Fringeworthy: Year Zero

The Steppe got larger. From the Journal of 1Lt R.S. Helmsford.
Mongolia,

The Team was met at the outskirts of Jara by a military escort of the Khans Army. Led inside the walls of Jara the Moskovi and the Trike were parked near the Khans Army stable. The only location the vehicles could be parked. Long discussion with the 5th Minister of the Interior (there are many) about our origins. The party kept repeating their all traders and explorers. All played stupid to their origins and regions travelled through. The amuse a savage kit was presented as a demonstration of wares. A little verbal tap dance was done to identify the purpose of the radio beacon. Seems the party was followed and the emplaced beacon for Jara was discovered. The Team was told they would be “Guests” and have a military escort every where. The government building were off limits but, trade was not restricted. Guests until allowed to leave the confines of the guilded cage.

Fire arms of the Khan’s Army is black powder, the priming system, a fulminate type (identified by smell) is injected into the priming well. A pointed hammer drops into the priming well, the force and confined space are necessary to detonate the mercury fulminate waxy like primer. The primer is a dirty compound that must be cleaned with a brush every four shots. Seems to have been designed by someone familiar with the crossbow release system.

There seems to be a cultural stigmata against Christianity. Something makes them uncomfortable, it is undetermined if this is a dislike, or pity. As the Mongolian Empire is receptive to all who have allegiance to the Khan it is just the unusualness of a Christian in this part of the Known World.

The Reverend has been put in charge of the “Amuse a Savage kit” as he is the most persuasive. The intent is to trade the contents broadly , gather samples from as many merchants as possible to procure samples of textiles, spices, medicines, brewing, metallurgy, etc. This along with a coffee table book sized lexicon of the Khans Laws (24×36) is part of our intelligence and considered a sort of coup. The Reverend has been extravagantly successful and the goods retained will be straining our capacity to carry them.

Papa Zulu has made a successful find of another Fringeworthy. A Soldier with Fringeworthiness was discovered within the market at a food stall in the Market. A Soldier in the Khan’s Army. The Reverend has negotiated with the 5th Minister of the Interior for the release of Tava from Service. The negotiations stalled with the 5th Minister as we cannot yet be truthful of our origins.

We are introduced to the Lord Mayor Javach of the town of Jara. Ok, summoned really to an affair much like a Royal Court. I feign ignorace of the proper abeyance to the Lord Mayor. Best to appear an ignorant foreigner that stumbles upon etiquette and convention in Court. The Team has chosen to reveal to Javach the Crystal Key and demonstrate that Tava is the only Fringeworthy Mongolian present. Amazingly Papa Zulu has discovered another Fringeworthy within 1000 feet of the audience chamber utilizing the crystal to locate Fringeworthy . This stunning revelation changes things slightly.

The Lord Mayor demands his palanquin and the Team plus the Lord Mayors entourage then search for the second Fringeworthy. This person is found in the home of a middle class Merchant . The 16 year old daughter of the Merchant, she is named Botai. The results of this has greatly impressed the Lord Mayor.

While the Lord Mayor seems inclined to believe we are Traders and there is something special about the Team after testing the crystal key himself upon persons in his court. The Team has made clear that Tava and Botai would be trained to be part of this trading empire and bring an understanding of the Teams origin to the Peoples of Mongolia. Riches would flow like a river.

The Team has one special problem. The Laws of the Khan. Only the Khan chooses his representation. The Team, The Lord Mayor, and the two Mongolians (Tava and Botai) must travel to the Khan. More than 700 miles to Karakorum and the Mongolian Court. A one way trip for the Moskovi unless vegetables oils, or more diesel is brought through the Portal.

The Team has decided it would be best if one person could return to IDET Prime with the Materials we have gathered, the Law Book, the DVD Rooms, and the items the Team anticipates we will need. The Team believes Senor Antonio Sara’Juevo and his steam trike will be the best choice for this journey.

