A Gamma World® play-by-post adventure run by gammaworld_gm
"I say there, I say there boy, give that there pistol back!"
But Jonn "wild-man" Dukas is gone. "Hasn't he learned by now, it's always Xeva? I guess you never really outgrow being an eyeball... oddball. Jonn must learn being captain is about intuition and heart. A good captain can't have either one. That's why cold, logical me is perfect for the job. Well, I do think of human life as expendable, too. I don't know why, but when I look down at their ugly little human faces it makes me want to puke... in a good way."
"I'm not a crimmmminaaal, I don't even know what a crimmmminaaal is," I squeak, unable to breathe.
The Unit Zed robot looks at each of you, and turns towards Leela as she attempts to move behind it. Leela sees nothing on its back any different than what is on its front. The robot has few seams and it is heavly armored.
"You have ten seconds to leave this tunnel or this criminal will be terminated. One... two... three... four...."
What do you do?
"Heard yell. Istrouble? Tell Stramagix howhelp, he help."
<brooock> "Whoa! I say, whoa, there horny fellow. The mascot speaks," says the Roosteroid.
The large metal cyborg cat (Ironcat) sitting with Captain Leghorn and his family gives Stramagix a slight snarl as he stirs.
What do you do?
"Well Mee'sss, we are going to try to find my sister. We kinda look alike except she has black hair. Her name is Liska."
Making a hissing noise, Mee'sss follows Liara up the metal stairs. The stairs open up as the two of you walk together, following the wide hall to your right. Your boots echo as you walk. The concourse walls and high doomed ceiling are decorated with colorful Amerindian mosaics and painted designs. The once large and impressive oval windows that lined the concourse are now black, since the outside window shielding (blast doors) are closed. A small floor model Kb floor cleaning robot (about the size of a small dog) sits powerless in your path, apparently disabled.
Your choices include taking an elevator, following the signs to the bar, or entering one of two dozen doors around the concourse.
"Where'sss are we'sss going? There'sss are'sss people here'sss, they'sss might see'sss us!"
What do you do?
"Thanks for the cover alert, pal. I am just gonna stay right here with you until the whole thing calms down a little."
The hum of machinery again fills the room. The lights overhead flicker a few times. Chuck and Kramer huddle together as minutes pass, then ten minutes pass. Still nothing. You see no one and hear no one. It's as if they vanished.
"Sorry Chuck, I didn't aim to wet on you, but you were really squeezing me hard like a frightened young girl. What you say we get out of this Starport and head for the hills while we are still alive?"
What do you do?
Well, for starters, does Stramagix sense hostile intentions from the cat, or is it just a general snarl?
Stramagix eyes Leghorn. "You smell of being incharge. Whatoccurs?"
"What? Ah say, well, now, I smell it too, maybe it's a Planet of the Apes kinda thing? Suuuuure I'm in charge, I'm one ba-ba-ba-bad dude. Don't fret about cyborg cat, he's our protection. Sometimes I worry who's protecting who. Howard just calls him a thtupid cat."
"Let me buy you a drink." I direct the mascot over to the bar. "Two drinks on Stramagix's tab, robot. So do you ever sleep, Strat?" My family hovers close, like chickens.
"Bartender, give us some of them special blackened leftovers."
I think it was a generic snarl, which is a little like a general snarl, only different. Text stolen from the Archives. I would have added the Roosteroid translation, but I cut it to give me more lines. Remember Jim-GM-rule, Jonn: plot first, continuity later. This post was deciphered from mutant crop circles.
I thought it was GM bribes, then plot, then mindless random violence and general mayhem, then continuity?
"Put down the hamster, says Kalvin to the metal creature, and perhaps we can talk this over."
"Yes Sir. We'll just be going back the way we came, then." Jonathan says, reaching for Warrr'a and trying to yank her out of the robot's grasp. "If you see Senator Meriweather, tell him his son dropped in."
"Please putty-tat, I don't wanna die!" I squeak. My short hamster life flashes before me as my life force ebbs from me.
That sounded cool.
"Eight... nine... ten."
No one expects what happens next. Warrr'a pleads for help to Katkin, a mutant cat of which she's grown very fond. The robot snaps Warrr'a's neck, having already mostly crushed it in it's powerful metal hand. Dropping Warrr'a's lifeless body to the floor, the robot looks for a target. "You are all criminals, and will be terminated."
What do you do?
Haha, amazonworshipper, I can see you will go far, young Jedi. I kept the Gren baby and threw continuity out with the bath water. New GM, same plotline. On with the show.
