Princes of the Universe

Episode #6 Trouble at the Ranch

Anyone home?

Our heroes decided to check out the properties owned by Dr. Walter Hobbs. His house in the Magnolia Dist. of Seattle was their first stop. They parked their vehicle a few blocks away. Leaving Hephaestus and Lenore in the suburban for mobility’s sake, the rest of the group proceeded on foot the residence. Dr. Hobbs rather large house was seated between two other houses of equal proportions in the middle of an expansive lawn behind well trimmed shrubbery. Prof. Pont Neuf made quick entry through the front door under somewhat inconspicuous circumstances. Once inside, the group quickly checked the immediate surroundings. The house was gutted of furniture, but heightened senses were able to detect what appeared to be gurney-type wheel tracks in the carpet and dust.
The tracks led to a closed door. After some hesitation Marius made a blind port to the other side. He discovered a gurney with a dead male body laid upon it. Next to the door Marius found a compact device; a metal cube with a small red LED “eye” in the center of the side facing the door. Assuming it was a motion sensing bomb of some type he made a quick check of the room. Finding nothing he touched the corpse and teleported back to the vehicle. Unfortunately for those awaiting word from beyond the door where taken by surprise when the booby trap under the body went off followed immediately by the door bomb. The group was fortunate that only the hardier members where close to the door and no one was badly injured.
Their position given away, Marius arrived to teleport them to the vehicle. The mistake was immediately noticeable when people near enough to notice started to run towards the party with camera phones outstretched. A couple members also noticed a police vehicle turning the corner in the direction of the house with its lights on sans siren. At that point Marius stepped forward and turned on the charm. He said something about being the Great So-and-So and having just performed an illusion of epic proportions and that he would be in town all week. At the same time the rest of the party scrambled into the vehicle and got the fuck out. Once they were clear, Marius ported in full view of the public and returned to the apartments.
While on the way back to the apartments, Hephaestus located and cracked the transmitter chip on the corpse. It contained coordinates for a location in Montana, which, it was quickly discovered, were the same as the GPS position of Dr. Hobbs ranch. The party quickly made plans to travel to Montana and check things out.
Before the group left they decided to try and check out the ranch through a satellite feed. Hephaestus hacked an observation satellite and brought it over the ranch. He was able to take several pictures, but before he could download more than two of the pics he lost contact with the satellite. The standard image contained the house and a truck parked outside. The infrared image showed a large heat source the party determined was probably a generator. The truck and hot generator raised flags as the property was supposed to be abandoned.
Taking the Mag-Lev train to Boseman, they teleported to just outside the ranch house. Sensing no immediate threats it was decided that Prof. Pont Neuf would scan for mental signatures. He detected one and dug a bit deeper for surface thoughts. The man was in the middle of a BM, reading a copy of Reader’s Digest. Pont Neuf reported his findings and the party prepared to enter.
Once again, Marius teleported the party, this time into the middle of the main living area. Lenore and Cockcroft were immediately aware of the sound of a foot scuffing the floor just through an nearby archway. A man came around the corner, his hands coming up towards the party. Lenore got the jump on him and went in for a body tackle. She hit him full on, but he braced and took the blow, keeping his feet. Walton Cockcroft followed up swiftly by picking up the living room coffee table and smashing the man in the head. The man went down, smashing the floor beneath him with the force of the blow. Down, but not out, the man’s hands came up again and a great blast of energy lept out to strike Mr. Cockcroft, blasting him into the wall. The rest of the party quickly fell upon the man with magnetic blasts (that did more damage to Marius than the foe… better luck next time Sterns), claws, and fists. Lenore nearly gutted the man with a vicious claw attack. Walton stepped in and finished him with a massive right hand to the jaw. As the light left the man’s eyes Prof. Pont Neuf was able to get into his mind and catch his last dying thoughts – “Gammy Goble, Gammy Goble. I’ve missed you so much….”
After the fight they were able to recover a computer pad before it was finished deleting all of it’s files and the contents of a safe including gold bars, wine, and a small, two-drawer file cabinet. Marius then ported them home.



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