A Gamma World® play-by-post adventure run by gammaworld_gm
You (Jake and K-11) head out and almost immediately find Podine's Powders at area 19 on the map.
Following one of the side streets you (Brimstone and Kicker) also head toward the direction of area 19, though in a round-about way. You finally meet up with Jake and K-11, standing outside Podine's Powders. It's a small windowless nondescript shop. A sign on the door says "OPEN." A sign on the building reads, "Podine's Powders: (N) Nicknacks, (A) Accoutrements, (R) Remedies, (C) Customer Sevice." What do you do next?
Adding Howard's last comments to memory, the robot heads down one of the streets. "This isn't some Lizardwoman adventure, we are looking for Kasteen at Podine's Powders. My internal holo-maper always maps asth we go <beep, beep>. We may get a sidestreet, sidelined or sidetracked, but we will not get lost, I assure you!"
Following one of the side streets, you (Ormahzd, Geo, and Howard) are the first to make contact with anyone here in town, near area 7 marked on the map. Rounding the corner, you see a sign which reads "Gamma Bar." Together, your oddly-sized trio enters the bar. The somewhat dirty bar is filled with all sorts of beings, and almost every table is filled. At one table in particular sits a lone mutant fox. As you approach him (since there is no where else to sit), he casts you a curious glance, and then motions for all of you to sit down.
"I'm Marcus. Don't look like you folks are from around these parts. People such as yourselves often pay me to take them places. I'm a scout hereabouts. I'm also very good at what I do."
A red fur-covered mutant waitress approaches your table and smiles at the overly-muscled Ormahzd. "All we have is brown water, beer, and ancient Dr. Pepper. What'll it be?" What do you do or say to the fox and the waitress?
[The groups are now as follows:
"Podine's Powders. Ni... ni... niknac...." Brimstone says, struggling to make out the words. "Ac... cow... tree...." Suddenly, Brimstone realizes the rest of the party has entered the store, leaving him out in the sandstorm alone.
Walking into the store, Brimstone suddenly remembers the original plan. Kicker and Jake and K-11 are inside looking around at the shelves.
"Uh, hey guys. Look," I say, taking initiative, "I'll go find Jonn and Lamia and the duck and the others. You guys stay here, and don't move, OK?"
The party seems to be believe that not responding is a good enough affirmation. Smiling: "I'll be right back, Kicker."
Spinning around courageously as I go to stride out into the void again, I instead slam into the wall next to the door, my CougarNose™ taking the brunt of the impact.
"The exit will move! You Moron!!"
His ego and nose bruised, Brimstone quickly scampers out of the door and heads east.
Ormahzd takes an instant liking to the little fox guy. "Hi. Don't need a scout right now, but a place to sit would be appreciated." As he sits, he notices the waitress approaching and her look of interest, and he smiles broadly (I know, bad pun). Seeing an opportunity to get a little relaxation, he orders the beer, "Do you have a specialty darlin---food, I mean?" He smiles at her look just before his correction.
Howard feels that they're wasting time with the locals when they have a clear reconaissance mission, but takes the opportunity for some alone-time. He nods to Marcus and offers his hand. "The name'sth Howard and thesthe are my assthocthiatesth, Gtheo and Ormazthed."
"If I may offer a translation," Geo says to the fox, "His name is Howard, and we are his associates. I am GEO, and that," he says, noting Ormahzd who is oblivious to the introductions in favor of the waitress," is Or-mah-zed."
The duck looks annoyed at the robot. "That'sth what I sthaid!" <sigh> "Marcusth, we indeed could usthe a placthe to sthit for a minute, but we're really looking for a placthe called Podine'sth Powdersth. Maybe you can tell usth where that isth?"
Before Marcus has a chance to respond, Howard excuses himself. "Busthinessth before pleasthure---I need to make a pith sthop---if you know what I mean <quack quack>."
Howard makes his way to where the restrooms might be located. After all, he has to try to be civilized when in civilization, and there's no lake for him to waddle in and take care of his business.
Once safely locked in one of the restroom's stalls, if one can be located, or maybe in a dark corner of the establishment, Howard will turn on the two-way private communicator, keeping it muffled in the toy duck, and try to listen in. If someone starts talking to him deliberately, he'll do his best impersonation of static and switch it off. He intends to leave it on only for a minute or so.
Marcus responds, Yes, I do know exactly where Podine's Powder shop is. I could help you find it, as I have been all over these parts." He looks at the robot. "And I know that I could find anything else you want one way or another---waitress, beer!---so, let's get down to business. My question is: why are you looking for Podine's Powders?"