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Take the next Steppe (from the Journals of 1lt R.S. Helmsford)

Take the next Steppe (from the Journals of 1lt R.S. Helmsford)
Good to be out again! I don’t wish those endless rounds of questions and appearances on anyone. The wonders of IDET Earth amaze of course, how could they not? I can see trouble on horizon if I stay to long with such immodesty and hedonism about. Better to be out exploring the system than to become a side show carnival Lothario.

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I have re-equipped myself to some degree with items of this Earth. Certainly I must remark on this excellent handgun the “Desert Eagle” firing the self-contained cartridge the “.50 Action Express”. The express coming to mean I understand as a stiff load of powder with considerable recoil. I have cast aside the nine millimeter for any carry except for social occasions after the dismal performance against the Velociraptors of the IDET Earth Alt Portal 11. For now I will continue to carry this XM8 as a rifle, there is strong logistical reasons for the Team to carry similar primary weapons, Miss Wickford’s unusual if utilitarian choice notwithstanding. Indeed I myself will still bring along my shotgun just adding to the pot now and again. Wild game invigorates the soul in both harvesting and consumption, I think personally.
I have done something to remedy a deficiency on my part, indeed it was a delightful as expected. Father would be disapproving at first to find I was driving myself, this would appear unseemly. Can’t very well hire a driver though, the peculiar rules of the Portals prevents it. Time spent with the trainers at Alice Springs and I can operate a fair few types of automobiles and larger cargo Lorries. A necessity for operations with our Allies and should I be able to procure some for my own home world, my Father’s lands, County Greystone, and Her Majesty’s Empire.

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Enough with such trivialities! Where did we go! What did we see! Well Dear Friend let me tell you. The Mission was arranged by IDET to which it was suggested by Captain Carstairs I accompany. Both Captain Carstairs and Ms. Wickford will be engaged in procuring lodging and facilities for Her Majesty’s Trans Aetheral Exploration Squad. I have given some input as asked, however I would rather face the Mahdi Army with a sword than such drudgery as that.
IDET Team Two and myself attended a briefing as much as possible when so little is known. Then a presentation for the Journalists in attendance, and toast with General Borodin’s latest decant. Freedom! Blissful removing of oneself from the fettering tentacles commands and staffs, and onto the Fringepaths to see what is to be seen. I admit to a certain reluctance at stopping at just the next platform. What is further and even more wondrous ten or fifty platforms further?
Arriving ahead of us on the negative one alternate platform was Senor Antonio Sara’juevo. Senior Sara’juevo began assessing which portals were open and which portals were locked to us by the simple and most clever expedient of tossing a penny. Such cleverness and simplicity! If the penny passed through the Portal is open. Senor Sara’juevo was able to determine that the portal in the 2 o’clock position was open and marked accordingly with orange paint. The other 7 portals are closed to us at this time. This is not the only check we completed upon the -1 Alternate Platform before investigating the 2 o’clock portal. Mr. Egorov had opportunity to demonstrate his skill in acrobatic feats. A rope was tied about his waist and Mr. Egorov was able to turn himself come down upon the bottom of the platform which though four feet distant has a the same gravity though 180 degrees opposite. That up is our down and vice versa. Not one to let the others assume all the risk I volunteered to go through the Portal first and report back any hazards such as I might find.

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I prepared for hostilities with sword and pistol and such necessities for a short stay of two to three days, then donned might equipment, goggles, and gloves. A short length of stout rope encircled my waist to be immediately tossed back through the Portal as I cleared it. This would take advantage of the pulling effect generated by the Portal should there be nothing to step onto and return me to the Platform should I be rendered dead or unconscious. Stepping through the Portal is terrifying and exciting what is to greet you on the other side? In this case, I could only chuckle after a sigh of relief. No precipice, not a hostile savage, or dinosaur to threaten ones existence. Grassland, a Steppe actually and presumably an analog to the Czar’s domain in the East, home to horsemen there and here by the evidence, but of what derivation will we find? Cool enough for a jacket and I shall have to remember to bring a thermometer next time though the middle fifties are not unpleasant really. My surprise is total in that there is no Ring! Indeed I have stepped through a shimmer rainbow effect, not a happenstance I was prepared for in any case! Members of IDET Team Two have decided to call this a “Warp” based upon terminology from some sources of popular fiction, I rejoice that it is a simple, short term personally. I returned without suffering in the slightest and the Team has decided to press through venturing onto this Steppe with Senor Sara’Juevos steam trike and the Moskovi girded for confrontation with three modern machineguns this time. To aid in locating the Portal for our return a radio beacon was emplaced that charges itself daily with the rays of the sun itself (genius!).

