Silicon Valley Slayage

Season Three Episode Guide


3.01 Reality Bites

(Aired Sep 16, 2005)

         The episode began with the everyone in the Mountain View office on Friday. Roberta and Carlos had quit the company once it was taken over by Monique, but the others were still working there. Roberta had mostly been dealing with her family and taking time off, while Carlos had gotten a job as a bartender at Gaseous. The Vampster production servers were almost complete being migrated over to the Discrete Software data center in Walnut Creek. However, everyone had been assured that the Mountain View office would remain open. Technically it was being subletted from Roberta, who still owns the lease.

         That day, Monique had come to Mountain View. Dot, Max, Chip, and Carlos were at Dana Street Coffee having lunch and chatting about their plans for the future. Dot explained in confidence that her plan was to work right up to the point when she had her baby, and then leave and not come back. They also talked about how the others (in particular Ifurita) were going to have to cover on the vampire slaying for a while. They discussed that they should try to build up Ifurita's reputation as the "new Slayer". Then Monique walked in, seeming very angry over something. Everyone soon went back to work.

         Back at work, Monique called a general office meeting. There, Laney was looking down and glum. Monique discussed about the blog and seemed upset, but then announced that the official policy was completely open -- i.e. people could discuss the company however they liked (presuming no revealing of copyrighted or secure data, obviously). She also announced that an engineer would be brought to Mountain View to be the transition person to teach about the Vampster software, particularly with Dot going on maternity leave. Afterwards, Monique asked Dot to her office and demanded to know when she would be coming back to work after her maternity leave. Dot lied through her teeth and said "six months".

         That evening, everyone went out to Gaseous -- and chatted up Carlos as he was working the bar there. There they were accosted by a highly energetic Japanese man, who turned out to be their new co-worker Makoto. He is a bit too over-enthusiastic for everyone to connect with, but he isn't too offensive and they still have a good time. Meanwhile, Laney talked about her plan to quit and start a new bar in Mountain View.

         The next day, they proceeded on the plan of talking up Ifurita. Looking for underworld and/or netherworld contacts to pass on to, they looked up Togth. They find that he has come back to Earth, and on a hunch they look him up and find him under "Togth" in the phone book. He is now a stockbroker, and so Dot called him on his cell phone. They chatted and she warned him that Ifurita is on a a rampage -- saying she'd broken from the group and was indiscriminately taking out all demons as well as vampires. Dot and Max then went to talk with him on a golf course. They explained that they just wanted to warn him since he's one of the better demons. Dot then asked Togth --

Dot: We'd like to try to stop her, for her own sake. If you were her, rampaging against vampires and demons, where do you think she would strike next?
Seeming to fall for it, Togth told her about a place in East San Jose where a vampire had set up shop. As it turned out, it happened to be right across the street from where Roberta's mother lived.

         Also that day, one of Roberta's younger brothers walked in on her at her home. He mentioned how he happened on Ifurita staying there a few days earlier, and concluded that Iffy must Roberta's lover -- which explained why she is still single. Meanwhile, he'd also raided her fridge for beer and taken other liberties. When he refused to believe her otherwise, she kicked him in the nuts. [1] He hobbled away to complain to their parents.

         That evening, Dot, Max, Chip, and Carlos were driving to the location in question. However, when they were still outside they heard a commotion (gunshots?) inside the house. Meanwhile, Roberta had just dropped by to see her mother across the street, who was in shock over hearing Roberta's brother's accusations. Outside, Dot walked up (at eight and a half months pregnant), smashed in the front door, and threw it at the nearest guy in the house. There turned out to be a vampire which Dot dusted. But then thugs piled in from the back of the house with guns. Dot raised her hands in surrender, but they fire. She dives for cover, but the last bullet was stopped by a one-shot charm that Max had put on Dot nearly two years ago in Season One.

         Iffy then came down through the ceiling and helped take care of the other thugs. Dot and Max made an amusing show of trying to stop her from wiping out all the thugs, pleading with her to let them live. As they were finishing, though, Roberta's brother ran in. He suddenly started to rant about how Iffy was his sister's lover, when Dot suddenly punched him full out. She then covered by saying "My God, don't provoke her. I might just have saved your life there." Later, she felt a little bad since she had hit him assuming that he was there because he was somehow involved with the thugs. Iffy then took off, her reputation established.

         On Monday at work, the rest of the crew found out from Tad that Monique's new employee Makoto was actually a reality tv producer from Japan (!!). Apparently he had an accident where he lost an eye, but he had now resurfaced with a cybernetic television camera for his missing eye. Spying in on him in Monique's office, they found he was there to produce an inside show on the hip, sexy Vampster employees. Using a breakdown of the computers in the office as a distraction, Max slips out the DVD he has made using telekinesis. Dot then destroys it. Monique and he stalk out enraged.

         Infuriated at this, Dot, Max, Laney, and Chip all resolve to quit. However, by finding a loophole in the generous contract they had gotten, Dot and Max managed to use their vacation time to officially stay employed until they get their retention bonus. [2]

NOTES:

  1. Cynthia spent a Drama Point on this and nailed him but good.
  2. John spent a Drama Point for a plot twist that they found a loophole to keep their retention bonus.


3.02 Delta Blues

(Aired Oct 1, 2005)

         The episode starts with Max and Dot discussing birthing plans, since her official due date is in less than a week. Dot insists on being at a modern hospital, but she won't take any sort of drugs or epidural, and they'll have a doula with them to satisfy Max's hippy side.

Dot: "I was nearly ripped apart molecule by molecule when the world was about to explode. I think I can handle labor pain."
Chip also piped up that he wanted to be there and take photos and play music to welcome the baby !
Chip: "Music to give birth by" by brian eno... We could commission him!
Meanwhile, it is established that Ifurita is off with her mom on some sort of trip.

         It then picked up as Hans the Watcher swungs by to visit Carlos... at 3AM when he gets off his shift at Gaseous. Dot and Max were there to hang out, too! Hans wore earmuffs and looked clearly uncomfortable there,

Hans: This "music" sounds like a cat horking...
Dot: Actually, this mix has a lot of sound sampling. I think that IS a cat horking.
They discussed briefly about the problems of the hurricane and New Orleans. Hans informed them that there are vampire evacuees from NOLA who are coming into the Bay Area. Carlos complained about being a Watcher and not getting any cool gadgets.

         Meanwhile, they had also been talking with Laney about her plan for a bar in downtown Mountain View. Eventually, they settled on the idea of a goth tiki bar -- with many silly suggestions, like black on black hawaiian shirts and names like "polynekkro" and "samoa necro" (which someone commented "sounds like a zombie girl scout cookie, sold by Wednesday Adams"). Suddenly while discussing this in the bar, Chip had a psychic vision of a Voodoo scene and Baron Samedhi.

         So, heading out from Gaseous, they tried to find something matching Chip's vision which seemed to fit with where NOLA vampire evacuees might go. The crew headed to a psychic shop run by a strange old man named Rufus. Chip had his fortune taken, and was warned to be very careful crossing the street.

Chip: Does that mean if i'm looking for trouble, I should keep going back and forth, and, like, serpentine?
Rufus also told Dot she and the baby will be okay, but there was some portend beyond him related to the birth. Chip continued to babble with questions like "Were you in the summer of love? Are you from New Orleans? Are you really psychic?"

         Rufus also told them of a recent rash of mysterious crimes, where people have been found in their homes, with the doors broken into, their necks broken, and their bodies drained of blood. Max then went to hack into the coroner's office to see reports. There were five incidents scattered around the Bay Area. This prompted some side discussions -- Chip suggested making an RSS feed of mysterious crimes and reselling it to other slayer groups, but others objected to the (lack of) business model.

         The next day, Dot was at El Camino hospital getting an exam when she noticed a weird untagged container marked as human blood products. Following up on this later, they tracked down that there was a doctor in the Radiology department who worked on the night shift getting these packages -- i.e. instant signal for "vampire". The good doctor didn't get on shift until 8PM, though.

         So Max, Chip, Carlos, and Dot went out to eat in Mountain View. There they spotted a woman vampire also eating there, with a large man. She was talking on the phone about meeting some people. They tried to tail her, but in the alley outside she changed into a bat and flew away (!). They then beat up the large Samoan (?) man who was by an SUV nearby. They found out that she was on her way to meet an interior designer friend of Chip's in San Francisco.

         So Chip and Carlos headed up on Chip's motorcycle while Dot and Max head up in Max's hybrid. Calling failed to convince the dupe, so Chip and Carlos tried to head him off. However, he fails to heed their warnings and they arrive at the park in San Francisco only just in time to get into trouble with the vampire, Valerie. Max and Dot are close behind in Max's hybrid, but as she tries to hop the curb Max crashed. Meanwhile, Tad was there in the city and ran by only to get in the fight as well.

         A long fight ensued with the five vampires -- Valerie with her minions Anton, Beverly, Claude, and D'afrie. Dot was severely taxed and Max drained of power -- particularly given her nine-months-pregnant state. Valerie threw a magic necklace at one point, which Dot luckily hit in mid-flight by throwing her crossbow to send it across the park onto a coffee shop. The customers there were controlled by Valerie and headed them off. Max held them off with a spell which severely drained her, and they finally finished off the rest of them. Almost defeated by Dot, Valerie turned into mist and stayed as that for a bit when Rufus showed up and helped finally defeat her by bringing a portable vacuum cleaner.

NOTES:

  1. ....


3.03 Birth of the Ascender

(Aired Oct 14, 2005)

         At the start of the episode, Dot was fretting and frustrated over being five days past her due date. We picked up at her apartment, where Max was calling around investigating job leads. She then got a call from her parents, Richard and Claire West, who announced that they were coming down for a visit. She went to pick them up at the airport.

         Meanwhile, Chip had come up with last-minute plans for a baby shower. He rapidly began calling around to arrange a party, which he convinced Roberta should be hosted at the Nexus. To show that she was actually surprised, Dot deliberately startled and threw a stake which skewered the baby doll that Chip had set up.

         During the party, Roberta felt an entity knocking on the edge of the Nexus -- which turned out to be a humanoid cat-like creature named Kris, who was coming as the emissary of an other-dimensional bigwig that it called Pat. It said that it was interested in the appealing to her out of interest in a prophecy.

Kris: Upon her eighteenth year, the daughter of daughters, child of strength and magic, will join that which is held apart. This will bring about a new age for the dark mother, and reach the roots of her hegemony.

         As they were discussing this, however, a shaking rocked the building which seemed like an earthquake. Afterwards, three demons appeared in the room of the party. They had a ring of horns around their bald heads, looking fairly inhuman. However, one was dressed differently in robes holding what appeared to be a light saber -- which turned out to be Lance, a demonic Star Wars fan. A battle ensued where Lance fought against the other two, but they eventually escaped.

         On the way hurrying down to the scene of the fight, Dot's water broke. A large group then went with her out to the hospital. Shortly after arriving, Ifurita, Lance, and Chip went back to her house to pick up the bag of stuff she had prepared. Upon getting to the house, though, they found the Zabrak demons had ransacked the house and taken Dot's stuffed Ewok "Mr. Loopy" prisoner, thinking that it was the Ascender. Again they fought, badly beating Chip up, and again they escaped with the doll.

         The three then returned to Dot at the hospital with the bag, failing to tell her the rest of the story. Dot was in bed but not quite pushing yet, and she spotted the guilty look on Chip's face. She then grabbed him by the collar and demanded to know what was going on, and he confessed to having lost Mr. Loopy to the enemy. Dot, quite cross and emotional, then insisted that Iffy and the rest go to get him back.

         Acting on a hunch that the Zabrak's would try to get back through the Nexus to their own dimension, they intercepted them at the entrance. An all-out fight ensued in the garden in front of the office, which Ned happened on.

 


3.04 Social Functions

(Aired Oct 28, 2005)

         The episode began with Roberta, Ifurita, and Tad all at Dana Street on Friday morning, all with piles of paperwork. Roberta had a bunch of papers for Togth's subleting the first floor of the Nexus. Ifurita was trying to get back into Stanford to complete her pre-med (Human Biology) degree -- Andrea having dropped out due to cancer during her senior year. Tad was trying to get into an MBA program to retain his visa, and Monique had given him a pile of papers to sign. These turned out to be so obtuse that neither Carlos or Ifurita could make any sense of it. However, Roberta read it and saw many suspicious signs: it must be signed in blood; he has to work nights, and consume at least one glass of wine and one piece of fruit each shift. This seems suggestive of faerie, possibly binding him like Ned had been bound.

         While at the cafe, Roberta's mother called her, asking her to keep an eye on her brothers at Quinceanera party in Carmel thrown by a rich widower cousin for his daughter. Roberta argued for a time over having to deal with her brothers, when her mother responded: "Well, if you had a man to bring, then they wouldn't have to come." and promptly hung up. Roberta also got a call from Barbara Jagar about the Nexus paperwork. Barbara then dropped by Dana Street to chat. She gave a hand with the forms, saying that demonic tenants are often trouble, and also strongly suggested that Roberta get a signed agreement with Max and Dot for their staying there. She also mentioned that Ellen Li has something for Roberta.

