Saturday, November 23, 2013

Arrival: Bad Principal

Finally they reached the gates of a posh high school which Jack firmly believed was the origin point for the apocalypse. Something about the old church tower to one side of the school seemed familiar to her as did one of the major buildings. A quick clamber up onto a nearby rooftop gave her the height advantage, revealingtwo giant charred prints in the oval even after all of those years.

The demonic launching point? Maybe?

When they searched the school they found signs of the initial attacks. The bones of dead students, bloodstains, warped wood, unmelting ice sheets as strong as steel, walls warped as though to become two hands gripping what is now air, and perfectly circular holes in the floor decorated the school.

When Nicky came across the ice sheet she drew her silver sword to tap it - Jack's eyes were glued to the sword in an obvious sign of distaste.

"Y'know, you bring me a better sword to trade and I'll ditch this one," said Nicky. She didn't mind the idea of a werewolf-bane weapon but a demon-bane one would be better.

One of the school desks seemed eerily familiar. It had the word 'Shaitan' carved into the underside of it. Inside the desk lay a student card, pencil case and a reasonably well-drawn half-finished comic book about an entity called Smiling Jack that looked just like the smiling demon from her dreams. She looted the desk and shoved it all into a sack. Even the pencil case.

The principal's office seemed pristine. Portraits of the various principals ringed the walls but it was the one peaceful seeming guy behind the chair - the last principal - who gave her the wiggins. She figured that maybe he had been the boss of this hellmouth. Perhaps he'd even let the New York cat out of the bag so she cut out his painting and put it in the scroll case she'd been given to transport Baccarti's portrait way back at the start of the campaign. Then they grabbed as much paperwork as they could and headed back to the house.

The principal's name was John Smythe.

The rescued guy turned out to be much better, albeit a bit delirious from dehydration so she crushed up a vitamin pill and put it in some water for him. It also turned out that he was a meteorologist so she told him there'd likely be a place for him at the unversity. The man seemed a bit bewildered at his sudden change in fortune.

They went over the contents of the school desk first. The kid looked normal and nice enough (even cute) judging from his school photo but the comic book was creepy. Johnny Star said the kid seemed both normal and yet seemingly fixated on this demonic image he'd drawn - he was obviously quite attached to the idea of it.

Nico didn't give them her theory: that this Maksim Rukov was another Infant Diabolique (or perhaps one of the dreaded Lucifuge) who shared her lineage.

There were a few interesting things about the principal's files. There was information about a labrynthine bomb shelter built under the school and a 'caning quota' from the forties and fifties where 200 students had to be caned a day. At one point in the school's past a torture chamber had been found beneath the school.

The recent student record had symbols beside the student's names - i.e. sparkles, wings, or a pentacle. Nico wrote down the names and cross-referenced them with a phone directory to find some of the addresses. She also looked up J Smythe in the phone book and found four possible addresses in the nearby suburbs.

Johnny was determined to go with them to check out the adresses as his curiosity had been piqued. The dehydrated victim was willing to be alone. He mostly just wanted to nap. Nico accepted Johnny's presence, though she wasn't happy about it.

They slept.

The following morning Nicky woke up with the knowledge of her right to Call Forth the Pit or, rather, banish demons to the pit. It would cost her blood and dedication (not to mention time) but she could do it.

The first J Smythe address wasn't the right one. The second one, however, most assuredly was. It was more of an estate than a home with plenty of lawn. Nico was instantly suspicious, especially as the windows were all intact and the house seemed undamaged. She used a stick to pass over the lawn and ... nothing happened. She threw the stick onto the grass and nothing happened.

So she walked a few steps in and a large multi-tubed turret gun rose up from under the lawn. Nicky stood real steal as a voice recording warned her to leave.

So she did.

Nico then threw another hunk of wood through the air which the gun tore apart.

Johnny Starr noticed the Intercom and tried to speak over it.

A voice responded, enquiring as to who was there.

Nico told him not to hit the respond button as it was obviously the fortress of Dr. No or something equally Bondvillainous. She was so shocked / scared / astounded that there were a lot of F-Bombs and confused laughter from her as they raced away from that place. It almost didn't seem possible.

Aside from that shock of impossibility, Nico also had the nearly overwhelming urge to throw some weed killer onto that nice grass.

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