Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Episode 24 - Rat Patrol - Part 2

Jack Flash gets news of the trouble in Freedom City and kicks in the afterburners racing across the globe to Franklin to help out.
Meanwhile the other Immortals struggle against the Rat King and his hordes or rats, while Hephaestus struggles to extract himself from the insides of the hellish creature as hundreds of rats begin to burrow into the cracks and crevices of his mighty armor, and one system after another begins to fail.
C4 and Marduk press the fight against the hulking Rat King but find their efforts hampered by its capture of Hephaestus. Any blow against it might land on their ally as well. Marduk invoked the power of flame and uses that while C4 tried to wrestle his comrade from the Rat King's grasp.
Jack Flash joined the fray to help with the fight. He made quick work of the rat minions, and though it put him on the verge of exhaustion, he pounced on the Rat King removing its constituent rats one by one at incredible speed. This quickly rendered the Rat King a less ominous foe, a skinny and thoroughly grotesque bled of rat parts with Hephaestus's suit protruding from the torso. With the Rat King so weakened, Hephaestus managed to channel his suits energies into several bursts of powerful electricity burning the Rat King's body to a crisp.
As its charred remained fell to the floor they witnessed the smoke from its body slither along the ground and infect dozens of its rodent minions who then scattered to the far corners of the lab fleeing to the safety of the sewers. Although destroyed for now, the Immortals can't help but image they hadn't seen the last of the Rat King.

As the team returns to the Mansion, Hephaestus is strangely quiet. The ordeal of immersion inside the Rat King has affected him strongly. When they return they ascertain that Thompson had ceded the controls of the battlesuit to its AI, Cedallion. When the team tried to coax Thompson out of the suit, it treated their entreaties as an attack, an fled the building for the nearby swamps. There it rested while Thompson recovered from the shock and fatigue of his ordeal.
When he did he found the Battlesuit less that welcoming. Cedallion questioned his competence and demanded he answer two questions before it returned control of the suit to him.
Q. Imagine yourself before an ATM. The ATM is spewing forth twenty dollar bills like a fountain. People are stuffing the bills into their pockets, including you. Why are you doing it?
A. To return the money to the bank, unless it was mine, then I would just be collecting what belongs to me.
Cedallion seemed satisfied with that answer, then asked him a challenging math question which he answered easily. Cedallion ceded control of the battlesuit to Thompson, who worn out decided to return to the Mansion and deal with that issue later.
That night C4 was researching the Hypercat online when he noticed some other computer activity on the Mansion's mainframe. A quick search of the mansion revealed no one else using a computer, so he woke Marduk, Jack Flash and Ormand. Together they discovered the computer use coming from Hephaestus's room. He was asleep in bed, but when they check they sense something like the sound of a tape measure retracting into its case. They woke him, and further investigating the issue figured that the computer breach must come from his "meteorite shard" which has previously exhibited the ability to extend a fiber-option wire from his leg. It must have used that to tap into the computer systems.
Sensing this was beyond their abilities, they called up their old teammate Steel Dragon, who examined the battle suit and Hephaestus himself. He didn't find out much except that the AI Cedallion might not be in the suit at all, but rather inside the meteorite shard itself. The team speculated how this might work, what the connection to the event might be, and whether or not Cedallion might in fact be some other part of Thompson's own personality. No clear answers, but lots of questions remained.
The next day, as if to throw gas on the fire, they received a call and fax from a lawyer Samantha Sussex, claiming Hephaestus's Armor belonged to he client. She provided sketches backing that up, and ended the fax with a blurry image of the Tarot -Priestess, the same nom de guerre who contacted the immortals during the Torrent debacle.
The team pondered the situation. They know the Tarot was involved in the creation of the Warden suit that Hephaestus wears, but what was the meaning of this apparent legal maneuver? Why would a secret organization try such a thing?
1 xp for all.


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