         Back in the Nexus, Max was pondering how to further safeguard the Nexus. She researched a new spell which should prevent all attempts at violence within the building. [1] However, it turned out to require at least two magical beings (i.e. non-human supernatural creatures) to be involved in the casting. As she was pondering this, Roberta and Barbara dropped in on them with the forms. Barbara offered her blessings on Brigid, and when Max asked, she stayed to help cast the spell. Josh the ghost necromancer also lent a hand, fulfilling the spells requirement, and the casting was successful.

         During this, Ellen Li called Roberta to report that her brother Thomas had come by the apartment, and since she had labelled him as unwelcome, the Alpha robot had "taken care of him" -- restraining him. Sighing, Roberta headed up to Heart's Repose with Ifurita to sort the mess out. Ellen suggested wiping his memories of the incident, but Ifurita objected, given her recent amnesia. Roberta concured and then went down to talk with him in a detention room at the country club. Naturally they had a big fight, and Thomas again accused Ifurita of being Roberta's lover. He pointed at her guard robot and Ifurita, and said the reasons that she doesn't have a man is that she's too concerned about protecting herself against "intrusions". Finally she let him go and he started to stalk away.

         However, Ifurita stopped him -- grabbing him under the arms and taking him up five thousand feet. Up there, as Thomas peed in his pants, Ifurita firmly explained to Thomas that he is not well suited to protecting his sister against the level of threats she receives. Meanwhile, on the patio below, Ellen said she took an interest in Roberta's plight and introduced her to "Jorge" -- a handsome man who speaks affably to them, but turns out to be a robot. Ellen explained that he would be perfect as a date to bring to the party with no hassles.

Roberta: Can he do small talk?
Ellen: Sure! That's his main function... Well, that's one of his main functions.
They both quickly avoided the subject, and Roberta quietly took the keys and control code.

         Back at the Nexus, Max got a call back from her friend Starhawk about a possible job working in the Interdimensional Research Group at the Center for Advanced Studies in Berkeley. However, she explained that there's another strong candidate who's waiting for an answer, so they arrange an interview on Saturday. Selling herself properly, Max reminded Starhawk that she lives in an interdimensional nexus, and she's used hyperdimensional folding to turn the Lothario's Crown into Kat's Collar.

         Friday evening, Laney, Chip, Carlos, and Brecht met with possible funders for Laney's Goth Tiki Bar. Chip was video blogging the events at the bar, having taken a two week course on video production. [2] They discussed the theme of the bar and marketing. Chip was keen on the whole implied threat of mayhem -- but as a near-vampire-victim herself, Laney wanted it to be edgy but with an underlying safety. In turn, Carlos suggested sticking with the Tiki theme, if only to have a ready supply of stakes. Laney tried to politely warn Chip to keep quiet about his zany ideas when they meet the funder -- a person named Ariel Wilkins whom they knew only by the recommendation of Barbara Jagar.

         This turned out to be a butchy but sharply dressed businesswoman in a suit. Ariel explains that there were a number of backers represented in the deal. They would like to be hands-off in running the place, but have a table reserved for them at any time. Carlos asked for the names of the backers, and the primary was a "Pat Enwhinge". When called out on it, Ariel admitted the investors were from another dimension, known as "Hapspur". Ariel then asked a number of oblique questions, about who might show up at this bar -- and specifically if there would a "family friendly" time. Carlos and Chip slowly realized Ariel was trying to see whether Dot, Max, and Brigid would come there. After the meeting, Carlos went on to research the dimension carefully. As far as he read, the Hapspurs are a carefully neutral group of genderless creatures, known mainly as traders with neighboring dimensions.

         On Saturday morning, Monique called Tad several times to ask about the contract. He let his machine answer, and groggily heard Monique say that she was "sending someone over." Later that morning, he was just sitting down at Dana Street when a man in a suit sat down, introduced himself as Kent Simon, a lawyer with Discrete Software, and began pressuring him to sign. Ifurita then showed up, claiming that Tad had promised to take her surfing. Tad explained he'll have to review the contract and get back to them Tuesday, narrowly escaping Simon's clutches.

         Max had her interview, which went fair but not spectacular. After she got back, Carlos and Chip dropped by in the afternoon to explain to Dot and Max about the funder's interest in Brigid. Max said they should take the money -- since the Hapspurs are going to watch Brigid anyway, they might as well get money for it.

         On Sunday, Roberta went to the party with Jorge as her escort. It went swimmingly, and he made a good impression on the relatives. However, on the way back home, she sensed a knocking at the Nexus border, so she pulled over and popped back, instructing Jorge to drive home. At the Nexus, she let in a figure who turned out to be the mysterious funder, Ariel Wilkins. Ariel bowed deferentially to the Nexus Guardian, and reported a recent finding. Evidently an agent of Shub-Niggurath left behind a little black book, after a clash with agents of the Zabrak lord. Ariel handed it over to Roberta, who found that it was an addressbook which has Max's, Carlos', and Chip's addresses.

         At the same time, Carlos was sleeping in his apartment into the day after a night shift at Gaseous. He tossed and turned, dreaming of being trapped in the woods trying to get home. Finally he looked closely about him, and realized that he was standing in the ruins of his apartment which had been torn apart by the trees. At the last moment, he looked up to see hideous teeth on the trees as they leaned in to rip him apart, and woke up screaming.

NOTES:

  1. This is the same spell used in the Angel series to safeguard the nightclub Caritas. It is Level 9.
  2. Liz spends one drama point on the plot twist as a retcon, although some suggested it shouldn't be necessary.


3.05 The Problem With Dead People

(Aired Nov 11, 2005)

         The episode began in the middle of Wednesday night, when someone suddenly knocked loudly and continuously on Ifurita's door. Throwing on a robe, she went to ask who it is. A man said simply that his name is Harry Simpkin and that he's looking for Ifurita. She opened the door to find a overweight white man in rotting funerary clothes who looks dead. He immediately explained he'd heard that she destroys undead, and that he had a problem with a vampire. He at first denied being the undead himself, and then passed it of as a "technicality". He then claimed a vampire has moved into his place of residence -- the Serene Valley Mausoleum in Colma. He described the vampire as a South Asian of some sort, well-dressed -- which sounded like the missing vampire doctor they had identified a few weeks earlier at El Camino Hospital, Dr. Samir.[1] Since then, Dr. Samir had disappeared from his radiology practice and they had been unable to find him.

         Harry the zombie then walked off, leaving a confused Iffy. She tried unsuccessfully to wake Dot (who hung up on her after being woken up) and Carlos (who was drunk). Realizing that she won't get back to sleep, Iffy dressed and flew out to the mausoleum. She found evidence that Dr. Samir was indeed there, and had openly taken over a room in the funeral home -- apparently paying cash to the owners. However, there was no sign of him. Iffy called Chip and met him for breakfast to discuss the matter. At the diner, Chip told her about his continuing nightmares of trees with fangs. After breakfast, they went to the Nexus to get a gang together to go stake the vampire.

         There, they ran into Togth who was discussing some sublet issues with Roberta. There, Ifurita asked Togth for a job. She tried to demonstrate her sysadmin skills by fixing his computer with limited success, and had no luck trying to dig up information on Dr. Samir. [2] While not very impressed, Togth gave her a low-paying part-time job ($10/hour).

         Roberta gated them to the mausoleum, but landed them in at the public front entrance instead of in the back, so they are met by an employee there. Chip saw someone duck downstairs, so Carlos distracted the man there while the others gave chase. Flying down into the basement, Ifurita threw open the door ready to blast Dr. Samir apart -- but he put up his hands and surrendered, saying that he is harmless. He explained that he had a chip stuck in his head so that he can't hurt humans. He explained that he was captured back in Sunnydale and chipped there, escaping when the Initiative fell apart -- and Max confirmed that he believed his claim with a truth-sensing spell. This set off a debate among the crew over what to do with a de-fanged vampire. They eventually leave him unstaked, but Max cast a second spell on him to track his GPS position.

         Everyone then returned to their regular Thursday activities. At the Nexus, Barbara Jagar visited Roberta with a prospective tenant for the Nexus -- Lance the Demonic Star Wars Fan. Lance, unfamiliar with money, offered a heaping handful of precious gems in lieu of cash for the rent. Roberta's jaw dropped, prompting Barbara to drag her aside for some advice on negotiating rents. She wonders what exactly to do with the gems. Eventually Togth offers to convert Lance's gems to cash... as well as manage his money. After ruinous conversion rates, his heaping handful will come to around $30,000 worth.

         Meanwhile, Max was working from home for her new Berkeley research job, when her boss Starhawk asks her to screen a new candidate. This turned out to be Ned Werkin -- who was secretly trying to get out from his current job with Discrete Software. She briefly interviewed him, and he gave fair but not entirely contrite answers that he had now turned over to the side of good.

         Carlos researched on why a zombie would show up at the mausoleum, and found that the site of the mausoleum had been used as a place of summoning over the centuries, and the dead usually start walking as a prelude to dread events. He himself had been having horrible nightmares much like Chip's, and he talked to Laney about staying at her place that night. In the afternoon, Carlos along with Laney, Chip, and Brecht went to the site of the bar which would be opening the next day. It's named has been settled as the "Tiki Bar... of Doom!"

         After her workday ends, Max looked over Carlos' research. Digging deeper, she found that the veil between the worlds is being breached. Something in Shub Niggrath's home dimension was trying to break through. Her researches were far from complete, however, and she would need further work to compose a spell to avert the summoning. [3]

         Late that night, Ifurita was again disturbed by Harry the zombie, who showed up on her doorstep furious that she had let the vampire go.

Harry: Look, I came to you because you had a solid reputation for destroying the undead. But instead I find you're some kind of wussy little girl....
Ifurita choked him (though to little effect) and was perhaps on the edge of blasting him, but eventually let him go as he stalks off continuing his insults.

         At around the same time, Chip received a beep on his cell phone. He had set up an alarm at his apartment, thinking that some things might be disturbing there. Carlos tried to stall Chip, afraid of what he suspected was there. However, Laney refused to cooperate -- realizing that he had been deceiving her about why he wanted to stay at her place. She told them to get some help to fight it, but refused to go herself, saying "I'm not doing the damsel-in-distress thing again."

         So meeting at the Nexus, Ifurita, Max, Togth, Lance, Chip, and Carlos all pile into Togth's vehicle and converge on Chip's house.

Togth: "Call it a monster truck and you walk!"

         Chip's apartment was the top floor of a duplex. Ifurita was the first to enter and she found the lights out and a disturbing darkness settling around her. Walking into the bedroom, a strand of darkness took a swipe at her from the ceiling. She blasted a hole in the ceiling trying to hit it, then flew out through the hole when everything went black. Togth then charged into the darkness swinging and grappled the entity. Next, Carlos lit a molotov cocktail as he headed in, but didn't throw it when he found he couldn't see. [4] Lance went in next with his light sabre, and slashed the darkness over Togth's hand which was rooted in the ceiling.[5] From outside, Max then cast a light spell, causing noonday conditions which blinded everyone but also burned the dark creature.[6] The monster was revealed as a huge, tree-like mess of tendrills with a 'root ball' where Chip's bedroom is. The thing flailed into the group, knocking over Carlos and the molotov cocktail! As the others battered it, Ifurita proceeded to rip the thing out by the roots, taking it (along with a fair chunk of the apartment) into the air. Max delivered the coupe de grace with a fiery bolt, and it dissolved into a tarry, flammable mess. Chip only managed to grab a few things before his apartment went up in flames.

NOTES:

  1. In episode 3.02 Delta Blues.
  2. One success on an Intelligence+Computers roll.
  3. Max gets six successes to apply to a future spell.
  4. Madeline spends a Drama Point to have a molotov cocktail prepared.
  5. Heather spends a Drama Point for Heroic Feat.
  6. Heather rolls a 10 for the light spell, causing a searing light which blinds those inside but also evokes damages the darkness creature.


3.06 No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

(Aired Nov 26, 2005)

         The episode picked up two weeks from the previous one. After his place burnt down, Chip had moved into the Nexus. Carlos had found his place had also been visited by the Young of Shub-Niggurath and he moved into the Nexus as well. The episode began with a knock on Roberta's door, which turned out to be her 15-year-old cousin Nina Flores -- whose Quinceanera Roberta had recently attended with her robotic date Jorge. Nina pretended to be just dropping by while seeing a friend, and specifically asked about Jorge. Roberta refused to answer and kicked her out. Nina then prowled around Harte's Repose, asking about Jorge. She found only confirmation that he lived in the area, when she was met by Ellen Li, who took a liking to the enterprising young girl. However, Nina still gave no clue as to her purpose.

