Session 4 Summary
We once again find the heroes in their base, only this time they aren't lounging; they are preparing for a major attack. Each person had his own style of getting psyched: Arctus paced, Wort covered his face even more than normal, and Karne played it cool.
Bogard, on the other hand, did not know what to expect: "What exactly do we plan to do tomorrow?"
Arctus answered, "We're going to enter a particular government office. It has a door behind the central staircase
that I've never seen anyone enter. We need to get into there and see what's going on."
Bertis questioned, "And then what do we do once we're inside?"
"Shut it down."
"And by that you mean blow it up?"
Hale wondered, "Is there any other way to get in besides the front door? There are going to be more guards than normal because of our message."
"Possibly, but the door we need to get through is in the central area, so there's no avoiding it."
Wort exclaimed, "So the only way is to go in the front and kill everyone."
Arctus sighed, "You know, we could try and do this peacefully."
Hale said incredulously, "You've got to be kidding me."
After some silence, Bogard spoke up, "I must warn you all that I will not strike down an innocent, should that situation arise."
Bertis asked, "So what if you are in a situation where an innocent is attacking you?"
"Then I shall defend myself honorably."
"...What if you caused the situation?"
"Then I would have to use my best judgment. Bogard paused and said, "This talk is becoming worrisome."
"Everything will go just fine, I'm sure," Bertis replied sarcastically.
With Guns Blazing
The heroes left the following morning for the government offices. Upon arriving, the heroes positioned themselves appropriately and noticed several police officers standing guard. Qirk attempted to inconspicuously set up a bomb on the corner, further confirming the heroes' terrorist status. Unfortunately, Qirk completely botched the drop and a nearby Lucan police officer demanded, "What are you doing over there!?"
"I saw you drop something over there. Let me see it."
"It's dangerous. You don't want to handle it."
"Then place it on the table so I can see it."
"You really don't want me to do that."
"Put it where I can see it. Now!"
Qirk activated the bomb and set it down. The bomb began to shake and rattle and make ticking noises. The police officer was familiar with this and whipped out his stun baton. Sensing the approaching battle, Qirk shouted, "We are Cataclysm!
We're here to change things!" The crowd of civilians hurried towards the front doors and the police engaged the heroes. Someone behind the central desk set off an alarm and more police poured through the side doors. The police were very tough and the heroes didn't fare well during the battle. Wort disappeared at some point. Qirk took a hit from a stun baton and activated his boots. He ran at super speed from the police, setting the area on fire. Unfortunately, this also set fire to his bomb and detonated it, destroying a table and burning a police officer. From somewhere, a bolt struck Bertis extremely accurately, nearly killing him. He was very frustrated that he could not discern the shooter's location and hid underneath a table. Qirk made his way over and passed him a healing infusion underneath the cover. The sniper then took a shot at Hale and hit him in the face with a bolt. Hale only grew angrier at this offense. A police smasher came over to Bertis and Qirk with a portable ram and blasted the table from over them. Unfortunately, the table went flying onto a civilian, pinning him. The battle dragged on, and it became the clear the heroes weren't doing well. Arctus shouted, "The door, remember!?" The heroes abandoned the losing battle and ran for the door. Karne vaulted off of the staircase and saw runes carved into the door: "Looks like we're going to need Qirk over here." Bertis had teleported up to the balcony to find the sniper, but still couldn't see him. Utilizing his skills in Le Parkour, he jumped down and rolled at the landing. Qirk and Bertis somehow made it over to the door and police surrounded the heroes, shouting at them to surrender. Qirk recognized the rune on the door and activated it, opening it. Just then, Wort appeared next to the heroes, holding a dagger up to a civilian's neck. There was a startled silence and Wort coldly uttered, "This is just the beginning." He then slit the throat
of the hostage, kicked the body forward, and bolted through the rune door with incredible speed.
The heroes followed Wort through and shut the rune door.
Bertis muttered, "I'm going to kill him."
Bogard stated, "An innocent has perished. This was not part of the plan."
Hale replied, "No, it wasn't."
Arctus said, "I always knew he was a bad apple, but this is too far.
Karne shook his head sadly and said, "He's gone back to his old ways."
The heroes questioned this statement and Karne continued, "Back when Wort and I were a part of that group, he was a different person. He was a cold-blooded killer. Merciless. After the group disbanded, he got better, but now he's getting worse
again. I don't know what happened to him."
The heroes thought about the story for a bit before Arctus said, "Let's continue with what we came here for, and if we find him, we'll talk."
"Yeah... 'talk'..." Bertis said ominously.
The heroes explored the forbidden area and searched some rooms. The first room had some documents in it, which Hale skimmed. The papers discussed creatures referred to as Runebacks
. The heroes recalled hearing the term on mag-train. Apparently Runebacks were former Lucan residents who had suffered extreme mental degeneration, as well as the appearance of runes on the skin. The papers linked its incidence to exposure to the Haze. There were also records of attempts to induce the state. The heroes made a mental note of this and kept the documents. In another room, the heroes found some less complete documents detailing an attempt to create a magicically powered citizen. There were problems linked to the accumulator requirement and the project was not completed. In a third room, the heroes found blueprints for some sort of powered war machine called a mag-walker
. This particular design seemed to have gone into production already. Qirk excitedly said, "I'm gonna build me one of those!" and grabbed the blueprints. The heroes finally came to the fourth room, which appeared to be a control area. Qirk wasn't able to understand the controls, so he began pushing buttons and throwing levers randomly. The heroes heard some mechanical noises from further down the hall and continued. They entered into a manufacturing area, where workers were assembling parts on a conveyor belt. The machinery was extremely loud, so no one even noticed the heroes' entry. The heroes took a look around and a worker approached them, "Who are you guys? I don't think you're supposed to be back here."
