Last Night at the Ball.   Posted by Drake.Group: 0
Marianne Trevors
 player, 340 posts
 Absent-minded Author
Mon 15 Jun 2009
at 02:15
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Marianne looked around frantically for aunt Ayada, but didn't find her anywhere. Had she escaped before bedlam broke out? It was a good thought. She turned back apruptly, heading into the firefight once again. The ruby ring that held Ali belonged to Aunt Ayada. So... find Ali, and find Aunt Ayada? Or if not, find the Sultan and get the truth out of him somehow. Seeing as he was indisposed at the moment, maybe that wouldn't be too hard.
Drake
 GM, 1034 posts
Sat 20 Jun 2009
at 21:11
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Hans Gruber had, as could be expected, done the right thing by Rashid and now had the injured and semiconscious Sultan draped over his lanky shoulders.  He followed Marianne as she headed for Steve Cable, who also had a hanger-on, a silver-haired old lady in a nice gown, and some kind of dust devil whirling in front of them.   A small fall of glass shards made him jump aside; there was a deep rasping sound from the broken skylights.  Something large and dark was up there, with expansive leathery wings.   As they moved along, a plump cello player disentangled himself from the shards of his broken instrument and trailed after, as did a waiter - who looked familiar.  It was Peterson, the government agent - limping slightly as one leg had a flesh wound.

"Mr. Cable," Hans Gruber said, the German accent harsh as ever, "I still have a contract with you, and an obligation to protect you.  We are in a place that is not your world.  I can follow the ley lines and get you out, but we will have a fight on our hands."
"I am a government agent," Peterson announced, to the amusement of the little old lady.
"I must ask my husband to vote for a raise for you, young man, if you have to take a second job as a waiter," she said, with a cheerful chuckle.
"Your master holds your ring." Hans spoke to Ali,  "He will need the Scintillation of a Thousand Suns when we leave the building.  All mortals, I advise you to shut your eyes as you cross the threshold.  We will have to run, very fast, along a path."
"Running is not a plan, running's what you do when a plan fails," the Cello player said, sourly.
Steve Cable
 player, 330 posts
Sat 20 Jun 2009
at 22:36
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"Lets go and tell us when to open and close our eyes. Aren't Ley lines electromagnetic?"

He glares at the cellist.

This message was last edited by the player at 12:50, Sun 28 June 2009.

Drake
 GM, 1035 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2009
at 11:17
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"They're electro-kinetic energy that shows up as resonances on photographic plates," Peterson said. "They might show up in a wavelength of light that we can't see - that is to say, humans can't see."   The Cello player glared back at Cable, and found some table knives, which he fanned out in his fist to form a clawlike knife.

Ali looked peeved to be taking orders from another person, but its sense of self-perservation was rather strong.  The small party went towards the door and an instant after Hans warned them to shut their eyes, a flash of white light so powerful it shone through their eyelids burst forth from Ali, and the race was on.

Hampered by Rashid's unconscious weight, Hans was slower, and the party had no problem keeping up with him.  The outside was lit by a sourceless black-red light, and the landscape was burnt rubble - strangely reminiscent of the Chicago street it had been in another place, but the buildings were lumps of rock and debris, a park bench a twisted set of thorn bushes, everything diminished and ruined.   The Cello player and the Little Old Lady had no trouble keeping up.  "Don't look back," Hans advised, after one glance over his shoulder, and put some more speed on.  He was moving along a fairly straight line.  Peterson looked back, drawing his sidearm in one quick movement, and shot at something, the percussion strangely echoing; there was a deep-throated roar in response.
Steve Cable
 player, 331 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2009
at 12:51
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"You'll look funny as a pillar of salt G-Man."
Drake
 GM, 1036 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2009
at 19:55
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"I think I made it angry !" Peterson replied, hsi voice squeaking a little as he scrambled faster along the path that Gruber was leading.

"Ahead - one hundred meters," Hans was panting heavily, sweat running down his face, as he was carrying the dead weight of Rashid.  "By the red boulder."  There was indeed a red boulder up ahead; it looked like a huge man had curled up in a fetal position, in agony, and died by ossification.  As they slogged closer, it began to rock, then break apart.
Brother Clary
 player, 221 posts
 Bible Thumpin' Gun Totin'
 Itinerant Tent Preacher
Sun 28 Jun 2009
at 22:48
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Brother Clary followed, levering a round into the chamber of his shotgun, intending to cover their retreat.
Drake
 GM, 1037 posts
Sat 4 Jul 2009
at 23:34
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"I fear my shoes will never be the same," the little old lady said, with a mild chuckle as she moved along the gritty path with surprising ease.
"There are three large things there," the Cello player reported, hefting his improvised weapons.  "The big one's on its way, but it's keeping back like it's not sure."
"Ah," the little old lady said, turning to look.  "Yes, it is, but then it would be, wouldn't it, with so many religious artefacts present,  I observe.  Your cross is glowing, young man," she said to Brother Clary.   "But they can block our way or harm us without approaching, as the other two have now worked out; they're picking up a large rock."
Steve Cable
 player, 332 posts
Sat 4 Jul 2009
at 23:40
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"Ali, what are they?"

