Nukes: “Gooooood morning Los Doce, you know who it is, mix master Bobby Z bringin’ you those cool rhythms of yesteryear all mornin’ long. It looks like it’s gonna be another scorcher today, so keep on that sunblock kiddies. The time is 6:30 in the A to the M and let me tell you, all you early birds out there, it is the time to be! So to get us kickin’ off this mornin’ I’ll be bringing you hound dogs an ol’ personal fav of mine. That’s right, we’ve got my boy Paul Simon, bringin’ you that ’76 classic 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.”
The scratching, acrimonious tones of Bobby Z stir you to consciousness. Despite the youth of the day, it’s still a very bright July morning. Your name is Abe Heeran, and it’s been about a month since that fateful day you lost it all. As Paul Simon’s dribbling guitar is filtered down to a wet murmur by the hearing loss, you slowly tilt yourself out of bed and, then, catch yourself smiling as you realize that despite it all…
Today’s the day.
What will you do?
Loom: I stretch and sit facing the open window, taking in the glorious morning. Getting up I wander to the next room and put water on for a cup of coffee. searching through the web that overlays my vision I find a clean mug and make a note to finish the dishes at some point. I wander over and start the shower up going over my plans for the day as I do so. I’ll meet Vern first to discuss and then… hmmm, maybe I’ll see if Malone wants to talk. Pouring myself a cup of coffee and grabbing a piece of toast, I then walk out the door to my car.
Nukes: You drink in the morning sun as you go about your daily routine, while Bobby Z inaudibly pumps 70’s hits in the background. After the whole of the morning routine, it’s about 7:15 or so. You hop into your big white van and begin backing out of the driveway. Oh, great, looks like you’ve got a text from the witch.
“you better pick up michael and melanie on time abe ive got shit to do and i can’t be waiting on you"
Loom: I sigh and rub my temples mulling over my response and decide not to waste the energy before typing a quick “fine” I turn out of the driveway in the van that I somehow ended up with while the wife got the new car. “Maybe this is for the better though”, I think with the van having much more function. I notice that my gas is about empty and turn out in the direction of the nearest gas station.
Nukes: You pull up to the nearest Black Gulf station, nodding slightly to the bulky Korean man operating the pump. Oh, another text.
“dont “fine” me asshole. be here at ten.”
As he fills the pump, you note his connections. Looks like he’s gonna be here a while. Poor bastard. You know that Vern’s got the day off, so you don’t think he’ll mind too much if you decide to give him the ol’ early morning revelry. You two need to go shopping. Your stomach growls slightly, and your coffee’s just about gone.
Loom: Toast wasn’t enough…but now I’ve got a deadline or Sandra’s going to give me so much hell. I text back.“Look Sandra I’m not going to fight you today, you know the kids hate it and it’s not fair to them. I’ll be there at ten so you can keep you head in the socialite sand like you always have” I pull out of the gas station with a sigh my mood suffering slightly. I turn on the scanner hoping to hear some morning action as I make the ride over to Vern’s and shoot Malone a text.
“You up for a beer tonight I’d like to meet and catch up on some things."
I turn down side streets pulling to the side as I notice the strand of a speeding cyclist who would have gotten to take a real close look at my side view mirror.
Nukes: The cyclist whirs by you, blissfully ignorant of the close call. Your flip phone buzzes, and it looks like Malone caught the message.
“mornin to u too buddy, yeah sure we should hav a beer. meet me at donny’s at bout 8”
As you work your way from the suburbia of Carmensville to Los Doce’s North End, you look up and notice a familiar green cape soaring above you. What’s Adept doing out here so early in the morning? Superheroes, man. Never a moment’s rest. Good thing this city’s such a shithole right now, what you’ve got planned is gonna fly right under the radar. The sight of the Warden reminded you more about your newly powered status than using your power actually did. The image of the wooden mask in your garage burns itself into your minds’s eye and for what might be the first time since losing your ears and pride you’re actually excited.
You pull into the modern, sleek-looking complex your young friend lives in and begin trekking up the stairs to his apartment. Threads weave around you, it seems most of the people in this building are going to be taking the stairs today. Ah, here it is. Apartment 306.
Loom: I knock on the door and check my watch, probably to early for such a young guy to be up. I knock a second time and wait to see if he answers before calling.
Alloy: I’m out cold.
Loom: I call and it goes to answering machine so I roll my eyes and use the spare key I made to open the door. I walk into the small but well furnished apartment and dig around in the kitchen throwing on another pot of coffee before walking to Verns room "C’mon, sleeping beauty time to get up we’re burning daylight and I got saddled with the kids today.”
