Chicago Lightning

The Five and Diner

The Diner is cheery, clean, and pleasant – although a far cry from the luxury of The Venetian Room. The smell of cooking eggs and pancakes along with the odor of coffee on the stove permeates the entire place. As Jamison, Mugsy, and Felicia step in they are greeted by a cheerful dwarf on a riser who beckons them toward a side of the diner with larger, more robust seating designed to be comfortable for Trolls.

As Jamison, Felicia, and Azog settle in, a human waitress brings them each a steaming mug of coffee, sets a menu before each of them, and quickly heads off to her next table.

Comments

“Say, Mister… Reverend… aw hell, Black Bag, when you get your fill, let’s step outside and use the phone booth to call your contact at the Ambassador. This seems to be a night for funny action at hotels.

“Felicia and I will split an egg cream. Two straws, please.”

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison pulled off his Fedora. “Good thinking, kid. But my friend was working the barber’s shoppe, and I doubt they’re still open, anyhow.” He licked his teeth. “This business just doesn’t make sense.”

He shook his head, as if that would rid him of his thoughts. “So, Felicia. My friend, Peck? He’s in safe hands with your friends, right?” He smiled.

When the food was set down, he attacked the steak and eggs like it had insulted his grandmother.

The Five and Diner
 

While Jamison eats, Azog keeps his eyes on the scene outside. He barely hears Felicia as she goes on and on.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Felicia beams at Azog, “I don’ really know Bernie, she’s only been hangin’ out with us recently, and it was her idea to come here t’night.” She shrugs absently, “No tellin’, tho. I’ve nevah seen a proper sting! It’s all kinda excitin’!”

The Five and Diner
 

“Yeah. This here’s what’s called a stakeout. That’s what we call it when me buddy eats a steak and I look out the window.

“Bernie, huh? She wasn’t dancing. She came lookin’ for a fellah? Hah! Hope she leaves poor Mu-uh, Peck in one piece!”

Azog looks at Jamison. “Say, how’d you and him get separated? Did Bernie do that?”

The Five and Diner
 

“Yeah, I get that. But, the other doll-face? Maude, was it? What was her story? How long have you known her?” Jamison continued to wolf down the rest of his steak and eggs.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

The waiter stops by with the egg cream, Troll-sized, and then walks away.

“Maeve?” Felicia slurps out of the gallon sized dish with her straw, “I dunno, couple months? Ran in to her more downtown at a speakeasy. We made friends and she seemed to always know new places t’ go.” she shrugs, “We hit it off real nice that first night at the Green Door, an’ since then we stayed in touch, went out on the town together. Sometimes she’d have some guy breathin’ heavy at her and she’d ask me t’ help get him away, but she’s a real doll! I hope she’s ok!” She frets, biting on her lip in a way that Azog finds very distracting.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

After a pause she adds, “We normally don’t come down this way, but Bernie really wanted to hear Benny. She an’ Maeve got into it real good, but finally Bernie got her way. Looks like they’d made nice by the time you guys showed up!”

The Five and Diner
 

“Well, you know how it can get. My friend, Mr. Peck? He has that effect of the softer sex. As for your friends, I’m sure they are fine.” His voice turns into a conspiratorial grumble. “Did you ladies even get a sip of the champagne we sent over? To send it back to the maitre d’, unopened? What a shame that would be.”

The Five and Diner
 

“Quit griping about the cash. It’s water over the dam. Hm. You know, we ain’t no closer to solving the… other matter from yesterday, neither. Anyhow I pinched this while we was in the kitchen.”

[2d6+2 thief. GM will determine the item based upon the roll: 5+6+2=13! Wow!]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

it’s a REALLY nice bottle of red wine, possibly the same stuff as the so called “elven berry juice”

The Five and Diner
 

“There! That’ll go good with desert.” He sets the bottle on the table. The label is aged and written in French, meaning it’s pre-War. Azog grasps none of that, of course.

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison jaw slackens as he reads the label. Gaping, he looks at the bottle, then at Azog, then at the bottle again, then back at Azog.

Then, back at the bottle.

“My God, man. My absolute word. You have my absolute word that I will not breathe another word about the champagne. This is pre-war, and French, to boot!” He tears his eyes from the bottle to look at Felicia. “You sure can pick ‘em, doll. Yessir, this man’s an absolute peach!”

