Grailstone IV

In the laboratory, they searched around for clues and other items. Judson found that the blobs in the cylinder reacted when he touched the cylinder; some moved towards him, some merged and moved away. In a total fit of madness, he embraced the cylinder and got Harrylock to do the same from the other side. The results were startling. The blobs broke up into thousands of swirling motes and a chirruping alarm sounded …

They decided to run further into the complex, reasoning that the guards would probably check on Sonny and Galadiir first. The door led into a triangular corridor, a further door led back into the hospital area. Judson peered in; there were the human children still on the beds, with three Varjellens working at the monitoring panels. The Varjellen patients and Kasten were gone. They sneaked through and out of the other door; exiting the building via the security room. They returned to the village and found somewhere to sleep.

The following morning they were awoken by the thunder of the grailstone; after breakfast they headed for the courtroom. Tienne and a squad of Varjellen soldiers intercepted them.

“You have seen too much. You are arrested.”

For a moment it looked like Harrylock would make a stand; Judson convinced him that taking on a Varjellen Death Squad would not be a good idea and so they surrendered.* They were taken to an empty triangular Varjellen house and locked in.

In the courtroom; Galadiir and Sonny looked in vain for Judson and Harrylock. Mayor Sollars opened the trial.

“We have discussed the evidence presented and have reached the conclusion based on the fact that the Scrivener cannot lie. Sonny Silver is …”

“Wait!” called Galadiir. “I have one more piece of evidence to present.” Tienne and Mallis registered annoyance (it is hard for a human to read a Varjellen’s emotions).

“Scrivener! Draw a full body picture of Sonny Silver as you see him today. Now draw a full body picture of him as you saw him on the day of the killings. Hold them up for comparison.”

There was a collective gasp around the court. The two pictures were identical, except that the Sonny on the day of the murder clearly had six fingers on each hand.

“So what!” yelled Constable Brandick? “Many of us are like that.” He held up his hands; he too had six fingers on each hand. Galadiir looked round the room; several humans had six fingers and, significantly, none of them seemed to be a twin.

Tienne leaned over and spoke quietly to Mayor Sollars; who rose and announced “This trial is adjourned. All villagers will return to their homes.”

Galadiir quickly used his Read Mind esotery. Mayor Sollars mind was blank; the overriding thought was to adjourn the trial and return people home. The humans began to leave; Galadiir made to follow them out but his way was blocked by two Varjellens.

“You must remain here. You know too much.” Galadiir looked behind him; two more Varjellens guarded the door to leading to the laboratory.

Back in the house; Judson scouted out the structure. The walls were made of synth; fairly tough. Harrylock selected a spot and punched it with his full strength**; after a couple of blows the wall gave way and there was a hole big enough for them to get through. They ran to the woods on the edge of the village and hid, using a vantage point to observe the court building. They saw the line of humans leaving; it looked like they were being escorted by the Varjellens. They crept closer and tried to follow a group of Varjellens back inside.

“State name and purpose”. They had forgotten about the security system!

The Wayfarers were all gathered in the courtroom, guarded by ten Varjellen soldiers. Tienne and Mallis entered the room. Tienne addressed them all.

“You have seen and know too much about what is being done here. *** Your minds will be re-forged and you are allowed to leave. It, however, (Tienne indicated Sonny), stays here.”

“Sonny comes with us. He is a free man; he did not kill anyone”

“It belongs to us. It was made here. It did not kill anyone; it was its twin. It was bought here to lure the twin back to continue the experiment.”

“Sonny was not made here, he had a mother. Look, he’s got a navel!” Sonny lifted his shirt; to their amazement, where his navel should be was three concentric rings of scar tissue. Judson remembered seeing these on the children in the hospital.

“It is part of an experiment; its twin mutated and became murderous. The experiment must continue to eradicate this problem before it occurs again.”

“Let’s get out of here,” said Sonny and activated a cypher; a jewelled belt that produced a plane of force, separating off some of the guards and Mallis. The Varjellens produced their Intellect-draining web guns and opened fire; whilst the other guards drew swords and advanced into melee. Galadiir froze one with his Ice Onslaught and went after Tienne. Sonny activated another cypher, a defensive Time Dilation nodule that made him very difficult to hit. Harrylock was struck by two of the webs and became Impaired; he had to take some time out to recover. Suddenly there was a burst of light and a Varjellen fell; bitten cleanly in two! The jubilation that the Wayfarer’s showed **** quickly turned to concern as the Fiend attacked both Harrylock and Sonny as well. Tienne backed out of the door; Galadiir unleashed a massive Ice Onslaught and Tienne fell; part-frozen in ice. With a massive crunching sound the ice splintered as Tienne was bitten in half by the Fiend.

With the death of Tienne the guards stopped fighting. Sonny reached over and took Tienne’s Varjellen sword as a memento. They left the village; no-one tried to stop them. Before they left, Galadiir spoke to Mayor Sollars and told them that the Varjellens were experimenting with breeding twins in the village and that anyone with six fingers was a mutation. Mayor Sollars calmly told him that she didn’t care; Galadiir got the impression that once the Varjellens had a new leader then everything would continue exactly as it had before.

They headed north-west, heading for the Steadfast. That evening; a glowing red sphere of energy approached over the trees and hovered. Inside were six figure; the nearest one waved to Sonny.

“Greetings, twin brother. I liked how you dealt with the lizards; the Hand of Six thanks you. See you in Akkoris.”

The sphere rose and flew off over the trees.

THE END

—————————————

GM notes

* See what I mean about red herrings? Never once did I refer to the Varjellen soldiers as being a Death Squad.

** Using Effort

*** The PC’s, of course, protested that they knew nothing; of course the Varjellens didn’t believe them.

**** “It’s Barry!” They have named the Penumbra Fiend and consider it a pet!

Again, a really good Game, with some interesting twists. Also, finally a good use of cyphers (the Wayfarers are reluctant to use them for some reason.)

XP:

2 for the adventure, 2 for finding out what was happening in Grailstone and 1 for Sonny for closing a Thread. All of the Wayfarers are now Tier 2.

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