Matt (innocent_man) wrote in ptc_playtest,

Water of Life Update

The characters, you'll recall, were searching a factory that seemed to contain the mysterious pale beasties. They'd killed three of them, and then were heading upstairs.

There, they found the lab. It was pretty trashed, but in a Plexiglass cylinder they saw a lot of bloody fluid, forming tissue as an electric current ran through it. As they watched, a face formed and floated to the top, attaching itself to the body and moaning in pain.

Phoenix tasted the stuff, and yup, it was flavored like Hank. Hank looked around the place and found some crumpled notes from Moses Moon, and a notebook detailing the death of someone called "Shaun" and the writer's attempts to clone him. Marty found some non-smashed up scientific equipment, which he gleefully took. Phoenix noted alchemical symbols on the walls, including a repeated one for "Vitriol." Jesus noticed hideous octopus-like spirits on the tank, but at about that point, Hank got to the bit in the notebook where the writer bought a mysterious substance that allowed him to complete his work. He got a little pissed, and knocked down the wall of car batteries powering this thing, and the spirits slouched away. Phoenix also noted the letters "DDD" written on the wall.

Through some alchemical magic, they managed to distill Hank's Vitriol back again, and he re-absorbed it (if you forgot, he lost it here). Marty also determined that, when operational, this tank would churn out one of these things every eight hours, but they didn't know how long it had been active. They destroyed the tank and dumped the stuff. About then, the Prometheans felt Azoth call to Azoth. But the Radiance was different than they'd felt before, it was prickly and painful. They figured that whoever it was, it would find them, so they hunkered down to wait.

Phoenix, during this, took Jesse aside and told him that she was leaving soon. She was finished with her Pilgrimage, she said, and wanted to move on, but didn't want him to be bitter as she had when Al had left. They made plans together for her to have some kind of life - she was planning to go to the bar where Al was working, because there at least she'd be safe for a while.

The characters decided to head out and track down this other Promethean. They tracked it using Sense Pyros, and eventually wandered into Highland Park. They found a Wasteland unlike any they'd seen. People looked sick, trees were gnarled and animals had tumors. Worse, there were markings on concrete that looked roughly like human shadows. A Promethean stepped in front of their car, muscular and pale, with a huge cancerous tumor on his back. He called himself "Cancer Boy," and invited them up to his lair to talk.

Cancer Boy's story was both literally and figuratively a Ramble. He told him about his creation in the Fermi II plant, and how he'd been a servant of God (he wasn't unspecific as to which one) ever since. But now that the throng was here, he was expecting great things - God was going to raise Detroit up, allow it to die and be reborn.

The characters were skeptical and wary. Marty asked if he thought he could survive the New Dawn, but Cancer Boy said it was a risk he was willing to take. Cancer Boy also had two of those clone-things in his house, chained to the wall and docile (they make good pets, evidently). They talked about Detroit and its possible future, and when "DDD" was mentioned, he gave them a badge from Detroit Hospital - Dr. David Dunleavy. He'd found it in the lab from whence the characters had just come. He asked the characters to leave, saying that he had to rest.

The throng went to have some dinner, and Phoenix talked through her plan. They drove her to the bus station, and she bought a ticket to Missouri, and wrote herself a letter. She called Muriel and explained what was happening, and hugged her friends goodbye. Marty gave her all the cash he had on hand, and the throng discussed adding Jesse and Spence to the alchemical pact (and did so). And then Phoenix sat down and waited. When her bus was called, she boarded it, handing her ticket over and becoming human.

The characters watched from a distance. Jesus and Marty saw through Ephemeral Flesh as the Seraph flew from Phoenix, and stopped in front of Marty. It asked if he wanted to see, and he said he did. It touched him, and he gained a dot in Elpis.

That night, the characters dreamed. Jesus dreamed of Dr. Dunleavy, sitting outside his wife's house, watching her, holding a gun. Jesus, in the dream, tapped on the window and asked who lived there. Dunleavy replied, "I do."

Marty dreamed of sitting with Phoenix on the bus. She was made of gold. He asked if she was all right, and she replied that she didn't know where she'd been, but that she knew where she was going. She touched his hand and it started to turn gold, but Marty pulled back, not feeling ready for that yet.

Jesse dreamed, too, but that dream's coming later when I've figured his Pilgrimage out a bit more (Phoenix's player has taken on his role).

In the morning, the characters went and bought a laptop, and looked up Dr. Dunleavy. They found that his son Shaun had died in a car wreck - Dunleavy was driving drunk. They found his address, and were about to leave when the power went out. They walked outside, and noted that it was out as far as they could see. They drove slowly to Highland Park, where Cancer Boy proudly claimed responsibility for this blackout. He was paving the way for God to arrive, he said, but he needed Dr. Dunleavy brought to him. They characters pressed, of course, and he said that he'd discovered the "God Machine," but needed Dunleavy to activate it. The characters were headed to find him anyway, so they agreed to bring him to Cancer Boy.

They drove to Dunleavy's house, a rather nerve-wracking drive, since the power was out in the city. They arrived and snuck around back, to find Dunleavy pointing a gun at his bound and gagged wife. Marty distracted him and used Fixed Stare, and Jesus disarmed him. They knocked him out and freed his wife, and then absconded with the doctor.

Back at his lair, Cancer Boy demanded to know all about how Dunleavy created his clones. Dunleavy explained it, but once Cancer Boy learned that there were probably still a dozen in the city, he dismissed Dunleavy into the characters' hands. They asked where he'd gotten the Vitriol, and he said he'd bought it from three men with French accents. He handed Jesus a card from Gannon Biomimetics. Hank asked the doctor if he'd done all this to correct the mistake he'd made - killing his son - and the doctor attacked him (this fulfilled Hank's milestone that he learned about back here). They debated killing him, but Marty finally used Suggestion to force him to go to the Oculus Bookstore and confess to killing Moses Moon (see below).

At this point, Cancer Boy said that to activate the God Machine, he needed three more of the clones. They were attracted to Azoth, so they should show up naturally if the characters hung around. He shooed them out of his lair so he could prepare, and the characters walked outside to find the residents building a bonfire and making hot dogs.

Marty asked for one, but realized he had nothing to offer in return. As it happened, though, asking for a handout was a milestone for him, and he realized that he was very much at people's mercy in the darkened city. They ate and listened to folks talk. Marty noticed movement in an alley, and before long they had found and captured a clone and delivered it to Cancer Boy, who chained it up with the others.

Nathan and Jesus wandered away, and Jesus saw something move on a nearby rooftop. He walked over to watch Nathan's back, and a parked car jumped out and slammed into him. He made a milestone here, too - suffering an injury to protect Nathan. He scaled the wall and did battle with the creature, a Pandorn decked out in watches. It charged him and pushed them both over the side, but on the ground, Nathan and Jesus beat it up until it ran off.

The others joined them, and Jesus noticed the Pandoran shove a clone off a roof. Marty caught it and got bit up for his trouble, but they paralyzed it and delivered it to Cancer Boy. Cancer Boy told them that the Pandoran called itself the "Timekeeper," and that there had been two of them them, an Ulgan's failed attempt at creating a Promethean. The other one had left the city, but he wasn't sure what happened to it.

Finally, they Firebranded a bit of meat and used it to attract a third one. Now with five clones in tow, they loaded up the truck and headed for this mysterious God Machine.
Tags: actual play, water of life
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