July 2nd 2000, Sunday
Angelique Ashur, Alex Hamilton, Gelar Ohanzee, Hachiko Koga, & Sergei Romanova (Part I)
Skokie Highway Mile-marker 17
The Old Man tries getting the Ford F-350 working but somehow manages to catch the engine block on fire. Putting it out quickly he along with Hachiko get the vehicle working again by ‘popping’ the clutch. Angelique meanwhile begins stitching the injured young woman’s head up recruiting Marie and the other little girl to ‘help’ her (read here: distracting them so they are not afraid). The young woman wakes up briefly mumbling something about her pet poodle before falling into a semi-conscious stooper. Alex’s police radio suddenly flairs to life and a whispered female voice can be heard begging for help. Alex realizing it is the voice of his on-again off-again girlfriend, Stormy-Lynn “Sam” Samson, answer’s back. She tries to tell him where she is but the radio cuts off suddenly. Angelique gets a idea and decides to cast a locator spell using the wedding ring that Sam gave back to Alex when they broke up to track her. Angelique tells Alex she can get them to Sam but they’ll need to avoid the main roads. Hachiko, Gelar, and Alex hear a faint chittering and something sharp scraping on the concrete and decide it might be best for the little group to leave. Angel then tells the remainder of their little party to backtrack to the gas station near the Army/Navy store and get supplies, then hit the Clinic a few blocks over and get some antibiotics for Poodle Girl. The teams split up with Angelique and Alex on horseback rushing to wear the bespelled ring leads them while Hachiko and the rest head back to get supplies.
Gelar Ohanzee, Hachiko Koga, & Sergei Romanova (Part I)
1015 10th Street, North Chicago, Illinois, USA
Driving back to the Number One Stop Mini Mart Gelar and Hachiko begin to siphon gas and grab supplies. Gelar makes a discovery – along the far wall of the mart, a horse trailer is hitched to a (now) non-functioning car. Breaking into the mart Gelar gets some tools and gets the Old Man to back up their truck, hitching the horse trailer. All the while Hachiko is inside trying to calm the animal within who had been wounded by something (which had also tried to claw its way into the trailer though it had been unsuccessful). The horse (obviously a racing horse) is gentled by Hachiko who then exits the trailer. Marie and Gelar (along with Marie’s ever-present ever-invisible protector, Sergei) head a few storefronts down to the Army/Navy store that Gelar had broken into earlier that night and fill up two shopping carts worth of gear and weaponry. Surprisingly, Marie seems to know how to use a weapon as she fieldstrips a Beretta and then puts it back together in short order. Meanwhile Hachiko is siphoning the gas from all the nonfunctioning vehicles and even manages to get a gas pump working after using a ofuda charm to ‘pick’ the lock to the pump’s workings. Gelar and Marie begin packing their ill-gotten gains into the Old Man’s truck when a low unearthly shriek can be heard echoing in the streets. From the end of the block a pack of wamps1 can be seen heading towards the Number One Stop. Gelar, realizing they’re going to get swamped if they don’t act now draws his bow and begins rapidly firing arrows, while Marie gets her own firearm out and aiming hits one of the wamps dead in the eye dropping it with a single (lucky) shot. When the wamps finally get close enough Sergei and Hachiko get to work cutting the remaining critters into ribbons. After the wamps are dispatched the group piles back into the truck and then heads to a nearby clinic which they break into (after several tries) and retrieve medical supplies and equipment. They then abandon the meet-up point in favor of a shutdown rest-stop several miles up the road
Angelique Ashur & Alex Hamilton (Part I)
In a field off of Buckley Road, North Chicago, Illinois, USA
Cutting through backyards of houses where the occupants are huddled inside scared, through fields, and seemingly abounded roads Angelique and Alex, following the magic that she has imbued in the ring, finally reaching a fallow field near Buckley Road. They can plainly see the ambulance in the middle of the road…but it is surrounded by a huge pack of wamps (18 that they can count). Deciding to try to sneak Sam out, Angel distracts the wamps while Alex gets close enough to get atop the ambulance and pull Sam out. She hands her crash kit up first and seems more than a little surprised that Alex came for her. The three then leave the field at Buckley and head back to the gas station though they find it abandoned. Angelique using her retrocogntive abilities susses out where they headed (the rest-stop) and heads that way with Sam and Alex.
