Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
Tom's muscles ache and scream at him to stop when he tries to pull the podium up, however, Ed has no problem yanking it up away from the door. For being a piece of wood, it sure was hard to move. As he pulls on it, it levels out, and then tips slightly the other way. A low scraping sound is heard before a small bang on the floor and several "clinking" sounds are heard. The podium rights itself, conveniently out of the way of the door.
On the other side, Jack sees a box of rifle ammo fall out of the podium and onto the floor. This sparks an idea in him; he remembers seeing an old rifle on the wall behind where the podium was. Whether he looks for it or not...
Sensing the fear coursing through Jack's veins, mixed with the strength of adrenaline, and the training of his past, the old woman slowly turns towards him and shuffles his direction. He walks closer and closer to him, moving up to him with the same nearly grinning mouth, though she looks as sweet as ever. She holds her purse in both hands against her chest. If Jack backs away, she continues to follow him.
As the woman gets closer to him, he levels the gun at her head, ready to fire directly into her face. His heart is pounding, yet there is a serene calm that takes him over. And yet...the woman walks close to the gun, and opens her mouth, then shuffles close so that the end of the gun is in her mouth. She clamps down on the gun with a tremendous strength, her lips stretching into an unnatural grin. Try as Jack might, something won't let him drop his gun, nor pull it away from the woman's intended path. He can hear the clink of her teeth on the cold steel...
In the kitchen, the younger woman runs to a door in the back and tries to push it open. The door doesn't budge, and her hand slips, letting her shoulder beat itself into the door. She let's out a yelp and the little girl looks up gently to her. "Mommy, are you alright?" The woman pushes herself off the door and start to unlock the deadbolts. By this point, Jeff is all the way up to her, though she doesn't see him.
(to the woman) "Wait, wait- don't leave yet- it's not safe out there. And I'm sure he wouldn't shoot that old woman- we're just all so shook up from that accident that we're all acting a little crazy."
Jeff will put a hand on the door handle to keep her from opening it, but make no real effort to hold it closed.
Seeing her panicked state, Jeff panics himself more than just a little bit; "Oh- Nononononononono! Calm down- I'm not here to hurt you, I'm trying to help! If you go out there, I'm afraid bad things will happen to you."
He focuses his attention on the mother, trying to calm her.
The woman continues to scream and rave loudly, as she is clearly in a state of dire confusion. Eventually, she quiets down a little and begins to cry, slinking down along the door. She draws her knees up and holds them and her daughter close. "I just want to go home...I just want to go home...just..go ...home...just....home....."
In the front room, the old woman moves her jaw left and right, slightly twisting the gun in Jack's hand. He feels as if he has full control over himself, and feels as if something is telling him to pull the trigger...
What would be so wrong?....do it....pull the trigger...do it now...she's asking for it...she wants you to help her....help her.....help...her...do it....pull the trigger now....you are a savior...an angel in black clothes...a dark angel....pull the trigger...give her release....
Jeff will crouch near the woman, and try to remember her name... Susan? No... that was the girl.
"Hey, I know- I want to go home too. My wife is there waiting for me. But we need to figure out what is going on, so we don't just walk into deeper trouble. Okay? Why don't we go sit down and figure out what we can do?"
She probably doesn't want to be touched, but Jeff will put a hand on her arm, and start to help her to her feet. Once she's starting to move up, he'll reach out an open hand to the little girl, and try to coax the two of them back into the main room.
"Oh.. that hurt.." Tom mumbled to himself after helping to heave the podium out of the way. He stands massaging his muscles when he hears his name and turns around to see the old woman apparently eating the gun.
"Ma'am.. I don't wanna hurt ya.. but you are outta ya mind.." He steps over to her and tries to grab her and pull her off of the gun, but his nerves were on edge from seeing her eating the gun and so he couldn't get a good a grip as he would of liked.
