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Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:50 am
Cairo, Egypt, Nile Empire, Day 2
Scarlet Gloves, Shielding Sun, Amethyst Ninja
In the Hargreeves’ family manor in Cairo, a radio announces the news: “A new day dawns on our fair city of Cairo. Yesterday, after the departure of our Great Pharaoh Mobius a wave of violence erupted throughout the city. Many banks were robbed by criminals, yet some of them were stopped by so-called Heroes, who are no less enemies of the regime. Today the wave of violence continues as thugs and mobsters break into private homes, threa-”
The radio was cut short as a group of thugs leaped into the lounge through the windows and unleashed bursts of Tommy Gun fire in the air. Another group tried to get in through the door but was unable to break it down.
The young Sir Walter Hargreeves reacted immediately by coiling his whip around one of the assailants’ gun and pulling it into his own hands and gunning down the invaders at the windows. Cynthia deployed her energy shield while Jonathan rummaged through his pockets for his mask. The other group of thugs finally managed to break the door down and joined in the attack while two of them started to rummage through shelves looking for something.
Cynthia smashed into the new opponents with her shield, crushing them against the wall while Walter gunned down the rummaging mobsters. The last standing opponent decided to make a run for the car and began to flee. The Hargreeves siblings gave chase on their family car. As they were speeding through the streets of Cairo, the opposing car’s tires proved to be too tough for Jonathan’s shurikens, prompting Cynthia to pull out one of Walter’s rocket launchers and blow the car to smithereens.
The siblings then returned back home where servants were cleaning up the mess. Walter reanimated two of the thugs and Cynthia GLORIOUSLY put pressure on them to get them to talk. They sang like nightingales, revealing their boss, a Mr Diab, dropped by their usual bar and told them to search the city for some documents with an official Nile Empire seal. The goons didn’t know anything else, therefore the heroes let them go.
The Hargreeves family then drove to the bar in question, a small den of hive and villainy nested between two residential buildings on a narrow street. The siblings put on their masks and entered. The Crimson Gloves walked up to the bartender and asked to see Mr Diab. Just as the slightly bewildered bartender was about to tell him to get lost, random violence erupted. A massive man in boxing attire named Brick Knuckle Branko broke through the door, accompanied by shocktroopers and attempted to arrest the heroes.
Crimson Gloves and Amethyst Ninja dispatched the shocktroopers while Shielding Sun duelled Branko. Branko’s massive first hit against Sun’s shield sent her flying backwards into the wall while Sun’s blows barely tickled the massive man. Gloves and Amethyst became bored of watching and decided to get involved. Crimson Gloves unrolled his whip and GLORIOUSLY wrapped it against Branko’s neck, pulling the giant to the floor. Branko’s weight broke through the floor, and as a parting shot the Villain attempted to pull the heroes with him.
The three siblings managed to avoid falling too far and ended up in the secret speakeasy underneath the bar. Thugs wrapped chains around the giant Branko and dragged him away as the bartender, having reconsidered his chances to keep secrets, walked up to the heroes and told them Mr Diab is rarely around. He could however be found at a casino on Bolak al Gadida. Shielding Sun suspected the bartender of lying, but a quick calculation of his probable thoughts did not show duplicity.
The group drove to the pink avenue and quickly found the casino, apparently under construction. Crimson Gloves approached the mobsters at the front door and demanded to see Mr Diab. Shielding Sun and Amethyst Ninja climbed up the scaffolds stealthily and entered through a window. The interior of the casino was nearly finished, only some decoration and a massive chandelier was being hung by labourers.
Crimson Gloves was led to the bad-tempered short man who was sitting at an empty blackjack table playing solitaire. Khairi Diab yelled at Crimson for disturbing him and had no desire to hear about whatever issues the hero might be having with Diab’s goons. Crimson Gloves switched gears and offered his services to locate the documents Diab was looking for. Diab did not know where the document was located but was ready to offer anything for it, and let it slip that it was stolen from the Nile government.
Diab was getting tired of the conversation and ordered his goons to throw Crimson Gloves out. The latter decided to simply walk out. Amethyst Ninja, hidden near the chandelier, overheard two labourers discussing how the casino owner, a Mr Baz, had the author of a previous failure thrown into the Nile with concrete feet. Shielding Sun, in the meantime, tried to calculate Diab’s thinking processes and came up with a great deal of information. Apparently Diab was looking for the plans of a secret weapon that were stolen from Nile Empire scientists and was planning to use them to secure the Pharaoh’s help in double-crossing the Baz family and rule the Cairo mafia.
Just as Crimson Gloves was about to exit, he was passed by a running mobster who was bringing new to Diab. Amethyst Ninja decided to spy on the conversation by sneaking underneath the blackjack table Diab was sitting at. The mobster told his boss he had found the thief had taken the schematics to the Cairo sewers and that the Hajjar were on the trail as well. Diab told him to round up everyone and go to the sewers.
