This week our heroes must find a way to save Tritonia before the lingering effects of the Gate of Envy forever destroys the bridge of friendship between Tritonia and Lemuria. Could one act of kindness lead to the destruction of an entire civilization?!
Plus, the much demanded return of Doctor Bastardstro (But what has the lunatic got planned this time!)
Last Week. . .
Kev landed on Tritonia in search of hobos in need of his aid. With no targets in immediate sight, he entered a Taxi, hoping the driver would take him to the local hobo-zone. With a blinding flash, Kev’s personal crusade found itself interrupted by the sudden and unexplained appearance of two additional passengers; the mentally incompetent whipping boy of the cosmos Dale and the journeyman Gunslinger Travis.
Although internally confused, the trio were unnaturally calm and showed no visible signs of fear or confusion over their predicament, with Dale expressing their primary interest: inquiring how to get home. Before a satisfactory means of return could be established, the Taxi began malfunctioning. A malfunction which seemed to be shared by every taxi in the nearby vicinity.
Their calmness now fading, the trio cut a hole in the window, hoping to escape their prison with was being filled with toxic nerve gas. With his honed reaction speed, Travis easily escaped through the hole and was quickly followed by Kev. Dale however, had a big breakfast feast of Bacon that morning and found himself stuck in the hole.
As Kev struggled to help Dale out of the Taxi, Travis turned his attention to the driver, trying to secure his release by blasting a hole in the windscreen, only to have his attention diverted by an oncoming out-of-control car. The driver of the car, sent into a panic by a monstrous, mechanical whale creature looked on in horror as Travis raised his guns in his direction, his last thoughts focused on the realization that the whale monstrosity was not the one that would be collecting on his life.
With the out-of-control car no longer a threat, Travis turned his attention to the whale monstrosity, firing upon the beast with futility. After finally helping Dale from his would-be coffin, both Kev and Dale joined the fray. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the trio were neither competent nor equipped well enough to stand much of a chance against the beast. With no other tools qualified to be considered a weapon, Dale attempted to cut the beast with his Laser Wand, which resulted in him cutting off his own finger. Screaming in pain and fruitlessly trying to flee the scene, Dale finally found a savior in a passing motorcyclist. Identifying himself as Eli., the Lemurian youth told the injured man to get on; promising to explain the horrorfying events at a later time. Together, they fled on the bike seeking the hospital. Despite a heroic effort and blinding the mechanical behemoth, Kev was the next to flee. Assaulted and battered with powerful 60mph winds, he soon realized he had over-estimated his capabilities sped away as an orb of light, seconds later joining Dale and Eli on their trip to the hospital. Travis, who was the only member of the trio that seemed to have any semblance of combat effectiveness, also fled to the hospital after receiving a minor leg injury and leaving the whale monstrosity to continue its rampage.
At the hospital, both Dale and Kev received treatment. Travis’s injuries seemed to clear up on their own while waiting in the congested hospital waiting room. Dale’s healthcare plan covered his expenses but Kev’s fantasied_hobo union_ didn’t seem to offer the same benefits. Rather than deal with the expense, Kev transubstantiated into a light-being and sped away from the hospital, inadvertently sticking his new friends with the bill for his medical treatment. After some conversation, it would finally be Dale and Eli to paid his expenses.
Meanwhile, outside the New Navy arrive offering air support and quickly forcing the mechanized whale back into the ocean to places unknown.
Leaving the hospital, Dale, Eli and Travis found an uncaring Kev waiting for them outside. Together they left seeking food, a meal provided at Eli’s expense, as Dale no longer had the means to feed himself and the others didn’t have any excess cash. Having sworn off bacon as a promise to Eli for saving his life, Dale and Eli were enjoying humble salad while Travis polished off a large rich stake when halfway through an otherwise pleasant meal, a robot approached Eli asking him to come with him. Outside, a group of heavily-armed City Rats waited to ensure Eli complied. Noticing the City Rats, Kev abandoned his meal and headed out there to distract them while his new friends escape out the back. During the escape, rising resentment to wards Lemuria (inspired by their inaccurate belief that the whale monstrosity that had attacked the city was a Lemurian creation) caused one of the chefs to lash out with a meat cleaver, slicing into Eli’s arm and causing significant damage. Losing his trust in Tritonia, Eli led the three to the docks in search of aid from the Dolphins. Kev however, was now having issues with the Sea Wolves and was again forced once again to flee the scene at light-speed in order to evade the consequences of staying behind to help his friends escape. Although much to his surprise, somewhere off the rings of Saturn his faster-than-light travel was interrupted by powers beyond his control and he was trans-located back to the Tritonian docks alongside Dale and Travis who likewise found themselves transported to the briny location.
