Princesses:Amazon Brigade/Chapter 19
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroines, IT'S RIGHT THERE, GETITGETITGETIT GOGOGOGOGO
- Selphie revs the engine.
- Andrea hops into the truck.
- Selphie hits the GPS Homing button on the drone control pad.
- Suyana tags along into the truck
- Jenny jumps in the flatbed only when the truck catches up and starts to pass her.
- Selphie hits the GPS Homing button on the drone control pad.
- Andrea takes a sight at the enemy and prepares to fire
<Capn_Ascii> The drone zips away from the bathroom door. "Ugh, finally." As soon as the coast is clear, a 7-foot-tall sasquatch emerges from the bathroom, newspaper under his arm, and casually lopes away.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The Thing is dashing away as fast as it can go. The good news is that it's leg is wounded; the bad news is that at these speeds, the turbulence is pronounced. Getting a clean shot in these conditions will be a nightmare.
- Andrea takes aim and fires! BANG!
- Jenny leans over the side of the truck and hopes Selphie gets it close enough to the Thing for her to swipe at it.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You squeeze off a shot, striking the monster in the calf - it howls in pain, slowing down even more. Selphie sees an opportunity and guns the engine, roaring up alongside it as Jenny brandishes her weapon!
- Jenny swipes the chainsaw.
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny takes a mighty swing...and misses! The Thing ducks away from the truck as the blade swings through the space it occupied moments earlier, cleaving through a passing tree trunk with a *BRRSHT* sound. You actually see the beast turn its head and stick out its (rather large and unsettling) tongue at her. <more>
<Capn_Ascii> Then, moments later, the upper end of the tree trunk slams down on the Thing's head as gravity catches up to it. The impact causes the creature to stumble face-first into the dirt, grinding to a halt across the ground.
<Andrea> Andrea grins and prepares another shot.
<Jenny> "Maybe now is the time to ask if we want it dead? In case it's the padre?"
<Selphie> "I'm sure I have plenty of rope in here." Selphie hands her sportsbag to Andrea.
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie continues racing forward, as no one has told her to stop.
<Selphie> "I brought it mostly in case we were climbing another tower block, but restraint is another option."
<Andrea> "Is Zombie Padre a bad outcome here?"
<Suyana> "I could try talking, but I don't know if the padre can hear me like that...if it's him."
<Jenny> "STOP!!" Jenny yells when she realizes they're leaving their prey behind. She jumps out the back of the flatbed and runs back to the Thing.
- Selphie has Vice: Adrenalin Junkie and is relishing being behind the wheel.
- Andrea searches Selphie's bag for rope. "Do we think Rope can handle this thing?"
<Selphie> Reluctantly, Selphie pulls over and stops. Allows the hovering drone to land while the others poke The Thing.
<Capn_Ascii> The monster groans, lying face-down in the dirt. It seems to either be unconcious or in too much pain to do anything.
- Jenny waves the chainsaw threateningly over its head and says in a stern voice, "Are you the padre?"
- Andrea stands next to Jenny
- Suyana stands next to the others. "I'm not sure what threatening it would accomplish."
<Capn_Ascii> The Thing groans in response to Jenny. It seems to hear her, but can't quite form a coherent sentence.
<Jenny> "One blink for yes, two for no. Are you the padre or not?"
<Suyana> "We won't hurt you anymore unless we have to, whether you're the padre in there or not. I just want to talk."
<Capn_Ascii> You're not entirely sure it *can* talk. It just seems to be making various animalistic grunts of pain. Still, it clearly has human-level intelligence; maybe it can still understand you?
<Andrea> "The gig is up. I advise you transform back, whoever you are."
<Selphie> "I have a medkit. Want to try amateur anaesthetics with painkillers and antihistamines? Sure I have some here."
<Suyana> "It's already over, you know. No amount of money can get you out of this. It's time to give up. In your quest for bits of metal and paper, you've harmed people, who are the ones that make money matter in the first place. We won't even repay that favor if we don't have to. All you have to do is...let go of your greed. Turn back and talk to us."
<Capn_Ascii> The Thing's pained groans gradually begin to subside as Suyana speaks to it. Then, it twitches, wriggles, and seems to implode into itself - its body dissolving into a shadowy substance that folds into itself and withdraws, until all that's left is a human form. It's the priest, unconcious, still wearing his robes.
- Andrea pulls out the rope and works on tying the priest up.
- Jenny helps with the tying.
- Suyana wipes her brow. "Phew...I am glad talking worked."
