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Old 03-03-2017, 07:37 AM   #61
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller]

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
So now O'Toole runs around like a headlesss chicken, for all the world like a Chaotic Neutral character in D&D, treating NPCs as pixels on a screen. He doesn't seem to be running toward any defined goal and it's not clear how his cowardly* hide is safer running blindly through tunnels full of dangers than he'd been if he'd stalled for time, negotiated or even actually given up, to give help time to arrive.

*O'Toole has Will 15 and no Disadvantages that make him it difficult for him to think under pressure. It was not a fight-or-flight response where he was simply psychologically unable to act rationally because of adrenaline rush. No, O'Toole just apparently values other people, his duty and his responsibilities less than the chance to see how much mayhem his powers can unleash. He's a supervillain without an origin story who just wants to see the world burn. Maybe it's in his tainted blood. He is Raul Vargas' son and Vargas was always a prize prig, selfish to the core and utterly indifferent to anyone else's feelings, health or wellbeing.
Or, a more charitable view: The Player saw the situation as untenable and took decisive steps to to try to end it in the party's favor. I doubt he expected to fail his HT check against the flash-bang (being more distant - but not realizing the enclosed space actually makes it worse) and that even if he did fail, none of the guards would be capable of initiating action as quickly as they did, and that he might have Burr as back up.

In other words, why ascribe to malice what is more simply a case of stupidity?


(Is the Player more used to, more happy, playing Murder Hobos?)

Quote:
And bureaucratic neglect can't really explain things like Terry Amiti roaming the tunnels in the role of a monster in 2017, when Dr. Anderson knows that Terry wasn't a patient at Manhanock after 1998. Was he transfered back there? Why? By whom? Or was there always something more on Jewell Island than Dr. Anderson knew about? A secret facility hidden somewhere even deeper than the secret research labs in the cellars, somewhere Terry was taken when he was officially transfered and never left until his 'escape' into the abandoned tunnels, changed into something both more and less than human?
Sounds like you boys have a right proper dungeon crawl ahead of you... if you survive.

That lone shot sounds mighty ominous*.




* We know Taylor made it. He's the hero of this piece after all. ;)
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:14 AM   #62
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Default Re: Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller]

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Or, a more charitable view: The Player saw the situation as untenable and took decisive steps to to try to end it in the party's favor.
Nope. There was no attempt to aid anyone else involved.

The sum total of O'Toole's training in tactical shooting amounts to one Dabbler Perk for several skills taught in his Basic Combat Training eight years ago and a single point in Guns (Pistol). He doesn't have Fast-Draw (Pistol) or the kind of skill in rapidly engaging threats in close combat with a firearm to make it even remotely practical for him to try to headshot several armed men wearing body armour in a dark corridor before their automatic rifle fire cut him down.

Fighting the guards was never an option, specifically because when O'Toole was designed, the player refused to spend the points to be able to engage in action movie heroics without using his powers*, or even to be as competent in a firefight as the non-combat characters in typical action-y media.

O'Toole can lie, bluff, infiltrate, sneak and pretend to be someone else like nobody's business. Because of his very high Attributes (straight 14s) and escapades with his brother as a kid, he's also a mean barroom-brawler, deadly when grabbing a glass and striking from surprise. And he can palm things better than a professional magician and conceal an ace up his sleeve like a cardsharp. He can also escape from bonds like Harry Houdini, even if they are chains with a padlock.

All of which ought to have suggested that O'Toole was the optimal character to negotiate a surrender, but then maneuver himself into a position where he could accomplish something more useful than burning a security guard to death.

*The very existence of which is a Secret (Possible Death), so it's not as if he could just always use his powers.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I doubt he expected to fail his HT check against the flash-bang (being more distant - but not realizing the enclosed space actually makes it worse) and that even if he did fail, none of the guards would be capable of initiating action as quickly as they did, and that he might have Burr as back up.
O'Toole didn't fail his HT check for stunning. He failed a HT check for Hearing and while he succeeded against loss of Vision, he was still going from the beam of a flashlight into a corridor with no light, after an incredibly bright flash. His eyes just weren't adapted to the darkness, so -6 darkness penalty became -8 (-10 for one turn after the flashbang) and when he dived into the side tunnel, a -8 darkness penalty in there became -10 because of the additional -2 for lacking time to adapt to the darkness level. See Tactical Shooting.

