Chicago Lightning

Fire In the Sky: Denoument

HindenPanic.jpg

As the burning remains of the Michigan Star collapse onto the matchwood structures of the Wolf Point Warrens, four unlikely characters stand helplessly by, next to the battered remains of a Fire Alarm Box. Azog, the massive troll, looks nothing like his dapper dandy self, instead tattered and torn – wild eyed, panicked, and teary. Mugsy, the debonair P.I. stands cooly beside him, with one arm coralling two small boys, and with the other waving a Sawbuck in the air in an attempt to flag down transportation.

Around them, the Warrens are beginning to burn. Orks of all sizes and poverties begin to run by them in a panic as the fire spreads rapidly, all headed for the nearby main thoroughfare of Washington Avenue.

Across the street from them, an old pickup sits unattended.

Comments

The conflagration is almost Biblical in enormity. From their vantage point on the ground, it seems the whole Wolf Point Warrens have gone up in flames. Heavy smoke blackens the daytime sky.

“No use waitin’ around,” says Azog at last. “Here, lemme give us a lift.”

He snatches the bill from Mugsy’s hand and jumps into the cab of the truck, an ugly contraption of local (goblin) manufacture seemingly pieced together from other vehicles.

[Thief: 2d6+2=6+3+2=11.]

The ignition mechanism requires a turn-crank. Azog furiously winds the clockworks and at last a flywheel catches and the motor turns! By now the locals are in the street running for their lives and have noticed the truck.

“Get up, quick! We gotta go. Something’s happened to Mary!”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“What?! You mean salvation army Mary? How do you know?”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

The truck backfires twice and roars to life. Around them people dive for cover, assuming gunfire.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

The truck noisily ejects a cog the size of a dinner plate as Azog’s unsure hand finds first gear. “Confound this old jalopy,” he mutters.

“Mary was on the call box. I heard her talking clear as day, and then somebody started shooting on her end.

“Oh, Mugsy, it’s all my fault! Mary always said I was trouble, and now she’s in a bad way all because of me! We gotta find her!”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Well, all roads lead to where we left her. Lets get a move on.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

The truck hasn’t gone a hundred yards when Azog abruptly halts. Among the singed detritus in the middle of the road lies a large steamer trunk with L-U-W-E still visible on the scorched brass nameplate. He slides out of the cab and heaves it into the bed of the truck, then climbs up after it.

“You drive while I change, Mugsy. Gotta look good while we rescue me lady-friend.” He opens the trunk and grins ruefully. “See, Kluwe? Towd you I’d finish the day wearin’ youse hat.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Inconceivable,” Mugsy says. He stares blankly for a minute and then drives the jalopy on towards the Salvation Army.

“You realize you now owe me a sawbuck,” Mugsy yells over his shoulder.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Azog weeps into Kluwe’s monogrammed silk handkerchief. “Mary would use that word. I don’t even know what it means!”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“It means if I’m doing the driving, I want my ten dollar bill back,” Mugsy says as they whip around a corner.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Azog is quite the resplendent thug in a fashionably baggy pinstripe suit, felt hat and spats. He leans into the cab and urges Mugsy to hurry.

“When we get there, park a block away and we’ll go in the back. Oh, I hope we’re not too late!”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“You said you heard shooting? Anything else? We’re gonna need to keep these boys safe, too. Maybe I’d better go scout around inside while you watch the boys.” They are nearing the ‘encampment’ where the girls are stashed.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Just screams. Oh jeepers, the kids! Uh, listen here, squirts. You boys stay put and be quiet till we get back, Okay? And just to show I’m on the level…” He hands them each a dime. “When we get back to your mom, we’ll all go out for hot dogs and a Coke. There, all smiles now.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“We’re not leaving the boys unattended, Azog.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Azog opens his mouth to argue, but he sighs and says, “Pull into the A&P right here. I’ll get us some etherphones and some animal crackers for the boys. That way if you get into trouble you can call me for backup.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Mugsy dutifully pulls the car into the directed spot and waits for Azog to arrange the particulars.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Azog does so. He returns to the clockwork wagon and hands Mugsy an unattuned etherphone and raw steak wrapped in butcher paper.

“For that shiner. Got us some canned sardines and sliced salami, too. Can’t go on fighting evil on an empty stomach.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“You’re a pal,” Mugsy says as he slaps the steak onto his swelled face. “Lets get this over quickly so we can cook this. I’m starving.” He pulls out of the A&P and continues onto the Salvation Army. He parks the truck around the back and scarfs some salami. “Alright, here goes. If I run into problems, I’ll call and say ‘push the button’,” He draws his gun and looks for a way to enter the building.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Azog watches Mugsy go and then doffs his hat to pray.

“O Lord, please hear a sinner’s pleas. Let Mugsy find Mary safe and sound. And don’t let Mary fall for his charms. Amen.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

Ethan, roll 1d6 and give yourself that many Wound Ranks back from the steak’s effect – provided you RP with the steak on your face the rest of session. ;)

Pulling out of the A&P, it’s a short trip to the Salvation Army, so perhaps because you just left the burning wreckage of the Michigan Star, you didn’t notice the column of smoke reaching into the sky. But as Mugsy rounds the corner at the back of the building, he is stopped in his tracks by the sight – the back wall is the only thing left standing, the rest of the building is nothing but smoking ruins. Charred debris is strewn everywhere and at first, there seems to be no living creature around.

