Author Topic: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles  (Read 2005 times)

pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #30 on: (22:11:38/04-11-16) »
The American continued to lead the way, clearly a hardened professional, and they ascended. They came out on the next floor and gave it a quick scan, but there were no signs of movement. Achilles cursed as they went back up the stairs--this floor showed signs of activity, but it would have to wait. The next floor was much the same story, and so was the next. Each time the sounds grew louder, and Achilles was sure the source would be on the next floor. But as they reached the landing of the 8th floor, finally something different--the American peeked in, pulled back, flattened himself against the wall, and took a long drag on a cigarette that Achilles was all but certain wasn't there just a second ago. A nod of his head indicated that he wanted the ork to take a look for himself.

Achilles looked around the corner and surveyed the room; an open floor plan partitioned by shelves of books, with tables set up between and in the center of the room. The windows here were all shuttered, many from the inside, but the room was lit by the new addition of computer terminals, tall but thin glass tubes of glowing fluids, and ghostly figures wandering throughout. Softly glowing colors in human shape paged through books or wandered idly, apparently unaware of the two metahuman intruders. Above it all, in the center of the room, a spherical light hovered, like a lamp with no glass, unsupported by anything, casting a green glow on the whole room.

Achilles shouldered the LMG and stepped in. He tracked possible targets as they moved, but still nothing took note of him. He tracked forward towards the center of the room, the American following and looking none too happy about it, but without incident. From here, the source of the wailing was clear--when one of the beings stepped too far away from a pylon, it flickered, disappearing for a moment before appearing as flesh, then returning to glowing light, apparently a tortuous process. The giggling wasn't yet clear, at least to Achilles, but he wasn't terribly concerned about it at present. He reached a chair surrounded by books, pages, and terminals, and taking one more glance around for hostiles, set down his machine gun and sat down.

"Cover me." He instructed the American as he began sifting through notebooks and data chips, looking for something worthwhile. He paged through old books on ancient alchemy and data chips labeled "geological survey" or "anatomy of metahumanity". Not having any luck, he tried his hand at the computer terminal--surprisingly controlled by a full-sized keyboard--but found it unsurprisingly locked. He pulled out his commlink and plugged in the connector cable to the terminal on the keyboard. A progress cube began to assemble in the air above it as the 'link went to work cracking into the much older and inferior tech. "Hacking agent." Achilles said simply as he waited. He glanced around and noticed that a few of the beings were now apparently staring, but not acting with any hostility. Still, it made him uncomfortable, and he looked up again at the green orb with curiosity and suspicion. Without looking away, he asked the American, "Do you know of magic?"

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #31 on: (08:39:14/04-12-16) »
"Only that's it's of the devil, an' Al don't have no truck with Mr. Pitchfork."

Al could not believe the balls on this Russian ork. The guy was just going to sit there and calmly hack this antique computer while they were surrounded by ghosts. The little Arkansan would have happily spent an hour with the biters in the basement if it would get him out of another two minutes with Casper and friends up here.

With one eye on the floating apparitions, Al watched his latest employer work the old terminal. He knew a bit about cobbling old hardware like this together, but the ork seemed to have it well under control. Glancing around the room, Al said, "Reckon I seen enough trid ta know that that damned Green Lantern Corp lava lamp up there's the cause o' all this unnaturalness an' abomination. Whaddaya say we put a few holes in 'er?...jist ta see what happens."


pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #32 on: (16:25:50/04-12-16) »
"On our way out I hoped to..." Achilles pauses, looking for a word. "Collapse structure." Suddenly, a voice, harsh and disembodied, came from the orb above. "I'm afraid I can't let you do that." It said, followed by a sinister chuckle. Achilles froze in place, his eyes darting over to the progress cube. *14% remaining* He cleared his throat nervously and responded. "And who are you?"

"I am a spirit, warden of this place on behalf of Geber." The statement was followed by a sharp hissing sound.

*10%*

"And... you wish us to leave building alone?" The russian ork asked, watching the progress cube in his peripheral.

*7%*

"No, you misunderstand me." Another round of choked giggles follows before the spirit continues. "I can't let you leave at all."

*Access granted* Achilles' left hand drifted over to the commlink and tapped a few buttons slowly. *Transferring files...* Another progress cube began assembling, even as he spoke.

"And why not?" he asked, visibly sweating by this point.

"Geber instructed me not to let anyone leave alive. And I have no problem with that service." Another bout of laughter.