The heroes decided to sabotage the mobsters’ cars. The operation went well, despite the cars’ hoods being booby-trapped for some reason. The siblings then shadowed the mobsters’ cars until the trap was sprung, not far from the sewer entrance downstream the Nile. The heroes drove up to the entrance. Six cars were waiting at the location, three of which had deflated tires. Amethyst made sure to round the number to six.
The group then proceeded into the sewers, which had changed as well. They were now massively large and magnificent, looking more like a palace’s walls (or a villain’s hideout) than actual sewers. The water, however, was murky and smelly. As they walked through, they overheard shots and cursing, apparently two rival mobster groups were already fighting for the schematics. Shielding Sun found a shortcut and managed to get ahead of the other groups.
In a large room with three exits and a large sewage pipe spewing dirty grime, the heroes found a dead mobster riddled with bullets holding a scroll. As they picked up the scroll, a laughter resounded and atop the pipe the Insidious Wu Han revealed himself. Mocking the heroes he announced it was all a trap and there were no weapon schematics to be found. He would deliver the heroes to the Pharaoh and quickly rise in favour. As he snapped his fingers, shocktroopers rushed in from all openings and attempted to subdue the heroes.
The Hargreeves siblings opened with rockets and grenades in all directions, yet the enemies seemed endless. Wu Han’s taunts were forcing them further into a corner. In a stroke of genius, Crimson Gloves took a quick look at the scroll he held in his hand. A hastily handwritten note caught his attention. It was from a villain named Sandstorm who had replaced the Insidious Wu Han’s fake scroll with a real one the Pharaoh was after, for Sandstorm wanted to see Wu Han fall. The note mentioned some of the shocktroopers were merely faking attempts at capturing the heroes.
The heroes decided to run away through the sewers, pursued by endless hordes of shocktroopers as Wu Han’s voice resounded, mocking them, and Wu Han’s insidious schemes foiled them at every turn. Shielding Sun suddenly realized where she had heard Wu Han’s voice: at the hospital the day before. He was clearly the one who had done something to their parents there, he was clearly her Nemesis. But such things would have to wait for later.
As they rounded a corner a section of the sewers collapses, throwing everyone back to the starting blocks, but that was no issue to Wu Han and his shocktroopers. At the same time Crimson noticed one of his acquaintances, Karim, a sewer cleaner and his motorboat. Hopping aboard the heroes finally managed to get out of Wu Han’s clutches and back on the Nile.
The Hargreeves siblings decided to take up a group name, they would be known as The Chameleons, a group of vigilante heroes fighting for justice and against the Pharaoh and his lackeys, and looking for their missing parents. In the following days they arranged a meeting with Behnam “Big Boy” Baz and revealed his lieutenant’s treachery, asking only for a large amount of money in return (heroics aren’t free). Rumors say the Nile welcomed some additional concrete that day.
Sir Walter started studying the scroll, which was known as the Kufre Scroll and would probably lead to great treasures. But for now it was mostly beyond the young archaeologist’s ability to comprehend.
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:51 am
Seoul, South Korea, Pan-Pacifica, Day 7
Ji-Hoon Sun, In-Soon Heo, Nara Taisuke
The agents arrived at Cowon corporate headquarters. Their trip had been an unusual one: they had been airlifted by helicopter from a helipad outside the city to the skyscraper’s rooftop. Security was clearly tight, they could see through the high atrium the barricades and heavily-armed security agents and turrets on the lower floors. Despite the situation the agents acted like the professionals they were and headed for their meeting with Ton Hyo-Ri at Human Resources.
After a quick exchange of politeness, Mrs Ton moved on to the actual briefing, for she was the one coordinating the corporation’s special operations. She had been contacted by the Vice-Chief Financial Officer of another corporation, Kiswel Group. Apparently the man had found certain irregularities in the monthly figures of their Taiwanese branch in the form of rather high contract termination payouts. The VCFO suspected a large number of people, numbering in the hundreds, had been let go in order to replace them with people more loyal to someone. This could point to an attempt at a rival buyout of the Taiwanese branch.
Mrs Ton confided onto the agents she suspected the VCFO had contacted her because he had suspicions regarding his own superior and was looking for promotion. Regardless of what the agents found in the Taiwanese Kiswel offices, Cowon’s position would be strengthened.
Despite the agents’ questions she had further information regarding the Kiswel situation. Nara inquired instead about the day’s announcement of the Kanawa Plan to deal with the infected, however Mrs Ton had no insights to offer, other than apparently Kanawa Corp was extremely heavy-handed when dealing with the Infection and that the Korean government had refused their plan in order to avoid a foreign corporation running paramilitary operations in the country. She also mentioned that Cowon would pay highly for any information regarding Kanawa’s operations.
The agents retired from the meeting and flew business class straight to Taiwan. Nara received a call from his mentor with information he had asked him to search about the Humax doctor’s daughter. From hacking into border control databases he found she had entered Taiwan about 6 months ago. He also found her name, Jin-Shil Sip, and her photograph.
Other than that, the trip was uneventful apart from a sudden cold spell that left In-soon feeling drained.
