Drifters

Steve's Log 44

I fucking love battle. Warfare infuses my soul and pushes me to new heights. The Tourney of Gloustonbury has been very eventful. The professor won the falconry competition capturing a thirty pound jackal one with his raptor. I came is second place I the joust losing only to Lancelot. The grand me lee is where we shined as a team. The Brotherhood won the battle and it was a glorious battle indeed. Early on Pete took on Lamorak in a one on one duel. Pete nearly had him but a sudden powerful blow from Lamorak KOed Pete. john saw Pete go down and was quickly at his side but Lamorak faded into the fray. It was then that Sir Garath came at me like a mad fool and I cleaved his skull in two. The bloodlust was upon me and having seen my friend go down, I was in a rage. Three more of the Orkney brothers came charging me looking to avenge their family honor. I met them with bloodlust in my eyes and broke Agravaine’jaw with a shield smash. As he fell, Mordred kept upon me but slipped in the bloody mud. I cleaved him while he lay on his back. Finally it was time to face Gallan and he stuck me deep with his blade but I followed through and took his head which landed feet away from Mordred. It was then that I saw the boy still lived so I dragged him through the fray until I found Jack and sent him to our lines as a prisoner.

I know not when Corey arrived but suddenly he was at my side along with the professor. I was shouting orders and grabbing me who tried to flee the field. I would shove them back at the enemy which seemed to come from all sides. Pete, inspired by the deeds of the Brotherhood, stood again and raced through a field of gun fire only to capture the enemy banner and drag it back to our ranks. All the while john stood tall carrying the banner of the Fisher King and weathered a constant storm. His command of the day was inspired and King Arthur could not gain advantage no matter how hard he tried.

In the end the reeves called the battle ended and though it was all done in sport, hundreds lay dead or dieing. The carnage was immense but the glory of it all was beyond my reckoning. We partied hard with the soldiers of both armies that night and our women treated us as conquering kings. Even wounded to near death, we enjoyed every moment of it.

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Professor’s Log: Tournament of Would Be Champions

“It’s only a flesh wound.” — The Black Knight, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Despite my better instincts, I’m starting to like it here. The levels of high technology and high debauchery are hard to beat, plus I’m learning a great deal about handling a sword, and now Betty’s here. We were supposed to meet up with Pete the other night at a club called the Abyss. It was 9 levels, each one a higher degree of depravity. We made it up as high as the 4th level before things got too intense. The 4th level was something called the Auction. It was exactly what it sounded like. People, both men and women, were being auctioned off as slaves. Wouldn’t you know that’s where we ran into Christine?

She was on the block, and some woman who was a dead ringer for Oprah Winfrey bought her. John managed to talk to her before Oprah took her home for whatever. Christine said that all the girls were here. We were afraid that the rest of them were going to end up on the block too, or worse, but it turned out that they were in other parts of the town. Betty was actually staying at the castle. Once we knew that Sam, Jasmin and Betty were safe, we could start worrying about how to get Christine.

In the meanwhile we did a little research on the dragon it looks like we’re going to fight. Dragons here are tough, but at least they’re not magical. They do, however, seem to have some sort of immunity to nanoweapons. They may generate some sort of bioelectric field that makes them malfunction. In any event, we’re going to need real steel to fight them, and for that, we’ll need money.

As a means of making some, and improving our reps, we headed for the local tournament. It drew people from all over the kingdom. It reminded me of Renfaire, but with live weapons. John signed us up for a bunch of events. The only one I think I’ve got a chance at is falconry, but we’ll see. The first day we were there, I got challenged by no less than Sir Gawain. Apparently I managed to insult his brother Sir Agrivane. He was both aggravating and vain, so he had it coming. I figured going in that Gawain was going to kick my ass, but I figured I try to last as long as possible and make a good show of it. I actually lasted a lot longer than anybody, including me, thought I would. Sir Gawain was impressed enough that he offered to teach me how to fight properly. I found out about that when I woke up. I’m definitely going to take him up on it. He seems like a pretty decent sort of guy.

