After six hours of hard work, Aperture had successfully invented a nanotech Dimensional Portal that he believed could reach Mystic’s pocket dimension, where the artifacts of power were believed to be cached!
[OOC: expends 1 Luck Point on this “One-Shot Invention,” as per the V&V rules.]
He believed it would work, but he hadn’t tested it yet.
The timeline now read:
End of the world: 50 hours.
Rebuilding the Janus Chair: 23 hours remaining.
Aperture’s Dimensional Travel Portal from his modular nanotech power: Complete!
Aperture inventing a Digital Pulse Cannon from his modular nanotech power: 6 hours.
Slingshot said, "We could do it all, with time to finish before the apocalypse. I think that we need to focus our energies on the dimension portal to get to those artifacts before Mystic thinks of retrieving them. This will likely cause an attack from Mystic as he will know what happened and while we are working on other things, we get attacked." He paused to let that sink in.
"Another option is to wait for him in the pocket dimension and take him down when he opens it. This has the option of us avoiding to do all this research and catch him completely off guard.”
"What do you think? Do all these things?" Scott points at the whiteboard wall with the three options, Janus, Digital Cannon, Dimensional Portal," or just go with the portal and ambush?
Clone said: “Phew! I am to be shaken, not stirred!” He than throws his arms back up over the top of his chair and says confidently, “Very much like double-O’s and seven. You are most impressed, no?”
Slingshot looked between Grey and Clone and back again, "Is it me? Because I understood about half or that and I feel the need to say it was the wrong half"
With a look of concern and understanding in his eyes, Clone said softly, “It is ok Comrade Slingshot. I am understanding of how you are feeling, but I am not knowing of these documentaries as well until I am watching them. When it is that we are having more time, perhaps we will be watching them together if you are still having same desire to understand of them.
Sentinel interjected and said, "The only thing we need to understand at this point is that the artifacts are all gathered. Either half are with Mystic and the other half in the Kremlin or Mystic pulled a sneak attack on them too and has them all. Given he knew their location from helping Clone, I'd say the latter. And since for all intents and purposes this Clone, with her personality reversal, isn't the Clone that hatched the plan to go to the Kremlin on his own discussing the merits of the plan or foolishness seems moot now and counterproductive. And I for one, prefer the original; 'Good to have you back Alex.' As Kirk looked to Clone he offered a small playful salute beginning at his temple and ending with his fingers forming the gesture of a gun instead of the normal salute.
Aperture, standing nearby as Menagerie and Clone discuss the destruction of the tower and the loss of Snowball, remembers when that little goat was his only friend, and wonders at the tear he sees Menagerie wipe away with the back of his hand, Menagerie appears to notice Aperture, and a curious look crosses his face. Wondering what the look meant, and how quickly his mood appeared to change. The human capacity of emotion/feeling again amazed him.
He reached out to Clone as he returned to the group, "If you can remember where Mystic sent the other you, I should be able to open a portal to that location. The other you probably wouldn't be there exactly. Once we got there, we'd need to find him and any of the items he might have recovered. I don't think we should go alone, we'll need to let the rest of the team help us, in case we run into the Soviet Super Soldiers.”
He will try to accomplish his tasks as quickly as possible, and rest to regain power points until the team is ready to make its next move.
Clone pondered what Aperture had just said, for a moment, and then replied profoundly, “Da comrade, this is good plan. You are seeming to be very much more smart since you are changing, but . . . well . . . if you are not minding me saying so comrade . . . since you are changing, your English . . . it is perhaps not so good as you are thinking.” He than placed his hand on Apertures shoulder and continued in a consoling tone, “I am fully understanding of difficulties of learning of this most hardest of languages, but with much practice you may one day speak it as good as I am speaking of it.” With a quick pat on Aperture’s shoulder and a wink of his eye, Clone smiled at his dear friend confident that he was able to help him.
Alex then relays all of the details of the Moscow Gate Location to Aperture.
Slingshot explained his position on the team’s decision. "My conservative side says to do all three and only then go for the portal and ambush. My rash side, says go for the portal first, retrieve the items, then continue to finish the work, but expect to be ambushed because of the items. My greatest fear is we go for the portal and the items are gone."
