Session 37

The gym-castle's gates are open, Ignacia standing imperiously in the doorway, Tim looking a bit sheepish at her side. There is a large throng of Jaegers - including quite a lot who are presumably Jaegers but not wearing the uniform. Rather, they mostly have tattered, desert-looking robes - kind of like the uniform but obviously civilian wear.
…seriously, this is a larger crowd than you had expected. At least one…no, at least three thousand.
Many of them look to the party with hopeful eyes as the party approaches.
Linnea: "…um."
Sam Spade blinks, and finds herself slightly shaken in her resolve. Embarrassing Ignacia? Good. Embarrassing her in front of three thousand people? Good way to die.
Sam Spade would rather die than admit that, though, and so-
Sam Spade: "Good morning!"
Ignacia speaks, her voice amplified by a hidden PA system. "Welcome to my gym! Do you trainers wish to challenge for a badge?"
Max Thorn: "Yes."
Excited and frightened murmurs rumble through the crowd. "Is she really?" "You bet. Just see." "But it's-"
Linnea: "Here for a good fight."
Ignacia poses, hands on her hips. "Good! That's just the spirit we like to see! I have heard and seen your exploits, so I have a challenge worthy of you!"
Ignacia: "Bring me the eye of…Mega Raidertank!"
The crowd falls silent. Many of them look disbelieving and bewildered.
Linnea: "(I knew it.)"
Sam Spade: "(We were told, Linnea.)"
Max Thorn: "…Uh huh. Y'know, I thought the existence of such a thing was a myth."
Crowd: "She did. She really did." "B-but, that's a suicide mission!" "Could these trainers actually be worthy?" "No skin off our nose if they can't." "Yeah! Woo hoo! Bring it to the queen tank!"
Ignacia shakes her head, smiling. "It's no myth, though few have seen it. It is somewhere in Dojji. You'll have to hunt for it. Transport will be provided."
Sam Spade grins a hungry smile, with Chicklet perched happily on her - oh. No, Chicklet went back into her pokeball the minute Ignacia showed up.
Sam Spade: "Hmm. Seems a little out of scope, really. I'm not sure this is a good gym challenge."
Ignacia: "You have one month, though with your luck you might not even need a week to find it."
Sam Spade: "How about you think about a better one while we're looking for the tank?"
Ignacia grins. "It is my gym. I set the challenges. And this is yours."
Linnea: "How gracious."
Ignacia: "And Tim will not accompany you. We dare not risk him on this."
Tim: "WHAT?!?"
Max Thorn: "(That means no Exp. Share, I think.)"
Max Thorn: "(Unless he can sneak it to us…)"
Sam Spade: "Come on, Tim."
Sam Spade: "From her perspective, she's sending us out to die. That's fine. We're Amodans, and she wants Amodans dead anyway."
Sam Spade: "But if you die, then she has to answer to the boss."
Linnea pinches the bridge of her nose. "Right. Can't risk personnel."
Sam Spade: "Exactly! Not when she'd get blamed."
Ignacia: "Ha! I see you do have a lick of sense!"
Sam Spade: "Not that it really matters, because we're coming back with the eye."
Ignacia: "Now, as to-" An air-raid-style siren from the north cuts her off.
Linnea: "We'll be put through our paces, to be sure, but -"
Sam Spade: "Now, as to-"
Ignacia pouts. "Oh, NOW?!?" Even from a distance, the party can see her eyes roll.
Linnea: "…Ignacia, what do you mean now?"
Sam Spade: "Raidertanks coming this way, I'd assume."
Sam Spade: "…Be amusing if the queen was here, though."
Esme: "Well the siren is going off now, so when else would it mean?"
Linnea: "Bring the challenge to us, aye?"
Linnea: "How convenient."
Ignacia sighs. "Alright, to the northern district. We'll deal with this then send you on your way." She removes her headset microphone and heads for the cable cars, Tim at her side.
Once she reaches the party, Ignacia explains, "Incoming evacuees. They're being harassed by raidertanks - they're always being harassed - but they're almost at our gates."
Linnea pales slightly. "…"
Ignacia: "Looks like I get to show you in person why this is important." She boards a car with Tim, gesturing for the party to join her.
Sam Spade follows.
Max Thorn: "Right." Max warily follows along, hand poised over Ammy's pokeball.
Linnea cautiously follows along, still quite intimidated by the woman.
The cable car departs. The northern part of the pass looks like the southern, until you see the first tents. At first it looks like an occasional campground…
…then more clustered…and more…and more…
By the time the northern district's inner walls are in sight - and clearly notional - this is less military compound and more refugee camp, increasingly crowded as you head north. Not even at the walls and the party must have passed a million people, and at least twice as many seem crowded into the northern district proper. This was not on the map.
Everywhere is poverty and desperation and survival.