Taipei, Taiwan, Core Earth, Day 8
In the plane In-Soon and Nara worked together to check Taiwanese obituaries, but only found an odd mention about a ship crew's death. The plane had barely touched the ground as the team split up to look for information.
Ji-Hoon called his former boss, Kyung-Mo No, who was now working at Kiswel. They met in the evening at a Taipei restaurant with a terrace overlooking the East China Sea. After the usual small-talk about family and friends Kyung-Mo offered Ji-Hoon an assistant director position at their R&D facility in Kaohsiung City with a promotion to director in the next few months. They were working on a new revolutionary technology which they had acquired elsewhere. Ji-Hoon accepted and would start directly the following day.
In-Soon went to enjoy himself at a nightclub that was for some reason the closest one to the Kiswel building in Taipei. There he met many young and naive executives who wanted to impress other young and naive executives with their achievements. One such young and naive executive ended up spilling about his promotion for downsizing his previous department. He was working for Tong-Hyon Sagong in Tainan City who had recommended him for high promotion, immediately skipping a rank. It was obvious to In-Soon that the man was too oblivious to know anything useful, but it made Director Sagong look very suspicious. Intuitively In-Soon thought he might be an agent for Hsien, a Chinese company that could be trying to acquire parts of Kiswel. As he was leaving he overheard a rumor about Zhelan Xia, a security auditor working for a small independent company, who went missing while investigating something at a Kiswel security subcontractor, Chung Vigilance.
Nara went straight outside the Kiswel offices to try to pass for a Taipei University researcher who was canvassing Kiswel employees about their working conditions. Unfortunately the police quickly arrived on-scene after a call from an employee who mistook him for a stalker that had been worrying female employees for a few days now. Nara tried to run away but the police quickly cut his avenue of retreat and began to put their handcuffs on him. Nara growled at them explaining he was a secret agent working for Kiswel on a top secret case. The policemen did not want issues with such a large corporation and decided to let him go after commenting that he was bad at his job since he had been spotted by nearly half the female employees at the office.
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, Core Earth, Day 9
The team decided to start in Kaohsiung City, on the other end of the island. Ji-Hoon went to work, where he was greeted by the R&D director, Hwi-Hyang Chin. The offices were rather empty, apparently over 20 employees had resigned over the past month, therefore Ji-Hoon’s first order of business was to interview prospective new hires. He also tried to establish contact with the three people in his team, but only two of them had come to work this morning and they turned out to be too geeky for Ji-Hoon to bring him into their group.
In the meantime at the hotel in front of the Kaohsiung offices In-soon was running surveillance and Nara tried to hack into the country’s various corporations to see if Jin-Shil worked for any of them. Unfortunately his first attempt brought in a technical support van to the entrance of the hotel with Huawei markings. In-soon noticed “tech support” was too numerous, coordinated, and had bulges indicating hidden weaponry, so the two were forced to vacate the room.
As they were walking down the stairs they were met by two Huawei employees, one of whom was carrying a device which identified Nara as the hacker who had tried to enter their network. In-soon burned them to a crisp, but not before the two had shot Nara and In-soon with tranquilizer darts. Reinforcements came from upstairs and the two agents had to race against time to dispatch their opponents before falling asleep. The Huawei team leader proved to be tougher than the others but some smart leadership from In-soon managed to get them out of the situation as the firefighters closed in.
In-soon and Nara decided to take the Huawei van, which turned out to be extremely well-equipped for network sniffing. Nara finally managed to get into employee databases and coincidentally found Jin-Shil Sip in the Kiswel phone book. A meeting was quickly arranged at the Fengjia Night Market in Taichung and Nara was finally able to deliver the doctor’s medallion to his daughter.
Towards the end of the day Ji-Hoon was asked by Director Chin to go see the missing employee, Mr Tsin, and give him his resignation letter along with his final pay. Ji-Hoon found the man at his apartment with his family. Mr Tsin explained he saw some people gathering outside in the morning and was scared that a riot was about to start. In the end it did not, but he decided to stay home with his wife and children anyway. Apparently he was not the first employee to do so. Apologizing profusely Ji-Hoon handed him the resignation package and left politely.
In the meantime In-soon and Nara put the Huawei van in a shipping container and sent to the United States to get rid of any backtrace they could be subject to. Nara also noticed his personal laptop was under surveillance and went to buy another one. Once that was done he continued with the mission and hacked into the Kiswel Taiwanese administrative database to look further into the large employee turnover. There he found that while there were a larger than usual number of resignations throughout Taiwanese branches, but three specific ones stood out: Hwi-Hyang Chin’s research department, Tong-Hyon Sagong’s trading and financial branch, and Jin-Shil Sip’s steel and chemical production plant. Sagong’s department had fired a large number of people and was quickly filling the vacancies. Sip’s branch payment was labelled as life insurance and legal costs, and an external auditor Zhelan Xia had been hired to look into it prior to litigation.
