It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Let me just say this was one of the hardest books I have ever read. The book was interesting, but did not rivet me to the edge of my seat that way many other books do. This book was a slog from beginning to end. The pace was slow and plodding, which is most likely the reason it took me so long to read. Even making a concentrated effort to read it, I felt mired in the prose and felt I barely made any headway even reading for hours.
Where the book shines is in its message. It is a disturbing reflection of both the time in which it which Lewis wrote it, and in the times in which we live. Sinclair Lewis painted a masterful portrait with his prose, showcasing just how easily and quickly the United States could fall to tyranny and despotism. It was frightening when he wrote it, and it is equally frightening now; maybe even more so. Scenes depicted by the mainstream media almost seem as if lifted whole-cloth from this book; as if those desiring to control this country are using it as a playbook. I urge everyone to read this book. It will give you more of an understanding of what is at stake if things continue as they are.
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It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
Here is my idea for a crazy named Careless Whisper inspired by a post in the Savage Rifts Facebook Group about using George Michael as inspiration. To be honest, Careless Whisper is really just a knock-off of Deadpool who already did the WHAM thing. I just took it a step further.
“I don’t mind stealin’ bread from the mouths of decadence,
but I can’t feed on the powerless when my cup’s already overfilled.”
– Temple of the Dog, Hunger Strike
- Doc Flint, Pacifist Psi-Stalker Body Fixer
- Fer de Lance, Psi-Stalker City Rat
- Vic, Human Hacker
- Ranger Cogliostro Slade, Grackletooth Justice Ranger (Merc Soldier)
I had come to Chi-Town on the trail of the Palmer Gang. They were wanted in connection with grave robbing back in Perseverance. The no good bushwhackers led me into an ambush and I found myself fighting a squad of ISS agents and their dog pack. I took no joy in killing the men or the dog boys, they were just doing their jobs. Sure, I got away, but it wasn’t without taking some lumps myself.
Klyde carried me away from the confrontation. I instructed him to take me to a body fixer. Lucky for me, he found the office of a sawbones I was familiar with. A couple of years back Doc Burns patched me up after a scuffle. Needless to say, I wasn’t doing so hot and nearly passed out. I stayed conscious though, gotta uphold the rep of the Rangers.
Doc Burns had his hands full. A group entered looking even worse than I did. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one familiar it Doc Burns. The leader of the group was a feller by the name of Doc Flint. A ‘stalker by the looks of him. He was accompanied by a female ‘stalker. Must have been a mated pair. I didn’t ask, because that’s kinda rude. I couldn’t figure out the third guy, I think he might have been some of new fangled crazy. The three of them carried the body of a mauled dog boy, and were accompanied by a small group.
Doc Burns split his time between me and them. There was nothing he could do for the dog boy and the kid that was accompanying them must have witnessed something horrifying because he refused to talk. I don’t know what it was, but I reflexively curled my hand into a fist. Rangers don’t cotton to women and children being hurt. This Magpie, or whatever it was, had a strike against it. Although I knew the Palmer Gang was getting further away from me, I couldn’t in good conscience leave without helping these folks get a bit of payback. The Palmers would wait.
Doc Flint told us the tale of what happened while Doc Burns made arrangements for the refugees. Doc Flint’s mate, Fer I think her name was asked Doc Burns for some chemicals and she made something she called “hot sauce”. It’s probably not the kind of hot sauce I’m thinking about though. Man I could really go for some tacos right now. The crazy man busied himself with acquiring components to make something he called a “genesis bullet”. I’m not sure I’d trust my life his mad science experiment, but if it reassured him, that’s all that mattered.
We returned to the warehouse where the bad stuff had gone down. ISS was all over the place. I found a trail, but a few investigators were collecting samples. We couldn’t get close to it, but Vic the crazy wanted a sample for himself. He apparently was good with computers and despite appearances was a smoothly talking devil. He bluffed his way into the midst and collected a sample which he later added to his “magic bullet”.
I followed those tracks. It was a trail a blind man could follow. I could only hope it was easy to pick up the Palmers’ trail again. The dead vegetation gave way to tire tracks dug into the fresh mud. Klyde remained behind at Doc Burns’ office. He was just a commlink call away. I’m not the daintiest flower in the woods, but I can be kinda quiet when I try to this operation required a little bit of stealth.
In the middle of the woods we came upon a few troops guarding some crates. The others identified them as the mooks employed by their “friend” Magpie. Apparently, Magpie had betrayed them and stolen the tablet. I’m not sure what the table was, but a good guess would have been they hid it in a tree that was surrounded by dead vegetation. We watched the clearing for a few hours. The crazy deployed some sort of robot squirrel. Yup completely off his nut. Then he hacks a secure Coalition Spec-Ops line and has Doc instruct them to go into the area being purged and extract his friend. He’s either crazy or a certified genius, maybe both.
Finally, a truck rumbled into view and backed up.The mooks loaded up the truck with the aid of the driver, while Magpie looked on. Fer took one out with her laser rifle and I took one out with Bess. Who’s Bess? Bess is my replica Winchester ’76. That is when all hell broke loose.
