Pax Artificium - Second Half - Wednesday 07

Thanks to Oz for this detailed transcript.

Session start: Monday, January 2, 2034 – 0800 PST

A musical montage of Depeche Mode's "Work Hard" begins as we watch an exhausted Speed Demon getting ready to crash into bed. You've got to work hard if you want anything at all, gazing senselessly at nothing in particular. (Looked more like a teenager's room than a super hero's. Don't tell me he still lives at home with his parents).

Move to Josef's plane where he and Grimm are arguing about who infected Sam Smitts with a virus, and whether to help him. Nothing comes easy and that's a fact.

Gerald arrives at the bunker, getting out of his Humvee (I hope in the future these vehicles get significantly better gas mileage). Nothing comes easy but a broken back. He finds a ransom note for Pip on the door. Nothing comes easy it never will. "We have your friend. Bring the body of Sam Smitts, the Magitech technician, to the warehouse on 62nd Ave by midnight tonight, or the gnome dies." Nothing comes easy but a broken will.

Sara, entering the Magitech hospital, sees Zuul bleeding and dying on the floor and runs to him. So work hard.

Sara asks Sam, "What happened? Are you alright?"

Sam snaps back, "I've been clubbed on the head, shot at, infected with a virus, and I've got a searing pain screaming in my head. HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?"

Back on Josef's plane, Grimm looks to Josef, "Are you ready?"

"No, but hit me."

Grimm says, "I don't think it is a normal virus," and there is some rippling in the air. We now have a three-way split screen with Josef, Grimm and Sara.

"You don't know me, but I'm a friend of Josef's," a young female's voice explains out of nowhere (Grimm is a woman? That explains all that sexual tension! Then again, I hate Christian Slater so any other voice is a good thing).

"Who are you? What is going on?" Sara thinks aloud.

Josef interjects, "It's okay. We're going to go into Sam's mind and destroy the virus."

The screen splits. Matt, in a nearby room, sees Sara in the hall and waves to her. She tells him that Zuul is injured on the floor, bleeding. Matt rushes over and begins examining Zuul.

Grimm asks whether this new person (Matt) is friendly and is joining the group. Sara indicates that Matt is a good person and he is then pulled into the "conference call." The female voice introduces itself as Annika (I think the voice is Amy Acker. Now that I think about it, I wish Amy was playing Grimm. What's with all these cross-gender characters this season, anyway? Frank/Jane, Sam/Dana, Grimm Annika?)

Gerald gathers half the remaining armory into his truck and drives off.

Annika asks Josef about inviting Gerald into the group. Josef tells Annika that he should be left out. Annika tells him Gerald is already on his way, nearly there.

Moses Morningbird is having another nightmare. He is walking outside of Pax wearing only torn pants, sweating profusely, and staggering in the intense sun. The air shimmers with heat and Moses looks like he is ready to pass out, when we see through Moses's eyes a huge tree in the middle of the desert. As he approaches, the tree bursts into flames and Moses shields his face, but there is no heat and the tree is not being consumed.

Moses moves to the "shade" of this burning tree and goes to touch the tree. A flash of light, the scene changes, and we now see another woman in her late thirties (sort of an older Julia Stiles with darker hair) sitting against the tree. She has pale skin, raven black hair, and wears a lab coat. (If you look really carefully, she is wearing a nametag with the name Dana.) Moses somehow inexplicably knows this woman is his mother—his real mother.

The woman smiles and the tree now has apples. She plucks an apple and goes to take a bite. Moses up to now has been peacefully watching, but now sees a serpent ready to leap at and strike his mom. Time slows down and Moses yells out, leaping to stop the snake from biting her, but the snake moves faster and bites her arm. She cries out in pain and Moses wakes back in his room in a cold sweat.

"Help me my son. Help me." Moses hears the woman's voice in his head. Moses has never had a voice talk to him after a dream. He feels something within him guiding him somewhere. Taking his skateboard, he is eventually led to Magitech headquarters. Moses tries to bluff the guard, saying that a researcher summoned him here.

Annika tells the group that the other friend is here, the flying one. Josef corrects Annika saying that he is not a friend. Sara says to just let him join. Matt calls down the intercom to and says that Sam Dodgers will be here soon and send him to the medical floor. The guard turns the monitor showing Moses and asks if it's him.

Matt looks carefully and recognizes Moses as Speed Demon. He says, "Hey Sam, we're up in the medical wing. See you in a few minutes." The communication ends and Moses stares at the guard with a look of confusion. Moses is upset that Matt recognized him and tells the guard he has no idea who that was. The guard doesn't seem to care and lets him in. Moses asks where R&D is and gets a blank stare back.

Gerald gets to Magitech HQ and parks underground. He is trying to find Sam Smitts.

Sam spits up blood, wracked in pain, with his vision blurry from the fever. Annika has never seen anything like this and finds it frightening. Josef comments that he isn't surprised and that it probably wouldn't happen to anyone else.

Gerald gets to the medical floor and sees all of us gathered around Sam.

