A Gamma World® play-by-post adventure run by gammaworld_gm
From behind the vehicle, a section of the wall shimmers, gathering light and waving, the air cracks and is sucked in by a mesmerizing roar, and the wall turns to bluish liquid, forming a scene much like the one around you, yet everything is built right.
At the moment that you realize this, a shadow steps through the portal, then as it appears, it is turned into a man, a tall man with an immense cloak about him, shimmering in black with blue trim. The man wears a tunic and pants of a deep, comforting blue. His hair is slick, forming an angular shape about his face, and he has striking white sideburns and a goatee. He is not walking through the portal, but levitating. You can make out a leather satchel over his shoulder.
Kicker moves skillfully out of the alley and across the street where several vendors have set up shop, selling a wide variety of items. Kicker crouches down, stretching her lithe frame as she examines the 8-track tape player which has somehow been converted to use solar power.
A plump humanoid merchant with greenish teeth watches her every movement. He smiles, somewhat believing that it may induce the Leoparoid to make a well-needed purchase. Kicker motions with five fingers, after noticing the seven domar price tag. The street merchant holds up six fingers. It isn't like he is making a killing. One domar would go to Timon, one to Hampshire: the cost of doing business in Datil. Kicker tosses the six ancient coins onto the blanket. Gathering up her 8-track tape player and the six tapes, Kicker stuffs them in her pack with the five ancient cans of tuna she purchased from another vendor a few minutes earlier.
Kicker gracefully bounds away toward the alley in which she was waiting earlier. Sensing no new scent, the Leoparoid approaches the rear wheel of the TTV (Troop Transport Vehicle) and squats down. With catlike intuition, she waits a few minutes until she feels safe, and then uses a knife to rip open a can of tuna. She eats heartily and, licking the can clean, she tosses it aside.
Kicker's spotted golden fur glistens in the hot Datil sun. She adjusts her sheath armor. decorated with beadwork and feathers. A bow and quiver of arrows is slung over her back, and an energy mace hangs at her side. One of her necklaces is a truly impressive collection of teeth and claws, interspersed with semiprecious stones.
Kicker jumps at the sudden appearance of the strange humanoid hovering in mid-air. The man's levitation ends as his portal disappears behind him, and he drops to the ground and stumbles a few steps before regaining his balance and composure.
The female Leoparoid squats down, looking at the new arrival with wide-eyed wonderment. "You wouldn't happen to be one of those Cyber Mage guys, would you?" Slowly she stands, watching the non-threatening and Pure Strain looking man.
[A new player joins:
The man in the cloak, one hand held up with middle fingers folded, looks about at the shattered remains, whispering, "Is this what the world can become if left to its steel devices?"
He looks defensively at Kicker, a smile upon his lips. He adjusts his satchel and moves the folds of his midnight blue cloak over his shoulders as he says in an accented English, "I am not sure if you understand me. I mean no harm; I am a man of peace, if that is conceivable here. My name is Doctor Templeton."
The figure's fingers uncurl in a sign of peace, and his smile turns from one of suspicion to one of comfort. He cannot stop looking about.
Jonn's answer is just confusing. At least he is giving her a choice. Clarifying what the NARCs are about helps---she hadn't been sure she understood that correctly---but the idea that most of these people are just following Jonn and are not Restorationists is just odd. Still, his pronouncement against assassination comforts her. And neutrality? Maybe that's a good thing, but what has that got to do with the violence she has seen and all the guns these people were carrying earlier? She agrees with two things, though: Timon should be stopped, and the NARCs had indeed screwed her over. Jonn's last comments make her worry. He wants her to become a Restorationist, but he himself doesn't seem too sure about them.
Liz's response doesn't help.
Before the moment comes when she has to respond, Captain Leghorn gives her some advice. Oddly, he doesn't bother defending himself. His words, "I-I-I do believe its up to us to make our own decisions in life, Frieda," are a better comeback than any defense he could have made. As he speaks, his voice seems to be echoed by another, one that calls on her to make a choice. She senses a spotlight on her soul, and for a moment remembers the dream she had in the van: one choice she had was to serve herself, pulling away from the responsibilities of life; the other was to face chaos. This other voice---the one presently echoing Leghorn---is the same voice she heard in her dream. Twice she obeyed it; now she will again. When Leghorn puts the cork back in his beak, Frieda looks to him with a thousand-yard stare in her eyes and says, "Yes, I will open the door."