The Cougaroid moves down the street quickly, even in the howling sand storm. Something in his gut [and out of character] pulls him east down the street.
"Look at your feet, Blue Warrior!"
Looking down, Brimstone finds Jonn's (Lamia's) distinctive reflective sunglasses in the sand at his feet (he puts them in his pack). Dozens of tracks and drag marks lead around the corner and then disappear completely. Sensing someone behind him, Brimstone spins around instantly with his pulse rifle ready to fire. The approaching woman holding a 6 month old child notices the Cougaroid's reaction, screams, turns away, and then runs down the street in fear. "Damn humans," mumbles the Cougaroid. Turning back around, Brimstone kneels down and finds a metal lid. Crouching down closer, he smells the very faint perfume the Gren wears, even in the howling wind.
A single nomad-dressed human charges out from a side street and wields a large blade as he attacks. Brimstone simply raises Mute up and fires a single shot. The howling sand storm obscures the noise of the shot. The blast hits the human in the chest lifts him up in the air tossing him backwards 15 feet, leaving him dead almost instantly with a fist sized hole completely through his chest.
"One foot short of a record! What? You can't do a head shot?"
Do you enter the underground tunnel alone? Do you go get your friends? What about the dead guy?
The waitress answers Ormahzd, "We have boiled goat meat or soup. Both cost 1 domar. That other entertainment will cost you 20 domars upstairs," says the waitress spinning on her heels and heading back to the bar. A few minutes later she returns with your beer. "Can I get you any food?" The waitress looks at everyone, even the robot.
The robot shakes his head no. "Easy killer, we're here on business, Ormahzd. Speaking of doing his business, where's Howard? Go check on him Ormahzd," asks the robot. "Jonn would disconnect me if someone were to waylay him!"
"So Marcus. How well do you know the Flower Lands?"
Howard turns on the two-way private communicator and hears the following: "Hello, are you there Captain? Stop that heavy breathing! It wasn't funny the first time! Be aware our contacts in Gamma One have been corrupted by Ranse. So don't walk into a trap and think they are my people. Timon out!"
Outside the stall, Howard notices the shadow of someone's feet and then hears the cocking of a machine gun. Howard suddenly uses the bathroom for real and not just for two-way communication.
Feeling the sudden urge for a one-liner, the Cougaroid pauses and says low, cool, and savvy, in a voice only Mute and the camera can hear,
"What? That's your one-liner? You stink!"
"The hole nine yards?"
"You are an idiot!"
"Should have kept it in the hole-ster?"
"I wasn't hole-in back?"
"There's a hole in his heart that can only be filled by a plasma burst?"
"Oh... never mind. I'll think about a better one later," I say, removing the lid.
... which I suppose is a manhole lid, right, GM? Id est, not a can of Campbell's soup lid.
Peering down inside, I look for any more signs of foul play, and wonder if there are any more thugs, and wonder where my comrades are.
As Ormahzd enters the restroom, silently as usual, he immediately spots a figure pointing a gun at a bathroom stall. Figuring that all the commotion wouldn't be good for him and his friends, he raises one very large fist and brings it down with all his strength on the figure's head. "Hey, everyone in here alright, or do we need anti-laxitives all around?"
"I'd better go after him. Brimstone's sweet, but he's not playing with a full ball of yarn. Hey, see if there's any catnip."
Thinking that the last thing we want to do is split up, I say, "Maybe later, but right now we need to get everyone back together. C'mon, Joshua, let's go."
The three of us head out the door with Kicker, tracking the Cougaroid, in the lead.
Marcus looks around and says, "Hmm. Where is everyone going? I wonder what's going on?" He calls over to the waitress, "Another beer, please!"
Marcus decides to kick back and wait for the others to show back up. He finishes his current beer as he tries to seduce the waitress.
The Lizardwoman named Kasteen at Podine's Powders watches the unusual group as they turn and leave her store without buying anything.
Putting the can of 10W40 all-lube oil back on the shelf, K-11 follows Jake out of the shop and back into the howling sand storm.
Minutes later, the smiling (but not having any time for extensive stretching) Kicker silently taps Brimstone on the shoulder, nearly causing him to jump out of his skin as he peers down a dark hole, (id est, man-hole). Out of the sand storm, Jake and K-11 also join the two frolicking Furoids. Jake's face is covered with a bandana and sunglasses. Turning to his companions, Brimstone retells what he has been able to deduce (that some people took Jonn, Lamia, and his least favorite Roosteroid down below).
