Session 55 – No Take-Backsies on Blood Writing

The party lost their scientists, which had to be returned to Team Gopher.

For completing the job, each member of the party (including Umquat) receives 80,000 cc/xp each.

They can also save a personal copy of the Landing Gear software if they wish.

Party recovered the X ray camera equipment they found upon first entering this dungeon.

NPC Interactions
Albert the Great didn’t realize how famous he was until Mailer Daemon said she’d heard of him. That was pretty neat. (Loyalty unchanged)
Sheniqua kinda liked the bit where Ronnina sent her on ahead to pretend to be her. Sheniqua could be an Internet agent? What does she really need Ronnina for anyway? (Loyalty unchanged.)
Robot Monster appreciated all the nice things Varouj said about him. (Loyalty improved to 9. )

Lugud’s body was successfully returned home.

The Knocked Out Guard – Was awakened to be interrogated, then knocked out again. The party took him with them back to Trumpquatia.

Mailer Daemon – Spokesperson for Team Gopher. A techno-wizard of impressive skill, though not quite so much for her to get onto the council. Is interested to see where this alliance with the players might lead.
QBASIC – Team Gopher’s frontline fighter. Stood silent guard during the meeting.
TCP/IP – Team Gopher’s sniper. Had a private, enjoyable conversation with Varouj.
PGP Key – Team Gopher’s specialist. Stood silent guard during the meeting.

The 17 Scientists: Left tied up, and returned to Team Gopher’s custody
“S” Man: Returned to Team Gopher’s custody

Asperlode the Gazeteerian: Still not encountered by the party, but apparently makes and sells people.

Varouj’s Internet Name is initRD
Ronnina’s Internet Name is Xetabyte

Haven Turn
Because this adventure lasted 7 sessions, the players will get 4 Haven Turns (1 for every 2 sessions, rounded up)

Haven Die 1: 1 (Complication + Petitioner)
—A massive fire breaks out in Technotopia due to some faulty wiring in a building. It quickly spreads, killing hundreds before it can be put out.
—A pale woman arrives in Trumpquatia one day, begging sanctuary, and claiming that she escaped from the Friends of Needletooth Jack
Haven Die 2: 2 (Complication)
—A murderer is on the loose in Lords Beneath the Black territory. Whoever they are kills incandescently, and impales each of his victims with an iron snake after they’re dead.
Haven Die 3: 2 (Complication)
—Nrrk comes to the party and lets them know he’s got an offer to work for somebody else. It’s a lot more money, so he’s going to take the job. But, he wanted to give the party an opportunity to match the competing offer. It’ll take 12,500cc.
Haven Die 4: 4 (Safe)

Don Harper 1: Continues training up to “Skilled” with Machine Guns (Month 2 of 3)
Don Harper 2: Continues training up to “Skilled” with Machine Guns (Month 3 of 3)(SUCCESS! Don Harper is Skilled with Machine Guns, and may use the “Vicious” expertise feat whenever wielding one)
Don Harper 3: Begins training up to “Expert” with Machine Guns (Month 1 of 5)
Don Harper 4: Continues training up to “Expert” with Machine Guns (Month 2 of 5)

Varouj 1: Begins training the “Toughness” talent. (Month 1 of 3)
Varouj 2: Continues training the “Toughness” talent. (Month 2 of 3)
Varouj 3: Completes training the “Toughness” talent. (Month 3 of 3)(SUCCESS! You now have +3 hit points per level)
Varouj 4: Spends 1 month training his army, raising all 12 soldiers up to level 1.

Ronnina 1: Begins training the “Toughness” talent. (Month 1 of 3)
Ronnina 2: Continues training the “Toughness” talent. (Month 2 of 3)
Ronnina 3: Completes training the “Toughness” talent. (Month 3 of 3)(SUCCESS! You now have +3 hit points per level)
Ronnina 4: Researches the spells “Mage Portal” and “Mage Form”

Umquat 1: ???
Umquat 2: ???
Umquat 3: ???
Umquat 4: ???

Highlights Recap
With Umquat and the Gobbos being struck with a bout of fade, the party was trepidatious about continuing onward for their ultimate encounter with Team Gopher, so decided to spend some time preparing. Whilst Ronnina raised a group of zombies Don Harper and Albert investigated the creepily similar corpses. They noted that, while not identical, every one was unnaturally alike in appearance. All had more or less blonde hair, all had eyes in shades of grey, jawlines only deviated slightly from a median square template. It was unnatural.

