Mini-Adventure 1

Note: Mini-Adventures are what happens when not all Cogs players can be present for a session. They are short, pulpy escapades whose placement within the Cogs continuity is somewhat relative, but for the sake of convenience they are placed in the same order as when they are played.

Here on the cliffs of Dover, so high you can't see over, it's Cogs! Brought to you by Dr. Magoriaper's Magical Animal Waste Picker-Upper. For all of your magical animal waste picking up needs! Our slogan: "It's really an amazing coincidence that our founder's name rhymes with our product!"

Michael Harrel: Baron von Heimlich cackles madly as his legion of undead clockwork soldiers shambles menacingly toward Dr. Higgenbotham and Capt. Sparling. "Fools!" he shouts, "Vith der information contained ins deisen punch cards, your friends in der resistance vill be dead wisin der veek!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Vat?"

Michael Harrel: A heliocopter flying past drops a rope ladder, and the Baron, grabbing hold of it, is whisked away, trailing his diabolical laughter behind him.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling backs away slowly from the advancing hordes. "Any ideas, doctor?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "No, I'm still wondering how we ended up in Germany."

Michael Harrel: The undead clockwork soldiers groan forward, bits of their previous victims still hanging between their teeth.

Genevieve Sparling: "Right. Well, as brutally efficient as these things appear to be, I don't think they're particularly fast. We could probably outrun them." She glances to the area behind them. "But I do hate to lose those cards."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "We'll just get to Stuttgart before him."

Genevieve Sparling: "And how do you propose we do that?" An undead clockwork thing snaps at her, and she elbows it in the face.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I've been trying to add modifications to the Aether for a while now. Henry keeps cog-blocking me."

Genevieve Sparling: "Somehow I don't blame her. You wouldn't be carrying any kind of weapon, would you?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She pulls out a beaker and throws it at a clockwork soldier. It explodes into flames.

Genevieve Sparling: "Even better."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn hands another to Genevieve.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling lobs the beaker towards the middle of the crowd.

Michael Harrel: The flesh of the other clockwork fiends being dry and brittle, the flames soon spread to the entire swarm! Soon the clockwork undead are left as metallic piles of mechanical bits in a thin covering of ash. There is a horrible stench in the air.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling breathes through her scarf. "Remind me never to fire you, doctor."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn giggles madly. "You can't fire me, captain!"

Michael Harrel: The heliocopter carrying van Heimlich has nearly disappeared into the distance, but on the next landing pad over Sparling spies an ornithopter.

Genevieve Sparling: "Hmm. I've never flown one of those before… Shall we?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn is already seated in the vehicle.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling activates the ornithopter and takes a moment to orient herself to the controls, then directs it after the heliocopter.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn starts pushing buttons.

Michael Harrel: The ornithopter lurches vertically into the air about fifty feet, sways uncertainly, hovering for a moment, and then zooms off toward the receding heliocopter, its wings buzzing like a giant hummingbird.

Genevieve Sparling: "Doctor, has anyone ever told you to keep your hands to yourself?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "And lived?"

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling arches a brow, then toggles the switch that deactivates the copilot's controls.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn scans the buttons on the Captain's side.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She sees one labeled "Aerotorpedo," leans over and pushes it.

Michael Harrel: van Heimlich is two thirds of the way up the ladder as the missile shoots past him, leaving a trail of steam behind it. It slams into the side of a nearby building, and explodes. "Mein gott!" van Heimlich loses his monocle. "Faster, you idiots! Faster!"

Genevieve Sparling: "Why didn't I notice that button before?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "You were too busy whining."

Genevieve Sparling: "Where's the one for ejecting your seat?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn finds it and pops the button off of the console. "Ooops."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling sighs, half at Higgenbotham and half at the miss.

Michael Harrel: The heliocopter speeds up, sending the rope ladder nearly horizontal from the momentum. van Heimlich holds on for dear life as the two aircrafts zig-zag their way through the city air.

Genevieve Sparling: "Do we have any more aerotorpedos?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I don't know." She pushes the button again.

Michael Harrel: "Shooooot zeeeem!" shouts the enraged van Heimlich. The missile once again goes awry. Someone in the heliocopter opens a portal, and swings around a gattling gun to bear on the pursuing ornithopter.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn looks around for a gun. "See if we can get above them."

