Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rpol H&H Campaign - pt. 33

[Continued from here]

"Why she buy ‘fohtwess," the Daoist asked St. Stephen? "If she think you ‘afwaid, then she just take what she want. She no have to buy it."

The Daoist continued to foster distrust in St. Stephen. "Maybe the Chinaman is right," he said angrily. "Where is the money, Ultra-Humanite?"

"In my autogryo," the Ultra-Humanite said, "but it's a little inaccessible right now, since my autogyro is now a robot pointing machine guns at you. Lay down your weapons and we can still complete this transaction."

"Deactivate your robot and we'll drop our weapons," St. Stephen commanded as the stand-off continued.

After a tense minute, the Ultra-Humanite sighed and signaled with her free hand. Her pilot pulled out a gun from his jacket. The Lone Gunman reacted too fast and shot the pilot, but not before the pilot shot a flare from the gun into the air.

"It's a trap! Open fire and fall back to the temple!" St. Stephen ordered the others. The Ultra-Humanite grabbed the falling pilot and used the poor sap as a body shield to absorb bullets. She must have taken her hand off the dead man's switch too, because the robot roared to life, bullets exploding from its twin machine guns and tearing up the ground all around the retreating party of cultists.

The Daoist perceived the necessity of finding cover and made a mad dash for the nearby shacks. St. Mendel took a bullet and fell as he ran, but it looked like St. Stephen and the Lone Gunman were going to make it to cover as well as the Daoist did.

The Daoist wanted two things. The first was to not be involved in this battle if he could help it. The second was to rescue his friends. Waiting for a break in the gunfire, the Daoist ducked out from behind his cover, transformed into a cheetah and ran as fast as he could for the Temple's entrance.

In cheetah form, the Daoist ducked and weaved across Roostertown. Some of the transplanted villagers from Highland, mostly women and children, were fleeing from the shacks as the robot continued to shoot them up. Then they fled from the “cheetah”. Luckily, they were still running in the right direction, away from the shooting.

Meanwhile, Dice Morgan and Gandor the Great were approaching the edge of the forest and the large clearing that held the temple when they heard the roar of gunfire up ahead and saw a flare shoot up over Roostertown's west end.  They came up on the south end of the clearing, right by the pond they had circled around on their first visit here.  Both men were still seriously wounded, but at least on their feet again and able to walk.

Dice stared slackjawed at the towering robot blasting away. "Aw, hell no! Well, at least it ain't a freakin' giant rooster."  He began looking around for his cronies in the chaos, keeping his rifle at the ready.  He tried to make a good guesstimate of exactly how many cultists were still up and running, while he kept to the shadows.  "Hey, Mr. Wizard. Ya’ see any of our crew around?"

The Daoist remembered that the gardens were full of killer roosters again, so he opted for leaping up over the high wall around the courtyard -- high, but no difficulty for him in cheetah form.

On the other side, the Daoist saw Alpha-Woman had managed to win her way to freedom on her own in his absence. Nearby her, Captain Liberty and someone else was lying on the ground, still unconscious. Alpha-Woman was holding a rifle on a man -- a fourth saint from the look of his white outfit -- who was lying on the ground and crawling towards the temple. Alpha-Woman seemed to have already won the fight and was letting him leave so long as he crawled on his back.

"Where the others?" the Daoist asked Alpha-Woman as he shifted back to human form.

Alpha-Woman was surprised at first and turned around, giving the fourth saint time to crawl quickly back into the temple behind her. "I got out who I could. What have you been doing?" she asked angrily.

"Getting shot at by a giant robot! What your excuse?" the Daoist responded. The stressful situation had both of their tempers high.

Meanwhile, Dice Morgan and Gandor the Great opted for avoiding the giant robot by going counter-clockwise around the gardens and skirting the east side of Roostertown. It seemed like it would still be dangerous at first, as there were more townspeople about, but many of them quickly fled when it becomes apparent that the firefight on the west side of Roostertown was out of control. It helped that Dice looked a lot like a mobster and only Gandor was conspicuous in his tuxedo.

From the woods south of the pond came the roar of car engines and the crash of vehicles through the underbrush. The four jeeps peeled out of the forest, ahead of schedule. Dice, who was suspicious of the G-Men in the woods from the start, went with his instinct and pulled Gandor behind a shack in time. The men in the jeeps were firing their weapons at the fleeing villagers without asking for anyone to surrender first. With a giant robot on the west side of the temple and fake feds on the east side, there seemed to be no place to go besides the temple.

Back in the courtyard, the Daoist regained his composure. "The saints are retreating back through the gardens right now. They be here soon. We have to get out of here."

"Fine," Alpha-Woman said. "Let's make another exit, like last night." The two heroes worked together and bashed on the north side of the high fence until the planks were wrecked down. Then they each grabbed an unconscious person and hightailed it out of there just as the retreating saints show up.

Close to the temple, Dice and Gandor finally met opposition from two big bruisers in brown leather jackets, each with crewcuts and looking very much like ex-soldiers. At first, one of them is going to shoot, but he paused and looked at Gandor again. "Are you with the intruders from last night?" he asked. Dice's instinct was to say "No," but Gandor said "Yes." The men just nodded and led them both to a nearby shack.

To their surprise, Dice and Gandor saw the Mountain Man and Silver Scorpion were laying inside on cots! "We snuck them out this morning," one of the guards explained. "When St. Mendel revealed that he...well, that he wasn't human, we didn't want any part of this cult anymore. We've been waiting for them to come around and help us figure out what to do next."

"Next, we exit the stage before the curtain falls on us," Gandor said. "Do you feel up to carrying someone, Mr. Morgan?"

In spite of the situation, Dice grinned. "I got dibs on the skirt!" He hefted Silver Scorpion and turned to the door. "Okay, let's beat feet outta’ here."

No comments: