Into The Black

To the Tower, Rapunzel!

Jan 10th/11th

To Manchester…

The trip to Manchester was a rather uncomfortable affair. The coach was rented, chilly, uncomfortable and loud. The driver and his partner, for their part, had to ride outside and I did not envy them a single moment. Perhaps they were used to such weather and driving a coach through it.

It took the better part of a day to reach our destination, and by the time we stopped I was sure most of my internal organs had been completely rearranged. We made our way at a totally inappropriate hour to Mr. John Dee’s residence, in our haste, and were grateful to be allowed in out of the cold, and to meet with Mr. Dee himself in his large library.

His desk and collection of instruments were interesting to say the least, and before him sat a giant tome that we would learn was entitled ‘Necronimicon’.

We spoke to him at length about Joseph Barker, and Dee had some not-so-polite things to say about him, which gave me an even darker impression of the man. Barker was quite fascinated with the demonic arts, it seemed, even if his first claims were aimed more toward the angelic. Dee claimed that Barker contacted beasts that were not of this world, and eventually Dee gave us other places to look – back in London, a house we could look for in Whitehall, and in addition to that, the news that Barker studied at Queen’s College in Cambridge.

We quizzed John Dee as much as we could, and he did recognize some of the things we asked. He recognized the name ‘Hastur’, for example, as the name of some sort of Arch Demon. My, how comforting this man has been to us!

He spoke of other volumes, and even loaned us one, something about Diabolis Britannia Libre Gaus Antonios… a Latin book, which thankfully our good Doctor can read.

And there was something about the writings concerning Scylla and Charybdis, or being stuck between two evils. I wonder if this was some sort of omen, but I chose not to speak of it. I hope that is not the situation our small group finds itself stuck between…

We eventually wore out our welcome, and departed back for London well before daybreak. The fog was thick and eerie, and it set our nerves on edge. At one point both Viola and I were certain that we were being followed, that some deep darkness was watching us from the fog…

But we were able to acquire our coach and set off on our return trip, despite the foreboding weather…

Back to London…

We expected the trip back to be similar to the first leg of our journey: painful, uncomfortable, and unbearably long. I was content to fill my thoughts with hope for Lucy’s well-being, but it seemed we were fated for a much more ‘interesting’ journey…

We were attacked. Not by bandits, not by wild-animals, not even by the French. Instead, we were attacked by a monster, a huge horrifying creature with claws and the large wings of a bat that allowed it to fly at an amazing speed. The creature was welcomed by gunfire from the top of the coach, and that’s when we knew there was danger.

The screech of the beast was hideous, like nails across slate, and it swooped down upon the coach, quickly collecting up one of the men driving – and carrying him off into the dark foggy pre-dawn sky. We could hear the man’s screams in the distance – as if he were being dropped from a great height – and then suddenly his cry was cut off.

The horses needed little encouragement – they sped off, out of control, as the beast came to land on the roof of the coach, despite our best efforts to fend it off with pistols.

The creature’s claws made short work of the coach’s roof, and the five of us gazed upward at it, and it looked down at us as if it already sensed its victory was near. We had many problems at the time, of course, and various members of our team set about trying to rectify them all at once.

The doctor and my man-servant made for the coach’s door, swinging it open in an effort to reach the horses. We were traveling at a terrifying speed, and the horses were frightened out of their blinders. If they weren’t slowed soon, there was no telling into what catastrophe they might gallop us.

The rest of us inside the coach did our best with pistol, rapier, and dagger to fend off the flying beast. It’s claws were as terrifying as anything I’d ever seen, rending wood as if it were paper. More than once those dreadful claws struck flesh, but my own and Simon’s for certain.

Eventually, though, our efforts paid off, and the beast was slain, or at least so we thought. It tumbled off the back of the coach just as the doctor began to slow the horses, having heroically climbed to the horses themselves to pull back on the reins and calm them to a halt.

I suggested going back for the body of the creature we fought, but glancing back into the fog, I believe my companions did not want to witness the horror of its visage again. Besides, what would happen if we reached the spot where the corpse was supposed to be – and find that it was simply gone? I argued that such a find would be truly historic, but my companions were more eager to be gone from this place. And in short order, we were.

The remainder of the trip was somber and even colder than before, the fight with the beast fresh in our minds. Having returned to London, we stopped by Lucy’s residence and were dismayed to hear that there was no news. My heart sank – but I would not give up on her!

To Whitehall…

We made our way next to Whitehall, finding several inches of freshly fallen snow which seemed only to exacerbate our dreariness. I feared for my friends and companions, hoping their spirits would keep them eager and alert, but I could not help wonder about the toll that this journey was taking on each of them. Such things, in my opinion, were not meant for mortal men, things that by all means should not even exist! Archdemons? Kings in Yellow? Spells and cantrips? Crystals and sacrifices, giant bat-winged creatures capable of carrying a fully-grown man into the sky? It was all almost too terrible to contemplate. The sooner we resolve this and rescue Lucy, the better!

Whitehall, as most Londoners knew, was a ghost town. Because of the signs of the plague, most of the houses of these well-to-do citizens had been sealed up for the winter, their owners having moved on to some place warmer – and farther away from the plague.

We found the house John Dee told us about, and searched its surroundings. The snow was untouched, and finding our way inside, we began our search. Upstairs, we found in the bedroom a diary, or at least part of one that seemed to have fallen and slipped beneath the bed, as if the owner of it had been in a hurry to leave.

But it was downstairs in a concealed room where we found the biggest discovery – a throne room of sorts, complete with a massive throne at one end. We lit the torches that circled the room, except for where a giant tapestry covered the walls.

The throne was searched and a hidden compartment at its base was found. Another hidden place was found behind the tapestry. Between these two areas we found more clues, including tomes, a map, and most importantly three colored stones – blue, green, and yellow. We quickly believed these were key to stopping whatever wicked plan was in place….

And that plan? It involved the Tower of London itself, one of the most secure and armed locations in all of England. How did Barker plan to enact any sort of plan in that place? There was mention of a hundred cultists, and my companions and I could not help but wonder how Barker planned to get a hundred cultists into the Tower of London. Access to the place was highly regulated – one does not simply walk into the Tower of London. Or the worst horror of all… could the cultists already exist amongst the men and women of the Tower???

The time for this ritual was growing near, based on the notes and diary that we found. We did not have much time, and we could not approach the authorities, for they would think we were mad!

What to do?

Sweet Lucy! Hold on! We are coming for you!