The Five and Diner
 

“Peach cobbler, please,” Azog orders. “What’s taking so long? Mugsy doesn’t seem the type to linger.” Felicia notices the name change and makes a quizzical face, but Azog isn’t looking.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

And indeed, there seems to be no outside activity at the Southmoor. It has been roughly 30 minutes since Azog and Felicia made their way out of the hotel.

The Five and Diner
 

“Well, they’re all inside, so the net’s closed. In a few minutes, they’ll release the standers-by, and Peck’ll be with ‘em. Or should be, anyway. My thinking is, if he was ’busy’, he didn’t get the message, which is why he’s not here sharing an egg creme with me.”

At this, he winks at Felicia.

“Either way, we’ve seen what we can see from here. I’m thinking we head on over, stand with the onlookers, and make sure our man’s buttoned up. Chances are, unless they went room-raiding, he’s still upstairs. Either that, or in the lounge, waiting to be released with everyone else.”

The Five and Diner
 

“Yeah. I’m tired of waiting. Let’s go see.”

As the threesome step onto the sidewalk, a quartet of young aristocrats and their dates walk by, laughing. They overhear, “Last night at the Labrador, and now this! What a week!”

Azog says, "We could enter the same way we got out, a coal chute in the back. Puts us in the basement though.

“It might be worth asking one of the suits what’s up. Wasn’t you one of them once? Maybe they’ll spill the beans.”

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison smiles.

“Sure, I can talk to ‘em. You might wanna put that bottle of high-quality hooch back into your coat, though. Treasury doesn’t take kindly to wine.” With that, he lays a $5 bill on the table, and slides off the seat.

The Five and Diner
 

“I used to be a look-out man. Strictly small-time stuff, you understand. Good eyes in the dark. A nose for trouble. Here’s the thing: they ain’t really watching the doors no more. They act like the mousetrap’s already been sprung. The guys outside are the ones too low on the totem pole to see the action, so they’re stuck idling the cars and shooing the lookie-lous. Anybody worth talking to is already inside.

“Hey, look! It’s our band leader.”

[-1 style die]

Benny Goodman is loitering in a shadow catty-corner the hotel with his Troll bassist. They appear to be smoking marijuana cigarettes. Azog gives a friendly wave and the musicians wave back.

Content Not Found: benjamin-david-benny-goodman

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison walks over, wearing a smirk. “Trust the Treasury to come bust up a good evening, huh?”

The Five and Diner
 

“You know it,” says Benny. He takes a drag and blows slow and long. “This is G. Clef, my twin brother,” he says, tilting his head at the Troll. G. Clef grins a mouthful of fangs and offers the joint to Azog.

“No thanks,” says Azog. “I’m, uh, Rupert. This here’s Black Bag. The lady’s Miss Felicia. You fellas sure play, uh, really good.” Azog begins to worry that he’s being uncool.

“Hey, you boys fancy sharing a $400 bottle of wine?” He holds up the bottle and shrugs slightly at Jamison.

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison chuckles, and shakes everyone’s hand. “$400, if you can find it! But, yeah, sure. It’s a bottle. It’s meant to be shared! What do you guys say? We stay back here, the G-men won’t see.”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

G. Clef chuckles deeply, “You boys got a lotta brass, standing here talkin’ to us and offerin’ booze while the Fed is snoopin’ ‘round right next door. We’ll pass, but I admire your sand. Last thing I want is to talk to Agent Carlyle with booze on my breath.”

The Five and Diner
 

“Not a problem, man. At the very least, we know that there’s no way we’re talking to the Treasury right now, right? Listen, guys, we have something of a problem, and we’d like to ask for your help. We’d be happy to give you the bottle, if you could see us back inside. Seems a friend of ours is still inside, despite my warning, and it’d be totally boss if we could poke around. You know, just to make sure the Treasury didn’t get him. You’d actually be doing us two favors, really…”

Jamison winks at G. Clef. “…We all know what a bad idea it is, walking around with the Treasury while holding.”

The Five and Diner
 

“I’m getting nervous about Mugsy. The Feds might ha’ sprung a honey trap on him.” He pockets the bottle.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

G. Clef shrugs noncommittally and looks over to Benny. Benny grins, “Sounds like you boys are in a fix. Problem is they won’t let us in until after they’ve done their thing. Believe me, we’ve seen our fair share of stings, and at this point it’s more or less wait it out til they’re done.” He, too, shrugs apologetically.