*94% remaining*

Achilles made eye contact with the American, who had apparently noticed that every being in the place had stopped what it was doing to stare at them. The wailing had been replaced by impossible whispers, more like wind than actual words. Achilles glanced at the Black Dragon, then back at the American, his jaw clenched tightly.

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #33 on: (18:11:09/04-14-16) »
Now things were tense.

Damned ghosts had him in a cold sweat, but he wasn't going to let them see that. It was definitely time to beat feet, but the file transfer from the ancient terminal had another ninety percent to go...

"Whoa there, O Great an' Powerful Oz, let a feller at least finish his cigarette afore unleashin' yer undead hordes on 'im."

Al needed a minute to think. The fact that this green ball of demonry had bothered chatting them up first like a typical trid-villain instead of just attacking them outright meant it was stupid, prideful, overconfident, and liked to talk. And probably one of those freaky abominations that fed off of negative emotions or something, too. He could work with that.

And it gave the voodoo gods time to send their power coursing through his limbs. He'd fought demons before, and they'd never walked away. But then neither had a lot of those that had stood by him. And there'd never been a pack of ghosts around as back-up singers. These things were creeping him out big time...Ivan was packing some badass firepower, but it wouldn't do squat against them in spirit form. Far enough away from that pylon, though, and they became food for the Black Dragon to feast on...

"Tell ya what, amigo," he said, blowing smoke up at the thing, "Ya talk a good talk, an' I'll allow ya got what ya need here ta git the job done. He looked around at the pack ghosts. "But I also reckon ye've had enough of a gander at us ta know we gon' make it hurt afore we go down. An' we'll go after you first." He shrugged. "So yeah, you can take that chance. Or...seein' as Vlad here is the one Gibber wants, while me, I'm jist the hired help..." He paused to drop his cigarette on the floor and stamp it out.

Then he put his shotgun to Achilles' head.

"What say ya let me take 'im out for ya, an' then ya let me walk?"

pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #34 on: (00:01:01/04-15-16) »
A hard scowl crossed Achilles' face as he realized how the American had probably survived so many trips into these lands. He looked lustfully at the Black Dragon, but primarily to take the man's attention off of his right hand, which was subtly shifting from his lap to his leg holster, silently withdrawing the Ares from its leather resting place.

However, before things got more tense between the two men, the orb was again hissing and laughing. "No one leaves alive. My instructions were clear. Stay as long as you like though. Don't let me interrupt you." It said, before giggling once more. However, the other spirits seemed impatient, drifting further from their pylons to approach the men. Achilles watched the American to see if he looked away, if only for a moment...

*83%*

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #35 on: (16:27:48/04-19-16) »
Well, dammit, it didn't look like the boss demon was going to play along with his admittedly ill-thought-out ruse. And judging by the way the ork's hand was creeping towards his sidearm, he wasn't playing either.

*79%*

No time to waste, but lots of time to kill...the floaters were getting restless, the orb was giggling again, and Ivan's big ork mitt was getting closer to that huge-ass Ares.

*76%*

There were way too many of these things. At least a dozen, and they didn't look like they had the same patience as their master. Al's eyes darted around the gloomy library in search of an answer. From where he was he could see three of the pylons, slender glass tubes full of glowing fluid, electrical wires draped from top to top, and also leading up through the ceiling to where he was sure there were batteries or generators, plus a tangle of cables on the floor feeding the obsolete computer terminals with more juice than they could ever need. Al had seen two other pylons on the way in, and by the layout he figured there was another one he hadn't laid eyes on yet. So six total? Even the three he could see were a bitch, all on different sightlines among the maze of bookshelves. He thought of dominoes, but a glance down confirmed that the metal shelf units were bolted firmly to the floor. Still, like it said in the Good Book, the journey of ten thousand miles starts with the first step.

*73%*

if he couldn't get the devils away from the pylons, he'd take the pylons away from the devils. He swung the barrel of his shotgun away from the ork's head and shot at the closest green tube.


pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #36 on: (23:01:24/04-24-16) »
The tube shattered with the flash of sparks refracting off of scattering glass. The liquid splattered nearby books and puddled on the floor below. Most importantly, the spirits around that pylon looked at each other for the briefest moment before winking out of apparent existence. Achilles wasn't sure if the American had been bluffing all along or had simply changed tactics, but either way the eggs were in the scramble now. Remaining spirits materialized into physical forms, like men without distinctive features. Six of them rushed towards the two men, three to each. The American was at least an ally for now, so the spirit-men came first.

