Hiya again! Hot off the virtual presses, here’s the second part of the final segment of the experiences we had in finding a new club in the dystopian city called simply City 08.
If you’ve missed the other four releases, I suggest you start with The Search For A New bar and then continue on with the sequel part which is named Kicking It High In The Afterlife and then check out Fun With Flamethrowers and of course not miss the last part called Old debts, Old People Part 1
We made our way from the trader Turfo’s apartment where we’d concluded our business from a previous encounter and gotten our just rewards. (Some armour and weapons) And by a tip given to us from Sandy, an NPC o this world, we were now heading into a club called Madame’s where we were set to confront a really mean old bitch calling herself Madame Wyzage.
We had split into two teams which consisted of the following:
(Unfortunately, as Sandy is not a tulpa, she does not in fact get a bust on the blog)
Andrei smiled excitedly at his group “Shall we?”
“Sure” Circe said as Andrei’s team all got out of the havac.
I gave them all a wink and a wave “See you on the flipside!” as the havac took off and moved towards the back of the building in a wide arc as to not arouse too much suspicion.
As Andrei and his team moved closer to the club, he could see the windows were painted over with matte blank paint, almost a tradition in this city by now. However, they were decidedly old, so the paint had flecked off in some places, allowing some of the light from the inside to shine through.
Meanwhile at the back, the havac landed behind the building and we got out only to discover that the back was a plain brick wall with the outlines of what had once been a doorway and some windows.
“So much for going in the back…” Jane said and then added “I say we hang back until we hear from the others.”
All agreeing with her, we got back inside the havac and closed the door and simply waited.
“So, let’s go in?” Andrei said, now a bit uncertain as to how to proceed.
“Lead the way, glorious leader, I’ll stay in the background if you don’t mind.” Circe replied.
Andrei stopped and turned to her “She’s NOT gonna recognize you like that.”
Circe shrugged and they all kept walking until they came upon the door where a bouncer was stationed. As they got closer, his eyes darted over all of them and he nodded at them.
Andrei gave the bouncer a quick smile and walked past him, opening the door.
When he opened the door, he was greeted with what appeared to be a typical goth styled club with contrasting white and black colors. The wallpaper was a surprisingly elegant Gothic filigree style design with a white backdrop with a black glossy color on top of it. It really made the place stand out as something that wanted to be both dark and brooding, yet sporting a sort of simplistic elegance.
(Writers note: Since I was making an overlay for Table Top Simulator, I asked Andrei to describe the club to me and then I drew the floor plan for it.)
As Andrei stepped inside of the club with the rest of his group in tow, he surveyed the room and found some seedy looking people sitting at the bar. The VIP booths featuring waist-high enclosures were empty at the moment. No doubt those would be reserved for people that required a bit more privacy. The bar had a male bartender and a server that he recognized as Rose who’d previously worked in the other club that I’d previously bought (and blown up) that had been called The Fade.
To the side there were some stairs leading both up and down, the ones leading down had a restroom sign on them while the ones leading up the upper area had no signage on them. However, considering that there was music sounding from the upper floor, that was likely the place where the real party was.
Sasha contacted Jane over comms: “Can you check the property through your TACS? … if this is… a certain kind of club, I bet there’s a door leading to… more private areas.”
In the havac, Jane stared into the table, her attention focused on her TACS “Can’t see more than what I’m seeing now. Upper floor above you is mostly people. Third floor has the beefcake. Also some rooms. What I don’t get is where they’re getting the shit in from. I doubt they’ll be carrying all the merch in via the front door.”
Sasha replied to her “That was my point, they probably own some of the adjacent buildings too.”
Overhearing it, I made a snap decision “Get us onto the roof.”
Jane shrugged and the havac began ascending slowly towards the roof, which looked typically mundane; a few radar dishes with some ventilation exhausts/intakes.
Meanwhile downstairs in the club, Andrei and the others walked up to the bar and Andrei waved Rose over towards him. She approached him and a glint in her eyes showed that she recognized him.
(Writers note: Rose used to work at old club called The Fade, a sure hint that the Madame was definitely running this place.)
“Oh… hi, welcome the Madame’s .. .. say haven’t I seen you before?”