I don’t think any of us were prepared for what happened. As any battle, most plans go out the window with the first gun shot. Vic missed the driver, which allowed him to scamper to the front of the vehicle. Doc had been sneaking around front to commandeer the vehicle. Fer took a shot at Magpie hoping to take her down, but the shot didn’t even pierce her armor. Was Magpie some sort of ‘borg? Magpie confronted Fer about shooting her.
Some sort of creepy voice spoke. It seemed to be coming from the weird tree. I knew we should have examined the tree. Creatures appeared out of no where. A large lump of miss matched body parts stitched together and a wicked looking preying mantis. I tangled with the dead stinky critter bearing down on me, while the mantis ran toward Magpie and drove one of it’s scythe-like claws through her leg. Nope she was human alright, no ‘borg would scream like that.
Speaking of nerves, Fer lost hers and ran screaming into the woods. Vic managed a shot that popped the bug like a blister, While Doc hoisted Magpie like a sack of taters. Magpie was genuinely confused by what was happening. She had no memory of the last three weeks. I would later learn that was around the time things started getting weird in Firetown. Stinky, the dead monstrosity got a chest full of lead and that ended that.
Around this time, mist began to pour out of the tree. The area of dead vegetation increased. I was standing right in it, and was instantly powerful hungry. No time for a snack though because a four-armed gorilla and a walking pillar of fire appeared. Vic tossed a grenade in the midst of the tree and the pillar of fire. I think it drove whatever was in the tree away, but the fire just absorbed the energy, and then proceeded to set the forest on fire.
Vic spotted something in the field of vision of his robot squirrel and ordered it to “sic balls”. It was rewarded by being crushed and hurled to the forest floor. I punched the gorilla and it vanished in a shower of goo. Doc worked on Magpie’s leg but when to help Vic when he noticed the thing in the trees. Vines snaked up from the ground and entrapped the Doc. By this time Fer had recovered her wits and returned to help. She was creeping up to help Doc when Magpie blasted her from behind. Now it was Fer’s turn to say “What the hell!?”
The fire elemental shrugged off a full cylinder or silver ammo. So I tried to smother it by whipping dirt at it with my tail. No dice. The dirt disintegrated before it hit. Fer and Vic took more shots at the thing in the trees. While Doc struggled to get free, and Fer took another shot from Magpie who was convinced Fer was the thing from the trees, I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to kill the pillar of fire. Hadn’t ever run into a critter like this though. Somehow the others managed to kill the creature. Some sort of demonic hag with no legs that floated in mid-air.
Killing her might not have been a good idea, because she changed. She turned into this skinny demon that looked as if it hadn’t eaten in weeks, and carried a bizarre looking staff. Just then everything began to die. Grass and trees withered, nearby fields decayed and died, and even Magpie fell victim to the wave of faminization. We hightailed it away as quick as we could. Winter was going to fall hard on Chi-Town this year with the destruction of the fields that were their lifeblood.
And I thought things were getting bad in Perseverance. Sheesh. I’m not yellow, but after what I witnessed even I felt the shiver of fear run down my back. Something tells me this is only going to get worse.
[Trigger Warning: If you have problems dealing with mental illness and/or death then you might not want to read this recap. It goes to some rather dark places, and it is okay if you don’t want to go there. If you are in such dark places then please know that you matter, and talk to someone before you do something you can’t undo.]
Lemme tell ya, ol’ Jack isn’t feeling the greatest. I don’t know if it’s the crap Burbie Bitch sprayed on everybody, or if it’s just the effects of missing a few meals, but ol’ Jack feels like a pair of socks rinsed off in the sink, wrung out, and then hung out to dry.
It ain’t just that. I feel like something is whispering in my mind, and these new powers I’ve developed are scaring the shit outta me. On top of that, my temper is on a very short leash right now. I don’t know what the hell is happening to me, but I don’t like it one bit.
So we got out of the tunnel and outside Firetown. Ol’ Jack brought up the rear and brought down the roof of the tunnel with Brian’s party favors. Those weird ass mages weren’t coming out that way. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as I exited the tunnel I realized all the weeds were sick and dead.
We decided to split up. Doc and two of Magpie’s crew went to get Doc patched up. The rest of us looked for a place to hole up. We found an abandoned warehouse not too far away. Ol’ Jack wanted to find some wheels, but he was too tired, and too hungry to deal with it. So he bedded down for a few hours of shut-eye.
Something woke ol’ Jack up after only a couple of hours. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t pick up any trace of Magpie or her crew. They were supposed to have set up a perimeter, but now it appeared they had decided to ghost us. It didn’t surprise me. I woke up Fer and Doc. Vic didn’t stir, likely sleeping off whatever he was on. Brian was still asleep in the crane. I didn’t bother waking up Velia or Charlotte, neither of whom would have been any good in a fight anyway. As I relayed my suspicions to Doc and Fer, I noticed it. More of the dead weeds. They’d been alive when we entered the warehouse and now they were gray and dead like the weeds outside the tunnel.
We confronted the Burbie Bitch over what she knew. She claimed to know nothing about the dying foliage. They had simply taken a disease that killed everyone and instead twisted it into a disease that was only supposed to wipe out d-bees. That’s what happened when people tried to play god. They ended up doing more harm than good. I should know. A similar “god” created something that killed my pack.
