Tuesday, November 23, 2021

WoAF - Game Session 26

So there they were, roughly a thousand refugees hunkered down north of Panguitch, Utah, watching the thunder storm through thick glass windows from within the six fortified warehouses they were holed up in while the storm passed.  A dark gray tornado touched down about 1500 feet to the south, shredded a dozen or so trees and splintered an old barn before dissipating and vanishing into the sea-green clouds swirling monstrously above.  Sam hopped on the radio from inside the AGV.

"This is Captain Samwise from Federation Command.  Airport HQ, can you read me? Over."

[Static]"This is Airport HQ.  Roger that, Captain.  You're coming in poorly.  The storm is causing ionic interference.  I can barely hear you. Over," came the reply through heavy static.

"We're holding up in the warehouses at the intersection of Airport Road and 89, waiting for the storm to pass over before heading north.  Over."

[Static]"Copy. How can we help?  Over."

"We want to send a jeep over to pick up any Acoustic Insect Shields that you might be able to spare. Over."

[Static]"Acoustic Insect Shields" [Static] "... available and ready for you.  Over."

And with that the radio communications fritzed out.  One of the problems with Radiation Storms is that they tended to eliminate radio Comms in the area. Samwise decided to wait the storm out before taking a chance on traveling the two miles east to the airport.  In the meantime, he ordered Bruin Hilda to go with him through the warehouses and help anyone who might need medical attention.   The two of them geared up in survival armor.  The storm was so severe that they would need to tether themselves with ropes, drive the AGV to the hatch-lock doors of each warehouse, and try to leap the gap to get inside.

Bruin Hilda
As the AGV rolled up on the closest warehouse Captain Samwise switched frequencies on the radio and contacted the military leader within the shelter.  At this short range the Comms were still working.  He found out that there were a few injured people inside, in particular one fellow who had been badly gouged on a jagged iron railing while crossing a ditch on the way out of town.  

When the AGV rolled up on its massive treads in front of the opposing hatchway, they gave the "Go" signal and the warehouse hatch swung open on its heavy metal hinges.  Bruin Hilda, buffeted by rain drenched winds as she perched at the edge of the AGV hatch, checked her tether and took the leap.  A sudden gust swept her through the air, slamming her into the warehouse wall.  She slid down and impacted the ground a heavy grunt, mud splattering everywhere.  She scrambled  to her feet against the wind and began pulling herself along the rope.  A brawny arm emerged from the hatchway and pulled her inside.  She was soaked head to toe and covered in mud.  She thanked the soldier who helped her in, shook the cold rain off, and looked behind her at the open hatchway.  One down, one more to go.  Captain Samwise, seeing what happened, went to the AGV equipment stack, pulled out a Smart Rope, turned it on and tethered himself to it.  Consequently, he had no problem making it into the warehouse.  

Once inside they were taken through the warren-like corridors until the came to the makeshift infirmary. There they found the injured man. His leg had a deep gouge from the knee to the upper thigh. Bruin Hilda laid her hands on the leg and focused her Mentarian Healing power on the his leg.  At the time he was passed out, so no conversation was to be had.  The healing went well.  While nothing appeared to happen on the surface, Bruin Hilda knew that the healing process would be greatly augmented and would be far more rapid than it would have been otherwise.  The man woke up, opened his eyes, and smiled at Bruin Hilda.  

"You'll be ok, sir," she said quietly.  

The man's color came back to him, and the pain that he had been feeling had been greatly lessened.  Sam dressed the wound and applied bandages. To his amazement the wound already looked better.  His admiration for Bruin Hilda increased notably at that moment.  When they finished helping him they moved on to the next patient.  In a short while they'd administered medical healing to everyone who needed it and then moved on to the next warehouse.  They planned to cover the six warehouses that afternoon while the storm passed overhead.

