Sunday, April 8th, 2007
Near the Torosaurus, Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy), David Bannister (Nick), and Christine Foster warily watch the small, ostrich-like creatures approach them. David grabs up a piece of rock from the area, and throws it at one of the beasts, but misses. The creature appears to be somewhat incensed, and hisses at him. Amanda says she wants him to let her try to calm the creatures down, and she offers them her sandwiches [she pays 2 Story Points to have them on her] and this calms them down. The shriek of an adult on the other side of the Anomaly causes the three juveniles to race back through the Anomaly, much to the relief of Amanda and David. The two of them return to the healing work they are doing on the Torosaurus, although Amanda must calm the creature down.
At the small courtyard where Jessica Ransome (Angela), Captain Alexander Taylor (Tom), and Kathy Blaine are, Jessica's athletic prowess stands her in good stead as she barely dodges out of the way of the ostrich-like creature, although she takes a nasty nip. Before Alexander can act, Private Dommanis shoots the creature, inflicting moderate injuries to it. Alexander is furious with her, and Dommanis is puzzled by his outcry, but Jessica explains to her that they don't know what harm they could do if any of the creatures are killed; if possible, the creatures need to be returned to their own time, unharmed. Jessica's wounds are superficial, and she and Kathy prepare to leave with Dommanis for the main Feldenham retirement home building.
Olivia Hamilton (Ellie) continues to ask Jenny Hansford (Joanne) questions about what happened out there and about dinosaurs, but Trisha, her grandmother, calms the girl down and tells her that she needs to take her back to her room after all the "excitement". After they leave, Jenny comments to Trainor that that girl may be a problem later on; she's too inquisitive, and reminds her of herself. Trainor says he needs to get on the blower to Captain Taylor, and then go back and help Harrison Williams. Jenny tells Trainor that he's not leaving her behind.
Meanwhile, Harrison Williams (David) goes in pursuit of the ostrich-like creature that came after him and Jenny, grabbing up a 2 x 4 birch board as he goes. He follows the creature, and finds the beast - and another one, as well! Stealthily avoiding their attentions, Harrison swings back and heads back to tell Trainor and Jenny what he's found.
Alexander hears from Bill Trainor on the walkie-talkie, who brings his superior up-to-date on what's happened. Alexander is disturbed to hear that the ostrich-like creatures have penetrated that close to the main building of the retirement home, as that could put some of Feldenham's old-timers in danger. He calls Dommanis and finds out from her that HQ told him that the extra SAS men should arrive within a few hours. Alexander decides to not wait any longer, and says that he is returning to where he left David and Amanda with Christine. Hopefully, they'll have finished their work on the large ceratopsid.
Jessica and Kathy return to the main Feldenham building, and find that because of the stories that Olivia has spread there, the retirees and staff are in something of a panic. She has a quick chat with Olivia and her grandmother, Trisha, and "clarifies" the situation - it's a flock of escaped ostriches from the London Zoo that were being transported to Oxford. She meets Corporal Johnson of the SAS, who has just arrived with his reinforcements, and with their help is able to assemble everyone together. She tells Johnson what she has in mind. She does some spin doctoring, and convinces the civilians that the problem is just some escaped ostriches, and with Corporal Johnson's help is able to sell the civilians on this tale.
Jenny and Trainor meet Harrison as he's returning to the main building, and he tells them what has occurred. The three of them go back to the building together, and meet Corporal Johnson. They all swap information about what's going on, and Harrison tells them that he's got a plan, but they need to get Amanda and Alexander on board. Johnson learns of Alexander's whereabouts, and tries to get in touch with him via the walkie-talkie.
Alexander returns to David, Amanda, and Christine as they are finishing the medical work on the Torosaurus, which seems in much better spirits. Amanda is able to gently coax the creature back through the Anomaly. He receives the call from Corporal Johnson, and the characters return to the main Feldenham building. The others greet them, and Amanda, David, and Christine agree that Jessica's story about what's going on at the retirement home was truly inspired. Harrison explains to Amanda what his plan is, and she says that she thinks it will work. Alexander notes that it will take all the SAS soldiers to implement it, as well as the player characters. Kathy and Christine insist on doing their parts as well.