John and Steve fought challenges too. John actually won his. That’s pretty impressive considering he was going up against, Sir Lamorak, one of the finest swordsmen around. Tonight we’re recovering from our wounds and partying with some of King Pellinore’s men. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we have more events to survive. Then we can worry about the dragon.

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Corey Logs

Well, while the guys have been finding out about this calypso dragon thing. I have been learning from Karr how fight with my batleth and practicing my TK into a forcefield. i told Karr about what i was trying to and he has help by swinging at me. It has help the fear of Karr knocking me out and taking my ass…has proven to be a great motivator. I have gotten some cuts but nothing really bad.

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Steve's Log 43

“I’m going to go down swinging… I’m sure as heck not going to go home and say I had a bad tournament.”
~Andre Agassi

Our night on the town was fun but overall a bit of a let down. Pete never showed which meant we never got the chance to make fun of him. The Abyss was quite intoxicating and I may someday return but honestly, it wasn’t what I hoped it would be. Depravity in this world is far more censored than my mind. Eventually we made our way to Glastonbury for the Beltain Tournament. The place is a mix of modern, futuristic, and the ancient. Set up as a tourney from the middle ages the place also had a Renaissance fair feel to it. People walking around with flat phones, television screens, and even cars. I was off kilter right from the start. This place is ruled by chivalry and yet it has a cyberpunk feel to it. I guess that since we are nobles in this land that it makes us the establishment. I do not like thinking of myself as THE MAN but in this place, we are THE MAN.

The tourney runs for seven days. Day one is the challenges. A series of duels between knights for whatever reason. Day two is the feast and great dance. Day three is Iron-man race. Day four is the Joust. Day five is the great hunt. Day six is dedicated to Falconry. Day seven is the Grand Melee. Each day also has dozens of minor events. We are signed up for the four major events which make up the core of the tourney, Those are the Duels, The Joust, Falconry, and the Grand Melee.

During the duels phase, The Professor was challenged by Sir Gawain. The fight was great as it lasted for what seemed an eternity. The Professor, ever one to flaunt tradition, used more of his kung fu than actual swordsmanship. He lost in the end but not before making friends with Gawain. John challenged Sir Lamorik and that fight was quick and furious. I felt left out and so I challenged Sir Balan. We were evenly matched but in the end my wounds were severe enough that I yielded. Balan was in bad shape too but he seemed too stubborn to quit.

I know not what the rest of this event will hold for us but partying with Pelanore’s men made us feel right at home. During the party I snuck off and investagated some of the empty tents. The things I saw have given me many new ideas for what is possible in this world.

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John's Log 40
Arthurian 3

Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.
Groucho Marx

We found the girls – and then promptly got into trouble because of it. Not like you might think; no, we’re in trouble because we ‘followed them here’. It doesn’t seem to matter at all that we had no way to know where they were going, nor does it seem to matter that Christine brought them here and then left them to their own devices while she went off to pull one of her jobs. Essentially, Jasmine, Betty and Sam were just cover for Christine’s activities but we’re the ones who’re getting the cold shoulder.

If it sounds like I’m bitter about it, I suppose I am – to an extent. Really, I’m just overwhelmed with a feeling of relief that Jasmine’s safe, ‘cause when we ran into Christine – who at the time was being sold as a slave in the Abyss – I was informed that Jasmine was busy on the ninth floor of that establishment. This is a place that I hesitate to go past the fourth floor in because of the amount of debauchery and depravity being advertised in the rules of the place! Needless to say, I was overcome with joy when I learned that Sam and Jasmine had just gone horseback riding outside the city. Christine was apparently having some ‘fun’ at my expense, and I hope to be able to pay her back for that little trick when I get the chance.

In other news, efforts to research Calypso and other dragons in general have been surprisingly fruitful. Dragons here are bad-ass! Not that I expected anything less, and it seems that the correct procedure to go about killing one includes liberal use of poison and a long pointy weapon – one that’s not made up of nanites since dragons are evidently immune to the things. It also seems that they were engineered in a lab at some point in this world’s past, so John may even be able to discover a flaw in their design that we can exploit – other than the one we already know about, namely the ‘weak point’ in their armor. We’ve also discovered that at least two people in this world possess spears capable of hurting dragons – Sir Sagramore and a northman called Raven. Raven’s got a reward on his head as an enemy to King Arthur so at some point I intend to track him down and get the spear. If that means I can collect on his head, so be it.

