Rifts®: Megaversal Highway™
- Character Memoirs
- April 24, 110 P.A.
- April 25, 110 P.A.
- April 25, 110 P.A., continued
- May 8, 110 P.A.
- May 8, 110 P.A., continued
- May 8, 110 P.A., continued
- May 8, 110 P.A., continued
- May 8, 110 P.A., continued
- May 9, 110 P.A.
- May 9, 110 P.A., continued
- May 11, 110 P.A.
- May 11, 110 P.A., continued
- May 12, 110 P.A.
- May 13, 110 P.A.
- May 14, 110 P.A.
- May 15, 110 P.A.
April 24, 110 P.A.
Individually, the group (Gobi, Robert and Rachel) set out all with a common goal but unique motivations. Their desires all converging on a recently excavated sword from Lemurian waters, a sword now in the possession of the Customer Service Director of Northern Gun: J. J. Levenson.
After a chance encounter in the resort where Mr. Levenson was busy satiating his near limitless vices, Gobi and Rachel unite their goals and together research Jorel and his company in an effort to learn enough to gain the upper-hand in the negotiations which due to the influence of Robert, would never take place.
Robert with his own goals and motivations, infiltrated Jorel’s suite, posing as a prostitute among Jorel’s plethora of Slurmph concubines. Although he forcibly experienced a sexual encounter he would rather not be mentioned, Robert did successfully kidnap the monstrous director and flee the scene, however not before revealing his presence to his childhood friend Gobi.
While Rachel pursued Robert and the kidnapped Jorel, Gobi convinced the resort staff to cover up the ordeal and place their faith in him to deal with the two missing guests. A newly insane Robert however had different ideals and after a second rape scene, this time initiated by Robert himself, the customer service director lay dead, penetrated with a supernatural force no human could ever survive.
The three party members once again converged, revealing Jorel’s death to the rest of the party. His revenge still not satiated, Robert abandoned the others, stubbornly leaving on his submarine with the carcass in his possession. The ability to negotiate with the former C.S.D. now removed, Gobi and Rachel returned to the resort to track the location of Jorel’s storage and the desired artifact.
In search of sharks to aid in his revenge, Robert found his temporary allies circling Jorel’s former bodyguards with intent to consume. Robert lured the sharks away with the C.S.D.‘s corpse and rescued the innocent bodyguards. After the sharks had their fill devouring Jorel’s remains he launched a mega-damage torpedo at the feast, forever removing the stain of the deranged C.S.D. from existence. The grateful bodyguards told Robert of Jorel’s safe, located in an encampment six miles inland. Rachel and Gobi’s research directed them to the same destination, the party once again reuniting on the shore.
Robert’s revenge now complete and his new-found insanity subsided, Gobi and Rachel found him in a far more agreeable mood. Before the three could co-ordinate, they were attacked by a most terrifying Thronhead Demon. Both Gobi and Robert immediately realized that the greater Demon was immensely powerful and death was a very real possibility. After a short encounter, the three successfully fled the beast, with Robert instructing the others to converge at his Sub back in Tritonia. Gobi however was cut off from the shore by the beast and fled inland, headed to their original destination and Rachel had no means to travel off the shore so she too headed inland. Seemingly a master of all technology, Rachel successfully found Robert’s radio frequency and instructed him on the change of plans.
After a relentless run, Gobi and Rachel found the heavily fortified encampment, first sowing the seeds of trust within the stationed guards and then finding somewhere to rest for the night. Before the night’s end, Robert caught up and joined the party in their slumber.
April 25, 110 P.A.
The morning began as expected with polite conversation, general schmoozing and the revelation that the trucks would soon depart with a full load of cargo. Although all expectations were thrown out the window by the most unwelcome of intrusions to the group’s plan: A duo of True Atlantean warriors, one of which was immediately recognized by Rachel as her former acquaintance, Claire Parker. Claire had been sent by a council of True Atlanteans to recover what was reportedly the Eternal Flame Blade so they would have a bargaining chip with the Lemurian government.
The Atlanteans presented themselves somewhat suspiciously, seeking shelter at dawn but with a sufficiently large bribe, they managed to secure entrance into the encampment. However, before taking the opportunity to enter, the collective were besieged by Alu Demons, wolf-like monstrosities that had seemingly chasing an unknown, third party. After a prolonged battle, the adventurers defeated the Demons but not before Gobi telepathically asked Rachel to use the confusion as an opportunity to check out the cargo of the trucks. Reinforcing Gobi’s suspicions, Claire chased after Rachel in order to ensure she did not reach the artifact first. Unwilling to allow the True Atlantean to disrupt his plans, Gobi pursued her, leaving the remaining members of both groups and the newcomer Tyson to dispatch the remaining Demons.
After an alarm was set off in the back of the truck, Gobi fled the scene unwilling to taint his rapport with the locals and seeking plausible deniability for the actions of his subordinate. Before fleeing, he telepathically instructed Rachel to do the same, hoping to leave the rival Atlantean holding the bag.
Heading into the courtyard, Gobi witnessed the other intruding Atlantean infiltrating the depot, refusing to fail the people of Earth, Gobi followed in hot pursuit. Before long, the two rivals came to an unspoken understanding. Although the two had mutually exclusive goals, they would explore the complex together with the sword to be the prize of whichever group secured it first.
Eventually, the two rivals found their way to Jorel’s vault, together smashing their way in. With the sword in sight, Gobi sprinted to his goal and what he was sure would be the savior of all life on Earth. However upon entering the room, his goals immediately shifted, in his carelessness (and with his mental defenses lowered) Gobi’s desperation and ambition betrayed him and he was unwittingly possessed by the supernatural forces emanating from the obelisk. No longer in total control of his own faculties, Gobi abandoned the sword (at least for the moment), and his primary desire had now become the obelisk.
Gobi’s efforts to drag the obelisk out of the room recaptured Ren’s interest. Upon witnessing the obelisk that captured Gobi’s desire, Ren too submitted to its will, as this close to too source of the taint was too much for even him to resist the compulsion.
Outside, Rachel and Claire had given into mob mentality and had seemingly abandoned their cause in favor of looting the complex and burgling the Road Hammers. After hiding all of the valuables they could get their hands on in the nearby wilderness, they both entered the depot in search for the Sword that was their original goal.
Robert and Tyson valiantly aided the Northern Gun soldiers in their battle, securing an easy victory. That which would normally be a moment of celebration was disrupted by what can only be described as intense confusion. The soldiers that had been fighting at each others side, slowly began turning on one another, their hearts seemingly corrupted by desire for the gifts of their peers. A corruption that at that time both Robert and Tyson found no meaning in.
Gobi and Ren were still fighting over the apparent source of the corrupted soldiers, the obelisk which was in turn corrupting the both of them, until finally help arrived in the form of their respective allies: Rachel and Claire. The potential salvation the girls offered was immediately refused by the possessed Gobi and Ren. Unwilling to let the girls have their obelisk, the men bombarded them with a plethora of insults and disdainful remarks, all of which shared one common theme, Envy. The girls too unfamiliar with mind control and possession had no idea that the two victims were acting under the influence of supernatural forces and abandoned them to their fate, but not before thieving the ever-important Sword of D.
During the escape, attacks were made with Claire bombarding the men with a searing wall of flame; seriously wounding Gobi’s beloved pet Nautilus in the process. Still a under the influence of the Gate of Envy, the two men united and together threw the obelisk at Rachel, pinning her beneath it – an act that would prove fruitless as the mercenary then decided to void her contract with Gobi and handed the sword off to the rival Atlantean, Claire.
Together Gobi and Ren muscled the Obelisk to the entrance where Gobi’s compulsion finally peaked and inspired him to seek the contents of the Obelisk for himself. Unable to open it, the possession appeared to end, leaving him lying on the floor a defeated, broken man. Witnessing the ordeal and desiring whatever it was that Gobi wanted, Ren too tried to open the Obelisk, failing, and like Gobi succumbing to the throes of depression.
Together the emotionally fatigued duo climbed back out of the bunker, only to be met by an army of zombie-like former Northern Gun soldiers – men who had once been Gobi’s admirers and fans. Immediately recognizing the signs of the possession that had enveloped them prior, the duo leapt to action. Ren descending back down the bunker to reseal the Obelisk and Gobi remaining behind to delay the soldiers. Struggling against what amounted to be a small army, Gobi managed to convince a significant portion of them to leave and find their desires elsewhere. Their numbers now reduced to a meager four, Gobi easily prevented them from infiltrating the bunker and disrupting Ren’s work.
Although the duo’s efforts seemed to stop the soldiers from seeking the artifact, their minds remained unhealed. In an attempt to gift the remaining soldiers the same free will he had recovered, Gobi lent them his magic armband which successfully repelled the forces in one soldier’s mind (although seemingly at the expense of his sanity) but had no effect on two others. The fourth however had an effect that was both unexpected and deeply frightening. In a tone that shook Gobi’s very soul and helplessly reminded him of his dealings with the Three on Hrrac Island, the victim spoke. Shaken by the events and concerned about what this thing could represent, Gobi slew the former soldier, hoping to prevent whatever was unleashed from being re-unleashed.