The Five and Diner
 

“C’mon, Benny. You’re a Maxwell Street boy, am I right? Don’t tell me you never slipped into a building before. I bet you can get us past those suits, by hook or by crook, if you get me. Benny c’mon, you gonna let some hatchet-face in a gray suit tell you where you can and can’t go? You’re cooler than that! Just show me the door you used and if anybody asks, tell ‘em I play in your band. It’ll be fun to pull the wool over these guys, right? Whaddya say?”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Benny frowns at the reference and then shakes his head, “Look, cat, you seem pretty hep and all that, but there’s no way I’m lettin’ you drag us into your mess. I’ve got a good thing goin’, and the last thing I want to do is ruin it by gettin’ in duch with the Treasury. I’m sorry man, best of luck, but you’re on your own.”

(And Neko gains a training point for a failed skill check!!!)

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison frowns. "Boss man, before I started doing this, whatever this turns out to be, I bounced for a dinge joint downtown. My friends and I came out here from across town to see you, because of your reputation. Your man likes my sand, and that’s fine, but it’s not much to lose when you’ve got nothing for the G-men to take. I understand the risk. I respect you guys for playing mixed clubs and dinge joints. You guys are real men, and it takes real minerals to do what you do, especially when so much is on the line. Now, I say that, to say this: with or without your help, we have to get in that joint. With your help, we stand to lose a lot less. So, I’m asking you guys, just this once. Can you help us? There’s an easily-concealed bottle of wine in it for you. French stock, pre-war. Valued at enough to pay for a few inner-city tours, or even some studio time.

You guys are no kids. You’ve seen how the world works. Help us out. We’re beggin’ you." Jamison locks eyes with the band leader.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

If anything, Benny looks more resolute. “Look here, you know how far I bend over to spread the love, so trust me when I say this is no can do. You’re a fine trio of hep cats, but you gotta understand, it’s Carlyle we’re talkin’ about here, and I do not cross that suit. Dig?” He turns to G. Clef, “C’mon G, let’s hit that diner while we wait.”

With that the two of them walk off.

The Five and Diner
 

“I bet Al Jolson would have helped us,” mutters Azog loudly enough to hear as the musicians walk away.

The Five and Diner
 

“Azog? Show me where that coal chute is.” Jamison began to smirk again, his feet picking up the pace as he followed the Troll.

The Five and Diner
 

“Felicia, wait here.” Azog crosses the street and shows the ingress in the wall. After a glance left and right he indicates the coast is clear.

The Five and Diner
 

“Well, let’s go.”

With that, Jamison jumps into the coal chute. He hurriedly moves out of the way of the incoming Troll.

The Five and Diner
 

“So we’re thinking the same thing, right? Cut the lights?”

The Five and Diner
 

“We’re gonna need a bit more than that, friend. Yeah, though, that’s a good start. First thing’s first, though. Push some of that coal into a pile right under the hatch, there, and try to find something to prop it open. I’m gonna try to find the breakers.”

The Five and Diner
 

Azog gets to work. He has, in point of fact, shoveled coal before.

[Feat of strength, Troll forte.]

[2d6+2=1+3+2. Extra effort, burn one die, 6. 2d6+2=6+3+2=11 Sixteen tons a day!]

The Five and Diner
 

[Ah, but what did you get?]

The Five and Diner
 

After the coal is piled, Azog finds some old newspapers bound in twine. He shreds them and builds a nest of kindling atop the pile.

“You know, I swar I weren’t gonna do no burn jobs no more,” he tells Jamison.

He twists a wad of newspaper into a serviceable punk and soaks the tip in brandy from his hip flask. “Ready when you are.”

The Five and Diner
 

“Coal burns slow. We’re not gonna cost this place anything more than a paint job, Troll. This sin’t a burn job. We’re making more smoke than we are anything else. Now, then, light ‘er up. It’s gotta look legitimate.”

Jamison waits until the room is filling with smoke, then he steps over to the fire cord, and gives it a sharp tug. Glancing over to see that Azog propped the coal chute, he chuckled as the fire alarm started to roar. He calmly strode across the room to Azog.

“Your flask, sir.”

With a light cough, He made his way over to the electric box, popped it open, and threw the large master breaker into the ‘off’ position. Then, he emptied the flask over the breaker and the glass bulbs behind it, and, with a flick of his zippo, set the whole business aflame.

