May 10, 2163
|Cornelius Spinnenkanker – Spider-Ape|
|Delilah Sugar – The Fastest Dominatrix in the World|
|“Spigon” (Actual name not pronounceable) – Horrid Spider Monster and ship’s captain.|
Cornelius stretched himself in the mid-morning sun, reaching as far above his head as he could to seize the rigging of “The Gilded Pedipalp.” He let his first pair of arms take the brunt of his considerable weight, and enjoyed the sensation in his back and shoulders, just bordering on pain, as the muscles strained to the limit. He fumbled with a match and cigar and idly scratched at a flea nestled somewhere in his fur at the same time.
If idle hands are truly the devil’s workshop, Cornelius thought to himself, then I’m an entire factory.
The ropes in his first pair of hands thrummed slightly. Cornelius looked upwards to see his half-brother (or possibly sister, he’d never actually found out) scuttling through the rigging towards the top of the mast, obviously on the lookout. Spigon rubbed his chelicerae together to produce a rasping, annoying noise that approximated humanoid speech, though in a dreadful monotone.
“There Is No Sign Of Delilah. She Should Have Returned Hours Since.”
Cornelius sighed. “I’m sure she’s fine, and plenty able to take care of herself if not. ‘sides, she knows this ‘Jenny Greenteeth’ anyway. They go way back, used to work together or something.”
Spigon paused a moment. Cornelius gazed up at him (her?) and had to admit to himself, there with the sun shining off his newly-metallic carapace, the weird spider thing looked quite striking. Almost majestic, he thought to himself, like some mythic monster from a legend or kid’s story.
“Regardless . . .” Spigon droned.
Crap, he had to go and ruin it by trying to talk.
“I Think We Should Go Look For Her.”
“Fine, fine. Have it yer way.” Cornelius grunted. He picked up his weapons and slung a bag of miscellaneous odds and ends over one shoulder. “But let me do the talkin’. Yer just gonna creep people out with that broken robot recording of a voice you got.”
“You Try Talking Via Stridulation Some Time.” Spigon replied. Cornelius noticed the giant’s spider-things chelicerae moving in way that he knew from experience meant Spigon was getting agitated.
“Don’t get yer spinnerets all in a wad. C’mon, let’s go look for Delilah.”
Spigon slung a battered but mostly functional hunting rifle across his cephalothorax and took up a strange, ancient weapon with the brand ‘Louisville Slugger’ burned into it in two of his hook-hands. He paused briefly to test the sharpness of the massive spike driven through the end of the club before scuttling over the side of The Gilded Pedipalp and heading towards town. Cornelius hefted his own pack and followed with a grunt.
The sibling pair didn’t have to go far before finding their errant companion. Delilah stood in the middle of a thoroughfare apparently named ‘Broad Street’ just a short hike from the Chicopee Docks where their vessel was moored. She was arguing with a man dressed entirely in a strange armor that glittered like a rainbow from its many disks. Cornelius thought the suit looked faintly ridiculous and not very protective. Probably ceremonial. Weapon looks real enough though.
“Look, hun, just make it easy for everyone, why don’t you?” Delilah was purring to the guard. “Jenny and me go way back, all the way to the Old Guster days. I heard my girl was calling the shots in A-10s, and just came for a little visit. That’s all.”
The guard looked less than impressed. Despite that, Cornelius noticed, he was paying plenty of attention to the ample cleavage and considerable expanse of thigh Delilah was showing off.
“Believe it or not, lady, I’ve heard that one before. Maybe you know Jenny, maybe not. I’m not convinced.” The guard swallowed hard, looking distinctly uncomfortable.
Cornelius gamboled over to his companion. “Heya D. We missed yah. I brought yer rucksack.”
Delilah turned towards the multi-armed ape with a smile. “Cornelius, your timing is perfect. I think I have just the thing.” The ape dropped a battered duffle bag to the ground in front of Delilah, who rummaged through it a moment before emerging with an ancient projector.
“Have a look here, hun. But use the viewer, don’t want to scandalize the children, you know. Besides, the battery’s running low.” She thrust a slide viewer under the nose of the hesitant guard, who reluctantly lifted it to one eye. There was a long silence.