~ ~ ~

A hundred miles to the north or so, Linda and Pita were holed up in their makeshift tarp-tent, also weathering the storm.  Their situation was both better and worse.  This far north the storm was considerably less severe.  On the other hand, their accommodations where far less secure than in the AGV.  Water was leaking in, and the wind rattled the tarps wildly.  Nevertheless, they were safe enough where they were.  Unfortunately, it was also the case that the storm was heading slowly northward towards them and so they realized they would have to find better shelter soon.  While they were discussing things, it seemed the storm had abated a bit.  Pita took a look outside and noted that a gap in the storm had opened up, and so they might have a half hour or so to look for better accommodations.  He took a look around with his binoculars and found that up on the hill above the gully there looked to be a small cave entrance.  They quickly disencamped, leapt on their Rocket Bikes, and flew a tight arc up the hill about 800', and landed the bikes on a ledge outside the cave.  It had a 15' entrance that was covered by an overhang, and then further in was a 5' tunnel that went about 8' and then opened into another small cave, about 20' long and 9' high, and 15' wide.  Enough for the two of them to sit in, and maybe even start a small fire if they could find dry wood.

They hauled the Rocket Bikes into the enclosure and settled in.  Pita looked around for drying kindling.  The cave had accumulated bracken over thee years and so after a few minutes they had a small but serviceable fire going in the inner cave.  It wasn't long before the storm tore through the region with unusual ferocity, blasting bolts of irradiated lightning powerful enough to split boulders, the two heroes chatted amiably in the flickering firelight.

As they went over Linda's recurring dream one more time, Pita stood up slowly.  Perhaps something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye, or perhaps he just needed to stretch his legs.  Linda didn't know.  But he looked towards the back of the cave and so she stopped talking.

"Say, you feel like taking a little look around this place?" he asked.  "Never know.  Might be something interesting back there," he added pointing towards the flickering shadows.

She stood up and pulled out her Lewiston Beam Pistol. "Sure.  Let's go," she said with a nonchalance that made him think "Now that's why I love this girl".  

They were equipped with XL-2600 flashlights. He adjusted his for 200 Lumens, which was quite enough for the inside of the cave.  He and Linda walked slowly forward, until the got to a small outcropping of rock jutting up from the ground near the back of the cave.  As he stepped forward he saw a skull on the ground just beyond the outcropping.  Beyond it was a dark three foot wide hole that descended vertically into another tunnel.  He put the beam of light on it.  It was a human skull.  It moved.

"Eeeee-eeeeee," he squealed and jumped back suddenly, nearly dropping the flashlight. Linda, never phased for a moment, took a shot at it with her Lewiston.  The crimson-orange beam blazed a nickel sized hole through the forehead of the skull, with a glowing hole in the rock four inches deep beneath it.  Long crab-like legs had emerged from the bottom of the skull and now curled up in a death spasm.  They backed away slowly, shining their flashlights in every direction casting dancing shadows everywhere.

"Pita, the bikes," yelled Linda pointing.  Pita spun around and saw three Skull-Spiders on the bikes, two small, one quite large.  The two smaller ones were crawling up the side of a bike, while the larger had crawled over the top of the other bike and was creeping slowly and carefully along the saddle.

He only had a clear shot on the large one.  The others were on the side of the bike, and shooting them would have burned a hole right through the machine's vitals.  Nope, can't have that, thought Pita.  He got down on one knee and aimed carefully, and for a brief moment a scorching beam sizzled brightly through the eye socket of the skull and out the other side.  The skull flipped up into the air, the spider legs curling inside of it, and then fell to the ground with a crunch, rolled out the cave and disappeared into a torrential brook gushing just outside the entrance. Pita and Linda very carefully inched forward towards the bikes, with Linda scanning the walls and ceiling and Pita keeping his light focused on the other two Skull-Spiders.  He tried to get to a spot from which he could pick them off without damaging the bike.  

