Topic: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

I've been able to retrieve the episodes of the old RPG "The Peril of Power". Here's a copy of the second, entitled "Red Cloud on the Horizon."

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

MRFATS, JULY 23, 2007

They had been there all night, and they would be there all day. Tuskegee, Walter and Roger stood there dumbfounded for the first few hours, grief stricken and unable to utter but a word, they mourned this poor man. Walter would be the first to break the silence.
"The poor old fool..I always knew he would meet a sorry end." he muttered. Tusk stood there, now visibly angered, his eyes burned with renewed rage, mixed with grief "We shall find this individual, Mr. Bennet. I shall turn him inside out for his terrible actions! I..we..shall see that his actions go unpunished no longer!" Tusk's fist slammed on a desk, causing a great echo, and the ground beneath their feet shook just a bit.
Roger just stood there, he was unable to know what to say. Clearing his throat "Mr. Bennet, Mr. Woolf, while I am unaware of either of your connections to this fellow, I am sure they were for noble causes. I offer my sincerest apologies and sympathies. Condolences are little consolation, but I-what's this?" Reaching onto the desk, there were two letters, sealed. One was marked Walter Bennet, the other Tuskegee Woolf. Handing the letter to the individual it was designated for, they opened them.

Walter read his aloud. His voice sounded heavy, shaky in his throat. Walter Bennet, My friend, and friend of your father. How long has it been? I remember you as a boy, your father looked so proud. Carrying you on his shoulders, letting you study the curiosities  in my shop, and my, how you have grown. Ever since that..well, you know I never expected your swift and speedy recovery. Look at you, exceeding everyone's expectations, even your father's. I am sorry I could not see you through, to my old age. It appears that if you are reading this, I have passed on, most untimely in a manner unforgiveable. Please, you and Mr. Woolf must take all the items in this shop, keep them and then, destroy it. Please destroy the shop, leave nothing. A vague memory, I do not wish for anything to end up in the wrong hands. Thank you Walter Bennet, and goodbye.

Walter put his hands down, clenched into fists, eyes glowing with anger. "I will not stand for this end for you Barnabas, Mr. Woolf and I will do what we can to find out who did this to you." The three solemnly wrapped up Baranbas, and buried him under the very shop they would erase.

Tusk could not bear to read his was too painful. He had known Barnabas for a long time, and was full of such pain for him to have gone like this. "Let us speak of happier times, Mr. Bennet. I am sure we have stories we could tell." Walter closed his eyes, trying to calm down, he cracked a weak smile "Yes, of course Mr. Woolf, you are correct. for now, we shall celebrate his life, as he would want us too.
Roger simply obliged the two men, pulling up a chair, he observed Walter produce 3 small glasses from his bag, and a bottle of good Braastad. Pouring each man a glass of the golden liquid, Tusk began with a story. "Well, I remember,as a young lad, I met Barnabas, I was a foolhardy...." Roger sat there listening intently to the two, and waiting for them to prepare the items in the shop for transfer to the ship.

A few hours later, mid morning

They had a long night, and the three seemed able to ready the goods. Walter and Tusk had agreed that having Roger travel to the ship for transport and extra crew would prove useful, and indeed it was. The items in Barnabas' shop ranged from very small, to vast sizes, including his vault storages and aged spirits. There seemed to be a little of everything there, Roger noted as they made the trip back to the Peril with all the items in tow, it seemed like a small parade of caravans as they arrived at the berthing area for the ship.
Observing the shocked looks on the remaining crew, Mina, Elisabeth, Arabella..and Isaac! It seemed he was just well enough to stand on the deck. (In fact he had requested he be able to look out, enjoying some fresh air as he contemplated his foolish decision to take in that boy). They all watched in amazement as Walter, Roger and Tusk walked onto the deck. "I apologize, Miss Murray, Mrs. Woolf, Mr. Macklin, Miss Arabella. An unfortunate demise befell a comrade, and he wished for us to take all the items in his shop, which no longer exists. I hope we have enough room, quite a bit of this and that, to say the least."

