Age of Empowerment

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Stellar Dynamics announces SD Meteor release

Stellar Dynamics announces SD Meteor release

by Jolene McCollins, Yahoo! Tech Writer

At 12:34 PM today, Stellar Dynamics CEO Ken Kason confirmed that the SD Meteor, a cell phone which has been only based on gossip, heresay, and well-placed marketing up until this point, will be available on October 11th, 2012 for the low low price of $567.89.

Unless you’ve lived in a cave, you’ve probably seen the bill-boards plastering “Brace Yourselves” and “Impact Imminent” that have been up the past few months. To their benefit, they have gotten everyone all riled up – now they just have to not let us down.

And then this morning, all Kason had to do was say those three magic words and we were all hooked… “unlimited battery life”.

“We live in an era of global communication. Business is conducted minute by minute, second by second, and require the use of electronics which gain power and intelligence at the same rate.

With smartphones especially, they are so advanced now, they use up power at an amazing rate! For some people, this means charging them every couple of hours. Granted, no one should have to use to that extent, but sometimes it’s required. What if you’re on a plane, train, or even an automobile, and can’t charge. That’s money flying out the window.

At Stellar Dynamics, we’ve solved that problem, by presenting the SD Meteor, a phone which has an unlimited battery life. That’s right, if it ever dies on you, we will pay for the use of whatever type of phone you want, through whichever plan you want, for the rest of your life!"

He’s released prototypes for testing to a limited number of individuals who all must sign non-disclosure agreements.

Ken, you’ve laid down the gauntlet. Let’s see what you got…

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Fact Check: Starfall Claims

Fact Check: Starfall Claims

by Tao Li, FactCheck.org

Editor Note: Let me state that, for the record, I own personal electronics. None of them have the “SD” logo on them, but that’s out of mere circumstance, and not cause I have any dislike for the company.

Today we investigate the claims that the anti-corporate group “Starfall” has made against Stellar Dynamics and their CEO, Ken Kason. Let’s start with the big one.

Claim #1: Stellar Dynamics is trafficking drugs

Starfall representative Camille Ryan said in a statement: “Stellar Dynamics is actively trafficking drugs across the border between their factory in Mexico and the one in Flagstaff.”

It is true that Stellar Dynamics has a factory in Mexico. It is also true that Mexico is currently involved in a drug war. One must mean the other, right?

Wrong. While I’m sure everyone has seen the video showing an active coke bust on a big-rig while crossing the border (if you haven’t, it can be found here), the validity of this video came back as undetermined.

If it was true, why would Stellar Dynamics CEO Ken Kason announce:

“While we are aware of the conflict in Mexico, we have not, nor will ever, transport illegal substances into the United States. We will work with both US officials and Mexican officials to make sure this matter is resolved once and for all.”

However, we all know how secretive they are about their technology, especially after their recent announcement. So we’ll mark this as inconclusive for now.

Claim #2: Stellar Dynamics is knowingly violating the Freedom of Information act.

Another statement by Ms. Ryan: “Stellar Dynamics does not follow the rules made by the people, by the Constitution of the United States. They need to share information about what they are doing, as per the Freedom of Information Act, now!”

We all know how secretive Stellar Dynamics is. However, they actively sign non-disclosure agreements with everyone they interact with (and from what I’ve heard, the penalties are severe … not one whistle-blower so far), and have contracts with the US Government, which allow them a certain amount of secrecy.

Every investigation into their ‘antics’ has concluded they are doing nothing illegal, and reserve their right to withhold information which they deem vital to the company. So the answer is false, as in, they are NOT violating the Freedom of Information act.

They place a dangerous game with their secrecy. The same aspect which gets some people interested drives others away. But as far as this editor goes, I’m interested.

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Earthquake: 8.6 quake strikes downtown Los Angeles
If you are reading this article, you probably were impacted by last night's quake. At 10:37 PM PST...

If you are reading this article, you probably were impacted by last night’s quake. At 10:37 PM PST, an 8.6 magnitude earthquake struck Pasadena, California. The quake was felt for hundreds of miles in each direction, and there is there is already $24 million worth of damage in the Los Angeles area.

