Chicago Lightning

Somewhere Near the Waterworks

It seemed like hours that the raft floated downstream through the winding waterways. Jimmy remained silent and still the entire way, as did, for the most part, the eleven other metahumans who continue to cower at the opposite end of the barge. Allistaire remains tense, as if waiting for someone to interrupt his rescue, but will speak with Azog and Mugsy with a civil tongue if addressed.

For their part, Azog and Mugsy are grateful for some time in which to catch their breath (Each of you roll 1d6 and regain that many Wound Ranks if you lost any).

Finally, the sound of rushing water gets louder and louder, and with a sudden spill of moonlight, the barge washes out into the Lake Michigan Breakwater. Looking around, both Mugsy and Azog quickly identify the Waterworks tunnels from which they have exited. Allistaire slowly stands and grabs each of his saviors a long poll from one side of the barge, then points towards a landing very near to one side of the tunnelway. “You can put us in over there.”

Comments

[1d6=5 wound ranks recovered]

Feeling his strength return, Azog grabs a pole and guides the barge to the landing.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

The barge runs aground and Azog jumps off.

“Mugsy, watch the others. I’m going to find a public etherphone and call for help for these poor souls.”

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“Nobody knows how to snap these people out of their thralling, do they?” Mugsy asks aloud. “Good sir,” he addresses Alistaire, “Jimmy here is a liability. You have any ideas or desires on what should happen to him?”

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GM: Allistaire glances over towards Jimmy disdainfully, “Roll him overboard, he could use a drowning.”

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“Don’t do that,” Azog calls back as he disappears into a dark street.

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“Its just as well. When Big Boots hears how he helped us bust out and get these citizens to safety, he’s not gonna be long for this world.” Mugsy says with a wink.

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GM: Allistaire eyes Mugsy dispassionately, “Yes, and then he will discover your part in it as well…Mugsy.”

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[Azog hopes to find a public phone and avoid being seen by a beat cop, who would surely take notice of his injured state and ask questions. Streetwise Forte: 2d6+2. Roll: 1+5. He lurks in the shadows to avoid being seen. Reroll: 3. Total: 5+3+2=10.

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“Now, now, Alistaire. You need to go with the flow a little more. These things aren’t all that cut and dry. Some street bumpkin happens along cause he got lost in the sewers finds these guys holed up with ghouls. He’s lookin for a meal and helps out when a troll rampages out of the tunnels and starts attacking the whole group. You and your brilliance get away from the whole thing after it went sideways and Jimmy here helped ya do it. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The less Boots knows about our involvement, the better it is for you. You have a couple of aces up your sleeve that way, get it?”

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GM: Allistaire shakes his head, “For my part I intend to say absolutely nothing to Boots. I would prefer he believe I have become repast for one of his pets….But if you allow Jimmy to recover and leave, you have no way of controlling what he does or does not report to Boots. I can assure you that his knowledge, albeit small, of your actions in the sewer will be something he will want to leverage to gain favor.”

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GM: Azog makes his way down the streets without attracting attention. Judging by the activity (or lack thereof) he gauges that it must be sometime between 3am and 5am. The neighborhood is clearly industrial in nature, and Azog very quickly makes out the distiguished features of the Public Waterworks building, the whir and chunk of its massive pumps penetrate the morning fog and provide a subtle cadence to the area. Nonetheless, Azog sees no one who might be of use or help to his plight.

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Azog stares up at the Chicago Water Tower —the city’s most famous landmark—from the adjacent pumping station. At least now he knows where he is.

“Near the Banks. Swell neighborhood. Allistaire will know the ground better.”

He takes one last look around before heading back to the beach and the barge.

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[If I read the map right it looks to be about three blocks.]

Azog returns to the shore and sees the huddled mass out upon the dark water. (Thermographic vision!)

“Ahoy,” he calls. “We’re at Chicago Avenue. Get the poor souls to walk and we’ll get them to safety, somehow. I’ll carry Jimmy.”

