New York 1984
Week 6, Battle in the Pit
We left our heroes under New York City, having successfully coped with -- but by no means conquered -- a group of wild talents who tried to blow them away with hand grenades.
After digging Cantrel out of the rubble, we decide to retreat to the pantope and rest a bit, then try another angle of approach. If we just keep on going the way we are, we will have to use deadly force against these weird folk. After all, we have no grudge against them, and we HAVE invaded their turf.
In psilence and lights, we make our way back to the door where we improvised a dam, past the altar, and eventually back to the rope bridge. We flew across is last time, but we really feel like keep psilence this time. The bridge still doesn't look like it would hold anyone at all large. Daewen ferries Chris and Sophie across with her flying belt, but Alag, Cantrel, and Pfusand are too large. Pfusand and Cantrel are great climbers, though, and the gap beneath the bridge isn't all that deep. They scramble down and up. Lorelei starts across the rope bridge and, sure enough, it breaks. Being ready for this, she snaps on her psi opener and levitates. Alag turns off the general psilencer, Chris TKs him across, and Tom flies across on his own TK. Once we are all over the barrier, we raise general psilence again.
Next we make our way through the little tunnel we made when a big tunnel collapsed. (We haven't done HALF the damage to this place that these people have done to it themselves.) Our little tunnel collapses almost on top of us, and we belatedly remember that we used some Binding to make it. Psilence is a mixed blessing. We anxiously consult our memories to see if we glued any other hunks of architecture in place on the way in.
While we're doing this, Alag calls out "Cantrel!" and stops that gentleman from stepping on a hidden pit. We spotted it on the way in and cast a triggered Glamour on it to warn us on the way out. Only, with the psilencer on, the trigger didn't go off...
We have just about decided to turn off the damned psilencer when we reach the cylindrical pit with the spiral stair, off which this corridor branches. Cantrel and Daewen decide to rush up to the top and cover the rest of us as we ascend.
Daewen flits up on her belt and is promptly tackled by a black figure that falls out of the ceiling and onto her. Cantrel, running up the stairs, passes a tunnel mouth. He hits, rolls, and keeps running. Chris opens psi and flies to Daewen's rescue.
Meanwhile, someone dives on Cantrel from above -- the big guy in the deep hood. Cantrel TKs at him as he falls, but the guy just falls INTO Cantrel's path. Another Anticipator? Also, Cantrel got a glimpse of the guy's face and it was AMAZINGLY ferocious. Last but not least, he catches himself just before pitching off into the pit.
Then someone else comes out of the tunnel and kicks Cantrel in the head -- the bigger guy, the giant. He rains some more punches on Cantrel.
The rest of us start to rally to Cantrel's aid. Pfusand fires a laserifle at Hood, but he dodges. He also dodges Lorelei's laser, causing her to nick Cantrel with it. (Sorry about that.)
Chris, up in the air, pulls out his blaster as he closes with Daewen's attacker. Chris fries him some and he goes twisting and fluttering down. In fact, he twists and flutters a lot, apparently turning into some flying thing. Chris's second shot goes THROUGH him.
Soon thereafter, this shapeshifter becomes a Flying Horror of some sort, slightly translucent. He still hangs between Chris and Daewen. Chris tries to dodge around the thing, but it shoots out a couple of pseudopods and snares him; he's engulfed in mist. Chris Anticipates and ducks out of the way of what happens next -- the thing assumes human form again, looking surprised. He glares at Chris, who feels a small pain in his chest. Chris shoots again with his blaster. The fellow screams and vaporizes. (With most people, we would take this as a sign of death. With this fellow, we'll wait and see.) Chris flies on to Daewen, who is hanging unconscious in the air.
Meanwhile, the Giant attacks Lorelei, taking some laser fire as he does so. He grabs her gun away from her. She tries to TK it back, but nothing happens. He gives her a shot in the head. She passes out.
Down at the bottom of the stairs, Tom tries to TK Lorelei's laser out of the Giant's hand. He, too, fails, but he can feel why. There's a Block around the gun. Tom announces this. Chris shoots at the Giant and stuns him.
Cantrel, by now, has got a good look at Hood. He looks very lion-like, with fur and mane and claws and teeth. It's the claws and teeth that concern Cantrel at the moment.
The Giant, meanwhile, has tumbled down the stairs, near to Tom. He moves forward to retrieve Lorelei's gun when the mysterious figure in the flowing sleeves comes zipping in, expanding out of mid air. He touches the Giant on the shoulder, whereon the fellow rolls UP the stairs, onto his FEET, with gun AIMED at Cantrel, but fortunately looking bewildered. He probably Anticipates again but can't do anything but flinch just before Tom's laser-bolt hits him in the back.
Tom then wheels and fires on Sleeves. Sleeves probably Anticipated too. At least, he flickers around just before Tom fires. Unfortunately, he flickers wrong and ends up slap in front of Tom's laser pistol. Eat hot photons. Zzzzt. Sleeves screams and turns transparent. Meanwhile (or rather, just before), the Giant Anticipates Tom's second attack but not where it's going and flings himself off the stairs to avoid it.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.