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Session 2: The Road to Rascal
August 24th, 2012 1:00 AM PST

Police on bridge
Having stolen a rental GMC Yukon, our soon-to-be heroes had followed the GPS coordinates to the next destination indicated by the tablet: 34 N. Banbridge Avenue, La Puente, CA, using the Yukon’s OnStar navigation system. They tried to take the 101 South, but a motorcycle cop stopped them, saying that “all citivilans are restricted from getting on the highway due to pavement instability.”

Due to the possibility that the highway may be impassible at points along their route (let alone the possibility of an aftershock or the road falling out beneath them), they decided to take the longer route through the neighborhoods. The roads were dark and empty (empty being a relative term, due to the fallen lamp-posts, trees, and cracks in the road), with the only light coming from the full moon that was out.

It was then that the late hour and adrenaline from the evening’s activities took it’s toll, they sat in relative silence during the longer route, exhaustion gripping at them. They made the wise decision to stop at a diner for some coffee and a bite to eat.

While waiting for exhaustion to take a hike, two police officers entered the diner, sitting at the countery. Some chatter could be heard over their speaker-mic’s. A female voice (whom Gato recognized) was calling in an incident:

“Dispatch, I need to put an APB out on four persons of interest in a code 187, last seen fleeing Union Station.”

She then went on to describe the characters. Gato recgonized the voice as “that lady detective”, and told his compatriots as such, that it was the woman who’s unmarked car they had seen at the scrap yard. As a note, he had noticed no change in tone as she described Gato.

It was then that Ti and Wynona decided to stealthfully leave the diner (one at a top, unauspiciously, of course). Ti waited outside in shadow while Wynona was trying to hack into the patrol car in which the officers had arrived; in order to listen to the chatter privately.
As Gato and Lief waited for Lief’s fries, they (along with Wynona, who had successfully hacked the cop car), heard additional chatter indicating an update to their last known position:

“Attention all officers, update on last known position of persons of interest in code 187: heading southeast alongside the 101 in a brown GMC Yukon.”

Lief’s fries having arrived, they thought it best to leave the diner. Everyone got back in the car, with Ti taking shotgun, since he proclaimed that he “no longer needed sleep.” During the rest of their trip, each reminisced about why they were travelling to an address in La Puente at 2:00 AM:

  • Ti Chane had promised one of his students that he would finish this treasure hunt, and as chaotic as it had been, a promise is a promise.
  • El Gato Loco was hoping that continuing this stupid hunt would bring out of hiding those responsible for kidnapping his sister.
  • Wynona Frank had glimpsed into the mind of one of the people within this organization, seeing technology beyond anything she’d understood so far (which was a lot); and so her curiousity has griped her – even though they have been in more danger than she’d ever thought she’d be in.
  • Lief Freyrson had been in search of an artifact reminiscent of his heritage in “The Dungeon” at the Alexandria Hotel. However the action which he’d joined in has sparked excitement, and so he’s been swept along for the ride, seeing these people as being worthy of his company.

34 N. Banbridge Ave
Outside of dodging some tears in the road; they arrived at their destination – a hill, leading up to an electric fence. At this point they ditched the car. It was likely they were already being tracked by the police, so they would have to depart the area quickly.

Not noticing the strange pillars they passed far off in the distance to either side, they raced up the hill. At the top of this hill stood a stone pedastal, on which was a briefcase. The briefcase was locked by an impressive eight-digit combination; but considering that at each of the two other locations they had gotten notes with 4 digits each, they entered them in: 1-2-2-2-5-1-3-6.

As they were about to open the briefcase, leading them to the next step in this ridiculous quest; they heard growling. As soon as they had entered the area, they were being stalked. Looking around, they saw three panther-like creatures circling around them, surrounding our soon-to-be heroes. They were large cats in form, but gray in color, coated in what appeared to be an ash or dust, with several (what appeared to be) leasions on their hides. They lunged.