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In no time at all we came upon a small collection of Yurts. The cloth and hide circular dwellings of the Mongolian people’s further confirming my guess as to our location within the vast steppes of central Asia, how far east I cannot yet reckon but soon we shall use astrolabe and compass upon the sun and the position of the stars at night to more accurately fix our location. We waited a discrete distance for the approach of curious residents of these yurts so as to appear less threatening. Indeed I even boiled us a spot of tea, better to greet with a cup than sword I say. We were observed with a hand telescope prior to the approach of riders so technology may be further advanced than what was a first guessed. After some exchanged it was determined we were friendly enough and invited back to the village, with a curious use of red and yellow handkerchiefs much like semaphore flags. Shrawnai, the son of the Village Headman Kedai escorted us in and introductions were made. Our equipment and especially the Moskovi makes them most curious to we can determine the horseless carriage has not yet been introduced to the Horse Nomads as yet. Curiosity and not yet covetousness yet, but that can change. I long to ride one of their ponies upon the Steppe; soon will come perhaps time for such an experience.

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A night was spent with the Nomads of Kedai’s extended family and we presented gifts from the pack to secure in their minds our good intent. The next morning all was packed up for the journey to the nearest settlement called Jara. Shrawnai confessed the people of Jara know we are coming as one of his brothers has rode ahead to warn them. I shall do my best to surreptitiously emplace a radio beacon such as one near the warp should another Team be dispatched to locate us. There we were for all the world to see, a most outlandish caravan comprised of Mongolian horsemen, the steam trike driven by Senor Sara’juevo, myself driving the Moskovi, and fifty head of sheep for the market in Jara. Our observations of the citizenry of Jara astounds us as the town guard appears to have been armed with black powder arms possibly muskets versus the more primitive arquebus. I am again forced to revise my estimate as to the sophistication of their technology. We await a delegation from the village of Jara.

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The rescue of IDET Team 3 from the Journal of 1st Lt R.S. Helmsford

Earth Prime Portal 11. Jungle World.

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A determination by the group was made to return to IDET Earth for additional firepower. Not the introduction that we had desired however, our determination to help the IDET colleagues shows our intent. Ms. Wickford blessedly put the simian beast under with something from her collection of chemicals. Hatsumi Base was friendly but, cautious and guarded. The assemblage fear greatly the possibility of infectious disease. Even the fresh fruit and vegetables from the Greystone Estate were met with suspicion. What has happened on this world?

I have nothing to remark on the place as yet. Their fears of disease and the necessity of a rapid turnaround prevented our even embarking from the “Decon Area”. More time with Doctors than I care to spend. Though if I need them this is the place to be, the IDET Doctors are sober and smell of soap, vice the surgeons I have know with the 21st. However the advancements these people have made! So laissez faire upon them too, Incredible!

What they said about Antarctica was true! All those weeks spent in the Congolese Protectorate have left me inadequately prepared for such cold. One can feel the cold emanating from the ice as one feels the rays of the song. The cold tries to drive the heat from you. I simply had to keep myself occupied. I have learned this intriguing modern Russian weapon, the RPG. This if the stories are true makes a man the equal of a field piece! It is a rocket such as those be Mr. Congreve, but the clever contrivance is the “Launcher”!