Roger, Walter and Tusk walked on, directing the goods to their appropriate destination on board the Peril. They looked tired, but yet at peace, and as if they had aged a great deal in such a short time.

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


In the morning light, when the fires had long been extinguished and repairs were already on their way, the damage to the Peril appeared somewhat less substantial than it had last night.  Nevertheless, the sight of the airship scarred so badly was one that appalled Mina.  She stood observing the repairs from the dockside, awaiting Isaac who was clearing the final details with the local authorities.  She had delegated the task to him, one that she deemed irrelevant anyway, so that he would have something to do and didn't have to continue thinking about the danger that he had brought on board and the responsibility that he shared for what had happened.  Mina didn't blame him, she couldn't blame him, but she had told him to be more careful in the future, in particular in regard to bringing strangers aboard.

"Took care of everything,"  said Isaac as he came stand beside her.  He sight as he looked at the Peril.  "Elisabeth says she can have her up again tonight, but full repairs will take some days."

"Yes,"  Mina nodded,  "we'll be leaving Berlin tonight then.  I wouldn't care to stay here much longer."

"Indeed,"  Isaac replied.  "Well, I suppose I better see if there's anything I can help with,"  he excused himself and walked toward the ship.  He greeted Roger with a simple nod, who walked up to Mina.

"We brought the last of Mr Baranbas' goods aboard,"  said Roger.  "Walter and Tusk both seem to be holding up quite all right, all things considering."

"Did you hear anything from Berlin Station yet?"  Roger had told her that they had found Baranbas' body burned, which had raised her suspicions and prompted her to ask him to contact the Service's station here in Berlin.  She was sure she had read something about an experimental weapon some years ago, when she was still with the Service, and from what she had learned there had been no others signs of a fire at the scene which only strengthened her suspicions.

"No word yet,"  answered Roger,  "but I'm expecting they'll send a man over to deliver the report you asked for . . . If it exists, that is."

"Oh, they'll have the report, Major.  The question is whether they're willing to share it . . . "

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


Isaac hesitated. "Mina, there's something i don't think you realize. About the map that Eden -oh, it wasn't his real
name most likely - that thief stole. About The island." Mina looked puzzled, and Roger didn't seem to have the faintest idea what Isaac was talking about. " What are you getting at, Mr. Macklin?" Murray asked, caution in her voice. "Well, you see- It seems that- Well- Confound it all, The time machine is still there! The island may be full of monsters, but it's real power lies in the center! It still works!" The three took in the weight of what was just said.

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


Later that evening, Mina had assembled the league members in the lounge. Roger HAD heard from Berlin Station, and he had her report. It had taken quite a bit of cajoling, and even eventually some bullying and pulling of rank, but he had it.