Qirk answered, "We're Cataclysm. From the transmission."
"Wait, you guys are them? You're actually following through with that announcement? I can't believe it!"
"Believe it. This place is going to get blown up, so you guys better get out of here."
"You don't have to tell me twice."
The agreeable worker then turned around and motioned towards the back doors: "Everybody out!" The heroes then wondered how they would blow up the enormous factory. Hale remembered the previous factory and what he had learned about accumulators: disconnect the cables while it's still providing power and it explodes. Qirk set up a second bomb next to the giant accumulator powering the machinery. The heroes had several minutes to escape and headed for the back doors. Just then, someone appeared in front of them - it was Wort. The heroes stood, shocked. Hale moved to get behind him, but Wort knew what was going on and said "Stop."
"You're trying to surround me. I know you're all pissed, but let me explain myself."
Arctus said, "This had better be good. You've made a terrible mistake."
Wort explained, "We need to show these dictators that we mean business. That we're serious about this revolution."
Hale shouted, "You killed someone on our side!"
"He was from the upper city. Did you see his expensive clothes? We don't need people like him."
"Even if he was, we're going to need both cities' support for this. Now if you promise never to do it again, you can still be a part of this." Wort paused for a second and stepped forward to rejoin the ranks. Hale then furiously lashed out with the butt of his spear, knocking Wort onto the floor. In a fit of uncontrollable rage, Hale continued to wail on Wort until he stopped resisting. The party then tied him up and took his daggers.
"I thought we were friends!" Wort cried out wretchedly.
"Not right now."
Qirk suddenly remembered what was going on and warned, "I set up a bomb, remember!?"
The heroes panicked and ran out through the back doors and into a hangar. At the other end of the hangar stood a legion of police officers
waiting for them. The heroes couldn't believe it. They had come this far, only to be totally surrounded. Then Qirk noticed something in the corner of the hangar. He remembered the blueprints for the mag-walker and saw that three of them sat unused. The heroes climbed into the things and somehow managed to turn them on. They were presented with four buttons on the control panel. Qirk went first and tried a button. The mag-walker fired a missile into the ranks of the police, blasting an entire group. Hale discovered a flamethrower, and Bertis activated a lightning gun. Finally, Qirk annihiliated the police with a powerful laser. "This is immensely violent," Arctus lamented. The heroes trampled the remaining officers and encountered an enemy piloting a mag-walker. Large-scale weapons were exchanged, and all of the mag-walkers were badly damaged. The heroes were forced to disembark, but with all of the enemies dead, they escaped into the streets. Behind them, they heard the massive explosion of the accumulator, but like true action heroes, they did not turn and look.
Upon returning to base, the heroes fashioned a crude jail cell for Wort to stay in.
"What are we going to do with him?" Qirk asked.
Arctus said, "No one is going to hurt him any more. We'll leave him there until we can think of what to do."
Wort wailed "You can't leave me in here. No one should be imprisoned.
And besides, I can escape from any jail."
Hale thought for a moment and said, "Ok. We'll let you out in two days if you promise to behave until then. That means no breaking out."
Wort agreed and the heroes began to descide on what to do about Wort's misdeed. Bertis and Qirk decided that Wort must die. Arctus objected angrily, "No one is going to die here tonight."
Qirk responded, "You can't stop us all from doing it."
"I cannot. But I will not be a part of a team that murders its own members."
Bogard added, "Have we the right to be the judge, jury, and executioner? Surely we are no better than the very government we oppose if we kill those that we do not agree with."
Karne said, "What Wort did was unforgivable. But he is a longtime friend of mine and I cannot agree to hurting him any more."
The party adjourned for a bit and Bertis, Qirk, and Hale discussed the NPCs by themselves. Qirk said, "Wort is just going to be more trouble if we don't kill him."
Hale said, "I agree that he will be trouble, but I'm not sure about killing him."
The three conspirators began devising plans to murder Wort and hide his body so that the other NPCs would not leave. Qirk volunteered to shapeshift into Wort and fool the NPCs into thinking that he had escaped. Bertis volunteered to electrocute him to death and make it look like he had touched the electrified cage he was in. Hale, on the other hand, was still on the fence. Something didn't feel quite right about killing Wort. "Wasn't this entire revolution his idea?" Hale asked. The other conspirators confirmed. Hale, Qirk, and Bertis continued debating for quite a while, but could not reach a concensus. Hale decided to head out for a bit and see what the streets thought of Cataclysm's assault. The gerneral opinion was supportive, and there had been no mention of Wort's misdeed. Hale returned and decided that they should give Wort one more chance. With four votes against Qirk and Bertis's two, Wort lived to see another day. Hale ordered Karne to keep an eye on Wort during his probation. Karne went over to Wort and said, "Look, Wort. We need to make sure you don't try anything like that again. I'm going to watch you for a while. If you pull another stunt like that, I will not try to stop the others from killing you." Wort acknowledged grimly.
Bogard approached the three conspirators and said, "I am pleased with your decision. I know that none of the outcomes seemed like the right thing to do." The devious heroes nodded, hiding their murderous intent. Just then, a transmission came over the speaker. Tulstor himself was to make an appearance in the lower city and address the recent terrorist attack. The heroes now have several days to prepare for the upcoming event. Will this be the end of Tulstor for good?