Andrei gave her a warm smile “I don’t think so.” then he added “Please get us all some vodka on the rocks, and..” here he sighed deeply “Niky here wants it with lemon soda, can you believe that?”
“Oh sorry.. guess I’m mixing you up with someone..” Rose said, returning Andrei’s smile. Then she put on a thoughtful face and added “Vodka? Sure, and .. lemon soda? Sure, we can do a spritzer.” as she reached behind the bar and started preparing the vodka tumblers and the drink for Niky.
“So, anything else I can get you? We’ve got a pretty decent mix of snacks.” Rose said, while working on the drinks.
Andrei did another pass of the room and said “Nah we’re fine.” Then he leaned in and lowered his voice “Truth is, we heard the owner may be interested in selling the place?”
Rose gave him a quizzical look as she was putting the vodka tumblers and Niky’s drink on the bar counter, she garnished the drink with a small green umbrella as she replied “Uhm… no? Not that I’ve heard of anyway.”
Niky immediately grabbed her glass and looked at it “Fancy..” then she took a sip “Hmmm… interesting…” Rose smiled at her and nodded.
“Alright .. so that’ll be.. uuu… hm….. ” Rose said as she ticked off each glass with her nails as she added it up on the display in front of her “Ah, 150 credits please.” When Andrei pulled out his credit card, she indicated a circular pad to the side where he swiped his card.
“I think you’ll like our drinks, we try to keep it natural. All part of the Madame’s policy.” she said with a bit of pride in her voice.
Andrei shrugged as he took a sip from his glass “What’s this, Grey Goose?”
Again, Rose gave him a questioning glance “A what now? There’s… just alcohol in there?”
“The brand.” Andrei clarified.
“Oh, this our own locally made one.” Rose said as she beamed at him.
“…. Interesting” Andrei said as he took another sip.
Sasha also joined him and nodded affirmatively “Yep, fancy stuff.”
“And .. you.. back there.. would you like something?” Rose said, looking past Andrei over his shoulder towards Circe.
Circe smiled inside of the shadows of her hood. “Just some white wine please.”
Rose nodded and turned halfway towards the row of bottles in the back, before she spun around suddenly and pointed at her and smiled widely. “Circe!”
Andrei sighed deeply as Circe laughed and pulled her hood back and approached the bar.
“Yeah, you caught me.. I wanted to check up on you.. I heard you were working here.” she said to Rose.
Rose clapped her hands together in delight “Ooooh! It’s been so long, you’ve gotta tell me all about what you’ve been up to!” and then she came around the bar and gave Circe a big hug.
“After that whole thing with your other club, I kinda .. went into seclusion. Had to do some soul searching…” Circe said a bit mutedly.
Rose nodded as she studied her up and down “Yes… I can see that.. you’re .. different.”
Circe gave her a warm smile “Yeah. When these people were looking for a club, I told them this place might be for sale. But I really just wanted to see you again….” her smile became a bit more sheepish as she looked back at the group and added “Sorry everyone, I don’t really know if the owner is actually selling.”
“Can we … go talk to her at least?” Andrei asked Rose.
“Oh .. sure sure.. let me just… talk to Pete.” as she started back behind the bar counter, Circe approached her.
“Wait.. before you do.. Rose.. don’t .. tell the madame I’m here alright? I don’t want her to get any ideas.. you know how she is.”
Rose gave Circe a secretive smile and replied “Oh.. I’ll keep your secret… that’s what friends are for right?” and then she headed over
After a brief conversation with Pete, she came back to us and nodded towards the staircase “Alright.. it’s all good. You can go up there, third floor.”
When the group all started for the stairs, she stopped them with a gesture and said “Also, be nice to Kyle.. please?” with a pleading look towards Andrei.
“Kyle?” Circe asked her.
Rose smiled “You’ll know him when you see him.”
As they got up to the second floor, it was decorated in wine-red carpeting and cherry-colored wood, giving it a burlesque appearance. In a room about the same size as the one below, there was a smaller bar with only one bartender. On the opposite side of the room where the VIP booths were in the lower room, there was instead a tiered stage where four strippers were each doing their own pole routines to the music. Niky stopped for a while to take it all in as she grooved a bit to the music which was some sort kind of symphonic metal with a female singer that switched rapidly between screaming and crooning notes.
