From Sea to Shining Sea, Part 4
17th May, St. Louis, Missouri…
In the early afternoon, the Blue Ox picked up a strange radio transmission…
A voice said "White One to Kapitan, Urgent."
A second voice said "Idiot! Maintain radio silence!"
White One said "All guards dealt with and we're getting kinda spooked. When is it going down, sir?"
Kapitan went "White One, repeat, maintain radio silence or else!"
A third voice said "Hostages secured, but we can't shut them up."
In the background, the sounds of crying could be heard and a woman's voice saying "Please don't kill us! Please… Oh God…"
Kapitan said "Maintain silence! I'll be right there!"
A few minutes later, as the crew approached the arch, another transmission took place…
A fourth voice said "Release the people, son, You can't get away with this. The Arch is…"
Kapitan said "I ain't your son, pig! Today, the Knights of White WILL be heard! This place is gonna crash and burn!"
Bert turned on the police scanner and heard a lot of chatter concerning the St. Louis Arch. He said "Sounds like some real bad stuff is happening at the monument. I've never turned my back on women and kids in need, and from what I've heard, neither do either of you. Let's pay the Gateway Arch
a visit, shall we?"
As they drove to the Arch, Thump said "'Crash and burn…' Think they have explosives?"
Bert said "It ain't impossible. Before you go, I've got something you'll need."
Bert opened the box underneath his seat, which contained some serious hardware, including four walkie-talkies with headsets. He said "These are GMRS
radios, they're all fully charged. Set all the transceivers to Green dot."
Near the Gateway Arch…
The walkie-talkies function as the Commlink from Hero's Handbook.
Bert said "There's a maintenance dock by the river, it'll let you slip in quietly. The elevators will be shut down as standard procedure to keep hostiles from using them, so you have to take the stairs."
Griffin said "Got it, Bert."
Bert said "Also, I've been to the top of the Arch before. There won't be much room to maneuver once you're in there."
Griffin said "I specialise in close-quarter combat, I can handle it."
Thump said "For your sake, I hope that ain't a boast."
By the Dock…
Griffin checked the door while in his tactical outfit. "Padlocked. I've got it." He sliced the padlock open in one stroke.
Thump sputtered "H- How-?!"
Griffin smiled as he said "The edge of Justice is simply one very long molecule. Its sheath is the only thing I know it can't cut. And now you know why those ninja I cut lost their heads or their lower torsos. Remember, no gunfire.
We need to do it quiet.
Thump went "Yeah, yeah, I've got it." as she entered.
Bert said "I'll stay here. Make sure anyone you take alive comes down here."
Griffin went "Acknowledged."
Griffin and Thump made their way up the stairs. About halfway there, they saw three people. One of them was watching the other two place something on the wall. They laid the standing man out fast.
The Thug has a Sawed-off Shotgun (from Gamemaster's Guide). The two Militants are busy attaching something to one of the struts. Their Choose One skill ranks are in Perception.
Thump sneaks into position, getting 34 on her Stealth. Griffin gets a natural 20 on his Stealth roll! The Militants each get 19 and can't see either of them.
In the Surprise Round, Thump punches the Thug, getting 15. The Thug gets 8 and is Staggered! Griffin attacks the Thug with the Flurry of Steel, getting 17 and raising the DC by +2. The Thug gets 11 and is Incapacitated due to taking two Staggering blows!
When the man fell, the two younger men turned around. Griffin unsheathed Justice and said "Shut up and listen up! Turn the bomb off and drop all your weapons!"
Thump cocked her pistol, saying "Right now.
One of the bombers went "Alright, alright, just don't kill us!"
Thump ordered "Keep your hands up while my friend searches you."
Thump intimidates the Militants, getting 29. The Militants get 7 and 13, and are Coerced into surrendering.
Griffin patted them down. "Two pistols, two flick-knives, two radios. And I'm keeping these zip-ties. Tell us, how many bombs are there?"
A bomber went "Ten of them all through the Arch! They use this super-acid, the way I heard it. You've got 45 minutes before they bring the Arch down."
Thump asked "And how many hostages?"
The other bomber went "Forty of them are still here, the last I heard. For what it's worth, I think there's about nine of us left after this."
Griffin went "You two can take your so-called friend downstairs. A friend of ours be at the door to keep you from running off."
The first bomber went "Got it."
As they brought their "friend" downstairs, Griffin radioed Bert, saying "It's Griffin. You've got two guys coming down with an unconscious person. All three are hostile but disarmed, over."
Bert's voice was heard, saying "Acknowledged."
Griffin said "Both of us are proceeding further up the Arch, out."
Bert said "Understood, out."
Thump sniffed the bomb and she said "I've heard of this stuff. If you can focus on saving the hostages, I can find the bombs."
Griffin nodded and proceeded further upstairs.
At the top of the stairs, Griffin saw a ladder leading to a hatch. 'Perfect place to set a trap, especially when doing something time-sensitive! F**k it, I'm climbing it!
Once Griffin opened the hatch, six people opened fire on him! Once he climbed all the way up, he roared "MY TURN!
" as he laid five of them out in a single blow!
Thug 1: 14
Pistol Thug 1: 13
Thug 2: 13
Thug 3: 5
Pistol Thug 2: 4
Thug 4: 2
Griffin performs a full All-Out Attack on all four SMG-wielding Thug minions and one of the pistol-wielding Thug minions, getting 15, 20, 16, 15 and 18. The SMG Thugs get Natural 1, 21, 5, and 18. The pistol thug gets 5. All are Incapacitated! the second pistol thug surrenders and is out of combat.
