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Monday was Marvel. Notice how I'm only, what, three days later doing this write-up, rather than seven.

Oy.



Last time we finished Act One with the heroes beating back the Phylum-infected Inquis. From there, they went to the underground headquarters of AEGIS (well, this isn't in the mainstream Marvel universe and we needed a SHIELD analog). Pink and Inferno went to the infirmary to shed some physical stress. Arcanix was shown to a special room with devices that seemed to have been designed for interacting with his mechanisms - apparently AEGIS wasn't so sure about the robot and were designing stuff to injure him. They managed to repair him, however.

Spore reconnected with Carlson and lost his last bit of emotional stress, while Duplex also talked with Carlson and apologized for his rashness back in Issue 2 (also losing emotional stress). He then set his mind to dealing with a captured infected Inquis (working on this puzzle, we decided, appealed to his meticulous nature and let him roll to recover mental stress).

So, on the subject of the prisoner - Spore infected it with his own spores, and learned that the Inquis were a scientifically minded race. They developed portals and gateways, and that was how they found the Phylum - it didn't go well for them. Duplex discovered that the spores infecting the Inquis were a more advanced, mature version of Spore. Spore, then, was the proto-form of the Phylum. Spore used this to create a protective measure for the others (Protective Spores d6).

The characters assembled and decided to go through the portal and confront the problem directly, maybe see if they could free the Inquis. Pink balked at this; she was worried what five people could do against an infected planet. But Carlson said that assembling an army and immunizing them against both the spores and the alien atmosphere would take too long, give the Inquis too much time to regroup and strike again. Pink finally agreed, and the characters entered the portal.

They emerged in Inquis, which was covered in moss and plants. Using Duplexes detection devices, they headed off following an energy signature, and arrived at what looked like a temple. They went inside, and I spent some doom dice to separate them - Duplex and Pink wound up together, while Inferno, Spore and Arcanix were together elsewhere. The hallway rumbled and rotated, by the way.

Inferno, Spore and Arcanix found themselves confronted by a small horde of mechanical men, covered it moss but adorned with magic runes. They made pretty short work of them (encased in fire, trapped by Arcanix's magic, etc.).

Pink and Duplex found a guy in a throne that looked like a slightly bluer Arcanix. They got close and it activated, and apologized...and then attacked. It managed to sling some magic around, but couldn't hurt Duplex. It slapped the ground and caused spores to billow up, doing a bunch of physical stress to Pink, but she choked, used Second Wind and slammed the ground, sending the wave of spores back. Then she punched him twice and took him out. Pink's a badass.

About now the other characters arrived. Duplex used his laser to burn off the moss on the robot, and that woke him up. He took off a mask to reveal that he was, in fact, the Sorcerer Supreme of this world, still partly organic. The Phylum had infected him and used him to keep out magical help on Inquis. He explained that normally, the Phylum send a "spore asteroid" down and then hit it with an invigorating ray to spawn growth - that hadn't happened on Inquis because they'd opened a portal directly to a Phylum-infected world. The heroes realized that this invigoration ray must have been the one that struck Pink, granting her her powers but never touching Spore (the asteroid). That kept the components separate and spared Earth...but now the Phylum was using Inquis technology to move on the planet.

When it was revealed to the Sorcerer, though, that Pink had absorbed the invigoration ray, he said, "Oh. I wish you hadn't told me that." The moss around him started vibrating. "Prepare yourselves."

Next time: The exciting conclusion to Greenspace!

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January 2013

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