lassie!"

OOC

Ok, so I'm using my own creative judgment. What else can I do after being shot by the GM, I mean the whatever!


gammaworld_gm

GM

Like a mutated squirrel, you (Kicker) scamper up the backside of the concrete pillar and into the pipe work twenty-five feet above the floor, with only the Cougaroid watching your shapely form. It gives full cover.

Standing in plain view and realizing you (Jake) may have to work on the robot Geo later, you ready your plan like an ancient Eastwood gunfighter. Apparently "Don't shoot me, I surrender" works. As the neutron ray fires from the back of the room, narrowly missing you (Jake), you use your mutations in concert to grab your Mark V blaster and fire back at the source.

With a solid hit, its force field drops, revealing a Hunter-Killer robot.


jonndukas

Jonn

As soon as the robot comes into view, Jonn nails the bastard (with both Howard's grenade and a full clip of his own auto rifle).


cpt_leghorn

Captain Leghorn

Like a hen sitting on a nest of roundish orbs, I hold my position behind cover and open fire with my laser pistol in hopes everyone will forget my last couple posts. If we are to face death, I want to go out like a chicken, I mean a rooster! That, and someone is sure to destroy it next turn.

OOC

Please add sound effects to my action, if possible, our gamma-induced GM!

<We apologize for this post. The writer responsible has been sacked. Now we continue with a new writer.>

Ok, that's it.


gammaben

Howie

"..." <drool> "..."


hunter_brimstone

Brimstone

Seeing the shiny metal humanoid appear out of nowhere, I must think quickly. Not having the room to maneuver the rifle around, nor the time to do it, I half-sidestep in front of the female Leoparoid, quickly reach in and grab my stun ray pistol with my right arm and fire, not knowing that the blast would arrive at the same time as Jonn's blitzkrieg.


jake_omega

OOC

Oh, yeah!! Who's da humanoid?! Who's da humanoid?!

Kicker

Not really understanding how the tongue-tied Cougaroid can step in front of me without floating up to the ductwork, I nevertheless take careful aim and fire my last energy grenade arrow at the H-K robot.

Jake

I add a chem grenade to the potent barrage, hoping that there will be enough left over for salvage.


gammaworld_gm

GM

Within the parameters of its mission, the Hunter/Killer robot uses its 3-second self-detonation to keep its internal programing out of the hands of its enemies, but not before a barrage of multiple weapons strike it from above and below. Pieces of its metal frame are ripped open before it suddenly explodes into a million shards of metal and goo.

From the direction of the elevator, the K-11 security robot enters the room and approaches Jake, standing motionless near him. What does everyone do next?


jake_omega

Jake

Wondering who/what could have programmed the H/K robot to come after us (Blackbeard, or was it an ally of the plants, perhaps?), I say, "Welcome back, my friend. We missed you."

Kicker

Assuming no more hostilities, I slither down from my perch, intrigued by this new installment of "As the Starport Turns," and approach Brimstone. While it's apparent that he wasn't the brightest kitten the litter, his tongue-tied introduction and protectiveness (not that I needed it) were rather sweet. Besides, the Roosteroid doesn't seem to like him. That's a mark in his favor right there.

"Hi, I'm 'Ah Ah Wah Tah Hey Yo ARRRRGH,' which means 'Rescues people just for kicks,' but you can call me Kicker. Nice rifle."


jonndukas

Jonn

Jonn rises from his crouch and lets out a whoop. "Great shot, Jake!" The rush of exploding the Hunter/Killer robot like a blood sausage is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it self-destructed, which meant it had been sent for a purpose. Yawning, he wonders if he'll ever get a good night's sleep.

Reloading his auto rifle, Jonn notices K-11 walking toward Jake. Curious about the security bot's sudden appearance, Jonn checks on Howard and Lamia, then walks over to Jake, acknowledging the humanoid with a hearty clap on the shoulder.

"K-11, you're missing all the action! Where'd you run off to?" Jonn asks, peering into the robot's unfathomable glowing eyes. "And what's that? A picture of your sweetie?" Jonn points to the picture clutched in K-11's grip.


gammaben

Howard

"Waugh waugh waugh!!! <drool>" You guess Howard is dreaming again. Of what, you wonder? What could make a duck laugh so? What could make him drool so? And most importantly, do you even care?


hunter_brimstone

OOC

Hey GM, nice Magic Card! Very cool picture. My wife plays that card on me all the time, though I can't remember what it is....

