Chicago Lightning

The Southmoor Hotel

The drive to the Southmoor is uneventful, but not quick – due to evening traffic. Nonetheless, our stalwart trio arrives at the Venetian Room with time to spare. The Livery pulls up to the entryway and the driver smartly steps around to open the door.

The entry opens directly into a restaurant dominated by dark woods and ornately carved columns, a grand piano with upright bass anchors the center of the room in a cleverly placed clearing. The dining room is filling up rapidly, but there are still seats available. A snappily dressed Maitre stands by at the door and coughs politely.

Comments

Azog greases the Maitre d’’s palm with a sawbuck and asks for a table near the bass fiddle.

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Jamison sits with his back to the largest door, and orders a cranberry juice.

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“Anybody know who’s playing? Are they any good? You know you get some people who think they can play jazz but all they’re doing is making noise.”

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“Wellsir, as they say, it’s close enough for jazz.”

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Azog doesn’t get the joke.

“I hope they serve dinner soon.”

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GM:

The Maitre sniffs disdainfully at the bill, but when nothing else is forthcoming turns and leads them to a table at the edge of the room with a poor view of the center stage and where tables are a little closer than most might prefer.

A dinner menu is present, and despite their poor seating location they are quickly served, drinks provided, and orders taken. The tables around our trio fill up in short order, and the room buzzes quietly with chatter.

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“Jeepers Creepers,” swears Azog, eying the menu. "This place is even pricier than the other! At this rate we’ll blow the whole lot in less than a week. Mmm, the rib-eye steak looks good, and so does the chicken. I’ll take one of each.

“At least we’re miles away from where the action is tonight. I expect we’ll read all about it in the morning paper.”

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“I’ll take the rib-eye, medium-rare, please. And a Coke. Yeah, Zog, those suits didn’t look like the type to wait all night for whatever they were doing, you know??

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“A porterhouse, rare.” Mugsy scans the crowd for a lady.

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GM:

Mugsy sees a number of ladies, most of them quite attractive, and most of them on the arm of a well dressed gentleman. There is, however, one table, right next to the center clearing, which is occupied by three women: a blonde, a brunette, and a very attractive trollish woman. Even Mugsy is forced to pause and appreciate her.

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[Streetwise roll 2: 36+2=11. Azog aims to detect a trap.]

“Say fellas, get a load of those three fine frails there, going unescorted. Should we send over a bottle?”

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“It would be the gentlemanly thing to do.” Jamison smiles. Good food, good music, and a doll at his side? It was shaping up to be the best night spent incognito since college.

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Azog calls over the snooty Maitre d’.

“Heyya! You see those three ladies unescorted near the pianer? Send them over a bottle of…” he points to Jamison. “Of whatever this guy says. Also, I believe there may have been a misunderstanding. We was interested in a table near the bass, not the baseboard. Can that be taken care of before the music starts?” He hands over $100 and flashes a toothy (but visibly pained) grin.

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“Just make sure to let Jamison or myself do the talking, okay?”

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Jamison turns to the maitre d’.

“I think the ladies would appreciate a lighter wine, so we’ll start there. Either a chardonnay or a champagne, your choice; anything from France would be best, obviously, but since this is all patently illegal, we’ll also be using my friend’s enormous tip to purchase your discretion and our meals for the evening. If you cannot manage a bottle of champagne, we will, of course, understand. In that case, a chilled, sparkling peach nectar may be what is called for.

Now, we don’t do this often, so we may need to be spoiled. We apologize for any difficulty we might cause. I trust you can manage, my good man, and the remnant is yours, for the trouble. Thank you very much, sir."

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Azog tugs Mugsy by the arm and says into his ear:

“Mugsy, you gotta talk to those ladies for me. Go and do your thing. That Trollop is the prettiest flapper I’ve seen since my lady told me to shove off!”

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GM:

The Maitre looks down at the bill in his hands and smiles pleasantly, “Right this way, Gentlemen.”

Without a word, he turns and leads our trio to the empty table next to bass fiddle, conveniently next to the table occupied by the three ladies. As you sit, he leans forward, “It pains me to inform you that we serve no alcohol in this establishment, as we are a law abiding venue. However, I will do my very best to provide you with a meaningful substitute. Perhaps some Elven Berry juice?” Without waiting for a reply, he turns and steps away, returning shortly with three glasses of something that is deep red, richly complex, and drier than the Sahara. “I will have some Peach Nectar delivered to the ladies at your behest,” he smiles.