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Azog drops Jimmy over his shoulder and leads the odd-looking train of shambling metahumans first west along Chicago Avenue and then north.

At first they see no activity at all. Then a large truck (clockwork, not Diesel) speeds past them and a bundle of newspapers lands at Azog’s feet. He reads the headline in the dark:

Mob Hit From Beyond!

The Labrador Building Badly Damaged by Ethereal Attack. Rumors of a void beast. Troll and human accomplices implicated.

There is a photograph of the Labrador with a smoking trail rising to a weird sky.

Azog stops in his tracks and scratches his head nervously.

A Bowman Dairy milk wagon emerges from the fog. Azog charges the wagon, frightens the horse, chases off the driver and returns with a crate of milk bottles and another crate of eggs.

“Breakfast,” he says simply, and begins passing out the victuals right there on the sidewalk.

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“Lets get these people to a clinic or doctor or something.” Mugsy indicates the metas. They might still be dangerous to themselves and useful to whoever put them in this state.

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Azog washes down a dozen raw eggs with a quart of milk, Rocky-style.

“My gal at the Salvation Army has a motor coach. But she’s a couple o’ miles north of here. We need a phone.”

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GM: (You’re actually on Pearson Street, one block north of Chicago Ave)

The “herd of humanity” stumbles along slowly for some time, arduously making it past Lake Shore Park. As you approach Rush St. an out-of-place friendly sign greets you, reading “Ruby’s Place.” Despite the hour, it looks to be open.

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“Mugsy, go in and sleuth it out. Find out if they have a phone. And coffee. But I don’t want to spook them, looking like I do.”

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Pulling down on the brim of his hat, Mugsy scopes out the place a bit from the outside, peeking at the windows and customers (if any).

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GM:
Through the glass door, you can tell that the lights are on, but lowered. You’re looking at an empty Diner. The floor looks to be linoleum. Booths and seats, and a bar. The walls are bright and inviting, And there’s probably a kitchen behind the service window.

There’s a schlamiel parked at the bar, sipping coffee, reading a paper.

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“I heard o’ this place. ‘Rubys.’ They run a numbers racket. Eats into my floating craps game.”

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“Well, my troll buddy, I think I’ll have to step inside and see about using the phone. Unfortunately for you, you just got hit by a delivery truck. I mean look at you, poor fellow. Lucky for you I was stumbling around and found you and your merry band of metas who were on their way to salvation.” Mugsy says with a wink.

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“Truck? What… oh, I gotcha.” Azog scrunches his face into a poor imitation of a wink, but looks more a wince. “And these is my brothers from the Tent Revival meeting. They’s a little bit stricken of the Holy Ghost to speak just now. Yeah, that’s it.”

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GM: Allistaire rolls his eyes a bit, but does not object.

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The schlamiel seems content to sip his coffee and read the paper. There’s a stack of them next to him on the bar.

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Mugsy dashes inside the building, out of breath. “Hey there!” He intones loudly. “Didn’t you guys just see that? I think a troll just got hit by a truck or trampled by something! He needs help! Anyone have a phone, maybe some joe?”

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Taking his cue, Azog sits on the pavement outside and begins to moan forlornly.

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Jamison jumped, startled by the racket, and the man bursting through the door.

He nodded. “Yeah, we got something warm, and the phone’s over there. Get your man in here.” he watched as Mugsy left, and made for the coffee and mugs. He put himself behind the bar, when he could pour coffee, make some quick change, and maybe pull the law, if it was necessary.

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He set two coffee mugs, filled them, and set up some sugar and milk, and slid the door holding the shotgun aside with his knee.

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The smell of the coffee is too much for Azog. He crawls over the threshold, mewing pathetically. Jimmy’s shoes drag after him. Azog lays Jimmy in a booth and helps himself to coffee.

“Ah, that’s better. Oh, the phone!”

[2 dice to call a new ally.]

