- February 09, 2016
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Session 1 - Hither and Thither
The Roughnecks surveyed the scene: giant crocodile headed kaiju and insane destruction, a beaten and bloody Mr. Fantastic, airborne Human Torch… business as usual for a team of misfits. Really, the most surprising thing was a call for assistance from the respectable, spectacled Dr. Reed Richards. If anything was amiss… it was getting a call for help from someone reputable.
Considering this, Fenris shrugged, crouched and launched himself at the giant beast. He flew off the roof of the 30-story Shanghai Place and slammed into King Barakidon’s left flank, sticking like a tiny tick on the side of the great beast. Both Crucible and Sabanion began slamming the beast with torrents of fire. Phantasm found some local help a few floors down, possessing a telemarketer and walking to the east windows to get eyes on the monster. Mr. Fantastic was atop Taiwan Tower, his limbs stretching and straining, hurriedly putting together some bizarre piece of technology. The Human Torch was making strafing runs, dousing the giant beast with even more flame.
“Ya big lug! I’ll show you!”
The Thing rounded the corner of the building and charged the beast. The Invisible Woman took up position north of the monster. She stood bravely, a sole figure in the middle of the street k onto ition north of the monster, preventing it from heading further into Little China. ldings arpreventing it from heading further into Little China. King Barakidon raised one of his massive haunches and stomped on Sue Richards, only to have his foot halted and redirected off her powerful force field. Burning and bellowing, King Barakidon took out his frustrations on the buildings around him. The Thing was battering away at the kaiju’s shins. It eventually was able to focus on the odd, spinning fiery figure on top of Shanghai Place. King Barakidon bellowed again, and its head plunged downwards. Moving with surprising speed, the kaiju’s massive jaws snapped shut on the hapless demon, Sabanion. It crushed and ground the demon into a pulp of charred rock, crushed lava, and slivers of razor sharp obsidian. Finding the demon contrary to its palette, King Barakidon roared and spat the demon into a smoldering heap on the sidewalk pavement.
Fenris, still clinging to the monster’s floating ribs, snarled and swung with all his might but was unable to attain leverage for a solid blow. Phantasm, still possessing the telemarketer inside Shanghai Place, focused several psionic blasts that assaulted the creature’s neural pathways. Seeing the monster’s distress and deciding it was time for a decisive blow, Crucible focused on one of the many patches of the kaiju’s burning flesh. He fire-ported himself directly onto the monster’s face and grabbed onto the spiny ridge that ran along the creature’s snout. He swung his legs down in hopes of driving himself straight down the creature’s throat. King Barakidon roared and snapped, trying to dislodge or devour the strange, burning metallic figure that had appeared on its face from out of nowhere.
Taking care not to mess up the swing down King Barakidon’s throat, Crucible hung on tightly. He started to hear gunshots. Not the heavy weapons that were undoubtedly on their way but… sounded like pistols. He wondered what pistols could possibly do against this thing.
After another strafing run by the Human Torch, King Barakidon had had enough. The burning kaiju took a half- hearted swing at The Thing and turned back toward the Atlantic shore. The monster bellowed and Crucible was finally able to kick and swing between the massive fangs and down the monster’s throat. The muscled throat of King Barakidon squeezed and crushed Crucible, but he was able to wedge himself in place and began smashing the beast’s soft interior.
As the miserable and defeated King Barakidon slid into the Atlantic, Fenris and Crucible made their escape from the monster and headed back to Little China. There, Phantasm had telekinetically gathered up the unconscious form of Sabanion and was chatting with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. Also, there were two people they’d never seen before.
The first was a lithe and sharp looking woman with a pair of heavy pistols and a wearing a high-tech helmet. She wore a utility belt and a sword on her back. She removed the helmet revealing beautiful, if exhausted, Asian features and raven black hair. She looked mildly perturbed and in need of some genuine sleep.
The second was another woman, whose face was barely visible underneath the voluminous white robes of a Catholic nun… if she had been a nun in the American west of the 1820s. She wore a leather pistol belt rung round with bullets and a pair of old Colt double-action revolvers. There was something off about her. She seemed to stare off into the distance, listening to divine whispers that no one else could hear.
“A man’s got to know his limitations,” the otherworldly nun breathed as she watched the ridged back of King Barakidon slide into the sea.
“This is all very irregular,” Mr. Fantastic said as he stared at the strange gathering. “I’ve heard of you Roughnecks. You’re help is appreciated but… you’re out of your element here.”
“Out of our element? We just helped put down that kaiju,” Fenris barked, jabbing a clawed finger at the elastic genius.
“Oh yeah?” growled The Thing, “Giant monsters is our deal. The Fantastic Four saves the city and you creepy guys stay in the shadows. That’s the deal, that’s how it works! What are you doing here?”
“Oh crikey,” the brunette sighed with a thick Aussie accent, “I’ve been asking myself that for weeks now! Been asking, ‘Iris, what in blazes are you doing here?!’ Say, doc, you got a gadget that’ll free me from this holy twit?”
Dr. Richards gave her a quizzical glance but otherwise ignored her.
“Look, I’ve protected you from the multiple news cameras that have undoubtedly been watching, but you must tell me why you’re here.”
“It’s very simple, Dr. Richards,” Aneksi said, “you called us and we came.”
“I did not call you! You are simply just –“
The pavement beneath their feet began to glow with a faint golden light. There was an odd humming as the ground began to vibrate. Crucible thought he heard the Aussie muttering “oh please, oh please” under her breath as the humming grew louder and the light became blinding.