Together, Ren, Gobi, the insane former mind-slave and the two possessed soldiers in tow, left the depot to find the others waiting outside.
Swallowing both his pride and the sting of betrayal, Gobi apologized to Rachel for his actions while possessed, genuinely regretting his lack of self-control which is something he normally took great care in maintaining. Claire however, he offered no apologies to, only offering more suspicion. He declared that she was trying to start a war between the Atlanteans and Lemurians. An accusation that she did not rebuke nor react to in any manner, her unflinching demeanor taken as an unwitting admission of guilt.
April 25, 110 P.A., continued
After taking a moment to watch the smoldering depot and take a look at the carnage around them, both Rachel and Claire were torn from the group, forcibly pulled through individual rifts of unknown origin. Rob looked on in horror while Tyson tried in vain to pull Claire back from the void. Ren and Gobi, still possessed by the spirit of Envy, were more preoccupied with thoughts of the now unclaimed blade. Although they both lunged for the weapon, it was the supernaturally swift Rob that managed to snatch the weapon before either could lay a finger on it.
With everyone seemingly happy with Rob’s possession of the weapon, the group’s attention turned to the corpses of the fallen soldiers and the three remaining survivors. Eventually, those survivors were locked within the robotic ambulance and the fallen semi-looted with their dog-tags ending up in the possession of Rob and their credit chips belonging to the possessed Gobi.
Putting the carnage behind them, the group moved on to the location of the Thornhead Demon that they had once escaped, now with their minds set on retribution. Rob now gifting the Sword of D to the newcomer Atlantean, the group then set upon the Greater Demon. After a fierce battle made easy by an unprecedented level of cooperation; unspoken coordination and unity, the Demon lay defeated and the party barely scratched.
The triumph of what could potentially be considered their greatest achievement soon became tainted by a significant pile of gold, a couple of envy-stricken possession victims and Tyson finally realizing and revealing what it was that was afflicting the two unwitting victims. The joy of cooperation now far removed from their minds, the group politics crumbled in a murky sea of envy, suspicion and oppression. The sole victor of the dysfunctional regime seemed to be Robert, who appeared to have singular control of the loot but the real winner would later be revealed to be Tyson, who had already secreted away the elegant set of military garb; the focus of Gobi’s limitless desire.
While Rob and Tyson tended to the spoils of war, the subjugated and mistrusted Gobi sat quite morosely, his pleas and manipulations quite powerless against his childhood friends. Ren however, used the time to reveal to the party what could be considered his greatest power; His Phoenix Rising from the Flames Tattoo. Using it, he released one of the two surviving stone statues from their granite prisons, a stone statue that was eerily similar to that of Rachel Ariah. The Rachel clone, claimed to be the original and another one of the group’s accomplices victims. With a nod and a wink, she sped away from the group, yet to be seen again.
The group then transported the loot to Tritonia, where Rob proceeded to set about selling it to the local merchants. After a few hours of failed attempts to sell their wares, Ren was finally ready to release the other stone-entrapped prisoner.
The latest escapee proved much more valuable than the last. Introducing himself as Mustaf McGuffin, a transient merchant with psychic abilities; He revealed his ability to exorcise the demons within both Gobi and Ren, an ability that the group was all too eager to take advantage of. The only price he requested was information.
Tyson met that price with an array of half-truths convincing enough for Mustaf to fulfill his end of the bargain. Both Gobi and Ren now free of possession, the real interrogation began. Lies were met with more lies, Mustaf unwilling to admit any involvement with the stoned soldiers and Gobi telling him that the Obelisk had been destroyed and its remains scattered throughout the ocean. However, it seemed Gobi’s untruths were too outlandish to be accepted by Mustaf, who in the closing scene returned to the mainland and excavated the buried Obelisk, doing so in his natural form of a Raksasha Demon.
May 8, 110 P.A.
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. . .
May 8, 110 P.A., continued
The blood entities sped off to deliver their payload (Eli) to Alabac, with Robert secreted away in tow.
Upon arrival at Alabac’s home, Eli was released from his possession and imprisoned within Alabac’s custom-designed cell. Their job now complete, the blood entities left the scene, leaving Alabac to his own devises. Rather than kill the young Lemurian as he had agreed, Alabac began the long, arduous process of indoctrinating the prisoner, rather than interrogating him, he offered him knowledge. Explaining the nature of the Children of Iméra Project with the hopes of forming an alliance that could stand against the lofty goals of their parents. Taking a break to give Eli time to let the depth of his situation sink in, Alabac left his captive unsupervised, giving Rob ample opportunity to throw his own patented spanner in the works. Attempting to smash the door down and release Eli from the reinforced chamber made sufficient noise to draw Alabac back to his victim’s locale.
With Fishface screaming in his ear, declaring Rob far too powerful to fight at this time, Alabac had no choice but to allow Rob to continue his rescue. Making the best of the situation, Alabac attempted to indoctrinate Rob in the exact same manner he had Eli and explained the Children of Iméra paradigm to the Sea Titan. However, before he had time to gauge the effectiveness of his manipulations, Alabac made one crucial mistake as he began torturing the captive Lemurian by zapping him into unconsciousness with a powerful electrical charge. Unwilling to endure such mistreatment of the defenseless any longer, Rob ceased their conversation and finished his rescue efforts, finally breaking down the door and taking the Lemurian from captivity. With Eli unconscious but free, Rob took the young Lemurian upon his shoulder and gave Alabac a stern talking too before preparing to leave. However, much to Rob’s surprise the diminutive Amphib responded with a sullen warning that should they continue alone that they would be surely killed by Magni. Disregarding the bitter warning as the ramblings of a madman, Rob made his way back to the the rendezvous point where he had expected Gobi to be waiting. However, upon entering the home of his mentor Eugene Tretyakov.
Erstwhile, Gobi was struck with horror at Eugene’s residence upon witnessing one of the possessed NG Soldiers being tortured in a chair. Not only had the disease seemingly increased in magnitude but Eugene divulged the most alarming of news. The possession was spreading through contact and regions of Tritonia had already been infested; forcing him to brutally murder over 50 citizens including helpless women and children over the course of the last two weeks in a desperate effort to contain it.
In return for the information, Gobi told Eugene all he knew of what had befallen the possession victims, including his knowledge of the stone obelisk that was the origin of the plague. No longer willing to make any concessions regarding the possessed, Gobi slew the Slave of Envy while Eugene was preparing weapons for Robert as his request.
Although Eugene returned in time to witness Gobi washing down his armor, he was far too late to do anything about the carnage. Quite distraught, Eugene threatened the young Lemurian, citing that under normal circumstances such a betrayal would incite violence. Calmly, Gobi revealed to him that there are still two others that were initially possessed and if he wanted to continue his studies, he should find them. Although still annoyed, Eugene tempered his anger, declaring he was too old for this shit.
His job now complete, Gobi told the wizened Slayer that he was going to the Lemurian embassy to alert Tritonia of the danger and for him to send Rob his way when he arrived.
Rob arrived to see Eugene mopping up the mess Gobi left him with, muttering profanities to himself.
Upon seeing Rob standing there before him, Eugene expressed his resentment towards Gobi, asking why would Rob associate with such underhanded assholes and that his recklessness had robbed them of an opportunity to determine the source of the possession and could well have put Tritonia at future risk. After much discussion about the nature of the demons, Rob and his mentor determined that the possession seemed to the result of some entity or force that neither were familiar with; leading Eugene to speculate that the masks may be the essence fragments of an Alien Intelligence of unknown origin.
During this time, Eugene also informed Rob of the happenings in Tritonia; including the fact that he had killed many in an attempt to halt the plague that had taken its roots within their home.
Uncomfortable with the blood, gore and general unpleasantness surrounding him, Eli left the submarine bay, in search of aid at the embassy. Following which, Rob shared his strange experiences with Eugene, telling him of the squirrel and the strange magical tree which brought him to Tritonia. Confident that Rob’s psychedelic journey was a result of Lemurian narcotics, Eugene ushered him away to continue his mission and telling him to meet Gobi at the embassy.
At the embassy, Gobi walked upon a most alarming sight. A mob of people stood picketing at the gates of the Lemurian Embassy. Worse still, upon closer inspection with his Lemurian Life Sense , Gobi determined that many within the crowd were exhibiting the telltale signs of being possessed by Spirits of Envy. Without a moments hesitation, Gobi rushed to meet the Lemurian ambassador Ali who looked down on the mob, surprised that their usual fanfare had grown to such levels. Gobi explained the nature of their possession and informed Ali of Eli’s capture, requesting that he send out some Magic Pigeons to contact the Tritonian authorities, so they could both be informed of the threat to their lands and get to the bottom of Eli’s kidnapping. It was at that moment Gobi noticed the intensity of the mob escalating as they began pummeling an unknown innocent. Rushing to action, Gobi ran back down to the gates, got on his figurative soapbox and gave a rousing speech explaining to the unruly mob that if they want the gifts of the Lemurians, peace is the only path to that end. Before long, Gobi had the mob under control, with them abandoning their violent ways in favor of demonstrating their respect and gratitude for Gobi by chanting his name.
