The Original Rain Hotel

This is a transcript of the original Rain Hotel from over at MyRPG

I changed the order of the posts so that it reads from top to bottom instead of bottom to top. Also, due to a server error, the very beginning of the adventure is inaccessible. Hopefully this will be recoverable at some point. Also, ends of comments at the ends of the original pages seem to have periodically been lost.

The Rain Hotel
******************
Lots of scarlet and gold. That`s what the Rain Hotel used to be. Probably. Shining filligree and slut-red velvet. Now, it`s a scab. The carpets and curtains have browned and the details are flaking off in jaundiced chunks. Everything within 13 steps of the double-doors to the street is damp from the drizzle outside. The CONSTANT drizzle. It can`t possibly rain all the time, can it? Soft electric hums twist behind the walls and in every light socket, crackling every now and then. The place smells like electricity, too, and mold and candlewax and… bacon? No. It`s the diner across the way. It must be the diner.

The clock in the desk-clerk`s alcove reads: “6:00”.
*******************
((currently unavailble bits))
**
[Samson]

Ah, but that`s the rub, isn`t it?

Your room 314 isn`t ON the third floor. It should have been, but it ain`t. You remember taking the keys from the desk clerk (Aubrey was it? Pretty in a plain way), and wandering the 3rd floor for 15 minutes before having to admit that all the rooms on that floor were in the 6
**
[All]

<< OOC: Generally speaking, I am going to try to quickly get on a schedule of one new round of posts a day. Maybe two. That time in between I think will be important for getting as many PC`s posts as possible. Figure a Post from me at the end of the night, for the most part.

Thank you.>>
*
Samson Cavendish
I`ll walk down hall, listening for which room has the person in pain. Particularly interested in the room number.
Keeping an eye on that kid`s door.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
I pull my sweater up a little higher, trying to ward off the chill and open my book, wondering what that was about, but only for an instant.
**
Winston Smith
[Just as a global orientation question- have I noticed whether the elevator lists Ground fllor as G/Lobby (US) or 1 (European)?]

Well I wonder to myself, “If the 3rd floor is all sixes- is the 2nd all fives? Does G=1 and 2=?5 and 3=6 or, does g=G 2=? and 3=6?” I note down the question to myself as I hit the stairs, going down to the objectively second floor.

Since the shot came from below I`ll hit the stairs and go see if the second floor is all five-hundreds.

This means I`m running down the stairs while messing with my notebook.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Heading over to my small kitchen, I find my tea caddy empty. I leave to head down to the coffee shop for a cuppa.
*

[Aubrey]

For now, some information that you would have that many others would not. I`m not giving you ALL of what you know because it would throw too many instant clues. So bear with me…

You know this:

You are the only one with access to the elevator. It is the old lattice-door kind. It requires a key to run.

You know that the first floor of the hotel is a mish-mash of room numbers. The hall begins at the lobby with 400, 401, 402, etc, and then the numbers start making no sense. The rest of the floor more or less is made up of any room number in the 400`s or LESS. The last rooms in the hall, closest to the stair well are 314 and 315.

Starting with the second floor, all the rooms go back to a set pattern: 2nd= 500`s, 3rd=600`s, etc, all the way up to your floor, the 11th with the 1400`s.

Truly bizarre, but you have been here long enough that it is no longer interesting.

More immediately, none of the next shift has arrived today. No one. Not the desk clerk, the piano player, the maintenance guy. You know this because you have a direct-to-desk telephone (with dial, of course) in your quarters and no one has called up to check in with you.

All in all, 6 employees have either not shown up or not let you know via protocol that they are here.

There is more, but all for now…
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Returning with my tea in a paper cup, I start the phone calls…to find out where the next shift is.
*

[jacob]

Emotional and physical exhaustion (MOSTLY emotional) are at their peaks. Sitting on the bed, its linens ancient and crumbling, staring into space and grounding yourself however you are used to doing, you hear a gunshot… a powerful pistol by your assumption… and it is close, too. Across the hall, no more than a room to either side. Within 30 seconds, footsteps in the hall, back and forth. Exploring footsteps. Curious ones, but not someone who is either involved or TOO eager to get involved.

[Samson]

Most of the rooms are quiet. In fact, the whole first floor is quiet. None of the usual staff-slash regulars have shown up. Not the piano player, the next-shift clerk, no one. There is no clerk at the desk and you are the only person that you can GUARANTEE is in this hotel right now (aside from the little boy in 315).

On your second pass of the hall, you eventually hear a soft male moan and a clink-thud of a bottle hitting the thin carpet. Room 213, the `odd` side of the hall…

Which brings up the realization that the room numbers make no sense. This floor has room numbers in the 100`s, 200`s, 300`s and 400`s in no real repeating pattern.

