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Book 3
Chapter III

[GM]
A mixture of relief and sadness are felt by the travelers as
they gaze at where the portal to the underwater base was.
Carlos, Ted, Koba, Lyle, Alex, Raven and Owen are alive,
once again narrowly avoiding death... or worse, but one of
their company is gone.  They are cold, wet and exhausted
in mind and body.

Within moments three members of the crew fly through
the elevator door, along with Louissa, Talas's lover.  At first
she is happy, but when she's the absence of her beloved,
she breaks down.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
"No!"  Louissa says quietly, then louder, "NO!  You have to go
back for him.  You can't abandon him!"  She breaks down into
sobs and one of the crew comforts her.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The other two crew members approach and salute.

"Looks like you had a bad time of it." one of them, a tall man
in damaged armor says.  "We had a bad time.  Apparently, our
good doctor turned out to be a traitor, and it nearly cost us.  We've
got ourselves some prisoners, Kittanni by the looks of 'em.  Nasty
Splugorth minions.  The Captain wants you to know we're under
way now, and she's expecting a full report from Sir Lyle, but she
says to get washed up and get some rest."
[GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex asks, "Is there anyway that you can send a diver out to
> see if you can find him? I am just so tired of having had to leave all
> my comrades behind."
> [/Alex]

[GM]
One of the crewmen nods in agreement.  "Aye, ma'am, that we
shall."

The company are lead into the submarine via the elevator.  There
are signs of even more damage, with a number of very harried
looking technicians busily effecting repairs.  They have now been
assigned quarters, the two women getting their own, but Koba,
Carlos, Ted and Owen forced to share some very crowded
quarters.  Lyle, of course, has his own.

Sometime later as the submarine slips away from the base, one of
the crew comes to visit the party.

"We looked," he says sadly, "aye, that we looked.  The base is
a dangerous place, mind you, but we searched as best we could
and find nothing.  Bits o' the brain things ye talked about, but no
sign of your companion, save this."

He leaves them Talas's kitana, broken a few inches above the hilt.
"A fine bit o' work, if I say so.  He must o' been one kind of warrior.
and it grieves me not ta bring back a body for ye to bury."

For once the company gets several days of relaxation.  Other
than a debriefing with the Captain, there is little to do but to sleep,
get armor mended, clean weapons, and enjoy what little
hospitality a crowded submarine can offer.

For the most part the sub stays below the surface, hoping to
avoid the pirates and other undesirables that plague these
dangerous waters between Atlantis and the Old World.  There
are a few close calls, and one rather nasty sea battle with
a Kittani submarine bent on sinking the ship.

It is a full eleven days before it is announced over the intercom
that land has been sighted.  The submarine surfaces in short order
to reveal a green and verdant coast, clearly tropical, but the forest
removed leaving mile after mile of farmland.  As the submarine
approaches the coast, it can clearly be seen that this is a land
divided into manors, with small villages centered on a large manor
house.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> The red headed scout will have spend a few days getting all of her gear
> ready for the field. As well, she would have tried talking to this
> dagger a bit although warning it that she does not glory in battle.
> [/Alex]

[GM]
The Captain joins the company on deck.  Her strange lizard
features, somewhat like Ted's, but in other ways very different,
has, for once, a happy, almost carefree look about it.

"This is New Argyll." she says.  "Or more properly, the Southern
Counties.  When I first... arrived... it was that village" she points
to a small collection of neatly built white-washed houses with
some sort of thatched roofs, "that I spent my first days
recovering."

"I know," she continues, "that at least Sir Lyle is looking to
return to England, and I have gathered that you seek for
Scotland.  But this vessel needs repairs, and its crew has,
to put it bluntly, been put through a lot.  We will be going
to Port Mackenzie, and from there we can find you passage
to at least New Camelot."

It is another hour before the submarine finds its way to
its destination.  The fields give way to what can best be
described as a vast naval yard.  There are three large
naval vessels, destroyers of some kind, along with another
sub.  There are at least three drydocks, the only one looks
to be completed, as well as fortress atop an escarpment.
The harbor itself is surrounded by a concrete wall still
in the middle of construction.

Just on the other side of the escarpment is a small
town.  It's docks are smaller, and crowded with fish boats,
merchant vessels of every kind from steel-hulled nuclear
vessels to wooden-hulled sailing ships.

When the sub docks, the captain find a military transport
waiting.  "I'm sure you would rather not stay in the barracks."
the Captain says.  "This will take you to King William's Hotel.
A decent establishment.  Tomorrow, I suspect, the Admiral
and other dignitaries will call upon you.  Until then, I thank
you for all you've done."

And with that the company sets foot on Africa, admittedly
a very tame little corner of it.  The transport drops them off
at a small but well-kept hotel.  Inside, it's a surprise to see
that it isn't an inn, there is no commons per se, but rather
a lounge and restaurant.  At the front desk a very smartly
dressed concierge looking like he stepped out of one of the
ancient pre-Rifts movies says in a crisp, English accent.

"Ah yes, company of seven.  Your rooms await."  He snaps
his fingers and three busboys appear to help the company
with their belongings.  In short order they find themselves
in a suite of rooms on the third floor, brightly lit with very
comfortable looking beds.  The concierge appears behind
them.  "The restaurant usually serves dinner at six.  That
is about an hour from now.  If you would care to freshen up,
or if you like, I can bring dinner to you."
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> The long trip across the sea was the longest time Koba Had been
> without seeing the sun or sky. Upon arriving on the shore, Koba was
> astounded to see what looks like a verdant countryside. Near constant
> invasions and raids of his home town by violent and evil groups of
> bandits and creatures from the rifts left the people of his hometown
> huddled together for safety in squalor and poverty like a school of
> fish surrounded by sharks. The rare picture of the world before the
> rifts he has seen bears a remarkable similarity to this farmland.
>
> With the submarine's claustrophobic corridors now behind him Koba
> enjoys the fresh air on the ride to the hotel. Once he has dropped off
> his  belongings in the room, he changes into his set of civilian clothes
> and heads down to he restaurant to have a warm meal in relative peace
> (with his pistol in his waistband of course). Picking an empty table,
> he will try to find something not too unfamiliar to his palate.
> [/Koba]

> [Ted]
> Ted seeks Owen out for some healing and then lets the Mind
> Mage get his rest.
> [/Ted]

> [Owen]
> Owen will take the opportunity to rest for an hour, and will join those
> who wish to eat at the restaurant, taking his pistol with him.
> [/Owen]

> [Ted]
> Ted then goes to the restaurant unarmed.
> [Ted]

> [Alex]
> Alex will not be real comfortable with the hotel. She is in many ways
> more used to barracks and the like than any fancy hotel. At home, she
> was in a small homestead with the rest of her family.
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Raven does not join the company for dinner, and Sir Lyle announces
that he's off to dine with the crew.  Louissa, still clearly distraught
by the loss of Talas, does not accompany them either.

The food is actually quite good, the menu having some familiar items,
but dominated by dishes made out of lamb and fish.  Still the food
is enjoyable and the setting a welcome relief from the cramped
galley of the submarine or eating outdoors.  Alex may find this most
uncomfortable of all.

The rest of the customers seem, if not to be upper crust, then at least
to be reasonably well to do.  The women have modest jewelry, the
men dressed in somewhat odd finery involving kilts.  A few people
look at them curiously, but for the most part no one pays them any
peculiar attention.

The meal passes uneventfully, a real change of pace from the
normally manic lives the adventurers have.  In fact, the evening goes
by peacefully as well, unlike the bloodshed of their last stay in an
inn.  New Argyll seems a relatively prosperous, law-abiding place,
though overheard talk suggests that the inland regions are somewhat
more dangerous, and that to the north the Phoenix Empire has begun
to make its presence outside of the Mediterranean known.  Still,
in the tranquility of Port Mackenzie, these rumors of strange empires
far away seem to occupy little more than idle banter.

On the next morning, while the company enjoys a light breakfast,
Osiris, pushed in a wheelchair by a young, comely nurse and looking
a little healthier, if still pretty banged up joins them.  "I hear they've
found passage for you, heading out to New Camelot.  I'm trying to talk
the doctors into letting me go.  But you know doctors."

As Osiris and the rest of the company chat, Owen and Alex get
strange, distant expressions across their faces.  Someone behind them
shouts "Oh my god!  Everyone duck!"

Quite suddenly there's a bright flash and an explosion that literally knocks
people out of their chairs.  It's impossible to tell what's happening, as the
room is filled with smoke, dust and debris, and the air feels superheated
to the point where it feels like its burning lungs.  It's quickly followed
by another blast, more distant, but the building itself seems to shake much
more and above the explosion can be heard, or rather felt, the subsonic
moaning of a damaged structure.

Whatever the attack, everyone in the company realizes a good portion
of their equipment is upstairs in their room, which they're going to have
to get to fast, if at all.

Mass panic is now spreading as people scream, running madly back and
forth.  Sirens can be heard in the distance, and then another explosion...
and then another... and then another...  Still they can see nothing through
the smoke and dust, but it sure sounds like an attack.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> Ted hits the floor as soon as the warning is given.  He scrambles across
> the floor in a low crawl using the furniture as cover. Once clear of the
> dining area, he runs through the kitchen and out the back door before
> coming around to the front corner of the building to get a good look at
> the source of the attack.
> [/Ted]

[Osiris]
Knocked out of his wheelchair, the old Cyberknight, still suffering
from his wounds, shows that core of strength that he and his fellow
Cyberknights have.  Dragging himself across the floor he makes his
way outside behind Ted.
[/Osiris]

> [Ted]
> Ted meets the old man half way and then lifts him over his shoulder. He
> glances around and then makes for his Owen, hoping the psychic can treat
>  Osiris' wounds while the lizard man secures his weapons.
> [/Ted]

[Osiris]
"Thanks." Osiris says.  "Can't wait until these legs are back in one piece."
[/Osiris]

> [Alex]
> Alex responds, "Thanks."
>
> The red headed scout was about to try to help Osiris.
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Ted is confronted with the rather frightening scene of at least four of
these:
[/GM]



[GM]
... along with several of these rushing up the beach or flying (it's these
that seem do be doing most of the firing):
[/GM]



[GM]
... and a couple of these ...
[/GM]




[GM]
As well, there appear to be a number of amphibious landing craft,
and out of them are flowing hundreds of these:
[/GM]



[GM]
Out in the ocean, at the edge of sight are what might be transport ships,
but it's hard to see.
[/GM]

[Osiris]
"Oh dear God!" Osiris murmurs.  "Splugorth minions.  A whole bunch.
Got a weapon handy, Ted?"
[/Osiris]

> [Koba]
> With the explosion and debris clogging the air Koba coughs to clear is
> lungs before covering his mouth with the cloth of his shirt. Heading
> up the stairs to the room, Koba grabs what he can and arm himself
> with his rifle.
> [/Koba]

> [Alex]
> Alex is almost used to this by now.
>
> She runs up the stairs to get to her gear. Some of the others have
> super abilities or are some kind of supernatural creatures but she is a
> normal human.
> [/Alex]

> [Owen]
> Realizing that there might be bigger trouble coming, Owen dashes
> upstairs to collect his equipment, and gets back out the door as
> quickly as he can.
> [/Owen]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos takes off upstairs for his weapons and equipment.
> [/Carlos]

[Lyle]
Lyle follows suit, rushing up the stairs towards their rooms.
[/Lyle]

[GM]
Running up the stairs proves difficult, with many guests running down
them, and the whole structures shaking so much that it makes moving
up them or keeping any balance at all difficult.  Flames can now be seen
bursting out of some doors.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
To everyone's surprise, Louissa is outside their room, half in her armor,
piling their belongings.  "Quick!" she shouts.  "I think this side of the
building is on fire.  We've got to get out of here."
[/Louissa]

[GM]
In short order everyone is in their armor, and not a minute too soon, as
the thick smoke and flames mean that, even in megadamage body armor,
there is the chance of injury if the roof or the floor collapses.  Everyone
quickly makes their way down.
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> When exiting the building Koba tries to meet up with  the others
> outside and get a look at where the bombardment is coming
> from.
> [/Koba]

[GM]
Once outside, the company catches sight of Ted, and Osiris laying
beside him.  They see the forces invading the land, and finally get to
see New Argyll's own forces; several hovertanks, hoverbikes, robot
power armor and the like trying to engage the enemy.

