A Gamma World® play-by-post adventure run by gammaworld_gm
Looking to Tempest I say, "Do you think I can get close enough to this group to get a reading of their intentions? Marg and Jonathan could provide back-up if needed." I look to the aforementioned companions for support. "Although I'm sure we could do this quietly enough as to avoid detection. This would allow you to access more neccessary data for this formula we're looking for. And if they turn out to be like-minded we could definitely use the help... and if not, I suggest we set up an ambush and eliminate a potential threat."
I look to Leela and say, "Count me in! You're right, we could definitely use any assistance, and if they turn out to be bad guys at least they look more our speed than those metal menaces we can barely scratch with our best weapons."
"Well at least they're not machines. Perhaps they are friendly. I suggest we investigate. I believe I can get close enough to them without being noticed and possibly get a reading on their emotions, and perhaps Tempest, you can dig up more information on this facility, as well as any info on this legend concerning Jonathan."
Bravo to the GM for accurate roleplying of Ryhn being well... vicious. Again, bravo.
Rhyn looks at Leghorn. "You frell anything up and I splatter you across the countryside quicker then you can scream for mercy... 'K?"
She begins looking around the empty bays and keeps her eyes open for more hostile prototypes or anything that in her opinion needs a good killing.
Meanwhile, her other brain is making small inroads in restoring control:
let me try to help reason the whole situation out
"Shut up!!!" she barks at her other brain and shakes her head.
Her eyes flicker as her saner mind momentarily regains control. "Right, look, Rooster-boy, I mean Leghorn... whatever. Just keep a distance of like 2.5 meters or more and we both stay happy. Let me look around these empty bays or whatever they---"
Rhyn has a slight smile on her face and a look of calm confidence.
The behavior of the real world is governed by "chaotic attractors," and these can never be confined to restricted cases or by artificial conditions. Despite this ambient maelstrom, my thoughts are calculated with quiet efficiency within my positronic brain laced with platinum-iridium alloy neurons. My thoughts are independent. Precision-engineered. Sensible. Rational.
The serial number on the back of my neck is a reminder that the proverbial clock is ticking, 18 hours and counting to the madness of a Shadow Years repeat. Before last night, I may never have realized how closely Silverman linked my serial number to the destiny of this place. Many unexpected things have happened, are happening, and may yet happen.
Crawling out from underneath the hidden recess beneath the desk, I stand looking around, considering all the risks for inaction.
I am not half as dumb as Leghorn, nor a third as crazy as Rhyn. I am left with little choice. I must gather what squirreled away information I can find within Ancalagon, gather the others, or anyone else I might encounter and flee this place ASAP before being vaporized. It all seems simple enough.
"You frell anything up and I splatter you across the countryside quicker than you can scream for mercy... 'K?"
The words of Rhyn seem to carry like the shrill sound of a wounded porcupine. Navigating through the destruction and an office separator or two, I make my way to them.
"Please don't let me interrupt your 'splattering' the Colonel," I add, "interrupt" being the operative word.
"Why you, I say umm... that's Captain to you tin-can," he says, frowning angrily, then scratching an itch with his beak. "What happened ol' boy, you run out of hiding spots?" Leghorn asks, his anger cooling considerably.
"I wasn't hiding, I was downloading. It seems the Zed units have momentarily taken their leave, but they could return at any time," he says, and both Rhyn and Leghorn are surprised. "Let's go find the others," he urges.
"I really need a drink about now. Cham-paggin would be good for the nerves."
"I didn't realize you were such a coin-asseur."
"Well, I have studied abroad... or two!" he says, laughing.
death by weapon failure
death by brain parasite
death by sonic diarrhea
[For once, Rhyn's two brains seem to have found common ground, or perhaps the "good" brain is trying a new tactic? --ed.]
I look at Geo. "That girl, I say that girl is slower than molasses running uphill in the winter time. It's just like the story of the mutant grasshopper and the Roosteroid. All year long, the mutant grasshopper kept burying acorns for the winter, while the Roosteroid mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. But then the winter came, and the mutant grasshopper died, and the Leghorn, uhh, Roosteroid I mean, ate all his acorns. And also he got a racecar. Is any of this getting through to you?"