Before leaving, Ji-Hoon took a look at the main research topic and found it to be a fusion drive that had been “recovered” from a Japanese corporation, Isobe Energy Systems. In the end it seemed Director Chin was merely busy replacing employees who were simply not engaged enough in their work (for her tastes) and there was no major irregularity or disloyalty.
Taichung, Taiwan, Core Earth, Day 10
The team decided to look into Director Sip’s activities and went to Taichung. They decided to start with Chung Vigilance, the security contractor who had had a life insurance problem. Ji-Hoon knew someone there, a logistics officer, Feng Mao, who had visited Cowon months before to look into special armaments and vehicles development and arrange training.
The company was a small security firm with a two-storey office near the waterfront. As they arrived they saw the parking lot was half-full, but the building’s shutters were down and the place looked empty of life. Ji-Hoon noticed his acquaintance’s car, which turned out to be unlocked, and had Mao’s access card on the back seat. Nara looked at the other cars and noticed one of them had a large puddle of blood under the gas pedal on the driver’s side.
As nobody responded when Ji-Hoon rang the building’s bell, he decided to try the access card, and the team was in. In the lobby, Nara accessed the welcome desk’s computer security camera logs, however the building had only external cameras pointing at the various entrances. Everyone arrived the day before around 9AM. Mao apparently lost his access card and had to be let in. One of the employees was also limping heavily. Then there was very little movement until 3PM when heavy shutters closed on the vehicle loading bay. Since then no entrances or exits.
The team explored the ground floor, finding offices and a meeting room ready for a meeting, but with coffee gone cold. Ji-Hoon decided to not waste the coffee and biscuits. There was also a training and storage area with a shooting range and a large amount of weaponry, as well as a bulletproof sedan car, probably to impress potential customers. They also found a medical bay that had been extensively used. Bloody bandages were in the bin and the first aid kit was missing.
As they met no employees, the team continued to the upper floor and found a server room. Nara hacked into the computers and retrieved some information about the incident with Kiswel. Most of the file had been redacted for legal reasons, but apparently six security agents were wounded and two died during an incident a couple of weeks ago involving a “hostile internal threat” at Sip’s industrial plant. The file also pointed at an assessment one of the Vigilance security agents had done during his free time pointing at the discernable lack of security at the plant. Harmful chemicals were freely accessible, metal detectors tended to fail more often than work, and the number of security people was too low to patrol the facility efficiently.
An auditor named Zhelan Xia had been hired by Kiswel’s Taipei office to look into the nature of the issue to see if life insurance payments for the dead and wounded were justified. He met with Vigilance representatives and left satisfied indicating he would speak with Kiswel again. The auditor did not contact Vigilance again and the payment came a couple of days later.
Ji-Hoon, who had been on watch duty, signaled the others the offices’ doors were opening. A horde of infected came out and made their way towards the team. Ji-Hoon pulled out his blade and GLORIOUSLY charged while In-Soon mowed down the Infected with his assault rifle. Just as they were about to be done with the horde, a noise rang and a jiangshi dropped out of the ceiling behind In-Soon and Nara, and began clawing at them. In-Soon moved back a few steps and set fire to the jiangshi… as well as the computer room.
The team quickly scrambled through the building looking for anything useful. Nara found a rocket launcher and decided to keep it for later.
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:30 am
Toulouse, France, Cyberpapacy, Day 7
Aurore, Damien Monnet
The Resistance radio blazed some incoherent mumbo-jumbo about avenues walking up produce aisles, which Aurore and Damien dutifully wrote down. A quick trip through the cypher-book later the message was understood. The Resistance had located a conversion camp in a hamlet called Belberaud near Toulouse. They wanted Aurore and Damien to find it, break the prisoners out, and hide them somewhere safe until another Resistance cell was able to arrange transportation elsewhere.
Belberaud, France, Cyberpapacy, Day 7
Aurore and Damien headed directly for the area, a small hamlet of a thousand souls surrounded by farmland and isolated old buildings. Aurore began by attempting to trace Church Police movements through the area while Damien subtly asked the locals about anything unusual going on. Together they were able to piece out that a Church Police hoverbus landed to the south-west a few days ago.
Searching the area, Aurore found a small castle and outlying buildings that were surrounded by fully-armored knights wearing tabards which Aurore believed were religious, though she had no idea of the specific order. Damien found a path through the nearby copse of trees and the two were finally able to scout out the location.
External defenses looked fairly light with a dozen knights patrolling the area until Aurore found a turret hidden in the bush where she intended to hide. A quick search revealed five other turrets around the perimeter. Damien kept watch for a while until a priest came out of the castle and went to one of the outlying buildings where he gathered a group of people to follow him. The group’s ragged look helped identify them as prisoners. Peering through one of the windows, Aurore counted another dozen prisoners, bringing the total over twenty.
Following the priest and his flock, Damien snuck into the castle through a window. He worried he had been spotted by one of the knights looking in his direction, however the lack of reaction reassured him, even though it was odd. Damien was certain the knight had looked at him directly. The prisoners had been brought to the castle’s main hall converted into a prayer room. There they recited prayers from Malraux’s bible, with occasional whippings from the priest or one of the monks.