Genevieve Sparling: "All right, next time fire when I tell you to." Sparling pulls back on the throttle and starts to swerve the ornithopter from side to side. The gunner's shots go wide, but the wild evasive maneuvers knock something out of alignment in the ornithopter. From the back of the craft comes a loud clank, followed by metallic grinding, and the machine starts to sputter. Sparling coaxes more power from the failing ornithopter, this time trying to accelerate and ram the heliocopter's solar tank.

Michael Harrel: But the ornithopter is too damaged to accelerate: as Sparling hits the gas, it actually slows, putters, and drops into a free-fall! (The entire next segment is set to the soundtrack of van Heimlich's laughter fading into the distance.)

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling attempts to glide the ornithopter into an unpowered landing and avoid crashing into the streets below. The ornithopter levels off, scraping the pavement with a shriek and coming to a stop after some distance. From the back of the craft, as if it is an afterthought, something quietly catches fire.

Michael Harrel: The two women jump out, and the ornithopter grants the obligatory explosion.

Genevieve Sparling: "Hell."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "No, Stuttgart."

CUT TO: STUTTGUART. A European military research base. Goose-stepping half-clockwork cyborgs; large flags bearing the Enlightenment's insignia. Vast airships fly overhead in coordinated patterns. Ominous grey thunderclouds in the distance. Fragmented sentences.

Cut to: the side of the building. Sparling and Evelyn slink along the shrubbery. The many passing clockwork cyborgs are too busy goose-stepping to take notice. Sparling has her gun drawn. Evelyn has a grappling-hook gun.

Genevieve Sparling: "We need to find van Heimlich. He won't have let the cards out of his sight."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Unless he's put them in a safe. Then he might leave them to go to the bathroom or a party."

Genevieve Sparling: "Look around you. Do you think they throw many parties here?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn moves her head as if she's listening to music, "You'd be surprised."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling raises a brow.

Michael Harrel: Long automatic hydraulic carriages begin to pull up to the front door, and members of the german elite society begin to walk into the building. Most of them are carrying masques in front of their faces.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling approaches the entryway, keeping to the shadows. "If we can grab a couple of them as they're going in…" she murmurs, thinking out loud.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "But I'm not dressed for a party." Evelyn looks down at her ensemble, she's still wearing her lab coat.

Genevieve Sparling: "Unless you spotted a boutique on the way here, that's how it will have to stay. Part of the charm, anyway."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I guess I'll go as a scientist," she says, pulling her goggles out of her pocket and putting them on.

Michael Harrel: Two amorous young party-goers have indeed broken away from the main group, and seek the privacy of the garden near Sparling and Higgenbotham.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn pulls out a beaker.

Genevieve Sparling: "Clever, doctor, but not nearly sequined and feathered enough." Sparling ducks behind a shrub and watches the approaching couple.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She runs up ahead and throws the beaker at their feet, simultaneously, she grabs Sparling and yanks her back. A light gas comes up from the broken beaker. The two party goers collapse unconcious. "It would be best to stay back for a moment."

Genevieve Sparling: "How many of those do you have?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Four. And three explody ones."

Genevieve Sparling: "Good to know." Sparling waits for the gas to dissipate, and then retrieves the couple's masks.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn takes the bird one and puts it on, then places the goggles over it. "I'll be an Ornithologist."

Genevieve Sparling: "And apparently I'm some variety of purple reptile." Sparling pokes at the snout of her mask, then puts it on.

Michael Harrel: The two women rejoin the larger group of party-goers, who all file into the building. The ball is held in the main hall of the building. People are mingling, drinking, eating, dancing. There is a cog-work bartender. There are also various clockwork cyborgs at all the exits and entrances. On the balcony above, Evelyn spies Baron van Heimlich, with several other high-ranking German Enlightenment officers, including Col. Simeon Hoffenstein, the Gorilla-bodied supergenius and the cold, beautiful, and deadly Doktor Frauline Gutenabend.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn hides behind a plant and watches them.

Genevieve Sparling: "Doctor, you're already in costume. Trying to hop in the planter will only attract attention."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Perhaps Vander Choken still has the cards… What?"

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling plucks a drink from the tray of a half-clockwork waitress and sips at it experimentally, then starts moving toward the balcony, striking up conversations with those she passes in broken German.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn pretends to peck at the leaves with the beak of her mask while watching the group.

Michael Harrel: As Sparling nears the group on the balcony, we overhear part of their murmured conversation: "…will take some time to decode…", "…haste is of the utmost importance…", "…giant flame-spewing antlions…" As he spies the advancing Sparling, van Heimlich's monocle drops into his champagne. "Excuse me, please," says van Heimlich. He steps over to Sparling. "Captain Sparling," he says. "You have some nerve intruding upon my masquerade."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling grips her pistol inside her coat pocket, pulling back the hammer just loudly enough for him to hear. "And that's why you should never leave an acquaintance off the guest list, Herr van Heimlich."