"My God! I'm overcome with feelings. I'm experiencing a powerful yearning to... to cram my gullet full of corn kernels. Ryhn, I don't know where else to turn. You're the only woman who's ever loved me."
"Ack! I never loved you."
a quick shot to the brain can end this where is his brain
"I mean physically you want me."
"I mostly just want you dead. What do you want?"
"I want you to let me help you. Perhaps I could paint a fence, or service you sexually, or mop the floor?
"You don't know how to do any of those things."
"I could learn."
"You may be a formidable do-er of the nasty, but If you don't shut up, I will shoot you in the head. And you will have more holes there than you already have."
"How do I look?" I rub my comb in a shexy way.
"Like whale barf."
"Then the illusion is complete! Lead us out of here, our little Geo Metro."
Geo wonders if people are really stupid, or if everyone is just running DOS.
Outside the Head Museum: Next Lice Check: 4pm.
Obviously, whoever is out there is either invisible, or has some form of telekinetics. Whichever the case may be, he is not anyone that I care to face in a fair fight, especially in my <ahem> delicate condition <BRAAAAAP>. Anyway, as quietly as possible, I'll head to the non-junked grav-car, picking up some small heavy object along the way (perhaps something from the body of one of the NARC soldiers). I will use my telekinetic arm to open the door to the grav-car, then turn it on, switch on the headlights, jam the heavy object so that the accelerator is down, point the car in the direction of the cutting laser, throw it into gear, and let it go. Then I will take cover behind the TTV and wait to see what transpires.
Kicker indulges in an exasperated sigh, then turns to Killaria. "I've got to try to save Jake. Yeah, he's one of the good guys. A royal pain in the butt, but one of the good guys nevertheless." Her face becomes grim. "Here." She hands the detonator to her slighty bewildered companion. "You'd better take this. I'm going to get Jake, and bring him over here. It's best you keep under cover, and in reserve, since we don't know who's behind those lights, or if Jake's alone down here. Hopefully, you can teleport the three of us out. If two's your limit, you take him. I'm the fastest one of us here: I'll have the best chance of making it. And keep your eyes peeled! If necessary, you will blow that tunnel and escape by yourself." She glares at Killaria as if daring her to argue. "There's too much at stake to be sentimental."
Quickly, before Killaria can point out her inconsistencies, the unsentimental Leoparoid glides off to rescue her friend, using all of her feline stealth and speed.
Ryhn just looks at Leghorn. "Jesus, you are full of yourself, by the way. Ever come on to me again, corn-for-brains, and I'll leave you scattered over the tri-county area---whatever that means."
obey the mandess inside kill him enslave the world what what is wrong with that
She shakes her head and runs her hands through her head quills (in a safe manner, since she knows how to not rip her hands up while doing that). Rhyn grins in an almost civil manner. "But point of violence and destruction aside, what needs to be taken care of next? And another comment that I don't like, Leghorn, and I will put you into a meat grinder, 'K?"
Ryhn's grin once again becomes eerie, vicious. "Just remember the meat-grinder bird-boy." She takes a minute to check her state of the art bang-bang, and has a look of menace on her face.
Again, she grins in an almost spine-chilling brain-freezing manner. "Now on with the chaos, the violence and the conquest. Any questions?" she laughs out loud and looks at the others and just grins. "Right, sorry, back to what we were doing... heh."
Stunned by the abruptness of the Leoparoid's departure, she looks at the detonator in her hand and back at her quickly receding partner. "I hope you're succesful. I would hate to end this relationship with your life," she sighs.
Christ guys, it's been almost a month since anyone in G1 has posted. What the hell is wrong? Sorry, I had to get that out of my system, but really, people. I hope we can get some gaming done sometime soon....
Ha, Rhyn, don't get your spines in a wad, girl!
Word on da street is GM's workin on G2/G5. In the meantime, he said that for being such a faithful Porcupinoid, G1 has free passage back to the reception area and you should feel free to role-play the reunion with Myc, Lamia and me.