The SAS soldiers go out in teams of three, each unit assigned to sweep a specific area and get the ostrich-like creatures to move towards the location of the Anomaly. The player characters split up, one to each team, with Jenny coordinating efforts from the main Feldenham "communications room". Olivia insists on staying with Jenny for part of the efforts, as she wants to "see how the professionals do this".
Several of the player characters have close calls. Amanda and Kathy use some raw meat to lure several of the creatures towards the Anomaly. They have several interesting bits of banter during the course of the... chase... and reach an understanding about things. However, they underestimate the creatures' hunger, and are almost overrun. It is fortunate that the soldiers are present, though one of the creatures is killed by Dommanis. Amanda insists that it be place under Home Office authority, so that she can get a crack at the dissection later on. Alexander and David insist that the creature be returned through the Anomaly, despite it's being dead, and they win that one.
Elsewhere, Jessica finds that she is really not fit for field work when dealing with prehistoric creatures, but her butt is saved by Alexander and his service revolver, MollyQ. They have a playful discussion about *that*. David and Christine bond even closer as they lure the ostrich-like creatures to the Anomaly, although they end up with the orneriest ones of the lot, though the presence of the soldiers simplifies matters. David vows that he is going to learn something about handling the animals in future, but Christine wonders if that will work on dinosaurs. Harrison goes after their share of the creatures with Donnelly and Johnson, and make short work of matters, though Harrison is wounded somewhat nastily by one of the creature's beak attacks.
A couple of days later, the characters reconvene at the Home Office in London. Archibald Lowrie tells the characters that he and James Lester are extremely pleased about the job they did at Feldenham, although there are a couple of loose ends. One of these is Olivia Hamilton, "a precocious young girl to be sure", but Jenny says that they shouldn't underestimate the girl, as that one could be trouble.
Amanda complains about the fact that they didn't allow her to do an autopsy on the ostrich creature (in the two days they've been back, she's since learned they're called Gallimimus). They might be able to learn something about the creatures and perhaps the Anomalies in this manner, but Archibald Lowrie says that it's out of the question; they wouldn't be able to hide it. Jessica adds that if too many people know about it, no spin doctoring in the world would be able to keep it secret. Amanda points out that sooner or later something so big that it can't be returned through the Anomaly will come through, and if they're forced to kill it, they'll have to let her get a scalpel on it.
Jenny surprises the others when she calmly admits that she told her grandmum, Katherine, the truth about what happened at the Retirement Home. The others are somewhat horrified at this, though Archibald Lowrie doesn't seem all that surprised. Jenny says that she needed to tell her, as the death of one of her friends, Amelia Farrish, was just too much for her not to talk to her about. Archibald forgives her for the transgression, but says that they have to watch things like this in the future.
Once the meeting finishes and Archibald dismisses them, the player characters decide to go out for dinner at a restaurant that each of them likes. Harrison begs off the meal, as he's got a date that night with Tammy Dobson, the woman he met at the zoo three days or so ago. And David and Christine go off together, as they tell the others they have a lot to discuss, none of it related to dinosaurs at all.
This game session wrapped up the fourth scenario of the Primeval RPG for the Friday night group. The scenario went as well, if not better, than I had expected, and each of the player characters had something to do during the course of the adventure. The adventure also introduced some personal sub-plots, as well as giving the players a good taste of the game system mechanics overall. All of the players said to me that they had a pretty good time with this advventure, and had fun playing the game. David and Angela commented once more about the simplicity of the game mechanics, and how they actually give a good feel for the Primevalverse and just let the GM and players get on with things.
A lovely wrap-up to the scenario, and one that I'm quite pleased with.