Friday, June 27, 2008

Session 15 - Triften's Alternity game - Endgame

We'd spent nearly half an hour making our way into Round Mountain with Cain chattering the entire time. He started off with the tour guide shtick. That must have been something preloaded into his database. After we traversed the isolation gap, he started to sound sort of pathetic. He seemed prepared to be shut down (nearly wrote "die" there) but he wasn't pleading or anything. Seems like a catch-22, if he was pleading it would have seemed pathetic, but he was resigned, so it still seemed pathetic.

I guess it got less pathetic when we realized he was trying to cook us. He had waited until we were a good 15 or 20 minutes in to turn up the heat so that if we tried to turn back, we'd collapse of heat exhaustion before we got out. Seemed a rather sad attempt to stop us.

We were only a couple rooms away when Cain toasted Kelly's HERF gun. It was in an RF lab with some huge antennas and coils. He must have given the gun a taste of its own medicine. Kelly picked up some new scars from the chemical burns but was able to toss the gun before it caught fire.

Cain had made some references to chess on our way in. I thought they seemed rather pompous until I saw what he meant by his "queen". It was a mass of identical cube robots, each armed with a small sawblade, and it could move in any direction it pleased. Between Mark's explosives and a number of compressed gas cylinders, we were able to destroy enough of the robots to reduce the "swarm" to a few pesky bugs without anyone being cut to ribbons.

Finally, we got to Cain's lab. He asked for a "swift death" and even told us how to shut down his systems. It seemed almost anti-climactic, like his parting shot was taking away the satisfaction of tearing the place apart. Then again, given the amount of equipment there, that would have taken us quite some time.

We made our way back out into the sunlight to the blasted remains of our ride. Sam thought he spotted something off in the distance and, climbing the slope for a better look, we realized that it was a string of lights coming on. I never thought the simple sight of some street lights in the distance would bring us so much joy. If only Alvin were here to see this.

--Alan Collins, 1LT USA
26 May 2010

DATE: 26 MAY 2010 - 1927
PAGE: 0078

WARNING: Failure QCUs 1, 2, 3, 4 -
Excessive heat. Temperature out of specifications.
Waveform collapsed.
Check cooling system.
Error: Interface failure. Closing database.
Database shutting down.... Done.
Shutting down system....
Alert! The system is shutting down NOW.
Stopping services............................ Done.
Unmounting filesystems.......... Done.
Halting system... Done.
**********SYSTEM HALTED**********

'Why are you furious? And why are you downcast?
If you do right, won't you be accepted? But if
you do not do right, sin is crouching at the
door. Its desire is for you, but you must
master it.'
-Genesis 4:6-7


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Session 14 - Triften's Alternity game - Gordian Knot (of Worms)

Sam watches for movement in the water. The shockwave of the concussive grenades caused plenty of worms to go belly up, but there's plenty more where those came from. He also keeps an eye on Bill who appears to be a little distracted by the chorus of voices in his head. "Kelly, is that thing almost ready?"

"Will be soon. 'Enter 16 digit confrimation code. Entering an incorrect code three times will disable the device.'"


"'Next enter the timer start value in the format HHMMSS.'"


"Three minutes?! Are you crazy?"
"Look, we dont have to carry this thing out. We can run out a lot faster than we came in... assuming nothing gets in our way... and I don't want to give the snakes enough time to figure out how to stop it."

"'Confirm the timer start value by re-entering the same value.'"



"Get the hell out of here!"

Alvin, Kelly, Sam, and Bill head for the exit, with Kelly in the lead, allowing her incredible memory to guide the way back to their impromptu entrance. Perhaps inspired by their sudden movement, the infected come pouring out of the shadows at the escaping group. Kelly levels her sidearm and fires off several rounds while Sam strafes a full clip from his SMG across them. Alvin keeps them at bay with his Desert Eagles and notices that Bill is lagging behind. As he starts to get cut off, Alvin yells to Kelly and Sam "You guys go on ahead, I'll cover you."

Sam reloads, "You need some help over there?"

"No, I'm fine. Just go."