We have met General Borodin. The IDET commander for Hatsumi base. The “Bear” is a loud, back slapping, presumably fatherly type. That such a man has risen to General is to be commended, though the Czar perished here in a revolution. I don’t think Nicholas the Second will be pleased to know about this. The Queen herself is nearly the Grandmother for all of the Monarchies on the Continent, with such fore knowledge these revolutions will die stillborn.

More poured forth. An armored car! Such has been done on our world but, the scale of those makes it impossible to transit a portal. Let alone the quantity of Men to crew one! Here is one that can be operated by one man! I shall purchase one outright if I can! I owe that much to the brave lads of the 21st. Equipped with a machinegun on a mount upon the roof such as those designed by Hiram Maxim, combined with formidable speed and agility upon unprepared ground, an impressive engine of War. Even more, I am assured, this is outmoded and to light for fighting here on earth, unsuitable any longer even for the reconnaissance role of the Cavalry. Oh but only I could bring the lot back!

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Rested and refitted we returned through the portal to the jungle world. Almost pleasant after the cold of the Antarctic portal station. The dinosaurs the IDET members call velociraptors relentlessly threw themselves upon our armored car. I am astounded the IDET 3 survived their retreat to the cave. I saw one velociraptor shake off three bullets from this XM8 rifle as if I had only cast pebbles at it. All claws, teeth, and violence with a killers mind; the velociraptors soon figured out the food they sought was inside the war machine. Indeed they showed considerable prowess in working as a pack, alternating their attacks left and right. The hero of the day however is the Russian fighter recruited by IDET. If can say if I had not witnessed both actions myself I could not believe it. The two velociraptors that have been returned to IDET earth for study were both subdued by Mr. Egorov; first in a grip that broke one beasts neck and the other with such a mighty blow the beast dropped unconscious. Astounding. Even with rifles and sword no one else seemed capable of even wounding another!

With that we transited the portal again and returned to Antarctica with the members of IDET Team 3 for they were in dire need of medicines and rest.

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First Mars, then that other Earth. from the Journal of C. E. Wickford

Her Majesty’s TranAethereal Exploration Service Squad two has been dissolved. Good luck to Captain Dupree. The good Lieutenant Helmsford and myself have been given the assignment to work with the IDET Teams from their base of operations on their odd other Earth (Aerth?), to work in cooperation and as a liaison with Her Majesty’s government. I have collected in separate travel valises a portable laboratory and specimen samples containers. I fully intend that these shall accompany us on any visit to any world. Scientific knowledge should be a most primary concern. What can be gained by just looking? Lt. Helmsford is a seasoned campaigner and this will be great use, the polo clubs I am unsure of…

Mars. The God of War, and the fourth planet of our system of planets, will be the first stop on our journey to the other Earth. Travel to other Primaries must accomplish by travelling to the Alternate platform. Alternates are connected to Alternates; there appears no other connection at this time. Past the Alternate and travelling still upon the same Node (Prime, Alternate, System, …… one more) brings one to the system platform. This platform appears all the same as the Prime, and like the alternate, there is only one portal per world. Primes have appeared to have eight portals however. We have been unable to determine if this is fully correct. Our Earth has allowed three destinations and all upon our Earth (the interior of Australia, the coast line of the Indian mainland, and our beloved Congolese protectorate).

Travel is thrilling! Though I confess upon the paths even the oddity of the stars becomes unexciting within an hour. Not a curve, a bump, or an incline prevents a body from brewing tea. I do dearly miss the servants at home, still, I can boil water and measure amounts, and this is what counts. In two hours we have departed the Congo and stand upon Mars! Instead of the dim red star seen from the Congo, I shall be looking back for the faint blue star of Earth!