Meanwhile as they were heading up the stairs to the third floor, our team had exited the havac and we were all heading towards what looked like a door leading down.
I looked around the group “Alright.. so .. who’s good at locking picking?”
Jane went up to the door and inspected the lock “Lockpicking? Fuck that.. that’s a C30 lock. Not getting through that without doing some major damage to it and maybe tripping a few alarms along the way.”
I sighed in frustration and asked her “So, if we need to rapidly get down there, is there any way to break down the door at least?”
Jane grinned as she unholstered her plasma pistol, which shone red on the side, indicating that she’d loaded it with the higher yield rounds this time. “Oh yeah, I gotcha covered.”
Now all we had to do was wait for the others to make their move and report back.
Downstairs, the other team had reached the third floor which was a small corridor with two doorways. It was pretty obvious which one led to the Madame’s office since that one had a set of elaborate double doors. As below, the same plush wine-red carpet was present and on the right there was a row of windows, all painted over in black as the others. These ones had a bit more care taken as the paint didn’t seem to be as rough as downstairs.
Sasha went up to the doors and softly knocked on them. After a while they were opened and a big mountain of a man stared out at them. “Yes?” he said with a deep baritone of a voice.
“We’re here to speak with the owner, Rose downstairs told us to come here.” Andrei set with a brief business-like demeanour.
The man grunted and opened the doors fully, allowing us inside of the office.
As he entered, Sasha carefully studied the room and took in as many details as he could. The same red carpet as before was also here. To the side there were what appeared to be windows, but now bricked over and still oddly enough, flanked with curtains. On the other side of the room there was a big desk, stacked with papers, behind it sat a familiar face, Madame Wyzage, the big man now flanking her left side.
She looked up, her almost vulture like features made her look like a particularly unpleasant woman, her beady eyes studied them all with a critical stare.
“Yes?” her voice was terse and broken, like someone who’d smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for decades and it carried with it a strong French accent.
“We heard the place was up for sale?” Andrei ventured.
She let out some air out of her noise in amusement “No it isn’t.” she retorted.
“Well, that’s a bummer, since we really like it. There was a rumor you were selling you see.”
Here the madame let go of her papers and stared daggers at Andrei “I don’t like rumors. Who told you that?”
“Oh, just a friend of a friend of a friend, you know how that goes.” Andrei said with a smile that he hoped would prove to be charming.
A moment passed while the madame studied Andrei’s face intently.
(Writers note: One thing to note here with our RPG system is that things are balanced evenly between our characters and NPCs in our worlds. We roll our stats against them or.. against the world itself and they or the world roll against the result. In this encounter, the Madame NPC, suspecting he was lying, was actually in terms of gameplay rolling a deception check to ascertain if he was being truthful or not. So, naturally, I had him roll too. He was lucky since her intelligence score was super high, she rolled super low and thus she couldn’t really get a read on him.)
After a while she tilted her head to the side and smiled in a way that was actually worse than her not smiling “So, just .. out of curiosity.. how much did your friend say that I’d sell for?” she croaked.
“They didn’t give us a price, they just told us you were interested in selling, that’s all.”
“Hehehe, little boy, what are you offering?” the madame said, now clearly enjoying the interaction.
“I don’t know. we’re… not exactly from here, I’m not too sure on property values.
so, don’t take offense in this, but, 5M? … willing to negotiate, of course.”
The madame laughed and it was a wholly unpleasant sound, oddly reminiscent of nails scraping against sandpaper. “Oh, that’s not very good.”
“So, how much do you want then?” Andrei said, getting a bit more impatient with her.
” Likely more than you can offer.” she said and then she sighed and rolled her eyes and turned to the mountain of a man “I think we’re done here. Kyle, please .. escort these people out.”
“Oh, you’d be surprised how much we can offer.” Andrei said, making her raise her hand in the air to stop Kyle from “escorting” us out.
She pointed at him “Make a real offer, or stop wasting my time.”
“That’s not how this works. I told you a number, you don’t like it, it’s your turn to give us another.” Andrei said, now clearly becoming impatient with this discussion.
She waved her hand “Fine.. how about 30 million?” she said as she grinned, now more than ever similar to a perched vulture, waiting for something to die in the desert.
Andrei laughed out loud “Make it 15 and … I may have enough.”