Seemingly escaping the havoc that plagues Tritonia, Kev finally found what appeared to be the “hobo district” he was seeking. Rather than aiding his unfortunate brethren, he realized that the presence of another Hobo meant this was prime begging grounds and began competing for the charity of others. The vagrant Dolphin Hillel that was having his trade obstructed by the intruder, began rallying his pod in an unsuccessful attempt to muscle Kev out of his territory.
However, before things escalated beyond friendly rivalry and snarky Cetacean name-calling, a confused Eli arrived on the scene, unable to fathom how the others managed to beat him to the docs. With his natural affinity with animals, Eli managed to calm the irate Dolphins and solicit their aid. With magical forces known only to their kind, the Dolphin Hobo generously healed Eli’s arm, asking nothing in return. Inspired by his generosity, Dale donated one of his few remaining possessions to the Dolphin; His Silver Cross. Hillel thanked the man for his kindness and explained that he would put the money he earned from selling the cross towards the funds for his personal power armor and then departed with his pod deep beneath the waves.
With the group now fed and all members healthy, things finally started looking up, although that moment of tranquility was short-lived. As if sensing their guard was finally lowered, Tritonia’s very own scientifically created monster Fishface (Formerly Alabac Mohammed) , burst out of the ocean wielding both a Dolphin carcass and obvious murderous intent.
Realizing the severity of the danger, Eli immediately fled the scene, leaving Dale, Kev and Travis to deal with the beast that clearly sought Eli above all else. After a short battle, Fishface smashed a large portion of the peer and sent the group into the water before (and without explanation) diving in himself and departing. As the dock hands helped everyone out of the water, a fourth victim who introduced himself as “Wharfie” (Alabac Mohammed) introduced himself to the wayward heroes.
After years of dormancy deep within the hulking monstrosity, Alabac had finally decided to free himself from the fleshy prison. Offering Fishface the one thing he could not refuse, true freedom. Locked away undisturbed deep within his own subconscious uninterrupted by the ravenous berserk whims of his other half (who had no reason to seek him out within his mind so long as he had total control of their body), Alabac had devised a way of separating the two permanently though a machine that would allow the transfer of consciousness into an artificial intelligence. His offer, was simple he would assist Fishface in getting close to Eli and the other Children of Iméra so the brute could kill and absorb their abilities and in exchange Fish Face would allow him control of the body so he could work on developing the transference device. Eager to be free of “the pipsqueek” Fishface agreed and allowed Alabac to reclaim his body. However, having not seen Alabac in over a decade Eli did not recognize him and believing “Wharfie” was a victim of the peers collapse the unlikely heroes welcomed the newcomer to sit with them and talk for a while as they rest and recover the stresses of the day.
Satisfied with their lot in life, all but Dale sat complacently and rested throughout the late afternoon looking out to see. Until Wharfie’s story didn’t checkout with the local Sea Wolves and he was taken in after some kind words and wishing his new friends well.
Meanwhile back at the station the Sea Wolf detective revealed that they were aware of “Wharfie’s” true identity as Alabac Mohammed and Fishface. His cover blown, Alabac stopped playing done and revealed he knew that the Overseers had been protecting Fishface’s criminal activities and he knew that they would not kill him or do him any injury because he was too important to their long-term goals; goals which he was intimately familiar with from studying his parents research prior to separating their brains from their bodies and locking them away in their virtual prisons over seven years ago. At which time Alabac was confronted by the enigmatic Doctor Bastion Shore who realized that Alabac’s familiarity with their research and his own genetics made him invaluable to the Overseer’s goals and his own long-term agenda. After negotiations, Dr. Shore agreed to work with the Rogue Scientist on the condition that Alabac keep Fishface in check. Alabac agreed on the condition that Fishface would be allowed to kill Eli and absorb the Xi Force into his genetic matrix to acquire the power of superhuman speed. Reluctant because it would interfere in relations with their Lemurian affiliates: Geoji and Eui (Eli’s parents), Magni and Reji (Gobi’s parents), and Kori and Inigni (Suri’s Parents), the Tritonian Doctor realized the matter would need to be handled delicate and he would require plausible deniability. So, rather than keeping his affiliations with Alabac a secret the Doctor broke his the transmitter encrypted with the Overseers secret frequency and then had Fishface beat him savagely so he would be transported by his subordinates to a hospital for examination. Thereby temporary preventing him from ordering his operatives to capture and release Eli and giving Alabac and Fishface a small window to kill him “before” he has an opportunity to recruit him to their cause.