It had been a bad night. *A slim man in a long, rain-dampened leather coat had spent the last half-hour dodging falling lampposts that had been dogging his steps ever since his cab all but took a swan dive into the now rain-swollen St. Joseph River a few blocks back. *The cabbie, an amiable fellow from India or maybe it was Pakistan, was spectacularly ejected straight through the windshield, arcing with a sickening grace out of sight into the roiling water that had risen menacingly since the rains began.
Being in the back seat which was compartmented away from the front with a plate of that protective acrylic that's expected to seperate crazy cabbies from crazy passengers, the lanky young man was simply slammed against the back of the bench seat and wedged into the footwell. *The front of the vehicle was soundly wrapped around one of the support posts set at intervals along the sides of the short bridge the cab was traversing at the time of the accident. *Fortunately, the angle of the impact and the thickness of the retaining wall was enough to keep the old converted chevy from fishtailing off the edge and into the drink.
Recovering fairly quickly, the slim man looked out the window, or what used to be a window--its chunks now strewn across the seat he'd been sitting on--and witnessed the ridiculous sight of lampposts warping then, as if thrown down, slamming into the pavement, or into whatever else happened to be in the wrong spot at the time.
A couple shots with a steel-tipped boot functioned well enough to pop open the slightly bent, but already ajar back seat, and the man leapt out onto the rain-slicked street. *Slightly dazed from the impact but otherwise alert.
"What the HELL is going on!?"
As if in reply, another lamppost slammed down about thirty yards from where he stood, near one end of the bridge, its buzzing halogen bulb dying out as it shattered and was doused by the rainwater that splashed up as it hit the ground. *The whole street beyond was dark now and as if from within its blackness a sense of dread washed over him in an almost palpable wave.
Confused, the man looked down the length of the bridge to the other side, the side he was headed toward before the crash. *The lamps remained upright, and the street was lit, so he started to jog in that direction, not quite sure where he was going as this was a section of town he only occasionally traveled through. *As long as it was away from the mayhem it was good enough.
Just as he was about to pass between one of the three pairs of concrete-jacketed lampposts that ran along the very edge of the bridge, next to the pedestrian sidewalk, the one to his left began to bend. *And as it did, shards of water-darkened but still sparkly concrete began to shoot off in all directions. *And also as it did, the crash survivor began to run like he'd never run before.
The somewhat slick soles of his boots--soles definitely not made for traction--slid several times along the sidewalk pavement, threatening to introduce his face to the concrete, but he managed to stay upright and moving forward as the remaining bridge lampposts began to snap and fall behind him.
He continued past the end of the bridge as fast as he could manage with any control, and ran straight down the block towards an intersection with still functioning lights. *But there was no traffic. *No one waiting at the red, nor passing through the green. *Even at after 3am there should have been some traffic. *But his preoccupied mind didn't register that detail. *It also didn't immediately notice that beyond the intersection, the street was completely dark.
Reaching the crosswalk he ignored the red hand beneath the glowing yellow light that told him to stop and let the nonexistent cross-traffic pass by. Running across the street he didn't have to strain to hear the already familiar sound of lampposts once again crashing behind him, feeling each thud through his boots.
On the corner there stood a darkened 7-11. *Seemingly out of place a wispy thought ran through the man's head, "...I thought those things stayed open forever...". *Beyond it was a large open parking lot strewn with already toppled posts. *The thudding behind him grew closer and his black-rimmed eyes darted east down what was a moment ago a fully lit street, but now was possessed by falling lampposts that were frantically making their way towards him like a bizarre opium-induced giant zipper, first one side, then another, inexorably closer.
To the west, the same was happening. *The man's doused but still mostly erect mohawk wobbled as his head turned abruptly forward again and he began to sprint towards that open lot, thinking "...lamps are already down there, should be okay...". *He had no time to rationalize anything else, and it was pretty much the only choice, anyway.