Outside the wind was howling, and off some distance Pita could see through the gray darkness that a tornado had touched down, perhaps a quarter of a mile away.  A lightning strike landed blindingly near with an ear splitting clap of thunder.  The wind was so loud in the outer cave they would have had to resort to shouting, had they not been linked Telepathically.  At this point Pita wondered if the Skull-Spiders could jump, and judging by the stout black-orange legs that protruded out from under them, he figured they could.  He did not want to get anywhere near them.  However, having tried to circle around to get a clear shot, the creatures had moved over the bike's gears so that a clear shot was not possible.  He took out his broadsword, gulped down his fear, and inched forward.  

Suddenly a beam of blazing plasma shot past his shoulder, and Pita heard the sound of its ionizing crackle as it bored a molten hole in the cave wall.

"Got it!", shouted Linda.  He glanced over his shoulder.  A Skull-Spider was rolling across the cave floor behind him.  "Keep going!" she said calmly into his mind.  "You got this."

And so Pita crept forward towards the bike.  One of the spiders had turned its skull towards him so that it looked like a dismembered skull staring at him as he approached it.  Behind the black eye-holes he could see the glinting of the spider's many eyes.  It lowered itself into a crouching position as he came closer.  Pita lifted his broadsword in front of him and slowly inched forward. Suddenly the monstrous thing leapt with the skull's mouth flying straight at him, the creatures fangs extruding horribly where a set of human teeth used to be.  Pita, in a sudden spasm of panic, slapped it out of the air with his flailing arms as he staggered backwards. Since he was wearing a suit with armored skin the spider's powerful legs could not get a grip on his arm, though it surely tried.  It fell to the ground and scuttled quickly towards the shadows when Linda fried a hole through it with her Lewiston.  It curled up and died right there.

The third one, meanwhile, had vanished from view.  They turned their flashlights in every direction, but didn't see it. "Damnit!" cried Pita.  "I really, really hated these things."

"Linda, shield your eyes!" he ordered Telepathically. 

"Got it!" she instantly replied, and flipped the switch. 

Flipping on his suit's Eye Shielding to "Opacity 0", as well, he turned up his XL-2600 to Turbo-Lumens!  An eye blistering 2,600 Lumens of absolutely blinding light drenched the cave.  He waved the flashlight in every direction, walking with one arm out towards the rear of the cave, and after a good 40 seconds, turned it back down to 200 lumens and, lowering his eye shields, took a look around.  He saw Linda had crouched down in a corner and covered her eyes with both arms as well as used her helmet's eye shielding.  The blinding tactic worked.  The remaining Skull-Spiders were crawling around the floor and walls.  Two had been hiding in cracks in the ceiling, and were slowly distending themselves on webs and so were dangling in the middle of the air, reaching out with their long legs looking for the ground.  Pita walked around skewering them one at time with his broadsword and pitched them outside into the darkness where the furious winds swept them up into the sky and carried their double dead carcasses far, far away.  "Not nearly far enough," he thought.  "I completely agree," responded Linda.

~ ~ ~

Meanwhile and elsewhere, Samwise and Bruin Hilda had finished with their medical patrol.  Everyone who needed to get medical help had received it.  As the storm was abating at this point, the good Captain ordered Guns to commander a jeep so that they could get to the airport and pick up the Acoustic Insect Shields.  They had no problem securing one, and took off through the driving rain.  The Airport Road was straight for most of the two miles, until they got to the final bend that curved south at the airport tarmac.  As they were approaching the curve, on the north side, they saw a large mass, dark brown and gray, like a huge lump, moving ponderously through the jungle-flora towards the road.  Their impression was that the mass was about ten maybe fifteen feet tall, and maybe twenty to thirty feet long.  It had the appearance of an enormous slug.  Looking at the direction it was heading, he figured it would reach the airport within a twenty minutes or so.  If they drove fast enough they could pass by it before it got on the road.

"Captain?  You seeing what I'm seeing?" asked Guns.