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To Be or Not to Be - Session THREE

January, Tuesday 8

St. James Park, Hard Rain

Joseph Barker is seen embracing Lucy – then smacks her into unconsciousness and drags her through the shrubbery out of sight. In his place, three hoodlums appear, each armed with dual pistols and bad attitudes. Not content with seeing my true love stolen from me – even if she is suspected of treasonous acts behind my back during the time in which I was courting her – I charge forward. Interestingly enough, Simon charges forward with nearly as much gusto, and with the good doctor Matthew and Viola in tow, a tussle ensues.

Myself and Simon are both struck with wheelock shot, but we give as good as we get and with the doctor and Viola backing us up, the tilt is in full swing. Two of the ruffians are taken down, and the third makes good his escape through the shrubbery. Wounded severely, myself and Simon decided to take a breather, leaving Viola to ensure the other two ruffians would not be causing any further ruckus, and Matthew to give chase through the shrubbery.

When the doctor returns, he informs us of a spectacular sight that he saw, one which defies logic – or belief. A giant bat-like creature was seen by his own eyes ascending westward into the rainy London skies, with Lucy in one talon, and Joseph Barker in the other. At first I believe the doctor to have imbibed a goodly amount of morning-spirits, but he tends to myself and Simon with steady care, and quickly we begin to hobble our way out of the park before we attract attention.

Viola’s House

We departed for the nearest safe-haven we could think of, which was Viola’s house. It was dry and warm, thankfully, and her servants dutifully tended to us and served us warm tea. It was a somber rest, my back aching profusely from where I was shot (what sort of man shoots another in the back?). Meanwhile, Matthew tended to Simon’s foot, and gave the good word that it would not need to be amputated. Finally, good luck is on our side.

The Bank

From there, after a goodly rest, we departed for the bank where Viola usually spends her days. There, she instructed some of the best and brightest of her employees to seek the printer who ended up doing business with Joseph Barker, believing that finding such might lead us to the man’s home. I argued that we should head West, in hopes of catching some sight of Matthew’s “giant bat” creature that stole away with my beloved Lucy and the dastardly Joseph Barker. But alas, my pleas were drowned out by what the others called ‘logic’. I silently hoped that none of my companions ever have to face the trauma of their true love being stolen away in the talons of a giant bat, possibly never to be seen again, for then they would feel my pain and comprehend why my heart went westward at such a time.

London Bridge

In the meantime, we departed for the London Bridge, so that we might again check Van der Wyck’s home and business for recent use. Arriving on the bridge, it looked the same as it had before. Asking about, we were at least able to retrieve a detailed description of what the man looked like, so that we might have a better idea who to keep an eye out for.
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The Globe Theater_

From there, we departed for the Globe theater, in hopes of finding Shakespeare so as to warn the man that his life was in danger. Upon arriving, there was already a line of people waiting to get in, and moving up to the front we spoke to another ruffian who refused to let us speak with the artist. After some back and forth, the ruffian was finally convinced to go himself at the end of his shift to bring William to us, and indeed, eventually he did arrive.

William himself seemed unworried about the threats, claiming that he received such threats all the time. From that point on I was prepared to wash my hands of the man (he likely wouldn’t amount to much in the long run any way – a flash in the pan, his name lost to history like the rest of us, no doubt), but alas, my companions seemed very eager to protect him somehow. At the very least, we knew that something wicked would be perpetrated that evening by those with ill-inteent toward the playwright.

We purchased tickets and gained entrance, spreading ourselves around the theater so as to hopefully cover as many angles as possible. When the show eventually began, all of our eyes were keenly focused on the stage, and looking for signs of foul play.

Eventually, from my vantage point on the third level, I could see Shakespeare behind the curtains peeking out – and he looked as if he was in some sort of distress. I began to make my way to find the doctor, as I assumed the doctor would provide the best hope for aid. With my aid, I lowered the doctor from the second level down to the ground floor, bypassing the stairs and foot traffic therein, and the doctor made his way towards the stage.

Pandemonium was born when Shakespeare waddled onto the stage, choking and gagging with darkened veins on his neck, obviously not apart of the play. My companions rushed the stage, joining the actors with concern as they huddled around the fallen bard. When it became obvious something was the matter, many started to file out, as my companions began to tend to Shakespeare as best we could, while searching the crowd for the man who had done this.

Finally, upon the third level, a man was seen holding his hands out toward the stage in a dramatic fashion, and it was assumed that this was not for good will. Several of us began to converge on the man. Through some sort of dark sorcery he was able to… affect me, causing my body to be wracked with pain. I fell to the ground, and felt an unholy suffering the likes of which I had never felt before. At first I thought it might simply be the breaking of my heart upon recalling that I might never see Lucy again, but no – it was the man’s witchcraft, for certain, and for a short amount of time that felt like an eternity, I did despair greatly.

But the man – who we would later identify as Van der Wyck to the best of our knowledge – would eventually take a wheelock shot to the gut, ceasing his dark magic upon my person. Though it stopped, the effects were still there – I felt the pock marks across my body, the weakness in my limbs. It is my deepest hope that such suffering will ebb in time. Perhaps a few good nights sleep might be all that is needed to rid myself of this malaise.

The impending threat eliminated, the folk around me seemed more concerned with tending to Shakespeare than to myself. For his part, it appeared that his state was no longer worsening, so I suppose that was a good thing. I am not sure where he was taken, or by whom, but before I could even draw a breath to collect myself and gather my strength, we were off again, to check in with Viola’s employees to see if the printer of Joseph Barker’s book had been found.

Turner Printing

And it was. Turner Printing, one of my rivals, was the business that printed Barker’s book, the one I refused to print because I was booked-up at the time. After consulting with Mr. Turner, he was polite enough to allow us to search his paperwork for the invoice dealing with Mr. Barker’s job, and upon finding it, we drew no detailed location information from it – Barker left no means of contact, sadly. There were two tomes that Turner printed for Mr. Barker in small quantities.

The first was ‘The Fall of the Graces’, a pseudo-Greek myth descriving the fall of the three Greek graces.

The second was ‘Under the Yellow Sign’, a collection of poems detailing various aspects of Barker’s crystal contacts and cult activities and rites. In summary, it looked as if it was written by a madman. There are references to Hastur, the King in Yellow, rituals involving a Crystal, something called a Cthulhu, enchanting blades, and something called a Byakhee.

