44 – Expulsion!22-Jan-09
(Well, I’m sure you’ve seen this coming. Referee burnout has gotten to me and I’ve let the game die. But rather than let this tale trail off into nothingness, I’d like to at least railroad it into closure…)
Ibben, Apollo, and Slinker continue to watch the cargo bay. Suddenly the robots grind into action! They turn towards the central table as the shimmering lights surrounding the creature blink out. The machines grab the enormous creature in their clumsy graspers.
Next, the large cargo bay doors slowly begin to open, exposing sunlight! These are indeed the lower doors that you spotted while outside! The robots begin to drag their load towards the doorway, still seemingly oblivious to presence of the scouts…
Apparently Not Perfect
Amazed by the spectacle unfolding before him, but keen not to become embroiled in it, Apollo steps slowly backwards towards to internal doors. While it seems that the party have found the immediate cause of the incursions into the surrounding lands, Apollo can see no obvious way of stemming the flow of creatures being ejected from this huge portal.
Ibben remains motionless in the doorway, watching the robots go about their task. Independently he has the same thoughts as Apollo, for the moment the best he can do is observe and hope the information will come in useful later on.
The Slinker catches himself gawking at the event before his eyes, but quickly comes to a conclusion. He thinks to himself, “Damn withdrawal, now I’m seeing things. I really need to find my shit…” He carefully retreats to the internal doors to discuss further exploration.
Slinker’s camouflage is exceptional, but apparently not perfect. As he retreats across the room, one of the cargo ‘bots stops in its tracks and drops the inert creature. Turning its sensors towards Slinker, it begins emitting a loud “Woop! Woop!” noise!
Meanwhile, back where the others are standing guard, Olive silently enters into a low-power state as he waits for something to move on. He looks like a plastic statue, frozen in a guard position.
Aka-Vasha jokingly whispers to herself, “What’s taking them so long? Its like we have been waiting here for nearly a month now!” Hearing a grinding noise in the distance (the opening of the outer doors), she cautiously begins moving forward to investigate.
Rasputin hears the noises from the cargo bay also and sees Aka-Vasha start to move. “Hold up!,” Rasputin hisses, “Our companions will shout if they need aid. Don’t risk their lives by your impatience.”
Even as he says that, Rasputin is itching to investigate the noises himself, but exerts his will to hold himself back.
Yobo, perched upon Aka-Vasha’s shoulder, catches a whiff of fresh air. “The scouts must have discovered the exit!” he squeaks.
“What in tarnation?” Gene wonders. Slowly, he peers toward the portal wondering if his companions need aid… “Talk to me ‘Decider’!” he mutters to himself as his hand hovers above the grip of his trusty pistol.
“Woop! Woop!” The alarm from the cargo bay echoes clearly through the deserted halls!
Gene is momentarily startled, as if it was the pistol itself answering him. He dashes towards the cargo bay, ‘Decider’ in hand, accompanied by the remaining party members.
Disdaining caution at this juncture, the entire group pours into the cargo hold. The needs of your allies outweighs the danger to yourselves, and you bravely charge forward.
Inside is a desperate situation – one cargo bot has entwined its metallic ‘tentacles’ around Slinker, completely pinning him. Apollo and Ibben – now visible – are attempting to disentangle their companion, but the robot is emanating some type of repulsion field and they are unable to attain a grasp on their target!
The second robot continues to tug at the large mutant beast – but the creature is twitching now and shoves the machine away with one immense paw!
To make matters worse, the side doors have now opened, and additional machines are pouring in – a half dozen additional worker ‘bots, plus two floating ‘police’ droids (humming eerily, of course)!
It is at this point that things get infinitely worse. The inner cargo doors close with a “Thud!” behind you. Suddenly, you are trapped like rats!
Yobo snaps. Hissing like a snake, he makes a mad dash for freedom before the outer doors close in a similar manner. His escape is seemingly unopposed, and he flings himself out of the vault and skitters to safety outside.
Slinker is the next to go, though not of his own volition. The cargo ‘bot ejects the near-naked journalist out of the vault like a bouncer at some club.
Gene and Rasputin are tossed next, though they ensure that they go out with guns blazing. The cargo ‘bots do not seem to be trying to hurt anyone – their grip, though firm, bruises only slightly. The ground is less forgiving, unfortunately, when you land spread-eagled.
Olive gets a somewhat different treatment. Instead of the loving caress of robot grippers, he is thrust outside by some type of repulsor beam from a police ‘bot. “But we are brothers!” he calls as is flung through the air.
Seeing the probable outcome of these events, Aka-Vasha decides to go willingly. She nimbly leaps from the open vault doors and lands surefooted on the ground below.
Fighting back-to-back, Apollo and Ibben manage to hold their own for a few moments longer. They are caught by surprise (and unable to use their Control Light Waves power) by a paralysis beam from the other police droid, however. Stunned for a few crucial seconds, they are tossed out like yesterday’s garbage.
Many of you are still regaining your wits when the two original cargo droids complete their original intent and thrust the massive beast (now half-awake) out the vault doors. It lands semi-comatose with a distinct lack of grace, but you fear the creature will be fully alert soon.
Rasputin struggles to his feet and quickly takes note of the situation. His friends appear mostly unharmed, but something is not right… With a look of shock upon his face, he shouts “The retainers!” (Reesus, Rogaine, and Andre apparently did not feel rushing into the cargo bay was a prudent course of action and were not trapped when the inner doors shut.)
Seconds later, the external cargo doors grind shut. You have escaped, but due to events beyond your control, your mission from the Affiliation Conclave has been cut short.
And the bulette is waking up…