It was then that Azog got his flask back. “Well, it’s time to go,” Jamison said.

He burst into the kitchen, coughing up a storm.

FIRE! Get out of here, everyone! There’s a fire!” He made sure to throw the door wide, letting in a gout of black smoke, as well as Azog, the both of them choking and hacking.

The Five and Diner
 

There’s a gas stove simmering in the kitchen to provide some light and the kitchen staff seem already have made their escape into the alley, but the lobby is pitch dark and people are feeling the walls to find the exits. There is shouting and an atmosphere of surging panic.

Azog takes Jamison by the hand tightly and leads him into the lobby, then to the main staircase.

“We’ll have to check floor by floor,” he says into Jamison’s ear.

Azog pushes against the flow of escaping guests (easily) and scans the second floor fruitlessly, then the third. On the fourth floor, however, he sees some unusual activity at the end of the hall. A cluster of men are standing purposefully around an open bedroom door. They are not panicking, and at least one of them is shining a flashlight.

“Bulls-eye,” says Azog.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Okay, you two. Before you get to bamf up to the fourth floor, I need each of you to give me some sort of roll to reflect your navigating through the panicked crowd. Azog’s DC will be lower, due to his thermographic, but if you’re both going to arrive at the right place in good order, you’re both going to have to succeed on some sort of check. Describe how you maintain your calm, then show me your die rolls.

The Five and Diner
 

>maintain your calm

(I’m going to go ahead and call it Streetwise, but Law Enforcement would tell me how to work against a crowd, too.

So, 2d6+2 for streetwise, +2 for outnumbered)

Roll(2d6)2:
3,2,
2
Total:7 (without Outnumbered, 9 with)

The Five and Diner
 

Azog climbs the staircase towing Jamison by the hand. Where he is able, he side-steps fleeing patrons. Where not, he simply checks them aside [Troll]. Techniques Surprise Attack, In the Dark and Slippery all are relevant.

2d6+2=1+6+2. Reroll: 2. Stack remaining techniques: plus 2. Result: 2+6+2+1+1=10.

The Five and Diner
 

Gonna go ahead and re-roll (Style dice, save me!)

Roll(2d6)2:
6,3,
2
Total:11

WHOOO! That’s without Outnumbered, yo!

The Five and Diner
 

For a second, Jamison lost his bearings. It was dark, and his eyes burned from all the smoke. People were storming out of the stairwells into the lobby, milling about in the dark, and trying to make their way out. In short order, this panicked crowd would start trampling people.

Time to use the Daddy voice, Jamison mused. “Ladies and gentlemen! There has been a fire, but you are all on the ground floor! You are safe! Now, we need you guys to exit the hotel! Form lines, and make for the front door! Again, you are on the ground floor, and you are safe! There are police outside, and they will help you! If you’re calm, you’ll be able to see the door from here! We need you to move!”

With that, he looked around, spotted Azog heading into a stairwell, and followed.

The Five and Diner
 

[Math fail. Total was 12, not 10.]

The Five and Diner
 

(Jut HAD to beat me, huh?)

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

As Azog and Jamison make it up to the fourth floor, the agents at the far end with the flashlight seem to be in pandemonium. Suddenly, several of them begin running down the hallway. Azog and Jamison can hear gunshots.

The Five and Diner
 

“Cover,” whispers Azog to Jamison, pointing up half a flight of stairs. With that, Azog grabs the balustrade and vaults over.

Staircases are not exactly bridges, but they’re not entirely different either. Azog clings effortlessly to the underside. As the agents run down the stair, Azog reaches his long arm between the balusters and sweeps them off their feet. This is an entirely novel attack to them, and in the dark they all tumble headlong and land in a heap.

When the last of the agents has been dealt with, Azog climbs back up to rejoin Jamison and confront their leader.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Neko, give me two rolls, one to measure the success of your trolling, and one to measure the success of your tripping.

The Five and Diner
 

[Troll: 2d6+2=2+4+2=8. Add 1 for in-the-dark. 9. Balustrade vaulted.]

[Hand-to-hand: 2d6+2=1+6+2=9. Use technique surprise attack to reroll: 3. New total: 3+6+2=11. Bonus! Azog is acting very Trollish and brings a second Forte into play: add 2. Plus technique in the dark (chained to troll). Add 1. Total now: 3+6+2+2+1=14 There’s no such thing as overkill!]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

The four federal agents running aren’t expecting such an attack at all, and Azog sends all four of them tumbling painfully down to the landing.

