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Catstacker

[Torg] The Corsican's Descent

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The first act of this adventure is pretty flexible, so we can begin roleplay even if someone's missing, and fit their character into the action when they arrive. Actually, I was woken early this morning by the phone, and then I couldn't get back to sleep again because I was turning the first act over in my head to see if I'd thought out all the angles. I'm looking forward to playing tonight, and I'll try to be in the chatroom early in case you want to do other business with your character before we begin.

Hijack

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I'm glad:) I was worried that the group might have been discouraged about how to find their way, but I had to stick with the freedom I gave you in the beginning or else I'd be leading the group by the nose the whole game.

 

I'll post a summary of the scene one later, when I have more energy.

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It was indeed fun. A first session is always going to be a bit rough as the players and GM get used to each other, but it'll smooth out.

 

I should have been more aggressive in stopping the cab to check out the shot-up Porsche... I thought it might have just been local color to show how dangerous the city was.

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It was indeed fun. A first session is always going to be a bit rough as the players and GM get used to each other, but it'll smooth out.

 

I should have been more aggressive in stopping the cab to check out the shot-up Porsche... I thought it might have just been local color to show how dangerous the city was.

 

I had a little trouble keeping up with what was going on, things were moving a bit too fast for me. But as you said, it was the first session and they are usually a bit rough.

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Just after the midday prayer, our heroes have met at a papered-over restaurant near the beach, in the trendy district known as Bab-El-Oued. They have come with for the prospect of some under-the-table work for an unknown party. Past the faded signs promising "Opening Soon!" numerous thugs and lowlifes are gathered around tables, waiting to hear what this deal might be. They have divided themselves into various groups, loosely based on some sort of ethnic identity or national group, though to foreign eyes they all seem from somewhere around the Mediterranean.

 

Doc Hazard is out of costume now, looking a bit better dressed than average here, wearing a suit (though far from a fancy one.) "This will be a good chance to see what the underworld is up to," he explained before arriving. Percy feels out of place in this company, looking like a typical tourist with a Arab phrasebook and long blonde hair. Amy Sterling isn’t in costume either, though her Danger Girl persona is never far away. The three heroes are sitting in the middle, looked at by everyone, and have to crane their necks around to watch their backs.

 

Two lethal-looking African men emerge from the kitchen, followed by a well-dressed European man. "Gentlemen," he says, "and ladies, excusez-moi, I have a contract with a man who needs a few persons for a dangerous job. There are various skills necessary, and so I have thought up a test to see who is the most capable. Recently I purchased a small antique from a dealer, who failed to deliver the item that I paid him for. His name is Benjamin Habibi. You are to find him and bring my merchandise back to me."

 

At the mention of the man's name, a group of toughs near the door immediately leave. "Oh, it looks like these guys know him already, we should hurry to find his place so we can talk to him first.", Percy says to the more well-dressed man across him thinking that maybe another non-local would be a better group for him then these other guys. Doc makes a note of that name on a napkin, waiting to hear the rest. The well-dressed man continues, "The antique that I bought is a black statue of a bird. I will give $10,000 to the group that brings it to me, and I will introduce them to my contractor." "What are the items that he took from you?" Danger Girl asks, “Is it large, small, is it made of jewels or stone?" The well-dressed man tells them, "The statue is about 2o inches high, and is covered in black lacquer. Benjamin Habibi is a specialist in art history. He found the statue on the island of Majorca. I know that he is in this city, trying to sell my statue to another collector at a higher price.”

 

Doc stands up. "We'll get your statue back" he says, trying to sound thuggish, picks up his bag and heads for the door. Outside, the heat of the midday African sun hits them like a supermodel's slap in the face. As their eyes adjust to the glare, they see the street is mostly deserted, as this neighbourhood is more fashionable after dark. Across the street, seven Arab men are surrounding a white compact car, arguing about who is going to drive. Doc Hazard shields his eyes against the glare. "We have to find this Benjamin Habibi before those thugs do, for a start." Danger Girl asks, "Where should we start?" "We should find a man who knows the city... Taxi!" Doc calls, putting his hand up. Immediately a car appears, an old Renault with broken windows. Through the cracks, the driver says, "My friends! Get in, get in!" Doc Hazard opens the door for Danger Girl, and tells the driver, "We're looking for a dealer in rare art objects, one Benjamin Habibi. We know who we want, but not where. And we need to get there before those gentlemen..."

