A Gamma World® play-by-post adventure run by gammaworld_gm
Need to drop a few games. Do what you want with my character.
Farewell friend! Feel free to rejoin at any time as Jonathan, or as a new character. It was a privilege to GM for you, as it continues to be for the rest of you! I hope you can continue to read the adventure at least, to see how Jonathan fares.
As Tempest recharges, sitting down against the wall near the only door of the 10' by 10' storage closet, you wonder at your surroundings, and explore. The room is littered with shattered glass containers and fallen shelving, all due to Tempest's forceful entry through the silo wall opposite the closet door.
Jonathan finds no computers or other machinery in the closet, though several pipes coming from the silo line the ceiling where Tempest cut through the wall. Likewise, there are no file cabinets or desks in this closet. He only finds shelves storing cardboard boxes of glass containers, from test-tube size to large beaker size, with rubber stoppers and graded measurements inscribed in units he recognizes. "Ha! Liters." Most of the vials are shattered.
As Jonathan rifles through the broken shelves and their ruined contents, you look with wonder at this "Tempest," keeping a safe distance from its faintly shimmering metal skin. What a strange sight is this man made of metal... and yet, is it really a man? Could it be one of the Ancients? Could this be their long-lost city? You also peer at the handsome blue-eyed youth to your left. What was it he said up there on the catwalk?
"I don't even know why I'm still here, as much as this place seems to have been occupied during my sleep."
What did he mean? And how long was he asleep? You make a mental note to ask him later. "What's a 'liter'?" Your response is Jonathan's wistful smile.
Meanwhile, wary of the warning spoken by the enigmatic "special ops unit," as Tempest introduced itself to you back in that fateful tunnel, you exit the closet stealthily into the darkened corridor beyond, with Katkin right behind you. You all but shut the door behind you, not wanting to announce your presence with too much light; it is enough light however, for you to discern that the corridor walls are covered with strange geometrical etchings, many of them running parallel to the corridor. They glint in the dim light as if they were made of gold.
The air is stale, cold, antiseptic and lifeless. You sense nothing unusual on your Emotograph™. Clinking sounds echo from overhead, mechanical in nature, as if caused by heat expansion of the piping, but you cannot be sure. Other metallic sounds echo sporadically from the left end of the corridor, but they defy categorization. The corridor extends beyond visual range to the left, and two more doors similar to the closet's are visible ten and twenty feet away on the left wall. The right end of the corridor runs ten feet before ending at a larger door. A flat panel of some kind shines faintly to the right of this metal door.
"Access panel, I presume," you purr with a gravelled voice. Before Leela can take another step, you hurry her back inside the storage closet and close the door quietly.
"Nothing of interest in here," he states at Katkin and Leela's return. "But this closet is, er, was stocked with containers for chemistry experiments. This place might just house some kind of lab, like Tempest hoped. What's it like in the corridor?"
"It's dark. There's a sealed door. I recommend not proceeding without... our 'guide,'" you say with some difficulty, distrust of Tempest creeping into your words. "The technology in here is quite possibly far beyond what any of us, save it, have seen. Plus, it indicated there may be more Unit Zeds about," you pause, turning to Marg. "One of those bastards killed our comrade Warrr'a."
"Perhaps now is a good time for us ourselves to rest. I'll take first watch... if there are no objections?"
You all look at each other, searching for alternatives, then at Tempest for answers. There are so many questions. But the metallic enigma is frozen in its body-conforming cocoon of energy. And it has given no indication of when it will be finished recharging.
Consensus comes in the absence of feasible alternatives. You clear a section of the floor from debris, and settle down. Jonathan and Katkin crack open MERCs (Mobility Enhancing Ration Components) salvaged from the silo. Jonathan sniffs his, turns up his nose and offers it to Marg with a muffled warning about shelf-life. It is nourishing nonetheless. One by one, you drift off to sleep, with Leela standing watch.