Looking at the rock people.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:27, Tue 07 July 2009.

Marianne Trevors
 player, 342 posts
 Absent-minded Author
Tue 7 Jul 2009
at 17:38
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Marianne was too busy running for her life to comment but she would have laughed at the reference to Brother Clary as a young man if she had had the breath. "Where's Aunt Ayada?" she asked. She assumed that the Sultan's aunt, and more importantly, the person who had the sole remaining star gem had not been left to the mercy of the creatures that were following them, but since Rashid had proved himself singularly incompetent in these matters, she felt it her duty to be sure. "And Mr. Gattanack?" This was asked more soberly. Had the indestructible man succumbed to Grey's sneak attack? She felt responsible for the missing agent. "And Ben White said he would be here as well, though he said he would be outside the ballroom."
Drake
 GM, 1038 posts
Sat 11 Jul 2009
at 12:03
Re: Last Night at the Ball



"The children of desolation," Ali said, scrunching up tight into a dust devil, his voice quavering.  "We cannot fight them, and they stand in the path !"  The huge boulders continued to break up, resolving into monstrous humanoid forms.

Marianne hurried along, but was answered by Peterson.  "I don't know where Ayada is - she got out early on, I was distracted.  Gat's on his way." the agent replied.  "Mr. White is - harder to find.  I hope he's got the jewel or at least, he's protecting it."   Whatever his other skills, Peterson was a rotten liar.

"Carry Rashid for me," Hans Gruber said to Peterson, pausing.  "You can see the path now; run towards the end of it and you will come through it.  I will stay to fight."    From above, there was a heavy leathern flapping, and Gruber adroitly hopped aside without looking; a jagged boulder impacted into the ground a foot from where he had been standing, making everyone jump and scramble for balance.

From somewhere past the ragged hills of stone and debris, there came a loud echoing boom, and dust and grit flew into the air in a huge plume.  There was a corresponding harsh screech.
Steve Cable
 player, 333 posts
Sat 11 Jul 2009
at 12:39
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"Ain't rocks slow and stiff?"
Drake
 GM, 1039 posts
Tue 14 Jul 2009
at 23:30
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"They look pretty lively to me," Cello Player said sourly, hefting his improvised weapons.  He looked at the Society Matron. "Ma'am, you better get behind us, we'll try to knock them out of the way."

She laughed, a delighted musical sound, smiling happily.  "Oh, my, such heroes you all are."
Marianne Trevors
 player, 343 posts
 Absent-minded Author
Sun 19 Jul 2009
at 05:18
Re: Last Night at the Ball
With obvious urgency, spurred on by the clouds of dust settling around them, Marianne opened her bag and fished out the vial White had given her. It had worked with such startling effect on Grey, that she had kept it close ever since.

"Alright, all of you heroes, who wants to be the one to get close enough to those things, so we can use this?"
Drake
 GM, 1040 posts
Sun 19 Jul 2009
at 22:36
Re: Last Night at the Ball
The small vial in Marianne's hand glimmered pure white, sending out soft arcs of light.  But, to her surprise, even Gruber stepped back a pace; so did the little old lady.  "They are dropping rocks on us, they don't have to get close," he said.  "I am probably the only one who can accurately throw it at them, but I cannot touch it."  He offloaded Rashid onto the weedy Peterson, whose knees looked about ready to buckle.

Then a loud sound; an echoing boom, and there was a horrible squawk.  One of the winged gargoyles fell out of the sky like a shot duck, and a shadow resolved itself on a hill in the distance; the massive Federal agent, Gattanack, had at last arrived.
Marianne Trevors
 player, 344 posts
 Absent-minded Author
Mon 20 Jul 2009
at 09:47
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Marianne was relieved to see Mr. Gattanack alive and unharmed enough to jump into the fray. She wasn't surprised by Gruber's reaction, having seen the effect it had on him earlier, but she looked curiously at the old lady. "Don't tell me you're not human either?" she asked in disbelief, doing a double take.

"Well, then, find some other way to do this," she snapped back at Gruber. "You can't singlehandedly take on those things. And you're supposed to take the gems to a safe place. We'll make it if we saved our breath and ran instead of arguing about it." She glared at him for good effect.
Brother Clary
 player, 222 posts
 Bible Thumpin' Gun Totin'
 Itinerant Tent Preacher
Mon 20 Jul 2009
at 22:22
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Firing his shotgun at anything that got too close, Brother Clary leaned over so that Marianne could hear him, while still keeping his eyes on his targets.

