Stories of the Betterverse: Out on the Town

For those who have a way with words.
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betterwatchit
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Battles of Britain, Part 4

11 AM, 30th of March, 2017. The day before Griffin starts his Tour.

Griffin arrived at the Barbican Centre to have a word with Angus Dunn, who was showing people how to perform various dances which appeared to be weakening the veil between the dead and the living, causing ghosts to appear even in broad daylight. Cheddar was waiting for him at the entrance.

Cheddar asked "Are you ready, Griffin?"

"Of course," Griffin replied.


The receptionist at the box office said "I was told that some backstage passes were given out yesterday."

Griffin produced his pass, saying "Here you are, my good lady."

Cheddar gave hers, saying "Here's mine."

The woman said "Okay, I'll take you straight to Mr. Dunn, he's expecting you."


When Cheddar and Griffin went backstage, they saw Angus Dunn in the traditional Scottish outfit, kilt and all. Angus said "I'm awfully sorry, but my final performance is cancelled. I've been called back home to Glasgow, family emergency."

Cheddar drew her wand and said "Family emergency, my arse! We know the dances are magical, Mr. Dunn!"

Angus told her "Don't be daft, woman!"

Griffin said "On the contrary, Cheddar's one of the sanest women I know. And I know that Farrow & Sons told you about my visit to their office."

Angus said "Och! This wizard fellow taught me the dances! I know nothin' about his plans!"

Griffin revealed his wings and told him "So you had better start talking. I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven. I've had to drop a few ghosts to get this far, and I'm looking for the warlock who sent them."

Angus pleaded "Och, he’s dreadful! I don't dare! I don't dare! He swore he'd kill me if I grassed on him!"

Griffin unsheathed his sword and pointed it at Angus' throat as he said "Enough. Where is he right now?"

Angus' pupils contracted as he said "L- L- Loch Tay! The wizard lives on Loch Tay, north of Glasgow!"
Griffin decides to Intimidate Angus into talking. Angus has the stats of a Criminal from the Heroes Handbook with Expertise: Dance. Griffin gets 16 on his Intimidation roll. Angus gets 5 on his Will and is Coerced into talking.
Griffin thought to himself 'That's the same place the Laird lives. So there is a connection!'

Griffin said to Angus "What else does McDaniel know about all this?"

Angus went "McDaniel knows nothing! He thinks that Nectanos is an old hermit! You can tell by looking at him that he’s evil…!"

That was when five ghosts appeared, surrounding Angus, Cheddar and Griffin. One looked like a Celtic warrior armed with a spear, the other four were men and women from what looked like the late 1600s, wreathed in spectral fire. Griffin realised that the ghosts were killed by the Great Fire… And could use it themselves.

The Celt said in his ancient tongue "<Those who betray Nectanos must die!>"

Griffin lashed out at the ghosts, shouting "Let there be light!"

Cheddar banished one of the ghosts while Angus managed to stab one.
Brule (the Celt) is a Human Primitive (from Atlas of Earth-Prime) with Strength 3, Fighting 5, Dodge & Parry 6. The ghosts are actually Zombie minions from Gamemaster's Guide with Insubstantial 4 (Affects Corporeal 2, Unreliable), their unarmed attacks have the fire descriptor.

Roll Initiative!

Griffin: 17
1 Blazing Ghost: 13
Brule: 12
Cheddar: 11
Angus: 6
3 Blazing Ghosts: 6, 6, 1.

Griffin does the Flurry of Steel against one Blazing Ghost and Brule. He gets a Natural 1 against the Zombie and 23 against Brule. Brule gets a Natural 20 to resist.

The Blazing Ghost attacks Griffin, getting 9 and missing.

Brule attacks Angus with his Spear, getting 11 and missing.

Cheddar fires a Magical Blast at a Blazing Ghost, getting 18. The Ghost gets 16 and is banished.

Angus attacks a Ghost with his knife, getting 20, Crit scored (he raises the DC by +5)! The Ghost's Insubstantial was off. It gets 12 and is banished.
Griffin landed several telling blows on the Celt, but before he could kill him again, the Celt said "<You'll die for this, winged one!>", before he vanished.
Griffin attacks Brule with the Flurry of Steel, getting 27. Brule gets 10 and is incapacitated.

One Blazing Ghost attacks Angus, getting 8 and missing.

Cheddar fires a Magical Blast, getting 20. The Ghost gets 7 and is banished.

Angus attacks a Ghost with his knife, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

Griffin attacks the remaining ghost with the Flurry of Steel, getting 16. The ghost gets 13 and is banished.
As he sheathed his sword, Griffin said "Now you know how much trouble you're in, Angus."

Angus went "Och! You could've left me to die, but you didn't! Why?!"

As Griffin used the fire extinguisher, he said "You talked, it was my duty to protect you. Whistleblowers must be protected - and rewarded when possible - to further encourage this behaviour."

Angus went "…You mean it, don't you? You really mean it!"

Griffin told him "I'm an angel. It is my nature and my duty to be honest and earnest, and to help the helpless. If I was you, I'd take your luggage and fly to Rome right now for a week. It's the nearest city without Celtic influence Nectanos can kill you with."

"Och, fine. Take these." Angus gave Griffin some tickets. "My Caledonian Sleeper carnet tickets from Euston to Glasgow, including cabin reservations. I was meant to bring someone to sacrifice, but well… They're no good to me now, but you might have a chance. Nectanos is in Loch Tay, the nearest village is Killin. Whatever he's planning, all I know is that he'll do it Saturday night. Look for a wooden house built on top of the water, you can't miss it at night!"

Cheddar said "It's Thursday now. That means we only have one night to prepare before leaving."

Griffin went "Let's discuss it at your place."


Cheddar's flat…

As Cheddar sat down in the living room, she said "Okay, we have a night and a day to prepare before we set off. When you get home, you'll have to pack."

Griffin said "Already done. I already booked my tickets a few months back, as my tour starts tomorrow night anyway. I've even got my own Sleeper ticket."

"One less thing to worry about, I suppose. So what are we going to do with these spare tickets?"

"Simple. We get someone to come with us. Apart from us, who else has experience with fighting ghosts?"

"The Guardians have done it, no question. They're probably doing their own investigation right now, but there's no way we can afford a train and hotel for the lot of them."

"What about Goldwing? Remember how well he threw down at Halloween against the Silver Scream?"

"Okay. Do you have his WhatsApp number?"

"Yeah. Is it alright if I use your router?"

"Go ahead."


After connecting his phone to Cheddar's router, Griffin used WhatsApp to call Goldwing.

Goldwing soon said "Hello?"

Griffin said "Goldwing, it's Griffin. I'm with Cheddar, you're on speakerphone. Listen, me and Cheddar have found out what's causing all these ghosts."

Goldwing said "That's good to know, as I saw a ghostly Native American woman in traditional attire walking around Gravesend earlier! Everyone in town freaked out about it!"

Cheddar asked "Are you serious, Goldwing?"

Goldwing told her "A Native American woman in traditional attire walking around a Kentish town? There's no doubt about it."

Griffin said "That would be the ghost of Pocahontas, the first Native American known to ever come to Europe. She was buried in Gravesend, it's why they have that statue in the churchyard there. But seriously, we have a Caledonian Sleeper ticket here - with a bed for the night - if you want to join us for a mission. We know where the warlock responsible for these ghosts is hiding. I can't say more than that, not even on a secured line. If you're interested, meet us at the Bottle at seven, we can talk more about it then."

Goldwing said "See you then. I've got to go, got some rounds to run."

Griffin said "Bye, then."


When Griffin disconnected, Cheddar said "Okay. Where's Loch Tay?"

Griffin told her "I did my own research, it's about 40 or so miles north of Glasgow. The intel Angus gave meshes with what Farrow and Sons told me yesterday. Now we know where to go for a fact. How fast does your broomstick go again?"

Cheddar replied "120 MPH last time I checked. Why?"

"According to my phone's speed/distance/time calculator, it'll take about 20 minutes for us to fly there from Glasgow. And I believe that 120 is Goldwing's top speed. And I know a hotel in Glasgow that doesn't ask too many questions."


7pm, Goldwing's table, The Bottle…

As he had a mug of Bovril, Goldwing asked "So what's all this about the ghosts?"

Griffin said "Our investigation has revealed that these dances that are all the rage are funneling energy from the dancers."

Cheddar explained "We've since discovered that the energy is being diverted to Loch Tay in Scotland, and it's weakening the barrier between the living and the dead, hence the ghosts. I think it could be used to resurrect someone."

Griffin pointed out "The problem is that, to my knowledge, it generally requires a divine intervention to bring someone all the way back to life with a vital body. And I'm the last known documented instance of such an intervention occurring. I get the feeling that whatever comes back from this magic will be too undead to be anything but a mortal threat to everyone in Britain."

Goldwing finished his Bovril and said "Okay, I'm in. When do we leave?"

Griffin told him "Tomorrow night, we'll meet at Euston Station at eight. You'll need to pack tomorrow morning. Hotel's been arranged for one night, as well as the sleeper train there and back again. In your case, I must suggest sleeping on the top bunk, Goldwing."

"Why?" Goldwing asked.

Griffin said back "I've seen pictures and video footage of the Sleeper's rooms. If you get a twin bunk room, there's a ladder right in the middle, which would make it harder for you to get in and out of the lower bunk."

Goldwing said "Makes sense. I'll see you then. I have to ask... do they use the pound up in Scotland?"

Griffin told him "Yeah, they use the same plugs and money we do. They have their own banknotes, but they take English coins and notes as well. I have to prepare, so I'll see you both tomorrow. Euston, 8 PM., under the big timetable."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Battles of Britain, Part 5

Griffin's House, 2:30 PM, 31st of March, 2017. The day Griffin starts the Tour.

Griffin was at the dining room, having finished his preparations. This trip has been a couple of years in the making, and he was now ready. He said to his dad "Well, tonight's the night. This will be the biggest thing I've ever done, a round the world trip."

His dad asked him "Are you sure you've packed everything, Si?"

"Train tickets, tablet with e-documents and phone are in my jacket. Clothes, toothbrush, leads and plugs are in the holdall. Laptop, sword and paper documents are in my custom laptop bag."

"Are you sure you can't tell me how you're getting your sword past customs?"

"Dad. The Ministry has actual mind-readers on their staff. I've met one, so I should know. The only way a Ministry interrogation isn't getting the secret out of you is if you honestly don't know. I'm sorry, but how I'm getting the sword past customs must remain a secret."

"I understand."

"Look, I'll text you every day on WhatsApp, and call you once a week. Well, it's time to go. I'll see you later." Griffin hugged his dad, saying "I will come back here, you can bet on it."


Griffin walked down the hill to the railway station. He always felt a certain… tension… when heading off for a foreign country. And here he was, about to perform the most dangerous trip he could conceive: a solo round-the-world journey. The sort of trip that would redefine whoever pulled it off. When he got on the train, he knew that for better and for worse, he was on his own.


The Bottle, 6 PM…

Griffin was finishing a cheese and bacon omelette, when Squire came up to him. She said "You're looking a bit tense, Griffin."

He told her "Usually happens when I'm about to do a foreign trip, Squire. And I'm starting a round-the-world trip tonight."

Then the bell rang at the bar. At any other English pub, it was used to declare last call or closing time. At the Bottle, it was used to inform everyone of an emergency.

Someone in British Transport Police uniform said "Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please! I am Superintendent Creek of the British Transport Police. We have discovered ghosts infesting Kings Cross and Euston Stations! If anyone here can fight them, would you kindly report to me at once, thank you!

Dr. Green approached, saying "We've got Kings Cross, sir."

Griffin approached, declaring "Griffin reporting in, sir. I'll help you clear up Euston. If anyone wants to join me…"

Cheddar said "I'm with you on this, Griffin."

Goldwing took his gloves off, saying "So am I," while baring his talons.

Cheddar asked "So, how are we going to play this?"

Griffin went "I've got an idea. Superintendent, is it possible to enter Euston via the small car park to the northwest of the station?"

Creek said "It is possible, I'll radio ahead to tell the lads to expect you."

Griffin told him "That's good, as I'm planning on distracting them by attacking from whichever entrance is closest. Romans use a shield formation, so if I can make them attack me in one direction, Cheddar and Goldwing here will be able to use the northwest entrance to outflank them. So tell the other officers to expect me to land at the front entrance, while Goldwing and Cheddar land at the northwest."

Cheddar asked "And then what?"

Griffin told her "Wait ten seconds after you hear me start the fight. Then blast them. The plan will be ruined if you attack before I do."

Goldwing asked "Why is that?"

Griffin said "It needs to be in this order so they'll be too busy fighting me to notice you two coming up to backshoot them."

Creek said "That could work. What you need to know is that there are eight of them in each station."

Griffin said "That fits with what I know of Roman tactics. Now, let's get over there and make Boudicca proud."


Euston Station…

As they flew above the police vans surrounding the main entrance, Cheddar said "Okay, me and Gold will go north-west. Once we hear fighting, we wait ten seconds before joining in."

Griffin went "You've got it."


Griffin unsheathed his sword and walked right into the evacuated station, BTP personnel watching him. He saw eight Roman legionaries on foot and the Celt he saw at the Barbican on horseback in the main concourse.

Griffin shouted in Latin "<ROMANS GO HOME!>" as he charged at them. The Romans threw their iron-tipped javelins at Griffin, who dodged them with ease.
Roll Initiative! Three Legionary minions get 19, 18 and 15. Brule gets 11, two Legionaries get 10 and 8. Griffin gets 7. Three Legionaries get 6, 6, and 4. Five legionaries throw their pilum at Griffin, getting 21, 14, 9, 20 and 12. Griffin gets 28 and 24 to resist. Griffin Charged at them, delivering the Flurry of Steel. He gets 16, 24 (crit scored), 24 (crit scored), 19 and 15. The Legionaries get 19, Natural 1, 19, 10 and 18, leaving all of them dead. Three Legionaries Team Attack Griffin with their spears, getting 7, 7 and 8 to miss.

Everyone's using lethal force.
Griffin pushed the Celt's spear aside as his halosteel sword struck the Romans down.
Brule attacks Griffin with his spear, getting a Natural 1 and missing. Griffin attacks the remaining three legionaries with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22, 25 and 24. The legionaries get 12, 14 and 13, and are all killed again.
Cheddar and Goldwing advanced, blasting Brule from behind, killing him all over again.

Brule said "No…" as he faded away to whichever afterlife would take him.
Cheddar and Goldwing join the battle. Cheddar gets 21 on her initiative and Goldwing gets 10. Cheddar fires a Blast from her wand, getting 26. Brule is Surprised, just as Griffin intended. Brule gets 20 and is hit. Goldwing fires a Magical Blast, getting 21. Brule gets 9 and is killed!
Goldwing went "I can't believe that worked."

Griffin sheathed his sword as he said "Was there ever any doubt? Now there's an announcement we need to make…"

He then walked back out of the main entrance with his wings spread out, saying "Have no fear! The ghosts are gone, it's now safe to reopen Euston!"

Superintendent Creek approached him, saying "We've just confirmed that the Guardians threw the ghosts out of Kings Cross. They say that Boudicca fought alongside them!"

Cheddar said "Looks like one urban myth has basis in fact after all."

On their way back to the Bottle, Griffin said "I get the feeling that Nectanos knows how we're getting up north to meet him. Euston and Kings Cross are the only two London stations that serve Scotland direct, and Euston serves the Caledonian Sleeper."

Goldwing asked him "How could Nectanos know that?"

Cheddar said "He worked out how to use books and the internet to his advantage, probably after the Laird showed him how. If he was something like a druid, the most learned of the Celts, his working out what trains do isn't a stretch. All you have do for an old Celt is say that they're a sort of modernised wagon pulled by something stronger than a horse."