Moses looks for a place to change into Speed Demon. Everywhere there are cameras in the building. He really wants to leave the building and come back in, but he feels instinctually that there is no time. He has to save his mom. Finding a bathroom, he disables a camera (which turns out to be just a prop), changes into Speed Demon, flies up an elevator shaft, and navigates through the drop ceiling to where the rest of the group is standing around Sam.

Gerald and Sam make an agreement. Sam will help Gerald out after his body is taken care of. We all head back to a room and all lie down on beds. Annika does something mystical and everyone but Gerald is whisked into Sam's virtual emporium of conception. Gerald stays behind to guard our bodies.

We are standing in a complex, sturdy steel, seemly endless corridor. Every ten feet on either side of the corridor are doors dimly lit by flickering florescent lights.

A glowing blue lion head hovers four feet off the ground, circling around a shadowy, almost impossible to detect figure resembling Josef. A very pregnant Sara has two elven guards standing next to her. Speed Demon is a regal super hero in the true sense of comic books gone live action hero. Matt, well dressed, is a wise looking middle-aged man that moves with a blur about him. Finally, Annika is a twelve-year-old girl covered only by a single tentacle, and floats two inches off the ground.

We begin exploring, and Sara quickly senses the specific door we want. She tells us we have to hurry and the doors keep shifting. Annika asks Sara how she knew, but before she can answer we all leap into the laboratory where Moses's mom is covered in mucus, surrounded by six large snakes.

SD moves to attack the snakes. Josef summons his equipment from nowhere. Sara commands the snakes to sleep with no effect. Annika looks toward the snakes and exclaims, "Gross!" and one of the snakes crumbles and disappears. A snake sizzles into nothing from the blue beams firing from Leo's eyes. Matt gets bit and passes out. Sara's bodyguards appear and each grab a snake, twisting them to death. Sara heals Matt and he wakes up. "Exercise caution, my Lady [Sara], these creatures are very dangerous," says Benek as he crushes another snake. The last snake runs away into the wall.

Moses's mom is Zuul. S/he gets to her feet and thanks us. Josef begins building up a massive destruct bomb force around himself. Annika introduces herself as Josef's friend. Zuul creates a virtual weapon for Matt Jones.

Meanwhile, Gerald calls General Leo for a favor. Gerald wants some tactical information on the warehouse. Gerald explains and shows the ransom note. General Leo suggests that the Magitech technical folks should be able to get his information. Gerald then reports to General Leo that Zuul is injured but is being looked after. Leo says he will send a computer expert to help out, but then the system goes unexpectedly dead.

The scene in Sam's mind shifts. We're in another laboratory where Dana is there in her early thirties. PS: Dana is Zuul is Sam (confused yet?). Her husband Fox is there in loose-fitting robes, motioning his hands as swirling mystic energies of various spheres collect into a complexly interwoven mass. A very young Rixmann speaks quietly with Dana about the procedure.

Dana hands a sample of her blood to Rixmann, as all the built-up mystical energy is poured into it. Something about those energies feels familiar to Sara and Moses. Sara finds it reminiscent of an elven presence. Moses doesn't know what exactly it is that feels familiar. He demands to know from Sam what is happening. Zuul says they were fertilizing an egg with magic, tapping into another plane of energy.

The scene changes again and Rixmann is looking at a pointy-eared baby in an incubator. Ingolf wonders to himself and pulls the baby out. Dana yells that the baby is not ready. Rixmann runs towards the door behind us. Something changes and suddenly he seems aware and snarls at us, then explodes into hundreds of snakes.

Josef sprays a mass of destruction magic, killing a majority of the snakes. Zuul fires a vapor wave of energy, killing many more. Snakes skitter away in every direction. Josef solidifies the room. Hundreds of snakes emerge through the walls and swirl together and a huge worm creature forms. Matt shoots at it.

Leo fires energy beams into the creature. We all smash the creature for as much damage as we can. The creature swallows Josef whole. We continue to smash it, and SD weakens it to a point where it looks vulnerable. Zuul take the final shot. An explosion of white light, the creature is gone and all that is left is Josef, who awakens. Zuul believes the infestation has been defeated and that he can fortify and protect himself.

Gerald tries to work the phone system, but it is still dead. Gerald looks around and finds that all the nurses and guards are gone. The patients are still there. The elevator is dead. Gerald comes back and continues to guard the room.

Annika says she doesn't feel so good and falls down. Josef wakes and sees Grimm lying on the ground. Josef checks with Timothy Peeples to find out what has happened.

Everyone awakens in the room. Matt suddenly vanishes—having used teleportation magic inside Zuul's mind, the backlash finally takes effect. Gerald tells everyone that The System Is Down. Zuul works on the system and finds self-correcting code that is trying to thwart his attempts and reinfect him. He can't break through but does manage to escape the system without any serious consequences.

They decide as a group to visit the top floor and check on the core. Speed Demon smashes a window and flies everyone to the top. Zuul opens the door to the computer core...

Session end: Monday, January 2, 2034 – 1100 PST

XP: 8000