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Session 2: The Trek

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The chained groups milled together below the platform until soldiers motioned for them to move past it. Moving in awkward clusters, they were guided to a set of wagons by the train and stopped there. As the new hostages watched -- and were watched by armed guards -- people in pale yellow shirts and pants emerged from behind the train station and offloaded the supplies from all six of the cattle cars. The supplies were a wide variety of items, and the people doing the work were just as varied, though they mostly had the common theme of not-white. They quietly piled the supplies in large, wheeled carts. Though their clothing matched, they each had a large triangle on their back in various colors, mostly green.

Once the carts were full, the soldiers pushed the chain gangs into motion. In short time, both ends of their chains were connected to the front of the cart. “I think we’re mules now,” Carl muttered to the others as he eyed their wagon loads.

“I think mules would be treated better,” Graham growled, taking a grip on his chains.

Jenny and Jeannie looked down at their high heels and then at each other, their expressions scared. “What happens if we can’t pull?” Jenny whispered to her sister.

“We’ll help,” Sean said. “We’ll cover for you.”

The future wives were left in a bunch on the platform with the other soldiers hovering nearby them. The four men who had traveled with them looked as lost as they did, although they were also clearly excited and eager for whatever came next. Siobhán spent a long time looking for the producers, or their assistant, or even a visible camera so that the operator could get her someone in charge. No one materialized however, and on one sweep around the area, her eyes fell on a familiar face.

Even as she registered Juno’s presence, a loudspeaker clicked on and a voice spoke in rapid German. “What’s going on?” Sarah asked, her voice warbling with fear and tears. “What are they saying?”

The blond Nazi cleared his throat and said, “It’s the Major in charge of this station, and he’s telling us to stay close to the soldiers. Um, he’s telling the ones pulling the wagons to focus on hauling and they’ll be fine. And of course, to be strong and courageous.” A final order was barked out, and all the soldiers snapped off a Nazi salute. Their translator finished as he lowered his arm, “And you can guess what that is.”

“Shitheads on parade?” Sarah asked, then clapped a hand over her mouth and turned scared eyes to the soldier. “Oh, god, are you going to put me in a concentration camp for saying that?”

“Me, personally?” The blond man shook his head. “Don’t worry, the Major made it clear you’re allowed to speak your minds.” He smirked a little. “Some might even find it sexy.”

 

This thread is open to all to post. I'll update weekly at a minimum, more if I can.

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"Nothing we can do about it." Ali acknowledged. Underground? Well, that would explain how these Nazis figured they could evade pursuit, but they had to come above ground, right? Living down here itself couldn't be sustainable. The answer might offer them a path towards escape. For now though, Ali bent his knees and prepared for some heavy labor hauling.

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"Not yet, but keep your eyes open. Until we have a plan though, play nice," Juno advised quietly. "Don't give them a reason to suspect we're up to something. If they get careless with us, just makes our job easier."

Her brief glimpse of Siobhan was gone through the rest of the chained prisoners, but an inkling started to filter through. Her erstwhile employer didn't look like she'd been chained. That implied to Juno that Siobhan might have less scrutiny. If they could figure out a way to communicate without being observed, their odds went up.

Something to think about.

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“Ziehen! Los Los!” The shout was taken up by one Nazi and echoed by the others quickly as they started to wave for the chained people to start pulling. The “mules” find that the wagons roll easily once they get moving, though they are also hard to stop. For the Brides, it’s simply a long walk. The four soldiers they traveled with on the train take turns carrying the gurney with the unconscious Bride, who still hasn’t woken up from being drugged. A medical officer travels with them, monitoring her vitals.

For a time, their path followed the train tracks that continued down the tunnel. After a couple of hours, the chained prisoners without adequate footwear were starting to show the first signs of pain, but no one dared to say anything. The only lights came from the soldiers, all of whom were equipped with flashlights. 

The tunnel itself was cool and dark, almost pleasant after the bitter New York winter and perfect weather for heavy labor. The atmosphere among the soldiers was casual, with some of them chatting and even joking. No one had problems determining which way to go; the train tracks continued down the tunnel, with more than a few prisoners quietly grumbling that the Nazis could have brought the train further down the tunnel instead of making them walk it.

