Week 11, Attack on the Floating City
We find our heroes approaching the floating city by aircar. We start our attack from about two miles up, at two in the morning. Beneath us is the sultan's palace. In the center of the palace is a courtyard bordering the sultan's quarters. Above the quarters, over a hall next to the bedroom, is a brass-grilled skylight.
Chris takes us down and Alag peels off in the grav-sled, to lay a layer of sleep gas in the courtyard. We land on the roof by the skylight without incident. Using a laser pistol and Cantrel's climbing grapple, Tom burns open a pane of the skylight. Daewen lowers a sleep gas canister on an elven-made rope that releases on command. On advice from Daewen and Lorelei, Tom then uses TK to kick the canister into the sultan's bedroom. This is the only psi we have used so far. No alarms go off. No fireballs blossom around us.
However, Tom takes an arrow in the back. His back-pack and armor render it harmless, but it does mean we've been spotted. Just to confirm it, an Arabic war-cry yodels from a nearby minaret. Pfusand starts shooting, Cantrel takes a look around for more guard, and Daewen takes one shot then dives down the skylight. THEN she turns on the flying-belt she's wearing. Fortunately, she makes it in time.
Tom dives after her, but more sedately, having set his flying belt to one quarter g. Pfusand, from above, spots the sultan's giant bodyguard sneaking up on Tom and Daewen and warns them. There follows an epic fight between Daewen and the bodyguard. The man takes immense amounts of damage and seems unaffected by the sleep gas filtering all around him. He hardly seems to notice Tom's laser bolts. The crossbow quarrels that Pfusand rains on him make a little more difference. He is armed with battle-axe and spear and uses both on Daewen. Fortunately, she is heavily armored. At one point, they are rolling about on the floor, the bodyguard dragging Daewen under a table to beat her up in peace without crossbow fire raining down on him. He pulls the battle-axe out of her armor and hits her with it again. Cantrel, however, shoves the table aside with TK. Eventually, Cantrel simply holds the guy up in the air and we shoot at him until he's at least unconscious.
Meanwhile, on the roof, everyone else has been in a gun/arrow battle with guards on the minarets. Around the time someone starts sounding a gong, Alag finishes gassing the courtyard and goes to the door of the sultan's chamber, there to pick the lock and enter. Daewen and Tom enter at about the same time, from the hall. We find the bed occupied, but the occupant doesn't move.
Tom's extra-senses verify that the segment is in the room, but that's about all he can tell; the thing is simply blazing with raw power and any detailed information gets swamped. By his IR goggles, he can see that there's still a scepter in a filigree cage. He approaches and tries for telepathic contact. The probe bounces in a way suggesting that the segment is shielded.
The shield may reside in the filigree cage. The door is closed by a simple latch, so Tom looks around for material traps and tries opening it.
WHAM Tom is thrown across the room and slammed against the wall. Daewen compliments him on his agile fall; he compliments her on the armor he's wearing, which kept him from getting knocked out. Then everyone stares at the filigree box. What to do now?
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.