I’ll also have to talk to Sir Sagramore at some point, probably at the tournament we’re at right now. I’ll wait until I meet him in a social setting though – during the first day of the tournament didn’t seem like the right moment, what with him having a fight with Sir Galahad at the time. (I do believe that Galahad is a female, but until that comes to light publically I intend to keep my peace on the subject.)

The tournament has been a blast so far, despite Jasmine giving me grief over every single moment. As I said before, day one was all about one-on-one matches, and three of us got to participate. John had somehow insulted Sir Gawain’s brother or cousin (Agravayne to be precise, who was a real dick when we met him). Agravayne was ‘conveniently’ on duty the day of the challenges, so Sir Gawain took up the cause on his behalf. After the challenge was issued, I told John a few things I remembered about Gawain’s abilities so he set about getting a rainstorm arranged for the time of the duel. That’s how I wound up in a challenge; part of the price was challenging Sir Lamorak to a duel over an act that (may or may not have) occurred during the Battle of Badon Hill. I decided to issue that challenge to help John out in his fight. Steve’s duel took place with Sir Balan, because that knight had the ‘audacity’ to flirt with Sam.

Of the three of us, I alone was the winner of our duels. Truth be told though, John fared better by lasting longer than anyone could have imagined against Sir Gawain. Even though he lost, Sir Gawain was so impressed by John’s actions as to offer his services as mentor in the ways of the knight. John’s future training is in excellent hands. Steve lost to Sir Balan, so I’m interested to see how things will fare now with Sam – I mean, does Sir Balan now have the right to court our loveliest jouster? (Sam’s signed up to take part in the joust – like the rest of us, she wants to ride a dragon!) I won against Sir Lamorak and enjoyed drinking with him and his fellows afterwards. I had thought about giving up when he broke my nose with his thrown sword, but the thought of doing that while Jazz watched changed my mind; instead I fought on and earned a hard-fought victory, plus the respect of one of the finest swordsmen I’ve ever met.

Tomorrow the tournament continues – I think the hawking is tomorrow, and the joust is the day after that. Three days from now will be the grand melee, where I will carry Lady Elaine’s standard into battle in the hopes of gaining more honor and renown. Fifteen of King Pellinore’s men have sworn to stand beside me on that day in the hopes of doing the same. It should be glorious, and I intend to make as good a show of it as I can. After that we’ll start thinking about Raven and Calypso.

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Professor's Log: Welcome to London

_ “Go to Heaven for the climate and Hell for the company.” – Mark Twain

So far, London seems like an old English pub as envisioned by Caligula. Decadent doesn’t even begin to do it justice. We’ve seen people walking the street and bar hopping in all states of dress and undress. Fetish gear that wouldn’t be allowed in the Castro district back home seems to be the norm here. It’s not just humans either. We’ve seen more various and sundry aliens than you can shake a sex toy at. Mainly what we’ve been doing is exploring the city and getting the lay of the place, all pun intended. It’s fun, but it’s not getting us any closer to figuring out what’s causing the spreading Nothing.

Last night we headed into the Underground. This London has subway tunnels, like ours does, only these have been deserted a long time. Oh, and they have rust monsters running around in them. I lost my wolvers fighting one of them, but at least I walked away with my cyberarm mostly intact.

The reason we were there was to check out a club we heard about. It was literally a hole in the wall that led to a pair of doors labeled Heaven and Hell. Guess which one we picked. Inside Hell, we found major league dance club. We were just getting comfortably numb when in the Prime Minister strolled in. This one was less Winston Churchill and more Betty Page. She and her entourage took a conspicuous location and started holding an impromptu court. That’s when the bullets started flying.

