Friday, March 28, 2008

Session 5 - Triften's Alternity game - Super Recap

Your vision blurs and colors swim. Sounds echo and some are garbled. A cacophony of voices asks "What's going on?" The responses all overlap, some different, some later than others. "Are you okay?" "Look out!" "Werewolf at your six!" "You should take seat." "Are you alright?" "More of those damn worm things." "Dude, sit down. You gonna hurl?" "Oh, jeez. Go get Jesse! Hurry!" Your vision flickers white as sharp pains jab into your skull. Suddenly, everything clears up and the voices fade out.

"Rest. Here, have some water."

As you relax, you realize you remember everything.

Below are summaries of events for each timeline. Not every character will have a recollection of every timeline and, initially, not every character recalled events after switchovers. Sections in italics were not actually played.

May 15, 2010: Thousands of people take to the streets... Not to protest, but because some type of parasitic worm has taken control of their bodies. They attack those who aren't hosts, usually just mobbing their victims and swinging fists to knock them unconscious so they can be taken. Those who aren't busy attacking will spend time shuffle in circles or swinging their arms for no apparent reason.

Nick and Steve have their first encounter while transporting a patient in their ambulance. Al meets them in the dark of restaurant. Sam is nearly pulled from his car by the Wormed but manages to extract himself from their clumsy grasp and rescue, Nick, Steve, and Sam. Steve doesn't make it.

Worms 2
Nick and Steve have their first encounter while transporting a patient in their ambulance. Al meets them in the dark of restaurant. Sam is nearly pulled from his car by the Wormed but manages to extract himself from their clumsy grasp and rescue Nick, Steve, and Sam. Steve doesn't make it. Mark is picked up by the crew (along with a batch of plastique). Kellie flags down Sam as they head out of town.

During a stop for provisions along the thruway (New Baltimore Travel Plaza), a mob of Wormed set upon the travelers and, in the ensuing chaos, Sam falls on a piece of rebar that usually holds a parking stop. The rebar leaves a sucking chest wound. They all head for the nearest hospital in hopes that the supplies/skills to help Sam will be available.

The crew arrives at a hospital in Ravena, NY. They meet Pete, Malcolm, Sylvia, and a (red-shirted) doctor. Nick and the doctor start patching up Sam while the rest of the crew battles a number of Wormed and encounters a large tank of water practically filled with worms. Pete sets it alight with flammable liquids while the rest of the combat-oriented characters waste the surprisingly nimble Wormed guarding the tank. Alvin attempts to extract a worm, causing serious damage to the host body.

May 7th, 2010: Thousands of people disappear as what appear to be werewolves begin rampaging. Cities burn as the crazed beasts tear through store fronts, killing and maiming everyone they encounter.

Sam, Kellie, and Jesse meet up in NYC. They begin to make their way out of the city in Sam's Firebird. Alvin goes to make his hit in the restaurant, only to find it being ransacked by angry lycanthropes. He unleashes suppressing fire while managing a tactical retreat into the roadway.

Alvin tries to flag down a car, only to see an ambulance with a werewolf on the hood crash into a nearby burning building. The next car approaching is Sam's Firebird. Alvin waves and the car slows as it passes, allowing Alvin to hop in. The four head north and, while crossing the GW bridge, encounter two more werewolves who demonstrate their frightening running pace. Katie is able to put one down at range and the other werewolf gets his leg caught between bridge segments while running at about 70 miles an hour.

They continue north on the NY Thruway and stop for provisions at the New Baltimore travel plaza. Kellie and Alvin take down a werewolf in the parking lot then head in to collect provisions (picking their way through the bodies) while Sam and Jesse go to get gas. Sam and Jesse discover that the pumps have been shutoff. Keys are retrieved from the dead attendant (apparent claw overdose) and Sam and Jessie try to figure out how to turn the fuel back on. Their work is interrupted when a werewolf drops down from the garage roof knocking Sam down like a rag doll. Jesse screams at the werewolf, causing it to pause long enough for Sam to draw his SMG. The wolf pins Sam against the garage with his claws, puncturing one of his lungs. Sam responds in kind by puncturing the wolf's lungs, heart, face, and skull.