 

"Oh yes, you are American tourists looking for souvenirs." the driver says, "I know a very nice place that you can get the best art at a very good price." The floor of the car is covered in crumpled paper, greasy bags, and chicken feathers. Once the heroes are inside, the car takes off like a bat out of hell. "Why is he driving so fast?" asks Danger Girl. Percy says, "It’s kinda like a race." and laughs. "Oh yes," says the driver, "Always we are in a race for the best deals." He turns on the radio, which blares out an awful wailing that is only worse with the driver trying to sing along. Doc glances over his shoulder to see if the armed group has managed to start yet. "There is a Royal in it if you can get us to him quickly" he calls over the noise.

 

The Arabs have piled into their car, and speed off in the other direction. But Doc also notices that another car has started its engine, and does a U-turn to follow our heroes. Doc Hazard says, "The question is, is he driving fast enough..." He jerks his thumb back at the pursuing car. The driver is definitely driving fast enough for anyone not sponsored by Ferrari. The smaller cars in Algiers allow seven lanes of cars on a four-lane highway. "Is it much further? It seems there are other people who want the same bargains we do!" Doc calls over the din.

 

The traffic begins to slow down, and an eighth lane of traffic forms to no purpose. Ahead, the traffic is stalled by a yellow Porsche 911 that has flipped over onto its back in the middle of the road. As they get near, they see that its windows are riddled with bullet holes. Police cars arrive, slowing down traffic to a halt as they approach the Porsche. Percy says, "Heh, some of the other guys will come pretty late it looks, lucky for us." "The question is: will it stop enough of those guys?" says Doc.

 

Coming with the opposite flow of traffic, a very strange limousine moves toward the heroes’ car. It is huge, like a tank that has been retrofitted to house the sun king. They can't see inside since the windows are tinted, but they're sure that whoever rides in this beast must have his own pool in there. Doc recognizes that car. "That's Thabit Wazir's car..." he says to Amy in a grim voice. Percy says "Who? Some kind of star or something?" "Yes, the kind of star that burns you if you get to close" Doc says, liking the sound of that line. Thabit Wazir is one of Mobius' strong arms, running various shady businesses across the ten empires. Doc Hazard nudges open the bag at his feet and takes a blue hanky out from his coat pocket. "Whatever he wants, we should get in the way of."

 

When the limo reaches the Porsche, a window rolls down and the car stops, blocking four lanes of traffic with its bulk. The heroes’ driver begins to accelerate away from the scene of the accident. "Slow it down, I want to see what that limo is doing" Doc tells the driver, glancing back. "Don't worry!" the driver says, but they aren’t sure he can hear anything over the ear-spitting Arab pop music. "Anything Wazir is up to is more important than a stolen statue" Doc says. He taps the driver on the shoulder and says "FOLLOW THAT CAR!" pointing back at the extravagant limo. "What car?" says the driver, "Don't worry!" Doc muses that cab drivers are worse on this world... then thinks no, they really aren't. Danger Girl says, "I hope he leads us to that bastard Doc Mobius." "Uh, why would the king of Egypt be over here? And why do you want to talk to him?" Percy asks, confused. "Let's say we both want to see him get what's coming to him, Percy." Doc Hazard sits back and looks out the window, trying to get a sense of where the cab is going while ignoring the din of the music and stink of the cab.

 

"Here we are!" the driver announces triumphantly, jerking to a stop in front of a tourist trap selling carpets. "Fifty American dollars, for you." Doc Hazard doesn't like the looks of this place and scans back up the street, looking for that car full of armed thugs. "Keep the meter running" Doc says as he gets out of the cab. Percy gets out of the car as well. "Doesn't look like statues, but maybe he can help us out and point us to another guy who knows about statues from Mallorca when we ask nicely."

 

Doc Hazard heads into the carpet shop at a quick clip. "Hello?" he calls out. The driver gets out of the car, though the engine is still running. "Hey!" he says, "come here, look at the lovely carpets, all made by children with very small fingers, the finest." A bullish looking shopkeeper emerges from the hanging carpets. "Good afternoon!" he says, "I have the finest carpets in the land for you." Doc Hazard says "They are lovely carpets and would decorate my place very well, but I could really use the right ornamentation to go with it, a black bird statue, perhaps?" The shopkeeper responds, "Statues? We have no statues. I am Tariq, the carpetmaster." "You are? I was told this was the shop of Benjamin Habibi!" Doc says, trying to sound outraged.