The Men of course set about with guns, to acquire a sample of Martian fauna. A simple butterfly net and some chloroform in a sponge was all that is necessary to procure a specimen of one of the small trilaterals. Currently this is in a specimen jar, however I have sufficient ethyls to preserve the specimen for dissection later should our return be delayed by more than two days. Of course being Men with guns they discharged them with great noise. The firearms and the wailing of the large (carnivorous) trilateral brought varied of carnivorous trilaterals that fly, bounce, or roll as forms of locomotion. The group agreed that departing the area would be best and my experiments on local fauna for their properties have been curtailed. Samples have been pressed in glass sheets, and the results from the Acid and Alkali tests affixed to them. Mr. Odell’s wonderful device, the “digital” camera, has amassed a great deal of images of the Martian flora in its natural state, and as it was tested.

My laboratory was repacked, the samples stowed, and everyone returned to the “Elizabeth”. Travelling back to our own alternate, then travelling to the other Earth alternate again consumed two hours. This seemed to overjoy the IDET members, as there was no need to re-water the “Elizabeth”.

Arriving at the other Earth’s Alternate platform was discovered a “Breadcrumb” a name taken from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. The breadcrumb in this case actually a muslin bag of common sand dyed a garish color to indicate a portal through which an IDET team has traversed. Indeed, there is affixed a note indicating this is Team three led by Colonel Yeager. The breadcrumb and the note are beside the 11 o’clock portal for the other Earth alternate platform. The note indicates that Team three is a full week overdue.

Lt. Helmsford, Mr. Egorov, Mr. Zolis, and myself prepared for potential hostilities, then stepped through the portal. The remaining persons in our party remained on the platform to return to IDET Earth should we also not return in the agreed upon time period.

A humid, heated jungle met us on the other side. The tropical weight garments I had procured for the stay in the Congo Protectorate were a blessing in what is oppressively hot even in the night. For indeed it was night on this jungle world that greeted us, it was blacker than a Welsh coalmine too. The encampment built by IDET Team Three was a sight of devastation. The tents had been rent asunder as if by beasts with blood staining one. Curiously the footprints about were for a large reptilian of a type called velociraptors by the IDET members. Interspersed were mammalian paw prints, and what appeared to be footprints of something akin to mankind. Most curious. Mr. Egorov contends that IDET Team Three used their weapons and fought themselves clear of the attack though at least one was injured.

After sometime in fruitless search for IDET Team Three, though the Tehrmelern crystal did indicate a Fringeworthy within 1000’, the handheld wireless sets had built up enough charge to attempt contacting the missing Team Three. A flare was sent aloft signaling our presence. This precipitated contact with Col. Yeager of the missing Team via the wireless radio sets. Team Three is approximately 10 miles from the portal with one injured (the China man).

The Team decided then to return during the Jungle Worlds day with more weapons and the capability to transport Team Threes injured.

A curious development is that the unknown Fringeworthy was again detected by Mr. Zolis when our party returned to the Portal; this time hiding on the other side of the portal and out of sight. Mr. Egorov acted with stealth and gained an advantage over the creature. For creature it is, a small, hairy biped is all we saw when Mr. Egorov illuminated it with an electric torch. The creature then fled through the portal confirming its fringeworthiness. I can only assume the chaos on the platform as this came through. Called Australopithecus by IDET Team Two I am quite curious about it.

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Funny things happen of the way to IDET Earth, from the note books of C.W. Tynedale

The Team is traveling to the Victorian Prime System platform and the 4 O’ clock portal, the planet Mars. Completely dissimilar to that of the IDET Earth Prime Mars.

This is Mars. A Mars with a breathable atmosphere with a gravity one third normal. Misty begins amusing himself with back flips as everyone else claps appreciatively.

A consensus is made for some sort scientific survey. Ms. Wickford with a background in chemistry begins taking samples of soils, plant life, and other items in the vicinity. Testing acidity and alkaline. Enlisting the aid of Mr. Odell for photographic documentation.

Leftenant Helmsford brought out a sextant, aided by note books, and the wonderful electronic book the “Eye Pad” operated by Papa Zulu were able to record our location up on the surface of Mars.

81.48 degrees 41 minutes south
64.63° west
281 miles from the South Pole

This will aid greatly in all further exploration of this world for the Crown.

