Wednesday, January 15, 2014

[Actual Play] DWAiTAS - The Exiles of Time 1.03: 'The Shattered Reflections'

THE CAST
Aru (played by Clara Owen): An amnesiac girl in her late teens with psychic powers and an inexplicable fear and distrust of men. Aru is stick figure thin and tall, with short spiky dark brown hair, ocean blue eyes and wears a black bodysuit with bright blue inlays, and has a laser gun holstered in her chunky belt.
Robyn Dalton (played by Heather W): A UNIT researcher for the top-secret Project Broadsword, Robyn is haunted by a shameful past, but her history gives her knowledge and expertise that make her a valuable asset to UNIT. She is dark eyed and has dark hair cut in a bob style with green or blue highlights depending on her mood. (Kinda like Claudia from Warehouse 13.)
Malik (played by Luke): A Silurian from a time when his species' reign on Earth, displaced in time by the Cardiff Rift, Malik has been living in a TMNT-style pad in the sewers of the Welsh capital, feeding on criminals and becoming the subject of urban legend, the 'Lizard Man of Cardiff'. He wears a hessian cloak and cowl to hide his features when he walks among the apes that have taken over his homeworld.
Pan (played by Maggie): A student of Archimedes, and the real inventor of Archimedes' screw and the fabled 'heat ray'. Possesses technological knowledge beyond his time, owing to his precognitive abilities. Pan is tall and has messy 'mad scientist' hair, dressed in a Grecian tunic and sandals.

Guest Starring
Anith - Mysterious woman who can fly the TARDIS (somewhat), regular since episode 1.01.
Sister of Mine - Returning character from Doctor Who: 'Human Nature/The Family of Blood'.

EPISODE 1.03: 'The Shattered Reflections'
Mr Whitlaw, caretaker at Farringham Boarding School, is polishing the school's trophy cabinet during the night shift when he hears a strange noise. Assuming it's one of the students out of bed, he follows the noise to the gents' bathroom, where he spots a red balloon floating over the cubicle in the mirror. He pushes the door open, but there's nothing there. The balloon is gone. He looks back at the mirror, and the balloon is still there. A little girl is staring at him from inside the mirror, pounding it with her fists and yelling. His reflection in the mirror begins to splinter, a strange silvery crack forms over his face from his eye. He screams, and turns to run, not seeing that his reflection has not moved. It instead turns its head towards the little girl and grins, beginning to shamble toward her as she screams: "Doctoooooooooooorrrr!"

Elsewhere in time and space, Pan concludes a long scream of psychic agony after attuning himself to the TARDIS via the telepathic circuits. Anith pries his fingers away from the telepathic interface pad, muttering that she could have handled the attuning procedure much more smoothly. From the hammock he has set up in a corner of the console room, Mal retorts that there's no way they were going to trust her to be linked with the TARDIS. She huffs and stalks away, hiding a wounded expression. She's stopped in her tracks when a bell - the cloister bell - starts tolling throughout the TARDIS. Recognising this as a bad sign, Anith races over to the console, but the room shudders violently and knocks her and everyone else to the floor as the TARDIS is hurled through the time vortex and then, with a crash, is still.

Aru and Robyn step outside to find out where they've landed. The TARDIS is in the middle of a large lawn outside the Farringham Boarding School, surrounded by people in military outfits who Robyn recognises as UNIT forces. Partially due to her blagging, they believe her to be the scientific advisor who was supposed to be coming in, and are lead to the head of the project - an older man with wispy blonde hair and mighty sideburns. He introduces himself as Captain Baker.

Baker isn't pleased to see the group of "scientific advisors" - and especially not Mal, who they explain is an 'external consultant' - on his crime scene, and continually refers to them as geeks as they find out the full story from him: over the past few weeks, people have noted their reflections moving independently of their bodies, before vanishing completely. So far no-one has been hurt, but they considered it a good idea to bring in UNIT to control the situation.

Robyn shoos them away and she and Pan manage to concoct a hypothesis: there is a split in the dimensions between this one and the one on the other side of the mirror, and something is trying to squeeze through. They concoct a device - the Dimensional Pathfinder - to open the breach and enter the other dimension in an attempt to commune with it. They fire the device at the offending bathroom mirror, and jump through the tear. As they're jumping in, they see their reflections come out to replace them.

They find themselves on the other side of the mirror, where everything is backwards. However, behind them the mirror begins to crack. Mal, who was reluctant to come through the mirror in the first place, tries to run back through the mirror before it splinters completely, but his hand begins to crack when it comes into contact with the shattered glass. The crack on his hand slowly begins to spread up his arm, glowing ominously - however they manage to use the Pathfinder and other jiggery-pokery to stem the damage and stop it from escalating.

They find the little girl and chase her, finding her eventually hiding in a closet. She claims to be Daughter of Mine, of the Family of Blood, and she has been trapped in the mirror. She claims that the Doctor "left her there to guard this dimension", and that she has not been able to contact him about this threat. They distrust her immediately, but are partially convinced by her story; mainly due to the fact that she seems terrified by the splintering glass and the crack in Mal's hand. When Mal asks to clarify that this thing that's happening isn't her doing, she screams and points over his shoulder at what she says is the real threat. 

They turn and see two people approaching. They're both riddled with cracks, spreading throughout their entire bodies like spider web. One of them is the reflection of the caretaker. The Exiles bunch together and ask who they are. They identify themselves as the Shattering. They have squeezed through into the mirror dimension, and are attempting to use the reflections of humans as bodies. Robyn attempts to bluff them out by threatening to destroy them with the Pathfinder, before she blows it up by accident, leaving them with no way out of the mirror dimension.

The Shattering chase the party, but Aru trips them up with a telekinetic shock-blast and the Exiles retreat into a sports hall. Mal locks the door on them (with the help of a trusty mop), but now they're trapped and the only exit has the Shattering rattling at the door. Utilising a trampoline, Pan volunteers to be bait. He stands at one end of the court and everyone else hides by the door. They pull the mop out and the Shattering run for Pan as everyone else escapes. Pan jumps over the Shattering and follows the rest of the team out of the door. They mop the door shut again.

They run off down the corridor, leaving the Shattering locked in the sports hall, and seek out a science lab to construct a replacement for the Pathfinder. Pan and Robyn enter the room first, but the others are still outside the door when it slams shut and locks them out. The others are left banging uselessly on the door while Pan andRobyn find they're not alone in the room; there's a man wearing a lab coat with a splintering crack lining his skin, and he's shambling towards them...

TO BE CONTINUED!

NEXT TIME...
Shattered Reflections bang on mirrors from the mirror side...
On the real world side, UNIT troops aim their rifles nervously at a tarp covering on of the mirrors in the school, as the banging from the other side sends vibrations through the mirror, loosening the tarp...
A hoard of Shattered Reflections shamble down a hallway in the mirror version of the school...
A shining crack lines the surface of a wall in the school hallway.
"I've seen this before..." Robyn whispers...
"So?" Malik demands, "What do we do about it?"
Robyn turns to him, her expression grave...

Next Episode: 'A Prison of Mirrors'

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