With his had already on the Ares, Achilles stood up, popped it from its holster, and put two rounds into the first spirit before it reached him. It evaporated into bluish smoke and was gone in an instant. But these things were fast and not too far away, so the second was on him before he could switch his aim. It threw a wild punch that the ork easily dodged, but the third came up beside him and kicked the gun from his hand. The Ares clattered to the floor nearby. Suddenly he was liking the American's plan better.

Achilles looked up in time to see the American crack a spirit-man in the face with the butt of his shotgun, but it wasn't yet down for the count and another was coming in from his blind spot. With his hands now free, Achilles grabbed one of the spirit-men fighting him and tossed him right over the table, knocking down the American's would-be attacker. "Keep shooting the tubes!" He called out. His eyes darted over to the Black Dragon, but just then a gout of acid melted the chair he'd been sitting in only a moment prior. Looking up, he noted what had been an orb of green light was now like a hideous fungus hanging from the ceiling, tendrils swinging wildly and a horrible mouth dripping with acid. "Suffer..." was all it could say before erupting into disgusting laughter.

*65%*
« Last Edit: (23:10:47/04-24-16) by pistolgrip »

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #37 on: (17:19:57/04-27-16) »
Al took advantage of the half-second the ork's throw had bought him to shoot another bubbling green pylon. That was two of the three he could see from where he was, and some more demons dissolved. "Teamwork makes the dream work, Ivan-baby," he said. He sidestepped a demon's headlong rush and was lining up on the third mad-scientist tube when a gout of acid hit his shotgun, melting the weapon to sludge in an instant and backspraying a fine mist of pain across his already burn-melted hands. "Ouch. Suffer, huh? I'll show ya suffer, ya viridescent sumbitch!" He was mad now - too mad to watch his six. He jumped onto a table to reach the thing but was tackled by two of the faceless demons. Their bad luck, as the voodoo gods sent their demon-busting juice through his limbs again - he held one steady by the throat with his left hand and pulverized its skull with his right. The other one hit him in the nutsack and the little man turned a wail of pain into a bloodthirsty "Whooooah Mama!!!" Wild eyed, he gripped the thing by the head and yanked it around clockwise. He didn't get the same satisfying snap he would have from a mortal foe - who knew what these freaks did for skeletons - but it stopped moving quick enough just the same.

Jumping to his feet, his choices were the fungus monster, the third nearby pylon, or the swarm of devils piling onto the Russian. One was too high, one was the smart play, but after his earlier charade he figured it couldn't hurt to score back some trust points. He stepped up onto a chair and launched himself full length onto the scrum, shouting "Geronimo!!!" at the top of his lungs.

pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #38 on: (22:52:38/05-16-16) »
Achilles' eyes went wide as between two spirits he spotted the American soaring through the air right at him. He'd fought wizards, monsters, soldiers, thugs, mobsters, and now ghosts and sentient fungus, but somehow a crazy American made it all seem like background noise. He tried to dodge but was too bogged down by grasping hands and punches and jabs. He slammed one back into a bookshelf hard enough to knock down a dozen books and send it back to whatever hell it crawled out of, but the two on his left arm held him still while the one behind him put a knee in his back. As the American came down, much to Achilles' surprise, he took two of the things to the floor. Apparently they were friends again--or comrades at least. That left him with only two spirits to deal with for the moment. He could handle two.

But then the game changed. A green, acid-coated tendril came winding down and wrapped around his sleeve. It made a loud hiss as the cloth disappeared in smoke. This might've been the end of another man, but Achilles merely gritted his teeth at the abomination as the smoke cleared to reveal a fully chrome cyberarm, all the way up to the shoulder at least. Suddenly his knife was out in his left hand, and with a swift upward motion the tentacle was parted from its monstrous owner. This seemed to piss it off, but Achilles didn't have time to worry about hurt feelings. He ducked under a jab from the near spirit and rolled under the desk. Acid melted a hole in it right next to his head, but he kept moving and slid out from under the desk on the other side.

On this side, he was momentarily clear. But more importantly, on this side was the Black Dragon. He stood up and reached for it with his right hand while his left braced the knife against his chest to impale a tackling spirit. He let the thing keep his knife for the moment and grabbed the LMG with his other hand. "Stay down!" he shouted as his finger found the trigger. Suddenly loud snaps echoed through the library as a line of hot lead traced through a tube--shattering it instantly--and shredded books all around it, a dozen brass shells now bouncing and rolling on the floor.