O'Toole was planning to run for that side tunnel. He never intended anything that would have helped Townsend, Burr or Berrocal. His goal was to do something he personally felt was awesome, i.e. use telekinesis to pull a pin from a grenade, and to avoid capture for him personally.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
In other words, why ascribe to malice what is more simply a case of stupidity?
In character, we may not do so, depending on the results of various skill checks and Quick Contests. Of course, for Burr and Townsend, if they survive, it doesn't really matter whether O'Toole was being undisciplined and stupid, badly trained and reckless or cowardly and callous. The takeaway for them and the others at Onyx Rain is that he does not perform well enough under pressure to be trustworthy as one of their top-tier agents or operatives.

Out of character, I'm ascribing it to malice because the reason the player decided to do this was because 'it was too cool not to do'. That is, he just wanted to try out using his powers and an explosive device against people for the hell of it, to see what would happen, because he could. Classic sociopath behaviour.

That is, the player is suddenly playing O'Toole as a sociopath with impulse control issues, despite that not having been the design goal for the character.* O'Toole was meant to be capable of hiding his powers, personality and goals from the strictest background checks available. It thus struck me as somewhat incongruous when the character didn't even consider using all his skills at deception and subterfugue to delay the guards and manuever for for a better chance to act in some way. He just went right to the simplistic, crazy and wrong video game move.

To clarify, I'm not saying the player is a sociopath. He's a loving husband and father, sweet guy, kind to children and his grandmomma. Hurting fictional characters isn't evidence of actual mental illness or malice. Within the context of the game world, however, O'Toole's actions are evidence of such massive disregard for the welfare of other people as to amount to an inability to see them as real.

You think I'm being harsh? Just wait. I'm not caught up yet.

*Murderous sociopath was a perfectly valid character concept during our planning and creation phase. The player could have created a budding supervillain who was somehow so necessary to Onyx Rain that he was along on the adventure despite his horrible crimes, with a series of safeguards meant to prevent him from escaping or killing the other agents. But the player didn't want his character to have minders or restrictions, he wanted to have secret superpowrers.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
(Is the Player more used to, more happy, playing Murder Hobos?)
For the past decade or so, I doubt we've played many games featuring that sort of character. On the other hand, the player did say that he was sorry that he was not playing the emotionless, rootless, perfect pragmatist hitman character he played in a short-lived Cyberpunk campaign we had, because that way we wouldn't keep nagging him OOC to consider consequences, other people or basic humanity.

OOC, he also excused O'Toole's behaviour toward someone by saying that they were just an NPC and he didn't want to have to bother with them.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Sounds like you boys have a right proper dungeon crawl ahead of you... if you survive.
That's assuming we have any reason to go into the abandoned tunnels. Dr. Anderson is Curious, he might want to, but c'mon. Is exploring the dungeons of horror really the pressing issue?

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
That lone shot sounds mighty ominous*.

* We know Taylor made it. He's the hero of this piece after all. ;)
This is a case where being ahead of the write-up in play really hurts readers. Plus, I posted wicked spoilers like two weeks ago, before I realised that I would write it all up so carefully. I've gone back and put spoiler tags on the worst ones, but I suppose the damage is done for some of you, for which I apologise.

On the other hand, I really wouldn't expect Taylor to have any kind of plot-immunity. Sure, I want him to survive and have a long and happy career, filled with heroics and a surprising amount of melodrama. We've not even scratched the surface of the emotional conflicts that might arise between his preexisting relationships and, well, any of sanity, morality or pragmatism, sometimes all three.

We're not adventuring in the safe and forgiving cinematic worlds that Superhero fiction is usually set in. Being prepared to lay down your life any time you come across an inviting windmill to slay or a Dulcinea to rescue is pretty meaningless if you can't really lose it. There are bold adventurers and there are old adventurers, but there aren't many old and bold adventurers.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:30 PM   #63
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Default You Think You're Gonna Live Your Life Alone - In Darkness - And Seclusion

The darkness feels thick and greasy. There is an indescribable miasma in the air, the foulness of corruption. Danny O'Toole is sure that within that little room on the other side of the door, there are things he has no wish to know. Looking back, O'Toole can see lights moving in the main corridor. Some of the guards might have recovered and they must be hunting for him by now. The side tunnel is straight and not nearly long enough for O'Toole to stay out of sight there, standing at the door like this he will be exposed if the guards shine a light directly down it. Through the ringing in his ears, O'Toole can hear what he thinks is guards shouting. Danny really hopes this is all just a bad dream, but no dream he's ever had captured the sickly sweet smell of rotting flesh so vividly. Dream or no dream, he's afraid that on the other side of that door, there's a monster waiting for him.