Some time later, you awake, cursing silently. You wonder what time it is. Everyone is still present and sleeping soundly, thankfully. But something has changed. There seems to be a low hum that you can vaguely feel through the soles of your boots. On a hunch, you deactivate the light switch above Tempest and to the left of the closet door. The closet is dark again, save for Tempest's otherwordly aura and the dimly reflected silo light coming in through the hole atop the opposite wall. You look down at your boots and notice that the toes are aglow! A moment's later, you realize that the hallway outside is now lit, and the light is shining through the gap at the bottom of the closet door onto your boots.
You listen for sounds and strain your empathy sense for evidence of other souls, but with no positive result. Seeing no reason to wake your companions just yet, you unholster your laser pistol and crack open the door. With hinges on your right, the door opens into the closet, allowing you to see the right end of the corridor without sticking your head out. Nothing.
You open the door wider and stick your eyes slowly out to peer down the left end of the corridor. What happens next occurs so blindingly fast that you barely notice the Unit Zed's targeting laser bouncing off your reflective skin onto the near corridor wall an arms' length in front of your forehead. The flicker of beamed radiation that strikes the wall---exactly where the targeting laser was illuminating it---leaves a deep and smoking groove in its odd designs. You jerk yourself back into the closet and slam the door shut. The flash of the near miss still overpowers your retinas, but in your temporary blindness, you hear Jonathan's calm voice and feel his steady grip on your shoulders.
"You're OK. What was it? Where?"
"Far---thirty meters I think. Unit Zed," you stutter, still stunned that you live. Your sight is slowly returning.
Marg and Katkin, you wake with a start at the sound of the door slamming shut, and you draw your weapons.
At the sight of Marg's M-16, which even in the dim light is clearly none other than Warrr'a's discarded weapon, you smirk. "I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you that your rifle may be jammed," you offer.
Doubtful, you look first at the gruff one-eyed Felinoid, then at the M-16 which you recovered at the entrance to the hole above ground, and then at your other weapon: your trusty hunting rifle.
Tempest's midnight black metal skin still emits a wan blue radiance; it shows no signs of movement or of having moved since you last saw it. You hear no obvious sounds coming from the corridor.
What do you do?
Methinks we should change the title of G6 as you are no longer in the missile silo, per se. How about "To Raise a Rat"? Hmm, or "Zed Meat"? Heheh, er, ahem. Well, talk amongst yourselves....
And say, gamma_narrator, did we ever get the answers to your trivia quiz? I noticed that #3, #4 and #8 are not found in the NARChives, so they must be in the supplementary NARC Files, and therefore not necessarily known by the PCs.
Next up: G4! (uh, soon)
Hey jake_omega! You're back! I see you've been logging into the club.... Any chance you'll be reprising Jake Omega? Just putting a little traffic on the board....
OK, you talked me into it (plus Kicker offered to show my 'nads how she got her name if I didn't ;) ). Hmmm, I've got no idea what's going on, so how to start... how to start... ?
For your consideration here on the Gamma Zone (cue in cheesy theme music), we present the portrait of a failure, also known as Jake Omega. Unable to protect his wife and family in the distant past, he's a failure as a husband. Unable to protect his robot son, he's a failure as a father. Unable to be the Bogart to Frieda Abel's Bacall, he's a failure as a man.
Wallowing in self pity and remorse, suffering from 'future shock,' he has wrapped himself around a succession of pan-galactic gargle blasters (hold the little paper umbrella, if you please).
Jake awakens from his current binge with no memory of his activities for the past few hours. It is pitch dark.
"Urrrgh, where the frak am I? Why is it so dark in here? Oh, wait a minute, my eyes are closed." Using his fingers to pry open gummed shut eyelids, he sees....
Blinking rapidly and trying to reduce the afterimage of the laser, she says, "Jonathan, that metal beast seems to listen to you more than anyone else; maybe you should try to rouse it. If we have more company, we'll need its help."
Mycinod eats from a can of tasty nutrients. "Photosynthesis is highly overrated, I say."
"Well, that's just lovely," she angrily mumbles. "Damn your feeble animal/mineral/vegetable brain."
we're doomed we're doomed
Leghorn hums and haws, and starts to make little clucking noises in desperation. "'F' is for foyer eh? Oh I say, I uh, do like the sound of that: 'Ffffff'."