Misty Egorov was able to track one of the trilateral odd creatures seen previously by Count Greystones. An attempt was made by Misty to build a trap one of the smaller ones. While searching the area Misty felt “watched” and remarked so to Leftenant Helmsford. This happened just in time for the pair to notice a much larger version of these creatures in a salmon colored skin type. bounding end for end toward them. Leftenant Helmsford had prepared for the jaunt with a shotgun as if it would be a pleasant upland bird hunt. Lt. Helmsford was able to get off both barrels into this creature as it attacked . Lt. Helmsford was able to draw his saber and get in a good strike. Misty was able to get of a the killing shot with his side arm. The dying creature let forth with a three voiced scream.

This appeared to draw another species. This time a flyer, three wings a side, that appeared to fly by helicopter type sweeps of its wings. 2-2 meters in length. This began to draw opportunists of all types. Small rat sized creatures waiting for their share. The flyers are interrupted by a pack hunter type of trilateral that chased away the flyers.

The party returned to camp to discover Ms. Wickford had used chloroform to capture one of the small trilaterals. Ms. Wickford was unable to convince the party of a journey through the Venusian portal for samples.

After consultation it was determined that going directly Earth Prime would be best.

Upon return to the IDET Earth Prime Alternate Platform there was found a bread crumb (a brightly colored sand bag with a written message attached) marking the 11 O’clock position. This was IDET Team 3 lead by Colonel Yeager. The note was one week old. “Ferns and weird looking plants, Some strange piles of nuts and berries at the ring station. Plan was to reconnoiter for a few hours.”

Misty Egorov, Papa Zulu, Lt. Helmsford, and Ms. Wickford advance through the gate to investigate. Passing through the portal it was found to be night time, and a hot, humid jungle.

The encampment for Team 3 was found destroyed as though attacked. Tents were down and torn . Blood was found on the tents and the bicycles were destroyed. Misty was able track a odd five toed foot print that seemed primate, a three toed reptilian, in addition to the boots of Team 3. Spent casings were found indicating this was a fighting retreat, and one person was injured limping.

Papa Zulu was a using the Key and detected one fringeworthy within 1000 feet. A flare was launched and wireless communications were made with Col. Yeager of IDET Team 3. Col Yeager was determined to be due west and 10 miles distant of the fringeportal. The chinese member was determined to be injured. Team Three has been attacked by velociraptors. There is a bipedal primate possible an austrolopithecus analog on this world. Col. Yeager reports there is an aggressive night hunting mammal. The sounds of the jungles include sounds similar to the mini dinosaurs on Victoria Prime.

Upon return to the portal a sweep of the area for fringeworthy was made by Papa Zulu. The unknown fringeworthy contact was determined to be hidden behind the portal. Misty was able to creep up on the creature shining the electric torch affixed to his rifle upon it.

The creature leapt in fright through the portal, much to the surprise of our Team waiting on the Platform.

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From the Note books of C.W. Tynedale.
The Temple in the Sand.

Step pyramid in Algeria.

Antechamber leading under has Hieroglyphics in an unknown language to TAESS and IDET2. Found hidden door that opens with crystal key.

Made rubbings of unknown Hieroglyphics featuring Tehrmelern. Crystal key socket open room with Pillars that look like Tehrmelern tree homes. In between each Pillar is two shelves with what appears to be Egyptian funerary urns. Urns have heads of Lions to Ibis. All appears to be Earth animals. Each contains unknown brown substance.

Room resealed with crystal key. Another passage leads further under the step pyramid.

Room with Statues of Male and Female Tehrmelern. These match the statues encountered in the Antechamber. The statues appear to hold Fire, Water, a Brick, plant, a pyramid of beans, a STNG phaser II, and a atom with a lumpy center of neutrons with electrons spinning around the center. Beneath the Statues is a sarcophagus. The Team has broken open a sarcophagus beneath the Statue holding what appears to be beans. Inside the cast stone sarcophagus is what appears to be a Titanium box.

