Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rpol H&H Campaign - pt. 31

Alpha-Woman got very quiet, waiting to find out what the heck that sound was. This was not working for her plans!

The hoodlums from the guard room caught Alpha-Woman and the Daoist at gunpoint before they could make off with the unconscious prisoners.  A third hoodlum contacted one of the ‘saints’ -- St. Stephen himself, the one the FBI had told them about in the first place -- by intercom and was told to lock everyone still unconscious up in the fourth cell and to hold the two conscious prisoners at gunpoint in the guard room until they were "ready upstairs."

One of the guards checked his watch and announced it was 10:40 am.  Pressing them subtly for details, the two learned that the big ‘show’ was scheduled for noon when a ‘buyer’ for the temple was due to arrive. 

Knowing the condition they were after all their beatings, and that they would be facing three men in full health armed with guns, the two remaining Heroes bided their time.  Luckily, the three hoodlum guards also decided to take to drinking beers while waiting for noon.  By 11:20, the guards were tipsy and irritable from their beer supply running low.  And the Daoist had finally come up with a plan.

"I have infomasion.  Vewy’ useful for you.  I tell you, you make me safe, yes?"

"What's infomasion?" was the first response.  The three mobsters seemed mildly curious at first, but as the Daoist acted increasingly dramatic about his offer to bargain, they became increasingly interested.

"Wait," one of the mobsters finally said after five minutes of verbal sparring/delaying, "are you saying this information would be useful for the saints or for us personally...?"

"You bwing’ infomasion’ to Saint.  You weceive’ gweat’ wewawd."

By now, the three drunks were so excited that they debated among themselves for two minutes what a "wewawd" was and how big it might be.  Finally, the three men reach a consensus.  "Okay, you two tell us your information and we'll make you safe" one of them said, but he put such an emphasis on "safe" that he seemed to be clearly lying.

Despite the man's dishonesty, the Daoist saw no choice but to go forward with the plan and hope to sow as much confusion as possible.

"The one you know as 'buyew' is fake.  He is, what you say, FBI?"

Alpha-Woman listened in on the conversation, not exactly sure what to add to it.

The drunken hoodlums were completely lost at this point.  "What?  ...There's a burro in town owned by the FBI?"

"No, I think he said a bureau."

"Why would the FBI leave a bureau out here?"

"Maybe it's got some kind of a spying device in it!"

"Heck, we should tell the saints about that!  But you'd better come along with us and tell him which bureau it is."

"No, no.  The one who come to buy.  Is FBI ‘twick."

The mobsters all looked a little embarrassed at their incorrect guesses, but they recovered quickly.

"Okay, I'll take you up top to tell your story to the saints," one of them said, pointing his gun to the Daoist to indicate who he meant by you.  "You two stay here and guard her and the others," he added, nodding his head to the other two guards to indicate he meant them and pointing his gun at Alpha-Woman to indicate he meant her.  Then he did some more gun-pointing, indicating the Daoist had better get moving out that door.

The Daoist and his escort crossed through the basement level, down bigger hallways than the Daoist would have expected down here, and came at last to stairs that led up to the gallery up on the main floor.

The Daoist had to make a choice.  He had the thug one on one right now, and it was likely the last time he would have odds this good.  The downside was that even if he did defeat the man, he would still be badly outnumbered in the temple at large, and it seemed unrealistic that he could fight his way out, particularly when he had been unable to accomplish such a feat with the rest of the group at his side.

With no good options, the Daoist pushed ahead into the chapel.

The nave of the temple looked vastly different from when the Daoist had first seen it.  The right balcony was torn down.  Two men -- one of whom the Daoist recognized as the Lone Gunman from the outside tower -- were loading debris from the balcony into wheelbarrows.  Three women in jeans were using trowels to coat plaster over the bloodstains and bullet holes that covered the west wall.  The tapestries were taken down from that wall, revealing another previously hidden door not far from the one Dr. McDermott had used.

Supervising the efforts were two men dressed in the white turtlenecks and slacks that seemed to denote they were the saints of the cult.  One was the older gentleman from the dais last night.  The other was a taller, square-jawed, high-foreheaded man built like a professional wrestler under his sweater.  This new leader saw the Daoist being escorted into the room, grabbed a revolver out of a holster the Lone Gunman was wearing, and pointed it right at the Daoist.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rpol H&H Campaign - pt. 30

Continued from here

The old man pushed the Mountain Man back with surprising strength and sprayed bullets with a RATATATATATAT across the chapel.  "Kill you allll!" the man yelled madly as he fired back and forth.  He connected with every Hero left standing.  Mountain Man went down.  Captain Liberty went down.  Silver Scorpion, perhaps because she was standing to the side, was only grazed.