Brimstone

Turning around to see if the female of the species was impressed by both my dexterity and good aim, I am flabbergasted to see her not there. Following her scent, I look up and see her perched high on the column. Then, focusing in the dark, I quickly avert my gaze as my vertical position vis-a-vis her outfit gives me a view not proper of good Cougaroid gentlemen.


gammaworld_gm

OOC

The name of the Kicker picture in question is the Mirri Cat Warrior by Daren Bader. He used to work for WOC before they screwed him over and he moved to South Carolina. I haven't seen him since last Dragon Con, but yes I do have a couple of his paintings and his personally signed Baldwin Cycle Art book.

K-11

"I am back Jake. I did not expect you to come under fire, or I would not have abandoned you." The robot looks towards Jonn as it is questioned. "I went up to storage area level 17 to retrieve this picture. No, it is not a picture of any sweetie. It's a picture of Jake's family. I was here once before on vacation, but not as you see me now. Back then, I was Jake's son, and a small part of my brain is still his son." The K-11 security robot gives Jake the picture of his long-dead family.

GM

Searching the area of the battle, you discover nothing of value. With the K-11's help carrying Geo, and everyone else's help with the others, your group slowly returns to the elevator and then to the bar above. Stramagix is still asleep in one corner. Several hours pass before the unconscious members wake up. By then the leopardoid and Cougaroid smell new people approaching the bar from outside.


cpt_leghorn

Captain Leghorn

I approach the new female Leopardoid, pushing past Brimstone who is always seemingly in the way and under foot like most untrained house cats. "I say, I say there miss puttee tat, you said your name was 'Ah Ah Wah Tah Here Kitty Kitty Hey Yo ARRRRFF'?" In the style of any southern rooster, I cluck in a laughing manner, pick up a pretzel with my beak and toss it into my mouth. "I say what brings you to these parts beside the obvious?" I cast a glance towards Brimstone and attempt a chicken smirk.

Unruffling my tail feathers I push my comb to the other side. "I say, I say man, someone needs to fix that robot bartender. I need a drink!"


lamia_best

Lamia

Blinking my eyes, I sit up and shake off the neutron dizziness. "Uuhh, I feel like I just got nailed by someone or something," I query, looking to Jonn, my overly hesitant mate for answers. From wherever I was resting, I find a chair and sit in it until my full Gren senses return, or at least until I can think of a better quip worthy of Howard.


jake_omega

Jake

The ocean roars in my head as though I was holding a gargantuan seashell to my ear. I accept the photograph from K-11 and struggle to hold onto it with numbed fingers. I remember having the photo made as if it were only yesterday. Posing in our finest duds were myself, my wife Sarah, and our three children Joshua, Rachel, and Jake, Jr. A wave of grief again hits me over the family I have lost, but this time it is counterbalanced by rage at what has happened to my child. My reserves finally on 'empty,' I slip into oblivion, but not before I can utter the words, "Which soooonnnn?"

(Fade to black)

(Much later) Someone shakes me awake. I open my eyes and find myself in the Starport Bar. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that I'd passed out at the bar after one too many Pangalactic Gargleblasters. I still have the picture clutched to my heart. The K-11 unit's last words to me are fresh in my memory:

"Your eldest, Joshua."


jonndukas

Jonn

Jonn wakes with a start from a fitful sleep. He whirls around dazedly, and quickly realizes that no gun is being held to his temple, no Blackbeard is in sight. He staggers to the bar, and pours himself two tall glasses of filtered water.

Jonn sees Howard busy hovering over Geo's lifeless form behind the bar. "How goes it Dodgers?" Jonn says gruffly, clearing out the cobwebs from his scratchy throat.

"Oh, justh peachy, Jonn. Frakth!" Howard curses in duckish, as he sucks on a stubbed sixth finger.

Jonn turns around and sees Lamia motioning him over at a nearby table. He gains his bearings, walks over and pulls up a chair after handing her a glass. "You took my shot back there, Lamia. I owe you one," Jonn says, matching her emerald gaze.

"Oh?" That Gren grin again. "That what happened?" she asks into her glass, draining half of it in one thirsty series of swigs.

Jonn is only too happy to explain, "Some kind of hunter robot was sniping at us, but Jake blew his cover and then we nailed 'im." Jonn watches her throat move as she gulps. "Listen, Lamia, I was wondering...."

She puts down her glass, emptied, and raises a brow in expectation. "Wondering what, Jonn?"

Jonn fidgets with his feet, and wipes all the condensation off his glass. "You, uh, are you---"

"We got company folks!" Brimstone interrupts, walking into the bar through the hole in the wall, followed by Kicker. "Strangers approach from outside, and I'm not talking 'bout us!"


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