Spyke and the R.R.C. (Red Rum Crew) have been brutally dispatched and our heroes sit victorious amidst the carnage. With the mounting violence some of the troop are becoming increasingly indifferent to the bloodshed while others quietly slip deeper into madness. What luxuries await them in the Red Room and are they prepared for the uphill battle that lies beyond… or will they choose to retrace their steps and return to the Ice Slopes?
9th of May 110 P.A.
Their time in the safe room quickly coming to a close, the remaining party which had not found themselves incapacitated by stunning attacks (Viktor and Gobi) had an important decision to make… after a sweeping scan a flashing crimson screen appeared on the monitor with the words “GAME OVER, Continue?” along with a 10 second countdown. After a hasty discussion between Gobi and Viktor, the Lemurian delegate pressed the red button which triggered the appearance of a familiar message — “Choose your Princess” accompanied by the imagery of nine battered souls, each of whom had a tie to one of the character’s present.
Wanting to try something new, Gobi encouraged Viktor to abstain from making a selection, in the hopes of breaking this deadly game. One decision down, they now had to revert back to their original fateful decision of where to go next. Influenced by a strange voice from below that seemed far from willing to divulge any credible information, both Viktor and Gobi agreed to err on the side of caution and choose the opposite door, the door that wasn’t accompanied by the manipulative voices of strangers.
Back in the Ice Slopes, Aya waited alone unsure of how to proceed or keep herself alive with her friends and allies now all dead. As she waited, her hopes of a change of fate came to fruition as the ceiling opened up with countless tiny holes that began pouring out a gorish mixture of blood and embryonic liquids that flooded the cavern, barely leaving Aya with any room to breathe. As the horrific mixture receded into the ground, the bodies of her friends appeared to be completely restored to life or replaced with alive but unconscious replicants. Confused but still patient, Aya waited until her friends regained consciousness and much like them that seemingly had no idea anything had happened, Aya chose to continue her life, ignoring the strange resurrection.
An exasperated Nathan (known to Aya simply as “Nog”) broke the little remaining normalcy of their already far from ordinary lives with one alarming revelation — “Someone has opened the path to the Red Room! The R.R.C. are going to invade and kill us all!”. Terrified of the news, Chasey began her rematch with Aya, her panicked state compelling her to try and secure Aya’s armor for herself. In a rare second chance at redemption, Aya altered Chasey’s fate by pushing her away rather than gutting her with her knife as she had in their previous encounter. With more time to have regained his composure, Nog took control of the situation by slapping Chasey, snapping her back to attention and making sure that she was aware that none of them would survive if they didn’t stick together. Seeking to recover the weapon systems from Big Jim (who certainly must have been dead for he never would have willingly given up his key), Nog leaped from the platform onto the ice below and began making his way with Aya to the end of the level, or such was his plan. Unfortunately, upon coming down on the ice Nog landed badly, losing his balance and sliding to his death on the Vibro-Spikes below.
Not waiting for Chasey to renew her play for Aya’s armor, Aya too jumped down onto the ice, though she maintained her balance and made her way safely past the first spike trap. After dealing with both the floating drone and the mines, Aya no longer had any idea on how to proceed. An approaching Roy had an idea on both how to proceed beyond the spikes and how to proceed in their relationship. Unbuttoning his belt, he propositioned a final gift in the form of oral gratification from Aya, in return for sacrificing his life for her behalf so she could complete their quest and save everyone in the Ice Slopes. After a prompt refusal, he buttoned up his belt once again with his incredible embarrassment only being dominated by the visible signs of the sting of rejection. Still with his death as imminent as ever, Roy chose to sacrifice himself for Aya and Chasey anyway; no longer wanting to be a part of this diabolical game and possibly redeeming himself for the crimes he has had to commit within in order to survive. After throwing himself on the spikes, Aya found safe passage by using his corpse as a stepping stone, abandoning her only remaining friend Chasey to solitude and fear.
Progressing to the end of the room, Aya eventually managed the heroic leap to the ledge above with the assistance of Julius II but not without numerous failures and sustaining damage to her formerly pristine armor from nearby Vibro-Sprikes. Continuing on with the help of Julius II, Aya safely navigated the rest of the Ice Slopes until facing the now open door below. Reaching the end of the level, Aya found no sign of Big Jim but saw the large Bio-Type “Gobi” had acquired the Blue Key from him, heavily implying he had dispatched the Combat Cyborg and possessed strength greatly surpassing her own.