Linnea: "… … …"
People are, at least, staying away from the northern wall - just as massive and intimidating as the southern, if cracked and pockmarked in several places.
A platoon of armed guards are settling into sniper positions along the wall's top, as pokemon lift heavy weaponry - or their larger fellows, who look to be heavy weaponry in the near future - into position alongside them.
Sam Spade takes a moment to glance up at the sky. Malta is circling overhead, right? Right.
A large motor pool of discarded vehicles, in various states of disrepair, line the otherwise open space just behind the outer wall.
Malta is visible below a loose swarm of flying pokemon, several in small formations.
Esme whistles.
Once the cable car comes to a stop, Ignacia exits lets her giant charizard out and hands over her other five pokeballs. "Be safe," she says as she pats its shoulder. The charizard nods once and vaults into the sky to join its fellows.
Tim: "…this is even more crowded than when I came in!"
Linnea: "This is…overwhelming."
Sam Spade sighs sadly.
Ignacia: "We've had more arrivals. Actually, we think this might be the second to last, unless the Holdouts finally met their fate."
Linnea silently repeats those last three words before shaking her head sadly.
Tim hesitates, then glances to the party. "She means the second to last colony."
Linnea: "Mrgh."
Ignacia smiles bitterly. "'Colony'. That's a nice way to put it."
Sam Spade: "The Holdouts would be the ones who are still fighting the Raidertanks directly?"
Ignacia nods. "The last sons and daughters of Dojji. Well, the last human ones, and their pokemon. They have refused to evacuate so far."
Ignacia: "They're determined to die for their land. A waste, but I can respect their desire."
Sam Spade: "And colony…that would be like a city, but underground? Running from the Raidertanks till it turned out that didn't work?"
Tim nods. "It worked until they started breaking through. That's when I left…and I guess that's when the others started packing up."
Sam Spade quirks a grin at the glass where Iggy can't see it. For a moment there, she sympathized with Ignacia. Then Iggy managed to take that right away…
Ignacia: "You're welcome to watch, but please save your strength for your cha-"
With a POP, a raidertank appears just inside the wall.
Sam Spade: "Just like she said."
Linnea: "Bollocks."
Yelling and screaming in every direction! The sirens raise their pitch and warble in double time!
Max Thorn: "…When did they learn Teleport?"
[OOC] WC GM: Pokemon Education to figure out what just happened.
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 14 (1 1 4 5 3)
[OOC] Max Thorn: Thanks so much. :I
Linnea rolled up 2d6: 5 (3 2)
The raidertank begins shooting in every direction!
Sam Spade: "Like Doctor Petri said, they have been able to move through walls…"
Linnea: "Shiiiiiiiiii-"
Sam Spade: "Is there anything we can do to help from here?"
Esme ducks. "They're still half ghost, no?"
Max Thorn: "Ah, no…they went through the ground, rather than teleport. However…"
Tim: "All our pokemon who can fight are dealing with what's outside!"
Ignacia: "All but yours." She glares at the party, then grabs Tim and runs off.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Were we not still in the cable car?
[OOC] WC GM: You're at the cable car. It's in range of the tank's gun.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Oh, there we are, whoops!
Sam Spade: "Well. MALTA! I CHOOSE YOU!"
[OOC] WC GM: At the cable car dock, specifically.
Malta screeches.
Max Thorn: "All right, Nook! Let's dance!"
Linnea presses upon the pokeball in her hand, sending Lulim out into the field. The Absol gives the raidertank a flat stare, before briefly turning back to give her partner a "can you believe this shit?" sort of glance.
Linnea: "Not the time for it, Lu, this is serious!"
[OOC] WC GM: Actually - given the thing being checked, I'll allow Occult checks too.
[OOC] Linnea: ooh okay, can I mulligan?
[OOC] WC GM: Go for it.
Linnea rolled up 6d6: 28 (6 6 4 5 2 5)
Esme rolled up 6d6+1: 21 (2 4 1 5 3 5) (WIZARD)
Linnea: "It's weak! They have to spend energy to phase through things!"
Linnea: "Which…well…I think this should be the only one here, given the fortifications, here…"
Max Thorn: "Sounds about right. The last one ended up getting smashed by Lugia rather than by us, though."
Linnea: "L-L-L-L-Lugia?!"
Linnea: "No way…!"
Sam Spade: "The last one wasn't the same thing, Max."
Esme: "We'll explain that later. It's super weak though, take it out!"
Linnea: "Right! It's still a raidertank - I'm gonna give it everything I've got!"
[OOC] Sam Spade: Really, Malta's already making her attack, just waiting on WC.
[OOC] WC GM: Was setting up. Initiative: Raidertank, then trainers + pokemon in any order you want.
[OOC] WC GM: Round 1!
The raidertank spies the party and unleashes a salvo from its main cannon at the cable car!