Gradually, a rumbling sound gained in volume until all could hear it, and it climbed steadily to a roar. A pinpoint of light ahead became a daylight-bright glow, and revealed a massive work party. Running off of a generator, workers in gray outfits used various tools to widen the natural tunnel enough for the train. Another team was laying tracks, while another set of workmen (though there were some ladies in the mix) worked to even out the floor for the tracks. As the new group dragged the wagons past them, the workers spared them brief looks of knowing sympathy. The soldiers didn’t halt, though the sharper-eyed among them noticed the Major stopped and speaking with some other Nazis. The rest pressed on, organizing the prisoners into a rough column with the Brides in the first third of the column, followed by the wagons. 

The tunnel was now mostly natural rock, with only a few scars on the rocks to show where it was widened to allow the carts. The remaining troops brought up the rear. Now they were quiet and watchful, alert for any danger. The passage remained close but occasionally widened naturally. Tunnels in the cavern system opened randomly, and at these junctions the soldiers became especially alert. Breaks happened every few hours, the troops stopping to sit and rest. Trail food and water was offered to everyone, including the chained prisoners.

After hours of walking, the cry of, ”Halt! Brechen Sie das Camp für die Nacht.” rang out and the troops fanned out into a large cavern. With sharp gestures and lots of shouting in heavily accented English, the chain-gang was instructed to guide the carts into a rough circle. Once the wagons were literally circled, the prisoners were herded inside and left under guard. 

The soldiers who weren’t guiding the prisoners set to making camp; throwing up tents, collecting fresh water from a nearby stream, and establishing a perimeter. Fires were lit and soon the cavern glowed with warmth and echoed with the bustle of life. The Brides were given their own tent and fire, with their four companions sharing the fire but given only bedrolls on the ground. All of the enlisted seemed to be without tents, while officers and up merited privacy. Enlisted men started to cook, opening large cans of soup and putting them into big pots over the fire. Cups of water were filled and passed out to everyone.

The smell of chicken soup filled the air. Over the heads of the watchful Nazis, the ceiling started to move. Long legs extended from perfectly still hairy bodies, gripping the ceiling easily. Each of the silent hunters picked the perfect spot, then twisted around and dropped in one practiced move. 

The giant spiders landed on their chosen targets, attempting to bite and ensnare their victims. The Brides find themselves between two spiders, though not the target of an attack, while the chained prisoners find Graham being targeted by one of the monsters.

Everyone, roll initiative in the new combat tracker!

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Teagan let out a yelp of alarm, instinctively shoving the most vulnerable person (in her mind) behind her as she took up a defensive stance. Siobhan found herself the recipient of a hard push as Teagan snapped, "What the hell? Monster spider Nazis now, too?!?"

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They did say they'd leave us for the spiders, thought Juno dimly. Guess this is what they meant.

The panic was shuttered off in the back of her head; she could feel it there, like a shape moving behind smoked glass. There'd be time to deal with it later.

Right now she had spiders to kill.

Juno didn't have a weapon on hand, but there WAS a wagon full of chunks of rock that they were pulling along. Why? No idea. It didn't look like ore or anything to her untrained eye. Just jagged chunks of rock in sizes ranging from a little smaller than her hand to a little smaller than her head. Her wrists her chained, but there was enough length of chain between them that she could still move her hands fairly freely.

She paused only long enough to get a look at Siobhan. There were spiders near her, but it looked like they were going after Nazis. That suited her just fine. She'd keep an eye on her charge, but right now Graham was about to get his face sucked off.  Juno selected a rock she judged as heavy and sharp enough to be dangerous, but light enough to throw with some force. For the first time in a long time she silently thanked herself for all those windows she'd vandalized with her buddies back in the day, idly throwing rocks through the windows of abandoned buildings. Time spent pitching street baseball didn't hurt either.

There wasn't really a good wind up pitch to be had, but by relaxing her left arm so it didn't drag or pull on her right, and concentrating the force of the throw in her hips and back instead of her arm...she got off a sizzler. The kind of throw that sent little boys home crying that they hated this game.

The rock sailed at the spider on top of Graham and nailed it right between the eight of its eyes, squarely enough that it stuck there for a second before falling off when the spider recoiled, trailing a little thread of ichor from the crack in its shell.

(Spider takes 2 bashing damage!)

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Greeeeeat!  It had to be spiders.  LaHaye managed to mentally snark even through his instinctive reflexive terror.  He hated spiders.  Snakes were fine.  Snakes he was comfortable around.  But spiders, especially big spiders, freaked him the fuck out.  And these spiders were goddamn huge.

Still, there was no way he was going to sit back and watch as Graham got his insides liquified and sucked out through a straw (he really hated spiders), and he damned sure wasn't going to sit back while Juno threw rocks like an star pitcher for the Yankees on crack.  There had to be something he could do to help, here.  

