Deadlands: Hell on Earth

Amazing Maize Maze

the killing fields, stepping through madness

The Creepy Corn Field

The crew debates how to proceed. Hammond climbs on top of the van to get a better view. There is a noticeable path through the maze, though the rain and motion of the stalks in the wind makes it difficult to track.

They decide to enter the corn maze.

Within the Maze

The path through the corn seems to bend and twist about. The posse walks cautiously onward. With each step they hear shuffling of the corn in the wind. Far off echoes of laughter seem to mock them. As the corridor of corn becomes ever thinner, they form a line.

Nigel tries to track them out, by following his compass. Unfortunately their compasses are going haywire, constantly shifting directions. Hammond mentions using an old technique form his mining days. If they stay to one side- i.e. follow the right side, they can navigate through the maze. It may take longer, but it will always lead them out. As they start hugging the one side, they begin to feel the corn itself almost grabbing at their clothing. It is as if the plants themselves are alive, and trying to pull them into the thick.

Nigel calls out " You taunt us and speak to us, where is your master?"

Pumpkin King – “The painter puts brush to canvas, the poet puts pen to paper. The poet has the easier task, for his pen does not alter his rhyme. laugh

PK – “I’m tired of love, I’m tired of rhyme. But blood, precious blood, gives me pleasure all the time…”

They push on though to the next area and come to an intersection. They ponder which direction to head, arguing left or right.

PK- “Left side, right side, who’s to blame. Go on try, they’re all the same. Oh yes, yes, take your time. in the end, they will be mine.”

Ben postulates that they need to communicate to the Pumpkin King in rhymes. “Show us the correct way, so that you have a chance to eat today.”

PK- “Foolish child, stuck in the wild. Ah, such a beautiful lark, ah but hark, do I hear the sound of children play? on this day, there shall be blood.”

They decide to head left. They round the corner and find a short distance to a “t” intersection. At the intersection, there is a small sign. Nigel zooms in with his robotic eye.

“I’m right behind you” the voice of the Pumpkin King says aloud inside of Nigel’s mind. He checks to see if the others heard it, but their reactions (or lack thereof) show that thy did not.

They continue with their plan and head left again. Immediately upon turning they see a scarecrow strung up on a pole at the end of the walkway. The head is made of a pumpkin with a carved face. The pumpkin is partially rotted, wrinkling the face in a twisted gruesome smile.

Ben suggests they shoot it from afar. Nigel agrees, but Hammond has already begun to approach it. The scarecrow hangs limp. A centipede crawls through one of the eyes and back into the mouth. The posse takes the left, just to stick with their strategy.

At the end of this hall they find a box. Ben pokes around and finds a rope buried in the dirt that leads to the box. They suspect the rope is likely part of a trap and they turn back around.

At the end of the opposite hallway they see a reaping scythe stuck in the ground. The blade is embedded in the ground. Hammond inspects it to find it is covered in flesh blood. He tries to pull it out of the ground, thinking they can use it.

The scyth does not move easily. In fact it seems to be stuck in the ground. Hammond tries as hard as he can. His frustration with it grows. He feels angered at Ben and Nigel that they are not helping. His anger grows, until he snaps to and realizes the rage is not his own. He leaves the scyth behind. They turn to head back to the sign area. Upon this second glance, the hanging scarecrow is gone. Another mocking laugh echoes out from the corn.

As they come back to the area with the sign, they find that it is also gone. The crew pushes onward. They find another section that is rather tight. While trying to navigate through, Nigel almost trips over a root. He looks down to see the root actually move back under the ground. The sides of the maze move ever closer. The corn begins to wave wildly in the wind as several vines spring forth and wrap themselves around the arms of the posse.

With a bit of force, they rip themselves free. Spurting forth from the vines is a red viscous fluid. The posse recognizes it as coagulated blood. This troubles them, and they propose maybe the corn is similar to the blood sucking tumbleweeds they encountered before.

They finally pass the thinner area and find a dead end with another scarecrow. Deciding to not take any chances this time, they allow Nigel to fire at it. The bullet vaporizes the pumpkin head.

Emerging from the neck of the scarecrow are several more vines. At the end are corn husks which seem to lock on their location. The husks open up and instead of corn, they reveal a whole mas of spines. The spines launch out and shoot at the posse. Ben avoids it altogether, Hammond is struck but they do not breech his armor. Nigel catches a few spines in the leg. Instantly the spines sprout, and begin to grow small vines. The entry point sprouts a tiny set of husks.

