Pax Artificium - Second Half - Joint Wed 05/Sat 04

Thanks to Oz for this detailed transcript.

Session start: Sunday, January 1, 2034 – afternoon PST/MST

The Wednesday group meets Matt

Rex seeing a car with flashing lights speeding towards him down the highway pulls his motorcycle over nervously hoping the officer will pass them by. In his mirror he sees that the stolen Honda Accord with the rest of his entourage is doing the same.

Gerald swiveling his head following the police car pass them hears the tires screeching and sees it spin around. His body jerks nearly falling off the back of the motorcycle as Rex swears loudly and guns the motorcycle forward. Josef, taking Rex's lead, steps on the gas and speeds forward.

The police car gains ground quickly. Sara, looking out the back window, points out to Josef that the driver is Matt. Josef thinks for a moment and asks, "The one I shot?"

"You shot him?" Sara looks puzzled and wonders why all these magic types are always trying to kill one another.

Josef ponders for a moment and decides to pull over. Rex, in the meantime, notices the Magitech military uniformed soldiers in the police car. "Oh fuck," he thinks to himself, "More of those evil ravagers of the earth," and frantically shifts through the remaining gears, leaving a trail of smoke behind him and Gerald.

Speed Demon, flying high above, is befuddled by the scene below and lands near the two cars pulled over on the side of the highway.

Matt gets out of his car and rapidly tells about the abduction of the others, the bird, and all that has happened the last day in Pax. Speed Demon's jaw goes slightly slack as he wonders who the hell this guy is and what the heck he is talking about. Josef, just getting out of the car, barely registers what Matt is telling him, and asks Matt, "What's wrong with you? Are you on drugs or something?"

Gerald, looking behind, sees that the other two cars have stopped some distance back, and decides to jump off the motorcycle, believing that Rex has no intention of stopping. The pavement tears flesh from his skin as sparks fly from his metallic arms, making him question whether that was the best course of action. Rex, thrown off balance by Gerald's sudden movements, crashes the motorcycle.

Speed Demon witnesses the crash in the distance and takes flight to check on them. The rest of the group barely notices Speed Demon's departure. Grimm, a man in his mid twenties who hasn't shaved for a few days tells Matt that the bird and hostages were taken to a military facility in Colorado.

Flying toward the crash, Speed Demon sees Rex and Gerald yelling at each other. Then Rex wolfs out and charges Gerald. Speed Demon rushes to Gerald first and lifts him into the air. Rex glares at the two as they fly back to the rest of the group. Rex walks back to his motorcycle, looking over the damage.

Speed Demon and Gerald land next to Josef. Sara looks at Gerald, sees his road wounds, and shakes her head, saying she won't be able to help him for a while. Gerald accepts some medical attention Matt offers as they walk to the Magitech vehicle for a medical kit.

Rex, walking his motorcycle coldly, looks at the Magitech uniforms. Private Burby, Matt, Sara, Lefty, Grimm, Josef, Gerald, Speed Demon, and John Bishop introduce themselves to each other. Rex, not giving his name, growls at Matt. He asks Matt if he works for Magitech. He growls some more when Matt confirms this. Matt gestures that most of them work for Magitech. Rex looks around, dismayed, and checks with Josef to see if this is true. Josef confirms that he also works for Magitech on a contractor basis. Rex goes quiet.

After some more discussion, we decide to meet at back at Magitech. Sara, Lefty, and Private Burby ride with Matt back to Pax.

The others drive off to Josef and Gerald's bunker. Speed Demon, carrying the motorcycle, follows.

Back at the government base

SQUAWK SQUAWK! Liam's attention on his experiment wanders as the bird from the other room is making noise again. SQUAWK SQUAWK! Draz gets up to go drug the bird, again. SQUAWK SQUAWK! Each time the sedatives last shorter and shorter. This last time couldn't have been more than ten minutes. SQUawk sq. Draz returns, "Alright, where were we?" squawk SQUAWK! "What? I just gave that thing twice the normal dosage." SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK!

