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Lost Gates

Modified on 2012/06/24 19:46 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands
   Fear is a habit; so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and resignation. You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: I can! and I will!

   - Author Unknown

   As the story opens, the companions are recovering from being drugged. We find out that, a few days before, they were travelling across Colorado working sec for a convoy. The convoy boss and the quartermaster were at odds with each other; the latter was eyeing the boss' position, and the companions, realizing that the boss was an idiot who likely wasn't going to pay them, as well as not wishing to get caught in the middle, dropped out in the ville of Hawknose.
   Hawknose is a slum with little to recommend it besides gas. Its baron, however, is ambitious - he knows a neighboring baron named Crabbe is looking for people resembling the companions, so he has them drugged and turned over to Crabbe's men.
   Crabbe's men take them to a redoubt, where they meet the baron himself. He's found a list of six other redoubts, one of which he's convinced holds a disc with the locations of the entire network. He can't read, however, so he doesn't know that it's nothing more than a maintenance schedule - none of the redoubts hold anything of value.
   The companions are split into pairs and sent through the gate to the various redoubts, one at a time, while the others are guarded.
   Mildred and Doc go first. Their redoubt is empty except for what appears to be chemicals, but it appears some nerve gas or toxic chemical leaked; both are affected by violent hallucinations before they can stagger back to the gate.
   Ryan and Jak are next. Their redoubt is also empty, but was looted in the past, most of the contents destroyed. At the top, they find the entry doors are sealed and slightly warped. Ryan tries to open them, only to find that they're holding back an immense amount of water. The pair flee back to the gate as the water eventually forces them the rest of the way open, flooding the redoubt behind them.
   Krysty and JB take the third redoubt. This one is inhabited by small mutie humanoids (possibly an offshoot of troggies). When the pair open the armory and med bay (which have been sealed all this time), the humanoids think they're godly beings and take them to be sacrificed, but they escape.
   By this time, Crabbe is in a right fury - they've been to three redoubts and haven't found jack. He lets the have a brief rest, since everyone's torn up, then sends Mildred and Doc back into the gate.
   They find a redoubt that's still in use by a group of bandits. The men and women are trapped there - there's someone outside who would love to see them dead; Mildred and Doc's appearance is an obvious indicator that there's another way in. After the pair are captured, Doc says he'll show the second in command the tunnel they used to enter the complex. He actually takes the man through the maintenance shafts, ending up back in the armory, where he knocks the fool out, grabs a couple grenades, and frees Mildred. They then flee back to the gateway.
   Ryan and Jak go next. They end up in what appears to be an empty redoubt. They head up to the armory, which contains all manner of exotic weapons, but when they try to enter, they set off an alarm and the room is sealed. A bunch of robotic soldiers appear and chase them down the hall, but they set up an ambush and slaughter them all. Near the gateway room, a sec door crashes to the ground, separating the pair.
   Jak, on the far side, is confronted by a gigantic metal snake bot with a laser in its mouth; Ryan, on the near side, is attacked by a small motorized sonic weapon. The weapon powers up and delivers a pulse that blows the door inward, destroying the snake in the process. Jak grabs the laser and conceals it, and the pair jump back into the gateway.
   Krysty and JB jump into another empty redoubt, but this one is obviously still in use, and whoever's there is using it intelligently. JB accidentally sets off a trap that seals them inside the armory, so they have to wait for the inhabitants to return. JB tosses a grenade out, killing a couple men, and they make their escape.
   Everyone knows this is it - the final redoubt - so when Krysty and JB return, they jump out of the gate shooting. Jak pulls out his laser, and Doc produces a few grenades he concealed. They slaughter the sec men and pile into the gate, jumping away.

DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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