Emmett Brown curses over the radio as a purple fireburst splashes across one wing of the whirlie, leaving it smoking.
"I've gotta break away -- can't evade anything at this speed. Luck to you, Legion, and go get your gal!"
The whirlie peels away, but you're not able to spare more than a glance as the car's defenses spit death your way. With Jack and Tito back in the picture, the group reverts to old patterns, however, with Rill, Kim and Seswarick tossing up smokescreens and mystical defenses while the others shoot, slash and smash their way through the turrets.
There's a shudder beneath your feet as the last of the dunes disappears beneath the Leviathan's aethero-magnetic rail-plates and flies out onto the salt flats. As it picks up speed, you struggle to stay upright as the last of the rear-car's defenses are eliminated.
Orrin yells in satisfaction as he manages to hack through the computer defenses, unsealing the roof-top hatch with a hiss of gas. Cries of surprise come from below as you drop inside a passenger car packed with workmen and dignitaries from the Foundry!
"What in hell you doing up there, pal?" one frowning engineer says, before a woman -- Evelyn James, the trade envoy from Charity calls out: "Oh, whoever thought missing the train would keep Turner's granddaughter from missing the party? She's even roped herself a tall drink of water for a date this time."
The tension in the room breaks as laughter follows her joke, but the good mood doesn't last long -- before you have a chance to move forward, the door at the far end of the car opens and a group of RRC guards in steam-armor enter.
"There they are! Vance said to take 'em, dead or alive. They're here to kill the Director!"
All hell breaks loose then, spectators screaming and diving for cover as the Combine warriors let loose with everything they've got, activating interior defenses along with their own TW arsenals to stop the COT from moving ahead!
Phase 2 - Dramatic Task - In Cars
You made it inside, but now you've got to fight your way to the front of the train! Red River Combine warriors loyal to Ned Vance block your way, along with a variety of interior defenses meant to capture or kill any attacker. The other passengers are a wild card -- you might be able to enlist their help, but many are likely to be harmed or killed in the crossfire.
Directions: Each player rolls an appropriate skill (Fighting, Shooting or Spellcasting are all fine, but things like Persuasion could be used to get passengers to help assist) and narrates how they helped overcome the train's defenses and push toward the engine. Each Success contributes +1 to the total (+2 on a Raise, but higher totals do not provide additional Successes). If you want to keep civilians alive, you may take an optional penalty to your rolls. See below.
Goal: As a group, every four successes gets you through a train car and on to the next.
Resources and Repurcussions: If you take no special precautions in the fight, 4d6 civilians will be injured or killed as the battle rages through the packed train cars. To protect them, each of you may take a penalty to your roll of up to -4; each -1 accepted in that way automatically saves 1 passenger (so if Orrin and Rill both take a -4, for example, the roll for casualties would be 4d6-8).
Regardless of success or failure, each character risks injury or expenditure of resources during the fight -- how much depends on how you approach the fight. You have the following options:
- Full Defense: Staying out of harm's way or conserving power is your priority. You suffer a -4 penalty to your Quick Combat roll, but take no damage if successful. On a failure, you suffer a level of Fatigue from Bumps and Bruises.
- Cautious: You fight carefully, but don't hold back. You suffer a -2 penalty on your roll. On a failure, you take a Wound, which can be Soaked as usual. With a success, you only suffer a level of Fatigue from Bumps and Bruises, and on a Raise you emerge unscathed.
- Fast and Furious: You attack like a wild berserker. You gain a +2 to your roll. On a failure, you suffer 1d4 Wounds, or 1 Wound with a success (Wounds can be Soaked normally). With a Raise, you suffer a level of Fatigue from Bumps and Bruises instead.
- Rather than risking Fatigue or Wounds, you can choose to expend PPE/ISP instead (although this choice has to be made before rolling to Soak).
- Instead of Bumps and Bruises: Use 2d4 PPE/ISP (the dice don't Ace).
- Instead of a Wound: You use 2d6 PPE/ISP (the dice can Ace).