Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Return of Benedict Strange

... and The Committee on WTF2D@BS???

I've been running a supers game set in 1930 Chicago for a month now and was lost as to what to do next, but we ended well last night with a good cliffhanger for what has turned into a pulpy horror game (my fault- Brett wanted an archeologist with supernatural powers, and that suggested Cthulhu to me! 8-)...

A few notes on last night's Thrilling 30's Game-
The remains of Benedict Strange apparently reanimated and Strange took over Art Miller, big strapping young lad, former football-player. Back on track for a medical degree, working part-time with the Coroner's Office as a gofer. BS-Miller attacked and might have killed Ramirez, but was interrupted and Ramirez fought it off.
How did R survive? Why did the interruption and the resistance matter? What is special, if anything, about R?
Why was BS-Miller plus the cop supercharged? What is the connection between Strange and the Murders-on(along)-the-Bus(-route) Killer?

Victor Ramirez drifted in an out of it all day. The last clear memory was of pain and shock, and of pure horror. He had nightmares, again and again, where that college kid, Arthur Miller, had come out of the cold lockup. Ramirez had resented him, but not too much; he was a good kid and liked to joke around. In the dream, the nightmare, he had called out to the six-two former quarterback, and the giant had turned to the coroners' assistant with empty eyes, those big baby-blues washed out and utterly cold, devoid of life. Ramirez took a step back as something oily and malevolent seemed to flow into and fill those windows onto a deeper darkness...

Ramirez had tried to run then, far too late. A shockingly tight grip had taken hold of his right arm, had wrenched it in its socket, had all but torn it from his shoulder. Ramirez had struck out wildly, hit the thing which wasn't Artie in the chest, once, twice, three times, screaming, but the fourth, weakest hit had somehow had some effect. The monster staggered heavily, and let go. Ramirez had fallen, in too much pain to focus, but he had heard voices and the monster went away, along with consciousness.

That came and went through the rest of the morning. There was blood, lots of it, and hard-bitten nurses crying out at the sight of him, a surgeon, a finely skilled cutter whose eyes lit up at the challenge, muttering, "This will take a few deft stitches, won't it? Veins and arteries and tendons, oh yes..."

Shock gave way to blissful morphine. He remembered the pale winter-afternoon sun on the wall and people talking about him as if he wasn't there, which mostly he wasn't. Then darkness with a little back-scatter from the street-lights outside. The hospital rhythms slowed, and the hospital inhabitants, mostly, slept.

In that long stretch between midnight and dawn his morphine drip grew thin and ran down. The pain was his friend, however; without it, as the hours dragged and he puzzled out sounds, pieced together what must have happened, he would never have had any chance at all.

The right arm was a mess, but it was still there, and he felt a weak pulse through chilly fingertips. He wasn't fool enough to try to unwrap the dressings, but yeah, it was still there. Pain radiated from deep bone-bruises, sutures, an abused socket and tendons. Still there, he thought with a hysterical chuckle. "Madre dios!"

There was a cop at the open door who ducked his head into the room. "You awake? I'll get a nurse-" But he stiffened and grabbed his pistol a he turned back to the hallway. "Who's there?"

No answer. But Ramirez felt the darkness, a deeper darkness, gather itself out there, and he felt fear.

There were two quick shots without a warning. Panic or good instincts, and Ramirez was inclined to think it was the latter, but the third shot was muffled, and then the cop struggled with something, gun hand forced up, twisted. There was a horrible crack and meaty crunches as the cop screamed, but then the other monstrous hand was up under the cops' chin, squeezing the life out of him at the throat and twisting, breaking things, forcing the head around, likewise at an unnatural angle. A voice full of gravel, but still barely recognizable as Artie's, once, said, "You won't be neeee-ding that anyyyy-moooor."

The cops' head separated from his body, spraying blood. The thing licked spatter from its lips and smiled at Ramirez as it set the head on his right shoulder, and smooshed it into the back of its' own, back to back and just a little bit off-center. Then it proceeded to loot the body some more.

Ramirez realized that at least some of the screaming was his own.

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