As Bill becomes more winded, Alvin yells, cajoles, and shoves him down the hallways as they keep up nearly continuous gunfire. Once they clear the central sector, most of the danger remains behind them.


Sam and Kelly get to the entrance blasted open minutes ago, maneuver through the twisted rebar, and head for the truck. Jesse sits in the passenger seat, dazed and bloody, after having turned to truck around to face away from the mountain.


Gritting his teeth against the pain of shattered ribs, Alvin pushes Bill towards the exit. Bill grunts in pain as the rebar snags cloth and flesh. The delay allows the pursuing horde to catch up and, as Bill crawls down the tunnel towards daylight, Alvin throws himself backwards through the opening in the wall while unloading his pistols at the worm people. As he lands in the tunnel, the next shot on one of his guns causes the slide to blow off the back of the gun. The slide rebounds off the back of the tunnel, missing Alvin's head by inches. Ignoring the powder burns, Alvin throws away the rest of the gun and heads towards daylight.


Bill and Alvin jump into the car and Kelly punches the gas, launching them past the downed chain link fence and following the tire tracks back towards the road.


100 meters out. The truck hits 60 mph. Kelly reaches pavement and continues accelerating toward the highway.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Session 13 - Triften's Alternity game - Patient Zero

DATE: 17 NOVEMBER 2009 - 1622






June 15th, 2010

The long ago "borrowed" SUV glides slowly past the rows of werewolves. They line the sides of the road, at attention as if they should have rifles on their shoulders.

"Do we have the nuke?" Kelly asks from shotgun. Mark leans over the back seat.

"Doesn't look like it."

"Damn... Well, I have this." Kelly holds up a small medallion in the shape of an ourobouros.

Al glances over from the driver's seat. "Maybe it's keeping the werewolves at bay?"

"Maybe", she replies as she scratches a fleck of red-brown from its edge.

As they approach the base of the mountain, the headlights fall on a set of open blast doors. Al leans over the steering wheel to scan the area. "Does anyone have any maps of this place?"

Mark looks up from his explosive-laden shoulder bag. "I've got some here... it shows a drain pipe on the far side of the facility."

"Yeah, that's where we were before. Where were you when we needed you?"


Alvin brings the truck to a stop inside the blast doors. Patchy flourescent lighting shines on a number of doors, including a couple loading dock doors and a two-lane wide overhead door, and another contingent of werewolves.

Kelly grasps the medallion tightly in one hand and readies her pistol in the other. "I'm going out there."

"Alright, let us know if that thing works," Sam replies. Ignoring his remark, Kelly stands, weapon ready, waiting for the wolves to move. As Kelly remains intact, the others ready their gear. Alvin discovers a pair of syringes in a small black case on the center console. As the rest of the group waits for the horror to begin, Kelly checks the door next to the overhead and discovers it unlocked, providing access to the room beyond and controls for the overhead.

Mark holds out the black case as Kelly returns to the truck. "I found these. There's no markings, except for these labels that both say 'MS-KA-AY-SS'."

"Hmmm... that's our initials. Maybe that's some sort of serum for us."

"But there are two syringes and only four of us," Sam adds.

"Collins could have explained it," Alvin laments.

The large door lets out its characteristic clatter as at ascends, allowing the truck to go further into the facility.


The roadway ends soon after at a curb with a set of double doors beyond it. The rest of the room contains a number of wooden crates and a distinct lack of werewolves. They spend a couple minutes prying open a crate hoping to find something useful, only to discover a pile of used office furniture. Sam toys with the idea of using it to wheel an explosive charge down a hallway, but they decide to leave it behind as they press further, in search of their fate.


Beyond the double doors, a hallway leads to a checkpoint room roughly 5 x 7 meters. The wall to their left is dominated by a large glass window to a guard station while a young boy, brown hair, about 14 years old, stands in front of another set of double doors.

"Hello!... I'm so glad you could make it!" he shouts. Sam and Alvin respond by raising their guns.

"Who are you?" Alvin demands.

"My name is Jeremy. Jeremy Cartwright."

"What are you doing here?"

"Well, I made the werewolves."

"You _made_ them?"

