[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter III

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Thu May 20 21:29:30 BST 2010

OOC: ...And on to the next chapter.  I'm going to cover a bit of
ground here, but if anyone wants to add anything, just post it.

A mixture of relief and sadness are felt by the travelers as
they gaze at where the portal to the underwater base was.
Carlos, Ted, Koba, Lyle, Alex, Raven and Owen are alive,
once again narrowly avoiding death... or worse, but one of
their company is gone.  They are cold, wet and exhausted
in mind and body.

Within moments three members of the crew fly through
the elevator door, along with Louissa, Talas's lover.  At first
she is happy, but when she's the absence of her beloved,
she breaks down.

"No!"  Louissa says quietly, then louder, "NO!  You have to go
back for him.  You can't abandon him!"  She breaks down into
sobs and one of the crew comforts her.

The other two crew members approach and salute.

"Looks like you had a bad time of it." one of them, a tall man
in damaged armor says.  "We had a bad time.  Apparently, our
good doctor turned out to be a traitor, and it nearly cost us.  We've
got ourselves some prisoners, Kittanni by the looks of 'em.  Nasty
Splugorth minions.  The Captain wants you to know we're under
way now, and she's expecting a full report from Sir Lyle, but she
says to get washed up and get some rest."

The company are lead into the submarine via the elevator.  There
are signs of even more damage, with a number of very harried
looking technicians busily effecting repairs.  They have now been
assigned quarters, the two women getting their own, but Koba,
Carlos, Ted and Owen forced to share some very crowded
quarters.  Lyle, of course, has his own.

For once the company gets several days of relaxation.  Other
than a debriefing with the Captain, there is little to do but to sleep,
get armor mended, clean weapons, and enjoy what little
hospitality a crowded submarine can offer.

For the most part the sub stays below the surface, hoping to
avoid the pirates and other undesirables that plague these
dangerous waters between Atlantis and the Old World.  There
are a few close calls, and one rather nasty sea battle with
a Kittani submarine bent on sinking the ship.

It is a full eleven days before it is announced over the intercom
that land has been sighted.  The submarine surfaces in short order
to reveal a green and verdant coast, clearly tropical, but the forest
removed leaving mile after mile of farmland.  As the submarine
approaches the coast, it can clearly be seen that this is a land
divided into manors, with small villages centered on a large manor

The Captain joins the company on deck.  Her strange lizard
features, somewhat like Ted's, but in other ways very different,
has, for once, a happy, almost carefree look about it.

"This is New Argyll." she says.  "Or more properly, the Southern
Counties.  When I first... arrived... it was that village" she points
to a small collection of neatly built white-washed houses with
some sort of thatched roofs, "that I spent my first days

"I know," she continues, "that at least Sir Lyle is looking to
return to England, and I have gathered that you seek for
Scotland.  But this vessel needs repairs, and its crew has,
to put it bluntly, been put through a lot.  We will be going
to Port Mackenzie, and from there we can find you passage
to at least New Camelot."

It is another hour before the submarine finds its way to
its destination.  The fields give way to what can best be
described as a vast naval yard.  There are three large
naval vessels, destroyers of some kind, along with another
sub.  There are at least three drydocks, the only one looks
to be completed, as well as fortress atop an escarpment.
The harbor itself is surrounded by a concrete wall still
in the middle of construction.

Just on the other side of the escarpment is a small
town.  It's docks are smaller, and crowded with fish boats,
merchant vessels of every kind from steel-hulled nuclear
vessels to wooden-hulled sailing ships.

When the sub docks, the captain find a military transport
waiting.  "I'm sure you would rather not stay in the barracks."
the Captain says.  "This will take you to King William's Hotel.
A decent establishment.  Tomorrow, I suspect, the Admiral
and other dignitaries will call upon you.  Until then, I thank
you for all you've done."

And with that the company sets foot on Africa, admittedly
a very tame little corner of it.  The transport drops them off
at a small but well-kept hotel.  Inside, it's a surprise to see
that it isn't an inn, there is no commons per se, but rather
a lounge and restaurant.  At the front desk a very smartly
dressed concierge looking like he stepped out of one of the
ancient pre-Rifts movies says in a crisp, English accent.

"Ah yes, company of seven.  Your rooms await."  He snaps
his fingers and three busboys appear to help the company
with their belongings.  In short order they find themselves
in a suite of rooms on the third floor, brightly lit with very
comfortable looking beds.  The concierge appears behind
them.  "The restaurant usually serves dinner at six.  That
is about an hour from now.  If you would care to freshen up,
or if you like, I can bring dinner to you."

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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