Saturday, July 29, 2017

Chill: The Envoys Take a Poundin'

So! Today was Chill. We closed a case. The envoys all lived, but it was a near thing.

Last time, the envoys investigated an abandoned church and Edward got spurted in the face by some black gunk. The envoys decided to nail up the exit in the window they found (which BB did handily), and then sod off and regroup. Jeannie used Schematic on a component of the trap that had nearly killed BB and saw that the whole place was trapped, but the highest concentration of Unknown was in the basement. Armed with that knowledge, they headed for the door. They were on their way out when they heard a cat crying.

BB found said cat in the corner in a trap. He decided to take it out of the church, but Jeannie Sensed the Unknown (and got a Colossal success, which of course means the Unknown senses her right back) and realized the cat wasn't a cat. She yelled this to BB, and the trap opened. The cat turned into a little green humanoid armed with a blade, and tried to stab BB, but BB was too fast and kicked the little beast into the wall. It hissed at them, and they heard chittering from the ceiling.

Edward and Dylan ran out to the truck to get Edward's rifle. Meanwhile, objects started falling from the ceiling. BB dodged one, but one caught Jeannie in the back and sliced her open pretty good. Edward came back in with the rifle and shot the monster, apparently killing it. The envoys fell back - they weren't sure how many there were and they couldn't see them.

Dylan noted a woman across the street staring at the church, so he called out to her and told her that there were rabid cats in the church and that they'd had to shoot one. She said she'd already called the police (rifle shots are loud); the envoys told her that one of them had been injured and they need to go to the hospital, which they did.

The doctors put some cream on Edward's face, but were unable to identify the stuff he'd been sprayed with. They were concerned that his skin was so inflamed (he was losing STA every scene, too). Jeannie, meanwhile, got stitched up, tetanus'd, and rabies shot'd. The cop they'd talked to earlier came in to interview them and said he'd get animal control on the case, but it might take a day.

They went up and talked to Father John, who was weak, but still said he should get up and go do his prayer over the place (they didn't let him). They headed back to the resort to debrief (and so that Dylan could use Crisis Counselor to remove some Trauma).

They talked about what had happened and did a little research. Dylan found reports of little humanoid creatures variously called "trolls," "imps," or "bogeys" (also "gremlins," but those like to screw with more advanced tech; these didn't fit the profile). Literature said that they were malicious and carnivorous, and they were vulnerable to sunlight, though how vulnerable was a point of contention.

BB suggested they level the place, or set it on fire. The others pointed out that doing that would bring a lot of attention that they weren't prepared to deal with. Instead, they decided to go and tool up - coveralls, steel-toed boots, crowbars, hard hats, and UV lights - and head in the next day. They checked the footage of the little cameras they'd set up, but it mostly just caught the trolls right before they broke the cameras.

They arrived at the church to find the animal control van already there. They entered, and BB set off a different trap (but his boots protected his feet from it). They walked in and found booted footprints leading back - the animal control guy? Edward used Clairvoyance to scope the bottom of the stairs, and noted that the stairs were rigged to collapse if you walked on the left side, and that the railing was rigged with razor blades. Likewise, there was a big pool of blood at the bottom. BB (whom you'll recall is Reluctant to Harm, which includes by omission of action, just ask any robot) headed to the back of the church and started heading downstairs.

He got to the bottom and found a blood trail leading in; it looked like someone was dragging themselves along the floor. He called up to the others to report it (the others were prying the boards off the windows to let in more light). Jeannie headed to the top of the stairs, while Edward and Dylan watched from the hole in the floor.

BB kept heading back, through the patch of sunlight from the hole in the floor. Jeannie started heading down, but forgot which side to walk on and fell (but landed safely). BB saw the animal control guy leaning against the far wall, covered in blood, holding his hand over his left eye.

Dylan and Edward lowered themselves down through the hole - but now no one was upstairs.

The guy started crawling towards BB, but a troll jumped out of nowhere and landed on his back, raising up a sharpened trowel. BB rushed forward and smacked it with his bat, knocking the creature out into the dark. Two more trolls rushed Jeannie with sharpened wire, trying to trip or maim her, but her Quicken discipline stood her in good stead and she caught the wire with her staff and flipped the trolls into the light. Edward stood on one, holding it down as it sizzled, and Dylan just bashed in the other's head with his crowbar.

BB grabbed the guy and carried him back to the light...but then their UV lights went out. The trolls started throwing things at the envoys; Jeannie and Edward dodged, but Dylan got smacked full-on. He looked down at the animal control guy and saw the ruined remnants of his eye, and kind of lost his shit (and all of his WPR, making him overwhelmed). He ran for the stairs, but forgot which side to run up and collapsed into the basement again.

The trolls attacked him and stabbed him in the shoulder. Jeannie dragged him toward the light. BB realized that they needed a way to get out, so he activated Feat of Strength and jumped up out of the hole with the animal control guy. He took the guy out to his truck, gave him his phone, and told him to call 911. Then he grabbed rope and broke off all the mirrors from the trucks, and headed back in.

The envoys weren't doing well. Dylan was badly injured. Jeannie had lost her staff (it just shattered in her hands), and had gone into shock after a chunk of debris hit her. BB dropped the mirrors into the hole so the others could reflect sunlight back at the little fuckers, but it was obvious that they weren't going to win this fight - they were outnumbered and had no Protective disciplines without Dylan.

As if to underline the point, a stray chunk of debris cracked Dylan across the head, and he fell unconscious (the player turned all the tokens dark to save his life). BB fashioned the rope into a sling and lowered it down to haul Dylan up, and then hauled the others up one at a time. They headed the hell out, just in time for the police to arrive.

The aftermath was sticky. The animal control officer didn't remember much, but he was very clear that BB had saved his life. The wounds the envoys had weren't from animals, so the police treated the church like there was a hostile person inside, but by the time they actually went in (after dark), they found nothing really conclusive. The trolls, it seemed, had taken the opportunity to escape their longtime prison.

Jeannie was treated for a mild concussion. Dylan's shoulder was more serious; severed muscles and bone damage required surgery and physical therapy. BB was annoyed that they hadn't come up with a better plan, but had rejected "burn it" (which was frankly the best they could have done, though it still would have been messy).

The envoys got in touch with Joy Taylor and Father John. Father John was too old and sick to join SAVE officially, though he asked to help as he could. Joy headed back to the compound for some training and induction into the Society. The envoys needed some rest before their next case.