Their beaten victim, now able to move freely, pushed his way to the front of the crowd, revealing himself to be Eli. With a look of horror, Eli looked upon Gobi and was consumed with shame and envy. Overwhelmed by the reach of Gobi’s shadow and that even here, in Tritonia he was reminded of his shortcomings, Eli’s emotion took control and he began trembling on the spot. However, his trembles quickly turned to rapid vibrations, and then in an instant he was gone, speeding out of sight in a way no mortal man could match. Eli wanted to run, to get away from it all, to find some place he could call his own without the bigoted and societal pressures of his past. Blitzing through the streets of Tritonia, Eli tried to escape the world, to break free of all he was, to run until he had left everything behind, but no matter how fast or how far he ran, his fate was to ultimately crash exhausted back to reality with fewer answers and more self-loathing and bitter jealousy than ever.
With his concern for his friend taking a backseat to more time sensitive priorities, Gobi returned to the Lemurian Ambassador to discuss their course of action.
It wasn’t long before the Embassy had rearranged a few rooms to put together a makeshift Exorcism facility and put to work four capable Lemurian Exorcists treating the crowd. Although seemingly effective, the process was slow-going and arduous, both for the patients and the psychics alike and each of the victims had to be exorcised one at a time.
Meanwhile outside and unknown to Gobi, Alabac sat on a bench at the other side of that fence on the other side of the crowd, taking notes and paying great attention to the minor injuries the possessed suffered at the hands of the Lemurians.
As Rob entered the scene, he immediately noticed Alabac and opened a dialogue with him, however no matter how hard he tried, he could not convince the Amphib to accompany him to the safety of the Embassy. Upon receiving the go-ahead from Gobi, one of the Lemurian Guardsmen carried Rob within the embassy’s confines. It wasn’t long before Rob understood what was happening and what it was Gobi and his Lemurian brethren were trying to do, although his motivations lay elsewhere. Rob felt a need to hunt down the final patient zero in the hopes that it would end this plague once and for all. Although resistant to the idea, Gobi eventually submitted to his will, finally agreeing that finding that patient zero was more important than waiting for the Tritonian officials although the conversation lasted long enough for that decision to be irrelevant, for their conversation was suddenly interupted by the roar of Tritonian helicopters descending upon the embassy.
The woman exiting the helicopter, greeted both Gobi and Ali and formally introduced herself as the Minister of Defense, Felicity Winters. After a squad of Mind Bleeders confirmed the crowd’s state of possession, she turned away from the Lemurian consulate and issued order 7191.
Moments later, the mechanized street sealed, with the towering skyscapers along the streets snapping closed as great iron walls rose up preventing escape to those on the street outside the embassy. Although their was a brief panic from those on the street (with those within the nearby buildings perishing silently and without any warning from the release of a potent nerve agent), a pair of unmarked black combat helicopters arrived on the scene and began dispensing gas canisters throughout the street.
The group silently looked on in horror, unwilling or unable to challenge the decision of the Tritonian government and perhaps even a little ashamed in the knowledge that if they had done the same to the three earlier, none of these people would be suffering now.
Turning their attention to their secondary issue (Eli’s kidnapping). The heroes found that even with a detailed description of the assailants (courtesy of Gobi’s perfect memory), it was not sufficient enough for the authorities to pursue the case. They needed to take the information from Eli’s mind. However, with Eli far from sight, Gobi innocently suggested taking the information from Rob’s mind as he was the final witness.
Although Rob resisted as best he could, the Mind Bleeders mental abilities far exceeded his own and they soon overpowered him, taking the knowledge they required. Taking great offense to the violation and extremely paranoid about what else they may have learned (especially regarding his mentors recent serial murder), Rob exploded in a fit of rage, lashing out at the Mind Bleeders and even the Minister of Defense herself.
Unaware of Rob’s superhuman strength, endurance, and arcane proficiency in the mystic arts, the Mind Bleeder’s were caught off guard and quickly dispatched and scattered. Realizing the urgency of their situation too late, the Mind Bleeders attempted to disable the unregistered Sea Titan by flooding his mind with agony and ecstasy simultaneously, a tactic that quickly helped them gain the upper-hand.
Trying to diffuse the situation, Gobi reminded the Tritonians that they were on Lemurian soil and had no jurisdiction. Although it was enough to convince the Minister to call off her attack and release Rob from the onslaught to his mind, nothing could quell Rob’s insatiable desire for revenge and he continued his assault. Everyone now realizing this problem could not be solved diplomatically, the Minister was left with no option but to reassign Rob as the target of the combat helicopters.
Fearing for the fate of his friend, Gobi asked Ali to send out one final Magic Pigeon to Lemuria, this one requesting the urgent presence of a powerful Biomancer in the hopes that in a worse case scenario Rob could be returned to life.
However, it would quickly become apparently that Gobi’s fears were completely unfounded. For with Rob’s rune blazing the entire time, he was easily a match for the Helicopters that sought his death and his victory was easily secured the moment that Fishface joined the fray in his defense. The duo didn’t spend even a moment contemplating the flaming remains of the two dispatched helicopters nor the fallen soldiers they contained. Instead, without a moments hesitation the two proceeded to attack the third helicopter which contained the Minister of Defense and a rather bewildered Squad of Mind Bleeders. Although they damaged the helicopter a great deal, it successfully withdrew from the scene, leaving the embassy in need of minor repairs in the courtyard; and the streets and nearby buildings littered with lifeless corpses.
May 8, 110 P.A., continued
Regardless of Gobi’s insistence of a need for haste, Rob had a greater need of rest and convinced Gobi of such by revealing that after using his powers, he was very vulnerable. After two hours of resting, a Dimensional Portal opened outside and brought with it the reinforcements Gobi had ordered which included a Biomancer named Athemi that was also a high ranking official. Gobi informed her of the happenings and dealt with the political trivialities revolving around the carnage. Although he could not convince the Tritonians to allow the Lemurians to resurrect the general populace, he was able to get permission to bring back the fallen soldiers, saving their lives in the process. He also successfully convinced the thirteen surviving Tritonians to be willing accompany the Lemurians to a temporary safe haven where they would no longer be in danger of being silenced; his plan being to smuggle them out as Lemurians by shrouding them in the same Barnacle Armor Athemi had already gifted Rob with.
His final task being to fulfill the requirement of a Ley Line so the resurrections could take place, Gobi had Jaali send a Magic Pigeon sent out to Molio Sanchas in order to relocate the mobile fortress to an area more magically conductive.
Meanwhile, Travis was wandering the streets cautious of the carnage and encountered a woman stuck in the sewer system. After a brief one-sided conversation, it became obvious she was a construct of very limited intelligence trying to lure him into a trap. Due to the trap’s proximity to the embassy, Travis felt obliged to warn the Lemurians of the danger. His warning received well, Gobi returned the favor by inviting Travis into the compound in order to protect him from the purge going on outside.
Shortly after meeting the Gunslinger Travis, a response to Gobi’s latest Magic Pigeon was revealed, although the response only served to reveal that the danger was far from over. It was a potentially fabricated video message featuring Gobi’s Tritonian Councilman Mollio and strangely the Magic Pigeon chained to a revolving door after being severely tortured. Seeking to save his friend, they had Jaali send another Magic Pigeon to him so they could follow it to his location.
However the group were intercepted by a Tritonian HazMat team with more political issues for Gobi to sort out, although they did manage to witness the Pigeon descend into the sewers; the same sewer grate that Travis had warned them of not moment before. Tending to his final political duty of the day, Gobi learned that his contact had already agreed to Gobi’s previous request, indicating that either someone else had responded in his contact’s name, or the video or at least the Magic Pigeon within the video, certainly were fabricated.
Finally ready to descend into the depths of Tritonia, the group went to the last known location of the Magic Pigeon, where the girl construct Travis had already encountered still remained pleading for assistance. Unwilling to risk the chance that she really did need help, Gobi stepped forward to free her, with his supernatural senses alerting him to the forewarned danger. Although Gobi side-stepped the pit trap with relative ease, his ally still needed his help and the trap was their only point of entry. Gobi then stepped down the hole, quickly followed by Rob and later by Travis.
At the bottom, a wall unit displayed a scantly clad woman with her true identity concealed behind a digital smiley face with one simple message — “Choose your Princess”. Among the 9 options were Gobi’s Tritonian contact, Eli, one of Rob’s Slayer acquaintances, and Patient Zero himself. With the group struggling to choose the most worthy “princess” and Rob insisting they not even play the game at all, Travis thought outside the box and instead chose the woman hidden behind the digital smiley face. Their choice now locked in, a door opened leading them into what was called “Level 1”, there the group faced a jumping puzzle and although both Gobi and Rob fell onto the vibro blades below, they recovered well and the group made it to the end, entering the next room…
May 8, 110 P.A., continued
Moments prior to tackling the first obstacle of level two, a message beamed on the wall “A new challenger appears!” and two strangers were dropped next to the party. Quickly establishing that they meant each other no harm, Viktor reaffirmed his position of peace by explaining what he knew of the dungeon they had all fallen prey to. After he told the group of the safe rooms and the keys required to enter, they agreed to cooperate and tackle the trials of the dungeon together.