There was a flash and they blinked. It was suddenly night time and they heard the crashing of the sea and smelled salt air. They found themselves standing on the helipad of an oil rig, smoking and half submerged in the sea. Iris looked around and a torrent of Aussie-accented profanity poured from her mouth. She slammed her tech helmet back on and pulled her pistols.
The Roughnecks were still dumbfounded. Somehow they’d been transported to an oil rig on the other side of the world. The nun, the Gun Nun, was iridescent in the light of the waxing crescent moon. Her eyes still glowed with the golden light. The team grew aware of the grunts, snarls, and screams of violence around them.
“Trouble, I tell ya!” Iris yelled, pointing at the Gun Nun, “She’s nothing but bloody trouble!”
The Gun Nun pulled her pistols.
“Nothing wrong with shooting, as long as the right people get shot,” she said.
“Yeah… great, sweetheart! What did you bring us to this time? Hmmmm… looks like a werewolf strike team… par for the bloody course!”
Aneksi scanned the rig. There was a hovercraft idling at the edge of where the rig had been damaged and partially sunken. And there were, indeed, werewolves running everywhere. Some were fighting what appeared to be rig security agents and others were using heavy tools to break down the hatches on the various structures atop the rig. Some of them wore backpacks. They snarled in odd syllables and each wore a high-tech gauntlet on their left claws. Aneksi could immediately tell the gauntlets were somehow integrated into their bodies and provided them with significant mental shielding.
A werewolf, a female, saw the group and stopped. She snarled, turned, and charged the group. Several other werewolves had made short work of the hapless security agents and also turned to attack the Roughnecks. They seemed to be surprised at Fenris, snarling words at him that they couldn’t understand.
“They’re your people, Wolfman Jack,” Iris said, blasting one with both barrels, “talk to them.”
“Oh great,” Fenris groaned as he slashed another, “lycanthrope racism.”
“They seem to consider you a traitor, Fenris,” the Gun Nun said, swinging around her smoking Colt pistols, “They wonder why you’d associate with these slaves, these… simians?”
Aneksi managed to overcome the psychic shielding and possess one of the werewolves. Crucible was landed crushing blows on several of the beasts. More werewolves emerged from the various hatches on the rig, carrying heavy bags stuffed with robotics and odd technology. They hauled their treasures to the hovercraft and the engine fired. The remaining stayed behind and fought with a fervor reserved for religious fanatics. They barked in their snarling language and fought to the last. The last werewolf took Iris down with an overhand slash. She fell in a bloody heap on the helipad. Phantasm felled the creature with a psychic blast.
The Roughnecks heard the roar of the hovercraft’s jets and it sped away from the platform. The craft had an odd canon fixed on its nose that fired a purplish-yellow beam. The beam struck the air and expanded, tearing a rift into the fabric of reality itself. The werewolves, their stolen technology, and their craft disappeared into the rift and it winked out of existence, closing behind them.
“Well, this is great,” Crucible said, “looks like we’re in the Pacific with no real way to get out of here. Wonder where they went.”
“Cimbron,” the Gun Nun murmured. “They went to a place called Cimbron.”
Fenris sniffed the air. The rig was half submerged and ablaze. He was surprised that he didn’t catch even a whiff of oil, burning or otherwise. His occult senses reached out and found no evidence of the arcane. Aneksi began a mental interrogation of the form she possessed while the Gun Nun knelt over the bleeding form of Iris. She holstered her pistols and slowly waved a hand over the unconscious Aussie and whispered. Iris stirred and her wounds began to close. Her bleeding slowed to a trickle. Aneksi looked at the Gun Nun and then over to the smoldering heap that was her partner, Sabanion. The Gun Nun shook her head, no deal. Iris opened her eyes, winced in pain, and looked around the rig.
“Well, those are Chinese characters so I guess I’m a little closer to home. Now all we need is-- no, No, NOOOOO!”
Once again, the golden light flashed beneath their feet. This time the entire team felt an odd pulling, as if they were travelling in a thousand different directions at once. Finally, the light grew blinding and they felt themselves heaved into… a cave, a dark cave whose mouth opened to a clear night sky. The Gun Nun was nowhere to be found.
Iris struggled to get up. She limped down the length of the cave toward the opening, talking to no one in particular.
“Where is she? I’ve been with Sister Cosmic Colts for around 6 weeks now. We go from one fight to the next, one disaster to another. I’ve fought Yakuza thugs and Russian mafia. I tangled with the Serpent Society running drugs in Argentina and sunk a HYDRA vessel in the Bering Strait. We’ve picked some up and dropped some off along the way. Not me though, I think I hold the record. I must be her favorite. There was Blade… oooh, could have used a little down time with him! I need to get back to Sydney before she scoops me up again and gets me into the next scrap. Where is she…?”
She reached the mouth of the cave and scanned the terrain outside, her tech helmet displaying both the infra-red and ultra-violet spectrums. She looked up at the night sky.
“Never though, never have I been sent somewhere and not had her at the other end. Never… and the stars… the stars are wrong, all wrong.”
Sabanion had just come to and now looked at the rest of the team in utter horror. It was the first time they’d ever seen fear in his eyes. Phantasm, still possessing the werewolf, sat down next to the demon and stared at the cave wall. Her mind reached out to the entire team, linking them in psychic rapport.
“Where is the moon right now?” Phantasm asked, the entire team felt a heavy tension in her psychic voice.
“I don’t see a moon and, if I’m right, this is Cimbron. Another planet, another dimension… who knows? It might not even have a moon. Why?”