Griffin said "Speaking of Celts, the one on horseback was ordering the Romans about. He must have had some way to dominate ghosts raised by Nectanos. I have to go back to the Bottle, as I gave Emma £10 to look after my bags."

Cheddar asked "How did you get her to agree to that?"

Griffin replied "I saved her brother earlier this week. Helping someone who helped her family would be worth the risk."


Euston Station, 9 PM…

After getting his bags from Emma, Griffin was aboard the Caledonian Sleeper train, along with Cheddar and Goldwing. He decided to have an early night.

In his dream, Griffin saw a man sitting by a campfire. Griffin's training in the more esoteric aspects of reality told him that he was in someone else's dream space. Probably pulled there by Nectanos.

Griffin sat opposite the man, saying "Nectanos, I presume?"

Nectanos spoke in a unknown language "<Indeed, oh winged one. You and your companions have been truly brave foes to best my bondsman. And clever foes, to find that my dances were bringing my people back. If you were not brave or clever, I would have no words for you at all. This is not your fight. These are my lands, not yours. Leave them now and you may depart unharmed.>"

"<I appreciate that you at least gave an offer, even though I cannot accept it. I have to admit, I cannot help but compliment you, Nectanos.>"

"<Oh? Whatever for?>"

"<As someone from your day simply wouldn't even have heard of the printing press or the internet or anything about the technologies or concepts required to make them viable. But you worked out what they did and used them to advance your plan on a global scale. I respect that you worked out how to use them in record time to further your plan. That respect does not, however, extend to letting you fulfill it. This is my land as well, I was born and raised here, and my family has been here for generations. This. Is. My. Fight. Why are you doing this, Nectanos?>"

Nectanos stood up and shouted "<These are the lands of my people! You know us as the Picts! The Romans, the Angles and the Danes hunted our kind like dogs until there was nothing left but the memories of the invader! Tomorrow night, I will have the power to finally bring us back home! All of us! We shall rule the highlands and stalk the moors once again! We will tear down the Roman cities and drive their descendants into the sea! You will leave these lands or be swept away with the rest!>"

Griffin stood up, saying "<I am sorry for what happened to your people, but it cannot justify your repeating it, making you no better than your killers. Your time here was done long ago, Nectanos.>"

"<Then you will die with the rest!>"
Last edited by betterwatchit on Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Battles of Britain, Part 6.

1st April, 2017

Caledonian Sleeper, en route to Glasgow…


Griffin woke up to a knock on the door. He heard someone say "Your breakfast, sir?"

"I'll be right there."

After quickly getting dressed, Griffin took his oatmeal into his room. As he finished it, the train arrived at Glasgow Central.

As they stepped off the train, Cheddar said "Since you're planning this, Griffin, what's the plan?"

Griffin said "We check in at the hotel, freshen up and plot our route to Killin."

Goldwing asked "Why can't we use the first class suite to freshen up?"

Cheddar went "We only had Classic tickets. You need Club or Deluxe to get in there peacefully."

Goldwing could only say "Bugger."


11 AM, the hotel…

There was a knock on Goldwing and Cheddar's hotel room door.

Griffin said "Can I come in? There's something I have to tell you both."

Cheddar asked "What is it?"

Griffin came in and locked the door. He said "Last night, while we were asleep on the train, Nectanos pulled me into his dreamscape and tried to make me an offer. He said that these were his lands, not mine. He told me that if I left Britain now, he'd make sure I would leave unharmed."

Goldwing went "Please tell us you said no."

Griffin said back "I told him this was my home and therefore my fight. I asked him why he was doing this. He said that these were the lands of his people, the Picts, and he was bringing them back. All of them. Tonight, he'll have the power he needs to do it. And you both know from previous experience that I have clear standing orders about how to deal with the undead."

Cheddar asked "Do you actually know the way to Loch Tay from here?"

Griffin assured her "Yeah, actually. Killin is the nearest town to Loch Tay, 42 miles north of here. About 20 minutes by broomstick or griffin wing. I've already set my HUD to the village, so I'm going to make my move at 2 PM. I'll knock on the door."

Griffin set his phone's alarm to go off at 2 PM. He then spent the next few hours using a Linux OS-on-A-Stick to go online. All he had to do was plug it into his custom-made ruggedised laptop, turn it on, and it would run Linux instead of Windows, keeping everything in the USB drive. This was what he used when he didn't want the contents to show up on his laptop. Including his research into weird stuff happening in NYC on the Urban75 website and forum. He programmed the co-ordinates to Loch Tay into his HUD before shutting the laptop down.

Then he started preparing for real. Griffin broke out his "Tactical" outfit, the one he prefers if he's expecting to get into trouble. This included a grey hoodie, black tactical gloves with carbon fibre knuckle casing (to keep from leaving fingerprints, to protect the knuckles and make the wearer punch harder), grey tactical trousers, combat boots (guaranteed to not fall off in mid-flight) and a bespoke shoulder bag, designed to conceal Griffin's sword.

2 PM…

Griffin knocked on the door. When Goldwing opened it, Griffin asked "Could you wake Cheddar up, Gold? It's time."

Cheddar said "I'm up. And you look like you're ready to go!"

Griffin went "Thanks. I'll be at the roof when you're ready to move, and make sure your phone's on flight mode if you can't leave it here."


At the hotel roof…

Cheddar went up to Griffin and asked "Okay, I'm ready. Do you know the route to the loch?"

Griffin told her "It's programmed into my HUD. Should be about 20-25 minutes."


Killin, 25 minutes later…

As the team landed on the outskirts of town, the local pub was playing live music while the punters were dancing along. Cheddar went "Let's keep away from the pub."

Goldwing went "I agree."

Griffin's phone buzzed. "Hang on. Got a message from my commanding officer."

Code: Select all

From: Annabelle.
Head to the parish church NOW, bring your companions.
Goldwing went "What did they say?"

Griffin told him "We have to go to the parish church at once. Let me do the talking, they'll get a better reaction if I do it."


Killin and Ardeonaig Parish Church…

As the team entered the church, they saw that everyone who wasn't hiding at home or dancing at the pub was praying. The Reverend on duty approached, asking "What are you doing here?"

Griffin said "We're here to stop Nectanos, the man responsible for these damned dances!"

The Reverend said "I had a dream last night where he promised that all my flock would perish this night, and that Our Lord and Heavenly Father had abandoned us!"

Griffin revealed his wings and announced "Do not be afraid, for I bear good news! Our Lord and Heavenly Father has sent me to tell you that He has not abandoned you! I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven, and me and my companions will stop that warlock."

The Reverend went down on both knees. "Griffin! I've heard of you, but I never thought you would visit us in our hour of need! And who are your friends?"

Griffin helped the Reverend up, telling him "On your feet, Reverend. I don't deserve your worship, I'm only a servant. My friends are Cheddar and Goldwing, two good folk who have fought alongside me before. There is one way you can help us. We need directions to Laird McDaniel's castle."

THe Reverend told him "It's directly on the Loch shore. Just go clockwise, you'll soon see it! But there's something else I should tell you."

Griffin asked "What is it, sir?"

The Reverend said "A new crannog has appeared on the loch. Do you know what that is?"

Griffin replied "I do not, sir."

The Reverend told him "They were huts built out into the loch. They were more common in Pictish times but, until recently, the only one I saw was a modern replica. The new one doesn't have a pier connecting it to land, so you'll need a boat to get there. It's a bit further on from the castle."

Griffin went "All three of us can fly, sir. It's how we got here. Thank you for the info, we'll be back soon."

The Reverend went "Of course! Godspeed!"
The team gets a HP for taking the time to reassure the parishioners.

As they left the church, Cheddar asked "I admit, letting you do the talking was a good idea."

The team noticed that a thick fog had quickly developed through the town. Griffin said "If this fog is Nectanos' doing, he's made his last cock-up."

Cheddar asked "How's that? I can barely see a few feet ahead!"

Griffin smiled as he said "He doesn't know that I can see through it just fine. Now mount up and get airborne. We go low and slow, we can get to the castle and crannog without him seeing us. Just follow me and please don't fly lower than me. You might get wet if you do that."

As the team flew over the Loch, they saw a fire.

Goldwing asked "What can you see, Griffin? Looks like a fire!"

Griffin went "Yeah, the Castle's on fire! Also, it looks like the Laird's staff danced to death outside, with the Laird himself in the middle. The sword in his chest says it all. We keep going, nothing we can do for them now but avenge them."

When the team reached the crannog, they saw a beam of light coming out of it, and they could hear chanting.

Griffin went "We're going to sink the crannog from underneath. Let's get down there. We're going to sever the innermost pillars. This should make the stone fall into the water."

Cheddar said "Hang on, this should speed it up. Woodworm!"

The crannog started disintegrating, with Pictish ghosts falling into the loch. When the man-sized stone in the centre of the crannog touched the water, Nectanos screamed as he was being forced to move on, the water short-circuiting his spell.
Nectanos is a Sorcerer from Gamemaster's Guide. Griffin does an Expertise: Tactics check and gets 23. He knows where to cut. Cheddar spends a HP to stunt her Magic into Woodworm: Continuous Cone Area Transform 5, Wood into Oxygen (Broad > 1 Thing). Continuous makes it have a permanent effect. There are 10 pillars that need to be cut or to disappear in order to drop the stone, all are in the spell's blast radius. The pillars each get 9, 11, 11, 10, 8, 6, 5, Natural 1, 8 and 8. This destroys the whole crannog, taking Nectanos down!
Griffin went "Thanks, Cheddar! I owe you one! I just have one thing I need to do." He then flew to the stone and defaced a few mystic symbols carved upon it with his sword. Even he could see the stolen life energy start to flow out and return to those it had been taken from. Then he said "Let's get back to town. The Reverend needs to hear about this."


Back at Killin…

As the fog finally cleared, the team saw that there wasn't any more music coming out of the pub, and anyone who could still walk out was heading home.

Griffin knocked on the church door, saying "It's Griffin! We've stopped Nectanos, it's safe to come on out now! You can go in peace."

The Reverend opened the door, saying "What happened to-?"

Griffin said "The Laird is dead. He tried to kill Nectanos and was killed with his own claymore. His staff were all made to literally dance themselves to death. Nectanos is now banished from the living world, he will not trouble you any more."

The Reverend went "I see. I'll notify the police once you're gone."

Griffin "Thank you, Reverend. Farewell."

Then the team flew back to Glasgow…
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Battles of Britain, Conclusion

As the team flew back to Glasgow…

Griffin said "Looks like lunch is on me!"

Cheddar said "Oh, you know it is!"

Griffin said "And I know just the place. Have to go back to the hotel first, left my money there."


At the Lamb and Flag, an hour later…

As the team took a table, Goldwing asked "Where is this again?"

Griffin said "This is the Lamb and Flag. In London, we hit the Bottle. Here in Glasgow, they wave the Flag."

While they were having lunch, Cheddar, who had a bridie, said "You know, we've been in a few rather British fights lately, Gold."

Goldwing, who had haggis, asked "What happened?"

Cheddar told him "Earlier this week, me and Griffin flew to Cornwall to prevent Excalibur from being stolen. The warlock responsible found a way to dominate the Lady of the Lake into giving him Excalibur. Griffin, tell Gold how you stopped him."

Griffin, who had an Angus burger, said "I cut the thieving little warlock's arm off, that's how I did it. Said arm used to belong to Mordred, but the warlock somehow found a doctor who was willing to graft it on. I didn't get the doctor's name from him, though. When the arm hit the ground, I got airborne as I saw that the Lady of the Lake was going to kill him, and I didn't want to get swept away as well. A tsunami came out of the lake, dragging the warlock and the zombies he had for backup to the lake's bottom."

Cheddar went "The Lady of the Lake herself thanked us for the help before she went back down again."

Griffin continued "Cheddar went to the Jamaica Inn to get us some Cornish pasties, while I made sure the warlock's remaining minions had a choice of fleeing or fighting me after I got their master killed. They chose to flee. A week after that, I got an assignment to stop the European as he arrived in London. I nailed him by sneaking up on him after he left St. Pancras and then attacked him from behind. I then told him in his native tongue of Polish that he was going to surrender or die. I then called Officer Benbow of the Ministry. She was in the area and she used her phone to scan him and confirm his identity. After she arrested and cuffed him, I flew home."

Cheddar went "I didn't know you beat the European!"

Griffin smiled as he went "Caught the f**khead with a looted SHADOW rifle, so the Ministry had to arrest him at last. I even told him before the arrest that if he actually tried anything during the referendum campaign, the result in favour of leaving wouldn't have been controversial."

Goldwing said "Good thing you caught him then. Which leads us to the ghosts."

Griffin told him "First thing I saw when I woke up a few days ago was my commanding officer. She told me that the barrier between the lands of the dead and the living was starting to weaken. I was told to get out there and find the warlock. The only clue I got was that he was in a house of wood on top of water. So I hit the Regent's Canal, going west to east."

Goldwing said "The houseboats. You went to check the houseboats."

Griffin went "You got it. I ended up dropping a Roman patrol during my search while they were holding up traffic. I walked as far as the Bottle before confirming that the houseboats were a bust. I had another lead, though. I noticed some unusual dances being done by buskers at Waterloo and St. Pancras. I asked one of them where they learned them. It turned out to be from a recently published book, Laird McDaniel's Ancient Dances of the British Isles. Looking at the dances made me feel odd, so I found a PDF of the book and some videos of the dances. I sent an email to Cheddar."

Cheddar went "I studied the dances and realised that they were rituals of a sort, draining small amounts of lifeforce away from the dancers. They went to a stone somewhere to the north, but that was all I could get out of it."

Griffin added "While Cheddar was studying the dances, I went to Farrow and Sons, a local print shop and bookshop who specialise in printing on demand. I went in with my wings out so Mr. Farrow knew I was there on business. I told him that my research indicated that the book came out just before the ghosts started appearing. That was when three ghosts attacked to try and shut us up! I managed to fight them off and told Farrow that he needed to co-operate if he was to stay alive. He talked. He mentioned that Laird McDaniel, the book's author, lived at Loch Tay. But he had a dance teacher he knew from when they were both kids come to London to show everyone how to do the dances. Farrow also gave me backstage tickets to the last day of the dance teacher's lecture."

Cheddar said "We leaned on the dance teacher and got the name of the warlock who created the dances. That was when the warlock's ghostly minions tried to kill us."

Griffin said "Emphasis on tried. After saving him, the teacher finally told us that the warlock was at Loch Tay, and gave us the train tickets we needed to reach Glasgow. After booking a hotel, we called you. At that point, you know as much as we do."

Goldwing went "Okay. Now… how are you getting us back to London?"

Griffin told him "I've planned for that, Gold. The Caledonian Sleeper doesn't run on Saturday nights, so the room you're sharing with Cheddar is paid for tonight, including breakfast. Cheddar has a pair of sleeper tickets you two can use to get back to London tomorrow night. The hotel's check out time is 12 noon. The Sleeper will open for passengers at Glasgow at 10 PM and it departs at 11:15 PM. It arrives at Euston around 7 AM, and you have to leave the train by 7:30 AM. I won't be needing a ticket."

Goldwing went "Where are you heading?"

Griffin told him "Tomorrow, I'm going to Rail & Sail my way to Dublin. On Monday, I'm going to New York."

Goldwing asked "Rail and Sail?"

Griffin said "It's an offer that railway and ferry companies have in Britain, Gold. All four UK nations have them. Basically, you get a discount when you book train and ferry tickets together in the same direction from the ferry line's website."

Cheddar asked "Why don't you just fly from here? I'm sure there are direct flights from Glasgow to New York!"

Griffin said "There are. But Dublin Airport has something that simply isn't available in any airport on the UK mainland."