“Mary, it’s Azog. Yes, I know it’s early, but this is an errand of mercy. Bring the motor-coach to Ruby’s on Rush. About a dozen poor souls under a hex. Oh, and bring me a change of clothes. Explain later.”

Azog hangs up and returns to the counter for a refill. He places thirty-five cents on the table.

“Bring the others in off the street. We’ll wait for rescue here. This’ll buy coffee for half of ’em.”

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Jamison looks over at Azog. “What all happened to the lot of you, chum? What ran you over?”

Then, after a pause, he sucks his teeth. The look on his face would make a boxer cry. “You trying to make a monkey out of me, brother? This is my place, too. And it’s a dinge joint. Half the neighborhood’s on good terms with this establishment, and you wanna draw magicks down on this place? Your man’s awfully chatty for someone who’s been run down. Or, was it ‘trampled, or something?’ And who said the damned diner’s open? It’s four in the goddamned morning, if you haven’t looked, friend.”

The way he sucked the life out of the word “friend” left no doubt that the crew that just sat down was anything but.

“Lemme be real clear. You so much as move, and I’ll have to scrape you guys off the wall. I said one man. You bring a crew. Hell, do you guys even know what will happen to this place, we start serving your kind in here? You just stepped on the wrong shoes, buster. Now, then. Come over here, pick up your damned money, and then explain why you decided to ruin my morning. Be quick, and be honest. That’s my advice.”

“And if you’re wise, you’ll take it.”

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Suddenly, Jamison’s eyes go slightly wider. He glances at the stacks of newspapers on the bar, then back at the people in the diner.

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“All right, mister, we get it. You don’t serve our kind here. Well, I’ve been thrown out of much nicer places than this. And if you think you and whatever hardware you’ve got behind the bar are the scariest thing I’ve seen tonight, you couldn’t be more wrong.”

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“I thought you said you wuz at a prayer meeting?!” Mugsy stares incredulously at the troop. “Nobody said nothing about no hex!”

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“Easy, Brother. I mean they’s slain in the Spirit. Anyhow, I’ll take back my change and shake off the dust o’ this place. That is, if this gentleman will give me leave to move without blasting his bird gun at me.”

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Jamison looked at Azog. “No, sir, you’re fit to stay. This being a dinge joint, and all, we’d serve you, here. We’ve never turned away a Troll, or an Orc, and all the Negroes here downtown are more than welcome. But, sir, it’s early, I’m the only one here, and while you’re free to whatever pot of coffee I’ve made, We’re not so much open to business, and I don’t appreciate people coming in from an emergency that wasn’t an emergency.”

Jamison licked his lips. This would be the tricky part, and he had no idea what was going to happen. His eyes drifted over the refugees that had wandered in from the cold. “Now, those people need help. You look pretty rough, yourself. And maybe I came at you wrong, chum. How about this? How about I get these people something to eat, and I pour you guys some coffee, and, since we’re all being friendly, you tell me what the real deal is? I used to be a cop. I get a fair handle on when someone’s spinning me stories.”

He brushed his top lip with a knuckle, and used his pinkie finger to point at Mugsy. “Now, we’re being nice, so if you’re gonna stay, I ain’t under orders to throw you out, whoever you are. But this is a dinge joint. You’re not welcome, so, if you’re with him, and them, you’re good. You sit in the back, away from the windows. You get me? House rules. I got nothing to do with it.”

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“God’s Truth, sir, the emergency is genuine, and you’re doing a good deed here.” Azog begins to serve coffee to the speechless metahumans. As he nears the window he draws the curtains and locks the door.

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“They’re… uh, they’re addled, then, are they?” Jamison looked at Azog as he lowered the draperies. “How much danger is this place is? What kind of hoodoo are we looking at?”

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Azog swallows and looks at Mugsy, unsure how to answer.

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GM: For their part, the metas take the coffee and dutifully sip it, as if on reflex. Allistaire keeps to himself, visibly uncomfortable ever since the “dinge” reference.

