As The Chips Fall

Nevernever Ever Again

Or is that just wishful thinking?

(Late game, thus the short summary. I also realized after I typed this that it is entirely in present-tense. Apologies if that bugs anyone.)

We open with Enno, Soteria, and the two trolls (Gunner and Gunther) romping through the Nevernever in search of the giant unmen source that Asya mentioned. They are guided by makeshift compass-in-a-jar, consisting of a string covered in the same substance they’re searching for hanging from the lid of a pickle jar. Because the goo always tries to re-form, the goo on the string pulls it towards the rest, thus making the string point to the larger source.

Explanation aside, they venture for what seems like forever (explained as “a very long time”), and eventually come to the edge of a forest through which they were wandering. Out across the plain beyond the group can see various unmen wandering aimlessly and without apparent purpose. From the sparse trees where they can’t be seen Soteria asks the group is there’s any way they can find the lake from here, to which Gunner responds by staring at the compass and pointing straight forward. When prompted further he moves to pick up Enno so that the German can get a better look around. Thinking that the troll means to put him on his shoulders or something, Enno shrugs and complies only to be thrown a good thirty five feet into the air. Focusing on the sensation of suddenly being airborne doesn’t lend itself to spotting landmarks that easily, but during his flight he catches a glimpse of what he thinks to be the flesh-colored lake they’re looking for. He descends into the arms of the other troll, Gunther, and asks to be thrown up again. This time he gets a good look and is able to describe to the other three how far away it is and in which direction.

The vote is made to avoid the unmen, none too eager to be molested in a fashion similar to Enno’s previous experience. Enno, and Soteria with less skill and/or awesomeness, are successfully able to sneak themselves and, somehow, Gunner and Gunther with them across the hilly field and up within sight of the lake. The lake itself is a giant mass of the same substance the unmen themselves are constructed from, and as the group stares across it they can see various forming body parts float to the surface as they are being constructed, and fresh unmen crawling from the goo onto the shore. The density of the unmen around the lake would make it near impossible for the group to approach the shore without being noticed, and so Enno suggests that he, being the fastest, approach alone to deliver the contents of Asya’s jar and then make a run for it if things go to hell. With the words “If anything happens, be distracting,” He grabs the jar and makes his way towards an elevated portion of the shore jutting just slightly over the lake. He takes the path of least resistance through the crowd, but even those that notice him brush by don’t pay him much attention and he is able to approach the lake unharmed and largely unnoticed.

Standing over the strange fluid Enno notices Anton’s face, or rather the form of it, flash briefly across the surface of the strange liquid before receding. Considering that enough evidence of Anton’s demise, Enno opts to continue as planned with the intent to destroy the evil goo blob thing, knowing of no way to retrieve or revive Anton from his current location or state. Opening the jar he tosses it into the lake, but rather than spilling the contents as planned the jar lands right-side-up and starts sinking down as the lake flexes away from it, forming a bubble that will within seconds safely consume the jar. Furthermore, the unmen around the shore all go into full-alert mode and start charging the lake, no doubt to try and save it. Enno ain’t a fan of that plan.

With the most badass look in his eye Enno whips out a throwing knife and flicks it towards the jar, shattering it and sending the contents into the rest of the goo. In response, the goo convulses awkwardly and the unmen around it all stop in their tracks, clutching themselves in silent agony as their bodies slowly dissolve. All seems well, and Soteria makes her way to Enno with the trolls a ways behind to remark upon the finality of their duties. Just as Enno warns her not to be too content, because this is the part of the movie where a big scary thing jumps out and kills everyone, Gunner screams in pain from behind them. Lo and behold, the goo that was once programmed to act as the unmen is now trying to attack them, without any other directive. Adopting the qualities of the lake, that would acidify and consume any organic matter it touched, the goo scattered about the area begins to move towards them. Gunner has had a blob of it land on him and is flailing around trying to get it off when Enno, being totally heroic and shit, runs over and smacks at the goo with his electric cattle prod. The goo, stunted by the electricity, thins and looses consistency, effectively rendered useless.

Whilst Enno is assisting Gunner, a giant tentacle of the fleshy mush extends from the lake and slams into her side, lodging her into itself and awkwardly forming around her. Doubling back Enno manages to save her in a similar fashion, by stabbing the goo-tentacle in a middle segment and disabling the portion holding Soteria. Without wasting much more time as a medic, he decides it best to shout “Run!” and bolt for the tree line they had emerged previously from. Soteria finds a bit of remaining goo on her that Enno had overlooked, and stabs herself in the back with a cattle prod to dislodge it from her, stunning herself in the process. As she stands there in a self-inflicted daze, a gigantic wave of the goo from the lake begins to loom over her, however, seconds before it can envelop her Gunther runs into its path, picks her up and throws her to Gunner before being swallowed by the wave. Gunner catches her just as his legs give out under the corrosive effects of the goo he somehow waded into, but manages to throw her to Enno as he too is consumed by the flood. Enno catches her as he is running for the trees and, seeing the two trolls drowning, rushes back to save Gunther while Soteria, regaining her senses, runs back for Gunner.

Eventually the group finds their way back into the trees, whereupon the goo seems to lose interest and recede back into the lake. Gunner has been left without legs, amputated leaving completely clean and smooth wounds, while Gunther is severely injured. While everyone is catching their breath Enno mentions the brief glance of Anton’s face that he saw before he dumped the jar, and expresses the desire to go back to try and save him, if at all possible. After discussing the risks with Soteria for a few minutes he departs, agreeing that she should leave without him if he doesn’t return.

Enno approaches the lake reluctantly and yells Anton’s name from a safe distance, seeing ripples dance across the lake’s surface as he does so. Shouting something else yields no similar ripples, thus he concludes that Anton, or at least some part of him, is present and perhaps salvageable. Taking a chance he gets closer and yells louder, seeing more ripples, but is attacked by a tentacle similar to the one that smacked Soteria moments before, though he is able to escape without harm. Suddenly he is struck with a brilliant idea, and after securing the trigger of one of his many tasers down with duct tape he tosses it into the goo, aiming directly for the origin point of the ripples. The goo once again convulses hideously and begins spawning seemingly randomized creatures where it once did unmen, some with spikes and others with wings. The creatures flail around in a panic, some approaching Enno though none managing to catch him, and eventually the battery of the taser runs dry and the reaction stops. While the experiment was amusing and original, it yielded no results, and Enno decides to come back and try later.

He makes his way back to his companions, who haven’t been kept waiting long, and explains what transpired. He and Soteria agree to come back at some point and try again with more resources, like perhaps a small generator, but that for now the two trolls require immediate care and that they should find their out of the Nevernever and to the Winter Court.

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Orphaeus

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