Taking the initiative, Robert took Viktor’s rope and leaped passed the crushing rods trap with grace and ease. On the other side, he noticed two men standing, waiting for the ambush although they made no attempt to move upon their prey. Unsettled by the ice, Rob launched a fireball which melted the slippery slope, giving him traction enough to pull the others through the crushing wall trap by the rope. Although some were damaged in the process, everyone made it across intact; all except for Travis who chose to place his faith in his own skills and abilities and go it alone.
After a brief discussion with the wannabe ambushers, it became apparent that they were too involved in the game to consider joining the group in the same manner Viktor and Rebecca had before. Negotiations already failed, Rob launched two magic nets at the duo, ensnaring one but missing the other. The trapped man stumbled on his ice, falling forward between the platforms and getting shot by a laser from above, instantly ending his life. Not yet finished, Rob leaped up to grab the evasive survivor, falling prey to another laser shot from above, and being ambushed by a third enemy hiding out of sight. The two enemies and Rob now entwined, they all tumbled to the ground below. As unprotected as the day they were born, the two men were easily dispatched by the group but the sounds of combat ahead were enough to finally give Travis the incentive he needed to brave the wall crushing rods trap.
His natural prowess failing him, Travis quickly found himself pinned against the wall, unable to move. Noticing their companion in trouble, both Rob and Viktor went back into the fray in an attempt to free him while Gobi waited with the rope at the ready, to pull them back out. As the duo tried to cut Travis free, they were being pelted by the crushing rods that were springing forth from the walls, taking damage and running the risk of being pinned alongside Travis. Hoping to keep the walls occupied by locking into another victim, Gobi tossed the remains of one of the three ambushers into the mix and it was smashed to bits, but did not trigger the rod-lock. After finally cutting through the beam and securing Travis’s freedom, it was Viktor that now found himself a victim, being pinned in Travis’s stead by yet another rod. Between the combined strength of Rob and Viktor, they were easily able to dislodge the pylon and continue their escape attempt. Gobi managed to pull Viktor to safety at the last minute but Rob was not so lucky, as with the clanging of steel he too found himself pinned against the wall. Re-entering the fray yet again, Viktor assisted Rob in his escape only to be pinned a second time moments before the end of the frustrating trap. Now within reach, Gobi tried to cut through the pylon with his forearm blade but his attack was mistimes and deflected by another pylon. Not wasting any time, Rob placed himself back in harm’s way and together muscled the rod off of Viktor much like they had before. Finally the entire party was free of the trap but far from free of danger — their arduous journey through the labyrinthine dungeon had only just begun…
After already being mistaken as a creation of their God, Gobi took point in the hopes of that mistake being made once again and earning the group the element of surprise. The slippery slopes did not co-operate with the plan. As ungracefully as one would expect of someone trained to use their mind over their body, Gobi slipped, sliding down two levels to a ladder below. One by one, the party followed suit.
The next area confronted them with another spike trap, this time working in tandem with an energy barrier. Using the wall as a springboard, Gobi leaped over the spike trap, sliding along the floor until making contact with the barrier. Pulsing with energy, the barrier repelled Gobi with force enough to land Gobi back in the spike trap. Thinking quickly, Rob hit Gobi with a dagger, slowing his momentum enough for Gobi to extend his trident and use it as an anchor mere inches from the bladed pitfall. Using Viktor’s rope, Rebecca swung across the pit, running along the wall and joining Gobi on the other side.
Not yet content with Gobi’s demonstration of the barrier’s capabilities, Travis shot at it to further test its limits. Both rounds fired were instantly repelled, one of which struck Travis himself and the other narrowly avoiding Gobi and hitting Rebecca, smashing apart the tattered remains of her armor in the process. Together Gobi and Rebecca crawled toward the barrier to get a better sense of what they were dealing with but Travis’s ranged tests were not yet done. Travis fired again, this time at the source of the barrier and this time with less disastrous results. The shots overwhelmed the barrier unit, temporarily shorting it and giving both Gobi and Rebecca time to dive through unimpeded. Pressured by time, Rebecca overshot her jump, impaling herself on the wall spikes beyond. Her body now torn to shreds by the the ultrasonic blades, her limbless and her seemingly lifeless torso fell to the ground below.
Immediately after climbing over the pit with the rope in a similar manner as Rebecca, Travis shot at the barrier generator once again. Too impatient to wait until he had secured his footing, the blast went hopelessly awry, hitting the beam and reflecting back shattering the remnants of Travis’s armor. Undeterred by the eerie reflection of what had befallen Rebecca, Travis fired again, overloading the barrier and securing the entry of the remains of the troop. Luckily, although his fate seemed unnervingly similar to Rebecca’s, their paths now diverged as Travis was able to secure a foothold on the ladder safely. The barrier’s re-opening gave Gobi the opportunity to bypass it once again, now safely on the other side and the level below. There he encountered another player in this deadly game: the enigmatic Larz. Larz which had been trapped behind the barrier for longer than a day by his former crew, saw only the path of revenge and began blasting on the boxes ahead behind which his former associates had made their camp.
The barrier opened once again, this time releasing Travis and Viktor to re-join Gobi and the new acquaintance: Larz. Rob stayed behind the barrier in a futile attempt to save Rebecca as the last of her life drained from her comatose body.
Driven by anger and sleep deprecation, Larz used his anti-grav disc to cross the nearby spike trap and continued firing blindly with his plasma ejector until being interrupted by an obnoxious “Cheater Warning”. As a means of punishment for perceived cheating, Larz’s gun was teleported away right from his hands by an unseen force. Undeterred by the theft, Larz then began throwing grenades, enveloping the air in the smell of sulfur and charred flesh.
Acknowledging Larz as both someone that didn’t immediately seek confrontation with the group and someone obviously well-equipped, Gobi leaped over the crevasse to assist Larz in his battle and earn his trust and assistance. Although Larz had single-handedly secured the victory with his barrage of grenades, Gobi efforts were not entirely in vain as he dismembered the final survivor, freeing Larz’s arm from a hold.
Gobi used the remaining crates to build a temporary bridge for the others to cross the spike trap, reuniting the party once again (including Rob who had finally given up on Rebecca’s remains and used his knife to breach the barrier). Moving along, the group came upon another spike trap, followed by a series of five automated laser turrets and a pair of men standing on a ledge, yelling for the party to not come any closer. Feigning an inability to hear, Gobi tried to convince them to come closer so the lasers would take care of the strangers on their behalf. With the duo not falling for the ploy and not being one for tact, Travis simply pulled his guns and tried to shoot the two. Although one was instantly killed, the other dodged his attack and climbed to the ledge above seeking cover. In a feat of both incredible skill and incredible luck, Travis blindly shot once more, ricocheting his round off the reflective ice covering the ground and hit his concealed target behind the ledge, killing him as swiftly as his friend before. Again, the obnoxious “Cheater” alarm sounded, to which Travis responded by firing at the sign its self in a show of frustration and blatent insubordination. As “punishment” for disputing his “cheating” or perhaps for firing again so soon after his punishment, Travis was dropped into a hole called “The Penalty Box”, and subjected to a timeout.
Meanwhile, back on the ledge by the corpse of Travis’s keen sharpshooting, Aya and her female friend Chasy began to panic at the loss of their protectors. Fearful for her own life and desperate to see “Todd” again, Chasy began trying to tear off Aya’s armor and fumble for her Vibro-Knife, keen to get her hands on any means of survival. Her own survival more important than anything resembling compassion a struggle broke out, knocking down the barrel they had been using for warmth and sending the coals, mist, and voluminous smoke across spilling up around them. However, the struggle was short lived for although Chasy was able to inadvertently kick the helmet from Aya’s head, she was quickly overpowered and with the opportunity finally presenting itself, Aya brought the Vibro-Knife down on Chasy without a moments hesitation severing both her forearms and hands from her arms, squirting blood all over the scene. Unwilling to spare any more of her precious E-Clip on her friend, Aya switched to a mundane combat knife to finish her off with, sliding the knife up under her jaw and through her neck, killing her instantly.
The sounds of the scuffle passing, Gobi commented to the others telling them simply “One has killed the other” before continuing to take potshots at the laser turrets with Rob. Impatiently Larz charged forward, leaping the spike pit and following it up with a leap attack shattering the first, damaged turret with his new buzz-saw blade that he had recovered from his former “friend” Julius. The strange albino D-Bee then slid helplessly down the ice until making contact with a ladder and managing to grab hold to prevent himself from falling further.
After Rob finished pelting the second turret with the final usable refuge, Gobi reluctantly finished it off with his Trident, not wishing to damage his Trident further in the explosions but not willing to let Rob’s efforts be in vain.
After accepting Gobi’s offer for aid across the crevasse, both Viktor and Gobi successfully leaped to the other side only to again lose their balance in the usual sense, sliding down passed Larz and to the floor below. There they found a room occupied by not only the usual spike traps, but mines as well as a robotic drone.
In an unprecedented act of athleticism, Rob leaped over the trap and managed to retain his balance. Opting to make use of his divine luck, Rob did not follow the path of the sliders and instead climbed to the ledge above where Aya futily hid while the Sea Titan used his supernatural strength to break the necks of the fallen to be “sure” they were dead. Finally, cornered between the vibro-spikes and Rob, Aya confirmed that they were new comers to"The Game" and begged she be allowed to join Rob and his friends, going on to explain that it is safer to be in groups.