  Everyone was soon seated, and most had filled their glasses with their libation of choice.
Mina looked at Roger, and he stood..
"First off, allow me to apologize for the sudden notice with which you were asked to attend this gathering. Miss Murray has asked me to relate to your some information, that has quite a bit to do with today's sad
discovery at the shop of Barnabas. Miss Murray, while in the employ of M15 had heard rumours of an experimental weapon, but had not access to the reports.  I have managed to obtain the information she requested. That is why I was not here for most of today.  I was at the M15 Berlin Station". Needless to say, they were not overly pleased at my appearance there, or my request."
  Roger paused.
"But first, all of you have seen the note that was left as a warning for us. It is clear that Ignatieff means to do us to death...and not by pleasant means..."
Roger was interupted by Walter..
"Forgive me Major, but I must ask, why did Igantieff leave a message for you, in particular, and an odd one at that"?
Roger sighed, and massaged the bridge of his nose..
"Ah my friend, I had thought someone would ask that.  "The scarf of Kali" - it is a threat that he will kill all of you, my friends, and leave me to watch  and suffer the loss, before he makes an end of me.
  It is a long story, but you should know it, for it says a lot about the villain. Many years ago, I was married. I was a lad of sixteen, and married to my Ariadne, the light of my life, and the most beautiful of young ladies, present company excepted"  Here he smiled and bowed to the ladies present.
" It was as a wedding gift that my father "bought my colours" in the 17th Lancers. Soon there after, I was posted to work with the John Companies native lancer unit in India, to act as a liaison officer.  Ariadne begged to come, she said it would be a "Grand Adventure" and would not be denied. There were fortunes and reputations to be made in India, those days, so we set off."
  Roger took a drink, and continued...
" It was an adventuresome time, we had a bunglow in the cantonment, and servants, and by way of a strange twist of fate, I had the son of a local chieftan as  my bodyguard and "Man Friday". He was Ilderim Afzul, son of Sher Afzul, whom I had saved from a bandit attack, mostly by happening along by chance. Ilderim and his men, a band of Pathans were possibly the best men you could have desired to be on your side. Ilderim and I became as brothers, indeed, we partook of the Afghan ceremony to become blood brothers.. It was after that time, that I was recruited by M1%, and was looking into the recent spate of Thugee killings.. Little did I know who was behind them or what it could cost me."
   Roger pauses...
"Forgive me, but this is a hard telling..  Ilderim and I returned the my bungalow one night, and found it had been broken into.. Inside, at her dressing table, was my beloved, her hair spilling forward. Around her neck was the yellow silk "Scarf of Kali", the ceremonial strangling tool of the Thugee... I believe that I passed out, for when I came to, Ilderim was shaking me to wake me. He and his band had caught one of the Deceivers, laing in wait for me, and they questioned him as only a Pathan can, before, as they say, "Passing him some of his own tobacco".  The Thug had babbled of the "two-eyed holy man from over the passes"  who was leading a revival of the old Thugee ways. Today we know that man as Ignatieff.
I will skip a few years here, but suffice to say, I became a full M15 agent, and with revenge as my motive, would not rest
until Ignatieff was mine. But I was young, and foolish. Later that year, Igantieff came i the night, and butchered Ilderim and his men as they slept, leaving Ilderim, barely alive, and with his tounge intact. I swore that day eternal blood feud with Ignatieff, and pledged to my blood-brother that he would be avenged with this!"
  Roger reaches down to his boot, there is a soft noise and he draws forth a Khyber knife, its blade a mastery of Damascus steel, the hilt of dark wood inlaid with silver tracery, and in the hilt, a carved h stone of Lapis Lazuli, the "sky blue stone of Kokand" It is a princely weapon, beautiful but deadly.
  Roger continues, as a lone tear courses down his cheek.
"It was then I began training in earnest, and took up with my Tibetan guru, and learned those mystic skills. I had one goal... Ignatieff, and this blade through his heart.  That was many years ago, when what we call 'The Great Game" was in its early days. My goal has not changed."
  Roger takes another drink, and proceeds, calmer now,,
"So Ignatieff, knowing I had joined you, seeks to unhinge my resolve and cause me to act rashly.  Indeed,  he has done just the opposite, I will double my resolve, knowing now, through his note, that he is worried that I have joined you. He knows that your skills, combined with the detailed knowledge I bring of him, will prove to be his undoing."

Roger looks at his assembled friends...

" So there, you see the whole truth, and in it, you see how evil tries to subvert our noble cause by using our minds against us. I thank you for listening and understanding..."

"Now as to the Berlin Station report. It is incomplete, and spare of details, but it reveals that the Russian Secret Police have been developing a personal weapon that could cause the effects we saw at Barnabas shop. The method of its operation, size, and range are unknown, but it is fairly certain that it exists, and that Igantieff had access to the prototypes, and was present at tests.. If that is the case, this is a formidable weapon.
"That is all I have to say for now, however, I believe that our friend Isaac has some news to relate as well?"
Roger smiles, and sits, toying with the hilt of his Khyber knife, a new gleam to his eyes...