WC GM rolled up 1d20: 19 (19)
[OOC] Max Thorn: Can I replace Nook with Ammy, or is it too late for that?
[OOC] WC GM: Just now too late.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Okay.
WC GM rolled up 2d6+23: 31 (2 6)
The cable car is wrecked! Fortunately, the party was just outside the blast radius…
[OOC] WC GM: Party's turns!
Esme is considering who she has that can actually hurt this thing. "Last time we /did/ just use go-karts… Hm."
Max Thorn: "Nook, Confuse Ray!"
Sam Spade: "Malta! Hit him, and hit him hard!"
Max Thorn rolled up 1d20: 14 (14) (AC 2 to Confuse.)
The raidertank's turret bobs and weaves unsteadily.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Focused Training on Malta, Tag on Raidertank.
[OOC] Max Thorn: I'll switch next round, if there is one.
Malta follows up with Ember!
Linnea: "Right! I'm gonna put this thing though its paces! Engage Issen Knight tactics!" She pummels fist into open palm, and a magic circle sweeps into being around Linnea, which then sweeps up and around Linnea, glamouring her form - she now appears to wear light, leatherish armor over which a robe flaps about in some unseen gale. [Bind 2 AP: Enchanting Transformation]
Linnea: "Annnnnd…!"
Sam Spade rolled up 1d20+2 2d8+13: 10 (8) 17 (2 2)
The raidertank reels - that ember was super-effective!
Linnea claps her hands twice, and aetherial ribbons burst into being, wrapping themselves around any part of the Raidertank they can reach before glowing ominously. [Energy Vortex]
Linnea rolled up 1d20: 7 (7) (AC4)
Linnea rolled up 1d8+8: 12 (4)
The vortex scratches the raidertank's paint. It is difficult to tell if any damage got past the armor.
Esme looks Linnea over. "Hum. That's…Ah, Alexis!" She releases the Scyther, who turns to glare- "Stay Focused!" -but recognizes a different situation from this morning. She stands battle-ready. "Pursuit!"
Esme rolled up 1d20+2: 6 (4)
[OOC] WC GM: Hits
Esme rolled up 2d6+28: 37 (6 3) (SUPER EFFECTIVE)
Linnea: "That's okay, that's okay…we wanna keep this thing here while we scrap it!"
That move definitely punched through.
Linnea: "Shake 'em, Lulim! Even the raidertanks can be afraid of us!"
The Absol lets out an intimdating bark, staring the Raidertank down. [Leer - -1 Defense CS]
Linnea rolled up 1d20: 15 (15) (AC2)
[OOC] WC GM: Hits!
It is not that the armor melts, such as that the raidertank is not quite angling armor as well now. The effect is the same.
[OOC] WC GM: Round 2!
WC GM rolled up 1d20: 5 (5)
Linnea grins sharply. If she had fangs, it'd be even sharper.
WC GM rolled up 1d8+21: 25 (4)
The raidertank bounces off a nearby building, denting its armor.
[OOC] WC GM: Party's turns!
Max Thorn: "…Well, that's not quite what I was hoping for it to do, but at least it's not hitting any civilians or us, so…"
Max Thorn: "Okay, Nook! You've done what you can! Amaterasu, go!" ((Switching Nook out for Ammy.))
Lulim darts forward, sinking her teeth into whatever armor panels she can reach and tearing them off with unnatural force. [Bite]
Sam Spade: "Alexis! I know you don't answer to me, but I'm gonna ask you to hit that tank as hard as you can, got it?"
Linnea rolled up 1d20: 8 (8) (AC2)
[OOC] Sam Spade: Binding 2 AP to place Reckless Advance on Alexis.
Linnea rolled up 2d8*1.5+10*1.5: 27 (3 5) (super effective vs. Ghost)
A piece of the tread comes off!
Malta drops another Ember on the tank.
Linnea repeats her previous motion of pummeling fist into palm, and the magical aura around herself intensifies to a frightening degree. [Leyline: Escalation - +2 Sp. Atk CS]
Alexis turns to Sam to give a look of, 'I'm doing this, but only because I feel like it.'
Esme: "Pfft. Follow through! Another Pursuit!"
Sam Spade rolled up 1d20+3 (2d6+8+13)*1.5: 11 (8) 43.500000 (2 6) (AC 2 + Focused Training + Focused Orders + Momentum 2, Super Effective)
Esme rolled up 1d20+2: 3 (1)
[OOC] Sam Spade: Ouch.
Linnea: "Ahahahahahaha!"
Alexis pursues into a wall.
Linnea: "Wait, that's not funny at all."
Esme rolls her eyes. "See! This is what happens when you're difficult for no reason!"
That one building…fortunately, it looks like it's just a warehouse, used for some of the abandoned motor pool.
Max Thorn: "That poor wall."
Sam Spade: "I really hope that wasn't cuz I distracted her."
[OOC] WC GM: Round 3!