May 8, 110 P.A., continued
As the drone approached, Gobi fumbled with the ladder, trying to tear off a rung in order to use as a projectile weapon, failing with every attempt. As the drone neared, it revealed a slender arm with an affixed drill and prepared to strike, although the attack was easily deflected by Gobi who was now giving up on his efforts with the ladder. Viktor struck the Drone with his vibro spear, inspiring it to turn and return to its usual flight path. Capitalizing on its defenseless state, Gobi pounced on its back and began kicking it beneath him. Acknowledging that Gobi now had the Drone under control, Viktor re-climbed the ladder in order to retrieve his grappling hook. Eventually, Gobi pummeled the Drone into scrap and one strange eyeball, sending its body toppling atop the mine below. A series of spikes accompanied an explosion and shrouded the room with metal that quickly melted, seemingly into nothingness. Luckily, none of the spikes impaled Gobi and he landed safely below in a spherical recession left by the exploded mine.
After reclaiming his grappling hook, Viktor returned to the room, this time accompanied by both Rob and Larz. After Gobi explained the nature of the mines, it was agreed that both Larz and Viktor would leave the danger until Rob dealt to the issue at hand. After retracting his armor, Gobi hid in the spherical indentation, using it as cover to protect himself from the explosion and Rob threw his new-found boomerang and the first of the remaining mines. It exploded in a manner similar to the previous but this time with far greater accuracy, with one of its spikes impaling Rob’s armor in the process. After removing the spike, Rob learned that it was animate and trying to spread its contact, first within his armor and now within his hand. Unphased, the Slayer used it as a weapon of his own, throwing it at the final mine and triggering a third explosion – this time he was able to avoid the spikes which threatened him.
The mines all now dealt with, Viktor and Larz returned.
Noticing the end of the room was missing the usual ladder, the group realized they needed to bring their own. Rob tore off both the immediate ladder and the previous one. Deciding that a single 24 foot ladder was more useful than a pair of 12 foot ladders, Viktor opted to tie them together with his spare rope. However after a quick test of the now extended ladder, it seemed Viktor’s skills were insufficient and the ladder broke back into two, sending the damaged half and the affixed rope into the spikes below.
The group used the remaining 12 foot ladder to cross the spikes with Rob and Gobi holding and end each to cover the 15’ gap, then the group proceeded to traverse the room. Gobi and Rob crawled across the ice slope without difficulty but both Viktor and Larz showed great difficulty, slipping and impaling themselves on the spikes. After regaining control, Viktor regained his footing and managed to crawl up, joining Rob and Gobi at the top. Larz however, chose the easier route and used his hover disk to avoid the slope altogether. His frowning face “cheater” icon began pulsing and due to repeated infringements, he found himself becoming pixelated and disappearing piece by piece. Before the group could react, he was gone and replaced by Travis who had now finished his stint in the penalty box.
Travis explained to the remaining group what he had experienced while trapped, most notably that the people we had encountered used to be morally good people but whoever ran this operation took great pride in breaking their wills and corrupting them to the ends of insanity and evil. Also worth noting was a significant time differential within the time-out zone and the prison itself. Although Travis had only been gone for a number of minutes, he perceived himself gone for many hours.
Although the group scaled the next ledge with ease, they found themselves having to wait for Travis to regain his breath as he was unusually and unexpectedly fatigued after being teleported back to the group. After taking the time to recover, they ascended to a flat surface and the sight of a man with a buzz-saw axe that bore a striking resemblance to the one they had encountered prior. There was also a white mound of fleshy mass in front of him. After a brief conversation, it was agreed that the group and this buzz-saw wielding clone would align together in the hopes of escaping their torment, he just felt compelled to put an end to that fleshy mound first.
Using the distraction of the fleshy mound and the stranger’s seemingly false sense of security to his advantage, Travis withdrew his guns and murdered the unsuspecting potential ally before he or any other could react. At that moment, the fleshy mound finished its transformation into a winged albino beast, a beast none would recognize as Larz.
Although Larz reappeared only moments after his departure, much like Travis he had been gone for what seemed to him to be hours. His time-out was spent watching himself dying repeatedly through various plausible but non-existent means. After witnessing his death multiple times, Larz had had enough and changed his form to remove his eyes, ears and all sensory inputs. Although Bastardstro attempted to install a Headjack to continue the torment, it didn’t work so the deranged doctor had no choice but to sentence him to death – a death sentence that would be carried out by teleporting him back to the dungeon without possessions and in front of a hostile buzz-saw wielding clone. It was a death sentence that was avoided by the actions of the completely oblivious Travis.
Noticing spikes too far removed from the ice to be of any natural threat, Rob used his ladder to climb next tot hem to the vent above, revealing the prize of an E-clip before continuing the long crawl to salvation with his comrades. Atop the next ledge, a brown crate became obvious, sitting untouched on a ledge beyond the group’s grasp. Concerned about the strange platform the crate stood upon and the spikes on the opposite wall being used as some kind of projectile, Gobi climbed to the ledge below, issuing a word of caution to his companions. Perhaps heeding Gobi’s advice, Larz gracefully glided down to the next room and beyond, out of sight. Rob and Viktor cautiously used Viktor’s grappling hook to pull the crate to the ground below while both Travis and Gobi waited patiently, anticipating a trap that would never spring. Inside the crate was a number of cans marked “Soylent Green”. After claiming as many cans as they could carry, both Rob and Viktor joined Travis and Gobi on the platform ahead.
Witnessing mines on the platforms in front of them, Gobi used Rob’s crate lid to hit the first mine, with it exploding in the usual fashion. Although he tried his best to be covered from the explosion, several spikes still impaled him, which he immediately removed in a manner similar to Rob before. Larz returned to the group, telling them of the crates ahead which removed the need for destroying the remaining two mines. Heeding his advice, the group descended between the platforms, atop the crates below. Unwilling to show those mines any mercy, Rob used the crates to trigger their self-destruct mechanisms while the group was safely below. He then proceeded to destroy each and every crate, revealing another ladder beneath.
Descending the ladder, the group encountered a heavily-armed Cyborg with a strange blue key image floating above his head. After a brief conversation, the majority of the group began climbing the ladder once again, agreeing to part ways with the Cyborg for now after he expressed his resentment and his willingness to kill rather than share his toilet with anyone. The majority of the group being, everyone except for Travis.
His Gunslinger pride on the line, Travis refused to flee from the Cyborg, not even for a moment. Instead he relentlessly taunted the Borg until there was no option but to fight.
Hearing the sounds of combat below, the group hurried to descend the ladder, only to be met by a series of missiles. Although Travis skillfully blasted the first from the air, the others made it through his hail of bullets, exploding in the middle of the party. Through searing heat and incredible concussive force, the unarmored Travis quickly fell, never to stand again. Although also damaged, the rest of the group had no choice but to continue this battle none of them asked for.
After blasting away a significant chunk of the Cyborg’s head, Gobi was quickly identified as a threat. In response to the vision-impairing attack, the Borg skated across the ice behind Gobi, easily snatching him in a full-nelson with a degree of grace and speed none of the party had ever thought possible amidst this ever-frustrating ice. Although Gobi found himself defenseless to the attacks of the Borg, the Borg too found himself equally defenseless and that was a state which Viktor was all too pleased to exploit. Tripping the Borg’s defenseless legs with his grappling hook, Viktor sent both the Borg and Gobi sprawling to the floor below. with the incredible weight of Gobi’s Bio-Armor being too much for the Borg to shift, he found himself helplessly pinned beneath the Lemurian behemoth with no choice but to try and use Gobi as a shield until he could blast him apart with his unibeam. After blasting twice into Gobi’s back and causing tremendous damage, the fearful politician had had enough and placed both of his hands on each side of what remained of the Borg’s head and blasted one final coral burst, ending the Borg’s life.
After trying in vain to save the fallen Travis, it was eventually agreed for him to be put out of his misery. While the group waited for the 11 hour countdown to run dry so the group could proceed to the Borg’s toilet, they set up camp, burning Travis’s body and the crates from the previous room to secure some warmth among the frozen barrens. They also looted Travis’s remaining possessions and the strange blue key, the latter of which inspired a holographic image of that same blue key to appear above Gobi’s head akin to what the Cyborg had before. With time to kill, the group spent the night talking and resting with the most notable conversation being Rob relaying what Alabac had told him about the Children of Iméra project to Gobi and revealing to both Larz and Viktor than both Rob and Gobi were acquaintances prior to being sucked into this deadly game.
May 9, 110 P.A.
Waking from what could possibly be the most trying day of their lives, the group watched the clock to the toilet room finally finish counting down. Using the blue Key, Gobi secured entry to the room for the group but not before Rob found himself being stunned into unconsciousness by contacting the room without the key icon being attributed to him.
Within the room, the group witnessed a congratulatory video which also included images of the captives, all of which were sickly after having organs removed. It was upon seeing the now one-eyes Eli that Gobi had finally realized the true nature of the evil which had befallen them. The psychopath had been integrating organs from the captives into all of the automated defenses of this surreal prison. After realizing the horror, the group agreed to never destroy another automated defense unit, at least not if they had a choice.
