Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Demon Days: Season 1, Episode 5 - "The Sting"

Previously on Demon Days…
  • The Hunters had a violent run-in with some vampires posing as police officers. Said vamps gave a warning to the Hunters, who responded with violence. Lots of violence.

  • The Hunters also met Det. Weathers’s partner, Detective Panam, and here’s something I forgot to mention in last week’s recap: Panam’s cell phone ringtone is “Fur Elise.” This would be irrelevant, except that the vampire whose car exploded in Dean’s face (“Sunday”) also had the same ringtone. And one of the mysterious letters may in fact stand for “Beethoven.” Is it possible they’re connected? You think I’m mentioning this up here for no reason?

  • Two mages named Charlie and Rico approached the group and told them to stay away from Sunday—“She’s bad people.”
“The Sting” (or, “Someone Set Up Us the Bomb”)

Dean has an idea. Since the encounter with the cops, he thinks (and not unjustifiably so) that the vampires are afraid of them. So he calls Detective Panam—who, it turns out, is in fact working with the vampires—and offers a trade: he’ll turn in his associates, in exchange for free passage out of town and $1 million. Of course, he has no intention of following through with this plan—the goal is to set up the deal, make the trade, then kill the bagman and take the money. And run.

Unfortunately, other members of the group aren’t as wild about the idea. He tells Lucy, who thinks the plan is extremely risky. She doesn’t get any more excited when he says that he doesn’t want to tell anyone else—he doesn’t trust in their acting abilities, you see, and the vampires have to believe it’s real, or it won’t work. She rejects the idea and decides to tell everyone about it, anyway.

The group isn’t unanimous on it, either. A rather democratic vote from the constantly-bickering team reveals 2 for (Dean and Willem) and 3 against (Lucy, Edgar and Dan), leaving the idea rejecting. Dean says it doesn’t matter, because he wasn’t going through with it anyway—he received a dream from the Messengers last night, and they told him where to go next. (He gets dreams from them sometimes, as result of his Patron background.) So the sting is forgotten, and the group heads, at Dean’s direction, to the old Brookhaven Hospital in Harper Park. The place is long-since abandoned and condemned, leaving them to wonder what they could possibly expect to find there.

Of course, Dean’s story is bogus—there was no dream from the Messengers. He’s already set up the operation with Detective Panam well in advance, and is intent on implementing it. After all, if it works, the group will have a million dollars. And if it doesn’t…well…And in his defense, he tried to get help—he looked everywhere for Sunday, to see if she could act as backup, but she was nowhere to be found.

They arrive at Brookhaven, which is, as they already knew, completely abandoned. Many of the windows are boarded, stray cats have overrun the place, and there’s a decaying dead body on the second floor, its face half-eaten. Yuck.

They quickly and quietly run through the building, and eventually find what Dean is looking for—a big idiot thug with a bag. The group is pissed, but things go to hell very, very rapidly. Dean dispatches the idiot thug, no problem, but a sniper—hiding in the library across the street—takes potshots at them through the windows, and Lucy is hit. And the bag, it turns out, contains no money at all, but a bomb. Edgar tosses it out the window just before it explodes and kills them all.

With the sniper still firing, and Lucy badly hurt (though Dan uses his Rejuvenate power to heal it a little), the Hunters try to make it out of the building, a trek which is complicated somewhat by the fire started by the exploding bag. And once they do get outside, a few more thugs with guns are waiting by Willem’s car. When it rains, it pours.

Dean decides to head for the library to take care of the sniper, while the others deal with the guys at the car, while protecting the unconscious Lucy. Luckily, they get an assist from Charlie and Rico, who show up and hurl magical plate-sized ninja stars at the thugs, contributing to their speedy demise. The two mages offer this as proof of their good intentions, and reiterate their previous directive: Stay away from Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dean ducks sniper fire as he runs across the street. He quickly realizes, after a shot nearly parts his hair, that the gunman isn’t actually trying to kill him—he’s being played with. Inside, after a frantic search, Dean comes face-to-face with the sniper—of course, he’s a vampire, and while he’s put away his rifle, he tosses Dean another gift: a big glass jar full of wasps. Knowing that wasps are probably not a good idea, Dean tries to catch the jar in the air. Now, he was a baseball player, so he’s got extraordinary athletic prowess, and making jumping, diving catches is sort of his bread-and-butter. Unfortunately, you may remember he’s a washed-up baseball player—he misses the jar, which breaks and sends small pieces of glass into his face. Oh, and the wasps are loose. They start stinging him, and it’s safe to say these aren’t regular wasps.

Surrounded by a cloud of evil stinging insects, wincing from the pain of glass in his face, Dean tries chasing the sniper, but just before he can catch him, the vampire turns into a bat (!) and flies out an open window. Now, Dean is overcome by the bugs, and, desperate, he leaps from an open window himself. Not having the same aerodynamics as a bat, he plummets to the ground and nearly kills himself. (He’s lucky: he only dislocates his shoulder, cracks his wrist, and gets a damn good whack on the head.)

The battered, wounded Dean gets back to the car and the Hunters speed away to the hospital. Dean is on fire with pain, Lucy is unconscious and still bleeding slightly (though they manage to remove the bullet—ouch), and Dan is furious at Dean.

But hey—if it had worked…

As always, your Storyteller’s notes: As is perfectly plain by now, I don’t have an original bone in my body. The plot for this episode was not my idea—it was Dean’s player, the Former Roommate I’m Not Allowed to Name, who thought it up. Of course, it was me who designed all the very special ways for it to completely backfire, but that’s my gig. Also, the Brookhaven Hospital, is, of course, meant to be that Brookhaven Hospital. And I was accused of ripping off the sniper/wasp-throwing vampire from two Metal Gear Solid 3 villains: the End, who was a sniper, and the Pain, who used hornets as his weapon of choice. I will not respond to such a scurrilous accusation, except to say to that it’s absolutely true. As my hero Aaron Sorkin once wrote, “Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.”

This week’s episode: “Hardware.”

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