The Pyramids of Hertfordshire, episode 4

Marsh dodges a bul­let; April puts the boot in.

Played

20th May 2010.

Dramatis Personae

Plot

Fol­low­ing their vis­it to the Manor, the team delib­er­at­ed their next move over din­ner, even­tu­al­ly decid­ing to try to locate and scout the camp in the for­est that evening. Grab­bing copi­ous sup­plies of teas to keep them awake, they armed them­selves and head­ed out into the gath­er­ing fog. Pren­tiss took the lead with his ground-eat­ing pace, but Lady Anto­nia had to pre­vent him drift­ing off the faint path; in the mean­time, Marsh’s attempts to move qui­et­ly par­al­lel to the group com­bined with his lack of wilder­ness skills led to him trail­ing them by quite a dis­tance. They arrived at the ridge after dark­ness fell com­plete­ly, set­tling down to wait for a few hours while Marsh scout­ed out the camp loca­tion.

Around mid­night, they saw the lights appear over the val­ley, man­i­fest­ing in sev­er­al loca­tions with­in the cloud before swirling togeth­er. There was no obvi­ous source, but the effects were clear­ly cen­tred on the camp. They could also feel the vibra­tions in the ground start up as they appeared. Cur­ruthers tried to get a good look at the camp using his binoc­u­lars, but near­ly blind­ed him­self despite his best efforts. With noth­ing else hap­pen­ing, Cur­ruthers and Pren­tiss both attempt­ed to get some sleep.

Marsh arrived at the camp, which was sit­u­at­ed on a small plateau, sur­round­ed by a 10-foot bank, and fol­lowed the perime­ter around, tak­ing the occa­sion­al peek over the bank to sur­vey the area. Not­ing the bright lights ema­nat­ing from the camp itself, he was extra care­ful, but his sec­ond attempt was near­ly his last: he was look­ing almost direct­ly down the muz­zle of an ele­phant rifle held by a well-hid­den sen­try. Luck­i­ly he was not spot­ted and was able to drop out of sight.

Back on the ridge, Miss Spit became aware that the sur­round­ing woods were very qui­et, then heard crash­ing nois­es in the fog. She quick­ly warned Lady Anto­nia and Miss Sharpe, then woke Pren­tiss and Cur­ruthers to wait for the vis­i­tor. After a few min­utes of watch­ing, Miss Spit became impa­tient and used a spell to illu­mi­nate the area below the ridge and clear the fog, reveal­ing a zom­bie.

At first, they hoped it was going to ignore them, and wan­der past, but to their cha­grin, it began to climb the slope. Lady Anto­nia pre­pared to shoot it, but Cur­ruthers remind­ed her that the shot would be heard across the val­ley, so she lobbed a rock at it instead, fail­ing to do any dam­age. Sev­er­al attempts were made to pre­vent it succ­ss­ful­ly cimb­ing the slope, but it demon­strat­ed dogged per­sis­tence, tak­ing a swipe at Miss Spit as it arrived, but she had cast anoth­er spell to dis­guise her loca­tion so that it missed. Lady Anto­nia tripped it up, with some effort, and Cur­ruthers pinned it to the ground with his sword. It con­tin­ued to try and hit them, but they pound­ed it with rocks and batons (Pren­tiss sit­ting on its leg) and, even­tu­al­ly, April con­nect­ed with a steel toe-cap and caved the side of its skull in.

It stopped mov­ing.

In the val­ley, Marsh con­tin­ued to silent­ly skirt the camp, then stepped on a twig, caus­ing a loud crack. This was imme­di­ate­ly fol­lowed by a deaf­en­ing blast and some­thing whis­tled past about five feet away, while the lights went out. Think­ing the shot was aimed at him, Marsh pan­icked and ran for the trees, while more bul­lets whizzed past him. He turned into a rat, then realised he was not the tar­get as he saw sev­er­al zom­bies head­ing towards the camp. The sen­tries were destroy­ing them quite effec­tive­ly with their large-cal­i­bre rifles, so Marsh decid­ed to take advan­tage of the con­fu­sion and sneaked up onto the plateau, chang­ing back to human to scout the camp itself.

As the lights came back on, he not­ed a cen­tral fenced-off area, con­tain­ing two bar­racks build­ings or offices, a steam-pow­ered elec­tric gen­er­a­tor, some kind of lab­o­ra­to­ry and the mast. Stand­ing in the cen­tral square were sev­er­al sol­diers and three gen­tle­men who appeat­ed to be sci­en­tists by their dress. Marsh decid­ed dis­cre­tion was the bet­ter part of val­our and, hav­ing mem­o­rised the lay­out, he returned to the ridge, where his col­leagues, a lit­tle wor­ried after the gun­fire, were wait­ing for him.

Notes

I find zom­bies and fog always go well togeth­er… It took a while to take down the lone zom­bie – bad die rolls seem to cause lots of prob­lems in this game, but it was nice to see Con­stan­ti­na’s mag­ic final­ly get­ting an out­ing.