<Capn_Ascii> You tie the priest up with the rope. He wriggles once...twice...
<Andrea> "Talking is good, yes..." Andrea murmurs softly.
<Capn_Ascii> ...*ding!* You caught him!
<Capn_Ascii> Do you want to give your priest a nickname? ...no? Okay, then.
<Jenny> "Did you make the earthquakes?" Jenny asks him.
- Jenny pokes the priest with her foot when he doesn't respond. "Hey, wake up. Did you make the earthquakes?"
<Suyana> "We may have to let him sleep it off. What'll we do with him in the meantime?"
- Jenny sighs and starts dragging him into the back of the truck.
<Andrea> "Yeah, let's get back to the church."
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny hoists the padre into the truck, where Jenny holds onto him as Selphie drives back to the church. Don't want him falling out the back...boy, wouldn't that be embarassing!
<Capn_Ascii> When you arrive, you can see Frank sitting on the front steps, looking dejected.
<Andrea> "Report, Frank!"
<Jenny> "Hey Frank. Lose your phone?"
<Capn_Ascii> "No, they threw me out to wait out here. Chuck said he didn't want me disrupting the doctor.
<Jenny> "Are the earthquake guys turning into zombies?"
<Capn_Ascii> "That's what we're hoping, anyway. Chuck said we could stitch 'em back together and hopefully they'll join the club. It's either that, or they just stay all dead and stuff."
<Jenny> "Watch the Pops," Jenny instructs the others. She hops out of the truck and heads inside to see if there's any zombification going on.
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: There sure is! Inside the building, the zombie posse from before is standing around talking to a small group of newcomers. They look...fresher than the others, but are covered in very obvious, stitched-up scars from where the zombie doctor has been putting them back together. Chuck sees you enter. "Oh, welcome back. How did things go?"
<Jenny> "Padre is the Thing. We got him tied up. Hiya, new zombies. Nice to meetcha."
<Jenny> "Sorry you died and all that."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yo, dudette." One of them, a young-ish looking fellow wearing a knit cap and vest, waves. "This is all pretty weird, but hey, it beats being DEAD dead."
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck frowns. "You did? So...uh, what now?"
- Jenny shrugs. "No clue. We still don't know what made those earthquakes or why y'all are walking dead instead of dead dead. Maybe the padre will have some answers when he wakes up?"
<Capn_Ascii> --SOME TIME LATER, WHEN THE PADRE WAKES UP--
<Capn_Ascii> "Unngh..." Father Theodore groans and sits up to find himself surrounded by a large number of princesses and/or zombies. He looks around, then sighs. "...I guess that's it, then."
<Andrea> "Yes. And now you're going to tell us 1) What you were doing 2) What you hoped to accomplish 3) What caused the earthquakes 4) Why there's a bunch of zombies here"
<Capn_Ascii> "...very well. Do you remember Andre, the gravedigger?"
<Andrea> "The one you apparently killed, yes."
<Capn_Ascii> "Andre has been living here in this town for far longer than any of the rest of us. He was old - ancient, really - and it turns out his family line has lived here for centuries. There's a reason for that - he and his kin were guardians of an ancient treasure hoard in a vault deep beneath the ground."
<Capn_Ascii> "An ancient, *cursed* treasure hoard. That gold in the vault? It radiates subtle magics that have permeated the land around this area."
<Capn_Ascii> "Over time the magic built up until it soaked into the very ground, and then into the people buried there. The dead began to walk, and Andre and I took it upon ourselves to look out for them."
<Andrea> Andrea sighs. "I really hate how we have found magic in this world, yet not a simple exercise of detect magic. Freaking zero-level spell in D&D. And we can't actually do it, even with powers."
<Capn_Ascii> "Ahem. May I continue?"
<Andrea> Andrea nods regally.
<Capn_Ascii> "As a man of faith, I was...concerned by this development, to say the least. I began to research this area, and eventually discovered the presence of the vault. Andre had hidden the key from me - rather cleverly, as it turns out - but I eventually discovered a second entrance from the sawmill. And when I saw all of that gold..."
<Capn_Ascii> There's a hungry glint in his eye; he shakes his head, as if fighting something back. "...I lost myself. As a priest, I have spent a lifetime supressing my baser desires, but the sight of all that gold caused something within me to awaken. I assume its cursed nature was also involved. I developed a second personality, who eventually mutated into that...monstrosity."