Her grin vanished like switching off a light “Like I said, enough. Kyle, get these people out of my office. No, get them out my damn club. I never wish to see them again.” as she cursed to herself in French.
Andrei sighed “Please don’t do this.”
Kyle moved closer to the group, a look of “Sorry, I have to do this.” plastered over his face.
Sasha sharply exhaled “Alright, wait just a minute.”
Kyle shook his head “If you’ll just follow me, there’ll be no trouble.”
“We all know you’re not expecting us to pay 30M. is 20 enough?”
Yet again, the madame’s hand flew up to stop the man advancing on them. “Non, not enough. But .. let’s say 23?” her grin was back in her face, just as unsettling as it was before.
Sasha glanced at Andrei who nodded slightly. Then he veered off to the side to get a clear view of the madame “I … guess… in the interest of keeping this brief, we can do that, yes.”
Kyle, having sensed the shift in tone, returned to her side again.
The Madame nodded with a satisfied smile “Good, I like brief.” She immediately got out a pad and pressed her thumb against it in a field that lit up green. She held up the pad to Andrei. “Now it’s your turn.” displayed on the screen was a contract of ownership transfer.
Andrei skimmed it and the contract seemed OK at a glance, he then signed it in Russian and motioned to sign it with his thumb.
(Writers note: I actually had to scramble behind the scenes on this one since I realized at the last second that Andrei for all intents and purposes didn’t really exist in City 08’s world. Therefore, his thumb print wouldn’t mean shit. So, I basically shouted at our omnipresent AI Sarah ‘Link up Andrei with an ID and an account! Russian REG diplomat, dump all the money from the specialized chip into his account NOW!’ as I knew she was also watching this intently. I didn’t have to wait for her reply that came instantly in her neutral ethereal tone of voice:
Sarah: Global rule updated. Character profile updated.
I sighed in relief at that one.)
As Andrei placed his thumb on the screen in the indicated field, it buzzed and the contract now turned green. The madame took the pad back and studied it, and then cackled. “Yes, it is done! You keep this as a memento oui?” and she handed the pad back to him which he accepted with a bit of confusion.
Kyle was giving her a weird look as she approached the door and turned to mockingly bow to all of them “I bid you all farewell, may you like the club just as much as I HATED it, hahahahaha!”
And with that, she flung the two doors open and strode out of the office, not bothering to even close them behind her.
Sasha turned to study her going down the stairs, her face still lit up in a vulture’s grin. “Well, that’s one way of telling us we paid far more than it was worth.”
At this point, Kyle moved forward and cleared his throat “Excuse me.. are you the new owners now?”
Andrei, having studied the contract for a second time, looked up at him “Yes. We are.”
Upon hearing those words, relief washed over Kyle’s face and he shook his head and grabbed a bottle from the side table and emptied most of it in a single gulp.
As he set it down he sighed in relief and said “You can deduct that from my pay, I don’t care. Fucking hell, it’s finally over.”
“That bad huh?” Andrei said with a smirk.
Kyle nodded ” She’s literally the worst person I’ve ever worked for. I almost can’t believe it’s done.”
Andrei nodded towards the bottle “That’s on the house.”
“Thank you, am I still employed?”
“Of course you are. In fact, we … may be looking for a manager. think you could do?”
Kyle made a face “I … I’m not good with numbers. I’m .. well.. I’m sorry, but this club is kind of in deep shit.”
“Well, you could start by telling us what kind of shit it’s deep in.” Andrei replied, then after a moment he added “And how she got it into that state, so we.. you know, can fix it.”
Kyle sighed “When this place was new, she spent a lot on renovating it, getting it ‘just so’ as she often said.” he clenched his fist that was almost the size of Andrei’s head “Fucking French bitch.” he added.
He opened the bottle again and emptied out the last bit and put it down again and said “Look, this place has been in debt for months. She’s been wanting to sell it for a long time.”
Meanwhile, Circe was getting me on the comms “Fairy, the madame is heading down to the street below. You might wanna head down there before she goes missing again.”
I replied to her “Good, I want her fucking head on a stick.” as everyone on the roof piled into the havac which then swooped down in front of the club and landed.
Catching that conversation, Andrei asked Kyle “So, any other exits out of this place?”