He continues with a cockney accent, "How about you Rhyn?"
"Is it possible all your misbehavior could be any more miserable?" she asks, distrustful.
death served quickly and most fowl
"Why, I say, it is verily possible, Quills. I, I uh, once was a little drunk and read a bar napkin that said, 'Infatuation is based on physical attraction. Talk to any woman and you'll instantly realize the problem. They won't never shut up.'" He clucks with laughter.
"Right Jonn, we'll be back" I say, making my voice sound deeper. I tap the screen with one metal finger. "We go straight down the hall, into the area listed as 'D' and straight through into area 'R'. There is a high probability that my serial number will get us through this door too. I'll lead, you follow, as always, Leghorn."
Standing, I look at Leghorn. "Blast it, Leghorn! You're too close. Move your body!"
"You got a problem with me, go tell your Mama!"
I counter with sparkling repartee, "Oh, don't worry: she'll hear about this." Going around Leghorn and over to the foyer door, I start to enter my serial number. If the door opens, we continue ahead as mentioned descriptively above. I solve the general quadratic equation, ax2 + bx + c = 0, just to keep busy internally.
"I'm no urinal cake, Tin-head," he calls after Geo, following him, "so I won't bore you with the details, but I'm not liking the looks of things. I know how this works: first you rub a palmful medicated salve into my scalp, then it's open flames and pregnant women."
"Yeah, ditto," I yawn, punching in my numbers.
"Nam Myoho Renge Kyo." Roughly translated, it means, "We all must answer to the laws of cause and effect which govern all the sounds (activities) in the universe."
The Roosteroid's dream sequence takes Captain Leghorn off into his own perverted world. He struts forward like a peacock to greet her, his tail feathers swaying to and fro and then fro and to, then all of a sudden he has a vision of Rhyn, naked, her private parts strategically covered by quills, standing in a giant open hatchback of some foreign-made car. Sweet violin music swells in the background. Miniature naked Jonn and Lamia cupids fly by.
"Leghorn, what's the matter?" asks cupid Lamia.
"Ain't you ever seen a naked chick riding a Mazda before?" jeers cupid Jonn, who then bumps heads with Lamia in mid flight. "Ouch, we gotta go!"
Rhyn cries out, noticing she is naked, grabs the hatchback door and slams it shut. Her second brain demands: what the hell was that.
Captain Leghorn snaps back to reality (at least his version of it). He still stands behind Geo, waiting for him to open the door.
"No goosebumps, no hallucinations; that last time was just a fluke," he sighs with relief. "I probably shouldn't have eaten that packet of powdered cornmeal I found in the building above." Geo seemingly ignores him.
"Colonel Klink, why have you forsaken me?" the Roosteroid thinks, twisting the cigar in the corner of his beak like a pimp squeezing in a tight orange suit.
A chorus line of weasels appears and the wee mutant weasels chant, "Captain Leghorn loves Rhyn! Captain Leghorn loves Rhyn!"
Cupid Jonn appears, rubbing his head, and says conspiratorially, "Hey Captain, you're hallucinating again." Cupid Lamia adds, "Not a good sign."
"Sooooo...what do you think of Rhyn?"
"O-yeah... that Rhyn seems real nice, except for the part where she wants to kill me."
"That's a normal reaction to you."
"Yeah. I'm attracted to another woman! What am I going to do? Come onnnn, quit stalling!"
"Hit her over the head with something heavy."
"Now wait, I say, now wait a darn minute there. I can see I'm gonna love working with you. How, I say, how is that going to help me?"
"Maybe bring her back to reality, something you're lacking, Sir Isaac Newton!"
"Yeah... good idea! Sir Isa---who? No worry, there's always alcohol and anger. Those always work in a pinch with women." I practice wolf-whistling, making a cat noise, imitating a bed squeaking, purring, panting, barking, howling, and clicking my beak. "Hubba hubba!"
Sarcastic clapping is required at the end of this post. Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" plays in the background.
Looking closely at the weapon, I try to fix the problem. If not able to, then I discard it and pull the hunting rifle out and wait for the others to decide our next move.