I told Fer and Doc to sit tight while I took a look around outside. I kinda wished I hadn’t. Only a few dozen yards away were Coalition Skelebots. They wanted ol’ Jack to stand down. Yeah right. I ducked behind the edge of a nearby shipping container and took a potshot at the closest with my gun. It didn’t do much more than stop it from walking for a few seconds. The joker on top of the shipping container was a psi-stalker and tried his mumbo jumbo on me, but I was too strong for it. Meanwhile inside the warehouse a squad of dogboys appeared out of nowhere and began herding Fer and Doc outside. When I saw them I got pissed. How the hell had I not smelled them?
A lot of things happened really fast. First Doc went down to the lasers of the skelebots, then Fer fell too. Ol’ Jack fought like a beast, but wound up in the clutches of the ‘stalker, who drained ol’ Jack dry of juice. Except ol’ Jack wasn’t going down like that. I fought out of the grip of the ‘stalker only to get blasted by the ‘bots.
Ummm…yeahhhh… this is Brian. I didn’t want to tell the nice Doctor and his friends what happened, so I made this recording, but the dog boy…he…my god…I’m so scared. I know he’s dead…I wish dad was here. Something happened with the dog boy. He changed. He didn’t even look like the dog boy anymore. He looked like a monster. The monster that had been the dog boy killed all those other dog boys, even when they tried to run away. Then he tore the robots to pieces. I know I should have stayed inside the crane where it was safe. I think he saw me. I ran back to the ladder and climbed up and into the crane. I was afraid he was going to come after me next. I watched as he carried in the bodies of the Doc and the one called Fer. I thought they were dead. The dog boy had been hurt bad too. He didn’t even look like the dog boy anymore. He was bloody and broken, His pieces didn’t look right. Some part of him must have been left because he whimpered as he laid down near his friends. Then I heard a loud sound like a gunshot and the dog boy didn’t move anymore. I stayed where I was, too scared to move, but even from the crane I could see the gun in the hand of the dog boy. I’d never seen someone kill themselves before. I don’t know why he did it, but I hate it. I hate the killing. I just want to go home. I want dad to come home, and tell me it’ll be alright.
*sounds of muffled crying on the voice recorder*
Nothing will be alright ever again.
[NE] Episode 11: Big Problems
Destruction’s DeeVee’s Log
Hello is this this thing on?
Hi I’m DeeVee and I’m one of the Heavy Metals. Normally, Dr. Destruction writes one of these post game logs to bring everyone up to speed on the events of the last mission. He thinks his communications are unhackable, but for someone with the right mix of skills they really aren’t. You may be asking why he isn’t doing the mission recap since he’s the one that usually does them. That is a good question. A better question is where is Dr. Destruction?
You see we – the Heavy Metals – don’t know the answer to that either. The last time any of us heard from him, he was telling Hyperia to take a strange black box she and Chean found to the furtherest reach of Prospect Point. We agreed to meet up with her later back at the Metal Works (a name I came up with for the lair, it hasn’t stuck yet, but…). I finished harvesting components from the drones and these weird mouse dog robots. They had two legs, and over-sized jaws. It was a really bad design unless one needed to chew up a bunch targets. They were also ridiculously easy to take control. In fact, thanks to them, we made short work of the drones guarding the house.
We’d gone back to the house to get the shrink ray. Dr. Destruction said it was critical to keep it out of the hands of the V’sori. It hadn’t been moved since Nightshift and Rockstar blew the first mission. The forces guarding the house were a joke. Four drones, and eight rat-dog bots for us? Frakking insulting. When Hyperia and Chean battled a fin bigger than the house I figured I might have been mistaken, but even he proved to be a weak defender. Something didn’t add up. It was almost like they new we were coming to get the shrink ray, and left just a token defense force, so it wouldn’t seem too easy.
I think the shrink ray was bait. What they really wanted us to find was that mysterious black box. Hyperia told us that strange symbols appeared on the box, and then it exploded. I wish I would have been able to look at it before she delivered it, I might have figured out what it was before it blew open the lock on the Prospect Point ley line.
Yeah I’m spitballing here. but I think that box was some sort of magical crowbar that blew open whatever it was keeping the ley line dormant. From what Hyperia said, ley lines appeared at all points of the city and met at the center of town. It looks like we weren’t the only one’s played for suckers. Eight ley lines intersecting at the center of the city. Star City is god-cursed ley line nexus, and a right powerful one too since it’s fed by eight ley lines. I can only assume the ley line energy suddenly flaring to life is what acted as an electro-magnetic pulse, took out the electrical grid, and plunged Star City into darkness. We’re lucky the Metal Works has its own generator.
Which brings me back to Dr. Destruction. We haven’t heard a peep from him since the lights went out. Hyperia was the last one of us to hear from him, and I would bet you even money that it wasn’t Destruction she talked to. If I can hack the good doctor’s systems, it’s a good bet someone else did too. The real question is when did the comlinks get compromised? How long have we been running errands for someone pretending to be Dr. Destruction? Better questions are who have we been working for and what is their game? I’m sure I speak for my fellow Heavy Metals when I tell you that we don’t like being taken for fools.