Muspelheim
As astonishing as their entrance was, so was their exit. On the (presumedly) death blow, each exploded into dust; the wind taking any trance of their being real with it. As he thought back on their encounter, Lief recollected a few stories of the Askavándr; legend speaking of Ash-covered creatures originating from Muspelheim, the realm of fire. Though the creatures in the story were far more mystical and fantastic: dragons and fire-breathing dogs.

Returning to the task at hand, they opened the briefcase. Insider were several papers. The first was a letter, stating:

Your final challenge lays before you, in the Rascally Mindset, Inc. complex. Housed therein is a mailbox – #117. In this mailbox is a package which you’ll need to finish this competition.

P.S. – This company is known for … protecting their privacy. Good luck getting in…

Looking up, they could see the aforementioned complex as they crested the hill. Hearing the name, both El Gato and Wynona had heard vague references to the company. Open for only a few years, they company had had quiet successed with some apps, including Heroes United, a mobile game which had been largely successful, but was criticized for allowing players to pay extra to receive the more rare items.

All seemed to be dark, except for some emergency lights scattered across the complex. Inside the briefcase were some blueprints (including engineer-oriented maps), guard schedules, and some photos on the interior of the building.

Rascally mindset

There was a more immediate hurdle though – getting through the electric fence. All signs has pointed to the fence not beig active due to the power outages which had striken the region after the earthquake. After Ti chanced touching the possibly Gigavolt fence, El Gato easily sliced a hole of a decent size, allowed them easy access into the area.

As they enter the area, they could only think:

  • Would they make it in and out of the complex before the police hunted them down?
  • Why was “the lady detective” accusing them of killing a cop, anyways?
  • Who was really calling the shots here?
  • What the hell were those panther-creatures?
  • Would this night ever end?
  • Just how secretive is Rascally Mindset, Inc?

Find out, on…

Session 3: A Complex Situation

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Session 3: A Complex Situation
August 24th, 2012 2:45 AM PST

"Cops" on PatrolOur soon-to-be heroes stand on the outskirts of the Rascal Mindset, Inc. complex. Off in the distance, Ti Chane hears a door close. Looking over the ridgeline, they can barely make out the two cop cars parked by the abandoned GMC Yukon. The beams from several flashlights stare intently within and at the surrounding area. It is now only a matter of time before they connect the Yukon with the “fugitives”…

They return to the task at hand – entering the building and finding the third package. With as much haste as they can chance while sneaking, they start making their way up to the door. On the way down, Wynona trips, but senses something off to the left, near the northwest side of the complex grounds. Nothing jumps out at here, but she can’t quit staring. Something is over there, and she just can’t see it. The last time she felt like this, it was at the Alexandria Hotel looking at that stupid painting. All she sees is a small ridge in the downward slope, lighted up by the nearby lamppost – nothing else.

The rear hatchWith neither the time nor conviction to investigate, they near the door. The only access point seems to be an RFID card reader, covered by a black plastic panel, 4 inches square. Wynona tries to “log in” using her powers, to convince the system they are friendlies who are allowed access to the building … but with the power outage, it does’t even register her presence.

With some incredible timing and quality teamwork, they manage to bring power to the lock by using the remains of an emergency light, quickly convincing it before the alarm is triggered.

They’re in.

They stand inside the Rascal Mindset coding area. Lots of desks, more monitors than anyone but Wynona is used to seeing, and many dartboards / trash basketball hoops aplenty litter the area. They start sneaking around.

Suddenly, the hum of electricity can be heard as power seems to be restored. Lights flicker on, one at a time, until the entire building is completely lit up.

They continue sneaking around, only coming across a lone security guard who “wasn’t paid to deal with earthquakes!” With the power restored, he has a lot to do. He can be heard walking ferverously throughout the area, making it easy for our heroes to stealth by.

Outside of the desks and office equipment (and the fact that the building seems to have sustained a significant amount of damage from the earthquake, the only real object of note is the large atrium located in the center of the building, with a big hole in it. A marble fountain seems to have lost it’s hold on the main floor and crashed into the floor below during the earthquake, making the remaining floor very precarious with the missing center.