Monsters aren't real. Terry Amiti was just a violent rehtahd on a lot of super-steroids. And whatever broken-down drug test reject lives in there will be easier to shoot dead than a bunch of guards with assault rifles. Maybe it will even be afraid of a gun, that way he won't have to fire and draw attention to himself. Feeling for the lock with the tendrils of his mind, O'Toole quickly opens the door, moving it softly with his mind. He stalks in slowly, with his gun and phone held in front of him.

The room is smaller than it felt. Apart from the cot on the floor, there doesn't seem to be much of value in it. No real furniture, just broken up remains of it, no supplies, no immediately apparent weapons. And there is no other door. It's almost a cell, just one locked door and no other way out. The sleeping figure is a woman, wearing tattered hospital blues. She doesn't seem to have even a blanket to shelter herself and she appears thin, perhaps even starved. None of these things are what hold Danny O'Toole's attention riveted.

That would be the body parts. O'Toole can see what appears to be the bones of a human hand attached to most of an arm, a legless and armless torso, without a head, and standing on a broken pile of pices of chairs and a table, what might be a mostly fleshless human skull. There is a cut of meat that looks a few days old on a tarp and several dried up pieces on the floor that might be aging meat. There is dried blood on the floor and one corner has a pile of wet excrement mixed with what appears to be some rotting organic material, maybe intestines or organs. The stench is indescribable, months of decay and death overlaying fresher biological smells. And there is a lot of bones.

O'Toole scans the room for anyone else, but cannot see any potential hiding places. He looks more carefully at the woman on the cot and notes that her body, while severely underweight, appears to be that of a young woman. There is also something wrong with her skin. Half her face is one massive bruise and around the bruised area, she seems to have discoloration or an infection or something. There are patches of odd-looking skin in one leg and an arm, as well. To O'Toole, it looks like some terrifying plague or leprosy, the way the skin in these areas is completely different in texture and colour from the surrounding paleness. It almost seems like she's growing scales.

The woman on the cot is keening in her sleep, moving around with quick darting motions, breathing rapidly and shallowly. O'Toole can't hear her very clearly, but can tell that she's mouthing the word 'no'. He considers whether he could shut her up with his power before the guards hear her, but relaxes slightly as he realises that they won't be hearing any better than him. O'Toole tiptoes back out in the corridor and is horrified to see that there are flashlights moving in the main corridor, as if guards are making a sweep of it. It probably won't take them but minutes to look in this side tunnel. O'Toole also hears dim shouting from the main corridor, being able to make out that a commanding voice is giving orders, though he's not sure about what. He hears the words 'Don't kill...' and 'Where is she?'

O'Toole decides to go back into the charnel room and see if there isn't some hiding place there. The woman is still moving around on her cot, making pitiful little noises, which annoys and frightens O'Toole. The ringing in his ears is diminishing and he can hear her clearly now, which makes him wonder how close the guards need to get to do the same. O'Toole decides to see if he can move the woman from the cot and out into the side tunnel without waking her, using his telekinetic powers. He manages to pick her up, but while she's moving through the air, she wakes up. When she sees him, she lurches to her feet, falling the last few inches, and gives a small shout of joy. She stumbles toward O'Toole, desperate for rescue and reassurance, maybe just to experience through touch that there are other human beings.

Woman: "Thank God! You're not him. Please, oh, please, help me! There are things... Oh, God. I was so afraid. We've got to get away from this place!"

O'Toole steps back and blocks the woman from touching him, taking care not to touch her exposed flesh.

O'Toole: "Ugh! Don't touch me. I've... uh, got personal space issues."
[woman looks confused and hurt, but mostly terrified]
Woman: "You don't understand! It's not safe here. Take me with you, please!"
O'Toole [backing away]: "I can't do that yet. I'll send someone to get you. I've got something I have to do first."
Woman: "But... but, you'll help me?"
O'Toole: "Of course. There's help on the way. Everything is going to be okay."
Woman: "Thank you, oh, thank you! I thought I'd die here for sure. It's... it's been so terrible."

O'Toole can hear the guards better now. He thinks he heard one of them call someone 'Warden'. He's terrified that they'll hear the conversation.