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


The sweat on Isaac's brow was visible as he began to speak.
"Ahem, yes, i do. It seems that, due to my idiocy, someone has access to a tool of great power. What I'm talking about is -well- a time machine".
A hush went over the team as he spoke those words.
" You see, the "island of lizards" (Isaac stood to make the severity of the situation clear) i have spent so long trying to rediscover is no evolutionary mistake.
The creatures are there due to the schemes of a now deceased scientist. Though the island is now devoid of humans, the Machine still lies in the center, on the top of a zigurrat from some lost civilization.
My only dream left is to destroy it, and thus protect all we know. Luckily, i have many copies of the map stolen.
I vouch that we find it before anyone else does, and i have a hunch Igantieff has something to do with this as well." With that, he sat down.

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


Arabella cleared her throat before speaking.

"So, am I to understand that we will be travelling to this "island of lizards" in hopes of destroying a time machine?" She asked, and continued after receiving a confirmational nod from Miss Murray. "Well then, we should be leaving as soon as the repairs are complete. I expect that Ignatieff will follow our lead, so we can attempt to deal with the weapon situation and the time machine at the same time."

She paused, then turned to Isaac. "Where exactly is this island located, Mr. Macklin? It would be nice to know where we are headed."

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


Walter stood, clearing his throat. "Terribly sorry to interrupt. I realize this is a pressing matter, and I will help however I can. I believe I may be able to repair the engines and part of the ship in a day or two, given the proper crew of course." Turning to Isaac, "Mr. Macklin, I actually heard rumours of such a man, they called him a quack, a fraud. If I may, I will check the documents from Barnabas, they may lead to clues of this island and the man who it belong to, or his experiments."

His leg suddenly felt a bit odd.....No, not now! He had waited far too long, he had forgotten.."Terribly sorry, but I really must be going to my quarters, I apologize for the interruption, but I shall be ready shortly and I will begin to repair the ship, with the aide of the crew of course." Excusing himself, he hurriedly made for his room..Roger and Arabella could swear they heard a faint, low grinding noise as he passed...

Arriving, he opened the dusty, locked chest and removed the package. Opening a small box, Walter smiled. "Old fool, he was able to get it after all." he thought. With that he set to work.

An hour or so later, it was complete. He had finished and felt far better than he had before. He opened his door, and walked into the lounge, only to find that all had gone to various parts of the ship. Miss Murray still sat there. "Mr. Bennet, I understand you had something to which you had urgently to attend, but can you truly fix the ship at such a rapid pace? That is unheard of."

Walter smiled, placing his goggles over his eyes. "Well, Miss Murray, I can understand your reservations. However, I have worked on machines, and created my own for a long time now. I understand their workings and with my vast knowledge of science, and other things, can analyze and diagnose a problem much faster. Now, all I need is about a dozen very strong men. If they work as I request, and do exactly what I say, we may have the ship fully operational as we depart Berlin, or just after we have departed."Mina was a bit hesitant, but she understood Walter knew what he was talking about, and allowed him to take the crew to fix the ship.

Walter and the small group of crew members arrived at the places requiring the greatest repair. Walter designated the exact areas, the materials and even the method required. With that, he removed his tools from his bag and set to work as well.

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

OTTENS, JULY 24, 2007

Arabella, who had stood with her hands folded in the corner of the lounge, emerged from the shadow as Walter had left the room.  "So it seems we'll be on our way sooner than anticipated then," she said.

"Indeed,"  Mina nodded as she began browsing through some of the files that lay before her on the table.

"It will still take more than a week before reaching the South Pacific, and presumably some time before we find the right island.  What if Ignatieff finds the island before we do?"

"Ah!"  Mina exclaimed in a humble utterance of triumph.  She had found the paper she had been looking for and shoved them gently to the side of the table for Arabella to read.  "I'm sorry, what were you saying?"  she asked confused.

"Never mind,"  replied Arabella.  "What's this?"

"The report Roger--"  she felt comfortable using his first name in Arabella's company  "--mentioned.  A copy was provided by the Service station here in Berlin under the condition that it would not be shared with anyone who hadn't formerly been in the Service's employ.  I assumed that you might be able to shed some light on the issue, knowing this information . . ."

Arabella began reading the report:


Ordered Reported on August 4, 1911.