"Yep.  I see it.  Why don't you step on it, and I'll get in contact with the base," he said as he brought up the radio.  "Captain Samwise to Airport Base.  Samwise to Airport Base.  Come in Airport Base.  Over."  Gun's hit the gas and they sped through the rain at a good 80 mph.

"This is Airport Base.  Over."

"Hello.  We're in a jeep on Airport Road heading to you now.  It's raining pretty hard, so I'm not 100% sure what we're seeing, but be advised - it looks like there is some sort of giant brown grey mass that is heading towards the airport from the north.  I estimate it is 15' high and about 25' long.  It looks similar to the mass of purple ants we saw on our first entrance to Panguitch. Over."

There was static on the radio, and then the sound of clattering and Sam thought he heard the Lieutenant on the other end gasp and say "Oh my god!"  As he had experience dealing with this Lieutenant before, he guessed the skittish young man had panicked and dropped his mic.

"Come in Airport Base.  Come in Airport Base.  Over."

"I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I dropped my mic," said the panicky Lieutenant.  "Did you say there's a giant mass of ants heading to the airport?!"

"It's difficult to confirm, but yes, I think that's what we're seeing.  Or something similar.  We're too far away to say for certain," answered the good Captain with as steady and reassuring a voice as he could.

"Oh my god!" sputtered from the radio speaker.  Contact was broken again.  Sam and Guns looked at each other, and shared a bit of eyerolling.  After a few moments another voice came over the radio speaker.

"Come in, Come in.  This is Major Sekston.  Who am I speaking with?  Over."

"Hello, Major, this is Captain Samwise of Federation Command.  What happened over there?  Over."

"My Lieutenant here is having a little trouble speaking at the moment.  Can you repeat your message? Over."

Samwise repeated his earlier message.  Major Sekston responded by confirming their ETA, and the ETA of the mass, and then signed off.  Guns floored it, and they got to the tarmac ahead of the mass.  They skidded to a stop in front of Major Sekston's HQ.  Samwise and Guns leapt out, ran through the rain and dashed inside.  They found the base was abuzz with activity.  Soldiers were manning vehicles, and equipment, and forming up a squad of jeeps hastily on the tarmac.   

"Hello, Major," said Sam with a salute when he saw her.

"Good to see you two made it," she replied with her salute.

"What is that thing?" said Sam as he observed the huge mass arriving on the north end of the tarmac through his binoculars.  It rose up to a height of about 25', and then began sliding down the black strip of asphalt towards them.

"Your guess was not far off.  These are a mutant combination of ant and beetle, and quite voracious carnivores.  We call this "The Brown Horde".  You'll see in a few minutes how we handle this kind of threat, Captain.  Just stand back and watch.

One of the jeeps drove halfway up the tarmac toward the mass, which had flattened out into a low wide slug shape again.  They threw several deer carcasses onto the center of the tarmac, and then sped back as fast as their jeep would go.  Six other jeeps were being fitted with Vehicle-Mounted Acoustic Insect Shields.   As soon as this was done they drove in a steady semi-circle formation up the tarmac.  The insect mound had reached the deer carcasses and formed a massive undulating bubble over them.  While the insects devoured the deer flesh the jeeps formed a circle around the horde. 

"Steady, steady.  On my mark," the Major was ordering through her radio Comm.  "Steady.  Everyone in position.  We can't have any gaps.  Jeep 5, line up.  Ok.  Steady.  Wait for it..."  

As they watched the mass of insects appeared to have finished its meal.  It began forming into the slug shape again.

"Now!" yelled the Major into her mic.

Every jeep flipped on their Acoustic Insect Shield, forming a large overlapping set of sonic bubbles that forms a continuous circle around the mass.  

"Maximum power!" cried Sekston.

All along the perimeter of the insect sphere they saw the thumb sized bugs begin to blast apart under the high-intensity vibrations of the sonic shells.  Chitin, antenna,  multifaceted eyes, legs, and mandibles all exploded and shattered into clouds of gray brown fragments.