So he barreled past the closed doors and darkened windows of the 7-11, and around the eastern side which led into the heart of the large parking lot beyond it. *He ran along one side, the hard soles of his boots oddly echoing as they clattered over the asphalt, and suddenly heard a woman's muffled screaming coming from around the back corner of the structure. *This was the first human sound he'd heard since the cabbie had released his own scream a second before impact, and he was drawn to it, not so much out of concern for the screaming woman, but because it meant there was a way inside. *It didn't occur to him then that the screaming was probably a bad sign.
The man skidded around the corner, the sweep of his long leather coat following a moment behind. *He ran his hand along the damp whitewashed wall as he jogged towards a back door near a pair of large dumpsters. *Though the crashing thuds were now in the distance and no longer at his heels, the stifling sense of dread hadn't lost its potency and it sparked an equally intense sense of urgency to get out of this rain, out of the night. *He was more than determined to get inside where he could at least regroup, maybe find a phone.
The screaming from inside had stopped some moments ago, but he could see a sliver of light squeezing out beneath the improperly placed weatherstripping at the bottom of the metal braced door, and in that light the telltale breakup indicating someone moving around inside. *And he thought he heard voices.
With adrenaline-charged passion, Cuthbert Thompson III, former member of the punk band PUS, grabbed the slick metal knob and with all his 120 some odd pounds backing it up twisted and pulled as hard as he could.
The door flew wide open, spilling light out into what was a nearly pitch dark, rainy night to illuminate a slim man tangled in a full-length, rain-slicked leather coat lying on his back a few feet from the now open door.
Still on his back, but with enough energy to wrack his whole body you hear anger, frustration...and fear rolled up into one word: "DAMMIT!"
Those inside see him begin to rise to his feet....
As Tom walks to the woman, he can feel his still aching muscles pin prick in spots, telling him not to move so much. He tries to pull the woman, but manages only to look like a pushover, as the woman bats him away with her arms. Her face, however, maintains its deadly glare upon Jack.
In the kitchen, Jeff touches the woman's arm and tries to heft her up. She resists a bit, but eventually gives in, feeling completely drained. She slowly rises to her feet, but keeps Suzie out of Jeff's reach, smiling weakly at him. As they start to move away, the outside door swings wide open, revealing a man lying on his back now. The rain pours into the doorway. The woman screams a little, and ends up nearly leaping into Jeff's arms, while the little girl grabs onto his leg.
Jeff will put one hand out, ready to cast one of the anchient chinese spells, if he needs it- in the back of his mind, he realizes that these things, whatever the hell they are, don't open doors- they shatter glass and break doors down, but they don't slip and fall when the door is unlocked and gives way.
Maybe this is just a normal guy- maybe he needs help too. Jeff pushes the woman and Suzie behind him, so if the guy does attack, Jeff can try to handle him.
Looking impatiently over at the old woman and then back towards the door Ed makes an angry grunting noise and then runs over towards Jack and the old lady grabbing her arm and trying to pull her away from Jack "I don't have time for this ****, let's get the other's and get the hell out of here. We don't exactly have time to waste right now, if you didn't hear Sally when I called her she's kind of desperate right now!"
Rising to one knee as he shifts the edge of his coat out from under his foot, the man looks towards the open door, quickly shielding his eyes with one ring-laden hand from the glare of the only light in the area. *A grimace appears on his face as he peers into the bright light.
Two silhouettes stand in that light, one appearing to be a woman with a large misshapen leg and another a towering figure nearly as high as the door's lintel. *For a moment, only the pelting rain can be heard, most loudly as it plinks against the closed metal tops of the nearby dumpsters.
From behind the shadow cast by his hand you hear the man speak while rising to his full height, his leather coat unfurling to hang just above his black, steel-tipped boots. "Hey, can I get in there!? *I've been in an accident and something's been chasing me, I need to get in there and get to a phone! *There's some freaky **** going on, man!" *Despite the rain which muffles the volume of his voice, you can easily sense the urgency in his words.
