Author Topic: Heart of Ice  (Read 8015 times)

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Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2013, 12:28:04 am »
You step out of the carriage and set off along a deserted tunnel which soon brings you to a staircase. You climb until you can see a shaft of daylight filtering between toppled blocks of masonry. There is not much room, but you manage to squeeze through, emerging onto a broad expanse of tarmac with a few single-storey buildings nearby. The air is crisply cool but there is no snow here. To the south, outlined against a china blue sky, you can see a cluster of ancient spires surrounding a high stone fortress wall.


A whine of jets begins to grow across the tarmac. Turning, you see a narrow-hulled flyer a few hundred metres away. On the stilts of its landing gear, gleaming in the pastel sunlight, it reminds you of an insect poised for flight. The nozzles of the flyer's vertical jets are beginning to glow; it is about to take off.

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  • hurry over and try to attract the pilot's attention
  • shelter in the subway entrance & watch the flyer take off

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Heart of Ice
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2013, 12:31:39 am »
Catch dat plane!
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2013, 12:35:58 am »
You are halfway across the tarmac when you realize your mistake. The pilot of the flyer has already engaged the boosters. You see him at the cockpit window, his face contorting in surprise and shock at the sight of you racing towards the craft. Your last image is of him jabbing desperately at the controls, but he is too late to abort the booster ignition. An instant later, a blast of white-hot gas bursts from the landing jets and billows up to press a wave of solid heat into your face. Blinding light burns into your retinas, followed by darkness and oblivion.

Lose 5 life points.

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2013, 12:36:11 am »
Awareness returns slowly, the details of your surroundings emerging out of a blur. There is a white ceiling above you and soft fabric at your back. The air carries a faint smell of antiseptic. You can make out the low whine of air conditioning.

"You're able to hear me?" booms a voice.

You wince, focusing on a face that looms above yours. The colours seem harsh, garish. Sounds come to your ears with a rasping undertone, as though filtered by electronics.

Another face comes into view, slender and handsome, with a high forehead capped by a green circlet. He has a lopsided but not unfriendly smile. "How are you feeling?" he asks.

"I've got pins and needles." you say in a voice still slurred by anaesthetic. Reaching across to rub your left arm, you feel the unyielding hardness of metal in place of flesh. You bolt upright with a thrill of horror, throwing off the sheets. You can only stare at what they have made you: a being half of robotics, half of living tissue. A cyborg.

"It was all we could do to save your life." explains the man wearing the green circlet. "You were caught in the jets as my flyer took off. I brought you up here. It was touch and go for a couple of weeks, but you should be all right now."

"What's left of me, that is," you say bitterly. Write down on your sheet you now possess cyborg body-parts. Turning to the window, you see a surprising profusion of stars in a flat black void. "Where are we, anyhow?"

The other man, the doctor, takes you by your still-living right arm and leads you to the window. A vast crescent globe of swirling grey and white hangs in space below you. "That's the Earth," he says. "You're on al-Lat."

The pilot joins you. "I know you are still shaken, but I must ask you some questions. You should not have been in Maka. How did you get there, and why?"
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  • tell him the truth
  • invent a convincing story

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Heart of Ice
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2013, 02:18:05 am »
Tell him the truth. They did just save us from death after all.

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Heart of Ice
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2013, 09:25:43 am »
BEEP BOOP.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2013, 10:17:02 am »
"I found a terminal of the intercontinental subway system, beneath the ruins of Lost Marsay. I tried to reach Giza, but I was unable to alight there and was left with no alternative but to travel on to Maka."

He strokes his thumbnail across the cleft of his chin, deep in thought. "Why were you trying to reach Giza?" he asks at last.

The truth seems absurd, but you tell him anyway. "I was following the advice of GAIA."

He gives you a sharp look. "Do not attempt to contact GAIA while you are on al-Lat! Our computer systems are secure from viruses, and that's the way we'd like it to stay." His face softens into an easy smile. "Still, I'm forgetting my manners. I am Riza Baihaqi."

You shake hands. There is a moment of uncomfortable silence, then Riza says, "I can never atone for the guilt I feel...this dreadful injury you've suffered..."