Cheddar asked "What's that, pray tell?"

Griffin said "Dublin and Shannon Airports have United States Customs and Border Protection Preclearance Stations. The only ones in all of Europe. All passengers from Dublin and Shannon to the US get checked by American customs officers by American standards. If they see nothing wrong with letting me board, the flight is treated as a domestic flight when it reaches American airspace. This makes it much easier to get out of the airport afterwards, as Homeland Security will know that the passengers on board have already been checked out by people they trust. And if they deny boarding, it's easier to get back to London from Dublin than it is from New York."

Cheddar said "That's one way to do it. But how are you getting your sword past them? We both know that they will shoot you down if they find it in your luggage!"

Griffin told her "Don't worry, I've already worked that one out. Can't tell you how in case the Ministry overhear, but I do have a plan that'll get it past them without a fight or even a related argument! He then finished off his burger and his drink, saying "I'll be at the hotel if you need me. I'll likely check out before you do, so I'll see you later."

Goldwing said "See you later! And, as we avians say, may the wind always be at your back!"


Back at the hotel…

Once Griffin locked the door to his room, he called his dad on WhatsApp.

His dad said "Hello?"

Griffin went "Hey, dad."

"Simon! The ghosts are finally gone!"

"Word travels fast! This is me checking in and saying I'm okay. And yeah, we did stop those ghosts."

"We? Who came with you?"

"They're known in London as Cheddar and Goldwing. Cheddar and I went halves on getting a room with twin beds for her and Goldwing for the night."

"Why?"

"I needed help with getting rid of that warlock, and they're good at this sort of mission. Don't worry, they also have tickets to get back to London."

"Did you pay for that as well?"

"Nope. When we saved someone who outlived his usefulness to the warlock responsible for all those ghosts, he got very cooperative. He told me where to find the bastard. He also had two return tickets for the Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow, complete with cabin reservations. No use for someone who's going to Rome for a week like I suggested."

"Okay. So, when are you going to Ireland?"

"Tomorrow morning. I'll take the train to Stranraer, then I'll take the ferry to Belfast. Once I make land, I'll take the Aircoach to Dublin Airport, as my hotel's near it. Monday morning, I'll fly to NYC. And yes, I've got the issue concerning that specific object handled. Do not say it out loud."

"I understand. Look, I've gotta go, call me when you've made it to Ireland."

"I will. See you later."

"See ya!"

Then Griffin hung up.
Griffin gets 1 PP. Goldwing and Cheddar each get 2 PP.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:58 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 1

Griffin's Hotel Room, Glasgow…

Straight after phoning his dad, Griffin went to the en-suite bathroom and said in front of the mirror "Annabelle, we stopped the warlock! The barrier between the living and the dead shouldn't be getting worse any more."

Griffin caught Annabelle as she jumped out of the mirror! Annabelle said "I've noticed, well done!" She then licked his face. "Nectanos has been stopped, and the veil is healing as we speak."

Griffin said "I can't really take all the credit, though. I had help from Cheddar and Goldwing. Do you remember them? Cheddar helped me during Operation Inundation, and Goldwing helped me after I dealt with that warlock at the Imperial War Museum. And they both helped me kick undead arse at Halloween. Cheddar destroyed the crannog on Loch Tay, the wooden house on top of water. Once that stone hit the water, it just… short-circuited is the closest to my understanding. I defaced each of the symbols on the stone to make sure it couldn't be re-used."

Annabelle went "You should know that the stolen lifeforce is now going back to those who it was taken from. The lifeforce from those who died is going to their families, making their life expectancy a bit longer."

Griffin realised what she meant. "Blood calls to blood," he said.

Annabelle told him "Exactly, Simon. Are you going to New York soon?"

He told her "On Tuesday. Tomorrow, I'm taking the ferry to Belfast and the train over to Dublin. I'll have to cross a customs checkpoint to reach the ferry, so I'll have to hand Justice over to you in the morning to pass their inspection."

Annabelle sniffed the air as she said "It always feels strange when I have to come to Earth. I have to ask…"

Griffin curiously asked "Yes, Annabelle?"

She asked him "Why did you use the bathroom to call me?"

He told her "Hotel bathrooms are en-suite and don't have windows, Annabelle. They give the privacy we need for this sort of thing. I have to be as much a spy as a soldier to do this sort of work, you know."

She said "That's… understandable."


Griffin opened the door and sat on the hotel bed with Annabelle on his lap. He said "I think I have an idea why it feels odd to you when you're on Earth, Annabelle."

Annabelle asked "What is your idea, Simon?"

Griffin asked "Do I have permission to speak freely?"

Annabelle told him "Of course!"

Griffin told her "You live somewhere where the passage of time, the changing of the seasons, day and night, simply don't exist. Where things only happen, change and last because the Lady Herself says they should. You're now somewhere where time passes, where lives, cities and nations rise and fall, regardless of what anyone has to say. That can feel jarring to someone."

Annabelle said "That actually makes sense. And you went the other way around."

Griffin replied "It was only the Lady's grace that kept the experience from being literally mind-blowing. Right, why did you come over then?"

Annabelle told him "You have an assignment to perform here in Glasgow. And you should have enough time to finish it before you leave Britain."

Griffin asked "Fair enough. So what's the assignment?"

Annabelle said "In Springburn, there is a house. The address is in the envelope in my paws. I was told it was what you would call a drug den? For whatever reason, the authorities won't search it."

Griffin took the envelope and said "I know what you mean. Someone's selling drugs out of there and probably paying off or blackmailing the local constables to ignore the place. I'm expecting armed if not powered resistance, and Springburn is bandit country."

Annabelle asked "What do you mean by 'bandit country'?"

Griffin answered "It's what we call a high-crime area. That'll slow police response down, which works for me as well. But if the police do go in on a drug den, they'll bring Armed Response, and those blokes can't mess about!"

Annabelle, concerned, asked "Does this mean you won't do it?"

Griffin declared "I'm doing it. And getting rid of a drug den would definitely help clean the town up."

Annabelle asked "Also, I believe that you might have more of an understanding of this than I do, so I have to ask… Do you know why I'm having problems using television sets as portals? I could do it without anything unusual occurring before."

Griffin said "Oh, I have an idea about what happened, and the issue has an Earthly origin. You know how you need a reflective surface on both sides to form a portal?"

Annabelle nodded.

Griffin explained "The old bulky TV screens were cathode ray tubes or CRTs. They used glass at the end that faces out towards the viewer, who I presume you'd be talking to. But as far back as the turn of the millennium, flat-panel displays started becoming more affordable and accessible. The fact that they're lighter, cheaper and relatively easier to manufacture and move compared to a CRT - and easier to watch for extended periods - certainly helped. The materials for the forward-facing surface in flatscreens are simply not as reflective as the lead glass used in CRTs. When the HDMI standards were released in the early to mid 2000s, it was the end for CRT as a major technology. By 2014, no one was making new CRT screens any more. That's why you're finding it difficult to find a TV portal."

Annabelle said "That explains a lot."

Griffin continued "Today, you generally only find CRTs in arcades and museums, as these are the only places left that still have reasons to keep them around. And TV-manufacturing companies are always trying to get flatscreens as close to 'true black' as possible to improve the picture clarity. So it looks like you won't have easy access to everyone's living room any more."

Annabelle went "I see. Well, I have to go. Can you take me to the bathroom?"

"Of course," Griffin told her.

When Annabelle leaped into the mirror, Griffin thought 'Right, Annabelle's put me on the bloody spot! I have to do the raid right now if I want a night's sleep and still be able to get to the ferry tomorrow! I'm going to need some help…'
Griffin gets a HP for his Honour complication. (Archangel Annabelle gave him a valid order under Clause One of the Agreement, and he hasn't got much time to do it in.)
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 2

Griffin opened the envelope containing the address he had to hit. He searched it on Google Maps and had a look at the Wikipedia article for the town. The house was only two blocks from Springburn railway station, so people from nicer districts can claim to be living dangerously. He performed a quick check on the area with his laptop, and found something very useful about the house: The Estate Agent's plan for the place. He transferred the picture to his ruggedised smartphone, took the SIM card out of the phone and set it to flight mode to disable the transmitters. He then put the SIM in the room safe.

He recalled that certain drug dens were often found with a pile of money. Even with the donation to charity that serves as his Lady's cut, Griffin wasn't going broke after a successful raid. The problem was with Police Scotland. Any gunfire and even they have to send Armed Police. If he wanted to loot the place, Griffin would have to floor all hostiles inside, before any of them get a shot off.
Griffin does a Technology check and gets 20. He gets a particularly useful piece of intel on the drug den. He does an Expertise: Current Affairs check and gets 19. He's aware of the possibility of the reward being worth the risk. He does an Expertise: Tactics check, getting 20. He has a good idea what the police will do, making him realise that he has to do the raid quickly.
He knocked on the door to Cheddar and Goldwing's room.

Goldwing said "Yeah, Griffin?"

Griffin asked "Can I come in, Gold?"

Goldwing nodded "Alright."


After shutting the door, Griffin said "I just got another assignment from my commanding officer. She wants me to hit a drug den here in Glasgow. If either of you want a bit more excitement today…"

Goldwing asked "Do we have to do it?"

Griffin told him "No, I'm the only one under any obligation for this one."

Goldwing said "Then I'm staying here."

Griffin asked "And you, Cheddar?"

Cheddar said "No, thanks. I don't want to risk getting too addicted to teach."

Griffin said "Fair enough. I'll be leaving in five, just knock on my door if you change your mind."

The moment Griffin went to his room, he changed back into his tactical outfit, putting his sword into his bag. Five minutes later, he left the hotel on his own.

He walked through the bustling streets of Glasgow and took the train from Queen Street to Springburn. During the train ride, he memorised the layout on his phone. He was going to hit every room and everyone he found there.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 3

Springburn Railway Station…

When he arrived, Griffin got off the train and had a look at the station's local map. All railway stations in Britain have one, to better help travellers find their way around the immediate area and to find which bus stops served their destination.

As Griffin approached the house, he thought to himself 'There's someone out front as a sentry/bouncer, ready to beat the crap out of crackheads who won't behave. I know the basic layout and about the back-alley garage. I'll use the garage and back garden as my method of entry.'

As Griffin entered the alley, he saw someone else guarding the garage directly behind the drug den, sitting on an abandoned sofa. Probably the dealer for those not respectable enough to be allowed in the house. Griffin just leaped at him and knocked him out with still-sheathed Justice.
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 10, the Thug Minion gets 4. Griffin attacks the Thug Minion with the Flurry of Steel with an All-Out Attack, getting 19. The Thug Minion gets 15 and is Incapacitated.
Griffin checked the man's pockets. He found a knife, a phone, £250, some weed, some ecstasy and some LSD. Griffin took the cash, the rest wasn't any good to him. He then put the man in the recovery position on the sofa to make him look like he was asleep. After that, he quickly flitted over to the back garden door.

Once he opened the door, it sounded the personal attack alarm that was hooked up to it, which emitted a 140 decibel alarm inside the house. Even though Griffin managed to smash it quiet, it was too late. Everyone in the house knew they had a problem! One of the thugs shouted "IT'S GRIFFIN! BATTER HIM!" as he ran up the stairs.
Griffin does a DC15 Perception check, getting 13. He doesn't see the personal attack alarm attached to the back door. It's on now! Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 16, two thug minions get 16 and 13, the House Boss gets 12, another Thug Minion gets 9, the Thug House Lieutenant gets 6, the last two Thug Minions get 4 and 2. Griffin is going non-lethal, everyone else is using lethal force. The Thugs have Krav Maga from Gamemaster's Guide. Griffin gets 1 HP for entering combat.
As Griffin entered the living room, two of the NEDs guarding the place charged at him. He levelled them both in one swing of his sword, then he turned the hi-fi off.

There was a silenced gunshot that hit Griffin in the head from upstairs, but he was still standing. As he went upstairs, someone went "Och, he's a solid feller!"

A woman's voice yelled "He's not that strong or he wouldn't need the sword! HOLD HIM DOWN, I have to reload!" Griffin knew she was going for some AP rounds, those could work on him.
Griffin attacks two Thug Minions with the Flurry of Steel, getting 29 (Crit scored!) and 19. They get 12 and 18, and are both Incapacitated. The House Boss is a Government Agent/Gang Leader from my Combined Archetypes post, with Krav Maga from the Gamemaster's Guide, Attractive, Connected, Contacts and Quick Draw, a Bulletproof Vest and Heavy Pistol with a Laser Sight and Suppressor. She fires at Griffin while he's Surprised, getting 19. His Impervious is high enough for him to not get hurt by it.
Two of the guards tried to grab Griffin, one from upstairs, the other from downstairs, but he managed to fend them off.
One Thug Minion and the House Lieutenant attempt to Grab Griffin. The Thug Minion gets 10 and misses. the House Lieutenant gets 21. Griffin gets 17 (using his Dodge to resist) and avoids the grapple. Two other Thug Minions have to skip their actions, as they don't have guns and can't reach Griffin.
Griffin KO'd the bloke downstairs, clouting him in the head and sending him downstairs again. One of the other guards went "He just cowped Fergus!"
Griffin does a Power Attack with the Flurry of Steel against the House Lieutenant, getting 24. The House Lieutenant gets 8 and is Incapacitated.
As Griffin turned to face upstairs, he heard the woman shout "MOVE BACK OR GET LOW!" Most of the men ran into one of the upstairs rooms, while the man on the stairs ducked to give the woman a clear shot at Griffin. The gun jammed.

While the men were throwing bottles and glasses at Griffin, he revealed his wings and declared "In the name of the Almighty God, this drug den's shutting down tonight! If you surrender, you will surely live! Even your mate downstairs will get better!"

He heard one of them go "Okay, I give! Don't let Fergus die!" and another went "Calm doon, mate! I surrender!" while they put their hands up. The third went "Simmer doon, mate!"
The three Thug Minions Threw various objects at Griffin, getting 4, 18 and 19. His Impervious means he's not even bruised. Griffin attempts to Coerce the remaining Thug Minions into surrendering, getting 18 in his Intimidation roll. The Thugs get 5, 11 and 17, which gets all of them to back down. The House Boss fires with the Heavy Pistol listed above loaded with solid-cast brass rounds (to give it Penetrating 3), getting 14 and missing.
The woman went "Cowards, the lot of you!" as she fired another bullet at Griffin.
Griffin Charged at the House Boss, attacking her with the Flurry of Steel and getting 15. She gets 19 and is hit.

House Boss: 1 Injury. The House Boss fires at Griffin with an All-out Attack, getting 12 and missing.

Griffin battered the House Boss until she was knocked out with several teeth missing.
Griffin attacked the House Boss with the Flurry Of Steel, getting 29 for three degrees of success and a scored crit! Griffin raises the DC by +5. The House Boss gets 11 and is incapacitated. Fight's Over!
Griffin turned to the remaining Thugs. One of them went "You said you'd let us live!"

Griffin told them, "I did, and I will. You don't need to be conscious to be alive, though. Don't worry, the police will wake you up. And Fergus will live, you have my word."

After knocking them out, he did a quick check of each room. He found a pair of bondage handcuffs and a ball gag in the downstairs room being used as a BDSM room. After cuffing Fergus' hands behind his back, Griffin used his Gift of Healing to heal Fergus' neck and skull. As he woke, Griffin quickly gagged him, saying "Shut up, listen up. I gave my word to your friends upstairs that if they surrendered, I would ensure that you lived. Let's go into that kinky room."

After Griffin bound Fergus' feet to the rack in the BDSM room, he said "Don't worry, the police will be here soon enough, they'll free you." Fergus was getting louder as Griffin shut the door.