Kellie and Alvin rush back to join up. Neither of them have any skill in first aid, but Jesse shows uncanny skill in stabilizing Sam. Kellie and Alvin find a compact car (aiming for good gas mileage to reduce stops) and Alvin, using the "look for the suction cup mark" requisitions a GPS from another vehicle. Using the GPS, they head for the nearest hospital, which is in Ravena, in the hope of finding the skills or supplies to help Sam.

They arrive at the hospital and Jesse and Kellie head in to investigate. A doctor comes out of hiding when he realizes that neither Jesse nor Kellie are werewolves. He is glad to see friendly faces (or at least faces without fur and fangs.) Suddenly, all four of the travelers feel their heads begin to swim. Jesse reacts suddenly, yelling at Kellie to remember him and to come get him in Indiana and something about "silver meadows". With one more scream of "Remember me!", he stabs her with the scalpel.

March 12th, 2010: Electronics inexplicably fail, communications networks go down. PEREGRINE UAV bombers strike New York City. Chaos and anarchy follow.

Nick, Alvin, Jesse, and Kellie meet in NYC, holed up in the subway tunnels. After a few months of fending off HATCHET robots (tank treads + manipulator arm with 7.62mm rifle) and engineering HERF guns, they hear that survivors are rebuilding in Kitchener, Ontario and decide to head north.

Meanwhile, Mark has holed himself up in a hospital in Ravena, NY. Using his skill with juryrigging and explosives, he sets up a defensive perimeter in one wing of the hospital.

Upon stopping for provisions, Jesse sustains injuries from gunfire. Nick stabilizes him and they rush Jesse to the nearest hospital.

Kellie heads in to the hospital to check for robots. She gets confused momentarily and has to reconvene with Alvin and Nick. Alvin returns to the hospital with Kellie and, after causing a racket, encounter Mark. Once they feel the area is safe, they bring Jesse in and Nick begins to attempt surgery on Jesse... in an ER without power... and no trained help. Jesse doesn't make it.

Mark joins the remaining three as they head off-highway to the northwest, towards Buffalo and, eventually, Kitchener, Ontario. The going is slow and food, water, and fuel are sparse. Driving an old muscle car doesn't help mileage either. At the first stop they make, they acquire a manual fuel pump to extract gasoline from the underground tanks of service stations.

Before they can move on, a helicopter UAV (VMAC) is spotted over the trees. They retreat into the service station as the copter approaches, surveying the area. As it hovers over the station, examining their car, Kellie levels her HERF gun at the UAV. Its circuits fried, the copter lists into a nearby tree, destroying its rotor and sending it into the ground. The sudden change in potential and kinetic energies, as well as rotational momentum, turns the helicopter into a twisted wreckage. Mark pulls a few parts from it that might be useful later.

At their next stop, they pull up to a classic train car diner to find it picked clean. With empty stomachs, they set up shifts for keeping guard. During his shift, Alvin meets up with a friendly local named Jeff. Jeff is with a group of survivors who recommends that they pass on through and gives some tips for living through the night. The next morning, Alvin relates what he learned from Jeff and the four resume their journey.

As the needle approaches empty yet again, their search for fuel brings them to a bombed service station. The burnt husk of a Crown Vic plates lies overturned near the pumps, its government plates framed by soot. While Nick, Alvin, and Mark survey the area outside and get to work refueling, Kellie heads inside in search of food.

She nearly passes over a body to collect snack cakes and batteries for the HERF gun. The body is of a male, about 40-years old, who has suffered injuries from massive concussive force and flying glass. Kellie finds a satchel of notebooks and brings it back to the car.