The security guard, back in the lobby, seems to be on the phone with a supervisor who’s out-of-state, trying to handle the situation. While at the desk, he mumbles about a non-working door lock and proceeds to the rear of the building.

117Time to make a break for it. With El Gato on the lookout for the guard, the rest of them quickly enter the lobby. Off to one side is an enclosed space containing entire rows of old 40s style PO boxes, now used for employees. They quickly find #117 and open it with the small key they got in the briefcase.

Inside is the third note and two metal items that look like pieces of a key – the bow and the bit. The shank seems to be missing.

The Bow
The Bit

The phone rings. The guard starts to make his way back. El Gato cleverly distracts him for a bit, masking his presence, but the phone is ringing, and the only guard is going to answer. Ti, Wynona, and Lief hide in the darkened mailbox room as best they can.

“Security.”

“No, nothing strange so far … outside of the earthquake and resulting power outages…”

“We had a faulty lock trigger when the power went on, but again, no-one seems to be here.”

“No, by all means, look around. Place is a little unstable since, you know… but yeah, sure.”

“Of course. I’ll see you shortly.”
(click)

The phone call seems to have made him more cautious … and suspicious. He unclasps his holster and draws his weapon. With a click, his flashlight comes on and he walks carefully, but quickly, around the lobby. The characters are trapped.

“Freeze!”

Lief, Ti, and Wynona stand up, hands raised. Through careful diplomacy, the characters convince the guard they only wanted the contents of the mailbox. No harm, no foul apparently, he starts motioning them to the broken rear door. Since it’s off anyways, there will hopefully be no trace of their presence.

As they pass by some large windows, Ti looks outside and sees several police officers and one SWAT officer racing down the hill. The police officers carry automatic pistols, quite strange. Ti looks at them more intently. Being a martial arts instructor, he cannot help but look at their form. Their gait, the way they run down the hill, the way they carry their weapons … these are no police officers.

Busting Down the Door
Thinking them most likely members of The Avenues, the gang which seems to be after them for their part in this treasure hunt, they prepare for battle. Convincing Henry, the guard, that their is trouble ahead, they split the party. The guard and Wynona make their way downstairs in an attempt to hide with the desired treasure. Gato, Lief, and Ti make their way towards the coding area; the entry point the group seemed to be headed towards.

They stand ready to face their adversaries.

  • Will they survive the onslaught?
  • Will Wynona and Henry stay safe?
  • What if these really are police officers? If not, why the farce?
  • Find out next time, on…

Session 4: The Witching Hour Siege

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Session 4: The Witching Hour Siege
August 24th, 2012 3:15 AM PST

El Gato Loco, Ti Chane, and Lief Freyrson wait in the coding area of Rascal Mindset, Inc. Just outside, on the other side of the very door which our soon-to-be heroes entered, are 7 people dressed as police officers carrying automatic pistols – most likely members of The Avenues.

Ti is closest to the southern entrance, hiding behind one of the office desks. Lief is 30 feet back on the eastern side, near the hallway entrance, brandishing axe and shield, ready to charge, intimidate, and repel the invaders. El Gato stands 10 feet behind Ty, covered by another desk.

Wynona Franks and Henry, the security guard, are downstairs below the atrium at the center of Rascal Mindset, Inc., away from the combat. In Wynona’s possession are the pieces which the Avenues have been striving to get this entire time.

Their adversaries bust through the door. For a single second, there’s quiet as the “police officers” gauge the situation. Ti pounces, Lief charges, combat begins.

* * *

Meanwhile, Wynona and Henry are downstairs trying to figure out what to do next. Henry said there’s a place below the fountain they can hide, but Wynona wants to help her new-found friends in any way she can.

“Henry, where’s the fusebox?”

“In the janitor closet, why?”

“I’m going to turn the power again.”

Henry gets defensive. “Oh no you’re not. We have just gotten the power back in the first place, and these servers are the lifeblood of this company.” He put a hand on his holstered gun.