In the cell

"You," the guard points at Lee, "The general wants to see you." Lee gets up and tells Gordon that he'll try to find out what's going on. The transparent door slides open and Lee follows the guard out. Gordon sits back down, looking about. The priest is lying down with his eyes closed. The guard is busy reading some book. Squawk squawk. What? Gordon hears something from the vent. Squawk squawk squawk. Putting his ear to the vent, it is the bird. Gordon yells out to the guard, "Is the bird okay?" The guard has no idea what Gordon is talking about.

A low chuckle comes from the priest, "Sounds like it is in pain. Not much we can do from here." Gordon puts his ear to the vent again to listen more. The air around the vent starts to warp and bend around Gordon. Father Raphael, looking up, catches Gordon vanishing in a warp of space and light.

Liam and Draz are working near the bird. SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK! "That last dose was enough to knock out two elephants. I just don't understand. That creature's immune system is incredible," Draz tells Liam. Liam nods in agreement and then sees a warp of space near a vent. SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK. Gordon appears out of nowhere. "Whoa. Nice one Gordon!" Liam chuckles. SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUACK.

Draz demands, "Where did you come from?" Gordon shouts over the noise, "I don't know, I was standing in the cell listening to the bird and then I was here." SQUAWK!

Draz yells back "You're lying! This lab isn't even in the same building." SQUAWK! Gordon shouts he has no idea how it happened. SQUAWK! Grey nods to Draz, indicating he is telling the truth.

Gordon watches the bird thrashing about, tied to a table. Liam yells to Gordon that they want to stop the communications outage, but not kill the bird. SQUAWK! Gordon warns not to just free the bird. It bites. Gordon takes a couple steps towards the bird, when Draz screams to stay away from it. SQUAWK SQUAWK! "JUST LOOKING AT IT," Gordon yells back.

"Think it would be better if you go back to your cell," Draz shouts with a look of hatred towards Gordon.

"You're being a bit harsh," yells Agent Grey.


"Why isn't he a prisoner?" Gordon asks, pointing to Liam.

"He is helping; you have nothing to offer. You are a threat!" SQUAWK "Shut up! Damn monsters," Draz glares from the bird to Gordon.

Liam calms Draz down and tries to convince him that Gordon is safe.

Draz says, "He's a type B and can't be trusted. It's in their genes, genetically a monster. Maybe he's calm now, but he'll turn on you. It's their nature."

Gordon is visibly upset. "What the hell's wrong with you? You blame an entire species for the actions of a few?" SQUAWK SQUAWK

"SHUT UP!" Draz grabs a really big needle and jams it into the bird, emptying the entire syringe. SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAwk squa.

"Calm down!" Agent Grey yells towards Draz. Draz drops the needle going a little slack and agrees. Liam thinks he saw some faint orange glowing from Agent Grey's eyes as she is staring Draz down.

Agent Grey tells Liam and Gordon that Draz has good reason to be distrusting of the monsters. All of the type B creatures that they've studied, dozens of them, eventually became feral and violent—even the most passive ones. Even worse, one of their most trusted colleagues was type B. He was great agent until one day, during a mission, he went insane and ran off, leaving two of Draz's closest friends to die.

The discussion turns to Gordon and he begins telling of how he first started gaining weight at an alarming rate. He even tried not eating for a while, but it didn't make a difference. Eventually he started getting taller. Agent Grey asks if she can scan him. Gordon wants to know if it will hurt. She tells him it will not and she begins scanning.

Back at the bunker

At the bunker they are greeted by what appears to be an eight-year-old. Gerald talks with him and asks him to work on the motorcycle. Pip excitedly agrees and begins tinkering.

Rex, looking to Pip, asks how secure the location is. Pip reassures him it is very safe. He installed the security himself. On a scale from one to ten it is a fifteen.

"That will do," Rex says as he walks to a locker to store some things. Pip runs over to the locker before Rex can open it.

"NO don't open that." Pip tinkers with the locker door and then opens it, showing a very large bomb inside the locker. "That was hooked up to the door. But now it is safe." Pip demonstrates by clanking on the bomb with a wrench.