"Ok, easy does it... close the circle.  1 mile per hour.  Easy... easy."

And with this the acoustic shells closed in, shrinking the perimeter and blasting the bugs into oblivion.  The entire operation took about ten minutes, and in the end, all that was left of the insect horde was a long gray-brown stain in the water covering the tarmac.  Not a single insect escaped the trap.

"And that, Captain, is how we handle bugs around here," said Major Sekston with satisfaction.

"Very impressive," answered Samwise, "very impressive, indeed."

Sam and Guns loaded up their jeep with six sets of Vehicle Mounted Acoustic Insect Shields and twenty personal units, which is all the Major could spare.  they mounted one of the units on the jeep. While the personal units had a diameter Shield of 60', the Vehicle mounted Shields had a diameter of 240'.  With these Sam felt a lot more confident that they'd be able to get all of the refugees past the giant Insect Mound when the time came.

They discussed the incoming war at Panguitch with the Major.

"Someone has to stay behind and protect the Hospital," the Major said tersely.  "I still have one Daisy Buster, and a handful of thermobaric shells. If things go well the armies will hold off from entering Panguitch and fight their war on the south side.  But if not, then it's going to come down to a fight.  One that we can't afford to lose. After all the Hospital is of critical importance to eradicating the virus, which ultimately threatens everyone, everywhere."

"Understood," said Sam.  "Good luck, Major.  We hope things down here will end favorably.  In the meantime, we'll try to get the refugees north of the Insect Mound.  Chances are, since there's nothing of strategic value north of Panguitch, the armies won't head any further north.  If they can be kept south of Panguitch, that of course would be even better."

"Yes, it would," she agreed.  And with final salutes, Sam and Guns mounted up in the Jeep and drove back to the warehouses post haste.  The weather was clearing steadily, and so they made good time on the return.  

~ ~ ~

And while all this was happening, somewhere in space, not all that far from the Moon, Jacob was piloting their stolen Nazi-UFO towards their intended destination:  Eisenhelm - the ultra-secret Moon-Nazi base beneath Mare Frigoris.  They had sailed invisibly passed their four pursuers at 48,000mph three hours earlier.  The moon had gotten much larger on their screens, and the view through the diamond-glass port hole began to fill with the brightness of the lunar surface.  Jacob and Vallnam had been keeping themselves occupied by doing light calisthenics, and thought hard about what might be useful to do while they were on route to their target.

Vallnam happen to be one of the few Western Warlocks that survived the Ultra-War, and in his travels he had acquired a tarot deck, which he was idly shuffling at the navigation console.  Whenever he was at an important cross roads in life he would take out the deck and do a reading to see if the cards had anything to tell him.  He decided he would do a reading for Jacob, and so he had taken out the deck and was shuffling the cards.  He knew Jacob didn't believe in such things.

"Jacob," he said, "I am going to give you a Tarot reading."

"Um, ok, I guess," said Jacob, having nothing better to do.  Vallnam had him touch the top of the deck, and then shuffled them again.  He had Jacob draw a card and lay it down on a smooth section of the control consol.  At the top of the card it read "LUNA". It was the Card of the Moon.  Jacob raised an eyebrow.  "Mm.  Well, that's like prescient and stuff," he said with a hint of sarcasm.

"Draw another card," said Vallnam.  Jacob drew a second card and laid it down face up.  "GORUND", read the card.  On it was a fiery image, showing the destruction of the Tower of Babel, the devil, and pandemonium.  Mars showed itself prominently at the top of the lower circle above Ares.  "War," said Vallnam.

"Draw one more card," he said.   Jacob drew a last card.  "MINVAR", the High Priestess of Virgo, Goddess who protects the Earth.

"The Moon Princess," they both said in the same breath.  They looked at each other in silence, and then stared down at the three images for a little while.