         Back at the Nexus, Max received a package with the final ingredients she needed to perform the ritual to close the dimensional rift in Colma. That evening, they all drove out to the Mausoleum, where they were met by Harry the Zombie, who complained that he had to take care of the vampire's minion himself. There was some discussion about blasting him, but they decided to wait until after the ritual, hoping it would simply dispel him. Max started the ritual and almost completed it, with great strain.[1] Just as the ritual was finishing, however, Ifurita noticed a rocket shot out from the funeral home at the circle. It struck in the middle of them, badly lashing them all and sending Carlos flying. [2] Ifurita dove into the funeral home to confront the firer, and found a zombie other than Harry on the steps. Another tackled her from behind just as the others rushed into the front. Roberta gated one which Chip had tripped into a "holding cell" in the Nexus. Max blasted one (with difficulty), and Ifurita snapped the neck of the third.

         Meanwhile, in East San Jose, Nina had been staking out a vampire who was hanging out with a bunch of gang members in a restaurant -- that turned out to be Dr. Samir. She listened in on them for a time, then decided to make her move on the vampire when he went to the restroom. She pushed into the restroom and then tried to stake him. She plunged a stake into his body but missed the heart, and he ran out of the restaurant the back way -- with her close behind him with another stake.

         Back in Colma, the rest of the gang found the body of Samir's minion Vince in the funeral home. They left it there and gated back with the Prius to the Nexus garage. Knowing that Vince was dead, Max decided to check on Samir's location -- which turned out to be San Jose just two blocks from Roberta's mother's house. Roberta then gated everyone through to the back door of the restaurant -- only to run face-to-face with a furious Nina with a stake raised high over her head. In the rear, Chip, Carlos, and Lance spotted the retreating Dr. Samir and stopped him. In the front, Roberta was facing off with Nina and soon with a half-dozen Norteno gang members who were curious what had happened to the doctor.

         Just then, more gang members drove up, dragging into two badly wounded comrades. They demanded Samir's help to treat the gunshot wounds. With Carlos assisting, Samir tried to patch them up. The first is saved -- the second dies. As soon as the second is declared dead, Samir vamps out in front of Carlos and drains his remaining blood. The crew then gate back to the Nexus with Dr. Samir in tow, and head to the Tiki Bar to treat Carlos and Max, who were badly hurt.

         Along the way, Nina explained herself, claiming that Samir had killed her mother -- who was murdered seven years ago. She had no direct proof, but a fair bit of circumstantial evidence. At the back room of the bar, Max instructed Nina in the truth telling spell. She then cast it on Samir, and they asked if he had killed Nina's mother. He weaseled for a bit, then suddenly panicked and declared that he had hostages -- children kept captive by his minions to ensure others' cooperation. He demanded assurances of a head start if he revealed who has the hostages. Backing up to the door, he made a call to his people, telling them not to hurt the kids without further notice. Back at the bar office, Ifurita tried to trace Samir's call, and found their location and the callee's ID.[3] He then runs off, and they let him go for the moment. Anton, FBI Special Agent and Roberta's ex, calls her to ask if one of her people were tracking a call. She give him the info dump on the hostages, and the FBI goes after hostage rescue.

         The rest of them discussed how to catch Samir, but they wanted to wait until they were sure the children are safe before moving on him. They knew from Max's tracking spell that he was headed south on 101. Roberta, Max, and Carlos gated in Max's car to a point well South of him -- while Chip and Nina pursued on motorcycle, and Ifurita took to the air to keep watch on him. However, Roberta missed on the gating -- putting them in a parking garage away from the highway for which they didn't have a ticket. Meanwhile, Iffy watched Samir talking to a man in a parking lot. As this was happening, Max felt her tracking spell cut out. As he was starting to drive away, Anton called Roberta and let her know the hostages are safe. Unaware of the ongoing chase, he asked if she is seeing anyone -- but she put him off.

         They then made their move. Ifurita fired her key at Samir's car engine, disabling it. Samir ran through the parking lot, but Chip deftly followed through the maze of cars on his cycle. From the back, Nina then fired a crossbow bolt through Samir's heart, dusting him and avenging her mother.[4]

         Ifurita collected Samir's cellphone and downloaded the contents. Roberta offered Anton the phone, insisting that he pick it up in person. Anton met them at the back room of the Tiki bar, but on the way over recognized Ariel from the clubs' extradimensional backers. He stopped by for a brief word before continuing on to meet Roberta. Roberta gave Anton the phone, and they agreed to a date later that week.

         Shortly thereafter, Ariel flagged Chip down -- asking him about his knowledge of the local "scene" and marketing. Chip drank a sample of an energy drink from the Roshep dimension which Ariel offers, which the Hapsburs would like to sell off in the area. Ariel seems a bit lost on this dimension, and reassured by Chip's overconfidence. The drink makes him feel peppy but no other effect. Afterwards, Chip talked briefly to Nina about the energy drink -- since her father Berto made his fortune in energy drinks and dietary supplements. However, she knows little about her father's business.

         Later that evening, the crew went back to the Nexus to interrogate Harry the Zombie, who was still locked in the spare room. Harry said briefly that Shub-Niggurath is coming, and that the Ascender would be hers. He then collapsed into a lifeless corpse.

NOTES:

  1. Max spent 10 Life Points for a retroactive +2 on her roll.
  2. Madeline spends 1 Drama Point on "I Think I'm Okay".
  3. Bill spends 1 Drama Point on the Computers roll.
  4. Ellen spends 1 Drama Point on a Heroic Feat for the shot.


3.07 In the Cards

(Aired December 9, 2005)

         The episode began with the crew gathered in the Tiki Bar... of Doom on a Thursday night. Dot and Max were both there, having left Lance to babysit Brigid. The crew grilled Roberta a bit about her past two dates with Anton, whom she seemed to be hooking up with again. Ariel also dropped by, and chatted with Chip, who had been selling cocktails using the Roshep energy drinks as mixers, along with plying other sales channels. Chip tries out a drink which Ariel turns hir nose to.

         Dot and Max had been discuss their plans for the future -- Max having found a spell which could split Dot into two people, allowing her to simultaneously keep up parenting and fight the threats facing the group.[1] This could be draining for Dot, as it would be splitting her abilities between the two bodies. However, Dot is set on it.

         Max and the others then planned to cast a divination spell which would give them information on Shub-Niggurath's plans. It was to be at the Serene Valley Mausoleum -- site of the dimensional gateway Max had closed two weeks prior -- on Friday night. Through her research, Max had learned that the rocket launched into her closing ceremony did not break the spell, but did put a crack in it. Shub-Niggurath and her monstrous young cannot get through the gateway now, but with great effort a small human or smaller creatures could.

         They called to enlist the aid of Rufus, the psychic from New Orleans who had helped them earlier. He agreed to help, for a fee. So the following night, Max and Dot went to pick up Rufus. At the same time, however, Roberta was out with Anton and they passed by Rufus. Suddenly Anton pulled over and stopped the car in the street to go and confront Rufus. He apparently had been tracking Rufus many years earlier, when he was a rookie in the FBI and Rufus was involved in marijuana trafficking. Dot, Max, and Carlos mock him in response, and Anton eventually stalks back to Roberta. However, he then follows their car to the Serene Valley Mausoleum.

         At the mausoleum, Max, Dot, Carlos, and Rufus meet up with Ifurita (who flew in) and Chip (who came by motorcycle). Roberta then has a tough argument with Anton, who eventually agrees to let them to their ritual. He watches over it from nearby. Rufus and the others all sit in a circle and lay out a complex pattern of tarot cards.

         Dot is the first to pick out the vision: Shub-Niggurath already has two agents in this plane, a woman and a man, who are seeking some power to create.[2] The woman is a rich woman whom those present will meet on Market Street. The man is unclear -- it may be Anton, who is definitely insane in his hunt for criminals. An ex-Watcher will have the key to their identities.

         Roberta then has a vision about Brigid's inheritance -- she will have a supernatural ability to communicate.[3] This will be marked by Barbara Jagar bringing her a flower, and Lance will be the first to whom she will communicate. For this, she will be divisive: some will fight for her and some will refuse.

         Carlos then had a vision of more sinister servants of Shub-Niggurath, born of the receding New Orleans flood, who seek to destroy beauty. [4] They are aided by a traitorous member of the Hapspur cat-people, and they will kill two beautiful people known to the crew in the course of their plans.

         Chip then had a vision of further forces: a conspiracy within the FBI, armed by vampires and other supernatural tools, and headed by a mysterious woman.[5] Rufus has been battling them for years, and a woman (one whom none present have met yet) can see the secret of the conspiracy. Anton is presumably connected to them somehow, but it isn't yet clear how.

         The next vision was Max's. She saw a tool to fight Shub-Niggurath -- none other than the Holy Grail.[6] It is by the bay in Mountain View, hidden somewhere in or by the Google site, and there are two cups, one false and one true. Drinking from the grail will wipe out possession and deal Shub-Niggurath a great blow. However, to get it the crew must stab someone in the back, and cause catastrophe in this world by using it.

         The final vision was Ifurita's. She saw a vision of the allies we must gather, though .[7] These include Berto Flores, Starhawk, and Ariel (who is more important than sie appears). To gather them, those present must have their own shit together first. Only then can they come together and move a great evil off of this plane.

         After the ceremony was over, the crew went and talked to Anton. He was suspicious and still hostile to Rufus, but they pretended that the divination was a failure -- giving them only an incoherent set of images that they couldn't interpret. He eventually left on his own, with Roberta going in Max's car.

NOTES:

  1. John spends a Drama Point on a Plot Twist that Max has found such a spell.
  2. John starts with The Devil -- Shub-Niggurath has possessed a man and a woman on our plane as agents
    Cynthia plays The Emperor -- we will need federal help in this
    Madeline plays the 10 of Pentacles -- the woman is a rich woman whom we will meet on Market St in SF
    Liz plays The Moon -- Anton is mad, on the hunt for criminals
    Heather plays The Hermit -- an ex-watcher has a critical clue
    Bill plays the Ace of Wands -- the agents are seeking power to create
  3. Cynthia starts with the 5 of Cups -- Brigid has inherited something we don't expect
    Madeline plays the 8 of Wands -- she or someone related to her inheritance has an immunity to bullets/missles
    Liz plays the Wheel of Fortune -- she will have an early ability to communicate
    Heather plays the Queen of Wands -- Barbara Jagar will bring Brigid a flower
    Bill plays the 5 of Swords -- Brigid will be divisive; some will fight for her and some will refuse
    John plays the Knight of Swords -- Lance, a warrior from another dimension (immune to bullets) will be the first whom she talks to
  4. Madeline starts with the 8 of Swords -- stuff born of the receding New Orleans flood will do Shub-Niggurath's work
    Liz plays the Page of Cups -- Chip will find interesting power in this
    Heather plays Strength -- one of the cat people is a traitor
    Bill plays the 8 of Pentacles -- their aim is to destroy beauty
    John plays The Tower -- they will kill two beautiful people whom we know
    Cynthia plays the 4 of Cups -- they will not be satisfied at that
  5. Liz starts with the 7 of Wands -- there is a battle over spiritual ideals, where one person holds out
    Heather passes
    Bill plays the Hierophant -- the battle is against a worldly power
    John plays The Magician -- Rufus is fighting an evil conspiracy within the FBI, and has been for years
    Cynthia plays the Queen of Cups -- someone (a woman we don't know) has clarity and sees the secret of the conspiracy
    Madeline plays the Queen of Swords -- a woman is head of the conspiracy and out to get the Queen of Cups
    Heather plays the 4 of Swords -- there are vampires working for the FBI for this conspiracy
  6. Heather starts with the Ace of Cups -- we need the Holy Grail to defeat Shub-Niggurath
    Bill plays the 10 of Swords -- to get it we must stab someone in the back
    John plays Temperance -- it is by the bay in Mountain View, by the Google site, well-hidden and there are two cups (one false and one true)
    Madeline plays Death -- drinking from the grail will wipe out possession and deal Shub-Niggurath a great blow
    Liz plays Judgement -- it will also cause catastrophe in this world when used
  7. Bill starts with the 10 of Wands -- we must start by gathering our allies
    John plays the 9 of Cups -- Berto Flores is the first ally we must recruit
    Cynthia plays The World -- the goal of the allies is to move something evil off this plane
    Madeline plays the Ace of Swords -- we need our shit together within our heads first
    Liz passes
    Heather plays the Ace of Pentacles -- Starhawk is another ally we must recruit
    Liz plays the King of Wands -- we will need Ariel as an ally, who is more important than it appears


3.08 A Gaggle of Geeks

(Aired January 14, 2006)

         The episode began in the Tiki Bar... of Doom early Wednesday evening. Dot was there with Chip and Carlos, and she explained that Max was away at a technical conference and she was duplicated -- leaving her free for the evening.[1] Both Chip and Carlos were curious about her duplication, wondering whether she is "trading off" baby duty with her other self, but she answered evasively and changed the subject. They all were wondering what to do about Anton. Dot briefly suggested that maybe Roberta should try to stay close to Anton to learn more about him, but that was quickly shot down by Chip and Carlos. Chip complained that she was trying to pimp out her friends, referring to how she tried to use Chip to get information on Monique the year before. Dot relented, agreeing it was wrong to ask of Roberta. They then agreed to head out together to patrol, stopping by Rufus' place in SF first to get more information on Anton. As they were winding up discussion, a nerdy guy made an enormous fart while sitting at the bar, and then left -- inspiring some disparaging comments about nerds.