WC GM rolled up 1d20: 8 (8)
WC GM rolled up 1d8+21: 23 (2)
The warehouse partly collapses on the raidertank as it tries to dig its way out.
Linnea: "…"
Linnea: "This is just getting sad."
The raidertank looks about ready to collapse…
[OOC] WC GM: Party's turns!
Linnea: "Rip 'er up, Lulim, then outta the way!"
Malta drops another Ember!
Lulim tries ripping another treadchunk off before peeling out of melee range. [Bite]
Max Thorn: "Time for some tank flambe'! Light it up, Ammy!"
Sam Spade rolled up 1d20+4 (2d6+8+13)*1.5: 17 (13) 43.500000 (3 5) (AC 2 + Focused Training + Focused Orders + Momentum 4, Super Effective)
Linnea rolled up 1d20: 15 (15) (AC2, Flinch 15+)
Linnea rolled up 2d8*1.5+10*1.5: 30 (6 4) (super effective vs. Ghost)
Max Thorn rolled up 1d20 (2d6+23)*1.5: 15 (15) 46.500000 (2 6) (AC 2, Super-effectivve)
Sam Spade: "Malta! Hit him again!"
[OOC] Sam Spade: Using Strike Again! on Malta.
Sam Spade rolled up 1d20+4 (2d6+8+13)*1.5: 16 (12) 43.500000 (4 4) (AC 2 + Focused Training + Focused Orders + Momentum 4, Super Effective)
Between the concentrated attacks, the raidertank explodes, giving up the ghost! The rotom pilot flees toward the wall - just as the gates are blasted inward from the pitched battle ouside. Refugees begin pouring through.
Linnea: "Oh."
Linnea: "Um."
Linnea does a little dance on the spot. "Ahh! Great job, everyone!"
[OOC] WC GM: +50 XP per trainer, distribute to pokemon as you like.
[OOC] WC GM: And for the record: lucky on that confusion.
Sam Spade slips a hand into her pocket, and glances down to confirm that, yes, she had the XP share there.
Linnea: "I, uh."
One of the refugees peeks out from behind the warehouse. "You! You are the ones rescuing Dojji, are you not?"
Max Thorn: "Yes."
Esme: "Sorta."
[OOC] Max Thorn: Just need someone else to chime in with "I guess." :V
Linnea scratches the back of her head. "I expected that to be a lot mo- Oh! Yeah, that's us."
Sam Spade: "Not yet, I think?"
Max Thorn: "(Would've been harder on us if I hadn't landed Confuse Ray with Nook.)"
Max Thorn: "(Just as planned.)"
[OOC] Linnea: Linnea still being in magical form because it just needs 2 AP bound for upkeep, instead of having a duration. Which can be amusing at times.
Max Thorn: "(Are you done with the 'magical girl' act?)"
Linnea: "(Neverrrrrrr.)"
Refugee: "I have been keeping some of these working in case anyone went back." She - at a guess; she seems just at the cusp of puberty, with the androgyny that brings - gestures to a collection of hovercars and hovercycles. "Take your pick and I'll get you the keys."
Esme: "(If you want to keep showing that off to the Jaegers, by all means give them ideas.)"
Linnea: "(… shit.)"
Linnea: "(Clearly I haven't-)"
Fortunately, aside from this one refugee, the Jaegers seem to largely have their eyes on the outside and wall.
For now.
Max Thorn recalls Ammy, with a promise beforehand of a treat for excellent performance later, and looks over the hovercycles…
Linnea gives a slight bow, and her guise returns to normal.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Any colour choices, or…?
[OOC] WC GM: Any color paint so long as it's mostly chipped away down to the bare metal.
Max Thorn selects one that has memories of having a black paintjob and searches for a helmet.
Sam Spade looks over the hovercycles. Just like the ones in the simulator.
[OOC] WC GM: The main choice is: one big hovercar for the party, or everyone takes a hovercycle, or some drive and others ride, or…?
Linnea: "Now then, I can drive, but not _drive_ drive, so uh."
Sam Spade rests a hand on a hovercycle, but looks at Linnea.
Max Thorn: "Jack, you are *required* to strut your stuff in the hovercar. Anyone who's not feeling up to the job, join him."
Linnea: "If I can go shotgun with someone? Would be fantastic."
Max finds nothing approximating a helmet.
Sam Spade: "Ah. Good - well, that works."
Esme helps dust Alexis off from her run-in with the wall. "Not bad, but remember what we talked about!" She scoffs while being recalls. She goes and picks out a lovely…formerly violet cycle.
Sam Spade thinks the cycle she has might have been red. Or black. Not sure.
[OOC] WC GM: So: 3 hovercycles and one hovercar?
[OOC] Max Thorn: Sounds like it.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Yup.
Max Thorn forestalls any arguments from Jack by whispering into his ear something that sounds like, "Your job's harder, so doing sick ramps with it will be all the more legendary for it."