What do you do next? Return to the dune buggies? Find the others? Become heros? Do something the GM might like? Break into a song and dance number?
Having entered the bathroom silently and seeing a mutant weasel with a machine gun pointed at one of the three bathroom stalls, Ormahzd raises one of his very large mutant fists and brings it down with all his strength on the weasel's pointed head. As would be expected, "pop goes the weasel" as it falls over dead, its neck broken instantly. Opening the bathroom stall, Ormahzd sees Howard seated on the commode, and hears his down pressure.
"Oops!" says Ormahzd, closing the door.
"You nearly gaveth me a hearth-a-sthroke Orthzid! Thisth stall is althready taken!"
"My friends went to the bathroom. For some reason they go better in pairs. I don't know exactly why. So Marcus... how long have you been a mutated fox?" asks the robot, making small talk. Something it is not very good at.
The waitress returns to your table and smiles at Marcus, batting her eyelashes, and gives Marcus his second beer.
"What? Haven't you seen our table before? Go away!" The waitress leaves quickly. "No need to thank me, Marcus, I did you a favor. I got rid of her for you!" If the robot could smile or even knew what a smile was, it would have done so at that moment.
"Aghhh, I didn't want her to leave yet!" Marcus looks at the robot and just groans, thinking, "It wouldn't understand!"
After Howard finishes his business in the bathroom, he flushes, marveling that the toilet still functions, and also marveling that a duck would even bother to use a hu-mann waste repository. He notices the dead weasel, and after packing away his toy duck, checks his would-be assassin for identification, and even loot.
"Wow, Big-O. You sthure know how to make friendsth!" Howard semi-embarrassingly recovers his composure. This big guy quite possibly just saved his feathers. "Er, thanksth, Ormahthed." Howard begins to offer a feathered hand, but then realizes he hadn't washed his hands yet.
"No prob my little entree friend." (joke) "Mayhaps we should move him to a stall and search him before we get any guests looking for relief. I just hope we find some clue as to why he wanted to make dinner out of you. Did you stink that badly to offend him?" He laughs inwardly at Howard's expression. "Only messin' wit' ya, ducky. Let's get this thing away." Sheesh, tap a weasel on the head and it goes to pieces.
Looking downward and seeing no sign of the three, Brimstone dusts himself off, (a vain action in this duststorm), and says to Jake and K-11, "Go find the others, one of ya, and tell them that me and Kicker went after Jonn, Lamia and dinner, er, Leghorn. Tell them to follow us down here if they don't find anything else! Quickly!"
Jake and K-11 look at each other, trying to decide who will go.
Tightening the straps on my pack, I start to climb down the manhole leg-first, motioning Kicker to follow.
Jonn, Lamia, and Leghorn wake up. All three are are hanging upside down a few feet above the floor with a chain tied around their ankles. Their hands are tied behind their backs. At the moment, the dimly lit fifteen by twenty foot room is empty. Even from your upside-down position you see a strange looking escritoire about six feet away.
"Ah, my head. I sure hope this is a dream. If it is, I'm sure to be naked very soon!"
<brock, brooock> "I say, I say there, Jonn... I'm seeing this as just a minor bump in the road of our long term friendship. You know, I didn't really expect it to turn out like this. Jonn? Jonn, are you listening to me, boy?"
"Shutup Captain! I'm sure Jonn will pluck you when he gets the chance! I think Jonn took one too many volts. Jonn, wake up!"
Searching the mutant weasel, you find a slug throwing sub-machine gun, one extra 30-round clip, a tube of cherry flavored lip balm, and two metal coin-sized tokens. Putting the weasel in one of the stalls, you and Ormahzd return to Geo and Marcus in the bar.
"Why don't you join us Marcus? I'm sure we could use your scouting skills, plus I have this friend named Jonn who really needs some tips on how to pick up women. I told him, I said, 'Jonn, bend with your legs and not your back,' but he never listens. He can't help though," The robot leans in close and lowers his voice. "He's Pure Strain human...."
Before Geo can finish, Howard and Ormahzd return to the table.
"Shouldn't we go find Jonn now, Howard? It's been 45.3 minutes."
Brimstone removes his drained atomic energy cell, ejecting it into the sand, and replaces it with a new one before heading down the stairs. When the new energy cell is replaced, Mute raises its force field in front of the Cougaroid. The "Made by Atari Corp." mark on the bottom of the rifle glows slightly. Mute also turns on its red laser and holo-targeting device.