Jonn bursts out of the high-speed elevator at near-relativistic speed (for a Pure Strain Human). He finds the cargo bay door of the XJ1 unlocked, and bounds inside with reckless abandon. He finds Mycinod lying prone in the hallway outside the small brig and Darien Maxium slumped against the bars of his cell, his neck hanging at an odd angle. Jonn rushes to the bridge to find it empty. He doubles back to the medical bay and raises his hand to the access panel when it slides open to his surprise.
"Where's Xeva?" she questions, as if expecting to find Jonn standing there, huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf. It looks as if she could really use some coffee. She frowns when she sees the laser pistol in his hand.
"I---I was about... to ask you that," he manages. "M---Myc...."
"Is fine. I checked him out earlier. I slept through most of it. But I'm afraid your prisoner is dead as a doornail. Suffocated."
"Wh---what happened? Where's Geo?"
"Xeva happened, that's what. I'm sure of it now. Bitch overrode my security access, locked me in the lab, knocked out Myc with some neural drug, killed Darien and left. She suffocated him, just like I now know she did to Liska. Later, Geo entered the lab thinking me asleep, and administered some kind of antidote specifically targeted for Xervian's unique genome. She'll wake with quite a hangover. That's all I've been able to piece together. I'm still locked out of the ship's main computer; only Victoria answers me now."
Jonn stares at Xervian's body as Frieda reads off the list of his worst fears. Well, not all of them: Xervian is safe, at least. Her exhalations have that slight hiss to them, and he shivers.
Noting Jonn's stare with muted exasperation, she continues, "Oh, and T3 brought Liska back from near death. She'll need to stay in recovery for some time. The rended tissue has to heal itself. Now you want to help me? Tell me Xeva is gone."
"Haven't seen her. I think Geo will have that answer among others, and I think I know where to find the little Tin-head."
Frieda grabs his arm, then looks at her hand and releases him. "Sorry, been hanging around Jake too much, I guess. Look, Jonn, don't take this personally, but I've had enough of NARC business," she says, staring him into his baby blues. They blink, somehow with fathomless understanding, and she wonders anew at this man of many contradictions. "I'll make sure my patients are well on their way to recovery, but after that... the first train to Haven, and I'm outta here."
"You and me both," he replies cryptically, stirring in them both aftershocks of his ill-fated proposal, "but the Starport may be the safest place around at the moment. I'm going down to the Tavern to find Geo and brief the others. Stay here if you like, or take the elevators down to level 3 and follow the signs. I suspect most of us will be back up here anyway before noon."
"Right-o," she smiles briefly as the medical bay door slides shut.
Shortly after Jonn leaves the XJ1, you awake to find your charge, Darien Maxium, dead. On finding Frieda in the medical lab, you learn that Xeva has killed him and disappeared. You notice that the Lizardwoman whom Jake called Xervian is still unconscious on the operating table. You also see that Liska's cryo-tube is open, and several tubes run into her veins, but she is a healthy pink color and breathing. Frieda mentions that Jonn is briefing the others down in the Tavern (level 3) as she speaks.
You also regain your awareness shortly after Jonn leaves the ship, but not your mobility. The twisted smile of Xeva is still burned into your memory, your last vision before she took your consciousness. Frieda informs you that you took a shot from a sniper aboard the ship but that you're going to live. She mentions that Jonn and the others will be back soon. On the table in the center of the medical bay, you see your boss Kasteen, whom Jonn calls Xervian. She is sleeping.
You stealthily poke your head out from your room off the hallway as Jonn passes on his way out of the ship. He doesn't notice you. Xeva never came back after telling you to stay put in the room for a while. "That was a long while," you think.
What do you do?
Jonn enters the Tavern to find everyone else present: Geo, Lamia, Howard, the Leghorns, Jake, Kicker, Templeton, Twoducks, Ironcat and even ol' Stramagix. The tall humanoid sleeping in the corner, he does not recognize. [GM's note: that's the Reverend Jack Bunyun, non-poster extraordinaire.]
Lamia notes Jonn's entrance with a shout and the room hushes. She is comforted by Jonn's open palm and thumbs-up.
"See, I told you it was Xeva," he clucks. "Now gimme, I say, gimme back my firearm, sonny, before I have to clock ya." He winks toward Raggy and adds, "Always gotta show these PSH whippersnappers who's boss, son."
Jonn hands the Roosteroid back his laser pistol, complete with a sigh. "At ease, guys. The good news is Xeva didn't kill everyone before she left---only our Mystic Mage prisoner. Evidently, she didn't want him to sing. Myc, Frieda, Xervian, and... Liska... are all fine, if not recovering, back at the ship. Geo's T3 has worked a miracle.