"You might actually need some courage where we are going, McChicken."
"Oh blithery poop, my metal toaster. You don't need courage where we're going. After all, who needs courage when you have a gun?"
"We could meet some kind of alien/human hybrid."
"Are you coming on to me?"
"Hot crackers, I take exception to that."
"I'm not hearing a 'no'."
"If that were to happen, we would tear the universe a new space hole." He wonders why it's taking so long for the numbers entered to open the door.
This episode performed entirely by sock puppets.
I, Meatbag written by David X.
Raiders of the Lost Archive written by David Y.
Wizzin' written by Jim Z.
Ormahzd and the group sleep little that night. The plans are all set. Now they just have to hope it all works out without the loss of any of them. Ormahzd can't help thinking what might happen to his friends because of his ultimate revenge plot, but still, they are all going along eagerly with it. Such true friends are hard to find in this ragged land.
The scene fades from black to reveal a smoke-filled room, location unspecified. Two Pure Strain Humans sit at a small table illuminated from above by a single bulb dangling from a fraying wire.
The taller human exhales slowly. "Ring 'im, Nardies," he says, squinting his eyes expectantly at the Mystic Mages' second in command. "And keep him on long enough for the triangulation."
Gravin Nardies brushes back his immaculately groomed locks, and peers underneath his shades at the field radio in his hands. He checks the connections on the intricate device beside it and turns on the luminous oscilloscope, on which starts dancing a complex Lissajous figure. Then he dials four codes into the radio: Delta, Upsilon, Kappa, Epsilon....
Meanwhile, in the underground gladiatorial training complex, your strategic plotting session has ended. Having promised to explain more in the morning, you and Shadow stage a truly impressive shouting match to stoke rumors of your troubled love-life (which help distract the gladiators from thinking too much about your suspicious treatment of the three new runners). Shadow bursts out of your office in feigned rage, and you follow suit a while later, locking the door behind you, and cursing colorfully all the way out of the gym.
The Grand Tourney begins at 8pm tonight, nearly eighteen hours away. You nearly scuttled your plans when you heard it was moved up, but Howard's arrival changed all that. You don't know why, and you don't care, but the rumor is that Timon is itching to take his pride-and-joy army of mechanized walkers on a joyride soon. The bastard didn't want to miss the big event on account of it, so he ordered Hampshire to throw his annual bash two days early, much to the lard-ass's dismay, you presume with a smile.
Soon, all your months of planning will be realized; the heady rush of vengeance is virtually palpable. As you bound through the tunnels that writhe and snake below Datil on your way to rendezvous with Shadow, you...
...can't help thinking what might happen to [your] friends because of [your] ultimate revenge plot, but still, they are all going along eagerly with it. Such true friends are hard to find in this ragged land.
Meanwhile, back in Ormahzd's small office off the main underground gym, you scoff at the cushion the bronzed Humanoid offered you. No Duckokee warrior would be caught dead resting on a pillow. You quickly fall asleep on the bare floor in the corner, and soon are paralyzed by a deeply disturbing dream in which the Eagle who killed Wombatsrunning returns in the night, pecks the liver out of your body and steals the silver hatchet right out from underneath you, where you always keep it during slumber.
You wake up, sweating as only a Duckoid can, to the harsh reality that you have indeed lost your father's hatchet, perhaps forever: your kidnappers and interrogators left you nothing but your clothes and armor. Even if there were no annoying rustling coming from Ormahzd's private quarters, where Howard and Irma have made their love nest, your pent-up anger would still rob you of sleep this night.
Morning arrives not on the shoulders of stellar photons, but with the clanging and clinking of hapless gladiators training awkwardly in the expansive underground gym outside Ormahzd's office. It is 9am and Emperior Timon's top runner makes his presence known with his usual booming insults (unrepeatable here), which shake the walls of his office as he enters.
