Wardens Fourth Edition
Halloween - Stories
A look at what happened during and/or after Session 35.
Story - Dolphins Secrets Revealed
Game Date: 11/18/2006
Karex dived easily through the water, searching out the collection of brightly colored stones where he met his dolphin friend, Squeeeee Cass, for their daily language lessons. It had proven to be slow going. It was a struggle to try to remember the complex system of high-pitched sounds that his universal translator had so effortless converted into Yrician now that he was bereft of his race's technology, much less accurately reproduce them.
Cass was waiting, as expected, but something was wrong. He appeared agitated and his whistling speech was far too fast for Karex to translate. Karex did his best to imitate the sound for **slow,** and Cass seemed to realize the problem. Cass painstakingly replied, **follow** and began swimming to the northwest.
Intrigued, Karex followed Cass towards a small herd of Cass' distressed brethren. Cass approached one of the smaller more lethargic dolphins and nudged her repeatedly with his nose.
Karex eyed the small dolphin carefully. Perhaps there was something wrong with her? Karex didn't recall any of the other dolphins glowing with a dull blue-green light. Activating his Wardens communicator, he asked, "Computer, is there any known illness that causes dolphins to radiate light?"
"No such medical condition are in my databanks," Melinda replied.
Karex considered the matter carefully, then turned to Cass and asked, **What sick?**
With that, Cass turned and sped off towards the coastline. Cass led Karex to the opening of a large drain pipe set deep into a recessed cliff, but stopped well away from the cloud of greenish-brown chemicals that hung over the opening.
Karex carefully considered the situation. Whatever the humans were dumping into the ocean appeared to be making the dolphins sick. However, Delta-Vee had clearly stated that it was not proper to prevent the spread of the poison. Instead, he needed to simply have Melinda report the discharge to the proper authorities.
"Computer, please report release of toxic chemicals at this location that appear to be making the local dolphin population ill," Karex dutifully reported over the communicator. Then, seeing the distressed look on Cass's features, swam down into the cloud to capture several samples in small vials pulled from the concealed pockets that lined the interior of his tabard. Then, just for good measure, he swam up to the surface and placed a couple of the dead fish floating there into zip lock bags - one of humanity's more useful inventions.
Karex tried to explain to Cass with a clumsy, "Go look" before flying out into the open air as he headed at best possible speed back to the Warden's base for an analysis of the samples.
By the next morning, initial analysis was complete and a report was awaiting. Karex read through the results with increasing alarm. It appeared a simple engineered retrovirus, designed to implant into living cells the genetic code sequence that causes life forms to glow when exposed to ultraviolet light, had mutated to now implant a significantly longer DNA chain. Fortunately, it appeared that the virus still depended upon the slurry of chemicals in the medical waste being dumped out of pipeline, so there was little danger it would spread throughout the ocean.
Karex paced up and down his room as he considered the situation. What could he do about the sick dolphin whose genes had apparently been tampered with? Finally, he decided to check in with Doctor Rebecca. Outside of her specialty was the initial response but she went on to reveal that preparations had recently been made to treat an aquatic patient - due to Karex joining the team. Karex explained that the dolphin was ill due to genetic tampering and Rebecca agreed to look the sick dolphin over to see if anything could be done to help her.
With that commitment in hand, Karex returned to his dolphin friends. When he arrived, Cass looked even more worried than before and Karex realized why as the glowing dolphin's thoughts suddenly flooded his mind.
^^I am Kwueeeee Tass. I see in your mind that the humans did this to me. That the humans have been poisoning my tribe for years whenever we ate fish tainted by their pollution.^^
Karex blinked in surprise. If what Tass said was true, then perhaps Cass' stories of a long lost dolphin civilization were lies. Perhaps even the idea of general dolphin sentience had been a tall tale. A story told to him by a member of a small group of mutant dolphins.