Suddenly, the ever-dour Liz cries out in horror. The elevator doors open to reveal two bloody Gamma Girls, one fighting back the tears and carrying the broken form of the other, very much dead. "What the hell happened, Xeva?" Liz demands, choking on her words.
Frieda's getting lots of practice at this. While Howard is calling for the med bot, Liz and Frieda are already carrying their fallen friend Rebecca to the patient's table. As they cross the room with Xeva in tow, she realizes in herself a growing hatred of violence and resolves that her new career will be to fight it. Frieda answers Liz's concerned expression saying, "I know, but I won't just give up without a try. Maybe there's something T3 can do."
Xeva suddenly cries out with pain, and Frieda says to her, "It's okay, we'll take care of you too, just hang in there."
"Hey, this is no place for heroes. Stop your thousand-yard-starin', 'cause it's scarin' me now." -Pete Wylie
YAY I'm posting in my favorite club! This comes from the mutated_hobbit_gm. There are two of us. One is dead, one is not. Both of us are blood-covered. I'm the live one who looks like a reject from an ancient heavy metal big hair band.
Xeva suddenly cries out with pain, and Frieda looks says to her, "It's okay, we'll take care of you too, just hang in there."
"I'm not hurt, this is all Rebecca's blood, and you are stepping on my foot!"
"well, at least here you'll be treated with dignity. She's dead as a door nail, maybe deader even. I don't do embalming or hair. Next patient?" it says dryly, looking at Geo.
Watching everyone closely, I say, "Rebecca said it wasn't the Kasteen person whom she expected it to be. She said a silver space vehicle had ABQ-Starport painted on it. There were men in black cloaks and they flew north." The blood on me seems to blend easily with my outfit.
[A new player joins:
My ears momentarily flatten against my skull. Not sure if I can understand him? Who does this paleface think I am anyway, a Cougaroid? Making direct eye contact, I reply, "My name is 'Ah Ah Wah Tah Hey Yo ARRRGH,' which roughly translates as 'Drop kicks thesaurus at insulting pipsqueak,' but you may call me Kicker."
Feeling confident that this strange PSH has been properly chastisted, I relent and give him a friendly Leoparoid grin. "So what brings you to Datil, Doc? I can't imagine anyone coming to this hellhole for their annual vacation. It must be a pretty important mission for you to do that walk-through-the-wall trick. None of my business, of course, but you know the old saying about curiosity...."
Annoyed with MRT-3, Geo says, "What is the matter with you, toaster?"
"Nothing one-arm! I'll say a prayer for the 'dead as a door nail' Gamma Girl. In the name of all that is good and logical, we give thanks for this carbon-based lifeform you will eventually absorb. To quote the prophet Jerematic, '1-0-0-0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1 ... (a long amount of time passes) ... 0-0-1-0-1-1-0-0-1 - 2.' Amen."
If the robot could have a surprised look on his metallic face, he would. "We have to leave now, Jonn. The secure frequencies were a slip trace from Timon to us. The frequency is most probably being used to pinpoint our location, which means the mission should be aborted and we should leave Datil now! I calculate we have about 10 minutes to flee the area."
"Leave her, she's dead. All of you have to leave, come with us, Xeva."
Quickly, everyone hurries into the elevator, Liz pushes the button and the elevator heads down.
"Don't worry, Tin-head," Howard offers kindly. "I've got sthome exthperiencthe repairing robotsth. I'll get you all fixthed up! I have good referencthesth. Justh ask Gallusth five-thirteen!"
"Thanks Howard," he says, showing the Duckoid his unattached arm. "Jonn caused this, you know."
"You're a hottie!" quips the Gamma Girl, squeezing Jonn's ass.
"I say, I say there Myc, are you a vegetable or a plant? Just curious."
A slight smirk crosses Jake's face as he glances at Frieda standing next to him in the elevator. Taking Frieda's hand, Jake puts a small necklace with a heart shaped locket on it in her palm and then he closes her hand so no one else can see it. "That's for you, Missy." Jake wonders why Kasteen ever involved him in the first place.
K-11 and Liz look at each other, both also watching Jake and Frieda. After the elevator doors open, the group follows Liz and Xeva down a series of graffiti covered corridors and then through a heavy door and into the weapons check room. The Ratoid smiles from beyond his small window upon seeing you again. An open door on the other side of the room leads outside into the alley. Several large robots stand along the walls within this room.
"Give them all of their stuff, rat face. If even one bullet is missing you'll be rad rat fodder!"
<gulp> "Yes sir! I mean ma'am!" Quickly he hands everyone's weapons back out the small window, adding a toothy rat smile to his service.