Lets just say our actions in the Warehouse District did not go unnoticed, though you could probably have no doubt told that from the drones buzzing around the truck. We needed to find somewhere to stash the truck, and then get the hell out of Firetown.
Vic analyzed the data he’d downloaded and discovered that we may have been played for patsies by the Deadheads. He turned up some information that seemed to suggest that our employer and that vicious bastard Colonel Lyboc were one and the same. Magpie buzzed in our comlinks wondering what the hell we did, because the Deadheads were talking about a purge. Now we really needed to get the hell out of dodge. Ol’ Jack passed Magpie off to Vic as he scouted for a place to stash the truck. Vic told her what he’d found, and then the two of them worked on finding a way out of Firetown.
We found a warehouse that had seen better days. It would do well enough to hide the truck and maybe allow us to shake the drones following us. The drones took the bait and either got confused or went into a seeking pattern around the warehouse. We needed another vehicle to get us back to the hotel, so we could get Fer’s sister and Velia and blow this popsicle stand. All that stood between us an a parking lot full of used vehicles ripe for the picking was an open field with nuthin’ much in the way of cover. I was sure the drones would spot us, but someone was watching over us. We all made it across.
We were near a dive bar call the Bunker, which was in the middle of some sort of “End of the World Party” judging from the sounds of drunken revelry coming from indoors. I guess they all figured to have a good time until the end came. That was good news for us. Don’t ask me why I settled on the SUV with a big can of Psi-Cola attached to the back. All ol’ Jack cared about is that it was roomy, and wasn’t a Disgenix truck. Fortunately, the people indoors were too preoccupied to see Fer pop the lock on the truck, and didn’t hear a thing when we took off in it.
As we closed in on the parking garage of the Hotel, Fer noticed the truck had a little snitch flash from just under the passenger side of the dash. She tried to disarm the tracker, but failed and ended up just grabbing it, ripping it out, and tossing it out the window. Which was good because we’d given the drones the slip by driving non-conspicuously, or at least as much as you can in such a distinctive vehicle, and didn’t need to give away our position.
Velia was white as a ghost when we made it back to the room. She was holding a knife thinking we were some of the creatures rampaging through Firetown. She told how they had been murdering, devouring, and doing things too horrible to speak of in the streets. Charlotte was up, but she looked like a stiff wind could knock her over. She didn’t say it, but her eyes said all that was needed. We took them and whatever food and water we could find and loaded them in the truck. Vic mentioned that he found what he thought was an old sewer entrance. Not having any other options we went for it.
A wooden structure like some sort of bunker separated us from the way out. A kid yelled out that “none should pass through the kingdom of Brian.” Ol’ Jack was in favor of using the truck to “knock politely”. He told everyone to get out while he backed up and revved up the truck. I know what you’re thinking, but ol’ Jack isn’t suicidal. I was gonna stab the accelerator in place with my knife and bail before the truck hit the gate. Brian mentioned that ol’Jack shouldn’t do it and that was when we noticed the mounds of dirt in front of the gate.
If ol’ Jack had went ahead with his plan, the kid would have been blown up with half the city block from who know what kind of explosives he’d buried underneath. Cooler heads prevailed and Doc managed to get the kid to let him talk to him. Just when things were starting to look up that’s when a squad of skelebots arrived on the scene demanding to see our identification by way of opening fire on ol’ Jack. Fer managed to get a hit on one of the bots but it didn’t seem to rattle it much. Jack took a couple of hits from the Deadbots, and was about to say his final goodbyes, when Doc again used that brain of his and flashed Burbie Bitch’s ID card. You know it occurs to ol’ Jack we still don’t know the dame’s name. Oh well Burbie Bitch will work until we have more time to question her. The skelebots scanned the badge, and confirmed she was supposed to be there which by default got us a free pass as well.
Doc had a heart to heart with the kid who’d been waiting for his dad to come home. He’d apparently been waiting a while. We learned from Magpie who finally joined up with us, that the kid’s dad was in Payne’s employ too and that he had died several days ago when he and his team were torn apart by the damned reaving cannibals. Brian agreed to let us use the entrance, and ol’ Jack redeemed himself in Brian’s eyes, by blowing up the truck for nothing more than the kid’s amusement. It might not have been the smartest decision ol’ Jack ever made because shortly there after we started taking fire from the walls, as the Deadheads sought to keep us from leaving.
The entrance inside the Kingdom of Brian was nothing more than an old sewer grate. It was slow going getting people down it and into what turned out to be some sort of water distribution tunnels. Ol’ Jack took the lead. He was a mite better after Doc stitched him back together, besides I’d be able to smell any threats long before we ran into them.
We followed the left wall of the tunnel. Ol’ Jack didn’t know where it led, he just hoped it wasn’t back into the prison we just left. Ol’ Jack had his flashlight and his pulse pistol at the ready. I ranged a bit ahead and encountered a pit in the floor. No problem. I made myself a telekinetic bridge and walked across it. Someone instantly appeared in front of ol’ Jack and launched three energy bolts at him. My nose burned. Magic. The tunnel now stank of the stuff. That’s when the ground vanished right out from under me with an audible “pop”. I dropped the flashlight and my gun, and reached for the edge of the pit. Lucky me.