"Unfortunately, all is not well outside the Starport. Timon's forces have marshalled unheralded strength and numbers to put the squeeze on NARC, now that he knows who we are and what we stand for. Xeva, whom I suspect was acting as a double agent for Timon, has disappeared, betraying Hampshire and by association, NARC. Xervian---Kasteen of Gamma One, and a top NARC operative---fled her town here for her life. I suspect the Mages, or perhaps even Xeva herself wanted to interrogate her for NARC secrets. We may never know.
"NARC's focus now is regrouping back at HQ, and I fear that's where it will all happen. I'm heading there as soon as Xervian is able, and Geo, I hope to make use of your ship---under your command of course---to do it. All of you who choose to come with us, know this: the roof now over your head is probably the safest one in the wasteland. Haven may have been a nice place to retire last month, but the coming months may change all that. It's only a matter of time before Timon and his network of spies discover where NARC's holed up, and that's when the frak will really hit the fan. We're gonna give 'im hell, though."
When Jonn is finished, he walks over to Geo at the bar, and ushers him into the security room behind the bar for a private conversation. "Hiya Gallus, long time, no see, dude!" he says to the disembodied robot head therein.
"Hello, Jonn Dukas. We meet again. Now if you'll excuse me, the protocol hub needs software maintenance."
Jonn turns to Geo. "Geo, I don't know how you did it, and I'm not going to ask, but thank you. You're one resourceful robot bartender, and though your business dealings leave something to be desired, I know I can count on you. Can you help me out here? I need to get Jake, Frieda, Xervian and me to Haven, plus whoever else wants to follow. Can you take us there in the XJ1?"
After Geo answers, Jonn returns to the Tavern and surveys the motley group of humans, humanoids, mutants, cyborgs, and Leghorns. "So who's with me?"
What do you do?
You (Liara) hear voices echoing around through the corridor, in the apparent direction of the Starport Tavern, judging from the signs. They are mostly unintelligible, save for one word that strikes a chord deep in your being:
What do you do?
CRUD.... I was really starting to like Warrr'a. =(
Jonathan stares for a moment, stunned and apalled by the brutality he's just witnessed. "Run!" he barks out, grabbing Warrra's body and trying to back away. "Get out of this corridor! Now!"
Liska looks towards Frieda. "I feel like I was hit with a sledgehammer. Where's my stuff?" Liska shakes her head and looks over at Kasteen. "How is she, Frieda? How is Kasteen?"
Liara slowly continues down the hallway, heading straight for the sounds.
Geo knows he should be feeling gloomy, but he cannot. Silicon, duralloy and the positronic matrix of a standard issue K1B-Service Robot with MP1 modifications provide him with intelligence, but no emotion. "<beep-beep> Of course Jonn, I can deliver you and whomever you want there any time you desire. The XJ1 is always ready. Of course, with all spaceships there is a chance we could crash and all of you will die most horribly in a blazing ball of fire... Ha-ha-ha. I always wanted to say <beep-beep> that."
Opening two of his robot fingers, as he emerges from the security room behind the bar, Geo gives the peace sign. "Live long and propagate in Haven!"
"I told you, I say, I say I told you that Xeva was some bad business, but did anyone listen to me? Noooooo! I'm with you Jonn. My spirit is willing but my flesh is still spongy and bruised---but like all good starship Captains, I will endure it. Plus I love riding in the XJ1. She's built like a steak house but she handles like a bistro. Like I told Geo, maybe he can interface with my ass... by biting it." I cluck laughingly.
"There's no part of that sentence I didn't like. It's a shame you had to say it."
"Words. Nothing but sweet, sweet words that turn into bitter orange wax in my ears. I don't regret saying it, but I both rue and lament it. <Buk buk buk>"
Secreted by the Comedy Bee. Not a substitute for mutant interaction. If not entertaining, write your congressman.
Rhyn gets out of the room and follows Jonn.
kill kill kill kill
Rhyn screams out, "NO!!!!" as she tries to maintain stealth whilst following Jonn. Oh well....
Howard spends the night pacing the halls of the Starport, not able to sleep worth a quack with all of his pent-up instinctual mating urges coming to a boil. He is determined not to look too rabid, but he can't help but wonder how long he can hold out before... well, he doesn't know exactly what will happen. He has never before been so far from female Duckoid company at this time of the year. At the conclusion of this thought, Howard suddenly worries how long she will wait for him. Elephant Butte is a seasonal migratory location for both of them, and for a large number of the Duckoid population in this side of the former United States of America.
Putting Leghorn's comments aside for the moment---as befits his particularly singular mutated mind of late---Howard's audial cavities pick up Geo's mention of a free ride with interest. Geo's mention of living long and propagating impacts him almost visibly: the mutated duck in heat winces at the thought. "You offerin' to be a taxthi driver, Gtheo? What'sth your fare to Elephanth Butthe?"