Nigel blasts the scarecrow with his plasma shot, burning the leg and dropping it to the ground. The scarecrow launches back at them with a few more vine shots. Benn shouts for them to duck, and lights up the scarecrow with his brain blast. The force blows apart the scarecrow. The remaining vines writhe around before retracting back into the corn rows- those left behind instantly rot. Nigel rips the remaining vines out from his leg.

Since this way is a dead end they head back to the nearest intersection and try the other direction. This portion loops around, bringing them to another split in the path.

The posse splits up just to see what is there, and will meet back after surveying each direction. Nigel looks around the corn and finds a door. Hammond and Ben come around the corner and find yet another scarecrow.

As a group they decide to avoid the scarecrow and head for the door.

The Mysterious Door

The crew knocks at the door. There is no answer. Hammond tries the handle and finds the door unlocked. They open the door and see it leads to a dark void. Thinking this may be their destination (possibly “the room” where they will find the Incubus), they step through into the dark.

the following scenes all happen simultaneously

A rocky area on Banshee

Ben looks around at the landscape. It appears to be a battle site on Banshee. A trail of fire burns around the area, barring an easy exit. A tall figure approaches him. To his horror he sees that the figure is a Skinny. The purple figure lifts it’s hands forward and launches blast at Ben. He manages to doge out of the way. Fear races through him. These things can fight off whole squads of men, and here he is fighting one alone.

He takes turns trading blows with the Skinny. He manages to land quite a few shots on it, but the Skinny also strikes him with a few blasts.

Slowly he begins to realize that this place is not right. The fire around the crater gives off no heat. The Skinny is not nearly as powerful as it should be. As soon as he verbalizes this doubt, he sees the Skinny reach up and pull off it’s face. It is the Pumpkin King. He taunts Ben, beckoning him to attack. The Pumpkin King urges him to shoot, and kill him once and for all.

Ben rejects, realizing this is part of the trick.

The basement of the Salem Apartment Towers

Nigel turns to find himself staring down on Ben. A frightening voice chatters in his head, gone is the familiar sound of his AI. The voice commands Nigel to kill Ben. Much to his dismay, Nigel is unable to stop himself from raising his weapons and firing upon him.

Ben fights back, and the two manage to damage each other. All the while Nigel fights with the voice of the manitou inside him.

After some struggle, Nigel realizes that this is not right. The location is wrong, they haven’t been in the towers for some time now.

Upon this realization, Nigel shouts out. The voice of the manitou changes to that of the Pumpkin King. Ben’s head morphs into the grotesque pumpkin face. He urges Nigel to destroy him once and for all. But Nigel objects.

Deep Underground Junkyard (Combine secret base)

Hammond finds himself face to face with Nigel. Nigel’s eyes glow with a frightening familiar energy. Baphomet’s voice emerges from Nigel’s lips. He mocks Hammond and begins attacking him.

At first, Hammond fights back. Then he remembers what Simon said. Baphomet was bound to his body, and was completely defeated. Nigel cannot be posses by Baphomet, and none of this is real.

The Pumpkin King tears Nigel’s face in two, revealing that he is the one behind the ruse. He confesses that Hammond has found him out and drops the charade.

Hammond’s view blacks out. When he opens his eyes again, he sees a horrific scene ahead of him. Ben and Nigel lie dead at the feet of the Pumpkin King’s scarecrows. He is underground and sees 2 more familiar faces ahead. Soria’s necrotized body stands next to the necrotized body of Twitch. Marilyn stand at the end. She turns and greets Hammy- the voice is familiar, that of the Incubus. She is visibly pregnant.

The Incubus speaks out, describing how wonderful it is to be in this body. It describes how the Pumpkin King deceived them and the posse lost. Hammond breaks free of his bonds and charges forth. He struggles internally and realizes there is nothing else to do. He must kill Marilyn. It takes every bit of his being, but he strikes her down, as tears well up in his eyes.

The center of the corn maze.

Ben awakens and rips off the pumpkin vine wrapped around him. The pumpkin was trying to envelop his head. He shakes free and sees Nigel doing the same.

They both get free and turn to see the vine around Hammond has nearly swallowed his head. they rip the pumpkin off. This pulls Hammond out of his dreamworld in full emotional flux. He babbles on about how he won’t let it occur. Hammond stands and grabs his weapon in a half rage.

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