The Coldest War

Portals and Portents

  • Beckett gathered a group to revisit the crumbling basement room on the University campus from whence she stumbled from an ancient portal. The Scrounger helped them without undue attention from the Rocket Men or Cygnet Committee members who had flocked to the University to the succor (conquest) of the Academics.
  • The portal was an asymmetrical stone arch connected to various strange pieces of electronic equipment. The party uncovered mouldering yellow notebooks filled with scientific and mathematical notes that made little immediate sense.
  • They notice that a small red light was still glowing on one machine connected to the portal even though there was no electricity in the building. They flipped the switch, the light turned to three red lights, then three yellow lights, then three green lights, and the portal activated, the arch filling with a grayish sheen.
  • The portal appeared to shift and change its destination at unanticipated intervals and seemingly at random, each time going somewhere different. Specialist Jackson, who was with the group, bolted through the portal once, and was not retrievable before it shifted… but later she emerged from the portal, apparently having figured out a way to open it from the other side.
  • Some led to icy spaces, some subterranean, some desert, some alien. After some experimentation, the investigators turned it all off. Beckett salvaged a number of seemingly derelict but still high-value technical systems to use as barter back at Mount Safeco and they departed.
  • In the Supper Club, and old scavenger noticed the piano that Rhyme was working on. The old man seemed mostly mad, but had deft fingers. He spent some hours tuning the instrument by ear before launching into amazing music. At the crescendo, eyes glistening with joy, he had a heart attack and died.
  • Rhyme noticed that his ghost continued to play… Rhyme decided to learn how to play the piano from this ghost.



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