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“Bless you, sir, you are a saint.” Jamison smiles.

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“Be sure you say it was from us,” says Azog a bit too loudly. And besides, the ladies’ table is right there!

Azog’s hands begin fidgeting nervously. Reaching into his coat pocket, his finger dance over his cigars and matches. Forgetting their effect, he places a cigar into his mouth and begins striking the matches. One after another they catch fire but wink out immediately.

“Hey, what gives?”

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“Those are your KO cigars, my friend. You may want to give them a pass.” Jamison squints conspiratorially. “Remember what we agreed on at the hotel? Same thing here. Act as if. Pretend you’re someone else, some really cool. Confidence can be faked. So long as you don’t seem nervous, no one can tell the difference.”

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“What could be cooler than smoking?” Azog puts away the cigars and rifles through his pockets for some other distraction. At last he loses the battle an glances over at the next table. The ladies bring their heads together and titter musically.

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“To hell with Jazz. That, right there? Azog, that right there is the real music.” Jamison licks his teeth, nodding. “Just have a good time, kid. That’s all. Have a good time, and people will crave your presence. Smile, laugh, and be lavish with sincere praise. Salud, gentlemen. To the high life, and the ugliness that may come after.” He raises his wine glass.

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“To success.” Mugsy toasts. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to introduce Mr. Peck to those ladies.” He makes eye contact with one of them as the waiter delivers the liquid.

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GM:

The blonde girl meets eyes with Mugsy as the “Peach Nectar” arrives, and he detects a hint of amusement and intrigue. She smiles just slightly and quickly looks away, leaning in her head to the other girls, who all giggle.

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“Oh, absolutely,” Jamison says, grinning. “Make sure you bring along enough for everyone.” With that, Jamison takes a moment to savor his berry juice.

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“When I see any more, I’ll let you know.” Mugsy winks to Jamison as he approaches the ladies’ table. “Good evening, dear ladies. Its a wonderful night at a wonderful establishment. My comrades and I seem to be without escorts for the evening. I noticed you ladies suffering from the same malady and came to offer relief of said ailment.”

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GM:

The blonde arches an eyebrow at Mugsy’s approach, “Well hey there, fella. Ain’t you all heart lookin’ out for three lonely kittens out on the town by their lonesome! You gotta name?”

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GM:

As Mugsy addresses the lady at the table, the Trollish woman turns to meet eyes with Azog and manages to blush just a little.

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Unable to help himself, Azog leans in his chair toward the ladies’ table, touches the brim of his hat, and addresses the she-Troll: “How do, Miss? Say, is Heaven missing an angel? ‘cause you’ve got nice gams!”

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“And hence the need for an escort.” Mugsy sighs. My name is Templeton and the Reverend there and I are tasked with looking out for Rupert. He’s one of those wealthy debutants who are so wrapped up in their world, they don’t know how to act around normal folks. Fine company can help ‘soothe the beast’ as they say. Besides, I’ve not seen a finer representation of this town’s beauty than what you have presented here at this table tonight. Might we also have the pleasure of your company?"

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Azog leans back in his chair and grins a Cheshire Cat grin. He isn’t faking confidence now!

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GM:

The two humans blush at Mugsy, but the troll is busy making eyes at Azog. With very little persuasion, they join our stalwart trio at their table. The blonde introduces them all, never taking eyes off of Templeton Peck, “I’m Maeve, an’ this is Bernie.” She nods her head towards the brunette, who is also snuggling up to Mugsy, “An I can see yer troll friend there has found Felicia.”

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Sensing an opening, Azog takes Felicia by the elbow and guides her back to the ladies’ (now empty) table, leaving the two human couples at the other.. His chatterbox is blowing full steam.

“Please ta meet ya, Miss Felicia. Uh, Rupert’s the name. Yeah, I’m one of those swell cats you read about in the funny papers with them whatchacallem… trust funds. How about you, are you loaded too? You sure do look classy.”