Inside the room was the groups first real moment of normalcy within the dungeon. It seemed to be a well stocked, relatively pleasant waiting point with a bed, toilet, fridge and library. Excited by the books, Gobi spent the next 12 hours reading, often giving the toilet irate looks whenever he came to a blemished or torn page, realizing people had been using the books as the only source of toilet paper. While Gobi read, the rest of the group relaxed and together joined in their ration of “Soylent Green” while an unread book of the same name glistened in the background.
After their 12 hour limit expired, the group returned to the outside with a choice of doors ahead of them.
May 9, 110 P.A.. continued
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.
May 11, 110 P.A.
After a long and tedius wait, the safety room timer finally counted down allowing the group to continue. Although able to proceed, the heroes learned they were unable to advance in the game without first “Choosing a Princess” as the participant that had formerly chosen (Travis) had perished. After a brief discussion the troop and decided to double back. However, contact with the embryonic Redundancy Liquid that had filled the Drone Control Chamber had a strange effect on Viktor and Aya, rendering the Quickflex Alien lethargic and the young Hack Rat in a comatose state. Pressing on despite their setbacks the remaining heroes traversed the liquid quickly thanks to the superhuman swimming prowess of Rob and Gobi and were able to make it back to the Blue Room and rectify their previous mistake. This time registering the Slave of Envy as their choice.
With their choices locked in, the heroes made their way back through the Redundancy Liquid a second time, this time with Rob gathering up the semi-formed remains of the Red Rum Gang (minus Spyke and his driver who seemed mysteriously absent) and stored them in the lower chamber so when they awakened they would be unable to escape, except via the deadly spring that had devastated Gobi just days before.
Upon entering the Red Room the heroes cashed 20 of their 50 points buying new armor to replace the suit Aya had lot during the previous trials. However, upon recovering from her comatose state, it appeared that Aya had lost her memory of the last 48 hours, causing a great deal of discord and misunderstanding between all those clustered together in the small cramped room.
Uninterested in the rest and recovery period (or continuing to be cooped up in such awkward and cramped conditions, the troop agreed to press on to the next chamber while the window of opportunity was still open.
In this new chamber, the troop were joined by two new contestants. The first was an amnesic Larz who was shocked by their advance and backed up, nearly stumbling into a pit filled with humming razor-sharp vibro-spikes. The second was a face no one recognized, a wildly bipolar Crazy wearing armor painted like a tuxedo and wearing a top hat using the alias “Sprayandwipe”. Working together the troop overcome the spike trap as they had the many on the ice level beforehand but were met with automated laser turrets mounting the wall on the other-side and an elderly looking man in yellow strapped into a heavy Russian powered exo-suit. Non-responsive but to throw small flaming kegs that were seemingly conjured out of thin-air at the heroes, the troop quickly dispatched him and soon after the lasers before pressing on and recovering food from some crates, a strange pacifier artifact that projected a new “pacifier” icon above Gobi’s head as if to replace the Red Key that now belonged to the missing Rob; and “capturing” two of the mechanized crabs like those they had encountered during the Tutorial Level.
Severely damaged and unwilling to face more risk needlessly when expecting such a long wait, Gobi and Viktor decided to sit things out a while. However, after twenty minutes “Sprayandwipe” had grown tired of the lethargy and raced ahead, encountering a number of spring-traps, most of which he easily avoided, although one he could not. Trapped on the spring, battered to near death by the tremendous force, and realizing he was in an wind-tunnel with no leverage, Sprayandwipe dropped a grenade on the spring and destroyed it, taking an incredibly nasty fall as he landed among the shattered pieces of the crimson bouncer. Bloody and exhausted, Sprayandwipe decided he would take a few minutes to catch his breath and recover while he waited for the others to catch back up to him.
May 11, 110 P.A., continued
While Gobi patiently waited for his armor to heal, Viktor’s inability to remain still compelled him to explore further, taking Aya along for the ride. After toying with the spring directly on the next ledge in an attempt to figure out its capabilities, Aya destroyed it with a blast from her rifle. With a long incline ahead that was littered with more springs and another aged exoskeleton-pilot stationed at the top, the duo thought it best to return to Gobi before proceeding too far.
Five hours later, Gobi’s armor was fully repaired and the group were ready to proceed once again. They traversed up the slope and blasted away a second spring before encountering a meditating Sprayandwipe and the remains of a third spring. Realizing that Sprayandwipe was somehow using the trance to heal his wounds, the group opted to wait for him rather than leave him to deal with the trials of this dungeon alone. Uneasy about waiting patiently with the barrel-tossing geezer in such close proximity, both Gobi and Viktor opted to take the time to determine what the stranger’s intentions were. After blasting away the next spring, Gobi attempted to initiate a dialogue with the man within the exoskeleton, using the final spring as a safety net in case he attempted to throw any barrels. Regardless of how much Gobi tried, he was unable to elicit a reaction from the geezer and instead resorted to neutralizing him by trying to blow off the exoskeleton’s arms. After a few successful shots, the arm still remained intact but after one final errant shot, the geezer’s human arm was not so lucky. After the geezer didn’t react to his own arm being blown off, it became clear that his senses were so dulled that regardless of what Gobi’s Lemurian senses declared, this creature was far from what could be considered alive. With that conclusion in mind, Gobi opted to put him out of his misery and this time aimed at the man and ending his life swiftly. After his death the exoskeleton’s self-destruct triggered, resulting in a fiery explosion much the same as the orange exoskeleton had hours before. With that threat now removed, the final spring was easily dealt with and both Gobi and Viktor went to return to the now waking Sprayandwipe, only to witness the return of Rob.
After being taken by a mass of tentacles, Rob found himself seemingly alone in a darkened room with only the hiss of a stranger breaking the illusion of solitude. Attacking the darkness with a Globe of Daylight revealed a severely damaged cyborg torso that expressed great discomfort to the light. At the Cyborg’s request (who now revealed his name as [[Dr. Henry Clemons “Doctor Bastardstro” | Henry]]), Rob ended the spell to remove that aspect of the Cyborg’s suffering. As the Cyborg spoke, it became clear that he struggled to retain the use of his cybernetic speech and that conversation was challenging for the near defunct Cyborg. Together both Rob and the Cyborg traveled to a lab out the back where the ‘Borg offered to help Rob reach his full potential in return for killing an unnamed woman. Agreeing to the terms of Henry, Rob gave him a blood sample so the Borg’s creation could be finished. After completion, the Borg fastened a collar onto Rob insisting that it would “complete” him and that he would be able to ignore the rules of the game; he also insisted that contact could only be maintained within the level which the group were currently traversing. After receiving his collar, Rob was transported back to the start of the level and jumped the spikes ready to catch up with his friends. Due to having seen the same warning video that Gobi had, Rob knew to ignore the ladder and continue past it as Gobi had before. With all of the obstacles having already been dealt with, Rob had an easy time catching up and mounted the ascending slope just in time to see Gobi destroy the final spring.
After immediately noticing Rob’s new accessory, Viktor began interrogating Rob on the artifact and where it came from. After a brief conversation, Rob explained that the device injected directly into his neck and should allow him to break the rules.
The troop now all together and recovered, opted to waste no more time and proceed. At the top of the slope, over the ledge stood a tesla coil that sporadically shot eerie green arcs of lightning into the surrounding area. After shooting and destroying it, it began spraying out a substance that acted as a pretty serious warning to not continue shooting the thing. Taking that warning to heart, the group instead ran past the coil, hoping to avoid its blasts while Rob attempted to parry them with his energy sword. Rob was the only one to be struck but he seemed to endure it without difficulty.
Ahead lay a trap that proved more challenging than expected. Several spears rose from the ground and lowered from the roof with no pattern the troop could discern. Although the trap seemed random, Sprayandwipe, Rob, Viktor and Larz all navigated it with both grace and ease. However, Gobi and Aya hesitated for a moment and found themselves trapped within and repeatedly stabbed several times, each time their progress halted by the sporadic eruption of another spear. After standing back and watching the two get pelted by spears for almost half a minute, Sprayandwipe finally chose to re-enter the fray and help Aya just as Gobi finally found his way out of the death trap. Although Sprayandwipe leaped in there with the best of intentions, he was of little help to the panicked Aya and only found himself falling prey to the very trap which he had so effortlessly navigated earlier. As Gobi pulled Aya out of the trap, Sprayandwipe regained his composure and exited once again.
Already wanting to take another moment to give his armor time to heal, Gobi asked if the group were willing to wait and also frustrated by Gobi’s cautious movement, they agreed. While waiting, Larz opted to investigate the three crates stacked upon each other. Finding nothing he desired within triggered his atavistic amphibian impulses and like a savage beast, began launching the crates towards the previously encountered spike traps regardless of how much the rest of the troop protested. Acting quickly thanks to his extreme alien agility, Viktor managed to intercept the crates and investigate them himself before they were destroyed. Although, the Crazy Sprayandwipe felt the issue needed more of a remedy than simply compensating for the flaws of others. Taking the matter into his own hands, Sprayandwipe crept up on Larz and dropped a smoke grenade at his feet. Reacting to the attack with an instinctive “freakout”, Larz let out a crazed yell and randomly tossed a smoke grenade of his own and then scurried up the wall like a Gecko and hid in the corner of the room.