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #39 on: (17:45:53/05-23-16) »
After watching the cybered ork take a piece out of the fungus monster and then kill one of its spirit minions, Al had no objections in principle to following the Russian's direction to hit the deck. The materialized spirit trying to choke the life out of him, however, was less concerned at the sight of the huge firearm coming to bear. Head butting the thing and slapping its hands off his throat, Al gave it a new appreciation of mundane firepower by shoving it in front of the barrel just as Achilles pulled the trigger. Al barely got prone fast enough to avoid being torn apart like the spirit. As it was, a couple of white-hot shell casings splashed against his cheek as he rolled under a table. The pain was sharp, but the endorphin rush he got watching his employer work took much of the sting out.

The gun ripped through the stacks with a ferocity born of over a century of evolution in man-portable automatic weaponry. Rows of heavy-bind books and metal shelving that would have stopped lesser projectiles were torn apart like wet toilet tissue, and as the ork arced his fire around the room the more distant green cylinders that Al had expected to have to fight his way through the stacks to were shattered one after another. Spirits winked out of existence in a quick succession of unearthly howls, clouds of confetti from shredded volumes swirling in their wake. The ork took about six seconds to cover three-hundred-and-sixty degrees of fire. The belt fed out, the firing mechanism clicked empty, and now it was just Al, Achilles, and a very angry green spirit.

A very angry green spirit that had somehow doubled in size and was now dripping acidic blood and crackling with crimson chain lightning.

pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #40 on: (23:15:46/05-24-16) »
Achilles tossed the smoking weapon aside, looking up with obvious concern at the fungal beast. "This is... bad." He uttered before glancing at the commlink on the table. The progress cube still hovered over it, the holographic readout indicating the percentage remainder until completion.

*15%*

Two tentacles arced wide, accompanied by some kind of primal, guttural bark. They swept in like the pincers of a trap jaw ant, threatening to ensnare the Russian in a terribly melty embrace. Instead of trying to duck, jump, or run away, Achilles sprinted towards the table and the creature, leaving its tentacles to find only each other, and dove for his Ares. Halfway through his roll, however, a tentacle swatted him in the back and tumbled him into the far wall with a slam. The Ares was still on the ground, his HK SMG lay not too far off, at some point torn from its sling, the Black Dragon lay useless, and his knife was on the other side of the table. For a man who valued preparedness, he was starting to feel somewhat under-prepared. As a green tendril bearing suction cups and something like shark teeth wound its way towards his compromised position, the ork reached out with a chromed hand and grabbed it, wrestling furiously. But the crimson lightning seemed to be focusing in his direction...

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #41 on: (19:35:12/06-01-16) »
The ork had put up a good fight, but cornered and down Al figured him for a goner.

He was wrong.

The tusker actually grabbed the creature's whipping tentacle and held on, even as two more wrapped around his chromed cyberarm. Son of a bitch was strong - bringing his other cyberhand into the contest, he was actually wrestling the bulky fungus thing to a stalemate with brute force and sheer determination.

*11%*

And then the thing hit him with the red lightning.

It looked like the cyberhands were providing some protection from the eldritch voltage coursing down the tentacles - they must have been, or the Russian would have been vaporized. But the ork was still starting to shudder and cunvulse under the barrage. Al's nostrils flared with the familiar smell of electricity turning the air around it to plasma.

The thing was pretty high up for a short guy like Al, and his shotgun was sludge. So he ran and, once again using a chair as a step up, launched himself at the thing. Voodoo juice flowed to his fists and SLAM...the ambient charge surrounding the thing tossed him back halfway across the room, his body crashing painfully into the edge of a heavy table.

Okay, fight fire with fire? He was about to rip a bundle of power supply cords from under the computers, but noticed on the terminal's screen that the download had five percent to go. Cut the power now and it was all for nothing. He watched the cube fill with painstaking slowness as the monstrosity inexorably overwhelmed Achilles, charge building and toothy maw closing slowly in. The tusker's eyes were starting to lose focus.

*1%*

Al pulled the cords taut.

*0%*

He yanked, and the shower of sparks from the live end told him what a bad idea this was. All it would do was transfer more energy into his boss, and maybe even juice up the demon. So he braced his feet and yanked again, pulling the other end of the length in his hands up from the floor, naked wires dangling loose from the protective PVC coating. .

Praying there was no fray in the bundle's coating, he sprinted over and shoved one end of the makeshift conduit into the rear of the creature while applying the other end to a long line of the big metal shelf units. The result was altogether anticlimactic. No sparks. No noise.

