11. Mascarade

The motley go in search of Zistor Flexx.

Mascarade

Changeling: The Streaming Episode


Episode No.: 11
Original Air Date: November 26, 2017

In-Game Date:
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017.

Locations:
The Spark, Abford Pharma.

NPC Appearances:
Claude, Kyoko, Incisor,
Zistor Flexx, Mysterious Scientist, Talus.

Play of the Game:
Scott, as Braum, for unleashing his inner Hulk rage.

YouTube Archive: Changeling:TS Day 11
ReCapt: ReCapt 11
PodCast: Podcast of Day 11

As I prepare for the next time I play, the memories flood back.

Standing in The Exhaust, Braum toasts "all those they have lost", and the motley, along with Claude and Kyoko prepare to head out. Their goal is to go to where Braum originally found "the rocket", and hopefully learn more about Zistor's whereabouts. No one willingly steps up to take command of the mission: Claude points out that Braum's amnesia may prove a weakness, and both Sophia and Patches feel uncomfortable in the role as well. Claude insists to Braum that he protect Sophia with his life, and the troll agrees to watch her back. In Kyoko's office, the pooka lends Sophia some of her armour so that, at least for this outing, she will have some defenses. The pooka transforms into a small rabbit and hops into Sophia's purse. Once they are ready, with Patches calling out to Incisor that they're heading out to attempt the rescue of Zistor, they depart The Spark for the West Island of Montreal.

En route, Claude explains that the last time the Red Branch was at Abford Pharma, they left a "back door" set up for re-entry; once inside, they will have ten minutes before it closes. Pulling into the empty lot around the building, Kyoko's phone "unlocks" the front door, and Braum's watch begins the countdown.

The grand but clinically clean lobby is empty, and Patches orders Claude to guard their exit until they return. Sneaking downstairs, Patches spies someone on the first basement level. It is at this moment that Braum suffers a flashback, with the jumbled sounds of rushing water and old friends' voices mingling in his mind, not even noticing the chunk of rock falling from his neck onto the floor. When the figure comes down the hall to investigate, Patches jams the door closed, and the guard radios for help "getting him out of there". When Braum comes to, the group moves swiftly down another level; time is of the essence now.

The sub-basement level holds a simple concrete hallway, with doors on either side, and the distant sound of rushing water. Examining one of the rooms, the motley discover a hospital gurney and some computer equipment, with water running from pipes on the walls over the bed and out some large drains on the floor. Patches and Sophia observe that these may have been used to hold prisoners or test subjects, but why the running water? As Kyoko checks the workstation and subtly warns Patches against entering Room 3, and Sophia & Braum try the other rooms, Patches picks the lock on another door. Inside a tidy, pleasant office, Patches finds some very generic file folders, one of which contains the word "homepage", which may be a code of some kind. Unbeknownst to her, Braum is at that very moment checking Room 3, which appears to be much like the other rooms with gurneys, although this one also has an iron poker leaning against a wall. Zistor's cellphone lies on the table, and Patches notices that one of the drainpipes looks big enough to climb down. Running very low on time but unwilling to turn back, she ventures down and discovers a breastplate, built for someone slim, and covered in intricate designs and notches. Braum turns it over in his hands, unsure if it belongs to someone he once knew.

The three continue along the hallway, finding a morgue-like room with drawers. Inside an open drawer, Patches finds a body bag being covered with rushing water: it is none other than the bloodied but breathing Zistor Flexx! As Braum inspects him and discovers some cold-iron wounds, Sophia collects some of his blood and, combining it with water in a coffee mug, creates a small well of life, pouring some into Zistor's mouth. Preparing to sneak back out with their freeholder, Patches takes some of his hair and creates a breathing effigy of Zistor, placing it in the body bag and leaving it out.

In the hallway, the motley discover that their escape has been sealed off: behind the locked doors to the stairwell, a few male voices are calling out, telling them to stay put "until they can get you out of there". Patches and Kyoko take up positions on either side of the door, while Sophia stays with Zistor out of sight, and Braum stands tall in the middle of the hallway. The doors open to reveal four guards with pistols flanking a woman in a white lab coat with greying hair, surrounded by the chill of Banality. She orders the guards to capture Braum, and to "make sure they take him to Room 3". When Braum defies her orders, saying that they will never take him, she wryly notes that "specimen K said the same thing", and insinuates that she knows about Braum's amnesia, and Rick. Braum slams his feet into the floor and his fists into the ceiling as he challenges his attacks, casting a defensive cantrip on his allies. The scientist retreats as the four guards advance on Braum.

Patches ensnares them, surprising them and beginning combat. Kyoko, empowering Braum with the speed of the wind, dashes to Sophia and mentions an upcoming "distraction". Braum charges into the mélée, bowling over two guards and grabbing a third in a clinch. The defensive cantrip allows him to twist out of the way of their bullets, suffering only superficial injuries as he tosses one of the men into his companions. As Patches finds her arts impacted by the Banality of the site, Kyoko's "distraction" goes off, exploding a fire extinguisher. In the chaos, the four escape up the stairs with Zistor, Braum slowing their pursuers by tearing a door off its hinges. In the lobby, the entrance has been locked down and Claude is nowhere to be seen… until Patches' car roars to life, speeding towards the entrance. Smashing through the front doors and screeching to a halt, the five jump in and, tires squealing, race off into the night.

Pulling up to a drive-through for coffee and donuts, an exhausted Patches driving a smashed-up car containing a boggan, a troll, a sidhe, a pooka, and an almost-dead nocker grump, advises Claude not to "fuck with her shit" again. Sophia, exceptionally, starts drinking an extra-large coffee, and the group tends to Zistor's wounds as best they can.

Back at The Spark, they lay Zistor down on the couch in the Exhaust as Incisor complains about not having been able to go with them on their mission (although she is relieved to see Zistor back, alive). At that moment, Talus rushes in, kneeling down beside Zistor's body, cradling his head in his arms and tearfully calling him an asshole over and over. The motley realizes that Talus and Zistor must be somehow bound together, and head off to bed, waiting for Zistor's strength to return so that they can question him further.


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