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Jamison chuckles, an almost paternal smile slapped across his face while he watches Azog go back to the other table, firing on all pistons. After a second, his eyes shift to the brunette. “So. Bernie, was it? My name’s Jamison. And how did the three of you end up here this evening?”

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“Oh yes, I mentioned him but ladies, you’ll be pleased to meet, The Reverend. Don’t let that fool you, its just a name we call him, he’s not really clergy.”

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Jamison, seeing the situation for what it is, starts chuckling lightly. Then, he stops, takes a sip of his wine, sets it down, and starts rolling with good, honest laughter. After a moment, he dabs his eyes with his thumb, and says, with a bit of laughter in his eye, “Of course. Ladies, you’ll pardon me. It’s truly been a while since I could loosen my tie.”

With that, he looks over at the Trolls, and back to Templeton. “You might want to open that bottle for our friend. One would hate to draw attention through the classless popping of the cork, especially when so few people get bottle service these days.”

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GM:

Bernie flinches almost imperceptibly as Jamison speaks to her, then leans in to Mugsy and delicately whispers in his ear, “What happened to his face?”

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The smile dropped off his face. Jamison’s eyebrows knit for a half-second, after seeing the look in Mugsy’s eye. The look of shock, so quickly paved over by Mugsy, didn’t quite say what was going on.

Mugsy was an old hand at hiding who he was, how he felt. The girl at his hip, however, had none of his guile, and Jamison pieced her together in a Harlem second. For a second, Jamison looked to be shaken, but then he clutched onto the table, and slowly, slowly, pushed himself away from the table. He stood, gritting his teeth, and took a breath.

“I’m dreadfully sorry to have changed your evening for the worse. I’m also sorry that you’re an orphan.” He waited for Bernie to break eye-contact to look at Templeton, and then, when she looked back, he started in. “Dear, I’ve known prostitutes from downtown who had better manners, and the only way a woman could be excused for raising her daughter in such an abysmal fashion would be of course, to be dead. I hope that this is the case, not for your sake, but for hers, since the only other option would be that she just didn’t care about the quality of her…”

After taking a moment to find the proper tone, draw the proper term, and set the statement correctly, he finished…

“…her spawn.” Jamison lit a cigar off one of the lit candles on the table, just as the band had begun to warm up, and took a deep draw. He put his coat and hat back on, and looked at Mugsy. “Let the kid have his night. You enjoy yourself. I’ll see you back at the hotel. …Real shame about how hard it is to find a lady in this town.”

With that, he left.

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The band is led by a smallish Jew in a white suit. His quintet include a smartly dressed Troll bassist, a negro pianist, a Dwarf drummer and an Afro-Cuban trumpet player whose shaved temples and pencil-thin Van Dyke lend him a passing resemblance to Old Scratch.

The leader counts four beats and begins a glissando on his clarinet. He peaks at E-flat and the trumpet joins in an impossible fifth higher. The two horns exchange furious dueling solos while rhythm section beats a driving allegro.

Couples take to the floor and dance the Charleston. Azog and Felicia begin cutting a rug, oblivious to other goings-on. Their long arms pose a hazard to the other dancers as they swing!

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“Now look what you’ve done. You’ve gone and upset the Reverend. Thats not a very ladylike thing to do. See, now it’ll be more difficult as there are only one set of eyes to watch Rupert.”

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GM:

Dancing Trolls is not a new thing, so the other dancers give them a wide berth, especially given the enraptured look on Azog’s face.

Bernie, for her part, smiles wickedly at Mugsy, “Well, now we have you all to ourselves!” Maeve giggles merrily, nodding.

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GM:

Jamison walks outside into the bracing, deepening cold of a late Chicago fall. His rapidly coming breath creates a foggy cloud about his head. He stands at the edge of the Southmoor’s Valet, a line of luxury vehicles sits before him as the Valets go about their business. He knows of no bars nearby, and he is more than 45 minutes away from the hotel.

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“Sons of bitches.”

Jamison starts walking back to the hotel. At least the coat’ll keep the night out, he mused.

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[take two]

Having feasted all day and napped away a good chunk of the afternoon, Azog is fit to dance till the wee hours. His harrowing night in the sewers and the death of his friend seem distant memories. The overhanging doom of enmity with a mob boss and his huntress are completely forgotten.