Remember, we're sitting here twiddlin' our thumbs (or whatever passes for thumbs on Myc) until you open the reception area door (it doesn't require a code from that side).
Ryhn looks around at the others. "Hmm... brain fried, I think." She begins to make her way to the reception area and then simply opens up the door. She watches the door open and then she looks around to see who is in there. "Heeeeere's Ryhn!" she smiles at them. "Sooo, happy to see me?"
"Happy holidays, people in this grand old gaming group!"
and may you all feel the sorching pain of a flamethrower
"That was rude. Stop it."
Happy New Year everybody! Another year, another GM post! Thanks for keeping up with the blistering pace here (and not flaming me, rhyn_gw!). <Sigh> A note on the following post.... Over the past month, I actually worked out several separate scenarios based on how the dice might fall, just to see if all outcomes could consistently be woven into the plot. Then I let the dice fall. This experimental process took far too long, and the outcome was far from what I initially envisioned, but this post tackles a plot linchpin that for fairness' sake could not be left up to GM whim. I hope you enjoy it.
Sent from Haven to blow up the San Matoe Tunnel to hinder the forthcoming march of Datil Emperor Timon's formidable invasion forces, Kicker and Killaria get detonator signal confirmation at the tunnel's lip just before Kicker sees Jake inside. Gambling that she can extract him in time, Kicker bounds after Jake, leaving the detonator---and the critical decision to activate it---in Killaria's hands.
Oblivious to his imminent peril, Jake Omega, one of NARC's newest recruits, has discovered a squad of slaughtered NARC soldiers in the Starport garage adjacent to the tunnel, and suspects the nearby invisible wielders of a laser-pulse cutting torch, who are busy cutting into the far wall of the tunnel. In a flash of (alcohol-induced?) inspiration, he decides to send them a special greeting courtesy of NARC.
Meanwhile, the Starport Tavern's fill-in robotic bartender KJ-130 has sent the two newcomers Jak and Slyhawk to rescue Jake, whom it believes is in mortal danger, and whom the NARC soldiers entrusted to its care.
A plan truly ingenious (in your mind) crystallizes instantly in your fuzzy mentations thanks to your Increased Speed, and you duck back inside the garage. You double-time it to the intact grav-car, but one peek under the hood is all you need to choose the TTV instead. You're more familiar with TTVs anyway, having recently hijacked one from Datil.
This grav-car is the blue one that Howard and Geo gutted way back in the Prologue (Chapter 2: Roadtrip). Not only are its power cells corroded beyond repair, but it is missing its coil, carkron mobile emitter and isometric adapter. Recently in another thread, Geo picked up replacements for the latter three parts at Yosemite Sam's Storage Shacks.
From the grav-car, you race toward the TTV all the way on the other side of the garage. Seeing nothing on the dead soldiers en route (they appear to have been looted), you reach out 20 meters with your Telekinetic Arm and snap the tire iron off the side of the TTV. Still running toward the TTV, you continue to use your mutational arm to open its door, to feel for (and find) keys in the ignition, to turn the key, to flip on the lights and to jam the accelerator down with the tire iron.
You throw the TTV in gear even before you reach it, and you race along after it, your manifested hand on the steering wheel guiding it toward the darkened maw that marks the boundary between garage and tunnel. A second after the TTV whines at full speed into the tunnel, you halt just inside the garage entrance and wrench the massive armored vehicle around to point toward the signature of the laser-pulse torch that still flickers 40 meters off to the right on the opposite side of the tunnel. Satisfied, you then book it back toward the grav-cars to take cover.
You prowl speedily into the tunnel and stealthily cross its roughly 30 meter width in just one minute. Keeping one eye on the sparks far down the tunnel and the other on Jake, you silently curse when he ducks back into the garage. You double your pace along the tunnel's far wall to the garage entrance some 50 meters away. Just before you get there, however, a large vehicle---a TTV---bursts out of the garage and skids on the highway, turning toward the sparks and throwing up a billowing cloud of dust. Your eyes tear up immediately as your momentum carries you inside the dust in front of the garage entrance.