Rocks.  Broken up rocks.  Why would they be hauling rocks?  For construction, probably.  Grind them up to make aggregate, or maybe the rocks had some ore in them.  But what else was in the wagons.

If anyone was paying attention, they'd have noticed Jimmy LaHaye being decidedly un-dashing and unheroic as he turned and ran past the rock-wagon to the next one in line, lifting the tarp and peering under.  There had to be something useful - tools, weapons, a spare F-16 Viper with air-to-ground payload...  Right now he'd take anything over trying to fight giant arachnids with frickin' rocks.

Spoiler

Rolling Perception (because Dawn asked me to and I like her)

Details:[5d2 (2 1 2 1 1)]

2 succs.

 

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James's eyes fell on a bunch of handles; he pulled on one and found himself armed with a pickaxe.

 

 

Stats:

Melee Weapon Dmg   Str     Wt
Pickaxe              3L       2        6 lbs. 

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"WHAT THE HELL!" Siobhán screamed as she stumbled backwards, the heel of her boot catching a rock and almost causing her to fall backwards onto her guitar before she steadied herself.

Okay. Okay. Shit! Okay. she thought as she fell back onto her self defense training, namely the part about keeping your wits about you. These were spiders. Fucking GIANT Spiders! And they were eating people too! Shit! Running wasn't much of an option since they were in a dark tunnel, and who knew how many of them were up there anyways.

So there was only one option. Well, two. Cower, cry and pray that Nazis will save the day.... or stand and fight.

Okay, So there was only one real option.

Never had she wished for a big-ass can of Raid™ like she did right now. Or a flamethrower. Or a big-ass can of Raid™ with an under-slung flamethrower! Or a gun! Wait. The Nazi jerk-wannabes have guns!

Siobhán scanned the area in the firelight and ran up behind Felix and placed a shaky hand on his shoulder to let her know she was there as she spoke,

"Hey. I;m taking your pistol to shoot spiders too!" she explained to him, hoping that the small 'in' she had with him (since he had recognized her back in the rail car) might help him relent.

She reached down with her other shaking hand and grasped his pistol, yanking it from the holster. She had never shot a gun before, she she has seen people shoot gun in movies and stuff, and she had played the shooty games in the arcade with the pistols you held. So how different could it be?

With her left hand still on Felix' left shoulder, she reached out past him, prayed to anything and anybody that would listen, tried to steady her hand, and pulled the trigger...

And nothing happened.

She looked at the gun, barely noticing some switch by her thumb. Oh yeah! Guns had those safety locks or whatever they were called. With a flick of her thumb she flipped the switch, took aim again and squeezed the trigger again...

Siobhán almost dropped the gun when it went off from surprise. Still though her aim was true and the round pierced into the body of the spider.

"Take that!" she taunted the spider with a smile as a wave of newfound confidence with firearms washed over her.

(Spider takes 1 Lethal damage)

 

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“Nice shooting, kid!” Felix whooped even as he lined up a shot of his own -- a shot that was interrupted by the spider closest to him lunging for him. Felix leapt back, pushing Siobhán away from the pinching mouth parts as well. "Watch out!" he yelped belatedly.

Graham stared at the spider hovering over him, and he just knew that with his luck, the fucker was coming for him. Sure enough, it dove at him, dripping mandibles gaping wide, and the former soldier rolled back. Jenny yelped as his movement pulled her to her knees by their chain, looking up at the monster with wide eyes. 

It was pure chaos, and in the bedlam, Morgan took her chances. She had her bag on her, and she slipped into the shadows, and away into the darkness of the cavern. Better to be lost and alone in the dark instead of raped by a Nazi. Besides, she had faith in her ability to survive, find her way to the surface, and make it home alone. I’ll send back help, she thought as she disappeared into the darkness.

 

Morgan is out of play until Nina returns and wants to play her again. 

As a note, there are more than three spiders attacking, but I’m keeping the focus of the game on the action around the PCs. Please let me know if you have questions.

Ali, you’re up next.

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Giant spiders. It had to be giant spiders. For a moment, Ali was four again, frightened by the tiny arachnid climbing up the wall. Little did his pre-school self imagine there would one day be spiders of a size that could actually eat him. It just wasn't enough to be kidnapped by Nazis. But he wasn't four, and people were in danger. Unfortunately, Juno throwing rocks wasn't enough to deter the monster from trying to eat Graham and Jenny.

LaHaye was searching for weapons but there wouldn't be enough time. So instinctively, Ali put himself in the way, between Graham, Jenny and the arachnid terror. Self-sacrificing? True. But he'd scooped up some dirt before running and now tossed it into the thing's eyes. With so many of them, something ought to get in and weaken its assault.

