The alley opens onto a wide cobbled street lined with pink stone buildings. As is faddish in God City, the architecture is EthnoTerran -- in this case ersatz Italian. A congeries of gift shops and knick-knackeries wilt in the afternoon sun. Across the way and north a half block is the Omerta Cafe. To the south is a piazza overwhelmed by a hideously out of place cyberkinetic sculpture, like a rosy-cheeked peasant wench afflicted with a robot goiter.
Buck pats Gorgo on the back, "A scrap of map eh? Well, let's see what you got there, Gorgo my friend." (Buck is more than relieved to figure out that Gorgo isn't a cop! Whew! I just shot a guy after all! Well, not a guy...it was more like a....ugly ....eh......).
Buck continues to walk along with the others....what is this bit of map? Anything worth noting?
Edsan A hint of a smile adorns the ape's face when he sees Quazarn clamping his mouth shut "My name is Gorgo, Gorgo Ubar."
Quazarn waves. He's everybody's pal!
Creature checks out the men's water closet at the cafe.
The burger bunch plus one ambles up the street toward the Omerta. It's a tacky little place, walls covered with black and white photos of Terrans with heavy features and aggressive eyebrows. A wiry elf in a gaudy silk shirt yells angrily into a voicephone. Despite his nasty threats and impressive profanity you get the feeling it's all for show.
While the Creature checks out the men's room Buck peers at the map. Hand drawn and smudged, Buck decides it could be a map of just about anywhere from Petoskey to Petaluma, let alone God City.
Meanwhile, Creature gets lucky in the men's room. So to speak. On the wall above the urinal is written
Big or small
Bigby Small's Bigtime Brawls
Call Darryl's Mom the HAWT
please dont eat the big pink mint
Back at the entrance to the Omerta, a husky hobling in a dark suit and open collar approaches. "Youse guys wanna table, or you gonna stand aroun' with your thumbs up yer butts all day? Ha! I'm a funny guy. You think I'm funny? Do ya?"
"Yeah, you're so funny I forgot to laugh," Zarko says.
The hobling blusters, puffing out his chest, "I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? Or like I don't make you laugh, I'm not here to amuse you?" He looks from Zarko to the others, and his voice edges up into a whine. "What do you mean not funny? How am I not funny?"1
"Aw let it go, Tommy," barks the elf. "Just pipe down and show the nice people to a table if they wanna."
"Hilarous....and don't be 'short' with us, Winky Dink," Buck gives the midget a sneer. "Whatcha got to drink around this place?"
[I am totally not touching the reference to not eating the "pink meat"]
[Hey, you're the one who read "meat" when I wrote "mint," smart guy]
[Ha! Sorry, i SWEAR i thought it was meat because of the last barfing incident....I swear!! ha....ah, well it should have said "meat"...]
[I'm pretty sure it orginally said meat...at least that's what I read it as the first time. I think the JM is ret-conning this adventure!!!]
[Pfftt. Just 'cause you chuckleheads have meat on the brains don't make it so. Big pink mint = urinal cake, comprende?]
The hobling, now sniveling, shows you to a table. He waves his hand bleakly at a chalkboard behind the counter listing a wide variety of fancy coffee drinks, Romulard teas, wine spritzers, lemon adder punch and suchlike. Creature seems to be taking a long time in the john.
[Throwing back to you guys now. A few questions:
Creature: Despite your strength you can't pry loose the tile with D's HAWT Mom's digits. What now?
Buck and the rest: You gonna eat?
Quazarn: Where is your donkey??]
"What's holding up Creature?", Buck says having a seat.
(Eat?! Are you jokin'? After the circle-hurl of 20 minutes ago? Buck ain't feelin' up to lunch, I can tell you that. Bucks gonna look the menu over for a double martini. If there's some bar peanuts or some "beer beetles" or some other bar food he might munch a handful of that.)