“Uh, wow. So . . . yeah. That’s definitely Jenny. And that’s you, and . . . wow.”
Delihlah took the viewer from the man’s hand with a smile that was all sweet promise. “So . . . can my friends and I get an audience, you think?”
“Uh . . . yeah, sure. Of course! So . . . could I maybe borrow that again, just for a little bit?”
Delihlah’s smile turned into a gentle scowl. “Don’t be silly! This is a treasured memento of mine. I couldn’t possible part with it.” She hefted her bag and walked past the crestfallen guard. Cornelius and Spigon followed. “If you walk under the arch there” Delihlah called back to them “money falls out of it and right into your pockets.” Cornelius noted that she herself was careful to go around the arch, and did likewise.
Jenny Greenteeth, the haggishly ugly, three-breasted scandalous woman who was also the most powerful figure in A-10s, was delighted to see her old friend. “Delilah, sugar!” the old streetwalker cried, as she gathered the newly arrived woman up into a fierce embrace. Jenny was clearly thrilled, and Cornelius noted that true to her name, her smile was, like most of her, the color of pond scum. How on earth did such a dreadful looking thing make a living vending sexual services? Cornelius pondered, before he realized with a start that he was being introduced.
“Charmed, of course” Jenny was saying as she extended a wizened, arthritic paw towards the started ape. It’s at the end of her arm, Cornelius thought. I’ll assume it’s a hand and shake it. As he did so, Cornelius became aware of the most pleasant and yet painful aching sensation coming from his groin. He reeled for a moment, consumed with desire for the woman before him, which he suddenly realized was the most amazingly potent creature he’d ever known. Jenny smiled at him again, and put one liver-spotted hand against his cheek. Cornelius knew that his sudden, persistent need could only be satisfied by one thing when, abruptly, the crone withdrew her touch.
“Hah-HAH! Look at him pant, would you Delilah! Old Jenny’s still got it, by god.” Cornelius felt suddenly deflated, and more than a little weak in the knees. He considered the repellent creature before him. “What . . . how did . . . I do not think you should do that again. Possibly.” He grunted. Jenny laughed again. “Don’t be so confused, son. It’s a gift, is all.”
“Do try to behave, Jenny.” Delilah purred. “We came here to help, after all. Heard you had some robot attacks or some such trouble lately.”
Jenny sighed. “Oh, indeed. A few households on the outskirts of town have been – well threatened isn’t quite the right word.” She glanced at Cornelius again with a curious look. “My own Rangers are really just for defense. I don’t have enough of them to send them out running around the countryside. That’s dangerous, you know.”
“Why Do You Say Not Really Threatened.” Spigon stridulated. Jenny started suddenly, seeming to regard the strange spider thing for the first time.
“It . . . can talk?”
“Well of course he. . . of course she . . . of course it can talk” Delilah said. “Spigon is owner and captain of the vessel that brought me to A-10s, after all. Did you think he was a pack mule or something?”
Jenny pondered for a moment, then extended a hand towards Spigon. As the arachnoid reached up with one hook-hand to make greeting, a mischievous smile played for a moment across Jenny’s face. “I wonder . . .” she said aloud, “I wonder if . . .”
“Be Aware” Spigon monotoned. “My Kind Normally Consume Their Mates Following Consummation.”
Jenny raised an eyebrow for a moment and then smiled. “Not around these parts, they don’t. Nevertheless,” she continued “welcome. Now, as I was saying, the robot attacks are not exactly a threat. They don’t seem too well built. Roll into town and then explode, normally.”
“So, any bits left over? Can we start by looking at the wreckage?” Cornelius asked.
“Of course. We’ve collected the remains at the Junkman’s Brother’s Half-Sister’s Uncle’s Normal Hardware and Daughter. One of my men can show you the way.”
“And the pay?” Cornelius inquired.
“Why, I am sure you can think of something I have to offer that you might . . . desire” Jenny replied. Cornelius took a step back.
“I Require Funds To Hire A New Crew” Spigon inserted. Jenny turned towards the spider-thing. “Oh, fine. Be that way about it then. Stop the attacks and I’ll see to it that you’re rewarded.”
NOTE: Added a marker to the Campaign Map.