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The hairy spider recoiled from Ali, raising one leg to run the bristles of its leg over its eyeballs. As Lana pushed her brother under a wagon (despite his attempts to Do Something™), Jeanie screamed like a banshee and began to club at the spider’s closet leg with a rock. “GET! AWAY! FROM! MY! SISTER!”

Graham pulled Ali back, growling, “Medics in the back!” Other chained prisoners grabbed rocks and started to throw them with varying degrees of accuracy, including Jenny after she scrambled to her feet. The remaining prisoners hid under the wagon, shivering as the spider backed into it, fleeing the barrage of stones. 

Felix snapped off a shot at the spider with his rifle, spraying the air with ichor and drawing a pitched scream out of the monster. Chase and his sister went back to back with the brunette Nazi, firing at the two spiders closest to the Brides.

The blond Nazi turned away from the group and bolted toward the chained prisoners. He didn’t cover the full distance, stopping to shoulder his rifle and snap off a shot. Ichor splashed over Jimmy, Graham, Jeanie and Juno (OOC: that’s a fuck-ton of J’s, ya’ll) as his shot hit its bulbous thorax. That screeching cry filled the air as another spider was badly hurt.

End of round, new Round is starting. Teagan, you are up.

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Well, I guess the diva can take care of herself, Teagan thought, staring in disbelief at Siobhan's shot. Her eyes caught on James and his newfound pickaxe; she made a dash for him.

"Is there another one in there?" she shouted as she ran, adding when she was close enough to speak quietly. "Maybe we can get people free, too."

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"Plenty more - and try not to get everyone shot!"  LaHaye said over the sounds of screeching spiders, shouting Nazi's, screaming people and gunshots.  It was a testament to the extremity of the situation that he didn't even stop to smile charmingly at the pretty girl, instead grabbing a second pickaxe and running back over to his embattled comrades-in-chains.

"Juno!" he yelled, and the pantherish Latina looked up in time to grab the handle of the pickaxe that LaHaye extended to her as he charged past, swiping at the spider menacing the group of prisoners with the one in his other hand.  Cussing in Cajun French at the disgusting beast, LaHaye's wild swing was good enough to make the thing scuttle sideways on it's hairy legs, letting out a chittering whistle of outrage as it avoided the makeshift weapon.

"More tools in that wagon!"  LaHaye called to the other prisoners, waving them towards where Teagan currently stood.

 

Spoiler

Str 2+ Melee 0 + Pickaxe 3 = 5 dice, -2 for unskilled, -2 for multiple action.  Spending style point for extra dice.

Details:[2d2 (1 2)] = 1 sux

Spider got 4, LaHaye misses.

Juno now has a weapon too!  +1 Style point from Dawn for searching for a weapon.

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"Thanks!" called Juno as she grabbed the pick. Immediately she charged the spider attacking Graham, hauling the heavy instrument back over her shoulder and swinging it down as she came in, like she was trying to shatter a block of granite!

A pick was a heavy thing though, hard to swing fast...and spiders were quick little bastards. Even when they weren't so little...

The weapon bounced off the spider's underbelly, but Juno could see that she hadn't done damage.

 

# 9 Details:[7d2 (1 1 2 1 1 2 1)] - A mere  2 successes!

 

ST roll for the spider: 
# 6 Details:[4d2 (1 2 1 2)] 2 successes - no damage

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Siobhán stumbled as Felix jumped backwards, pushing her back unexpectedly as well, but with the use of of Felix' shoulder, she steadied herself and kept from falling. The stumbling did cause her to turn and catch sight of Juno, splashed with spider ichor, swinging a pick at the spider in an awkward, upward arc due to the creature's size, but she only managed to bare scratch it, leaving her more or less face to face with the creature.

"Oh shit! It's gonna eat her!" she exclaimed.

Juno was her bodyguard, and now, of all times and places, Siobhán was gonna need her. With a small swell of confidence from her first time discharging a firearm, Siobhán leveled the pistol at the creature and began walking towards it until it's segmented body fill her view, virtually ensuring she could not miss.

"Get the fuck off her you Lord of the Rings reject!" she shouted at the spider as she summoned up and focused all of her anger,fury and frustration of the days into the gun in her hand and fired.

She was ready, or at least more ready, for the sound and recoil of the pistol this time, hardly jumping or flinching at all this time (a fact she was quite proud of). She watched the round hit the spider's side and tear through it's body, sending out another spray of more ichor, knocking the creature to the ground in a heap near Juno.

