The plan is simple. Jump to the trap while tethered to the Scarlet Adler, and shock it until it turns off. Easy peasy.

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #20: Perfect
The journey to Wolfe Hollow presents more than enough resistance for Locke and the crew.

The previous chapter


Season 2, Chapter 20

The plan was simple enough: I would jump from the Scarlet Adler to the trap, and try to short-circuit it. Two steps. Easy peasy.

The silence and their looks were palpable.

I mean, I probably sounded unhinged. But it wasn't as if we had any other options. There wasn't any air in space, so John's branding wasn't going to help us here, and I didn't understand the nature of Jane's phasing abilities. I didn't want to have her try to phase us out of the trap and we all end up having spaced ourselves.

Therefore my plan had to work.

With reluctance, John helped me walk through a brief plan of a best-case scenario—and how they were going to save me should things not go my way. I saw him dip into his Ripley persona while he went over a multi-step process of the tether and hypothesized self-defense mechanisms of the trap. There was confidence and leadership in his voice. It gave me some reassurance that things would be okay eventually, like he'd find himself again soon after all of this subsided.

With preparations complete, I stood in the airlock in my suit, the oxygen in the room being sucked away. My helmet began supplying me with a steady supply of air and the overlays powered on letting me know of my vitals. I tugged on the tether to reassure myself that I wasn't going to float aimlessly away.

I steadied my nerves.


I rolled my eyes. Let's do this.

The hatch slid open and I jumped into the vastness of space.

We weren't far from the space junk that triggered the trap. In moments, I landed firmly atop it. It was about the size of the truck Kaisa and the others used to transport Jane, though this one had a sickening death drop on all sides. If it wasn't for the beam of bright blue light emitting from its center, focused directly at the Scarlet Adler, it would have probably looked like I had been engulfed in pure darkness.

Part of me wanted to explore just how it was keeping us stuck in place—and also the why—but there was no time for that. The voices in my head had been swirling recently. Combined with my heightened stress levels, I was in the "perfect" situation to do bad things if left unchecked. I remembered when I thought Ira was an illusion—and talking to Karim Salvi.

And since I was in such a "perfect" state, why not feed on an energy source while I was here?

// Lightningbranded Recharge

+1 (spirit; wow that's really low) => 5 vs... 7, 7. OH FUCK ME.

First, +2 ⚡️[4], because luckily this move recharges regardless.

It just hurts.

Endure Harm

-2 [0]

+3 (iron) => 9 vs 4, 8. STRONG HIT!

Let's be dumb and risk it, because why not?

+1 momentum [5]

Now, let's deal with our match. I think that perhaps this task is more difficult than I originally thought. I was going to do a Face Danger perhaps, but now I think I'll make this a Dangerous Scene Challenge. Make him work for it.

I could feel the hum from the trap, its power coursing through my veins and charging my internal battery. It felt delightful—though there was a twinge of pain. I squeezed my eyes shut and let myself enjoy the moment, using the high to block out the pain. I licked my lips in ecstasy. When was the last time I had recharged?

Something whirred.

I opened my eyes, the thrill of the moment fading as I saw more lights flicker on all along the space junk. Had I triggered a failsafe? The beam glowed brighter. Crap.

This wasn't going to be as simple as I thought it was going to be.

I stopped recharging and began feeling about. Perhaps it wouldn't be too difficult? Perhaps there was a simple OFF switch. Or I could take out the batteries.

Surely it would be that simple.

// Secure an Advantage (Scene Challenge)

+2 (wits) => 8 vs 3, 9. Weak Hit.

+2 momentum [7], duh.

I wasn't surprised at the lack of an OFF switch or a battery compartment. Par for the course, these days. But I did find some of the actual mechanical parts. I was juiced up—in more ways than one—and confident that, with a well-placed shock, I could short-circuit the entire thing.

I placed my hands on a piece of the metal that I assumed connected to the inner workings and let the electricity within bubble and spark up before unleashing it through my hands in one quick burst.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

+5 (iron + ⚡️) => 8 vs 1, 1!


-1 ⚡️ [3]

Progress TWICE! [4/10]

Clock: 0/4

I could feel the inner workings as the trap tried to overcompensate. The beam flickered and the light dimmed a tad. I was getting somewhere, but it would take a bit more effort on my part.

I reached out with my abilities, trying to find the perfect place to strike. I wasn't too familiar with using my abilities that way, but after being around other Branded who could use their abilities so creatively, I decided to try. Perhaps I could feel where the electricity was the strongest, the core component that needed destroying...

// Secure an Advantage (Scene Challenge)

+2 (wits) => 7 vs 2, 5. Strong hit!

+2 momentum [9]

+1 forward

There. I was almost shocked that it worked. I smiled, probably a bit harder than I should have. But I was proud. Who knew what else I could do with my abilities if I just tried things besides punching people?

I ripped off a few pieces of junk, digging and digging to get to the component I sensed.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

+3 (iron) + 1 Forward = +4 => 10 vs 8, 10. Weak hit.

Progress [6/10]

Clock: 1/4

I found a web of wires and what seemed to be the heart of the contraption. It had been hidden well, encased in an enclosure that had probably diverted my initial electrical attack.

But now it was exposed, defenseless.

I reached my hands into the web and once again let the lightning flow.

// Face Danger (Scene Challenge)

+3 (iron) + +2 (⚡️) => 6 vs 4, 9. Weak hit.

-1 ⚡ [2]

Progress [8/10]

Clock: 2/4

The beam flickered once more, and the light barely seemed to exist. All it would take now was a final onslaught.

I gripped wires and pulled them loose, smashing any and all electrical components I could find.

// Finish the Scene

8 vs ...

I smiled as the beam faded into nothingness. I saw the Scarlet Adler rock ever so slightly, having regained her ability to move.

I stood on the space junk, proud. Darkness consumed me, but luckily the Scarlet Adler immediately shined a light on me.

A perfect situation and nothing bad had happened. Nothing blew up in my face, I didn't injure anyone on board, and—

"Oh come on!"

// Finish the Scene Result

You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.

8 vs 10, 10.

Let's Pay the Price first—72: You waste resources. Naturally.

-1 supply [0]. Marking Unprepared.

And let's get a story complication in here.

81: Unexpected enemies.



Off in the distance.

Of course.

⚡️THUNDERFANG S2 #21: The Exposition Scenario
The voices in Locke’s head return. And with them, answers to questions he’s been seeking.

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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