Several of the armored ape-like creatures are actually using their
energy weapons to melt trenches with impressive precision, considering
they're about to be attacked.  Above a number of the flying hovering bots
are strafing the approaching troops while even more appear from the
distant ships.

The company's chief problem is that they're on the wrong side.  These
invaders have essentially cut the town in two, cutting off the naval base
and apparently attempting to build a beachhead.

These invaders are ruthless too.  Some are indiscriminately firing into
fleeing crowds of civilians, while the company notice that the floating
barges (Slavers) are herding others into the transports.

In the midst of it all, two men run up to the company.  Both are in
body armor, though not apparently of New Argyll decoration.  One
his short (about five foot two) with a broad handlebar moustache
and the other is tall (six and a half feet at least), with a massive
frame suggesting an incredible amount of muscle below.

"Ye be the strangers who needed passage." the short one says.
"We were coming to to tell ye that we were sailing for England
tomorrow.  I be suggesting we sail now.  If ye want to come,
now would be the time."
[/GM]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos looks at the man intently, then starts following him.
> [/Carlos]

> [Ted]
> "No need to ask me twice," the lizard man replies, relieved to have
> gotten his things from his room.
> [/Ted]

[Lyle]
Lyle needs no convincing either, though he recognizes who the invaders
are and, as a Cyberknight, instinctively wants to help them.
[/Lyle]

[Koba]
Koba also follows the others, and then suddenly turns around.  "We're
forgetting someone.  Where's Raven?"
[/Koba]

[Owen]
Owen follows as well.
[/Owen]

[GM]
Even as Koba asks the question, a missile streaks from one of the flying
bots, hits the bottom floor of the hotel.  The entire side of the hotel that
the company's rooms had been on disappears in an explosion, and then
the hotel finally collapses.  If Raven was in there, it was unlikely that
she survived.

One of the men looks back.  "If ye lost one of yours, then be thankful that's
all ye lost.  Many folk around here are going to be much worse off, eh?
Do na tarry, lest ye wake up in Splynn bein' auctioned to the highest bidder.
Or worse."

The only fortunate thing about the explosion is that it's made everything
so chaotic, smoky and ash-filled that no one is likely to even be seeing
them depart.  The down side is, of course, that the company cannot
see where they are either.  Still the two men lead them on through
the choking smoke.  About all they can tell is that they are on a pebble
path, that the ocean is to their left and that tall looming shadows suggest
a cliff to their right.

Above can now be heard a pitched air battle.  Explosions light up the
smoke, and the smell of burning fuel and plastic fill the air.  Meanwhile
the path becomes steeper and the going slower.  Finally it flattens out
and they are on a sandy beach.  In the distance, through the thick fog
and smoke can be seen a number of figures.

Again Owen and Alex's sixth sense goes off.  They have just enough time
to warn the others when there is a loud explosion above their heads, and
then a large piece of flaming metal comes crashing down just feet away
from them.

Their guides wipe their brows.  "Close one, eh!" the short one says to
the tall one.  "Aye!  That it was, Lemmy" the taller one says.

Then both turn around, guns in hand.  Behind them the shapes
materialize into a dozen of the ape-like creatures they'd seen
above, heavily armored and heavily armed.

"Here they are." the short one says.  "Just like we promised.
Now could we have the gold ye promised."
[/GM]

> > [Alex]
> > Alex does not really 'trust' what is going on here. She will watch these
> > new people warily and use her telepathy to scan the various individuals.
> > She will ask at the same time, "What is going on?"
> > [/Alex]

> [GM]
> It's pretty clear now that Alex and Owen's Sixth Sense was, ironically,
> confused by too much danger.
>
> In answer to Alex's question, one of the ape-like figures shouts
> "Drop your weapons now!"
> [/GM]

> > [Koba]
> > Koba draws his rifle and aims at the group of ape looking creatures
> > ready to fire if they close in. "You are fools. Look at what is
> > happening to the town. Do you really think they have any regard for
> > any humans?  You may have just outlived your usefulness. Come with us
> > and fight back." Switching to the internal mic in the armor Koba
> > transmits to the group, "We need to escape this one way or another.
> > The only way out looks like the way back. Anyone with infrared sensors
> > will have to lead us out of here."
> > [/Koba]

> [GM]
> When Koba raises his rifle, all the ape-like creatures train their weapons
> on them.  "Drop that weapon, human.  This is your last chance.  On
> the count of three, remove your finger from the trigger and gently place
> it on the ground."
>
> One of their "guides", the short one,  shrugs at Koba.  "Nothing
> personal, mate. Needed the money for debts and such."
>
> The other seems suddenly a little troubled.  "Let's just the money
> and go.  I do'na want to be here a minute longer."
>
> "Ah yes, your reward." the leading ape-man says.  With incredible
> speed, his rifle trains on one, then the other of the men, a single
> blast from the energy rifle blowing their heads off.  The corpses flop
> to the ground.
>
> "Now, drop those weapons."
> [/GM]

> [Owen]
> Hoping to confuse the situation and create time for the group, Owen
> will call a Wall of fire right under the feet of the Apemen.
> [/Owen]

[GM]
Even as the leading ape-man speaks, the wall of flame bursts,
cutting them off from the company.  The leading ape man, obscured
by the flames can be heard shouting in some unintelligible language
and instantly the ape-men start advancing, spraying the area, though
clearly the wall of flame makes their aim poor, and mainly its sand that
gets vaporized.  Still a few shots get through.  Lyle, Ted and Carlos all
get struck [Damage: 10MD apiece].  The wall of fire will slow them down,
but not for long...
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "Head back that way." Koba says motioning at the way they were led
> here. "We need to find transport away from the city." With that, Koba
> will fire off a burst aimed at suppressing the group ahead of them
> before falling back with the others.  [Strike: 16, Targets Hit: 5, Damage:
> 20MDC]
> [/Koba]

[GM]
Koba's suppressing fire, along with the still burning wall of flame, seem
to do the job in stopping the enemy from simply storming across the
beach.  Five are hit and fall back slightly as their commander barks
more orders in an unfamiliar language.
[/GM]

> [Owen]
> Owen fires a burst from his rifle into the nearest group of Apemen.
> [Strike: 8, Targets Hit: 2, Damage: 7MD]
> [/Owen]

[GM]
Owen's own burst follows, and while he doesn't hit nearly as many
targets, it all serves to prevent the company from being stormed.
[/GM]

> [Lyle]
> Keeping with the group, Lyle fires off a burst at the Apemen and will
> provide cover as we find a way out.  [Strike: 15, Targets Hit: 6,
> Damage: 28MD].
> [/Lyle]

[GM]
Lyle is even more successful.  Some of the ape-men's armor is
beginning to show signs of damage.  The only obvious ways out
that Lyle can see are back up the path they had followed down here
and back along the beach, which quickly recedes down to a narrow
rocky margin next to the ocean.
[/GM]

[Ape Group 1]
This ape group in turn opens suppressing fire as it runs along the
wall of fire, clearly attempting to reach a position where they can
block the group's retreat.  [Strike: 9, Targets Hit: 6, Damage: 15MD].
Everyone except Koba is either missed or dodges.
[/Ape Group 1]

> [Ted]
> Ted leaps for the leader of the [first group of] ape-men, hoping a
> solid jump kick will convince him to call of his cronies.  [Strike: 25].
> [/Ted]

[GM]
Ted flies through the flames [Damage: 3MD] at the leader.  The
leader clearly has pretty fast reflexes as well [Dodge: 21], but
isn't fast enough and Ted knocks him to the ground [Effect:
ape-man leader loses 2 rounds of actions].
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> "Hold steady guys," Alex yells. She will then fire a concussion grenade
> at the Apeman [Strike: 21, Damage: 10MD, Targets Knocked Down: 8].
> [/Alex]

[GM]
The results of Alex's impressive grenade aim is that two of the ape-men
groups (eight soldiers in total) are knocked down [Effects: lose melee and
initiative, also -10 to strike parry, and dodge, attacks last, and lose half
of their attacks/actions for 2 rounds].  It leaves only the one mobile group
trying to route the company on the move.  Unfortunately, Ted is in the
midst of this, and receives the damage and the effects from this as well.

Ted feels himself kicked back a few feet from the grenade and feels like
a giant just kicked him in the stomach.  Though, actually, it's a good thing
because...
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex fires a three blast burst at one one she thinks or guesses is
> the leader [Strike: 5, Damage: 39MD].
> [/Alex]

[GM]
The commander, clearly unable to move, is hit by Alex's somewhat
dodgy shot.  While not dead, his armor is clearly in a shambles now.
[/GM]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos dives for cover, then starts spraying the apes with his rifle.
> [Strike: 6, Targets Hit: 4, Damage: 19MD].
> [/Carlos]

[GM]
Carlos takes aim at the group still on their feet, hitting them all
and damaging their armor.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa follows Carlos's example and sprays the moving group
of ape-creatures [Strike: Natural 20!, Targets Hit: 4, Damage:
40MD].
[/Louissa]

[GM]
Louissa's shots are even more impressive, and the remaining
group, seeing their comrades incapacitated drop down on to the
sand.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa shouts out with glee.  "Gotcha, you murderous bastards!
Somebody grab Ted and let's go!"
[/Louissa]

[GM]
Louissa's advice is sage.  Clearing mists reveal some sort of
troop ship full of ape-soldiers within fifty feet of the shore.  However,
the path seems dangerous as well, as vehicles can be heard coming
down it.  The only other directions are to climb the cliff or run down
the beach, neither of which seems a very good idea either, seeing as
they could become easy targets.  As if to drive the point home, the
troop ship lobs a few rockets at the beach, that, while not hitting
anyone, knock Koba and Carlos to the ground.