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison made his way down the hallway with Azog directly behind him. Reaching the mostly-closed door, he held up one finger, signalling Azog to hold. Then, he took off his greatcoat and Fedora, setting both on the ground. Then, he stretched his arms, balled up his fists, brought them up to cover his face, curled up his torso, and got ready…

Moments later, the gunplay died away, and a second later, the door swung in. Jamison followed the door, exploding into action, fists first!

[Okay. 2d6. +2 for Boxing, +2 for Brutal (Jamison’s trying to take someone’s head off!) Result, 6,3, for a total of nine. +4 gives me a THIRTEEN. Kaboom, yo!]

NOW!!!”

The Five and Diner
 

Azog slips through the door right after Jamison to support him. His claws are out and he’s ready to scan for any trace of Mugsy, or threats.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Jamison steps into the room and a shadowy figure turns towards him as he unleashes an uppercut. Only as he is about to connect does the lithe figure of Bernie register in his mind – but too late. His fist connects and her head snaps back as she barks out a loud yelp of pain and staggers backwards.

Bernie takes 4 Wound ranks.

The Five and Diner
 

Scanning the room thermographically, Azog notices that:

  1. there are three men with hot handguns standing by the open window
  2. Mugsy is nowhere to be seen, and
  3. Jamison is beating up the girl who shared a table with him earlier that evening.

It adds up to bad news. Before he has crossed the threshold, Azog is reversing out again and pulls Jamison after him. For good measure, he tosses a pair of dice after and closes the door. pop pop go the dice.

“Beat it. Mugsy’s gone out the window,” says Azog.

The Five and Diner
 

“Hell.”

Jamison beat feet after Azog.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

There is a yelp of suprise as the dice go off, but beyond that Azog and Jamison aren’t around to hear the rest of what goes on.

Both of you yokels give me die rolls to navigate wherever you’re going. And tell me where you’re going.

The Five and Diner
 

Staircase.

[Thief, slippery: 2d6+2=5+1+2. Reroll:6. 5+6+2=13.]

The Five and Diner
 

Right behind him, God-willing. Let the big guy lead the way.

[2d6= 4, 4, for a total of eight. Shouldn’t be too bad, he’s right in front of me.]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Azog flees quickly down the stairs, with Jamison in to. As they get to the bottom floor, Azog begins weaving and pressing his way through the crowd, making for the ballroom and the musician’s exit there. Jamison struggles to keep up, and eventually is separated from Azog, who fails to notice that Jamison is no longer with him.

The crowd is panicked, there is almost no light at all in the room, the smell of coal smoke is thick and choking, people are screaming, and it is fairly evident that if anyone is being let out, it’s not going very efficiently or quickly at all. People are shoving up against each other, attempting to climb over each other, coughing violently, and in some cases wailing in terror.

Azog manages to fight his way through the press and notices their boxed up dinner still sitting on the table. Felicia’s handbag is nowhere to be seen insofar as he can tell.

Jamison finds himself completely disoriented and confused, not having the troll’s thermographic vision to aid his cause.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Not only did Jamison roll an 8, failing the skill check to follow Azog, but Azog rolled an 8, thereby failing the skill check to notice that Jamison was getting lost!

The Five and Diner
 

“Hey look, Black Bag, our dinners! Black Bag?”

The thoughts and feelings of others do not register very strongly upon the Troll. The bedlam doesn’t much distract him, but now his goal is unclear. He scans about and spots a utility door hidden in a wall but visible as an infra-red outline. Good. Now he casts about for Jamison. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to distinguish an individual by his heat signature.

“Black Bag,” he roars. “Over here!” Not much use in the din.

Azog begins playing the piano—very badly—but loudly enough to serve as a beacon in the dark.

The Five and Diner
 

[Roll(2d6)2,(Streetwise):
6,2,2
Total:10. Missed it by one fucking point.]

Jamison, lost in the dark, smoke, and din, muscled his way through the crowd to a nearby wall, and, following it hand-over-hand, found himself square in the middle of a conversation between two Trolls.

“Watch, it, Mug,” one of them snarled.

“Mug, is it?” Jamison snarled back. “I can’t believe you even speak the language. You on the clock? There’s no way you got tickets.”