They get back on the road with Alvin at the wheel as Nick, Mark, and Kellie begin reading through the notebooks, journals, and other books.

Robots 2
March 12th, 2010: Electronics inexplicably fail, communications networks go down. PEREGRINE UAV bombers strike New York City. Chaos and anarchy follow.

Nick, Alvin, Sam, and Kellie meet in NYC, holed up in the subway tunnels. After a few months of fending off HATCHET robots (tank treads + manipulator arm with 7.62mm rifle) and engineering HERF guns, they hear that survivors are rebuilding in Kitchener, Ontario and decide to head north.

Meanwhile, Mark has holed himself up in a hospital in Ravena, NY. Using his skill with juryrigging and explosives, he sets up a defensive perimeter in one wing of the hospital.

Upon stopping for provisions, Sam sustains injuries from gunfire. Nick stabilizes him and they rush Sam to the nearest hospital.

Kellie and Nick head into the hospital to check for robots and encounter Mark. Once they feel the area is safe, they bring Sam in and Nick begins surgery on Sam... in an ER without power... and no trained help. Nick manages to stitch Sam up.

Mark joins them as they head off-highway to the northwest, towards Buffalo and, eventually, Kitchener, Ontario. The going is slow and food, water, and fuel are sparse. Driving an old muscle car doesn't help mileage either. At the first stop they make, they acquire a manual fuel pump and manage to fend off a VMAC helicopter.

After meeting up with a group of survivors, they find a burnt-out service station, a car wreck, and a corpse with a collection of notebooks.

Sylvia awakens amongst building wreckage with little recollection of the past few months and walks into the street to get a better view of the surrounding.

Alvin finds the road suddenly occupied by a woman and, despite the dry conditions, sends the car into a skid, then into a furniture store, while avoiding a collision with her.

The crew piles out of the car to check out the situation. Sylvia is brought up to speed on the robot situation. Incredulous, Sylvia turns on her cell phone. It starts up and is unable to find a signal. With some yelling from Kellie and gun-pointing from Sam, Sylvia is convinced to turn off the phone. They pile into the car and begin to depart the scene of the transmission.

Time seems to slow as the PEREGRINE jet passes 30 meters overhead in a blur. The sonic boom rattles windows and teeth and is soon followed by an explosive shockwave, sending the car up on its nose. The vehicle slides on its passenger-side front bumper for an indeterminate distance before falling onto its right hand side and completing a roll. Alvin stomps on the accelerator then realizes that the windshield is almost opaque from cracks. While attempting to kick the windshield out and drive, Alvin sends the car into the ditch, sustaining mild joint injuries. Nick springs into action, removing the broken windshield and displacing Alvin at the wheel.

They switch vehicles as soon as possible, taking a Chevy Suburban from a car dealer, and press on to Kitchener. About 100 km from the city, they are flagged down by an odd fellow hiding in the trees. He directs them to leave their vehicle and walk to town to prevent the robots from spotting the town. He provides them with a few iodine tablets so that they can make the 5 day hike to Kitchener.

Just outside Kitchener, they are directed to a drain pipe by yet another guide and into Kitchener II. In Kitchener, they meet their leader, Karl, and their head of security, Alan. Karl seems friendly enough and Alan takes a keen interest in the newcomers.

It turns out Alan was in the Army and worked as a liaison with DARPA. He knows about SILVER MEADOWS a.k.a. Round Mountain Research Facility, Nevada, and some of the projects there. He tells them about C.A.I.N.N., an AI that came online right before the bombing started. Alan wants to get into SILVER MEADOWS and shut down C.A.I.N.N.

Remember, if your character was not introduced to a timeline, they won't remember it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Session 4 - Trif's Alternity - Kellie

We're still driving, of course, but for some reason everything is different again. Sam is there, bleeding out, we're driving a huge van instead and I remember snakes again, not robots. And we pull into the hospital again, the same damn hospital we left a day or two ago.