"Ma'am," he began, "What if Gruber could work a sling - you know, like little David agin' Goliath?"

This message was last edited by the player at 16:47, Thu 23 July 2009.

Marianne Trevors
 player, 345 posts
 Absent-minded Author
Thu 23 Jul 2009
at 11:53
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Marianne brightened. "A sling! That might work... Mr. Gruber? We could use some rope and try to construct one."
Steve Cable
 player, 334 posts
Sat 25 Jul 2009
at 00:00
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"Give it to me, I'm a vet of Meuse-Argonne. I've got vials of holy water in my pocket we can use to make grenades of them."
Drake
 GM, 1041 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2009
at 09:31
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Gruber, never the fastest of thinkers, frowned at Marianne.  But when Cable spoke up, he nodded.  "He is right.  And I am bound to protect him, too.   I will deal with the rock golems."    He frowned again, noting he was wearing a tuxedo, instead of something more useful, and then unclipped his cummerbund, folding it into a slingshot.  "It was a rental," he added mournfully, but handed the fabric to Cable, then turned to look at the large stone creatures blocking their escape path.

Up on the hill, the big Fed began picking his way along towards them, reloading the heavy weapon with what looked like artillery shells, pulled from his torn trenchcoat's pockets.   Something behind him howled, and there were suddenly dark shadows on the hill line, hulking large ones with glowing red eyes.

The little old lady smiled at Marianne, charmingly.  "My dear, you're carrying a...a piece of a person around in a vial.  That gives one pause."   It didn't answer the question, but anyone watching could see how adroitly the silver-haired lady moved, given her apparent age.   Then, as Cable loaded up the slingshot, and Gruber gained the full attention of the rock creatures, she leapt into a run, heading straight for the place Gruber had said was the exit, smacking the Cello Player with her handbag as he got in her way.  No old lady could do a double-flip somersault past the fray and vanish...into the thin air.
Steve Cable
 player, 335 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2009
at 12:34
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"Master of disguise."
Drake
 GM, 1042 posts
Sun 9 Aug 2009
at 01:58
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Gruber smiled then, glancing back over his shoulder towards where the 'old lady' had disappeared.  "Fare well, Steve Cable.  Mr. Peterson can lead you safely out, so my task of guarding your body has ended."

He looked back at Clary and Marianne then.  "You have captured me fairly and I have been obliged to answer anything asked of me.  I now request that you release me so that I may help you escape."
Steve Cable
 player, 336 posts
Sun 9 Aug 2009
at 17:57
Re: Last Night at the Ball
"Let's end it and get out of here , Auf Wiedersehen Herr Leutnant."

Cable salutes the pilot and follows Petersen.
Drake
 GM, 1043 posts
Fri 14 Aug 2009
at 09:59
Re: Last Night at the Ball
Peterson, staggering under the Sultan's unconscious weight, manages to get past the stone monsters - which quail at the sight of Brother Clary - and disappears into thin air.  Cable moves to the spot and experiences a flash of cold and vertigo.  When he next opens his eyes, he is standing on the street across from the ballroom, near a couple of benches, and everything seems normal.  Two men in black suits are racing from the ballroom towards Peterson, their appearance practically screaming 'Federal Agent'.   The little old lady is nowhere to be seen....

But at Steve Cable's feet is a silver-haired wig.
Drake
 GM, 1045 posts
Mon 31 Aug 2009
at 23:34
Re: Last Night at the Ball
The raggle-taggle group emerged into the evening air, the familiar sights of
the World's Fair all round them, everything as it should be.  There was no
sign of the silver-haired lady; just an abandoned wig.  Policemen were
milling around the ballroom, and the dull-looking panel truck was easing
along the kerb next to them.  Peterson looked terribly happy to see this,
though Gattanack had retrieved the unconscious Sultan and slung the poor
man over one massive shoulder.  There was no sign of the strange Hans
Gruber, nor of the missing gemstone either.   But, thanks to Brother Clary's
faith and the Lupino Cross, and Marianne's talisman, nothing followed them
out.

Steve Cable became aware of someone standing beside him, idly taking in
the scene; the old Chinaman, clad in his red robes, surveying the scene with
amusement.  Ben Weintraub had gotten out of the back of the panel truck
and was consulting with his agents; nobody looked happy over there.   Old Chang smiled.  "Ah...Fox chasing Dragon.  Dragons are hard to catch - but there are two, at the airfield, right now, though they will not be there for long.  Gruber does not lie.  He did not see the gem because it had already been stolen."

The old man bowed to Marianne and Brother Clary.  "He is a friend of yours, and friends like him are very useful.   You helped him to regain what was lost.  Your paths may cross again, for adventure comes to those who wish it."

The end.....