The Cougaroid snatches Mute back from the Ratoid, with a growl.
"Thou shalt not snatch! Moron!"
Smelling the sweet scent of a Leoparoid, he turns and trots outside to join Kicker and the newbie (aka Doctor Templeton). Brimstone's thoughts soften upon sight of the smooth golden spotted fem feline.
[The groups have mutated once again:
Templeton moves a step backward at the sight of the Cougaroid, and the shocked look on his face is obvious. His cloak hovers about him as if it were a pet, and his legs and arms move in the way of person well studied in combat.
He looks to the Leoparoid and smiles, "Good to know that in this world there is still a sense of humor. Can you tell me the date and place if you will, Miss Kicker, and the name of your friend? Are there humans on this world?"
"Friend Leghorn, I believe that because of my changed genetics, I am both vegetable and plant, maybe with a little animal thrown in. You never know, I might even have some Roosteroid mixed in there somewhere, but you know, everyone has some type of bad gene in their bloodlines."
"U-u-uh, yeah I guess so Myc'yd, a kind of 'Circle Of Life' thingy. But hanging around Jonn and Howard, we always have that 'Circle of Death' thingy goin' on. Count yourself lucky you're not some soft-spoken PSH wanabe Cajun from New Orleans with a tiny inferior brain. Au revoir, Ratoid!" Retrieving my weapons, I strut outside, "Just wait until you see our spaceport chateau, that's where we kick back and Par-TAY until the chickens come home! I'm sure you's understand as you seem like a fungi. I'm full of just the stuff you need, my little shroom. There were plenty of times when I wanted to give up, but I never did. Never. Hey, are you even listening to me? Oh, I give up."
Obscure French reference added to jump on the French band wagon....
"I hear you, friend Leghorn, I am just trying to figure out a way to remove the less desireable DNA. I find the thought of sharing certain genetic materials saddening (and the thought of growing feathers scares the feces right out of me)."
Ok, it's me, Liska. Sorry I've been gone.
After her side-adventure, Liska begins to round the corner in an alleyway in Datil, her guns ready and drawn. She looks tensed up and is sweating bullets. Liska mutters to herself, "God, I wonder how the others are. Hell, I wonder where the others are!" As she darts around the corner, she sees the rest of the group. "Guys! It's me, Liska! Is everyone alright?" She puts away her guns and grins at them.
[She's back! (and the groups have shifted):
"Sthay there," Howard mentions to the Ratoid. "Thanksth for keeping thesthe sthafe for me." Howard checks to make sure all his stuff is returned to him, especially the toy duck with its receiver. He hopes no one has rifled through his stuff; he sure doesn't want anyone finding that the toy duck's innards are actually one end of a two-way to Timon! After strapping on his grenade launcher, rifles, backpack, goggles, and everything else he owns, he remembers how much fun it is running around naked and unburdened, just as God intended his duckish self. But then he remembers he is Howard Dodgers of the 23½ century, and doesn't mind the weight of his stuff.
Just as he's about to leave and head outside, he notices the "WANTED" poster. "Hey Lizth!" he pipes up. "Think you can get the rat to sthurrender the posther? It'sth not exthactly sthomething I want hanging around. After all, I'm not wanted anymore---hopefully!?!"
Liska approaches, coming down the alley and joins everyone standing together around the troop transport vehicle (TTV). Leghorn and Myc exit the building and join Kicker and Doctor Templeton.
Note: Liska (PSH), Brimstone (Cougaroid), Kicker (Leoparoid), Templeton (PSH), Leghorn (Roosteroid), and Myc (Mushroomoid) are together.
Leghorn clucks his tongue, eyeing Liska, "I say, I say there sweet cheeks, where have you been?" Reaching out to shake Liska's hand I jerk my hand back. "Har, har, har, fake out!" I adjust my cigar in my oversized beak.
<growllll> <sigh> The Cougaroid touches Kicker's arm. "Uh, Kicker... I just wanted to... I mean... I lo... <hesitates> aw, nothin'." He removes his hand from the Leoparoid's arm, and, backing away, turns and runs off in galloping leaps.
"Think of the embarrassment!"
"You are the worst product of ancient technology I've ever met!" he replies, angrily between leaps and bounds. "No wonder they gave you to me."
"I love you Brimstone!"
Brimstone has exited stage left, and "will" no longer be used as an NPC or a player. We'll miss you, hairball. The rest of you count yourselves lucky he didn't kill and eat you!