Speed Demon, no longer feeling particularly safe, decides to leave and meet back in Pax. Pip tells Speed Demon to fly through the North entrance or else he might get dead.

Josef puts together some gear for the upcoming mission. Pip invokes mystical magic to repair and enhance Rex's motorcycle. Immediately afterwards Pip doesn't look well, exclaiming, "Hot hot hot hot hot hot hot!" He runs into the bathroom, door slamming behind him followed by a sploosh.

Gerald shakes his head, knowing that magic is nasty stuff. He heads to the armory and prepares his gear.

Josef opens the bathroom door from which thick steam comes pouring out mixed with the sounds of Pip snoring. He turns on the fan and lets the door close again. Josef sets some clay, orange juice, a few BB balls, and some crystalline glowing substance on a table and begins writing a note for Pip to reproduce these items.

After getting his gear together, Gerald goes into the bathroom to check on Pip. He's sleeping in a half-filled, scorched bathtub. Prodding Pip, he wakes up. Gerald warns Pip that using magic is not safe as they walk around the bunker.

Pip notices the items that Josef has laid out on Pip's worktable and asks, "What is all this neat stuff? Am I supposed to do something with it?" Josef tells Pip that he wants him to make copies of these things. "Okay..." Pip examining the orange juice, "Not sure I can. It's really complex." Looking at a BB ball more closely, "It's going to take a long time."

Gerald notices the bit of clay missing from the table. "Hey, where is the not-so-useful clay?" What does Pip say? "Useful clay?" Josef looks around, "Okay, where is the ever-so-useful clay?" Looking to Grimm, "Say did you take the ever-so-useful clay?"

"Don't look my way. I did not take that clay. No way! You can trust me, I'm okay," Grimm responds back.

"Hey, what about you, Bishop, did you take my ever-so-useful clay?"

"Clay you say? What it is this ever-so-useful clay?" Bishop asks.

Josef senses that Bishop might know more about the clay. Josef calls his bluff and Bishop admits he knows that it was one of those things that Weiner developed. Josef demands the clay back. Bishop furrows his brow, "It is too dangerous. It should all be destroyed."

Josef considers and demands a full explanation from Bishop, "I need to know why it must be destroyed." Bishop explains that anything made from it always goes wrong. Catastrophically wrong. They talk more and Josef comes to accept that it needs to be destroyed (or at the very least nowhere near his other valuables). Josef hands over to Bishop an entire bucket of clay.

Rex, seeing the clay and instantly knows it is a highly useful commodity that has many valuable uses. Bishop says the irony is that it is not useful at all. Gerald is sick of all this talk about the clay and fires his rifle on the bucket, vaporizing all of it. Bishop looks relieved and thanks Gerald.

Riding back to Pax, Matt and Sara heal each other using their mystic ability. Sara's attempt to heal Matt's wisdom backlash partially works, but causes her more damage than she healed. Sara's remaining wounds are tended to. The rest of the ride is mostly quiet as everyone has had a rough couple of days and are contemplating what it all means.

Leaving the compound, Rex thanks Josef for everything, but has to cut his losses. His and Nyx's beliefs and morality are diametrically opposed to Magitech's—a corporation that selfishly abuses creatures of the earth and pollutes it with necromancy. Even though he respects Josef, he simply cannot ally himself with anyone that has any fealty to that evil empire. Rex gets on his motorcycle and starts it up.

Josef tells Rex, "I'm only doing one job for Magitech, as a consultant to locate the creator of a neural virus. Even so, getting rid of this bird is the important issue right now and you would be very useful."

Rex apologizes and reiterates that he can't work with others working for Magitech, "If you ever leave Magitech, give me a call. I won't betray your confidence and I won't help Nyx against you."

Josef breaks what seems like an eternity of silence, asking what specific evils Magitech is doing because he doesn't know anything of the sort.

Rex tells Josef, "Technology is fine, but human magic is very bad. I got extremely ill from you. It takes a lot to make a werewolf sick. I just can't be a party to it anymore." Rex extends his hand to Josef.

After another pause, Grimm speaks out, "Stop being such a pussy and just leave."

