Metamorphosis Alpha: In Search of Adventure

Session 04: The Deadly Threat of The Porcupine

Ship Personnel

Personnel Location

Ship Log

STARDATE:2525.153
TIME:15:30

Zandor could tell that the group was in trouble. Few of their blows were landing, and those that did were often deflected by the wolfoids’ armor. They needed the weapons in the security office. He asked Jeb to retrieve Hayseed as he shifted forward to engage Jeb’s foe. Jim fired his last two shots with the slug projector at the same wolfoid, but missed. The close calls rattled the man-wolf enough to allow Jeb to slip away down the hall. Jeb drank a dose of Berserk as he prepared to meet the wolfoid battling Mister Pointy, but the mutant animal saved him the trouble by killing the beast with a well-aimed poison quill.

After slicing his blade once again into Max, the wolfoid pack leader backed away, covered by his followers. The great man-beast barked commands to his warriors in their own tongue before growling threats at the man. He told Max that he was going to meet Max‘s pack leader and kill the fool for challenging him. He then snarled that his followers would not kill Max in his absence, but keep the mutant alive to be made into an example for others. With those words, he stalked out of the door and left the Control Center. Entering the corridor, he demanded that the party’s pack leader face him! It was obvious to Mister Pointy that this was the response to his earlier mental challenge, but the porcupine was intimidated enough to remain quiet.

Even without the wolfoid pack leader, Max was still out-numbered two to one. He needed to level the odds. His vocal cords had rested long enough to allow Max to once again voice his horrible screech. It left the wolfoids in obvious pain but unfortunately still able to swing their axes.

Meanwhile, in the corridor, Jeb moved forward to assist Hayseed and direct him toward the security office. The true man had yet to feel any effects from the Berserk and hoped that the nearby pack leader would ignore him. In this, Jeb was in luck. The pack leader cared nothing about the scrawny man. Annoyed that his challenge had not been met, the pack leader moved toward the dangerous porcupine standing near a couple of wolfoid bodies. Perhaps killing the master’s pet would force the leader to reveal himself.

Hayseed informed Jeb that he did not have authorization to release any weapons as he continued his attempts to grab his opponent. That would require a security officer. Jeb shouted this information to Zandor as he ineffectually thrust his sword at the man-wolf. Zandor’s pain was two-fold: he learned that the weapons would not be his at the same time that a wolfoid ax swept past his guard and chopped into his side. Although he and Jim worked as a team against the lone beast-man, neither could cause more than shallow cuts that were healed within seconds.

Counting once again on his amazing dexterity, Max tumbled out of the control center and down the hall. The two wolfoids followed him through the doors, but in the confusion, thought he had retreated into another room. Max bought himself a short reprieve.

The pack leader’s glowing blade cut a deep furrow along Mister Pointy‘s shoulder, but the wound was almost instantly healed by the animal’s reservoir of stolen life energy. The pack leader had no such reservoir to save him from the porcupine’s poison quills. A single quill embedded in wolfoid’s arm ended his life.

The morale of the pack tumbled as their leader fell, but did not break. However, the distraction did allow Hayseed to finally grapple a wolfoid. As he watched the metal man wrestle with the beast, Jeb was filled with rage. These beasts had caused enough harm! If it wasn’t for them, he would be enjoying a drink with Pa-paw! He howled his frustration and wildly swung his sword at the held man-wolf, narrowly missing Hayseed’s arm.

Max had gathered his breath and his wits by the time his two pursuers found him. Their axes grazed his skin as he jumped off the wall and rolled down the corridor, scooping up with the pack leader’s glowing blade. Standing next to him, Mister Pointy fired a quill which left another wolfoid dying on the ground.

The situation was finally too much for the few wolfoids remaining. With a yelp, the man-wolf battling Jim and Zandor fled out of the complex. The wolfoid facing Max and Mister Pointy raced away and through the Control Center’s doors around the corner. Unfortunately for him, there was another set of doors near the villagers and they were able to cut short the man-wolf’s flight. A poisoned quill found one last victim.

Hayseed still held a struggling wolfoid. Jim and Zandor attempted to speak with the beast, but found it difficult with Jeb‘s constant attacks. Jeb was deep in the throes of Berserk and could not tamp down his anger. It was only luck that no one had been injured by Jeb’s crazed strikes. Jim settled the matter with a blow using the side of his blade, knocking Jeb unconscious.

The group surrounded the last wolfoid as Hayseed carried Jeb to the Veterinary Clinic. The villagers assured the beast-man that if he cooperated, he would be allowed to leave the complex alive. The wolfoid surrendered. He showed the party the few controls he had manipulated in the Control Center and was allowed to leave.

Hayseed returned to the party and explained that Jeb was unconscious but stable in the clinic. The metal man adjusted the mysterious equipment in the Control Center in order to gradually restore the climate for the level. The immediate threat over, Zandor discussed details of the complex with Hayseed. Although some information was not available to the true man due to security restrictions, he did learn that the horticulture labs produced a great deal of food; food which Hayseed agreed to provide to Habitat as replacement for the village’s lost crops. The village was saved! During the discussion, Max carefully examined his new weapon. He quickly found a switch on the side of the handle that turned the weapon on or off. When powered off, the glowing blade faded into the handle. He also discovered that the bottom could be unscrewed to reveal a thin red card. If the card was removed, the weapon would not function.

The party still wanted access to the weapons in the security office, but Hayseed would not allow them to tamper with the case. Mister Pointy wandered off as a diversion for the robot while Max cut into the case with his ancient blade. The glowing knife cut the metal easily enough but penetrated less than an inch before stopping. The case’s invisible force apparently protected the inside as well as the top. Hearing Hayseed returning with Mister Pointy, the group assembled in the hall.

Since the guests would not control their pets, Hayseed escorted them out the building. He thanked them for their assistance and asked them to return the next day. He would have the village food supplies ready by the morning. He then disappeared inside to retrieve Jeb from the clinic. Whoo sheepishly flew down from a nearby tree to rejoin the group as they waited.

Meanwhile, Jeb had awakened. He felt tired and there was a painful knot on the back of his head, but he was in control of himself; the Berserk was out of his system. He assumed he would not be in the clinic if the wolfoids had defeated the others so he took the time to explore alone. He returned to the refrigerated cabinets the group had found previously and randomly grabbed bottles with interesting names, hiding them in his belt pouch. Finding nothing else of interest, he gave the deactivated medical robot a friendly pat good-bye and wandered into the hall. He was greeted by Hayseed and escorted to the other villagers.

The party’s return trip to Habitat was uneventful. The ice was starting to melt by the time they arrived. Everyone was eager to hear their tale and the villagers were amazed by all the scouts had discovered. They were treated as heroes. The group returned their equipment to the Enginer‘s care. Caught up in the moment, Jeb gave the ancient club he had found to Enginer Rorke as well. Much to Jeb’s surprise, Rorke powered the device on and shined a beam of light around the cabin. Instead of a club, Jeb had found a light stick! The Enginer told Jeb it would be a useful addition to the village storehouse.

Captain’s Addendum

The final battle with the wolfoids was very difficult for the party, much more than I expected. The guys can correct me if I’m wrong, but the real problem seemed to be their dice rolls. The rolls sucked. Consistently. They could never cause enough damage to overcome the wolfoids’ healing factor. Mister Pointy’s poison quills certainly saved the day.

This session concluded the KDJ1 Dire Straits adventure. It is now time to play-test the sequel. Mwah-ha-ha!

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