Sentinel replied, "I don't think we can hinge our entire plan on the artifacts being there and wait to find out. As soon as we can get there we need to do so and find out if the artifacts are there are not. We'll be ready for an ambush and we'll see what we find and go from there. And I suggest that I encircle the team in a protective shield as we port so that hopefully my shields can take the damage initially and protect the team while we get our bearings. For all we know we could arrive to another explosion of sorts. At this point it seems Mystic may have had decades to plan for this day and prepared for every possibility, even one as remote as this one, although I hope not. It would be nice to finally get the upper hand on him after being played for all these days... "
Kirk goes into his room to meditate and prepare his mind (part of what was mentioned for his apartment visit) - he had been trained in the mental disciplines by Lancaster so their minds are familiar with each other... although Kirk's range may not allow their mental contact, perhaps Lancaster's range would and perhaps he is sensitive to Kirk's mental presence or keyed into it. Kirk will try to speak to Lancaster mentally, even if it just means sending out an SOS type signal to see if Lancaster can engage him. If he feels he can send a message along the line of "Beware Mystic Sneak Attack"
As a second follow-up to that, they are both also linked through the conduit of their energies - they both draw upon it and manipulate its energy. Instead of merely pulling the energy out of the conduit, he can try sending a message to Lancaster into it while it is open, perhaps even combining the two powers.
Sentinel’s attempts yielded no visible results, which would be the case whether they were successful or not.
Menagerie spent his time in meditation working his predator hunt communications. Menagerie broke his meditation when Vanguard needed him for other activities.
Menagerie told Clone it was good to have him back. He was missed. He started to say he was sorry about his family and snowball but wasn't unsure if that was appropriate or not so it came out as "Glad to have you back little buddy. We really missed you, Clone. Sorry about ... everything."
A large smile crossed over Clone’s face as he shook Menagerie’s hand and said joyfully, “Thank you, Comrade Menagerie, it is most good to be back.”
A feeling of sadness came over Clone as he watched his close friend walked away silently. He thought to himself, “ He’s such a good man . . . I shall pray for him tonight when I say my prayers.”
After a while, Alex managed to sneak away from the main group and find a quiet side room where he could be alone for a few minutes. Kneeling down on the ground he clasped his hands together, closed his eyes, and then bowed his head gently in humility as he began to pray. “Forgive me Lord, for I can not remember when last I said my prays. Much has happened in the world, an ancient evil has come out of the shadows and my friends and I have been busy trying to help and protect your children as best we can. If it is your will, we shall be successful in our duties as we are but your humble earthly servants. I pray that you look after my friends and protect them from harm if you can. It has been a long and difficult journey and many of us have lost family and loved ones along the way. Please hold their spirits in your loving embrace and forgive them their sins as they enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Clone than thought about Menagerie and continued, “Lord please look after and care for my friend Menagerie, he is a good man with a kind and loving heart. He has suffered a loss during our battle against the dark forces, and I fear his pain may be too difficult for him to endure without your love.”
With Menagerie’s pain still resting heavy on his heart; combined with the possible end of the world at being at hand, Alex thought it appropriate if he recited Psalm 23 from the Old Testament, “The Lord is my Shepard; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me besides the still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil . . .”
CHESS Director Grey requested an update. When it was done, he said, “That’s all swell and good but what the hell are your next steps?
“Here are the choices you’re bandying about, in no particular order:
1) Teleport to the Kremlin (with Aperture's new power), rescue a Clone that is held prisoner there, and steal whatever artifacts the Soviet Super Soldiers still have in their possession.
2) Dimensional Travel (with Aperture's new power) to Mystic's pocket dimension and steal whatever artifacts he has stashed there.
3) Dimensional Travel (with Aperture's new power) to Mystic's pocket dimension and wait there to ambush him.
4) Take 6 more hours to create a one-shot invention of an “anti-magic gun.”
5) Take 23 hours to rebuild the Janus Chair which will enable you locate all the artifacts, if they are on Earth.
6) Take (unknown) hours to wait for the Predators of Earth to locate Mystic, via Menagerie's powers.
7) Other? Am I missing anything?”
“No sir,” said CHESS Rook Harrison as he reviewed his clipboard.
“So, what’s your plan, Vanguard?” said Grey.
Slingshot said, “I'm not for fighting the Soviets. I think that would be wasting our resources, if we could jump in, take Clone and jump back, I would be more ok with it.
2) Teleport and steal the stash
5) Janus chair
4) Anti-Magic gun
7) Go to ceremony location and scout it out to formulate a plan.”
Menagerie said, “OOC: I agree with these three choices. They are mine too.”
Aperture said, “I'm good with this plan as well. But if we get the artifacts, we don't need the Janus chair. I think the Janus chair was for finding the artifacts.”
