[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XI - Dissension in the Ranks

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 20:57:04 BST 2007

> > [GM]
> > As Ted's hand reaches within a fraction of the inch of the wall, he feels
> > it pushed back with subtle but clearly powerful force.  For a moment
> > nothing happens, and then a telepathic voice pops into everyone's head.
> >
> > "We are the Third Gate.  Some of you are recognized from the Master
> > Sequence.  Others are unknown to us.  The entity known as Phaeton
> > is recognized at 99.5 percent, but is incapacitated.  The one named
> > Osiris is recognized at 92.3 percent, but appears aged and infirm.
> > We also detect pursuers, identified with 96.9 percent surety as Coalition
> > Borgs, clearly in pursuit.  We also recognize the ones known as Ted
> > Smythe and Amanda Connors, each at 95.9 percent, though the
> > intradimensional data feed is currently malfunctioning, and the entity
> > named Amanda Connors appears somewhat distressed.  We shall
> > accept confirmation from those two, plus identification of the other
> > entities.  Please respond immediately.  We detect more Coalition
> > forces approaching at .15 kilometers, and we estimate that you have
> > no more than 49.3 seconds until the Borgs and their reinforcments
> > break through.  We estimate, based upon our entity scans, that in
> > the conflict to come, the likelihood of survival of any member of your
> > party to be 7.5 percent.  Wait... Wait...  We now estimate you have
> > 41.7 seconds until the Borgs break through.  41... 40... 39..."
> > [/GM]

> [Ted]
> Ted turns to the others. "Okay, we have found the gate keeper. Which
> one of us is the key master?"
> [/Ted]

> [Lady Frost]
> "Not me.  Rod was the only one of us that could have passed for the
> little guy."
> Shaking her head to try and clear the oncoming heat-inspired
> headache she wracks her brain briefly to try and remember Alex and
> Bongo's full names.
> "Yeah, I'm who you think I am.  These are Alex Hawke and Bongo
> Jones.  Both of 'em are good folk.  Snappy dressers.  Good with kids.
> You wanna open up now?"
> [/Lady Frost]

> [Alex]
> "Alexandra Hawke is my full name, if it matters. I do know if we don't
> find a way out of here, I hope that the Virgin is merciful with us." She
> prepares her rifle and gets ready to fight. She is not a true warrior
> but more of a scout but still better to die on you feet than on your knees.
> [/Alex]

> [Carlos]
> Carlos steps forward. "Gatekeeper, Carlos Sanchez here."
> [/Carlos]

A few painful counted seconds pass, all the while the sound of digging
and weapons' fire can be heard.  Finally the gate replies.  "We are
the Third Gate.  Your importance is recognized by us.  We shall let
you pass.  We note that you have injured among you, and we will
transport you to the nearest place where you may find aid and
comfort.  Please step through the gate NOW!"

The wall disappears and in its place is a snow-covered landscape of
gentle rolling hills, small stands of trees and, in the distance, the
outer wall of what appears to be a town or small city.  Smoke from
hundreds of chimneys curls up into the cold air.  The only moving
things visible are a small herd of cows chewing on a pile of dried

Behind the company there is a loud boom which shakes the passage.
Rock and debris are flung everywhere.  Out of the thick dust energy
weapon fire appears.  A number of shots hit home.  Lady Frost is
struck twice, Ted once, and the prone figures of Osiris and Phaeton
are both struck.  Osiris's armor stops any serious injury, but the
railgun flechettes rip through Phaeton's flesh, and strike Alex.

Aaron Clausen   mightymartianca at gmail.com

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