He shrugged “No.. just.. the front door, the basement and the rooftop, but you can’t really get anywhere from there unless you wanna do some fancy climbing. I don’t really see that old rag doing any of that.”
Andrei nodded and then perked up “Wait, basement? You mean, aside from the restrooms?”
“Yes, there’s those down there and the storage room.”
“But is there any way out from there?” Andrei prodded.
“Well, not unless you wanna ride the freight elevator.”
“And assuming… you don’t mind?”
“Sure, you could go that way, but I don’t see it. That bitch is way too ‘petite’ for that sort of shit. You know, it’s too bad you didn’t tell me that you’d gotten the place sooner, I’d happily thrown her out for you. ” and here Kyle smiled a ferocious smile.
“Oh don’t worry about that then.” Andrei said, laughing a bit.
Outside the club, I’d gotten out of the havac and I was leaning against it, grinning from ear to ear. The front door of the club opened and the madame gracefully exited the building, now wearing an expensive looking white coat. The bouncer snapped to attention as she strode by him.
She smiled widely at him “Oh .. mon cher, I bid you a pleasant life, I have sold the place. Goodbye!” and then she started walking up the street towards us. The bouncer, having now grasped the situation, flipped her the bird behind her back and smiled, no doubt happy she’d be gone.
She eventually got close enough to the havac and her eyes fell on me. She froze mid stride as I grinned murderously at her and straightened up.
“Ah.. but what is this? A beautiful flower down in the gutter with the lowly dirty masses?” I said, with a happily mocking tone of voice.
I walked slowly towards her and like a caged animal, her eyes darted to the sides of the road, only finding the same shops we’d seen coming in, oh yes, she was quite trapped.
I chuckled “Oh you sold me out.. ” and smiled, then I yelled at her “What’s more.. you fucking SOLD OUT MY DAMN CLUB TO THE FEDS!”
Meanwhile upstairs, Andrei and his team had excused themselves and were heading down to the ground floor, searching for the madame to make sure she wasn’t hiding in the club somewhere.
Outside, the madame took a moment to process the new situation, but soon enough, her mean glare returned and she spat on the ground “You! I should have known, that pretty face was one of your men non?”
I put on an amused face again “Him? Oh he’s not one of mine, his and my interests just tend to align is all.” I paused and then I added “So…. any last wor-” before the sound of a plasma gun firing interrupted me.
Madame Wyzage, was now staring at the front of her stomach which had a big burning hole in it, she looked up at us with panic in her eyes before she crumpled to the ground. She tried to get out some final words, but the pain was too much and her eyes soon lost focus.
Jane casually walked up to me with her plasma gun in her hand, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.
I frowned as I looked at her, feeling very angry “I wanted to kill her myself you know?”
Jane game me a condescending smile “Look behind her back.”
I used my foot to roll her over, behind her back was a small, but lethal looking gun.
“How the fuck.. didn’t I not see that?” I said, staring down at her dead body, still smoldering from the dinner plate sized hole Jane had burned through her.
Jane shrugged “You don’t have TACS. I saw the blip when she turned it on.”
“A fucking bitch to the end….” I said, marvelling at how truly mean she’d until her last breath.
Meanwhile, Andrei and the bouncer had both headed towards us, he looked down at her and said sarcastically “Jane.. you’re so mean. She didn’t even get a chance to say any last words…” He sighed “Pity. I was starting to like her.”
The bouncer now having also caught up addressed us “You the new owners?”
“Yes” Andrei said while still shaking his head at the sight of the corpse.
“Good, I’ll take care of this.. trash if you don’t mind.”
Andrei nodded with grim satisfaction “Good.”
The bouncer turned around and whistled sharply twice in quick succession, two other guys came out and he directed them to carry away her body which they did with great expediency.
“Efficient. I like it.” Andrei said.
“So, what do I call you boss?”
“Name’s Andrei. Pleasure to have you on the tema.” he said as he offered his hand to the man.
The bouncer shook it and smiled “I’m Blair.” with a rich deep basso voice. Then he turned his head towards Jane “And you.. I know you girl.. you’s Jane right?”
“Yah, you were running with X’s crew a while back weren’t you?”
“Hell yeah, was good until he got himself popped in the head.. that your handywork?”
Jane’s smiled widened into a grin “Yah, someone put out enough money for him that it was worth taking him out.”