A group or assassin/terrorists opened up on the PM. More out of instinct than anything else, we leaped to her defense. There weren’t any laws down here, so the chivalrous crap went out the window. I saw John head towards the PM, and then I saw this guy at the bar pull a pistol and shoot another guy in the head. He then leaped over the bar, beheaded the dude with a monowire garrote and then shot the head 4 more times. Talk about thorough.
After that, the guy simply put his gun away, brushed himself off and headed for the door. I intervened. Taking advantage of his back being turned, I decked him. I did say that chivalry was out the window. He turned, and looked like I was going to have a serious fight on my hands, when he just up and surrendered.
Meanwhile, Corey and John took out the rest of the attackers and hustled the PM out of harm’s way. The guy I captured identified himself as Lord Balin. I guess once he surrendered, chivalry returned, because he was cooperative and simply asked when I wanted him to surrender himself to the palace.

The next day, he did just what he had promised and surrendered. I had to check with John about the local customs and how such things were handled. I ended up boosting my rep with the locals and made 6 librum for my troubles, so I paid for last night’s drinks.

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Steve's Log 42

“We shall now seek that which we shall not find”
~Thomas Malory

And so my days in the courts of London began and though they be among the most boring of my life, I would not trade them for anything. Escorting Queen Isolt from place to place was truly a pleasure. I met many a knight and lady throughout the day but the man who impressed me the most was King Leodegrance. He here in the city hoping to discover knights who would travel deep into The North to carry was war to the very doorsteps of Balor of the Evil Eye. The very though of this sends shivers down my spine but the prospect of glory and fame are very enticing. The Queen gave left me at the door while she had a private meeting with Lady Elaine of King Pellius’s court.

After the meeting I asked what was so secret and the Queen told me that the Lady Elaine carried news of the wasteland but Arthur was refusing to see her. It has something to do with the fact that Pellius stood against Arthur during the great war. We spoke of other courtly intrigues and I discovered much of the goings on in London. The Queen is quite the gossip. Eventually we ended up in the grand bazaar of the Tower of London. Here I saw many young knights in training and the Queen insisted I practice with them while she studied the fighting styles of those boys Leodegrance brought with him. Percivale, squire to Sir Lancelot, agreed to train with me and he showed me my skill with a sword was quite lacking. The whole fast attack, slow strike thing is harder than it looks. You must move with blinding speed and at the last second slow your strike and push it through the armor/shield. I need to talk with John and get back to fencing. I can imagine this style of fighting, combined with fencing, will make an interesting fighting technique.

The queen soon needed to go and thus I spent the remainder of my day watching the political machinations of the city. Soon enough I received word of the assassination attempt on the Prime Minister. It warmed my soul to hear that my friends had stopped the attack but I am envious of them that I missed my chance to be a part of the fun. Tomorrow I plan to go shopping and then check our some of this city’s famed nightlife. I keep expecting the King to tell us, “You must find the Holy Grail.” This place has so many connections to Mallory and at the same time is so damned different.

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John's Log 39
Arthurian 2

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
P. J. O’Rourke

So this world is different; I mean, really different. What started off as some version of a highly advanced society with Mallory’s Morte d’Arthur as its basis has turned out to be some other version of Arthurian mythology with fetish-rave overtones instead. Not that any of us are complaining; well, except maybe for the fact that Jasmine’s not here. That would be interesting, to say the least.

After we delivered Queen Isolt to Londinium we were give a stipend to get us started in this society (that or as a reward for a job well done; we’re not entirely sure). Then we decided to hit the town and check it out. Eventually we were supposed to meet Ellie at an underground club (by underground I mean in the subterranean sense, not in the anti-popular sense), but that wasn’t to be. Our first few steps out of the palace were eye-opening. Everywhere we looked was an incredible array of fashion and technology – this was nothing like Tintagal, which by comparison did seem to be a medieval throwback. No, Londinium was more akin to Night City with its dazzling lights and sounds.

