The Cost of Discovery, part 2
Following the celebrations in our honor the previous night, the next day, Captain Kyle parked his boat along a pier/outcropping at the Ballard Locks, and the party climbed out to cycle them. The entire city had an eerie quiet: nearly everyone had not been to Seattle since the Crash, and the once-bustling city was still as the dead, apart from the occasional moans and creaks of settling infrastructure.
As Prime and Wellington operated the lock controls, Spartacus and Salt kept lookout. A few Cs came along here and there, but were quickly dispatched. We also spotted a possible hideout in some apartments on the south (Magnolia) side, and detected a signal from a waypoint set up by a group of Jehovah's Witnesses (side?): the waypoint operated by a sort of "take a penny/leave a penny" scheme. That is, in a structure watched over by cameras (to deter cheating), one could exchange bounty or their own equipment for equipment that had previously been stashed at the waypoint.
The lock cycle took some time, but after a few hours, we got the south door of the Lake Union-side lock open, allowing the flotilla to proceed inside. Unfortunately, one of the Cs triggered a landmine while we were working the locks. The weather remained mostly quiet by the time everyone got into Lake Union, but it's possible many more were drawn by the commotion since then.
As the flotilla raided the shoreline along Lake Union, Captain Kyle dropped us off by the UW medical complex. Spartacus activated her Ubiq specs, under the ploy that we were recording our raid into dangerous territory (the actual motive, of course, was to lend strength to Dr. Allenson's fraud/forgery). We decided to infiltrate into the center using the steam/maintenance tunnels. As we entered the complex proper, we noted that fortifications had been established: someone was (presently, or in the past) using part of this building as an outpost. We came along signs of a firefight (possibly taking place some weeks ago?) in one of the hallways, but continued to progress onward. We decided to approach the office complex with the MacGuffin computers from the rooftop. However, when we reached the roof, tripped a booby-trapped door, triggering a grenade which wounded leg. We spent a few moments patching up, during which Salt and Wellington noted some sort of movement: something indistinct. but quite fast, somewhere in the floors beneath us.
We hurried across the roof, and finally the office we wanted was beneath us. We feigned taking a breather (for the benefit of Spart's recording), but in reality, of course, Prime was infiltrating to plant the hard drive we were to discover. He came across the body of a dead, emaciated, mangled, and rotting chimp: apparently there had been a primate research lab within the building. Going past the dead chimp, he entered the office space, found a suitable computer, and plugged in the MacGuffin hard drive. (He failed his Mechanics check, but we shall see if that caused anything bad to happen).
Prime returned to the party, at which point we made a show of entering the building, and looting the offices. Wellington collected a bunch of old drives from the computers (including the MacGuffin), while the rest of the party searched for other valuable stuff.
As we were about to make out exit, we encountered something truly horrifying, even by Loss standards: as rolling, rat king-like tangle of Cs, tendrils of pure Blight emerging from their orifices, tangling into each other; began to charge at us. Prime and Spart opened up on it, mag dumping on it, as well as throwing the last of their grenades. Salt took off toward a window, preparing to climb out. Wellington began to run after Salt, but then stopped and emptied the rest of his mag into the monster.
Coming at inhuman speeds, the aberrant finally came apart/deanimated feet from Spart and Prime: we had put enough bullets and shrapnel into it to halt it.
In the tangle of bodies, we noted some newer-style medical uniforms: apparently some Crusaders had set up camp in the outpost we had passed around earlier.
We took some tissue samples of the aberant, and began to make our way out, to the docks, to be picked up by Captain Kyle. As we waited for his boat, a massive stampede of Cs began to come our way. Salt broke, and something snapped in Spart. Salt ended up jumping into Kyle's boat, but landed hard, and bruised up his legs. The rest of us were (at least externally) somewhat more collected, and were able to safely board the boat before the stampede got near.
We high-tailed it into the waters of Lake Union.
- Spart "crumbled" in Trauma track. Chose regret, "Hallucination"
- Salt "cracked" in Trauma track. Chose regret, "Flee"
- Prime failed his Mechanics check to install the drive. My suggestion is that it got slightly corrupted, but is easily fixable with a software utility: make Wellington burn 2 charges from Laptop (one to read disk, two to run the repair utility).
- Wellington would also like to spend another Laptop charge to get a copy of Spart's Ubiq video (so the MacGuffin evidence is distributed)
- we are all hurting for resources, but there is the JW outpost by the Locks
- are the locks now covered in Cs, due to that landmine going off?
- We possibly might wait in Lake Union for an entire day (non-Leg, tho!) for the tides to cycle, while the Flotilla continues to loot
- 2 more narrative Legs, plus the mini-adventure of cycling the locks, remain!
- (we can--almost certainly should!--ship one of the legs with a vignette!)