There I was dangling from the edge of the pit like a worm on a hook. I managed to haul myself out of the pit. The bozo in front of me was why my bridge vanished. Chuckles here had used his magic to dispel it. Cute.
Meanwhile there was some commotion at the back of the line. Judging from the shouts, they had visitors too. Doc had noticed a weird shimmer and both he and Fer detected the scent of magic too. To them it smelled like tacos or pizza, but to ol’ Jack it smelled like dirty feet. A strange blade of fire erupted and Doc tried to grab whatever was holding it, but missed.
The spellslinger tangling with ol’ Jack learned real fast why messing with me is a bad idea. Ol’ Jack tore into him with his vibro knife. Funny boy thought he was getting out-of-the-way by teleporting across the open-pit. All this did was make him the main course for Fer who drained him dry. He clearly wasn’t expecting a psi-stalker to be down in the tunnels. Ol’ Jack snarled at the dead battery, recreated his bridge, and stalked back across to the spellslinger.
The other spellslinger slashed at Doc with the fiery blade but missed. Fer held the spellslinger she’d sucked dry and ol’ Jack attempted to give him a new smile. I don’t think Fer know’s just how strong she is because she cracked the spellslinger’s head in her bare hands. Remind me not to make her mad.
Doc continued dancing with his partner and succeeded at getting some juicy mage, though it cost him big. The spellslinger ripped into him with that flaming sword. Fer left me to finish my opponent and went to go help Doc. Ol’ Jack turned the spellslinger into a coat rack then barreled past Fer and into the hallway to cut in with Doc’s dance partner. The spellslinger’s eyes when his fiery sword went out was classic. So too when ol’ Jack surrounded him in a telekinetic cage.
Ol’ Jack told the rest to go on ahead, that he was going to have a chat with the mage. Jack didn’t get much out of him other than he served the Coalition. That didn’t jive with what ol’ Jack knew of the Deadheads. They hated magic in any form. Did this guy see himself as some sort of “patriot” by serving the Coalition in the shadows? Ol’ Jack didn’t have time to find out and he didn’t have any desire to fight with him, so with the last of his psychic energy he reinforced the cage and hightailed it for the exit. Then used a small fusion block given to him by Brian to blow the tunnel so we couldn’t be followed.
We had made it to the other side of the wall. Tandem Street from the looks of it. The gang members just looked at us with a nod as we passed. They didn’t help us, but they didn’t stop us either. Doc wasn’t looking so hot and went to find someone to treat his burns. Fer kep an eye on Burbie Bitch with her sister and Velia, while ol’ Jack went to look for some wheels to get us out of here, and by out of here, I mean the Burbs, Chi-Town, and Coalition territory in general. Staying anywhere near the Deadheads was a death sentence. Ol’ Jack wanted to go somewhere there weren’t any Deadheads, reaving zombies, or 100 ft walls. Maybe somewhere in the Colorado Baronies. He’s heard some travelers talk about a place called Perseverance. Sounds like the kind of place they could lay low, give the Deadheads time to forget about them.
Note: There are two episodes left in this season. We still have some unfinished business in the Burbs, but with a little luck everyone will make it out alive. Of course, with the Vanguard and the Coalition on our tails, along with whatever Reaver scum that managed to escaped with us, who knows how this will end?
This is my current character in Peter Adams’ Rise of the Four Horsemen campaign. That’s right, this is the ol’ Jack you’ve been reading about. He was built using Hero Lab and all the fantastic work people have put into building those files. I highly recommend them.
Like I said in my last entry, we barely made it back to the hotel before curfew. Charlotte was in a bad way. Doc told us in no uncertain terms that if we didn’t find out what was causing people to get sick, she would die, and this time no scavenged cybernetic parts would bring her back.
Being it was after curfew and there wasn’t a lot we could do at the moment.
Vic busied himself with hacking into the drones that were spraying that nasty crap down on people. He sent most of them to various locations, but landed one on top of the parking structure next door. Ol’ Jack should have his head examined for volunteering to go with him to check it out. Meanwhile, Doc did his best to stabilize Charlotte. All Fer could do was watch.
Vic hacked into the drone, this time literally, and located the payload of gas it was carrying. He clipped the drone’s radio off before he started to work on slicing into its brain with his hacker mumbo jumbo. If you ask ol’ Jack, Vic needs a few lessons on flying drones, because to hack the thing he had to dangle over the wall like some bizarro spider monkey. He must have made for an interesting conversation piece because he was noticed by a Coalition patrol walking a beat.
Vic goes off on some spiel about how the drone hit his brand new Mercedes and he wanted to access the damage. Don’t ask me what he was tripping on, because God only knows. Whatever if was ol’ Jack must have gotten a good whiff because I got in on his Vaudeville act and started acting like I was a Coalition Patrol on the roof. The Deadheads almost bought it, but the squad leader told his squadies to shoot.
A few of them managed to Vic. He must lead a charmed life because he didn’t get a scratch. Finally he gets what he wants from the drone and commands it to fly straight up. I start firing wide at it and yelling that he launched some sort of weapon. We hightail it back downstairs. Ol’ Jack left a telekinetic doorstop for the unlucky son-of-a-bitch who decided to investigate after we were gone. Judging by the sounds, it was one of the parking garage rent-a-cops.