And the thing's tentacles were still wrapped around Achilles' arms and reaching for his legs. But his eyes snapped open, a ferocity in them that Al could see was born of surviving countless campaigns.

Because the crimson electricity was gone now.

pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #42 on: (23:49:29/06-01-16) »
Achilles was wrapped in a cloud of smoke--half from his heavily electrified body, half from the acid corroding his metal arm and pouring off the resulting hydrogen gas--but the lightning had stopped and the fungus thing seemed downright insulted about it. In fact, in the moment it redirected its attention to the American, who was apparently ruining its day with a huge bundle of wires, Achilles was back up and on his feet. Two tentacles still clung tightly to his arm, which he answered by producing a TMP from *inside* his leg and unzipping 20 rounds across their base. The tentacles fell limply to the floor, along with globs of acid-blood-goo and the discarded TMP, slide fixed back and barrel glowing.

*step*

The ork tilted forward as his bodyweight carried him into a sprint. His hand was on his vest, grabbing a cylinder.

*step*

A pin glided through the air as the cylinder went sailing up into the shark-toothed circular maw above.

*step*

His left hand snatched up the commlink, pulling it in tight against his chest instinctively.

*step*

His right arm caught the American in a full tackle, pulling him away from the improvised grounding line. The American folded over the sudden impact, undoubtedly with some injury.

*step*

The commlink went in his vest and the American went back on his feet, albeit not quite of his own power yet.

*step*

One arm kept the American up as he found his footing and began moving of his own power.

*step*

A razored tentacle swung down and swept low across the floor. Achilles pointed toward the stairwell.

*step*

The American dove in and did his best not to fall down the stairs.

*step*

Achilles leapt in after him.

*click!*

A shockwave washed over the room. Flaming fungus bits coated the walls and burning books decorated the floor. The loud ringing was soon replaced by dull, still silence. The two men sat in the stairwell, re-orienting and catching their breath. Although Achilles was catching more of it than the American, who seemed to find breathing painful just then; a sure side-effect of a cyberarm to the chest. Achilles noted his arm half-dissolved and leaking hydraulic fluid. His left hand was missing a finger. His arm had some mild acid burns and moderate electrical burns beneath. "I think..." He paused, breathing heavily. "I will need a doctor."

adamu

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #43 on: (11:42:47/06-02-16) »
"What you need...Steve Austin...is a chop shop...ain't no... sawbones... I know ...gon' fix...that."

Al was having trouble expanding his bruised diaphragm. He'd taken more damage from the cyberork's manhandling than from any of the demons. he switched to internal air and let it oxygenate his lungs directly, without having to actually go to the trouble of breathing.

"Alrighty, then," he said, hopping painfully to his feet, "Less'n we wanna find out what other surprises ol' Gibber done left fer us, reckon we didi mau."

They moved carefully back down the stairs, extra wary of roving biters now that they had lost most of their firearms. The basement car park was certainly a place to avoid, and they broke out a ground floor window to make their escape.

Stepping out into fresh air and sunlight was like arriving on a new planet, and both men relished the warm breeze and brilliant desert sunlight. Moving to the Landrover, Al took his sweet careful time checking it over for booby traps - they were dealing with a bona fide mad scientist, after all. Satisfied the vehicle was unmolested, he retrieved another shotgun from the rear cargo bed, which made him feel much better.

"Now then, was you serious 'bout levellin' this place? Cuz Al ain't got no boom boom with 'im."


pistolgrip

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Re: Stormy Waters subcampaign: Al and Achilles
« Reply #44 on: (00:57:30/06-03-16) »
Achilles applied some industrial tape to his cyberarm and treated his flesh arm with a small medkit from his bag. When plugged into his commlink it gave useful treatment advice via holo projection and audio cues. Achilles had treated burns before, but never from multiple sources, especially none that were fire.

"I thought to maybe have the hacking agent overload generators," He answered the American, "but I think it is best to review data first." Achilles unhooked the commlink from the medkit and put the kit away. He pulled up the files on the screen and began flipping through images and text of all kinds, including scanned pages of ancient-looking texts, scribbled notes, and even some 3-dimensional models with a writing he didn't recognize. A dark scowl crossed his face. "I will need to send this to be analyzed. Do you have satellite link?" He asked, looking at the landrover with doubt. "If not, we will need to make for major city." Looking at his dissolved arm, he added, "Maybe a good idea after all."