The refugee tosses over 4 keyfobs - wireless controls that just have to be near their respective vehicle - then calls up, "Clear a side! The Chosen Ones are leaving!"
From atop the wall comes back, "East side's clear for the moment! Go go go!"
Max Thorn starts up his cycle and gets into position…
Sam Spade: "…The worst part about calling us 'Chosen Ones' is it implies that Ignacia did the choosing."
Linnea: "(Sweet merciful Melo, I've really committed to the act now…)"
Esme: "No, remember? Miltank!"
Sam Spade starts up her own cycle and lets it cover her next line.
…and then Max guns it!
Esme takes off!
Sam Spade: "(Or random refugees know what the Missing Number told us, and that's even scarier.)"
The crack in the wall is busy, to say the least. But just as in the simulator, is it entirely possible to ramp up the side of the pass, arcing over the wall…
Sam Spade idles for a moment, waiting for Jack to go first. But as soon as he - there he goes! Sam follows.
…so many dead and injured bodies, human and pokemon, littering the valley. The extensive barricades seem to have been made of the bones of those who did not make the last stretch. Swarming legions of raidertanks harass crawlers and hovercars and a stream of fleeing people and pokemon stretching off for at least a kilometer.
Fortunately, this side is indeed clear for the moment; the party is free to leave.
Max Thorn goes for the ramp…!
Once the party is clear of the pass, a few raidertanks notice and try to give chase! Fortunately, the party's vehicles simply outspeed; the only challenge is ducking past those peeling off ahead and trying to intercept.
Linnea: "Heeeeeeeeeere we go! Hold on now, Lulim!" "Sol?!" "We'll be fine!"
[OOC] WC GM: Focus or Athletics checks, everyone but Linnea.
Max Thorn rolled up 2d6: 3 (1 2) (Focus…!)
Malta cries as she drifts overhead.
[OOC] Max Thorn: … in before Max collides with a tank.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 22 (5 4 6 5 2) (Focus!)
Esme rolled up 4d6+1: 12 (2 1 5 3) (Athletics!)
[OOC] Sam Spade: Yeah, Max is a much better technical driver than he is at Ramps! and Stunts!.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Nah, we ramped already.
Max gets boxed in, and almost wipes out before Sam manages to sideswipe Max's cycle in a way that catapults both of them over the tanks.
Max Thorn: "Thanks for the save!"
Sam Spade: "Can't let you go down!"
The sounds of battle fade into the distance behind the party…and soon they find themselves in mostly featureless desert, although the tracks the caravan left are quite clear and easy to follow.
Sam Spade is blushing - nah, that's just windburn.
[OOC] WC GM: Following the tracks back, or going elsewhere?
Max Thorn slows down to consult a map once he's clear of the raidertanks… "Want to check out one of the sites we were told about, Sam?"
The tracks lead in the general direction of Site #1.
Sam Spade: "Mmm."
Max Thorn: "Cos it looks like these tracks'll take us to the first site Looker gave us."
Sam Spade: "Site 1 may very well be gone now, if that's who just got to Fort Blaston."
Esme: "Closest place of interest, though."
Max Thorn: "Won't know 'til we get there, and there's a lake along the way for water resupply."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, and if it's been evacuated, that was days ago."
Max Thorn: "Site 2's further out, no hope of resupply."
Sam Spade: "So Site 1, then either Site 2 or the labs?"
Sam Spade: "Sonds like a plan."
Max Thorn: "All right, then." He pockets his 'dex, then accelerates again.
Sam Spade guns it after Max.
Fortunately, the pokedexes double as navigational aids once the tracks peter out. There are occasional wrecks along the route, a few raidertanks swarming each in what looks like some kind of ceremony.
Sam Spade: "One thing worries me! I still don't know - how well we stack up against a tank!"
Sam Spade: "Patton wasn't a true raidertank, and the one we - fought at Fort Blaston was weakened!"
Linnea: "…this place unsettles me far more than it already should."
Esme: "…Yeah, something's really off here."
Linnea: "It's like they're sucking the life out of the land…"
Max Thorn: "We knew that already, Linnea."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, but confirmation isn't bad."
Linnea: "This is far too fast…"
Max Thorn: "Those things seem to have developed ritual, though." He indicates the gatherings of raidertanks in the distance. "
Linnea: "This is what's bothering me."
Linnea: "This place is already a dead space. What happens when it becomes even more dead is something I don't really want to think about."
Linnea: "And what if it spreads?"
Sam Spade: "Unless it's stopped, it will."
Max Thorn: "We're here to do whatever we can to reverse the desertification, among other things."
Linnea: "Yeah, that needs to not happen. There's gotta be a way to stop this."
Sam Spade: "That's the plan."
Sam Spade: "Hopefully crippling the Mega Raidertank will help."
