So the second adventure in the current campaign of Hollow Earth Expedition saw our heroes, freshly returned from rescuing the members of their expedition on Mars, having a few days to finally rest and recuperate. The Martians they brought with them are still adapting to the Earth’s gravity and have been meeting with various diplomats and journalists. Rumors of how the Americans managed to get to Mars abound, but the Office of Scientific Intelligence has so far kept a lid n the truth.

The players found themselves our for a night on the town that involved some meeting period movies stars before they returned home to the Ocean View Motel in Bunker Hill (which, of course has no view of the Ocean…) that OSI uses as housing for their agents and scientists. The next morning, they are ready to head to the local HQ housed under the Goodyear Airship Factory in Huntingdon Park, but discover that Veitch (whose player was absent for the night) and Erha — the inventor characters — had not returned home. After they establish neither had gottne back to the Ocean View, they go to their headquaters, thinking they might have just gone back to work on the various projects. Nope.

They inform Director Byrd, who gets the FBI and LAPD out looking for them. It turns out, their FBI tail never returned from his shift, either! That’s not the only strangeness: one of the marines that had been on duty as a machine gunner when they first returned from Mars has been found dead in his barracks at the naval station in Long Beach. The autopsy is ongoing and finally reveals no reason for death…he just died. While the doctors assume natural causes, Zelansky — in classic cryptoscientist fashion — thinks that Morteus, the Atlantean God-King that had rules Morteus Das, the City of the Dead, on Mars and who seemed to take on living hosts might be loose in the Greater Los Angeles area!

But that was not the focus on this adventure. They are called out to the Los Angeles river, near Griffith Park, where the FBI agent’s car has been found with him stuffed in the trunk. Foul deeds are afoot! They check with the bus driver of the vehicle that Veitch and Erha had taken to the pier. They confirm they were some of the last people enjoying the rides at the amusement park there, and that they called a cab. One of th eride attendants remembers them because of Erha’s shocking white hair, and that there was another, foreign, couple. They establish that the cab was one of the green and white of the United independent Cab Company.

At the cab company in downtown, they talk to the shifty dispatcher, a guy named Manny Polo. The driver picked them up and dropped them off at the Ocean View, according to the dispatch logs. This is one of the first radio dispatch companies, so the logs were radioed in. The driver will be in soon, but Polo has them wait while he calls the guy in early. What he does, however, is calls some of his mafia toughs, and this leads to a spectacular fight in the street out front of the United Independent, involving chop-socky from Pin-Li and the pilot, O’Bannon; some swordcane play from the actor and cat-burglar, Cointreau; a bit of the use of the guardian trait by Zelansky, and a bit of damage to the headlight and hood ornament of Cointreau’s new Duisenberg.

They get a hold of the driver and establish he took them to the Ocean View, where the other couple drugged the passengers, and when an FBI agent tried to intervene, the man shot him. He then drove them to an address in Beverly Hills that turns out to be owned by the Austrian government, and is a consular residence protected by diplomatic immunity. Not wanting to wait for the niceties of diplomacy because who knows what the Austrians are doing to their people, they decide to let Cointreau do his thing and cat-burgle the place to rescue the pair.

The next session Veitch’s player was back so we startered with finding out what was happening to the pair: the Austrians are covering for a Gestapo snatch squad. The couple have another couple of men here to guard the house, and a vril! This man, Damien Weiss (Mr. White), is a Gestapo agent who was “rescued” after the Second Earth emerged from the Hollow Earth, He has been working for the Nazis, who hold him up as a racial exemplar. He’s also telepathic. He and the couple have been working the pair over, questioning them about the layout of the OSI headquarters, how far along the reverse engineering of the Atlantean flying saucers is going, and other aspects of the American program to unlock the secrets of the Hollow — new Second — Earth, and Mars.

The rest of the group rented a moving van as cover, so they could grab bad guys, if necessary, and to look nondescript. Cointreau took his Duisenberg, which in Beverly Hills, was also fairly nondescript. They bust into the house, confront the Gestapo which led to a hell of a series of fights between O’Bannon and Pin-LI with the Germans (a few who knew kung fu because of course some of the bad guys had to…) They rescue the pair, but Weiss and one of the Nazis are escaping in a Cadillac! Cointreau and Pin-LI, with Erha and Veitch in his Duisey, give chase, while O’Bannon winds up joining the chase late (long fight scene) on a Zundapp motorcycle. Zelansky, following the traffic laws and taking a safer route, eventually catches up to the aftermath of the chase, but it was great comedic relief.

The chase scene was classic action movie through the streets, with gunplay, cars ramming each other, and finally a spectacular crash by the Caddy, which landed on the motorcycle moments after O’Bannon bailed from it. Great stuff. They capture the vril, and get everyone home in the now destroyed Duisey and panel van. Which Zelansky returns unscathed…to get back the deposit, of course.

They now has an vril agent of the Gestapo with mind powers in the infirmary. But there’s intelligence from Shanghai that their former nemesis, Obersturmfuhrer Werner had been released by the Germans, and that the Nazis are trying to bribe the Chinese Nationalist government to let them take an expedition “into the deep interior” (they assume to find Shambala) in exchange for aircraft and training support. The Chinese are considering it. They have to secure Shambala before the Nazis get there. It looks like it’s time to fire up the gate!

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