Elsewhere, across town Travis has left his friends and made his way to Grote Tremorie’s port-side brothel where he talked one of the ladies of the night in Grote’s employ to offering her services at no charge. Finding out, Grote went after Travis who agreed to “work off” his debt to the fish-headed Amphib by whoring himself out. After looking him up or down, Grote decided that was reasonable and then told his new “bitch” to “Get back out there on the street! Tick Tok, time is money, mother f#&^er!” For whatever reason, Travis thought this was reasonable and so complied and begin looking around for lonely Tritonian women.
Meanwhile, Doctor Shore’s recovery team of Amoeb-series Homunculi have managed to Locate Eli and his friends and request he company them. Spooked by the strange men, Eli is whisked away onto the roof of the warehouse they were squatting by and delivered them from the eerily unified/coordinated efforts of the Homunculi. Then, in an effort to help his friends Dale attempted to harness the latent abilities burried deep within his brain by Dr. Henry Clemons all those years ago, but the psychic backlash proves too much and overwhelmed Kev’s mind, shatters his light form, and sends him staggering back into unconsciousness. Undeterred and with the mysterious M.I.B. , Dale tries again but the power is too wild and untamed and lashes out at all around him with the same fevered ferocity as one of the Lord of the Deep’s reachers, causing the blood vessels in Eli’s eyes to rupture as he too falls helplessly into unconsciousness as the enigmatic M.I.B. clutch at their heads and then liquify into viscus pools of blood. Commenting that he had never seen that before, Dale clumsily helped the unconscious Eli and Kev off the roof of the warehouse. However, around the same time Kev and Eli regained consciousness the pools of blood sprang back to life, growing into large cell-like creatures. Seeing the beings reform and their lethargic movements as they slowly reverted back to humanoid form, Kev made the keen observation that they are some kind of shape-shifter and unable to retain their form while unconscious and then took Dale and Eli and fled over the ocean with them in the hope they could not swim.
Although this looked successful at first, the strange expressionless men lined up like synchronized swimmers along the edge of a pool and then one of their members at the furthest most end of the line fell into the water like a corpse, sinking and vanishing from sight. Shortly afterwards while nearing an offshore resort (see Rifts®: Megaversal Highway™: Sword in the Stone), the airborne heroes would find themselves joined by a pod of Dolphins. However, Eli became spooked and told Kev and Dale that “Something was wrong with them, they’re sick…”, which caused Kev to gain altitude and head inland towards an ominous evergreen forest edging the shoreline.
Moving overhead, the trio noticed strange scattered remains of statues strewn throughout the forest but did not make it far before Eli noticed the dolphins that had been perusing them beached themselves. Feeling obligated to help the marine mammals, Eli was released by by Kev along with Dale in the forest so they could double back while he took the shattered upper body of some of the statues and continued lower to the treeline in the hopes that whoever or whatever was following them would mistake the statues for Eli and Dale, a clever but futile idea. For what happened next was that the Dolphin’s began vomiting up the brackish goo which turned once more into one of the mysterious men and stood between Eli, Dale, and the Dolphin’s that lay sick and helpless on the shore behind it.
The creature offered Eli and Dale a wager, if Eli came with him willingly he would allow them to return the Dolphin’s to the water. The heroes refused and attacked, but upon striking the man they discovered he had the consistency of a dense tar-like liquid and he entangled Eli’s arm within him, though Dale managed to escape and fell back once more on his trusty Laser Wand; though to seemingly no avail. Although struggling for his life Eli was unable to escape nor Dale able to free him in time and the creature entered Eli’s body in the same way it had the dolphins, seizing control of his body. and striding back into the water. In one heroic last ditch effort to save Eli, Dale threw himself onto his back and held on for dear life as the Lemurian swam deeper, and deeper, and deeper until at 30 feet (9 m) beneath the waves Dale at last released him and watched him vanish into depths.
Defeated, Dale got back to the shore and helped the Dolphins back into the water. There they lethargically bobbed around and drifted listlessly as if they were afflicted with some sort of virus. Meanwhile, lost and unsure where the others were Kev sank down into the forest and dropped the shattered busts to sit on a mossy log. He too knew he had failed, but at what exactly he was not sure. Then, the homeless do-gooder began to fade and flicker away like an old illusion and a gentle wind danced through the clearing jostling the grass and nearby flowers, and appearing in Kev’s place was Robert Castell. An effect that was mirrored closer to shore with Dale slowly flickering out to be replaced by a rather bewildered Gobi.