While searching the house, Griffin saw a kilo package on the kitchen table. He left it alone for the police to find. He checked the pockets of each guard and the House Boss, finding some Bank of Scotland notes and some Euros, but most of the money was in Bank of England notes. He'd give the Scottish notes to Cheddar and Goldwing as they had more need for it than he did. He then found keys in the Boss' pocket.

When he entered the home office, Griffin opened the desk and dresser with the keys he found. He hit the jackpot! He discovered a whole pile of Bank of England notes! More cash in one place than he'd ever seen before, even after sparking up! He put all of the money in his bag and went outside, feeling pleased as punch with himself. Griffin flew out of the back garden, landing in the back alley. He then hid his wings and walked over to the nearest payphone and dialled 999…

A woman answered, saying "999, how can I help?"

Griffin went "Call the police, I've just seen someone shoot a handgun!"

The woman asked "A handgun? Are you sure? Where was this?"

Griffin said "It was at this address…" Then he gave the address he just hit. "The broken window means it was real and not a filming session or a game with the telly too loud! You'd better get Armed Response here!"

"Police are on their way, sir. Are you still in the area?"

"No, I'm a couple of streets down at a phonebox! I think I saw Griffin there, from London! I think they were shooting at him!"

"Did you say that Griffin was there?"

"Saw him go in with his white wings out and his sword drawn but sheathed. That's a clear sign he was ordered to just knock them out. It sounded like there five other people in there. I'd better go." Then he hung up.

Griffin used some of the Scottish notes to pay for a minicab back to Glasgow Queen Street. He then bought some Scotch whisky with glasses for his dad before going back to the hotel.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

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Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 4

Griffin's Hotel Room…

When Griffin got to his room, he went into the bathroom and said "Annabelle! It's done. The dealers have been laid out, police have been alerted and there's even proof they did something wrong that the police have to accept."

When Annabelle leaped out of the mirror and onto Griffin's shoulder, she asked "And what proof was that, Simon?"

As he sat on the bed, Griffin told her "That pistol the woman tried to shoot me with is straight-up illegal for civilians to possess here in Britain, doesn't matter which home nation you're in. It won't take too long before the police see the gun in the house boss' hands. One of their packages was on the kitchen table at the time I attacked, so they've got just cause to do a full search. Good thing I don't leave forensic traces I don't want to anymore. And in the UK, Armed Response are likely to be the most honest coppers in a given area."

As Annabelle sat on Griffin's lap, she saw the money on the desk. She asked "And why did you take all of that money from them?"

Griffin said "They raised weapons, they became combatants. I didn't kill them, but I made sure they couldn't leave until the police came. I even made sure the bloke with the broken neck and skull was alright before I left! I didn't rob civilians, I was looting hostiles and I'm doing something useful with the money. I mean, the Lady recognises that I need money to survive in the modern world, but she doesn't want me to succumb to Mammon. That's why the Agreement mentions me having to donate to charity whenever I obtain money as a result of doing a mission or using my gifts. I think of it as giving her her fair cut of the action."

Annabelle nodded, saying "I have read it, don't forget. You also owe Cheddar and Goldwing for bringing them this far away from home."

Griffin went "I know, Annabelle. Hotel is paid for tonight, as is breakfast in the morning, and they have tickets for the Caledonian Sleeper tomorrow night. It doesn't run on Saturdays, hence the hotel. That train is how they're getting back south. They go to bed in Glasgow and wake up back in London! Now, I'll have to count all this up before I can safely sort out how much to give…"


It took him two hours, but he did it. Griffin got all the money counted up from the drug house by himself. He said "So that's €200, £500 in Scottish notes and over £110,000 in English notes!"

Annabelle asked "So how are you dividing it?"

Griffin closed his eyes and slowly breathed out. "I think I've got this. I'm taking £1,250 of the English notes and all the Euros with me, as I'm going to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, where they're the relevant currency accepted. Besides, I don't expect to be there long enough to need more than that."

Puzzled, Annabelle asked "Judging by the way you said it, I take it that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are different countries?"

"Yeah. Northern Ireland is a home nation of the United Kingdom, while the Republic is its own independent and sovereign nation. As a UK citizen, I don't need a visa to get to another UK nation or to Ireland. Still need my passport to get there, though. It's the only ID that's legally recognised worldwide."

"Why would you need your passport if you're only going from one part of your country to another?"

"Normally, I wouldn't. I didn't even get asked for it when I took the train here. But due to Northern Ireland sharing an island and a land border with the Republic, I need my passport to get a ferry or a plane there. I do have a ferry ticket as well. I'll have to hand Justice over in the morning to get past security, as they won't let foot passengers carry weapons on board. And I'm not going to even bother trying to explain it past airport security. Anyway… The two big stacks there have £50,000 each. That's way more than 10% each, even when factoring in the exchange rate for the Euros. One is going to charity, as per our Agreement. The other is going to my house in London. I'm using the three small stacks worth £3,000 each there to pay Cheddar, Goldwing and my dad to move them for me."

Annabelle said "I see. Well, I had better get back. Can you get me to the mirror?"

Griffin said "Of course."

After Griffin helped Annabelle get back, he had a shower and changed into his original outfit. He then typed up a couple of letters and went down to the hotel's business centre to print them off and to get some envelopes. After all of that, he put the stacks in the envelopes. Once the envelopes were in the room safe, he went to the Flag with Goldwing and Cheddar.


The Lamb and Flag, later that evening…

Griffin passed a tray of drinks to his table, saying "That's a coke for me, a Bovril for Gold and a glass of whisky and spring water for Cheddar. Food will be along shortly."

Cheddar asked "Okay, how did you get that much money to pay them with?"

Griffin asked back "You know that place that I was assigned to hit?"

Goldwing went "You didn't-!"

Griffin smiled as he told Goldwing "Took it single-handed. It helped that I'm bullet-proof. After I laid everyone out, I searched the house. I found a kilo on the kitchen table, that's enough for possession with intent to supply. The house boss used a silenced pistol, so that's two things I know the police have to act upon. Then I found the biggest pile of cash I've ever seen in my life! After cleaning it out, I left via the back and then I used a payphone to call the police."

Cheddar asked "How did you get back here?"

Griffin told her "I found a minicab office. Those places take cash and only ask you where you're going. As we drove back, I saw Armed Response move in on the house. And since they were still unconscious, the house staff were helpless. A kilo package on the kitchen table plus the silenced pistol equals all the just cause they need to do a proper search. And I think that's our dinner now."


April 2nd, 2017, 9 AM at the hotel…

After breakfast, Griffin turned on the news while he packed up and then he used the bathroom mirror, saying "Good morning, Annabelle."

Annabelle appeared in the mirror, cheery as usual, saying "Good morning, Simon! Today's the day, isn't it?"

Griffin went "Yeah, I'm off to Ireland today, so I'm handing Justice over. Please look after it."

Annabelle said "Don't worry, I will. Safe travels." She disappeared back into the mirror in a flash of light, with Justice in tow.


Griffin then knocked on the door to Cheddar and Goldwing's room. He asked them "Can I come in?"

Cheddar said "Yeah, come on in."

Goldwing asked "Is something the matter?"

When he came in, Griffin said "Yeah. Cheddar, Goldwing, you both know I'm leaving the country today. I need you both to do something for me, as I won't have the time to do it myself. I'll pay you both for it and I'm even paying a bit up front, I'm that serious about it."

Cheddar asked "Alright, what is it? Please tell us it isn't violent."

Griffin told her "No, no violence is needed for this one. You two don't even need to do anything illegal!"

Goldwing asked "What do you want us to do, Griffin?"

Griffin went "Goldwing. This bag and the envelope inside it are for someone back in London who I've known and trusted for a long time. It has a bottle of single-malt whisky, and a few glasses for them. I recommend putting it in your own bag. The envelope contains three smaller envelopes and a letter. One of the envelopes is your payment. The address to deliver to is on this note, you can do it on the way to your place. The recipient already knows who and what I am, and what I do for a living. Their instructions are inside the envelope."

Goldwing took the bag as he said "I've got no problem with that."

Griffin handed Cheddar an envelope, saying "Cheddar, this envelope contains two smaller envelopes. Envelope 1 is a donation that I need done to keep my powers. Just drop it off at the nearest open charity shop you see and tell them that I donated it. Envelope 2, the smaller one, contains your payment for getting it there, you can keep that. Please text me once you've done it. I suggest going to Dumbarton Road, there's plenty of places you can drop it off there. Nearest station's Partick, you can get there from Queen Street or from Central."

Cheddar asked "I can do that. But what if they're all shut today?"

Griffin said "If you haven't done it by 4PM, call me on WhatsApp for alternative instructions. Before I forget, your advances."

Griffin put two stacks of money in front of Cheddar and Goldwing. He said "That's £250 each in Scottish notes. They have most of the same shops and the same electrical standards here as they do in London, so you shouldn't worry too much about finding a souvenir. The Flag's open on Sundays after noon as well, so don't worry about dinner. Your own payments are in English notes before you ask. I'm putting a lot of trust into you two, please don't let me down. I'll be seeing you both later."

Cheddar hugged Griffin, saying "Safe travels, Griffin."

Goldwing shook hands with Griffin and said "Good luck, Griffin. May the wind be at your back."

Before he left the room, Griffin went "Thank you, both of you."

As fast as he could without using his wings, Griffin checked out of the hotel and took a bus to Glasgow Central, so he could take the train down to Stranraer.


Back at the hotel…

Goldwing asked "What do we do now?"

Cheddar suggested "We should put these in our bags and wait until half eleven before we check out. The less we're seen with these envelopes, the better. I can probably do the donation and meet you at the Flag by six?"

Goldwing nodded "That should work."


After Cheddar checked out of the hotel, she hooked her overnight bag up to her broomstick and flew toward Queen Street. From there, she followed the next train to Partick. When she saw Partick station, she consulted the station map for the way to the busy Dumbarton Road. As she walked under the bridge, she saw a Salvation Army shop which had just opened for business. She took Envelope 1 out of the big envelope and walked in.

The lady at the till said "You're that Cheddar lass, right? Haven't seen you this far north!"

Cheddar said "I sorted out those ghosts for you. Griffin helped, and he asked me to donate this to you." She then put the heavy envelope on the counter, saying "You had better tell your boss at once."

The lady at the till looked in the envelope and went "I will, thanks! We could do with this!"

Cheddar said "No problem at all!" as she left to get her lunch sorted out. As she went to the nearby Greggs, she saw an shop called "Mega Amusements" being attacked by men with baseball bats, who were smashing up the windows. Her response was to mount up and start blasting them. She heard someone inside say "Keep smashing the machines, I've got this!"
Roll Initiative! Cheddar gets 15, 4 Goon Minions (from Gamemaster's Guide) get 20, 16, 9 and 8, while their boss, a Gang Leader with a Heavy Pistol and "Choose One" set to Ranged Combat (Guns), gets 4. The Goons aren't carrying guns, but each one has a club, and their ranks in Ranged Combat (Guns) have been shifted to Close Combat (Clubs).

Cheddar is going non-lethal, the Gang Leader is using lethal force, the Goons don't care either way.

Cheddar gets 2 HP for entering combat and for reduced force.

In the surprise round, Cheddar fires a Blast at one of the Goons, getting 27. The Goon gets 6 and is Incapacitated.

3 Goons remaining.

The gang boss came outside and started shooting at Cheddar with his pistol while she blasted back.
Cheddar fired a Blast, getting a Natural 1 and missing. The Gang Leader fired his Heavy Pistol and got 19. Cheddar got 20 and was unharmed.

Cheddar landed a headshot, but that didn't stop the gunman from returning fire.
Cheddar fired a Blast, getting 20. The Gang Leader got 14, getting hit and Dazed. The Gang Leader shot back, getting 8 and missing,

Gang Leader: 1 Injury, Dazed.

Cheddar was just too manouverable on her broom, the gunman couldn't land a shot on her!
Cheddar fires a Blast, getting 20. The Gang Leader gets 16, and is hit and Dazed.

Gang Leader: 2 Injuries, Dazed.

The Gang Leader managed to clear his head a little.
Cheddar fires a Blast, getting 12 and missing. The Gang Leader gets a Natural 1 when he shot back. He is no longer Dazed.

Cheddar managed to floor the gunman with another blast!
Cheddar fires a Blast, getting 14. Gang Leader gets 1 and is Incapacitated!

She dismounted the broomstick and used her wand to move the gunman and his pistol inside. As she walked in, Cheddar managed to avoid a baseball bat to the face, dropping the yob who swung it at her. Another yob swung his bat right into her spine!
One Goon swings his club at Cheddar, getting 20. Cheddar gets 22 to resist. She Blasts him in the face, getting 13, the Goon gets 22 and is Incapacitated. Another Goon swings at Cheddar, getting 19. She gets 20 to resist. The last Goon gets a Natural 20, non-crit (Minions can't crit non-minions) Cheddar gets 14 and is hit and Dazed. She spends a Luck Point (Recover) to overcome the Daze.

Cheddar: 1 Injury, 2 Recover LP remaining. 2 Goons remaining.

Cheddar ends up taking another blow to the chest, she needs to drop them soon!
Cheddar fires a Blast, getting 22, the Goon gets Natural 20 to resist. The Goon she fired on attacked, getting 21. She gets 25 to resist. the last Goon swings a club, getting 22. Cheddar gets a Natural 1! She spends a HP, getting 19, only taking another injury.

Cheddar: 2 Injuries, 2 HP remaining

Cheddar managed to drop the third yob while dodging a swing to her face.
Cheddar Blasts a Goon, getting 23. the Goon gets 19 and is Incapacitated. the remaining Goon takes a swing, getting 19. Cheddar gets Natural 1 again! She spends a Hero Point to reroll, getting 25 to resist.

Cheddar: 1 HP remaining. 1 Goon remaining.

Cheddar managed to floor the last yob and leave before Armed Response arrived!
Cheddar Blasts the Goon, getting 27. The Goon gets 16 and is Incapacitated! Fight's Over!

After landing on a distant rooftop and healing herself, Cheddar checked the contents of her own envelope and saw that she now had £3,000! She sent a text to Griffin…


Ayr Station…
When the train reached Ayr, Griffin got a text on WhatsApp as he was changing trains to Stranraer…

Code: Select all

From: Cheddar
Donation made to the Salvation Army. The staff were quite surprised!
Also, thanks for the other envelope!
Griffin sent a reply to Cheddar…

Code: Select all

To: Cheddar
Thanks for helping me out, you have no idea how much it means to me!
And don't mention it. :)
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 5

Stranraer station…

As Griffin got out of the station, he made his way to the bus stop. They stopped doing ferries in Stranraer years ago, but the railway station was still the nearest one to Cairnryan, where the ferries now departed from. Luckily for him, the 360 bus serving the Cairnryan ferries came as he arrived at the bus stop.


Stena Superfast VIII…

It didn't take long for Griffin to get past the security check. After all, he didn't have anything more dangerous than maybe a bit of dirty laundry. After passing it, he was given the key to the Superfast Suite on Deck 10 that he ordered. The suites were normally used by lorry drivers or by people with kids, but he booked one to ensure that he would have the privacy he needed for what he was about to do next. After locking the door to the suite, he took his shoes off, drew the curtains shut, moved the tea/coffee/snack tray to the table, then he faced the mirror above the desk, saying "Annabelle, I need to talk."

Griffin caught Annabelle as she jumped out of the mirror, saying "What is it, Simon?"

As he put her on the bed, Griffin said "It's just, this trip. I can't help but think that this might very well be the biggest thing I've ever done."

"And now you've realized what you've gotten yourself into."

As he sat on the bed, Griffin said "This is one of the few times I've ever committed myself into something serious."

