Princesses:Amazon Brigade/Chapter 14
Chapter #14: Gold n' Locks
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroines, we find them waking up in a cave, bemoaning the lack of modern comforts such as 'beds' and 'food' and 'personal hygene'. Bunch of ingrates. Why, back in my day blah blah blah words blah
<Selphie> "I'm intrigued to see Camp Zombie. Lead on!"
<Capn_Ascii> "It's not Camp Zombie. It's a quaint little village in the woods."
<Selphie> "Snappy title for it."
<Capn_Ascii> "It used to be a lakeside summer camp, before it was abandoned. Nobody else was willing to buy it, so we had the Father scoop it up and we moved into the cabins."
<Andrea> "So... a Camp... Zombie. It sounds like Selphie hit the nail on the head."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yes, well...shut up." Lana looks annoyed.
<Selphie> "Let's move it. We're on the clock here! Official delegates to beat, etc. etc."
<Capn_Ascii> Frank pipes in. "Yeah, it's a nice little place. Can't imagine why nobody wanted it. Just because of one little serial killing spree."
<Andrea> "Did they catch the killer?"
<Selphie> "Was it the Thing In The Woods?"
<Capn_Ascii> "No, they shot him. Right before he died, he swore vengeance on the living and promised he'd return from the grave to slaughter anyone he found there."
<Suyana> "A serial killer? At a summer camp? Who ever heard of such a thing?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Joke's on him, though. We're already dead! Hah!"
<Andrea> "...You know, this sounds like incredibly relevant information."
<Andrea> "Especially since there are, in fact, people rising from the grave."
<Selphie> "Who knows what else we'll discover now you've pried his phone out of his cold, undead hands!"
<Capn_Ascii> "What, just because we're undead means we're serial killers? That's racist, man."
<Capn_Ascii> "It's not racist, Frank, it's profiling."
<Selphie> "Tell us all about it on the walk. Let's start at the beginning :-)"
<Capn_Ascii> You traipse through the woods for a bit, the sun rising on the horizon. Soon you can see it reflecting off the surface of a lake in the distance.
<Andrea> "Of course I'm not going to profile. Please, if anyone would know about the dangers of that, I would. I'm just saying the killer is probably SOMEONE in your group."
<Capn_Ascii> Lana: "Well, years ago, there was--oh, wait, we're here."
- Andrea looks around
<Selphie> "It seems that if The Lair Of The Thing In The Woods is but a stone's throw away from Camp Zombie, there might be some kind of a connection."
<Capn_Ascii> You emerge from the treeline into what does indeed appear to be the remains of a summer camp. A central lodge and a multitude of cabins are arranged around a lengthy bit of shoreline with two or three docks. Zombies are everywhere - sitting around campfires cooking breakfast, shuffling around getting their morning exercise, even out on the lake in rowboats.
<Capn_Ascii> "The doc's in the lodge." Chuck volunteers.
<Andrea> "I, for one, see little reason to stick around, especially if there's a possible killer around, and you're all immune. You can make it to your home from here, right?" Andrea moves to return Chuck's and Frank's phones.
<Jenny> "I'll just drop Chuck here off at the lodge. Be back in a sec."
<Selphie> "Enjoy your day. Call us if you need to tell us anything."
- Jenny heads to the lodge to deliver Chuck's pieces.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: Lana eyerolls, then leans in, whispering. "There's not really a serial killer. We just told Frank that to make him happy."
- Selphie is concerned that would make /anyone/ happy.
<Andrea> Andrea sighs and glares at Lana. She hisses back at Lana. "I really, really hate liars."
<Andrea> Andrea follows Jenny to the lodge.*
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: The 'doc' turns out to be a mortician, complete with an old-timey black coat and top hat. He takes one look at Chuck and sighs. "Thing?" Chuck's head nods. "Thing."
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You dump the Chucksaw puzzle out on his table and leave him to his work, rejoining the others.
<Jenny> "Well, let's get a move on, wherever we're going."
- Andrea doesn't follow Jenny in, and is there when she heads out. "To the graveyard, then," Andrea replies, leading the way there.