Alloy: You walk in and see a web of time back and forth between all rooms centered around the kitchen counter. On the counter lies a bunch of hastily combined objects such as a spoonfork which surprisingly is not a spork. I lie half off the couch with the most anime level bedhead anyone has ever seen. I manage, “Just couldn’t wait huh,” before sliding off the couch.
Loom: I roll my eyes and say dryly “Nope. How could I seeing that, nice… spork?” I take a walk into his kitchen and pour myself a cup of coffee.
“So I see you’ve been practicing. That’s good, cause today we go shopping. You’re going to graduate to bigger toys.”
Alloy: “It’s not a spork.”
I rub my eyes a bit and walk over to the counter and grab a stool.
“So Elphaba is dumping the kids on you. Are we going to have enough time for our little shopping date?”
Loom: "We should.”
I pour a second cup and slide it across the counter.“Push comes to shove, Michael can watch Melanie. Speaking of our… uh, shopping excursion. You know your ability better than I do, did you have any preferred stops?”
Alloy: I stop the cup with my hand.“I haven’t done anything with weapons yet but I’m sure it’s not all too different than regular items. Just go wherever we can get the best and/or cheapest stuff, we don’t exactly have much starting capital.”
Loom: "Alright…. Bloodbath and Beyond it is for the first stop then we hit Mall-Mart for peripherals. You need anything else? ‘Cause if not, we should get ready to head out.”
Alloy: “Let’s see.” I feel around for for my keys, phone, and wallet. “I think we’re good, let’s go.” I grab my jacket and wait for Abe.
Loom: “Good, good.” I walk out, opening the door to the bright outside light, and walk down the steps with Vern following close behind I click open the car doors.
Nukes: The van beeps in affirmation as you approach it. As you hop in you notice that it’s around 8 AM. Morning work traffic is just getting going, unfortunately BB&B is a little ways. Not too far, just down toward the downtown area a little more. It’s a hot, sunny saturday morning. So sorry for the poor bastards working on a day like today. The beach is gonna be packed. Maybe the kids will wanna go down to Soledad after you’re done shopping. Checking the time…you’ve still got around two hours. You’ll have time to shop but the rest of the day you’ll be watchin’ them. Dammit Sandra.
Loom: I step out of the car and click the lock, checking through the web quickly before walking across the parking lot. As I enter the automatic doors of the strange, bulk-grocery-esque gun shop I scan the store for an employee and make my way over to him eyeing the shelves.
Nukes: As you walk in you immediately see a tattooed latino man sitting on a stool behind the gun counter. His nametag reads “Enrique” and as you walk in he takes his eyes off the telenovela he was watching discreetly and turns to greet you.“Hello gentlemen, welcome to Bloodbath and Beyond! Anything I can help you in killing today? We’ve got handguns, longarms, bows, even some pretty exotic shit if you can cough up the scratch. If you need any help just come find me, man.”
Loom: I look at the man keeping track of his thread and scan the glass case under the counter. Looking up at Enrique, I mutter “I want to see everything, especially personal favorites. I’m having the kind of midlife crisis only heavy ordinance can abate.”
Alloy: “My crisis hasn’t hit quite yet but I’ve been roped into his.”
Loom: To Vern I say “If you see anything you recognize…I dunno, grab a cart or something.”
“Say no more, ese. I think I’ve got just what you’re lookin’ for my friends.” He gestures to the case, then to the left and then right walls. In the case, you can see an assortment of handguns. The list of handguns was sent to each player privately
Loom, Knowledge Check in Street Smarts please.
Loom rolled (1d6)+1 : 6 <total:>
You know that these are absolutely not the total amount of handguns on the market, and BBB has a reputation of giving those with the capital a little bit more…questionable selection. Two major pieces are missing from this relatively complete collection of handguns. The Beret 93R machine pistol, and the Dyne 93.
Loom: I wander over to the rifles, looking at the wall.
the list of longarms was sent to the players
“Oh yeah, man, we’ve got a bunch of huntin’ shit over there if you’re into that, man. Two for one on duck calls dude.”
Loom, may I please have another Street Smarts check?
Loom rolled (1d6)+1: 5 <total:>
Nukes: You know that there won’t be much in the way of under the table shit for long arms. As far as those go, the Emperadores and Riders have the market cornered… And the BBB store can probably get away with some black market handguns, but slinging around felony-level ARs is out of a company like this’s ballpark.
Alloy: I walk over to Enrique. "I’m a bit low for the big stuff right now, but what do you have in the way of bows and rifle scopes?”