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GM:

After several minutes fuming outside the Southmoor, Jamison starts walking down the road, realizing that 45 minutes by car will translate to several hours by foot. He has only been walking for perhaps ten minutes when he is visited by another scene ripped straight from his past: a caravan of five black four-door cars streaks by him, each packed with men dressed in the grey suit/fedora combination that he instantly recognizes to be the undercover “uniform” of US Treasury Department agents.

Turning, he watches as they pull up in front of the Southmoor, each vehicle emptying itself of five agents who instantly fan out to cover all exits.

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Jamison grabs a coffee cup and a newspaper from a nearby trash can, folds it so that any stains on the paper aren’t notable, and heads back into the hotel.

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Back inside, the band leader ends a number and announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re going to take a break. Stay cool. We’ll be back in twenty minutes.” He lights up a cigarette and leads his musicians out of the ballroom and through a utility door. He is surprised to find a Federal agent covering the door with a pistol.

Azog and Felicia take a break from dancing to feast on steak and chicken.

“So Miss Felicia, I feel like I been talkin’ ‘bout myself and my millions o’ bucks all night. You ain’t said a woid about youself. You like this music, right?”

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Suddenly, he spies a payphone (a style-die later).

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“Hello? Yes, dear, as I understand it, you’re entertaining this evening. I was wondering if you could do me a favor? Yes. Of course not. No, the fact of the matter is, I was just inside. Yes ma’am. Our waiter was kind enough, after due consideration, to seat us directly in front of the bass. Yes, miss, that sounds like the table. At any rate, if I could get you to box those orders to go, and place them at the table? Also, I’d like you to leave the following message with that order… Not at all, miss. Take your time.”

Jamison nervously fidgeted with the phone until the lady came back on.

“Yes, the message should read ‘Professional matters, unfortunately, require your attention. Have taken the liberty of boxing your dinner. Will refund you the cost of the tickets. Please speed to [nearby address] located on [nearby street corner].’ Also, ma’am, you may need to inform our waiter that the drink service was absolute perfection, and requires his personal attention when bussing. No, thank you, miss.”

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GM:

Azog approaches his table, only to find that the meals have been boxed up and table neatly bussed. A small note on a foldes card sits atop boxes.

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Azog stares at the note a long time. Finally he pockets it and tells Felicia, "What you was just saying for the last five minutes sure was interesting. I think we’s supposed to take our left-overs outside. No reason not to use the front door… but something’s up. Mugsy’s disappeared upstairs, no doubt. Hold on, I’m thinking…

“Miss Felicia, we need to find Mu—uh, Peck and then get outside. Hurry up. No, leave the food. It’ll slow us down.” He takes Felicia by the arm and leads her upstairs, after one last long glance back at dinner.

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[OK, we’ll redact some of the previous post and add to the story.]

“We’ve got to go. Felicia, call your friends and have them put Peck on. I’ll look for a way out the building.

Azog looks for a way out: 2d6+2 for Thief forte. 6+3+2=11.

In her haste to follow Azog, Felicia seems to have forgotten her handbag, which would contain her etherphone. Azog begins to look for Mugsy and is forcibly restrained from entering the hotel proper. A bouncer informs him that if he needs a room, he needs to approach the front desk. However, as he returns towards the Venetian Room, he spies the kitchen and the two manage to duck in before being noticed.

Inside is a large service elevator. Azog ducks in and pulls Felicia after, then mashes buttons.

When the doors open, he is in the boiler room. A moment of scanning about with thermographic vision reveals a coal chute up to the street level. Up the two climb and emerge under the stars sooty but in good humor.

Azog is on the wrong side of the hotel from the rendezvous, so he walks a block out of his way to find it. He arrives about twenty minutes after finding the note.

[Presumably, Jamison is waiting.]

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GM:

Hold on a sec, still need to make sure you get away safely.

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[wow! 6+5+2=13 to exit the chute, same forte.]

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Azog immediately spies the scrambling Feds in the dark (thermographic vision, baby!) and manages to avoid them.

“Is they the same as at the other place, or is they different?” he mumbles to himself. Felicia can scarcely believe how much excitement she’s having on her evening out!