The clubs were much like Night City as well, only perhaps more so. By this I mean the sheer number of options available ran the entire spectrum from a local pub to a live sex-show being broadcast over the internet (or web, or whatever it is they call it here). And being a Fringe-friendly society, the number of alien (or should I say non-human?) species walking around made me feel like I was in the cantina on Tatooine. I meant it before when I said I’d consider moving here, and so far that feeling has only been enforced. This city’s motto, ‘Do as thou will, except as it hurt another’ is truly lived and breathed by the populace.

Eventually we did make it to the Crypt, the club where were supposed to meet Ellie. While waiting the city’s Prime Minister came in. That was sorta interesting, but it all turned to shit when the hit squad attacked. There we were, enjoying some beers, when the next thing that happened was a series of explosions and then gun shots rang out, several striking the PM. Yes gun shots; although technically illegal in Breton, no laws are enforced in the underground – and since we had foolishly decided to obey the laws for once, all we had with us were our cloud weapons. (As an aside, the cloud technology here is phenomenal, and I intend to get as much of as I can before we move on.)

The fight was over quickly (aren’t they all?); my first thought was to protect the Prime Minster, although I couldn’t really say why except maybe to increase the goodwill we’ve earned so far since arriving. I faced a striking woman, and had soon dispatched her by removing her head from her shoulders. It wasn’t until much later that I realized none of her attacks had been of the lethal variety; I honestly don’t know if I feel sorrow for having killed her. We all fared well in the battle, but none more so than John – he had managed to capture Sir Balin (or Balan, I’m not sure). In the end he ransomed the good knight for 6 Librum – whether that sum was decided upon was because of confusion in value, an attempt to make nice with Sir Balin, or as a dire insult to the knight, I’m not sure. John’s actions sometimes surprise me as much as Steve’s do, so I just try to keep up and back their play when I can.

After saving the PM I suspect we may be called before King Arthur for an audience; maybe before Sir Kay, I don’t know – whichever one happens (if at all) will work for me. We’ve been told that renown and glory is everything here, but our foray into the nightlife of Londinium has proven to me that money also goes a long way. To that end, I hope to earn mounds of all three forms of currency – somewhere along the way we’ve heard of a dragon named Calypso that has taken up residence in Brittany. I’m going to see if the guys will join me on a quest to slay the beast, but with or without them I think I’ll go take a gander.

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Loggybook 2

“Tool up, honey bunny. It’s time to get bad guys.”
~Damon Macready

Hello Loggybook. Me not happy today. Me sad. Me new friends think me fictional character from stupid game. Me not fictional character. Me not Jar Jar Binks. Me Elle, me good girl. Me walk with queenie and she not treat me like dog meat stick. She treat me like kind nice pretty lady. Me like queenie. Me wonder what one has to to to be queenie. Me think me not smart enough to be queenie and me not pretty enough. Me meet painted queenie and she tell me that me is special. Me like special. Me is special. Me have perfect ass. Me is special good girl. She tell me they have school for special people like me. Maybe me go to special people school. Me then get big sciencey brain and me be professor. Me like to dream. dream make me feel good. Me almost forget. Me go to crypt to see new friends and they get into big fight and not even see me. Me poof lots of people. Me dress up as masked crusader and me pretend to be big bad vigilante type. Then The Professor shout to world, “I AM BATMAN!” and me suddenly realize that me could be Robin. Me want to be Robin. Me make good sidekick. Me kickass. Me gots to go, dinner is calling. Bye Bye Loggybook.

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Professor’s Log: So Much for the Security Deposit
“Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.” Sir Denis, Monty Python and the Holy Grail*

Christina decided that she was going to take Beatty, Sam and Jasmin on a little girls’ weekend. That left us guys to our own devices. You can imagine how well that went.

Everything started quietly. We spent the evening hanging out, drinking and generally unwinding at Callahan’s. We left at closing and started for home. Before we got far, a portal opened up, a slide appeared and three ladies, who shall for now and for evermore be known as the Power Puff Girls, appeared. They claimed to be some sort or interdimensional cops looking for a serial killer. That was all well and good, but they then detected our devices, said they were illegal and demanded that we hand them over. Guess what happened next. Once the shooting was done, the Power Puff Girls bamfed out and we continued on our merry way.