Wouldn’t ya know it. The canister of crud Vic recovered turned out to be empty. We’d been hoping for a full payload. As it was, between Doc & Fer they were able to scrape together enough residue for a single sample. They would only get one shot at manufacturing an antidote. Fortunately for us, Doc didn’t let us down.
He wasn’t 100% sure about the cure. Velia was livid that Doc was going to test a cure that was only “pretty sure” on Charlotte. She wasn’t mollified by Doc’s “absolutely sure” diagnosis that she would die without it. As usual, if any thing happened we’d get the blame for it. Truth be told, ol’ Jack would rather Charlotte wake up and tear into us verbally than not wake up at all.
When the sun came up, all of us were antsy. This waiting around to die by either being shot or poisoned didn’t set well with any of us. Doc stayed behind to monitor Velia, but asked Fer to seek out some colleagues of his and pass along his notes for synthesizing the antidote. Vic examined the information he recovered from the drone, and ol’ Jack went hunting.
I must have spent hours running down every crummy contact I could find. I wanted to know what Disgenix was. I wanted to know where the trucks were coming from, and I wanted to know who was behind the crap being sprayed on us. One palooka named Benny didn’t know anything about the trucks, but he peaked ol’ Jack’s interest when he brought up the reason for the communication blackout last night.
Turns out, Overwatch wasn’t kidding when she said she was going to lay the smackdown on the City Fortress. I don’t know how the crumb did it, but she smacked the shit out of it with some kind of sky-based weapon.
Needless to say Vic was interested when ol’ Jack radioed back to Vic and told him about it. I think he had delusions of hacking Overwatch and getting that little toy for himself. He told us that he had figured out where the drones went. Trouble is one of those locations was damn close to where Fer had gone to check up one of Doc’s buddies.And that location was the warehouse where this caper all started.
Fer’s curiosity had been stronger than her curiosity and she had went to check out the warehouse. She was feeding us intel about what she saw, but then she got bird-dogged and was hauled off. Smart girl leaving her commlink open. Ol’ Jack radioed back and told Vic and Doc to meet him in the warehouse district, and to bring something of Fer’s so he could track her. Velia wasn’t happy to be left alone with Charlotte.
Vic and Doc showed up with one of Fer’s hats and ol’ Jack’s nose was easily able to follow her right to the back door. Of course, before we could spring a surprise party on a bunch of idiots, a pack of slathering meat-eating anorexics poured into the alley. Once we saw them pick off a rent-a-cop, and then one of their own, we had no choice but to turn tail, and run inside along with the guys who were supposed to be standing guard and keeping people like us out.
We had to do some pretty fast talking to keep the bozos inside from turning us into gourmet strainers. Vic slipped over by Fer and cut her loose. Ol’ Jack just smiled and put a TK-Dome over the them, to keep any stray rounds from tagging them. Doc hugged one of the guys for saving him. Clearly the man was uncomfortable.
What happened next was almost classic.
A woman exited out the back of the truck, noticed us, and wondered why her guards weren’t liquidating us. We told her about her uninvited guests outside and she opened the door of the truck and told “Marcus” to “launch one”. One of the drones flew out and I guess gassed the ravaging cannibals just outside. Then she rudely told us to leave.
Vic slipped inside the truck, shut the door behind him, and shot Marcus. The lady was our mysterious “Burbie-Bitch”. She told us how she was developing a new weapon that killed d-bees. When confronted with the fact it was killing humans too, she didn’t really care. She was one of those “you can’t make an omelet without braking some eggs” kind of people just like that psychopath Dr. Bradford.
It was around this time we heard the thud in the trailer, and ol’ Jack informed our Lady of Misfortune that Marcus was probably dead. Doc and Fer took out two of her rent-a-thugs, we;; they did it nicely. They just drained them and put them to sleep. Her other thug decided he wasn’t making enough and tossed down his weapon.
What happened next was a series of massive thuds, Kind of like the one that happened around midnight the previous night. Turned out Vic had messaged Overwatch and told her the coordinates for the drone bays, but asked her to leave the one we were in for a bit.
We decided it was time to go, so Jack fired up the truck, and we got the hell out of the there. Burbie Bitch got the prime accommodations in the cage in the truck which had recently held three d-bees. As we pulled away, Vic gave the okay to slam it.He should have waited about another minute because we were almost too close to the blast wave generated by the blast from above. It rocked the truck and it took all ol’ Jack’s driving skills to keep it on the road. As we pulled away, ol’ Jack noticed we were being followed by some of those drones. Mama don’t like tattletales.
So we finally figured out who Burbie Bitch was, where the Disgenix trucks were going, and put a severe dent in the Coalition’s crop dusting business. But now we have a whole new set of questions. Where did Overwatch get access to that kind of firepower? I don’t know, but a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach tells me that Fer and I might have helped her get it. With many of the drones taken out, what’s to stop the zombies from devouring everyone in Firetown? And the big question still on ol’ Jack’s mind is “Where the hell is the exit door in this damn prison?”
The Heavy Metals have suffered their first true defeat. Clearly the fickle winds of fate were not with them in this night.