Counter-Intelligence Division

The man-portable incendiary weapon is usually called a "backpack flamethrower". The backpack element consists of two or three cylinders. Once cylinder holds flammable liquid and the other compressed flammable gas. A three cylinder system has two outer cylinders of liquid and a central cylinder of gas to improve the balance. The gas is used to force the liquid out of the cylinder into a pipe and then the gun part of the system. The gun attachment consists of a small reservoir, a spring valve and an ignition system; depressing a trigger opens the valve and allows the pressurized liquid to pass over the ignitor and out of the weapon. The ignitor can be one of a number of systems, a simple type is a wire coil which is heated electrically. A more complex, more reliable system has a small flame fuelled by the pressurized gas from the system.

It is a weapon with a potent impact on unprepared troops, delivering a particularly unpleasant death; it can have great psychological impact. Its primary goal is deployment against battlefield fortifications. A flamethrower projects liquid rather than flame so the flaming liquid jet can be "bounced" off walls or ceilings to project the fire into unseen spaces such as the interior of bunkers. Also an unignited stream can be fired and then subsequently ignited.

The first flamethrower is credited to the German scientist Richard Fiedler. He submitted evaluation models of his Flammenwerfer to the German army in 1901. The most significant model he submitted was a man-portable device, consisting of a single cylinder around four feet high, divided horizontally with a pressurized gas lower section and inflammable oil in the top section. On depressing a lever the gas forced the liquid through a rubber tube and over a simple wick igniting device in a steel nozzle. The weapon could project a flaming jet and enormous clouds of smoke around twenty yards with two minutes of firing time. It was a single shot device–for burst firing a new ignitor section had to be attached each time.

She stopped reading and looked up to face Mina.  "I thought Roger said the weapon was Russian?"

"It must have been, for the Germans didn't decide to bring the flamethrower in production until two months ago. It is highly unlikely that they would have a working prototype ready yet."

"Yet the English will think that they have . . ."


"And they will think that it were German military responsible for Barnabas's murder."

"Precisely. An associate of British Intelligence murdered with a German experimental weapon.  Ignatieff wasn't only sending us a message.  He was bringing England and Germany one step closer to war."


Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"


Arabella paused in thought, then said: "Well to be fair, the weapon factories in Spandau have been producing something other than the usual munitions lately. I've been watching them since my arrival in Berlin a year ago. I suspect that portable flamethrowers are now in the hands of the German military, whether or not Ignatieff is using a Russian-made one."

Mina sighed. "You're probably right."

"Do you have a trustworthy contact at the agency who you could send some of this information to? It might help to ease tensions if the English know what is going on, and I think diffusing the situation is of utmost importance at this moment," Arabella replied.

"I might know just the person," Mina said. "If you'll excuse me, I have a letter to write." She waved goodbye and walked briskly out of the lounge.

Arabella began to stroll through the airship corridors, soon arriving at the damaged engine room where Walter Bennet was hard at work. She casually leaned against the door frame, observing him.

Walter looked up. "Oh, hello Miss Arabella. What brings you to the engine room?"

"I wanted to offer you my help with the repairs. If there is anything I can do to get The Peril up in the air quicker, please let me know."

"You're worried about Ignatieff reaching the island first?" Walter questioned, and was answered with a jaded smile. "Well don't worry. Miss Murray has provided me with a good crew, and the repairs should be complete shortly. Why don't you get some sleep while you can? It's getting rather late."

Arabella just stared at his hands, moving quickly in the grease and grime of engine parts even while he spoke.

"Mr. Bennet - "

"You can call me Walter."

"Walter," she began again. "I also had another reason to come and see how things were going with the repairs. It has to do with your sudden disappearance from the lounge earlier this evening," she paused to gauge how her comment had been received, but Walter's face was unreadable. "I could have sworn I heard mechanical noises coming from you as you left the room. I know that your profession might sometimes require you to carry around various tools and machines, but I would not expect you to bring such things to a meeting. I was wondering if you could shed some light on this," she asked, then waited for a reply...