Initiative: 1d20+13 = 25: 12
(+2 if a rapid assault catches an enemy by surprise)
JIC: 1d20 = 9: 9
, 1d100 = 28: 28
PER: 1d100 = 43: 43
vs. 91% (+15% with hearing, +25% to ID friend or foe, strategic assessment, ID strengths and weaknesses of enemy; +10% to ID enemy in disguise, metamorphed, or shape-changed)
Charm/Impress- 1d100 = 89: 89
Trust/Intimidate- 1d100 = 44: 44
vs. 65% (+30% vs. armed forces personnel)
Both to dazzle the civilians.
Virtus wrote:"Will do. We can handle that. Spanky, I think you can handle that by yourself. Just stay low."
Ronith nods and responds in a deadpan tone, and a grin under his helmet. ”Be careful. I do not want to have to go looking for you afterwards.” Perhaps a little levity will help reduce the tension. One can hope, anyway.
His own weapons and armor already good to go, Ronith keeps an eye on the rest of the camp. He’ll take note of any survivors, including the one Ashlynn and Jack bring in.
Virtus wrote:"She's just unconscious. If she's a threat, now would be the time to eliminate her."
Ronith turns to the mage and gives her a stern look. ”Heroes for Hire is not in the business of executing helpless prisoners. So long as I am in command of this unit, that extends to everyone. Anyone who disapproves of that combat structure can push for a change later, when we are out of danger, or they can find their own way back to MercTown.”
Ronith is stern, serious, and completely uncompromising as he stares down the woman, waiting until she acknowledges that Keiko will not be harmed before continuing. ”If you wish, you may disarm and restrain her until we learn her intentions. Before you do, however, consider her armor. It is techno-wizard in nature, is it not? Techno-wizardry was not invented on this world until well after the Coming of the Rifts. That means this… woman, is either from one of the handful of other places in the entire Megaverse that has discovered to technique, and just happened to get dumped in our laps in a remarkably unlikely coincidence, or she is from our time. In which case, we may very well be able to make common cause. At the very least, it is worth taking the time to find out where she came from.”
Ronith then softens his tone. ”I know you are frightened. You have a great many very good reasons to be. But if there is one thing I have learned from my studies of humanity and its history, it is that the only way to weather a crisis on this scale is through unity. We help ourselves by helping others. Try to remember that.”
Noting that Ashlynn seems to have developed a… rapport with the new arrival, Ronith lets her (and any of the others present) take the lead with the stranger. The cyber-knight will simply watch, and listen, to learn what he can about Keiko.
Atlantis. She is no Atlantean, therefore she is almost certainly from the future. Our future unless I miss my guess. She does not appear to be a Splugorth agent, either, so that is something anyway. Still, she bears watching. And I know the perfect woman for the job.
Keiko wrote:”Sorry. I guess I should have started with my name. I'm Keiko. Yes I can manage to stand, but right now I feel like I need a nap. Lead the way and I will do what I can. Which I think is to stay out of the way for a minute. Anyone have any coffee?... I'm Keiko. Ashlynn fished me out of the river… I'm not a hundred percent sure. I was tracking a group connected with the murder of my husband. I was in Atlantis when I was jumped by a female mage...Then I woke up to Ashlynn pulling me from the water."
Ronith finally decides to speak up, after going for full intimidation factor standing silently in his armor. He pops open his faceplate and extends his hand. ”I am Sir Ronith Turand, Lord of the Granite Hall and commander of Heroes for Hire. I am afraid that the other pleasantries shall have to wait- we have at least three or four crises that require our immediate attention. If you would help, Ashlynn here can show you the ropes. We have civilians to evacuate.”
Ronith turns to Ashlynn, and makes no effort to conceal what he says next from Keiko. ”She is your responsibility, Ash. Bring her with us.”
Turning back to Keiko, he adds ”If you prove yourself, you are welcome to ride with us. To safety, at a minimum.”
At least mildly enjoying being all cryptic and melodramatic, Ronith then gets ready to lead the team onto the objective.
Then, it’s go time. A brief slog through the waters until they are finally in sight of the courthouse. Some pitched fighting, but nothing Heroes for Hire can’t handle. Then, contact, and a portal over most of the mess. Making contact with the survivors proved easier than Ronith had feared- a testament to the team’s effectiveness. But that’s just the beginning of Ronith’s logistical problem. Over a hundred people to evacuate, eight of whom cannot move under their own power. Ronith takes a deep breath, steeling himself for the task ahead, when he hears Jazia’s voice from the bowl. Good. Experts from the college might be able to help. They are going to have to worry about that problem alone for now.
While the cyber-knight has never had much cause to interact with the collegiate mages, he’s spend enough time in MercTown to know their reputation. They will likely be strongly motivated to rescue their colleagues, if nothing else. Thinking it through, Ronith concludes that if there is a way back to be found the college is in as good a position as anyone to do so right now. Ironically, Weiss’ bowl may prove to be our salvation.
Ronith then firmly puts his worries about how they’ll get back, whether they can (or even should) alter the future, and what the hell he’s going to do after they get out of St. Louis all out of his mind. They have a job to do.
Ronith turns back and surveys the park through which they just came. ”Daisuke, how close can you get everyone back to camp?”
If Daisuke cannot open a portal all the way back to the APCs, Ronith will first try loaning the teleporter his EBA helmet (complete with the deluxe optics package); failing that, Ronith will turn to Grant and say ”Grant, can you do anything to light Daisuke’s way?”
