Having devised a ritual to locate the radio frequencies being emitted from the rat-embedded devices, Witch led our heroes back to the Downtown area in search of vermin. Joining the group was K12, while Doctor τ stayed behind in his lab to do more research on the recovered rat samples.
The group caught on to one signal, which seemed to be located below ground at Emerald Books. Upon entering the bookstore, Witch gleefully ran off in search of occult tomes. K12 was too shy to ask anyone anything, but Hoenheim got out of Witch that the signal was coming from “three or four floors down”. He got into a conversation with Charles Lavalle who works at the store about rats, finding that Charles is not too fond of rodents. Charles led Hoenheim to the section of the store on animals, and handed him a text on rats. Learning that Hoenheim was one of the Protectors of Emerald City, he gave Hoenheim the text free of charge. Hoenheim also learned that Emerald Books does not have a basement, due to the extensive sewer network found below its floors.
Meanwhile, Witch located a dusty old tome titled “A History of Pagan Rituals”. This prompted a half hour discussion between Witch and Charles about the book and the occult, from which there was no prying Witch away. In the meanwhile K12 went and bought and consumed a very pleasant and scentful banana smoothie. Having satisfied her obsession, Witch rejoined Hoenheim and K12, and the group went off in search of a way into the sewers below.
Before entering the sewers, Witch received a phone call from “R”, who put off talking about Friday plans until later. “R” updated the group that he was planning to visit a contact of his at TAISAR, and that City Hall was considering formally asking TAISAR about the devices found in the rats. Witch also updated “R” about their discovery of a signal below Emerald Books. “R” would contact our heroes again once he had more information.
Carefully avoiding traffic, the trio entered the sewers by a nearby manhole. K12 had refused to take infrared goggles from the lab-coat clad “R”, but was able to pull off a light source using his control of fire. Using this, the group headed in the direction of the radio signal’s source.
Eventually the Protectors heard scrambling and sniffing around a nearby corner, which stopped as they approached. “WHO GOES THERE??” prompted the Rat Man, who revealed he detests the name and prefers to be called “Randy”. Rounding the corner, Hoenheim discovered Randy was perched upon the corpse of a very giant rat (large enough that Randy could clamber across its body). “Stay back!” Randy demanded. Hoenheim was very diplomatic and did not approach Randy, who continued with cries of “This is MY kill!”. Randy also seemed somewhat disgusted by K12’s banana scent, and claimed he could smell K12 and Witch from around the corner when Hoenheim revealed their presence.
The group decided to leave the giant rat’s body to Randy, but asked that he determine whether there was a transmitter inside the dead rat’s corpse. Randy reluctantly agreed, on the condition that it would mean our heroes went away and left him alone. As Randy cut through the flesh of the dead rat, the radio signal cut out. Randy claimed there was some kind of metal box inside the head of the rat, and asked if that was sufficient. Satisfied, our heroes bid Randy farewell and exited the sewers the way they came.
After exiting the sewers, the group decided Witch should fly around the city in search of more signals, while K12 and Hoenheim went off to a smoothie shop so K12 could get some more tasty banana flavor.
During this time, K12 received a call from the Mayor, and promptly handed the phone off to Hoenheim who answered the call. Monsieur Placard demanded the heroes come to City Hall immediately to discuss an urgent situation, and refused to talk about it on the phone. Asking why they should do it, Hoenheim got out of Placard that they would have his undying gratitude and continued stipends from City Hall. He and K12 went off towards City Hall.
While on their way, they received a call from Witch who was finishing off her radio search, not having found any other signals. They updated her on the situation and all met in front of City Hall. Frank was not outside.
After entering the Mayor’s office, Placard exasperatedly revealed that there was a giant gorilla that had climbed TAISAR and had taken “R” hostage! Hoenheim scolded Placard for not just telling them that on the phone, leading Placard to mumble something about phone security and “maybe we should get a secure line”. The trio ran out of City Hall to go to R’s rescue, when they realized they had no idea where TAISAR is. They called Placard, who gave them the very helpful information that it’s at TAISAR. They then called Alexis Goldberg who gave them the address and directions.
Hopping into a vehicle and driving at the dare devil speed of 10 km/h above the speed limit, the group made their way towards the TAISAR tower. From a fair distance away they could see a black, majestic, 15-foot-tall gorilla atop the tower with a trail of broken windows below it and a humanoid figure in one of its large hands. Stopping at the foot of the building, K12 and Witch flew up to the creature while Hoenheim raised himself up on a pillar of rock from the ground. The gorilla roared, demanding our heroes bow down before it and accept it as their master, but they refused to be taken over by him. “R” appeared to be under the gorilla’s spell, commenting to Witch about how soft the gorilla’s hand was.
After a series of combat rounds, with roaring and freezing and trapping and escaping, the gorilla leaped off the tower and ran away, tossing “R” into a nearby lake. Witch plummeted into the lake to recover “R” and made a valiant (but failed) attempt to swim. Hoenheim made a bridge of ice out to where “R” and Witch were submersed, while K12 produced currents in the water that rose them to the surface. Once back at the shore, K12 went off in pursuit of the gorilla leaving Hoenheim and Witch to check on “R”. They realized that “R” wasn’t breathing.
Hoenheim tried to evaporate the water in R’s lungs, nearly evaporating R’s blood instead. Taking his time, Hoenheim was eventually successful in removing the water from R’s lungs and airway.
Meanwhile, K12 found it very difficult to damage the gorilla, searing its fur only a few times in eight rounds of combat. The gorilla equally found it difficult to intimidate or subdue K12 with his iron will (and it helped that K12 stayed out of reach with his flight). The two eventually reached a residential area, where the gorilla brought some citizens to his side, who began throwing small rocks feebly in K12’s direction and yelling obscenities at him. K12 coated the ground with ice to slow the gorilla’s escape, leading many citizens to fall over. Aided by citizens’ tiny cries, the gorilla finally intimidated K12 badly enough and with the right sense of purpose to send him back to get Hoenheim and Witch as reinforcements.
What will happen now? Will K12 get Hoenheim and Witch in time to catch onto the gorilla’s trail? Will the gorilla get revenge on his banana-scented foe? Does “R” have anything to say about the situation? And as one player put it, “Where did this gorilla even come from”? Find out next time on Protectors of Emerald City!