"I'll go!" states the security robot, its eyes glowing in the darkness of the sand storm. Turning, K-11 disappears into the raging storm at a fast walk.
"Heros only have better headstones, Brimstone!" says Jake, the last in line.
With Brimstone leading, the three head down the stairs cautiously. Once inside, they see a very long seven by fifteen foot dimly lit manmade tunnel. Dozens of pipes line the right wall.
What do you do next?
"Geo, we need to find Podine'sth Powder Shthop. We find that, and maybe we find Jonn---he'sth looking for ith thoo, of coursthe."
"Our new fox friend says he knows where that establishment is, and will take us there. However, he does not wish for the waitress to leave his company, so I suggest we stun her and take her with us."
"Waugh?!" Howard raps Geo's leg casing. "File it under flirting, tin head! Leave the waitressth alone!" He turns to Marcus. "Lead on, Marcusth!"
With that, Howard suggests the group pay their tab and get the heck out of dodge. As Howard never ordered anything, he takes a sip from his waterskin and gurgles it as only a duck can, with neck raised vertically and bill swishing in the air. Howard keeps an eye out for trouble and his needler at the ready as they follow Marcus through the dusty town.
"I'm awake, luv, just conserving my energy for a rooster plucking," Jonn says, wriggling his shoulders in slow deliberate movements, like some overripe chrysalis struggling to escape its cocoon. He spat out the last two words with the same spiky intensity as Leghorn had experienced back at the gates of the Oad-Ck-Factory. Jonn woefully noted his and Lamia's twin vibro daggers piled on the floor along with their packs and guns, all out of reach.
"I did say, boy, I'm sorry, that is, I---" the Roosteroid begs.
"Go chew a torc grenade, Captain!" Lamia yells. "What you did... after all we did for you at your chicken factory and at the Starport!" She squirms with anger, but slows when she sees Jonn's oddly sensual gyrations. If this were a dream, this would be the part where he too got naked! Sadly, her chains rotate with her struggles, and soon she arrives eye-to-eye with Leghorn, at whom she glares venomously.
The Captain replies with a soft <brooock>, "You folks blew up my factory...." A touch of melancholy drips from his beak.
The Gren yanks on her chains violently, her auburn hair whipping about in rage. "We blew it up? We?? What was Blackbeard? Chopped liver?? Wait'll I get my hands---"
Hoping Lamia's chains keep the Gren from ripping into him, Leghorn continues, "That's right, missy, those cock-a-roaches set the auto-destruct after you arrived. That wasn't originally part of the deal. Timon's got my Penny and our two chicks, Raggy and Little Bit, that is. Cock-a-roach's got 'em enslaved in Datil. Timon blackmailed me right before you guys arrived; gave me a choice, a choice that is, between factory or family. I'm a family Roosteroid, I say, boy! It was no choice! Jonn, I say, I had... no... choice!" Leghorn starts sobbing like a hen who's just seen Chicken Run. He banks on Jonn having a Pure Strain heart to go with his Pure Strain good looks.
"Captain, I understand. You will of course have to earn my trust back," Jonn says, gyrating his shoulders again.
The Gren's chain turns her again towards Jonn. Her curiosity finally overwhems her anger, as she stifles a giggle, "Jonn, I'm afraid to ask what you're up to, dear."
"I just hope... Brimstone or... Kicker are... in range...." Jonn says cryptically.
"I say, boy, what do those two furballs have to---"
Just then, like a mutated carp, Jonn snatches a metallic object out of the air, twirls it around with his tongue, and then, as his Pure Strain front side twists into view, both Lamia and Leghorn see he's holding a whistle in his smiling mouth! He'd wriggled it out on its chain from underneath his plastic armor! He blows hard on the silent whistle.
This is the same dog whistle that Brimstone heard, and Jonn inherited off the stunned Reptiloid in the hall of the Oad-Ck-Factory.
As they head out in search of the others, Ormahzd bends down to Marcus, "Hey, I'm with you on the waitress idea. We might have to hang together when we get some free time. I know a place that'll make your tail go all bushy." Seeing that the storm hasn't lightened much, Ormahzd places his hand on his vibro blade's hilt, just in case.
Marcus looks at Ormahzd, "Sounds good to me!" Marcus checks his plasma rifle. "So guys, where are we going first?"
This page updated: Mon Jan 09 14:22:17 2006
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