Calling his bluff, Wynona scrambles, quickly getting into the closet. She puts a mop handle against the door latch, effectively locking it… at least for a short while. She spots the fusebox, opens it, and shuts up the main power switch. The lights go off…

* * *

…and the emergency lights come on. At this point, everyone is in close combat. Lief up at the front with axe and shield, Ti with his fists, dodging and weaving, and El Gato in back with his force field up, kinetic knives slicing. As much as they try to stay in melee, making the guns of less use, blood has been spilt.

Then one of the Avenues gets a lucky shot – Ti gets hit in the chest with a burst of gunfire, falling down, blood oozing from the wounds.

A concussive blast can be heard off in the distance, signaling another breach, but no-one is able to investigate. Ti, as he falls, realizes when he looked out the window before combat, there were not just people dressed as police officers, but one dressed in SWAT gear as well. He saw no SWAT amongst his current adversaries…

* * *

Wynona stands in the darkened closet. Henry bangs on the door. She pays him no heed, as her attention is drawn to a flickering of light in her bag, now obvious with the lights out. The bluish tint makes her think it might be the tablet, left on accidently, but the light comes intermittently.

Looking inside, she remembers that while they were driving out here, sparks lit up between the two notes when they were close together. Now, all three are together, so little lightning flashes course over the notes. She aligns them on-top of each other, each of the numbers facing the same way. With a flash, they become one paper – just as she suspected, GPS coordinates.

With Henry, the security guard, still pounding on the door, she takes out the tablet and plugs them into Google Maps. Internet is weak in a basement janitor closet, so while the app shows the area, it is not able to provide anything more than the direction and proximity. Looks like it’s directly to the north a ways. If she remembers right, that’s in the wilderness park, near Mt. Baldy.

Given a moment to think, she realizes that while distant gunfire can still be heard, Henry is no longer knocking on the door.

BLAM BLAM!. Henry’s glock fires at something. A quick tat-tat-tat is heard in response from an unknown assailant – sounds like from a semi-automatic rifle. They go back in forth a few times – from the proximity and pitch, she can tell they’re moving around the basement area… and then, silence. tat, goes one last shot.

Clack, clack, clack She hears a pair of military-type boots walking around carefully, searching the area. No sounds from Henry though…

* * *

Ever since he was a teenager, Ti Chane has been training his body. Both to endure, to be self-sufficient, to heal. His body has become a masterpiece. He no longer needs to sleep, and cares little for food or drink. His years-long training will now have saved his life.

Ti’s body fills with an inner brightness – a white light bathing the room for a few seconds. He takes in a much-relieving breath, and quickly establishes his surroundings. His assailants are, as are his friends. While still hurt, he re-enters the fray with newfound vigor.

* * *

Still behind his force-field, which is taking more and more energy to keep up, El Gato Loco is the first to see the newcomer – a gang-banger in full SWAT gear. He knows that Lief, Ti and himself have been barely keeping the enemy at bay, and with this new foe in the mix, fully refreshed, with full ammo and impressive armor … the tides may turn against them.

With that in mind, he faces the new foe, hoping for some luck. They trade a few shots, the knives slashing and shots firing, but stand at an impass. This needs to end, now.

Whether it be adrenaline or the strange hour, he feels a surge of power as his kinetic knives lash into the SWAT member, who suddenly goes flying against the northern wall, crumpling into a small pile. With a sigh, El Gato turns back to face their existing adversaries, confident that the new foe has been dispatched.

* * *

Lief Freyrson is in the heat of the fray, still close to the southern entrance. Two of the gang-bangers lie on the floor, dead. One can be seen several feet away, crawling and spitting up blood. He cares not – he is still surrounded by three.

While he has been hit by gunfire, he is ever more thankful of Forstarder, which has repelled many shots. At this point, he understands that they courage could easily buckle, and attempts to intimidate them into submission. They resist, appearing to be fighting with a rage like the Úlfhéðnar of old. Interesting – they seem posessed.