"JAKE!" you scream with disbelief. Powerless, you hear and feel the TTV slam and explode two seconds later into the far wall.
With the remote glowing green (armed) in your sweaty palm, you track Kicker's progress into the tunnel with the Omnimonocle™ Commander Stiles loaned you. On a whim, you use your Chameleon power to blend into the rocks and crane your neck carefully around the lip of the tunnel to get a closer look at the source of the flashing lights far down the otherwise pitch black tunnel. As you squint your right eye, the Ancients' genius is revealed: the monocle's optics instantly respond by doubling and redoubling magnification and gain until you relax. The monocle displays distance to target directly onto your retina: 64 (meters). To your astonishment, you make out three figures clustered around a cutting torch of some kind. The torch is aimed directly at the tunnel wall. The figures are shadowy, blurred at the edges as if the monocle were having a hard time resolving them.
Suddenly, you hear a loud mechanical whine and Kicker's scream off to the right. You zoom your view out. The figures turn as a large vehicle closes in on their position at breakneck speed. Before they can scramble away, they are crushed and engulfed by a huge fireball, the intensity of which sneaks by the adaptive optics of your eyepiece and temporarily blinds your right eye. Panicking, you look for Kicker with your other eye, but its mundane vision is little help.
"Kicker?!" you yell, but get no response. "God, I hope you made it into the garage," you pray as you flip open the protective plastic cover on the remote's red button and get ready to teleport out. The remote's indicator light still glows green.
You grit your teeth and press the button. Interminable seconds pass in silence, but you wait to 'port until the last possible moment (relying on your Enhanced Reflexes) just in case Kicker comes back.
Then you hear them: dull poundings from deep within the tunnel. They get louder and louder. The ground jolts underneath you. The Starport towering overhead shivers against the stars. Like a Hopper caught motionless in the headlights, you stand frozen as the explosions get closer.
You think you make out two silhouettes running toward you before a throbbing mass of dust and debris engulfs them. "Kick---"
Cruelly preceding the fast approaching explosions, an air density wave accelerated by a million tons of falling mountain belches violently forth without warning from the collapsing tunnel and slams into your body like an invisible battering ram, instantly pulverizing your fragile, insignificant body.
To your astonishment, you make out two figures clustered around a cutting torch of some kind. The torch is aimed directly at the tunnel wall. The figures are shadowy, blurred at the edges as if the monocle were having a hard time resolving them.
Suddenly, you hear a loud mechanical whine and Kicker's scream off to the right. You zoom your view out. The figures turn as a large vehicle closes in on their position at breakneck speed. At the same time, the roar of a gravitic engine and the piercing glare of headlights announce the heretofore unknown existence of a small car accelerating on an intercept course. In a heartbeat, the vehicles collide in the middle of the tunnel with a resounding explosion and bright fireball, the intensity of which sneaks by the adaptive optics of your eyepiece and temporarily blinds your right eye. Panicking, you look for Kicker with your other eye, but its mundane vision is little help.
Measured shots from a high caliber weapon ring out from the direction of the two figures, and bright impact flashes ping against the duralloy supports of the parking garage entrance. The sparks thrown by the cutting torch are still visible despite the conflagration of the collision.
"Kicker!" you yell, but get no response save for a bullet that ricochets dangerously close by. You whip back around the tunnel entrance for full cover. "God, I hope you made it into the garage," you pray as you flip open the protective plastic cover on the remote's red button and get ready to teleport out. Then the remote's indicator light clicks off!
You grit your teeth and press the button anyway. Nothing happens. You shake the remote and try again. Nada. You hear frenzied blaster fire, and a small explosion shatters the wall near where the two figures once stood. This diversion gives you the courage to launch yourself via Telekinetic Flight at maximum speed through the darkness of the tunnel toward the dust and smoke-obscured garage. "Abort! Abort!" you yell.