Could the bat-creature that the doctor swears he saw be this ‘Hastur’ creature? Or Cthulhu? Or perhaps this Byakhee? Or did any of these things actually exist only in the mind of Barker, who has apparently lost his grip on reality? Then again, I trust Matthew’s judgment, and he swears by what he saw – this creature of unknown origin, large enough to convey not one, but TWO fully adult humans… through the sky! Da Vinci would be so jealous!

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To Be or Not to Be - SESSION 2
Winter 1603, England

JANUARY, MONDAY 7

LONDON

HOME of Will Shakespeare

  • Afternoon, leave for Lucy Henry’s home

HOME of Lucy Henry, well-to-do neighborhood

  • Tea Room
    • Talk with Lucy. Learn the following:
      • Sister married to wealthy Dutch Merchant, child: Marijne
      • Lucy has not seen Barker.
        • Barker from good family despite his poor manners

MERMAID INN

  • Meet with Philips. Learn the following:
    • Last saw David Moore 6 months previous
      • Moore sat in a corner of the Inn after a fight, mumbling, repeating to himself, “Dutchie and Joeseph”
        • Tall man entered and took Moore away
      • Last saw Moore 3 weeks ago
        • Says Moore was as ‘Weak as Marlow’ and that now ‘St Mary’s would be the best place for him.’

BISHOPS GATE, SAINT MARY of BETHLEHEM

  • Office of Dr. Frederick Pullman
    • Learn that Moore was checked in by local watch
      • Composes in cell. Beautiful but insane sounding
  • Moore’s Cell
    • Moore: Missing eye, clothes tattered, clumps of hair missing, deep scar and face ruined on one side
      • He hums constantly, a bewildering variety of airs and songs. Insane but a marvel. Says the word ‘King’ again and again.
    • Learn that humming a tune get’s the mad Moore to start a chaotic but information-filled musical oration full of mathematical purity. This goes on for about 3 hours with Viola and reveals the following:
      • Moore played for the Queen in the 1590’s
      • Moore met the advisor to the Queen at the time, a Dr. John Dee.
      • Told the doctor that his inspirations came from dreams.
      • Dr. John Dee told Moore of his ‘Enochian’ language and his contact with ‘Angels’ which Moore asked to witness
      • Learn of Dr. Dee’s student Joseph Barker and Dr. Dee’s companion Edward Kelly
      • Moore’s crystal gazing to contact an entity drove off Edward who thought it farcical.
      • Moore joins the company of Joseph Barker, the Dutchman Johann Van der Wyck (Writer), Christopher Marlow and others now using larger crystals for purposes of contacting an entity known as ‘The King in Yellow’
      • The ‘Company’, blindfolded, were brought to an unknown location in London where they summoned an ‘unspeakable monstrosity’, Marlowe is eventually killed
      • Moore could hardly contain the inspiration from this experience and his mind begins to unhinge
      • At the Mermaid Inn, Barker tries to help Moore but Moore shoots Barker in the chest then shoots himself.
      • Surviving, Moore is taken to St Mary’s
      • Manchester locals learn of Dr. John Dee’s use of the ‘Dark Arts’ and is publicly disgraced
      • Edward Kelly was a ‘Scryer’ who met his demise in Europe.

LONDON BRIDGE, THAMES

  • Jeweler’s shop from boat on the Thames, enter through window
    • Workshop, in disarray as if occupants left in a hurry
      • Recover the following:
        • Gems and Gold pieces
        • Two Crystals and a note dated in the future- January 12th and mathematical geometric statements, likely instructions perhaps
        • Cloak with symbols on the collar. Smells of the sea
    • Upstairs
      • A note to Van der Wyck from Joseph and poster for the play Hamlet on January 8th
    • Secret Room, smells like the sea
      • Notable contents:
        • Carved symbol
        • 100 pcs of Amber
        • Naked woman with welts, lacerations, ruined face, leech marks on floor to ceiling pole. Body cold and not decomposing.
        • Cameos of two women’s faces, one is Marijne.

HOME of Will Shakespeare

  • Party inside, Shakespeare not there
    • Simon remains, rest of group to Viola’s to sleep

JANUARY, TUESDAY 8

HOME of Lucy Henry, well-to-do neighborhood

  • Housekeeper reports Lucy left moments before after receiving a note from Joseph to meet him in the St. James Park in one hour.

ST JAMES PARK, Hard rain

  • Copse of Trees
    • Lucy with Barker, animated conversation followed by embrace
      • Party closes
      • Lucy struck and dragged into hedgerow by Barker
      • Missiles fly from 3 men emerging from the hedge
        • Simon and Robert hit
        • Viola hurts one badly with return fire
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To Be or Not To Be

It begins Sunday, January 6, 1603, during an especially cold winter.

Simon receives a cheery letter from John Croft inviting Simon and his friends for dinner. Simon invites Viola, Matthew, and Robert with his manservant George. When they arrive at Croft’s house, Viola notices that, despite the freezing weather, there is no smoke rising from the chimney. The windows are dark. No one answers the door.

George climbs in through the 2nd story window and lets the rest inside. The house is almost empty, with few signs that anyone was living there. The hearth was never used. No food in the kitchen. Robert and Viola go upstairs to find Croft in his bedroom, hanging dead from a rafter. It appeared that Croft died at his own hand. He had strangled slowly, rather than the more merciful death a proper hanging provides.

The room is in shambles and it smells of tallow candles and alcohol. There is a bloody knife and a partially eaten leg of lamb with flies buzzing around it. On the floor below him, bottles with tallow candles were placed in a circle. On the wall, a strange symbol painted there. The symbol was hard to focus on and gave everyone an unsettling feeling. Sheets of paper were strewn around floor everywhere. Simon found Croft’s diary, the diary of Christopher Marlowe, and 100s of pages of screenplay, written in the hand of Croft and two other writers. (Marlowe wrote the play Doctor Faustus, a story in which Faustus learns necromancy and makes a deal with Lucifer, agreeing to eventually pay with his eternal soul.) Looking closely at the corpse, Matthew noticed he had recently a disease of pox, but was mostly healed from it. Croft also had the look and reek of a man too fond of the drink.

The entries in Croft’s diary start off in the normal fashion, until he speaks of a package he received from the Late Christopher Marlowe. It included an unfinished play, which Croft pledged to complete. Knowing he lacked the talent for a masterpiece, he enlists William Shakespeare for assistance. Croft discovers that Marlowe’s play is not fiction. There truly is a King in Yellow. Shakespeare quits, but then later returns. They are stuck, lacking inspiration. They perform a ritual from Marlowe’s diary and contacted an entity. Croft had a burst of writing success. Shakespeare refused collaboration, citing nightmares and visions. Weeks later there was one more entry in Croft’s diary. The writing shaky. He spoke of visits from the king at night and the rapture it brought him. The diary ends with words from an identifiable language.