Max Thorn: "And bring to justice folks that need to be, as well."
Sam Spade: "But there's at least one Legendary involved, too."
Linnea: "Ugh…"
Linnea: "Which one?"
Max Thorn: "Think Ho-oh."
Linnea: "…what? That's not right."
Esme: "We mentioned Lugia earlier, no?"
Linnea: "Aren't they supposed to symbolize rebirth?"
Linnea: "Unless…"
Linnea: "This is the burning phase…"
Max Thorn: "What if Ho-oh got stuck, though?"
Linnea: "Hmm…"
Linnea: "No matter how I try to approach it, everything remains pretty fucked."
Sam Spade: "Stuck, or bound."
Max Thorn: "I suspect that, if we can figure out what's going on and can do something about it, Lugia would be able to bring water back to the land so that rebirth can happen."
Sam Spade: "There are no clouds here."
Sam Spade: "No clouds, no Ho-oh…"
Max Thorn: "That's…significant, but deserts generally don't have clouds to begin with. No moisture for it."
Linnea: "The report said something was artificially holding them back?"
Sam is correct: there is not a cloud in the sky, from horizon to horizon, save for tufts over the mountains to the south.
Max Thorn: "Yeah. There's some barrier around the land."
Linnea: "If we could trace it to its point of origin…"
Esme: "Probably something we'll find at the lab, given wasteland otherwise."
The party's pokedexes beep all at once. A quick check shows "SIGNAL LOST" - it seems the party is now beyond communications range of Amoda.
Linnea: "Welp."
Linnea: "I mean, I knew that was coming. But welp."
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Max Thorn: "If we're lucky, we can raise a signal at either of the sites or at the lab."
From time to time, a raidertank catches sight of the party and approaches, only to lose interest upon finding they can not hope to keep up with the party.
Even driving fast over the wide open desert, it takes a few hours to reach the lake, a grand oasis in the desert…with a team of raidertanks on one shore employing makeshift flamethrowers, apparently trying to evaporate it. The ground has by now shifted from sand to dirt.
Linnea: "……"
The raidertanks are making slow progress - at this rate, it will take weeks of effort to completely eradicate the lake - but seem patient enough.
Max Thorn: "…I'd suggest doing something about that, but I don't think we have the firepower to do it."
Esme: "They're really dedicated, huh."
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
What few water-type pokemon are around are gathered in the far side of the lake from the flamethrowing team.
Sam Spade: "They're making the place so it can't sustain anything else…"
Max Thorn: "Given that we were lucky to take no damage from that weakened one at Fort Blaston. So…stop on the opposite shore, top up, and see if we can do anything for the water-types?"
Linnea: "Yeah, definitely."
Sam Spade: "Agreed."
Esme: "Mmm. Probably our best option at the moment."
Max Thorn puts that plan into action.
Sam Spade kicks in after Max.
Between the desert noon sun and heat wafting from the opposite shore, the water is quite warm. A gathering of magikarps with three gyaradoses swim sluggishly, while a squad of squirtles try to tend to them.
Max Thorn: "Kinda wish we could transport 'em to the ocean."
As the party approaches, one gyarados stops, relaxing and straightening out. The squirtles immediately abandon that one, focusing on the rest.
Esme: "Hrm."
Esme digs through her bag.
Linnea: "In theory, we could transport via Pokeball, but then we'd have environmental shock to try and deal with."
Sam Spade bites her lip.
Esme fishes out a blue shard. "Knew I still had a few left!"
Linnea: "Oho?"
Linnea: "What do you plan t'do?"
Esme smiles.
Esme: "I have no idea."
Linnea: "…"
Linnea: "Well, uh, okay."
Max Thorn: "Be useful if they could be used to create water…"
Linnea: "But even if it could, how much would one produce?"
Linnea: "Unless…"
Esme: "Though I saw a ditto do something neat with a green one once, start making some grass-Yeah! It's not exactly my specialization, but I might at least be able to stimulate it in the right direction."
Linnea: "Oh!"
Esme: "…assuming I don't poison the water too, but that probably won't happen."
Linnea: "I just had an idea! You'd need a LOT of material, though."
Linnea: "Couldn't one, in theory, create clouds within the barrier?"
Esme: "Well, in theory. Don't have anywhere near that amount of resources right now, though…"
Max Thorn: "The lab's probably be the best place for that, being centrally located and all."
Esme tries to recreate what she saw Di accomplish back in the village. Crushing the shard easy enough, she's gotten good at that. Now just…sprinkle it in the water? Maybe add a small bit of essence for kick…
The lake grows in Esme's direction, seeping over a small rise then spilling into a small dip.
And this water is not yet warm.
Linnea: "… oh!"
[OOC] WC GM: Occult check if you want to see how well that works.
