The Battle of Toledo

"Shit! do you mean we have to break into the church? Fuck! We are trying to run here!" Doc yells as he pulls some dynamite from Lightning's saddle bags. "We need to flee, as in Eff, Ell, EE, EE. We will pick that shit up later!"

No sooner are they on their horses than cries of help raise from the back of the sheriff's office. They've already untied their gags.

Dr. Ritenrong needs a moment to gain his balance on the horse. The eleven remaining men of the 21st Division of the Michican Militia and their captain start running up the street towards the jail house.

Thunderhorse lets out a whoop, exciting all the horses into a full sprint. Lightning blasts ahead, showing those two pampered race horses what a real horse can do. The race horses, however, are nothing to laugh at, and keep their pace tight with the lead.

The streets are not busy but not empty. People heading home or to their night jobs duck for cover as the three horses and riders race up the streets. As they near the edge of town, Doc checks their rear. Three horses are following them about two hundred yards back.

Doc lights a stick of dynamite and watches the fuse for a moment, ensuring his estimate of the timing. He drops it near the signpost where they first met the old farmer.

The blast blows dirt and smoke high into the air a safe distance behind them, and a good distance in front of their pursuers. Their horses whinny and surge forward.

Doc looks back again. One horseman rides through the dust cloud. It's the Captain. They're nearing the edge of the woods. The Captain stops his horse and lifts his rifle. He fires.


Doc wakes up eight hours later on the Pu. The first thing he notices is the burning pain in his left shoulder. The second thing he notices is the fairly poor way in which he is patched up. The third and fourth things he notices is that he's on the utility table in the Pu and that the clock reads 2:42 AM.

The fifth thing he notices is a horse chewing on his pant leg. The gangplank door is closed, at least. The life-sign monitoring equipment is beeping away. Doc checks it. He's in fairly good condition for having been shot. Thunderhorse is also here grooming the gray stallion and speaking to it softly.

Doc groans as he sits up. Dr. Ritenrong comes down the ladder from the cockpit into the crew quarters.

"Well, it seems you found a novel solution to our problem," Dr. Ritenrong remarks lightheartedly.

"What?" Doc asks groggily while fixing his bandage.

Dr. Ritenrong hands Doc the I-Browse. It's keyed up to newspapers from later today that haven't been printed yet. Doc can't read it through the fucking headache. "Our young friend Deputy Johnson went straight to Governor Lucas with news of Mason's conspiracy. The whole situation's been pushed over the edge. Blood has been spilled. Sorry it was yours, though."

Doc is still a bit dizzy. "How's that?"

Dr. Ritenrong tries to show Doc the relevant news articles on the I-Browse. The light from the screen hurts Doc's eyes. "Politics. Lucas is going to turn Mason's conspiracy to his advantage. He will claim that I was sent here to be county coroner, and that you were Ohioan agents sent to rescue me and uncover Mason's plot. The street brawl yesterday afternoon; your little fireworks display; Captain Daniels shooting you; the whole situation's been escalated before Philip's Corner ever even happens! They're calling it the Battle of Toledo. Later this morning, things will go as the history we know tells it. No one gets hurt, but it will be the last straw. The straw we need. Lucas will call up his ten thousand men, Michigan will surrender, Wisconsin gets the upper peninsula, and Alyss Valia will be born!"


"Our pilot, my friend, our pilot."

Doc is really upset, and Dr. Ritenrong's nonchalance is not making things better."Okay, look. We've been plucked from our times, you've asked us to do things that are out of our nature, and ultimately I got shot. I need some answers. Not to mention the fact that I have this drunken viking for a partner. You are dealing with a crew that is approaching hostile. Mind you, you have time on your side, but this had better be pretty polished or you may lose Thunderhorse in the translation. He is a tricky one to handle. I know."

"I know I've asked a lot of you, both of you. I'm sorry, but I had to do it. This was forced on me as well. I spent my life researching the nature of time and space. When I finally solved the equations, I thought that would be it. Humanity would be safe forever and thrive. But when I showed up at my own door not a moment later, that illusion was shattered. In another reality, I had built the Q-Tip and gone into the future to see what lies in store for us. What I found was devastation, death, and our ultimate demise.

"Humans are an incredible species, the fastest to adapt in the entire galaxy. Our technology grows exponentially. By that time, we do not only travel across the galaxy, but to neighboring galaxies. The key lies in the extra dimensions. Our ships explore space that we cannot even imagine. But right now, even at the furthest reaches of known time-space, we cannot see where we are going.

"Only eight thousand years from now, our entire galactic cluster will be destroyed. Through the circumstances of our own fate, a life form from our galaxy will travel through those higher dimensions and collide with a life form we cannot possible imagine. A pan-dimensional being that, right now, does not know we exist, but once it finds out; once the fateful collision occurs, it will annihilate us. Imagine, if you will, that our universe is like a sheet, a blanket on the bed of a giant. We exist in one of the wrinkles in that sheet. Our trans-dimensional ships jump between the wrinkles, like fleas. Now imagine one of those fleas irritates the sleeping giant. It pulls the sheet tight, the wrinkles disappear. In an instant our galaxy is destroyed.

"This will happen. It also does not happen. All events that have happened, could have happed, will happen, or may happen are in superposition with each other. Everything that can happen does happen and simultaneously does not happen. It all depends on the observer. Observe an event, and the wave form collapses. That's why we are here. To witness changes to our own history, so that the future that we witness is one in which we survive.