George gathers up the papers, and the group departs Croft’s house. To avoid crowded streets, they pay to be transported across the Thames by boat. They went to The Mermaid Inn, a place mentioned in Croft’s diary, hoping to find Shakespeare. He was not there. The group decides to tell the authorities, sooner rather than later, but first Simon wants to clean up the occult nonsense in the room. Croft was his friend, and Simon wanted to protect his reputation. Viola, Robert and George go to his printing house to sort through the paperwork.

Simon notifies the police, who accompany him and Matthew to Croft’s house and investigate the scene. The police didn’t seem terribly concerned, and Simon and Matthew returned to the printing house. After sorting through the papers from Croft’s house, they found the full manuscript for “Doctor Faustus.” They also found the unfinished screenplay, “The King in Yellow – Play in Three Acts begun by Christopher Marlowe and completed by John Croft and William Shakespeare.”

Marlowe’s diary includes incantations and four complex rituals: Bringe Forthe Hastur, Contact Ye Kinge, Crystal Calle, and Enchant Knife. Marlowe wrote of a man he identified as “J,” who took Marlowe to the maelstrom. The experience was horrible, filling Marlowe with fear and despair. At this event, Marlowe recognized David Moore, a composer and regular of the Mermaid Inn. “J” insisted Marlowe go again, saying the king demands it. “J” blackmails him, threatening to reveal his homosexual behavior. Marlowe agreed to meet “J” in Deptford the next day. (Marlowe died from a stab wound in a bar brawl at the Eleanor Ball Inn in Deptford.)

While the investigators were reading through these documents, Robert receives a note from his old love, Lucy Henry, the woman who, several months earlier, suddenly and inexplicably broke is heart. Her cousin Marijne, who was expected two weeks ago, never arrived. Marijne’s father said she was to stop first to see an old friend, Johannes van der Wyck, a jeweler. Lucy visited the shop, but no one answered her knocking, and the shop appeared to have been closed for some time. Lucy believes the Johannes knows something about her cousin’s disappearance. Lucy, ordinarily proud and independent, begs for help from Robert. It is late at night, so everyone spends the night at the printing house with plans to resume following the leads the next day.

Monday, January 7, 1603

The jeweler’s shop is located on London Bridge itself. The investigators knock, but no one answers. The door is locked. His neighbors have not seen him in around four days. Viola might have picked the lock, but it would have been far too obvious. There was no way to discretely get inside, so the plan was to wait for darkness or another opportunity to get inside.

The group goes to a tavern near the Globe theatre, asking for Shakespeare. Some colleagues state that he is working to finish Hamlet, which opens tomorrow, January 8th. Shakespeare is staying in Bishopsgate with the Monjoie family. To visit the house, the investigators walk into the quiet and sullen neighborhood. As the approach the Monjoie home, an increasing number of doors bear a red cross, the sign of the plague.

Shakespeare, looking weary, allowed them in and offered tea. Simon informed him of Croft’s death. Shakespeare confirmed the evidence the group had found thus far. He spoke of nightmares where he was whipped and scourged by a rag-clothed giant. He may have seen this creature during his waking hours, or it may be hallucinations brought about by stress and lack of sleep.

The last time Shakespeare saw Croft was at the Mermaid Inn, when Shakespeare was dining with Ben Johnson. Croft spoke like a madman, calling Shakespeare a fool. Then Croft asked for Shakespeare’s help to locate a friend of Marlowe’s named Joseph Barker. Shakespeare knew of a character in The King in Yellow named Harker and explained to Croft that Barker was not real. Croft got angry and stormed out. (Robert met Barker several months earlier through his acquaintance with Lucy. He was a poet who requested print work from Robert. Robert declined citing a heavy workload.)

It was about 2:00 pm when the investigators left Shakespeare’s home.

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Better the devil you know...

Musta been hard for Liu Bei. He was too proud to admit defeat, so he disguised it as a business deal. We each go our own way, with a promise to do future business. Aunt Jing always said, 如果你低头可言,低头低. So I bowed and apologized for our previous misunderstandings. Liu Bei was able to save face. Just in case Liu was fixin’ to kill more of his own men, now he has a good reason not to. And the truth is, if I had to do it all over again, I’da sold him those diamonds.

Hanzo shuttled me home. Leonid and Gideon met us in the cargo bay, and presented Hanzo with what was left of Liu’s men plus Blake’s finger. Once Rocket got word that I was safe, he sprung off the yacht and headed home. Or so he thought. That ninja blade musta smarted, cuz he launched a bit too far starboard. I fired up Yin and parked in front of his trajectory. Rocket grabbed on, and we got him inside before he ran outta air.

Leonid looked at Rocket’s leg and patched it up. Brad was still in the med bay, and he seemed to be healin’ up right fine. In fact, Brad was all charming and chatty with Natasha. Leo didn’t seem to care for it much. I couldn’t tell if he was jealous or just protective.

Gideon went to tell the passengers that the danger was over. There was a gunshot and I heard Gideon yellin’. Everything seemed fine, so I didn’t bring up talk of the shot or the yellin’.

This whole time, Alicera was working to get Nightingale flying again. She called me with bad news. “There’s a broke part. Can’t be fixed.” I asked Alice to rig somethin’ up. She made a part and got us moving, but she didn’t seem comfy with it. As soon as we were moving, she started working on a replacement.

The engine didn’t sound right, and a short while later, Alice shut the engine down. The passengers noticed the stop. Gideon told them it was periodic maintenance, and that seemed to quiet them down.

The replacement was a little better, but Alice said it wouldn’t last. We sent a call out into the black, inquirin’ about engine parts. And since you can’t throw a rock without hittin’ a Tremblay, Rocket sent out a message that his folk would recognize. Sure enough, some guy named Jacque hails us. Same accent as Rocket, including the pickled slur. Jacque was a member of the crew on a scavenger ship named Warlock. The captain, Mikkel, said he had all sorts of parts. They agreed to meet us.

When Warlock approached, it looked like a flying junkyard held together by chewing gum and old pantyhose. Not having many options, we went on their ship to do business. Imagine a home populated for a hundred years by teenage boys who spent all day smokin’ weed. Well, that would be the Taj Mahal compared to this ship. It was like a hoarder’s house after it was hit by a tornado. Rocket went off with his cousin to share stories and a 5th of whiskey. While hunting for the part, we spotted a mangy dog hiding from the smelly crew of Warlock.