O'Toole: "Lookit, there's something you need to do for me. You're right, it isn't safe in here. You need to go into the main corridor, toward the lights. The people there will help you."
Woman: "But... I can't go there alone. It's pitch black out there. What if I run into something?"
O'Toole: "You'll be fine. It's safe that way. I just came from there. You just need to walk down this little tunnel and you'll be fine."
Woman: "You... you promise? I'll be safe with them?"
O'Toole: "I promise. Everything is going to be fine. This will all seem like a bad dream."

Trembling with fear, the woman starts walking out into the side tunnel leading to the main corridor. She notices the lights there and fearfully turns her face toward O'Toole. He waves to her and mouths: "It's fine. They're my friends." The woman keeps walking and as she reaches the main corridor, O'Toole hears someone shout at her to stop.

Woman: "Please help!"
Guard1: "Freeze or I'll shoot."
Woman: "He told me..."
Guard2: "Hold it!"
Guard1: "What do I do, sir?"
Woman: "Please, don't hurt me!"
Guard2: "Don't come nearer."
Warden Tyrrell: "Take the shot."

There are two rifle shots and the woman's pleading is cut off, subsiding into a cry of pain that only lasts until her body hits the floor.

Guard2: "----ing lizards!"
Guard1: "Creep the hell out of me."
Warden Tyrrell: "Right, you two. Check out where she came from and if there's more of them."

O'Toole grimaces. He'd been hoping that the guards would assume that the woman had been the only one in this side tunnel and not bother to check it out. Frantically searching for some place to hide, O'Toole looks up at the ceiling. He closes his eyes and focuses his mental strength on enveloping himself as best he can. Then he grunts in exertion and lifts himself off the floor, hanging in mid-air like a plank. Moving slowly, he raises himself all the way up to the ceiling, where he tries to remain absolutely still, breathing as little as he can. The two guards enter the room with their rifles at the ready. One of them curses furiously when he sees the room and the other stops for a few seconds to regain control of his breathing. They appear disinclined to stay in the room, just giving it a quick once over before going back to the main corridor.

Guard1: "Nothing, sir. Just a lair, maybe the Monster, maybe something else."
Guard2: "----ing disgusting, sir."
Guard1: "No other way in, no hiding places. Maybe it was his mate or something."
Guard Vaughn: "Or a snack he had put by."
Guard Arden: "Maybe both."
Warden Tyrrell: "Just get back out there and find my Queen!"
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:24 PM   #64
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Default Re: Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller]

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Murderous sociopath was a perfectly valid character concept during our planning and creation phase. The player could have created a budding supervillain who was somehow so necessary to Onyx Rain that he was along on the adventure despite his horrible crimes, with a series of safeguards meant to prevent him from escaping or killing the other agents. But the player didn't want his character to have minders or restrictions, he wanted to have secret superpowrers.

For the past decade or so, I doubt we've played many games featuring that sort of character. On the other hand, the player did say that he was sorry that he was not playing the emotionless, rootless, perfect pragmatist hitman character he played in a short-lived Cyberpunk campaign we had, because that way we wouldn't keep nagging him OOC to consider consequences, other people or basic humanity.

OOC, he also excused O'Toole's behaviour toward someone by saying that they were just an NPC and he didn't want to have to bother with them.
Yeah, sounds like he wants to go full Murder Hobo, but without any drawbacks.


Quote:
That's assuming we have any reason to go into the abandoned tunnels. Dr. Anderson is Curious, he might want to, but c'mon. Is exploring the dungeons of horror really the pressing issue?
Only if as PCs you really want to get to the bottom of this.


Quote:
On the other hand, I really wouldn't expect Taylor to have any kind of plot-immunity.
Not presuming plot immunity (I mean Burr just took a hit that took him out of the fight and you've been playing very carefully so I doubted there was too much in the way of cinematic) but mostly that I figure Taylor survived this one gunshot.

I mean he hasn't had his one-on-one fight with Warden Tyrrell in the rain on the roof of the Sanitarium yet!
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:20 PM   #65
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Default Re: Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller]

Agent O'Toole looks like a real peach of a human being...
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:14 AM   #66
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Default Re: Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller] the

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Yeah, sounds like he wants to go full Murder Hobo, but without any drawbacks.
It must be intensely irritating for an aspiring Murder Hobo to be shackled with a fellow PC who has, in the words of our GM, 'a pathological need to burden himself with those unable to walk by themselves'.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Only if as PCs you really want to get to the bottom of this.
Ah. A pune or a play on words.