Unfamiliar with his location, Robert stood and looked around when suddenly a bud of lavender energy burst forth into the clearing in front of him, something he had recognized as what had happened not just too weeks ago when Rachel and Claire were snatched away before his very eyes. As the pod opened lavender tendrils like the anther of a flower and coiled around his arms, though he resisted the energy conduits simply stretched and flowed with him without resistance until; in less than an instant he was ripped off his feet and dragged through the shifting black and purple vortex from which the flower had bud.
Back on the shore Gobi interrogated the Dolphins, discovering that they were sick and their auras were strange. They informed him that “Bad Blood” had frightened them and taken another Lemurian from this location. Recognizing his location, Gobi wished the dolphins well and headed for Tritonia which had begun its long voyage back out to sea.
Meanwhile inside the vortex Rob finds himself standing in a sea of shifting colors, patterns, and vortexes on what appears to be the large branch of a tree. Standing before him is a short (about 3 feet/1 m) tall squirrel clad in viking-like armor. The creature is harried and speaks in ominous riddles, but identifies itself as a creature known as a Ratatoskr and warns Robert that there is much yet to do and not much time. Going on to say that though “It was noble to save them but it is like a virus and they were infected, you must stop them before Tritonia is consumed” before rushing Robert through a rift where he suddenly reappeared at the resort and the many decomposing corpses within. Realizing his location, Robert was shocked by the many corpses strewn about the resort; most of whom had their faces twisted into grim parodies of tragedy or despair and one of whom whose face he recognized from the Northern Gun depot as one of the survivors from a couple of weeks ago that they had saved by tying to the hospital bed in the back of the MMB-02 ‘Junior’ Mini-Mobile Medical Robot. Realizing that the demonic influence must have been hiding within the survivors Rob rushed to Trionia where he happened upon Gobi. Gobi and Rob spoke briefly about the unusual circumstances of their arrival back in Tritonia but Rob was more concerned with tracking down the infestation than disusing philosophy or trans-dimensional physics, and their conversation was cut-short when Gobi noticed Eli (who did not appear to recognize him) accompanying a large group of men acting with a bizarre-level uniformity. Harnessing his Lemurian senses, Gobi divined their auras to discover something strange… their souls were tacky, bland and run like watered down paint, and there was something else too; though each of them appeared distinguishable from the other he was not looking at a group of men at all… but one man, or so it seemed. Concerned for Eli, whose own aura appeared to be very strange and awash with the banality permeating the strangers, Gobi approached Eli and tried to engage him but he appeared to have no interest in talking with Gobi and the men accompanying him blocked his path as Eli was helped into the back of one of two unmarked black vans. Using Gobi’s natural stage presence as a distraction, Rob wove a spell of invisibility about himself and then slipped into the van with Eli before the door could close. Though the men noticed a disturbance in the weight, Robert was easily able to evade each of their probing hands and with his Sea Titan physiology meaning he did not need to breathe, he was easily able to hide his prescience from them and so after five minutes of feeling around they simply accepted they were alone and made their way to Alabac’s parents house/laboratory as per their orders.
Unwilling to escalate tensions between Tritonia and Lemuria further, Gobi stepped down allowing the unknown men to leave with Eli while he as per an arrangement with Rob made his way to Rob’s mentor, former slayer Eugene Tretyakov ‘s where he could collect some weapons and armor for Rob and get to the bottom of what has been going on while they’ve been away in Mu.
Finding the facility in disrepair (nothing unusual for either Rob or Tretyakov), Gobi was concerned something had happened but made sure to make himself known by calling out vocally without response until he made his way downstairs to the submarine bay where Robert and Tretyakov keep their demon-fighting equipment. Descending into the bay, Gobi was shocked to find Tretyakov leaning back at a work bench smoking a cigarette a few feet away from a familiar man tied to a wheelchair chained to a wall. The man’s ribs were broken, identifiable by the way a few could be seen protruding from his chest, he was severely beaten and battered, and an old car battery with jumper cables was attached to his gentiles. Tretyakov looked up a Gobi, then back over to the man in the chair and said “Whatevers got this guy, its not playing games. He ain’t talking…”
Looking at the man Gobi was sure, even under the poor lighting and the bay and the the bruises and swelling, this was the second guy from Northern Gun compound and if what Rob said was true about seeing the other guy at the resort than that means there is still one more out there. . .
★ – Terrible!
★★ – Bad!
★★★ – Good!
★★★★ – Great!
★★★★★ – Excellent!
★★★ – Good!
★★★★ – Great!
★★★★ – Great!
Session #009: Malcontent, pt. 2