Before Karex could finish this line of thought, however, Tass set off at high speed towards the drain pipe. Karex reluctantly followed, wondering what would be the appropriately heroic thing to do in this situation. The Knight said to fight super-villainy wherever it rose its head, but Tass hadn't done anything illegal. In fact, since the humans and dolphins didn't have an extradition treaty or any kind of common legal framework, there weren't really any laws she could break. If she was only a mutant, for that matter, and one of only a half-dozen or so truly sentient dolphins, then there wouldn't even be a dolphin legal structure to judge her actions by.
Quite confusing, Karex thought, as Tass' glow abruptly intensified. With a whoosh, the toxin-tainted water rushed back into the drain pipe. Only when the water was completely clear once more, did the pipe abruptly seal itself closed.
Telekinesis, Karex thought to himself. Quite impressive. He began to offer to take Tass to Doctor Rebecca for a medical evaluation, when a telepathically shouted, ^^NO!^^ caused everything to fade to the blackness of unconsciousness for a moment. When Karex awoke once more, Tass was gone.
Karex began winging his way back to the Warden's base, wondering how he would explain this to the rest of his team - and wondering what Tass might decide to do with those dangerous tuna boats in the meantime.
Karex leaned back into the warm pool, causing little waves with his wings as he relaxed. Once he had centered himself, he announced, "Computer. Translate the following verbal statements into an appropriate report for the other Wardens. Regarding local San Francisco Bay Dolphin population. Update concerning release by local humans of hazardous waste potentially dangerous to the local dolphin community. Result of situation appears to have been creation of first known dolphin paranormal. Initial acts of dolphin paranormal appear in accord with espoused belief structure of the Knight. Dangerous bio-hazard purged from bay waters and outflow conduit sealed. Effect on originating human population unknown. Doctor Rebecca has data on gene-altering virus that was released into Bay waters. Report concluded. Computer, you can now compose and send the report."
His duty to the Wardens complete, Karex lay back once more and pondered the situation. Was this dolphin paranormal a mere mutant or had the virus merely activated latent psionic genes already present in the dolphin genetic code? Had the Bay's dolphin population as a whole been altered, elevated to sentience, by the toxins and waste released over the centuries by the humans or did all dolphins throughout the world possess their level of intelligence. So many questions. Questions that, without a solid education in genetic engineering, were far beyond Karex's ability to determine. What he could do, however, was investigate Cass' tales of ruins of the claimed 'sunken cities.'
Karex reluctantly climbed out of his soaking pool and went over to the far wall where a topographic oceanic map had been pinned to the wall. Dozens of small red pins now decorated its surface - all potential locations of the lost cities. Each pin represented dozens or even hundreds of square miles that would need to be investigated. It would be so easy to miss an important clue. If only he still had access to the cloaked Yrician satellite...
Karex paused a moment. Perhaps he didn't have access to the satellite, but his people still did. Even if he couldn't communicate directly, perhaps he could attract the satellite's attention to the key areas. If his people had proof of an advance dolphin civilization once existing, perhaps they would be more inclined to intercede on their behalf - or at least provide transport for some of the dolphin population to one of the Yrician water colonies to ensure the species did not die if the humans turned suicidal.
Karex pulled out a primitive earth pencil and notepad and started sketching designs. All that would be required was a simple device designed to emit an energy signal of distinctive Yrician origin. All Yrician satellites were designed to automatically scan the surrounding area whenever such a signal was detected in case a Yrician vessel made an emergency landing and needed assistance. It would be difficult to replicate even such a simple device using Earth's primitive technology, but perhaps it would be feasible. Then, whenever Karex investigated one of the potential city sites, he could simply leave behind an activated beacon. It might confuse any humans who detected dozens of mysterious alien energy signals appearing in the deepest most unreachable areas of the ocean basin, but Karex was confident that he could provide some sort of satisfactory explanation when the time came.
Record Last Changed Date: 10/24/2009
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