Rex sighs and rides away. Grimm looks at his gun and then to Josef whispering, "Should I?"

"Go for it."

Rex's hears a bullet whiz by, just missing his head. Enraged by this treachery, he circles back, driving right at Josef. Gerald draws his energy riffle, resting it on Grimm's neck, telling him "Don't move or we'll be breathing your head." Bishop steps back, drawing his pistol. Suddenly Gerald goes slack and falls to the ground. Grimm puts his gun in his holster and takes a step back, looking to Rex and saying, "Easy there, man."

Rex dives off his motorcycle, tackling Josef to the ground, while Grimm gets his gun back out only for Gerald to disintegrate it out of his hand. Grimm looks extremely surprised and passes out inexplicably.

Josef threatens Rex, "Release me or die." Unfortunately it is not a bluff as Josef ends up vaporizing Rex into nothingness when his demand is not met. Josef, weak from the use of such power, gets slowly back to his feet only to be clubbed into unconsciousness by Gerald.

Bishop, not interfering, continues watching as Gerald ties up Josef and Grimm. Josef is stuffed in a closet, while in another room Grimm is tied to a table. Gerald uses some smelling salts to rouse Grimm.

Josef wakes up to find his hands and feet tied together in darkness. Using mystical energies, he utterly destroys the ropes, but then falls unconscious again from the backlash.

"Tell me what you know about PaleDeathKnight!" Gerald interrogates Grimm.

"What? Who? What's your name? My name is Dave," Grimm answers back with an odd accent.

"What do you do, Dave?"

"I sell insurance."

"Who do you sell insurance for?"

"God, I haven't shaved in a week!" Grimm exclaims, feeling his chin.

Gerald turns to Bishop, asking him, "What do you make of this?" Bishop shrugs and looks at Grimm as he is talking again.

"I sell insurance for CUNA Mutual."

"What's the name of your boss?"

Grimm Dave answers, "I don't know, my last boss just got fired. I'm on vacation. Where am I? I just wanted to see Europe." Gerald angrily turns over the table. Grimm Dave screams out in fear, "What did I do?" Gerald turns, ignoring him, and leaves, telling Bishop he has decided to return to Magitech immediately.

John Bishop asks if he should to wake Josef and all go together. Gerald, walking out of the building, tells Bishop, "I don't care what you do."

"Uhhhh," Josef groans, awaking to an overzealous Pip asking over and over again whether he is okay. Checking his internal clock, fifteen minutes have gone by. Bishop informs Josef that Gerald left for Magitech and we'd meet up with everyone there. Josef moves stiffly to his vault, finding and drinking the orange drink. It instantly fully restores his health. A second later his throat closes up. Unable to breathe, Josef passes out.

Déjà vu, Pip is again there asking if he is okay. Josef gets up again, expecting there to be wounds, but then realizes that he is fully healed. Checking his internal clocks, another twenty minutes have gone by. Pip marvels that he's never seen a man so determined to choke to death. Josef's very irritated expression tells Pip it is time to get out of Josef's way and leave him alone.

Josef unties Grimm from the overturned table and asks him what happened. Grimm has no idea. The last thing he remembers was his gun disintegrated out of his hand. Bishop tells about Gerald's interrogation of Grimm, who said he was David, an insurance salesman. Grimm, shifting uncomfortably, looks down at this feet.

"Alright Grimm, just honestly tell me what happened."

"I swear to you I have no memory of any of this."

"Then what do you know about the answers that 'Dave' gave?"

"They're wrong?"

"What's right about them?"

Grimm asks if they can speak alone and looks briefly over to Bishop. Bishop senses the tension and leaves. Grimm begins confessing...

Meanwhile, at Pax Artificium

Matt asks if Lefty can load down the sensor information on the bird. Perhaps that could be used to track it if the Colorado lead ends up a dead end. Sara and Matt head to the hangar to see if the Pelican has been repaired is ready for use. When they get to the lobby they meet up with Speed Demon. The Pelican repairs are complete and Matt gets the clearances needed to take it to Colorado.