It took us forever to find a part that Alice could fashion into what we needed. It wasn’t quite right, but Alice has a knack for getting’ things to work. We traded Yin. Mikkel gave us the part, plus ₡175 and the feral dog, if we could nab it. Rocket called Wilson and told him to bring us some meat. With a piece of steak, Leo managed to coax the mutt to come closer and he grabbed it.

When we were about to leave, Gideon told me about the boy on board. Mikkel told us the kid was an orphan. We offered to take the boy to a place where he’d be well cared for. To Mikkel’s credit, he didn’t try to sell the boy. Gideon was able to get the boy to speak. The kid was frightened, but he was willing to come with Gideon to Nightingale. I was glad to get off Warlock. What was that stink!

Now I got a ship full of rescues. I image Gideon is all pleased with himself, but this ain’t good for business.

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The love boat

It was supposed to be a quiet trip. Everything was lined up nice: booze, paying passengers, ship upgrades, booze, my old friend-with-benefit Nadia, booze. Good booze too, snatched during the party we organized for the overpaid brats we were supposed to babysit, aka the Gators. I wonder what a gator is, by the way, never seen one in the black…

So, anyway, take off went superbly, we were all in space in no time. It looks like ruddin’ Rammstein’s ship had already left when we hit orbit, probably headed for the coordinates I had sent him. Who knows how long it’ll take him off our track, but he’ll be back that’s for sure. In the meantime, he can sure kiss my Pei Gu. I owe the crew a solid on that one, they could just as well have sold me out, the offer was tempting after all. But where would they find such an awesome pilot, with such a winning personality ? In any case, I really wonder why Obersturmbannführer Rammstein has such a tumescence for my tribe? Ok, they’ve been causing trouble for a while, but not more than notorious criminals like Badger or Niska…

We’ve never been that crowded on this ship, what with the unexpected arrival of Leonid’s Natasha and my Nadia, plus a full complement of passengers (mostly Gator fans, to the exception of Lisa Kung-Lau (a real firecracker). Then, there’s the addition of a stowaway, Brad Armstrong himself, one of the aforementioned brats. This one has been damaging my calm ever since I met him, and by climbing on our ship uninvited, he just officially made it on my shit list… He wanted to be with Alicera, hoping she’d put up for the rest of the trip and welcome him like a hero. Well, it turned out quite different: although he did get to spend a night in her bunk, he was welcomed the next morning with an optical grenade and the business end of a shotgun. And this time I aimed the grenade just right… Discussion with Captain Prudie ensued, and the boy was sent to our improvised brig, i.e. the starboard shuttle. We soon after warned Charles Ringessen (Brad’s boss, and our current employer) that we had his boy and that he was safe and sound.

The trip started well and quickly fell into routine: for me that was day shifts with piloting and “light drinking,” and night shifts in my bunk with not-so-light drinking and sometime a nice visit from Nadia (ouch, she hasn’t lost her touch one bit. I’ll have more scars by the end of the trip, but that’s worth it). For the rest of the crew things were going fine, Gideon was taking care of the food and passenger activities (good old Bingo-Gator-Trivia…) and Brad was trying to ingratiate the rest of the crew by making himself useful in the kitchen and impressing the passengers. The latter soon realized who he was and went nuts: we should have asked more money for their ride. Alicera tried to stay away as much as possible from loverboy and kept busy in the engine room. Leonid was taking care of Natasha, who mostly kept to herself. The Padre started working on some counselling with them. Things were quiet, there was a bit of smack talk between the Gator fans and miss Kung-Lau who could hold her own. One of the passengers, a nerdy boy called Robert Blake, actually asked for some advice from our Shepherd about the best way to make her understand he had a crush on her. I’m not sure why you’d ask such a young fellow, with a bible for a brain, about such matters, but I guess the Religiosity Kid’s got more common sense than most, so why not.

On the twelfth day of our trip (about midway), Brad paid a visit to Alicera in the engine room to chat her up. I dunno what they talked about, but soon after they were joined by Robert Blake (the nerd), who had brought a gun to the party! He locked the door behind him, and forced Alicera to sabotage the engine. suddenly we were “dead in the water.” I was at the helm with the Captain at the time and we asked over the comm what was happening. Alicera replied that there was a problem with the engine, and that “they” were working on it… As the Captain was making her way to the ship’s poup, I gathered some gear and warned Wilson about the situation. When we arrived at the locked engine room airlock, Blake was yanking cables and pipes left and right while holding Brad and Alicera at gun point. He told us to stay put and that we’d have some visit shortly.

I raced back to the bridge and scanned the surrounding, pushing the Nightingale’s sensors to their farthest range. Indeed, a ship was incoming and would be on us in less than two hours. Like my uncle Luc would always say when something was breaking down on the Je me souviens (about every other day) : Criss de calice de tabarnac d’osti de sacrament! I rushed back and took Gideon in tow. Blake would not answer to any kind of negotiation. He seemed crazed, almost hysterical. Looking through the blueprints of the ship, there seemed to be an air vent going from the center of the ship (above the galley) to the ceiling of the engine room. It was pretty tight, so Leonid was out of the question, and both Gideon and Captain Prudie were keeping Blake busy to keep him from shooting his hostages. I warned the others to look away from the room on signal, ‘cause there’d be some fireworks.

I climbed into the vent after donning my welding goggles and my ballistic mesh. Crawling through the space was taking forever, I barely had space to wiggle my way forward. As I was making my way and listening to the events in my comm unit, the situation was escalating and Blake was threatening from shooting Alicera in the face at any moment. Than suddenly, time stopped: I heard the echo of a gunshot coming from the back of the ship. I didn’t hear any scream from Alicera, so either she was dead or had frozen again. Gideon and Wilson started shooting bullet after bullet through the three inch thick porthole set in the airlock blast door. They finally cracked the door and Wilson tried to slide his arm through the opening, to unlock the door.

