Locke has made peace with what has happened and it will NOT stop him. Why? Because he's a FUCKING hero.

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #14: The Solution to the Trolley Problem
⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #13: This
Locke—the Bleeding Heart, the Hero, the Ironsworn—finally admits to himself why he’s doing all of this.

The previous chapter

The Solution to the Trolley Problem

Season 2, Chapter 14

// Scene Challenge

I feel like I'm gonna regret this, but let's go for it anyway.

We're pretty evenly matched, I think, so let's set this to be a Dangerous track.

They were not going to take her. Not if I had anything to say about it.

The wind ripped past us through the broken window as we gave chase. The air felt good. Calmed me down and gave me focus. I didn't exactly need my helmet for this mission anymore, so I tossed it in the back moments after speeding off. John, however, did. His secret identity was still safe. He gestured with his hands, steadying us with his Branding as I steered as best as possible.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

+1 (edge) + 1 forward = +2 => 5 vs 2, 8. Weak hit.

Clock: 1/4

Progress: 2/10

They were going fast—much faster than the vehicle I commandeered could go. John took notice as well and his gestures shifted to something sharper and more precise. Next thing I knew, the wind around us kicked up a plume of dust and I could feel the car get pushed forward.

How had I ever done this kind of stuff by myself before?

I smirked at the thought, invigorated. Yes, my life was crumbling around me. I was exposed as a Branded—and an escapee. I would be wanted, hunted down by bounty hunters of all sorts. I would never truly have peace as long as they wanted my head on a platter.

But I was a fucking hero.

I accelerated and lined up the vehicles, and rammed ours into the back of theirs, hoping to slow them down.

// Secure an Advantage (Scene Challenge)

+3 (iron) => 9 vs 5, 7. Strong hit! YESS!!

+2 momentum [6]

+1 forward

The vehicle ahead of us swerved at my assault, shifting course slightly. I was glad this was all happening under the cover of nightfall, as the van began heading towards an area that was typically populated during the day. The few people roaming the streets at this hour easily jumped out of the way as both of us came crashing through.

This needed to end, now.

We skidded around corners, losing and gaining traction on them until we burst out into open road. I accelerated once more, ramming into the back of them again. Maybe I could create an opening for Jane to escape, or for us to catch up fully.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

+3 (iron) + 1 forward = +4 => 6 vs 3, 6. Weak hit. Grr. It can't get worse than a Weak Hit, so let's try using John's first ability.

I rolled a 2, which is less than John's health of 3. So, let's reroll this... I GOT A 5! MEANING!

8 vs 3, 6. Strong hit!

Clock: 1/4

Progress: 4/10

The initial assault did nothing and I cursed loudly.

And then...

I shot a glance to John, whose gestures shifted once more. I could see his face through the visor. He was sweating, probably overexerting himself. He needed this to be over for me—and for him. So it should have come as no surprise that a gust of wind carrying debris and trash blew past, slowing down the van ahead of us just enough for me to collide with them at full force.

Had John always been able to do that?

It made me wonder what else I could do, too.

And then an idea formed.

Resuming the chase, but close on their heels now, I shouted to John, "Take the wheel! I'm going to try to hop on to the van!"

"You're going to do WHAT?!"

// Secure an Advantage (Scene Challenge)

+2 (wits) => 7 vs 1, 2. Strong hit!

+2 momentum [8]

+1 forward

I didn't really give him time to question me any further. He was already questioning my sanity after being exposed, I couldn't let him stop me from going all the way.

"I know firsthand that half of them don’t even keep their promises. And the ones that do are kinda crazy."

Ira's words echoed in my mind.

Whoops. I was apparently living up to expectations.

I shifted and released the wheel, John quickly jumping in to—awkwardly—navigate as I climbed out of the window. I scrambled onto the top of the vehicle and found my footing rather quickly. I'd never been surfing before—hadn't known of anyone to do it, either—but I couldn't help but imagine that I was experiencing the closest I'd ever get to it.

Then I remembered the mission.

Right. Save the girl.

"Oh!" I shouted down to him. "And...don't let me fall!"


I jumped.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

Let's use John some more, shall we?

+3 (John's wind) => 6 vs 4, 6. Weak hit. That's fine. We'll take it.