Josef goes off on his own

Josef tells John Bishop that he has some other loose ends to tie up. He won't be able to go with him to Pax, but has Grimm provide Bishop with a map to the military installation at Colorado. Josef tells Bishop that he will find him later to help him find the clone.

Fire at the base

Draz injects yet another series of chemicals into the bird. Gordon lost count at the sixteenth injection as he sits patiently while Agent Grey is scanning him; or more correctly, continually staring in the way where she is almost seeing through him as though he didn't exist. Draz exclaims, "The immune system of this thing is incredible! Even the partial DNA samples I've managed to take keep shifting and are never the same."

Liam, experimenting with the scanning device, notices smoke coming from one of the lab doors. "Fire!" Liam goes to feel the door, which is hot to the touch, "Why haven't the sprinklers gone off?" Before anyone can answer an alarm goes off and water from the sprinklers erupts.

Liam tells Agent Grey, "I sense powerful backlash. We need of get out of here!" Agent Grey thinks they should first put out the fire and grabs a fire extinguisher.

Draz panics, "We need to get out here. That fire can't be put out. Look! The water and the fire extinguisher aren't doing anything." Draz runs out of the lab.

Gordon tells the bird he plans to carry it out and asks it not to bite him. Gordon, sensing the bird understands and will not attack him, unties it and slings it over his shoulder. The bird, offering no resistance, sends Gordon the vibe that the fire is very bad and that they need to get out.

Liam and Agent Grey realize the futility of fighting the fire and run out following Draz. Liam tries to grab one of the devices that measure anomalies, but can't find one. Thinking to himself, "At least I should be able to build one using the schematics I downloaded before."

Gordon sprints with the bird out of the building to see that all the buildings are on fire. People are scrambling everywhere, getting into jeeps and helicopters, and running out of the base.

Gerald returns to Magitech

Gerald arrives at Magitech and meets up with Speed Demon. As he is walking up, he sees the elevator door close with Matt in it. Speed Demon breathes a sigh of relief. "That guy's crazy. And I thought I was fast!" Gerald tells Speed Demon that there are some delays at the bunker and that Grimm might not be that helpful.

Bishops then walks in. After a few minutes of talking, Matt and Lefty return. Bishop fills everyone in on what transpired at the bunker and about Rex's death. Bishop wants a pledge from us to help capture his clone if he is to help out with the mission to Colorado. Speed Demon is suspicious of Bishop and prods him to talk more about Anna. Bishop has some vague recollection of some reference to her and asks who she is.

Speed Demon tells him that Anna is hunting down his clone. Bishop thanks him for that information, but asks whether anyone will help. No one says anything. Bishop looks disappointed, but hands over the map from Grimm of the base to the pilot. Bishop asks if he can catch a ride to Colorado, as that is closer to where he wants to be.

No one says much more as we all board the Pelican and start flying out to the base. During the flight Matt spends some time learning more nuances on taking off and landing the Pelican.

The rescue

Approaching the base, there is heavy smoke over the hills. Speed Demon takes to the air, scouting ahead as the rest of us land. We all pile into the van and drive to the base. Matt sees Bishop start walking off and disappear, then reappear on a distant peak.

Speed Demon, seeing the chaos, gets into superhero mode. Out of a building, a really tall guy with a huge bird on his shoulders runs out. Approaching Gordon, Speed Demon tells Gordon to come with him if he wants to survive. Gordon accepts and is flown back to the van.

Speed Demon takes off again to save more people. He lands by Liam and Agent Grey, telling them that they need to get out of here. He asks where the prisoners are so he can save them. Agent Grey tells Speed Demon which building the cell is in.

Speed Demon rips through the cell door to rescue Father Raphael who is chanting in the cell. He tells Speed Demon, "Do not worry. The fire cannot hurt us; it is the fire of God."

The van pulls up to the base. Matt sees Liam and Agent Grey and heads towards them, warning the others that the woman is the one who abducted them.

Father Raphael and Speed Demon talk as they leave the burning building. Father Raphael tells Speed Demon that Bishop is not to be trusted. Speed Demon agrees.

The van doors open, weapons all trained on Agent Grey. "Liam, get in." Liam starts getting in and is talking with the red-haired, orange-eyed woman, asking if she'll come along. Liam tells us that she is okay and that there was a big misunderstanding. Agent Grey tells Liam that she has other things to take care of. "Perhaps we'll meet again," she says and heads off.

After another ten minutes, all the buildings have burnt down. After another twenty minutes of searching the now empty burnt down base, there is no sign of Jack or Lee. We hope they escaped as we head back to the Pelican.

The search for the Fabulous Four

Riding back to the Pelican, Gordon tells us he can now understand what the bird is saying. We bombard the bird with various questions, learning that it is not from this realm of reality, but was summoned here by Nyx. It can't return on its own, and can't turn off its wireless interference. The priest admits that perhaps he misjudged this bird.

Matt turns to Father Raphael for some aid with his wandering attention (resulting from his use of mystic magic). Father Raphael agrees to help, but warns that his ability to do so is not unlimited.

Conversation turns to the halfling named Milo that keeps appearing right before crazy things start happening. He is friends with Nyx and warned us about the siren, large dog, and the bird. Folks are disturbed to learn that Milo turned into one of Gaia's spawn (like the ones that attacked us in the Bermuda Triangle) and attacked Liam.

Sara tells us that Nyx feels a large portion of humanity needs to be eliminated. Another of her flock told us that she was trying to recruit individuals like us that have mystic ability.

During the flight back to Pax, we decide that searching for Winston, Toothy, Bubbles, Half-Pint, and Shannon should be our next priority. Father Raphael wants us to help find John Bishop and deliver him to his superiors. Bishop is the key in the salvation against these demons. Sara doesn't want to pick sides, because none of them ever turn out to be good. Sara tells Raphael Douglas that she wants to meet these superiors and if they are decent folk she will help. Father Raphael says they can leave for Italy after finding the missing comrades.

Matt asks Lefty how her mom is feeling. She admits that Anna is her mom and is still sick from that elf. She talks in her sleep about a circlet that can expel the corrupting influence. Lefty says Anna wasn't herself—she was that other being—when she was hunting down Bishop's clone.

Circling Pax, we look for the base, but that turns out to be like looking for a needle in haystack somewhere in Kansas. Sara has an idea to use her mystic ability to guide us. Starting out from the North gate, Sara meditates and a glowing trail of tire tracks appear to her. The pilot flies along the road as Sara directs.

Sara strains to hold the sight for nearly a half hour when the tracks move to a service trail. Sara collapses as she has struggled beyond what is safe to get them this far. A burning sensation in her eyes starts gathering when Father Raphael tells Sara to uncover her eyes and let him absorb the negative energies. Black wisps of smoke pour from Sara's eyes, circling Father Raphael. He starts to convulse like someone who has taken an overdose of sugar, overwhelmed with energy coarsing through his body. When it stops Sara feels fine and the priest looks worn out.

Following the service trail leads to a small runway with a hangar. Speed Demon scouts ahead into the hangar and finds the vans. He opens the hangar doors, setting off the alarm. Freaking out, Speed Demon rips out the alarm control panel, but it doesn't stop. Liam rushes in and disables it.

After a few tense minutes we sense that no one is here and no one is coming. We find the van that the Winston, Bubbles, Half-Pint, Toothy, and Shannon were held in. Liam senses something otherworldly about the inside of the van.

Matt reconstructs the events that occurred in the van using his mystic abilities. A portal opened in the van and a hideous woman stepped out with tentacles rippling forth from all her exposed skin. Half-Pint said, "Oy, who's there?" She put out her hands and tendrils shot out, cocooning each of them completely in some hardened white gel substance. Each of them connected to her fingers, she stepped back into the portal and pulled them all through...

Sara tells us the woman described is the druid serving Nyx.

Matt, with the help of Father Raphael, Sara, Liam and Speed Demon, folds time, recreating the portal. Father Raphael holds the portal open as Sara, Speed Demon, Lefty and Gerald leap through.

XP: 7000