Nukes: “Oh, yeah man I got what you need dude. We’ve got some bows and throwin’ stuff over here, man.”
Alloy: I follow Enrique.
Nukes: He leads you to a wall covered in hunting bows. There’s a compound bow, a crossbow, some knives, even a case full of shurikens.
Alloy: “I’ll take the compound, and what do you have for rifle scope mods?”
Loom: I pick up a Beret M3P off the wall and walk over to the counter. As we all converge at the counter I look at Enrique and ask “What do ya got for ammo?”
Nukes: “We’ve got just about whatever you need ammo-wise my man, and the mods? Lemme think about that a sec, we’ve got a couple in the back.” Enrique comes out holding a box of rifle scopes. You see a couple basic sights and even one or two more exotic things like thermal.
“We’ve got your basic AOCG Scopes, a thermal over here, and a little somethin’ I like to call the Bastard. Hybrid sight, ya know?"
Alloy: "Yeah, man. How much for the Bastard vs the thermal?
Nukes: "Well, the Bastard does what the thermal does and better. So what I’m gonna say is the thermal runs about 4k and the Bastard’s gonna be 6 or 7.”
Alloy: “Hmm, how much for just a high power?”
Nukes: “Gonna run you about 500, man.”
Alloy: “Alright then. I’ll take the compound, the high power, 20 arrows, and a quiver.”
Nukes: “Hold on one sec, boss, just gettin’ your buddy rung up.”
Alloy: “No problem, take your time.”
Loom: Ehh…you know what? Can I get that Wagram 17 from the case? Just realized how much the wife is gonna bitch if I get this big guy right off the bat, but believe me I’ll be back later."
Nukes: “Alright, whatever you say, man. Gonna be 500 stones.”
Loom: I hand him the card.
Nukes: Enrique checks you out with a swipe and a beep, handing you a receipt you promptly sign. He signals to Vern, who is inspecting the ammo with slight interest, that he’s ready to ring him up. A swipe of a card and 800 dollars later, you have what you need. As you are walking out the door, Enrique smiles and says “Ay, come again, man!” The time is about 8:30, and with the drive back to Carmensville taking about 20 minutes you come to the realization may need to pick up the kids then go to Mall-Mart if you want to take the time you need. Thankfully, you’ll probably have the time to dump the guns, but you’ll need to be going to Sandra’s sooner or later…
Loom: I walk out of the store tucking my merchandise in my waistband under my shirt after realizing I forgot to buy a second holster. Reaching the van, I click the doors open. I look over at Vern and say“You need to dump anything? I should be fine but I’ll have to see if I’ve got a spare holster somewhere. If not, maybe Malone does.”
Alloy: I reply, “I should be fine until we get back to the apartment. Let’s hit up Mall Mart,” while going into the van.
Loom: “No… gotta get the kids first but don’t worry, Michael can take care of himself at Mall Mart. I’ll just tell them to go pick something out and meet me by the front while we shop.”
Alloy: “Alright, then, let’s go meet your darling ray of sunshine.”
Nukes: You check the time, it’s right around nine. You’re not due to get the kids for another hour, but you do however have time for breakfast. One run through Grease Beast later, you’re full and right around on time to go see your maybe second least favorite person on earth.
You roll through the too-perfect neighborhood of too-perfect houses. Little temples to suburbia. Used to be you lived among them. As you roll up to the cul-de-sac, you see your daughter out in the front yard, sitting on the porch reading a children’s book. As your van approaches, she looks up and runs to go get her mother. As you pull in, all 5 feet and 6 inches of Sandra Miller, (formerly known for a time as Sandra Heeran) opens the door. She’s in working wear, if by working you mean drinking around neighborhood barbecues while she searches for a new meal ticket.
“Melanie, go get your brother. Your father’s here to pick you up.” Melanie scurries off.
“Abe. Didn’t think you’d be here on time.”
Loom: “Good morning Sandra, it’s fantastic to see you too. And yeah I’m here, I couldn’t let my children sit at home while their mom goes party hopping.”
Nukes: “Ahaha, very cute Abe. Well, we’re coming up on a holiday and you know how I get around those. Is it so much to ask that I go out and find someone who wants to listen to me? Or, well, someone who can?” she says, glaring at your hearing aids with venom in her voice.
“Looks like I’m not the only one, though!” She’s now poking her head in, smiling falsely at Vern. “Oh, Abe, I’d always considered that you might swing that way but I thought you were in deep enough denial. Nice to meet you, sweetheart. I’m Sandra. I’m sure Abe’s told you all about me.”
