Space 1889 When Worlds Collide

Act 1, Scene 8: It's only wrong when they're dead

The true horror of New Trinity Church becomes apparent

Despite their wounds and the imminent arrival of more of Humbert’s lackeys, our heroes waste little time barricading both entrances to the chapel. While Usher Hall, obviously confused by his recent injuries makes a brief exit through the shattered church window (only to promptly return inside again moments later), Chief McGee and Ellerson block the main doors with pews, while Rutherford directs similar efforts in the south (taking a moment to place the unconscious body of one of their foes on top of the pile).

With the New Trinity lackeys now attempting to force entry on two fronts, Rutherford calls numerous threats through the doors, though evidently the men have some trouble hearing the exact nature of these threats (after all, surely they would have fled in terror if they had heard).

Chief McGee and Ellerson are first to break the deadlock; pulling the pews suddenly from the north doors, spilling the lackeys beyond in a pile onto the floor. Our heroes dispatch two of the men with ease, rendering them senseless even as their companion flees into the night. Replacing the barricade, the two men head south to help deal with the second front.

Plumbing new depths of dubious moral conduct (or possibly returning to a previously visited level) Rutherford takes the still unconscious lackey (identified as the unfortunate ‘Bob’) and deploys the man as a human shield. The justification ‘it’s only wrong if they’re dead’ is cited, though this author cannot positively attribute this statement to Rutherford himself.

While his comrades prepare to deal with the attack in the south, McGee enquires whether or not he should begin setting the building alight and appears genuinely confused by the lack of consistency in their overall arson strategy.

With a crash, the men in the south finally break through the barricade only to be shocked into disarray by the site of poor ‘Bob’ being used as fleshy armour by Rutherford. Fortunately, they have little time to register their dismay at this unsporting gesture as Chief McGee leaps over the pews with a roar before pile driving the first man into the ground. Ever the socialite, the engineer turns to the man’s companion and greets him with a cheery ‘hello’.

Ellerson meanwhile steps in to protect the wounded Felice from harm, though there is little to fear as the Chief’s wild assault deals with the remaining enemies.

With the immediate threat dealt with our heroes take pause to attend to their wounds, and are astounded at the uncanny abilities of Chief McGee’s healing hands. Even more miraculously, upon checking the lifeless body of Walters they discover him to be merely unconscious and he is quickly brought to with the help of one of the Chief’s foul-smelling cigarillos.

Exploring the upper floor of the Mission, our heroes are presented with many doors that appear to give Usher Hall severe difficulty and raise several questions regarding the overall quality of the British Army these days. In the words of Chief McGee ‘In the Royal Navy we have flying ships, they have shoes’.

Overcoming Hall’s issue with doors, they discover the offices and quarters above have been evacuated in a hurry. Paperwork and books relating to New Trinity’s publicly known mission are strewn around the rooms, but there is no sign of their quarry. Hall, now overconfident in his treatment of doors, bursts into the private bathroom of the Reverend Humbert only to be confronted by another of the leather clad monstrosities (later named by popular agreement ‘Goo Ninjas.’)

The British officer is able to quickly deal with the creature, allowing his companions to search the rooms for possible clues to the whereabouts of Cutter and Humbert. Among the paperwork on the desk they discover notes describing a peculiar fungus discovered by human explorers in the northern polar region of Mars with some unusual properties. Appended to the note are the words ‘Ahmed Kamallah, Cairo to provide a sample.’

Further investigation reveals several notes in the same hand; one on a map of London’s sewers with the Crossness Treatment Works circled, the other written on the back of a hand bill simply stating ‘Esmeralda, St. Katherine’s Dock’. A great dread begins to fill our heroes hearts as Rutherford recalls that Crossness supplies the water for much of London’s population. Whatever nefarious plans Humbert and Cutter have, they must centre around the site.

Satisfied that the upper floors are secure, our heroes head down into the basements leaving the still shaken Walters – now armed with a goo ninja’s crossbow – to guard the rear.

Down below, they quickly discover the true horror of the New Trinity Church’s mission; evidently the Church has been responsible for the string of disappearances among London’s homeless population, and is using the strange alien ichor to turn these hapless wretches into more of the nightmarish creatures.

With Chief McGee in the lead, our protagonists quickly discover the terrible nature of the experimentation. Bursting into a laboratory, they encounter two more reanimated cadavers along with an even greater horror; a creature infused with even greater quantities of the slime and instilled with an animalistic ferocity. The horrors launch themselves at McGee, who quickly finds himself surrounded. However, McGee’s fists, combined with some expert application of the alien repulsors by Felice, make short work of the creatures.