Esme rolled up 6d6+1: 20 (6 2 2 1 3 5) ((MORE WIZARD))
The extension is big enough for a gyarados. Three of the squirtles notice quickly, and heft their passed-out friend into it. The gyarados slowly blinks and shakes back to wakefulness.
As the gyarados comes to its senses, it notices the party, and looks upon the crew questioningly.
Linnea: "That's all well and good, but it's not going to-"
Sam Spade: "Hey there."
Linnea makes a disarming sort of gesture.
Max Thorn: "…Huh. Guess we'll have to find more blue shards."
Linnea: "We're cool. We're not with the tanks."
The gyarados makes a dismissive snort.
Sam Spade: "I think he knows that. They're not exactly in the business of making waters."
Sam Spade: "He? She?"
Esme: "Huh. Easier than I thought."
Linnea: "But there's a point to be had here."
[OOC] WC GM: Sam: Pokemon Education check
Linnea: "It's not going to be of much use if the tanks just drain it away while we're gone."
[OOC] WC GM: Or Perception
Esme: "Well ideally we'll solve the problem before we get out of here. Ideally."
Sam Spade rolled up 4d6: 10 (2 4 3 1) (Perception, but Sam was mostly offering to let the Gyarados complain non-violently about a wrong choice)
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 14 (1 4 1 4 4) (it's almost instinctive for Max at this point, tbh.)
Sam Spade: "Yeah, I don't know how much we can stay ahead of the tanks…"
Max Thorn turns to the gyarados. "We're here to try to undo the devastation, however we can. If there's anything we can do for you in the short term, however…?"
The gyarados tilts his head, then looks off to the northeast, where Site #1 lies. "Gyar."
Max Thorn: "We should go there?"
Sam Spade: "Alright."
Max Thorn: "Do you want to come with us, too?"
The gyarados looks to one of the squirtles. "Gyar." "Squirtle?" "Gyar gyar." "Squirt!"
The squirtle walks up to Max's hoverbike, then traces a shape in the sand - a leaf.
Said squirtle then pantomimes lifting the leaf and putting it on the hoverbike.
Squirtle: "Squirt! Squirt?"
Max Thorn: "…Transport plants…?"
The squirtle nods. "Squirtle!"
Sam Spade: "….Oh! And bring them here?"
The squirtle shakes her head, crossing her arms. "Squirtle! Squirtle!"
Linnea: "…huh…"
Linnea: "That'd certainly help matters…"
Max Thorn: "Where should we take the plants? From there" -he points to Site 1- "…to where?"
[OOC] WC GM: You're showing the map?
[OOC] Max Thorn: Might as well."
The squirtle points to Fort Blaston emphatically.
Linnea: "……….."
Max Thorn: "Way they see it, they probably don't have a choice right now."
Max Thorn: "All right. We can do that. Any specific plants, or just everything we can?"
The squirtle thinks for a moment, then draws a large shape. The party does not recognize it, though it looks like it might be a machine, or a greenhouse.
Max Thorn: "…The whole greenhouse?"
The squirtle shrugs broadly.
Max Thorn eyes the hovertank.
Max Thorn: "…so in other words everything we can. Okie-doke. Anything else?"
There is no way the party's vehicles can take a whole greenhouse.
Esme in the meantime digs out a green shard. Let's see if she can replicated that /other/ trick while she's on a roll.
[OOC] WC GM: Esme: Occult again.
Esme rolled up 6d6+1: 17 (1 1 6 3 4 1) (Sometimes Grass Maybe)
Grass grows…and the growth touches a nearby tree, almost dessicated. The tree blooms slightly, sprouting a single leppa berry.
Linnea: "…holy hell."
Linnea: "Esme, you're amazing."
Linnea: "How are you doing this?"
Esme: "Ugh. Just like grass to go blooming everywhere."
The squirtles look on and gasp. The one who had been dealing with the party scurries up and plucks it, tossing it to the revived gyarados, who scarfs it down.
…and then it starts to rain. Rain Dance, no doubt.
Esme shakes her head. "Nah, not me. Shards are doing the work, they've got all the built up energy. I'm just giving it the boost to let it flow into the area."
The squirtles excitedly chitter and point to the south. The magikarps and other gyaradoses rally under the rain.
Max Thorn: "Well, then."
Esme scratches her head. "Arguably should've studied this more when I was little, but I was more focused on the whole personal-side of things."
The squirtles chant, "Squirt! Squirt! Squirt!" , and urge the rain-producing gyarados along. Under cover of rain, they head out.
Linnea: "That was…huh."
Linnea: "That's gotta be the most hopeful thing I've seen in months."
Sam Spade: "Be careful, guys! And if you run into any tanks? WIN!"
Max Thorn: "Yeah."
One of the squirtles flashes Sam a thumbs up.
Max Thorn sets about refilling everyone's water bottles and suchlike, now that the water-types have been freed.
[OOC] WC GM: Anything else, or heading up to the site?