We made it about a block. A new chick, dressed in a hoody and talking like Jar Jar Bink’s long lost sister, comes up to us and says she’s looking for me. She tells us this story about world’s colliding and billions dying and how we only had six hours to stop it. We gathered up our gear and met back at my place to talk it over, but before we could do much talking, the girl, who we learned was named Ellie, pulled out a matrix and teleported us, and a hefty chunk of my and Corey’s apartment, to another world. So much for the security deposit.

Part of Ellie’s story involved talking to Merlin, so when we landed in the woods, we assumed that we were in some alternate of medieval England. Close but no cigar. Once we went exploring, we found a suspiciously modern looking road made out of the same metal as the Fringe Paths. We followed it, and found a little town. We hadn’t been there long, when we discovered that fringe travelers were considered something akin to royalty here. The locals started calling us Lord, and falling all over themselves to help us.

We got a chauffeured lift to the next biggest city, called Tintangale. That was where the king lived, and when we met King Mark, he said we were to be his guests. That sounded pretty good to us, so we stuck around for a while. I turns out that Ellie’s not particularly good with the whole time concept, and she might have gotten that six hour time limit messed up.

While enjoying the King’s hospitality, we learned some important things. First, even though it looked like a storybook version of merry old England, this world was pretty high tech. What looked and acted like magic, was really some very advanced nanotech. Instead of weapons or armor, the local royalty used something they called the cloud. These were swarms of nanobots that could form into weapons, shields or just about anything else you needed. They even gave each of us a set. The second thing we learned is that the dominant religion was Christian Science. It’s not the kind you read about in the Christian Science Monitor, though. Here, they worship science. The scientific method and Occam’s razor are like gospel to them. It’s my kind of place.

The third thing we learned is that there was some type of spreading destructive force spreading over the land, consuming anything and anybody that it came in contact with. It reminds me of the Nothing in the Neverending Story. Some of us think it might be something going wrong with one of the Fringe portals, that’s causing this world to be swallowed by another. We’re not sure, but if somebody, i.e. us, doesn’t do something soon, there’s going to be nothing left.

We were contemplating all this when, King Mark asked us to accompany his queen, Isolt, to Londinium. That’s where we were headed anyway, so we agreed. We traveled by sea on this dinky wooden boat. Why people with super science nanotech would want to do that, I don’t know. Maybe it’s like their equivalent of camping. Anyway, we got to talking to Queen Isolt, and she had quite a lot to say about her husband. He was pretty nice to us, but actually, he was another one of those tin plated little dictators, bent on oppressing the peasantry. He was playing fast and loose with the local laws to keep himself in power.

Right before we left, the King gave Pete a bottle of wine and asked him to present it to King Arthur. He said it was a powerful love potion that would make Guinevere fall in love with him. The story falls apart on a couple of counts. First, why does Arthur need Guinevere to fall in love with him? Aren’t they already in love? Second, why does Mark care so much about Arthur’s love life? From everything we’ve heard, they aren’t too fond of each other. Third, why send his queen, just to deliver a bottle of wine. We think the whole thing is some sort of plot to get a war started with Arthur. If Arthur were to drink the potion and fall in love with Isolt instead of Guinevere that would certainly be a pretext for war.

Oh, and did I mention the mellors? While we were discussing the ins and outs of Arthurian intrigue, John sniffed out that the queen’s old handmaiden was a mellor. Having been revealed, she attacked us. We did pretty quick work of her, but it turned out that pretty much everyone on board, except us, was a mellor. The next thing we know, we’re facing an endless sea of ravenous jaws. The only one who wasn’t a mellor, was our old buddy Volstagg. I don’t know what he was doing on board, but I do know I was grateful for the help.

It was a Hell of a fight, but eventually, we managed to kill the last of them and save the queen. We made it to Londinium, and now we’re trying to get the lay of the land and figure out what to do next. We were hoping to find Merlin here, but he’s traveling elsewhere, so we have to come up with plan B. In the meantime, I want to explore and see if I can get myself some more of those cloud gizmos.

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