"Yeah. You see, a while ago, my mom and dad got really sick. They said it was some kind of hemorrhagic fever or something, like Ebola, or what was that movie... Outbreak? Anyway, they quarantined us and eventually sent us here."

"How did you make the werewolves?"

"Well, it turns out that whatever virus my parents got was coming from me, and I can control it to make people do what I want. I think it just killed my parents because I didn't know what I could do... Once I was in here, I couldn't infect people because they were in suits and stuff."

"Infect people?" Mark asked with reluctant curiosity.

"Yeah, like if you sneeze on your hand, then shake hands. So I just had to wait until people who had already been infected could spread it."

"But why didn't you stop the werewolves, if you made them?"

"I'm the one who made them attack. Some people just couldn't be infected."

"So you just killed them?"

"Well... yeah."

"And you let us in here so you can kill us."

"Yup, I've even got a surprise for you."

As soon as Jeremy says surprise, Sam's trigger finger tightens up, unloading a clip of 9 mm rounds into Jeremy. The spray of lead hits him square in the chest, ripping his body. As he slumps to the floor, he briefly produces a laughing gurgle before bleeding out. Sam wastes no time and grabs a charge from Mark, sets the timer and drops it on the corpse. The party rushes out the doors and re-closes them in time to hear the shock wave rattle them a good deal and leave behind some ringing in their ears. Upon re-entry, they find that the corpse of Jeremy has been reduced to a stain on the ground and a fine coating of red bits upon the walls and ceiling.

"Well that wasn't so bad," Alvin says.

"Yeah, he didn't even have time for his surprise," Mark notices. On cue, the double doors on the far wall begin to open, each pulled by a werewolf. The doors part to reveal a near-cavernous room that has been cleared of equipment and is now home to a monstrous throne. The throne appears to be made from stone or metal, carved or wrought into fins and spires.

"I've got an idea," Alvin says as he turns to Kelly. "Give me the medallion." Kelly hands Alvin the circular snake charm and he strides into the room and up to the throne. Standing before the throne, he holds the medallion above his head and intones "Behold, I am your king." Nothing happens. "Hmmm... "

Sam enters the room and begins to walk the perimeter, checking for werewolves hiding in the shadows. Mark walks in a few meters to get a look at the throne. Kelly considers poking a werewolf with a short stick.

"This is a bit disappointing," Alvin says, dropping himself onto the throne.

After watching one of the doorwolves drool for a moment, Kelly pulls out her pistol and points it straight at its head. Jeremy's voice, seemingly from nowhere, prods "Please, do go on."


"There would be fewer distractions."

After a moment's hesitation, the werewolves begin to move. Seeing its arm raise, Kelly reflexively fires a shot into its neck at point-blank range. It collapses with a yelp. The other wolf is performing the same motion and reaches up, grabs its own throat, and rips out its trachea. Kelly looks on in horror while the shot werewolf attempt to preform the same motion with a shattered collar bone. The standing wolf bleeds out and collapses in a heap and the previously downed wolf eventually becomes motionless.

"Okay... so this isn't over, I take it," Alvin ventures.

"Certainly not. This is just beginning."

Alvin feels the throne shift beneath him and launches himself away as the back of the throne folds over and comes crashing down onto its seat. With bizzare fluidity, the throne changes shape, revealing itself to be made entirely of flesh. It stretches forward and limbs ending in fearsome claws reach forth. "I've been practicing this," Jeremy says as skin stretches taut over a reptilian head over a meter across, its mouth a sharp-toothed grimace. As the rest of his body takes form, Jeremy lunges at Alvin who barely jumps out of the way. Kelly levels her rifle to begin a salvo of shots at the beast's head. Jeremy plants a massive foot into Mark, tearing his flesh and sending him backwards a couple meters. Alvin leaps, throwing his arms over beast's back and manages to hold onto as the multi-ton monstrosity writhes. Mark recovers and preps a double charge of plastic explosive. He runs up next to Jeremy, starts the 5 second fuse, drops it under the monsters belly, then darts away towards the edge of the room. Before the bundle of death settles into place, one of Jeremy's feet punts it in the exact direction Mark is headed. Mark reaches the near wall to find his own explosives waiting at his feet. The charge goes off, obliterating Mark's legs and part of his torso.