After a while two monks dragged out a prisoner and took him through another door. Damien decided to not follow and take a look at the upper floors instead. The first floor had living quarters and a room with a few monks working on screens, apparently examining prisoner files. All told Damien counted 8 monks and another priest, then he moved on to the last floor. This one was more luxurious, with carpeted floors and expensive-looking paintings hanging on walls. As he crept past an open door, he heard a man who was probably the Abbot in charge talking on the phone. Apparently he was receiving orders to cooperate with someone who would be coming anytime soon, and he was very unhappy about it. “Damn the heretics” he commented after he hung up.
The whole floor seemed to be the Abbot’s personal quarters. Damien found a ladder leading into the attic. A quick look there found the central server, with cables going down through the walls and ceilings to other areas. His reconnaissance done, he decided to leave for now.
In the meantime Aurore studied external defenses in more detail, to see if the turrets could be hacked or taken over. The turrets seemed to be remote-controlled, probably from inside the castle, therefore hacking them should pose few problems. On the other hand, she also found the prisoners, the priests and the monks were connected to the GodNet, therefore something had to be done about that before breaking them out. More worryingly, she also found that the knights were robots controlled by the GodNet itself. And in addition there seemed to be something cubic-shaped surrounding the whole area. Aurore suspected it to be a detection system.
Damien came back and as they swapped information, the priest came back with his flock, save one, and put them back with the other prisoners. Just after the priest had left, the door quietly opened and one of the prisoners looked out furtively, then ran away towards the forest. The other prisoners tried to stop him but did not go out of the building. The knights did not react to the escape.
Damien rushed through the forest and intercepted the escapee, pinning him to the ground. He explained that they were going to break them out soon but for now he needed to return with the others to avoid heightened security. To get his point across he also told the prisoner that he had a remote-triggered explosive somewhere inside him. The prisoner nodded and calmed down. After being released he quickly explained that Aurore and Damien would need to watch out for traitors among the prisoners. Some of them knew the prayers a bit too well to be real prisoners. Damien pressed for information about the numbers and any missing ones, but this prisoner was a recent arrival. He only knew that sometimes the priests or monks took someone away from prayer, to never be seen again. The prisoner then returned back to prison, without any reaction from the knights.
Aurore and Damien decided to sneak inside the castle again. Aurore took some time to examine the door the monks had dragger a prisoner through and noted that despite its looks it was a very advanced fingerprint scanner. After that they went into the attic and Aurore plugged one of her own remote network access modules into the central server.
She looked through the prisoner files and found two files to be missing, providing the identities of the potential snitches. She also took a look at the would-be escapee’s file, a barkeep named Rene from Toulouse who was arrested after being denounced by a neighbor. She also noticed there was a number of additional prisoner files ready to go out, they had all been marked for transfer but the prisoners had probably already been transferred. One of those transferred was Aurore’s roommate and close friend, Jeanne Moulin. Finally she noted where all of them had received implants.
Aurore also tried to identify the Abbot’s caller. The call had come directly from Avignon. Aurore and Damien began to theorize about the identity of the person who was supposed to arrive, and the only person who came to mind was Inspector Sartan. Finally, the fingerprint-locked door was not connected to this server, but Aurore had a backup plan.
As they made their way back to the ground floor, the castle became abuzz with activity. An air transport was coming in and a welcome committee was formed. Fortunately this left the castle empty and Aurore proceeded to the prayer hall to retrieve a priest’s fingerprints from the whip. Unfortunately it only had partial prints, not enough for her CyberHam Mimic to pick up. By a stroke of luck she noticed the nearby bible, which did have a full thumbprint.
As the newcomers were getting close, Aurore and Damien decided to sneak out of the castle to return later. They agreed to split up: Aurore would go back to the hideout and Damien would watch the newcomes and rejoin later.
Moments later they were hidden in bushes about 3 metres apart. They watched a heavily-armed Core Earth military transport helicopter land. The people that came out, however, were not Inspector Sartan and the Police Nationale but a beautiful woman wearing a military uniform designed for tough winters accompanied by four people wearing black suits and ties and sunglasses. Aurore recognized the uniform as being from the Russian army. They were greeted by the Abbot and a procession of monks and knights.
The Abbot attempted to exchange pleasantries, however he was cut short as the woman coldly replied she was here for business. The Abbot invited her to follow and the two groups proceeded towards the castle, leaving only two men in black and two knights around the helicopter. One of the remaining MiBs pulled out a pack of cigarettes and tried to offer them to one of the knights, eliciting no reaction whatsoever.
Aurore and Damien began to follow and noticed each other. After a few recriminations about following the plan, they decided to continue together. Aurore used her magic to disguise Damien as one of the monks and she pulled up her own holographic monastic robes. They walked out of the bushes and moved towards the castle, only to be called out by one of the MiBs who asked in broken French how many church snipers were hidden in the bushes. Damien replied something about a maintenance patrol. The MiB inquired about the knight’s unresponsiveness only to be told it was actually a robot.