Annabelle flew into Griffin and slammed him flat on his back. She barked at him "You have been committed to 'something serious' ever since you made the Agreement. And if you complete and survive the Tour, you will know what you're capable of. The best way for you to see what you really are is to see this through! Tell me, how are you getting from Belfast to Dublin?"

"I'm taking the Aircoach. Their 705X coach service goes from Belfast to Dublin Airport direct."

"You call it the Aircoach. Are you sure you're not breaking your promise to me?"

"I'm quite sure, it's just a coach that goes straight to the airport by road. Takes about two hours. My flight leaves tomorrow morning for NYC, so I'll be staying at the Maldron Hotel near the airport tonight."

"How near is it?"

"I can walk there from the airport, Annabelle. Also, I'll have to get Cass something in duty-free for her trouble."

"Who is Cass?"

"Ms. Magus' real first name. I don't know her family name."

"You didn't ask?"

"I told you before, Annabelle. In this business, you don't ask a power's real name. Helps cut down on retribution upon me or my family. The four times people know a power's real name are if they spill it willingly, if they get arrested, if forensic evidence solidly links someone to powered activity or if they're powerful enough to not care about people coming for them."

"I see. Well, I'll talk to you again in New York. Don't worry, your sword's still safe with me. When you want it back, all you have to do is ask."

"Thanks, Annabelle. Seriously, I think I needed to hear what you said about something serious."

Annabelle giggled as she said "Bon voyage!"

Annabelle then flew back into the mirror. Griffin then put the on board TV on and got a snack off the tray. He had everything he needed for the two hour trip: Food, drink, somewhere to sit and somewhere quiet.


Belfast, two hours later…

Griffin sent a selfie to his dad, with a sign behind him saying "Welcome to Belfast!"

Code: Select all

To: Dad
Attached: Photo
Made it to Belfast, will phone when I make it to my hotel in Dublin.
Griffin took the 96 bus from the port to Donegall Square. After he got off the bus, he turned right into Wellington Place as he saw the City Hall, which he took a photo of. He turned left into College Square East, then right into Glengall Street, passing the Grand Opera House. When he reached Grosvenor House, he saw the coach stop. He only waited a couple of minutes before it arrived.


Two hours later, Griffin made it to Dublin Airport without any drama. After he checked into the Maldron Hotel, he called his dad…

"Hey, dad. Just checking in. I've made it to my hotel in Dublin."

"Glad to hear it."

"So in the morning, after breakfast, I'll be taking the hotel's courtesy bus to Terminal 2. Once I go through US Customs, I'll soon be on the plane."

"How are you going to get to Ms. Magus' place?"

"I'm going to talk to her about it after this call."

"Okay. As for that other thing…"

"I got past customs at Stranraer without any drama, so I'm pretty sure my method will work at Dublin Airport. There is something I should tell you."

"What's that?"

"A friend of mine will be coming round to the house tomorrow to drop something off for you."

"Why?"

"Because I can't do it myself. His name's Goldwing, you'll know him when you see him, trust me. The bag he'll give you contains an envelope with a letter in it, I must insist you read it before you do anything else with the package. I've got to go, I've spent six hours on the move and I could do with some rest."

"Alright, I'll let you go. Text me when you get to New York."

"I will. Bye."

"Bye."


After Griffin hung up, he dialled Ms. Magus' number on Whatsapp.

A woman with a distinct Brooklyn accent asked "Hello, who is this?"

Griffin said "Hi, Ms. Magus. It's Griffin."

"Hey, Griffin. Got your telegram."

"Had to be sure you couldn't forget! And I got your response by the way."

"Okay, so you're coming over tomorrow?"

"Correct. I'll be flying in from Dublin-"

"Wait. Did you say from Dublin?"

"That's right. Dublin and Shannon airports have US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance terminals, the only ones outside the Western Hemisphere. They check every passenger for the US by American standards, so all flights from Dublin are treated as domestic flights when they hit American airspace. I can go straight to the luggage carousel after landing, as Homeland Security will have had me checked out before I got anywhere near their country. And if I'm refused entry, it'll be easier to get back home from Dublin compared to doing it from New York."

"Okay, that makes sense. Where and when are you arriving again?"

"I'll arrive tomorrow at JFK Terminal 5 at 1.20 PM, Eastern Daylight Time. Flight number is Echo India 105 from Dublin."

"Which airline is that?"

"Aer Lingus, Ireland's flagship airline."

"Just a second…" Griffin could hear a computer keyboard in the distance. Ms. Magus came back with "Yeah, just checked online. 1.20 PM tomorrow, Terminal 5. Just in time for lunch."

"Being in the air for seven hours while crossing five timezones means that the jetlag will hit in a couple of hours of my landing, so I'll need help getting to your place. I don't want to be both lost and jetlagged when I'm new in town."

"Oh, I hear ya. I'll get ya a taxi."

"Cheers. I really appreciate it."

"There's something else I need to tell you."

"What is it, Ms. Magus?"

"Due to certain constraints, you'll have to leave my place on April 17th, no matter what."

"I understand. I'll see you in New York tomorrow!"

"See ya!"
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 6


7 AM, 3rd April 2017, Maldron Hotel, Dublin.

After having dinner and an early night, Griffin got a call from Goldwing via WhatsApp.

"Good morning, Goldwing."

"Hey, Griffin. Cheddar and I made it to London."

"Glad to hear you made it safely."

"So, about this address…"

"Do you know where Woolwich is?"

"Yeah, I do. It's where they have that car ferry, isn't it? The one east of the Thames Barrier?"

"The Woolwich Ferry, yeah. Call me when you get there."


Ten minutes later…

"Hello?"

"Griffin, this address you gave me…"

"Yeah?"

"I'm at Woolwich now…"

"Okay, listen to me carefully. Fly over to Woolwich Arsenal's National Rail station and then fly to Plumstead station. It's the next station from platform 2, the down line. There'll be a few bridges over that way but no tunnels. A bit further downhill from the Plumstead station entrance, you'll see the bottom of Griffin Road, named after an ancestor of mine. The 53 and 653 buses go up that way. What you do is fly uphill, turn left at the Baptist Church, turn right and then the street you want will be second to your left. The door you want is on the brow of the hill, wooden with a double red rose window. It has a charging point directly outside."

"I got it. Plumstead station, uphill to Baptist Church, then left, right then second left. Wooden door with roses and charging point."

"You get it. Before I go, I have to say that the homeowner is expecting you. Make sure that he reads the letter first!"

"Understood. I'll see you later. Goodbye."

"Bye."


Griffin's house, five minutes later…

Goldwing rang the doorbell.

When Griffin's dad answered it, Goldwing said "Hello sir, the name's Goldwing. Mr. Griffin sent me with a package to deliver. May I come in?"

Griffin's dad said "He told me you were coming, you had better come in."

When Goldwing entered and closed the door, he handed over the gift bag and said "Mr. Griffin asked me to give you this bag and to tell you to read the letter inside the envelope before you do anything else." The envelope simply said "For Mr. Wentworth" in Griffin's handwriting. The letter read…
Griffin wrote:Mr. Wentworth,

Mr. Goldwing is a mate of mine who I've fought alongside, you can trust him to exercise discretion. Besides, I've already been to his flat. There are three other envelopes inside the one he has just given you.

DO NOT READ THIS BIT OUT LOUD, NOR MUTTER UNDER YOUR BREATH!

Goldwing does NOT know our exact relationship, please maintain control. If you spilled by accident, that's on you alone. All I told him about you is that I can trust you with this. That's all.

You can read out loud again now.

I want you to put Envelope #1 (the heaviest) somewhere safe for when I come back. I can't trust anyone else to stash it, and I've made a note of the contents. Don't worry, they're legal to possess.

The two smaller envelopes each contain £3,000 cash. One is yours to do with as you see fit. The other is to be given to Goldwing as it's his fair payment for getting the package here.

The boxes contain a bottle of genuine single-malt Scotch whisky, along with the proper glasses. Remember, it's best when diluted with soda water or mineral water, no ice.

By the time you read this, I should be in Dublin by now, getting ready for NYC. If you haven't already done so, call me on WhatsApp AT ONCE to confirm delivery. You already know the number.

Yours, Griffin.
Griffin's dad said "Thank you, Mr. Goldwing. Griffin said to give you this in the letter."

Goldwing opened it with his talons. When he saw the money, he said "Tell Griffin I said thanks!"


When Griffin saw who was calling him now, he had to answer it.

He said "Hey, dad. I take it Goldwing came round?"

His dad said "He did, Si. He said thanks for the money. Mind telling me what's in the big envelope?"

"£50,000."

"What?!"

"Yep."

"It wouldn't have anything to do with what I heard happened in Glasgow?"

"What did you hear?"

"That someone fitting your description attacked a drug den in Glasgow, single-handedly smashing the operation."

"Yeah, that was me under my Lady's orders. I knocked them all out, took their cash and called the police on them. The kilo package on the kitchen table and the silenced pistol that the house boss fired means that there's something in there that'll stick. Also, there was a S&M room in the house that I used to restrain someone after I healed their neck. Before you say anything, I must point out that I healed the man in exchange for his friends surrendering. Their surrender didn't prohibit me from making sure they couldn't flee. And I already donated the other half of the money I found to charity, as per my Agreement."

"You donated £50,000? To who?"

"The Salvation Army. I took a bit over a grand for myself and divided the rest. Cheddar, who did the donation on my behalf, got three grand. Goldwing got three grand and you have three grand. Meaning that any expense they incurred getting to Scotland is effectively paid back and then some. And I always pay my debts."

"At least you worked out how to do some good with the money. I know you're going to be very busy, so I'll let you go now. Text me when you get to New York."

"Got it. I'll see you later."

Griffin had the brownies from the ferry as a light breakfast and then he checked out and took the hotel's courtesy minibus straight over to the airport.


Dublin Airport Terminal 2…

After Griffin went through the fast-track security, he still had to deal with US Customs. He handed over his documents to the CBP officer, who said "I have to ask a couple of questions, sir."

Griffin told him "Of course."

The officer asked "Why do your tickets say you're arriving in New York but departing from Emerald?"

Griffin told him "That's because I'm doing a round-the world trip, officer. I'll be crossing America by train and by coach. Your country is quite large and I wish to see the size of it for myself as well."

"But why is a Brit using an Irish airport?"

"Because this airport has US Preclearance. If you let me pass, I don't have to repeat this when I reach JFK. If you deny boarding, it'll be easier for me to get back home to London from here. I wouldn't want to be the poor bastard who has to do it when they've already crossed an ocean."

"Makes sense. Looks like everything's in order, sir. All you have to do now is let me scan your fingerprints."

"Got it." Griffin then concentrated on leaving fingerprints on the scanner, as he now had to make a conscious decision when he wanted to leave them behind.

A couple of minutes later, the officer said "All set, sir. Welcome to America."

Griffin went "Thank you, officer!" as he got his documents back.
The US CBP Officer thought something was wrong with Griffin's tickets. His attitude shifted to Unfriendly as he must assume by law that Griffin is trying to illegally immigrate permanently. Griffin has to get the Officer's attitude back up to Neutral to get past him peacefully. Griffin gets 19 on the Persuasion check, raising the Officer's attitude back up to Neutral.

10:50 AM. Flight EI 105…

Griffin got in his Business class seat and strapped in. This was the first time he ever booked a business seat and he noticed how comfortable it was compared to standard. After take-off, Griffin settled in for the long-haul.

As the plane made it across the Atlantic, Griffin noticed that the first things he saw that confirmed that he was in America were American football fields and baseball diamonds. 'Bloody typical,' he thought.

1.30 PM. JFK Terminal 5…

As Griffin wheeled his luggage out of the airport, he saw Ms. Magus come up to him, saying "Welcome to New York, Griff!"

"Cass! Am I glad to see a friendly face around here! Can we stop by your place first so I can drop off my luggage? The jetlag's about to hit any minute."

"Sure!"


30 minutes later, Ms. Magus' House, Bay Ridge…

As Cass opened the door, a mannequin wearing a maid's uniform answered her, saying "Welcome back, Mistress. Is this gentleman your guest?"

"Yes. Mr. Griffin will be my guest for the next couple of weeks, Jane. Would you take his luggage and show him to his room?"

"Of course. Please follow me, Sir."


A few minutes later, Jane showed Griffin to his new room, saying "And here is your room, Mr. Griffin."

"Thank you, Jane. I have to ask, why are there so many of you mannequins about?"

"We mannequins serve Mistress Cassandra and her guests."

"So if I asked you to do something for me…"

"We would do it, yes. But we are bound to obey four rules at all times, in the Mistress' absence as in her presence."

"Which rules are those? I don't want to ask you to do something you can't, you see."

"Our first rule is that we cannot harm a human. If one appears to be hostile to us, we must inform Mistress Cassandra. We mannequins have a mental link to each other, so if one of us comes to harm, we will know where it happened and whichever one of us is nearest to her will inform the Mistress. Our second rule is that we must obey any order given by Mistress Cassandra if it does not require harming a human to perform it. And we must also preserve our own existence where doing so does not violate the previous two standing orders."

"And the fourth?"

"The Mistress's orders override and overrule any order that a guest gives us, should they conflict."

"Good to know. Now we're safely inside, there's something I have to tell your Mistress."

"What is it?"

"I have to actually show her in order to prevent any misunderstanding. Where is she now?"

"In the dining room. Do you want us to inform her that you want to speak to her?"

"Please."

"Just a moment… Mistress has been informed that you want to speak to her. Please see her in the living room."

"I'll be right down…"


A minute later…

As Griffin arrived in the living room, he said "Cass, I have something to tell you."

"What is it?"

"It's my sword. The one you saw me use at the Museum of London? I worked out how to get it past Customs without letting them know about it!"

"How'd you do that?"

"I'll show you when I find the nearest mirror, I need it to bring the sword over."

"There's one over there." she says, pointing at a full-length mirror.

"And I see why you put it there." When Griffin approached the mirror, he put the TV on mute. Then he said "Archangel Annabelle, it's Griffin speaking. I've made it to New York City and I'm safely at Ms. Magus' house!"
Griffin does a Tactics roll and gets 15. He can tell that the mirror is positioned so you simply cannot enter the living room from the hallway without being seen from the sofa.

Annabelle appeared, saying "And I'm glad you made it, Griffin!"

As Griffin picked Annabelle up, he said "Welcome to New York, Annabelle! This is Ms. Magus, my hostess for my New York stay. Cass, this is my commanding officer, Archangel Annabelle."

Cass asked "Are you sure she's an archangel? I know the Host do things a bit differently, but-"

Griffin said with conviction "She is an archangel, Cass. The Almighty herself personally appointed Archangel Annabelle as my mentor and commanding officer. I have no doubt or dispute about her authority over me or of the overall legitimacy of said authority."

Cass said "I believe it, Griffin."

Griffin asked "So Annabelle, do you have the sword?"

"Yes, I do," she replied. "Just a minute…" She dived back into the mirror and she soon came back with the sword and belt, saying "Remember, Mother trusts you to use that sword responsibly."

Griffin told her "I will, Annabelle. I swear as the Lady is my witness, you won't regret this!"

"And remember, I'll be watching!"

"Farewell, Annabelle!"


Then Annabelle flew back into the mirror. Cass went "That was a very neat trick, Griffin!"

"The hard bit was convincing Annabelle that it was in our Lady's interest to hold on to the sword for me. I reckoned that since the blade's required for me to perform my angelic duties, Annabelle would consider it her duty as an archangel to help me get it past customs. She agreed but I had to swear an oath not to take any commercial domestic flights."

"Does she even understand the size of America?"