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Jamison notes Azog’s hesitation. “Now’s not the time to be holding back. If something happens to this place, I’m out of a job. And I’m not the only one.”

He looks over at Allistaire, and Jamison’s face sours. “You guys are with him, too, huh?” he asks.

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“Look pal, loose lips sink ships. Thats the kind of thing we’re dealing with here. We don’t tell you, you can claim you don’t know anything about it. Seems better for all involved. Like I told ya, he got trampled coming back from a prayer meeting with his parishioners. I’ll kindly take my leave and get the other cracker outta here with me so as to avoid any trouble and make sure you keep your job.”

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GM: For clarification, the other metahumans include: 3 humans (white), 4 Elves (including Allistaire), 2 Dwarves, and 3 Orcs.

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“We’ll be on our way in an hour, tops. I reckon it’s slightly better we wait in here than on the sidewalk for all to see. Besides, if we were being tailed by an Ethereal entity I reckon we’d have been nabbed already.”

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“Doesn’t the Holy Ghost count as an Ethereal entity?”

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“…”

“I got nothin’, Brother. You best ask the Rev. Father. Anyhow let’s sit tight until the coach comes.”

Azog tries to sit Jimmy’s languid form upright in the booth.

“He’s still out. I don’t think he can go with the others. We’ll have to figure out something else.”

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GM: Allistaire mutters under his breath, “They probably have trash bin out back…”

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Jamison rubs an eyebrow with his index finger, thumbs at Allistaire, "This one’s a real peach, brother.

He takes a pull of coffee, and then turns his attention to Mugsy. "Listen, buddy, it’s not me. Okay? It’s the diner. Now, the way I see it, I’m the only one here, and the diner doesn’t open until six. Besides, it’s freezing out, and no one should be out in that. It’s warmer here, and trust me, those guys over there, sipping their coffee? They’re the quietest customers this place has seen. And seriously, you don’t think a queue of proper white gentlemen outside Ruby’s at three in the AM, freezing their ears off and zonked on drugs or magic would attract attention? The folks around here are poor, fella. Telling unusual stories is a good way for them to pass the time.

But I forgot the chili. It’s actually really good."

He thumbs out Allistaire again. “You might wanna ask the princess if she’s hungry.”

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And with that, and a nod to Azog, Jamison walks into the kitchen to plate up some chili.

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With Chambers gone, Azog says, “He seems a good guy. I hate to involve him in our trouble. Boots is probably missing his wares and his man by now. Let’s hope he doesn’t discover the barge before we’re gone.”

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Unselfconsciously Azog picks up and begins reading the morning paper while sipping his coffee.

“Ha! That thing Lovecraft called down was called a byakhee. Seems it tore up a few floors before vanishing to whence it came. I bet it gave ol’ Boots a scare!”

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GM: Allistaire briefly gapes at Azog, then recovers himself, “Your friend summoned a voidbeast into The Labrador? Perhaps it is a good thing he died, then.”

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Jamison carries a tray full of bowls over to the hexed cadre sipping on coffee. Stepping back into the kitchen, he plates some chili for the more talkative bunch near the bar. “So, then, that was you guys in the papers. The mob hit.” Take a pull on his coffee. “Only thing I can’t figure is, why would a bunch of bag-men be wandering the streets with a crew of addled metas at 3am.”

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“Say, you take that back! We’re not bag men. I’m a straight-shooting professional gambler, these gentlemen all work honest trades (if you include banking). The incident at the Labrador was an honest misunderstanding.

“And to further allay suspicions, I’d like to ask that you disappear into the kitchen another moment while I make another phone call. There’s a few thousand pounds of stuff that needs to disappear fast if we’re to cover our trail. Leave the chili.”

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Just then, a Diesel engine shudders to a halt outside and a car horn toots.

Azog stands and his countenance brightens.

“That’ll be my lady with your ride, boys. Finish up your chili and file out!”