The Resistance duo entered the castle but as they were moving through, a monk intercepted Damien and asked if he could borrow some holographic parchment, for while he damaged his last while he was illuminating code. While Damien found a convenient excuse, Aurore groaned inwardly at the monk’s lack of common sense.
Once that was done, they realized the group they were following had passed the fingerprint-locked door and carefully proceeded after them. The door led to steps winding downard that ended in a large and poorly-lit tunnel lined with pillars and moving religious frescoes from the Old Testament.
The tunnel ended with a similar staircase, going up. Following it Damien and Aurore found themselves in a high-security prison, with short hallways lined with heavy metal doors. The Abbot and the Russians went into one of them. Shortly after, a long scream of pain inundated the area. Aurore and Damien considered fighting the other group but as they were discussing a plan, a priest and two monks arrived from above and headed into another cell, out of which they dragged a bound prisoner covered in protective seals.
The two Resistants moved out of hiding and using the first prisoner’s loud screams for cover, shot at the priest and monks. Damien threw an unlit stick of dynamite at them, and they ducked for cover, unfortunately freeing the prisoner. The man grabbed the monks’ heads and recited a ritual that instantly withered them. Aurore shot the priest.
Quick introductions revealed the former prisoner’s name to be Lucian, a self-professed mad heretic and demon-summoner. Aurore found his eyes did indeed speak of madness. Lucian revealed there were only two prisoners here: himself and one another. But at times other prisoners were dragged through to somewhere up above. Just as the three were preparing to assault the other cell, the screams stopped and the door opened. They heard the Abbot and one of the MiBs arguing: if the Abbot wanted the prisoner’s information, he would need to provide a room until the woman woke up.
The trio attempted to hide but Damien was noticed by the Abbot, who instructed him to guide the Russians to one of the rooms above. Two monks carried the Russian woman and were accompanied by the MiBs keeping watch. Damien attempted to drive the group towards Lucian and Aurore setting up an ambush nearby, however the Abbot berated him for not knowing the right direction and he was punished with taking care of their guests’ needs until they left.
They moved up through a forcefield, a torture room, and a hallway with a large door on the side, until they reached the surface. Apparently this was a retirement home for elderly priests, who watched the group go past with astonishment. The Abbot led the group to a room where the Russian woman was put on a bed. Damien was left in the room, with one of the MiBs. The other was at the door standing watch with one of the knights.
The MiB in the room began some small-talk with Damien about church life, then asked for a drink. Damien gave him some nonsensical directions to send him as far away as possible. Unfortunately the man was clearly a professional and he only relayed the directions to his colleague standing outside. While he was doing so, Damien looked through the Russian woman’s belongings but couldn’t find anything. When the MiB returned to his chair inside the room, Damien stealthily pulled out his silenced pistol and put a bullet through his head. Smitten with the Russian woman he put her in a wheelchair and raced through the retirement home. To him she was clearly being used by the others and needed saving.
Meanwhile Aurore found herself alone with Lucian and told him to hide nearby. She attempted to go up and had to hack the forcefield. As she was unable to follow the other group, she decided to stop by the room behind the large gate. It was full of vats containing people. Aurore recognized two of them: her friend Jeanne and a previous acquaintance of Damien, a ganger known as MacMaster.
Aurore attempted to figure out how the machinery worked and how to get her friend out. Unfortunately it was so advanced she was unable to guess what it did or how to operate it. There were three buttons next to each vat. Aurore decided to try with one of the other prisoners first. She pushed the middle button and felt some sort of connection with the reality energy of the person inside. She tried the button on the right, and felt the energy run through her. As she opened her eyes she became horrified at the open empty vat in front of her.
She prepared to try again with another vat when Damien arrived with his wheelchair and quarry. Time was getting short and Aurore tried to free her friend directly. First she used the middle button to infuse her with her own energy, then she tried the left button and felt the energy come back into her. This time however the vat’s prisoner was still there. Unfortunately the vat was still closed. Aurore realized the vats were not designed to take people out of them, prompting her to simply cut through the glass instead. After doing so, they loaded Jeanne onto the wheelchair and rolled forward.
They rejoined Lucian, freed the other prisoner, a strange man who was unable to speak due to having no tongue, and they raced through the tunnel back to the castle. As they were walking through the tunnel they were intercepted by the Abbot and two knights, ready for battle. A couple of dynamite sticks later, the tunnel leading to the retirement home was closed, cutting of any pursuit. Another stick took care of one of the knights, however the other one charged Aurore while the Abbot called hellfire upon Damien. Lucian threw a couple of fireballs into the fray and then leaned against a pillar, waiting calmly for everything to be done.
In the end the knight proved to be the more dangerous opponent, but the Resistants finally finished him off and raced to the end of the tunnel. As they came out in the castle they realized the alarm had not propagated this far, leaving them a few minutes to put together an escape plan. It would involve a Russian helicopter and one of the prisoners whose file coincidentally mentioned he was an army pilot.