Buck removes his helmet and gloves and sets 'em on the bar, "Say, Chuckles..." he speaks to the disgruntled hobling, "What do you guys do for fun around here?" Bucks surveys the joint, specifically looking for Clues to possibly get in on this scrapping for dollars gig, or maybe some pool, or some way to hook up with some of the guys around here for some information or to make a few dollars. Buck is turning over in his mind a plan for gathering some henchmen to get us on to the 'Monster Magnet' gig....
Seated at the table, Quazarn quietly reaches into his pocket and extracts a REAL, LIVE 8-CENTIMETER-TALL DONKEY. Placed upon the table, it brays in a tiny voice and clops its hooves. Quazarn points to it most magnificently, and wiggles his eyebrows with a self-satisfied smirk.
"I shra-" he says, then remembers his breath, and stops. Frowning eyes scan the table for a glass of hydrofluid or PotaBest!, the mint-flavored electrolyte-laden thirst solution in a can. Seeing none, he pockets the donkey and looks for the restroom.
His cohorts, of course, are amazed at him -- he carries a REAL, LIVE 8-CENTIMETER-TALL DONKEY in his pocket. WOW! What a guy! As soon as he takes care of his deathbreath, he's gonna be covered in chicks.
Buck sees Quazran and the miraculous donkey, "Wha...!?!" then he arches one eyebrow and stares ahead in a daze, like he just witnessed a fat guy eating his own leg while wearing a clown suit.
Zarko will order a straight coffee. (He doesn't hold with those fancy-schmancy "coffee drinks".)
The elf sidles behind the counter and begins rummaging through a rack of glassware till he finds a martini glass and a chipped coffee mug. Buck's martini is shaken, stirred, strained, decanted via an alembic, and served with an olive, a clove of garlic, a cinnamon stick and a tadpole. The coffee's just poured from a dented tin carafe.
Rondo Buck removes his helmet and gloves and sets 'em on the bar, "Say, Chuckles...", he speaks to the disgruntled hobling, "What do you guys do for fun around here?" Bucks surveys the joint, specifically looking for Clues to possibly get in on this scrapping for dollars gig...
"Eh, what kinda fun youse lookin' for? We're very importan' guys, we got Our Own Thing." The elf looks sheepish but lets the hobling go on, "Yeah, see, we're in the SCA, you heard of it? Society for Criminal Affectation? We reenact the great crimes of the galaxy, see. You wanna see my boffer pistol?"
Zarko sips his coffee, which is bitter but strong [and thanks to an Alchemy roll will allow him to add 10% to his chances on any single INT or ESP roll!]. 2 His fellow ape Gorgo appears to have entered some sort of slack-jawed trance.
Max [Quazarn] pockets the donkey and looks for the restroom.... Creature is standing at the urinal, staring hard at the graffiti'd wall in front of him.
Quazarn rinses his mouth out and, without looking at Creature, says, "You, uh...you see something interesting, there, Creature?"
"Boffer pistol? I'm sort of a firearms nut myself...let's take a look at that thing. What is it you guys do; "re-enact" galaxian crimes?! Is there a big audience for that?"...Buck is sipping on his martini.
"Yeah, all the great crimes, stagecoach robberies, the Valentime's Massacre, Kessel smuggling runs, the Wookie Shave 'n' Haircut, alla them," replies the hobling as he trots behind the counter.
A moment later he returns cradling a small pistol. He sets it gently on the counter next to Buck. The craftsmanship is impressive, but Buck quickly realizes the pistol is carved entirely from squishy foam. "Here's the ammo," says the hobling eagerly, holding up a bag of pink foam pellets. "We meet up in the piazza sometimes, but our chapter's kinda small. Exclusive, like."
Creature finishes emptying his monster size bladder and then remembers the other reason he came into the restroom. "Darryl's...Mom" He utters in a gravelly monotone to Quazarn as he points at the writing on the wall.
[Sorry for the hold up guys, been travelling back from across the pond for work.]