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Sure enough, Sister Mary forces the door open with a tug and fills the frame with her bulk.

“Azog, you miserable scoundrel, what is the meaning of this? You wake me at three in the morning for a ride, and I find you here having dinner with no shirt? You’ve been up to no good, haven’t you? Confess!”

Azog can only stare slack-jawed and mute.

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Jamison scratches his head, and smiles. “Up to no good? Why, they made the papers!”

With that, he holds up a copy.

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Eyes blazing (literally), Sister Mary bellows, “Fiend!” deafening the patrons and rattling the silverware.

She hurls a small valise at Azog’s skull. He tumbles over the countertop and the latch breaks, scattering silk shirt, wool socks, trousers, suspenders and tiepin into the air. His sheepish visage emerges and she follows up by tossing a voluminous pinstriped coat over his head. A hatbox has been deposited on a table.

“I suppose these are your cronies from the pool hall? Goodness, they look like they’ve been living in the sewers! All right, into the coach, everyone. We’re going to get you a hot shower and clean bed. Maybe have the nurse look at you; you don’t look quite right.” She addresses Azog once again: “Don’t come back around until you’ve cleaned up your act, Mister.”

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Jamison judiciously waits until the cyclone has left, then whistles. Without a word, he tops off Azog’s coffee and looks at the remaining folks in the diner. “What a dame, huh?”

“Well, on the upside, you have a change of clothes. There’s a shower upstairs, if you need it, but it’s not exactly a room at the Blackstone.”

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“How does a white guy get a job working at a dinge joint?”

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Jamison raises an eyebrow, and takes a pull of his coffee. “Well, I’ll tell you. It helps to know the right people. Of course, I had my degree from NYU to fall back on, and I’d been with the police, so they knew I was an honest, upstanding gentleman. …Because us officers of the law, you know, we have a well-earned reputation. Really, though, you have to be a part of high-society…”

He chuckled. “Listen, I was broke. Half frozen to death. I was down to my last fifteen cents, carting a suitcase behind me which held everything I had in the world. Ruby let me in, to grab some hot coffee and a few biscuits. I thawed out in here. Turns out, there was a misunderstanding at the bar. I settled it, without causing a fuss, and threw ’em out. So, she fed me lunch.” With that, he shoveled the last of the chili in his bowl into his maw, and nodded.

“That’s why I let you in. Question for a question, though. You guys look a bit rougher around the edges than the princess, here. He your boss?” His eyes give Allistaire the old up-and-down, before going back to his coffee.

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(To be fair, Allistair looks every bit as gaunt and bedraggled as the other metas that Azog and Mugsy rescued, he simply carries himself in a fashion that communicates superiority.)

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GM: At sister Mary’s order, the various rescuees file outside, still all responsive only to commands. Jimmy, however, remains unconscious and unnoticed by Sister Mary. When Sister Mary drives off, only Mugsy, Azog, Allistaire, Jimmy, and Jamison are left remaining.

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Azog snorts, "Hardly. Moneybags here was one of… ah, the members of the prayer group that we rescued from… ah, perdition. He just puts on airs. Recon he’s used to o-bei-sance.

“Dangit, Mary, you forgot my cufflinks!” Azog is now dressed, but without the cufflinks his French cuffs looks a bit ridiculous.

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“So now that the rest are gone, what to do with Jimmy? And how do we deal with the, uh, merchandise that’s still out there? I hate to see it just get impounded when dawn breaks and some uniform stumbles across it.

“On the other hand, if we could find a fence able to work fast, I reckon we could get a few Gs out of the deal.”

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“I’m not saying I know a guy, mind you,” Jamison said, over the rim of his mug. "But someone over the course of the day here’s bound to. I’d be shocked and dismayed, and not a little put off, if I couldn’t find a way to turn some misplaced merchandise into some needed money.

…For a charity, say. And there’s room upstairs, if we’re willing to rent it."

