For the next day down in the “secret lab” the group prepared well. To bolster numbers, they brought six PCs (Snips the Sniper, Messy Montez the Skateboarder, once again Wispa, on level 2, then Old Man Wishum, Reynold the Protector, and Dante, the sneaky infiltrator) plus Melody the un-enthusiastic retainer, and hired two new retainers. Old Man Wishum got Max Brain-Power, a Tech-Wizard on level 2, who cost a full share plus 40 gold pieces a day on top of that, regardless of loot. Talk about high maintenance.
Snips wanted a retainer too, so she asked Pretty Boy, a strong and good-looking level-0-fellow who bragged about being a good shot. She offered him a half share. He was not sure.
“Come on man, adventure!” He still wavered, but kept listening.
“I am not paying you more. Now or never – say yes!” He was almost convinced, but still on the brink.
“If you don’t come now, we will never ask you again,” Snips threatened. That did the trick, and Pretty Boy joined in. His first job was to rinse off Ophelia’s blood from her tactical armor, because he had none of his own.
Reynold got an organ transplant that boosted his CON to 18. He went in being the strongest and toughest lad in the west.
18 silent faces
The team went back to the last room with lots of statues – 18 in all – and tapped all the walls and the whole floor, but found nothing. Snips wanted to go to the decorated door next, figuring the others were just a waste of time. But the majority wanted to check that, and they opened the southwest door, finding a room with a weird metallic disk and a computer.
Nobody wanted to go in, but Max BrainPower was prepared to go. Fearing for the safety of our expensive retainer, Reynold the Protector went in first. The disc zapped him with a killer discharge of electricity, but he made his save and wobbled out of there on 1 hp. Strong and tough no more … but at least alive.
“What is this bullshit?” he complained. “This is no lab. They sent us into a fucking deathtrap!”
Snips wanted to take out the disc from the greatest possible distance, but on her way there something moved in the murky pool — she did not wait to see what, she just ran away. The others followed her, and behind them two armored robot hands crawled out of the pool, attacking.
The whole team, even lazy Melody, opened up with a barrage of shots, burst, and auto fire, grinding the first of the two hands to a slow halt after multiple hits. Old Man Wishum spat, took careful aim, kept his cool, and took out the other hand with one single well-placed shot.
The murky pool was now considered hostile, and the team plunged a frag grenade into it.
Several bits of debris floated to the surface.
“Like submarine hunting in WW2!” mused Old Man Wishum.
With a grapnel hook, Wispa fished out a robot head. The thing fizzled, buzzed, and sparked, so Messy shot it in the face, twice. It died.
Wispa’s temper flared up: “Hey! That was probably worth money! How about I shoot you in the fucking head?”
“It still had power. Did you want to get zapped?”
She did an instant 180 and said: “Oh, yeah.. thank you for saving my life.”
They retrieved some circuit plates from the head and kept fishing, finding a torso and a grenade launcher.
Messy checked it and found one grenade in it.
Not one to waste opportunities, he just went over and fired the grenade against the zapping disc, wrecking half the room.
He took the robot head and rolled it in to test the trap — it fizzled harmlessly. So he rolled in on his skateboard, and was not fried. The team retrieved some more electric circuits, but the computer was useless.
Again, Snips stated her case: All those doors would contain deathtraps and some minor loot, she figured. In the end they would have to face the decorated door anyway, so why not now?
This time, the others agreed.
Behind the door they found 50 feet worth of stairs downward. Again, the robot head came out: Dante shoved it onto the stairs, which folded up and turned into a slide. The head sped down and crashed into another deathtrap, a giant woodchipper hidden under the floor below. The metal blades ripped the robot head apart. Then the stairs became normal again.
Old Man Wishum climbed down the slide while Pretty Boy, Messy and Dante held him. Stopping almost at the bottom and right above the shredder, he could see into a big octagonal room with a central dais and a throne. On this throne was a huge armored swordsman, who reacted to Old Man Wishum and rose.
“Pull me up, pull me up!”
Pretty Boy heaved him up quickly, as the guardian trampled around below.
“Your delivery is here!” yelled Old Man Wishum.
“Piss off!” answered the guardian, making it clear that he was no robot.
“Sorry, sir, it is your amazon parcel. I will need you to sign off on it.”
“Come down and I will kill you!”
Blowing up the shredder with grenades was a popular idea, but then Snips remembered the statues. They tied ropes to the closest one and dragged it to the door, thanks to numbers and Pretty Boy’s strength.
They positioned the statue right at the brink, then Pretty Boy and Old Man Wishum gave it a big shove.
The huge piece of stonework rumbled down the slide and crashed into the shredder, the blades ate into the granite and finally squealed and got stuck. Trap disarmed.
Now the team devised a SWAT-plan. They hammered in a liberal amount of iron spikes and fixed three ropes to them. Then they rappelled down, ready to fight.
Messy Montez and Old Man Wishum (“I am old anyway”) went in as a first line of attack. Dante and Reynold second. Pretty Boy and Wispa third. Snips and Melody last — Max Brainpower was to stay upstairs and watch the ropes.
Wispa insisted that Melody should come, even though she was not prepared to fight any guardians. “If she stays up there she might cut our ropes”, she feared. From that point on, the relationship between the PC and the retainer soured at an alarming rate.
Going in, and the guardian drawing his massive sword again, Messy curved left with his skateboard, shooting with his pistols. He intended to roll in circles around the enemy, wearing him down with shots. Old Man Wishum stepped to the right, firing from another angle.
“Here is your amazon package, you fuckface!” he shouted to the boom of his assault rifle.
But the guardian surprised everyone by taking a giant leap from this dais all the way to Messy on the western wall, narrowly missing the little shooter. His powerful sword swing also missed — then Messy sped onwards, to the north, shooting again and again. He even hit the enemy right in the neck, but the monstrous fighter just grunted and shrugged it off.
Reynold and Dante came in, lining up with Old Man Wishum to form a firing squad.
But the guardian gave up on hunting the little skateboarder. Instead, he stormed the attackers and scythed down Reynold. The huge blade cleaved the brave protector in twain. Another swing at Old Man Wishum knocked the PC’s gun away. Dante ran away to avoid the murderous blade and shot the enemy in the leg, while Messy’s shots pinged off the giant’s armor.
Pretty Boy and Wispa came in, Wispa ducked out into the room, but Pretty Boy stayed at the foot of the stairs to shoot from this relatively safe place. He missed, though, and also was in the way of Snips, as she rappelled right into him. They both went down in a jumble of arms and legs, missing their chance to shoot.
Bleeding from numerous wounds, but still roaring defiance, the giant was about to cut down Wispa or Dante next, when Old Man Wishum dropped his rifle, pulled out a sword, and went toe to toe with the monster. Metal clashed with metal, and then the wise old geezer sidestepped the guardian and drove the sword deep into his belly.
Gurgling, the giant dropped his sword and crashed down on the floor like a felled tree.
As the guardian’s sight dimmed and he coughed his last, Old Man Wishum bent over him and told him: “Amazon wins every time, bitch. We *will* deliver.”