Their decisions now finalized, the group headed out into the unknown room sealed by the Red Key, now accompanied by Rob and Larz, who were finally roused from their unconsciousness. Rob who had encountered Aya before, was willing to vouch for the newcomer not being an immediate threat, and with some reluctance she was offered the opportunity to join them. Realizing the “Newbies” were significantly more skilled and/or deadly than her former running crew Aya opted to abandon Chasey and Julius II to their fates and join with the troop in their venture to “finish the game and/or escape.”
Within the room to the east of the Blue Room, the troop encountered the first of many dim-witted, muscle-heads, some of which were augmented by M.O.M. technology and armed with heavy mega-damage weaponry. After a brief and pointless conversation with the spikey-haired stranger, it became apparent he was a middle-man and had no desire to be anything but a glorified carrier pigeon. No stranger to the trials of bureaucracy but never a fan, Gobi climbed the ledges to the point where the spikey-haired man had waited, hoping to converse with whoever it was the dimwit was alarming. As Gobi approached, the spikey-haired man lowered himself on the ledge, dangling himself above the drop, seemingly more fearful of Gobi whom he referred to as a “Bio”, than he was the fall below. As conversation continued (now with those which the first contact was conversing with), it became obvious that none were prone to submit and were unwilling to negotiate with “invaders” from a position of weakness, warning the troop that “Spyke won’t like you coming in here unannounced!” and “This means war!”
With his powers of conversation already failing him, Gobi chose to rely on the powers of his Symbiotic Armor. After grabbing the dangling dim-wit and trying to drop him on his target below, combat became inevitable.
The first casualty came in the form of a local and the jetpack-using, flame-haired ruffian that had just caught his falling friend only to find himself impaled with the tail of the equally aerial-proficient Larz. Larz found himself to be the next victim after being blasted by Mr. Spike-head in retaliation for killing his friend and savior. The blast knocked the unarmored Larz into a coma and cost him lower right leg from the knee down and his foot. After Mr. Spike-head too found himself a victim of Mega-Damage weaponry, Aya (having slipped past with the assistance of her new allies) managed to scramble the frequency controlling the drone ahead and stop it dead in its tracks. After which, the thugs below moved to cover, and the troop and the locals soon found themselves in a stalemate. With a wounded comrade of their own, the group chose to use the moment of tranquility to tend to his wounds and ignore the dwellers concealed in a hidden chamber beneath them. Unfortunately, during transition a mishap resulted in Gobi falling into the chamber below and landing on the spring below where he was ricocheted back into the ceiling above at nearing 500mph and took tremendous damage, sending a glittering rain of powdered coral too sprinkle down over the blasted landscape. Fortunately, Rob appeared from invisibility (as if from nowhere) was able catch his childhood friend before he inevitably fell back onto the spring a second time and met his end. Together again, the two landed gracefully on the platform below.
Seeing Gobi’s Symbiotic Armor as injured as it was, and hearing the unnerving click-like whimpering from the strange carapaced bio-armor, the troop finally realized just how much more dangerous this new room was. Trying once more to move their team across the gap, the two superhumans worked with Viktor’s guidance to establish a zip-line, but their efforts were foiled when the remaining locals in the chamber below started taking potshots at them. Unwilling to compromise their precious rope, the zip-line was hastily retracted and instead the troop tried something much riskier. Leaping once more across the great gap, Gobi took up the position of “catcher” and Rob, using his superhuman strength and incredible control and precision, tossed each member of the troop to safety where they were caught by the awaiting Gobi and placed down safely. An effort once again showing that these two had worked together in the past and were accustomed to being part of the same team.
With everyone safely across the gap, the troop tended to Larz’s wounds with Aya using her IRMSS Robot kit on him, although the alien’s bizarre physiology coupled with the severity of his injuries proved too much for the tiny micro-machines. Seeing the extensiveness of the injuries and how the IRMSS Robot Kit appeared to be ineffective, Viktor resorted to seal the wound with cans of Quik-Clot. An hour later, Larz miraculously awoke from his near death experience and after a second, this time willingly induced, coma-like trance the strange alien reshaped his form to one without his sail-like wings but with both feet intact. Generously, Rob gave Larz the remains of his armor in an attempt to ensure their new ally did not find himself in such a vulnerable state in the future.