Time seems to be running out.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "No need," Ted replies. He scrambles after Louissa and the others
> while covering their rear.
> [/Ted]

> [Koba]
> With the Ape creatures now distracted by the fire and laser blasts
> going by their heads, Koba will turn his attention to whats going
> on behind them. He will move back up the road hugging the cliff
> wall waiting to fire on any enemies or threats that emerge from the
> fog.
> [/Koba]

[GM]
Koba's trip back up the road is short-lived when he glimpses a squad
of the ape creatures heading straight down it.  The fog is still thick,
but one takes a pot shot at Koba [Strike: 8].  Koba narrowly dodges
the shot [Dodge: 9], but the squad suddenly starts huffing it down
the road towards Koba and the rest of the company.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex will load and fire real quick a camera grenade into her rifle, fire
> it into the air to see what potential escape routes there are.
> [/Alex]

[GM]
As the grenade flies into the air, Alex is able to get a reasonable
picture of their surroundings.  She can see, with IR, the squad that
just fired at Koba moving quickly down the road towards the beach.
She can see the narrow rocky margin that sits between the bottom
of the cliffs and the water, and can see that it will offer no safe
escape either, there is another squad moving down it towards the
company, as well as some sort of small gun boat moving parallel
to the beach.

The whole scene seems dismal until she catches a glimpse through
the mists of an escape route, one only visible because of a slight
shift in the wind.  A very narrow (no wider than a couple of feet) path
that leads up the cliffs directly north of them.  There's no sign of the
enemy, but the path is clearly damp from sea spray and fog.  The
entire path is not visible, but perhaps about 2,000 feet away she
can again see what must be the path, now some six hundred feet
above the crashing waves, no wider than it was before, but leading
down into what looks like a small protected cove, where what look
like a couple of fishing boats are moored.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
"We've got to go that way!" she says.  "It's are only chance.  Where's
Koba?"
[/Louissa]

[GM]
One of the landing craft has now touched bottom and several ape
creatures leap out.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, a friendly aircraft strafes
the boat and several of the ape-men fall.  The boat itself is damaged, but
still appears to be seaworthy, with only a couple of defenders left on
board.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "We need to take that boat," Ted shouts to his companions. He readies
> his rifle and begins laying down suppressive fire on the remaining ape-men.
> [Strike: 16, Targets Hit: 4, Damage: 14MD].
> [/Ted]

[GM]
The two defenders in the boat duck as Ted opens fire, but not before taking
some damage.  One of them pokes his own gun over the edge and sprays
wildly [Strike: 4], but somehow missing everyone.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex will look at the others real quick. If it looks like they agree to
> attack the boat, she will begin firing at the boat.  [Strike: 4]
>
> She states, "We need to be careful of the patrol boat."
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Unfortunately Alex's returning fire is equally ineffective, hitting the water.
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "We need to get out of here. I am not dealing with slavers today."
> With that, Koba will make a move towards the boat in an attempt to
> take control of the boat.
> [/Koba]

> [Owen]
> Owen will follow Ted and Koba towards the boat, rifle in hand.
> [/Owen]

> [Lyle]
> Using the cover fire, Lyle will close in on the boat as fast as he can
>
> "Cover me!"
> [/Lyle]

> [Ted]
> "I got you," the lizard man replied, adjusting fire to avoid his teammate.
> [Strike: 8, Targets Hit: 4, Damage: 18MD]
> [/Ted]

[GM]
Ted manages to hit the ape-man that had returned fire, and he falls back.
The other is staying out of sight, but the sound of the engine roaring can
clearly be heard as the boat slips away from the shore.
[/GM]

> [Carlos]
> After watching everyone run towards the boat Carlos will follow.
> [/Carlos]

[Louissa]
Louissa runs after Carlos.  "He's getting away!" she shouts.
[/Louissa]

OOC: I'm going to assume Koba is going to use his particular
abilities to gain control of the boat.

[GM]
Koba is the first to reach the boat, which is now picking up speed.
He attempts to control, but is unable to access its electronics.

Owen and Alex are next.  From somewhere in the boat someone
chucks out a grenade [Strike: 6].  Owen easily dodges it
[Both got a Dodge: 18], but are forced to back away from the boat
to do so. One of the ape creatures appears again, apparently to start
firing.
[/GM]

> [Lyle]
> Lyle tries to engage apeman with his dual psi sword and shield until
> people can get closer.  [Strike: 16].
> [/Lyle]

[GM]
The ape-man is struck by both Lyle's psi-swords [Dodge: 10,
Damage: 15MD,9MD].  The psi-swords cut into, and through its
armor, making a clean slice that exposes the flesh beneath.
The ape creature gives a look of surprise, grabs at his ruined
chest, and then falls back.

Carlos and Louissa are the last to reach the boat.  The remaining
ape-creature, who was crouched behind the controls, drops an
energy pistol and puts up his hands.

"Surrender!" he shouts in a somewhat guttural language.
"Surrender!"
[/GM]

OOC: I'm assuming Ted picked up Osiris again.  If not, then I hope
someone else did, or our poor old aging Cyberknight is stuck on
the beach.

[Louissa]
Louissa points her rifle at the ape-creature.  "Get away from those
controls... NOW!"  This young girl, practically a princess in her
distant homeland, now seems a very terrifying warrior indeed.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The ape-creature wastes no time in complying.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa sits down at the controls, which are actually fairly
complex, but does have a steering wheel and what must be
throttles.

"Don't know which one is reverse or forward, so hang on!"

With that she pushes what she hopes is the throttle full
open.  The ape-creature, who apparently wasn't listening,
or maybe didn't understand enough American to listen, is
pitched forward, hits his head on the panel and slumps over,
knocked out cold.  Everyone else feels there stomachs turn
as the boat races backwards at at least 30 or 40 miles an
hour.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The rest of the company has a few seconds to look
around the boat.  There are still some riddled corpses,
and also two very impressive-looking mount railguns.
This is mainly a short-range troop transport so there is
no hold as such, though there are a couple of hatches.

The radio begins to squawk, though the language is unknown
to anyone.  The tone of the voice is demanding.  Beyond
two other boats, faster ones than this troop transport, as well
as one of the jet/mecha that looks like a metal dragon are
zeroing in.  Louissa is still frantically trying to figure the
controls out while she steers the boat in reverse.

One of the boats is now no more than fifty feet away
and closing...
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "Ted, Lyle, get on the deck guns and keep them away." Using his senses he
> will try to find the electrical control panel and looks for any homing
> signals build into the ship or any passcodes that would prevent Louissa from
> using the boat's controls.
> [/Koba]

[GM]
The circuitry is relatively alien, but not so much that Koba can't
quickly find two transponders reporting the boat's position, speed
and direction.  As to Louissa's failures, they seem to be more of
trying to operate an alien watercraft.  There is a security system,
but currently it is deactivated, apparently by the ape-creature
attempting to flee.
[/GM]

[Boat #1]
The first boat opens fire from its own mounted laser cannon
[Strike: 4], missing wildly.
[/Boat #1]

[Boat #2]
The second boat follows suit, and this time is much more successful
[Strike: 16].  The troop transport the company is in still lacks
maneuverability, and is hit.  While the hull is megadamage, the
laser still blackens things up a bit.
[/Boat #2]

> [Ted]
> "On it," the lizard man replies and takes off running for the deck gun.

Ted reaches the guns and manages to get a shout out at the boat
that just hit them, strafing it [Strike: 20 not natural], but the damage
seems minimal [Damage: 10MD]
> [/Ted]

[Jet/Mecha]
The rather fearsome and entirely frightening dragon-like jet opens
fire from turrets on its wings [Strike: 11].
[/Jet/Mecha]

[Louissa]
Quite spectacularly, Louissa manages to dodge [Dodge: Natural 20!].
However she barely holds on to control of the boat   Judging by the
way the water erupts, no one wants it hitting them.
[/Louissa]

> [Lyle]
> "On it Koba!"
>
> He heads for one of the railguns and takes position, ready to fire on
> the crews of the other boat at first chance.  [Strike: 15]
> [/Lyle]

[GM]
Lyle fires at the nearest boat, hitting it and one of the crew
[Damage: 40MD].  The force of the rail gun knocks the
crewmember into the water.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex climbs aboard the boat but has no real experience with these gun
> mounts. Instead she aims her rifle at the cockpit / bridge of the
> opposing ship and fires three round bursts. She figures that even if she
> misses, it will cause quite a bit of disruption and make it hard for
> them to coordinate a attack against the party.  [Strike: 7]
> [/Alex]

[GM]
While Alex's shot doesn't hit the crew, it does strike the second boat
[Damage: 50MD].  Both boats, seeing as the troop transport is
being manned with people who know how to use weapons well now
back off a bit.
[/GM]

[Carlos and Owen]
Both Carlos and Owen open fire [Owen Strike: 11, Carlos Strike: 11]
on the boat that Alex hit.  [Carlos Damage: 60MD, Owen Damage:
20MD].  Carlos is forced to swap E-clips.
[/Carlos and Owen]

[GM]
The second boat is now billowing smoke badly and is forced into
outright retreat, which still leaves the other boat and the much
scarier dragon-jet.
[/GM]

[Boat #2]
The remaining boat opens fire again [Damage: Natural 20],
hitting the front of the boat [Damage: 70MD], noticeably
damaging the boats armoring.
[/Boat #2]

> [Ted]
> The lizard man continues to fire on anything or anybody
> preventing their escape [Strike: 19].
> [/Ted]

[GM]
Ted hits the boat that's still gunning for them [Damage: 30MD].
doing some damage to the front, though the boat remains in
pursuit.
[/GM]

[Jet/Mecha]
The jet fires again [Strike: 11].
[/Jet/Mecha]

[Louissa]
Louissa again, somehow, manages to evade the blast
[Dodge: 12].  She's not so fortunate in keeping control of
the boat [Pilot - Boat skill check : 92%], and the boat
is now out of control and heading straight for the other
boat as Louissa frantically tries to regain control.
[/Louissa]

> [Koba]
> While fiddling with the control panel Koba pauses for a
> second and gives a quizzical stare at the circut board before
> looking over his shoulder at the boat and dragon pursuing
> them. He is suddenly thrown against the side wall by
> Louissa's attempts to avoid the incoming fire. "Louissa, if
> you can find a way to go dive, we should. I hope that metal
> dragon rusts. Hold on everyone!"
> [/Koba]

[GM]
Quite suddenly a barely perceptible field surrounds the stolen
boat.  There's an acrid smell of ozone.  Louissa stops even
trying to control the boat, scans the controls and then
shouts "This or nothing!", hitting a button with a symbol that
might represent a boat diving under the water.  The boat begins
to slow down, but no diving yet.
[/GM]