The lowest form of humour. He who would pun would pick a pocket. :-)

As it turns out, (avoiding spoilers), there may be reasons for our heroes to explore some of the abandoned areas of Manhanock Asylum before the Coasties swarm Jewell Island.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Not presuming plot immunity (I mean Burr just took a hit that took him out of the fight and you've been playing very carefully so I doubted there was too much in the way of cinematic) but mostly that I figure Taylor survived this one gunshot.
There are no cinematic rules in effect... but, when you've got 666 point superheroes facing 25-75 point security guards and pot-bellied aging veterans that mostly don't break 150 points, even the grittiest of rule-sets still allow for some pretty over-the-top awesomeness.

Burr is an NPC, of course. The real test is whether the dice fall where they may when it's PCs taking fire. Of course, even if the GM wanted to go easy on the PCs, my role as Assistant GM means that calculation of modifiers and the stats of threats is usually in my hands. And y'all can bet the farm that I'll use all the grittiest optional and even house rules to make sure us so-called heroes suffer all the consequences of our choices. Or the vagaries of blind and uncaring chance, the world being a chaotic and messy place.

We've all got Luck, granted. And a good thing, too, or O'Toole would have died from a random bullet hitting the wrong target when he set off the flashbang and
Spoiler:  
.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I mean he hasn't had his one-on-one fight with Warden Tyrrell in the rain on the roof of the Sanitarium yet!
It's too cold for rain. Around 15 degrees Fahrenheit at midnight. No snow either and no forecast for one. Last snowed over ten days ago and there has been a thaw since, so the ground is mostly bare, with a few patches of ice.

In light of the observation towers housing crew-served weapons with thermal weapon sights and the sniper rifles with Gen 2+ or even Gen 3 night vision scopes, going out on the roof is basically suicide for any PC. Of course, if and when the Coast Guard shows up, helicopters with the Airborne Use of Force package will make it equally suicidal for Warden Brad Tyrrell.

If you want to hope for a brutal hand-to-hand confrontation between Taylor and the Warden to cap things off, you need to imagine an indoor scene. Maybe the familiar barracks (major Boresville, invest in new sets!), maybe the Warden's office, maybe an abandoned wing or cell bloc. Lobby scenes are crowd pleasers. Kitchens are pretty nifty sets for no-holds-barred beatdowns, especially if death is on the line (note to self, make sure Tyrrell is not a Sicilian name). There's a staff spa, too. Steam rooms can make pretty intense sets for sweaty groping and pounding (what? Are we not doing phrasing anymore?).

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Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Agent O'Toole looks like a real peach of a human being...
We don't call him O'Toole the Tool, Tele-Molestor, for his lovely personality.

Actually, nobody calls him that. Yet.

But they will, once his Secret is out.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:48 AM   #67
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We don't call him O'Toole the Tool, Tele-Molestor, for his lovely personality.
Various characters of mine have been reading along from the back of my head. None of those guys are as humane as Taylor, but the last of them gave up on O'Toole when he tried to use the lizard-woman to fool the guards and then used his powers to hide after that failed.

Just call him "Toole", I'm sure his ancestors have disowned him.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:07 AM   #68
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Various characters of mine have been reading along from the back of my head. None of those guys are as humane as Taylor, but the last of them gave up on O'Toole when he tried to use the lizard-woman to fool the guards and then used his powers to hide after that failed.

Just call him "Toole", I'm sure his ancestors have disowned him.
I've a few character that wold blanch at his casual disregard for fellow humans and a few who think he just isn't casual enough.
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:55 PM   #69
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Default Crash Into Me

Perhaps the best illustration of how nervous the three guards, Randall, Lamb and Summers, as well as the two orderlies, James and Gilbert, truly are is the fact that during several minutes of standoff with the unarmed Taylor in the dining hall, not one of them has dared step away to turn off the blaring fire alarm or the sprinklers that are dousing everyone thoroughly as they stand around talking. Inside the dining hall, the repetative siren is loud, but not so loud as to cause hearing loss or make conversation impossible.