- Selphie plonks down her sports bag, launches her drone, and swoops it around the camp, making a rough count of the population and recording everything in case she needs later on to answer any questions to the team about the layout of the camp, its paths, exits, structures, etc. Then she packs the drone down again and waits for the others to return from Dr Frankenstein's lair.
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: You do that thing you just said. It goes well enough.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You lead the others back to the east, Frank and Lana staying behind. However, before long, Lana catches back up to you. "Doc says I'm fine despite the long wait under that truck. Mind if I come with you guys? This is the most excitement I've had in ages."
- Jenny nods offhandedly.
<Andrea> Andrea frowns at Lana. "I don't know, will you actually be of help to us?"
<Selphie> "How will you ensure nobody back in town detects your... unusual condition?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Um." She thinks about this. "...I still have this?" She holds up her bear mace, grinning sheepishly.
<Selphie> "Not such a convincing disguise against a deployment of official seismologists, methinks. Anything else?"
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: "I was talking to your leader." She looks at Andrea. Hey! Who died and made *her* the boss?
<Andrea> Andrea nods slowly. Well, obviously, as the most knowledgable person here, it makes a sort of sense. But it's not like she asked for it.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea, Suyana: You ascertain that she's being truthful, though she's also beginning to realize that she might well be a liability. Still, it's not like you have to worry about her being killed, right?
<Suyana> "Yeah, being obviously a zombie could be a problem."
<Andrea> "Alright, try to stay in the shadows."
<Capn_Ascii> "Eh, I'll just hide and watch from afar, then."
- Andrea continues on.
<Suyana> "Are you, like, good at hiding and stuff?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I like to think so. I once hid under a truck for weeks." She grins.
- Suyana blinks
<Andrea> "Your humor is... interesting."
<Capn_Ascii> "I'll take that as a compliment."
<Andrea> "You do that."
<Capn_Ascii> You continue to the east. Eventually, you can see the church ahead. There's an unfamiliar SUV parked near it - the roof bears a variety of expensive-looking equipment tied to the luggage rack.
<Jenny> "Let's just bypass them and go straight to the graveyard," Jenny says, her path following suit with her words.
<Suyana> "If that's what I think it is..."
<Andrea> Andrea stifles a curse. "Indeed. Let's get moving."
- Selphie hits her Hide In Shadows quickslot.
<Selphie> Straining her eyes in the dawn light she tries to make out whether all the doors are locked, and if there are any occupants beyond the window tinting.
<Selphie> *all the doors are closed or open
<Capn_Ascii> The church and SUV are to the east of the fenced-in graveyard, so avoiding it is easy enough. You step through the gate.
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: The doors are locked, the vehicle unoccupied.
- Andrea quickly continues towards the graveyard site, to plug in the rod.
- Selphie makes haste also.
- Suyana tags along speedily
<Jenny> "I'm going to have to squeeze through that stupid tiny space again, aren't I?" Jenny mutters.
<Capn_Ascii> "Where are we going?" Lana inquires as you enter Andre's cabin.
<Suyana> "Somewhere that'll probably end up being dangerous. Or really cool. Maybe both."
<Capn_Ascii> The inside of the cabin looks as it did when you left. You reopen the secret passage and begin clambering through.
<Andrea> *crawl, crawl, crawl*
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You wriggle through the opening without issue. Thank goodness.
<Capn_Ascii> You descend the ladder back down into the dark tunnel below the graveyard.
- Selphie whispers while in the queue, "I bet there's no movement on surveillance yet, huh?"
<Capn_Ascii> Soon you find yourselves standing before the great metal door you saw previously. It's still rather...door-like.
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, wow. What's this? Was it always here?"
- Andrea assembles the key and tries it.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You put the key together, hold it out towards the door...then grumble as it falls apart. You re-reassemble it, then hold it a bit more carefully as you move to unlock the door. The complex mechanism works as intended, all of the individual locks turning in unison. Soon you hear the sound of heavy bolts retracting.
- Selphie makes an "Ooooh" face soundlessly.