That’s when I arrived on top of the vent. There was no time and not much room, so I just threw my weight, head first, into the vent to break through it. As I was falling into the room I unpinned another Optical Bomb. I gave the signal to the others and hoped my welding goggles would protect me from the effects. Of course Alicera and Brad could not be warned ahead of time and dropped to the ground at the same time as Blake, the psychedelic LED strobe having wrecked havoc with their nervous system. I fell heavily on the floor but managed to mostly protect my head and back. I stood up, kicked his gun out of Blake’s hands and head butted him as hard as I could, then unlocked the blast door. Prudie, Wilson, Gideon and Leonid rushed in, tied Blake with the wires he had yanked from the engine, and helped Brad. Unbeknownst to me, Brad had dived in the way to protect Alicera when Blake tried to shoot her. He was badly hurt in the shoulder, there was blood everywhere. Although I’m glad Alicera is fine, I realized that Blake had just shot our moneymaker…

As Brad was being carried to the med bay for some express surgery, the Nightingale received a call from the incoming ship: this was Liu Bei, the same gorram triad boss who had tried to intercept us a couple months ago when we were transporting the wine cargo for baron Othello. Obviously he didn’t like the fact that we gave him the slip and dumped our septic tank all over his nice luxury ship… He explained that he had to kill his previous crew because they had witnessed this humiliation. Now, imagine what he’s going to do to us if he sacrificed his men so easily…

As the yacht was approaching and when Alicera stopped seeing dots, she diagnosed the damage and realized there is no way she could fix the ship before the K14 men arrived. We now had to defend she ship the best we could. I offered to pilot one of the shuttles, loaded with explosives, into their yacht as they approached (hopefully jumping off before impact), but the plan was deemed too reckless (good thing they didn’t see what I pulled off during the war).

We armed some of the passengers (and I gave my repeater crossbow to Nadia, who thought Xmas had come early), and I prepared a plan B involving my trusty and all patched up military spacesuit, several packs of Scrapper Gel (will burn a hole through a hull in seconds) and some rope. Hopefully the rest of the crew will manage to hold the Tongs long enough for me to blow a few unhealthy holes in their ship.

Wish us luck !!

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Dazed and Confused

Our lives are in peril once again with the Tong moving closer to board us, and yet all I can think of is guilt and regret over Brad. He should have been just an easy casual thing, we finish our job, I blow a kiss goodbye and move on. But this job is taking a lot longer and I’m starting to feel hemmed in here.

When I first discovered him in my bunk, at first I was elated and we shared another fun night together. But the next morning, I lay there listening to him softly snore, and I started getting angrier and angrier. How dare he presume I wanted him on this three week trip! I haven’t spent three weeks with a fling since I left Greenleaf. The physical part is fun, but to be honest here, I just get bored with the person inside of them.

Look, I know I’m naïve about a lot of things. I don’t have a lot of street smarts. I’m all booksmarts. But none of the pretty boys I’ve had a nice easy time with haven’t had much in their brains to talk about, and that’s just fine for a night or two. But three weeks!!!

So, I was getting angrier and angrier. I had led him on, promising him more of me when we get to Londinium to keep a string inside the team that my over protective brothers wouldn’t give me. Brad could be relied upon to tell me what he was up to if it meant getting lucky and I was happy to have some fun with him to, ya know, to make it easier to find him and his buddies when they’d try to sneak out again. If they were going out to party, I’d be the first one Brad would confess to about it in order to have some fun with me.

Having fun has become a job to do and I ain’t no Companion. It’s makin’ me feel kinda whorish here and I’m not likin’ it one bit. And Brad ASSUMING that I’d be happy to spend THREE WEEKS with him without him asking my permission, well boys are just not allowed to assume things about me and not ask permission.

It’s a respect thing. I had to prove myself to my brothers by teaching them to respect my little fist. I had to out-think competitors at University in order to get respect despite my country-girl voice. I want respect dammit, and assuming that I’d just lay down and be a happy little floozie for three weeks. Well. Angry.

I always thought it silly, good girls being good girls and not having any fun. Boys had fun, why not girls? It’s been a great ride, pun intended. But this….it’s not so fun anymore. Three weeks with someone as brainless as Brad, very nice guy, really, but intellectually he’s just a jock. Again, really sweet guy, but certainly not my type to spend three weeks with an’ nothing in common ‘cept sharin’ sheets.

And speaking of respect, Capt’n is a girl, good girl or not depending on whose scale of opinion yer lookin’ at, she’s a successful business woman and can do anything a man can do. Me hiding a stowaway would be breaking all kinds of rules and I can’t do disrespect like that to Miss Prudy. Knucklehead thinks stealing a ride is the same as stealing a seat on a bus trip. He don’t get that the oxygen isn’t plentiful and too many people put a strain on the scrubbers. I’m sure I’ll be havin’ to go through them, maybe even replace them when this is all over.

And the food. You can’t just pull the bus over when the food is gone and get a refill on that Icy Cup. Miss Purdy and Preacher plan carefully on the food supply and promise paying folks fresh food. An extra mouth to feed is an issue. All kinds of things are different here in the black. This just ain’t the joy ride Brad thinks this should be.

But then Brad has to go and save my life by getting himself shot. It’s different when Wilson or Rocket gets themselves shot for us,. I’d throw down my life to save anyone in this crew, and any one of us would too. But Brad isn’t part of this family and I didn’t invite him to be one.

If I were a cruel person, I’d just shrug my shoulders and tell myself that Brad had it coming and he needs to learn about consequences. Miss Prudy tried to teach that to Brad by putting in a time out, but I’ve no doubt he’s learned nothing by it. He’s used to getting his way no matter how many rules he has to break.

Keeping the team safe and out of trouble means it’s our job to take on that trouble for them, so being here is certainly not the safest place for him. He never should have assumed I’d be okay with three weeks. I’m not on a vacation here. I got work to do. And see what the consequences are? He’sbleeding at Doc’s and likely will be unable to play. I bet I get blamed for that, everyone will assume I enticed Brad to hitch this ride which couldn’t be further from the truth, but how to I put all the blame on him when he has t’go and get himself shot. Ugh. I hate feeling guilt.

Now I’m talking myself in circles, and though recording this while I race at getting Nightingale running again which isn’t likely to happen before we are boarded, still it isn’t slowing me down and recording in my journal makes me feel better and I’m just feeling too much guilt for my likin and need to shake it off.

Maybe Preachers right in some o’that stuff he sermons about. Maybe I should just take up with men I at least have something in common with, someone that is talkable. Brad wouldn’t know a heat dispersing bundle of coil wires from a bundle of wires that take on an ignition load. Of course most folks don’t, but he has absolutely no want to learn anything about it, or me for that matter.

I’m so confused. I used to really like the joy ride. Now there’s a kind of heaviness. Maybe it’s cuz I’m getting older. At Temple on Hera, a priest told me that “every day is another chance to change your life.” Maybe if I get to wake up to a new day tomorrow after all this, I’ll consider taking that advice.