The look of desperation in the Duckoid's eyes is evident. If Howard was getting nervous and impatient before, he is certainly now becoming extremely desperate for a ride up north as well.
As Jonathan begins backing out of the corridor carrying Warrr'a's body, the 501-Z starts forward, intending to finish its job. It raises its arms towards Jonathan and steps towards him, then a flash of light and a wave of heat blast it from behind, and wash over Jonathan. Clearing his eyes, he sees the robot standing there, motionless. Slowly, like a riven tree, it falls forward, its back missing. Behind it you see a vaguely humanoid shape in the shadows slowly step out.
"I am Tempest, a series 11 military special ops unit. The Unit Zed was malfunctioning and a danger to my mission. You may procede."
"Hey Howard, can we geth the heckth outha here?"
Jonathan keeps backing away, trying to move Warrr'a's neck as little as possible. "Uh, thank you. We'll just be leaving, then...." he says, trying to get out of the tunnel as quickly as possible. "Pleasure to meet you. Don't be a stranger. We'll show ourselves out."
As soon as Tempest is safely out of sight, Jonathan checks Warrr'a for any signs of life. Whether he finds any or not, he drags her back to the room in which he slept for so long. "I'm going to put her in the cryogenics tube, Katkin," he says as he drags the furball. "It kept me alive for hundreds of years. If I can keep her body from deteriorating, maybe we can find someone to revive her. Do either of you know if there's still a hospital around here?"
Warrr_hamster, this is a possible means to bring your character back in later if you want. The GM told me you're too busy to be able to continue, and believe me, I know how that is. But if you get time to rejoin later, here's an out.
Domonhu, welcome to the club. Hope you have fun.
"So who's with me?"
"I'm with you Jonn."
"You offerin' to be a taxthi driver, Gtheo? What'sth your fare to Elephanth Butthe?"
"Hey Howard, can we geth the heckth outha here?"
Geo answers Jonn again, "As I am piloting the XJ1 to Haven, I am necessarily with you, Jonn. Howard, the trip to Elephant Butte is free with 10,000 frequent flier megaparsecs," he states flatly, waiting for the Duckoids' bills to clatter. With near-perfect timing, he adds, "Heh-heh. Always wanted to say that. <beep-beep> I can drop you two off there first."
Jonn nods at his longtime Duckoid friend. "Take your time people, I'll be back shortly," he says, leaving the Tavern out the hole in the wall. He returns with a lightweight field radio in his hand.
One by one, each person in the Tavern makes his or her decision known, either by speaking up, or looking down at the floor in silence. In the end, only Lamia, Geo, Captain Leghorn, Jake and Kicker agree to accompany Jonn on to Haven. Howard and Twoducks will go only as far as Elephant Butte. Penny also expresses her desire to go with her chicks, but the Captain refuses to place his family in more danger.
"OK then, let's be off. If it's urgent, Gallus---the robot head in the closet behind the bar---knows how to contact us on the secure channels." He starts for the main Tavern door but Kicker holds him back.
"Hold on a sec, Jonn..." she says, sniffing, and making her way stealthily toward the Tavern's main entrance.
Somehow, Jonn doesn't notice you (Rhyn) shout, or perhaps you have him confused for someone who gives a rad-rat's ass about psychopathic Gamma Girl ex-lackeys. (By this time, you realize that Xeva has given you the slip.) Either way, you steal away after him, somewhat more stealthily this time. On your way out the ship, you are careful not to wake the sleeping Fungoid.
After Jonn disappears behind the high-speed elevator door, you watch the display console as the numbers flash from 17/Hangar to 3/Ground Floor. You take the next elevator down to level 3 and poke your quilled head out to see Jonn just rounding the corner into a lounge area denoted simply, "The Starport Tavern."
You sneak over to one side of the entrance and listen to the conversation. The remainder of Jonn's crew is there, and he's telling them something about taking the ship into danger, and about the Starport being the safest place around. Then he asks for volunteers to accompany him, and there is a tense silence, and then a few replies, including one by that raucous Roosteroid.
Suddenly, a furry, sinewy hand whips around the doorway and grabs you by the neck!
"Eh-eh-eh, don't get testy, Quills, or I'll rip out your windpipe!" She brings you into the Tavern and shows you to Jonn. "She's been eavesdropping, Jonn."
Your empathy mutation gives you (Rhyn) mixed signals from the Leoparoid holding you by the neck. She is obviously waiting to form her own opinion of you until Jonn speaks.