Antonio discovers a new crystal power. Crystal Flashlight. The surfaces of the Sarcophagi revealed under intense light images of tehrmelern writing and near photo quality image of the mummified occupant. This reveals writing and an image of a Tehrmelern. The Image has a Crystal image in the forehead of the Tehrmelern image artifact. Touching the IDET2 gray crystal key to the triangular symbol on the images head caused the box to seemingly melt away.

Touching the crystal to the crystal image causes the lid to melt back like wax leaving a widened rim with a crystal symbol at the head. This revealed a Tehrmelern female mummified. At the feet located between the legs were eight stones. Each with an engraved symbol. Seems to indicate a base eight number systems.

Success here the Team repeated this procedure on the sarcophagus of the Tehrmelern with the ST:TNG phaser II or dust buster. The Team has been puzzling over what might be a medical scanner or scanner of most any material.

Air Pirates arrived as the Team argued about whether or not to remove the casket to County Greystone.

A secret passage was found with the scanning device (Phaser?) this led to a Temple with a Ninth Tehrmelern statue. This in a None Shall Pass stance. Exterior passages led to various chambers

The Team broke into the Sarcophagi of the ninth Tehrmelern revealing the Rod with a ball at the top and a withered plant. There was a white crystal key found on a crown at the dead Tehrmelern brow. This is in the possession of Carstairs. After several tries Carstairs was able to activate the Rod (though shalt not pass stance) this caused plant life to go into an explosive growth. The plant in the mummies hads took root and plant life for miles around to go from non existant to jungle in minutes.

This startled the attackers and natives or raiders fled in their air ships. Leaving behind Lord Fauntleroy and the french air ship with crew. The Team was able to get the drop on Lord Fauntleroy and the french troops on the ground. The Team intimidated Lord Fauntleroy who capitulated and ordered the french crew to land the french airship. The french air crew was given food , water , and wine. The crew of the Santa Maria then piloted the french airship (briefly renamed Victoria Regina, and renamed in flight Santa Maria 2.) to the Congo. The Rod device was demonstrated for Count Greystone, and the white crystal key were turned over for TAESS to use and find more fringeworthy.

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Session 1: Mission Briefing and Exploration
Introductions and exploration

We first introduced the players to each other. They are:

  • Bryan Carter: Reverend Tom Aimsley, IDET 2 team leader
  • Todd Zircher: Parker Edward “Papa Zulu” Zolis
  • Bert Isa: Mstislav “Misty” Egorov
  • Moses: Christoffer O’Dell
  • Trevor Hudgins: Antonio “The Golden Sabre” Sara’Juevo

We then discussed their training, especially on the fact they were trained for infiltration, with their graduation exercise in Cairo, Egypt. They were stripped of all their equipment except for their UNIDA IDs, and dumped in Cairo. They were to gather information, blend in with the population, and to work together as a team.

Additionally, the Rev and Papa Zulu both moved their families to Alice Springs, along with other families that have moved to Alice Springs. Such as General Borodin’s wife, and IDET 1’s new team member, Sergei Koslov.

The team’s mission is verifying the information that has been recovered from the notebooks of Captain Oates. They are to verify that the portals that are listed as locked are in fact locked. If they are not locked, they are to investigate what is on the other side of the portal. They are not to reveal who or what they are to the inhabitants of the world, but gather any information that they can covertly. The team will be issued the second crystal key, (found on the Junkyard pokiwol by IDET 1.) and they will use to see if they can unlock the portal with it. This is a peaceful exploration, and they are not to engage the natives in combat if possible.

After a briefing with General Borodin, and soon to be traditional shot of his home brewed vodka, they went to a news briefing and answered questions from the reporters assembled. Then the team, Borodin, and four reporters, walked under the covered walkway to the shaft that was sunk down into the ice. It’s a mine lift, big enough to hold large vehicles, guided down by guidewires to the ice dome. The building that contains the portal has been sealed with wall sections, and the interior is now heated to about 50°F/11°C. Antonio’s steam trike was hooked up to a motorcycle trailer and loaded up with the heavier of the gear, including the two fuel cells for recharging equipment.