We've got a surgeon this time, though, and he gets to work on Sam right away. There's even more people there, Malcolm, Sylvia and Pete. I don't even really try to explain the shifts, it doesn't seem worth it any more. At least Tequila and Nick seem to know what's going on this time. We're not there a half hour when one of them, Malcolm, manages to run afoul of a frigging snake head. I take that one out with a gory head shot. Malcolm sure is a noisy sonofabitch.

I wander around looking for the generator, but no such luck. I do find a fucking huge vat of snakes though. Jesus Christ, Mal, Sylvia and Pete knew about them and just left them there. I rally the troops, or at least Nick, Sam, Mark and Sylvia, and we head back to try to take care of the snakes.

There's six more snakeheads in the tank room now and there's a fight on. Mark manages to take down three, Tequila kills one and we manage to knock out the other two. After the fight is almost won, Pete finally graces us with his presence; he pours out a tank of gasoline into the tub of snakes and lights it. The stench of 'snake barbecue' is disgusting.

The snakes are squirming on the ground and I stomp one. Tequila tries to remove one of the snakes from a living host only to tear out his throat. I think I throw up on the inside of my mouth.

I think it's funny that I find myself really missing werewolves and robots.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Session 4 - Triften's Alternity game - The Knot

Warmth is good. Family is good. We are growing. Water is good. All, ensure our safety.

Good. Find food, keep your shells safe.

Wait for them. Their herd will spread. Take them when they are alone.


Light! Away, cattle!
Follow it. Take it.

Strike now. Take the shell.
Strike it harder. Strike the head. Use your feet.
Escape if possible. If not, kill.
Take one and... what sadness. Protect us. Return here. Wait here.
We are strong, all are one.

Yes! We are more. Attack! Take them! Wield weapons, disrupt their flesh!
FIRE! KILL THEM! Stop the fire!
We are burning! Fire! The heat kills!
We need safety.
We run.
Darkness safe.
Safe darkness.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Session 3 - Triften's Alternity game - The Journal

March 19, 2010

My name is Erik McCollough. Until recently, I worked in security at the Silver Meadows research facility. At approximately 1400 hours on March 12, the facility went into lockdown. The procedure didn't work properly. Communications were down and many areas lost power. The internal security systems seemed to malfunction trapping most of us in the facility. I managed to escape with 3 others, 2 researchers (Gayle Iseman, Louis Dean) and 1 soldier (Douglas Calavet, USA). Soon after emerging in the surrounding countryside, an explosion struck our group. I was uncounscious for sometime and came to to find the others had been killed by the blast. As I lay on the ground, I heard other explosions nearby followed immediately by what sounded like sonic booms. I made my way to the exerior parking lot, procured a vehicle, and escaped the facility by driving through the exterior fence. I followed my initial impulse to drive east, towards less populated areas.

The roads seemed to be empty. After almost 4 hours, I had to stop for gas. The service station was dark, no power. When I pulled up, a mob of people rushed towards my car. As I rolled down the window to ask what was wrong, they began to reach into my car. I put the car in reverse, drove around the mob, and returned to the highway. I was able to make it to the next service station. Instead of a mob of people, there were burned-out, overturned tractor trailers. I was able to refill the car by siphoning fuel from the few surviving cars. The facilities had been bombed, no survivors found.

I set up camp off the highway and spent a few days there. I saw no other vehicles on the highway and no planes overhead. Today I've decided to head east.

March 22, 2010

My head's a bit clearer today. I'm giving myself some time to write so this doesn't end up being a basic travel log. I'm sorry I can't commit too much to these pages due to possible classification issues. Even though the world seems to have fallen apart, I can't throw everything away just yet.

The work at Silver Meadows consisted of a lot of robotics work, UAVs, AUVs, and some other computer research of some sort. We seemed to have hired a lot of computer scientists, physicists, and electrical engineers. I'm pretty sure that our research is directly related to what happened earlier and is still happening now.