Spoiler

DiceParserBOTYesterday at 7:30 PM

# 11 Details:[6d2 (2 2 2 1 2 2)]

Woot! 5 successes!

DawnYesterday at 7:33 PM

It rolled 2 on its defense; You do three lethal.

 

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The spiders rallied brutally, striking out at the Nazis. Thanks to the efforts of the prisoners and the musician Bride, they were spared as their spider had collapsed, but the arrival of new spiders into the ranks of the Nazis left their captors struggling.

Siobhán felt something drop onto her left shoulder, about five pounds worth of an eight-legged nightmare. She looked and saw an iridescent red spider about the size of a breadbox clinging to her coat. It had eight eyes, but two were larger than the others and pure white, and as she instinctively looked at those pale orbs, she felt her will draining away as her muscles locked in place…

 

Siobhán needs to make a Willpower roll (as always, double the attribute to get your pool for rolling). Update the combat tracker with the results, and I’ll update the post with the results.

Welcome to Danger Magnet! :D 

 

The caverns and the spider faded, leaving her standing on a stage in a crystal city. Tall, beautiful people turned their eyes to her, waiting for her to begin. Her guitar was in her hands and a microphone in a stand before her. Performance was as instinctive as breathing, and Siobhán started her concert. 

To all others, Siobhán and the Spider were locked in a staring contest, neither moving in their battle of wills

 

Results:

Siobhán's results: # 6 Details:[4d2 (1 2 2 1)]

Spider's results: # 15 Details:[8d2 (2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2)]

The gaze can easily be broken by others interrupting line of sight, or Siobhán will have a chance to break it herself on her turn.

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Ali didn't know what had suddenly happened with Siobhan and the red spider. All he knew was that the girl with the gun had proven to be the most effective so far against the spider. If more attacked, or the big (comparative to normal spiders rather than the giant specimens rampaging in these underground depths) spider had a poison bite... Ali hurried over and delivered an openhanded smack to the big red.

It had too much mass to fall off from the blow, but it seemed stunned...

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As the spider went down, the prisoner reacted three different ways. Those hiding continued to hide but dared to peek out. Carl and Jeanie jumped forward, she with a stone in her hand, and he with his boots, to attack the down spider and keep it down. Graham and one other man dashed toward the wagon, grabbing pick axes to arm themselves.

At the far end of the company, a half-dozen gouts of flame erupted from the Nazis, bathing the spiders in a sinister purple flame. The monstrous creatures retreated, screeching as their caraprise smoked and turned black. 

Ava, Chase, and the brunet recruit still went back to back, firing at the spiders in a group. The blond Nazi stopped his charge toward the prisoners’ attacker and turned to scan the room, looking for other targets.

Felix followed Siobhán closely, his eyes widening in alarm when the spider dropped on her. Ali’s intervention earned him a shove when Felix bumped him, dropped his rifle, and grabbed the spider in his gloved hands. Ripping it from the lovely singer’s shoulder, he dropped to the floor and pinned it under his knees. “Get out of here!” he yelled to her valiantly (at least that’s how he pictured it in his own head). 

End of Round 2; Teagan starts the next round.

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In the noise and confusion and then the screams and purple flame, Teagan made her way back over to where Pickaxe Guy and Death From Below Girl were fighting. She found the length of chain connecting Pickaxe Guy back to the other prisoners that would very much like to not be handed pickaxes or really be dealing with anything right now were. Aiming for links on laying flush on the ground so she didn't drag Pickaxe Guy down with the swing, she started working on Operation Spiders-Aren't-Our-Only-Problems. 
 

Spoiler

Melee Attack on Links with Pickaxe:
2 Strength + 3 Pickaxe = 5 - 2 unskilled Melee = 3 dice
# 5
Details:[3d2 (2 1 2)] - 2 Successes

 

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Juno spotted a good looking blonde woman coming over as she looked around for more spiders to kill. It only took a second to realize what she was about to do, and Juno quickly glanced at the nearest Nazi...the one over by Siobhan. He wasn't looking this way yet, but there wasn't much that'd stop him from doing so.

She quickly went over to Teagan.

"Wait," the ex-soldier said quietly. The pick clinked onto the chain, and Juno looked back at Felix again briefly. "Just...hold up a second. If any of them see you, God only knows what they'll do."

Juno gave Teagan another head to toe assessment and nodded. "You're not chained up. Go distract that guy...keep him from looking over here and make some noise so he won't hear me working."

"Alright? Leave the chain to me."

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