“Hold on, Mac,” the second Troll grumbled, a full head-and-a-half taller than Black Bag.

“You’re gonna cross me, now? You AND your friend are gonna come over here and shake my tree, after the night I’ve had?” Black Bag shook his head. “And the both of you are gettin’ hot at me? Am I the ones keeping you here, in a burning goddamned building? The door’s right over there, guys. You’re so big and strong, what are you doing in here, breathing smoke?”

“The cops, mac-”

“Yeah,” snarled Black Bag. “That’s right, the cops. And if they don’t sing you a lullabye, then the Treasury goons sure will! So, you know, stay here and let the goddamned hotel come down around your ears. Me, I’m gonna find a way out. We’re gonna force the produce delivery door in the kitchen, see. We’ll need one more of you guys.”

“So?” asked the first Troll. “Where’s our percentage?”

Black Bag turned to the second Troll. “You must be the smart one. Tell your friend how the Titanic went. They all had tickets, too, but it was the guys on top what decided who got a spot on those luxurious lifeboats!”

[Roll(2d6)8 (Repartee, streetwise, intimidate, outnumbered):
6,6,8 (BOOM, BABY. BOXCARS!!!)
Total:20]

Black Bag, his two newfound Troll accomplices in tow, made for the piano. It looked like another Troll. He was ham-fisting the keyboard, and scanning the crowd when Jamison recognized him. “Azog, you galoot! You lost me! Listen, these two and I are gonna go force the produce delivery door, unless you have a better pla-Hey, are those our boxes? Great job, kid!”

The Five and Diner
 

“Right behind you.” Azog falls in with the boxes in one hand and G. Clef’s bass fiddle in the other.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

OK, gimme a roll to make it to the kitchen. Much lower DC this time, on account of the fact that you’ve got a squad of toughs with thermographic vision.

The Five and Diner
 

[troll 2d6+2=6+3+2=11]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Azog deftly leads the quartet through the crowd and into the kitchen. Due to the smoke and federal agents, it is deserted.

The Five and Diner
 

Black Bag grabs onto Troll’s jacket-belt, and follows behind. Once they make the kitchen, he walks up to the roll-door, opens the latch, and gives it a tug. It rattles a bit, but doesn’t give.

“Gentlemen, that’s our way out. Fresh air, and streetlights. And all we have barring our way is a bit of metal smaller than my pinky. So, on three, we lift as hard as we can. Got me?

One.
Two.
THREE!"

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

OK, each of you give me a roll for your strength to open the door. I’ll privately roll for Trolls 2 and 3.

The Five and Diner
 

[Troll 2d6+2=4+4+2=10.]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

LiaoFan rolls on Boxer, giving him a 5+1+2=8

While Jamison fails to contribute much to opening the door, the three trolls working in unison all but tear it off its hinges. As it flies up into its roller container, the quartet is hit in the face by the cool, sweet night air. It appears that there are no agents posted outside this location.

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison looks up the alley. “Alright, so, here’s what we do. We stick to the alleys, pick up Felicia and Mugsy, and scram. You guys, go back inside and start evacuating people through the kitchen. I’m counting on you guys to make sure everyone gets out okay.”

“Hey, uh, guys? Good job on that door.”

The Five and Diner
 

Azog spots Felicia right away as a largish heat source across the street. At the Five and Diner, Benny and G. Clef have claimed a booth near the window and watch with curious passivity the goings-on at the Southmoor.

A few Southmoor patrons must have followed the Trolls or have been attracted by the noise, because already people are spilling into the alleyway, coughing and gasping. The smoke is thickest in the kitchen.

In the distance can be heard the clanging of the fire bell. Chicagoans take building fires seriously and a pump and ladder company are already on their way.

Azog hails Felicia as they near. “Did you see Maeve or Mu-uh, Peck? I think they went out a window!”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Felicia stands still, looking past Azog and Jamison, her head tilted up, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth,” she blinks and looks at Azog, “and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.”

The Five and Diner
 

“…”

Jamison cocks his head like a golden retriever hearing an odd noise.

The Five and Diner
 

Azog freezes and drops the bass fiddle in the street in front of the Five and Diner (but not the boxed meals). Without thinking about it, he begins to rub his medallion of St. Jude.

“What do you mean?” he asks worriedly.