Hopefully, others have made it out of Silver Meadows. There's little in the way of coomunications in or out, so escapees would, unfortunately, be the best method of getting more information out of SM. I've got Gayle's, Louis' and Doug's ident cards with me. I don't know their PINs, but I hope the cards might be useful later, if only to ID those lost.

Later entries will be only dates to chronicle the passage of time.

April 2, 2010

Nephi, Utah

Going has been slow. I've wasted a lot of time gathering resources, searching for food and fuel. I tried to get on Interstate 15, but the on-ramp had been damaged. I proceeded on foot to find that the roadway had been broken up and explosives set off across the road. It doesn't look like aerial bombing did that, but I have little training in explosives.

April 13, 2010

Trenton, Missouri

This area looks inhabited. Maybe I'll find some people friendlier than that group at the service station.

April 14, 2010

Trenton, Missouri
The group of survivors is led by a man named Jake. He claims that they have no leader but when he speaks, everyone listens. If I were looking for a safe haven this might be it, as long as I was on Jake's good side. I think he may have a criminal record, so I'm going to move on before they decide that I'm worth more to them dead than alive. I may just be paranoid, but a little paranoid may be in order these days.

April 17, 2010

Spotted another vehicle on the road. 1980s honda, travelling at about 90 mph. I assumed they were running from something and pulled off the road and under cover. I saw a small helicopter UAV pass by, followed by the twin explosions of ordinance and sonic boom. I'll need to keep my eyes peeled for UAVs.

May 3rd, 2010

Travel has been even slower this past month. More roads seem to be broken, blown up, or barricaded. While driving through Pennsylvania, I was preparing to swerve around debris on the roadway, when the objects in the road turned out to be two Hatchet model bots armed with 50 caliber machine guns. They opened fire and I was able to turn down a side road and leave them behind. I drove as far as I could on a flat tire before switching to the spare and searching the area for a replacement. I should probably lay low for a few days in case whoever was controlling those Hatchets comes looking for me. They'll probably send a UAV my way.

May 12, 2010

Otselic, New York

Met up with group of survivors, or, more accurately, with their representative named Jeff. He was diplomatic and offered a place to stay but I got the impression that he/they didn't want me around. The government plates didn't help either. Plus, there's an aura a fed picks up that's hard to drop, especially in dangerous times like these.

They have a lot of rules for survival, ranging from safe paths to walk to safe vehicles to operate. I may have lucked out on the Crown Vic I took from the SM parking lot, it lands in a production window of high quality electrical system (less radio noise) and not being fully wired like the latest models. The big emissions push 8 years ago swept most old cars off the roads and the newer ones came with an assortment of remote and wireless capabilities. Not a single example of these vehicles has been found to work lately, and, they claim that trying to start one of these has gotten more than one person killed by the bombers.

I don't think I can stay with these people. I can't bring myself to be that passive. Granted, they are trying to survive, but they don't seem to have any plans beyond that. I've heard stories from people about a settlement in Kitchener, Canada. The stories are that it is rather large. Every story differs a bit so I have no idea what to expect. I wouldn't be surprised to find a smoking crater there, but that's where I'm headed now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Session 3 - Trif's Alternity - Kellie

I think I've said it before, but it bears repeating, I love my guns. What I don't love is robots.

I'm also beginning to think I need to just roll with whatever sanity I have. The last thing I remember of the werewolves is getting my arm stabbed by Jessie and him sort of melting away. After that, I'm stumbling over my own two feet, at the entrance to the emergency room, lights off, flashlight in hand. Jessie's not there, the doc's not there and suddenly I have no idea why I'm there.

I go back out to the car, which is not the car I remember, and instead of Sam laid out in the back with a sucking chest wound, it's Jessie. There's actually no Sam at all and the driver is some guy I've never even met before named Nick. Tequila is there, though, and he is under the impression I was sweeping the hospital for robots.