<Capn_Ascii> Then...nothing much happens.
- Andrea examines the place where the bolts have retracted.
- Jenny pushes on the door.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The door appears to be unlocked. Sadly, 'automatic garage door openers' seem to have been beyond the apparant tech level of whoever made this thing. You'll need to...ah yes, Jenny has the right idea.
- Andrea helps Jenny push.
<Capn_Ascii> The door refuses to budge.
- Jenny checks for a "pull" sign, or anything to pull on, before trying again.
- Andrea helps again. "Hey, don't just stand there, you three. Help out!"
- Suyana helps with the pushing
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: There are no visible handles or other indicators as such. Looks like you're just not trying hard enough.
- Jenny gets a firm position against the ground and pushes again, this time putting her back into it.
- Selphie finds a purchase on the door surface and props her scrawny mass against it with the others.
<Capn_Ascii> Slowly, the door begins to move, inch by inch. Geez, this thing weighs a ton! It must be made out of lead, or maybe guuuh...
<Capn_Ascii> .....guh-guh-guh-GOOOOOOLD! Piles and heaps and stacks of the stuff! The large room beyond the door is some sort of vault, half filled with the biggest hoard of treasure you've ever seen! ...well, except maybe Selphie. Gold coins and gold bars and gold jewelry and a few scattered gemstones, just for color.
<Andrea> Andrea frowns suspiciously.
<Andrea> "This should... not exist. Not here."
<Andrea> Andrea looks around carefully for traps before touching anything.
<Selphie> "Maybe it's the church's private stash? Looks like a decent savings. Gotta be at least ten years savings in here."
<Suyana> "This is, like, way more money than I have ever seen in one place before..."
<Andrea> Andrea looks at Selphie and frowns. "...I wish I had your kind of life, girl."
- Jenny also gives Selphie an odd look. She reaches out to touch the gold, but Andrea's words give her pause and she waits to see if it's safe.
<Selphie> "I dunno about that. Daddy can be a bit overbearing."
<Andrea> "Perhaps, but not having to consider money... like most people do. And you know, the other thing, I guess. Ish."
<Suyana> "Let's not talk about family. I have...bad memories."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: Ah-hah! There's a pressure plate just inside the doorway, extending most of the width of the room. Move any farther forward and you'll trip it. You notice a small, oddly-colored floor brick which you assume conceals the trap's inner workings.
<Andrea> "Careful of the pressure plate there," Andrea comments. She sees if it's feasible to simply jump over it, and also, if the trap looks mechanical or electronic in nature.
<Selphie> "Want me to send the drone in to look around?"
- Jenny tries to see if any of the gold is far enough off the pressure plate to be able to grab it without setting it off.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: 1) No, at least not if you intend to carry any of this heavy-ass gold out of here. 2) It's a mechanical trap of some sort. Presumably it triggers spikes, or a pit, or...something.
- Selphie steps back into the anteroom and begins assembling the drone in case.
<Andrea> "Yes, send the drone in to take a look. Meantime," Andrea starts attempting to disable the trap.
<Selphie> "The drone can at least gauge the dimensions of the room and the volume of the hoard from other angles. If we trigger the trap first, we might not even get that much info."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You pry up the odd-looking brick and.....huh. Okay, you certainly weren't expecting *this*. The trap has already been disabled - someone took a crowbar to the gears inside and pried them apart, breaking the whole mechanism. The plate's harmless now.
<Andrea> "I... don't think that will be an issue, Selphie."
<Andrea> Andrea points at the disabled trap. "In any case, let's start looking around."
<Andrea> "It's a shame Bags of Holding aren't real things. I'd totally stock up on this gold."
<Andrea> Andrea gently taps a nearby bar of gold to confirm it's real.
- Jenny grabs a brick of gold and a handful of jewelry and shoves it in her backpack. "Err...this isn't stealing, right?"
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: It feels cold and metallic, but that doesn't tell you much. For all you know, this could be ordinary silver disguised as gold.
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: Yoink.
<Andrea> "It is, but from criminals no doubt, which means... finders keepers?"