"The cards speak for themselves," said Vallnam, finally.  

"Indeed, they do," replied Jacob, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.  They said no more about it, but instead began planning their attack in earnest.  They had one hour of space flight before reaching the moon.  It was time to throw the Stealth Mode switch "Off" and attract some attention.

"You ready for this?" asked Jacob.

"Oh yeah," replied Vallnam strapping himself in at the weapons station.  Jacob flipped the switch, and almost immediately a red light began blinking on the Vizi-Screen.  He calibrated quickly and located the blinking light at Eisenhelm.

"They have noticed us," he reported to Vallnam.

"Yep," I reckon so.  Static suddenly erupted over the radio.  Someone was barking at them harshly in German.  They couldn't understand what he was saying.  Whatever it was, it sounded harsh.

Thus they made contact with their unwitting foe.  After all, the Moon-Nazis had absolutely no way of knowing who stole the ship, and had of course assumed it was someone among their own factions who was plotting a power grab, or some other (and typical) villainy.  Vallnam quietly focused his consciousness on a single point and using his Warlock powers reached out across the vast gulf of space to the mind of the German behind the barking voice.  While he didn't speak German, he could form a mental bond with him just the same.  And he did so.  The bond, having been created, linked their minds, and Vallnam sought to overpower the mind of his opponent with a single, decisive, and highly destructive suggestion.

"You want to kill your commanding officer," he intoned into the German Radio Operator's mind.  As it happened, by pure luck, this particular radio operator in fact had an unusual loathing for his commanding officer, a certain Captain Gunter Kruger, a man of incredible arrogance, deception and cruelty, under whom he had been chaffing for quite some time.  Furthermore, he coveted the Captain's position, and suddenly realized that all he needed to do was shoot him, and everything would suddenly go his way in life. And as it was, at that moment Captain Gunter was standing directly in front of him at a distance of 9 feet, staring at the Vizi-Screen upon which he tracked a mysterious red blinking dot.

"Funker, befehle dem Schiff, in Hanger 2 zu landen!" he barked at the middle aged radio Operator without turning around.  The operator stood up and drew his Luger P08 and fired a single shot, which was heard by our heroes over the radio as a distinct "Pow!"

Jacob and Vallnam looked at each other.  Vallnam smiled.  Over the radio they heard some commotion, shouting, and then the connection was broken with a loud "Zzzztak!"

"Well, that settles that," said Vallnam.

Meanwhile, four flashing red lights appeared on the Vizi-Screen.  Jacob calibrated quickly and, as they expected, it was the four other Nazi UFOs, heading in their direction.  Jacob, understood from the schematics plate that the blinking red lights on the Vizi-Screen signified sources that were actively scanning their ship.  The four ships were however very distant, being still within one hour of Earth, and would require at least 7 hours to return to the moon.  And as it happened, having discovered that their prey was not on Earth anymore, but heading directly towards Eisenhelm, they had already executed the required maneuvers and were heading as fast as possible back towards the moon.  

"Lovely," said Jacob.  "Let's assault the base," he added cheerfully.

"Well," Vallnam replied, "there is the matter of all those UFOs that Bruin Hilda saw in the hanger when she stole this ship.  I think she said there were 18 of them, yes?  So that means there's likely 13 still in the hanger."

"True, but she also said that most, if not all of them, were covered in dust, except this one, which suggests that it was the only one likely to be in serviceable condition," said Jacob, scanning Eisenhelm minutely for any signs of activity.

"True enough, though it's been about 17 hours since we stole this ship.  So it's possible, if not likely, they've been jacking up their fleet in the meantime.  Maybe those other four were the only ones that were prepped and ready to fly at the time they followed us.  Otherwise, I don't see why they wouldn't have sent more," he added. 

"Oh.  Yeah.  That's a lot of ships.  Hmmm... less than ideal.  We had better hit them hard and fast, and take the initiative," said Jacob.

