Finding out who the Resistance Leader is brings out the worst in Melody’s demeanor, but she keeps her eye on the ball. Toby. Russell explains…
Some time ago, the Mad King set himself up at Magnolia Plantation. Inside the building, he’s got a machine that has, in the past, housed other former Powers for a few days before they died. He’s been holding Toby in the container for weeks — the boy is still alive. As to how they came there, they just “appeared” on the beach one day. Ryan is being told regularly that Toby is “very useful and a great savior of the people.” He’s allowed into the room with the machine around once a week to see Toby.
- From back story, we know that the Gadgetmaster was a builder-genius (Powered? Uncertain. Likely not, given his hatred of Powers.) The machine that Toby is being kept in, Langston believes, is a Power-drain machine.)
The King himself encourages people to live in small groups. People who work for him get the benefits of electricity and he makes sure there’s food for all from the USDA labs housed in Charleston. If he gets upset, especially by former Powers, he’s quick to kill.
After the briefing, we ask for the room. Ang asks if Langston is still looking for stuff to save his own life. Of course he is. Toby! So Ang pokes a little. You don’t want the resources available here, you just want the kid. Langston evades like mad — he just wants to retrieve Toby. Really doesn’t care a lot about the tech, it appears. And the reason Ang is pushing? She wants to stay here and do what she said they were here for — take down the Gadgetmaster and help get Charleston up and running on its own two feet. She says flat out, “I’m tired of not being a hero anymore.” Other people argue that we’ve already built a whole community at Refuge Point, and we should go home.
Langston is in if we can broker a deal for tech. He’s mildly annoyed that the group has no intention of KILLING the Mad King, merely turn him over to the Resistance for them to punish as they see fit.
Meanwhile, while all this talk is happening, Maddy is perusing the papers on the walls. “Project Omelas” is listed and there are people moving pieces of a device. Natalie remembers and shares that “omelas” is a literary reference to Ursula K. Leguin’s book wherein the population was willing to imprison a child in a dungeon so that everyone else in the populace has Utopia.
That’s not flying. Heroes are now all-in. We spend four days working out the details.
The afternoon before the assault, Natalie suddenly has a spell of OMGHORRIFYINGLYBAD! She literally collapses, taking a knee in the middle of walking somewhere. She’s having a panic attack and //starving to death//. Or at least, she’s able to identify that it’s desperate hunger. So… she eats. And then feels better. They hold off telling Langston just for now — there are bigger things to worry about.
That same night, Maddy has a wild dream wherein she’s inside a box. She sees Tinker’s face coming clear. Then he’s IN the box! He’s trying to communicate, but there’s major interference. Maddy tries touching the bubble-box — it’s soft — the face fades back scene shows a devastated landscape, ugly and blasted. It’s not familiar to Maddy. She taps the bubble, and suddenly there’s a roar in the distance, the bubble smothers her, and she bolts awake.
It’s a rough night for all concerned.
Plan: Rescue Toby. Use expertise gained in Refuge Point to help Charleston get on its feet WITHOUT the electricity, which is being powered by a machine that KILLS people. We’re going to jury-rig an EMP and take all of the machines out. Non-lethally, if possible, take down the Mad King. Taking away the power source also has the added benefit of removing the crazy people’s ability to use those NewTech weapons they had out there on the perimeter. Also a back-up plan to disable the tech.
Points: Mad King travels twice a week to factory in the north part of “controlled” territory near the airport. Might be vulnerable then. Parts get moved between plantation and factory by small cars. Drones patrol the plantation. Russell’s people come up with a full floorplan of the plantation itself. Resistance will help us — they have people and small arms to help with the assault on the plantation. Landscape and guard schedules and other assorted things are discussed until a basic plan comes together. And since our plans never really survive first contact with the enemy ANYWAY, we head out for a dawn assault.
It’s a straight shot in the rear door of the plantation once the Resistance members are engaging all outdoor guards. Mel is kinda freaking by now. Several people try to kick down the door and fail — the baby does NOT like what Nat just did. Maddy works on trying to get in while Mel heads for the room Ryan supposedly uses. Maddy breaks the lock, and just as Mel and Ryan start talking through the locked door of his room, the Mad King shows up. He shoots at Mel with a shotgun as Ryan tries and fails to break down his door from the inside.
Ang yells, “Stand down, Hugo!” to the Gadgetmaster. While she and Langston try to talk him down, Maddy and Nat head back to Toby’s door to get in. Melody manages to get Ryan’s door opens and the couple has a slightly awkward reunion. Very a la “The Incredibles”
Natalie and Maddy make it into Toby’s room, where he’s definitely hooked into that machine. Hugo gives up and hands Ryan the shotgun. Toby’s machine has resisted the EMP and it CAN be used as a life support device, so Maddy works on it and they leave Toby inside it because Toby is locked so far down within himself that right now, he is unreachable. But possibly healing time will help him. Now that he’s not drained anymore. Ang turns Hugo over to Russell and his Resistance fighters.
Maddy in the downtime asks if anyone recognizes the blasted landscape she saw. No one does. The roar in the dream continues to niggle at her all this time, though, and she suddenly places it — DINOSAUR.