Angelique Ashur & Alex Hamilton (Part II)
Somewhere on Skokie Highway, North Chicago, Illinois, USA
While heading to meet up with the others Angelique is drawn to the screams of a child coming from within a car. Despite being arachnophobic and probably driven by maternal instinct, she ignores the giant spider3 spinning some sort of corrosive web over the car. Using the revolver the Old Man gave her she puts three rounds in the spider’s head ’cause it to fall backward and hoping off her mount reaches into the car to get to the screaming child. The young boy (a toddler) screeches even louder until she unbuckles him from his carseat and clutching the child to her body remounts her horse, rejoining Alex and Sam who are watching to make sure nothing sneak up on her during the rescue. The young boy calms down and Angel notices several acid-burns covering his arms and upper chest. Taking her time she uses her biokinetic abilities to heal him, even healing the tissue that would have become scarred. The four of them then make their way to the rest-stop joining the others.
Angelique Ashur, Alex Hamilton, Gelar Ohanzee, Hachiko Koga, & Sergei Romanova (Part II)
Skokie Highway Mile-marker 30
Meeting back up with the others the rag-tag band gets a moment to breathe as they assess the situation trying to formulate exactly why neither stars, nor moon, nor sun can be seen. And more importantly why the electricity doesn’t seem to work. Alex points out that battery operated gear with fresh batteries work just fine if new batteries are used. Gelar goes inside the rest-stop and sits down to meditate, while Angelique and Sergei go behind the building to look at the unkempt woodlands area. Both of them sensing something though not what. Alex lets the police horse he’s been riding graze and Angel does the same, keeping the young boy she rescued near her. The Old Man stays in his truck keeping a eye on Poodle Girl and ready at the wheel should they need to take off quickly. Hachiko meanwhile checks his weaponry including going through a few kata’s with his diasho.
Behind the building Sergei and Angelique are still ‘looking’ for whatever is throwing of their ‘spidey sense’ – moments later Gelar comes out as well pulled out of his meditative reverie sensing something as well. Seconds later something the bulk of a medium-size dog2 pops up out of the ground and attacks Sergei latching on to his leg and trying to bite through the reinforced material. Hachiko and Alex are attacked as well and Alex ends up being badly bit on the leg. Sergei dislodges the creature from his leg and after attacking (and missing) it rolls up into a ball and bounces away from him, instead attacking Hachiko several yards away. Hachiko despite being distracted sets himself for the impact of the other creature and impales it with his weapon. The creature, hurt leaps away again, this time into the brush behind the rest-stop. After Sergei kills one of the creatures a huge roar is heard and the glass on the rest-stop shakes then shatters as a larger version of the creatures they had been fighting appears. The creature from that had hidden in the brush makes its way towards the Old Man and the two kids whom he lead away from the battle. Both Marie and the little boy begins screaming and Sergei, using his shinobi training easily climbs atop the building and towards the scared children. Landing on the creature Sergei kills it before it can reach them.
The creature, landing a lucky blow grabs Hachiko completely in its jaws and curls up with him inside so that it can gnaw on and eventually swallow him. Its at this time that the toddler begins screaming and Angelique unable to cope with a screaming child dangerously shortcuts herself through the Dreamlands4 to where he is to try and comfort him. The Old Man goes to help the others and Gelar jumps through the gate that Angelique left behind transporting himself across the board near instantly. The toddler calms down for a moment then screams and behind him Poodle Girl can be seen EXPLODING into bits in the truck. The Old Man, having seen what happened looks alarmed and shocked at Angelique before turning around to help the others fight off the beast. Angelique who nearly burnt herself out opening the gate to the little boy suddenly feels much better, even vitalized. Using the excess energy she launches a spell at the huge monster, amplifying the amount of damage it takes from attacks. Alex mounting his horse drags Sam out of the fighting and then something strange happens…everyone near the creature begins to start floating as if gravity were completely suspending, rocks, candy machines, and other unsecured objects begin to float up.