Loom: I grumble dryly under my breath “Oh don’t you worry sweetie, you were always man enough for me…”
Nukes: Sandra, for her part, ignores you. If she even heard.
Alloy: I look at the woman wondering how someone so small can hold so much hate. “Oh I’ve heard all about you, dear, Enough to know you’re probably just upset you could never get a man this young and/or good looking.”
Nukes: Her face screws up slightly. “Oh bitch please, don’t give yourself so much credit. In any case I’ve got a facial at 10:30 and I don’t want to waste the day with irrelevant people. Goodbye Abe. Goodbye, whoever the hell you are. The kids can be home tomorrow at 6 PM.”
Michael and Melanie come trudging out, now familiar with the process of dragging their suitcases behind them as they hop into the van.
“Hey dad. Hey…man.” Michael murmurs as he clambers into the back. Melanie hugs her mother and hops into the backseat, greeting you as well. Sandra seems significantly nicer than you’ve seen her otherwise as she says goodbye to the kids. The catty, false smile becomes genuine as she hugs them goodbye.
“Michael, Melanie, be good for your father. I’ll see you guys at 6 tomorrow. Love you!”
She shoots you a poisonous stare as soon as she thinks the kids can’t see, as you pull out of the driveway.
Alloy: I give her a pleasant smile with a smirk and an eyebrow raise to indicate that this isn’t the end of our bitch wars.
Loom: I pull out of the driveway and glance back to Michael and Melanie “This is Vern He workes in the forensics department and he’s helping me find work.”
Nukes; “Oh, uh…hi. I’m Mike.” The kid is a young teenager, out of his tween years and well on his way to the really awkward ones. He’s not scrawny, but not particularly bulky. He’s wearing basketball shorts and a baseball hat with the Los Doce Apostles logo on it.
“Hi Mr. Vern I’m Melanie, I’m 9 years old and also what’s a forensics and wow you’re really pale are you okay and daddy why is there arrows back here?”
She’s going a mile a minute, asking more questions than you know what to do with. She resembles her mother, minus the spite, but blonde instead of Sandra’s brunnette.
Alloy: “Hello Melanie, I’m 27 years old and forensics is the use of science to catch the bad guys and I am very pale because I stay indoors and wear hoodies and those arrows are mine, it’s a hobby. And hey Mike, nice to meet you.”
I try to keep up with Melanie’s constant stream of questions.
Loom: I drive on, giving Melanie a moment to expend some of her energy and can’t help smiling. I turn around to Mike and say “Hey kiddo, did your mom have a chance to feed you guys breakfast before you left?” I then glance back to the road.
“Have you ever killed anyone? Do you have a dog? Who’s the best superhero? Are you gonna be my second daddy?”
“Uh, yeah. I had some pizza…I think Mel had some apple jacks? If you wanna stop I could eat I guess.”
Alloy: “I haven’t killed anyone, I’m more of a cat person,” I lean into Melanie, “the best superhero is your dad but don’t tell him I told you, and I might be.”
Loom: “Ahahahah, no honey. Not quite.” I glance back with a smile “You’re stuck with just one dad for now.” I drive along on the way to the Mall Mart. Keeping track of the threads of traffic “I’ve got to run to the store before we do anything but after I drop Vern off what do you guys say to getting some lunch and maybe, just maybe… we can go to the beach!”
Nukes: “Oh, uh, yeah. Alright. We brought our suits, I’m pretty sure. Mel, did you get yours?” Mel for her part, is busy trying not to explode as she processes her excitement over the fact that her dad is a real superhero.“Oh my gosh, I knew my daddy fought bad guys but oh my gosh daddy where’s your cape? Do you have lunchboxes with you on them? Oh yeah I think I did Mikey and oh man Dad, Dad did you meet Adept? Oh wow!”
Loom: “You know, Mel, I don’t have a cape but I do have one of those skin tight leotards. And yes, actually sweetie I did meet Adept once but only very briefly with the police force.”
Nukes: You remember the time you saw him, all green robes and a silvery mask, and you recall the brief moment you locked eyes. There was something behind them that has always bugged you and you could never put your finger on it. Adept’s powerful and diverse abilities have been taking threats out in your city for years. He did half of the police’s job for them, removing tons of majorly disruptive parahuman crime entirely from the equation. Along with the Wardens of course, but, most people think of it as Adept and his Wardens rather than the Wardens. As you pull into the asphalt desert of the Mall-Mart parking lot, you think to yourself about how fucking hot it’s getting outside.
Loom: I pull into a parking space and click off the car
“So. You all ready to do some shopping?”
I get out and start towards the store.