[Brimstone and Mute exit stage left:
"If only H.G. Wells could see this." Templeton says, looking about, wondering at why the cougar man ran off. He looks down at his watch and shakes it, then places it to his ear. Annoyed, he speaks an incantation.
"Fargarus" he whispers, yet he still shakes the watch. He walks towards the group, looking behind him. "I suppose I am stranded here for some time, considering the Eye of Chronos is not working..."
"Please, could someone tell me what is the date," he says adjusting the knobs of the watch. "And what country? Surely this is an alternate universe. Do you all have wine in this world? For I could use a glass... my word, is that a cigar I smell?"
"Carajo, it is a vintage with which I am not familiar," he remarks, moving his nose about.
Templeton looks at all the members of the party with a keen, confused and concerned look.
Then he pulls out his journal....
Then he pulls out his journal....
Just in case anybody wonders, Machito69 is not related to Bela Oxmyx in any way (see Lizardmen in Red Water Bay).
I wonder what Templeton's reaction would be to the bicycle in the back of the TTV? Machito, what year does he come from?
He opens his book and studies all the crafts and devices that surround him, the TV, the digital recorders, the skyscrapers, the belts and ammunition.
"Ah, so technology did take over. Surely that must be the reason for so much destruction. We would have never thought it would happen, but then again, that was 1895."
Kicker stares curiously at the Doc. He seems to have the powers of a Cyber Mage, doesn't know the date or place, seems to be suprised to see any sentient that isn't human, and he talks to his watch. Either some screws are seriously loose here, or.... Could it be a situation similar to Jake's? Some kind of suspended animation or something? Whichever way, he'll bear close watching.
She starts to answer him, then Brimstone makes his sudden (dis)appearance. "Goodbye---BRIMMIE, WAIT!" Kicker cries out. "COME BACK! Come back...." She sighs, and with a mental wrench, shifts her attention back to the tableau before her.
"All right, let's make this quick. Gang, this is Doctor Templeton. Yes, Doc, as you can see, there are humans here, although pure strains---unmutated ones like yourself---number in the extreme minority. You will have to expand your definition of 'people.' We are in the city-state of Datil, the stronghold of an evil PSH named Timon. Those are the San Matoe mountains you see, Albuquerque, well, what's left of it, is about 100 miles away on the other side. The year, she pauses, watching him closely at his point, is 2471. My friends and I are here to rescue that mangy Roosteroid's family from enslavement by the aforementioned Timon. I have to suppose we didn't succeed yet."
Leaving the stranger to digest this, she turns to the others. "What happened in there? And does anyone know what made Brimstone run off like that?"
Doctor Templeton, fascinated, takes a step back and writes in his journal. His cloak folds and unfolds, he adjusts his tunic, then looks up to Kicker. "25th century, Earth, New Mexico at that. Just wait until the fellows at the Arcana hear about this, if there is a way back to the Arcana. It has been quite a journey. Now does this world believe in magic? Not technology made to look like magic---that would be an illusionist---I mean real magic?
"And you mentioned the term 'Cyber Mage.' Now what is that?"
He looks around at the group, "and my gods, what I would give for a glass of dark wine!"
Liska looks at Leghorn. "Cute... cute. I've been taking care of things, dodging the city militia and trying to find you jokers." Genuinely glad to see them, she grins at the whole group. "Well, anyone got a workable plan on how to get out of this drek-hole?"
Kicker turns to Doctor Templeton, sighs wearily, and says, "Doc, I don't know anything about magic, so I don't know if a Cyber Mage uses magic, magic-seeming technology, or some combination of both---although if I had to guess, I'd say the latter. Never having personally run afoul of one, thank the great spirit, how would I know?
"Sorry, I don't have any wine, and we've got more important things to worry about now. We could play 20 questions all day. I'm going to risk offending you by being blunt. You are either a sandwich short of a picnic, or you are genuinely lost in time. Either way, despite your abilities, you are in danger here. The thugs who run this area won't let your being an innocent noncombatant stop them from turning you into sushi.
"Why don't you travel with us for a while? I admit, there's plently of danger involved in that option, also, but I like to think we're the good guys. When there's a chance, you can question us to your heart's desire. Just keeping company with us will teach you about our world. If you find us too imcompatible, you will be free to part company with us anytime.
"In short, we have missing comrades to find, a family to rescue, and a tyrant to, well, maybe not topple, but seriously discommode anyhow. I will speak for you to our leader, when he returns. You seem like a decent fellow. And I will do my best to look out for you. Is it a deal, Doc?"