         They prepared to head out, but before they did, Carlos decided he has to speak to Laney. In short, he clumsily broke up with her, by telling her that it was him, not her, but that he just didn't find her attractive anymore. Laney was naturally angry, and they left in a hurry.

         When they went to speak to Rufus, they approach himed carefully, and when all was secure, he told them at length about the FBI and the conspiracy which has been hounding him. It all began in the past century with Valerie Devereaux -- a rich woman with a family living in New Orleans. She had been turned into a vampire, but retained her connection to her family, who protected her in return for using her powers for material gain. When Rufus was young in NO, he ran afoul of the Devereaux family and in particular Annie Devereaux -- who was an agent with the FBI. At that time, he was trading in marijuana to make ends meet. Back then (in the seventies), Annie Devereaux sent young agent Anton after Rufus. At present, Annie is running a department in Washington DC, and Anton is not connected to her.

         Dot, Chip, and Carlos then went on to patrol the graveyards and fought a few vampires -- staking them, of course, though Carlos got a little banged up. As they were driving back past midnight to the tiki bar, Laney called them upset that a whole bunch of geeks had taken over the bar. They were playing a larp, scaring off other customers but not buying any booze. While driving down, the three planned what to do. Chip incited Dot, suggesting that if she can get them to offend her by staring at her breasts enough, she can beat them up and Laney would have an excuse to kick everyone out. Dot was at first annoyed at this, but still stinging from Chip's pimping comment -- plus she really wanted to beat people up. So she took off her bra from under her babydoll t-shirt (to the shock of Carlos), and they pulled up to the tiki bar.

         In short, the plan was successful. Chip went in to DJ, while Dot went in and talked to some of the geeks who were there, who quickly started to congregate around her and her prominent rack. She shoved one to the ground, and then Chip convinced some of the others to try to stop her. Two grabbed her, and she headbutted them both (one back, one forward) at full strength. She kicked another in the groin before they are all thrown out by Iffy in her official capacity as bouncer. Dot did not resist.

         Outside, Dot met with Max, who had just gotten back from her conference. [2] They hung out for a short time outside for appearances, and then eventually slipped around back and went back in. Inside, they chatted with Ariel, who seems to be getting into geek things. Max had a suspicion that some mystic effect might be at work. However, they also really wanted to keep Ariel as an ally, while also getting hir help against the one of cat-people from hir dimension, who is a traitor. Max persuaded Ariel to take a test the following day to determine if sie was magically influenced.

         The next day, Thursday, Max researched a magical test to discover if there was something going on. In the afternoon, she visited the Tiki Bar again and applied it to Ariel. Max found that sie isn't being influenced -- rather, sie was currently on geek things in her study of Earth culture and was empathically projecting hir interests on people at the bar. Upon realizing this, the crew suddenly began plotting how to get Ariel interested in things they want to promote -- like getting all the cool people to talk to hir, and specifically mentioning others. On Friday, Lauren was going to have another high-profile fund-raiser hosted at the bar -- and they wanted to both make money and shape the bar's image using this Ariel effect. Roberta called Berto Flores, her cousin in Carmel and widower dad of teenage witch Nina. She invited him to the fundraiser, offering to promote his energy drinks at it -- while also planning to hook him up with Ariel, whose effect could promote both of their energy drink businesses.

         However, the people already affected by Ariel were being drawn into greater geekdom. News had gotten out among Google types, and by the evening dozens of people were camped out to line up outside the Tiki Bar -- as if camped out for a Star Wars premiere. Moreover, both Dot (the fighty one) and Carlos were affected as well. Dot dressed up as Starbuck to go hang out on the line, joined by Carlos. At this point, Max began research on how to undo the effect, aided by Dot (the mommy one).

         On Friday, Max discovered a way to undo the effect, which involved a potion to cure people already effected by it. Meanwhile, Dot and Carlos had been hanging out with the crowd of Silicon Valley geeks on line outside the Tiki Bar. Chip came to hang out with them, and soon persuaded the computery geeks on line to help investigate the FBI conspiracy. Soon all the hackers started to compete over who could crack into the FBI and dig out the secrets of Annie Devereaux. [3] The crew soon got a wad of information, and clues pointed to a woman named Lola Green in that department as the Queen of Cups in the prophecy -- who has clarity and sees the secret of the conspiracy.

         Well before the evening, Max came to the bar and mixed up a bunch of energy drinks with a dose of the potion. They stocked the bar with it and distributed out drinks to the people on line. Soon the line melted away as people wonder what on Earth they were thinking. The party then went off without a hitch, and during it Roberta worked her entrepeneurial magic to hook up Ariel and Berto Flores. Lauren was pleased with the fundraiser and a bunch of money was raised for Médecins Sans Frontiéres (Doctors Without Borders).

NOTES:

  1. Both Cynthia (player of Roberta) and Heather (player of Max) were late to the session, so we began with only three Main Cast active.
  2. Heather arrived at this time, with Cynthia arriving sometime around there as well.
  3. Liz spent drama point for the Plot Twist that all the computery geeks in line compete to hack into the FBI and get the information.


3.09 Switcheroo

(Aired January 29, 2006)

         The episode began with everyone waking up on Sunday morning to something strange.[1] Dot woke up and found herself in her brother Chip's room of the Nexus, in his bed. She was confused for a minute, then even more confused when she realized that her mind was in Chip's body! At around the same time her friends were discovering the same thing. Chip woke up in Max's body, suddenly squicked at being in bed with his sister. Luckily both Dot and Max were clothed. Max woke up in Dot's body. Elsewhere, Roberta woke up in Ifurita's body out in her Mountain View apartment, and Iffy woke up in Roberta's body.

         Soon Dot-in-Chip ran across the living area to her own room. She then realized that Chip was still under the influence from long-lasting psychedelic drugs taken the previous night. Max-in-Dot soon had to get used to breast-feeding. Chip had new magic power and knowledge to get used to, since it turned out that along with the body came all that person's skills. There was flurried discussion followed by phone calls to Roberta and Ifurita which confirmed their state. There was no answer at Carlos' number. However, before anything could be settled, Max's phone rings. It is her parents, Mr. and Mrs. West, who announce that they're in the area and dropping by for a visit. Dot absolutely doesn't want her brother in Max's body making his parents think crazy things, so they invent a story that Max is busy with some important work thing, and Dot (actually Max-in-Dot) and Chip (actually Dot-in-Chip) will bring baby Brigid to meet them at Dana Street Coffee.

         Meanwhile, the others were scrambling to figure out what was going on. Since he now has all the bad-ass magic skill, it is up to Chip-in-Max to figure out what the spell was and how to stop it. First, however, they wanted to check on Carlos. Chip-in-Max, Roberta-in-Iffy, Iffy-in-Roberta, and Laney all drove out to Carlos' apartment. Despite their break-up, Laney still has keys and they enter to find him comatose in front of the TV. There is a slight smell of alcohol on him, but he is completely unresponsive. Iffy-in-Roberta gates them back to the Nexus and they put him in Chip's bed. There, Chip-in-Max casts a powerful diagnosis spell and finds that his soul has been sucked away by a distant spell.

         Back in Dana Street, Dot-in-Chip was trying to distract the Wests from noticing anything strange with Max-in-Dot by doing an overblown imitation of Chip's wackiness. Max's father Richard West revealed that they were being audited by the IRS, and apparently suspected of money laundering. Dot-in-Chip gave them a wacky speech about how it's probably this conspiracy within the FBI. They tried to avoid him then, but he insisted on going for a walk with them. During the walk, they called their friend "Mr. Togth" to come give them some financial advice back at his offices in the Nexus around noon.

         After having seen to Carlos, Roberta-in-Iffy and Iffy-in-Roberta went flying up to San Francisco to see Rufus and gate him back to help with the situation.

         Back at the Nexus, the Wests met Togth and go off to conference about their financial troubles. During this time, Togth asked Roberta-in-Iffy to help him -- fetching coffee and papers (that being Iffy's job). Roberta snarked a bit but did it, and learned a little about the thread to them. While this was happening, Dot-in-Chip and Max-in-Dot had slipped upstairs to find out what the others have learned. Just as they got up there, though, they heard a thump from Max's room. Carlos had fallen off the bed and his body seemed to occaisionally be twisting in seeming pain. Dot-in-Chip then had a vision (as Chip does) of Carlos being dragged by shadowy creature to a crossroads. Chip-in-Max researched and suspected that it was a scene of sacrifice, with the crossroads being somewhere in New Orleans. As the Wests were coming up, Chip-in-Max cast a spell to undo whatever the ritual had done, and everyone snapped back to their own bodies -- including Carlos who had no clear memory of what happened. Though slightly dazed, Max and Dot finished up with the Wests and bundle them off in a taxi for Mr. West's Bay-Area conference.

         Shortly thereafter, however, a wave again passed over and everyone found themselves in different bodies again. This time we got Dot-in-Max, Roberta-in-Dot, Chip-in-Roberta, Max-in-Chip, Carlos-in-Laney, and Laney-in-Carlos. Iffy was absent from this mix, her body comatose like Carlos' had been earlier. They started making plans to crash the ritual site in New Orleans. During this time, Roberta's mother called Chip-in-Roberta, telling her that her cousin Nina was visiting again and that she should try to be a good influence. He gave Roberta's mother a fiesty speech which made Roberta-in-Dot squirm. Roberta-in-Dot started to hit Chip-in-Roberta, but Dot-in-Max told her not to hit because she doesn't know her own strength. Shortly thereafter, Nina showed up to visit.

         Having identified the spot, Dot-in-Max handed Brigid off to Lance for babysitting. Taking Rufus and Nina along with them, everyone gated off to New Orleans. There, it was raining, and they trudged through the rain to the crossroads that Dot had seen a vision of. The streets were empty and there was a bonfire in the middle of it. Circling it, the crew were confronted by an FBI agent who holds them up with a submachine gun. Roberta-in-Dot snatched away his gun, and subdued him. Soon, they began interrogating him. He was armed with holy water and stakes as well as mundane weapons, and says that his orders were to keep people away from that crossroads. Dot-in-Max realized that there was a reason he was keeping people away -- the shadowy creatures must still be present and doing the ritual. So Dot-in-Max walks back to the fire and casts a spell to materialize whatever is around. Four creatures made from swamp-much appeared and attacked.

         A pitched combat ensued. Roberta-in-Dot pulled out her sword and laid into the first. Max-in-Chip bravely fought one hand-to-hand, while Chip-in-Roberta and Nina both shot at the third, and Dot-in-Max threw the last into the fire by telekinesis. The third grabbed Nina, but was hamstrung by Roberta-in-Dot and dissolved. The one in the fire charged out burning at Max but she dodged until Roberta-in-Dot could handle it.

         While they were fighting, the FBI agent, Fred, had run. As the combat wound up they chased him down -- and Roberta-in-Dot threw a stake to knock him out by hitting blunt-end-first. However, his cry had alerted more FBI agents set up in a tent down the road. Quickly, Dot-in-Max cast a spell to whip the rain into a blind streaks so they wouldn't be seen and recognized. However, a woman walked out and called out Max by name. It soon became clear that this was Annie Deveraux, and she was holding up a shining globe that she claimed was Iffy's soul. She promised to return it if they would turn over Rufus.

         Dot-in-Max said they might do that if they would promise that he would only be jailed -- but only to keep Devereaux talking. Once they walked up to her, then Dot-in-Max signaled Chip-in-Roberta to take all of them, including Annie, back to the Nexus.

NOTES:

  1. The GM, Bill, began the session by taking everyone's character sheets, shuffling them, and then handing them out to the players mixed up as indicated.
  2. The spell to materialize the creatures was level 6.


3.10 The Other Half

(Aired February 10, 2006)

         The episode began right at the end of the last one, on Sunday night with the crew (plus Rufus and Nina) gathered in the Nexus around a gate-snatched Annie Deveraux. The crew were slightly disoriented from having just switched back to their rightful bodies when Devereaux broke the talisman stick. Devereaux immediately headed the exit while they were confused. The anti-violence spell was still in force, so Dot was unable to hit her -- but when she got to the door, it was locked thanks to Roberta's control of the Nexus. An extended interrogation followed. She explained of herself, "I'm not evil; I'm a realist", to which Carlos responded "Shit! She's evil." In brief, she agreed to give them certain information in return for letting her go.

         The first topic to come up was Carlos and Laney. They came out of Carlos' room to meet everyone else when they got back, slightly disheveled. They found that when everyone else went back to their own bodies, they were still stuck in each others. When she realized that they had been sleeping together, Devereaux laughed heartily. She had been told in some cases of interaction, the souls would not immediately revert. All she knew was that the switch could last until the issue resolved.