"It's Rhyn, Xeva's friend," he states for the others' benefit. Then he turns to you. "Xeva's gone, Rhyn. Whatever she told you, it was probably a lie. We have to leave now, as you overheard. You are welcome to stay here in relative safety, or come with us into certain danger."
You sense Jonn is telling the truth and that he means you no harm. Another person in his shoes may have killed you instantly for being associated with Xeva.
What do you do?
"Hmm... does this danger involve money?"
toss a stick of tnt into the place and kill them all hehehe
"Well I'll tag along. I've nothing better to do." Rhyn looks around nervously, then at Captain Leghorn. "What are you, chicken?"
You (Liara) and Mee'sss follow the sounds of conversation down the long corridor on level 3 of the Starport. Bright and overdone fluourescent signs along the way point to a lounge of sorts ahead.
"Sssoundsss like the bar'sss ssstill open'sss. I sssure could go'sss for a Pangalactic---" A sudden squishing noise behind you startles Mee'sss in mid-sentence.
As you (Liara) whip around, you see standing in the middle of the corridor ten yards behind you a Fungoid waving his tentacles innocently.
"Don't shoot! I'm a good guy! Name's Mycinod Ascomoid. Say, you look lost... and familiar.... Anyway, I'm on my way to the Tavern. Want to join me?"
The corridor is empty save for you, Mee'sss and Mycinod.
What do you do?
"I'm Liara Ironclaw and I'm not here to kill anyone unless I have to. That is Mee'sss," she says, pointing at the lizard. "I'm looking for my sister Liska. We were to meet here a week ago. Do you know about her?"
"I feel like I was hit with a sledgehammer. Where's my stuff? How is she, Frieda? How is Kasteen?"
"Your stuff is in the cargo hold, Liska. But don't worry about it---you're not going to need it for a few weeks. I'm ordering T3," she gestures toward the spindly robot who bows toward you in grandiose flourish, "to keep you on bed rest for the next month, or else you might fall apart again. He worked a minor miracle to save you. Geo's crew is coming up here shortly to take you down to the Starport's medical ward."
A breathy synthetic German voice sounds from the main medical computer. "Pardon the intrusion, Frieda, but your other patient stirs."
As if on cue, Xervian, a.k.a. Kasteen, bolts upright on the table. "What the---where am I? Who are you?" she demands of Frieda, but then she recognizes a familiar face. "Hey, Liska! Got my microchips? Whoa, dizzy spell---hold that thought."
Frieda lowers Xervian back down. "I'm Frieda Abel. Take it easy, you have a concussion."
"It was Hamp's Gamma Girl---she wasn't supposed to deck me! And she killed my bodyguards!"
You draw the connection to Xeva instantly. "Really? She tried to kill me too! Told me some nonsense about me competing for Dukas right before she suffocated me! And that was right after somebody shot me! But I did get your microchips." You hand Xervian the small box of microchips, still intact, from its hiding place in your flak vest, or what is left of it.
"Sounds like you've seen better days, sister. Thanks. And here's your payment in full, plus some." She hands you a small purse with 100 domars inside. "But Dukas---Jonnie boy? You still hanging around that relic?" There's a hint of hesitation in her voice. "How is he?" she asks. "And what happened to that Gamma bitch, anyway?"
Frieda interrupts, "Jonn's fine and on his way up here shortly. Xeva brought you here, Xervian, saying that the Mystic Mages had left you for dead. Your explanation sounds more likely, however. She's gone now."
Liska and Xervian share a puzzled look as heavy footsteps are heard in the hallway outside the medical bay's closed door.
"If that's Jonn, then he's put on a lot of weight since I saw him last. Must be some good Gren cookin'...."
T3 folds his thin duralloy arms. "Ahem. You can thank me now or later, Liska Ironclaw. Regardless, you and I will be seeing a lot of each other in the next month during your recovery. You will find my bedside manner most enjoyable! Do you like the classics? I can recite over 50,000 Great Books from memory, some in the authors' original voices! The song of the Ancients shall not be lost!"
Frieda looks at T3 and shakes her head, then speaks something in German to Victoria, to which the medical computer responds in kind. "Oh, most definitely," Frieda replies back, lapsing into English, and looking sideways at the T3 unit, "Jake will surely thank me."
What do you do?
"Thanks T3." She looks over towards Kasteen, saying, "I just hope Xeva got blasted, and I have seen better days, heh-heh." Liska looks back over towards T3 to reply, "I hope you have Remarque's classic, All Quiet on the Western Front. I used to have a copy."
This page updated: Mon Jan 09 14:22:19 2006
All text Copyright ©1999-2006 PBPArchives.