Menagerie replied, “We had bounced several ideas on how to use the chair. I had suggested using it to find our target instead of the artifacts. With still a long time until it is ready, we didn't decide how to use it.”
Sentinel nodded, “Yes. Port to hopefully take Mystic’s artifacts next. Then depending on what happens we can decide.”
Lightning Strike said, “Not that I have been following too closely, but I vote for the Janus Chair tracking the 8 artifacts. That is probably our only chance of stopping this disaster.”
Clone was praying at the time of the vote.
Avatar was in deep meditation, communing with the cosmos.
Symbiote continued his work on the Janus Chair, keeping that project going as a backup, and allowing himself to be lost in the task to avoid thinking too much about the death of his sister, Shelley.
Nemesis aided Symbiote, not versed in Mystic and the quest for artifacts.
Doc Monster helped as well, having learned some scientific aptitude, it would seem, from his “father,” Dr. Swastika.
It was decided. Vanguard would use Aperture’s invention to invade Mystic’s pocket dimension to steal the Artifacts of Power, assuming of course he left them there.
“It’s possible they’re no longer there,” said Nemesis in his customary monotone. “By all accounts, he is highly intelligent.”
Excepting Symbiote who kept working on the Janus Chair, Vanguard assembled in the work lab where the Dimensional Portal stood. It looked like a version of the Portal to the Digital Zone, rendered in nanotech!
Wait!” said Avatar, standing in the doorway. His eyes were aglow with the infinite knowledge of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and War. [OOC: aka Cosmic Awareness. PR: 10 to manifest, and 30 to use!]
His voice was distant, like an oracle from the stars. “I have divined that the artifacts of power ARE within Mystic’s magical dimension! Let us make prepare and be ever on our guard against further treachery by that mad sorcerer.”
The myrmidon of mythology unsheathed Excalibur and readied for battle!
Vanguard activated their personal defenses.
Harnessing the power of the world storm once more, via lightning rods outside the omni-carrier, in minutes, the Dimensional Portal was powered and activated, violently tearing asunder the very fabric of reality itself!
[OOC: Aperture: PR: 15 to manifest, and 30 to use!]
Power converters sparked and popped! The gate would remain open as long as it could, or until Vanguard shut it from projects lab on the Omni-Carrier. No one knew how long it could stay open! Time was of the essence!
Vanguard, Nemesis and Doc Monster entered the magical dimension of Mystic!
It looked different than last time.
Overwhelming. Disorienting. Utterly unnatural.
Gravity existed here, apparently, as well as oxygen. Below Vanguard, the dimension spiraled:
…Burning energy branded into the ‘sky’ itself.
Nemesis stated, “I have seen similar things in the eons spent inert in the Swamp Temple of the Lost Lands.”
“ …Dear God…” Doc Monster said, “ …I also… … have seen such horror… Under the control… of Dr. Swastika.”
Sentinel and Menagerie could detect the energy emanations of the artifacts. They tried their best to navigate Vanguard through these alien, otherworldly territories of mind and space and magic.
They reached a doorway on a floating island. The artifacts were behind the door. Before it was a guardian, a 100-foot long sentient abomination of writhing tentacles, eyes, mouths, claws and malice.
Not for the first time, Avatar’s powers held Vanguard’s morale, stopping them from fleeing in terror.
Aperture: Hit Points: 35, Power Points: 28, Nanotech: Dimensional Travel (one-shot)
Avatar: Hit Points: 31, Power Points: 54, Manifestation: none
Clone: Hit Points: 17/6, Bodies: 1/1, Power Points: 67/67, Hit Point Pool: 23 (Stats: NYC/Russia)
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 33, Power Points: 75
Menagerie: Hit Points: 26, Power Points: 33, Form: Man? Sentinel: Hit Points: 17, Power Points: 61, Creation Points: 122, Shields: 100%
Slingshot: Hit Points: 49, Power Points: 92, Invulnerability: 8, Fire damage that can’t be regenerated: 30
Countdown: 10:27pm EST. 49.5 hours until the End of the World.
OOC: Fyi, If it wasn't clear, the psychedelic creatures in Mystic's pocket dimension are spectral patterns, images and mirages, except for the final creature, the 100 foot monster of eyes, mouths and tentacles. Thanks.
Since I didn't specify form, Menagerie took the form of a black panther. He is hoping that being a Black Cat in a Magical Dimension gains him a benefit.