As the group sat there bombarded by the relentless smoke and unable to move for fear of wandering back into the spike trap, frustrations rose to breaking point. After several minutes, the smoke finally cleared and at Viktor’s request, Gobi helped him with the final unopened box, only to reveal that it had been unknowingly opened by Sprayandwipe, who still remained within. With that act of insanity reinforcing Gobi’s unpleasant opinion of the mentally-ill, he telepathically messaged Aya, Viktor and Rob — telling them that he wasn’t too damaged to continue and that finding somewhere safer from insanity to rest was of a higher priority. As the troop moved on, Viktor tapped the box Sprayandwipe claimed as is new home to indicate that we were moving on. Although Sprayandwipe returned the musical tapping, he remained within the box and did not appear to advance with the rest of the troop as the pressed on.
Ahead lay another spear trap similar to the one encountered previously but in this case, the spears did not seem mobile or jetting from the floor at random, instead they were permanently ejected. The button that lay in front of them made their function obvious – by standing on the button, they would retract and enable passage beyond. Rather than deal with the annoyance of juggling buttons, Gobi opted for the tried and tested brute force approach and broke off one of the spears. after receiving a “Cheater” warning, it became clear that enduring the annoyance of juggling buttons would be the only option; that was until Rob too tried breaking off the spears. Rob’s new Gothic collar accessory seemed to come through and he was able to break the spears with impunity. Ahead there was a similar button and spear combination but Rob was able to muscle through them just the same.
Over the next ledge stood another tesla coil-like device, this time in close proximity to a lever hanging from the roof. Knowing that he would probably have to hang from that lever and perhaps for quite some time, Gobi was unwilling to let that tesla continue to exist, even if the one prior had expelled a potentially dangerous substance. After blasting the tesla into nothingness, it ejected a field of dust which covered the nearby floor. Viktor’s thermal optics registered some extreme readings from the substance and he warned the group to err on the side of caution. Not understanding the danger but still not willing to place the group in any more risk than necessary, Gobi leaped onto the handle hanging from the roof, which lowered with a solid “click”, with one hand he helped the rest of the group across the strange dust, with the sole exception of Rob who refused the aid and the warning then walked across the substance in an uncaring fashion.
Now past both the now defunct coil and the dust it expelled, the group encountered a platform that was raising up and down at rapid speeds that was connected to the pulley Gobi had pulled only moments before. The group made it onto the moving platform with little difficulty, all except for Aya who misjudged her jump and fell several feet as the platform had already begun moving back down. At the bottom, Aya, Rob and Larz who insisted on following the troop; all made it off the platform without issue. Gobi and Viktor however found themselves stuck within the gap between the platform and the wall as it rose quicker than they could escape it. Viktor was protected by Gobi’s massive bulk acting as a wedge so he could slide out without difficulty. Returning the favoor, Viktor used his shield in a similar fashion, wedging it in the gap so Gobi could retract his armor and slide through himself. Gobi returned Viktor’s shield with an expression of gratitude. Rob again smashed his way through the next spike wall which was the only obstacle remaining between the group and a crab bot.
As Gobi fought with the particularly vicious crab, Rob pulled a box from the nearby stack with the intention of trapping the Crab within like they had way back at the start of the level. Although the surprisingly combative Crab managed to get off a lucky shot which seriously damaged Gobi’s armor, it was successfully restrained. Within the remaining boxes lay some bottles of water filled with eerie green sparkles that Viktor dubbed “Star Water.” This Star Water exhibited the same strange thermal readings as both the dust from the coils and consequently Rob’s legs.
Considering the damage suffered at the claws of the Fighty Crab, this time Gobi did insist that he needed time to recover. Complying with his wishes, the troop waited for a couple more hours before Rob smashed the spears blocking their path so they could continue to another fast moving elevator. After the near-death experiences provided by the previous elevator, this time the troop had Rob use the pulley to control the platform in order to minimize the risk. On their way down, the mobile party noticed a series of boxes stacked within the wall which took their interest. After Rob raised the platform to the right level, the group captured their prize and within each box lay a cube of stone with engravings of body parts on them, enough body parts to make a caricature of a giant man. Taking the strange contents to the bottom, Larz began enthusiastically constructing the giant man as Rob successfully navigated the mobile platform to join them below. With Larz’s expectations of creating some golem-like creature not met, Rob found a better use for the stone slabs and used them to surround the coil ahead so the group could navigate past it and the conveyor that led back to it without difficulty.
Beyond the conveyor lay a series of platforms that periodically blasted massive torrents of green flame into the area above them. Unimtimidated by the prospect of being burned alive, Larz impulsively leaped through the first torrent safely but then found himself caught in the flame on the second. the searing flames instantly disintegrated the remains of his space suit and inspired him to rethink his impulsiveness; taking up a familiar place in the corner of the ceiling and waiting for the rest of the troop before continuing to the third. After Larz had unwittingly, but all too thoroughly demonstrated the devastating power of the flames, Rob opted to protect the troop with a portion of his magics by casting Armor of Ithan invocation on everyone, except for Gobi who preferred to place his faith in his symbiotic Bio-armor. The group managed to catch up to Larz without incident and Rob then empowered the final unarmored member of the troop with his magic, sheathing the naked amphibian in a shimmering blue field.
Beyond the final flame torrent stood another exoskeleton-clad geezer, this one as motionless as the one before. Believing that he was as desensitized as the previous exoskeletonal pilots the group had encountered, Rob and Gobi began lining up shots with lethal intent while both Aya and Viktor ran into close combat. Although Viktor navigated the flame with expert skill, Aya was not so lucky and found herself wreathed in blinding green nuclear fire. Quite horrified by the experience and losing control of her own faculties, the panicked Aya fled from the voices of her companions. As Viktor ran into close combat and Aya ran around like a headless chicken, the exoskeleton’s proximity sensors were triggered and he summoned a barrel to toss onto the duo in front of him. Having already lined up his shot, Gobi blasted the man within the exoskeleton before he could throw the barrel, causing its self-destruct to initiate and him to drop the barrel below which only made Aya’s combustion issue worse. As hasty as ever, Viktor was able to speedily escape the blast radius but the flaming Aya did not seem capable of the same grace with her instincts being tainted by the horror of being burned alive. Realizing the problem, Gobi attempted to intercept Aya and shield her body with his own but his Bio-Armor resisted as it wanted nothing to do with the radioactive flames which surrounded her. Regardless of Gobi’s intentions, Aya was able to evade the explosion in time with her uncontrolled movements directing her into the final room which was occupied by a M.O.M. implanted, intelligent baby riding a robot.
Still not in control of her faculties, Aya ran toward the infant as the rest of the group converged on the ledge above and looked on in shock. Threatened by the flaming Aya, the baby reacted and instructed his automated turrets to gun her down. While Viktor dealt with the turrets, Gobi attempted to quell the baby by offering him the pacifier he recovered earlier and enticing him by making it seem extremely pleasant. Although the baby was clearly enticed, he didn’t seem up for negotiations and instead flew into a blinding rage and focused all of his efforts on destroying Gobi, trying to take the pacifier for himself. Using the baby’s enraged state to his advantage, Gobi lured him back to the nearest flame projector and began fighting him where he was most vulnerable. After enduring multiple missile volleys and rocket fist attacks, Gobi’s armor was seriously wounded and he threw the pacifier to Rob in order to finish the job. With the baby’s attention now on Rob, the duo were able to finish off the toddler’s exoskeleton with Rob atomizing it by releasing a significant amount of stored kinetic energy directly into it. Although the baby seemed defeated, he was prepared for much more and looked like he was willing to fight Rob bare-knuckle. Instead, Gobi expertly grabbed the child from behind and held him up to Rob, instructing the Sea Titan to jam the pacifier into the baby’s mouth. After finally tasting the delights of the pacifier, the baby fell asleep, seemingly no longer a threat. After a fierce battle, the two joined the others back in the final room where Aya and Larz had been fighting over control of the computer console.
Although Larz seemed both capable and willing to disrupt Aya’s field of expertise, he eventually got bored and let her tinker with the machine herself. Much to her surprise, she soon determined it was the sewage controls for a large sector of Tritonia and that she was able to direct the waste and water to these pipes so the group could replenish their supplies and jury-rig a makeshift shower. By using one of the spears to drill a hole in the pipe that was located above the grate that led to the lava below, she managed to release water for the group and created a plug from another spearhead so she could control its flow. Victorious and their water supplies replenished (at least for now!) the troop turned their attention to the timer into the Pink Room, although the window of activation would not be ready for another 40+ hours.
May 12, 110 P.A.
As the group waited for the timer to count down (some more patiently than others), it became apparent that at some point both Aya and Larz had vanished without a trace. Although somewhat concerned by the event, it was not entirely unexpected due to the already demonstratedly strange comings and goings of the group and it caused little discourse. Of greater concern was what avenue to pursue next. Not wanting to spend the next three days consuming resources and gaining nothing for their time, Gobi proposed that the group head back and check out the ladder in the hopes of finding more food. Rob however, seemed very reluctant, insisting that as per the video they had previously seen, the ladder only led to death. Although Gobi didn’t find Rob’s argument compelling enough to warrant the wasted time, Gobi was forced to comply after witnessing the deterioration of Rob’s health.
