|Approximately two hours after arriving in the DZ on day 8 of month 23, Dayne and Nobody go through the escape hole and start making their way up the escape tunnel to the airlock. At about the same time, Axel arrives in the DZ.|
Two hours later, as Felip is arriving with the CB3 inmates, you are ready to trigger the cave-in. Going with your escape plan, however, you continue mining. Ideally you want to trigger it about 15 minutes after a guard goes by, but not later than 10 hours into the CB1 shift. That gives you six hours.
About an hour an a half later, a guard passes by. He looks down the shaft and sees your group mining. He apparently doesn't see anything else out of the ordinary and continues on. You wait another 15 minutes and the guard does not reappear. With Vamperina standing guard, and Jack continuing to mine to keep up the noise from the shaft, the rest of the group quickly enters the escape tunnel and starts making their way up to the airlock.
Fifteen minutes later, Jack drops his mining tool and enters the now open escape tunnel (Curt, who had been blocking it, started up the shaft with the rest of the main group).
One minute later, Vamperina enters the escape tunnel with one end of the rope. The other end is already tied around one of the support beams. When she travels as far as the rope will allow, she takes a deep breath, utters a silent prayer, and pulls hard, exactly has Etienne instructed her to do.
With a resounding crack, the support gives and the rock above starts tumbling down. Vamperina turns and runs as fast as she possibly can up the escape tunnel.
GM: I decided to have a player make the "scope" roll for the cave-in. Everyone feel free to send me a roll. I will use the one that I receive first. The roll is 3d6. You want low.
Meanwhile, Dayne and Nobody have just reached the airlock cave. Dayne immediately dons a vacc suit and heads out to begin forming the Ionic Machine. Nobody organizes the equipment so that he can quickly put it in the Ionic Machine once it is formed.
The sun is low in the sky and rising. You estimate that you have a few hours before night once again settles over Black Moon.
Dust billows through the escape hole and up the escape tunnel, chasing Vamperina who is moving as fast as she can. The walls of the tunnel shake and cracks appear in their surfaces. Further up the tunnel, a long crack splits the floor under Jack's feet as he races madly to put distance between himself and the cave-in. Some distance further up the tunnel, the main group also feels the vibrations and after-shocks of the cave-in.
An eternity later, the walls stop their constant shaking and settle for the occasional after-shock, as newly displaced stone settles more comfortably into newly found niches. An occasional surface area is stressed, and then cracks.
The escapees continue to move.
Meanwhile, outside the airlock, Dayne continues forming the Ionic Machine. He is oblivious to his surroundings. Even Nobody, busy moving equipment, doesn't feel the vibrations caused by the cave-in.
Sometime later, Dayne finishes forming the Ionic Machine and he and Nobody get all of the equipment stowed. The interior is much nicer than the exterior. It is comfortable, with seats, lighting and cabinets for storage. It also has a small airlock. It is translucent, and even transparent in many places, and has a bit of a glow to it. Dayne seems a bit annoyed at this. The exterior is box-like except for four large tires. The exterior is relatively smooth and has the feel of marble. The tires are a bit less translucent and tending to dark gray. The look and feel like rough granite.
All that is left now is to wait.
Scooter is the first to arrive at the airlock. It is from him that Nobody and Dayne learn that the cave-in has already been triggered. Scooter dons a vacc suit, cycles through the airlock, out the cave entrance and down the hill to the waiting Ionic Machine. He removes the vacc suit after entering the machine and Nobody takes it back to the airlock.
Everyone else arrives over the course of the next 45 minutes. Those riding in the machine are shuttled to it. Meanwhile, Surge takes to the air and begins scouting. He stays low and, with compass in hand, charts out the best route to take towards Circle City.
Once the machine is loaded, Vamperina and Arpad don vacc suits while Jack dons the survival suit. They are the last to exit and they seal the airlock behind them. The Ionic Machine moves forward, gathering speed, following the route that Surge has indicated. Jack, Vamperina and Arpad run along side, keeping up an easy stride.