* * *

Hearing the clack-clack of the boots almost directly in front of the closet, Wynona opens the door, attempting to surprise Henry’s killer. But the killer is larger than she realized, and the door does not budge an inch. Her foe appears in complete SWAT gear. However, there is a pause. Her foe sees something in the darkness, and leans his head to the side, as if he’s talking to someone on a shoulder-mic, but no words are spoken.

Wynona takes this chance to run. She quickly finds the stairs and starts climbing just as she hears a quick tat-tat-tat of gunfire below her.

* * *

Ti hears a scream. Wynona. Lief and El Gato seem to be handling the two remaining gang-bangers that remain, so he books it east towards the atrium.

The one banger crawling away has apparently made it to the hallway, and desperately tries to make himself small upon seeing Ti. No matter, his protectee is in trouble.

He seems the atrium ahead- the large room in which the large marble fountain in the center collapsed during the earthquake into the basement floor below. Hmm, if he times it right…

Still racing, he gets to the edge of the collapsed floor and leaps towards the founting, using it to switch direction as he tumbles onto the floor below. A section of the floor beside him falls down in blackness below. He sees Henry’s body laying there, a gunshot to the knee … and one to the head.

Another scream, this time coming from the stairway in front of him. More gunshots.

* * *

Having dispatched his foe, Lief runs after Ti. He passes the disabled banger and hears the walkie-talkie sound off. He stops for a split-second as he recognizes the voice, the voice that’s been after them this entire time

“The token has been found. Send the rest, before the cops get here.”

Find out what happens next, on the next session of

Age of Empowerment

Session 5: The Darkest Hour

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Session 5: The Darkest Hour
August 24, 2012 3:30 AM PST

El Gato Loco follows Lief Freyrson towards the atrium. Seeing a gang-banger off to one side, desperately trying to crawl away while coughing up blood, El Gato takes his radio, to make sure he can’t call out.

He gets to the atrium … and does a double-take. A guy dressed in SWAT is on the northern end, gun out. He looks exactly the same as the one El Gato had just killed … same build, same uniform. A twin?

“Help her!” Lief calles out from the southern end of the atrium, pointing north to the doorway at the northern end (leading to some conference rooms, if he remembers right), which the SWAT is in front of. Even with his force field gone, he does not hesitate in running over to help save Wynona.

He slashes at his foe, easily finding a chink in armor made for repelling bullets. Practically as soon as his kinetic knife touches flesh, the SWAT member disintigrates within the armor, leaving only a pile of clothes.

* * *

Ti Chane comes from the stairs and looks at the scene before him. El Gato looks at Ti, as if he’s unsure of what happened, then looks past him, towards the lobby entrance. Realizing they may not be done (but who could be left???), he quickly turns around to find another SWAT entering from the lobby. A few shots of his rifle are fired before TI is on him. They trade blow for blow in melee combat, but neither seems to be getting anywhere.

From his peripheral vision, Ti can see Lief coming this way. On arrival, the SWAT has to deal with two adversaries now … and his defenses fall. A lucky strike and down he goes … into dust, once more. Another pile of clothes.

* * *

Wynona comes out from the conference rooms, out of breath, but intact. El Gato and her look around the room to see if the coast is clear. No-one seems to be moving – there’s another SWAT lying on the ground in the southern area of the atrium. They quickly make their way over to make sure that the foe is contained (who knows, he could’ve just tripped). Still breathing, but seems to be out for the count. El Gato takes the walkie off, giving them both to Wynona.

They walk over to Ti and Lief.

* * *

The four soon-to be-heroes come together. Blood has been spilt, but the battle has been won. “We need to leave… now,” Lief commands the group. “On the radio, I heard that reinforcements are on their way. They wanted this done before the cops came, and they are definitely after the pieces we found.”

The four may their way to the lobby, looking for an escape. Looking out the front windows, they can see flashlights outside heading their way – more foes. They’re trapped.

Wynona pipes up, “Henry said of an area below the fountain – a hiding place. Maybe we can stay there, wait for these guys to leave?” It was their only chance.