 

"You want statues?" Tariq says, "Come and meet my cousin Ahab, he has many lovely statues for the beautiful lady." Doc Hazard narrows his eyes. "Thank you, good day" he says, and struts out towards the cab, opens the driver's side door and pushes in,. "We're renting your car now" he says in a firm tone, holding up a handful of gold Royals as Percy and Amy jump in. "Wait!" the former driver calls as Doc fishtails the car 180 degrees into traffic. Everyone else in this town seems to stand on the gas pedal, so Doc can't see why he shouldn't follow suit. A cacophony of horns greets Doc as he gets up to speed to match the traffic, though it slows at it reaches the accident. The limo is nowhere to be seen, and the cops are getting back into their cars, turning on the sirens, and heading in the same direction. Doc insinuates his car into the cavalcade of cops, and follows them through an open air market, to the edge of the Casbah, the dense, ancient heart of Algiers.

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The police stop their cars to block off a street leading into the Casbah, and duck out of their cars with sidearms drawn. Percy says, "Damn, we need to get in there somehow. Let’s hope that blockades aren't too tight yet, maybe we can sneak past." Doc pulls to a stop and gets out, trying to find out what the trouble is. "Oh, there are ways to get over problems like this." he says, giving a sly nod to Danger Girl. As they get out they hear gunfire in the Casbah, which the cops look reluctant to enter. "We got to save the guy,” Percy says, “Cheating people is bad, but he shouldn't get shot for that," and runs to a side street in the direction the shots came from, looking over his shoulder if the others follow.

 

Doc Hazard slips into a doorway to pull on his costume, giving Danger Girl the action sign! Danger Girl slips under cover and puts on her costume as well. Doc draws his guns and fires a glue stream at a nearby roof to swing up to the rooftops. Percy continues through the winding streets trying to figure out where exactly all this comes from. Danger Girl launches herself into the sky past a confounded old man, who has never seen such a sight in all his life.

 

As Percy gets closer to the sounds of gunfire, he sees streets littered with various items abandoned as the citizens fled the violence. He grabs a broom while running, a thunderous explosion showing pretty clearly which way to go. Armed men, recognizable from the restaurant earlier, run away past Percy. He takes a quick look around the corner as he reaches the building where the explosion was. There is debris and pieces of brick littering the plaza. A woman tries to run across the gap, though she isn't looking where she's going with her arms thrown across her face. Percy runs out into the plaza to rescue her, but automatic gunfire coming from the second floor cuts across the path and he dives down. He dodges back to the building, and jumps through a window into a room full of smoke.

 

Danger Girl, flying overhead, sees the window that the gunfire came from. The sniper is trying to reload his weapon as Danger Girl rockets through the window straight at him. The gunman is astonished, because only in his dreams do women fly in the window dressed that way, and they don’t punch so hard. He tries to hit back, but underestimates Danger Girl’s reflexes, and her one-two punch drops him like a sack of potatoes. “Piece of cake.” She says, and claps her hands. She strips the gunman of his vest and AK-47, and then ties him up with his shoelaces.

 

Up on the rooftops, Doc scrambles along clay tiles to get closer to the action. Seeing the smoke from the explosion, he tries to jump across the street to the building it came from. Unfortunately, the narrow streets of the Casbah aren’t narrow enough, and he plummets into some hanging laundry. Doc catches hold of a clothesline, swings to the other side of the street, and lands on a balcony. Ripping open the door of the balcony, he runs into the building, headlong into another gunman who wonders where the science detective came from. Doc tries to blast the man with his glue gun, but it fails to work. He feels an icy chill crawl up his back as his Glue Gun misfires and thoughts of failure press in on him. Doc presses back though, aiming his glue gun at the head of the thug with the big gun, letting him see down the dark muzzle of the converted flare gun. "If you move, you won't like it" he says in a sinister voice, and barely has time to dodge away as the thug fills the air with bullets! Doc has had enough... he gets motivated, concentrating on what makes a hero, on the fundamentals of Justice. Then he uses a reliable method and shoots the goon in the chest, making him stagger! Unfortunately, the villain's return fire finally connects with Doc, sending a bullet deep in his chest. Doc spins around as the far-too-fast firing gun opens up at him, putting his unwounded side towards the thug. "Do you think that can stop me?" he asks in a low, spooky tone, lifting his gun. "You have had your best shot. You do not want to see mine." Doc's threat makes the thug drop his AK-47 on the floor. Doc puts his foot on the discarded assault rifle and then fires his glue gun at the thug to pin him to the wall.