> [Lyle]
> He turns his attention to the dragon thing and opens fire.
> "Now would be a good time to dive or to fire a missle or
> something!" [Strike: 9]
> [/Lyle]

[GM]
The jet doesn't even attempt to evade, taking the damage
[Damage: 20MD].
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> It is likely a slim chance but Alex will target her laser rifle at the
> cockpit of the attacking jet and open fire with a three round burst.
> Again, if nothing else she may be able to dissuade them.  [Strike:
> 12]
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Alex amazingly hits the cockpit with a mighty shot [Damage: 70MD].
The cockpit hasn't been pierced, but it looks damaged and the jet
starts to pull up.
[/GM]

[Carlos]
Carlos [Strike: 14, Damage: 54MD] opens fire on the jet as well.
Though it clearly isn't enough to stop the jet, it's enough perhaps
to convince the pilot not to expose himself too much.
[/Carlos]

> [Owen]
> Owen will fire a burst at the boat driver, hoping to bring him down.
> [Strike: 9]
> [/Owen]

[GM]
Owen's shot misses the pilot, but does hit the boat [Damage:
22MD].  The boat seems to slow down slightly, whether because
of damage or due to caution isn't clear.
[/GM]

[Boat #2]
The second boat, while slowing down, opens fire again
[Strike: 11].  With the company's stolen boat slowing
down, it's an easier target [Damage: 50MD], though
the force field seems to absorb it.
[/Boat #2]

[Ted]
Ted takes his turn trying to fire on the pilot of the boat
[Strike: Natural 20!].
[/Ted]

[GM]
Ted's well placed shot nails the pilot of the boat
[Damage: 40MD] with the rail gun.  Not much can be
seen, except a cloud of red where the pilot's head was.

The boat careens out of control, past the almost-stalled
boat the company is in and off towards the shore.  A couple
of ape creatures can be seen trying to shove the body of
their pilot out of the way, though with the boat's speed it
seems somewhat unlikely they'll do so before the boat
strikes the rocks.
[/GM]

[Jet/Mecha]
The jet, on the other hand, is still very much in working
order, and this time it fires a missile [Strike: 15].
[/Jet/Mecha]

[GM]
It's at that moment that the company notices the water coming
closer and closer.  And then, just like that the transport boat
is underneath the waves, the only thing between them and
the water the energy field.  It's a disorientating feeling, almost
claustrophobic in a way, as the water seems ready to rush in
at any moment.

Above they can see the missile enter the water.  However, it
clearly wasn't properly aimed for that, and misses the submerged
boat, striking a rock outcropping nearby.  Still, the shock of its
explosion sends the boat reeling.  Everyone is knocked about
[Damage: everyone who is SDC receives 3 SDC for bumps].
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa manages to right the boat, though she has no experience
with submarines.  The water here is still pretty shallow, they're
only thirty feet down and can see the bottom, and are still
vulnerable to attack.  Louissa re-engages the engines and
(she hopes) throttles forward.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The seafloor slopes downward and she hugs it, though at sixty
feet an alarm starts to go off and a gruff male voice in an unfamiliar
language barks some sort of repeated warning.

Above can be seen one of what they presume is in the invader
ships, flanked by a number of other unidentifiable boats.  Some
seem to be going in circles, with bright flashing lights in their
hull, moving methodically  in a grid-like pattern.

A quick scan shows a few possible escape routes

There is what looks like a partial tunnel made out of two
limestone towers about five hundred feet away and another thirty
feet deeper.

There is what looks like the remains of a large sunken ship
about two hundred feet away and at about this depth.

Another is to head further out, and hope to elude the ape
creatures.

Of course there's always the possibility of trying to sneak
back to the shore.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "Louissa, head for the shipwreck. Maybe we can use it to
> confuse their sonar," Ted suggests.
> [/Ted]

> [Koba]
> "Do you think you can get us there safely Louissa? We need
> to avoid their attention."
> [/Koba]

> [Owen]
> "I agree.  Going back to the beach will only put us back into
> a firefight.  The wreck might supply some cover for us."
> [/Owen]

> [Alex]
> Alex suggests, "We could try the tunnel?" Her armor gives
> her enough life support that underwater time is not a serious
> concern for her
> [/Alex]

> [Lyle]
> "We might want to hid out at the wreck until we can get to
> the tunnel..."
> [/Lyle]

[Louissa]
"The votes seem to be for the shipwreck." Louissa says, biting
her lip, obviously nervous as she glances between the wreck
and the surface above.  With a sigh, she steers the boat
towards the wreck, with a bit more skill, but with no ease.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
As they close in on the wreck they can see more clearly the
kind of ship it once was, some sort of vast tanker.  It looks to
have been torn almost in half, it's hull stretched like butter
spread too thin.  It looked more like it had been pulled apart
than cut into or damaged by explosion.

The vast maw of its split hull opens up before them, the interior
black as night.  A large basking shark looks at them indifferently
as they enter the ruined ship's hull, and suddenly all light is
extinguished.

Louissa fumbles for the lights, and the enormous interior
is revealed.  Details are difficult to see, with the inner hull
encrusted.  Louissa moves the boat as deep into the
interior, as far as she dares, and gently sets the boat down
on to the sediment-covered floor.  She turns the lights out
in the hopes of avoiding being seen.

Minutes pass without any sign of anything.  Those minutes
turn into half an hour.  Suddenly there is a distant sound,
a faint pinging.  It comes and goes, and then, after perhaps
a half an hour it disappears.

It has now been a full hour under the water, and everyone
begins to feel a little faint, the air growing heavy and
stale.  A red light begins to blink on the console, and a
voice speaks urgently in a strange language.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
"We've got to get out of here and to the surface." she
says.  "I think we're running out of air."
[/Louissa]

[GM]
Even as Louissa speaks, they see beams of light in the
distance, outside the sunken ship but sweeping back
and forth.  Those with sixth sense feel danger, but it's
not necessary, the party seems stuck between a rock
and a hard place.

One of the beams flashes over top of their boat,
narrowly missing illuminating them.  It does, however,
seem to illuminate something further back in the
ruined hold of the wreck.  There's another vessel,
a small submarine by the looks of it, about twenty
feet long, height hard to determine because it's
buried in sediment.  After the beam of light
moves away, the sub disappears into the blackness,
but everyone can almost swear they see a red light
start blinking from the direction of that sub.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex suggests, "We may want to try to go for the tunnel.
>
> She keeps a careful watch on the mini-submarine if she can.
> [/Alex]

> [Koba]
> "I don't like the idea of that tunnel. We should try to make for the
> surface somewhere. See if we can go along the coast away from
> town."
> [/Koba]

> [Ted]
> "Do you really think the tunnel is any safer?" Ted asks. "I say
> we stay put. Louissa, what kind of subsurface weapon systems
> do we have?"
> [/Ted]

[Louissa]
Louissa fumbles around a bit.  "Looks like we've got some built-in
laser turrets."  She points to the co-pilot's chair.  "It seems I can
transfer control."

"As to staying here," she continues, "I think our air is running out.
I think this craft is only capable of limited periods submerged.  I
can already feel the air getting stale.  Some of us have environmental
armor, some of us don't."
[/Louissa]

> [Lyle]
> "Anyone else see that light from the sub over there? What is it?"
> [/Lyle]

[Louissa]
Louissa flips a few more controls.  "Ha!  Cameras." she says.
She points to a viewscreen which comes to life with a view of the
submarine.  She touches the screen and zooms in on the window
of the strange sub.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The other sub grows closer as the camera zooms in.  The inside
of the window of the bridge can be seen.  There look to be a number
of consoles with lights on, some blinking, some solid.  There
does not appear to be anyone at the console.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa glances down at a smaller view screen.  "Hmmm, that's odd."
she says.  "I think that sub just started sending out a signal."  She
tunes in the radio and plays it over the loudspeaker.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
A voice, in American, is saying "O.S... S.O.S.  Our reactor has
overheated and we have been forced to shut it down.  Please
help us.  S.O.S... S.O.S.  Our reactor has overheated and we
have been forced to shut it down.  Please help us..."

The message seems to loop endlessly.

The searcher's lights seem to be getting closer now.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "Can you tell if those searchlights are looking for us or the other sub?"
> [/Ted]

[Louissa]
"How do I know?" Louissa says in exasperation.

She puts down her head.  "Sorry, Ted." she says.  "A little
stressed right now."
[/Louissa]

> [Lyle]
> "Is there to see if there is anyone still alive on the sub or how long
> its been there?"
> [/Lyle]

[Louissa]
"I don't think there are any bio-sensors on this thing." Louissa replies.
"It's buried in the sediment, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of
encrustation.  I don't know much about the ocean, but judging by
how everything else on this wreck around us is encrusted, I'd bet
it hasn't been nearly so long, maybe a few years at most."
[/Louissa]

> [Alex]
> Alex unfortunately does not have much to add because the water
> really is not her 'element'
>
> An idea comes to her, "Dagger, is there any way of seeing if
> anybody is alive on that other sub?"
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Alex seems to lose focus of her surroundings for a few moments, then
seems to become aware again.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex pipes up again a few minutes later, "There are three or four
> aboard, all asleep. Don't know if we can do anything to rescue
> them. We are in a pretty pickle ourselves. Still, I would feel wrong
> to leave them."
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> "Can you tell whether or not they are in stasis or regular sleep?" Ted
> asks.
> [/Ted]

> [Alex]
> "In honesty, I don't know and I don't think there is any way to find out.
> I don't even want to guess although I wonder if they are not running
> out of oxygen," Alex returns
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> "Louissa, do we have the means to dock on the other sub?"
> [/Ted]

[Louissa]
Louissa thinks for a moment.  "I might be able to extend the
energy field protecting us and keeping the water out.
[/Louissa]

OOC: Apologies to Koba's player, but I just know he'd do this, so...

[Koba]
"I think I can help there," Koba says.  "if you can get us up to the
sub."
[/Koba]

[Louissa]
Louissa nods.  "Okay, here we go."
[/Louissa]

[GM]
With a bit more control, Louissa fires up the engine and moves the
craft.  The submarine comes closer, and they can more clearly make it
out.  The sub is buried at least half way up in silt, but just as telling,
it clear didn't sink, but steered or crash into the bottom, there is a thirty
foot depression left behind.

The aft section shows damage.  Nothing blackened, but twisted, as
if it had been crushed.  Everything else looks relatively intact, though
there looks like the beginnings of corrosion.  Clearly Louissa's guess
as to its age must be reasonably accurate.

The markings are in what looks to be Dragonese, at least that's what
Ted, Owen and, though it somewhat surprises her, Alex can make out.
The sub's name is The Brave Venturer 2.  There is an access hatch on
top and Louissa nudges the craft over top, lowering down to just four
or five feet over top.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa works the controls for a few minutes, cursing under her
breath.  Finally she slams her fists down on the console in frustration.
"There doesn't seem to be any manual way to change the shape of the
force field."
[/Louissa]

[Koba]
"Let me try." Koba says.  He places his hands on the console,
and after a few moments faint sparks can be seen dancing from them.
After a minute or so he looks up.

"Okay, the field is over the hatch now." he says.  "The field has pushed
out most of the water, though some will still get in the sub."
[/Koba]

[Louissa]
Louissa looks at Koba with appreciation, and maybe a tiny bit of
adoration.

"In the interests of keeping ourselves alive," she says finally, "I'm
staying with the boat.  Oh, and can someone tie him up?"  Louissa
points to the remaining ape-men, who apparently everyone forgot about
as they were making their escape.
[/Louissa]

[Ape-creature]
The ape-creature looks fearfully on the company.  "Me not cause
any trouble." he says.  "No need tie me up."
[/Ape-creature]

> [Koba]
> With the shields now over the hatch they have an oppertunity to send someone
> into the hatch. "Who wants to take a look inside? If there are people in
> there, they may need our help, but be careful we don't know who they are.
> Anyone able to see how seaworthy that ship still is?"
> [/Koba]

[Louissa]
"I think I'm the only one that can pilot this thing," Louissa says,
"so I'll stay
here."

She glances over the edge and down onto the exposed hatch.  "It looks like
some corrosion, not much.  I'm very sure it's still seaworthy and waterproof."
[/Louissa]

> [Koba]
> Looking over at the ape-man, Koba says in a tone the others haven't heard
> before,  " You lost the abilty to make any requests when that first laser
> blast went over our head. Just sit there and be happy counting you're
> breaths. Someone tie him up."
> [/Koba]

[GM]
The ape-man slumps down and only mutters "I help could, but you are
boss man."
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex is going to use telepathy to see what the ape-men are thinking about.
> Otherwise, she is going to be on guard. "You know, we really need handcuffs
> or zip strips."
> [/Alex]

[Louissa]
"Somebody must have some rope at least." Louissa says.
[/Louissa]

> [Alex]
> "There are two distress transponders on this boat. His race is something
> called Kittani and he is from Atlantis." Alex states. "We need to get away
> from this boat or somehow disable the beacons."
>
> "Yes, I have some rope," Alex adds as an afterthought. "I really don't want
> to lose my climbing line so don't cut is."
> [/Alex]

[Louissa]
Louissa grabs the rope and ties the Kittani up.  "Splugorth filth." she says
with extraordinary venom.  "You're in league with the brain things that killed
my Talas."

She then looks to Koba.  "I'm no electronics expert.  Can you at least
identify where those transponders are?"
[/Louissa]

> [Alex]
> When Louissa asks, he doesn't happen to think of where they are?
> [/Alex]

[GM]
The Kittanni doesn't actually seem to know.
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "I can take a look at those transponders. I'm pretty sure I got at least
> one of them already. Make sure he isn't carying one on him." He says
> pointing to the ape. "More importantly, someone needs to take a look
> in that other sub.  It looks as if it is capable of remaining underwater
> better than this splurgie transport. We should see if we're able to
> make it our new transport. Alex, you interested in taking a look?"
> [/Koba]

> [Ted]
> "I can do it, Koba," the lizard man volunteers.
> [/Ted]

> [Owen]
> "I'll go too," responds Owen.
> [/Owen]

[Carlos]
Carlos also wants to go.
[/Carlos]

> [Koba]
> Koba will turn his attention to pulling apart panels and electronic
> components looking to see if the ship has transponders and more
> importantly an autopilot he can rig to take the ship away in a different
> direction from the sub.
> [/Koba]

OOC: Okay, so far I've got Ted, Owen and Carlos (who I am apparently
playing right now) stating they're going into the sub.  Louissa, at
least, is remaining behind, and Koba is going to try to find the
remaining transponder.  That leaves Alex and Lyle, and they can state
at the first opportunity whether they're following the others.

[GM]
Koba determines that the transponder, wherever exactly it is, is not
connected to the rest of the boat's circuitry, and must be on an
independent power supply.  The transponder most likely will be on or
in the hull, and would probably mean a swim to remove, if it was
accessible at all.

As to jury-rigging the auto-pilot, Koba has a great deal of
difficulty.  Perhaps it's the unfamiliar circuitry.  He can choose
either to try again or follow his companions.

Meanwhile, Carlos leads the way down to the sub hatch.  It takes a
minute or so of fiddling but finally he manages to trigger the manual
lock.  There's a hiss and everyone's ears pop as the pressure
equalizes.  Moist cold, but much fresher air floods up into the boat.

Beneath the hatch is a very small chamber, almost ovoid in shape,
about four feet high and eight feet in diameter.  There is a
continuous bench, a number of diving suits and masks, though no diving
tanks.  There are four computer consoles at even spacings, screens
sunken into the wall of the chamber.  On the floor of the chamber is
another hatch.

Quite suddenly a number of fluorescent tubes light up and the lower
hatch slides open.  Below is revealed the bridge, a cramped space,
about nine feet long, eight feed wide and six and a half feet high.
Despite all of that it is crammed with instrumentation and a
surprising six seats, five for bridge crew and the captain's chair.
The crew of the sub must literally work nose to nose.

At the end of the bridge is another hatch leading aft, and a hatch in
the floor that obviously leads to a lower deck.  The walls and ceiling
that aren't covered with instrumentation have tubes and conduit
running along them.

As could be vaguely determined on approach, there seems to be active
systems.  Red and blue lights intermittently blink, while a couple of
yellow ones at one station remain steady.  There is one monitor on
that has six sets of three lines.  The screen reads in Dragonese and
American "Hibernation Monitor".  Four of the sets of lines show
activity described as respiration, heart rate and brain activity.  Two
others are flat.

Other than the slight hum from the monitor, the bridge is completely quiet...

But maybe not for long.  Through one of the windows those on the sub
can clearly see lights approaching.  It's much clearer to Louissa
above.

"Koba," she says, "whatever you're doing, do it fast."
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> With her warning, Koba redoubles his effort to set the
> controls on autopilot away from the wreckage and
> towards the shore. If he can set it, he will join
> the others in the sub before it takes off.
> [/Koba]

[GM]
With a bit more effort, Koba finally manages to program
the autopilot.
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "Try to get that ship ready to move. We need an escape."
> Koba radios to the sub team.
>
> "Here, arm this and set the delay." Koba says tossing a
> fusion block to Louissa. "Our best chance of getting out
> of here unnoticed is if they think we all went down with this
> ship."
> [/Koba]

[Louissa]
Louissa quickly sets the fusion block to explode in forty five
seconds.  "We go now!" she shouts to whoever is left on board.

She then looks to the tied up Kittanni and curses.  "Damn it!" she
mutters.  She grabs the Kittanni and tosses him over the edge
and down through the submarine hatch, where he crashes not
far from the rest of the company.

She shrugs as she makes her way out of the boat.  "Alex would
be pissed off if I wasted her rope!"
[/Louissa]

OOC: I'm assuming anyone left on the boat is getting off now.

[GM]
As the hatch to the submarine is shut, the boat can faintly
be heard racing off.

Thirty seconds turns into twenty seconds, twenty seconds, and
everyone is moving through the airlock.

Ten seconds and the last of the party are moving out of the
airlock.

Five seconds, and the airlock hatch is sealed with a loud hiss.

Through one of the windows the boat, now several hundred feet
away can be seen exploding in a violent plume.  The lights scan
the area for a few more minutes, then move away.

The company is now in a cold, dark, dank sub, its crew
somewhere in some sort of hibernation.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "I vote we split up," Ted suggests. "Half of us go fore, the other
> half go aft. We can meet back here in an hour. Objections?"
> [/Ted]

> [Koba]
> "Sounds like a good idea Ted. First thing we need to do is see
> if we can get an idea of who's ship this is and if they are still here
> somewhere. Keep an eye out for them. I'll stay here and look at
> these monitors to see if I can learn anything about how much life
> support we have for all of us."
> [/Koba]

> [Ted]
> "Thanks, Koba. Owen, can you sense where the passengers are
> located right now?"
> [/Ted]

> [Carlos] Carlos will watch the techies do their work, but rifle in
> hand, always jittery, in case something bad happens.
> [/Carlos]

> [Alex]
> "I doubt the boat is that large," states Alex. "I don't think we should
> be out of contact that long. I would suggest twenty minutes."
> [/Alex]

> [Owen]
> "It should be quick, looking at the size of this sub.  I'll head with
> those headed aft."
> [/Owen]

> [Ted]
> "That will work," Ted replies. "I will lead the team going forward. Who
> is with me?"
> [/Ted]

[GM]
In the end Ted takes Alex and Carlos with him, while Owen takes Lyle and
Louissa with him.  Koba and Osiris remain on the bridge.
[/GM]

[Owen, Lyle & Louissa Aft...]

[GM]
Owen, Lyle and Louissa make their way aft, opening the hatch,
which squeaks loudly.  Beyond is a dark, cramped passage with
two doors are on either side.

The first door on the left says "Captain" in both American and
Dragonese.  The second door on the left says "Quarters".

The first door on the right says "Galley", and the second door on
the right says "Medical".  At the end of the passage is another
hatch that reads "Engine Room".

There is also another hatch in the floor.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
When Louissa hears Koba's warning about available air she shouts
"Gotcha!"  She looks at her two companions and winks.  "This
boat's so small you could almost hear a pin drop from the other end.
Well, let's do what the man says and find the reactor."
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The three proceed to the hatch labeled "Engine Room" and open it
up.  As the hatch opens a few emergency lights turn on below.
As their eyes adjust, they can see the cramped engine room below.
It, unlike the rest of the sub, does not look so immaculate.  The
bulkheads and hull are bent and twisted, and there are signs of
quick repairs everywhere, not to mention a ring around the whole
engine compartment that looks almost like salt, suggesting that
the hull may have been breached.  It's hard to say how much
damage has been done, but it doesn't look good.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
Louissa turns to her companions.  "Do you want to tell Koba
about this?"
[/Louissa]

> [Owen]
> Seeing the destruction in the engine room, Owen will head back out and
> check the hatch on the floor.
> [/Owen]

[Louissa]
Louissa sighs.  "Guess I'll tell him."