Taking point, Gobi began moving to the edge of the next ledge, while Rob took a shot at the upcoming mine, exploding it in the usual manner experienced in the Ice Slopes. At the edge of the ledge, Gobi was met with an unexpected barrage of mini-missiles from a bipedal mechanized guardian robot. After evading the volley, several tests were conducted to verify the capabilities of the mech and perhaps waste some of its ammunition. Those tests came at the expense of the Drone which Aya had managed to reprogram and wrest control of, unaware that the group had agreed not to destroy any more drones prior to her joining them. Their tests now complete, the troop discussed various plans of attack all of which were superseded by an uncompromising Rob who insisted that the group try to shoot the mech’s sensor array. After explaining the location of the sensors to the healthy combatants, together the group attacked the beast. Although Gobi successfully destroyed the sensors, effectively shutting down the mech, it came at a great cost. Before the attack could be completed, the mech launched another barrage of mini-missiles at its attackers with incredible concussive force which destroyed the remains of the armor of both Viktor and Aya and struck with such force that it knocked Rob into a coma.
With another wounded to tend to, the group huddled around Rob and withdrew from the firing range of the walker drone, doing whatever unskilled hands could do to keep him alive. All with the sole exception of Larz. Knowing that Rob’s recovery whether successful or not would not be conducted with haste, Larz took the opportunity for revenge against the allies of the one who sent him into his own death-spiral of suffering, much like what was haunting Rob now.
With expert skill, Larz tossed Rob’s vent lid down onto the spring at the perfect angle to have it fling towards the survivors below. However as if defying the laws of physics itself, the plan was not carried out as expected and the lid was sent straight up, smashing against the roof the same as Gobi had before. Still unwilling to let it go, Larz then tossed down the remains of a can of Soylent Green that had been reduced to little more than twisted steel from the missile volley. After being threatened with grenades earlier, the ruffians below were fooled and took the bait, trying to remove the can which they assumed was a grenade and opened themselves up to fire. Never missing an opportunity, Viktor blasted the now exposed man. Larz stealthily continued his assault by climbing down the hole, blasting the first unsuspecting victim and jumping down himself to finish off the third. On the level below Larz found evidence that the men in the room below had been stuck down there for sometime, including bottles of urine and some old bedding and string that had obviously been used to lower water and food to them from above, as well as a strange powered lockbox filled with black velvet and circuitry. After claiming the weapons and ammunition as his own (strangely, some of which was in fact his own gear previously taken from him by their anonymous captor), Larz climbed back out of the massive pit like some strange alien Gecko and returned to the troop.
After three hours, Rob too defied his own demise but found the trauma overwhelming. His perceptions now altered by his first genuine experience with his own mortality, Rob became reclusive, no longer wanting to be around people and certainly not wanting others to tend to his own vulnerabilities. As insensitive as ever, Gobi did not yet understand the scope of Rob’s needs and instead asked his help getting the others over the next ledge after destroying the laser cannon which acted as their only obvious remaining obstacle. Not wanting the attention or to be relied on, Rob uncharacteristically refused.
After leaping down without Rob’s assistance, both Gobi and Larz came face to face with the mech’s controller which was now revealed to be a young boy of approximately age 11 or 12, manipulating what looked to be an old 1980’s style arcade machine. With no one even coming close to falling for the boy’s pleas of innocence, Larz threw a flare onto the boy’s sides of the crushing wall trap which was shielding him from their direct advance in an attempt to trick him into believing it was a stick of dynamite. The boy, knowing no better fled the “explosive” as hastily as he was able but mistimed his movement, impaled by the crushing walls, and killed instantly.
The troop now all safely on the ground guarded by the now defunct mech, continued onwards using the crates as a stepping stone onto the next rise.
Encouraged by the safety of armor and the ease at which he slew the three ruffians earlier, Larz took point while Gobi lugged along their new mobile cover — The Remote Controlled mech, which had caused them so much concern hours before. As the first atop the ledge, Larz held his hands out asking for the mech to be handed to him, a feat in which he handed easily much to the surprise of the troop who were only now realizing just how strong this spindly alien amphibian really was. After handing the mech over, Gobi too climbed atop the rise and initiated a dialogue with the strangers ahead. Another notch on Gobi’s long list of social failures, he could not convince the quartet to let them pass safely due to the M.O.M. enhanced Crazies finding their greatest thrills in combat and the woman’s unwillingness to have her power undermined by a “Bio-type and his alien flunkies.”