Jamison is very well hidden in the shadows, but his heat signature gives him away. Azog creeps up to him and says, “Black Bag! Come out! I brung my goil, but Mu-uh, Peck and me got separated and I couldn’t get to him. Who are those guys?”

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Black Bag steps out of the shadows, just a Fedora, greatcoat, and chin. “Them? Just the Treasury, friend. But they showed up in numbers, which means they intend on shutting the place down until they find whatever it is they’re looking for. I was on foot, and they had wheels, or I’d have gotten the both of you myself.”

He looks up the street at the commotion. "I was worried you guys didn’t get the word. If Peck’s upstairs, he should be busy. That might be enough to save him. I doubt they were looking for us. Just a case of wrong place, wrong time.

Jamison lights a cigarette with a match, waves it out, and shoulders the diner behind them. “The lady’s not exactly dressed for the cold, are you, sweetheart? We should settle in, and get something to eat. It could be a while before we see Peck again, assuming he even got the message. You, uh, didn’t happen to bring the $80 meal I had boxxed up, did you?”

Before even hearing the reply, he walked sullenly into the diner.

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“Ha! Sorry, no. Had to scramble to get out. Thirty cents is closer to my fare anyhow. C’mon, I’ll buy you a Frankfurter. You too, doll. Let’s wait here for Peck. It has a view of the front door at least. He’ll turn up, I bet.”

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GM:

About an half an hour after making their initial entry, the Feds bust into the hotel room with Mugsy, Maeve, and Bernie. Despite the commotion, Mugsy will not have realized anything was amiss until now. As the Suits step into the room, flashing iron as they do, Maeve screams shrilly, but Bernie seems only irritated. Covering up she glowers at one of the Suits and snarls, “What took you so damn long?!”

The resultant look of absolute shock and horror from Maeve speaks volumes.

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GM:

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.

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Jamison slides into the seat and mutters, “Steak, rare, eggs, scrambled, and bacon. Coffee, too, please.”

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“My kinda place,” says Azog as he settles in. “You know, I ain’t hungry. Just coffee please. Go ahead, Felicia. You was about to tell us all about youself and your two friends.” Outside the window, no obvious activity is taking place. So the perimeter is closed and the Feds haven’t left yet. Curious.

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“Is there a problem, officers?”

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GM:

Three agents fan out, before the door. Mugsy checks the front of the door and sees that they are on the fourth floor. “I dunno, mac, is there a problem?” he turns to look at Bernie.

Bernie laughs darkly, “He bought us a bottle of champagne, if you wanna collar him for that.” she jerks her thumb towards Maeve, “She’s the one we want, though. I just used him to get her up here and away from that troll broad who keeps hangin’ round.”

Maeve looks terrified, and makes eye contact with Mugsy, mouthing the words “You have to help me!”

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“This restaurant doesn’t even serve that stuff, the maitre’d said as much.”

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GM:

The Agent smirks,“C’mon pal, you and I both know better than that. Treasury don’t show up like this without good cause. Now you can make it easy for yourself, or you can make it hard. We’re not here for you, we’re here for the broad. If you’ll just fess up and finger the fella who brought you the booze, we can go easy on you.”

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“I didn’t order any booze. I drank what was served. If you’re gonna book me for drinking and not knowing, you’d better book your little lady friend here too, cause we’re guilty of the same thing.” He says, jerking his finger at ‘Bernie’.

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GM:

Bernie arches an eyebrow and shrugs at the agent, saying nothing.

The man smiles plainly, “Alright buddy, let me ‘splain how it is. My name is Agent Carlyle, you’ve probably heard of me, an’ you know that I’ve got a track record for puttin’ people away for a long time.” He pauses to study Mugsy, “You say you ain’t been drinkin’, an’ maybe that’s so. But you’ve picked some real bad company, I’m afraid, and I’m at least gonna have to take you in and interrogate you. Maybe you had a drink, maybe you didn’t. You’re not my target tonight, so if you’re clean, you can go. Not an offer I usually make, see?”

“Now, I gotta put these cuffs on you an’ then we’re gonna go down to the car all peaceful-like, after that if you check out, I’ll have one of my boys give you a ride home. Do we have an understanding?”