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The Game Gets Bigger

Reavers, Alliance, Cricket calamities. We’ve been through it all, fighting the bad guys with great frequency of late, so much so, it’s taking me less time to take a swing when I need to. Maybe it’s that, or maybe it’s that without a big brother traveling with us I’ve found a bit more courage to defend myself. I dunno, a combination of both?

The job of keepin’ my twin brothers’ team safe has been quite the adventure. More has happened since the brawl at the bar and the party in the ship. For one, we won the game on Hera and will move on to the the ’Verse Championship on Londinium.

But before we get there, well, the game didn’t get off without a hitch. In the background while the game played on, we had succeeded in fouling a kidnap attempt one one of the twins, and freed a girl held hostage as well. I think I talked about that in my last journal entry.

Getting ready for the next flight, I decided that it would be too risky to keep hacking into dock securities at each stop, so after coming back from the Temple to give alms, I created two more sensors (which took some time as the cameras I added were tricky) to the one I had put on the team’s ship last time. This way instead of dock security cameras, we could watch with our own, and record when not there to watch them.

We are waiting for word from Mr. Tighty Whitie as to when we lift off. In the meantime, we got a call from Ram-sleeze. He offered us amnesty and credits to turn over Rocket to him. What the ‘Sleeze wanted was information from him. It took a lot of throwin’ ideas around before we could settle on a plan. See, while tryin’ to show us how comfortable Rocket’s prison cell would be, Ramstein’s camera rolled across the images of two women being held captive. One of them was a friend of Rocket’s, a feisty one that is registered with the Companion’s Guild. The other woman’s image put Doc in all kinds of anxiety. I’ve never seen him so shook-up!

So we went through ideas. We couldn’t turn over Rocket to ‘Sleeze unless we could come up with a plan to rescue those women, and there just wasn’t a way we could come up with a safe way to turn in Rocket and then get him back out again.

Hacking into their crew list, I discovered that Ram-Sleeze wasn’t registered as being aboard. That didn’t really help much other than he seems to be either on a covert mission, or a personal one.

We got ahold of the Companion’s Guild and they set t’getting that one free. In the end, Capt’n made a deal with Sleeze that we’d agree to let him meet Rocket in a public place. I’m not sure what was agreed upon that Sleezy would give us in exchange for that. The next deal was that that Ram-sleeze could ask Rocket questions, get the information that he’d been chasing Rocket over, in exchange for the ladies.

The deal was made to meet in the diner we’d gone to next door from the brawl at the Pot & Kettle last time we were on Hera. We got there before them and set ourselves up to protect Rocket. Me an’ Preacher stayed in the mule for a quick get-away if need be since Preacher has been learnin’ to drive it and Rocket would be preoccupied with answerin’ questions. Leo was at the backdoor of the diner until Ramstein’s goons got showed up to guard the back, so we found out later that Doc had moved to the kitchen and when he came out he smelled enough like onions t’make my eyes sting.

Sleeze kept to his word, and the ladies were freed to us. Back to Nightengale we all went, and then we alerted the passengers we took on that Nightengale would be lifting off soon. I ran down to the team’s ships and attached the sensors (that finally have working cameras) and we lifted off as smooth as Rocket’s ever done. He must have been pretty tanked.

Meeting the ladies we’d saved, I found Rocket’s friend had an energy much like Rocket’s but with a touch of sultry and not smellin’ of booze. Don’t know if that will change now that’s she’s out of a locked cell. Leo’s friend, Natasha, she was real bad off. Once Doc got Natasha sedated, he told us an incredibly sad story, all that he and Natasha had been through together. It explains his feelings for her and why he was so anxious to get her freed. I’m not sure, but I take it he’s protective of her, like a sibling. It also explains how he knows all that natural medicine an’ healing stuff.

We ended up with yet one more passenger, a stowaway. Found him naked in my bunk. Brad. This tryst with him is getting complicated. I hope he’s in this for fun and not expecting a relationship. My first love is this ship and the heart of her I keep running smooth. My life is here, in the Black.

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Leonid and Natasha come clean

I didnt want to play this out last night as it would have taken too much time, and by the time it came up it was getting quite late, but I also didnt want to just gloss over it. This can be as interactive as you want or as little as you want.

Leo and Natasha will call a meeting with the crew, they will cook up a fine meal of what they would eat while living on the run for 2 years on Jiangyin. Which probably consists deep fried rocks, rotten or partially spoiled veggies, nice tasty bugs, slugs and the carcass of something dead that the buzzards did not eat blended with the herbs from his garden and the finest homemade vodka and virgin shirley temples for the more pious individuals :-)

Leo and Natasha were both taken as slaves a very young age, Leo 14 and Natasha 10. They lived in the same cell block aboard the Chuck Schwarsky travelling entertainment group, which would come to the lesser planets in the realm as an entertainment extravaganza like a travelling Las Vegas of tents, coming to your town to bleed you of all your money for a week of the most vile entertainment you could stomach. Once all the cities on said planet were wringed of all the credits they could get they packed up and visited the next planet. For these two it went on for 7 years.

From the age of 10 Natasha was a prostitute and unlike high priced and classy companions this was a free for all, whomever had the most money could pretty much do whatever they liked for as long as they liked, assuming the slaves returned more or less in 1 piece and breathing. This time left Natasha as a broken soul, no will to live, no self esteem, no skills in life, nothing but a rotten piece of meat.

Leo was part of the fighting troupe, Chuck and his promotions team would dress up all the fighters in outlandish costumes and antagonize the locals to find all the local toughs and build up their egos through a fixed tournament of fighting which rallied the village against the roadshow, obviously allowing the locals to advance to the point where the toughest of the locals would advance to the main event, usually on the last evening of the roadshow, it pitted the towns champion against the roadshows champion, the towns ALWAYS rallied behind their guy and usually bet everything they had to beat the champion. And of course they never did, Leo was so full of hate, rage and anger the final bouts never lasted long and usually the local tough would remain in intensive care for many weeks, while the roadshow rolled along.

This was wash, rinse and repeat for almost 7 years, Leo was in charge of keeping the slaves healthy enough to perform, whether that was mending wounds, treating and curing diseases or keeping the slaves from killing themselves that was Leo’s job outside of pounding people into dust.

Chuck was a very shrewd business man and realized the dog and pony show needed to stop, no more setting up tents and travelling on busses, this was going to be an independent fighting circuit, the rim planets would bid for the services and house the events in the finest arenas across the black, in the last year they received 12 bids so every month an event was set, this was now something different, the fights were now to the death and the stakes were massive and the demand was insane. Leo was making him more money then he could count, the events got more intense fighting in pits filled with broken glass or cages of razor wire anything to get more people to watch and more money to be bet.

