Planet Zod. Part 5. Return to S.T.A.R. Labs

BatmobileIn the last fictionalized episode of the Savage Worlds RPG homebrew campaign, Planet Zod, murder suspect Lex Luthor persuaded Detectives Stone and Bottom to work with him. But even working together, what could they hope to achieve against the power of General Zod? They had to find a way.

As the police car pulled up to the side street next to S.T.A.R. Labs just before 3 am, Detective Irving Stone turned to Detective John Bottom (trying to ignore a disguised, bearded Luthor in the backseat) and looked him straight in the eyes. At that, Bottom turned his own gaze to the dashboard. His sweaty anti-social partner had never managed to conquer his own discomfort with eye contact. Still, Stone felt he had to do this.

“Just so we both understand, there’s no going back once we go in there,” Stone said. “Even if Luthor’s right and the Radium Gun we can use to fire this blasted rock is in there, this isn’t a simple snatch and grab at the corner store. They’ve got more security than Fort Knox. Cameras on every corner. Even if we manage to badge our way past the guy at the desk, there’s a good chance we’re not going to make it. And even if we do get out of there in one piece, we’ll be working from the other side. We’ll be wanted men.”

It all seemed so surreal. Two days ago, they were just some regular cops in a world still adjusting to the tyrannical rule of General Zod — a world that bore frightening similarity to what had gone on before (After all, natural disasters and humans doing inhuman things had always been part of their species’ experience). But Lex Luthor’s discoveries pointed to an extraterrestrial origin for their new master — and if the scientist was right, there had been an earlier attempt by these aliens to invade the Earth. The glowing green rock embedded in the hull of the rocket that landed in Smallville was a tantalizing mystery — had radiation from that crystallized element delayed Earth’s invasion? Was its poisonous presence not merely coincidental, but the reason behind the aliens’ flight? If these aliens were on a mission of escape rather than conquest, that would explain why no fleets of extraterrestrials had arrived; only one murderous tyrant, perhaps driven mad by the destruction of his homeworld…

But this was all grand theory on the part of Luthor. Who knew whether Zod and the thing in the Smallville rocket were truly connected? Was this Kryptonite truly the one thing that could kill him? For now, they could not rely on truth. They only had hope.

They had to get their hands on this weapon and make it to Washington, D.C. Their best chance would be at an upcoming parade that General Zod had scheduled for that Saturday. He’d be out in the open. Vulnerable… if this green rock could really do what Luthor thought it could do.

The Detectives got out of the car and made it to the front security desk with a disguised Luthor in tow (introduced as Special Agent Berkeley). Despite the late hour, they weren’t held back. The man recognized their faces and badges from the crime scene from a few days ago, so he believed them when they said they had to meet with another security officer inside.

Of course, there was no meeting. Luthor led them to the section where the Radium Gun was held, not far inside the building. It looked like it might be a quick and easy job after all. They got to a computerized card reader where Detective Stone put his considerable technical skills to work on buzzing them through.

Savage Worlds Gameplay for Planet Zod Campaign
GM. To get to the next section of the lab, you’re going to have to get past the security system. It’s pretty high-tech.
Dave. OK, this is where my Computer Skills come in again. I rolled a 4.
GM. Well, one Success would ordinarily be enough to get past a hotel keycard system, but S.T.A.R. Labs has security like Fort Knox. You would have needed at least a Success and a Raise to not set off the alarm.
Ali. What does that mean?
GM. You’re all screwed.

That’s when all hell broke loose. The alarm rang so loud all three were disoriented for a moment. The reinforced plate glass door locked behind them, trapping them in the room. Inside of two minutes, most of the massive building’s security team descended on them from three entrances.

Stone was shocked to see the lead man from the security team go down with two shots. The first one his him in the heart and spun him around. The second caught him through the side of the head in mid-spin. He glanced over at Bottom and saw that his partner had fired the shots — and apparently was planning on doing the same to the rest of their pursuers.

The security man would not survive. But the horde of security was well-trained and weren’t about to let one of their own die without consequences. They brought out their guns and fired back. Three shots winged Bottom — not lethal hits, but they’d smart. More shots zinged past them. Stone realized they probably had about three seconds to live. A front-page Metropolis Daily Planet headline came before his eyes, “Crooked Cops Team up with Killer to Raid High-Tech Lab”…

An explosion from outside rocked everyone in the room. Two seconds later, a sleek black  vehicle that looked like a cross between a Formula 1 race car and an armoured personnel carrier crashed through the plate glass and swerved in between Luthor’s crew and the security team that was about to capture them.

A passenger side door opened up and an old British-accented man calmly requested that they get in.

Screw it, Stone thought as he and his comrades jumped inside. It’s not like they had a choice.

The door closed up as bullets bounced off the bullet-proof car. In no time flat they were making their getaway. The car raced through the streets with “Albert” at the helm; the man looked like a polite old-fashioned butler, but he drove this car like it was a bat out of hell.

Their driver didn’t talk much as they went from the city to the highway at incredible speed, easily outpacing any cop who might have thought to follow them. After an hour and a half of driving through the night, the two cops and Luthor felt darkness wash over them, like they were going through a pitch-black tunnel. How Albert could see anything, they couldn’t figure.

Finally, the car slowed to a smooth stop in what looked like a military command-and-control centre built into an underground cave. The three exited the strange car and were greeted by a man in a suit that looked awfully familiar… Where had they seen him before? Not personal. Television?

“Bruce Wayne,” Detective Stone said. “Gotham’s most famous playboy billionaire. What the hell is going on here?”

The handsome man in the ten-thousand dollar suit let out just a hint of a smile. “I see you’ve brought the package.”

“What package?” Luthor said.

“He means you,” John Bottom said, while looking down at his shoes…

Continued in Planet Zod. Part 6. Dark Knights


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