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GM:

Carlyle seems to assume Mugsy’s compliance, because he turns to Maeve before Mugsy can reply, “Now you…oh, you’ve got another thing comin’. It was six months of hard work to set you up for this sting, an’ to get you away from your handlers! You’re goin’ away for a long time, I think.” He grins with obvious satisfaction.

Maeve cries, “You don’ understand! I got kids! Boots has ‘em, and if I don’t make his runs, he’ll hurt ’em! Please! You gotta let me go!”

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(GM Note: Just because Carlyle assumes compliance does not mean that the GM does. Mugsy has a lot of options)

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“So you’re running liquor for Boots?” Mugsy eyes Maeve.

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GM:

Carlyle cuts in before Maeve can reply, “Running booze? With that slight build? Have another think. We’ve been on her for several months, at first couldn’t figure out her part, but thanks to Bernie here, we pieced it together. She handles payment, determines what each place needs, and arranges delivery. Once my mages get ahold of her, we’ll have everything we need to shut down Boots operation entirely, and probably a few others. It sounds hard, Maeve, but your children are expendable in this case. If you cooperate, maybe we can shut him down before he hurts them. If you don’t cooperate, I doubt you’ll live through it to know whether they made it or not.” he shrugs indifferently.

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“What does that troll woman have to do with any of this?” Mugsy is playing the bewildered innocent game.

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GM:

Carlyle turns once more to Bernie, who in turn shrugs, “She was just a hanger-on. Might be workin’ fuh Maeve, might not.”

Maeve shakes her head, “She was a friend.” She glowers at Bernie, “But having her nearby was always good to for keeping fellas’ paws offa me.”

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“Who is this Boots character?”

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GM:

Ethan rolls on his Con Man Forte: (6+3+4=13, having burned one style die to reroll a one)

Carlyle arches an eyebrow, “You’re serious? Fella, you must be wet behind the ears, or from nowhere that has an ethergraph. Big Boots O’Hanlon is bad news, not quite Capone, but he has those aspirations. And this hussy is his working girl.” He sneers at Maeve, and then the fire alarm goes off, and the lights go out.

“Shit.”

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Mugsy quickly formulates a plan. He sidles up to Maeve and whispers, “If you want to get out of here and save your kids, play along. I will help you get them away from this Boots character, it sounds like he needs to get some comeuppance. Grab this gun, take me hostage, and back out onto the balcony. Shout threats at them if you like. Be sure to tell me to open the door.” He presses the gun into her hand and shouts, “Good Lord, shes got a gun! Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. This isn’t how this evening was supposed to end!” He paces backward towards the balcony.

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GM:

Maeve plays along like a champ, “You’ll never have me, Carlyle, ya rat bastid!” to Mugsy she says, “Open the door, chump!” and jabs him painfully in the ribs with the gun, also managing a savage kick into Bernie as she passes.

The darkness adds to the confusion, and initially there is pandemonium. Mugsy fumbles for the door, when suddenly every inch of his skin bursts into radiant light illuminating the room clearly. Mugsy’s eyes quickly find focus and register looks of shock on the faces of everyone present, but the moment passes and Agent Carlyle aims his heater directly past Mugsy with a savage grin.

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“No!” Mugsy screams. “I got a family! I’m too young to die!” He backpedals harder through the door grabs the potted plant by the entrance and tosses it at Carlyle.

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GM:

Ethan’s roll to avoid the bullet is a 6, using Soldier and trying to get Carlyle to flinch and miss.

Mugsy tosses the plant, but Carlyle is a seasoned veteran and doesn’t bat an eye. Calmly he and quickly, he shifts aim and shoots Mugsy squarely in the chest.

Carlyle rolls a total of 15, beating Mugsy’s defense by a margin of 9. Adding the +3 from his automatic, Carlyle inflicts 12 wound ranks to Mugsy.

Maeve screams and fires wildly in Carlye’s direction, and fails to hit anyone, but does manage to get Carlyle to duck.

Ethan, you’ll need to give yourself 12 wound ranks, which will degrade most of your Fortes to zero, I imagine, but you should be able to keep at least one Forte useable, so choose wisely.

