Pax Artificium - Second Half - Thursday 02

Session start: Saturday, December 31, 2033 – afternoon PST – off the western U.S. coast

As the leviathan is about to swallow the plane, the creature suddenly screams as it is his by missiles fired from the two military aircraft. Severely wounded, the creature topples out of the sky, crashing against the ocean's surface and disappearing beneath.

The military contacts Frank's plane over the radio, demanding that they allow themselves to be escorted back to a nearby aircraft carrier. Betty and Frank attempt to decline, but the military personnel are insistent.

After following the jets for a couple of minutes, the pilots mysteriously eject all of a sudden, and Daniel chuckles. With nothing impeding them further, Frank resumes his course for Canada.

Frank heads for the Canadian base northeast of Vancouver first, despite Betty's objections and death threats. Once they land, however, the Canadians detain the entire plane, since it is filled with anomalous individuals. Frank tries to take off, but the plane won't start for some reason. Daniel makes a cryptic comment about it, and Frank is convinced that Daniel is somehow responsible for both his nonworking plane and the bizarre ejections earlier.

Weapons and other "sensitive items" are held in secure storage while they are at the base. They search Betty's briefcase, finding nothing unusual. Just as they are about to hand it back, Daniel remarks, "I think you missed something," prompting the guards to search again. This time, they find the circlet hidden beneath the case's false bottom and confiscate the jewel-encrusted item, placing it in their vault.

Dirk meets with his boss, Baxter, telling him what has happened with the leviathan. Baxter notes that anomalous individuals seem to be magnets for strange and troubling activity.

Baxter asks everyone to submit to some tests, but does allow Betty and Frank to leave when they decline. However, as they are heading back to the plane, deputy Frederickson orders the guard escorting them to take them captive so that they can be experimented upon.

Baxter and Dirk give Daniel and Erica a tour of the facilities. Daniel and Erica are each given a physical to check up on their anomalous readings. They are then escorted back to the plane.

A fellow scientist calls Dirk to examine some intriguing findings while injecting Betty and Frank with certain chemicals. Dirk releases the patients, claiming they had not volunteered for testing, although the scientist insists Frederickson told him they had. Frederickson then appears and implores Dirk to reconsider his position. He says that these specimens are by far the best they've run across so far, and that missing this opportunity to study them would be a mistake.

Dirk refuses to change his mind, and Frederickson tries to shoot him, but misses pathetically, then runs away. Dirk calls a base-wide manhunt. After waiting by one of the exits for a few minutes, Dirk receives a call from Baxter saying Frederickson has been caught, and the alert ends.

Meanwhile, Betty runs off, traumatized and angry. She wanders the corridors until she finds the hangar, sneaks up on the guard watching Daniel and Erica near the plane, and knocks him unconscious. Frank eventually wanders back to the plane as well.

Baxter orders Dirk to continue watching these anomalous individuals, gathering information as available and recording their experiences. Dirk proceeds to the plane, and they all leave the base.

Frank flies them to an abandoned airstrip outside Vancouver. Unfortunately, as they are discussing what to do next, the wireless communications stop working, and none of them can use their phones or the Internet. The airstrip has only a nonworking payphone. Frustrated, Betty begins walking down the road toward the city.

A Toyota drives toward them, with two Indian men inside. They pull up next to Betty and ask her if she brought the item. She tells them that she does not have it. They seem disappointed. They then ask if Daniel Miller is nearby. She says he's down the road a ways. They proceed to the airstrip and introduce themselves to Daniel as Professors Mishael Singh and Azariah Santhanam, saying they are big fans of his work, and have adapted the algorithm for digital audio. They speak of a prophecy that led them to tell their "employer" about an ancient circlet that needed to be kept from falling into the wrong hands, so that she would arrange to have it stolen from the museum.

The Indian professors are of course unhappy to learn that the Canadian government has confiscated the circlet. But they suggest that Betty speak with their employer in any case. Betty agrees, saying that she needs to return her advance pay, since she failed to deliver.

Daniel and Erica ask about the flute, and the professors say that their employer mentioned an ancient flute that she was close to being able to obtain, and that perhaps they should come along as well to find out more.

Dirk goes along as well, since that is his job, but nothing here really interests Frank, and he bids them all farewell as he makes to leave in his little plane.

And so it is that the strange Indian professors escort Betty, Erica, Dirk and Daniel to meet with their mysterious employer in the city.

Session end: Saturday, December 31, 2033 – 2200 PST – outside Vancouver, BC

XP: 4000