Saturday, April 1st, 2007
Dr. Jennifer Dorchester questions Denby about finding the missing tourist, Richard McIntyre, but she is more concerned about Gwen. Denby says that she can go after Gwen, but leave finding McIntyre to the SAS. Jennifer cajoles Tim (SteveR) and Jimmy (Doug) into searching for Gwen, and Alex Valentine surprises them all with knowledge of his "military training", and convinces Denby to let him take an English assault weapon. Denby consents, and arms Jennifer with a medium handgun. Denby gives the group walkie-talkies, and the two player characters along with Jennifer and Alex head out. Jennifer laughs and tells the other two that Alex never had any military training. Alex smiles, and says it's true, but Denby doesn't know that.
Using her sense of direction, Jennifer leads Alex, Jimmy, and Tim in the direction that Denby's men went. They come upon a dinofelis set of tracks, and Jennifer estimates that it weighs 140 kilos. After half an hour, Jennifer gets concerned as there is no sign of Denby's men. They stop. Tim uses the walkie-talkie, and reaches Kirby; she says that she's close, and he has her shine a torch. Jennifer sees the torchlight, and when they reach the soldiers, they are greeted somewhat coolly. The soldiers tell them the problem is that they're civilians! However, Johnson admits that he's never seen an Anomaly; he's only been on the job for two weeks.
Using the walkie-talkies, they communicate with Gwen. She tells them that she thinks she's being followed by something. Through the use of the same flashlight trick, they find Gwen, and Jennifer, Alex, Tim, and Jimmy are reunited with her. Jimmy says that they need to hurry, as he feels they're being stalked. They see some yellow eyes regarding them, from a height.
Suddenly, a large Dinofelis bursts out of the foliage and bites/rips off Derricks's left arm. Gwen slowly and carefully takes cover behind a nearby tree, and sees the kit close by. She hears a growl behind her. Tim seeks cover behind another tree, as does Jennifer, but Alex stays where he is, gun hand shaking. Jimmy scrambles back and hefts a tree branch. Two more of the cats leap out of the foliage and jump on Derricks, beginning to feed. Jennifer reacts angrily to the cats' actions, and with a shout of "Leave him alone!" opens fire on the cats with her pistol. While the cat she shoots is relatively unharmed, the noise of the gun startles the cats, and they flee into the forest, except for the one feeding on Derricks. While Gwen attempts to coax the kits in the direction of the Anomaly, Jimmy runs up to the feeding cat with the tree branch he has in hand, and solidly bashes the cat, almost breaking its spine. The dinofelis screams, and the other fleeing cats return to the scene and attack, except for the kit that is pursuing Gwen and her tantalising tuna.
During the course of the fight with the cats, Jimmy is injured, Tim and Jennifer are downed [Strength of 0, but both are still alive], and Johnson is severely hurt. The characters and SAS soldiers inflict enough damage on the cats to drive them off, the mother snatching up her kit as she goes.
Gwen returns to the group, and goes about tending to the various injuries. Since the dinofelis that Jimmy struck is not getting up, she heals them the best that she can, as she knows they have to move. Kirby calls Denby and gives him a sitrep, and asks for stretchers and tells him about the giant cats.
Once back at the safety of the bus, Gwen, Jimmy, Tim, Jennifer, and Alex discuss what to do. Denby wants to know what their plan is. They tell him that he needs to guard the injured dinofelis, and that he has to put guards on the Anomaly itself. "How many men do you think I have?" Denby grumbles, but in the end agrees to put 10 men at the Anomaly, and one guarding the cat. They need to move the live cat back to the Anomaly. The characters put in a request for a vet to sedate the animal. They're told that Dr. Emma Martindale, a Home office vet and physician, can be sent out the next morning.
The group are interrupted by Derek Hobson, who wants to know what's going on. Jimmy is evasive with his friend, and Alex starts to invoke the Official Secrets Act. Hobson becomes cooperative after Jimmy levels with him about his shady past during the intervening years since they last met. Gwen asks if he has any medical knowledge. Derek says he served several years in the Ambulance Service, and he manages to do some first aid on Jimmy's injuries. Hobson inquires if any of the tourists are still missing. He says that he thinks that he found Richard McIntyre, about 300 metres off to the west. The group decides to split up; Tim and Johnson will stay with the cat, while Hobson, Kirby, Jennifer, Alex, Gwen, and Jimmy will go to retrieve the man.
The group travels with Hobson, and enter a grove of trees, where they come upon a gruesome sight. They find McIntyre's body embedded in a large oak tree some 3.8 metres up. Scattered about the grove are large, big tracks as well as small, human prints. Gwen comments that no cat did this. She finds a fragment of a small, green cigarette that Jimmy confirms is a pot joint. Gwen tries to climb the tree to get to the body, but she falls to the ground on her pride.
[Cut To: Back in the forest. The pride of Dinofelis pile together in a bole and lick their wounds. They're missing a member of the pride, and can't return home...yet.]
The gaming session of Primeval RPG was adequate, other than a spate where Doug had a crisis again about his character and the entire game. I lost it for about 1 minute, but Tammy managed to help me get things back into perspective again, and also talked with Doug and spross about stuff. That's all I'm going to say here on the blog about the business with Doug, as it's an internal, gamer-only matter, and we'll leave it at that.
The game session itself was merely adequate, as I mentioned, with the player characters making some decent progress in the plot, although things got a bit outside that suspension of disbelief zone due to one of the players making a really bad decision that could have got the party of characters killed and almost did, if not for my having the beasties choosing a path that was very unrealistic for them. But this is what we GMs do at times, though it seemed highly artificial to me and it diminished the game session for me quite a bit. There was an iota of interesting character interaction, though it was sublimated a bit due to the plot stuff that was going on, but that's another matter that I won't get into here.
Suffice it to say, I came away from the game session feeling all right about it, but it was a bit of a let-down in a lot of ways, and wasn't a sterling way to end the year of gaming in 2012 with the Sunday gaming group.