He looks around and spies a glowing man in a suit running away with the silhouette of a woman in a bob cut and a flapper dress. They are not moving very quickly.

“Hey, look!”

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison’s frowning, his eyebrows knitted and his jaw slack, as if he was about to say something very harsh to Felicia-

“Hey, look!”

Jamison spots Mugsy easily, as he’s the only one that’s glowing. “There’s our man. Come on!”

With that, he sprinted towards Mugsy.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Felicia gasps and pedals backwards.

The Five and Diner
 

“Felicia…” Catches her by the hand. “You need to sit a minute.”

He walks her into the Five and Diner.

“Hey G. Clef! Watch my gal for a bit, will ya? I saved your fiddle from the building. It’s outside.”

Without waiting for an answer, he chases after Jamison. But does he mean to return at all? The boxed dinners are still under his arm!

The Five and Diner
 

“You still have that piece I gave ya, ma’am?”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Maeve flashes a smile, the light from Mugsy’s body glittering in her eyes as she produces the piece and hands it over.

The Five and Diner
 

“So, Mugsy, who’s the la-Oh, hello, miss,” Jamison nods. “When Nicely-Nicely catches up with us, borrow his coat. Your effervescent personality is showing, and we have to get all the way across town.”

The Five and Diner
 

“Do we ever! I had the Feds shoot me in the chest. I think I should be dead by now. And for reasons I can’t explain, I’m next up for lighthouse duty. Not to mention falling a few stories into a dumpster. Did you guys see that? And, you’re lucky you didn’t get shot what with the Feds chasing this lady and all.”

The Five and Diner
 

At that moment, Azog catches up.

“Speakin’ o’ wich, let’s get you covered up. You know, Lovecraft did that same trick on me yesterday. It didn’t wear off ‘til he passed. (God rest him.) How do, ma’am?”

“OK, now. The Feds have cars idling, so any minute now they’ll be by to pick us up unless we can am-scray. We can’t blend in to the crowd with you glowing like that.”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Maeve looks back and forth between the two newcomers and takes a brief moment to register who they are, then turns to Azog, “Felicia?”

The Five and Diner
 

Azog is taking off his coat to wrap around Mugsy. When spoken to by the lady, he attempts to lift his hat as well, and it doesn’t quite work.

“Don’tchoo worry none about you’ lady friend, ma’am. She took a fright at something she saw and had to siddown. She’s bein’ watched by two musicians in that greasy spoon back there, safe an’ sound.

“No, you worry ‘bout youself instead. Them Feds is shoot first, ask questions later. (Now Miss Bernie, on the other hand, she might’a chipped a tooth back there. I di’n get too good a look.)”

The Five and Diner
 

“Hey, Nicely, you think you can call your cabby friend, maybe scoot the lot of us back uptown? And how about you, Peck? You need a doctor or something?” Jamison eyed Mugsy’s shirt, an entirely worrisome look in his eyes.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Indeed, as Jamison looks at Mugsy’s shirt, there is plenty of cause for concern. There is a clear bullet hole in it, and the entire front is soaked red with blood.

Maeve spits, “I hope she more than chipped a tooth, the dirty rat.” But she leaves it at that, “Felicia can take care of herself if she’s out in the clear. We need to get Mr. Peck to some help!”

The Five and Diner
 

[How many style dice for Azog to know of a dive nearby with gambling, booze, and (importantly) a fight doctor who can stitch Mugsy up?]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Given the fact that you chose this venue for the expressed reason of being AWAY from people who might know you, it would cost you quite a few, I should think.

The Five and Diner
 

(I’m thinking that if Mugsy can walk, he’s not gonna die in the twenty minutes it’ll take to get back across town. Sooner is better than later, you know, and NOW would be best, but is NOW an option? I’m not even sure if I have any style dice left!)

(As it turns out, I have just shy of eleventy-seven bajillion. AND I used to box, so I might know a guy. How many style points were we talking about, since I have the plot to back up my ‘knowledge’?)

The Five and Diner
 

“We could call if anybody has an etherphone. I lost mine a ways back. Smitty has a way of showing up when you need him, though.”

He drapes his voluminous coat over Mugsy’s iridescent shoulders. He gets a look at the bullet wound.

“Wow, that’s a good one! Yeah, we need a doctor or something. And to keep moving.”

