Synopsis of 2nd episode, “The Steading of the Iron King (Part 2)”:
As our troubleshooters look down into the stairway, a buzzing noise came from one of Quorzom Antares’ many strange devices. He spoke into it in his alien language, with an acknowledging nod.
“I have to go now,” he said in a monotone voice, “my home planet needs me.” With a shimmer of purple energy, he was gone, presumably transported back to his crystalline spaceship in orbit above. The rest of the troubleshooters shrugged this off – it hadn’t been the first time he had teleported away in a sudden mission for his alien people.
Less distracted by the noises of alien technology, now, the troubleshooters descended the stairs to be distracted by other alien technology, although not as radically so. As they reached the bottom, two things became evident – it was at some point a part of the StupendiCo building, and, its doorways were being guarded by a pair of badders and a heavy table. A shouting match erupted between the troubleshooters and the badders, resulting in the badders moving their table further into the StupediCo lobby.
Caution, on both sides – the giant, Grugnur slid into a corner out of the range of fire, preparing to bear down, while Gak McFlubber Te-Em threw out ideas as to their approach. Then, in a stroke of genius, Matango charged towards the table. While he was successful in knocking the table upright, and leaving the badders more exposed, he also got a pair of crossbow bolts for the trouble. Following behind, Grugnur simply smashed the table aside with his brute strength and began flailing the business end of a stop sign towards the badders (the business end, in this case, was that side with the most concrete still attached).
Seeking an alternative route, Danger van der Meer began exploding herself against the cheap wall of the foyer in hopes to get around the table situation, even going so far as to strap a bit of technology, a flash neurojack, to explode at an even faster rate. It did not take long for the wall to fall to pieces around her. Kudzu Kawasaki lept into action through the new point of egress, running down one of the badder leaders. Danger jumped through to help with that side of the brawl.
All the while, a large machine, taking up a good portion of the room they were fighting in, was pulsing with an uncomfortable energy, sending sharp pain through the minds of our troubleshooters. It became priority for them to destroy the device – Grugnur, for example, swung wildly into the badder’s general direction, worrying not about smashing the machine apart.
It was Gak who first discovered the caged humans – the machine had, from all he could see, taken their minds completely. A series of empty shells. Not wanting to suffer a similar fate, he quickly got to the control panel of the machine, and accidentally set it to set an extra bout of headache energy. The troubleshooters decided that was enough reason to smash it to pieces in the midst of the brouhaha.
After the dust had cleared, and badders crushed (with the help of Grugnur’s pet rifle hound, Trusty), the party licked their wounds, mourned the deactivation of Trusty, salvaged what tech they could, and then, finally, pondered the humans, who were effectively lobotomized.
Without much discussion, Grugnur made the choice, at least for one of the humans, drawing her sawed-off shotgun, and blasting the head off of one of the caged zombies. A moment of silence passed, as he was preparing to put another shell into the next one, and they began to talk about the ramifications of taking lives of innocents, braindead or not. Grugnur insisted it would be a mercy killing; Matango eventually agreed, but showed little hesitation in beating another poor soul’s head in with a bat. The rest of the troubleshooters finally decided to veto the wholesale slaughter of the caged humans, and maybe move on before making any more decisions.
Finally deciding to let the humans live as they were (at least the 2 of the 4 that hadn’t been killed during the moral battle) was found to be a bit in vain. As the group travelled down the tunnel to find a means deeper into StupediCo’s building, they found a nesting of gamma moths and blood birds flitting about in a cavern filled to the brim with beta moss. A quick judgement call amongst the troubleshooters (with no scientific background information at all), they thought the “corpses” of the humans in the previous room would prove excellent distractions.
The troubleshooter’s macabre plan worked, the whole of the party quickly skirting into an escaping tunnel while the gamma-beasts devoured the vegetative humans down to the marrow. No sounds of screams, just the sounds of meat being torn from bone in haste. They crept down the cavern path away from those sounds, and to the sound of porkers having a civil of a discussion as mutant pigs can, and a pair of guard bots patrolling a central grid – a number of radioactive pits filled the room as well, casting a green glow about the place.
With the scores of Omega tech the troubleshooters had been finding in the StupendiCo complex, they made quick work of the guards; Kudzu made excellent use of a disruptor spike, effectively shutting down the robot guards, keeping the disruption going by feeding it his own energy (a recent alpha mutation). Gak maneuvered, Grugnur smashed, Danger exploded – Matango jumped into the fray so as to deliberately have his head-mounted laser go awry. He assured the troubleshooters of a distinct purpose for this, but, he had to do most of his explaining from the bottom of an irradiated pit, with a pair of a robot’s tazer needles still in him.
Pulling Matango free, after clearing the room of OTHER threats, the party did what they could to help Matango survive the electricity and radiation, watching the fungoid fighter slip back and forth between consciousness. Ultimately, the ’shroom pulled through. He has been since disallowed to possess lasers.