Discovering three large tanks of the green ichor, our heroes debate taking more of the slime for analysis, but it is eventually agreed to destroy the materials. However, Felice takes three vials of the substance for her own purposes. Further investigation of the rooms reveals a notebook containing a detailed account of the process used to turn the hapless vagrants bodies into the goo ninjas. This work of an obviously unhinged mind, while revolting, does provide some unique insights into biology and chemistry. Had it not bee focused on such a grizzly and inhuman subject, the material would surely be of sufficient strength to be presented to the Royal Society.

Exploring further, they discover and save three vagrants; men fated to otherwise join the ranks of Humbert’s nightmarish creatures. More worryingly, they find evidence that the basement had previously been used to store a large number of crates containing further flasks of the green ichor. Alas the crates are now gone, suggesting Humbert’s intention to use them for some terrible scheme in London. In the words of Ellerson, ‘Now would be a good time to head to Egypt’.

Under constant threat of ambush from the goo ninjas, which are using the air vents in the ceilings to outflank our heroes, they discover the basement has been converted into a temporary morgue and is filled with the reanimated devils. Though they are ambushed several times, and must face a steady wave of the creatures, they prevail and finally dispatch the last of the horrors.

Finally returning the last reanimated to the grave, they discover two large metal tanks each with a small glass aperture in its door, revealing more of the green goo. Ellerson approaches the tanks and taps on the glass in one, only to recoil in horror as something once human slams against the glass. With this terrible sight still in his mind, even Ellerson is finally convinced and cries ‘Burn it all’.

With smoke and flames now billowing up into the night sky and the sound of the fire brigade’s bells getting louder by the minute, our heroes flee the scene, while Chief McGee shouts in a cod-German accent ‘Back to Germany. Acthung! Schnell!’

Now, can our heroes find Humbert and Cutter before they can put their terrible plan into action?

Comments

I am still rather pleased with the pun I came up with – Corporal Frank the Gurkha has recently increased his fighting prowess, and I said he’d obviously been reading a kukri book.

 

I’m quite looking forward to Cairo. What with a pumphouse, a sewer, and now a waterworks, I feel I have had my fill of Victorian plumbing facilities.

 

So do we have a plan for stopping the baddies doing their Nefarious Thing at the waterworks? It occurs to me that we’ve burned all the evidence of the church’s badness so I doubt we can get the police involved, but we might be able to get the Admiral to lend us some flamboyantly moustached solders, or preferably heavily bearded sailors (that way they won’t be relying on Hall for their orders).

 

Whatever they’re doing, it’s imminent as they have already moved the vats of goo. I don’t think we have any time to do anything but head there ourselves and try and put a stop to it. We may be able to head back and get patched up and see if we can borrow Bob ‘Oskins again? Remember the goo doesn’t like fire! Getting the police involved seems like a bad idea…

 

It is hard to set fire to a waterworks though; we can have a stab at it, at least.

 

I was thinking of burning the goo – not the whole building… Seems arsonistic tendencies are spreading! But anyway – we should go back to base and see if the boffins have figured out any other weaknesses this stuff has.

 

Considering there’s a large amount of goo and there’s a large waterworks to hide it in, I reckon an enormous fire and then a quick buggering off to Egypt might be the best plan. Also we need to get another scientist: the one we have takes far too much convincing before he’ll create crude incendiary devices from the contents of a well-stocked laboratory. There was phosphorus and everything!
Alternatively we could just obtain some incendiary devices before we go.

 

I was thinking that last point too… Any way we can tip the crossbow bolts with some form of incendiary? The goo ninjas really won’t like that!!

 

Thoughts on the overall goings-on:

WHY WOULD NTC ATTACK LONDON?
Is the NTC working directly with the Oenotrians? If so:
- It could explain why the NTC want to affect London with the goo.
- It could explain why the NTC has tried to get the tablet back (assuming the tablet is indeed Martian as suspected).
- It could explain where the NTC got the goo/assassin tech from (of we assume that’s Martian too)

WHY THE ENGLISH CHANNEL DEFENCE PLANS?
Blackmail by Cutter (so can we assume by NTC?) was to get plans for English channel defences. Why?
The natural parties who would attack across the channel are France or Germany, and there are diplomatic crises with France and Germany in newspaper due to British Orbital guns.
Plus, Germany are looking to expand on Mars (creating tension with USA)
Plus, German naval forces reported on the move in the Baltic Sea
So, is Cutter/NTC working with the Germans to (a) create a potential counter-attack to use in case the orbital guns were used? Or, (b) create an invasion plan to take the initiative because they don’t trust British won’t use the orbital guns (or at least use its existence to force Britain to give up the orbital guns)?
Was the NTC in Central Africa recently (as we found out from Reverend Kipps) doing a deal with the Germans (as the Germans have presence in Africa)?
Britain is attacking the Oenotrians’ capital on Mars right now. Could the Germans be allied with the Oenotrians? If allied, Germans could be looking for way to counter-attack via Earth instead of Mars?

