Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Episode 107: Saurian Days

When we last met, David, DTA, Karl, Kate, Josh and Alex had emerged from a culvert that began in the moist and damp thermal tunnels underneath Aquae Sulis and ended somewhere underneath a section of 279 East in Bennington, Vermont.

A plan was drawn up to make the short hike through the woods to North Bennington via the Silk Road Bridge. It was a very hot & muggy evening, and the woods provided some relief from the heat (and thankfully little malaria). Cutting down Austin Hill Road to Murphy Road, the area seemed devoid of people and traffic...

But when the group reached the Silk Road Bridge, they soon discovered where everyone was. The bridge, as well as the embankment on the far side of the river, was crawling with lizard people. It was as if the whole neighborhood had turned out and was sunning themselves in the late afternoon heat. Everyone froze, and a hasty upstream river crossing was planned (and executed) without incident.

The group made their way stealthily to to where North Bennington turns the corner to Water Street, only to find another surprise: the old brick factories were gone. Shining, new uber-chic apartment buildings were there instead, and none of the third-tier "made in America" blue-collar squalor remained. No trailers. No dog shit. No broken-down trampolines clutters anyone's front yard.  

Clearly, something big had gone wrong.

The group scurried up Hillside Street as they heard a vehicle approaching. They managed to duck into some bushes just as a pickup truck turned off Water Street and headed up the road towards them. An old-timey lizardman in a double-bed pickup truck rambled past them, but not before hitting a bump in the road which (quite improbably) dislodged the Saurian Disruptor 300 from his gun rack and deposited it rattling in the middle of the road. As Josh and DTA looked over the weird, futuristic weapon, Alex picked up on the sound of someone taking bow and arrow practice in their side yard.  

Stepping lightly from one universe to the next, Alex returned with a compound bow of his own, and soon was involved in a shootout with a 9-year-old lizardgirl who had taken up a defensive position behind a maple tree of some considerable girth. Alex clattered an untrained warning shot off the maple tree, some 4 feet above her head. She plunked him dead in the sternum with a pink camo arrow, sending him toppling over and down in a wheezing red mist with a punctured lung.

Karl tried to ameliorate the situation with kind words and deeds, and took an arrow to his shoulder for his troubles. And while Josh leaped to the rescue with some emergency triage, DTA unleashed the Saurian Disruptor 3000 on the poor girl and erased her from this (and many other) universes.

It was then that a cloaked craft of some sort appeared above DTA and netted him from the sky. Five lizardpolice emerged from the vessel and repelled down to the ground - but thanks to Josh and his curiously emergent handgun, four of them hit the ground dead. The fourth, however, reached the ground in a trained attack crouch, drew some sort of futuristic pistol of his own, and everything went blue...


When everyone next awoke, they were in a worn, gray laboratory. Everyone was strapped to lab tables that were tilted to almost vertical. A door opened, and a lizardnurse walked in, pushing a small cart. Without acknowledging the party, she smacked her forehead as if forgetting something, turned and left the room. The cart she was pushing continued forward a few feet until it came to rest near DTA.

After discovering that the cart contained a number of "Class III Anal Probes", DTA used one to pry himself free from his table. He quickly freed the others and they armed themselves with the probes and awaited the nurse's return. When she came through the door carrying a Class IV Anal Probe, she was promptly bludgeoned to death and divested of her probe. Her body was hidden and the party escaped out into the hallway.

Once there, they found a stairwell leading up to the right, five doors to their left, and at the top of the hallway wall, a small window open to the outside. What they saw there stopped them in their tracks: the Bennington Monument - covered in green scales...

By the looks of it, they were under what was once the gift shop. To their left were a couple restrooms, an office with a touchscreen desk, and what looked to be a records room. After a brief scuffle with a lizardman janitor (who had surprised and mildly concussed young Alex), the party entered the records room only to make a startling discovery.

There, out on a work table, lay extensive and detailed charts and diagrams detailing all the tests, probes and physical characteristics of every member of the party. It appeared that the lizard people were very concerned with verifying the identities of everyone involved.

That was all the motivation the party needed to destroy every bit of data on themselves.

They had no sooner finished destroying all the records when the trooping of boots could be heard - security was on its way. Everyone quickly fled out a door at the rear of the records room and found themselves in a beautiful memorial park filled with flowering bushes, ornamental trees, historical placards and...

The burned-out hulk of Der Chelonian Mobile.

It was cordoned off behind a tastefully-draped chain fence. Cast iron placards referenced the "Lizardman Liberation" and the "Turtle Battle of Bennington". These glimpses were all that the party could catch, however, as they skirted the chains and took refuge in the battered relic.

A quick inventory showed that much of Der Mobile's armaments were gone - and what was left behind had been placed under glass and labeled. The ship's spelljamming helm had also been removed - but in its place, a tarnished metal plaque displayed the following message:

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