You’re sitting in your favorite haunt when a trio of hired musclemen saunter into the bar, flashing your pix around. The barkeep motions you to the back room, then calls the strangers to talk to them.
After a few moments, the bar girl come to get you and you see the strangers spawled unconscious on the floor. The barkeep says, “You know them dreks?” You shake your head and tosses you an envelope. “I think this is for you,” he says. On the envelope it says The Place: After, The Time: Nine Tonight, The Reason: A Job Offer.
Well, Well. Work is work.
Takes a few moments for Bella to remember that After is a private club, decorated like a nuclear bomb went off in it and a reputation for being snobbishly liberal.
You arrive at the appointed time, descending the substreet-level stairs to rap on the oak door. Apparently you’re expected for the maitre’d ushers you in and conducts you to a table in one of the craters that decorate the floors.
“Please be seated,” says the woman seated in the crater. “I enjoyed the way you received my invitation and you come highly recommended. I have no doubt that the job I have to offer you will be one of the easiest you’ve ever been offered. First you are to make a pickup. There is a certain book that is overdue and you shall collect it for us. Second you are to make a delivery at the same place. The object is a simple valise, locked tight and quite harmless. The fact that you have to travel overseas should be no problem for seasoned veterans like you. All travel arrangements have been made and I can provide complete information about your destination.
Overseas?! Don’t planes get shot down when they try to leave this drek forsaken land?
“I assure you,” Ms. Johnson replies, “All arrangements have been made. You’ll will meet your plane at a private terminal at SeaTac where they will take you at low altitude to hide from radar up to Alaska. From there you will refuel and cross over into Russia and land is a remote town. From there, you will receive the proper papers and identifications to get you from Russia to Bavaria via train.”
“Once in Bavaria, you proceed to the village of Schloss Munchmaussen. The target of the break in and delivery is the Baron’s castle,” adds Ms. Johnson.
After a bit of negotiating, you accept the job and compile a list of equipment that you will need once you reach Bavaria. Ms. Johnson assures you that all necessary equipment will be there to greet you.
The low altitude flight starts off uneventful until the VTOL is attacked by a small swarm of wasp spirits. The VTOL taking some damage is forced to make a landing where the wasps continue to attack until you finally repel them and banish the rest. Well the say in the brochures that inter-city travel is not safe. Once refueling in Juno, Alaska, you start the really low flying over the Bering Strait into Russian. That’s the closest you want to get to water without a boat you say to yourself.
Landing in Russia remains uneventful, a humped back dwarf greets you at the hidden landing strip. He hands you a packet with all your papers and drives you to the train station where you board the long ride to Bavaria.
Once entering Germany, it becomes a stop and search though all the baronies of Germany. It’s a good thing you have the correct “papers” or this could be an even longer trip.
You’re jarred awake by the stopping of the train again. Another checkpoint you say to yourself. Looking up you notice that these soldier are more heavily armed with AUG’s this time. You think to yourself, I don’t these jokers are just looking for papers. Especially when one of the soldiers seems to think there is something wrong with your papers and only the contents of your backpack can fix that problem.
Well what kind of run would it be if you didn’t break the nose of someone. Just as you are about to “discuss” payment with the soldier, an explosion rocks the train and a smoking canister busts through the window. Automatic gun fire is heard. The soldiers shoot out the windows on one side of the train and start shooting out the windows.
Diving to the ground, you find the conductor and find out that a rebellion is going on. Great…rebels are now attacking. Deciding that the rebels will cause you more trouble than it’s worth, you help the soldiers defend the train while it starts to move to get out of the barony. Finally crossing over you dodge, literally, another bullet.
Upon enter Munchmaussen, you’re greet by Goldi, Director of Tourism here. Looking around, the village looks like a scene outta the golden age classic, Sound of Music. Not the holoremake but the old technicolor film version that plays in the Smithsonian.
Goldi greets you, “Welcome chumlichen! All your luggage has arrived and your accomodations are waiting for you.” Walking towards the hotel, Goldi bombards your many questions that put you on the suspicious side.
Once in your room, Zero sweeps the room and finds a couple of bugs located in various places in the room. After disabling them, you open your crates. Ms. Johnson wasn’t joking around. Almost all the equipment you’ll need to scale the mountain and assault a castle are in the four crates.
Now for some recon. After scouting around, you decide that going up the road would take too long and hijacking the skylift would cause too much commotion. Up the side of the mountain it is you decide.
So at dusk you head out and start your climb. This takes you about an hour with Zero only falling twice. It’s a good thing that Harmony has some healing skills. Finally getting up the mountain and over the castle walls, you sneak your way into the castle.
Once inside the castle you overpower the guards on the ground floor security post without them setting off the alarm. After searching the first floor, you see no side of the tome. Making your way up to the second floor, you find the dining hall and some guest rooms and no tome. On the third floor you finally find the library and the tome you are looking for or at least that’s what you think you’ve found until you hear a laugh behind you. “So that’s all you were looking for, nicht war? I am so disapppointed.”
As you go to attack the baron he steps back and two fire elementals and some of his guards attack. Battling the elementals and the guards prove to be quite a challenge. Deciding that being backed into the library is suicide, The Axe, Bella and Merlin battle their way out and dive into another room. Now that the attackers fire is divided it is easier to fend them off. After banishing one of the elementals, Merlin happens to notice that the Tome you were after just happens to be on a coffee table in the room he’s in. Grabbing the tome and dropping the valise, you finish off the last of the guards.
In the meantime, Zero using the castle security systems finds the baron’s Hughes Airstar. Jumping in it, he activates the elevator just as the Baron is making his way to it to make the escape. Cursing the Baron runs out the room. Signaling the rest of the group, Zero directs you to where he is.
Reaching the fourth floor, you battle more guards and another fire elemental and make your way to the hall where Zero lowers the elevator. After a couple of more shots, you jump into the Airstar and raise the elevator. Zero activates the rotors and deactivates the SAMS on the castle to make your escape.
Landing the helicopter, you meet the same hump back dwarf where he puts you back on an uneventful train ride where you decide that going home is easier than going on a run. Ironic isn’t it.