"I admit, I do this for my own survival. But I need your help. I need Thunderhorse's help. I need Alyss Valia's help. If we all witness the past change, we move ourselves through even higher dimensions. To us, the galaxy will be saved. We can return to our own times secure in the knowledge that life will go on, and the people of the Milky Way will exist and evolve for eternity.

"We can even make your own times better, if you like. Think of the lives we could save by ending wars before they start, curing plagues, stopping pollution, anything like that. But we must be careful not to undo the future we wish to make for ourselves. Stop world war two, and mankind does not go to space for a hundred years. Medical research goes as slow, and smallpox is not cured. Stop world war one, and world war two never happens. Do you understand?"

Doc nods, even if not every word is making it through the pounding in his skull. Doc pops some aspirin.

"But we can't do any of this without my equipment. There's no rush now, though. Take your time. Heal up. I'm sure you can do a better job than I did. When you're ready, we'll set out."


ERR said...

Steve used Dex focus, -1 chi, Dex. Bonus +3
Thunderhorse Ride Check: 29 (20+9) vs. 15 Critical success XP+30
Doc Ride check: 17 (15+2) vs. 15 Success Xp+15
Steve Ride Check: 15 (12+3) vs 15 success Xp+15

Initiative: Doc 17 (15+2), Captain 12 (9+3)

Doc Demolitions check (Int. based, fuse timing): 23 (20+3) vs 10, critical success. XP+20

DOC LEVEL UP! HP+5, CHI +4, SKILL +5! Current HP: 8, Chi: 5

Lt. Ride check: 10 (7+3) vs 20 fail
Lt. Ride check: 14 (11+3) vs 20 fail
Captain Ride check: 24 (19+5) vs 20, success

Captain Attacks Doc (rifle): 13 (10+5 -2[dist.]) vs 12 Hit, 9 (6+3) damage. Doc HP -1. Balls.

Dr . Ritenrong Stabilize Check: 16 (14+2) vs 15, success XP +15

Mission objective achieved: Escalate Toledo War Party XP+500

Thunderhorse Leveled Up

ERR said...

Okay, you've reached level 2! After some stitches and bed rest (to clear that constitution damage) Doc will be at 10 hp and 8 chi. You get to use the 5 skill points to increase your stats any way you want.

1 Skill point buys:
+2 HP,
+1 Chi,
+1 attack,
+1 defense,
+1 initiative,
+1 movement,
+1 reflx, fort, or will save,
1 new power or power level,
1 + (ability modifier) training,
1 weapon proficiency or
1 combat technique.

Or you can save skill points and use them later as karma, which is an automatic 20 on any roll you choose.

You can save the skill points and apply them later, except for HP and Chi. That has to go up now or wait until next level

Doc said...


Meta Comments:

Yeah! Level 2!

I have five total points to spend and I need some advice on where to put them. Like +1 attack, does that just give me a bonus to hit, or do I get one more attack per round? I'd like to buy some more hit points because I think I'm kind of weak in that department, but by the same token I need to learn to communicate with Thunderhorse well enough that I don't have to rely on the translator. I also have the option of uping my read emotions ability and my chi, which sounds important if I am going to be the fast talking character. Not only that, but I could pick a new one as well, and I don't even know what they are. I even have a chance to up my saves. What is a poor country boy to do?

I tell you what. You are running the game and you have some idea what we are going to get into next, so I am going to let you pick. Whatever you give me will be fine, as long as it isn't something silly like "basket weaving". Just something well rounded. Have at it, and let me know how it shakes out. I trust your judgement.

On another note, this has been the best written adventure I have ever been on. It was even better than "Butterflies and Bunnies", but don't tell Flannery that. I have sweated bullets and spent hours trying to craft my answers so it wouldn't wind up, "Bad roll, You are all dead. Game Over." I am so looking forward to whatever you have in store. Rock on with your bad self!


Doc said...


Meta Comments: The next time you send us out, I want some of those future weapons, or at least a pump shotgun.


Doc said...


Please continue the story from here.


ERR said...

Attack is added to your chance to hit as per d20v3 rules, at +6 you get a second +1 attack, at +11 you get three attacks, +11/+6/+1, and so on in that fashion.

Using all 5 points:
Put 1 into HP for a grand total of 12
Put 1 into attack
Put 1 into fortitude save
Put 1 into Speechcraft, giving you 5 ranks there for total roll adjustment of +9
and 1 for 4 ranks in German for a +10 total roll there.

Sound good?

Doc said...

Perfect! Not knowing the rules well at all, and not being sure where/when you might throw us next, I was a bit leary of picking myself. Thanks for the punch up.

Play on!


Doc said...

Are the d20v3 rules online somewhere?


Doc said...


Eat and have a chew. Finish healing up and while I do that, I spend my time conversing with Thunderhorse and using my new speechcraft skills.

I'm looking to establish some common ground and some trust, as well as establish a good working relationship and some rules. Like rule #1, Do No Harm; Unless You Have To. Am I expected to explain to him what Dr. Ritenrong told me? Or does the good Dr. take care of that?

Have the ships sensors on to pick up anyone come near us. Clean my .44. Bag and tag the antique pistols. Hey, I work for a museum, it's in my nature.

Could we use the ship in the dark of night and fly in and lower ourselves down while it hovered, like a helicopter? And if so, is it quiet?

Barring that, examine the map closely and plot a course that will get us to the church that has Dr. Steve's stuff that we are least likely to run into many people at say 2am.


Doc said...

P.S. Take the tool kit.


Doc said...

I'll be honest, I check in at least three times a day.