<Capn_Ascii> "At first, I didn't even know it had happened. He at first kept things subtle, working behind my back, trying to find someone to buy the gold. Eventually I found his correspondence, which apparantly made him feel threatened. He became more violent - killing Andre to stop him from interfering, and then murdering campers to convince the zombies to stay away from the town. By the time you arrived, he was little more than a mindless monster of pure greed."
<Capn_Ascii> "As for the earthquakes...to be honest, I don't know. That's why I called for the survey team - to determine if it was a natural phenomenon or not."
<Andrea> "Well, I suppose even as zombies, they can operate the survey equipment. Chuck, can you get 'em out here to try it?" Andrea asks.
<Capn_Ascii> --SOME MORE TIME LATER--
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The 'geologistombies' come forth with their findings. The earthquakes are in fact being caused by long-term magic exposure adversely affecting the techtonics of the area. When you ask one of them how they can even measure anything magical:
<Capn_Ascii> "Oh, that? Yeah, we're only geologists by trade. We run an occult club in our spare time."
<Capn_Ascii> Another one speaks up. "It seems the presence of The Thing was creating so much magical feedback that things were getting shaken up. Now that he's gone, the area should begin to calm down."
<Andrea> "Three more questions: 1) Do you know how we might un-curse the gold down there? 2) Regardless, are we now all carrying the curse because we have some of it, or what do we need to do to fix this, in general? 3) How do we stop Thing from appearing again? Just because we have the priest tied up for now doesn't mean the Thing won't come back eventually."
<Jenny> "Yeah, do we just, like, take him away from the gold and he gets better, or will that kill him or something?
<Capn_Ascii> "I...I just need to be away from here. Away from...it. I already feel calmer, for some strange reason..." He rubs the back of his head.
<Capn_Ascii> "As for the gold, it's tainted by its very nature - there's no removing that curse. The best thing to do is to lock it back up and pretend it doesn't exist."
- Jenny frowns. "Well, that seems like a recipe for future disaster."
<Capn_Ascii> "Unless you happen to know of some *other* secret place to store a massive amount of cursed treasure, I can't think of a better option. You certainly can't go spending it - you'd be spreading negative magic all over the place."
<Andrea> Andrea looks at Selphie: "Well? You're the one with all the money? Do you know of some fancy hole that no one will ever go to?"
A WEEK (OOC) PASSES
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie looks thoughtful...
<Capn_Ascii> A few days later, you find yourselves standing outside of the airship, which is invisible as usual. She throws her arms at it in a grand gesture of presentation. "Tah-daaaaaah!" No explaination seems to be forthcoming.
<Suyana> "So, uh...what?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well? What do you think?"
- Jenny looks around and waits for someone else to get it.
<Andrea> "It works. Technically."
<Capn_Ascii> "I melted down the gold and electroplated the hull with it. We've got the most blinged-out ride ever. Doesn't it look cool?" She looks at the spot where the airship is (presumably) hovering slightly above the ground. "I mean, you obviously can't *see* it, the field is still on. But we'll know it's there, and that's what counts."
<Suyana> "You what?"
- Jenny frowns. "Why would you want a cursed airship?"
<Andrea> "Yeah, wouldn't the curse transfer over?"
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie gives Jenny a very confused look. "Why would you *not* want a cursed airship?"
<Suyana> "Because...it's cursed?"
<Jenny> "Because then bad things will happen to you?"
<Suyana> "And bad things are bad."
<Capn_Ascii> "Pfft. You people..." She storms up the ramp and disappears, clearly pondering how much about non-rich people she still has to learn.
<Andrea> "Give it as a gift to the Russians. We'll call it the San Antonio Horse," Andrea mutters under her breath.
<Andrea> "Well, at least the zombies are still in good hands. Without all that cursed gold around, the padre isn't going to be roaming around as a beast, anymore. I'm just glad I don't have to deal with them all the time."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea's text alert rings, signalling the 17th text message from Frank today.
<Jenny> "We might need to change our numbers."
<Andrea> "You know what? Screw this. I'm going to do the sensible thing, at this point." Andrea opens her phone and uses the BLOCK feature.
<Andrea> "If anything serious happens, Chuck can call me. At least he won't be this inane."
<Capn_Ascii> And with that, the Amazon Brigade's first official adventure draws to a close. But, there are still unanswered questions. Two people subjected to monsterous transformations in a row...is there some sort of connection? Will the zombies be able to continue their peaceful, social-media lifestyle? Where did Selphie find an electroplating service on such short notice? These questions and more will quickly be forgotten as we await the next chapter of the exciting (cough) Princess saga!