[OOC] Sam Spade: Head to the site.
[OOC] Esme: Cheese it!
[OOC] Max Thorn: *press A*
The ground - all dirt, now - has been abused. There is no better word for it. Strip-mine-like trenches blasted out all around, furrows dug, and in many places underground aquifers torn up and left to evaporate in the sunlight.
Linnea grits her teeth. "Such a merciless place. It's even more painful being here than it is being in Blaston."
Several raidertanks continue the work. Eventually signs of underground habitation are found, under at least ten meters of dirt; this must indeed have been where the recent evacuees came from.
It is like there was a human-sized ant hive, and the raidertanks are fumigating the ground as best they can.
Max Thorn looks around for anything resembling a greenhouse…
Here and there, non-raidertank pokemon made brave stands - all of them dead now.
[OOC] Linnea: Assuming the tanks would have gobbled up all the local shards by now.
[OOC] WC GM: Or haven't gotten to producing them yet. But yeah, no shards in evidence.
It takes several minutes to come to a greenhouse buried under rubble, bodies, and dirt, entrance blocked off from the debris. Inside can be seen several plants and an automated harvester.
Max Thorn parks his hoverbike next to the greenhouse and tries to clear the entrance as best he can without attracting attention.
The harvester bags leaves (making bags from the rest of the plant) and deposits them in a chute on the side for pickup, apparently powered autonomously. A few palm-sized bags sit in a bin on the side, awaiting pickup.
The party has been noticed by now, but the raidertanks here seem more concerned with cleanup. For the moment they ignore the party.
Esme: "Oh ho~"
Sam Spade: "Huh."
Linnea: "How in the sweet hell did they manage to not get to this? Or did they cause their own trouble with the pileup?"
A bit of looking around strongly suggests the latter.
Sam Spade: "Mmm."
Linnea: "Not a whole lot of finesse, these guys."
Sam recognizes the plants first: a version of tea shrub native to Dojji, believed to have gone extinct after the war.
Max Thorn: "I'm guessing they were too busy clearing out."
It takes several minutes for Max to clear the entrance enough for him to slip in. He, and his hands that are not in evidence among the raidertanks.
Max Thorn looks for a power switch on the harvester…
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 14 (2 1 5 3 3) (Tech Ed)
[OOC] Max Thorn: Or some other way to power it down safely.
Sam Spade finds a reasonably sneaky place to lay low and keep a lookout.
Max recognizes the harvester: the university had an identical model for student-run agricultural experiments. He finds the power switch from memory.
Max Thorn powers it down. "Now, to get the plants out…" Are they in pots, at least?
The plants are indeed in pots. The hovercar can take several; the hovercycles, one each. Enough to ensure survival of the species, if most can be returned to Amoda.
Max Thorn: "All right, help me load these up into the hovercar? If we can get these back to Amoda, I'm sure they'd appreciate it."
Linnea: "Can-do."
Max Thorn carefully hauls them over to the entrance and hefts them up for bucket-brigade-style transfer. "One per hoverbike, too."
Sam Spade joins in the brigade.
Esme aids in transport!
Elsewhere, there does not seem to be much to salvage. Here and there are wrecked furniture or machinery, left behind clothing, or areas best left as the impromptu cemeteries they have become.
Linnea lugs plants around. Finally, some greenery.
The bodies down here seem drained, somehow, as if desecrated post-mortem.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Logend soon?
[OOC] WC GM: That's the plan. Once you're done with the site.
[OOC] WC GM: Heading to the labs next, I assume?
[OOC] Max Thorn: Yeah.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Yeah.
[OOC] WC GM: Alright. Anything else at this site? Note: +1 trainer level for clearing the site.
Max Thorn: "…and that's the last one, I think…" There are probably a few pots left in the greenhouse, but at this point the crew can't take any more.
There are indeed several. Judging by the looks on the raidertanks, the pots left behind will not see nightfall.
Max Thorn scrounges around for fertilizer or other plant-care items before he leaves the greenhouse.
Max sees the remains of gardening tools, and some piles of what could be fertilizer, but nothing that will fit alongside the pots.
Max Thorn exits, then mounts up. "All right. We've done what we can-let's blow this joint."
The party is barely out of the pit when a flamethrower raidertank treads up to the greenhouse's opened entrance, a big grin on its face.
Max Thorn: "…"
Linnea: "Uh."
Several other raidertanks chant, "Tom! Tom! Tom!" Then there is the sound of flame behind the party.
Esme: "Looks like they're gonna blow it, alright."
Max Thorn just gives Esme a look.
Max Thorn accelerates out of the demolished colony.
Linnea: "Hopin' we have better luck with the fire this time around…" Then she runs.
Fortunately, the raidertanks seem to be far more interested in demolishing the colony. None challenge the party as they speed away, having done their part to sustain diversitea.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License