[Up to this point, the campaign had run pretty smoothly. But this is where thinks started to go downhill for awhile, as the Heroes met a string of unlucky dice rolls and the Lone Gunman...]
Dice Morgan had done a lot of knife throwing before, but had never hit a man from 60 feet, in the dark, from below, with a wooden watchtower giving the man soft cover. Tonight was no exception. The knife flew through the air and buried its blade in the side of the watchtower. After that, finally taking stock of the situation, he realized he had been standing smack dab out in the open for about two minutes, where anybody could shoot at him. After throwing the knife, he scrambled to the tree to his right for cover, leaving Captain Liberty alone and exposed in the middle of the gardens.
Silver Scorpion unhesitatingly flew into her gun-toting assailant, aiming a fist at his jaw. But her foe backed away, backing into the far side of the watchtower.
Hearing the events at the opposite tower, Sewer Rat knew that his ally was in trouble. "Turn the light back on," he told the Chinaman.
The Daoist flipped on the light's switch and then hurried down the ladder.
Sewer Rat then lunged for the searchlight and pivoted it over so it would shine on the far tower just in time to illuminate Silver Scorpion's battle.
There was a bright flash of light from the far tower that blinded the gunman facing Silver Scorpion. "Stay back! Don't make me shoot!" he warned, but it was too late. Even blind, he could not miss Silver Scorpion at that range. She took a bullet before her punch could connect, clutched her thigh where it struck, and felt her strength and her consciousness slip away.
Alpha-Woman sprinted to the gate before the guards could think to lower it again. She rolled under the gate and came out of her roll in close quarters with the guards -- two scruffy-men in leather jackets and carrying Browning rifles.
"Well, who's this here?" one of them said as they both used their free hands to try and grapple Alpha-Woman. They had unsavory looks in their eyes, betraying that their motives were not purely cooperative. She kept shrugging them off as she rose to her feet, though finally one of them grasped her firmly by the left arm. She answered with a brass knuckle punch to that arm that made him let go.
The Mountain Man snuck up past the last tree and crouched behind a hedge just 20 feet from the gate before sprinting and rolling underneath it. He rose to his feet just as Alpha-Woman had broken the grip of one of her attackers. "We don't team up against a woman where I come from," the Mountain Man said, as he moved into brawling range with one of the attackers.
Alpha-Woman got herself ready to beat up one of these guys if they wanted to fight.
The Daoist, his white robes billowing like a ghost, scurried down one ladder and then took off running towards the tower that the last gun shot came from and made his way up another ladder.
Dice Morgan started running towards the tower he heard the shot come from, ducking his head as he ran to make a smaller target (in case more lead started flying). He made it up the tower as quickly as he could. “Just remember Dicey,” he whispered out loud to reassure himself, “after this the Feds will be off yer’ tail fer’ good. That's what all this is for." At the tower, he clenched his big knife between his teeth and climbed.
Alpha-Woman and the Mountain Man were standing at the back of the 10-foot square stone block building that served as the gatehouse. The building was mainly one big arch with a portcullis hanging in the middle of it, except for two recessions in the back wall; one a tiny booth for someone to sit in out of the rain and the other housing the electric winch for the gate. Past the gatehouse was a 10-foot wide wooden bridge crossing the moat and heading straight up to the doors of the temple. A 6-foot tall bronze statue of a rooster stood in front of the doors.
Alpha-Woman took some swings at the foe she had already punched, easily brushing aside the rifle butt he swung at her, and finally connecting with a haymaker to his chin that sent him into la-la land. The Mountain Man also came out swinging, dodged a rifle butt, and found his opponent had a glass jaw. The way was clear for them to reach the temple.
The Daoist flipped open the trap door and found Gandor the Great and Silver Scorpion lying very still on the watchtower floor. Standing over Silver Scorpion was the man who apparently took both of them down. The man had a short blonde beard and wore a brown leather jacket. He held a Browning automatic rifle in his hand, but had it pointing towards the floor. He was staring at Silver Scorpion and only seemed to be half-aware of the Daoist’s presence as he climbed into the tower. "I didn't mean to kill her," he said. "Never thought I'd be shooting a woman..."
The Daoist could tell, though, that Silver Scorpion was only unconscious.
Dice Morgan also peeked his head into the watchtower after the Daoist cleared the trap door. Dice smirked at the gunman. "It's okay. Ya get used to it," he said.
Meanwhile, Sewer Rat guarded the west tower and Captain Liberty secured the gardens.
Alpha-Woman made her way to the temple door and opened it.
"Psst! Where are you going?” the Mountain Man hissed after her. “We need to go in there together, as a group! All you'll accomplish is letting them know we're coming!"
The Mountain Man retrieved one of the unconscious guards' Brownings and strapped his own hunting rifle on his back. He stood guard in the gatehouse waiting for the rest of the group to catch up.
Alpha-Woman also paused to grab a rifle. "Well, I've been waiting, and the last time I saw people they were attacking the tower guards. I am assuming by now some people are critically hit or knocked out." She pauses momentarily, "They can come when they want to come; I am going now."
"I don't think they aren't coming because they don't want to,” the Mountain Man countered. “Your impatience is like that of the stream running down the mountainside."
"I think we have made enough noise out here to alert anyone or any creature in that building to know that we are coming," Alpha-Woman said with a defiant smirk and a hand on her hip. "So, by not coming in we are giving them even more time to get ready for us."
Iron Man by Bob Layton
13 hours ago