"We are still an hour away," said Vallnam.

"We could go back into Stealth Mode, I suppose," maybe that'll confuse them all.  He flipped the switch, to "On".  The red blinking blips all vanished. 

Unfortunately, the problem with flying in Stealth Mode was that they could not ping outward to see if they picked up any signals from incoming craft.  They decided to fly for ten minutes and then flipped the Stealth Mode back "Off".  In a few moments, the blinking red lights appeared back on the Vizi-Screen again.  They did not see any additional ships in the sky.  Just Eisenhelm and the four behind them.

"That's a good sign," said Jacob.  "Maybe they only have so many crews.  Or they're setting a trap.  Or they haven't had time to mobilize.  Either way, we seem to be doing good.  We're still too far out at the moment to do anything.  We can switch in and out of Stealth Mode every 15 minutes.  And we can zig-zag along the line on the way in to keep them off our track.  Fortunately, the red-mercury plasma engine allows the ship to pivot on a dime, so zig-zags we can do!"

"Let's keep an irregular zig-zag pattern," suggested Vallnam.  That was agreed.  They went another 20 minutes, zig-zagging at random as they went.  The trick was that they had to change course only while out of Stealth Mode, as they had be travelling at a steady velocity to flip it "On".  But they felt that was but a minor inconvenience, and they rolled with it.

On their screens the moon was now looming large.  They could see the dark edges of Mare Frigoris along the rim of shadow at the north pole of the moon.  In those shadows, deep in a canyon rift, was the secret Nazi Moon base that had been built there in 1943, and had been continuously operated and manned by an army of Moon-Nazis ever since.  In that base were perhaps 800 German loyalists who had devoted their lives to the cause of bringing the world under the control of their famous, albeit dead and generally despised, leader.  They had built an underground city there, and had every conceivable amenity, including subterranean agro-farms, laboratories, barracks, recreational facilities, and a massive arsenal of nuclear warheads aimed at Earth. Oh yeah. That.  And quite a bit more.  All waiting for the glorious day when His Imperial Lordship should finally resurface from his hiding place on Earth and transmit the long awaited order "Vernichte unsere Feinde mit totaler nuklearer Zerstörung!".  The Order that never came.  The order that would never come.

How the Germans managed to survive for so long on the moon, alone, and completely cut off from Earth, in absolute blackest secrecy, was a matter of very careful planning at the beginning.  They had imported fanatically loyal and perfectly conditioned pure German men and women, along with the necessary food, equipment, knowledge, and instructions so the Germans meticulously  procreated their way to population stability over the following 80 years, and the Germans running the base at this time were mostly of the 3rd Moon Generation, frantically loyal, and voraciously eager for victory.  Why they were very much like a hive of Screwtapes and Wormwoods.  And the even more secretive, even more cunning, even more cold, even more ruthless Modroni saw to it that it would remain that way.  And so it did.  After all, absolutely nothing at all could be allowed to stand in the way of the Modroni's mission.

Vallnam had another trick up his sleeve.  One of his powers was Clairvoyance, which allowed him to see into distant places so long as he had something to touch that would link him to that place.  And as it happened the place he wanted to see was inside the hanger from whence this very ship came from.  And so he touched the panel in front of him and focused his mind on the Hanger Bay in Eisenhelm.

For a few moments he drifted in darkness, wandering through space-time, drifting. However, it wasn't long before his mind emerged inside Hanger 2.  Vallnam saw a scene of commotion and chaos.  People were running.  There was shouting.  Someone looked like he was barking orders; a Commander holding a pistol.  There was a crowd of people at the main door of the hanger pointing guns into an inner tunnel.  There were short bursts of gunfire.  Ground crews, in teams of five, were frantically connecting conduits to the ships, while others were scrambling towards the ships in flight suits.  Everywhere were crisp Nazi salutes, and cries of "Hail Hitler!"  Some were pointing guns towards the inner hanger.  The Commander was climbing a steel ladder into the control room where two officers were manning the panels. They had sweat pouring down their faces, their lips taught, their hands shaking.  The Commander stood behind them and began to bark orders.

