22 – Menagerie12-Aug-08
Your party is still split into three groups. Gene and the retainers remain at the crossroads as guards, keeping up their vigil.
Ibben and Apollo continue to uncover the secrets of the room behind the violet door. Apollo has spent 1 turn tinkering with the computer there, and has decided that it is the control system for the electrocephelagraphs.
Aka-Vasha, the Slinker, Yobo, Rasputin, and Olive are with the synthetic Pris. She has turned to Rasputin for leadership, but seems extremely suspicious of the other party members – especially those who are visibly non-human.
Looking at the collection of mutants and robots in the room, the synthetic Pris asks “And this… menagerie; they follow you?” Again, her attention seems focused solely on Rasputin.
Replying to Pris, Rasputin states, “Yes, I am the leader of this company. Make no mistake however, every member of this menagerie, as you put it, has significant skill in their own area and I would happily bow to their expertise when required.”
“Not sure I like the word ‘menagerie’,” says Slinker, overhearing Rasputin’s remarks, “too posh and French sounding – oh you wouldn’t know the French, all got blown up a long time back.”
He rolls a cigarette, regarding the android with interest.
“Remember the French at all? Any of ‘em about last time you went outside?”
Although unable to understand most of Slinker’s comments, Pris does react to the word ‘French’. “Parlez vous Francais, monsieur?” she asks.
Slinker is visibly stunned. Although unable to understand the words, by some subconscious memory he knows that they are spoken in the lost language of the French. In a split second, he conjures an improbable conspiracy theory.
“My god…” he whispers. “It was them. It was the French all along!” He raises a fist to the sky and shouts: “You bastards!”
Then he calms down and rolls another cigarette (having dropped his last one during his outburst).
Finally tired of relaxing (and uncomfortable with Slinker’s bizarre behaviour), Aka-Vasha jumps to her feet and gathers up her belongings. “What is taking then so damn long?”, she rants. As she slips on her robes and heads out the door, she says “I’m going to join the watch.”
Yobo joins Aka-Vasha, perching on her shoulders with his long tail coiled around one arm.
Olive stands. “Statement of action: Since I’m no longer needed here, I’m going to take a look around.” The android heads off to
where Apollo, Gene and Ibben went to, without the aid of invisibility the crossroads. He almost hops along, looking as if he wants to keep busy.
(I’ll assume Olive is stopped by Gene and the others before strolling further south.)
Seeing Gene, Olive scans the area, moving his head along with it. “Query: Where are the others?”
Gene maintains his watch but seems to focus on the eastern passageway. “They are still in the room with the violet panel – but I am starting to be concerned.” Gene says nodding his head in the direction of the violet door. “Yobo; you’re small enough to escape notice – go knock on the purple door.”
“Olive can you detect anything down the Eastern Passage, I swear something moved down there…”
Moving partway down the hallway, Olive continues to scan the hallway after Gene tells him he thinks he saw something move. “Curious reply: What do you think you saw Gene?” Pulling out his trusted mace, the android swings it around by its leather strap, anticipating trouble.
(The referee tosses some dice.) Olive’s sensors pick up nothing unusual; he sees nothing and hears no sound except for the barely audible hum of the light fixtures up ahead. “Query: Are you sure, Gene?”
“There’s something down there, I’m sure of it… Either its waiting for us or hiding from us. Maybe if we move out of view it get curious and enter the hallway?” Gene glances at the rest of the group to gauge their interest in the proposition.
The idea has merit; Olive returns to the crossroads and the watchmen move slightly northward to leave the passageway clear for any potentially curious interlopers.
Meanwhile, Yobo scurries south (trying to avoid the notice of the vegepygmies in the western room). (The referee tosses some dice.) The plantmen do not react as the mutant snake scurries south and knocks discreetly on the door…
Inside the room, Ibben waits impatiently as Apollo explains what he has discovered about the computer terminal. “Come, let us begone from this place, I find it unsettling,” he says.
As if in response, Ibben hears a faint knocking on the door!
Remaining cautious, Ibben and Apollo turn invisible and shut off the lights in the room, then open the door via the nearby panel. Yobo stands in the hallway, peering into the room. “We were worried. You took a long time.” he says (correctly assuming that his companions are invisible).
Ibben apologizes for the wait, and the invisible duo return with Yobo to the small room. (Once again, you hear the clatter of dice from behind the referee’s screen.) Stopping first to notify the ‘watchmen’, Ibben and Apollo become visible and report their findings to Rasputin and the others.
While the others were outside of the room, Rasputin continues his questioning of Pris. He waits till Olive is out of earshot – all too well aware some might consider his next words heresy.
He starts by repeating his previous comment: “Make no mistake however, every member of this menagerie, as you put it, has significant skill in their own area and I would happily bow to their expertise when required.”
“In fact, many of the unusual powers they possess, such as the ability to read emotion states or the power to manipulate light, were programmed into them by my ancestors and it would be foolish to discount the use of these gifts of the Ancients just because their forms do not match the ideal.”
Rasputin waits, trying to gauge the synthetic’s reaction to his words.
(The referee rolls an opposed CHA check for Rasputin, against the synthetic’s INT. The result is a 17!)
Pris responds with a question: “So in your absence, Sir, I am to follow their commands? This is a highly unusual request…” She seems to be wrestling with the whole concept. “Some of your, uh, friends appear to require assistance from a mental health professional and possess unsavoury habits.” Her nose scrunches as the smoke from Slinker’s cigarette fills the room.
Rasputin says nothing; he simply fixes his penetrating gaze on Pris, like a parent scolding a child.
“Very well, Sir.” says Pris submissively. “As you command.”
(Pris has been added to the retainers as part of your group. However, you’re above the normal limit for the number of retainers that I was going to assign to your party. This will manifest as distrust between Pris and your retainers and a decrease in morale.)
What are your actions?