While Owen is opening the hatch in the floor, Louissa pops her head through
the hatch back into the bridge.  "Um, Koba, when you've got a minute." she
says.  "I think you need to take a look at the engine room, or what's
left of it."
[/Louissa]

[GM]
With a bit of effort Owen gets the hatch open.  Below is a very small chamber,
maybe two feet high, and then another hatch, which slides open on its own
to reveal a larger chamber with what looks like two mini-submersible docked in
it.  Beneath each is a large hatch, obviously to allow them to exit.
[/GM]

> [Owen]
> Owen calls out,"Hey, everyone on your toes!"  Something is coming are way."
> To Lyle and Louissa,  Owen says "They found the crew, and Ted asked us
> to head back."
>
> Owen will shut the hatch on the two submersibles.
> [/Owen]

[Louissa and Lyle]
Louissa and Lyle follow Owen forward.
[/Louissa and Lyle]

[GM]
At that moment both hear the attack on Alex, Ted and Carlos.  They hear
the voice screaming out "Srepeels eht nekawa ton od...  Live on od!".  When
they reach the other deck they can see the almost-visible wind bearing down
on their three companions.
[/GM]

[Ted, Alex & Carlos Forward]

[GM]
The only way forward on the sub that Ted can see is through the hatch in
the floor in the bridge.  It, like the hatch the other party just went through
squeaks loudly, opening up on to a ladder that leads down to the lower
deck.  This deck is extraordinarily cramped, only six feet high.  Looking
towards the front of the submarine there are no separate rooms, but jammed
full of equipment, supplies, a section with half a dozen nasty looking
torpedoes are stowed right next to a torpedo tube, and a small laboratory
with a sign above it saying "Science Lab".

Immediately beside the lab are six coffin-like objects.  Beside four of them
are several blinking green lights.  The fifth and sixth's lights are solid red.

Looking back towards the aft of the sub is another bulkhead with a hatch,
obviously to another section of the lower deck.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex walks up to the coffins, she will not quite touch them but stay about a
> foot away. She will use telepathy to see if there are any minds inside of
> them if she can. "If there are people in these boxes, I only know first
> aid."
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> "Same here," the lizard man replies. "We probably ought to get one of
> the other psychics or mages to help us."
> [/Ted]

[GM]
Alex feels her senses reach out.  As she sensed before, distantly,
there are four beings here, three sentient and one semi-sentient.  All
the mind's are faint, in what feels like a deep sleep, beyond dreams,
their sensory perceptions cut off.  From the three sentient minds she
can sense little save that they are there.  From the sentient one
she gets stronger feelings

*Hurt... scared... danger to masters...*

They seem to roll around and around, the semi-sentient being's mind
on an endless loop.

Alex can tell nothing of physical health.  The readings on the coffins,
tanks or whatever they are would need a trained medical professional
to make any sense of.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex will ask the dagger, "Is there anything more you can about them?"
> [/Alex]

[GM]
After a minute or so Alex "sees" what the dagger sees.

From left to right, with the semi-sentient being first:

The semi-sentient being is of low experience, has no magic, has
psychic abilities of a high PPE.  There is no possessing entity, and a
fairly substantial aberration.

The being in the next chamber is medium level of experience, has
magic, has no psychic abilities, there is no possessing entity and no
aberrations.

The third being is of high experience, has magic, has no psychic
abilities, there is no possessing entity but there is an aberration.

The forth being is of high experience, has no magic abilities, has
psychic abilities of a high PPE.  There is no possessing entity and no
aberrations.

It's then that the three notice the lights change on the coffins.  Two of
the green lights begin blinking on one of the chambers, one reading
"Wake Sequence 1" and one labeled "Blood Injection".
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> The reptilian adventurer draws his sword.
> [/Ted]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos is not sure what's going on so will be ready with weapon
> in hand if it's needed.
> [/Carlos]

[GM]
After a few seconds, the lights stop blinking, and a yellow one
labeled "Suspend" comes on.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> Alex asks, "Do you think one of the others might know more about this
> sort of thing?"
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> Ted turns to his companions. "I just contacted Owen. I sounds like
> the others have run into some trouble, too. We might be on our own
> for a while."
> [/Ted]

[GM]
It's at that moment that the three feel a breeze on their face, cold and damp.
The hair on Alex and Carlos's arms stands on end, and Ted feels the flush
of fear.

All feel intense fear and panic rise.  Alex and Ted manage to keep it under
control, but Carlos is briefly overwhelmed.

Suddenly the breeze seems to coalesce into a raging wind, almost visible,
as if just on the edge of sight.  A voice screams out from it...

"Srepeels eht nekawa ton od...  Live on od!"

Suddenly a tentacle of visible wind strikes out at the three [Strike: 11].  Ted
and Alex manage to dodge, but Carlos, still not recovered from the shock,
is struck and smashed against the back wall, though his armor does take
the impact.

"Srepeels eht nekawa ton od...  Live on od!" the voice cries again as it
closes in on the three adventurers.
[/GM]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos will attempt to get himself under control then fire at whatever is
> attacking them. [Strike: 11]
> [/Carlos]

[GM]
The blast hits the semi-visible entity [Damage:36MD/half damage].  While
it does seem to slow it down a little, it is still very much there.
[/GM]

>  [Alex]
> "What the hell is this thing," Alex states.  If there is a solid target, she
> will fire at it.
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> The lizard shakes his head. "Is there a way to communicate with it? I
> think it wants us not to awaken these people."
> [/Ted]

> [Alex]
> Just about to fire, she stops but still very wary. "I can try telepathy."
> Alex will cautiously try communicating with telepathy
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Alex's senses reach out to the thing, her magnified telepathy contacting
a mind.  It is a tortured, insane, only somewhat sentient mind.  Maddeningly
confusing images barrage Alex; warped like a hall of mirrors turned upside
down.  Maybe a vaguely humanoid figure laughing... the sound of rushing
water... intense agony... a prickly sensation like one's hand falling asleep
save over the whole body... and then confusion... anger... fear...  And
always the laughter... the terrible laughter...

Then a spoken name... "Arsandel... Arsendel... Murderer... torturer...
criminal... Arsendel..."

Alex can sense nothing else from the entity.
[/GM]

[GM]
With one final scream of "Srepeels eht nekawa ton od...  Live on od!"
the... entity or whatever it is disappears with a flash of light.  The company
is again left in the tomb-like silence of the sub.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
"Wow!"  Louissa exclaims.  "What in the frack was that?  And what the heck
was it saying?  I think we need to start getting some answers.  Do you think
there's any way of just waking up one of these guys?"
[/Louissa]

[Koba and Osiris Bridge]

[GM]
Osiris, with some effort, sits himself down in one of the chairs.  "I'll keep
an eye on what's going on outside, as best I can."  He hunches over the
panel and after studying the panel for a few moments, hits a couple of
buttons.  Suddenly two monitors light up, giving external views of the sub,
though some appear to be to cameras damaged or buried in mud.

Koba is able to get some readings on life support.  The air recycling and
scrubbing systems are currently not running as the main reactor plant is
offline.  It means, basically, the only air in the sub is what everyone is
breathing, and with the number of people, the system reads two hours
before CO2 levels begin to elevate and three hours until they become
toxic.
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> Koba keys the radio mic to the entire group. "First priority is to 
> look out for the reactor. We need to get that powered up to get life
> support going. The consoles tell us we have some time but I'd rather
> get some fresh air."
> [/Koba]

[Louissa]
Louissa shouts "Gotcha!"
[/Louissa]

[GM]
As Koba analyzes the controls, he notices several lights blinking on a 
section of the board labelled "Self-Monitoring And Repair Routing 
Subsystem."  After a moment it cascades with activity over towards the 
controls of the hibernation chambers.  A monitor lights up, and words in 
both Dragonese and American fly by.

"Reroute of internal sensors complete... Spurious signals on Channels A, 
C and L are confirmed as intruders... Awaking crew... Awaking crew... 
Awaking crew..."
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "We're not ready for this yet... Everyone, look out for the crew hibernation
> pods. The computer is trying to bring them back. I'm going to try to keep
> them in stasis for a little while longer, at least until we know who they
> are and who's side they are on. If you find them be ready. Who knows how
> they will react to us being here, but I don't think it will be a warm
> welcome." Koba will attempt to override the automated wake up sequence. If he
> can put them into hibernation again, he will try but turning off their
> support or risking killing or injuring the dorment crew is not an option.
> [/Koba]

[GM]
It takes Koba a considerable amount of doing, but he manages to put the
"awake" sequence into suspend.  The process had not go so far underway
that it was unstoppable, though it was a near thing.
[/GM]

[Louissa]
It's then that Louissa pops her head in the bridge again.

"Um, Koba, when you've got a minute." she says.  "I think you need to take
a look at the engine room, or what's left of it."
[/Louissa]

> [Koba]
> "Alright, Osiris keep and eye on the bridge. I'll see what I can do in the
> reactor."
> [/Koba]

[Osiris]
"Aye aye, Captain." Osiris quips, a big grin appearing across his old,
stubble-filled face.
[/Osiris]

> [Koba]
> Koba manages to slip his way through the tight corridor following
> the sounds of Louissa's voice to the rear of the ship. When he gets into
> the room with the reactor he takes pause to take in the amount of the
> damage. Even before stepping down into the room, he gets the feeling that
> this is over his head. "Let me take a look, the mix of power from the reactor
> and what looks like signs of water may not be the best for you. I can work
> on the computer controls and power easy enough, but I think we will need
> a real mechanic to put the pieces back together. See if you can learn
> about who's ship this is and better yet, who they work for. Also see if the
> computer has biographies about the crew members in stasis. Lets just
> hope one of the ones still alive is the mechanic."
>
> Koba will make his way towards the reactor core and see if the power
> output is still reasonable.
> [/Koba]

[Louissa]
"Will do, Koba." she says as she moves past Koba.  As Owen and Lyle
move forward she looks behind at Koba "Might have to wait..." she says.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
Koba is just getting into the engine room when he hears the disturbances
forward.  He can't hear what the voice says, but it sounds pretty damned
spooky.
[/GM]

[Osiris]
Osiris shouts through the radio.  "They're under attack, Koba!"
[/Osiris]

[Koba in the Engine Room]

[GM]
Meanwhile, Koba, back in the engine room, finds himself, as he
probably expected, quite over his head.  Not only does the damage
look fairly severe, but it looks like it's going to take an
experienced technician, maybe even a dry dock. To his untrained
eye, it seems a wonder that the sub is even watertight.

As he looks over the wreckage he does find what looks like a
generator, fueled by an internal combustion engine.  The fuel
is low, giving maybe a couple of hours of electrical output for
minimum life support.  It could buy a little time, but not much.

It's then that Koba, looking over the wreckage, spies what looks like
a torn and water-damaged book, shoved up between two coolant lines.
He can just make out the writing on the cover... "Diary of Etta Alma".
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> Flipping through the book, Koba will try to see if it is written in a
> language he understands. Maybe it is the log of repairs or at least some
> info on what they got themselves into on this sub. Koba will make his way
> back to the control room and see if any of the information on the ship has
> either symbols or insignia belonging to a kingdom or group anyone would
> recognize.
> [/Koba]

[GM]
The book is written in American, though the dialect and spelling are a little
odd and make it hard at points to sort out the words.  Making it harder
is the dense, cramped writing.  There really isn't time to go through it very
well, but a brief perusal reveals some facts.