Just as Mugsy recovers from the initial shock, something ahead of him moves, and he sees something in human form move, just a little bit, sitting on what would have been the front stoop of the building. He hears a faint sob.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Hey there, are you alright?” Mugsy calls out from behind his steak and 1911. “Do you know what happened here?”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

The figure flinches with a start, and turns her head – without moving her body. Maeve’s face is dirty and streaked with tears and soot. “M…m….Mugsy?” She bursts out in tears, sobbing uncontrollably.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Miss Maeve,” Musy scrambles to her side. “What happened? Are you hurt? I have your boys safe and sound.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

Maeve shakes her head as Mugsy peppers her with questions, and keeps crying. At the mention of her boys, she reaches over the body laying across her lap, and grabs Mugsy’s jacket tightly – and if anything her sobbing increases.

It takes a moment for her to regain her composure. In the meantime Mugsy is jerked off balance by her grip and nearly careens into the crying woman. Steadying himself, he cannot help but glance down to the body whose head is lying in Maeve’s lap. It is the Preacher, a bullet hole neatly spaced between his eyes.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Holy Moses! Easy now, I can’t be getting deceased individuals or brick chunks on this eye patch the doctor gave me.” Mugsy puts the 1911 away and begins clearing away the rubble from Maeve. “They came for the book, didn’t they?”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

Maeve’s head snaps up, and she meets eyes with Mugsy – wide eyed – “Marcum! He came, Mugsy! Fire and Spirits and Gunfire! Everyone, Mugsy, he killed everyone!” She shudders violently, and bows her head again to the face of the dead Preacher, “Marcum saw me, The Preacher wouldn’t let him have me, had some sort of Authority. Marcum couldn’t take me, so he killed the Preacher.”

She gently caresses the dead man’s face, “He gave his life to save mine.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“You mean…” Mugsy lets the steak drop away from his face a bit as the news settles. “You’re the only one left?”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

Maeve looks up at him, unable to speak as tears roll down her face.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Can you, move? Can you get up?” Mugsy helps her to her feet and they slowly make their way back to the truck. “See, I told you we’d get your boys out for you.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

As Mugsy rounds the corner at the remains of the back of the Salvation Army, Maeve sees Azog with the boys. Despite her sorrows, her face lights up, and her eyes spring anew with tears – this time tears of relief. Breaking from Mugsy’s side, she runs ahead, calling to them.

For their part, the boys need little prompting, and before Azog is able to respond, they’ve thrown the door open to run into the arms of their mother – clamoring nonstop about the adventure they’ve just had.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Well, at least someone got some satisfaction out of this mess.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“Jeepers creepers, Mugsy, what’s the deal here? Where’s Mary?” He steps into the smouldering rubble and begins upturning large chunks of it, looking for her.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

At last it dawns on Azog that a 400 lb. ogress isn’t likely to be found under a broken cinder block.

“What am I doing?” he says aloud. “She’ll have her etherphone on her. I can just give her a call.”

Azog unpockets his brand-new etherphone and dips into the extra-planar collective unconscious.

“You have forty-two unheard messages,” chirps the phone. “Three are lethal teleglyphic curses. Open or store for later?” Azog ignores this and concentrates on Mary’s beatific face. “Mary? Mary pick up, are you there?”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

No reply.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Mugsy lays a hand on his large friend’s arm. “Yeah. About Mary,” He says. “Maeve told me that Marcum character showed up looking for Lovecraft’s book. He took her. She was still fighting, last Maeve saw.”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

Azog looks more agitated than ever!

“Oh, woe, woe! Marcum is the worst of ‘em, Mugsy! He ain’t the sort to leave witnesses. Whatever could he want with Mary? She’s such a sweet soul. What’r we gonna do?”

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“We should probably put up a tombstone is what we should do,” Mugsy says quickly. “She gave him a good one in the eye, I hear.” Saying this, the PI flips his steak so that a colder spot is pushed against his eye.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

This is too much for Azog. At the word “tombstone,” he falls supine on the sidewalk, out cold.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

GM:

Guys, I think this is a good place to leave it. We’ve wrapped up saving Maeve and the kids, have literally watched Boots go down in flames, barbequed and brained his stoolies, and made it out alive.

And to think, only the impoverished orks of the Warrens have to suffer for it. ;)

I’ve really enjoyed gaming this with you two – you both make for an enjoyable and highly entertaining read and I’m very grateful for your diligence over the course of these few years. I wish we could RP together in the flesh, it’d be a hoot.

Cue the credits.

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

“That’s the end?”

Thanks for the ride, guys. Fun Times. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
 

This was a blast. Our “temporary” game lasted through 2.5 years and 4 different players. Great characters and setting, too. And I’m glad we ended it before it got stale. Happy Xmas, all!

Fire In the Sky: Denoument
MadDogMaddux

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.