Nearly immediately, Blazer tore off after Mad Mel’s hastily repainted Lincoln Futura
in a rage-fueled but vain attempt to overtake and reclaim the kid, but Cougar herself surprised most of those who remained by the Ark by stomping over to the Mechanic’s workbench, grabbing the dusty severed head from the first Stretch, shoving a #2 Phillips screwdriver into its left nostril, and twisting hard to the left.
Once again, a few familiar sentence fragments surfaced through horrible static and feedback:
…middle of something, this better…
…was right… dular Gen V on boa…
…ust enough time to ID…
…eally have to announce …and fast," as you…
…let Bubba get… tactical error…
…ow they know y… as hard to pry it…
…killed them all yet?
…her mama and…
Shut… a chance to grab thi… predictably screw up…
…should be given control…
…you messed everything… have to stain the floor of my main audience chamber with a whole mess of blood and guts… outta your cut… Jesus Christ! Goddammit, get those motherfu… shit, the roof!!
We gotta figure this out. Stretch’s head has had untrammeled access to the TCB all along. We have to find out who was in on this, and what was communicated, if we ever hope to get… to get them back. I’m going after my boy. He’s not why the rest of you are here, he’s not remotely important to the future of the human race… but he is my son, and the only reason I exist at all.
I need some of you to find out where Clankenstein is being held. We need him back as much as he needs us to come get him. None of this is worth doing if we abandon our principles and each other… the whole point of leaving this place and starting over is to make a better life for our children, and to make every effort to ensure that we deserve a better future. We need to get Clank. And to make sure our future has a future of its own, we need to get Marion as well. In order to do any of that, we need to decrypt all the messages that the Head has intercepted. That is our one ace in the hole, the one way to get the knowledge we need to strike proactively rather than reactively. We are too slow and too weak to have any hope otherwise.
But it all needs to happen at once. Clank! If you can hear me, we’re coming to get you. But we need your help in hacking Stretch’s Head one more time. Any information you can provide us about your location would be of great assistance in getting you back. We’re down to our last Mechanic, and as brilliant and tireless as Bill is, he can’t do it without you. Help us figure out these encoded TCB messages, and try and tell us where you are! If you can uncover any information about Marion, let us know!
And if you know where Mel has taken my boy, please tell me as soon as you can. I have to find him. You all understand. I can’t wait here. I have to find him.
I have to.
Mission One: Road Warriors
Go after Mad Mel and try to get the Kid back. This will require top SP and high MV. The Madmobile is extremely fast, and can drop oil slicks, smokescreens, caltrops, and low-FP mines behind it. Hold your fire since the kid’s on board and we can’t risk blowing him up. We just have to keep in sight of Mel and see where he’s taking the Kid. Fast as the Madmobile is, it gets truly awful gas mileage, so Mel can’t elude us forever. If our LK and SP and MV hold out, we can stay in range. And the Kid’s resourceful. Maybe he can help engineer a way we can grab him without getting him (or us) killed.
Gas. Unknown cost at this point; depends on how long we have to chase Mel.
Caltrops and mines (HP damage), oil slicks and smokescreens (SP and MV hits). If he gets too far away, we’ll lose him.
20LP for embarking. +10LP if you evade obstacles and keep up long enough to find the ultimate destination. Remain there, report back via TCB and await orders.
Mission Two: Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
Hack Stretch’s Head once again to decode the encrypted TCB messages to find out who betrayed Marion, and where to find Clank and the Kid.
This will require puzzle-solving skills. The Drivers on Mission Two shall receive a broadcast straight into their minds from Stretch’s Head… a message in the form of a puzzle. Together, by solving the puzzle in both its layers, they will decipher the mysteries of the encrypted TCB messages and also figure out where Clank is being held.
See Jane for enhanced hacking aids. Her post is forthcoming, and the actual mission puzzle will come out tomorrow, so… no huge rush yet. (It’s slightly more complicated than expected.)
For those in contact with the Head, electrocution. For those in remote TCB contact, TCB overload at xHP damage. Both dependent upon LK and EN vs dice rolls.
25LP for successful hacking. +Freedom if you’re Clank.
Mission Three: House of Clankenstein
Move out to find Clank and rescue him from Fleetwood’s hideout. Success will depend on a successful resolution of Mission Two, as well as survival factors.
Gas. Unknown mileage.
Unknown at this time. High FP, AR, MV, SP, EN… whatever you can muster will be desirable.
20LP for heading out. +10LP for successfully freeing Clank.
Note: Stay Tuned for a message from Jane! She’ll be disbursing loot from both the Citadel catacombs and the Paramount prop house, and some items might be most useful this round!