Menagerie in his black panther form will attempt to sneak passed the horror. Staying close to Avatar providing support to Vanguard as needed.
OOC: Let me know if you need anything else.
OOC: I'm assuming that Aperture needs to keep the Dimensional Travel power active until we either return home, or close the portal, since he can only manifest one power at a time. Let me know if that's off.
IC: "I don't think there is anyway we're going to over power that thing." Turning to his father, "Dad, feel like channeling some Nyarlathotep? Maybe we can get past without having to fight. Sentinel could help with special effects. Maybe make us appear as some kind of minions?"
OOC: That’s correct.
OOC: Just some quick stuff for thought.
The burning image in the sky - between the knowledge of all of us combined anything in the symbols and words that might help us here?
You said we came to a doorway on the floating island. Any chance we could approach what was behind the door from another angle (come in from below the island, above, from another side, etc)? I'm assuming 'no' because you wouldn't make it that easy but I figured it worth asking.
Creature reminds me of what the Soviet Super Soldier member became in the tunnels in the Antarctic Temple - does it strike Kirk that way. Is it possible this horror is a conglomeration of its victims? If your pic is accurate might the 'colorful' areas be their spiritual essence locked within the confines of this creature? And if so might any of that knowledge help us to get past it or free them?
Kirk would cooperate with any good plan Vanguard has - at this point it seems that posing as 'one of their own' was put out there - if we have no better ideas (and unless any of the above helps to give one, I don't) Kirk would assist with a display to help. If (when) they are attacked his goal would be to get into the room naturally, not to fight the creature if possible.
If Kirk could make an energy construct to to keep the creature occupied while they get into the room he would do so as I think his construct could be huge enough to occupy the creature if it somehow allowed them to get passed it. Whatever Kirk can do to help you can have him do.
And what about the door? Does it appear to be locked? Or just a door that can be swung open? Do we have to get past the creature and then figure out a way in? What does it appear like and what do our various senses and arcane knowledge tell us?
Also, any chance the rules would allow us all to evade before trying to get past it so perhaps it doesn't entangle us? Or does it not work that way?
The burning symbol in the sky is recognized by those of you with Occult Studies skill x 2 (Menagerie and Sentinel), as a powerful symbol in the mythos of the Cthulhu pantheon. It's called an Elder Sign.
No approach to the closed door can bypass the 100' foot long horror. You can't see if the door is locked from this distance. It's beyond the range of your energy sense currently.
The monster is reminiscent of the Terror in the Temple in the Lost Lands, but very different in appearance.
You don't know if it's a conglomeration of victims. If it is, there have been many, many victims.
Re: Evasion: if you see it before it sees you, you can attempt this. But it certainly has a lot of eyes. :)
Looking at the monstrosity in the distance, a sick feeling grows in the pit of Scott's stomach. Could that be him? He shakes off the morose thoughts and tries to focus on the situation and also making sure he and his son get out of this one alive.
We need to get around this thing. The team does seem to want to skirt it and not engage it directly. It's size is something that makes both ideas difficult. We need a diversion.
Something to attract its attention while the others run by..
"Guys, we can't just take it on. We can't just run around this thing. We need to keep it occupied, while everyone else is going for it. Let me deal with that. I need you to focus on getting through. I'll figure it out."
Clone carefully positions himself as close to the center of the group as possible. Should the monster attack, Clone is prepared to split himself into as many duplicates as necessary in order to act as ‘human shields’ for the other members of Vanguard . . . and their guests.
OOC: As wacky and simple as Clone is, even he knows that the ‘big picture’ is the ‘golden ring’ here. If Vanguard fails, than the entire human race dies – he has no intention to let that happen. He will lay down his life without hesitation if he must.
Talk to you guys soon,
"On second thought, I don't think I'll be able to keep it busy enough for you to run by it. We will need to keep it at bay. I think that we need to see if maybe Avatar can shine his light? It might repel it enough for us to get through, of maybe hamper it enough for us to do something about a 100 foot monster."
"What do you say? We still need to be ready for any sneak attacks."
[OOC] maybe do a blinding attack on it and then sustain the light attack enough for us to get by it. We will be available to beat it up, but I would prefer to avoid conflict. For my move, I woudl assume that I can do moves and hold any attacks for anything the monster can throw at us[/OOC]
I'm up for it.
Also wondering if Aperture could use Transmutation to turn air around it flammable and then we set it afire and see if that did anything.