The Five and Diner
 

You know, I thought getting shot would be worse than falling into a dumpster from a few stories up. Guess not.” Mugsy reaches into his bloodied shirt. “Huh, I don’t even remember that.” He states as he pulls out what used to be a medallion, now disfigured and destroyed by absorbing a bullet’s impact.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Indeed, as Azog peers at Mugsy’s bloody chest, Mugsy produces a medallion, hung on a light chain, from under his shirt. It is badly deformed, bent around a bullet which is mushroomed into the center of it, but Azog instantly recognizes it, or what’s left of it.

The Five and Diner
 

(Patron saint of travelers, children, and prostitutes, and MY namesake!)

The Five and Diner
 

“Gadzooks! It’s a miracle! A real, honest-to-goodness miracle!” Azog looks again at Mugsy with a kind of awe.

The Five and Diner
 

Jamison laughs out loud. “You wanna see a miracle, Nicely, my boy? That, right there, is a miracle!” He points out a very familiar-looking taxi cab about a block down the street (-1 style die). “In fact, this whole evening has been chock-full of ‘em! Think of how many times tonight could have ended on a sour note, and that’s not even talking about the jazz!”

He scratches his chin with a bruised knuckle. “In fact, I just might know a guy who can help us out with Mugsy’s scratch! First, though, we need to pick up Nicely’s new companion!”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Smitty’s Hack pulls up as Jamison finishes speaking and Smitty throws open a door, “There’s a blanket in the trunk, cover that shiner up!” As if to punctuate his words, weapons fire from the corner of the Southmoor barks out, and bullets spang across the pavement near the cab. Azog can make out a squad of five heat sources carrying even hotter heat sources in their hands, having just come around the corner of the hotel some 500 yards away.

The Five and Diner
 

“Wow, Smitty you saved our bacon! Everybody in!”

Azog tosses the blanket into the back seat and hops onto the running board.

“Anywhere but here, Smitty!”

The Five and Diner
 

[Roll to avoid incoming fire. Streetwise forte: 2d6+2=1+6+2=9.]

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

OK, 500 yards may have been inaccurate on my part. That’s what I get for posting after midnight. They came around the far corner of the Southmoor from you guys. Probably closer to 100 yards or so. Most importantly is that bullets were already hitting the ground around you guys, indicating that they’re about in range.

Five federal agents with Tommy Guns step forward and fire at the car and the large Trollish figure hanging off its side. Bullets spang off the side of the Cab, eliciting a yelp from Maeve as she dives in. Amazingly, one round manages to find its mark, striking Azog in the shoulder.

Minion Squad of 5, rolling 5d6 plus bonus and choosing the best 2 dice, managed to tie Azog’s defense Streetwise roll of 9. Azog takes 6 wound ranks.

The Five and Diner
 

[OK, now I am a bit irked, because 100 yds vs 500 yds is a big difference!]

It seems the minions were in pistol range all along. Azog took out is pistol and returned fire.

[Azog is using thermographic vision to aim. Troll: 2d6+2=5+4+2=11. Use technique In the Dark to add 1. 12.]

Return fire hits Azog in the arm. He winces and drops the empty pistol.

“Ouch! Go, go!”

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Sorry about that. I was thinking that initially they were at the extreme edge of their range with the Tommy Guns.

Azog fires off a shot, and one of the Federal Agents cries out and goes down.

The Five and Diner
 

“Forgive me,” Azog mutters under his breath and digs his claws in with the working hand.

The Five and Diner
 

“Wait, Smitty, I have a plan. I know a guy, and he just might be able to help us out. Take a left at the next intersection, and don’t spare the horses!” Jamison throws himself into the passenger seat (more comfy than squeezing into the back with the rest of you mugs, you know,) and slams the door.

The Five and Diner
 

GM:

Maeve bundles Mugsy up in the blanket, and Smitty hits the gas so hard that Azog nearly falls off. Bullets fly, but the cab pulls quickly out of range of the Federal Agents’ machine guns, and the chatter dies off. Smitty keeps the pedal down and the car careens through the streets in response to Jamison’s directions.

As they drive, Mugsy’s lumocity begins to fade, and Smitty calls back over his shoulder, “What the hell was that, fellas? I leave you unattended for not even a day and you’re gettin’ shot at by the treasury? If they’ve dinged my Packard, it’s comin’ outta that big pile of cash you found, you better believe it, fellas.”

Scene Exeunt

The Five and Diner
Neko_Bijin

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.