Rockstar [Wields the Enchanted Axe of Simmons] and Night Shift [Part-Demon Vampire Blood Symbiote] returned to Dr. Devolution’s house to recover Gupta’s shrink ray. They used Devolution’s drill machine to bore back through to the house and emerged in the front yard and were immediately attacked by two drones (my drones resemble Samus from Metroid) and two war bots (I used the stats for war spheres but they looked like the robots Hordak used in She-Ra).
Rockstar felled one of the war bots easily; however, when he attempted to use his enchanted axe against one of the drones, the drone grabbed it and pulled as hard as it could against it, before releasing it to smack him in the head (he ate a crit fail). The remaining drone and war bot opened fire on Rockstar, wounding him.
Nightshift attempted to shield both herself and Rockstar inside a blood dome so that she could heal him. The drones and remaining war bot opened fire on the dome and destroyed it. A shot from one of the drones struck Rockstar and knocked him back and into Nightshift, injuring him anew and grievously wounding her (she took 4 wounds, but managed to soak one).
Recovering his wits, Rockstar teleported himself into the drill machine, and then pulled it in front of Nightshift to shield her from the drones and war bot. She entered the drill machine, and the duo decided to flee back into the tunnel,
Once in the tunnel they hatched a plan to undermine the house and collapse it. Unfortunately, for them the war bot pursued them into the tunnel. It fired on the fleeing drill machine and badly damaged it. Rockstar attempted to evade it, while Nightshift opened the cargo door, and attempted to use the prototype shrink ray on the war bot. She missed, and the war bot destroyed the shrink ray. Try as they might they could not lose the war bot. The war bot fired on them again and wrecked the drill machine.
Rockstar charged out of the wrecked drill machine and managed to destroy the war bot. The two decided not to complete the mission assigned to them, and walked back to the section of tunnel in which the drill machine had veered off during the chase, and began the long walk back to their lair. They contacted the lair and requested a ride back, and that they bring some explosives to collapse the tunnel.
DeeVee [A Technowizard from Rifts Earth] was on monitor duty at the time, and agreed to pick them up. He also said he had just the thing to collapse the tunnel.
What I have long feared in regards to the Heavy Metals has finally happened. Their usual tactics of kicking in the door and an all out assault have turned against them. I know they are still reeling from their defeat, but the shrink ray cannot be allowed to remain in the hands of the V’sori. They are going back in. This time I shall insist Talos and Chean complete the mission. Let us hope they do not prove to be a disappointment as well.
[Savage Rifts] Episode VIII: Resistance Rap Battle
It’s been a ruff three weeks. Just a little dog boy humor from ol’ Jack. Lemme tell ya, there ain’t much to laugh at these days, except maybe Vic’s antics, but ol’ Jack is gettin’ ahead of himself.
As I said, it’s been three weeks since the walls came down around Firetown. Firetown… meh, might as well call it Firetown Prison now. Things are starting to get bad. People are getting sick, and there isn’t a damn thing Doc or any other sawbones can do.
Ol’ Jack did his best to rouse the feral dog boys and other rogue animals in Firetown, but his efforts amounted to nuthin’. When the Deadheads dropped the walls around us, they all went into the kennel and now don’t wanna come back out. Fine. They don’t want to be part of the solution, that’s okay with ol’ Jack, but he ain’t showin’ ’em the hole under the fence when we find it either.
We aren’t starving in this prison yet, but that ain’t gonna hold much longer. The Deadheads make food and water drops every few days, but now the gangs are starting to turn on each other, and it’s every burbie for themselves. Fer earned the ire of Vic after the last drop because she didn’t pick up the crate he specially ordered containing bananas and cream. Don’t ask me why he requested those two items specifically, but I don’t blame her a bit for not grabbing it. Who know what else was inside it. I’d rather face a squad of Deadheads than open one of Vic’s boxes. On top of all that the D-Bee Brain-Eaters and the Chrome Jackals are working together now. They’ve carved themselves out a small patch of turf. Rumor has it they are looking out for the people in the turf they claimed, so I guess that’s something. I would not want to be those people though when the check is due.
Oh boy…is he a mixed bag of nuts. Apparently one of his squirrel bots exploded a bit premature, allegedly due to Lizzy, messing around with them and stink bombs in Vic’s lab. Lets just say Vic’s willy is a bit chafed at the moment, and all of us are paying the prices because the only thing he’s comfortable wearing at the moment is that damn leopard print thong. Talk about things you never wanted to see. Ol’ Jack needs some bleach for his eyes after seeing that, and maybe a scrub brush to use on his brain.
Like ol’ Jack said even though we get regular supply drops, things are running low. We long since exhausted what we took from the other floors of the hotel. We heard rumors the market was still open and decided to go do a bit of shopping. Ol’ Jack wasn’t sure what we’d find, but a Grackle and an orge duking it out was not at the top of the list.
A crowd had gathered round to watch the two go at it. Apparently they were fighting because the proprietor of one of the stalls was selling rotten food. A few guys near the gladiators shouted at them blaming the other for the rotten food. Ol’ Jack caught a good strong wiff of magic. I don’t know what they were doing, but they were messing with the two lugs punching each other to death. Ol’ Jack relayed what he had discovered and we decided to cancel the fight. Doc gave some tranquilizers to Vic and Fer, enough to take down the two slabs of meat tenderizing each other. Of course, they didn’t use the tranquilizers on the ogre or grackle, they used them on the chaps standing guard over a terrified d’norr.