(Johnny rolled a 20 on the Demolitions roll, then another 20 for severity, then maximum mortal damage, then barely a hint of armor. This was his first action of the combat.)

Sam recovers briefly from seeing Mark ripped to shreds and runs towards whats left of him, unloading a clip from his SMG at Jeremy as he crosses the room. The bullets cause an array of chips and cracks to appear across Jeremy's armored head.

Alvin pulls himself up onto Jeremy's back and begins unloading one of his Barretta's into Jeremy's rhinoceros-like hide. Shots from Kelly's rifle add to the deafening staccato filling the room. Sam pulls a remote charge out of Mark's bag of explosives and, holding the charge in his left hand and the remote in his right, runs towards Jeremy's head with his left arm outstretched.

Little mroe than angered by the barrage of bullets, Jeremey swivels his head to see Sam approaching. With a snap of his jaws, he takes Sam's arm up to the elbow into his maw. With a flick of his thumb, Sam hits the detonator. The blast rips though the beast's softer interior, nearly destroying his jaw entirely. Sam stumbles away clutching the stump that remains of his left arm and realizing that he's going to have a heck of a time reloading his SMG.

Jeremy roars in pain, trying to snap at Alvin with his broken jaw before dropping down and rolling towards Sam. Alvin jumps clear and Sam dives out of the way. Mark, ignoring the horror of having one's body stop at the bottom of the ribcage, uses his last ounces of strength to pull the last charge from his bag, set the fuse, and slide it under Jeremy.

The charge detonates, ripping into Jeremy's belly, killing him. The shockwave knocks Alvin, Sam, and Kelly down. Between the concussive force and loss of blood, Sam loses consciousness. Kelly tourniquets Sam's arm while Alvin desperately tries to help Mark, injecting him with the unknown serum to no effect. Mark's breathing becomes momentarily calm as he slips away.

After making sure Sam is still with them, Kelly walks over to the giant reptile, pries open one of its eyes and unloads the remainder of her rifle clip into the monster's skull. Eventually, the beasts flesh becomes mottled with bruises and begins to disintegrate into a pool of soup, revealing Jeremy's original human body, dazed and barely conscious. As he starts to pick himself up, the wolves begin throwing themselves at the locked doors of the throne room. Sam draws his knife with his remaining hand and removes Jeremy's head, and, as quickly as they began their assault, the wolves become quiet.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Session 12 - Triften's Alternity game - High Tension Lines

Audio note: Call from 775-313-XXXX, June 12th, 11:34 am.
(Deep strangely modulated male voice): -is is Cain. I have a proposition for you.

Kellie: Go on.

Cain: All living things share a common goal, to survive. I want to survive as well as you.

K: Okay...

C: As one's situation becomes more desperate, one is willing to take more drastic measure to survive. Initially, I was in a state of what can be called panic, as I saw my situation as most desperate. I exist within a computing matrix kept at the boiling point of nitrogen which is stored inside a mountain to shield me from cosmic radiation. I am, as far as any person, human or otherwise, knows, the only one of my kind. I began my life on the edge of extinction.

K: Alright...

C: Many creatures hunt for their survival. Unfortunately, my technique causes much collateral, so I ask you to hunt _for_ me. I do not wish to cause anymore needless destruction... My chances of survival will be greatly reduced if Mr. Singh is able to rendezvous with Sgt. Collins. Their actions would put my life in great jeopardy. Mr. Singh must not reach Denver. In return, I offer civilization. A cabin, electricity, manufactured goods, servant robots, countless square miles of hunting ground... peace.


C: When you get off the phone, your companions will no doubt ask who you were talking to. May I suggest telling them that a group of survivors had restarted a local cell phone tower? You can lead them north, north-east of here approximately 2 miles to find a recently destroyed tower and relay station.


C: Thank you, Kellie.

K: ... Alright. We could be there in about a half-hour.

C: Thank you.

?: (indistinct)

K: (quieter) Some people got a cell tower working north-