From his trance-like state, Vallnam described the scene he was seeing to Jacob.  Jacob slowly nodded with great satisfaction. It appeared that their first salvo was a spectacular success.  The base was in chaos.  What luck!

"Why don't you persuade the Commander to open the Air Lock doors to the outside?  That will blow the air out of the hanger.  I suppose that ought to mess them up something awful, don't you think?"

"Commander.  Your teams are ready to depart.  The enemy is near.  Open the airlock now, Commander," intoned Vallnam into the German's Officer's mind. "Open the airlocks!"

Unfortunately, the commander had a far more powerful mind than the Radio Operator.  He would not be so easily persuaded.  Vallnam knew that he had one shot at this, and if it failed he would not be able to try again.  So he bit his lip, clenched his fists and focused all of his might into the command, forcing it down the Commander's throat into his heart of hearts.  And as luck would have it, the command took root.  

It would seem that the Commander had long since become a jaded husk of his former vainglory, and as an older 2nd Generation Moon-Nazi, he had become tired, so very tired, of the constant low level warfare that was part and parcel of the culture of Eisenhelm.  He'd been backstabbed one too many times, and backstabbed one too many of his betters to gain position and power, and he'd lost one too many lovers to The Grand Power Play that dominated the social life of Eisnehelm's residents.  He was tired.  And so at that moment, for no reason that anyone there would ever understand, he walked to the control panel and silently began turning the dials and flipping the switches to open the airlock.  RED WARNING LIGHTS began flashing throughout the hanger complex.  

The Officers who had been at the controls leapt out of their seats, horrified, and began grappling with him.  He was not an especially strong man, and the two of them looked like they may have had enough of what it takes to stop him.

Vallnam, although by now quite low on mystic power, decided to throw one more gimcrack into the punch bowl.  He reached out with his mind to one of the men grappling the Commander.  The connection failed.  His power fading, he tried the other one.  He barely managed to make contact in the commotion, but the man's mind was weak, and  so he was not too difficult to overcome.  Another lucky shot.  The suggestion took root hard and fast.  

"Shoot the traitorous dog fighting your Commander!  Shoot him now!" Vallnam shouted into the man's mind. The man, stunned by this sudden revelation, let go of his Commander and stepped back. Out came the Luger P08.  Pow!  One shot, in the back.  His fellow Officer, someone whom he'd known for years, but not gotten along with all that well, but nonetheless didn't intensely despise, raised his arms in the air with cringing fingers clawing at nothing, and then with a final gasp fell down dead.  The Commander, now free, returned to the console and began finishing the job.  He reached his hand out to open the airlock.  The remaining Officer lifted the Luger and shot again.  The Commander went down on one knee.  A red splat of blood began to spread across his chest.  He reached for the Airlock control switch.  Another shot, and the Commander fell over, his hand running down the control panel leaving a streak of blood as his finger slid past the Open Airlock Switch without having the strength to actually flip it.  The Airlocks remained closed.

With blood spreading across the control room floor, and realizing that he just killed a fellow Officer who had turned out to be a treasonous viper, and then his Commander who had gone insane and was trying to suicide the base, the last standing Officer in the control room was overwhelmed by madness - guilt, fear and horror took out the last vestige of reason he had and he at last succumbed to the insanity that followed.  His final act was to pull the trigger and put an end to his  own agony.

The Modroni who had been observing all of this from afar nodded with a cold  scientific satisfaction.  The miniscule amount of psychic assistance he had provided at the two crucial moments had gone completely undetected by anyone.  Things were progressing according to plan.  He took note of the position of the space ship, the Nazi forces in the base, the four inbound ships, and motioned to the other Modroni to proceed with Plan B-5.

And that is where we left things that game.

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