Meanwhile, back at the Castle Refuge…
Mason meets Dr. Po the head librarian, and spends many long hours looking for anything he can find on history, especially anything on the times before the apocalypse. The next morning, he’s looking to head into town, and is given the rundown of the situation regarding the Tomorrow Legion and its relationship with the villages that have grown up around Castle Refuge. Once he gets down into the town, any similarities to Chi-Town and the Burbs are shattered. Significant portions of the population are DBs or other non-humans, but everyone is friendly, and many of them say “Good Morning” to him as he passes. On his way back, he picks up some pastries for the rest of the crew.
Argyle and Wyoming return to Castle Refuge. Their arrival in the motor pool causes quite a stir. Argyle requisitions as much red paint as he can get. He meets with Lt Stevens to give a report on what happened with the orcs. Stevens is able to identify the leader of the enemy group as a FoM Combat Mage. Argyle advises that the Go Fasta Krew is explicitly interested in being allies with the Tomorrow Legion.
Wyoming heads directly to sick bay for help dealing with her hangover. She’s not entirely coherent at first, but once she’s treated for the alcohol poisoning, she’s able to relate the whole story to the medical staff. At one point, the doctor gets the attention of Dr. Grok, an orc wearing a lab coat and glasses, who speaks perfect American, though his Gobbley is somewhat lacking. Mason wanders in while Wyoming’s in the middle of being treated. her mood immediately turns a bit somber, as she’s still not ready to be entirely friendly with him yet. She does however tell him about the orcs. They have a philosophical discussion about belonging somewhere, standing by your tribe, and the nature of right and wrong.
The crew eats dinner together, and afterward they report to the Lt Stevens for a briefing. He informs them that in the morning the Legion will be mobilizing to head back out to the nexus to lock the site down, and retrieve whatever salvage had to be left behind before, and he wants them along. Argyle and Wyoming both get a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, Argyle, Wyoming, and Mason report to the motor pool. The rest of the team has assembled. The last member of the team is a large overweight man, wearing the robes of a ley line walker who introduces himself as Duncan. He’s accompanied by a pet lizard the size of a large dog, that he introduces as Useless. On the way, he asks them about what happened during their first encounter (pressing them for their personal accounts, beyond what was visible in Mason’s video feed), and explains a little about how the rifts work. It takes about 3 hours to get out to the site of the nexus.
The operation is fairly uneventful. The techs oversee the stripping of the rest of the vehicles for parts and whatever other salvage they can find. Argyle accompanies Duncan up to the top of the ziggurat, and keeps watch while Duncan runs some magical tests on the nexus and the accompanying ley lines. After a few hours, Sanchez informs when that they’re done. Everything is packed up and the team heads back to the castle, arriving some time after dinner. The debriefing is quick, and consists mostly of Duncan’s report.
The crew has another briefing in the morning. There are quite a few other specialists present as well. A large friendly man with a heavy accent introduces himself as Vlad the Hammer. He points out Lucy, a woman sitting in the back with obvious electrodes sticking out of her head, as well as a man who the crew recognizes as a psi-stalker named Snarl. Another combat borg walks in, and introduces himself as Specialist Winters.
Lt Stevens arrives, accompanied by a heavily scarred man who delivers the briefing, who introduces himself as McCrosskey. He gives them information on the Xiticix, an insectoid race that is encroaching on Tomorrow Legion territory. He outlines the plan to send out two teams: Beta Squad will create a gigantic distraction to draw out as many of the Xiticix from the hive as possible. Alpha Squad (consisting of Argyle, Wyoming, and Mason) will infiltrate the hive, locate the queen, deliver “the package”, and escape.
McCrosskey introduces Dr. Po, who runs down the Xiticix’s physical capabilities, and the specialized equipment that the teams will be given for the mission.