Griffin turned to face the last thug who put his hands up. Griffin told him "You haven't killed anyone yet. Take it from me, the moment you do, your life's only going to have one outcome. Drop the gun and knife and you'll get out of this alive."
The thug went "Okay, okay, just don't kill me!"
"Go downstairs to surrender and you'll live."
The thug said "Got it!"
As the thug climbed down, Griffin radioed "You've got one coming down who's surrendered and five more in a room next to the lift hall who are unconscious but otherwise unharmed. Over."
Bert replied "Acknowledged. Exercise extreme caution, out."
"Understood, Griffin out."
Griffin opened the door and found three men standing up, one of whom and had a woman hostage. He also saw two men tied up on the floor.
The hostage-taker said "Stop right there! Do it or she's gone, just like that!"
Griffin halted, going "Okay, I'm staying still! For what it's worth, I haven't killed anyone yet."
The hostage-taker went "I've heard of you! You're that Griffin dude from London! What are you doing here?"
Griffin told him "I was just passing through when I heard about this! And what happened to all the other hostages?!"
The hostage-taker said "I released them, they're running down the other end of the Arch as I speak."
Bert's voice came on the radio, saying "I'm seeing a lot of hostages leaving the Arch, they appear to be unharmed!"
Griffin hit the pressel twice in rapid succession to show he heard Bert.
The hostage-taker said "You're a pretty big deal, so I'll make you
a deal. If you can defeat Joseph here, I'll let the last three hostages go and surrender. Willingly.
What do you say?"
Joseph looked a little skinny, but Griffin knew better than most about how looks could deceive.
Griffin told him "If it's a fight you want, it's a fight you'll get!"
Joseph said "Very well, Karl," as he cracked his knuckles. "Any last words, you globalist lackey?"
Griffin said "I have only two more words to say to you traitors to humanity: NEVER. AGAIN.
" He then charged at Joseph.
Griffin gets a HP for his Legacy complicaton. He knows that his great-grandfather, the original Griffin, gave his LIFE to stop these people! How remiss would he be to put anything less on the line? He also gets a HP for using non-lethal force against someone trying to kill him.
Joseph is a Powerhouse from Hero's Handbook with his Stamina at 12.
Griffin Charged at Joseph with the Flurry of Steel, getting 24 and raising the DC by +2. Joseph gets 29 and resists.
Joseph does an All-Out Attack on Griffin, getting 15 and missing.
Griffin saw an opportunity to strike somewhere vulnerable and was slapped back in retaliation.
Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21 and raising the DC by +5. Joseph gets 17 and is hit and Staggered! Joseph punches Griffin, getting 21. Griffin gets 24 and is hit.
Griffin: 3 HP, 1 Injury.
Griffin then whacked Joseph in the knee, the stomach and then the head, knocking him out!
Griffin does the Flurry of Steel, getting 28, raising the DC by +5. Joseph gets 17 and is Incapacitated from two Staggering blows!
Karl said "I- I can't believe it! You killed him!"
Griffin said "Settle down. You or your friend can check that he still breathes. So that's all three remaining hostages going free and unharmed and all three of you
Karl said "Fine by me. The Arch will fall in twenty minutes. If they leave now, the hostages will get out alive. Larry, let them go."
Larry went "But-"
Karl said "I gave my word! Let them go! Unharmed
or you'll have me to deal with!" He then sat on the floor, saying "I can't believe it. I actually lost. Before the Arch goes down, I want to ask one thing."
"Is there any way the Lord will forgive me?"
"I'll say it so you'll understand it: He takes a very dim
view of racism and sends such idiots like yourself straight to Hell. You have only one
chance of making amends to His satisfaction."
"You must confess all your crimes at the police station, willingly. With a lawyer present to make sure it's all admissible in court. Name names.
Out everyone in your old organisation. Make sure everyone knows that you now know what you did was wrong and that you betrayed and weakened humanity as a whole."
"That's a bit extreme!"
"That is not extreme, it is literally the minimum requirement.
Anyone saying different is lying to you, even if they're your family."
"You really mean it, don't you?"
"I do. I really do."
That was when the lift came back up. Bert came up a lot of SWAT, saying "We got all the bombs in time, Griffin. And what's going on here?"
Griffin said "That skinny bloke I just laid out has super-strength so collar him at once! And these two have also surrendered."
As they took the lift down, Bert said to Griffin "I have to ask, why didn't you simply kill those guys?"
Griffin went "What's wrong with you?! If I killed that kid, he'd become a martyr
for the alt-right to rally around! Not. Acceptable.
By sparing him for trial, he'll make his cause look as illogical, stupid and weak in court as the left makes them out to be, so they'll have to pick someone else
to rally around. And it takes a good while before the alt-right consensus works that one out. We should be at our destination before then at least. And by beating his champion, I just broke their leader harder than killing him ever could. Enough to convince him to out everyone in his old organisation. They're not doing something like this again."
Thump asked "You think pretty far ahead, don't you?"
Griffin said "It's not just winning the fight that matters, Thump. It's what happens afterwards you have to worry about. That's what matters in the long term. And if you can't think long term, you're not even capable of trying effectively." As the lift reached the ground, Griffin said "I think it's that way to the dock. The sooner we're both out of town, the better!"