Section X

Monkey Business

Characters: Alexander Hawke, Ana Craev, Beth Brunell, Goldie 5000, Kinya Higsbothan

After the encounter in Libya, Ana attempts to sell the story and her photos; they do get published, under the title “Desert Zombies”, but she doesn’t get paid much.

The characters are then contacted by Lindy Windfield, a deputy curator for the Museum of Natural History. He offers the characters L. 1,000 each if they can find the missing French explorer, Dominic Fabian, who was lost searching for a secret tunnel at Ape Hill. They are to meet up with a French search party at the Royal Hotel in Morocco.

At the hotel, the search party is no where to be found, however Alex, Ana and Goldie meet up with two other Society members: Kinya, a short woman whom they have heard is an excellent mechanic, and Beth, a dilettante with a monkey companion and many crates of equipment.

Checking the embassy, the French search party is nowhere to be found, and the word on the street is that they left a day ago. The characters also learn that Ape Hill is widely believed to be cursed, but do manage to find one guide, Riwan Sayid, who is willing to take them.

On the way Kinya, who reveals she is from Coober Pedy, Australia, tells of her dreams to travel between worlds, whilst another night, Goldie 5000 reveals the tale of it’s relationship (?) with Program A92 prior to the rogue Oceanus taking it away.

The party is ambushed by more native raiders, who seem quite active in this region of the world, but manage to drive them off.

After the battle, Kinya is repairing Goldie 5000 and notices a disconnected circuit, from a long time ago (not the battle damage); Goldie 5000 becomes quite defensive and tells everyone not to touch it.

They also think about scouting further ahead, and Beth reveals that her crates contain a Glider that she has invented, but it needs some way to launch. Kinya thinks she can jury-rig up something with Goldie 5000’s jump pack, but it only has two units of fuel left, so they decide to wait until later.

Analysing the fuel, Beth recognises it as coming from a factory in Belgium that she knows quite well. They “supplied” some of the parts for her Glider, as well as chemicals for some Sleep Gas she has also invented.

The characters catch up with the French rescue party, led my Horace Ermanguile. He warns them to follow his orders explicitly and stay out of the way, otherwise he will sue both them and the Museum. The French also have a local guide, who keeps to himself, away from the characters.

That night, Ana and Goldie 5000 decide to have a look around the French camp. They notice Horace speaking in a tent to the guide and get close enough to hear:

When we get to the site I want to see how you open it — providing you wish to live, of course. If you think those interlopers can help you, just remember — without my antidote, you will choke to death within a day. Ah, I see the sleeping draught is taking effect. Good night, Dom.

The guide has been knocked out, and the pair decide to explore closer to the French troops. They are caught at the next tent.

Meanwhile, Beth gets one of the guards to fetch Horace, while distracting the other, who Kinya attempts to sneak up on. She makes a bit too much noise and is discovered, the guards raising their rifles and calling for backup.

The guard over the characters is doubled for the night, and in the morning they are told off by Ermanguile and told to leave, while the French continue the search.

Undismayed, the characters search off in a different direction. Looking for clues, Alex finds some strange markings, just as the French party — who seem to know exactly where they are going — disappear.

Searching the apparent dead end, Ana discovers a narrow crevice cut into the wall; she is about to stick her hand in when she has a better idea and sticks Goldie 5000’s in instead. A scything blade hidden within the crevice slices Goldie’s finger clean off, and it is lost. By this time Sayid has left.

Taking a bit more care, a secret door is eventually opened to find the remains of the original expedition seemingly executed — all except Dominic Fabian. At this point, Alexander remembers what Ana and Goldie told him they overheard and, putting it together words out “Dom” is likely Dominic Fabian — unfortunately no one is really interested in hearing ideas from the Mean, Outsider, wildman and the rest ignore him.

Sneaking inside, the characters surprise Ermanguile and the French soldiers, just as they are about to kill Dominic. Alexander rushes forward two-fisted, followed by Goldie 5000, while Beth throws a vial of her Sleep Gas and Kinya lobs some home made explosives she had concocted up. Ana runs away.

Finally defeating the soldiers and rescuing Dominic, he explains that instead of a secret tunnel, he found this chamber, which contains a large sarcophagus-like box firmly anchored to a daise. Dominic thinks it could be Vulcan in origin.

The characters are about to celebrate their victory when Sayid turns up with a troop of at least twenty of the Sultan’s troops. The characters cede the find to the Sultan (not having much choice) and they return to the city where a feast is put on to honor them.

They each get gifted a ruby pendant, recognizable in Morocco as a symbol of the Sultan’s favor (treat as Connections: Sultan of Morocco), in addition to the L. 1,000 each from the museum for rescuing Dominic.

Characters get 3 Experience Points each.

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sgryphon

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