         Deveraux admitted to being in control of illegal drug distribution in the New Orleans area, with the aid of her distant ancestor Valerie (the Dracula-esque vampire that the crew had dusted in 3.02 "Delta Blues"). She described that she had made a deal with Shub-Niggurath after Valerie died. She refused to give any details about how it contacted her or its agents, but she did explain some directions. It supplied a magical ceremony which created the flood creatures, which were animated by the enslaved souls of those drowned in New Orleans who were addicted to her drugs. When one is destroyed, the souls are returned to be reprocessed into new ones. With these given to use at her disposal, she then was to perform the soul-sucking ceremony. Apparently some agent had dosed each of the Vampster crew with a potion, which let the ceremony target them. However, Deveraux didn't know who had dosed them. Each time it was performed, one soul would be drawn out and the others shuffled. Devereaux had been ordered to deliver specifically Iffy's soul.

         After some debate (and unhappy noises from Dot), they let Devereaux go to fulfill the deal. Max put a tracking spell on her, though, and tracked her taking a cab up to the San Francisco airport.

         With Devereaux gone, the others then discussed and broke up. Rufus explained that the heat would be on him, but he had a good hideout in San Francisco which Roberta gated him back to. Nina waited for her father Berto to come pick her up. Roberta's mother Maria called then, telling her that she was very moved by what Roberta had said. She had talked to Berto about this, and they agreed that Roberta would be a good influence on Nina. Berto arrived a bit later. He was concerned about witchcraft being a bad influence on his daughter, but he didn't know anything about it and trusted Max and Roberta as good, upper-class influences. He cited in particular Max's prestigious Berkeley position and Roberta's wealth. They also asked him about the night of the last fundraiser, suspicious of who had messed with their drinks. Berto said that Chris (from the Hapsbur dimension) had been watching after them protectively.

         Knowing that one of the ones from Hapsbur was a traitor (which could not be Ariel), their suspicions were raised. After Berto and Nina left, Iffy, Chip, Carlos-in-Laney and Laney-in-Carlos went over to the Tiki Bar... of Doom. They found Chris there, and Iffy immediately went and confronted hir about their drinks. Chris soon panicked and ran, escaping out the back door and then disappearing after a brief chase. Meanwhile, Laney-in-Carlos and Carlos-in-Laney were continuing to alternately bicker and flirt over their situation. At that point, though, Laney-in-Carlos heard that they were looking for a Lola Green in the FBI -- and revealed that Lola was her estranged mother.

         Heading back to the Nexus, Chip called Lola using a contact number from Laney. She began speaking, but then Iffy asked Roberta to gate her over to there. While Chip was talking, she arrived down the block, and went to ring the front door. Lola panicked, slipped out of the house and disappeared. Then Max began working on an empathic contact spell, while Roberta and Iffy decided they had to head into the Hapsbur dimension to head off Chris.

         Roberta and Iffy went upstairs, where she carefully opened a gate to the dimension. They asked a passerby for directions, and sie bowed low to Roberta as the Nexus Guardian before running to bring them before Pat. At a temple-like structure, Pat has them in audience. After some explanation, Chris came forward and they produced evidence that sie had slipped the potion to them.[1] Chris was frightened, though, and before sie could confess, she died horribly with black tendrils spreading from hir eyes, ears, and mouth. Pat promised the aid of hir servant Ariel to get to the bottom of this.

         Meanwhile, the others were working to track down Lola, who had gone to ground thinking that Devereaux was after her. (Which, as it turns out, she was.) After some research, Max used Laney (or rather Laney-in-Carlos) to send an empathic message to Lola. Shortly later, she called. At first, Carlos-in-Laney tried to talk to her -- then they explained and Laney-in-Carlos talked to her. She was naturally both wary and curious about this, but was convinced. Suddenly, she was distracted by a noise nearby, and was attacked by flood creatures. Just then, Roberta got back from the other dimension and gated everyone over to rescue her. After a brief struggle, Roberta gated back with a nearly-engulfed Lola and two of the creatures which were soon dispatched elsewhere.[2]

         By now it was past dawn on Monday, and everyone collapsed into their beds. The following day, Lola sharply questioned Carlos on what he was doing in her daughter's body. She also gave more information on Devereaux's conspiracy. The department is officially "Subterrestrial Investigations", and is given free rein by the rest of the FBI as long as it continues to provide evidence of supernatural threats being overcome. It has supplied a steady stream of vampires captured and destroyed as well as other monsters -- though secretly most of these were either competition or creations of Annie and Valerie Devereaux. Over the course of the day, with Max's help and Lola's information, they hacked all their computers, started several internal FBI investigations of them, and generally gummed up their works, keeping Annie busy for quite a while.

NOTES:

  1. Bill spent a Drama Point on a plot twist that they had already collected evidence proving that Chris was responsible for dosing them with the potion.
  2. Cynthia spent a Drama Point for a Heroic Feat to successfully gate back with Lola.


3.11 Trade-Offs

(Aired March 3, 2006)

         We began in the Nexus on the afternoon of Tuesday -- Fat Tuesday, to be precise.[1] Carlos-in-Laney is complaining that he still hasn't managed to get back to his own body yet. He starts complaining to Laney-in-Carlos that she shouldn't do anything with his body... like sleep with Chip. Laney immediately picks up on this and starts flirting with Chip, and complains that he's acting like he owns her body. Carlos-in-Chip responds "That is my body." An argument ensues about whether she really wants to switch back. Laney tries to argue that it's still fun to be in each other's bodies, but eventually grudgingly agrees to try to switch back.

         Shortly, Max and Lola drop by with news that they've figured out a secret regarding Devereaux. It seems that the flood creatures are controlled by a stone of great mystic power, which they found reference to in an ancient magical text. Devereaux makes a powder which is formed by scraping off the stone, and mixes a bit of that in with the drugs she distributes. Apparently, Shub-Niggurath has shown her how to unlock the powers of that stone more fully. Anyone exposed to the power becomes psychically in touch with anyone else, and vulnerable to influence by Devereaux's people.

         With a bit of research, Max traces the stone using the slight exposure that everyone had through the potion last time. Her spell finds it in downtown New Orleans, at a place that Lola identifies as a safehouse of her division: a large suite on the top floor of a building in the French quarter. Roberta's mother is sick, so she needed to stay at the hospital, but she agreed to pop back to gate them to the area. Max came with them, and they got Togth to help out by providing a distraction.

         So Togth caused a ruckus outside which drew out the agents in the safehouse to investigate, then the others (Dot, Max, Chip, Carlos-in-Laney, Laney-in-Carlos) slipped in through a window by the fire escape -- with Ifurita keeping watch from above. They split up to search the place. After sweeping through, they didn't find the stone, but Carlos-in-Laney found the walls didn't quite match up -- there was a small extra room in the middle, which they soon found a concealed door to. Laney picked the lock, but was then electrically shocked as Annie Devereaux stepped out of the door with a gun in her hand.

         In the meantime, Chip had found some drugs including a sample of what he was sure was the stone's powder. He slipped into the bathroom and immediately snorted it, and fell comatose.[2] His body shut down without harm, and his mind went out into contact with all the flood creatures, and a vampire he sensed named Etienne who was controlling them. Immediately -- and just as Devereaux was stepping out of the secret room -- a group of five flood creatures appeared around the apartment. Dot disarmed Devereaux, but she ordered the creatures to kill them all. They refused her orders, however, as they had been drawn here by Chip and now obeyed him. Max threw up a shield to hold them off while Dot fought. A creature grabbed Devereaux, who pulled another gun and shoot it, upon which it tossed her out the window. Her body arced out over the street with Mardi Gras partyers below, and landed in an alley opposite.

         Ifurita flew in and grabbed Chip who is still unconscious from the drug. Inside the secret room, Carlos-in-Laney found a bunch of papers along with the stone. Stuffing them all into a bag, they slipped out to the fire escape past the flood creatures, who were vaguely dancing to the music which Chip was projecting to them to control them. They were unable to reach Roberta by phone, and instead slipped out the fire escape and across the street to check on Devereaux. She was dead. Dot identified a vampire in the crowd watching them, and chased him but eventually lost him in the crowd of Mardi Gras partygoers.

         They brought Chip to the hospital for an overdose, then eventually slipped out to the airport to get a flight back -- still unable to reach Roberta. Finally, she called back. Some FBI agents had found her in the hospital and taken her for questioning, and she didn't want to disappear in front of them. As they prepare to gate back, though, Chip finds a list among the papers they stole. It is a list of replacements for the Lola Green position -- and second on the list is Nina Flores.

         Gating back to the Nexus, they immediately gate down to Berto's house in Santa Cruz. They knock at the door, but it is ajar and no one answers their calls. The crew split up to search the place. Carlos-in-Laney and Laney-in-Carlos went upstairs. Carlos-in-Laney opened the bedroom door to see Berto tied up to a chair and beaten, and was surprised by an agent with a gun there. The agent shot and grazed Carlos-in-Laney, and closed but then his gun jammed. [3] The others then rushed to the scene, fighting off other agents, but one more fired a shot, gravely wounding Carlos-in-Laney. Suddenly Laney-in-Carlos screamed, and Carlos suddenly found himself back in his own body -- with Laney bleeding beside him.[4]

         Knocking out the remaining agents, Carlos immediately called the police, then rushed to Laney's side to help her.

(End of Episode)

NOTES:

  1. This episode we were missing two players: Heather (whose character is Max) and Cynthia (whose character is Roberta).
  2. The GM, John, called for a difficult roll of only Constitution plus a die, and Liz spent a Drama Point for a Heroic Feat on the roll.
  3. Madeline spent a Drama Point for "I Think I'm OK".
  4. The action was messed up here. Retroactively, later, the GM decided that this should have been a mandated bad event and given Madeline Drama Points back for it. At first, Carlos-in-Laney was hit by the second shot and Madeline again spent for "I Think I'm OK" -- and then John decided that instead she should find Carlos back in his own body.


3.12 The Grindstone

(Aired March 18, 2006)

         The episode began in media res -- the characters were searching through a shady, run-down office building looking for Nina on a Thursday afternoon. Max, Roberta, Iffy, Chip, Rufus, and Nina's father Berto were there.[1] Chip heard Nina's voice talking with another young woman behind the door to the left ahead, and also footsteps approaching from the hall behind. Most of them pile through the door, but Iffy floats up into the rafters of the ceiling overhead.

         The others find Nina sitting alone in an office break room. After brief confusion, they realize that Annie Devereaux's group has fooled her by someone mimicking her father on the phone. She explains that she had been talking to her friend Marcie, who is invisible -- but Marcie doesn't answer. Meanwhile, outside Iffy overheard two aides talking to a Mr. Devereaux about the loss of the stone and silently flew to trail them down the hall. At the same time, though, Chip realized through his psychic link that Etienne was nearby, and sent a suggestion for him to come. So Etienne unexpectedly turns around in the hall and walks right towards Iffy. A brief fight ensued where the aides were knocked out, Etienne was captured, and Marcie disappeared despite efforts to find her. They briefly interrogated Etienne, who didn't know who the agents of Shub-Niggurath were. He only knew they were horribly dangerous, and those who crossed them died horribly. He and his distant cousing Annie had made a deal with Shub-Niggurath a few months ago, but were not agents of her. Iffy then staked him, causing Chip to collapse as he sympathetically felt his flesh turn to dust from the psychic link. They then returned to the Nexus.

         So Berto and Nina were reunited, and a frazzled Berto asked if they could stay there at the Nexus for the night, which Roberta naturally agreed to. Most of the crew broke for dinner. Dot had just gotten Brigid down for her nap, and complained that it sucked having just one body. In the meantime, Iffy had just missed a call from her mother Lauren. Calling back, Lauren explained that she was just going into an interview at the Palace Hotel in SF with someone named Monique from Norn Insurance.[2] Iffy suddenly realized that this was Monique LaSalle, and tried to talk her out of it, but Lauren told her that she would get her advice after the interview. Iffy then grabbed Roberta, and the two of them gated up to Market Street and barged in on the interview.

         Both Lauren and Monique were taken aback for a bit, and it came out that the job was genuine. Having dropped the security angle, Monique was re-casting Discrete Software into the insurance business -- using the software to mystically track people's fate lines for death and disaster. Thus, she was looking to hire a medical consultant. Lauren was affronted at Iffy, but Monique turned polite and when asked she flatly told Lauren that the position was not open to her. She then tried to be nice to Roberta, and made an offer for the stone -- saying that she would pay a fair price for it. Roberta was taken aback, asking how she even knew that she had it. Monique dodged the question, but it then became clear that it was through a relationship with Anton.[3]

         At this, Roberta suddenly became enraged. She started to chew out Monique. Her love life included Samuel Devins (whom Monique also slept with, and turned out evil); and now the same thing apparently was happening with Anton. Shortly she borrowed Iffy's Key and threatened Monique with it. Monique then disappeared from the room in a blur. Roberta belated remembered that her magical scheduling software gave Monique the power to do a lot in a short period of time (effectively super-speed). Added to this, they realized that this was a part of the prophecy (from 3.07 "In the Cards"). One of Shub-Niggurath's agents was a rich woman whom they would meet on Market Street in San Francisco. Chip pointed out that this could be either Lauren or Monique, but Roberta was gunning for Monique regardless.