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“Charity,” says Azog, lifting his mug as if to toast. “But will have to be sooner than ‘the course of the day.’ Dawn will make the work difficult, or impossible.”

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“Well, I’ve already got my walking shoes on,” Jamison nodded. “Let’s see if we can’t move the misplaced gear to one of the upper floors, here. You know, to make sure that our people have the time to help. What do you say to that, chum?”

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“Ha ha, walkin’ shoes. You’ll need galoshes and knickerbockers as well. And a truck. It’s about three or four tons all told, though we can be picky and make it one or two.”

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“Well, I’ve got the galoshes, and whatnot. But I don’t even know about the truck.”

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Azog rises up, handsome as a troll can be in his new threads, to address the room.

“Gentlemen, I propose that we return to the derelict and collect as much as we can. There’s a score to settle, and we can’t fight something with nothing. We can take some arms for ourselves and sell the rest, as well as the hooch. Anything we can’t salvage we dump overboard—no sense it just finding its way back into enemy hands.

“God’s truth, I never knew ‘going straight’ would be like this. In the last twenty-four hours I’ve been stung by an ethermage, muscled by a pack of orks, chased by a void beast, clawed at by ghouls, shot by Jimmy over here…” He points. "And for what reward? The swells we rescued go to warm beds and the ministrations of the fair sisters at the Salvation Army, and I get a suitcase to the teapot. Well, phooey! Boots and his doll have got one coming after what happened back there.

“It’s time to take the gloves off, boys. If they come at us with an ethermage, we come at them with a lich. They send one of ours to the morgue, we send one of theirs to Lord Azathoth. That’s the Chicago Way!”

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GM: Jimmy stirs and moans a little, but does not seem to fully rouse. Allistaire watches on quietly through the back and forth, then simply replies, “I can see to the liquidation of your assets, as well as the arrangement of a truck. Allow me to use the phone.”

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Jamison dashes a letter off to Ruby’s opener, telling what happened, more or less, and saying that he’s going to try to earn the place a bit of cash, and himself, too, if he’s able. He uses a magnet to affix the note to the fridge, and jogs upstairs to properly gear himself.

When he returns, he carries a small box, containing a pair of cuff-links. Simple, tasteful, silver. He sets them down next to Azog at the bar.

“Whatever happens next, you have to shine, you know?”

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“There’s the matter of the the blood and gore, comrades. Ritualistic magic the likes of which are in play live to get their hands on that of their enemies. We must control all of it in and around that boat and its cargo. Whatever we can’t must be destroyed.”

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“Do you guys know any people who can clear the area of hoodoo?”

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“We did,” says Azog ruefully. “A word of warning: be careful of your etherphone. Lately they’ve been turning dangerous to handle.”

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Jamison smiled. “Less a problem for me, pal.”

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“The options, as far as I see them are: we take everything we can and store it in a safe place, or we only take the stuff thats not splattered and destroy the rest.”

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“It’ll probably be option B, since we’re fighting daylight. Shall we use the hooch to burn the deck of the barge? That’ll draw some lookie-lous, but I can’t think of another way. Water’s shallow enough to salvage anything we dump.”

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“Burning does seem the best option.”

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“Then it’s decided. Now where’s that truck we were promised?”

Azog offers a paw to Chambers.

“Mister, you’re all right. Now, for your sake and ours, we’re using aliases from here out. Call me Troll—easy enough to remember. (Just do your best to forget that my lady-friend already used my name earlier.) You know Moneybags, he doesn’t get to pick a name ’cause he was all snooty earlier. Me brother here,” he indicates Mugsy, “has several names, even I don’t know all of ’em. How shall we call you?”

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“Around here, they call me Black Bag. I always though it was kinda silly, but it’ll do. What do I call Sir Names-a-lot?”

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“Well ain’t we a regular Three Musketeers then, eh? ‘All for one and one for all,’ am I right? And we’ve got a Milady de Winter to deal with, a nasty bag she is, too. She nearly iced me on the train out of town yesterday. She has weird power over etherphones, and probably other tricks we ain’t seen yet.

