Wardens Fourth Edition
Hatchlings and Demons - Stories
A look at what happened during and/or after Session 51.
Story - Eye of the Beholder
Game Date: 10/21/2007
Percival lay back into his recliner after a long day of crime fighting. As he popped open a cool refreshing beverage, he flicked on the TV and there it was again, that weird flickering. He tried focusing, but that only made it worse. It was as if the screen was blinking on and off again and again.
Okay, this was getting annoying.
He finished off his drink and decided to head across the street of Big Al's Sports and Suds and its famed twenty-three screens of non-stop sports action, every screen had the same annoying flickering, but all the TV's couldn't be broken... What if it was his eyes that weren't working right?
He stumbled backwards.
While he was in isolation at the hospital, one of doctors, Dharma Wright, had given him a card and said to call her if he noticed anything 'unusual'. This would certainly qualify.
Percival pulled out his cell phone and frantically punched in the number.
It only took twenty minutes for a sedan with government plates to pull up outside the bar and he was shortly thereafter dropped off at a small non-descript clinic.
The staff seemed quite helpful as they ran him through a number of tests. Finally, Dr. Wright approached with the results.
"Mr. Adams, I have some good news. You are not going blind. In fact, your visual acuity is off the charts. The flickering you are experiencing is because your eyes are now processing images at literally ten times the rate of an ordinary person. Are you aware that TV images are not actually moving, the screen is constantly being refreshed, with each image slightly different than the one before which an average person interprets as movement. It's an optical illusion. Unfortunately for you, your enhanced eyesight lets you see through that illusion."
"So, that flickering isn't going to go away?" sighed Percival, his shoulders slumping,
"Well..." Dr. Wright paused. "It's possible you'll learn to control the ability with time. For that matter, any or all the effects of der Zornnatter's experimental serum may be temporary. We'll just have to wait and see."
Percival eyed the open box of doughnuts on Ralph's desk as he did the mental arithmetic. How much did he want a doughnut? Was it worth going through all the effort of undoing the neck clasps, pulling back the protective face of his bodysuit and then redoing the whole thing afterwards? Finally, he decided it was and started going through the now ingrained ritual.
As his hands went through the motions, Percival inquired, "So, Ralph, you see that channel 7 news footage of me on knocking the door off that armored car?"
"Yeah, I did." Ralph snorted. "I also saw that interview you did after. You don't need to brag about it just because you lucked out and got paranormal abilities through some weird experiment. Everyone in the station's seen the damn footage by now. Anyways, why are you hanging out here instead of off saving the world or something?"
Percival sighed as he took a bite of the doughnut, "See, that's my problem. How do you even know when the world needs saving? I've spent hours wandering all around the Bay area and there are no signs of a paranormal mastermind unleashing a nefarious plot. Well, least not know that der Zornnatter is in custody. There must be some trick other advocates use to always be in the right place at the right time, but darn if I can figure out what it is. Soooooo, I figured, hang out in a police station long enough, something's bound to happen, right?"
Ralph raised an eyebrow skeptically, "Perk, you worked here for years. How many times do you recall helpful citizens calling their local police station to report a para-emergency instead of calling the FSS or the Wardens?"
Percival sighed again, "Well, all right, maybe it wasn't my brightest idea, but, hey, at least I got a free doughnut out of it."
Ralph shrugged, "Look, its fine if you want to hang out at the station. Heck, everyone here knows how lucky you were not to wind up mad or dead from that junk that got injected into you, but you might want to try asking the experts how all his advocate business is supposed to work. You know, some folks like the Wardens? I am sure they have all sorts of fancy surveillance devices or magical scrying pools or invisible hovering spy-bots or something to keep an eye on things in the city. It's not like they'd really just be hanging out and waiting for something to explode or catch fire, right?"
Percival nodded, "Yeah, you're right. There must be something like that. I'll definitely go check it out." He paused a moment, then took another doughnut, "Right after the box is empty."
As Percival took another bite, he looked around the precinct house. It still felt like home. Each officer was familiar as a member of his own... he paused a moment. There, in the back, his face concealed by an open newspaper. For just a moment, he had been sure he'd caught a flickering, like when he tried to watch TV these days.
"Hey Ralph, whose that in the corner?" Percival inquired as he nodded his head in the direction of the stranger.
Ralph squinted a bit, "Oh. That's Danny Keith, new hire, just relocated from Las Vegas. Nice kid, doesn't like to be touched through. I hear he had a bad experience with a user who'd covered himself with something nasty right before Dan tried to collar him."
Percival rose from the chair, brushed the powdered sugar off his hands and pulled his bodysuit back over his head. He began walking over to the stranger as he re-secured the neck clasps. As he looked over the top of the newspaper down on Danny, he noticed the telltale flickering surrounding Danny's body. It only took a split second for his enhanced vision to analyze the image and note the flickering was present everywhere on his body. Everywhere except for the rather fancy watch on Danny's right hand. Percival put on a fake smile and extended a hand in greeting.
"Good to see a new face around here. I don't believe we've met. I'm..."
As Danny's hand met his, Percival's free hand latched onto Danny's wrist and slipped the watch free. As he did so, Danny's features shifted. The uproar from the surrounding cops told Percival that they saw the change as well.
"Impersonating a police officer is a serious offense, Danny. Or perhaps you'd like to tell us your real name?"
As Danny pulled his weapon free from its holster, Percival realized it too had shifted. A standard police-issue service .40 caliber automatic had morphed into a sleek plastic device that looked significantly more high-tech. Not waiting to find out what might come out of its narrow opening; Percival launched a nerve strike that sent Danny reeling and then pulled Danny into a chokehold until he slipped blissfully into unconsciousness.
With the imposter in custody, Percival looked curiously over the watch.
"I think heard something about der Zornnatter using a device like this to impersonate the hospital physician. I wonder how many more of these things might be floating around out there."
Ralph looked down at the watch with concern, "Lets hope not too many of them. Otherwise, der Zornnatter might not be locked up as long as we'd like. How'd you spot him, anyways?"
With a grin, Percival replied, "Super vision, my friend. super vision," then agilely ducked out of the way of the doughnut Ralph hurled at his head.
Record Last Changed Date: 8/7/2011
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