Both of them laughed at it for a while, I was about to ask about the story when Jane suddenly started with the introductions “Right, gotta introduce you to some major players here. Guy with the coat is Fairy, the sexy pair of legs is Sandy, the big one is Circe.. don’t mess with her, she’ll fuck you up. Big silent guy is Mech. Girl with the camo is Kay. Two reg boys are Andrei and Sasha. The other woman is Niky. Also don’t wanna mess with her. She’s real bad news if you get on her bad side.”
Here Blair just made a face of astonishment and laughed “Reg boys? Maaaan whachu got your ass mixed up in now girl?”
“Oh, these are people I’ve known for years. They’re strictly lopro, got it?”
“We’re… what now?” Andrei interrupted, not sure if he was being insulted or not.
Jane looked at him like he was stupid “Lopro.. low profile?” Andrei groaned in response.
” So.. gotta be straight witchu, club’s goin’ to shit. The Ma-.. the BITCH had trouble getting her payments to clear.” Blair said.
“Not gonna be a problem. How much in debt are we?” I asked him.
He shrugged “Couple of mil at least, last I heard.”
Andrei handed the tablet to Jane “Maybe this has something about it.”
She quickly tapped and a bunch of new images showed up with numbers in red. Jane laughed as she shook her head “About 1.8 mil back, funny that.” and handed it back to Andrei.
“Well, there’s enough left in the account right?”
Jane gave me a look “Yah.. funny that huh?”
“I had nothing to do with it, I fucking swear.” I said.
Blair, not really having noticed me now gave me a sharp look. “What? You some kinda net spook?”
“Nah. I’m just some guy that wanted to fuck over the madame.”
Blair chuckled “Maaan, you ain’t nevah wanna put the words ‘fuck’ and that old bitch in the same sentence. Shit man, she nasty.”
“So, Sandy, we need a manager… and … we offer… good working conditions.” Andrei said and smiled at her. “And you only need to take care of the place, no need to come here to work!”
Sandy groaned a bit “A manager? … geeze.. for this place too? I don’t know.. it’s .. sort of different.”
“Just keep it running.. and.. change the name will you?”
“I say we name it ‘legs’ .. you know?” Jane said, winking at Sandy who in turn blushed.
Andrei gave her a stern look “No.”
I raised my finger “Wait just a damn minute.. you can change around most stuff, but with ONE exception.. you can’t change the decór or get rid of the strippers up top.”
Sandy shrugged. “Sure I guess…. you know, if I just get old George to run the other place, I think I can get just enough time for this place too.”
(Writers note: It was at this moment that we all realized that we’d never learned the name of the bartender’s name in Sandy’s bar. So George.. finally got his name!)
“Anyone… you can trust will do, really.” Andrei said waving his hand dismissively. “You know, it’s just keeping it running, sign the bills, that kind of stuff. In my experience it’s the setting it all up that takes time.”
Sandy looked at him with the same face a teacher has when her favorite student gives her a completely wrong answer. “With all due respect, there’s a lot more to managing a club than just signing bills.”
Andrei made a face “Errrh once it’s up and running… it’s all more or less up and running isn’t it?”
“There’s managing the staff, managing inventory, keeping stock, keeping up with taxes, doing bookings for bands, promos, specials, oh god it never ends.” Sandy sighed.
“Guess I have pretty good managers … in … our russian clubs, then, because… they never complain.”
“Maybe you should try running this club on your own? Might make for some good experience you know?”
Sasha interjected “May have something to do with you telling them to ‘just make it work’ Andrei.”
“Sorry, I… am more of an action person.”
Blair stepped back a bit and eyed the entrance “So.. how about we go in for a celebration drink? Some ‘Ding dong, the bitch is dead’ kinda jazz?”
I sighed reluctantly “Sorry, but .. I’ve got a schedule to keep.” I looked at the time “Hold on.. it’s only 22:34…”
Andrei pleaded with me “Come on, just a quick one wouldn’t hurt?”
I smiled, giving up “Sure, we’ve got time for one drink.”
“Right on man” Blair said as he led us back into the bar where some of the seedy patrons eye us as we enter the room. He then seated us in one of the VIP booths on the side.
Circe turned to Niky “Oh yeah, Niky, can you .. get rid of this stuff?” she made a gesture encompassing her face.