The sound of the gunfire echoed through the temple for several seconds after the old man stopped firing.  When the sound of gunfire died away, he seemed to compose himself, paused, and turned to face Silver Scorpion.  "You can't imagine what you've done here, girl," he said bitterly through clenched teeth.  "What we've had to endure to get this far.  How we've had to suffer the company of...humans," he said with a sneer, "while we tried to build a power base here on this backward mudball of a world.  And you meddling primitives, barely out of your caves, have come this close to wrecking all our carefully worked plans.  But now...," he trailed off as he prepared to pull the trigger again.

But Silver Scorpion was not scared.  Indeed, she laughed mockingly.  "Ha ha! What little you know!" The man’s revelation of an alien heritage did not give her the least pause, for she herself was an alien to this planet.  She feigned, ducked, and lunged, feeling a surge of energy as she realized that this was it -- everything was up to her now to stop whatever foul plans were afoot!   If she could only take town the old man, she might be able to use him as a hostage to keep all the other thugs at bay.

Silver Scorpion’s plan was a noble one, but doomed to failure as she only lunged directly into point blank range with the sub-machine gun.  Spraying bullets her way, the old man connected with too many.  Silver Scorpion went down in a bloody mess.

No one expected to ever wake up again, but Alpha-Woman's eyes flickered open.  She felt sore all over, but she could move.  She also recognized where she was again.  It was the basement cell, with the same barred window in the metal-reinforced wooden door and the same, dimly-lit hallway outside it.  This time, they had taken extra precautions, shackling her wrists and ankles in chains, but nothing she could not wreck out of given enough time.

And she did have time.  She bided it, uninterrupted, while waiting for her strength to come back.  For a half-hour she rested, with only one unconscious person for company.   The Daoist was lying in the cell with her, also bound in chains, and looking badly bruised.  Finally, though, he started to come around.  He was still groggy, but conscious.

Alpha-Woman whispered to the Daoist her plan to bust out, grab the other prisoners, and run.  It seemed an absurdly simple plan to him, but he was too weak to argue it.  It took her, in her weakened state, two whole minutes to break the chains off of her.  The Daoist spendt three minutes on his own chains, trying to assume a form that could slither out of them, but unable to concentrate on the transformation through the pain and wound up needing Alpha-Woman’s help.

It barely took more than a flick of Alpha-Woman’s wrist to knock the cell door off its hinges.  They emerged into a hallway, familiar to Alpha-Woman, with three other cell doors farther down from theirs in the same wall.  There was one door in the opposite wall, with light coming from underneath it.  In the direction of the other cells, to the right, the hallway dead ended just past the last one.  In the other direction, to the left, the hallway opened onto another hallway in a T-intersection.  More light was coming from that hallway.

Alpha-Woman found in the cell next to theirs was the man she had rescued the last time, next to some teenaged boy she had never seen before.  The Daoist rushed down to the next cell and saw Captain Liberty alone and shackled up in the cell as he and Alpha-Woman were.  The Captain’s costume was torn and bloodied and his wounds had been sloppily bandaged.

Just then, the door across the hall opened and a scruffy hoodlum stuck his head out.  Both Heroes could see another hoodlum behind him.

“They’re loose!”  the first one cried.

“Get them!” the second shouted.

"You two dudes, I am busy trying to save people," Alpha-Woman said dismissively.  She turned her back on them and proceeded to bash in the door to Tommy and Agent Malefor’s cell.

You get them!” the first one cries, and then they both fought to be the first one back into the room they came from.

The Daoist ran down to check the last cell and then ran back.  "They're not here!  Mountain Man and Si'ver Scorpion!" he said in a loud, frantic whisper.

"Let's save who we can," Alpha-Woman said with determination.  Her strength, though, was starting to ebb from her initial burst of power and it took her two more minutes just to smash in break the lock on the door she’d been wailing on.  The Daoist tried to smash the neighboring door, but again had worse luck, finally having to kick the door to break the lock after three minutes.

Neither of them could rouse anyone, so badly injured were the other prisoners.  So they resolved to carry the prisoners to safety instead.

The door across the hall finally opened again, but this time only a crack.  “"They've bashed three doors in!" one of the returning mobsters said in a terrified whisper from behind the door.  That comment was followed by the audible click of a revolver chamber being loaded.