Chuck became the biggest promoter in the underground fighting scene and with Leo in his stable he could not lose, until one of Chucks accountants discovered where this money came from and at what cost in human lives, by this time Leos mental state had deteriorated to the point of suicides, simply lose this next fight and he could finally go to sleep, however just before the match, this woman arranged for Leo and the slaves in his cell block to escape which included Natasha. They ran.

Leo was put in charge of the rest of the slaves and managed to live off the lands of Jiangyin for 2 years hiding and surviving on anything they could find until all of the slaves were placed in good homes with loving good families that would take care of them and rehabilitate them to become someday normal people, Natasha was like his little sister and he was incredibly protective and when the time and Leo was 100% sure he left her with her new family.

Having no one to care for and no prospects in life Leo returned to the ruins of his home and was discovered by sandy the woman who set the slaves free, she arranged for passage to the furthest planet from Jiangyin and a few names and some money. This turned into a job on the Nightengale.

At this point half drunk and teary eyed they show you what 7 years of slavery looks like, Leo shows you his back which is a complete mess of scar tissue which he smiles and says he could not fix because his hands cannot reach these places, and upon looking closely at Natasha while strikingly beautiful from 2 feet away you see the well hidden damage that has been brought upon her and looking in her eyes you wonder how much damage is behind those eyes?

Leo closes and says he must protect Natasha as Chuck and his group was behind the events that led to Natasha being arrested, this puts the crew in possible danger and if that is too much of a burden for the ship then they will leave at Londinium.

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Amateur hour......

The day after the party we were summoned to the stadium when we getz to zee stadium we have many new screenz showing seemingly every inch of zeee stadium, after listening to owner Mr. Charlz explain all thees new tingz one camera goes dark Mr Jefferz and his men go to check out what iz wrong with new screenz showing blackz, we volunteered to check dis but Mr Jefferz insist.

After some time has passed we get callz on radio explaining troublz, we run down to help and find men down and a stink in the airz, Aliceria and I start to drag zee men in black to zee safety and Prudy and Rocket find grenade of gas which caused troublz, zee lightz and fans get turned back onz, zen anothr callz comes to radio about hostages and more trouble, I take zee gun from Mr Jeffers and doctors are on zee way to help as we come back up to level were zee playerz are housed.

One of zee team doctorz has needle to neck of Aliceria’s brother Bob or Rob? I do not know all zee crickets look zee same to me, Prudy tries to negotiate with zis doctor, he sayz man have his daughter and force him to take zee Bob cricket…..or was it zee Rob cricket? Rocket and Wilson and Prudy work a planz to shoot zee doctor, Prudy gets them to move outside roomz and gives signal to shoot and Wilson shootz zee doctor in zee shoulderz, we secure hostage and zee doctorz.

We decide zee doctor was not bad man, just manipulated by very bad manz, docotorz explain were trade offf of cricket hostage take plaze and we decide Rocket will dress like doctorz and Wilson will be zee the cricket, we follow but not closely down many levels until finally at end of long hallwayz we find bad manz who wants Cricket to sabotage crickets game, Prudy Aliceria and me Leonid hide around corner waiting, zee man tells cricket to get down and crawl away from Rocket, manz zen sayz doctor rocketz iz no longer needed and shootz rocket, Wilson crawls towards bad manz and Rocket throws grenade of lightz and zee smokz but somehow grenade hits ceilling and lands between doctor rockets and cricket wilson, both now cannot seez, meanwhile Prudy gets gunz and says shootz high and follow, Prudy goes around corner and shoots zee gunz, Aliceria and me leonid are still trying to get past fears of killinz, I make zee gunz loadedz and take deep breath and run around cornerz, I shootz and shootz and shootz but flashing lights and smokez confuse mind and I see Wilson playing cricketman fallz down as I get to side doorz passage, I have shot blinded cricketmanz Wilson in zee back!!!!!!

Prudy must have hit somezing with oil as badmanz realizez thingz turn badz fleez and leavez footprints of oilz. Prudy, Rocket and me leonid decide to chaze badmanz, Aliceria finally works up zee courage to come around corner in time to see uz givingz chaze. I quickly check Wilsons and tell him to put fingerz in zee bullet hole and he will be goodz, then join chase for bad man, we climb up many many many stairz and wounded Rocketz cannot keep pace, Aliceria also cannot maintain zee pace, so Prudy and me leonid chaze man up to upper decks of seating, many peoplz dressed in silly colors confuze and we alomst lose badmanz, ever clever Prudy zees the oily footprints, pointz and tells me leonid she sees man and to get him, I see manz at stairwell watching zee start of zee games, I run very fast and decide I will take man down and ride him down zee stairwells using face as cushion, I tackle man perfectly and push face down into stone steps as we slide down zee stairwellz, he iz in much pain and after quick chat with man spitting out teeth we learnz he was forced to switch into oily shooz or face beating, luckily he did switchz zee shoez so not beating waz given poor manz. I say I am sorryz and zee chaze begins anew.

We starts to tink where would be good place to shoot cricketz and decide it must be up, we climb more stairz and ask man at fistpoint if they zee tall blond man has been by and he says yez and points up to top of stadium seats, finally we zee manz with rifles climbing light towerz with no shooz, Prudy starts to climnb zee towerz and shoots up at mans buttocks, I cannot getzs good shootinz so I shoot at zee glass lights, i remember diehard movies where manz walkz on broken glass with no shooz, i hit zee lightz one and broken glass showerz down on platform, at this time Rocketz and Aliceria arrive, rocketz has beer in hand and fat seciryt guardz chasing him, Prudy and badmnz climz higher and I wait for barefoot badmanz to fall into glass trappz I leonid setz for him, Rocket tries to get clear shotz as fat securty man triez to recover stolen beerz, rocketz finally shootzs and hits man before leonids clever trapz and falls down ladderz, Prudy gets out of wayz just in time as man fallz to hard stone floorz, zee peoplez waching cricketz are confused by all zee shootinz but qiuckly get backzzz to zee gamez.

We Prudy findz only 1 key on dead barefoot man, we ask fat security guardz what zis keey is forz and he shows us cleaning lockerz and we open and open and open and findz zee doctors little girl, we bring her back to zee office of securityz and watch zee last of zee crickets games, zee team winz zee games and we get to celebrate with zee crickets and learn our jobz are not overz yet. Wilson seemsz ok, Mr Jeffers and his menz are recovering also………

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