Back at Castle Refuge, the crew’s PDAs all ping now that they’re back on the network:
- Argyle has a message from Smitty.
- Mason has a message from Doctor Faraday.
- Wyoming has a message from Dr. Po.
- Puck doesn’t get any messages.
Argyle and Mason go to see Smitty at the quartermaster’s office. Smitty tells Argyle they have a salvaged set of Deadboy armor, and they’re working on making some modifications for him.
Wyoming goes straight to the med lab, and asks for someone to page Dr. Po. She goes to get a look at the larva. It’s still squirming, but it’s not looking too well. Wyoming gets to work feeding it some of the jelly she collected from the hybrid hive. The larva responds very well to it. Dr. Po arrives, and they discuss its chances. He takes some samples of the jelly to analyze and see if there’s a way to synthesize it.
Mason goes to see Dr. Faraday. He finds the doctor working on another borg which is in a very sorry state. Dr. Faraday is happy to see Mason, but says he’s overdue for maintenance. Once Mason’s voice unit is fixed, they converse about his mission. Eventually, the doctor gets to a point where he has to shut Mason down temporarily to get at some of his internal systems.
Puck gets cleaned up, and heads over to the quartermaster and asks Smitty if he’s got any technowizard weaponry. Smitty can’t help him, but points him in Stevens’ direction.
Argyle, Wyoming, and Puck all get a ping from Stevens. When they all get to the office, Sanchez is already there. Stevens begins playing Mason’s video feed. He praises them for their efforts, but also chastises them for pushing themselves too hard. He orders them on mandatory leave for at least a couple of days. They’re free to wander, but he wants them to stay near the castle in case anything comes up.
Argyle gives his report, reminding Stevens that he was told to A. offer aid and assistance to any who ask for it, and B. not start any wars. He hands over the datachip he got from the Coalition troops. Stevens asks him what he thinks of Dolan, and Argyle says he thinks Dolan is thoroughly dedicated to whatever mission he’s handed (right now, finding Dr. Bradford), and that he can be trusted to stick to the letter of the law when it comes to his orders, but no further. Stevens says he’s glad the crew didn’t try to recruit him.
Stevens asks Argyle about Mason, and Argyle says he seems to be adjusting well, and is very good at his job.
Puck asks if there are any other technowizards in the Legion, as he’s looking to get some pointers. Stevens says there are a couple, and he’ll see what he can do.
The crew gets paid.
Wyoming stays behind to speak to Stevens privately (even asking Loyal to wait outside). She requests an advance on her salary, and asks if he knows where she can buy a horse. When he expresses surprise, she says that it’s for Loyal. She explains that when she was young, if there was someone that had something on their mind that needed working out, they’d be given a horse to take care of, and the menial tasks associated with that were good for putting them in a fairly reflective mood. He says he’ll put the word out, see if they can find something.
The conversation turns to the surrounding towns. Wyoming advocates stepping up the Legion’s presence out in the towns. The possibility of setting up a formal postal system is discussed, but he tells her to put aside any ideas of becoming a mailman; her talents and her Glitterboy armor are too valuable.
On her way out, he hands her an extra credchip, and says it’s for Loyal. if she’s going to be hanging around, she might as well get paid as well.
Mason wakes up and looks around. He realizes that the color of his optics is off, he’s seeing everything in very nearly black and white. It’s also dead silent. He also notices that he’s not in the med bay. The room he’s in looks vaguely like a hospital room, but it’s unfamiliar. There are no windows anywhere. Mason calls out for the doctor, and there’s no echo to his voice.
He gets up and exits the room, and finds himself in a corridor. He pulls out his PDA, and the screen is dead. He tries to raise anyone on his radio, but there’s no signal. He’s not sure if he’s dreaming. He heads down the corridor, and gets to a staircase at the end. He’s aware of the faint sound of wind blowing.
Argyle wakes up, and experiences something very similar to Mason. He heads out of the room he’s found himself in, and comes across a corridor. He sees doors for elevators, but nothing lights up when he presses the buttons. He looks for a staircase, and can hear the sound of wind, but can’t feel it.
Wyoming wakes up in a similar place to the others. She examines the room, and all of a sudden, she hears inhuman screaming in the distance.
Puck wakes up, floating in liquid, covered in wires. He’s got a respirator mask on, and can feel a breathing tube down his throat. He realizes this is his very first memory. Through the glass of the tank he’s floating in, he can see the face of his “father”, Herr Reisen. He’s got a large apparatus implanted on his back, from which protrude several mechanical arms with various implements.
Puck uses his telekinesis on the glass of the tank and it shatters, and the liquid pours out. Puck is convinced that this is an illusion, and attempts to pierce through it. Reisen asks Puck where he is. Puck punches Reisen in the face, but it has no effect.
Mason can hear the screaming now. When he attempts to move toward it, the direction it’s coming from seems to change.
Argyle can also hear it now. When he comes to the same realization as Mason, he stands still, and braces himself, promising to make Margoth proud of him when whatever it is finally jumps out at him.
Puck can hear the screams. Reisen reacts with amused surprise, and reaches for Puck…
Mason turns a corner, and can see several shadowy figures. They look like floating torsos made of shadow with long arms, and the light in the area around them seems to dim. They screech at Mason and lunge.
Wyoming begins to pray.
Argyle can see two of the creatures advancing on him, but there’s another one trying to sneak up behind him. He whirls around and swings at it, but misses by a mile.
Three creatures swarm over Mason, clawing at him. Mason narrowly avoids getting torn to shreds.
The creatures swarm over Argyle, but he manages to dodge out of the way.
The creatures swarm over Wyoming, clawing at her, but she manages to grab a hold of one of them and deflect the blow.
Reisen grabs Puck and draws him close, demanding to know where he is. Puck tells Reisen to get out of his head, and lashes out at him telekinetically, and slams him against the far wall.
Wyoming reaches out and grabs one of the creatures in a bear hug, aiming to use it as a shield against the others.
Puck reaches out with telekinesis and locks on to one of the mechanical arms protruding from Reisen’s back. He pulls hard, but is not able to damage it.
Mason throws himself at the creatures, and shreds one of them.
Argyle sprints across the hall into one of the rooms to look for anything he can use as a weapon. He loses two of the creatures in the process, but the last one is still on him.
Wyoming’s gambit is successful, as the two attacking creatures lunge at her and tear into the third, shredding it completely.
Reisen uses his own arcane abilities to retaliate against Puck, and a wave of force slams into him. Puck manages to avoid the worst of it. He notices that when Reisen used his ability, he dimmed for just a moment, and realizes that the same thing happened when he used his own power.
The two remaining creatures attack Mason again, latching on to him. He has a flash of memory from when he was a child, when he was running and fell down, skinning his knee. His father picked him up and took him to get the wound cleaned up. Inspired by the memory of his father, he lashes out and tears another creature to shreds.
Argyle, now in one of the rooms, grabs the first thing he can find: a chair. He hucks it at the creature, and it flies through it, shredding it. When the chair clatters against the wall, the sound is muted.
At this point Reisen is absolutely livid with Puck. He keeps demanding to know where Puck is hiding.
Wyoming goes over everything she’s learned about the creatures in the last few moments. She is able to successfully pull off the same trick again, as she grabs one and maneuvers it into place to intercept another attack. Faced with only one remaining creature, anger replaces fear and she rushes at it and tears it apart with her bare hands.
[Ben has “Shakin’ in their Boots”, and absolutely plans to use it.]