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:09 am
Cairo, Egypt, Nile Empire, Day 6
Scarlet Gloves, Shielding Sun, Amethyst Ninja
Music and the laughter of people greeted the Hargreeves siblings as they entered the Grand Casino of Cairo, or the “Bazzino” as people liked to call it (but never within a Baz familymember’s earshot). The building had just been finished and the opening night drew Cairo’s elite. The siblings had received an invitation for “Lord Hargreeves and family” therefore only the latter came.
An impressive number of villains were arrayed on the floor, including the Insidious Wu Han playing poker. Cynthia, after calculating a red-dressed lady’s interest in acquiring the casino, went to discuss mathematics with a group of mathematicians at a blackjack table, however the villainous curs denied any interest in the subject and pretended to be perfectly normal people playing a completely fair game of luck. Jonathan darted between various groups of people, listening for anything interesting. He only noticed a few movie producers looking for their next top actors but was able to have some meaningful conversation with a cobra hooded-villain about something called the Retribution League.
Sir Walter was introducing himself to the elite at the roulette table, when a newcomer walked in. His blue eyes, blond hair and black uniform complete with iron cross told everyone what to expect. Walter was not disappointed when the man joined him at the roulette and introduced himself in a thick German accent. He was Conrad Heydrich, a captain in the Pharaoh’s army who had just finished helping with the conquest of the southern areas of Egypt and decided to spend the evening in civilised company before heading to the next conquest.
As they were amiable chatting, Walter noticed a hand checking the captain’s pockets. He decided to keep quiet and watch, however the captain finally noticed and seized the hand, calling for his Nile shocktroopers to take the thief away, which they quickly did. Benham Baz arrived at the scene of the commotion but decided to not get too involved. Captain Heydrich instructed his soldiers to take the woman to his suite, for later interrogation.
Walter pretended to be too contraried by the event and decided to retire, however as he was about to leave, Benham “Big Boy” Baz decided to inquire if anything could be done to make Walter feel better. As Benham had known Walter’s parents, they decided to have a bite at the casino’s restaurant.
In the meantime Cynthia and Jonathan followed the shocktroopers and the thieving lady and put on their masks. Two of them had been left guarding the suite’s doors. The Amethyst Ninja distracted them while the Shielding Sun rammed into them with her energy shield, knocking them out sneakily. Deciding to continue with the stealthy approach, Shielding Sun broke down the suite’s doors and was greeted by three shocktroopers led by an officer. She took down the three shocktroopers while Amethyst Ninja tricked the captain into leaping at him, unfortunately misjudging the distance to the window behind Ninja and plummeting from the casino’s fifth floor to the alley below. Only a discrete flash from the broken door indicated the scene had been captured by a hidden photographer who was about to write a big news article.
In the restaurant below, Walter tried to convince Big Boy to help the heroes against the Pharaoh, however the elder Baz brother was unwilling to get mixed up in politics, especially after sending one of his lieutenants down the Nile for doing so. However Walter found an arrangement in helping the Baz Brothers secure their dominance over Cairo’s underworld. In exchange Benham would keep an eye out for Walter’s parents in case one of the Pharaoh’s agents let anything slip out. Their discussion was interrupted by one of the waiters informing a shocktrooper had fallen out of Captain Heydrich’s suite’s window. Benham was uninterested, but Walter took the opportunity to excuse himself.
Back in the suite, Amethyst Ninja and Shielding Sun started looking for the woman, and quickly found themselves at the business end of her pocket pistol. The two introduced themselves as heroes, which made her roll her eyes up in despair. She was, however, willing to accept their help and introduced herself as Yanina Mazar, an Israeli intelligence operative looking for the Pharaoh’s battle plans.
A shocktrooper made his way to the casino floor and began looking for Captain Heydrich. However he was intercepted by Sir Walter, who clumsily tripped him and knocked his head multiple times against a table as he tried to help him get up. After that Walter retired to a discrete location and pulled his mask and walkie-talkie out to ask Ninja where they were and inform them they did not have much time left. Once that was done he joined them.
Ninja and Sun quickly found the Captain’s briefcase and picked its lock. Inside they found a spare uniform and, after some rummaging, the battle plans and a letter from the Pharaoh to Heydrich. The next day, the Pharaoh would personally lead his troops out of Alexandria to take Tobruk. Heydrich had orders to get his tanks fitted with a special engine and attack Tripoli by surprise from the back. They would join forces in Benghazi.
This left very little time to counter the plans, Yanina suggested sabotaging the special engines somewhere in Alexandria before they were fitted. She also knew a pilot who could fly them there quickly.
As they made their way downstairs they were intercepted by Heydrich, Lady Hourglass, and a squad of shocktroopers. Crimson Gloves and Shielding Sun gunned down the troopers and Amethyst Ninja kneecapped the Captain. Lady Hourglass informed the captain she had no interest in dealing with children playing heroes and left him to fend for himself. Heydrich surrendered and the heroes ran away.