Clock: 2/4

Progress: 6/10

I had freefallen from orbit before. Jumped off an insane height and survived. Got knocked out of a window and managed to just barely catch myself before sudden death.

Never in my life had I ever experienced flying.

Those moments in the air were...magical.

And then I started falling.

The van stopped short, causing John to hit them unexpectedly. As a result, John lost his focus and dropped me. Luckily, I landed exactly where I needed to be: on top of the van, gripping whatever I could get my hands on as it began to speed off again.

I felt the surge of electrical energy within bubble up. It crackled from my chest and down my arms. I was alive with a buzz I hadn't felt in quite some time. I could even taste a bit of burnt ozone. I savored the sensation a second longer, then filled the van with as much electrical energy as I could muster.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

+2 (wits) + ⚡ = ️+4 => 8 vs 3, 6. Strong hit!

Clock: 2/4

Progress: 8/10


// Finish the Scene

8 => 8 vs... 5, 8. Weak hit. Ugh. I guess.

Pay the Price, 68: Your vehicle suffers damage. Was going to try to say something happened to the Scarlet Adler, but I think we can take this to mean that they can't use the vehicle they stole.

The van slowed just long enough for John to collide with it at full force, knocking both vehicles out of commission. We skidded to a stop near the outskirts of Portent, both vehicles a broken mess.

The drivers inside cursed. I hopped down as John exited the vehicle, gun aimed as he invoked his Ripley persona.

The kidnappers stepped out of the vehicles, some battered and bruised. The occasional onlooker peeked through the windows of the homes at us while some stepped into the street to get a better look.

We would have to make this quick.

I cleared my throat, hoping I didn't choke on my words. “LET THIS GIRL GO NOW, OR ELSE.” My voice boomed and echoed in the night.

Maybe this would help clear my name...

// Compel

+3 (iron) => 4 vs ...

A shaky voice responded. "And are you going to deal with the boss if we let her go?" One of the female kidnappers.

"He'll kill us if we let her go!" the other woman said.

What? These weren't the voices of hardened criminals. Hell, they were barely hired thugs. They sounded like they were forced into this just as much as Jane had been.

"He's just a man. I'm sure you can take him," I said, trying to convince myself just as much as I was trying to convince them.

"Just a man?" The last one scoffed. He rolled his eyes and said, "He's literally in charge of Portent now. Hell, probably all of the S.P.D."

"What?" John and I exchanged glances.

"That guy," the second female said, "was Jack Moriarty. And he wants to use Jane as a weapon. We didn't ask to do his dirty work. We're prisoners just like she is. And if I have to choose between saving my life or saving hers, I choose me!"

There was fear in her voice—all three of them, actually. They were more afraid of Jack than they were of me or anyone else.

"She's coming with us regardless," I said, watching John secure Jane. As he ushered her back into the vehicle we stole, I could see the shift in his body language.

"It's busted. And," he said, looking around, "I think the Peacekeepers are coming. We need to go, now." Sirens in the distance confirmed it.

The kidnappers looked rabid, fear plain as day even in the darkness. They weren't just going to let Jane go, not without a fight.

Bleeding Heart...

How many stupid things could I get away with today?

Fuck it. All of them.


"You all, get in the back. Jane, NEVERMORE, with me in the front. Let's go!"

"WHAT?!" John cried out.

"No time! They look like they're held hostage, too."

Even behind the helmet, I could tell he was fuming. The wind picking up ever-so-slightly echoed his emotions. But he did not fight me on it. Instead, the three of us crammed into the front seats while the kidnappers scrambled into the back where Jane had previously been.

As the Peacekeepers arrived, we sped off, John kicking up a cloud of dust to obscure our exit.

// Compel Result

4 vs 1, 5.

A Weak Hit...

Honestly, I hadn't planned on a Weak Hit. I thought this was going to be a pass-or-fail situation.

Not an in-between.

// Progress

Progress on the Jane vow [3/10]

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #15: No Turning Back
The Scarlet Adler is now filled to the brim. One passenger’s demands lead to an uncomfortable request.

The next chapter

This work is based on Ironsworn: Starforged (found at www.ironswornrpg.com), created by Shawn Tomkin,
and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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