“Overnight we three (me, Mugsy and Lovecraft, God rest him) made our way into the sewers to escape The Labrador and stumbled over a big operation. Slaves was loading up barges with guns and hooch; Moneybags here among them! Well, Lovecraft got a poisoned ethertext and died on the spot. Mugsy and I iced a pack of ghouls and got away on a barge that’s now parked about six blocks from here! Jimmy and his goons was in charge o’ the operation.

“The whole thing is Boots O’Hanlon’s operation. He don’t want me to quit the gambling business ‘cause he gets a cut. He done something to Mugsy’s kin a while back. And you, well I don’t know your beef with him, but I saw youse eyes light up when I mentions his name, and brother, it scared me to see it, big as I am.

“I reckon now’s the time. Let’s walk to the barge and start unloading what we can, pray the truck will meet us on the bank before dawn. Moneybags, your man is reliable, right?”

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“If Moneybags, there, has a man, why not just skate over there, meet up with someone who knows how to move a boat, and float the whole business somewhere safe, assuming your man’s good for a fence? We’ll all get more, there’s less chance of a run-in with proper authorities, and, if we can make it happen soon enough, the cold will be our ally.”

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GM: Allistaire shakes his head, “Harbor Patrol.” He steps up to the phone and gives Jamison an irritated look, “If I may?”

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Jamison shrugs. “If you think it’s safe.”

“Now, hold on. You said something about ghouls. I take it to mean that you meant sewer-dwellers. Right? Because we all know there aren’t any ghouls outside the swamphole in Louisiana…

…Right?" His eyes betray his intent on getting an answer.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

“I’d just a soon avoid the sewers for a while. Before today, I can honestly say I never had any desire to travel below street level. After today, lets just say I will never vote for or invest in someone who wants to put a subway here in Chicago.”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

“So we add ‘ghoul’ to the list of things Boots is smuggling. And that just ain’t right! Running guns and hooch, that’s just business. But bringing flesh-eaters to our fair city is an abomination!”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

“Yeah. Just business.”

There’s a short, but notable pause. “Anyone who wants to pipe up, feel free. Where’s the percentage in Boots bringing those …things… into the city?”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

Azog scratches his head and adds, "Not sure we mentioned: these ghouls was controlled. With an army of those things, Boots could move in on the other bosses’ turf. Maybe get himself crowned Capo di tutti capi.

“Only way to find out is to get his doll to sing. That’s how it works in the funny papers, leastwise.”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

GM: Allistaire hangs up the phone and shakes his head, “Not controlled, only warded away. I do not believe the mind control spell had an impact on them the way it did the other prisoners. In fact, it seemed more like there was something resembling an alliance between Boots’ men and the Ghouls.”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

“I’ve had enough ‘unholy alliances’ in my short life. First those damnable Indians and their dance, then the Kaiser and his mancers, now Boots and his undead minions.”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

“Right. Let’s get going. Them crates and barrels ain’t going to unload themselves.” Azog hoists Jimmy over his shoulder and steps onto the sidewalk.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

Jamison throws his Greatcoat on, and tucks his Fedora over his eyes. He nonchalantly tosses his head at the victim over Troll’s shoulder. “Maybe we should set him up somewhere? Somewhere he won’t freeze to death if he loses any blood?”

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

GM: Allistaire steps out quickly behind Azog, staying close and looking annoyed.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

Hands shoved in coat pockets, Mugsy files along.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

Jamison looked both ways before stepping out of the diner, then turned, locked the doors, and gave them a solid shake, making sure they didn’t ‘accidentally’ pop back open. He popped his collar to warm his neck, shoved his hands into his greatcoat, and fell into step behind the crew.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
 

“Oh, right. Good thinking.” Azog shifts Jimmy to his nice, warm armpit.

Somewhere Near the Waterworks
Neko_Bijin

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