         Still in a rage, Roberta started to make plans about how she would get revenge on Monique and Anton. Iffy became rather nervous about this unusual outburst from her. She decided not to confront Anton directly, but began to plan how to get both of them in trouble with the FBI and SEC. Just then, she felt a knocking, which turned out to be someone from the Zabrak homeworld (i.e. the home dimension of Lance the demonic Star Wars fan) was politely requesting access. She took the time to come back to the Nexus and open up a gateway to the reception area, but left it up to the others to deal with the Zabraks while she plotted.

         Max, Dot, and Chip then met with five Zabrak warriors, who came petitioning to buy the Stone. Lance stayed just out of sight, as they called him a geek and weirdo when he was mentioned. As the Zabraks described it, the stone was an ancient holy artifact of their dimension which was lost ages earlier in epic conflict between the Zabrak Lord and his former mate the Nameless One. The Nameless One was not to have it in their division of spoils, so instead it was sent far away. Max suspected that Shub-Niggurath was (or was related to) the Zabrak's "Nameless One" but couldn't confirm that. The Zabraks offered payment and eight demon-months of mercenary services for the Stone. Max acknowledged their offer, but said they would get back to them, and the Zabraks left.

         Immediately, Max began checking their story -- and everything she found matched up. Apparently the Zabraks are psychically insensitive (with Lance being the rare exception), so the stone would not have a soul-binding effect on them. In all, it seems like probably the best place for it. Unfortunately, she also finished her research on what it would take to cast the stone out of this dimension. It would take at least five sorcerers working in concert along with a capsule made of over 50 pounds of gold (costing $200,000). At this, they are a bit stumped.

         Hearing from Roberta about Monique's interest in the stone, they consider telling her they will sell the stone -- but they knew she'd be on her guard against them. At that point, Rufus suggested that he could contact her and tell her that he'd steal the stone for her. Monique doesn't know him, and even if she recognized him via Anton -- he would have an unsavory criminal reputation. So Rufus went out to set up a deal with Monique, while Max worked on creating a fake stone which would pass as real.

         Meanwhile, Roberta had decided not to confront Anton directly, but instead contacted the people who had interrogated her at the FBI. They were conducting an internal investigation of Anton, and were suspicious both of his old connection to Annie Devereaux and the deal which he made with Drake Altus -- the drug dealer with whom Vampster had worked with in Season One.[4] Roberta gave them information linking Anton and Monique, which fed their suspicions though were not criminal in-and-of themselves. [5] Max also lines up the sorcerers they need: including herself, Nina, Rufus, and Starhawk. Needing one more, she contacts Barbara Jagar (aka Baba Yaga) and convinces her to help by keeping it quite and offering her half of the Zabrak's payment.

         Two days later, the deal with Monique went down at a factory building in Menlo Park.[6] Max had prepared an enchanted fake for the stone. Rufus was going with this, accompanied by Lance as protection whom Monique wouldn't recognize, while Ifurita hovered far above the building. The plan was to make the trade-off and then split, with cover from Iffy if necessary -- and as soon as they are around the corner, head into Roberta's gate back to the Nexus.

         In the other camp, Monique called in Ned Werkin for contracting work, and brought him and Tad to the meeting in Menlo Park. At the meeting, Ned checked the stone thoroughly, coming close to realizing it is a fake. But he vetted it, and Monique gave Rufus the gold. As they were walking away, though, Monique signalled Ned to possess Lance. Ned failed to overcome Lance's Jedi-like willpower, but Tad flew (!) through the air while whipping out a spiked baseball bat to block Rufus and Lance at the door. Lance and Rufus escape, though, while Iffy smashes through a skylight to confront Tad.

         Tad greeted Iffy with surprise as "large-breasted dangerous woman", and infuriated her with his staring ("Eyes up!"). They clashed in midair and she knocks him to the ground. With Rufus safe, she starts up to leave. Meanwhile, behind them Monique had been preparing to bolt when suddenly Anton appeared behind her. He opened a small wooden box, and suddenly a wave of power washed over Monique and she collapsed on the floor. As Anton then picked up the bag with the stone, the shadows lengthened around Monique, and a half-dozen Flood Creatures appeared around her. She disappeared under them, although Ned would pull her from them.[7] Iffy saw this happening as she was flying away, and flew back to rescue Tad. She got to him only after he had been suffocated, and took him to the nearest hospital to be revived.

         Having gated back to the Nexus, Rufus and Lance then joined in the ritual. Max used a prepared spell to shape the gold around the stone, and the five of them (Max, Starhawk, Nina, Rufus, and Barbara) jointly cast the spell which pushed the stone into the Zabraks' dimension. Chip collapsed, feeling a hundred peoples ripped away from him, their souls finally passing on.

         The episode ended with a cut scene of Iffy's mother Lauren looking into a mirror at her house. She nods as if in a trance, saying, "Yes, it will be done."

NOTES:

  1. This episode we were missing one players: Madeline (whose character is Carlos), but we had a guest player, Russell, who played the Rufus (normally a Supporting Cast character).
  2. The name Norn Insurance was retconned later in discussion.
  3. Cynthia spent a Drama Point on a Plot Twist that Monique and Anton were sleeping together.
  4. Drake was a former Main Cast character in Season One, played by Tyler Jordan -- a drug dealer with a mysterious past and magical connections.
  5. Bill spent a Drama Point on a Plot Twist that Roberta had evidence to turn over to the FBI internal investigations linking Anton and Monique.
  6. During the game, we had looked over a home-made light saber battle video by two kids, "Ryan Wieber vs Michael Scott". In tribute, we decided that the deal should go down at the same location: a factory in Menlo Park.
  7. Liz spent a Drama Point on a Plot Twist for Ned to save Monique, though this brought up an issue. John as GM noted that is was a part of the prophecy for the Flood Creatures to kill two beautiful people: i.e. Monique and Tad. However, they could potentially be revived after their hearts stop. Fighting with the Flood Creatures is hand-waved as it is late.


3.13 The Mom's Club

(Aired April 7, 2006)

         The episode began on a Saturday morning, a few days after the end of the last one. The crew went with Iffy to El Camino Hospital to visit Tad, who had been unconscious since he was drowned by flood creatures at the end of last episode. Iffy said that he doesn't have any family here, calling him "Tadashi-chan". Indeed the doctor talked to her with concern over his condition -- his lungs were raging with infections, but he didn't seem to notice. Then he waved and talked cheerfully to them all. He explained he had taken the job because it was a "good deal" for him, and he was staying at Cal State East Bay where he was studying and doing night work. "And I can fly!" he went on, discretely raising himself in the air by one hand. He was showing signs of turning into one of Sluagh (from 2.14 "The Glass Ceiling"). Iffy pocketed a letter from his work (Norn Insurance), but he called his work, and crestfallen found out he had been fired. He then said "I don't feel so good" and soon collapsed. Iffy was upset at this, but was convinced by the others that he was just moving from unnatural energy to natural healing.

         While standing by at the nursing station, Carlos suddenly noticed that his mentor Hans had been transfered into the ICU this morning for critical treatment. Rushing there, he wasn't able to see him, but found out that he had been attacked in his home last night and beaten within an inch of his life. While there, Iffy also got a call from her mother, Lauren. She explained that she was having dinner with Roberta's mother Maria, and wanted Iffy to come. She was shocked at the news about Hans, but explained that she hadn't seen him for months, having moved on "to greener pastures".

         The crew then went to investigate his house. Carlos had a spare key, and slipped in the front door past the police tape. They found the back door shattered, scorch marks on the floor and walls where defensive wards were breached, and a mess upstairs from the fight. Hans had been knocked out the front window, now boarded up by the police. His library was also smashed apart by great force, though not burned. They search about for clues, and Iffy notices footprints in the smashed remains of the back door that look like women's shoes -- but later on sees a bare footprint with slight claws where the carpet was scorched. Iffy at first suspects Monique, but thinking that she was killed by Anton, they can only imagine some sort of monstrous woman or monster pretending to be a woman.

         Taking this in, Max went to research a spell to protect the library without alerting the police, while Carlos tried to piece together what was in the library. Meanwhile, Iffy and Roberta gated back to dress for dinner with their mothers, Lauren and Maria. Iffy dressed up nicely, but suspected something was wrong and brought her Key with her. Lauren commented on fashion issues with accessorizing, and was at first welcoming, but during dinner began to launch into her tirade.

         Lauren began to complain about the bad influences in their lives, citing Roberta's brothers Raul and Tomas. She explained that as mothers, it was time that she and Maria started to take a more active role in making things better. Roberta at first agrees about her brothers being a problem. Then Maria agreed and went further, saying that Lauren has explained a lot about what has been going on -- vampires, demons, magic, and so forth. Even though they're fighting the eveil, all these are dangerous influences, she said. Suddenly alarm bells went off in Roberta and Iffy's heads. Iffy nailed Lauren down about where she'd been hearing these things, and Lauren replied that she'd been talking to "Mrs. Niggurath". Iffy starts to argue, but as Lauren gets more heated about things, Roberta grabbed Iffy's and Maria's hands and gated them all back to the Nexus.

         Meanwhile, back in the Nexus, Chip had called Anton wanting to talk about what was going on. Anton is shifty about this and asks to talk in person, where Chip can choose the place. Chip suggests meeting at the restaurant Casa Lupe down the street. Then Iffy and Roberta arrive at the Nexus, and they all have a quick huddle to discuss what is happening.

         However, not long into discussion, there comes a buzz from the front door of the Nexus. It is Lauren, and she asks to come in to talk about the situation. Roberta flatly refused to let her in. Lauren then said softly, "You wouldn't want anything to happen to Lauren, would you". When they again refused, suddenly Lauren screamed and began to write on the ground in agony. Her eyes, staring out, became covered in blackness. Roberta held her ground, though, and said that now there was no way she was letting her in. Lauren got up, dusted herself off, and said "Talk to Berto first, and maybe you'll change your mind."

         Everyone immediately began looking for Berto, but he wasn't around. Asking Nina, she said that her dad had gone out to grab some ice cream -- but he should be back in just a minute. Iffy then flew out to find him, but saw police car lights nearby, and found him dead in the alley behind the gelato store, his skull bashed in. Iffy came back saddened and broke the news, though they tried to keep it from Nina for a time.

         Chip then tried calling the contact number Ariel had given him. Ariel came by to talk, explaining that they had kept Shub-Niggurath out of their dimension only by killing off her agents before they could spawn or bring through the Dark Young -- giant monstrous creatures as tall as trees.[1] Apparently on our world, Max's closing of the gate in the Colma graveyard (in 3.06 "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished") had prevented them bringing through the Dark Young -- though it was open a crack enough to let through smaller creatures which turned its agents and spawned the shadows in Carlos and Chip's places. The crew suggested that they could use the Holy Grail to cure Lauren, to which Ariel laughed, since after all that would be, well... chasing after the Holy Grail. Still, Chip made an impassioned speech about how they had to try to save both Lauren and Anton.

         Nina at this point realized that her father was dead, and Roberta told her of it. She was clearly upset, all the moreso because her mother had also been murdered years ago. In a choked-up voice, she asked Roberta pointedly who had killed him, but Roberta said she didn't know. She then asked to be alone and went to her room, and Roberta asked her mother Maria to keep an eye on her.

         At that point, Carlos and Iffy went to visit Hans in the hospital, and found that he had regained consciousness. He had been knocked out of the front window of his house by the blow, and some passerby's rushed to him. He describes that he was attacked by what looked like a tall Scandanavian woman dressed in archaic clothes, who pulled out a huge stick to assault him. He guessed it may have been a troll woman.