The only one still pointing a gun at Taylor as he walks slowly to the kitchen is a terrified orderly, Dave Gilbert, who obviously has no idea of proper firing stance or trigger discipline. Gilbert is breathing fast enough to be hyperventilating and his arms are swaying in a figure eight as he is shouting at Taylor to stop, not make him shoot. The distance is between him and Taylor is around 15' and judging from the unsteady way Gilbert is holding the gun, not only Taylor, but Randall, Lamb and Summers are potentially in danger if he pulls the trigger. When Lamb suddenly cries out in surprise, Gilbert twitches and reflexively pulls the trigger of his M9 pistol.

As he is doing so, Taylor is trying his hardest not to show his astonishment. As he walks toward the kitchen, he can hear someone crawling on the floor to his right, in the direction of the hallway that leads to the small office and the guard armoury. A sideways glance reveals Dr. Anderson crawling on the soaked linoleum floor, headed for the armoury. It was Anderson that Lamb spotted, causing him to cry out and reflexively move his muzzle in the direction of this new threat. And causing Gilbert to negliently discharge his firearm.

Taylor is too surprised to dodge or react in any way. It's just chance that the bullet hits the doorframe next to him rather than the small of his back. Shaking off his astonishment, Taylor rushes into the kitchen, where there is clearly a small fire inside the microwave, but it hasn't yet spread effectively to the oil-soaked pile around it, perhaps due to the sprinklers. There is smoke coming from some of the sheets nearest the microwave, where the top layers of the rag and cloth pile protects them from the water, so a blaze large enough to burn the string around the safety lever of the grenade is probably only a matter of seconds.

As Taylor reaches under the wet rags and smoking sheets, trying to find the grenade before it goes off, he can hear someone in the dining hall take three quick steps south and then he hears a solid meaty thunk of knuckles hitting bone and cartilege, followed by a man and what is probably a rifle hitting the ground separately. Taylor's estimate of the relative positions involved is that Randall has charged Lamb while he was surprised at seeing Dr. Anderson crawling in the hallway and upon reaching Lamb, Randall punched Lamb hard enough to knock him down.

Randall: "Gilbert, you idiot! Finger off trigger until you ----ing mean to shoot!"
Gilbert: "Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God!"
James [shouting into the hallway]: "Sir, who the hell are you?"
Randall [facing south, away from the corridor]: "Sir, what are you doing here?"
James: "Wait, where did he go?"
Summers: "Sorry, sir, I dropped it!"
Randall [sounding surprised]: "But Taylor, the Green Beret, he's in here!"
Lamb [voice slurry]: "Yes, sir, we're coming, right away, sir."
James [terrified]: "Please don't do that, sir!"
Summers: "If you say so, sir."
Randall: "Sir, I really think we ought to consider negotiating."
Gilbert: "I am loyal, King Tyrrell. I didn't drop my gun."
Randall: "In that case, you're right, sir. No reason to stay in here."

Taylor finds the M67 grenade and grabs the safety lever as carefully as he can. He pulls the pin he stored in his pocket out and makes the grenade safe again. Then he turns off the sparking microwave, kicking the sheets away from it and carefully removing Dr. Anderson's incendiary chemicals from the microwave before the small fire inside it reaches it. Finally, Taylor opens the microwave so that what's left of the fire will be smothered by the sprinklers in short order.

Putting the grenade in his pocket, Taylor moves to the kitchen doorway and listens to the men inside the dining hall pick up their weapons and walk toward the barracks lobby. They seemed to have been talking with Warden Tyrrell, but Taylor is absolutely sure that Warden Tyrrell has not said anything audible inside that dining hall. Even through a radio headset, Taylor figures he'd have heard Tyrrell if he was really speaking to the men, but that's a non-issue, as Taylor knows that the radios carried by the three guards in there didn't have tactical headsets and not one of the men in there was wearing anything in his ears.

With a surge of hope, Taylor walks into the dining hall. As he guessed, the five men walking away are not even glancing in his direction. Their attention is riveted in front of them, where they are following a spot of empty air to the exit. And on one of the dining hall benches, Sherilyn Bell is reclining triumphantly, making a 'Ta da!' gesture as Taylor walks in. She's been deluged with water from the sprinklers, ballistic vest, white shirt and hospital blues all soaked through and her hair a wet mess slicked down under the 'Bama cap, making her look like a drowned rat. But she's alive, apparently unharmed and the most beautiful thing Taylor has seen for years.