WHY THE BLACK-SUITED ASSASSINS?
NTC creating them (and I assume the soup kitchen was to attract potential homeless for use in experiments and creating assassins).
- They might make them but where and how do they get their orders?
- Who gave NTC the tech to create them? Is the tech Martian? Are the NTC the only people with the tech?

WHAT IS IT WITH THE TABLET?
The assassins wanted the tablet. I assume that means the NTC wanted the tablet. Why would NTC want it? Are they trying to get it on behalf of the Martians?
The tablet is linked to an ancient culture that worshipped insect deities with father/sun figure. Anyone else worshipped these? Maybe Martians?
What’s the symbol on tablet? Could be a polar cap on Mars? Why leave that same mark on Sir Malcolm’s window sill? A warning?

WHY ARE NTC USING THE CIRCUS?
What is the link between NTC and circus? Why?
The newspaper said the circus was showing something called ‘the wonders of the solar system’. Did they have anything from Mars?

MURDERS IN LONDON?
I assume this is the escaped Venusian reptile from circus. Anyone know what one of those is?

 

I think the current scientist is just right. He just doesn’t make incendiary devices when currently exploring the thing to be burned.

I agree with the no police – look how uppity they got when we were on the train. Would be good to see Mr Johnson (I forget the real-fake name he gave us) again. He definitely knows stuff.

 

The NTC is fairly new isnt it? As in it sprung up in the last few years? It’s clearly extremely well-funded. Could well be government-backed by some nation.

Humbert/Cutter can hopefully answer a few of the questions above, once we give Felice five minutes alone with em!

The goo inhabits the form of its container, and on its own displays rudimentary intelligence (backs away from fire) – that’s a long way from the goo-ninja’s we’ve been seeing. They must be controlled in some way. The aberration in the lab was clearly an experiment with a different process for using the ichor.

I imagine by the end of tonight we’ll have answered some questions, and have raised even more.

 

In my considered opinion, we will likely find that the doors are behind it.

 

Doors – yes. Without a doubt that’s what this case ‘hinges’ on…

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. (falls off chair)

 

The only connection we’ve found so far between the NTC and Cairo is this Ahmed Kamallah chap, that provided a sample of the fungus. Perhaps the NTC has been cultivating it in London artificially in the lab we just destroyed?

Is there any other link between the NTC and Cairo? The tablet is a link to the professor, but does the NTC even have a presence in Cairo?

 

Life is clearly really complicated when you are not Chief McGee. As an engineer, McGee has reduced life to a nice, simple, flowchart.

1) Are we on or near a boat and if so does the boat need repairing? If so, fix boat.
2) Are there baddies nearby? If so, punch them until they stop moving.
3) Are there foreigners and/or soldiers nearby? if so, treat them with a mixture of mockery and pity for not being lucky enough to be in the British Navy.
4) Are there baddies with a nefarious plan? If so, feign paying attention during discussions with your associates, suggest arson when conversation flags, accompany them when they go places until you find some baddies, then go to 2.
5) arson?
6) smoke foul smelling cigar, look for booze.
7) bar brawl?

As I understand it the current plan is “go to waterworks type place, punch baddies, possibly some arson, then go to Cairo”. This is a plan I can get on board with, especially the part with the punching.
-——-
As for the NTC being new, I figured their founder ran into a Chief Baddie on Mars who evangelised his anti-human notions to him and backed him with funds and maybe wired science/magic type stuff too. Isn’t there at least one apocalyptic martian cult with a cult leader? Probably that guy. Probably why they want the tablet. Hasn’t church guy come back from Mars recently? That’ll be where he got evangelised/brainwashed/replaced with a pod person/Mr Sulu brain-wormed. And they obviously need the tablet because it tells them how to turn on the air reactor/wipe out the humans or else it’s religiously significant and it’ll let Cult Leader Guy do a Mahdi and chase the humans off Mars.

 

I love the idea of inccendiary tipped crossbow bolts. Not sure we could easily adapt the martian ones as they use magazines, but you could use normal crossbows and have phosphorous tips, storing them in oil til just before you fired?

 

I can see into your future, I see a really bad result from trying to fire one of those and getting a critical failure…

 
Degriz Degriz

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