         Back at the Nexus, Max got a call from her mother, Claire. She explained that this was a surprise visit arranged by her and Lauren, and asked that Max meet the two of them for dinner in Casa Lupe. Naturally Max and Dot rushed out there immediately. Tensely, they sat down at the table with Lauren and Claire. Lauren explained more to Max about her organizing, saying:
Lauren: "Of course we doesn't want to take Brigid away from you -- that's against the whole principle of motherhood. But it takes more than just two women to raise a child, it takes a village. And we just want to stay in her life that way. There are a lot of dangerous influences around you... drug addicts, alcoholics."
Here she was referring to Chip and Carlos. As Lauren went on, Claire began to get nervous about her odd behavior, but Lauren clutched her hand tightly. (Cut away)

         Since Max and Dot were going to Casa Lupe, Chip called Anton to reschedule their meeting to Dana St. Cafe instead. Meeting him there, they sit down to coffee. In his idealistic way, Chip tries to reach out to Anton:

Anton: "You think you're talking to anton"
Chip: "Yes, well, isn't he still in there?"
The agent of Shub-Niggurath explains more to him, saying that the prophecy is bound to be true. Brigid will shake the foundations of the Dark Mother's realm -- but whether it is for good or evil remains unclear. Shub-Niggurath doesn't want to steal her or kill her, she wants to take over her surroundings. Chip is surprised at the candor of this and appeals to Anton again, when Anton tells him quietly "You still think you're walking away from here, don't you?" (Cut away)

         At the same time, Carlos is alone in Hans' library piecing together the papers that are there. He sees bits of the Arthurian grail legends, the Celtic legend of Lyr's cauldron (that resurrected dead warriors), and finally the Sheela-na-gigs that dotted the medieval churches.[2] He pieces together a theory: that the real Arthur was not a paragon of virtue. He gained his power through the worship of Shub-Niggurath (known to him as Sheela-na-gig), who empowered him with the False Grail which would let his warrior fight on after death (just like the Flood Creatures). Eventually, though, his followers (perhaps including one named Galahad) turned against this and sought out the True Grail which would counteract Shub-Niggurath's power. Eventually they succeeded. However, without that power, Arthur was overthrown. But just as he pieced that together, the troll-woman loomed up behind him. (Cut away)

         Back at Casa Lupe, Dot was beginning to look quite concerned. Feigning non-chalance, she said "I have a few words to say about this. Do you think I should, Max?" Understanding where she was going, Max said "Yes" -- at which point Dot promptly flipped the table up in the air, rolling it between Claire and Lauren. Max grabbed Claire's hand and ran for the door and they escape back to the Nexus.

         Back at Hans house, Carlos was suddenly confronted by the troll woman. She first questioned him, saying that her orders from Fiona weren't clear of what she was supposed to do with him. Carlos remembered that Fiona was Doug's grandmother and a faerie princess, but can't tell what is going on. He backed up to a corner of the room while talking, then suddenly dashed through a secret escape route that Hans had built in. He slid down to the garage and started the convertible, but as he was pulling away, the troll woman appeared and swung at him. She only grazed him in the shoulder, but the force was so great her swing smashed off the car door.[3]

         At Dana St. Cafe, Chip pleaded desperately to contact the real Anton. Perhaps due to his connection through the Grindstone, Anton's true personality surfaces for a moment, confused at what was going on. Chip urged him to not give up, but then Shub-Niggurath's power returned and he pulled out a devastating submachine gun. [4] Chip dodged impossibly as the door and windows were torn apart all around him. He raced down the street where soon he was snatched by Iffy who had just gone out to rescue him.

         Back in the Nexus, Roberta found her grandmother Maria asleep outside Nina's room. Nina had cast a spell to put Maria to sleep and tried to slip out of the building with an invisibility spell -- but couldn't escape Roberta's power over the area.

         As they are discussing, though, Roberta feels a contact from another dimension. It is Fiona, talking to her from a Faerie gateway. Fiona called out across the circle, saying that she had made a deal with Shub-Niggurath, but was trying to patch things up.

Fiona: "You have to learn that there has to a little give and take to all dealings. You're not an ancient power yet, you'll learn..."
Roberta: "It sounds like it's all take for you and no give."
...
Roberta: "Shub-Niggurath is a perfectionistic misandrist."
Fiona: "We all have our faults. I am beginning to see flaws in her approach."
Roberta: "Your kingdom is screwed."
Fiona: "My kingdom has lasted for millenia."
Roberta: "And that's as long as it's gonna last if you keep screwing around with Shub-Niggurath"
At this point, suddenly a growling was heard.[5] Fiona suddenly seemed concerned, and everyone realized that it was Kat the werewolf who had appeared on Fiona's side of the gate out of the faerie wilderness. Fiona told Roberta to call off her Dog. Roberta retorted that she should call off her troll. At this, Fiona broke down and told where the troll lived and that it's club would break if it struck someone who wasn't a man, and that it would go after Raul and Tomas next.
Fiona: "Now call off your dog!!"
Roberta: "She's not my dog. I can't do anything about her."
At that, they all heard savage snarling and tearing sounds from the other side of the gate, and Roberta closed the connection.

         With a clear path, the group then geared up to go. At Dot's request, Max again cast the powerful duplication spell on her. It appeared to work, but unknown to her the mystic forces had gone awry.[6] They quickly gated out to where Raul and Tomas were, and with both Dot and Iffy present made short work of the troll woman.[7] They returned with the club and Raul and Tomas suitably cowed.

NOTES:

  1. See the page on Season Three's Big Bad, Shub-Niggurath.
  2. Sheela-na-gigs are a phenomenon of obscene carvings of grostesque female figures which appear in early medieval times on churches throughout England.
  3. Madeline spent a Drama Point for "I Think I'm OK" after the troll-woman's strike hit for 50 points of damage.
  4. The GM John and Liz walked out for a brief private discussion shortly before this. Upon returning, Anton fired and Liz spent a Drama Point on a Heroic Feat for Dodge for a 31 total (!).
  5. Bill spent a Drama Point on a Plot Twist that their friend Kat the werewolf would show up.
  6. Heather rolled a failure (one of her first ever on a spell) on the Level 8 Duplication spell, and then got the worst possible result on spell failure, indicating something totally unexpected and disastrous would happen.
  7. The final combat was hand-waved as things were getting late.


3.14 The Quest

(Aired April 15, 2006)

         The episode began at the funeral for Roberta's cousin, Berto Flores, a few days after the previous episode, on the Wednesday before Easter. His daughter Nina was of course devastated, and by tradition, her guardian is now her godmother Roberta. The rest of the crew were all there as well, suitably solemn.

         The wake was at the Nexus a few hours later, filled with food prepared earlier with great fuss by Roberta's mother Maria. Berto's other- dimensional partner Ariel was there, and tried to talk to her about business plans. Sie said sie would like Roberta to take over the business in trust for Nina.

Ariel: "It would be a change for you -- instead of working in software you're working in... soft drinks!"
Roberta put off deciding about it, but it seemed likely that she would accept.

         After the wake, Lance came in from his babysitting duties and related how Brigid talked to him again -- saying that they must talk to the Lord of Chaos to find the Grail. The crew talked to their friend Togth, who is a Chaos Demon after all. As it turned out, Togth had been doing his former lord's taxes just then (with interdimensional complications that they wondered about). The crew agreed to bring him the tax forms as a lead-in to asking him about the Grail.

         At some point (?), Roberta also had a talk with Barbara Jagar. She explained that Joshua's wife, Mrs. Silverton, was dying. When she passed on, Joshua would go with her, and the building would cease to be the Nexus that it had been. Somehow, having the ghost of a necromancer present was tying the Nexus to this location.

         Proceeding in the afternoon to that dimension, they found that it seemed troubled compared to their last visit, as well as chaotic. There were odd reflections of the Bay Area there. They had to climb over a traffic jam and pay at the toll booth; then found that inside the castle was a vision of a giant hockey arena. The Lord of Chaos was dressed as the mascot. After getting and signing his forms, he related that he had been trying to get an artifact called "Acton's Axiom". Apparently George Lucas had sniped it from him on EBay, and he wanted it anyway.

         He said that if we went on a quest for him to return the axiom, he would give us the information on the Grail. Further, they must go to Larkspur, on foot or public transport, and retrieve Acton's Axiom from someone named Drake. Of course, this clearly must be Drake Altus -- a drug dealer and former supernatural being whom they had worked with in Season One.

         On the way back, Chip tried to explained why he was the best person to find the grail -- because he's pure of heart and spirit. Everyone laughed, but he continued that he had the capacity to truly perceive it... and not just the physical reflections of it like the nice food, perfume, music, and so forth. He went on about ultimate power and corruption, to which Dot was dismissive. She said that she would take ultimate power, "And my friends would still trust me...", looking at Max.

         They immediately walk out of the Nexus and get on a bus, using tokens given to them by the Lord of Chaos. Seeing these, the bus driver greeted them as "questing knights". They sat and chatted for a bit. As they approached SF, though, Roberta's brothers Raul and Tomas got on the bus, armed and heading for a gang rumble. In her usual forceful style, Dot forced them to stay past their stop, saying that they had to join the quest. However, the next stop a bunch of the opposing gang members (Surenos) got on the bus -- having seen them chicken out of the fight. Dot immediately got in the face of the Sureno gang leader. When he tried to push past her she seemed to snap, as if unable to control her impulses. In one stroke, she picked him up and threw him crashing out of the window of the moving bus.

         The bus stopped, and Carlos rushed out to check on him. The gang leader had landed on a car, hurt but not dead or crippled. Max was shocked and launched in on Dot: "What the hell are you doing? He was human!" As Max's words sunk in, suddenly Dot had a conflicted look on your face. "You're right. I'm sorry, Max, I'm just not sure..." Then suddenly Dot split into two selves, making a total of three of her now. Max was horrified, but didn't think they can stop the quest just to deal with this.

         They proceeded on foot a ways towards the ferry, but as they passed under a highway, suddenly cars pulled up around them and they were surrounded by gang members -- and leading them was a blonde girl dressed in plate armor. This turned out to be Tiffany: a rich girl, addict, and Slayer who had worked with them in Season One but gone off to be Drake's lover. She pulled out a sword and fought while the gang members began to shoot at the others. One of the two Dots broke off a street sign and fought savagely with her; while the other protected Max as she cast spells to hold off the gang members. The sign-wielding Dot took some nasty sword wounds but overpowered Tiff, gravely injuring her. Meanwhile, the others dove for cover and fought back against the gang members, protected by Max and other Dot. Roberta and Carlos were both hit. Police soon arrived.[1] The gang members scattered, while Tiff knocked Dot back and tried to escape in a van with them. Dot threw the sign with its sharp broken off end like a javelin, hitting Tiff squarely in the back as she limped into the car driving off.

         As the crew nursed their wounds, the split in Dots began to come out. One Dot was "Aggressive Dot" who followed her fighting instincts, while the other was "Mergey Dot" who protected Max and hung on her every word. As we sat there, a hippyish woman came up to them and offered them help, giving the card of a massage parlor along the way. They walked halfway to the ferry and stopped there, where the woman and other hippies gave salves to help cure the wounded. As she was being treated, Dot made a pass at the woman, and was gently rebuffed. Max was shocked,

Max: "Dot?!? What the heck?"
Aggressive Dot: "C'mon, babe. You know I love you; I'm just having a little fun."
Max: (to Mergey Dot) "What, is this like something you've always wanted to do?"
Mergey Dot: "No! Um... Well, you are the only woman I've been with. Maybe it's just a bit of curiosity."
After that, they left they massage parlor and caught the last ferry across the North Bay.

         Arriving at the waterfront in Larkspur, they wandered a bit until they happened past the sign for a warehouse just sold with a familiar title. They called their real estate friend Barbara Jagar, who confirmed that it had been bought by Drake Altus. Proceeding inside, they found an extremely gothic interior, with satin drapes covering the sides, medieval weapons on the walls, and Drake at the far end sitting on a chair of bones. In the middle of the room on a bier was lying the body of Tiffany. Carlos rushed forwards to check on her, but she was clearly dead.

Drake: "You have turned against me, shunned me."
Dot: (Backing up towards the shields) "Er, sorry about that. Been busy. You should come by for a party next week."
Drake: "I would, but you killed my date."
At this, he stalked forwards and transformed into a looming dragon with green scale, the size of a school bus. Aggressive Dot immediately kicked loose a sword and shield from the wall to go fight him. Meanwhile, Chip and Carlos were up close to him by the bier, but luckily his attention was focused on Dot. Roberta, Raul, and Tomas shuffled to the side and drew their guns; while Mergey Dot guarded Max as she readied a spell.

         Aggressive Dot surged forwards and fended off flames with her shield, and then engaged with Drake. Chip dodged off to the side and then leaped on its back, trying to grapple its head and drug in through its eyes. Carlos had ducked behind the bier and then tried to help attack it from the side. Raul and Tomas at first fired wildly, then paused to aim. Eventually Drake collapsed after a few blows from Aggressive Dot and a massively powerful lance of energy from Max. Stretching out as it collapsed, its head hit the floor and suddenly Raul and Tomas opened fire, peppered its head with shots, and high-fived each other for taking down the beast.

         With a few qualms, they looted the place and Roberta gated them all back to the Roberta delivered Acton's Axiom herself to the Lord of Chaos, and the episode ended with her return, papers in hand.

NOTES:

  1. Liz spent a Drama Point (?) for the police to arrive.


3.15 Thicker Than Water

(Aired April 22, 2006)

         The finale began with Dot and Max discussing how she is going to take part in the action, now that there is only one of her. After multiplying selves of the previous episode, Max is set on ending the duplication. After completing their quest, the Lord of Chaos had provided them with information on where the Holy Grail was within Google. However, Dot also didn't want to leave Brigid at this critical time. This was resolved when Brigid again mentally spoke to the group, saying that she had to come along with the expedition.[1] Dot was uncomfortable with this, and wondered if she should be more firm with her baby rather than doing whatever she says. However, she went along with it. The crew then armed up, whipping up among other things a kevlar Baby Bjorn. As someone said:

"Stakes? check. Crossbow? check. Nappies? Check."