<Andrea> "As much as I'd just totally love to absolutely stuff my bag..." Andrea walks around the room a bit, looking for anything else interesting.
- Selphie just observes her team mates. What a peculiar fascination they seem to have with this wealth stuff. Anybody would think they'd never seen so much before. But we're all Princesses!
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You poke around a bit, and notice some other items mixed in with the gold. There's an ornate longsword with a gold hilt, some sort of bejeweled puzzle box, and a diamond-encrusted tiara, and that's just on the surface level where you can actually see everything.
- Andrea tries shifting some of this stuff to see what's underneath.
- Suyana blinks. "There's so much here. Where do I even begin?"
- Jenny attempts to help Andrea by shifting random things around, while looking to see if the room has another exit.
<Selphie> "Just confirming... did the last of us to come through the garden shed close the fireplace secret passage behind her? We wouldn't want to be disturbed down here by people, say, investigating recent underground disturbances."
<Selphie> "If not, I'll go close it now."
<Andrea> "Good idea."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You shove a pile of gold to the side. Beneath it is...gasp! MORE gold!
<Capn_Ascii> There don't appear to be any other exits or passages in here. Just more gold. So much gold.
- Selphie heads back up the ladder and carefully, quietly, closes the passage in the back of the fireplace, being careful to slide a wad of black packing foam from the drone case between the door and the frame to ensure it doesn't make a noise or lock them in.
<Andrea> "So I have two questions now. One: Where did this gold come from, and two: If Andre knows about this place... well, we still don't know where he is, or... anything I was hoping this room would show us."
- Selphie waits just behind the fireplate, listening, in case there is any conversation near the shed.
- Jenny looks around in puzzlement. "Yeah, that's kind of a dead end."
- Andrea checks for some sort of identifying marks on the gold.
<Jenny> "Pretty sure we found his skull in the Thing's cave, though," Jenny remarks.
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: On the way back to the ladder, it occurs to you that closing the secret wall might prove tricky, given that the only switch is *outside* the door. Fortunately, it proves to be a non-issue - someone has already closed the door for you. How polite!
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The coins are old but professionally minted, stamped with runic symbols that are unfamiliar to you at a glance. The gold bard are marked with English letters that you assume originate from some mint or other.
- Andrea opens her computer and checks the mint designation online. She also runs a search on the runic symbols.
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: You don't hear any voices, but you do hear the sound of footsteps exiting Andre's shack. Then, silence.
<Selphie> After waiting a few minutes and hearing nothing further, Selphie returns to the group. "Door's closed. Nobody up there's talking nearby. Probably the padre closed it since we told him all about it last night. How's the gold digging?"
<Andrea> Andrea frowns and looks for Lana.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You attempt to look up the mint markings, but soon discover that no such mint exists - they're fake, designed to look legit at a glance. The symbol on the coins doesn't resemble anything you can find on the internet, aside from one crudely-drawn obscene doodle someone photographed inside a bathroom stall. You decide to write it off as a coincidence.
<Capn_Ascii> Lana's gone! ...oh, no, wait, there she is. She's just...standing there. Staring at the massive treasure hoard, eyes bugging, mouth agape. Has she been like this since you entered the vault?
<Andrea> Andrea closes her computer quickly, muttering words not fit to print under her breath.
<Andrea> "Okay, bigger problems, team. Someone locked us in. I doubt it's the padre, because he's almost certainly talking to USGS right now. I also doubt it's USGS, if they found this thing they would either have followed us in, ignored us, or called in the law. Or some combination thereof."
<Andrea> "...and if it is the padre, he's not a friend anymore."
<Jenny> "We could call him and find out. Or call Frank. Do we got cell service down here?" Jenny checks her phone.
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You have lots of bars. ...oh, you meant cell phone bars, not gold bars. S'ok, you have those too.
<Andrea> "...I guess it can't hurt. It's not like calling him will make things worse on our end."
- Jenny dials the padre's number.
<Selphie> "Still, this stash doesn't get us any closer to unearthing the cause of the recent quakes as far as I can see."