GM: Let me know if there is anything that anyone wants to interject at this point. Otherwise I will continue the turn.
NOBODY: "The old man is curious as to what Surge is hearing over the frequencies. For those of you who heard the entire cave-in, did any of you count seconds until it ended? That should give me some idea how well our plan worked. Did you witness any other effects?"
JACK: "I was too busy hauling ass to count seconds, so I won't be entirely accurate but the main cave-in seemed to have lasted about 2 minutes, with another 4 to 5 minutes of settling after-rumbles. The floor did crack beneath me at one point, but the fact that Vana and I made it out without actually being pelted with rocks is a good sign."
GM: As Surge scouts the terrain, he also spends some time to activate his Radio Hearing to listen in on the guards. He is able to easily penetrate their encryption but is otherwise unable to learn any specific details. He is able to hear the control room transmissions, but cannot pick up any transmissions from the guards down in the mines. From what he does hear, he can tell that their was some sort of cave-in, and that a number of prisoners are missing. They are currently digging into the collapsed mine shaft in an attempt to reach anyone who might have survived.
The route is by no means direct. Using the compass to navigate according to instructions provided by Axel, Surge picks out the best path possible. At one point, the group is forced to travel 10 km out of their way to get around a wide canyon. But that is the worst of it. Once you get past the canyon, the path is relatively straight towards Circle City.
Soon after heading out, you also come to realize that, though the Ionic Machine life support can only handle eight people, there is nothing preventing Arpad, Jack and Vamperina from riding on top of the machine.
The terrain is broken with occasional rocky outcrops, some rising a thousand feet into the air, and many ravines and rocky canyons. It is seldom level. Most of the time you either going up anywhere from a 5 degree to a 30 degree angle and other times going down. The rocky hills are shale-like in places, and granite-like in others.
As the group gets further away from the prison, Surge eventually stops hearing any transmissions as the prison drops away below the horizon.
About four hours after starting, Surge sees a house in the distance. It is located right where Axel said it would be. Surge locates a couple of prominent landmarks that Axel said would be there, just to confirm it is the right house.
The house consists of four rock domes; a large one in the center, and then smaller ones to the north, east and west of the main structure. The entrance is on the south side of the large dome, and consists of wide steps descending into the stone. Judging from the layout, the structure appears to be mostly underground.
GM: Let me know if there is any special way that you want to approach the house.
JACK: Well I guess we signal for Axel to suit up and come out of the machine so that he can get us into the house, or did he teach me how to do it beforehand? Didn't he have to make a phone call or something? Or was this the place to make the phone call from?
AXEL: Axel tells you that you just knock on the front door. There is a monitor there through which you can talk to Parl. If he agrees to help, he will open the door remotely (Parl lives in Circle City). Once inside, Parl will call via secure telephone and you can talk further and plan what happens next. Since Axel knows Parl, he suggest that he be the one who knocks on the door.
CURT: Sounds good to me. Should the rest of us stay in the machine for now?
AXEL: "It's entirely up to you. I plan to be completely truthful in dealing with Parl. I plan to tell him how many people we have and who they are. Parl will not agree to help us without that information. I expect that I can at least get him to let us in for a more in-depth conversation. Before he agrees to provide any further support, he will want to know more about each one of you. He's basically a do-gooder and wants to make sure that he is not helping someone that he doesn't think should be helped. His ethics along these lines are much more liberal than most but I don't think he would help mass murderer who preyed on innocent victims."
SURGE: Surge is expecting to follow Axel's lead. OOC: I'm okay having Axel flow us into getting settled in and into a discussion of what's next.
SURGE: Surge will also relay that over the past few hours the radio has been rather silent. First of all, from the cave-in to the emergence on the surface Surge could not pick up any radio signals. On the surface Surge could monitor the controller's signals but not the guard's transmissions (in the mines). From what Surge has heard it sounds like the cave-in did indeed end up killing some people, though he's not certain of that and that the guards have no found the escape tunnel. Certainly there was no mention on the ground level of an escape. At this point Surge can no longer monitor the tranmissions due to the horizon and distance.