- Etta Alma is/was something called a "starship farseeker", apparently
a navigator of some kind on a ship named the TS Pruffian Warlord, though
the use of the letter "f" suggests it's probably TS Prussian Warlord.
- She was apparently born on Mars, specifically the Cassinni-Pasteur
Prefecture of the Arabia Terra province of the Martian Subfederation of the
Terran Federation.  Apparently Elves as well as humans are quite common
on Mars, Earth and the Jovian Subfederation.
- The TS Prussian had been on a mission on to the world Palladion,
to meet in negotiations with a powerful local leader, someone named
Arsendel, said to be considered a powerful "supernatural scientist".
On the way back, Arsendel seized control of the ship, but in the process
damaged the "wormhole drive", killing nearly a hundred crew and propelling
the ship "sideways through co-dimensionality".
- The Earth that the ship found was described as a chaotic post-apocalyptic
world, filled with "supernaturalism" and dominated by "supernatural
scientists."  Arsendel, apparently as frightened as anyone, begged for
peace with the commander of the ship, but was arrested, while a number
of missions to the surface were made, all unsuccessful, with killer
satellites, apparently, destroying or so heavily damaging them that they
crashed into the surface, save for Etta's craft, which managed a landing
somewhere around England, making contact with New Camelot, and
bringing an embassy from King Arr'thu to the ship.
- Arsendel managed to escape, murdered several crew, including the
ship's senior "farseeker", rendering the farseeker "discorporealized".
He forced Etta and three crew to help him, a traitor named Zaelrae
(apparently of half-Palladion Elvish/half Terran Elvish ancestry) to go
to the surface of Earth, taking the New Camelot ambassador with them
as a means to communicate with the locals.
- The landing shuttle was heavily damaged, and crashed in the Atlantic
off the coast of Africa.  The submarine the crew are in was apparently
one of the craft stored in the shuttle.  Unfortunately for Arsendel (and
everyone else), the "discorporealized farseeker" tagged along, and in
a battle with Arsendel, the sub's reactor was heavily damaged.  Arsendel,
injured, feared that Etta and her fellow crew would overpower them, was
about to force them into hibernation.

That's where the diary ends.
[/GM]

> [Koba]
> "Is everyone alright? I heard some scuffling" Koba says with concern. "We
> may need to bring one of the crew out of the hybernation pods. We need a
> real sub mechanic to fix this thing, and they better be good. Even then I
> hope we can even get the thing moving. There is nothing I can really fix in
> the engine room. Anyone find out if any of the people in hibernation are the
> engineer or better yet an 'Etta Alma'?"
> [/Koba]

[Louissa]
Louissa responds, "No names at all.  I think we're going to have to look on
the computers.
[/Louissa]

[Submarine Forward - Ted, Alex, Lyle, Owen, Carlos and Louissa]

> [Ted]
> "So does it want us to awaken this Arsandel or is it warning us not
> to awaken him? Her?" the lizard man asks, realizing they would likely
> need to check the ship's manifest in order to identify any of the sleepers.
> [/Ted]

> [Alex]
> "Don't you wish that these entities would communicate in pictures
> instead of languages which we don't understand," the red headed scout
> states. "So where do we go from here."
> [/Alex]

> [Ted]
> "We need to find out more about these sleepers," the lizard man
> suggests. "Owen, can you read auras, sense evil and magic--or
> something like that?"
> [/Ted]

[Owen]
Owen shakes his head.  "No, can't do that."
[/Owen]

> [Alex]
> "Maybe there is some written information somewhere that we can find
> something," Alex responds. She is going to look through files. "If
> somebody has any computer skills, maybe somebody can get the
> computers on and check them."
> [/Alex]

[Louissa]
While Alex looks through the paper files, Louissa sits down at a terminal
and begins trying to get into the system.
[/Louissa]

[GM]
The files all seem to be automatically generated reports on the area
around England and Western Europe; technology levels, "supernaturalism"
levels, size of settlements, numbers of apparently large settlements.
There are also what look like several detailed blueprints of something
that looks like a big rectangular block, but made up of several different
decks, with some sort of an engine room, and something called a
"wormhole drive".
[/GM]

[Louissa]
"Okay," she says after several minutes of cursing under her breath.
"From what I can tell, and this is going from left to right, the two end ones
belong to people named Lieutenant Daxia Holling, Engineering and
Lieutenant Commander Zaelrae Thaelaen, apparently third in command
of the ship TS Pruffian.  Both of them are dead, one apparently from
severe blunt trauma to the head, the other from a failed hibernation
pod.  Then there's someone called Yeoman Galway Four-four-eight,
who was in the "Supernaturalism" section.  The next is named Ambaffador
Louis Xavier Zane,  I think that must be Ambassador.  The next is named
Arsandel, has suffered some internal injuries and hibernation is keeping him
alive.  The last is Lieutenant Etta Alma, who is something called a Farseeker.
Got that Koba?"
[/Louissa]

[GM]
Alex recalls her probings of the hibernation pods that had living beings
in them:

> The semi-sentient being is of low experience, has no magic, has
> psychic abilities of a high PPE.  There is no possessing entity, and a
> fairly substantial aberration.
>
> The being in the next chamber is medium level of experience, has
> magic, has no psychic abilities, there is no possessing entity and no
> aberrations.
>
> The third being is of high experience, has magic, has no psychic
> abilities, there is no possessing entity but there is an aberration.
>
> The forth being is of high experience, has no magic abilities, has
> psychic abilities of a high PPE.  There is no possessing entity and no
> aberrations.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "Perhaps we should wake Lieutenant Etta first. She would be in
> command if the other two are dead. She might have been
> privileged to information the yeoman and ambassador did not. Does
> this Arsendal have a rank?"
> [/Ted]

[GM]
"Both the 'Ambaffador' and Arsendal are simply marked with an
asterix." Louissa replies.  "I agree with Ted.  Let's wake the Lieutenant
up.  What do you guys think?"
[/GM]

[Lyle]
"I don't think we have much of a choice." Lyle observes.  "She sounds
like she belongs here, anyways."
[/Lyle]

[Osiris]
"That's how I feel." Osiris says.  "We need to get something running
or we won't have problems any more."

Osiris radios Koba.  "Koba, do you think you can try to wake up just
one sleeper?"
[/Osiris]

> [Owen]
> "Hopefully the Lieutenant can help us know how the ship works, or at
> least gives us a way off."
> [/Owen]

> [Alex]
> "I expect she is the best idea as well," responds the red headed
> wilderness scout
> [/Alex]

[Carlos]
Carlos does not disagree.
[/Carlos]

> [Koba - from the engine room]
> "I think that Etta is our best choice unless she is the one who could
> be possessed. I can try to wake her up by herself but I can't
> guarantee it."
> [/Koba]

[GM]
Koba works to re-enable the the hibernation wake-up sequence.  Louissa
sees a light blink to Lieutenant Etta Alma's name, seeming to indicate the
sequence has restarted for her.

Unfortunately, Koba's unfamiliarity with this somewhat alien system leads
to a somewhat slight error.  A moment later a light blink next to the name
of Ambaffador (Ambassador?) Louis Xavier Zane. It seems Koba has woken
up two of the sleepers.  This time the override has been turned off, and
there's nothing Koba can do.

On the hibernation pods themselves can be heard a hissing sound.  Then
several lights start blinking, and a timer appears on both pods...

60... 59... 58...
[/GM]

[Lyle, Louissa and Carlos]
Lyle, Louissa and Carlos all ready their weapons [OOC: I assume everyone
else does too].
[/Lyle, Louissa and Carlos]

[GM]
10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

And then the doors of the two pods swing open, the one pod revealing
a mutant cat, almost siamese in color, but with partial human features
and full hands.  The mutant cat is dressed in a silk shirt and tan-colored
pants of fine leather.  The shirt shows speckles of blood on it, and there
is a tear in the pants.  Around the mutant's neck is a medallion on a
chain with the head of a good looking man, with an insignia "Arr'thu Rex
Britanicus CI"

The other pod reveals a young woman, perhaps thirty years old.  She
has hair cut short, is wearing a military uniform with some sort of
military insignia on it.  On her forehead is a tattoo of what looks something
like a bird in flight.

Both open their eyes at almost the same time, taking a moment to
assess their surroundings and then looking at the motley crew that
stands around them.

The first to speak is the mutant cat.  "I say, chaps," he says, "have
you come to rescue us?"

The young woman's first words are "Have you killed Arsandel?"  She
moves to get up and then collapses, and it can clearly be seen that
her left leg is injured, from the looks of it by some sort of energy
strike.

The cat purrs a little.  "I understand your concern," he says, "but
I have to say having several strangers pointing guns at me makes
me nervous."
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> "Which one of you is the lieutenant?" the lizard man asks, weapon still
> at the ready.
> [/Ted]

[GM]
The young woman stumbles to her feet again, her leg obviously causing
her enormous pain.

"I am," she says between clenched teeth.  "I am Lieutenant Etta Alma
of the Terran Republic vessel the TS Prussian Warlord, and acting
commander of this vessel.  Who are you?"
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> The lizard man lowers his weapon. "Ted Smythe, freelance adventurer.
> We found your vessel not long ago and came aboard to investigate.
> It seems that two of your crew died in stasis. We revived you and your
> feline friend here because we need to get this thing moving. There are
> hostiles in the water around us. Any assist you can provide not only
> help us, but save your own skins as well."
> [/Ted]

[Etta]
She nods slowly and painfully.  "First things first.  Someone fetch me
some painkillers.  Between the hibernation and this leg, I feel like my
head's going to fall off
[/Etta]

[Ambassador]
The mutant cat seems deep in thought for a moment.  "We were
running low on air when... how shall I put it... we were forced into
hibernation.  Have you managed to get life support up and running?
How about the reactor?"
[/Ambassador]

> [Koba]
> "Unfortunately neither. We didn't expect to encounter such a foreign
> technology in such a state of damage. We needed someone familiar with
> it to start fixing it. "
> [/Koba]

> [Ted]
> "Does anyone in your crew know how to get this thing moving again?"
> the reptilian adventurer asked Lieutenant Etta.
> [/Ted]

[Etta]
"I have some training." Etta says, eyes now watering with pain.  "I'll need
help."
[/Etta]

> [Owen]
> Addressing the Lieutenant, Owen states "If it will help, I can do a little
> to make your your injury a little more bearable."
>
> If she agrees, Owen will use Healing Touch on the injured officer.
> [/Owen]

[Etta]
Etta seems in too much pain to argue.  Owen puts forth his power and
after a few moments the wound seems to close, the burned tissue greatly
reduced.  It's not cured by any stretch, but the pain eases in Etta's
face.

"Thank you." she says.
[/Etta]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos is still unsure of these people, so will stand by, ready to
> attack if necessary. Otherwise he will listen for anything out of the
> ordinary.
> [/Carlos]

> [Alex]
> "I don't think we are that far under. I think we could make for the
> surface if we had to. How long do we have before air will start to be a
> problem?" Alex asks
> [/Alex]

[Etta]
"There was a little over two hours left when we went into hibernation."
she says.  "I'm sure it's worse than that, but with a bit of luck, and
without some maniac trying to kill us all, I should be able to do get
the reactor up."
[/Etta]

OOC: Going to move the narrative ahead here.  I'm assuming that
someone (Koba maybe) has let Etta and the Ambassador in
on the invasion force.