Michael Harrel: "A regrettable oversight, I am certain," says van Heimlich. "Unfortunately, Frauline Captain, you are too late. In a matter of minutes my babbage machine vill send ein telegraph to effery station in der country, containing der names of all of your foolish companions. Meantime, mit ein word, I could have every guard in deisen place on you in half ein second."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn has snuck up behind him. She pecks him on the back of the head, pushing his mask over his eyes.

Michael Harrel: "Herr van Heimlich," says Frauline Gutenabend, gliding her way icily over to them. "Is there a problem?"

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling turns to another passing waiter and says, "Wo ist die Toilette, bitte?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Ah, Gutentag, how lovely to see you again. You know, it will take your silly Babbage machines a long time to decode the message. I could probably do it in a few minutes. Not that I would…"

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling stares at the doctor in surprise, then realizes her mask already looks rather surprised.

Michael Harrel: "Ha ha ha!" says van Heimlich, who would rather his party wasn't ruined by violence. "My friends were just leaving, Doktor Frauline."

Michael Harrel: "Ah? Well then… Guten abend," she says coldly.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling gives the woman a dry smile. "But before we leave I must excuse myself for a moment. You know, that champagne just goes right through me." She heads for the bathroom. She grabs Higgenbotham's arm and pulls her along.

Michael Harrel: "And I…must speak to the guards for a moment," says van Heimlich. He excuses himself.

Cut to: A hallway, decorated with portraits of prominent German scientists, loyal to the Enlightenment. Sparling and Higgenbotham walk quickly but watchfully up the hallway.

Cut to: A window outside the bathroom. The two women climb out onto the grounds outside.

Genevieve Sparling: "We have to find Heimlich's office before the babbage machine starts transmitting."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Does the whole grappling hook thing.

Michael Harrel: They climb their way onto the roof. Below them, clockwork cyborgs goosestep past the building rather uselessly.

Genevieve Sparling: "Administrative offices are on the top floor; Heimlich's will be on a corner."
Michael Harrel: There's a telegraph wire connecting to the north-east corner of the building.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Follows the wire.

Genevieve Sparling: "Secure the grappling hook so we can climb down."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Secured."

Michael Harrel: They repell down in through a window — into van Heimlich's office.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling searches the darkened office for the cards.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Looks for the machine.

Michael Harrel: There is a large desk covered in papers, an empty briefcase lying open on the table, and an enormous wardrobe from which comes a muffled clacking sound.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling picks up the briefcase and shuffles through some of the papers.

Michael Harrel: The papers appear to be mostly diagrams and equations, including sketches for a prototype squadron of gigantic mechanical fire-breathing antlions.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling folds away one of the prototype sketches, but ignores the rest and turns to the wardrobe.

Michael Harrel: Here's van Heimlich's babbage machine, clacking happily away. It seems to be connected to an automatic telegraph machine.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling casts about for something to jam the machines with, but upon finding nothing she takes out her pistol and shoots the gear casings of both devices. Then she unplugs the telegraph wire for safe measure.

Michael Harrel: Just before she pulls the wire, from the doorway says, "I wouldn't do that if I were you, Herr Captain."

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling freezes. "It hardly matters now. The damage is done, so to speak."

Michael Harrel: A large gorilla stands in the doorway. Behind him stands two of the clockwork cyborgs. "The telegraph wire is also attached to a small but deadly bomb that we've set in the drawers just below," says the Gorilla —

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn doesn't hesitate, she throws a fire bomb at them.

Genevieve Sparling: Sparling ducks.

Michael Harrel: One of the clockwork guards leaps in front of the gorilla, taking the brunt of the explosion. Genevieve grabs Evelyn and throws herself and the doctor to the floor behind the desk as Evelyn's firebomb sets off the second bomb in the drawers. The babbage machine and telegraph machine are blown to bits, and flaming pieces of the papers on the desk rain down on everyone.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: In the fall, Evelyn's Mask beak is bent.

Michael Harrel: "Curses!" yells the gorilla, who is badly singed. The remaining clockwork guard charges into the room.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: The smoke has covered our escape through the window.

Michael Harrel: But he's too late: Sparling and Higgenbotham have already leapt through the window, and disappeared into the night.

Unless stated otherwise Content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Paper texture background by Zela.