Under the watchful eye of the press, and the UNIDA webcam, they mounted their bicycles, Antonio fired up his trike and entered the portal and appeared on the Prime platform. From the Prime platform, they rode the 47 miles/75.5 km to the Alternate platform. They then checked the first portal, the 2 o’clock portal, and found that it was open.

Misty entered first into a large cave, bigger than his cylume’s ability to illuminate. He also found a strange vehicle. The vehicle is of unknown manufacture, though there are various maker marks on the vehicle, “Bright Bros Carriage Makers, Manchester, England”, “Feyman Boilerworks”, and “Lewis Steam Engines”. A logbook is found; it belongs to one “Viscount Terrence Greystone, Cmdr TÆES.” It contains information about various worlds, and details Alt 0,8. It’s obvious that the owner of the logbook has visited at least one world on Earth Prime’s Alternate Platform.

They check to see what language they are speaking, it’s English with an accent that’s a cross between a southern accent and a British accent.

A survey of the cavern shows that it is 100 meters in width, and at least 20 meters tall. There are several empty rooms around the exterior of the cavern, the doorways are only 4’ tall, and at the north end of the cavern is a vertical shaft, that seems to be 100 meters tall. Further investigation yields a series of steps that lead upwards. The tread of each step is shorter than normal, as though the steps were meant for someone with shorter legs and smaller feet. It takes them an hour to climb to the top of the stars.

The stairs lead to small, natural appearing cave, with one end filled with rubble. The stairway entrance is disguised, so Misty tagged it with paint to indicate where it was. The shaft’s opening, is similarly disguised and promptly marked by Misty.

The rubble was cleared by someone, not sure how many, but Misty’s tracking skill allows him to follow the trail. The open in the cave leads to a mud and bat guano filled chamber. Tracking is incredibly easy here, and the team finds the cave opening is shielded by brambles and blackberry canes.

They crack open the laptop, fire up the astronomy software, aim the camera at the sky, and the astronomy program determines that the time is either 2AM or 3AM, and that they are approximately between 37° W and 40° W, and 79° N. This puts them in the same location as West Virginia, in the mountains.

Misty from the tracks outside, he determines that there are four people, three men in boots, and one female in either boots or some sort of shoe. He follows the tracks and finds that they lead to struggle. The evidence points to someone firing off a shotgun, in the form a brass shell with a cardboard tube, and that three of the folks, two men and the woman, were escorted off the land. The fourth person’s fate is unknown.

There is a nearby farm, with several outbuildings. The cave opening is in a rock outcropping in a large crop of corn. The sounds of owls and dogs can be heard in the night. The team follows the tracks into to the rows of corn, trying to be quiet, but the dogs either heard them or they smelled them, and they start to howl.

The team puts a move on, but Papa Zulu (“I don’t run!”) was tail end charley and soon the sound of men and horses is heard heading their way. Papa Zulu is surrounded, and Misty who got to the fence, turned around and headed back to protect Papa Zulu.

It took some quick thinking and kind words from the Rev to defuse the situation, and they are escorted off the property. A couple of the team note that the weapons, shotguns, rifles, and revolvers, were all ball and cap, so that the shotgun cartridge did not come from these people.

They try pumping the men escorting them and find out that Brits arrived yesterday and caused a ruckus when one of the Brits started berating the head overseer about owning slaves. “He was s damned abolitionist.” They also found out that they may be in the past, one man referred to an abolitionist event as occurring in ’65.

A ruckus occurred, and the owner of the farm, Chamberlain, got into a fight with the Brit. The man called himself a Viscount. He was taken away to Franklin, the county seat.

They were shown the road, and were able to estimate that Chamberlain’s holdings are fairly large, he has hundreds of acres under cultivation, mostly food crops.

The session ended with them walking down the road on a 12 mile/20km trip to Franklin still in the wee hours of the night.

Addendum: Log entries.

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