Yanina led them to a shady bar near the airport where she indicated a solid man in aviator’s clothes quietly drinking whiskey. The man introduced himself as Rex Steele, however he was currently unable to fly them as his baby had been confiscated by the Pharaoh’s troops. The heroes decided they would get his plane back anyway, and an improvised plan was hatched.
The group drove to Cairo Airport. Shielding Sun and Crimson Gloves charged at a nearby tank, drawing attention to themselves while Amethyst Ninja, Steele and Mazar snuck into the hangar housing his plane.
Sun shielded Gloves and herself from the hail of bullets as they walked to the plane while Gloves gunned down wave after wave of shocktroopers. Inside the hangar, Ninja dispatched one of the two guards, but the other was able to sound the alarm. Ninja distracted him and the reinforcements while Rex refueled his plane and prepared for take-off. Sun scared the tank’s driver into running away, leaving the hatch open, and Crimson Gloves commandeered it and began shelling the shocktroopers. The commander of the shocktroopers tried to throw a grenade at the tank, however it exploded in his hand. His second throw was just as bad and only a pair of smoking boots was left of him.
Reinforcements arrived on the scene in three jeeps, one of them driven by Hooded Cobra. Ninja boarded the plane as Rex moved it out of the hangar and towards the runway. Shielding Sun collapsed due to overheating and began venting steam as Cobra and Gloves lost control of their vehicles. Gloves was able to avoid a collision with the airport building. Hooded Cobra, however, was unable to stop his vehicle before it dropped into the Nile. Crimson Gloves piloted his tank’s turret to propel the unconscious sun into the plane and Ninja pulled him up as the plane was taking off.
Alexandria, Egypt, Nile Empire, Day 7
It was an hour or two before dawn. Rex’s plane flew over Alexandria, its magnificent lighthouse and public library greatly enhancing the landscape. Due to Rex’s previous misadventures in airports and Yanina’s need to get the plans to Tel Aviv, the three heroes had to jump. Amethyst Ninja, Crimson Gloves and Shielding Sun strapped on their parachutes as Rex and Yanina wished them good luck, and jumped.
As they were dropping through the clouds at high speed, they noticed the clouds were in fact a giant locust swarm hanging high above the city. The insects bit and chewed at the heroes. Sun tried to scare them off but accidentally broke the opening mechanism of her parachute. Gloves attempted to set fire on the critters, but only set fire to his own parachute. Amethyst Ninja moved into position and strapped Sun to his own parachute while Gloves extinguished the fire.
They were quickly past the insects, which remained at a high altitude. Their troubles were not over as a couple of larger insects approached, revealing shocktroopers wearing scarab-shaped jetpacks. Sun cut off her ties to Ninja and grabbed the two scarab warriors, leading the three of them towards the insect cloud. Suddenly the skies of Alexandria were on fire as Gloves and Ninja realized their sister’s plan. Crimson Gloves, however, was certain she would inevitably return...
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:53 am
For ease of reading I will now use spoiler tags.St Petersburg, Russia, Core Earth, Day 5Leonid Slovokin, Alicia Kalachnikova, Elizabeth PoliakovaSt Petersburg, Russia, Core Earth, Day 6Toulouse, France, Cyberpapacy, Day 7Aurore, Damien MonnetToulouse, France, Cyberpapacy, Day 8
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:11 am
Glasnakille, Scotland, Aysle-Core Earth, Day 2Garrick Heinston, Logan MacCormack, Muir GilchristIsle of Skye, Scotland, Aysle-Core Earth, Day 3
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:01 am
Alexandria, Egypt, Nile Empire, Day 7Scarlet Gloves, Amethyst Ninja, Bronze BulletIsmailia, Egypt, Nile Empire, Day 7I am a bit sad they did not manage to play a Glory card despite the epic heroics of the session. The end was really a lot more desperate than the tale suggests: Gloves needed a +11 to make the DSR (due to wounds and Stymied and other things). Suddenly, BAM, natural 20 The Laws of the Nile were really at the table.
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:53 am
St Petersburg, Russia, Core Earth, Day 7Leonid Slovokin, Alicia Kalachnikova, Elizabeth PoliakovaToulouse, France, Cyberpapacy, Day 12Aurore, Damien Monnet
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:23 pm
I finally found players for the group I did not manage to fill when we started a while ago. The circle of foreshadowing and cross-group information sharing is finally complete. Fort Knox, USA, Core Earth, Day 2“El Maligno”, “Tooth Fairy”, “Wendigo”Westerville, Ohio, USA, Core Earth, Day 2Ohio, USA, Living Land, Day 2Lexington, Ohio, USA, Living Land, Day 2
Re: Make Earth Glorious Again
Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:19 pm
Rawatbhata, India, Orrorsh, Night 4Chakrawarti Ranganekary, Samarj Chopade, Tobias Lynch(Chakrawarti's player really liked his new Corruption Perk )Belozersk, Russia, Tharkold, Day 9Leonid Slovokin, Alicia Kalachnikova, Elizabeth PoliakovaNear Gashkovo, Russia, Tharkold, Day 11(Romance cards and giant mutated beasts... what could possibly go wrong?)