"Boy," says Buck, "This is the weirdest place I've ever been, and I say that with all due respect". Buck finishes off his drink, "Well, that's somethin' else...I'll have to take in your show sometime....sounds like a real humdinger." Buck throws a G.C. on the bar, picks up his helmet and gloves and turns to rejoin his friends at the table.
Quazarn gargles profusely while a look of cogitation adorns his handsome face. He spits out the fouled water and leans on the sink. "Huh. We keep seeing references to..." He trails off, and makes his way out of the public bog. "I'll catch you out there, Creature."
He ambles up to Buck. "Say, do we have any idea who Darryl's Mom is? I'm beginning to feel -- " He holds out his hands in slight claws, slowly, dramatically. " -- a presence."
[Quazarn rolls to Seduce (78%) the others into beli-uh, he impresses upon the others that he is a keen master of the mystic arts. Something tells me it ain't goin' over with the crowd...(Roll: 100)]
Creature returns to the rest of the group.
"9..0..3..5..7..6..8...Darry's Mom" He informs them.
While creature's monstrous visage does not reveal so, inwardly he's disturbed by what seems to be an attempt by Quazarn to seduce Buck.
[Quazarn] ambles up to Buck. "Say, do we have any idea who Darryl's Mom is? I'm beginning to feel -- " He holds out his hands in slight claws, slowly, dramatically. " -- a presence."
Mumbling something about how he feels in Buck's presence, Quazarn makes what appears to be a fondling gesture with his outstretched hands. As he nears the table he slips on a stray boffer pellet, does a graceless one-legged pirouette and lands in the spaceman's lap.
[Nice crit fumble there, conehead. Smooth move, ex-lax.
[Thanks for the lead-in, Wulfgar. I wasn't sure how this was gonna play out. Just for that I won't make you roll Scholarship to correctly remember that number ]
"SAY, WISEGUY!! WHAT IS THIS!?", Buck jumps up so Quazzie can hit the floor..."What gives...you loopy or somethin'?"
Buck glances around red-faced to everyone TOTALLY confused by what's going on.
Quazarn stands up with all the grace and poise of a master of the arcane who meant to do that.
"Sorry, Buck," he says in the manliest tone. "The Arcane works in....mysterious ways."
[Was I wrong in surmising that Seduce is for general convincing and stuff?]
Creature returns to the rest of the group. "9..0..3..5..7..6..8...Darry's Mom"
The elf gives a low whistle, "Darryl's Mom? Aitch Ay Double Yew Tee." Shaking his head, he adds, "There's a phone out front if you mooks think you got the goods."
[Was I wrong in surmising that Seduce is for general convincing and stuff?]
[re The Skill That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Your only crime was rolling double zeros. (You could've used Argue if you'd wanted to try a more intellectual approach.) ]
Buck glares at Quazzie, his eyebrows bent in dissatisfaction. Slowly a grin creeps to his face, and he starts chuckling, "Well I've gotta say, you and the donkey weigh a lot less than I realized, and nobody sits in my lap without buying me a drink first!" he helps the Quazzer dust himself off and he resumes his seat, "That hocus pocus stuff sorta gives me the creeps."
"Okay, gang. Buck needs some action...Creature seems bent on 'Daryl's Mom.' I know about this 'Monster Magnet' ship, and I'm thinking we can make some dough if we investigate it...maybe even get in a tussle or two. What do we do gang?"
"We have a number, right? Maybe we should call this dame up and see what the big deal is? Solve this little mystery once and for all," Buck mutters as he scribbles the word "Daryl" on a cocktail napkin.
Zarko points at the napkin and nods his head vigorously. He can't talk, because he's still laughing at Quazarn and his antics. (And he's already plotting ways to duck the cleaning bill for anyone who got a coffee-blast when that happened.)
(HA!...Coffee, good 'un)
1 Seems like I've heard this speech somewhere before.
2 Zarko never did use this. Is it still in effect? Who knows?