The bodies didn’t appear unusual at all when viewed through infrared, so Don cut one open, and discovered a number of tumors on his belly and intestines. Enough that the man wouldn’t have lived more than 10 years. Don went to cut open several more, and noticed similar tumors in all of them.

Hoping to find some answers, Don and Albert went back towards the entrance, where they had stored the unconscious guard who still didn’t realize that they were intruders.

As it so happened, this was just about the time the tranquilizer shot was wearing off. Don asked if the man could give him any information on Gopher security systems, and the man groggily directed him to inquire about any security matters at the security office. As he started to come to, he became confused about why he was tied up in a vent, so Don Harper slapped him with a gun and made his last use of the Mouthspray of Deception, claiming that the citadel had been compromised by the Internet, the security systems had been taken over, Team Gopher was in danger, and he needed information NOW.

Frightened by this bleak situation, the man revealed that “everyone downstairs must be dead,” and that the giant assault robot probably killed them. When Don asked for any specifics the man could give, he demurred, saying he wasn’t stationed down there. The only thing that really came to mind was that the entrance to the floor below placed anyone entering in a wide open room, surrounded by raised platforms. It had been intended as a good location to ambush any intruders.

Don thanked him for the info, then had Albert knock him out with a point-blank shot from the Tranq gun.

Don rejoined the rest of the party, now feeling a little more prepared, and determined to try using the rover to scope out the upcoming areas. He managed to get it down the stairs, and saw the large open space the guard had talked about, and noticed a large array of machinery hanging above it. It looked to be audio visual equipment, but the party didn’t want to make any assumptions.

Unfortunately, any further exploration with the rover was halted by the presence of stairs. While trying to make his way up them, the rover flipped over on its back, and couldn’t explore any further.

Lacking for any further possible preparations to make, the party moved forward into the unknown. Don Harper went first, stealthily moving to retrieve his drone, and scout out the areas above the entry hall. (where he discovered one room of guards getting ready to attack, and several rooms which seemed to be sleeping quarters for scientists and guests).

Meanwhile, Varouj descended the stairs, and the AV equipment on the ceiling came to life. The screens showed the image of a woman, with half of her head bald, and replaced with cybernetics. She introduced herself as Mailer Daemon, spokesman for Team Gopher. She welcomed The 404 into her citadel, and assured them that they were about to die.

Varouj then told her that they didn’t necessarily want to try and kill Team Gopher. That the party might be open to an alliance of some sort; which seemed to catch Mailer Daemon off guard.

The two bandied back and forth for a bit–What was Varouj proposing? That they fake the deaths of the 404, claim the job is done to their Internet masters, while Team Gopher quietly slipped away and established themselves elsewhere.

What would the 404 get out of it? The 404 were tired of feeling trapped under the thumb of The Internet. Having an ally “on the outside” would give them some useful options in the future.

What would Team Gopher get out of it? Well, even if they could kill The 404, it would cost them resources. They’d still need to evacuate, since the Internet still knew where they were. And even then, the Internet would still know they were alive, and be out looking for them, all while they were in a weaker position for their lost resources, and lost citadel.

Mailer Daemon agreed to meet personally with Varouj, and a number of guards brought out tables and chairs. Mailer appeared flanked byu two robotic squirrels, and two other women. TCP/IP, whom the party had fought with earlier, took up a position above the meeting, her rifle held at her side.

Mailer and Varouj hashed out the details of their arrangement: the party would use their GIMP++ phone app to create some convincing fake photographs of Team Gopher’s dead bodies. Meanwhile, Team Gopher themselves would move on to a new location, which they would not reveal to the party, but said they would be in touch via phone.

It was agreed that the party could keep the Vulcan Cannon they’d acquired, but when it was proposed that Team Gopher should turn over all their valuable equipment “since it’ll be suspicious if we don’t take it,” Mailer Daemon made it clear that if that was necessary, it’d be better for Team Gopher to just kill the 404 and make their own escape plans.

To create a convincing battle scene, Team Gopher told all their mooks to take up various positions, and stand by to be killed by The 404. Strangely, the mooks all complied without protest: lining up in various positions, and waiting patiently for the 404 to come through and end their lives.

While Don Harper worked on photoshopping some good death photos, and most of Team Gopher went about preparing their servers for “capture,” Varouj took some time to trade professional pleasantries with TCP/IP, and they bonded a bit over the hard life of being a fighting person. They chatted a bit about the guards, and TCP/IP mentioned that they would just purchase some more from Asperlode the Gazeteerian.

As it was so late, and this adventure had run so long, the referee handwaved the travel back home to Trumpquatia. They received their pay, and took a long rest to recuperate from their struggle against the Gophers.

Thus ended September, 2517

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