Panic Attack

Doc, Steve, Mark, and Thunderhorse approach the beleaguered porter..

"I'm sorry. We cannot stop the ship and let you off," he tells them without waiting for them to speak. "If you're feeling space sick, please visit the infirmary. If you simply cannot cope with it, please schedule an appointment with a therapist. We have several on staff."

"No, no," Steve answers him. "We're not here for that. We need our equipment back."

"Your equipment?"

"Yes. I'm Dr. Steven Ritenrong. We made a special arrangement to house our equipment."

"I'm sorry, sir. I cannot allow you to retrieve it until departure time."

Doc steps in. "If you'll just return our property from the storage locker, I think we can help you settle this crowd down before someone rips your head off. You better hurry 'cause they are about to turn on you!"

"I'm not about to allow you to fire weapons at my passengers."

"We have stun guns. Mark and Thunderhorse here are both professional body guards, and I am an expert in psychology." Doc extends his hand. "Dr. Lucas Shaw at your service."

The porter takes his hand. "Stun guns, you say? And you're a psychiatrist? Very well. Security is not responding to my calls, so I don't have much choice. If you can get these people under control, you can take your equipment. I guess Security isn't too interested in knowing anything that goes on down here. If they've got a problem with you, it's their problem, not mine. Just promise not to kill anyone?"


The porter disappears into a door behind the service desk. Doc takes a moment to analyze the crowd. He pinpoints one woman who seems especially frightened. Larger, older, and sweating profusely, the woman is quiet but shaking, as if withholding some highly energetic emotions. Doc connects to her mind.

She's a fairly easy read. She's a shut in. She's never really been far from home. She's been well kept most of her life, comfortable, no worries. She's got the sad despair of having a loved one pass away, her husband or father, someone who took care of her for most if not all her life. Doc concludes that someone must've suggested she take her inheritance and go on a long vacation, see the galaxy, meet someone new. And now she's here alone lightyears from Earth, having never been beyond the front yard before. Her quiet demeanor is only the as-yet unbroken surface tension of a raging tsunami of panic.

The porter returns with their gear. Doc digs out the stun batons and hand them to Mark and Thunderhorse. He and Steve still have their pain guns, plus the slugthrowers from the unfortunate cut-purses they met earlier.

The man with the megaphone is trying desperately to shout overtop the building clamor. Doc goes up to him and takes the megaphone from him. The man gives it up easily, as he sees no good reason not to allow someone else to get eaten alive instead of himself.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please!" Doc addresses the crowd. They seem willing to respond to someone new. "Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please! The whole ship is run by pirates!"

There is a sudden hush. The bellboys perk up in attention. Even the people trying to throw themselves overboard stop for a moment to listen. The porter's jaw is agape. Doc focuses his mind on his predetermined target.

"They are going to rob and enslave you! Your only hope is to subdue every crew member you can find and take over the ship! Arm yourselves with whatever you can find! Head for the command deck! Fight for your lives!"

Whatever walls were holding back her rage are disintegrated. The woman screams in absolute paniced terror. The rest of the crowd freaks out as well. In an instant the entire docking bay is a flurry of human motion and emotion. The thirty or so people gathered here descend upon everything in uniform. The man Doc took the bullhorn from is trampled. The porter can do nothing but duck behind the service desk before he's tackled and beaten. The bellhops are shoved out of the magnetic airlock.

Doc keeps his pain gun up and aimed at anything that approaches him. Mark and Thunderhorse keep everyone away from them with the stun batons. Steve practically hides behind Thunderhorse as the rioters crowd him on all sides. Thunderhorse is the only one who's leis are not ripped off during the melee.

The riotous crowd begins to spill out of the docking bay into the halls, yelling at the other passengers to rise up in arms against their kidnappers, and beating sensless anyone with a nametag.


ERR said...

Doc Bluff 24(15+9) vs. Porter Sense Motive 22(17+5), Success XP+22
Doc Read Emotions 14 (10+3+1) vs. Will Save 6, Success. XP+6, Chi -1
Doc Suggest Emotion 26(18+4+3+1) vs. Will Save 3. Success by 23: Extremely effective. XP+3, Chi-2

Doc said...

"Well, what the hell, lets take over the ship. Mark, you're on point. Thunderhorse, you are behind him. Steve grab our stuff and stay behind me. Follow the crowd, but hang back a bit.

Let's be careful gentlemen, we don't want to screw this up and get killed, and I only got one pair of underwear on so don't scare me. Take out obstacles one at a time and work together. Steve call Veronica and see if she can be of some help on her end. She wanted to help these people. Everybody ready and clear on the plan? Good! Let's go."

(on the bull horn) "Ladies and Gentleman, grab the cards/badges off the crew! You will need them!"

Give Mark and Thunderhorse the rifles and Steve and I will take the pistols. Continue to spread panic and incite the crowd with the bull horn, which I'm keeping by the way. What better weapon for a psionic bullshit artist? Advance towards the control room and take advantage of the badges to get us through. Try and raise as much hell as a prison riot!

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.


P.S. What's a slug thrower? Is it a standard gunpowder pistol or something else? Just curious.

Doc said...

"She's a fairly easy read."

I loved the description of the woman. You really shine at this.