When the two vehicles collide mid-tunnel, you are thrown head over paws backwards into the garage. You instinctively twist your sinewy frame in mid-air and land softly on your feet, unscathed, and then rush back into the tunnel toward the flaming TTV and the thrown figure that you see crumpled on the ground. But then several sniper bullets whiz by you, and you triple jump back into the garage. Your last leap ends prematurely as you slam into a body that you weren't expecting, and knock it down.
"Why Kicker, I had no idea. But what will poor Brimstone think?"
Jake's breath reeks of Pangalactic Gargleblaster probably as much as yours cries Kahlúa. "Frak, Jake, what are you doing here? C'mon we've gotta---" You hear Killaria yell. Another rifle shot. Jake's smile fades into a grim line and the rosy tinge fades from his gaunt cheeks as his jaw muscles spasm. "This tunnel's gonna blow, Jake," you say cautiously.
But your words fall on deaf ears. The wiry humanoid shoves you off with impossible strength, rolls to his feet and sprints toward the tunnel with his blaster held up.
"Here we go again," you sigh, and race after him, bow in hand. You stop at the tunnel, string an arrow tipped with a mini-energy grenade and peer around to see Jake maniacally using his Telekinetic Arm to pole-vault over the flaming debris while firing four shots in rapid succession. Before he reloads and lands on the far side of the TTV wreck, you fire your arrow underneath him, through the smoke and into the opposite wall to provide some cover.
You are about to leap after Jake when you hear Killaria fast approaching from the air. "What? What?" you cry, exasperated as she lands. Killaria coughs, unblends, removes the monocle from her eye and wipes the tears away, then replaces it.
"The detonator's dead," she says, holding out the unlit remote.
"Dammit! You sure?"
You nod. "The flashes of light were some kind of laser torch. I saw two men with this here thingy before the crash blinded my eye. I'm starting to see again, though. They must've knocked out the detonator. Where's your friend? What the hell happened here?"
"Dunno." You pause, following Killaria's gaze into the garage and discovering the dead NARC soldiers there. "Holy frak!" you mutter, shuddering at the mass carnage. "Jake ran outta here hell-bent on destruction after those bastards. If I'm not mistaken," you add, turning back to Killaria, "I'd say it was personal. We'd better not interfere."
You motion for Killaria to follow you as you walk back toward the collision site to the body you saw earlier. Ten meters from the collision, a tall man in fancy clothes lies broken in a jumbled heap. With your energy mace, you roll the face just barely attached to the limp neck toward you.
"Mayor Davis!" you gasp.
Instinctively, you bend down and touch the man who barely an hour ago stormed out of the emergency security meeting back in Haven. Without warning, a psychometric trance broadsides you with a frightening fusillade of afterimages of very recent history.
You catch Kicker as she suddenly collapses. "Kicker?!" you yelp with confusion.
Your blood boiling, you chase your wounded quarry down the tunnel until he collapses, writhing in the road. His partner escaped in a cloaked flitter, but you do not care. The weasel who in cold blood tried to assassinate Liska, Lamia and your own son now lies helpless and uncloaked at your feet: you see that Kicker's timely grenade has severly charred his clothes and exposed skin and his much-vaunted trigger finger is missing (along with the rest of his right hand).
"Fence," you state as he turns to face you. Of course you knew it was him the minute you heard his rifle.
The Mystic Mage sniper spits some blood, then glares at you in the flickering light of the burning vehicles dozens of meters away. "You come all this way to bore me, little man?"
You are struck with a sense of déjà vu [earlier on the XJ1, Jake dreamed of this moment --ed.] as you struggle to reply with something fitting. Something clever. Something this murderer will take with him all the way to Hell.
You never get the chance.
Fence lashes out at you with a hidden vibro dagger but your blaster is quicker. The ten centimeter hole that once was Fence's head extends 150 meters into the concrete and bedrock. You limp back, only realizing the gash in your left thigh when you reach the garage. (Jake is 10 hit points down.)
The three of you finally meet up in the garage, cover the bodies of the NARC soldiers, rest and exchange stories. Though it is nearly 1:30 a.m., the intensity of the skirmish has left you wired and unnerved.