<Andrea> "It does not. Yet. But this might prove useful later. Plus, free money."
<Andrea> Andrea, seeing she has nothing better to do, starts grabbing some stuff. The special items mentioned before, first, then some coins and bars.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: Glom.
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: The phone rings several times, then goes to voicemail.
<Jenny> "Umm, well, if you get this, padre, we're wondering if you locked us in the basement. Thanks, bye?" She hangs up.
<Jenny> "We couldn't get ahold of him last time we tried calling him, either, did we? He probably needs rescuing."
<Andrea> "...but the USGS truck is here, and thus... they might need rescuing too... crap. Call Frank, see if Chuck is put back together."
- Jenny calls Frank.
<Andrea> "I don't trust Frank to get here on his own, though, so make sure he brings someone trustworthy, even if it's not Chuck. Lana? Any suggestions?"
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: *ring, ring*
<Jenny> "Hey, Frank, is Chuck back together yet?" While talking, Jenny walks over to Lana and gives her a slap on the face...not TOO hard.
<Capn_Ascii> "Ow!" Lana shakes herself out of it. "What was that foooOOOLY SHIT look at all that gold!"
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, the doc just finished stitching him back together. You wanna talk to him?"
<Jenny> "Yes, please."
- Jenny holds her hand over Lana's eyes, blocking her vision. "Listen to Andrea," she whispers furiously.
<Jenny> "Hey, Chuck, someone locked us in the basement catacomb thingy. Wanna come let us out?"
<Andrea> "Lana, is there anyone from your camp you trust to get here?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Hey, stop that!" She pulls away from your hand. "Seriously, though, holy shit. Oh, uh...well, Chuck's as trustworthy as any of us. Well, any of us except you-know-who."
<Capn_Ascii> "Basement what now?"
<Jenny> "Umm. Do you know where Andre's shed is? Back of the church?"
<Capn_Ascii> "You mean the graveyard? eah, I used to live there. Heh heh."
<Jenny> "Yeah, so there's this entrance to a tunnel thing there...find the switch, open the door, let us out, yeah?"
<Jenny> "Oh, and watch out for the scientists at the church."
<Capn_Ascii> "Uh...kay. I'll be there soon."
<Andrea> "Alright, let's try to clear out as much of this gold as we can, without making it hard for us to move. The rest... maybe we'll come back for it, maybe we won't."
<Jenny> "Oh. I mean, I guess I grabbed all I was planning to, but if you want help carrying more, I could do that."
<Selphie> "Why don't we just lock the gold in the room beyond and take the key with us? Nobody else will be able to access it. Some time in the dead of night, we hover the airship over the garden shed and form a human chain, shuttling the stuff aboard? If you really need it that badly let's take the lot but let's not carry it about in pockets."
<Andrea> "I don't want our movement inhibited, so let's not hurt ourselves. ...if you can pull that off, let's do it. And it's not a case of 'need', Selphie. It's a case of 'want' or perhaps 'deserve'. Hazard pay!"
<Selphie> "Well I have nothing against taking the lot. But we can't do so on foot, and it's probably more secure where it is than if we haul a pile of it up the ladder."
<Andrea> Andrea sighs. "Fine. I'll just keep what I have, in case we're unable to return."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: It occurs to you that it would take weeks of backbreaking manual labor to move *all* of this incredibly heavy gold out of the room and haul it up the ladder. You're barely able to carry what little you've gathered so far.
<Andrea> "Maybe rent a powered cart of some sort. Or forklift. Or something."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: It also occurs to you that getting all of this godl *down* here must have taken ages. That, or you're missing something here.
<Selphie> "I've got those. You can probably figure out how to wipe their recordings afterward. But I don't have them here. They're back at the facility."
<Andrea> Andrea nods. "Wait... how did this all get *down* here? I doubt whoever put this used such a device..." She starts looking around more closely, this time looking for an alternate exit.
<Selphie> "Slave labour, no doubt. All those serfs who tithed it over the centuries."
- Jenny starts pushing on the walls to see if there's any secret doors.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---