"Those pussy willows aren't going to last thirty minutes against Timon's mutants," you mutter, slamming the door. "Ah, mornin' Twoducks. I hope you're well-rested, cuz you may have a long match tonight." You lob a short hooked polearm and a folded, weighted net at him, and note the Duckoid's doubtful expression. "Standard fare, my friend. They won't let you in with anything more. You Enforcers are used to winging it, though, aren't you?" Your humor falls flat, kind of like water off a Duckoid's back.
"Don't worry. I've really got this all planned out. You've just got to last long enough for Shadow to get Irma in place for a diversion. So don't kill the S.O.B's all at once, K? Play with 'em a little."
"Who exthacthly am I upth againsth?" you repeat your question from last night.
"Oh, they're all slaves, just like you would've ended up---no telling what Hamp's got this time, but most are laughable. Just keep 'em busy until I signal you from the arena gates, and then you can cut loose. When you're done mopping up, that's when I'll spell ya and face Hamp's champion, and in the commotion of that fight," you mash your fist into your other palm, "Shadow will make her move. God, I hope it hurts...."
The door to Ormahzd's quarters opens with a soft click to reveal Howard and Irma waddling out and looking a bit disheveled.
You wink at your buddy. "Whoa, it's taking some getting used to seeing you without your arsenal, Howie," you laugh. "You scoundrels get some breakfast and then we'll head out. Here, take a spear and a net. You'll look official. And wipe that grin off your bills, Howie. You're slaves, remember?" You smile in turn, but you're all business when you shove the three Duckoids out of your office.
The three of you eat a tasteless bowl of clumpy oatmeal (preferred by 7 out of 10 Datil gladiators) at a long table amid the stares and snickers of the other slaves. They are all varieties of mutants, and some look like they've seen better days, but for the most part, Timon's gladiators are hardy stock---not what one would expect, having just heard Ormahzd heaping verbal abuse on them. Some of them stare a little too long at Irma, and you move to block their line of sight.
One mutant in particular unnerves you with her beady cone-shaped eyes, one of which always seems to track you independent of her head movement. The Chameleoid is a spiny beast with a whip-like coiled tail, sharp claws and a powerful jaw. She sits no taller than you, on her haunches, stooped over her empty bowl and silently observing you until you rise from the table.
She then follows you to the door of Ormahzd's office, grabs you by the wing just like Jake used to grab Frieda's arm, pulls you close, and hisses softly into the side of your head, "You musssth help me esssthcape, Nuker Howard," the creature rasps, her small eyes flitting about nervously. Irma purses her bills with disapproval. "My babies..." she pleads, but before she can finish, Ormahzd exits his office, and the Chameleoid flinches, releases your wing, and slinks away to a far corner by some padded training spears. You are certain she continues to watch you as Ormahzd corrals you out of the gym.
"Move it ducks; I gotta show you the pit," you bellow for all to hear as you motion Howard, Twoducks and Irma to drop their polearms and nets in a pile on the floor. You slap manacles on their wrists, but once you are out of sight in the tunnels, you loosen them, and warn them to keep them on, since you have to pass several checkpoints to get to the arena. "And Howie, I need you to wear this blanket. Shadow tells me your indigo feathers are rather infamous around here, and I don't want to attract attention."
Every so often along the way, you pass guards who allow you allow you to escort your "new recruits" on through, until eventually you arrive directly in the holding pens for the visiting gladiator corps at Hampshire's arena. You never once stepped above ground the whole way here.
Under the watchful eyes of Hampshire's security robots and mutant guards, Ormahzd leads you out into the giant enclosed space: the pit. The arena takes up the bottom three floors (opened up) of the downtown Datil UPS building, and is two hundred feet on a side. The dirt floor is speckled with various colored barrels three times Duckoid height.
"They're lasther-proof," you whisper ominously from the cover of your hood, causing Twoducks to raise a brow as only a Duckoid can. You once again take in the scene of your countless humiliations, and sigh.
Three tiers of balconies line the room to hold thousands of spectators. Tier one has four laser batteries which jut out, one on each side of the square room, and to be operated by two of Hampshire's sharpshooters and two of Timon's. They point down into the arena from fifteen or so feet up on swivel platforms. You cannot get too close to the armored, sealed batteries without drawing attention, so Ormahzd nods at the battery Howard will take over, and at the directly opposite Royal Viewing Box far afield and up on the third tier.
"With Howard manning a battery, that will leave only one gun firing at you, Twoducks," you mutter discreetly. "You may have to do some tinkering to get it to aim that high, Howie."
Tier three's Royal Box is a small armored shell, open-faced toward the arena and centered on the wall. The rest of the top tier holds spectator benches like the bottom two tiers.
You shiver at memories that continue to flood your mind. Your time spent imprisoned here by Hampshire is not easily forgotten. The echoing crackle of static from a guard's handheld radio gives you another shiver: you suddenly remember that Jonn's own NARC unit was in your pack, and now Timon's presumably got it. You hope against hope that your interrogators didn't extract Jonn's code frequency from your head....
Even though Howard's head is hooded, you and Irma note that he is blanching lavender. With an inexplicable wash of dread, you whirl around and peer toward the opposing gladiator holding pens. A familiar movement catches your eye, stops, then turns and disappears. Though you can't exactly place it, your heart starts to gallop. Then as soon as it has started, it is gone.
Back at the underground gymnasium, Timon's gladiators are lounging around listless and already looking defeated. What else is a slave to do in the face of such dismal odds for winning his freedom? It will soon be noon, which leaves you 6 hours before Irma and Howard need to be in place. What do you do?
"So what's up, Liz?" It's later that afternoon, and your buff, steely-eyed, shock-redheaded, fully tattooed friend has asked to meet you during break in the Gamma Girl lounge next to Hampshire's offices on the tenth floor of the Datil UPS building. The leader of Hampshire's elite bodyguard unit seems atypically unsettled as she paces the floor.
"Pig tells me I'm to be Champion," she mutters, her forehead furrowed, her head shaking, her pigtails flailing. "He's never asked one of us to fight before. That new runner must have Hamp scared he's gonna lose the trophy again."
You bite your lip. Oh no! Not Liz! How will you break this to Ormahzd?
"Well, all in a day's work, eh, Blaise?" she shrugs. "I finally get to bust some heads around here, and so what if it's that cocky S.O.B. golden boy. Ol' lardbutt must be getting desperate, what with the Mages and Timon breathing down his bacon like vultures waiting for him to drop. I think he sees the writing on the wall," she pauses, her voice trailing off.
"So, um, I need you to do a favor for me, just, um, in case," she says, suddenly vulnerable. "Give this to Frieda if she ever shows up again." Frieda Abel had left Hampshire's employ the day that wimpy Pure Strain Dukas showed up. She would never forgive him for taking Frieda away.
Liz's tight-fitting leather duds creak as if with age when she reaches toward you with a small sealed envelope in her hand. When you accept it, she turns on a stiletto heel and walks out the door, click, click, click, leaving you speechless.
It's now 2pm in the afternoon. You didn't plan on meeting Ormahzd before the contest that starts at 8pm, but now you feel you absolutely must tell him about Liz. But what to say.... What do you do?
Slyhawk wanders the country side, moving cautiously to avoid ambushes and dangerous flora/fauna. He's on the hunt. "Hope I can snag some good meat this time. I'm getting a little sick of mutant chickens."
"What the heck is that?" Slyhawk shields his eyes from the blistering sun. He thinks he sees something humanoid on the horizon....
Jak notices movment ahead on the road and sees a humanoid form looking in his direction. Sensing no sign of hostility (using his empathy mutation) he continues forward, gun within easy reach just in case.
[Another day, another two players:
"Ho there, stranger. I mean you no harm, just out hunting. Who, and what might you be?"
Slyhawk appears as a tall, slender, yet muscled young man, superficially human-seeming, yet anyone with the relevant mental mutations would know that he has no mutations of his own. He carries little in the way of gear, save for a long, rather well-built (handcrafted) bow with a side-quarrel of hand-fletched arrows, and a new-looking survival/hunting knife. He wears odd bits of animal skins and furs and little else, making his tribal tattoos and scarring rather obvious. He looks a little "rough around the edges" but he greets you with a grin.
This page updated: Mon Jan 09 14:22:20 2006
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