28 – Reesus Speaks02-Sep-08
After defeating the phase spiders, you have begun exploring the area hoping to score some swag in the webbing. Ibben finds some gemstone bearings in the pool at the intersection, while Aka-Vasha cuts open the cocoons to loot the bodies of the previous victims here.
The first corpse is the body of a vegepygmie – with a black keycard hanging from a thong around his neck. The second corpse is more interesting; it is the body of a Suidoid – a pig-like humanoid – a Beastmen from the Barrier Peaks, complete in the livery of his liege!
The Calm Before the Storm
After displaying the beryls to the others, Ibben pockets them into his robe for safekeeping.
“With a black keycard, we now have innumberable doors open to us which were previously inaccessible. Yet, we must not lose sight of our ultimate goal and become side-tracked; to find the source of the infestation, we must head downwards.”
Aka replies: “At lest we can now open some fresh quarters when we batten down to get some rest.”
Vasha chuckles: “Until then, we see if we can find some good loot in them!” She leers lustfully at one of the black-banded doors.
Ibben prods the pigman corpse. “The presence of a Beastman here presents an interesting question though. Was this one acting alone, or are the Beastmen hiding something from us?”
Seeing no other current use for his skill set, he offers to clean Rasputin’s gun while he addresses the social aspects of this new development. Rasputin nods his thanks at Olive as he passes his pistol across.
Pulling out a set of tools, Olive begins to work immediately. He takes his time, which looks like normal speed to everyone else, making sure he produces the best end product possible. The android knew his strengths, and convincing Beastmen to talk wasn’t one of them.
Still, Olive couldn’t resist a simple statement of fact: “Observation: Reesus’ is experiencing an increase of blood flow, causing a pigmentation change in his skin.” Olive leaves the beastman for the group to decide what to do with, and continues with Ras’s pistol.
With Olive’s comment, Reesus – your Apeman retainer from the Beastmen clans – seems very nervous…
Apollo picks up on Olive’s observation: “As he should, for our friend Reesus knows more than what he lets out.” The Judge turns to the Apeman and looks him squarely in the face. “Is that not right, Reesus?”
Ibben turns his gaze upon Reesus: “Do you know anything of this?” he asks forcefully.
Gene speaks sternly to the retainer: “Start talking, Reesus. And don’t leave anything out.”
Apollo continues: “Come on, out with it. I know you have been withholding something since before we entered this complex, as I assume your countryfolk were. I do not believe the Beastmen scouts to be so inept they knew nothing about this place before the creatures began streaming out if it… and this corpse here (he points at the pigman husk) speaks volumes”
Staring at the suidoid body, Reesus answers Apollo without looking him in the eye. “Of course we knew of this complex. It was buried, until recently, with no entrances evident. When a storm washed away the mud and revealed the doorways, we elected to send in a scouting party. Soon afterwards, strange beasts began to emerge and attack nearby forts…”
Rasputin is pleased to have his theory about a previous expedition (and the fact we were likely to start running into their remains) confirmed but, knowing that Apollo has the situation under control, fades back so Apollo can have a free hand in his questioning.
Apollo “As members of the Affiliation, the Beastmen had a duty to report this installation to the Conclave immediately!”
Apollo’s tone appears to anger the Apeman. “Pah!” he spits. “You humans are all alike!”
Reesus stands with his hands on his hips, much bolder and more outspoken than the meek stance he has taken thus far during the Expedition. “You betray your bigotry in the very title you give my people!” he shakes his fist at you. “We are not mere ‘Beastmen’, as you call us. We are the Moreau, and I see now that it was foolish for us to join your Affiliation of fools! We did bring notice, but the Conclave only considered the risk great enough once the attacks spread to the Outer Baronies! They did not care if the clans of the Barrier Peaks should fall!”
Sensing the tension in the air, Gene grasps his trusty ‘walking stick’. Ibben lowers his hand to his pistol, but will need to load it if he wishes to fire.
Reesus waves his hand in front of him and continues his diatribe. “Outside the borders of your petty Baronies lies nothing but chaos and death… and rebirth! Ensconced in your paradise, you repeat the folly of the Ancients, while outside new breeds of life have grown beyond your petty limitations!”
Aka-Vasha, standing several paces behind Reesus, silently unsheathes her cutlass (with Yobo still behind her). Apollo cocks one of his pistols, then the other… The Slinker nods, as if in agreement.
Reesus points to Olive, then to Pris: “Look here – the very source of the corruption that led to the Fall, and they march with us!” He points to Rasputin: “This evil demagogue claims to lead, but to where? To Hell, and the release of great evil upon this scorched earth!”
Olive continues to clean Rasputin’s firearm, seemingly oblivious to the Apeman’s rage. Ras suddenly wishes that he had his firearm ready, and instead sets a hand on his longsword.
“Well?” yells Reesus at the party’s preparations for battle. “What will it be? Kill me now where I stand? Yes; we ‘Beastmen’ did not reveal all we knew to the Affiliation. But at the same time, we bowed to the will of the Conclave and allowed this Expedition into our territory. Is this treason? The Affiliation is fracturing; you all hold treason in your hearts! I can sense it!” His hand lowers, almost imperceptibly, towards his weapon…
It looks like Reesus is ready to lose his wits. You’re not sure if he’s going to attack or make a run for it…
What are your actions?