Ol’ Jack got into position and tossed a confusion whammy on the combatants. It only worked on the ogre. I guess the grackle was too stupid for it to effect him. Fat lot of good it did the ogre. HE blinked his eyes, wondered what the hell was going on, then received a shot between those same eyes from the grackle. IT might not have been what ol’ Jack planned, but it was enough to mess with the mages calling the shots.
Doc dropped a smoke grenade between them, but the mages were on the edge of it and they just stepped out. Roots erupted out of the ground and wrapped me up like one of those burritos I get from Juan’s Taco Truk. Doc got wrapped up too, but he looked more like a puppet dangling from strings.
Fer stepped close to one of the mages who’d trussed me up, and proceeded to make a snack of his magical energy. I almost felt sorry for the guy when he suddenly realized he was out of gas. Doc tried to shake himself loose of the roots holding him and ended up dislocating his arm (1st crit fail of the night). Vic blinded himself when his pistol exploded in his face and doused him with mace (2nd crit fail of the night). The mages decided that they needed to flee, and after grabbing their buddy vanished from sight and appeared a few blocks away.
Ol’ Jack was still trussed up. I couldn’t move a muscle. Thankfully, ol’ Jack don’t need muscles. I summoned up my energy and launched a trio of psychic knives at the fleeing baddies. It didn’t even scratch ’em. I knew I should have pumped them up. Fer cut Doc loose and Vic looked for something to rub on his face. Lemme tell you the sight of a grown man in a leopard print thong rubbing dried meat on his face and moaning “oh god, oh god” is not something ol’ Jack will ever scrub from his memory. Ol’ Jack took one last shot and managed to wing one of the fleeing mages, but that was it. I hate magic.
We had a few hours until sundown so ol’ Jack put his nose to use and found where the mages had holed up. It was a cozy little cottage in the middle of a bunch of ramshackle huts. Doc and Fer came with me, while Vic went to recover the shreds of his dignity. I crept up near the house but was spotted by the mages. We high tailed it, not wanting to get caught up in a battle with them at the moment. They stopped chasing us after a bit and returned to the house. The house then vanished. Son-of-a-bitch!…. Have I mentioned I hate magic?
If all that wasn’t bad enough some yutz named Overwatch hacked the P.A. system and proceeded to threaten the Deadheads. He told them that they had until midnight to lift the quarantine or he’d lauch his countermeasures directly against Chi-Town. I knew right then and there that among his kind, Vic must be completely normal, but to us normal folks, all these hacker types are fucked in the head.
So what does Vic do? He hacks the system and steals it away from Overwatch and goes off on a rant of his own. It was clearly a scripted speech because there is no way the infamous DJ Squirrelmaster came up with it on his own. Vic did the same thing, but in a more long-winded fashion. And people say ol’ Jack talks too much. This is one time they should have both shut up, because it did exactly what ol’ Jack thought it would. It drew the attention of the Deadheads.
The Deadheads regained control of the system and instituted a nightly curfew. Anyone outside after sundown would be summarily shot. Thanks jackasses! You couldn’t leave well enough alone. This is gonna put a serious crimper on our escape plans.
A new problem reared its head as we were heading back to the hotel. Magpie contacted us asking if we’d been to the Top Hat. We said Charlotte had cut us off because she’d gotten caught up in our bullshit again. Magpie asked what happened and we told her about the woman we ran into and showed her the footage. Magpie recognized the woman but told us to forget that for the moment, that we needed to get over to the Top Hat because the Deadheads were on their way.
Fer and Doc turned back toward the Top Hat. Knowing we needed a vehicle fit for carrying more people Ol’ Jack scrounged for one. He found a nice pick-up the other gangers must have missed. I hotwired the sucker and peeled away from the shack it was parked next too. It was curious no one came out to stop ol’ Jack.
The door of the Top Hat was locked when Doc and Fer arrived. Velia answered and told them to go away. Good thing Fer and Doc were in no mood for taking no for an answer. They pushed their way inside. Ol’ Jack showed up just after and announced the Top Hat was closed and everyone should get the fuck out. Fer and Doc found Charlotte. She looked bad and sounded even worse. She was showing all the same symptoms as everyone else who’d gotten sick. We loaded everyone up in the truck. Velia insisted on coming along too. As we pulled away we saw another one of those damn Disgenix trucks. If it hadn’t been so close to curfew ol’ Jack would have followed it and maybe gotten some answers.
We made it back to the garage and into the hotel just as the last rays of the sun disappeared behind the concrete walls. If we don’t find a way out of Firetown soon, or at least find out what the Deadheads are poisoning us with, Fer really is going to lose her sister. None of us have started showing symptoms yet, but Ol’ Jack suspects its only a matter of time.
Forget Vic’s little revolution party. I say we sneak out after lights out and find where those trucks are goin’. Maybe then we can get some answers as to what’s going on. Clearly whatever is going on in here, the Deadheads don’t want getting out. It behooves us to find out what and fast.