For the first time in his life, the Supernatural Rob found himself falling prey to the ailments of humans. As Rob began plucking out his own teeth to relieve the pressure of the teeth growing in behind, it became clear that for one reason or another, Rob’s own supernaturally enhanced immune system had lost all control and begun attacking his own body. With the group’s current predicament providing ample enough medical practice for Viktor to recall his former training, he was able to identify the sickness as Radiation Poisoning. As Rob’s condition rapidly worsened from simply pulling out teeth to pulling off muscle tissue in his arm, it became clear that he was not in a state fit enough to do much more than wait and hope that they had enough points to get him treatment within the safe room; provided the room had the option available and he could endure his suffering long enough for the door to be unlocked.
As Rob rested, the true nefarious point of his collar revealed itself as Rob sat up and began to speak in a voice that was not his own. Although the being that was now in control of Rob’s body tried to claim that he was the real Rob, the ruse was far from compelling and both Gobi and Viktor saw through it without ever considering another possibility. The controlling force of Rob revealed that he had intended to use Rob as a means of leaving this prison but now due to his sickness, it was an impossibility. With rob no longer a suitable host, the enigmatic being turned his attention to Viktor, casually asking if he had experienced any mother issues. Without response, the being led Rob back to his position where he continued resting unimpeded.
After Rob once again awoke and this time with his own control intact, Gobi and Viktor alerted him to the danger that had befallen him but under Viktor’s advice it was agreed that the collar should be treated cautiously as trying to tear it off with brute force could have deadly effects on the host.
May 13, 110 P.A.
Although Rob’s failing health was always at the forefront of the group’s mind, it was something that was not within their control. Feeling helpless, they instead turned their attention to an issue that had quietly been growing in magnitude while the group’s thoughts lay elsewhere: The baby.
For the past 24 hours the baby had done nothing more than suckle at his pacifier without rest nor sustenance. Having to take a crash course in baby care, the group did whatever they could to feed the child while keeping it passive but it proved impossible. After several failed attempts at keeping the baby tranquil enough to feed without the pacifier, eventually they found some measure of success by Viktor taking the Pacifier out of sight before the baby could react to it. After the baby had its fill of water, the crash course on baby care continued as it highlighted the fact that as a baby, it was unable to eat the only foods the party had available. With that knowledge now banked in the character’s memories, the question arose “What had the baby been using to sustain itself all of this time?” That was a question the baby itself could not answer. After he began trying to tamper with the sewage controls, Gobi called Viktor back to replant the pacifier, due to his concern of the baby destroying their water supply.
Due to the baby’s revelation about his own ignorance regarding his ability to survive within the dungeon and Gobi’s growing concerns about the group’s ability to keep the baby alive with its ailments seemingly designed to be disruptive to both its health and their own; Gobi finally revealed to the group his theories of the nature of the denizens of this dungeon. Gobi told the others that he believed that none of the encounters they have made have been with real people but some kind of constructed beings designed to act as adversaries within this sick game. He confessed that he believed the baby too was another construct that wasn’t a true being at all. Although Gobi cited all of his currently amassed evidence to support his theory, neither of the two remaining group members shared his beliefs. As Gobi’s theories were quickly suppressed, the conversation quickly shifted to how they would care for the baby.
Neither Gobi nor Viktor could offer any suggestions of worth about how to accomplish that task but Rob however had an idea, an idea that Gobi considered to be particularly destructive. Rob wanted to abandon the key with the child and continue their expedition without one of their most important possessions, in order to leave the baby in the same condition that they had found him in. Knowing quite well that once Rob’s mind had been made up, there was no force in the megaverse that could falter his supernaturally stubborn mindset, Gobi counter-proposed that instead of abandoning one of their most valuable assets, he would carry and care for the baby but not without questioning Rob’s motivations. After spending his life in the world of politics; Gobi had become accustomed to dealing with the subtle manipulations of double-talking bureaucrats and was convinced that Rob’s intentions were to force Gobi into a position hopeless enough that he would be forced to either take the life of the baby, or willingly sacrifice the lives of the group for the sake of the child. Although unanimously uneasy about the situation, Gobi’s offer to care for the baby himself seemed to placate the group and they lay down for another sleepless night.
No longer willing to trust his friend with the keyes after he had already threatened to throw them away once before; Gobi snuck up to Rob as he slept and stole the two keys from his possession. Seemingly proud of Gobi’s double-cross, the being which had taken control of Rob once before, chose to do so again. With Gobi’s latest actions in mind, the controller expressed how pleasing Gobi’s choices had been and that he may have misjudged the young Lemurian. More concerned for his friend than his own free will, Gobi offered his own body as a host in return for curing Rob of his ever-worsening ailments. Without refusing the idea, the controlling entity claimed that it was within his power but he needed to delve into Gobi’s mind to see if the trade was beneficial to him. As a politician with sensitive information stored within his mind, Gobi could not agree to the terms and asked the communicator to make the bargain on good faith. Unwilling to negotiate with someone he considered powerless, the entity tried to explain to Gobi that he was holding all of the cards and that Gobi had no bargaining power. It was a claim that Gobi immediately refuted, citing the existence of their conversation as all of the evidence he needed to prove that the stranger too wanted something of Gobi. Demonstrating himself as not one to enjoy the intricacies of diplomacy, the conversation came to an abrupt end as the being tore apart the docile baby, citing that Gobi needed to be taught a lesson and that this conversation would continue tomorrow. Although Gobi had just witnessed the most heinous of crimes, he could not help but admire how well out-played he was on this occasion; although Gobi had no idea as to the extent of it as the being quietly reprogrammed Rob’s memories, in an attempt to convince him that he had witnessed Gobi murdering the child with his own hands.
May 14, 110 P.A.
Although Rob’s mental endurance persevered and he was able to judge the memory as the lie it was, the day still began as the being behind Rob’s collar had orchestrated. Rob confronted Gobi about the baby but focused more-so on his missing keys which were obviously in Gobi’s possession as indicated by the icons above his head. With a night’s worth of mental preparation, Gobi was able to respond calmly and intelligently enough to prevent the potential violence that Rob’s symbiotic collar had tried to orchestrate so brilliantly. By highlighting the collar’s control over Rob’s own mind, Gobi place the blame of all of Rob’s irrational behavior on that insidious device and offered to return the keys to Rob after the collar was removed and they could be sure Rob’s mind was no longer corrupted.
After trying to tear off the collar, Rob was stunned into unconsciousness. Wanting to spare his friend as much pain as possible, Gobi tried to tear off the collar himself while Rob’s conscious mind was hidden far away from the pain in the realm of slumber. Although Gobi was able to damage it, Rob’s convulsions and discomfort compelled Gobi to stall his actions as even though his rational brain believed Rob’s mind would not suffer during his unconsciousness, he still could not find the will to harm him further. After reawakening, rob was able to finish the job Gobi had started and complete the tear, ridding himself of the collar which had caused such animosity and with it, the insanities Rob had collected over the duration of his life. As per their bargain, Gobi offered rob not just the two keys he stole, but with the added third as a peace offering. However with his mind no longer clouded by both insanity and the thoughts of another being, Rob rejected the keys, citing that he no longer needed them; and in the process, reinforcing Gobi’s belief that the possessor had been causing all of their issues.
Their morning troubles now dealt with, the group quietly waited, watching the clock tick down both for the door to finally be unlocked and cautious about any resurgence from he that tried to take Rob’s body as his own. With the collar destroyed, that being missed his planned appointment with Gobi that night.
May 15, 110 P.A.
Viktor quietly twitched as the clock counted down to zero before finally charging to it in a moment of revelry akin to that of a loving dog at the return of his master after a day’s work. As the group entered the safe room’s entrance area, they were met with a most unwelcome sight. The door that lay between them and their ever-demanded progression was locked by a green key; a key none had in their possession.
Fortunately, the room offered medical services for the exchange of points which would probably save Rob’s life. Although Gobi wanted to find another safe room from which to take that offer to prevent Rob from simply getting himself sick once again by having to return through the radiation fields; Rob convinced Gobi to spend the points now through fear that he would not make it to another safe room in his condition. Although reluctant, Gobi agreed and helped his friend recover even with the potential for it being only a temporary solution. As Rob stood in the chamber that promised to heal his wounds, the timer ran out, sealing the group within the safe room.
After Rob’s recovery, the group turned their attention to the monitor, desperately trying to find anything that could take their minds off the thought of having to endure another 96 hour wait. Although navigating the computer was a source of frustration for the technologically ignorant group, they did manage to learn some tidbits of information; most notably the fact that the only way to re-select a princess was with the failure of the existing champion. With their technological abilities already far exceeding their usual limit, the group gave up on the subtleties of the monitor and focused their thoughts on one remaining option.
After a passionate debate on the merits of spending a point in order to view what was on the other side of the green room door, Gobi once again fell prey to Rob’s stubbornness and submitted to his will. This time, that decision proved wise as the camera’s revelation cemented their future course of action. Waiting for the master of the Green Room key was an impossibility as he was nowhere in sight. With that idea thoroughly crushed, the group’s only remaining option lay in the way they came and traversing the deadly radiation fields at least once more.