Jake in particular informs you that at least one foe escaped; the other was Fence. This, he adds, along with the fact that he couldn't see the torch wielders, strongly points to them all being Mystic Mages (a radical Cyber Mage faction that possesses cloaking technology), and he furthermore doesn't doubt the Mages' culpability in the massacre of the NARC squad. Kicker later confirms his suspicions, and adds that only one Mage could have escaped.
Killaria reveals that the Omnimonocle™ penetrated the Mages' cloaking devices. She also investigates the site of the laser cutter while Kicker tends to Jake's wound, and with the monocle's X-ray mode (which she discovers completely by accident by crossing her eyes), she confirms that the detonator, buried twenty meters into the mountain through the tunnel wall, has indeed been precision-defused.
Kicker's story, pieced together from her force-fed psychometric visions, will take you some time to digest, however.
The Leoparoid tracker reveals that Mayor Davis recently sold out to the enemy to rid himself of NARC's burgeoning prominence and popularity in Haven. He left Stiles' emergency security meeting early to warn the two Mages who'd taken out the NARC squad (on his own traitorous tip) of the existence of a second remote on its way over. He was in the tunnel helping them find and disable the detonator buried in the tunnel wall before you arrived. Right before the TTV would have crushed them, he used a mutation he'd concealed his entire life to manipulate the time field, and "rewound" time backwards fifteen minutes. During the "replay" (Kicker finds the allusions to 8-track deck operation irresistible), Davis intercepted the approaching TTV in his own flitter and thereby gave the Mages enough time to disable the detonator. He intended to jump before the crash, but it just didn't happen.
"I also got a faint after-impression of what would have happened the first time around had Davis not acted: we would've actually succeeded in our mission."
"Collapsed the tunnel?"
"Yep. But we didn't escape."
"Yep. The vision of the tunnel collapse was most explicit, and I don't want to relive it by describing it. Given the two alternatives, I don't know whether to thank the traitor or not."
"Wait, I'm confused---"
"Commander Stiles is still gonna have our asses for lunch. We didn't blow his tunnel."
"He won't shed any tears over that traitor Davis though."
"I could really use a drink."
You look the man up and down. "Huh-yeah, right. So what do we do now, Kicker? 'Port back? I don't know if I can carry us all; Dr. Chiana didn't mention a load limit for the enhancement pack. But the Mage that escaped could return with reinforcements. And what about all these poor soldiers?"
"Slow down, girl. Stiles did say to use Gallus in the Tavern above to contact him if we ran into trouble."
"Gallus---the robot head? That loopy robot upstairs mentioned it, I think."
With uncanny timing, the very robot and stand-in bartender at the Starport Tavern above clanks down the stairs into the garage.
"Oh, oh, oh, thank the Maker! Jake, you are safe!" Awkwardly, the spindly-armed robot turns and shouts back up the stairs, "Oh Mr. Goatman, I found him! Don't fall asleep! I'll be back up in no time!"
It resumes its speech in your general direction. "Pardon me, I had one of my patrons---a rather boring fellow, if you ask me, quite taken with long fits of noisy somnolence---watch the bar, and so I can't stay long.
"But I say, my boy, you've done quite good on your own, though you could've treated those NARC hoodlums over there a bit nicer. I never did trust them myself, mind you, but they did give you a ride over, didn't they?
"Ah, and two pretty fillies! Why, I never pegged you for the type to---but oh! Oh, what tragedy! Tragedy, I say! I sent two newcomers to fetch you after you went wandering, but they took the wrong floor and ended up in the basement, where those terrible, terrible plants got to them! Oh, the tragedy! And one of them, a Pure Strain!"
Twelve mutant Venus Man-Traps cluster around the mangled remains of several of their tribe, as well as the scattered possessions of the erstwhile Slyhawk and Jak. The plants' fronds wave excitedly as they digest their portions of the inactive PCs in their large man-sized toothy traps. They talk amongst themselves telepathically.
Mmm, crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside!
Amen, brother. Sure beats Roosteroid.
Gross! He's sucking the head! Mom!
What do you do?
[The killer K's join up with Jake:
This page updated: Mon Jan 09 14:22:20 2006
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