 

The African heat is starting to get to the heroes, and they can smell smoke above the scent of spent ammunition. After her opponent is tied up, Danger Girl move slowly out of the room into a hallway with a staircase leading down, and smoke coming up. A man with his arms glued to his sides runs out of a room toward the stairs. "You've shown your back like a dog. Do you think you can outrun justice?" Doc’s voice calls. Danger Girl swoops through the smoke, swirling a vortex toward the sticky thug, and she flying tackles him through the door opposite. He is totally knocked out, and Danger Girl finds herself in a dark, carpeted room, with walls of inlaid wood and pillows cast around the floor. The bashed in door causes a draft that makes the fire start to flare up the stairs! Smoke swirls into the room that Danger Girl just ventilated. "Doc, I think we need to leave" she says. Behind the curtains is an exit to an open-air stairway between the two buildings. Danger Girl heads up the stairs to make sure it is clear, while Doc drags the unconscious gunman outside so that he won’t die of smoke inhalation.

 

Meanwhile, the ground floor is full of smoke, making it hard for Percy to see anyone. He runs around looking for anyone, but everyone here is dead. He hears shooting upstairs, so he goes to the stairs and discovers they’re on fire. That proves to be no obstacle for a king of the ring like Prince Charming, and he vaults over the banister and hauls himself up over the fire. He searches the rooms upstairs for survivors, rifles through a messy study with books piled all around and a desk covered in maps and papers that mean nothing to Percy. He finds the unconscious Arab tied up in the bathroom, and can't let the guy burn up, so he puts the man on a couch, lifts it over his head, and throws the lot out over the balcony. Then he flips over the balcony himself, landing safely on the street.

 

Above, Danger Girl sees a rooftop garden, but doesn't have time to look around as bullets fly past her head! Danger Girl yells down, "We have company!" "Give them a warm welcome then!" Doc calls back. The gunman is across the roof from the stairway, and hard to see through the orange trees and tomatoes. Danger Girl takes cover, and then pulls out her pistol and takes aim. The thug has discards his pistol after he wastes all his ammunition, and pulls out a grenade. With his other hand, he has another man choked in front of him, using him as a human shield. Danger Girl thinks she has a shot, but she can't see if the madman has pulled the pin on his grenade. Danger Girl calls over to the thug, "I thought you were a big man. Only a coward has to hide behind someone" “هل سيموت مثل الكلاب!” the thug shouts back.

 

"You don't have the guts to stop us OR to kill yourself. You're going to throw that grenade away and get on your knees if you want to live. Now" says Doc, projecting an aura of menace with his words that chills the sun as he lifts both his pistols, straight-arming them at the thug. Defeated and tired, the thug droops and releases the man in front of him, who slides to the floor. Then the madman with the grenade shouts, "Allahu Akbar!" and jumps over the edge of the roof. An explosion three seconds later announces his end. Danger Girl turns to Doc Hazard and says, "Who is Allahu Akbar?" "Their boss, I presume... one who can't afford poison capsules." He replies.

 

Danger Girl flies over to the former hostage, who is a thin man with a big nose and a beard. He is conscious but in a daze and there is some bleeding coming from his scalp, and is holding a backpack that is stuffed with something. When Danger Girl tries to take the backpack, the man is roused and clenches his arms around the backpack. He cries something in Arabic. Danger Girl puts her gun to his head saying, "Let go of the backpack" Doc makes his way over to the man after Danger Girl and tries French. "Relax, we're here to help, friend."

 

"No!" says the man, "It cannot fall into the wrong hands!" Doc says, "We are the right hands... tell us why those men were after you" The man switches to speaking English, "I have a price on my head," he says, licking bruised and bleeding lips, "There are men willing to kill for what I know. I can get you money if you can get me out of here." he says. "Do you have a place to go?" Doc asks. "This is my place!" the man bemoans, "I thought I would be safe here, but now, I must get out of the city. I have friends in many countries. Get me out of the city and I will give you... four thousand dollars." Danger Girl looks at the man "Who is trying to kill you?" she says. The man looks sheepishly, and smiles when he says, "I sold a particular artifact to two different men, both dangerous men, and they have both sent their goons to collect it from me."