You raise your artificial arm and flex the fingers. There is a soft buzz of gears, but they seem dextrous enough. "It could be worse," you admit. "These prosthetics will do as temporary repairs, at any rate."

"You are putting a brave face on things, my friend," says Riza. "But, in all truth, where on Earth could you hope to find a cure for your dreadful injuries?"
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  • tell him about Du-En
  • say that you are keen to return to Earth

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Heart of Ice
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2013, 11:46:56 am »
Say we're keen to get back to earth. This fool who maimed us does not deserve ULTIMATE POWER.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Heart of Ice
« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2013, 02:19:16 pm »
Agreed.

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2013, 09:56:29 pm »
Riza conducts you along a passage which leads out into what seems at first like open air. Seeing you look around in amazement, he laughs and points across a lawn towards a group of buildings. You now see that the horizon seems to rise upwards the further you look, curving over into the sky until it is lost behind a haze of light directly overhead. To either side of you, only a few hundred metres away, unimaginably vast slabs of cliff reach off into the sky.


"Did you expect a cramped space-station in the ancient style?" says Riza. "We have enlarged al-Lat over the centuries, until it is what you see today a cylinder some two kilometres wide and half a kilometre long. Rotation provides us with gravity, the sun's rays with light and heat."

You have to admit that it is more comfortable than Earth is these days. Riza takes you to his flyer, and soon you are dropping towards Earth's atmosphere. You descend just ahead of the dawn, touching down on the shore of the Sea of Reeds at a fishing village called Sudan. You bid Riza farewell and stand watching as the flyer climbs back up into the early morning sky.
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  • do some shopping in Sudan
  • set out for Du-En without delay

Offline Rysworld

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Re: Heart of Ice
« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2013, 10:51:52 pm »
Go on.

We need no supplies but MAXIMUM SKUDGE.

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #56 on: June 22, 2013, 11:00:01 pm »
The ground underfoot is hard-packed gravel under a sprinkling of snow. As you travel on, a biting wind sweeps down from the north bringing heavy snow. The pale blue sky is blotted out by glowering clouds through which enough daylight seeps to give the snow a canescent hue. You hunch into the wind and trudge on, fearing to stop to rest in case you never get up again. Lose 1 life point unless you have either SURVIVAL or a fur coat.

If you survive, you eventually reach the River Isis and cross over an old iron bridge to the west bank. From here, a broad sweep of gleaming ivory dunes extends to the horizon under a sky darker than wet stone. These are the Saharan Ice Wastes, thousands of kilometres of uncharted wilderness, desolate snow fields pounded by incessant arctic gales. This is the terrible barrier that separates you from your goal.

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #57 on: June 22, 2013, 11:00:34 pm »
A fierce wind with teeth of ice thunders relentlessly across the land, pushing billows of powdery snow ahead of it. You hunch behind each step as though pushing a heavy cart, at times having to crouch down to avoid being blown off your feet. By day you are surrounded by a painful white glare; at night, moonlight turns the snowscape into a scene of unearthly mystery. You trudge wearily on, feet numb and cold, eyebrows bristling with icicles. Do you have either a fur coat or cold-weather clothes? If not, lose 2 life points. Even if you do have such clothing, the cold is so severe that you still lose 1 life point, unless you have SURVIVAL.You lose 1 less life point if you possess a burrek, as you can huddle close to it and share its body warmth.
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  • polarized goggles
  • SURVIVAL
  • otherwise
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 11:02:21 pm by lowlevelowl »

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #58 on: June 22, 2013, 11:00:59 pm »
You need protection against the harsh glare of daylight thrown up off the snow. Tearing two thin strips from the lining of your sleeves, you tie them above and below your eyes, leaving only a narrow slit to see through. That should protect you from snow blindness. If only the other perils of the Sahara were so easy to deal with!

Offline lowlevelowl

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« Reply #59 on: June 22, 2013, 11:01:18 pm »
You pass on through a plain of ice tors baroque crags which glint with a metallic sheen against the delicate blue sky. The wind, blasting between these tors, makes a desolate keening sound. You see no signs of life. Cold gnaws at you from outside, hunger from within.
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  • eat two skudge bars
  • eat one skudge bar
  • you brought no food