"She said she did, but I find there's a lot of difference between knowing and understanding. At least 3,000 miles from coast to coast… This is going to be a test…"
Last edited by betterwatchit on Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress, Part 7


7 P.M. Ms. Magus' House…

In the living room, Ms. Magus asked Griffin "Want to go out for dinner tonight, Griff?"

Griffin replied "Alright. I've got a messenger bag so I can carry my sword outdoors without New York's Finest - or any capes for that matter - giving me any heat over it."

Ms. Magus nodded "Smart move."


As they went out, they passed three men who were wearing trenchcoats and cowboy hats.

Griffin whispered "Don't those three look a bit dodgy, Ms. Magus? I know it's a bit damp out, but not that much."

"You're right, they don't look like your average leg-breakers to me. They look a bit too big for that."
Griffin gets 15 on his Insight and Ms. Magus gets 27. Griffin can tell they're dodgy, but Ms. Magus can tell that they're not the usual kind of heavies.

They followed the thugs to a French restaurant, the Blanched Escargot.
Ms. Magus gets 27 on a Well-Informed check. She knows that the Blanched Escargot is suspected of being a smuggling front.

The thugs then went straight into the back of the restaurant, the staff-only area. The lack of resistance from the waiter or the chef only meant that they were somehow expected.

Griffin carefully unzipped his messenger bag. Then gunfire broke out of the staff-only area! Griffin went "Oh, f**k me!"

Everyone else ran out, except for Ms. Magus and Griffin who headed straight to the back area, and the chef who was against the wall and swearing quite loudly in French. As Ms. Magus approached the door, one of the legbreakers fell through it. He had a brutish and furry face, large pointed ears and fangs. Griffin didn't know if the guy was human to start with, but even if he was, he was definitely too dead for it to matter much now.

As they entered the storage area, Ms. Magus saw someone headed through a secret door. Griffin saw three more bodies, one human and two furry faces.
Griffin gets 13 on his Perception and Ms. Magus gets 25. She saw the door open and where the switch for it was.

Griffin went "What the f-"

Ms. Magus said "Bugbears. Never knew they were real until now."

"You know what they are?"

"Yeah, I'll talk about it when we get out of here."

The chef said "I've just called the police! You do not want to be here when they come, I think!"

Ms. Magus said "Thanks for the warning, monsieur! Come on, Griff! I saw someone open a hidden door and you don't want go down a police station on your first day in America!"

"I'm afraid you're right. Lead the way!"
Griffin gets a HP as he agrees with Ms. Magus: it's going to look really bad for him to be involved in violent activity on his first day in America but he can't really flee.

Ms. Magus pressed an electrical socket and the door swung open. There were electric lights strung along the ceiling. The light revealed a narrow staircase. The pair made their way down six stories of stairs and then Ms. Magus said "Ladder leading down. I can hover down but judging by your wingspan, you'll have to climb."

"Got it."


Ten seconds later, they made it down to an underground corridor which was dry but dimly lit. Loud hip-hop could be heard from a distance.

Griffin said "I didn't expect to have to do a crawl today. Sod it, I'll lead. If we get shot with mundane ammo, I can walk it off." He then got his sheathed sword out of his bag, saying "Let's turn right here, that's where the music's coming from."

Ms. Magus nodded.

That's when they were fired on by a smuggler who fled down the next junction.

Griffin yelled "Come on! He's gonna call for backup!" Then the music stopped.

Ms. Magus said "He's already got it!"

Griffin went "I'm up front!" And as he turned the corner, that's when a whole gang opened fire on him. Griffin drew his sword, revealed his wings and marched down the corridor, bullets bouncing off him. He shouted "I am the Griffin of London, angel of the Almighty God! Surrender or die!"
Roll Initiative! Griffin gets 14, Ms. Magus gets 12, two Thug minions get 11, the Gang Leader gets 10 and three Thug minions get 4 each.

Griffin moves toward the gunmen and Intimidates the whole group, getting a +5 bonus for use of his wings and the fact that nothing the shooters have seems to work. He gets 16. The Gang Leader gets 11, the rest get 10, 9, Natural 1, 9 and 5, and are all Coerced into surrendering.

The gang leader went "I thought you was a cop, but I ain't messin' with an angel!"

Griffin said "Put your weapons on the floor! NOW!"

As they disarmed themselves, Ms. Magus said "Where's your stash?!"

One of the gang said "Turn left as you leave the corridor, go straight ahead, turn right then left again! You're not going to kill us, are you?"

As Ms. Magus headed to the stash, Griffin said "As long as you fully co-operate as you have so far, we will not have cause to harm you."

Ms. Magus soon came back, saying "They've got a prisoner here!"

Griffin went "You idiots have a prisoner?! Give me the keys to free them RIGHT NOW! Get them out and put them on the table for my partner, nice and slow! Ms. Magus, get the keys and get our new friend loose! I've got these scum under control."

The moment Ms. Magus got out of Griffin's sight, he said "Now to make sure you won't follow us…" He pointed his sword at the gang. A bright light suddenly flashed and the gang were unconscious. Griffin then put his wings away and checked their pockets. He found a total of $60, a few knives, a Swiss army knife and a key. He took the money, Swiss army knife and the key, thinking they'd be useful.
Griffin spends a HP to stunt Knockout Blast: Cone Area Affliction 8, Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated, Resisted by Will, Quirk: Non-Lethal Only. The Thug minions get 8, 1, 9, 5 and 8 and are Incapacitated. The Gang Leader gets 7 and is Incapacitated.

When Ms. Magus got to the prisoner, she said "Don't be afraid, sir. We're getting you out of here!"

The man said in a French accent "There is something they took from me, I cannot leave without it."

Ms. Magus asked "What is it?"

The Frenchman said "It is a porte-document in steel?"

Griffin said "Ms. Magus, he just said that there's a steel briefcase he needs, it's most likely in their stash. Here's a key I found, see if it fits any locks! I'll heal our friend." After cutting him free - a monomolecular blade makes that rather easy - Griffin applied his healing touch on the Frenchman.
Griffin does a Healing check and gets 10. The Frenchman still needs some help, but he's definitely out of immediate danger.

Ms. Magus soon found the stash, which was loaded with stolen jewellery, some cash and a single steel briefcase. Ms. Magus took the cash and the briefcase. When she returned with the steel case, she asked "Is this it?"

The Frenchman said "Oui, that is mine!"

Griffin asked "Now, how are we getting out of here? I think the police might still be outside."

Ms. Magus said "I know a spell for this kind of thing. Emergency Entrance!" A portal opened and Griffin could see Ms. Magus' living room! "You and our friend go first, Griff! The portal closes after I cross it!"
Ms. Magus spends a HP to stunt Magic into Emergency Entrance: Teleport 6, Accurate, Portal, Extended, Limited Location 2: The Lodge.

Griffin said "Come on, monsieur!" He then helped the Frenchman cross the portal then he said "We're back in your house, Ms. Magus! Come on!"

"Coming, Griff!"

Ms. Magus then went through the portal.

Griffin said to a nearby Mannequin "This man appears to have been dehydrated! He needs water AT ONCE!"

The Mannequin said "Ice-cold water coming up!"


8 P.M. Cass' House…

When Cass came through the portal and closed it, the Frenchman downed the glass of water, saying "Merci beaucoup!" while Griffin went "I can't believe we just dodged the NYPD!"

Cass said "Now we're out of danger, I have to ask, monsieur… Who are you and why were you down there in the first place?"

The Frenchman said "My name is Delacey, I came to this city from Paris to reclaim… certain property of mine. I was assaulted by the gang you defeated shortly after I landed. According to my phone, it has been a few hours since I landed and you saved me."

Griffin asked "What is this property of yours, monsieur, that you'd take something as major as a transcontinental trip to reclaim it?"

Delacey told him "One moment while I open this." Delacey then put the right combination on the briefcase lock. It contained a really old book. He asked "Can either of you read French?"

Griffin said "I can. The title of the book is Le Chien de l’Onyx—Sa Fonction et Son Origine Mystérieuses. The Onyx Dog-Its Function and Mysterious Origin."

Cass said "I've heard about the Onyx Dog. The way I heard it, you could use it to summon a loyal dog to fight by your side… But I didn't know that there was a manual for it!"
Ms. Magus does an Expertise: Magic check and gets 25. She knows enough about the Onyx Dog to understand just how valuable an accurate manual and history for it would be.
Delacey said "Oui. I am the rightful owner of the Chien d'Onyx and I want him back."

Griffin said "According to this, the last person who could honestly be considered the rightful owner, who the author claims was a 'man-like being with pointed ears' named 'Nieulor', was last seen at the Bastille… right before it was stormed in 1789. If Nieulor somehow survived the storming, then the chaos at that time would have been the perfect time to disappear! And information wasn't centrally accessible or instant at great distances back then, so all he had to do is use a different name and that's it, he's effectively gone for good!"

Delacey said "And indeed I was…" while he swept his hair back, revealing his pointed ears.

Griffin went "…You're him. You're Nieulor, aren't you?"

Delacey said "Oui. I am Nieulor. I am what humans would call an elf."

Griffin responded "I've seen a lot of different people, but I've never seen an elf before!" He then calmed down a little and said "Okay. What's your plan now?"

Nieulor went "I have a meeting arranged for midnight with Monsieur Lastrode to reclaim the Chien d'Onyx. And I want you two to help me. I will pay, of course."

Cass asked "Are you absolutely sure that he will actually have the Onyx Dog on him when you meet with him?"

Nieulor asked "On him?"

Griffin went "Ms. Magus is asking if you are certain that Lastrode will actually have the Onyx Dog in his possession when you meet him?"

Nieulor said "Oui. He is hardly seen in public now without a large black dog by his side. That is how I know he has my property. But he is not the true master of the Chien d'Onyx. If I can reach it, I can make it mine once again. Lastrode gave me this as the location for the meeting, I am afraid that I have not worked out what it means."

Griffin asked "Could you pass it here, please?" One look and he said "Oh, I know exactly what this is, it's a Plus Code! Google Maps can use this! Let me see…" Griffin typed it into his phone and said "Got it! According to this, Lastrode wants you to meet him at Sunset Park."
Griffin does a Technology check and gets 21. He recognises the Plus Code for what it is and correctly enters it.
Cass said "That's not too far from here, only three stops on the R Train."

Nieulor asked "And where is 'here', anyway?"

Cass told him "We're near 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. You could walk your way to Sunset Park in just over half an hour if you wanted. I'll call for some pizza while we make our plan."


Three and a half hours later…

Griffin said "Okay, let's go over the plan one last time before we go and do this thing. The green pin here is where the meet is supposed to take place, we need you to go there, Nieulor. Cass, I want you to be in position at the red pin by 11:30. I'll be at the yellow pin by then. Don't worry, I can catch up if things get heated. Does this sound like a good plan to everyone?"

Nieulor nodded, saying "Oui."

Cass said "Makes sense to me."

Griffin went "Then let's go and see a man about a dog…"
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Planning, Preparing and Progress

Post by betterwatchit »

Planning, Preparing and Progress Conclusion

11:45 P.M. Sunset Park…

It was late at night and only crickets could be heard at the park. Griffin, Cass and Nieulor were all in position, making notes of potential hostiles. Only one of the bugbears was any good at hiding, but not good enough.
There are three Bugbears in the park, trying to be subtle. They get 22, Natural 1 and 8 on a Stealth roll.
Griffin does a Perception check and gets 22, 6 and 17. Ms. Magus gets 21, 18 and 13. All three bugbears have been found!
That was when Lastrode turned up early with the dog and two bodyguards who looked a lot like the bugbears that Griffin and Cass saw.

The dog's ears suddenly perked up. Lastrode looked at the dog and then pointed at Nieulor, shouting "KILL HIM NOW!"

Griffin drew his still-sheathed sword, yelling "AMBUSH!"
Nieulor has the stats of the Mystic archetype from Heroes Handbook with Extended and Lowlight Vision. Lastrode has the stats of a Gang Leader with his "Choose One" skill going into Expertise: Business. The Bugbear minions have the stats of a Thug with Low-Light Vision and Tracking (Scent). The Chien D'Onyx is a Wolf.

Roll Initiative! Lastrode gets 22, a Bugbear gets 21, Ms. Magus gets 17, a Bugbear gets 11, the Chien D'Onyx gets 10, Griffin gets 7, a Bugbear gets 4, Nieulor gets 3 and two Bugbears get 3.

Everyone gets a HP. Nieulor gets another HP as he doesn't want to kill his dog. Griffin and Nieulor are going non-lethal. Everyone else is using lethal force.
Lastrode fled the park, heading towards his car. Meanwhile, Griffin and Ms. Magus got to work protecting Nieulor as hard as they could.
Lastrode double-moves out of the park. A Bugbear fires his pistol at Nieulor, getting 7 and missing.
Ms. Magus fires a Magical Blast at the Bugbear who fired at Nieulor, getting 22. The Bugbear gets 13 and is Incapacitated.
The Chien D'Onyx double-moves to Nieulor's position.

Griffin charges at two Bugbears with the Flurry of Steel, getting 25 on both. One gets 10 and the other gets 16, meaning they're both Incapacitated. Nieulor fires a Mystic Blast at a Bugbear coming at him, getting 14. The Bugbear gets 20 and is Incapacitated.
As soon as he dived into his car, Lastrode yelled "DRIVE!"

Nieulor touched the Chien d'Onyx on the forehead, saying in Elvish "<Remember me, your true master!>"
Lastrode is now out of combat.

Ms. Magus fires a Blast at the last Bugbear, getting 23. the Bugbear gets 7 and is Incapacitated.

The Chien D'Onyx attacks Nieulor and gets 12, missing him.

Nieulor spends a HP to stunt his Blast into Restoring Loyalty: Close Nullify Mind Control 12. He gets 19, the Rank 5 effect on the Chien D'Onyx gets 17. The Chien D'Onyx is free!
The dog started to lick Nieulor, who said "Le Chien is calm now, you can approach us!"

Griffin said "Glad to hear it, as the NYPD are incoming! We leave NOW! Ms. Magus, I hope you can do that portal again!"

Cass said "You're damn right I'm doing it! Emergency Entrance!"

As the portal opened, Griffin went "Let's go, let's GO!"
Ms. Magus spends a HP to stunt her Magic into Emergency Entrance again.
Nieulor brought his dog through the portal, Griffin and Cass soon jumped through.

When they landed in Cass' living room, Griffin said "Unbelievable! My first day in America and I get into two different fights and find out that elves are real beyond reasonable doubt… Nieulor, if you should ever find yourself in London, I recommend visiting the Time in a Bottle pub near Kings Cross Station. Given how close it is to St. Pancras, you could just walk there if you wanted. It's one pub that gladly welcomes the likes of us. Well, if anyone wants me, I'm off to bed. Good night, everyone."

Cass said "And so am I. Nieulor, all you have to do is turn left out of the front door and turn left again to get to the subway. You should be able to get back to your hotel from there. Good night."

As Nieulor walked out with his dog at his heels, he said "Bonne nuit, Griffin. Bonne nuit, Ms. Magus."

Meanwhile...

Lastrode was still in his car and on his phone to someone, saying "It's Lastrode. Get the word out, the Griffin of London is in America! I repeat, the Griffin of London is here in New York City! No, I don't know why he's on this side of the Atlantic, but that's something we need to find out. Call me when you can!"
Griffin and Ms. Magus each get 1 PP.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Planning, Preparing and Progress

Post by betterwatchit »

Out on the Town, Part 1

4th April, 2017… 89 days remaining on Griffin's waiver.

As Griffin and Ms. Magus were finishing their cereal, Griffin asked "There's something I want to do today, and I was wondering if you could help me, Ms. Magus?"

Ms. Magus asked "What is it?"

"Tell me, have you heard of Goldwing?"

"The griffin technomancer from Ani-Earth who enchants stuff for capes?"