 

Danger Girl shakes her head "Yes, I know the person you speak of.” And Doc adds, "We will get you out of the country for free, but we'll want to know everything you do about Thabit Wazir" The man lets out a sigh and replies, "I will be glad to tell you, but let us go before he can trap us here." Danger Girl flies Doc down to the street to join Percy, and then retrieves a bandaged man with a big nose, a beard, and a heavy backpack. As they stride away from the scene of the violence, and not running away like the others, the other inhabitants of the Casbah give them free way to leave their neighborhood. The streets twist and turn into myriad alleyways, and none of the buildings are numbered.

 

While they're looking for the car, the man with the beard starts to run away! Percy looks confused. “Uhh, is that the guy we're looking for?” he shouts to the others. "Yes!" Doc calls, "Stop him!" Amy flies at him but he jumps into a doorway, and she gives chase through a very confused man’s house, and Percy running not far behind. Doc heads for an alley to get behind the house their pigeon is heading into. Behind the house, Danger Girl finds the bearded man trying to jumpstart a motorcycle, and she tries to him off of it. Doc, coming up the alley, levels his Glue Gun and fires it at the cycle to pin the wheel in place. The front tire is mired in glue, but the bearded man doesn't realize the consequences as he turns the throttle, sending the motorcycle twisting sideways! Percy arrives to see the motorcycle shooting towards Danger Girl, so he jumps in the way to try to grab the bike and get it under control again. The motorcycle tips away, spilling the bearded man off it.

 

The man has seen more action in the last two hours than in his whole life before that, and running with that heavy backpack was too much to bear. "You can't have it! I've worked too hard!" he cries. Doc moves up to the man. "Did you forget our deal already? We'll take you out of the country and you tell us everything about the artifact and Thabit Wazir." Percy shows his unarmed hands. "Can't you see that we're the only ones here 'not' trying to hurt you?” he says, “If we wanted that you'd be in deep trouble trice at least already. Come on man, settle down and we'll go somewhere safe. Don't worry for now, I'll take care that nobody hurts you and after we talk you can go where you want. But for now we just need to get to safety." Doc leans back and lets Percy work his simple, earnest magic with the man. "Very well," he says, "I will go with you if you promise to let me keep the falcon."

 

Danger Girl flies up to find their car, and returns with troubling news. "There are police all around our car” she tells the others. It gets pretty hot out in the afternoon sun, as the heroes trudge down dusty alleyways to avoid detection. Doc says "I have an idea." and slips down a side street, moves next to an abandoned pushcart, and sets it moving downhill towards the intersection to attract the police’s attention. A man comes running out of a shop, yelling "هاي ذلك هل إن عربتي!" and runs after the cart, which careens into the Rue Saadane. Doc waves his hand at the others as he dashes for their "borrowed" car. It's not easy to run across a busy street and not be noticed, and the exhausted bearded man stumbles in the middle of traffic, pulling Percy down with him! Percy picks up the man, and carries him to the other side. They can see the police at the intersection talking on their radio. Doc gets into the passenger side and says "Drive!" to Danger Girl, trusting that her reflexes better than his.

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I had a little trouble keeping up with what was going on, things were moving a bit too fast for me. But as you said, it was the first session and they are usually a bit rough.

 

That's good to know. When things get quiet in a chat-based game, I worry they're stalling out and try to say something to make sure that doesn't happen. So I'll keep in mind not to do that so much.

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I'm truly sorry guys, but real life intervened. I won't be home tonight.

 

Hmm, I wonder if we should find another day and have a make-up game for this week since tonight wont be good. Warmduscher cant make it and I might be a bit late

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Thursday's fine for me, though I might be a little distracted after 8 by the Canucks/Blackhawks game.

 

That works fine for me. This thursday we arent doing an episode of D6 Radio

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Say, Warmduscher, is this Wednesday (May 13) good to game for you? We missed you last time, though fortunately there was lots of upstairs action for the other two characters.

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Same time & place, if that works for everyone. I'll try to be logged in the chat room at 6 in case anyone wants to chat or has questions. I also updated the synopsis of Scene Two (on page 6 of this thread,) if you want to read about what's been going on.

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