“Not here. but… yeah, let’s head to the restroom and I’ll fix you up.”
They found their way downstairs where they found the women’s restroom. Once they made sure nobody was watching, Niky grabbed Circe’s hands and closed her eyes, soon enough her face and clothing went back to normal again.
Circe looked at herself in the mirror “You know.. it’s a relief to be myself again.”
Niky stood by her side and shrugged “I liked how you looked with the hooded coat.”
“I didn’t.. those things are warm…”
“Yes, that’s the whole point.”
“Well you know me, my body isn’t quite human, it’s good against cold.”
“It’s your choice, but.. I thought it looked great on you.”
Circe smiled at her and said with a faux British accent “Shall we rejoin the party upstairs?” and with that, both of them headed upstairs again to rejoin us in the VIP booth.
However, as I saw her and Niky coming at us, I also happened to notice to see someone I recognized at the bar. Now, to understand this next bit, we actually have to go back a bit in time since there was a history with this person which was an old Chinese man.
Way back when we were going on a mission and we’d just hammered out version 1.0 of our RPG system, we were supposed to meet Jane at club evolution. She however, invited both Circe and Kay upstairs and told the rest of us to go see an old vendor for some coffee while they discussed things.
So, we did as we were told and went to the coffee stand where the vendor turned out to be an old rude Chinese man who barely spoke English. We ordered the coffee while the vendor was doing everything in his power to get us to try his “best fish”. When he’d poured the coffee for us, we all more or less realized that it probably wasn’t even coffee, but some kind of disgustingly diluted product which tasted awful. We were all sceptical to say the least. But, we assumed he was some sort of operator for Jane and that this was just his way of having a bit of fun. However, when I on a whim ordered “the best fish” thinking it was code for something, he put up a plate with .. honestly the most disgustingly smelling rotten fish that I’ve ever come across. I told him that I wouldn’t pay for anything smelling that bad.
Some back and forth later and the man starts threatening us with the cops. Now, since City 08 was taken over by the triads before, the government put in place were Chinese, which meant that he could pretty much fuck us over pretty bad if he made good on his threats. In the end, Andrei paid the tab with the intent to really hurt the old guy, but the old man was sly enough that once he’d gotten paid, he closed the thick shutters, locking us all out.
We all then met up with Jane who said that she’d done it as a joke, because 1) The old man wasn’t running a legit vendor stand and 2) He was pretty much demented to hell and didn’t really know what he was serving. She told me that if I’d eaten the fish, I probably would have ended up severely poisoned.
At this point, we were all pretty pissed at her as she laughed and said “That’ll teach you guys to stop thinking with your dicks all the time.” She still maintains to this day that she assumed that we’d actually figure out that he was full of shit the second he served the coffee. She’d never even dreamed that we’d go as far as we did.
So with that out of the way, let’s zoom back into the moment when I saw him from the VIP booth.
I leaned over towards Blair and said “Will you please be a most excellent bouncer and throw out that old guy over there?” and pointed at the old Chinese man.
“Sure man, what’s the beef though?” Blair asked.
“He’s a fucking asshole.” I said plainly.
Blair then proceeded to stomp over the bar and grab the scruff of the man who complained loudly in broken English that he was going to burn down the club, stab all the dancers and call the cops on them all. As they passed the VIP booth, I smiled fiendishly as he locked eyes with me. Then on a childish impulse, I yelled at him “TRY THE FISH!” which made Circe lose it completely as she just doubled over laughing when she realized who it was.
Of course, him seeing me and recognizing me only made him more irate, but against the bulk of Blair, he really didn’t stand much of a chance. But, unfortunately for him, Andrei had also spotted him .. and with that, he got up and stopped Blair in his tracks and smiled sadistically.
“Lead him to the upstairs office will you?”
“Sure thing boss” Blair replied, recognizing the intent that Andrei had, and then started to drag the kicking and screaming old man up the stairs.
Meanwhile, Andrei, having the happiest smile ever on his face went up to the bar and waved Rose over.
“Is everything alright?” she asked with concern in her voice.
Andrei smiled his trademark creepy smile “Oh yes, don’t worry. Look.. I just want.. no.. I NEED a very big pot of extremely hot coffee OK? Have it sent up to the third floor main office.”