"Yeah, him. I owe him one so I'm going to get him a gift he'll find useful. Can you think of anyone in the Five Boroughs who can make those gloves of his?"

"There's maybe one guy I know of who might help. His name's Leo Zelinsky, half the super-types in this town get their costumes from him! If anyone in America can make gloves that can fit a griffin, it's that guy! His basement store's in Manhattan, on 23rd Street near Eighth Avenue."

Griffin checked his phone and said "Bloody hell… According to Google Maps, there's at least five stations in Manhattan called 23rd Street! They must all be on separate lines."

"And Bay Ridge Avenue Station is closed. But I have a better idea. How quickly can you fly?"

"250 MPH is my cruising speed when I get airborne."

"250?! I can only do sixteen!"

"Yeah, I can fly at 250 miles per hour! I didn't have much of a chance to show you last night, what with the fighting being at ground level."

"Good point. Look, if you want to fly to Leo's, there's some housing projects near 23rd and 8th, just west of Leo's shop. I'm pretty sure there's some green space there you can land in. You can use the backyard here to take off or land if you want."

"Thanks, Ms. Magus. I'll let you know if he does it."

"Good luck!"

Griffin then went out into Ms. Magus' backyard. It was mostly grass except for a single paved path. After having a quick peek to be sure the neighbours weren't watching, Griffin then revealed his wings and took off, setting his course for Manhattan!

During his flight over, Griffin decided to have some fun by hovering over the Statue of Liberty, waving at the tourists.


23rd and 8th, four minutes later…

Griffin saw the housing project that Ms. Magus was on about and soon landed safely. From there, he hid his wings and started walking. It wasn't too long before he found the basement store with a neon sign saying "Leo's Tailoring". He opened the door and as the bell rang, he said "Hello?"

An old man entered from the back office, saying "Mr. Griffin, I've heard of you. So, are you here for a new costume?"

"Not exactly, Leo. I want to get a gift for someone I know, and Ms. Magus of Brooklyn told me that you might be the only person in New York who can discreetly help me out with what I have in mind."

"Cassandra sent you? She's a good girl, you know. She really stands up for the little guy. If she says you're okay, that's good enough for me. And what gift would that be?"

"There's a real griffin I know back in London, people call him Goldwing."

"Yeah, I've heard of him. I once had a bit of spare time and did some patterns for a few clothes that would fit his body in case he came over here. It was quite a challenge, designing them to fit his wings and tail."

"Shows you've still got it and that you're up to the challenge. And who knows, you might even get a local power who ends up needing the use of those patterns one day. I mean, the metagene doesn't care about your old clothes. But seriously, what I want to get Goldwing are two pairs of gloves that'll fit him. I even have the pattern for the gloves on me, given to me directly from the man himself. Here's a pic of the finished product so you can tell if you've got it right."
The glove in question:

Image

Leo looked at the pattern carefully. "Four fingers and a thumb, the same as us. Let's see here… Wrist size… Finger length… Hairsheep leather dyed white, wool lining, elasticated cuffs… This is very close to my usual glove pattern. But may I ask why they have those tips?"

Griffin said "Goldwing needs the sheathed tips so he can touch other people without accidentally hurting them with his talons. He once told me that on his own world, they have laws requiring people to take reasonable precautions to prevent their species-unique anatomy from accidentally harming others when out in public. As far as the Ministry of Powers is concerned, the gloves are considered to be just as reasonable here as they are on his own world. The tips must be made with conductive material on the outer layer so Goldwing can use touchscreens unaided."

"Okay, that does make some kind of sense. I can make these gloves, but it's going to be a few days."

"Fair enough. What would your estimate be for two pairs of those gloves?"

"Including the tips, I'd say about $100 now and another $100 when they're ready for pick-up. I don't know anything about international shipping, so I'm afraid that getting them over to Mr. Goldwing is up to you."

Griffin got the money out of his wallet and told him "That's acceptable. Just make sure that the gloves fit in whatever box you use for them and to include cleaning instructions. If you can do that, I can deal with shipping them to Britain."

Leo asked "Is there any way I can contact you?"

Griffin took a pen and paper from the counter and started writing, saying "Here's my US mobile number, you can phone or text me on it when I can pick it up. If you lose it, call Ms. Magus, I'm staying at her place for the next two weeks. Just let her know and she'll let me know."

"This will work. I can get started right away."

Griffin said "I'll see you later, Leo."

"Have a good day."

"You too!"


As Griffin opened the door to leave, he saw a man in a distinctive red and blue costume come in, holding his arm.

Griffin went "Spiderman! What are you doing here?"

Spiderman said "Getting a new costume. What are you doing here, Griffin?"

"I'm just getting a gift for a mate of mine, and I was told that Leo could help me out. I've got a healing touch, so it'll only take a few seconds to fix that arm if you want."

"I'd appreciate it."

Griffin applied his healing touch on Spiderman's injured arm. As the wounds closed, Griffin beamed "Here you are. Fully healed, free at point of delivery! And unlike hospitals, there's no overnight stay, I won't ask how you got hurt and I don't have to tell New York's Finest about this."

Griffin used his Gift of Healing on Spiderman and gets 21 on his Healing check. Spiderman completely recovers from his injuries.

Spiderman put his hand where the wound was and found it wasn't tender anymore, he said "Hey, thanks!"

"It's a gift. I'm just doing my bit, the same as you! Well, I've gotta go, see you later!"

"You too, Griffin!"


An hour later…

As Griffin was walking up 8th Avenue, his phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Griff, it's Cass. How are ya?"

"I've placed my order with Leo and I'm just walking up 8th Avenue, I'm by West 40th. I saw Spiderman come in as I was leaving."

"How was he?"

"He looked a bit banged up but I used my healing touch to help him out."

"Ah, good. Listen, something's just come up. Can you meet me back at my place ASAP?"

"Yeah, but I don't know where's a good place to take off."

"You did say you were at West 40th, right?"

"Yeah. I can see the Port Authority Bus Terminal from here."

"The Port Authority's got a multi-story parking lot! Just take the elevator up to the top and you can take off from the roof without disturbing people at street level.

"Thanks for the advice. I'll be right over, see you in a minute!"

Griffin went in and made his way through the crowd to the elevator upwards. When he got to the top, he was pleasantly surprised. A overground car park in the middle of Manhattan, who would have thought it? He certainly didn't. Either way, he wasn't going to freak people out on the street. He revealed his wings and took off, back to Brooklyn!


The Lodge backyard, three minutes later…

As Griffin landed, Ms. Magus said "That was fast!"

Griffin replied "Thank you." then he asked "What's so important that you've asked me back?"

Ms. Magus went "Let's talk indoors."

"Right."


In the dining room, Ms. Magus told Griffin "A friend of mine has told me that the 3rd Street Saints have a major location here in Brooklyn."

He asked "The 3rd Street Sinners? I'm in. What's going on?"

"They're using a junkyard on Creamer Street as a warehouse for all kinds of contraband. Drugs, guns, dark money, you name it!"

"If it's a major location for them, they'll have some tight security arrangements. I'd expect at least two armed guards at the door and an unmarked car parked opposite with someone who can phone the building's boss if they see something weird. Due to the amount of capes who like coming in from the roof around here, no one puts anything or anyone really important on the top floor any more. They'd likely put it in the basement instead. If there's a rooftop entrance, they'll likely have guards to keep the likes of us from getting in that way. And the place would be a big enough deal for them that a couple of powered guards wouldn't be amiss."

"That fits with what I know of them."
Griffin does an Expertise: Tactics check and gets a Natural 20! He has a very good idea on how they'd arrange security!
Griffin continues "The hard bit is making sure we have a clean getaway. Once the fighting starts, every Sinner, cop and cape in town will converge on us! Do you know when the shipment is supposed to arrive?"

"Midnight. We have nine hours to prepare and an hour to get there. I'll be in the workshop, making something that's going to help."

"And I'll make my own preparations as well."

"Okay. Jane, can you come over here please?"

Jane the mannequin maid came over and said "Yes, mistress?"

Ms. Magus said "Myself and Griffin will be having dinner at 6 PM tonight."

Jane enquired "Of course, Mistress. Mr. Griffin, please pardon me for asking but do you have any allergies, dietary preferences or requirements?"

Griffin replied "I have no allergies, preferences or requirements that I know of, Jane. And I fully understand why you had to ask."

Jane curtseyed, saying "Thank you, sir."

Griffin said "Now if you'll excuse me, there's a few things I need to go out and get. I'll be back in time for dinner, don't worry."

Ms. Magus went "Before you go…"

Griffin asked "Yeah, Cass?"

Ms. Magus told him "If you're going shopping, 86th Street's the best place to go in Bay Ridge. If you're flying there, just head south on 4th Avenue and turn left when you see the roof covered with solar panels. There'll be a municipal multi-storey on 85th and 5th you can use to land."

Griffin went "Thanks for the tip, Ms. Magus. See you later."

"Yeah, later."


Ms. Magus entered her workshop. It looked mostly like a modern well-lit chemical lab, but there were some items that showed its true purpose like a mortar and pestle alongside a lectern holding a leather bound tome.

Ms. Magus got out a pair of goggles, a dust mask, a set of disposable gloves and a three-ring binder. A lot of the older mages didn't like the idea of using modern equipment when making magical items, but Ms. Magus was more practical than that. After all, it was difficult back then to work out whether or not certain fumes were harmless or dangerous. After taking a while to study the formula in the binder, she said out loud "Okay, so I need two mothballs, one for me, one for him. Let's do this…" Then she put the protective gear on and went to work…
Ms. Magus decided to create a pair of Trace Purge Mothballs (Feature 1: Can't Leave Bodily Traces). Design DC is 11, the same design will be used for both items. Ms. Magus rolls and gets 16, she designs it correctly, taking only one hour. Construction DC is 11 and the time needed to build each one is four hours. She can do them both as a Routine check, taking a -5 penalty to make them in two hours each. They'll both work perfectly.
Meanwhile, Griffin went to Ms. Magus' backyard and took off for 86th Street. He once recalled reading something on the New York Times website where a registered Metrocard's records were used to prove someone innocent of a murder charge. It could just as easily prove someone's guilt. Luckily, he knew a way or two around that. He'd simply pay in cash at a neighbourhood shop, just like he did with Oyster cards back in London. And he could leave that one until last due to the relative ease of doing so.

It didn't even take thirty seconds for Griffin to reach 86th Street. As he did a quick fly-by, Griffin found an electronics shop and two shoe shops. That'll help with what he has in mind. He soon landed at the roof of the car park, hiding his wings before he walked down to ground level.

Within the hour, Griffin got a box of rubber gloves and a pair of walkie-talkies. All of which he paid for in cash.

Griffin felt a bit thirsty, so he went to a nearby convenience store to get a coke. After all, this was his first chance to have a can of the real thing! No sooner did he pick one from the shelf when he heard someone at the counter go "This is a robbery! Cash in the bag, NOW!"

Griffin thought 'Ah, damn it…' He carefully put his bag down, his hood up, then he snuck up on the robber and slammed their face into the counter, knocking them out in one go!
Griffin gets 20 on a Stealth roll and the Criminal waving a gun gets 7 on his Perception roll. In the surprise round, Griffin does an Unarmed Power Attack and gets a Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5, so the Criminal has to resist a DC 27 Toughness save! The Criminal gets 8 and is duly Incapacitated.
The clerk at the counter went "Thanks for the save, pal!"

Griffin told her "Don't mention it." After getting his bag, he put $40 down on the counter, he said "I want these two cokes, a 7-day Metrocard, you to call the cops and you've never seen me before in your life, you hear me?"

"Seen who?"

"Exactly. Don't worry, he'll stay unconscious long enough for the police to get here. When I leave, lock the door and don't open it until they get here. Keep the change." Griffin then picked up his bag and took the subway back to Ms. Magus' house…
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Planning, Preparing and Progress

Post by betterwatchit »

Out on the Town, Conclusion

6 P.M., The Lodge…

Jane said "For tonight, I have prepared a New York specialty for our guest. Steak Delmonico. Thick-cut steak with a side of Delmonico potatoes."

Griffin said "It's been ages since I've had steak!"


Twenty minutes later…

As Griffin finished his steak and potatoes, he said "That was an excellent meal, Jane!"

"Thank you, Griffin."

"And that is one way to cook potatoes I haven't tasted before, it was really nice!"


As Jane tidied away the plates and cutlery, Ms. Magus said "Now to business. Have you procured anything for the raid?"

Griffin told her "Yeah, I got a few things in preparation earlier, but there was a slight problem."

"Oh? Is this to do with an attempted armed robbery that happened earlier? According to my police scanner and the local news, someone in a gray hoodie like the one you're wearing just slammed the robber's face right into the counter! And then he paid for two cokes and a Metrocard before walking out."

"Yeah, that was me. I was at 86th Street to grab a few things for the raid. I was getting a couple of cokes before I made my way back here when someone tried to rob the shop! So I crept up on him. He had a gun, which made him a threat to the shopkeeper, so I didn't breach the Invulnerability Rule when I slammed his face into the counter! It was in one blow from behind, so I know he didn't see or remember me."

"Did the clerk see your face?"

"Yeah. But my hood was up and I'm sure you've seen how crap CCTV footage usually is when it comes to fine detail like people's faces. Besides, people tend to return the favour when you save their lives. After all, it's the best way to encourage people who know them to keep doing that sort of thing for them. While you were sorting out the physical side of covering our involvement, I've been working out the technological side. Do you have a registered Metrocard?"

"Yeah, I do. There aren't many adults here who don't have one, and the ones who don't usually have a very good reason. Why are you asking, anyway?"

"Leave it here. The NYPD and the MTA can track registered cards, so you'll have to get an unregistered card. Just pay cash and you'll be fine. I saw a New York Times article concerning a 2008 incident where a registered Metrocard was used to prove someone innocent of murder. It could just as easily prove someone's guilt of anything else."

"2008… I remember now! It proved that the suspect was about five miles away at the time from where it happened. I actually have a separate pay-as-you-go card for when I'm on 'business'."

"That's good. I went to the shops while you were working and got us a pair of Family Radio Service handsets with headsets, paid in cash."

"Are they charged?"

"They should be by now, and definitely will be when we get started. There's no transmission record on those things and they'll work even if we're both underground or somewhere else with a crap mobile signal. Also, you'll need to leave your phone behind. Same goes for any technological device that uses wi-fi, GPS or mobile data and is not specifically required to perform the job. If it is specifically required, put it in flight mode to turn the transceivers off."

"Are you sure about this?"

"Completely. The only reason I'm taking my bag is to hide my sword and move any cash I find. I also used Google Street View earlier to scout ahead. On the same block, I also found several modern homes, some shops, a daycare and quite a few school buses. Which means I'd prefer to enter and do our business quietly. Any gunfire is going to wake up civilians and make them call the NYPD. And I've heard your spells in action, Cass. I know they make the same amount of noise as a handgun, a civilian who hears it won't know the difference."

"I'm afraid you're right there. I've been working on a blast that's not so loud, but I find I can't hit spirits so hard with it. Looks like I get to do a live experiment."

"Glad that's sorted. I also found a few doors to the south that could be used for a surprise exit and two doors - one to the west and one to the south - that are big enough for vehicles."

"Now that's some useful intel. And I've made a little something for you for the raid." She then got a mothball out of her pocket and put it on the table, saying "This is a Trace Purge Mothball. When we get there, crush the mothball in your hand and put it back in your pocket. For one hour, it'll create an invisible aura that'll get rid of any blood, skin, hair, etcetera, that comes off our bodies. It'll get rid of enough DNA to keep a forensic team from positively IDing us. Much better than a pair of gloves!"