The old woman shoves Tom away yet again, though this time he feels an unnatural strength come from behind the push. She felt stronger than him. And yet, she's shorter, smaller, and more delicate. At least, that's how it looks.
Ed, however, has more luck. He grabs the lady around the shoulders, and eventually moves his arm around the front of her. He pulls hard and finally the woman gives way. The two stumble backwards several steps. In a moment, Ed feels something warm on his sleeve.
To Jack, this is a relief, as he doesn't have to shoot the lady in such close quarters. Except, when Ed pulls her away from the gun, she ends up having several of her teeth ripped not so cleanly from her face. In the wake of the pull, blood spurts out of her mouth, and sprays Jack. He sees her still h as a twisted grin that shouldn't be possible, as blood drips somewhat profusely from her mouth onto Ed's arm.
In the back of Jack's mind, he hears the voice return...
Why didn't you help me?..... you're worthless.... you can't do anything right... you're the reason your men died... a black angel with clipped wings... worthless...
Melissa takes her daughter and they both go out to the main room when a second later there is another scream. She puts her hand across Suzie's eyes when she sees the old woman bleeding from the mouth, now missing teeth.
The lights throughout the building that were on for whatever reason, suddenly flicker out, leaving everything encased in near black darkness. Everyone's nerves jump for a moment, seeing a crackle of lightning illuminate everything, then a loud rumble of thunder. The room shakes slightly due to the proximity of the bolt.
Relieved he wouldn't be required to either threaten his way in or hop into a dumpster if that failed, the leather-bound man reflexively says, "Cool."
His eyes finally adjusting, but one hand remaining up to shade them from the glare, he takes a step towards the doorway and in tandem, the man inside moves deeper inside. Seeing him whispering to what has resolved to be a womand and child, a warning shoots through his brain, defensive by nature and forced conditioning. Whispering means secrets and secrets all too often turn out to be a bad thing for him.
After only a few steps, the lights in the room ahead flash out, and Cuthbert stops dead in his tracks, half in and half out of the driving rain, the overhanging edge of the roof directly above his head. Under his breath he wonders, "What the hell are they up to?" Then a flash of lightning quickly followed by thunder pushes Cuthbert inside despite his misgivings. He didn't want to add lightning strike victim to his long resume of abuses.
One step inside the darkened room and a scream resounds throughout the darkness. A hand darts into one coat pocket, then another, a jangle of keys and a moment later a narrow beam of light* floats in mid air as Cuthbert nervously looks around the room.
...christ...i'm not sure this is getting any better...
Cuthbert yells, "Hey! Where the hell are you guys!?" Then in a far quieter voice, "Damn whackos everywhere I go."
His mini-flashlight is cast about the room in search of the doorway the others must have passed through. He leaves the outer door open, despite the rain, feeling more secure that there is a quick way out if being in here is less appealing than he'd hoped.
Glaring at the guy who came in from the rain behind him, he curtly shouts over his shoulder "Close the damn door behind you- we don't want whatever was chasing you to come in after us too.", and then moves into the main room to figure out what in the hell is going on.
The old woman begins cackling, quietly at first, then rising to a great and terrible laugh, breathing in as much air as she possibly can. The copious amounts of blood dribble down her neck and into her blouse, staining the bright wool into a vibrant red. She throws her head back in the laughter, nearly using her entire body. Again, everyone is suddenly uncomfortable around her, some already backing away.
Jack clutches at his temple, pleading with the voice to go away. But it doesn't. In fact, it taunts him more.
No.... we won't go.... you don't deserve it.... a dark angel.... a useless angel... even animals are more deserving.... You let those men die.... You wanted them to die.... you wanted to be the hero.... pitiful man.... you are nothing.... nothing.... nothing.................
The words "nothing" echo throughout his mind. He slowly begins to lose his grip on reality and his eyes begin to dart around the room. The walls suddenly feel as if they are closing in, threatening to crush him to a pulp if he doesn't do something. The darkness is not helping, as he can't see definitely how big the room is. And with the people crowding him, its only getting worse. The old woman leers at him with each flash of lightning.