They make their way downstairs and look at the large triangular crack in the marble floor … their only source of escape. While only blackness appears within, it is not a large hole. They shine a flashlight within, and see a dirt and rubble hill evidence of the collapse. There is room for them to fit though.

One by one, they escape into the hole. Most of the area simply looks like a dirt wall, showing that this was a hollow area before the fountain came crashing down. However one corner of the room looks loose, as if the area had collapsed, but the dirt went another way. There must be another room on the other side. Escape!

They start moving dirt around the area and indeed see that a room exists beyond it. They go through and eventually find themselves in an underground cavern. One of the walkie-talkes that Wynona carries pipes up:

“Hey boss, we searched the entire area. No sign of them.”

A heavy mexican accent response, aggression and irritation in his voice:

“There’s no place else they could’ve gone. They’re here. $10,000 to any who bring me de tokens.”

Wynona tries to remember which direction is which. She was always very good at telling direction, but that was not under such life-threatening circumstaces. She picks a direction and leads the away. Lief guards the rear as they proceed onward through the cavern, a flashlight app from a cell-phone guiding their way.

“Boss, we found something. Looks like a hole in the ground.”

Minutes pass, as they traverse the cavern. They come upon an old stone stairway, carved using some deep rock. It leads upwards. Ti goes up and checks it out. The stairway leads up to … the surface. He can see outside, looks like their on the southern end, where they entered. If he has his directions right, if they go off to the left and up the hill, they should come out where the entered. Of course, if he goes straight, he could go towards the eastern entrance.

“Willard, come downstairs. We have a job for you and your … minions.”

A high-pitched cackling can be heard off in the distance … echoing from inside the caverns.

“Ti, we don’t have a lot of time. What’s up there?” Lief calls out. WIthout waiting for a response, the group heads up the stiars with him. Knowing that time is of the essence, Ti makes a break for it.

He knows that their enemies came in where they did, at the top of the hill. If he goes towards them, he can act as a decoy, giving them time to get away through the eastern entrance.

As he gets to the top of the hill, ready to peer over, he looks back, hoping they’ve escaped… only to see them crouching with him.

They peer over the hill to see several cars, including what looks like a souped-up El Camino. A detective car sits across from it. Four gang-bangers stand there, guarding the vehicles. They need to escape, and they need to escape quickly.

Wynona takes the two walkie-talkies, and has an idea. “If we can figure out a way to get the walkie-talkies together and stay on, we can put them in a feedback loop which will make the whole system fail … until they figure out they can switch channels. Should give us some time … if we can get them to stay on.”

El Gato takes the walkie talkies, detaches the rear cover holding the batteries, and jams them into the ‘push-to-talk’ button on the side. “There – just wrap them up and you’re set.”

With that, Ti, Lief, and El Gato stealthfully make their way down the hill and get into position. Once they’re set to pounce, Wynona brings the two walkie-talkies together and wraps them up, throwing them on the ground.

Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr The high-pitched whirring can be heard even from the top of the hill. The bangers throw off their earpieces and get surprised by the group.

Within a few seconds, combat is over. They only have a few more before the Avenues will catch on to what happened. The detective’s cruiser will be more inconspicous, but the LoJack will make it easily findable.

El Gato quickly pops the hood, finds the LoJack, and using his kinetic knives, slashes it out. Wynona gets in the car, trying to start up the electronics of the vehicle. But nothing happens, and she fially feels the exhaustion.

She hears breathing coming from the seat behind her. Cautiously, she turns around. There, laying on the backseat, passed out, is a female in detective-clothing.

“Hey Gato, you better come here.” Lief calls after seeing the detective.

Gato looks in .. and sees his sister Maria.

  • Who will arrive first – the cops, or the Avenues?
  • What story does El Gato Loco’s sister have to tell? Will they finally know what has happened?
  • What is in the hilly mountainous region north of Los Angeles?

Find out next time, on…

Age of Empowerment

Session 6: Just Before Dawn

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