Thirty Minutes After Midnight – II

Episode 2 – A Race against Time

            “I suggest you hurry. The fuses are set for thirty minutes after midnight and you have a long way to go.”

            The projector clicked off and began to rewind automatically.

“So, we have intruders?” The voice came from the door

            Outside, Jack sat bolt upright and nudged Alex. Four Chinese figures were approaching the car; four more were going into the door of the restaurant.

            “You will surrender and come with us”. The speaker was a Chinaman, wearing a red headband. Flanking him were two others; both wearing headbands.

“Why? Where are we going?” countered Yozmodius. He glanced at Dr Zeus.

“You are going downstairs. Lady Sin wishes you to speak to her.”

“I’m going nowhere.” Yoz went to pull his gun; the nearest Chinaman leapt across the room and made a series of lightning-fast karate chops at him. Yoz was Shaken and Wounded! Another Chinaman attacked Zeus; with a similar result. They needed no further prompting; they both surrendered. *

Outside, Jack and Alex watched the Chinese approach the car. They closed the windows and prepared to sit it out. This changed when one of the Chinamen threw a burning firecracker / flare into the the car; it missed but it freaked out Jack. He floored the gas and threw the car round the corner; out into the street. The Chinese made no moves to stop them. They drove through Curtistown for a time, then returned to the ‘Wing Yip’ to observe from across the street.

Yoz and Dr Zeus were taken downstairs into the basement and locked in a cell. Two Chinese stayed on guard; they would not respond or communicate with the prisoners. Sometime later the door opened and in walked a stunningly beautiful Asian woman, wearing a Cheongsam; flanked by two hard-faced Chinamen. She gestured with a hand and one of the guards began to fill the cistern of the Water Torture device. She walked close to the bars of the cell.

“ I am Lady Sin. I work for the Shadow Sun Syndicate and I am Lo Fat’s chief interrogator. You will eventually tell me everything I want to know. Who of you wants to be the first?”

“Me!” yelled Dr Zeus. He then proceeded to tell Lady Sin of everything that they knew about the bracelets; what they were and the plot to destroy the Combined Fuel Depot, **

“There,” cooed Lady Sin. “That wasn’t so hard, was it? The Syndicate rewards those who help it.”

Without warning; both Yoz and Dr Zeus had bracelets snapped around their wrists.

“You have seen the film. The fuses are set for thirty minutes after midnight. You have seventeen hours.”

Dr Zeus called after her. “I’d like to see you again.” Lady Sin turned and smiled. “You would not ever want to meet me again, the pleasure would be mine only.”

Outside; Jack and Alex saw Dr Zeus and Yoz run from the building and noted the bracelets.

“Drive!”, yelled Yoz. “We have to get to the bunker and the keys.”

The drive from Port Douglas to the fuel depot took eleven hours ***. The depot was up a dirt track off the main road. A large hill with a set of double doors was surrounded by a wire fence; a few lights on poles illuminated the inside. Guarding the fence were three soldiers wearing US military fatigues. A fourth soldier manned a .50 cal. MG mounted on a jeep ****

The plan they came up with was so convoluted that it just had to work! Jack and Alex boldly marched up to the main gate and asked for directions to Boston (about 2880 miles!). They then started arguing in a mixture of Spanish and Italian; distracting the guards while Yoz and Dr Zeus broke in though the fence. Zeus used his Invisibility Belt and Yoz managed to sneak across to the warehouse door. The main doors were huge, but there was a smaller access door. It was locked, but Yoz used his lockpicking skills to open it and they got inside.

The depot was huge, large warehouse-sized rooms filled with drums of fuel oil, gasoline and aviation fuel, lit by the occasional bulb. There did not appear to be any guards inside. They began searching everywhere for the keys to the bracelets. ***** With about two hours remaining they actually found three keys; they unlocked their bracelets and left the third key in plain sight. They succeeded in sneaking out again through the hole in the fence and ran down to the road, where Jack and Alex were waiting in the car.

“Drive!” yelled Yoz, “there’s only about thirty minutes left.” Sure enough, the bracelets were growing warm and beginning to sizzle; giving off acrid fumes. After twenty minutes they pulled up by a lake; Zeus and Yoz hurled the bracelets as far as they could into the water; then they drove off. Shortly afterwards there was a muffled explosion and a ball of white flame rose over the trees behind them.

Back in Port Douglas, Jack was relieved to find that his apartment had not exploded in flames. However, Swallow’s body and the bracelet were missing. The window to the apartment had been forced open. A note was on the fire mantelpiece, it read

“You have not heard the last of me”

XP = 2

=============================================================================

GM notes

* Pulp Benny awarded for surrendering to overwhelming force.

** Hindrance: Big Mouth

*** Used a modified Dramatic Task to determine how long it took

**** An anachronism – the Jeep was first produced in 1940. This was probably an experimental Chrysler model.

***** They were firmly convinced that there were no keys and that they would not be able to remove the bracelets (GM: The Shadow Sun Syndicate aren’t that evil – or are they?)

* Has anyone spotted where the inspiration for this adventure came from? It would be FAB if you did.

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