With an involuntary exclamation of "Thank God!", Taylor runs to her and picks her up bodily, spinning her in a circle while whispering "Lynnie, oh, Lynnie, you're safe, thank the Lord!" As Taylor puts Ms. Bell down, he scans her face and body nervously for injuries, but finds none. With arms still around her, Taylor appears to realise their position and he tries his best to hide how much he wants to kiss her right now. As Bell is neither clinically blind nor autistic, she isn't fooled. Leaning forward, she kisses Taylor on the lips, softly, almost hesitantly. Taylor freezes up, but ultimately, doesn't have the willpower to push her away.

Instead, caressing Sherilyn's neck and cheek, Taylor kisses her back, reverently, while looking deep into her eyes. Neither of them seems to notice when the five men leave the barracks by the front door or that the sprinklers are still on full force. Perhaps because their multi-threat vests and fully loaded duty belts makes full bodily contact difficult or maybe because Taylor, like Alabama's most polite prom date and choirboy poster boy for Christian sex education, seems content for his hands to touch only Sherilyn's back and the cheek he is caressing, the kiss remains intimate, emotional and surprisingly free of overtly erotic contact for a long time.

Long enough, it seems, for Bell to become impatient. Loosening the buckle on Taylor's duty belt, she nimbly jumps into his arms as the belt falls down, wrapping her legs around his waist for support and letting her hands roam considerably more freely than Taylor's. If the baton on Bell's duty belt hurts Taylor as she does so, he gives no indication of noticing, lost as he is in the kiss, which Bell somehow manages to avoid breaking during her acrobatic maneuevering for position. To hold Bell up, Taylor is 'forced' to move his hands slightly downwards, to considerably more interesting parts of Bell's anatomy than her back, which at this point Taylor does not seem to mind at all.

Even when Taylor finally manages to loosen Bell's duty belt to stop the less-than-lethal armament stowed there from hurting him any more, however, their enthusiastic embrace and extended kiss is strangely more remniscient of awkward teenage makeout sessions than adult foreplay. It takes more than two minutes for things to come close to anything that would push a motion picture to a PG-13 rating, as they finally try to remove Bell's multi-threat vest. Despite the straps having been loosened, the vest was not designed to be pulled off like a sweater and Bell's head is momentarily trapped, breaking the kiss. Taylor is the one who breaks contact by putting Bell down, but she makes no attempt to let things continue and it is hard to say which of them is looking more chargrined.

Taylor: "Oh, God, Lynnie, I'm so sorry. I didn't... I wasn't gonna... oh, Lord, I ain't never mean for any o' this to happen. I shouldn't oughta have kissed you."
Sherilyn Bell [small voice]: "It's fine, Chase. Really, it is."
[changing over to her normal, flirtatious behaviour with an obvious effort of will]
Bell: "If you really must, I suppose you could make it up to me. There is something I need from the Warden's office. Could you fetch it for me, Chasie-dear?"
[Taylor is composing himself, trying to regain some semblance of sense]
Taylor: "Sure can. Uh, I mean, we been planning to look there for the jammer, anyhow. Wait, Sherilyn, what happened in the tunnels? Where are them others?"
Bell: "Burr got shot, I think, but not fatally. Mr. M is in the armoury."
Taylor: "What about the guards who shot at you? Are they still there? Did you get separated from the others?"
Bell: "We left the others, because they're boring and we don't need them. They were all fine when we left and Burr was still cursing, so I don't think he'll die."
Taylor: "But the flashbang and the shooting?"
Bell: "Oh, that. We were gone when it started. I think it had something to do with O'Toole trying to surrender and screwing it up, moronic ----head that he is."

Taylor gives Bell a worried and incredulous look. Then he walks down the short hallway to the armoury, saying Dr. Anderson's name softly. Entirely too close for comfort to where Taylor and Bell have been for the last minutes, Dr. Anderson's voice answers from the still ajar door: "I can hear you both perfectly, I assure you."
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Last edited by Icelander; 03-05-2017 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:21 PM   #70
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Crash Into Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Randall [sounding surprised]: "But Taylor, the Green Beret, he's in here!"
Lamb [voice slurry]: "Yes, sir, we're coming, right away, sir."
James [terrified]: "Please don't do that, sir!"
Summers: "If you say so, sir."
Randall: "Sir, I really think we ought to consider negotiating."
Gilbert: "I am loyal, King Tyrrell. I didn't drop my gun."
Randall: "In that case, you're right, sir. No reason to stay in here."
Sounds like there's a fair chance of deaths when Tyrrell hears about this scene. If he doesn't have a stroke or heart attack himself, he may well kill someone.
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