All I can think is that Jessie said that guns don't work on robots and I'm suddenly very scared that it's not werewolves any more. The silver lining is a High Energy Radio Frequency (HERF) gun that I apparently cooked up in this reality. It's supposed to be good verse robots. Thank god I'm not a horrible idiot here. Everyone thinks I'm crazy though. Jessie didn't, I asked, even with the chest wound, he remembers werewolves.

We couldn't find a doctor, just some police bomb tech named Mark. The new-old guy, Nick, is a EMT so he does his best on Jessie.

It's not good enough.

I can't really say how I feel about that; I suppose the word is numb. I don't remember losing anyone but him. We supposedly lost a lot of people while I was in some NYC underground, but I don't remember them. Just before he dies, Jessie apologizes for stabbing me, and I realize my arm doesn't even hurt any more.

I ask Tequila about it afterwards. Everyone in the underground though Jessie was crazy, and Tequila's not even sure I'm not crazy. I keep talking and talking, about the gas station, about the werewolves, about the crazy army guy who got mauled instead of Jessie. Somehow I eventually jog his memory, and Nick's a little, I think. I don't remember Mark before this so I'm not sure there is anything there to jog. What is it about us that makes us keep our memories? Is it Jessie? Will that stop now that he's dead? Will I see him again if we shift again? I hope we shift again, that way I can tell him I understand. I hope I'll remember.

It seemed so easy for Jessie to remember all the places he'd been. I'm not sure if I pity him or envy him. It's only three realities in and I'm not sure I can keep keeping them straight. I can't even remember this world about robots until hours in, when I'm staring at my HERF and I can't remember making it and I can't remember if it works or anything. I'm starting to think I'm just completely crazy, but eventually it starts to fuzz into place.

I can say with absolute certainty that it works at at least 30 meters, and we now have parts of a blown up robot. We'd were tracked down by a helicopter robot, and I get to do my first field test of the thing that I can remember. It was actually pretty cool, nerd science at work. I'm glad I printed out these plans off the internet before all the electronics went dark.

The 'here' memories and the 'there' memories are starting to integrate into my mind. I worry about storage space, though. In my mind, I have that box labeled 'snakes', the one for 'werewolves' and now I also have the one for 'robots'. I'm worried I'm going to run out of room.

We gas up and drive and gas up and drive and then when it starts to get dark we pull over and get ready to sleep. We end up stopping in what is apparently Otselic, NY and sleep in a little diner. There's no gas to be had, the station has been pumped dry, there's no food in the diner, nothing. It's clear there were people left living here and they've long since picked the resources clean, but we crash for the night.

When my watch is on, I find out we had a late night visitor, named Jeff. Apparently, he's been holed up in the area. He warned us off of smoking or sleeping in view of the windows, that sort of thing. Stupid stuff we probably should have figured out for ourselves.

The next morning, I'm happy to leave the survivalists behind. At least we're doing something, heading to Canada isn't much, but it's something. They were just bunkering down and waiting for someone else to do something about it. It's not like the robots or the werewolves will stop themselves. Also, I have to remember, something about our car might attract robots. Jeff apparently said something about the alternator being noticeable to them. I'll figure it out, I just hope I keep remembering it.

We stop for gas when we're almost out but the station seems to have been bombed out. There's a government car and a lot of exploded stuff. I'm on 'ransack the quick mart' duty for food, beverage and --- corpse. The corpse was some government man, I assume he went with the government car. I'm not a medic but I'm pretty sure he died of glass and concussive force. He had with him a gun, which I took --- you can never have too many guns, and several notebooks.

Fueled up and on the road I cracked open one of them and started to read. I'm not sure what everyone else might have had to read, but my notebook had technical specifications for something pretty high level, a computer or robot thing. I'm pretty sure I didn't get it right away, probably on account of picking it off a dead body, but I promised myself I'll take a better look at it next time my head is clearer.