The last time we saw our bearded adventurers, the Wizard struck a deal with the Gunslinger to help subdue the insidious forces overrunning the Franklin countryside. Meanwhile, Captain Crimson seeks to imprison the Witch Doctor on an island, the verdict passed down by the heroes. Meanwhile, the Hero investigates a strange occurrence in a nearby forest…
The Hero runs around the side of the ship, seeking an entrance to the crashed vehicle. With no door visible, the Hero begins banging on the hull trying to find the entrance. The Hero makes his way down the hull, closely examining the ship in search of the door. Near the tail end of the craft, the Hero believes that he can hear a more hollow sound as he knocks off the side of the ship. Suddenly, a panel gives way revealing the interior of the ship. The Hero draws his sword and cautiously steps inside.
A smokey haze hangs in the air, the smell of burning circuits and wiring burns the Hero’s nostrils. The cabin’s lights flicker on and off, sporadically. The only constant illumination is the emergency lights triggered by the absence of the cabin’s main illuminating lights. The emergency lights cast everything in a red glow. Strange containers are tossed all over the cabin of the ship. The Hero flinches slightly as a cascade of sparks shower down the nape of the Hero’s neck.
The Hero continues through the ship, turning down a narrow corridor barely wide enough to accommodate the Hero’s wide shoulders. The corridor is completely dark. The Hero can judge the distance of the halfway, about fifteen to twenty yards, by an open door at the end of the corridor with the same red emergency light pouring through a partially opened door. The Hero draws his pistol and proceeds.
The Hero slowly creeps down the hallway. A light sound echoes through the corridor, like air escaping through a hose, but rhythmically.
“STOP RIGHT THERE.”
The Hero stops in his tracks, startled by the sudden booming voice.
Out of the dark two parallel streams of plasma, crackling with energy, materialize revealing that they are connected to an object resembling a sword. The energy weapon illuminates something lying on the floor of the corridor, propped up against the wall. The Hero cannot determine whether the thing is human or something else, but he can discern a humanoid shape holding the energy weapon in the air.
“DON’T COME ANY CLOSER, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE ME. YOU CAN’T…. YOU CAN’T TAKE… YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE ME ALIVE,” mutters the voice in a delirious panic as it trails off into unconsciousness. The energy weapon falls to the floor as the body slumps over. The Hero, cautiously moves closer to the thing on the floor, investigating it by the light of the still-functioning energy weapon. As the Hero previously observed it is humanoid, with a body, arms, and legs covered in a hyper-advanced suit of body armor. However, now the Hero can see that a human head rests in the dome affixed to the top of the body armor. It is the face of a man, with a chocolate-colored beard gracing his strong chin. Now that the Hero is closer, he can see the man is built like a tank, with wide shoulders and legs like tree trunks. Next to him lies another weapon. The Hero recognizes that the weapon shares a similarity to a gun, however, it is far more advanced than any gun the Hero had ever seen. In fact, the whole ship was something that was out of place for this time, dimension, and planet.
The Hero moves the weapons away from the man for safety’s sake, and he sits the man up straighter. The man’s body is limp and does not cooperate with the Hero’s effort.
“Hello, sir, sir,” calls the Hero, trying to stir the stranger from his unconsciousness. The Hero looks around, realizing there was no help coming, knowing what he has to do.
The Inventor drags the Wizard into his workshop, rushing him over to his new invention. The Inventor has rebuilt his exoskeleton and added a few improvements in the process.
“I covered vital systems like steam valves and hydraulic hoses in armor. I re-fabricated the limbs, changing it from a rack-and-pinion system to a gyroscopic joint-socket system that uses magnetism to hold the joint in the socket. This should allow greater movement and agility for me,” gushes the Inventor, proud of his exhibition of engineering prowess.
The Wizard surveys the machine, along with the varying attachments strewn across the workshop.
“Very impressive Inventor, and I see that you have no shortage of armaments and tools for this…?” The Wizard trails off, unable to recall the name of the machine before him.
“It’s the Battle and Building Exoskeleton or B.A.B.E for short,” says the Inventor, beaming with pride. The Wizard rolls his eyes at the Inventor’s infatuation with his machine.
Suddenly the Hero bursts through the door, carrying the stranger from the crash over his shoulder. The Hero labors to drag him in, struggling against the dead weight of the hulking warrior, clad in futuristic armor.
“What in the world,” mutters the Inventor as he marvels at the technology, far beyond his own capability.
“I was camping out in a field last night when this strange object fell out of the sky and crashed. I examined the site and I found him going in and out of consciousness. He was saying something about someone wanting to take him. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I brought him here,” says the Hero breathlessly.
The Wizard, unfazed by the stranger’s otherworldly (or other-dimensionally) appearance. He waves his hand and golden sparks fall from his fingers and swirl around the stranger’s torso. “Hero, Inventor, please take this man to my office and get him out of that armor. He has suffered several injuries. I’ll do my best to heal him, he’s a long way from home…”