As the conversation commenced, Larz stealthily hid behind the ledge on the boxes below and lined up a shot between the mech’s legs in the hopes of ending one of their lives before the proverbial shit hit the fan. Unfortunately, still woozy from the wounds in which he still suffered, Larz’s attack went hopelessly awry, hitting the mech in front of him, blasting himself back and the mech down below, pinning the shuffling crab ‘bot in the process.
A fight now ensuing, Rob who had attempted to sneak up to the quartet using his knowledge of the mystic arts to become momentarily invisible leaped into action, quickly obliterating the three denim-clad warriors, with blinding speed and deadly prejudice. The woman which had already slipped off the pipe she was attempting to use to reach Gobi quickly identified Rob as a larger threat and engaged him in battle instead. Although she seemed to have a significant edge in skill and speed over Rob, she soon fell prey to a volley of fire from behind by Larz and his newly recovered Plasma Ejector, reducing her to an unidentifiable charred corpse with little more than her distinct black top hat remaining intact, although heavily singed with a half moon burned out of the brim.
One step closer to completion, the group began claiming their prizes with Gobi looting the first crate and a renewed supply of Soylent Green, Larz looting the second which contained 4 bottles of water, 3 bottles of urine, 1 empty plastic bottle and a romantic journal written in a human tongue that Larz could not decipher (American); although he claimed it anyway. The other three bottles of water were quickly claimed by Gobi and the final piece of loot (the Crazy Magician Girl’s Hat) found its new home on the head of Aya. While the group sorted their new-found treasures, Rob proceeded ahead, his newly developed reclusive nature compelling him to be as far from others as possible. Although not for lack of want, Rob did not make it far as he came to a barrier in which the group had not yet encountered: a pair of hydraulic walls clamped together with more force than Rob could part on his own, something that humbled and further frustrated the traumatized Sea Titan.
It was not long before the troop caught up to Rob, and now facing the same obstacle Gobi felt the need to test the nature of this room by cutting through the nearest pipe, hoping it acted as a power source. Although the connection was broken and poisonous vapors began filling the upper quadrant of the room, the power was not severed.
After determining that each of the combined strengths of Gobi and Rob, Gobi and Larz and Rob and Larz was enough to part the barrier, the troop devised a brilliant strategy and made it through by juggling muscle only to be met with a second barrier. Muscling that barrier open in the same manner the previous, revealed a large open room and another Crazy (presumably, the aforementioned Spyke) with a red key hologram above his head riding atop a Forklift. Much to everyone’s bewilderment, “Spyke” did not seem immediately distressed by their appearance but for reasons unknown at the time had clearly falsely identified Aya as the girl in the hat which Larz had killed only moments before, a girl now identified as Leslie. Using the confusion of Aya’s identity crisis to his advantage, Viktor tried grappling Spyke around the ankle and pulling him into the barrier to be crushed. Spyke who was far too talented to let that happen, caught the grappling hook and continued his conversation with “Leslie” although somewhat confused by the experience.
With Plan A already having failed and Spyke’s near superhuman speed and reflexes readily apparent for all to see, the troop traveled beyond the final hydraulic barrier into Spyke’s room.
On the other side, Rob who was no longer interested in being around people any longer than he had to be, leaped onto the mobile platform which Spike had leaped to to continue his conversation and confessions of love to his beloved “Leslie” (Aya), in an effort to end the potential confrontation before it began. Although Spyke effortlessly defended Rob’s attack, Rob’s efforts were not in vain as Spyke’s counter-attack went horribly awry with him losing his balance, plummeting to the floor, where his his head was crushed by the Forklift. The undeterred Forklift Driver who seemed to just be having a great time driving his vehicle back and forth, soon found himself under assault from Rob. Like Spyke before him, he easily parried the attack but unlike Spyke before him, his end did not come at the expense of his own errors. Instead, his last moments come as a surprise as Aya sent a blast of ion straight through the side of his head, destroying his M.O.M. implant and killing him practically instantly.
With every formerly living thing on the level no longer in this realm, the troop were now safe to wait the remaining 44 hours on the counter to proceed to the next area, an area locked by the key which was now in Rob’s possession. As they waited, both Rob and Larz salvaged the Forklift for the parts they most desired.
Session #014: Malcontent, pt. 7
Click here to ZOOM
There was a lot of good in there – new information and questions were answered. I also think yo were less douchebaggy than you could have been regarding our attempts at going back to the previous safe room to “choose a princess” and I am grateful than that.
There were also elements that you are already aware of that I didn’t like so much, so I’m planting her in the middle ground of a three.