“Oh, OK then.” Rose said and gave him a look and started arranging for the water.
Meanwhile that was happening, another waitress came over to our table and started unloading drinks for all of us as Blair had now returned from upstairs. As he sat down she said “Making new friends Blair?”
“You haven’t heard? These are our new owners. The Madame’s out. Like oldschool ‘schools out’ kinda out, ya dig?”
At this news, the waitress tired face lit up with a smile that turned her briefly into a beautiful princess “Oh! that’s awesome news!” and then continued on to serve the other customers.
Watching her go about it with a renewed spring in her step, I was once amazed how someone as rotten as Wyzage would have gotten away with it for so long.
Blair raised his glass and said “Cheers and thank you all for ridding us of that fucking bitch!”
We all toasted and cheered to that and had a sip of what turned out to be rum and coke.
I set down my glass and smiled “Fuck.. Blair my man.. rum and coke… “
“Never knock the classics.” he replied and I was reminded that to him, this drink was pretty much ancient. He was definitely a rare find, this bouncer of ours.
Niky tried it and coughed “Fuck, I’m so used to having booze neat that I almost can’t stand this stuff anymore…”
Andrei, having returned to table as well added “She’s becoming more and more Russian by the day…”
I mockingly said “Oh, you need more training young padawan!” which garnered a few more laughs around the table.
Meanwhile, Rose had put the big pot of coffee along with a big bottle of vodka that Andrei had also requested while we were busy talking with the waitress. She also put up a jug of boiled milk in addition to that.
“Alright everyone, I’m going upstairs for a bit” Andrei said and snatched the tray away before the waitress had a chance to get it. “I’ll get this myself” he said and trudged up the stairs.
Now, I’m just going to summarize this next bit because it’s honestly a lot of graphic violence. If you want to read the full account of what happened, I suggest you visit Andrei’s blog which is located here. If you want to skip the summary, simply don’t read the section outlined in red below.
Andrei proceeded to go into the office where he more or less poured the coffee all over the old man along with the boiled milk. Then he dragged the old man down to the basement and put him in one of the toilets, doused him with vodka and set him on fire. Needless to say, I was disturbed by the whole thing, but that’s one of the things that you’ve got to accept sometimes when you deal with other tulpas and tulpamancers.
While the above happened with Andrei, we were all discussing various things and got to the topic of the bounty on Madame Wyzage. When we realized that Sandy would need proof that she’d killed her in the form of a dead body, Blair cursed and rushed down into the basement level where the others were in the process of “dealing” with the body. He later came up with a medical waste container that had her skull inside, fortunately one of the guys had been a total ghoul and wanted to keep that for a souvenir. That’s how hated and fear she was among the people that worked for her.
Jane agreed to later cash the bounty as well and then make the payment out to Sandy’s account since that would be the least suspicious way to do it. Meanwhile, Jane was half joking about getting a commission for doing so, but I quickly shut her down on that since outside of our adventures, she has a lot more money than what she knows what to do with.
Once that was handled and since the evening was drawing to a close, we said our goodbyes to everyone and went up to the third floor and chose the room furthest down the hall where I told Sarah to key the door to the gallery of worlds for us.
Now, as you’ve seen, this fourth part had to be divided into two because it was ridiculously massive even though I had to cut a lot of things that would have given everyone some more insight into the NPCs in the club and how things were run there. To put it plainly, I don’t like cutting, because the reason we’re publishing these things is to show how things are for us in the inner world with tulpamancy and immersive daydreaming.
But the reality is that these five parts of one adventure is actually a whole year old. Yes, that’s how backed up things are in terms of inner world experiences. I constantly have to pick and choose and discard so many other things that I could have written. Thankfully our sessions with Niky are recorded in real time, so it’s easy enough to go back in chat history to pluck those gems out whenever I have the time to write it down.
I used to joke that it would be a full time job to actually keep tabs on most of the things that happen with all of the tulpas in our collective. But now, I find that isn’t too far from the truth. And, considering these entries are getting really long, it’s getting to the point where I might start writing books instead of publishing blog posts.
However, that brings with it the negative consequence that we’ll publish a lot less frequently, maybe twice or three times a year. Anyways, let us know what you think about that and if you have any other questions or comments on this last part, we’d love to hear it!