[GM]
With Koba's assistance, Etta spends the next hour limping around
the ruined engine room, smacking, prodding, connecting, soldering,
twisting and bending wires and circuitry.  She seems an efficient
sort of technician, only mildly out of her depth.  Finally, she flips
a few switches and there's a subsonic rumble through the whole
sub.  Light floods all decks as the fluorescent tubes flash back to
life.
[/GM]

[Etta]
Etta is obviously in pain again as she makes her way back to
the bridge.  Here she seems much more at home as she moves
across the control board with such familiarity that she could
probably do this blind.

"Okay, here's the situation." she says.  "Our propellers are
out of commission, and it will take dry dock to have any hope
of repairing them.  I can use thrusters to maneuver, but it will
be tricky."
[/Etta]

[Ambassador]
The Ambassador, who has been silent this entire time, a strange
sublime figure, finally speaks up.  "I'll be honest, dear chaps.  I
think our destination should be clear.  I'm a lawful representative
of New Camelot, a trusted advisor to the King, and I can assure
you all whatever assistance you may need.  There, I think, we
should also be able to do deal with this ship's biggest problem,
Arsandel.  If we keep close to the coasts, we should reach
England in a few days."
[/Ambassador]

[Osiris]
"That sounds close enough to where we were heading." Osiris
says.  "I've heard of New Camelot, and have known a few who
have gone there.  Cyberknights, at least, are well respected
in King Arr'thu's court."
[/Osiris]

[Lyle]
Lyle concurs.  "There is some communication between the
Knights of New Camelot and the Cyberknights.  I think Osiris
and I can guarantee a good reception, and perhaps some
assistance as well."
[/Lyle]

[GM]
It takes some great effort on Etta's part to pilot the crippled
submarine out of its muddy nest and through the hold of
the sunken ship and out into the open water again.  By the
time it is done, it is night, and the waters are black.  Above can
be seen the running lights of the odd Kittani patrol.  Etta quickly
moves to a set of controls labeled "Sensor Deflector Center".
The lights dim slightly from power draw, but the sub seems
to slip by into the deep ocean without alerting any potential
watchers.
[/GM]

[Etta]
Over the next hour or two Etta explains the basics of the
controls to the company, though the course has been set
and there's little to do but keep an eye on things.  It is perhaps
midnight by the time she finally has to go and rest, wracked
with sweat from pain, too many painkillers and stimulants,
which she has been popping like candy.
[/Etta]

[Ambassador]
The Ambassador bids everyone a good night and heads to
a small cabin, which he shuts.  There is the loud click of a
lock.
[/Ambassador]

[Lyle]
"I'll take first watch." Lyle says.  "The rest of you get some
sleep.  I'll wake Owen up in a couple of hours."
[/Lyle]

[GM]
Everyone is incredibly exhausted.  They have to share the
meager quarters on this sub, but the previous day was a
nightmare of battle and escape, and sleep soon comes to
everyone, despite the creaks, groans and moans of this
damaged submarine.

And then everyone wakes up with a start.  Alarms are going
off and there are shouts.  [OOC: Those with 6th sense wake up
a few seconds earlier]

Etta's voice comes over the intercom.  "Someone has awoken
Arsandel.  His pod has been opened.  Grab your weapons
and get to the bridge NOW!"

When they get to the bridge, a sight of horror greets them.
Lyle is lying on the ground, his body sprawled in a horrifying
fashion, a fist-sized hole in his armor.  It's not clear whether
he's alive or dead.  Beside him the Ambassador lies, seemingly
uninjured, but clearly unconscious.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> Ted kneels by the Ambassador's side and performs triage.
> [/Ted]

[GM]
The Ambassador's breathing is shallow and, if his physiology is at all
like the other creatures Ted has encountered, his eyes suggest perhaps
a shallow coma.  Without any obvious aid from Ted, however, the
Ambassador's breathing steadies and strengthens, and while he doesn't
regain consciousness, his pupils do show responses.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> "I have a feeling something is wrong, like somebody is intentionally
> blocking telepathic senses but cannot pin it down any more," the red
> haired states, concerned.
> [/Alex]

> [Owen]
> "I agree.  Something is blocking the psychic readings in the area."
>
> Owen will pull out his pistol, and begin searching for the cause of the
> disturbance.  He assumes the dead area is a sphere, and the distortion
> would be coming from the middle of that sphere.
> [/Owen]

[GM]
Even as Alex and Owen give their observations, Ted sees the Ambassador's
vital signs blink.  For a moment he seems dead; no pulse, no respiration,
pupils dilate.  Even non-psychics can feel some force around them, for the
psychics it's a feeling akin to sticking a fork in an electrical socket.

The Ambassador's feline eyes flutter open and then he takes a deep breath
before coughing violently, bloody sputum striking Ted.

Suddenly the spinning ghostly entity that had confronted the company earlier
is in their midst.  From somewhere within its spinning vortex a voice
screams "Uoy ot mood srepeels eht denekawa uoy!  uoy ot mood srepeels
eht denekawa uoy!"

It moves towards the company at great speed, tearing up a couple of chairs,
seemingly to use as weapons.  It screams again "Ooy ot mood srepeels eht
denekawa uoy!"

Out from the shadows limps a tall, frail figure.  It is an male elf,
pale-skinned
with platinum-colored waist-length hair, wearing gray robes, torn and burnt.
There is a deep scare along the elf's forehead, and part of his left
hand, including
three fingers, looks to have been cut off by a laser cutter or
something of equal
accuracy.  There seem to be many wounds under the robes, and fresh blood
is seen on the already blood-stained robes.

"Kill it, fools!" the elf cries.
[/GM]

[Etta]
Etta cries out, "No!  Not the spirit.  Kill Arsendel!"  She goes to her belt to
pull out a rather nasty looking energy pistol.
[/Etta]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos yells "Freeze!" at Arsendel and will fire a warning shot above
> his head [Strike: 11]. If he looks to do anything rash, he'll fire directly at
> him.
> [/Carlos]

[GM]
Carlos's shot hits the wall, and the elf drops like a sack of stones.  "Don't
shoot!" he cries pathetically, hardly behaving like the mighty killing
machine reputation seems to have made him out to be.
[/GM]

> [Alex]
> "Damn, can't anything ever not be complex," the red headed scout exclaims
>
> Alex will fire a stun grenade at the elf from her rifle [Strike: 5].
> [/Alex]

[GM]
It's a lousy shot that almost strikes out of range, but it seems to have the
desired effect on the Elf.
[/GM]

> [Ted]
> Ted activates his internal oxygen supply and then backs away from the fray,
> looking for something to clean his face off with.
> [/Ted]

[GM]
There's a moist towelette dispenser by a couple of the consoles.
[/GM]

[Whirling Entity]
The whirling entity charges forward.
[/Whirly Entity]

> [Alex]
> Alex draws her dagger to face off the organism [Strike: 14].
> [/Alex]

[GM]
Alex's golden dagger slices into the whirling entity, and almost seems
to part the structure of the being [Damage: 19MD].
[/GM]

[Whirling Entity]
The whirling entity shudders, and for the briefest of moments there
can almost... just almost... be seen the shape of a woman inside it;
ephemeral, beautiful, and terrible in her rage.

The whirling entity reaches out an arm of force and strikes at Alex
[Strike : 10], but Alex quickly leaps out of the way [Dodge: 17].
[/Whirly Entity]

> [Koba]
> Koba will take out the vibroblade and prepare to defend himself from the
> beast.  "Watch your weapons fire inside the sub. We don't need more holes."
> [Strike: 24]
> [/Koba]

[Whirling Entity]
Koba's blade does not do much in the way of visible damage
[Damage: 1MD].  He feels another arm of energy try to grab him
[Strike: 15], and Koba cannot escape the grip [Dodge: 13].  Koba
is pulled into the horrifying maelstrom and disappears from view.
[/Whirling Entity]

[Osiris]
Unable to stand reliably, Osiris fires a short burst at the entity with his
NG-33 laser pistol [Strike: 19, Damage: 6MD].
[/Osiris]

[GM]
While the being receives the bulk of the damage [2MD], Koba is
hit too [1MD].
[/GM]

> [Owen]
> Owen will wait to see which of these crazy individuals attacks, and will fire
> a Mind Bolt at that baddie [Strike: 12, Damage: 7MD].
> [/Owen]

[GM]
Owen's psionic attack has a bit more effect, with the added bonus that
it only seems to hurt the entity, and not poor Koba.
[/GM]

[Whirling Entity]
The entity screams "On on on on!!!  Srepeels eht yortsed!!!"
[/Whirling Entity]

[Ted]
Ted pulls the hilt of a semi-melted sword, the one he had used to kill
the K'murd-faka demon, and charges the entity [Strike: 1 Critical Fail].
[/Ted]

[GM]
Ted's charge ends abortively when he stumbles over his own feet and
falls into the entity, disappearing inside it.
[/GM]

[Whirling Entity]
The whirling entity "swallows" Ted, but seems to have an appetite for
only one adventurer at a time, flinging Koba out and against a control
station against a bulkhead, shattering one of the panels and bruising
Koba in the process [Damage: 4SDC].
[/Whirling Entity]

[Carlos]
Carlos fires again, this time on the entity [Strike: 19, Damage: 48MD].
[/Carlos]

[GM]
Carlos's steady and well made shot hits the whirling entity [Damage
to Entity: 20MD].  Unfortunately some of the shot also hits Ted
[Damage: 4MD].
[/GM]

[Etta]
Etta cries out "No!  Do not hurt her!"  She raises her hands and her
eyes begin to shine with an unbearably bright white light.  Her hands
glowing with similar radiance and she flings them out.  The whirling
entity slows down and stops spinning.  The ghostly female figure
can again be seen.  The features are elfen and beautiful, but they
seem to have little intelligence.
[/Etta]

[Whirling Entity]
The whirling entity cries out "Atte!" and then disappears, much like
it did last time.
[/Whirling Entity]

[GM]
Ted finds himself lying on the deck, feeling like he just went on a 200
mile per hour merry-go-round.
[/GM]

[Elf]
The wounded and dazed elf, obviously still under the effects of Alex's
stun grenade, moans.

"Fools!  You damn us all!  Kill that navigator, or put her back in
suspension."
[/Elf]

[Etta]
Etta, her eyes still burning brightly, focuses her concentration on the
Elf.  "Arsendel, you have spoken your last words."  Her hands move
together, like they're clutching an invisible ball, and then the ball becomes
visible, a sphere of force so powerful that it seems to make the air around
it shimmer.

"Stand back." she says.  "The time for justice has come."
[/Etta]

[Elf]
The elf tries vainly to struggle to his feet, blood pouring from his wounds.

"Please!" he begs.  "I do not wish to die..."
[/Elf]

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