Meanwhile the others are desperately trying to take the creature down before they attract something even more dangerous when Gelar tries something risky and targets the creatures spinal area (which is under massive amounts of plated armor) causing it to ‘uncurl’ from its ball form and then he shoots at its jaw forcing it to release Hachiko. Angelique manages to calm the (now obvious) powerful teke down and everything falls back to the ground. As the large creature tries to get its bearings, Gelar peppers it with arrows and unsteady of its feet Hachiko attacks it cutting of its head in several rage-fueled chops, flicking the blood from his katana and spitting on the monster he promptly falls down unable to stand due to his injuries. Angelique, using her biokinetic abilities causes the little boy to fall asleep so she can help the wounded. Angelique being both a surgeon and medical doctor begins work on Sam who is the most gravely injured. Alex acts as a nurse, helping with his limited knowledge though Angelique uses her TK to simply float the instruments in the air nearby grabbing them as needed. After stabilizing Sam she works on Hachiko who is barely conscious but less gravely injured. After Hachiko is alert he uses his remaining healing ofuda on Sergei and Alex who are less hurt then the others. Angelique, again using her biokinetic abilities heals the rest of the damage to Sam who wakes up and Hachiko. The radio in the truck (which is now mysteriously clean of the ‘asploded Poodle Girl) comes on and a radio jockey can be heard (Jonathan) pleading for Angelique to come and save him from the clowns…
July 2nd 2000, Sunday
Skokie Highway Mile-marker 30
1This creature is a wamp, a carrion eater from the Dreamlands that do not mind if its prey is not dead yet, it often stores corpses for months till they are of the ‘right’ taste. They travel in packs and posses an intelligence similar to that of a chimpanzee or a ‘movie’ animal. They are savage and will fight to the death being exceedingly territorial.
2 This creature is a tatou, a vicious apex predator from the Desoul. Resembling a horrid combination of snapping turtle, salamander and armadillo the tatou has heavily armored plate-like skin that is resistant to small arms fire. They have developed the unique ability to curl up into a ball and using special-purpose muscles ‘bounce’. They can also remain curled up in a ball thus covering up their more exposed portions making them immune to all but the most powerful of handguns and small-arms fire. Tatou are incredibly territorial and will go out of its way to protect what it considers its. While they have no teeth they do have incredibly sharp beak-like mouths that can crush limbs and break bones. While they can use their special bounding ability to move they prefer tunneling under the earth and surprising their prey from below. Tatou can reach upwards to 30 feet long in some of the largest adult specimens.
3 This creature is a extremely large specimen of the much smaller (but still vicious) Meldein Spider from the Desoul. Meldein spiders typically reach the size of a small dog (about the size of a terrier) and are really on dangerous when they’re swarming during mating season. They possessive a terribly corrosive bite and despite the fact that they look like spiders they have both teeth and a digestive system optimized for a carnivorous diet. They also have the capability to spin corrosive webbing which if given enough time can eat through metal or even stone! The one encountered by Angelique was excessively large for one of its kind and is typically called a broodmother. This sort of mutation is encountered in 1 out of 1,000 meldein spiders and rarely outside of the swamps themselves.
4Teleportation is impossible in this setting but rips in time/space can be created by connecting the real world with that of the Dreamlands. It’s dangerous, fatiguing, and without proper preparation suicidal because the portal draws on the essence of the mage to create a stable wormhole. What Angelique did here was pull of a near-impossible stunt in the best of conditions in the absolute worst conditions possible. It should also be noted that all forms of teleportation are impossible in this setting meaning that the Teleportation psionic power is not allowed, as are other forms involving the Warp advantage except for those with the Tunnel enhancement.