She then turns to the loudmouth Long [sic] Island Red. Drawing herself up to her full height, she flexes her claws and snarls, "Enough with the stupid jokes, Leghorn! You went in there with a lot more people than came out! Report!"
As I sat up in the vehicle, my head throbbed painfully. I felt matted blood in my hair. The four of us sat silently. We were in the cargo area of some type of flying vehicle. My pack and weapon were gone. Touching the metal cargo wall, I used my Psychometry mutation.
Psychometry: The ability to read the history of certain objects by touching them. All objects contain emanations, a sort of record of the history of the object. Psychometrists usually scry in a normal state of mind. In other words, there is no preparation needed, or any need for trance, etc. In some cases if a scryer has been handed an object of someone who recently died of illness the scryer may suffer from symptoms of the illness. Psychometric impressions may come in the form of emotions, sounds, scents, tastes or images. The visions are usually very rapid in nature and occur with no logical sequence.
Emanation the first: a worker loads cargo into the spacecraft as robots move around in the domed spaceport in which the ship sits.
Emanation the second: boxes are loaded into the cargo area by men in black robes from the roof of a skyscraper.
Emanation the third: Geo stands near the open cargo hold talking to several men in black robes.
"You must be a Gren. I've heard of them, but never saw one before. I'm Penny. These are my two chicks, Raggy and Little Bit," clucked the Henoid.
My psychometry talent was interrupted by her words. "Hmmm yah, I know who you are. I'm Lamia. I know Captain Leghorn."
"Are you the Captain's friend?"
"Let's just say I know him too well."
"You've mated with him then?"
"Eeew no! certainly not!" my thoughts drifted to Jonn until I felt the ship slow and begin to land.
Most of the info from this post comes from the sweet G[i]M, may the radiation not get to him before I do. <gives brain back to Ben. I've heard he needs it worse than I do.>
"Enough with the stupid jokes, Leghorn! You went in there with a lot more people than came out! Report!"
"Whagh? Whoah, Nellie, I say, I say back up the Leoparoid train there, she-beast! They're all comin' outside in gist a few minutes. Nothing to worry about, babe. Wait there is one thing. We need to get out of the area within ten minutes before the city militia arrives or we all die like Petey did. I blame Howie for Petey getting killed. Don't tell Howie because ducks have delicate feelings."
I wink at sexy Liska in an Ormahzd-type fashion and put my feathered arm around Myc, mostly for protection from Kicker, but he doesn't need to know that. "M-m-myc-The-Mushroom is joining our group, Kicker. Did you know he's also a vegetable?"
I answer Liska's question: "I say, I say, damn straight, darlin'! We have a plan somewhere in Jonn's tiny little PSH non-radiated brain. I say we all pile in the TTV, turn it around and get ready to run like we're in an open chicken yard."
"Cigar, Doc?" I offer the male PSH a stogie. "Don't worry Doc, Kicker is tough on everyone, and hidden under all that soft fur, shapely body, sharp teeth, nasty claws, bad temper, fowl mood and really bad attitude is a Leoparoid who likes me." Adjusting my stogie, a cowardly smile crosses my beak from behind Myc.
Doc accepts the cigar, lights it with a match and is off with the group.
"Ten Minutes? Let us be out of here my newfound friends, for if what you say is true, then tyranny must surely be stamped out. I thank you for accepting me, for I realize that to a certain extent, I must be excess baggage."
"A TTV, curious." Doc mounts the vehicle along with everyone else.
Oops, that should have been a Rhode Island Red in my last post. (Rhode Island, Long Island---they've probably both been nuked anyhow.) It's not like Kicker reads The Poultry Gazette. Leghorn does, but just for the pictures.
Kicker turns wearily to Liska. "Please, would you get the TTV started and pointed the right way? I'll wait out here for the others. Have whoever has the best weaponry sitting by the open doors---knowing Dukas, he'll probably have a friggin' army right behind him."
Kicker sighs and rubs a paw across her forehead. She knows she's been more than usually abrupt with the others, but something's triggered a monster headache that soon threatens to reach migrane proportions. "Too much stress?" she muses. Or Brimstone's unexpected bugout? Or maybe she should have paid more attention to the expiration date on that can of tuna she just scarfed down?
"Whatever, girl," she thinks to herself, dismissing it all for the moment. "We've got enough problems now. I can check the glove compartment for aspirin once we get moving."
She grits her teeth, trying to compose her expression so her discomfort isn't apparant to the rest, and readies her bow. "Dammit, Dukas" she whispers, "where are you?"
This page updated: Mon Jan 09 14:22:18 2006
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