Ideally, Daisuke’s portal will be able to open right next to the APCs, but if they fall short by any substantial distance Ronith will additionally order Weiss to get Ravenhill to detail a squad of mercenaries to guard the final approach from the portal’s exit to the APCs. ”Daisuke, open the largest portal you can. Weiss, lead the uninjured civilians back to the others and get them in transports. The rest of you, fan out and hold the line.”
Then, possibly given away by some of the civilians’ reactions, Ronith realizes that with his helmet off he has revealed his ears. Crap. Well this was one conversation I was hoping to postpone.
With a deep breath, Ronith turns to the humans and says in a placating tone ”You are frightened, and you have questions I know. I can help with both, if you will give me a chance to prove it.”
Then, he gets hit.
Virtus wrote:Ronith suffers a sudden headache that threatens to split his head in half. More shocking is that he can feel . ((lose half your actions)) He can still move, but it is a highly unpleasant experience. A trickle of blood can be felt running down his lip, from his nose, inside his helmet. The voices in the static become more pronounced and heard as if with his own ears. Suffering and lamentation does not cease in his ears.
Ronith grimaces, clutching his head and dropping to one knee. With his helmet off, blood can be seen dripping from his nose, and a splitting headache begins to incapacitate Ronith. Out of desperation, he raises a mind block ((-4 ISP))
- but it apparently fails to protect him. His breathing rapid in response to the pain, Ronith tries to slow it as a mental exercise to help cope, and after a few moments he gingerly picks himself back up. Keeping his breathing deep and slow, Ronith grits his teeth and dons a stony expression, wiping the blood off of his face with the back of one hand. Any inquiries as to his condition will be waved away. ”I am fine, I think. Worry about it later.”
Standing unsteadily, and working desperately to hold off the pain with an equally unsteady will, Ronith tries to work through the logic of what’s happening to him. The others are unaffected, so not environmental. An attack? But my mind block should have stopped it. Something about my physiology, then. Blast. Of all the times for Beltin to quit.
Grant Latham wrote:"Sir Ronith, I'd like to see if anything else has any sort of magical aura. I could take a few minutes to check while these people are evacuated. The water outside, it's being drawn to something in here, it might be the bowls or something, someone else."
Ronith considers this for a moment. I am loath to risk tampering with the past. But we will need all the help we can get if we are to survive this.
Ronith gingerly nods, and adds ”Take Jack with you, and be quick.”
Later, when Grant returns with his report, Ronith again needs to think long and hard about what to do- and the pain in his head isn’t helping. That bowl may be the only reason that we are here, and not in whatever trap the deevils laid in the past. It is also our only link back to our present time. If we take it with us, does that guarantee or prevent its availability to us in the future?
It isn’t long before Ronith’s mind is reeling down an endless succession of temporal mechanics rabbit holes. I am beginning to understand why all of the protagonists in ancient sci-fi complained about time travel. The bowl’s safety is paramount- we cannot risk leaving it here to be destroyed, and changing our own past in the process. We take it with us, and rely on Weiss’ link with Jazia to monitor the timeline for any changes.
Aloud, he responds to Grant. ”We take it with us- but make sure you keep the two bowls well, well apart. Get it back to the APCs, but I want someone periodically checking on Jazia and Zoe. If the timeline changes we may need to get the bowl back here in a hurry.”
Fighting through his pain, Ronith decides against using his magical blades and instead wills his psi-swords into being. He then goes to stand near the soldiers, intercepting any zombies that get too close. With the exceptions of Weiss, Grant, and Daisuke Ronith orders the rest of Heroes for Hire to do likewise. Once all of the civilians are out through the portal, Ronith addresses the soldiers still fighting. ”Go! Get any wounded you can to our vehicles- we shall cover you!”
Ronith’s tone brooks no disagreement, and with luck will override any protests until the evacuation is complete.
That just leaves the three people most severely fused with equipment, and any of the wounded left behind. Ronith knows that more mercy-killings are likely in their future, but realizes that that isn’t a great look for a group of people you just met. ”We take them with us, too- Barracuda, can you grab one?”
Assuming that the super-human is burly enough to wrestle one through the portal, Ronith will direct the rest of his battle line to recover any wounded left behind before dispelling his psi-swords, grabbing the two remaining immobile people, and sprinting through the portal (ideally with covering fire from the others).
Action 1: Strike with psi-sword 1 1d20+18 = 34: 16
to strike, 4d6 = 14: 2, 6, 4, 2
MD; strike with psi-sword 2 1d20+18 = 23: 5
to strike, 4d6 = 18: 4, 4, 5, 5
Action 2: Strike with psi-sword 1 1d20+18 = 34: 16
to strike, 4d6 = 19: 3, 5, 6, 5
MD; strike with psi-sword 2 1d20+18 = 35: 17
to strike, 4d6 = 15: 4, 5, 2, 4
Action 3: Strike with psi-sword 1 1d20+18 = 23: 5
to strike, 4d6 = 15: 2, 4, 6, 3
MD; strike with psi-sword 2 1d20+18 = 25: 7
to strike, 4d6 = 15: 5, 4, 3, 3
Auto-parries: 1d20+22 = 25: 3
, 1d20+22 = 38: 16
, 1d20+22 = 34: 12
Auto-dodges: 1d20+10 = 13: 3
, 1d20+10 = 20: 10
, 1d20+10 = 16: 6