         Roberta then gated all of the crew directly to where they were heading: a warehouse on the edge of the Google campus that used to be an ALZA building. It was filled with crates of all sizes marked "Ship to Sergey Brin". Apparently he had gotten a collecting bug and had gone around the world buying things. Immediately upon arriving, Chip claimed that he could "sense" the grail speaking in a far off, stoned voice.[2] The rest follow him, noting strange crate contents, such as the ark of the covenant, Rosebud, and Lenin's coffin.

         Just as they reach where the grail was, though, Iffy's possessed mother Lauren stepped out from around a corner. With her were a bunch of security guards. As they confronted, Chip could sense the grail moving away behind her. Still, she called out:

Lauren: I cannot believe that you would bring your baby here. You're the worst mother in the world!
Dot: Come a little closer and tell me that.
Meanwhile the others scattered. Dot tried to draw the attention of the guards, while Chip slipped past and chased after the grail. Carlos fell back and climbed on top of some crates, readying his crossbow.

         [...Somehow, Carlos shot Lauren in the back with a crossbow bolt...] There was blood everywhere, and Iffy grabbed her mother who seemed to be dying. Iffy then slashed here wrists to transfer the healing nanobots in her blood to Lauren. However, as this was happening, Iffy got a strange look in her eyes -- becoming the new agent of Shub-Niggurath.

Iffy: "Ahh...now this feels good... This is a framework."
Dot, Lance, and Carlos then prepared to face her.

         Meanwhile, Roberta had gated to a warehouse exit, slamming the door open just in time to clock Anton in the face as he tried to leave.[3] Anton fell over, but reached for his gun. Chip then grabbed him from behind, pinning his arm and got the gun. Roberta then grabbed his briefcase, and kicked him in the nads with pointy toed shoes.[4] Hurrying up from behind, Max cast a binding spell on Anton.

Max/Heather: "Chip, sorry, it's going to bind you too."
Chip/Liz: "Oh. sorry. It just doesn't. I'm beyond that now."
They then tied up Anton, and Roberta threw the briefcase to Max who ran back to Dot with it. Chip then blithely began to lecture Anton about Iron John, the hairy man in the lake, and embracing your masculinity and capacity for violence in order to pursue the golden ball.

         Meanwhile, back by Iffy and Lauren, Iffy rose up covered in her own and Lauren's blood while still dripping from her wrists. Carlos immediately shot Iffy with a crossbow bolt in the shoulder. Dot hesitantly tried to grab away her key, fearing for Brigid, but missed. Dot then dodged, leaping away to land on her back as Iffy blasted and a crate flew open. Dot then ripped out the support for the shelves of crates that Iffy was behind, to collapse a big pile of crates onto Iffy. However, Iffy flew clear and landed on top of the collapsed and broken crates. Just then, however, Max came back and lit up the room with a powerful blast of magic which ripped into Iffy. When the flare faded, she was gone. Max felt a twinge of guilt at again blasting one of her friends.[5]

         Quickly, Carlos ran to tend to Lauren, who was healed of her injury by Iffy's blood. Chip then arrived, dragging Anton back to Dot along with the case he had been carrying. Opening the case, they found two identical cups. Chip suggested letting Brigid choose which was the true grail, which she did. Lauren seemed already recovered from her possession, and at Chip's insistence, they then tried to heal Anton. Dot grabbed out a bottle from her bag and poured it into the grail, which appropriately enough was breast milk. Forced to drink and swallow by Dot, and recovers from his possession and looks around confused.

Anton: "Roberta, do you know what the penalty is for holding an FBI agent?"
Chip: "Oh, she knows. She's already 'suffered' that penalty... hahahaha..."

(break in the game)

         Realizing that Iffy is still out there, Dot gave Brigid over to Max -- and Roberta gated herself along with Lauren, Anton, Max, and Brigid back to the Nexus. Dot, Lance, Chip, Carlos then climbed up over the collapsed crates to find Iffy. Doing so, they can see that Iffy's blood has fallen all over the crates and their contents -- which is likely to cause trouble. Iffy is collapsed on the other side, and Dot goes to confront her still carrying the true grail and a bottle. As Dot came to her, though, a voice rose out from within the collapsed crates...

Voice: "Indifference is silent support for the ones in power... the ones who reign!"
(crashing sounds from the crates)
Voice: "Here it is, my fate. One military campaign after another. ... And the hatred of the corrupt for that. But I would not exchange this fate for a peace with the corrupt."
Suddenly a huge half-mechanical body smashes out from the crate below. It is a giant Lenin burst out from the secret coffin.[6]

         Dot healed the possessed Iffy by forcing her to drink breast milk from the true grail. But as she was doing so, the mechanical Lenin attacked, leading to a pitched battle. Carlos and Chip fought with him, but were forced back. Lenin ripped an electrical conduit out of the ceiling, saying something insane about the electrification of the people. Lance slashed him with his lightsaber, cloak billowing.

         At the same time, Chip once again used his weird new "in tune with the universe"-fu. He concentrated on the packing crates that had Iffy's nanite-filled, Shub-Niggurath-tainted blood on them, causing them to burst into new shoots and grapevines all twining up, like the myth of Dionysus on the ship, to wind around mecha-Lenin's arms and legs.

Chip: "Lenin! When you're walking through the swamp you just have to believe that a path will open in front of you!"
Lenin: "One must always always try to be as radical as reality itself."
He then pounded his fist on the ground to created a huge shockwave that knocks several of the crew over.

         Lance grapped with Lenin. Having made Iffy drink, Dot grabbed up her key and blasted him, then dive-rolled under him to knock him over. The vines crept up to grab his feet. Carlos shot a crossbow, landing a solid hit on the back of his head. Lenin struggled against Lance's grapple and yelled, "Not to go forward means to be thrown aback!" -- sending Lance flying. However, the vines controled by Chip continue to hold him in place.

         Iffy then walked up and took her key, and in Russian said, "Everything good and helpful, when brought to extremes, can and usually does become evil and harmful." Lenin was then put down. Chip continued in a strange half trance, and several of the others worried about how he did that and what it meant. However, Lance simply nodded and said, "The force is strong in him!" There was some discussion about how to dispose of other items (like the Ark of the Covenant).

         Back in the Nexus, Max and the others had recovered and settled the Anton and Lauren. However, Roberta found her mother Maria asleep, and quickly realized that Nina had again slipped out.[7] Returning to the warehouse, Roberta saw the Doug's faerie grandmother Fiona through the glass of a mirror, sporting a silver arm, which presumably replaced an arm she lost from the attack by Kat the episode before last.

Fiona: "The way I look at it, Roberta, you owe me."
Roberta: "No... you owe me."
Fiona: "I let your brothers live."
Roberta: "You killed my cousin. The one relative i have who's worth..."
Fiona: "There's this whole thing of intrinsic human value i just don't get. There's this whole thing of deficit financing. You're a businesswoman... we could always make a deal. I understand you're Nina's godmother..."
Fiona then brought up Tad, whom she had wanted as a replacement for Ned. And now she wanted Nina. Roberta was quite clear: "No. fucking. way." At this, Roberta delved into her power as an interdimensional guardian to reach through the mirror and pull a surprised Fiona through.[8] Surrounded by Roberta's allies, Fiona meekly submitted. Roberta then made her swear on a cross to leave her family and friends alone.

         However, in the background, Dot and Lance are continuing to fight more things animated by Iffy's tainted blood -- animated statues and more. The crew clearly needed some way to cleanse everything of the Shub-Niggurath-tainted blood. Nina then appeared, picking up the false grail which has been sitting out during the battle.[9] She then began a spell to collect all of the blood into the false grail. Across the room, the statues, vines, and other objects oozed traces of blood to form rivulets that ran across the floor, up Nina's body, and into the grail itself. Armed with her vampire-fighting kit, she takes out a vial of holy water and pours it into the tainted blood. Immediately, the liquid hisses and steams, but then evaporates. With this, though, the false grail cracks with a sundering sound. Fiona laughs diabolically.

Carlos: I'm sick of this shit!
Fiona: Carlos, if i were you, i'd go outside.
(Carlos shoots his crossbow at Fiona; Lance slices the crossbow bolt in mid-flight.)
Carlos: "What was that about?"
Lance: "She's pledged her neutrality"
Iffy: Guys! I just checked earthquake.usgs.gov! Everyone get out of here!
Iffy flies straight up out of the warehouse, while Roberta gates everyone else back to the Nexus. Dot immediately runs to be with Max and Brigid, while Roberta collects Nina and her mother Maria. Everyone then heads outside as the ground shakes more and more violently.

         As it turned out, the San Andreas fault sheared from Cupertino on a 50 mile line all the way up! There were secondary breeches all along the Calaveras and the Hayward fault lines! The date was April 18, exactly the 100 year anniversary of the great SF quake of 1906. Disasters were everywhere, and just then Joshua Silverton's wife died in the hospital -- which could mean the end of the Nexus.[10]

         Back at the Nexus, Starhawk appeared as everyone headed to the edge of the courtyard by the street. It is dark, thousands of car alarms go off, and gas main breaks start exploding.

Carlos: Did we just trade Lauren's life for the lives of all these people?
Max: It's still not ethical to kill one person to save a bunch of them. Take organ transplants, for example.
Starhawk noted that the Hayward fault ran right thrugh the Berkeley campus, and thanked Roberta profusely for letting her through. She further had a suggestion. As she explained, Shub-Niggurath wasn't the only one who wanted the Brigid, the Ascender. Others would try to take her, influence her, or convert her to evil. So Starhawk suggested moving to a safer, more isolated dimension before the Nexus fell.

         Just then, though, Chip piped up and turned towards the Nexus building.

Chip: "Hey! Josh! I can see you! Cool!"
They shook hands, while Josh remained invisible to everyone else except Roberta. Puzzled at this, Max did some spells and was horrified to discover that Chip was actually dead and has been for several weeks. He of course claimed to feel fine. Max then brought up another spell to see what was going on, and everyone saw little lines of crackling purple life force running from all of the others of the Vampster crew into Chip's body.[11]

         Everyone, especially Dot, wanted to keep Chip "alive" by this. However, Max then understood that if they did, they would all die within a year. Chip said it would be dumb to try, and anyway he wouldn't want to be a zombie vampire sucking life force out of his friends! Instead, he suggested that he could take Josh's place as an anchor for the Nexus. He wasn't a necromancer, but he was deeply connected into the cosmos since his accident with the stone. Besides, as he put it, being the Nexus would be the ultimate trip and he'd done every possible drug he could find and would probably end up in jail. Tearfully, Dot hugged him. Starhawk, Nina, Max, and Carlos did a spell, but in the end Chip simply stepped across the threshold of the courtyard, shook hands with Josh again and then stepped into the nexus and his body falls over.

         The final scene was wordless as Dot and Max held hands at the funeral, with everyone present. Dot tearfully put flowers on the grave. Then she straightened up, and everyone walked forcefully out to rebuild their homes and fight for the people there.

NOTES:

  1. Liz spent a Drama Point for a Plot Twist that Brigid said this.
  2. Liz spent a Drama Point for a Plot Twist that Chip can sense the grail.
  3. Cynthia spent a Drama Point for a Heroic Feat on her gating roll, getting a total of nearly 30 on her roll.
  4. This prompted player discussion of Roberta's shoes, which was about how she fit into businesswoman stereotypes.
    Madeline: "Dude, Roberta wouldn't wear pointy toed shoes..."
    Liz: "Oh yes she would."
    Roberta: "Looking good is half the battle."
    John: "Well, she doesn't have to walk in them, she can gate everywhere."
  5. Heather pointed out that her character Max has a recurring theme of blowing up her friends, either by accident or because she figures they can take it and she has to do it to get the bad guys. Liz commented how interesting it was that the radical lesbian feminist have this as her central issue.
  6. There was some meta-discussion at this point over where the episode was headed. Bill cited Liz for the nano-lenin idea, presumably for her communism. I (John) was skeptical of the silliness, but we agreed to let it in if kept under control. cf. Lenin in Quotesplace.com for some Lenin quotes.
  7. I (John) had wanted to play Nina as my secondary character for this episode. However, there was some confusion over this. At one point the GM Bill narrated Nina crashing in through the skylight on a flying Segway, but that was vetoed.
  8. Cynthia spent a Drama Point for a plot twist to pull Fiona through.
  9. The background fight with statues was described but not played out. There was also discussion of Nina's appearance, and whether the false grail was there in the room or whether it had been taken back to the Nexus.
  10. The exact date of the episode had not been precisely determined, but was fixed at this point to match the anniversary. I (John) suggested that Mrs. Silverton die at this time.
  11. Chip's death was a subplot planned out by John, Liz, and Heather -- but unknown to the GM of this episode, Bill.

 


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John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Tue Feb 20 11:13:45 2007