Showtime at the Apollo (November 29, 2003)

Attendees: Simon, Christine, Dodge, Gabriel, Omeed, Hank, Jack, Nathan, and Ryan.

"An indian with a flaming katana. There's something you don't see everyday in Harlem."
-Nathan Blank

A huge chitinous, ichor covered beetle has broken through the window into Jack's room. We begin our day with the mad struggle to assist. Jack manages to get out of the apartment, but the already-wounded-beast comes after him and into the hallway. At this point Dances-with-japanese-swords takes a chunk out of the beastie and is swatted back by it. The rest of the team split between running like heck and taking a few shots at it. The creature finally falls at the feet of Gabriel, who puts a couple slugs into it to make sure it doesn't get up.

We haul the body out of the hall and into the bath tub in Jack's apartment. We then split back to our apartments, except for Christine (who was not present yet) and Jack... who leaves so he can plead ignorance. We are individually questioned by the cops at our apartments, and all manage to pass the test except for Simon "Suspicious Character" Moon, who is hauled downtown as a result of inconsistancies in his answers. He spends much of the rest of the evening there. The big bug dissolved into sludge and poured down the drain. The ichor left on the halls fumes and fades, leaving only a stain whose origins the cops cannot determine.

Cervantez is less than pleased with our inability to stay low-profile. While there is no concensus among us, many think the bug followed us as a result of our visitor to JuJu's house of evil in Harlem.

We do a bunch of research, including that of Jack Brady (The bodyguard who "died" on the Carlyle expedition). As near as we can tell, he became friends with Carlyle after he (Brady) murdered a man in front of copious witnesses in the middle east, but Carlyle's attorneys got him off. Ever since he has served Carlyle as his bodyguard. Erica Carlyle had a lot to gain from her brother's death. She with the head for business resented her playboy brother. How did we know? We asked her! A few of our people got a meeting with her on the very truthful premise that we are investigating connections between the Carlyle's expodition and Jackson Elias' death. To all senses she tests as truthful but impatient about our questions, except for when she says she'll "look into" the books in her brother's safe and get back to us, during which she lies outright. We also did plenty of other research on various things, including meeting again with the publisher.

Of course there was also some examination of JuJu's. This was performed by Gabriel, who is chased from the territory by very angry black gang members. It was also performed by Omeed, who does some subtle recon of the area, and by Dodge, who decides to hold an impromptu conversation with the spirits in front of witnesses in the middle of the shop with no backup. Low profile does not equal us.

The game culminates in a burglary of JuJu's. During this incident, we break in through the back door, begin a search, and are discovered by someone who calls out a high-pitched "lalalalalaalalaaaaaa" call to rally the troops. We wind up going through a trap door discovered beneath a rug, down the stairs below, and into an isolated room. There are no other exits except for a giant stone disc on the floor. We enter and bar the way! While Omeed plays battle-of-the-locksmiths with the guys outside the door, the rest of us tangle with zombies. Well, some of us tangle... some of us strategically stay away from the fight (reed: cower). Nathan takes the opportunity to try on some cultist clothes. Ryan uses his synergy to borrow the healing powers from Jack, loaning them to Gabriel to heal Jack; an interesting triangle exchange of powers. Eventually the zombies are stomped. Nathan cannot see through the thick stone disc. Christine can see runes of some kind on the lip of the disc. An attempt to read minds below the disc by Simon nearly results in his insanity.

Which reminds me that I forgot to mention the babies. There is a sound heard from beneath the stone floor that sounds like babies mewling; Always a good sign in a Mark authored adventure.

Outside the door, those with the ability to see through the wall witness the following: The men who have come to kill us have paused while their leader arrives. He brings a bowl with him and begins some kind of enchantment. Seems he may have made a mistake. The bowl begins to fume and everybody runs. Soon, pouring forth from the bowl is something large and gelatinous that forms into a beastie with wings. In any event it takes off eventually, leaving the path out clear (as well as making an exit for us). We flee, feeling much like the bumbling rookies that we are!

Additionally: We did some surveilance of the Carlyle estate with an eye toward breaking and entering. Omeed is certain he can break in. Also, we know of a party Erica will be hosting and to which we can pose as caterers (but not Security). Thus far, the idea is that Nathan uses his Primal Perception of "Forces" to keep an eye out for alarms and his X-ray vision to look for the hidden safe, while Omeed uses his knowledge of security systems to break into the safe and photograph the books. Naturally, we hope they are there in the safe once we actually break in. But this is soon to come.

Also thorugh experimentation I've determined that on a really good roll I (and possibly we) can use primal perception through an artificial device (like binoculars). I managed to x-ray the exterior of the a building from quite a distance.