GM: Let me know if everyone is comfortable with having Axel head to the door and knock. Also let me know know who will be with him. At this point, I would assume that Jack, Vamperina, Arpad and Surge will be there (they were already outside the vehicle anyway). That will use all of the vacc/survival suits. Obviously Curt and Eli could also be there if they so desired.
NOBODY: The old man will exit the IM, but stay near the IM and not go up to the door. He will find a place nearby, 25 meters, where he can hide and watch 360 degrees, including the machine and the people at the door.
JACK: "Axel, just give basic briefings on each of us, nothing in depth yet. I don't expect he'll have any problems with us if I didn't, but if he has a bias against mentalists we don't want to set him off. Most of my original gang was wrongfully convicted of crimes because of our mutancy. You can introduce me first by my nickname if you want, it might hold some weight with him.
JACK: I will be there supporting Axel at the doorway, smiling nice and friendly like behind his right shoulder ;)
Dayne drives the Ionic Machine up to the house. There is a discernable track running roughly northwest to southeast past the house. A range of low, rocky peaks blocks your view to the northwest, but Axel says that Circle City is only about 20 km away on the other side of the mountains. Following the track to the northwest leads to the city, though it passes by other outlying houses and businesses on the way. Axel doesn't know what lies along the track to the southeast.
Axel dons the only remaining vacc suit and follows Nobody out the airlock to the moon's surface. Nobody moves off to keep watch, while Axel, Jack, Vamperina, Surge, Curt and Arpad head to the door. Axel descends the short flight of steps, with Jack behind him (there are only six steps so there is not room for everyone on the steps). The steps, walls and door appear to be made of native stone. Set into the door is a metal speaker grid. Above that is a very old-fashioned iron knocker. Axel grasps the knocker and raps on the door a few times. A short time later, a voice comes over the speaker and says, "Who's there?".
Axel replies, "My name is Axel Herrmon and we're hoping that you can help us."
"Who is us?" the speaker asks. "How many are with you?"
"There's 12 of us," Axel replies and goes on to give everyone's name.
"Okay," the speaker replies, "Come on in and make yourselves at home. I'll contact you shortly."
With that, the door buzzes slightly. Axel pushes it open to reveal an airlock. Everyone in the group (12 people) could fit in the airlock though it would be very tight. Five or six could enter without much difficulty. Axel steps into the airlock.
GM: What do you want to do?
JACK: "I suggest those of us here at the steps go in with Axel to make sure everything's safe, Nobody if you'd like to keep watch out here that would be great. Once I've made sure everything's kosher I'll come back out with the vacc suits and signal the rest of you to come in."
CURT: If it looks like the Air Lock can be cycled multiple times without worry about the door locking or something, I'll wait and let the those that need to breath air to go first. If it looks like the door could be a one shot thing, I'll vote we all squeeze in.
GM: Yes, the airlock appears to be a typical airlock that can be cycled repeatedly.
NOBODY: (This is semi-private to Jack. Members of the ESC are not included in this. I expect that Jack walked out to Eli to talk to him. If not, then Eli will simply agree to wait outside.) "I would feel much better about that. If this is a setup, then this is the perfect way to capture all of us. Pardon me, but this entire thing has a little too much convenience in particular spots, and with the way Axel has been acting lately, plus the mind control I was under, it almost seems as if we were being 'collected' for some greater scheme."
JACK: "I'm doing my best to keep my eyes open. I'll pay attention inside, and with Surge there he can spot electronics hopefully. I definitely don't want us all herded inside at once, that's just asking for trouble. Give us at most half an hour, if I haven't come out by that time, something's wrong, you can either try to get us out or go to ground and try to help us later.
JACK: Be safe, my friend." Jack walks away quietly back toward the domes.
Curt exits the Ionic Machine and joins the group at the steps. Nobody remains outside keeping watch. Axel, Jack, Vamperina, Surge, Arpad and Curt enter the airlock and cycle it.
GM: I will be sending a separate turn to those who entered the airlock shortly.