Cuthbert can see the dimensions of the kitchen just fine, as it is a rather small room, and can easily follow Jeff out through the other door. However, on the other side, Melissa and her daughter have backed into a corner and are half panicking, half crying.
(Jack gains 1 madness point, and a mild phobia of enclosed spaces. Just mark the point somewhere on your sheet.)
Cuthbert yells back into the gloom, "Dude, whatever was chasing me was slamming streetlights into the ground, this door won't mean **** to it!" But, having said that he figures, what the hell, if these people freak, he can probably handle them easier than he can handle whatever's outside. He steps to the doorway and reaches out to grab the handle, but before pulling the door shut he casts his flashlight's narrow beam around outside.
If he sees nothing notable:
Seeing nothing more spooky than the bulky sidewall of a dumpster, he finally pulls the door shut. His head wobbles and his face contorts into an Elvisoid sneer as he silently mocks the man's demand. Once shut, in a voice barely above a whisper, "Okay, whackjob number one, the damn thing's closed." In a shout over his shoulder he's more diplomatic, "Okay, man, door's shut!"
Releasing the knob and turning again towards the inner doorway another hideous cackle rattles his ears. ...i don't think so... He quickly returns to the door, grabbing the knob and turning it to leave the door just a tiny bit ajar, not enough to open it to the night, but enough to keep the handle stud from slipping into the notch. If need be, he could kick it open on the run to escape this hellhouse within a hellhole he was so lucky to find.
Cuthbert sticks his head out of the door, and looks around, seeing nothing but the occasional spark of electricity from a downed street lamp. As he reaches for the door knob, however, he feels the same evil staring at him from within the parking lot. He doens't know what or where it is, but knows it is watching him. Then, it moves as if to swallow him whole. His eyes go wide, and slam the door shut.
As the lock clicks into place, there is a loud thumping against the door, sending dents into place. This astounds Cuthbert, as it takes an awful lot of force to dent a steel door. He can visibly see dents coming through to his side of the door before it just stops, and is replaced by the sounds of the rain upon the roof, clinking off of everything.
A second later, as Jack fires the gun, Ed comes to the sudden realization that he too is in the path of the bullet. Only Ed can see the fear and desperation upon Jack's face, as the burst from the gun lights it for a moment. An instant later, there is a sharp pain in his chest, following a sudden jerk backwards. He stumbles several steps and tries to keep his balance.
Ed knows something is wrong, as his extremities become a little colder than the rest of his body, and he feels liquid enter his lung. In reaction, he starts to cough, and what exits is blood mixed with his breath.
To everyone else, all that is heard is a flash of light, followed by the sound of a gunshot. To those whom have never been around a gun, it is merely a loud pop. Then everyone can hear coughing, and the sound of liquid within that cough. More lightning illuminates Ed in slow motion, stumbling back. The thunder seems to accent the dire situation as it occurs, neatly framing everyone's reaction.
The old woman continues her cackle as Ed stumbles. She stops as he starts to cough up blood, and tilts her head back down to look at Jack. In the flashes of lightning coming from the window behind him, he can see that her face has transformed slightly, appearing warped and pale. There are extreme dark circles around her eyes which have turned milky white.
[Ed takes nine points of damage and needs to make a fort save. Please edit your post accordingly.]
"Ed!" Tom shouts as the the ligthning makes it apparent to Tom what the sound he had just heard was. "You all right kid?" he says, the shock of what had just happened forcing the dumbest question out of his mouth.
Aint no doctor.. not able to help him do nothin'... Only one way I can help.. This thought in mind Tom lunges at Jack, fury at what he had seen and pent up anger from all of the wierd crap they had suffered during the night pushing the pain of his muscles out of his mind and powering his attempt to pin Jack to the floor and to stop him before he injures anyone else.