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“You shot me?!?” Mugsy is incredulous. “What kind of nut job are you? Why would you shoot the hostage?” He backs Maeve up to the edge of the balcony. A quick glance over the edge reveals an open dumpster right below them. “I’m a gonner!” He moans, clutching his chest. “If I’m going, I’m taking you with me lady!” A little leg thrust and the duo topples backwards into the night. As they begin their descent, Mugsy switches the embrace, gives Maeve a wicked grin, a wink and then kisses her as they clear the floors between them stopping just in time to brace for impact.

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GM:

As Mugsy falls, his skin glows even brighter. Onlookers will claim to have seen a falling star.

Maeve wraps her arms around Mugsy and sinks into his kiss, just before they hit the dumpster she says, “Why, Mr. Peck, you are positively radiant!”

Then they crash into the dumpster, landing just to one side of the broken shards of a ruined dresser and instead on an old stained mattress. Being the gentleman that he is, Mugsy takes the brunt of the hit, but Maeve’s weight crushes heavily on top of him, and the breath is knocked out of them both. Mugsy’s head is spinning and he is mildly disoriented, but he can see well enough inside the dumpster due to his glowing condition.

But then, so can the Federal men upstairs, and already he hears shots pinging off the rim of the dumpster.

Mugsy rolls a combined check of Soldier and Streetwise, adding his Debonaire Idiom as well as his motivation to take out Boots: 6+3+2+2+2+1=16 plus 2 style dice for a total of 18 for the combined purpose of actually hitting the dumpster and landing relatively safely. Due to the success, he will take 4 Wounds, rather than 12. Maeve takes 2.

The Southmoor Hotel
 

In his dazed state, the pings of bullet fire on the dumpster take him to another place and time. “Don’t worry, shir!” He salutes sloppily. “I’ll… hold em here.” He grabs Maeve’s hat, rips the flower off of it and tosses it outside the dumpster yelling: “Fahr in the hhohhl!”

The Southmoor Hotel
 

GM:

Maeve stumbles to her feet and firmly grabs Mugsy, steering him towards the edge of the dumpster that is under cover. “Mr. Peck, focus! We are in a bit of a sitch, and you’re still glowin’!”

The Southmoor Hotel
 

“Who?… Wha?…” Mugsy stirs. “Hey, whaddya know, we made it.” He says. “Sometimes these things have an access chute on the side. Lets see…”

The Southmoor Hotel
 

GM:

Unfortunately there is not access chute, you’ll have to clamber up the side, but it’s not that difficult, if you clamber over the junk.

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“Lets see if there’s anything in here we can use as a shield while we climb outta here.” Mugsy proceeds to scavenge.

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GM:

Aside from the mattress and the shattered bureau, it’s mostly loose garbage, and pretty gross at that. Fortunately, the portion of the dumpster that is closest to the building is also under cover of the balcony. You can easily get out safely, and the balcony causes a pretty large blind spot for any would-be shooters on the balcony.

The Southmoor Hotel
 

“Ah, here we go. This must be our floor.” Mugsy indicates the safe side of the dumpster. “After you.”

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GM:

Maeve deftly clambers out of the dumpster and hugs the wall of the hotel, “Can you shut off th’ light show? It’s kinda makin’ it hard to hide.”

Mugsy will notice that the shooting has stopped.

The Southmoor Hotel
 

“Sounds like we need to scram. Unfortunately, it looks like your persuers used some sort of magic gun on me. I have no idea how to make it stop. Maybe we should hail a cab and get outta here?”

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GM:

She shakes her head, “Well, the Law will be all over this hotel, so the first thing we’d best do is get away from it. Can’t exactly ‘run into the shadows’ with you all shiny-like, but at least we can try to get some buildings between us and this place.” She points towards a nearby neighborhood with tallish buildings, “Maybe if we can keep ‘em off long enough, it’ll fade away and then we can lose ’em.”

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“Let’s keep a look out for a blanket or something. Maybe that will cover it up. Lets move.”. Mugsy heads off in that direction.

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GM:

Mugsy and Maeve head off towards the building, and as they run Mugsy looks over his shoulder to see Agent Carlyle sourly watching them from the balcony.

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GM:

As the pair runs across the way, they see a small group of people standing near a Diner. One of them points directly at Mugsy and yells “That’s our man!” and starts running towards him.

We’ll continue this on the Five and Diner thread…

The Southmoor Hotel
MadDogMaddux

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