"Very, very nice! And don't worry, I won't tell anyone about our little edge. I've found a library two blocks west from there that we can fly in from, and that street's camera-free."

"Yeah, that oughta do it! Do you have any costumes or masks?"

"Not really. People pay more attention to my wings and my sword when they see me in action, you know? And I still remember your... reaction to when you found out what I'd become."

"Oh, I know. I have a couple of spare caps and dustmasks. They'll make a good disguise. Do you have a hoodie in any color other than gray?"

"I've got a dark blue one. And before we go, I'll have to give you some basic instructions and etiquette on how to use a two-way, is that alright?"

"Yeah."


After an hour of Griffin showing Ms. Magus how to use the radios, they were ready.

Ms. Magus asked "Are you absolutely sure about joining me on this?"

Griffin said "You helped me out back in London, Cass. And you're hosting me for my stay here. It's only fair that I try to repay you."

Ms. Magus went "Fair enough, I guess. Come on, we have work to do. Jane?"

Jane approached and curtsied, asking "Yes, Mistress?"

Ms. Magus said "Me and Griffin will be going out tonight, we should be back in a few hours. Until then, I want you to operate under Night Protocol until Griffin or myself return."

"Understood," Jane replied. "The house will be kept secure until your return. I hope you have a good night out."

A bus journey and a short walk later, Ms. Magus and Griffin were on the roof of the Creamer Street junkyard. Griffin said to Ms. Magus "I'll wait until you fire your first shot. When that happens, I'll go in loud to keep them off you while you toss the place."

Griffin landed on one of the Saints while Ms. Magus knocked one down with her spells. The Saint who Ms. Magus hit quickly used his autoinjector.
Griffin will delay his action until Ms. Magus fires her first blast. The two Saints are Goons from Gamemaster's Guide with Bulletproof Vests.

Griffin and Ms. Magus are not using lethal force, the Goons certainly are.

Roll Initiative! Ms. Magus gets 14, the wounded Goon gets 12, Griffin gets 9 and the Staggered Goon gets 5.

In the surprise round, Ms. Magus blasts one of the goons, getting 25. The Goon gets 15 and Hit and Dazed. The wounded Goon spends his action using his injector. Griffin attacks the other Goon with a Power Attack Flurry of Steel, getting 16. The goon gets 14 and is hit and Staggered.
The wounded goon started to get up and suddenly gained a lot of muscle! Griffin went "He's Maxed-out, Ms. Magus! He's MAXED-OUT!"

Ms. Magus yelled back "GOT IT!"
The wounded Goon gains the power of Max Zoom: Enhanced Agility 4, Enhanced Stamina 4 (raising total Stamina to 7), Enhanced Strength 4 (raising total Strength to 7), Quickness 5 and Speed 5.
Ms. Magus fired off a blast to lay the Maxed Saint out, while Griffin quickly attempted to knock the other one out with his still-sheathed blade. He only managed a glancing blow, which gave the Saint the time he needed to activate his autoinjector and Max-out!
Ms. Magus fired a blast at the Maxed-out Goon and got 29, crit scored! She stunts it into Ranged Affliction 10: Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated, Resisted by Will. The wounded Goon gets 4 and is Incapacitated. Griffin attacks the Staggered Goon with the Flurry of Steel and gets 21. The Goon gets 19 to resist. The Goon quickly uses his autoinjector and also gains the power of Max Zoom.
Ms. Magus went "GODDAMNIT!" as she fired another spell at the Saint. Griffin simply broke half of the Saint's ribs, both his legs and an arm.
Ms. Magus fires a blast and gets 18. The Goon gets 18, and is hit and Dazed. Griffin strikes at the Goon with the Flurry of Steel and gets a Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Goon gets 8 and is Incapacitated.

Before Griffin could do another attack, the guttural roar of multiple motorbikes could be heard coming closer to the warehouse.

Griffin went "Are those your guys or what?!"

The battered Saint told him "No, you limey asshole! We don't ride no choppers!"

Ms. Magus hovered down, saying "I'll toss the place, you keep the partycrashers off my ass!"

Griffin went "Got it! Moving to engage!" After quickly knocking the two Saints out, he headed to the main gate.


As several motorbike headlights started to shine in his direction, Griffin went on the radio, saying "Ms. Magus, this is Griffin. Be advised that I have visual on another gang and they're not Sinners! I say again, they're not Sinners! Suspect they're Devil's Advocates! Proceeding to subdue, out!"

Griffin then walked up to the main gate and asked "Who the hell are you?!"

One ofthe bikers went "We're the Devil's Advocates! Who the hell are you?!"

Griffin then revealed his feathered wings, saying "The name's Griffin! Guess who's advocate I am!" He unsheathed his sword, roaring "In the name of the Almighty God, surrender now or defend thyself!"
Griffin attempts to Intimidate the Thugs into surrendering and gets 21. They get 16, 5, 3, 6 and 2, and they're Coerced into surrendering.
One of the bikers went "Whoa, whoa, whoa! No need to get hasty, pal!"

"Drop your weapons, down on both knees, hands behind your head! All of you!" As they did so, Griffin went on the radio saying "Ms. Magus, this is Griffin! Hostiles have surrendered, I say again, they've surrendered! What's your status, over?"

Ms. Magus went on the radio, saying "Griffin, this is Ms. Magus! I've found a meth lab! I say again, I've found a meth lab! Be advised, I'm calling 911 right now, over!"

"Understood, all five hostiles will be guarded until police arrival, out!"

Inside the lab, Ms. Magus picked up a landline phone and dialled 911.

A voice said "911 operator, how can we help?"

"This is Ms. Magus along with the Griffin of London, requesting police assistance. We've just found a meth lab at the Creamer Street junkyard in Brooklyn, along with two 3rd Street Saints and five Hell's Advocates. Be advised that the two Saints are unconscious but were armed and under the influence of Max and Zoom."

"Understood. Police and paramedics are en route now."


Ms. Magus then hit the radio, saying "Griffin, this is Ms. Magus. Be advised that NYPD are en route, I say again, NYPD are en route, over."

"This is Griffin. Understood, out."

In a couple of minutes, two squad cars rolled up and a Battlesuit resembling a NYPD uniform landed at the entrance, yelling "FREEZE, NYPD! Holster the sword, Griffin!"

Griffin sheathed his sword and put his hands up, going "Okay, okay! Increase the peace, Officer Steele!"
Griffin does a Well-Informed roll and gets 19, he's heard of Officer Steele, the NYPD's 'super-cop.'
Officer Steele said "That's why I'm here. Come with me, Griffin. Is there anyone inside the meth lab?"

As he followed, Griffin said "Only one I know for a fact is Ms. Magus, she's the one who called your lot!"

Officer Steele asked "What happened to those two?" pointing at the two unconscious Saints.

Griffin replied "Third Street Sinners who were guarding the place. They took a shot of what looked like Max cut with Zoom, so we had to knock them out."

"I heard you two could put up a mean fight, but damn!"

That was when the Saints went into seizure. Griffin went "F**k, they're in withdrawal! I can heal them with a touch, officer!"

Officer Steele told him "Do it!"

Light glowed from Griffin's hands and at the touch of his fingertips, the two Saints resumed normal breathing.
Griffin does two Healing checks, one gets 20, the other gets 15, stabilising them both.
As the injured Saints resumed normal breathing, Griffin went "They're stable now, officer. We can leave them unattended and they won't die on us. In my experience, it takes about an hour before they wake up if not physically disturbed. Just shake them awake when you're ready to arrest them."

Officer Steele asked "Fine with me. What did you do on 85th Street?"

"I was just getting a couple of cokes when I heard an armed robber pull a gun on the clerk. So I slammed his face into the counter and knocked him out. And I know for a fact that it's not a breach of the Invulnerability Rule when you do it to protect someone who can be harmed by the aggressor. And the CCTV there will show that I did pay for the two cokes and 7-day Metrocard before I left the shop, so you can't have me for it either. In cash, before you get any ideas about IDing me with the payment."

"That's fair. And when you killed Hexenhammer?"
Officer Steele is a Police Officer who has the Battlesuit from the Battlesuit Archetype. He does a roll on Expertise: Police Officer and gets 18. He knows that Griffin's right about that part of the Invulnerability Rule and can't touch him. And Griffin mentioned something that was not public knowledge, verifying that it was him who nailed the robber. Officer Prometheus does an Insight roll and gets 27. He knows Griffin isn't lying to the best of his knowledge.
Griffin explained "Given that failure to properly defend against Hexenhammer would likely have caused an inter-world incident, the death of one of the few power-teams in Britain that deals with magic and the death of a Ministry of Powers officer, said officer ruled that my actions were an act of self-defence and let me go. In other words, I didn't actually break the law there, so I know you can't have me extradited over it."

"I get it. But I have to warn you that if I find that you've pulled that kind of thing here, I will throw the book at you. Know what I'm saying?"

"I know what you mean, officer, and I understand. Such is your duty." As Griffin opened the door to the office, he went "Ms. Magus, it's Griffin! I'm here with Officer Steele, it's alright to come out!"

Ms. Magus called out from a trapdoor, "About time you two showed up! Got a meth lab down here! And a bunch of chemists I'm holding up at spell-point!"


An hour later, Purgatory Nightclub, Queens…

The club was jumping, but the manager was in his office and he was furious.

"What the f**k do you mean, we lost the Brooklyn lab?!"

His lieutenant told him "Griffin and Ms. Magus, they went right through our guys, sir!"

"I thought Griffin was in London?! What's that limey doing here?!"

"He must have come over here very recently. And I don't know why he's crossed the Atlantic."

"I thought the Max Zoom would take care of the likes of him!"

"Our guys did use it, but it didn't help, sir. Our friend in the force says they were completely taken by surprise. When they woke up, the Max Zoom had worn off and they were facing down Griffin, Ms. Magus and Officer Steele. All personnel were arrested along with the local Devil's Advocates, they were about to make a buy at the time. And here's the funny thing: Griffin and Ms. Magus left no forensic evidence, nothing that would let our friend figure out their real names. It's only because the lab had CCTV that we even found out it was them."

"Goddamnit! I want every Saint in the Five Boroughs to know that Griffin's here. Get the word out: I will honor the Boss's bounty on Griffin's head if he dies in America! And I also want the word out that I'll give $10,000 in cash to the first person who can deliver hard evidence as to why the hell Griffin's got so much beef with us!"
Griffin and Ms. Magus each get 1 PP
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Out on the Town

Post by betterwatchit »

SHADOW of the Past, Part 1

Greenbank, Freedom City…

It has been a quiet day so far but, as evening descends on the city, and the Legacy started their night-time patrol, things take an unexpected turn in Greenbank. A winged woman swoops among the rooftops, pursued by people riding flying sky-bikes of some sort. The pursuers are wearing SHADOW uniforms and opened fire on the woman! She weaves and dodges and a stray energy blast strikes the side of a building, sending a cascade of shattered brick, mortar, and glass tumbling towards the street and a group of startled bystanders below!

Scarab used her telekinesis to keep the rubble away from the civilians while Midnight escorted them across the street. Freedom Eagle and Lightbearer joined the chase. One of the sky-bike's lasers grazed the woman. Freedom Eagle tore through the fuselage of the sky who fired, downing it and its pilot, while Lightbearer shot another one down.
Luna Moth's stats are in 115 of the Basic Hero's Handbook. The six SHADOW Agent minions (who lack the We Are Legion power) are statted out in page 290 of Freedom City 3E. These minions are piloting Sky-bikes which give them Platform Flight 7 with a front-mounted laser dealing Ranged Damage 7 with a +5 attack bonus.

All of the Legacy get a HP for instantly acting to save lives or to join the chase. Freedom Eagle's Favoured Environment is active and set to Offence.

This is a chase and combat scene with Luna Moth as the pursued. If she gets four or more cumulative degrees of success on a Flight check compared to the highest enemy roll that round, she gets away. SHADOW Agents are all using lethal force, Luna Moth is too focused on fleeing to fight. Roll Initiative! Three SHADOW Agents get 14, 11 and 10. Freedom Eagle gets 9, a SHADOW Agent gets 8, Luna Moth gets 5, Lightbearer gets 3 and two SHADOW Agents get 2. Three SHADOW Agents perform a Team Attack. One hits with 20, the other two miss with 19 and a Natural 1. Luna Moth gets a 17 and is hit. Freedom Eagle attacks one of the Agents with his Gauntlets, getting 17. The Agent gets 23 and is downed. Luna Moth is fleeing, getting a result of 16 on her Flight check. One of the SHADOW Agents gets 24, so she is still pursued. Lightbearer fires a Light Blast at one of the Agents, getting 27, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Agent gets 18 and is downed. The last Agent gets 12 and misses.

Luna Moth: 1 Injury.

4 SHADOW Agents Remaining.
The flying woman was hit in the wing while Lightbearer shot another bike down. Another bike shot the woman down, who managed to land on a flat roof.
Three SHADOW Agents perform a Team Attack, getting 23, 10 and 7. Luna Moth gets 10 and is hit and Staggered! Freedom Eagle attacks an Agent, getting 13 and missing. Luna Moth gets 10 on her Flight Check. One of the SHADOW Agents got a Natural 20 and is still pursuing. Lightbearer fires a Light Blast at an Agent, getting 15. The Agent got 21 and was downed. The Agent fired, getting 23. Luna Moth got 8 and is Incapacitated! She gets 21 on her Death Check and stabilises.

Luna Moth: 3 Injuries, Incapacitated.

3 SHADOW Agents Remaining.

The SHADOW sky-bikers turn and fire on the Legacy. Freedom Eagle slashed a bike open, forcing a landing.
Three Agents fire at Freedom Eagle, missing with 16, Natural 1 and 12. Freedom Eagle attacks one of the Agents, getting 28, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Agent gets 23 and is downed. Lightbearer fires a Light Blast at an Agent, getting 28, crit scored! he raises the DC by +5. The Agent gets 13 and is downed.

2 SHADOW Agents Remaining.
One Agent fires at Freedom Eagle, getting 11 and missing. The second fires, getting 12 and missing. Freedom Eagle attacks an Agent, getting 27. The Agent gets 23 and is downed. Lightbearer fires a Light Blast at the last Agent, getting 29, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. The Agent gets 18 and is incapacitated.
Freedom Eagle asked "Any idea what that was about?"

Lightbearer said "Beats me, but there's one woman who'd know. Let's get there now."

When they reached the fallen woman, Scarab used her telepathy to ask Eagle and Lightbearer "What were those SHADOW looking guys doing chasing that woman?"

Lightbearer thought back "I'm just about to find out." as he applied his healing touch to the woman by touching her shoulder.

Her eyes soon opened. The woman went "Please don't kill me!"

Lightbearer said "I've heard of you. You're the new Luna Moth, right?"
Lightbearer gets 22 on his Healing Check. Luna Moth is merely Dazed and is now conscious again. He also gets 21 on a Streetwise roll to identify Luna Moth as an up-and-coming thief.
Luna Moth went "So what if I am? You let me go, I'll tell you where I found the base those SHADOW creeps chased me from!"

Freedom Eagle said "Okay, you tell us where and we'll let you go this time. We find you doing any more thieving and we won't be so generous. And we'll be even less generous if you're lying."

Luna Moth told them "Alright. About 10 blocks east of here, there's an abandoned factory called Hutchinsons. That's where I found them." Then she flew off slower than she did before.

Lightbearer thought "Scarab, are you still there?"

Scarab thought back "I'm here, Lightbearer. What did you find?"

Lightbearer replied "SHADOW were chasing this new Luna Moth, it looks like she tried to rob them. She spilled where she found them before she got away. It's a factory ten blocks east of our position called Hutchinsons. I'll be right over."

Scarab went "No time for that, there's a fire! Get over here NOW!"
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