<< and since you mentioned the elevator, I will tell you that it is the sliding-lattice door style. The door opens and closes freely, but the elevator itself requires a key that only staff has.>>

[Aubrey]

<< More priviledged information for you:

Samson: Room 314 (next to the stairwell)
Declan: Room 213
Jacob: Room 412 (the last person you checked in… 20 minutes ago.)
Winston: Room 667
Allison: Room 1400 (she is on your floor, in one of the penthouse suites)>>

[Allison]

[… Note: Only PC`s that I address MY messages to will see them. In this case, you. However, anyone just passing thru, who is NOT logged in, will see everything (kind of a see what you could be doing advert for the site) and everyone logged in or not, will see what you type back to me, so if something MUST be kept a secret, PM me instead. We`re experts, we can handle it. I will begin messages with the names of whoever they are intended for. This is because it is easy to accidentally send it to the wrong person and that name will help.]

Your room, 1400 is indeed at the very top of the hotel. These were penthouse suites at one time, but their size is the only real reminder of that reality (if it ever truly was). You DO have a living room space as well as the bedroom, a nice sized bathroom and a balcony view. Whatever luxuries this room had, however, are long gone, along with the shade canopy above the balcony, which is now just a flapping scrap of canvas being pelted in the drizzle.

As far as you know, you share this floor with only one other person, Aubrey, who while technically just a shift clerk, is as far as you can tell, the main-force here. She cleans, heads the desk and is just rather ubiquituous overall. You can hear her tea-kettle whistle and die down as she gets one of her ritual cuppa`s.
**
Samson Cavendish
I`ll take one more pass of the hall way, before knocking on 213.

“Everything alright in there?”

Probably would have already mapped out room numbers as best as I could, looking for patterns. Numbers out of order are both fascinating and maddening.
**
[Winston]

Yes, indeed, the 2nd floor is all the 500`s. But… you knew it would be and so the realization doesn`t take up too much space in your mind. If it had, you wouldn`t have found the bullet-hole in the floor.

But you did find the bullet-hole… because THAT`s what you do.

It`s about half-way down the hall, about 3 inches from the west wall. Tufts of rotted carpet surround the hole like a crown and dust drifts in the weak shaft of light. You cannot see anything down the hole, but with your ear close to it, you can hear a moan and the clink-thud of a heavy bottle hitting the floor.

Seconds later, someone knocks on what you imagine is the door to that room below you. “Everything alright in there?” You are confident the voice belongs to Samson Cavendish. You`re not sure you like him. He definitely has more visitors than most of the residents… and not very savory ones.

<< OOC: Thanks to Kimberlie, we now know there is a “GM Only” button on the New Entry window!!! Sorry. I had no idea it was there. Use it to your heart`s content. I tested it and it works.

Woo-hoo, Kimberlie!>>

[Samson]

No answer.

Someone is eavesdropping on you. Somehow. The hall is empty. But somewhere, somehow… Footsteps DIRECTLY above you on the next floor. Hovering around the spot.

[Allison]

<< OOC (out of character)… Sorry, when I read it, I could have sworn your room number said 14 not 17… oops. but you DO have one of the penthouse suites, sooo… >>

[Samson]

And, yes, you would have mapped out hotel numbers beforehand. The first floor numbers are a jumble, only definite pattern so far being that there IS an odd side and an even side and all the rooms are between 100 and 499. The 2nd floor is all 500`s in a standard hotel format as is the rest of the hotel. 3rd floor, 600`s, etc, all the way up to the penthouse floor, the 11th with it`s 1400`s.

By the way, you also know, due to prior experience, that the door directly to the left of the desk-clerk alcove is the door to the basement where the furnace is. You know that the door is always locked and that there is a key beneath the clerk-counter.

[Aubrey]

On the phone: Static. Clicks, chirps, crackles. But ultimately, just static.

[Aubrey]

MOSTLY static. You swear you can ALMOST hear someone, or multiple someones, back there in the lines. Almost.
*
Samson Cavendish
I walk a bit over-loudly to the end of the hall, stopping at the end to gaze out the window. Then, as quietly as possible, make my way back to my room. Pull the kitchen chair over and sit with the door cracked, chain on. I want to know who else is up and wandering around… my mind is racing, nerves very much on edge after my earlier activities….
*

[Winston]

Cavendish gets no answer (as far as you can hear) and after a few moments, his footsteps head away from the door, back up into the lobby.

[Jacob]

That pacing `someone` eventually stops and knocks on the door directly across the hall from you.

“Everything alright in there?” he calls. Waits. No answer (as far as you can tell). A few seconds later, he stomps up the hall to the lobby…

And then… quiet footsteps… stealthy footsteps… coming back from the lobby, past your door to the far end of the hall.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
I take a look at the signal on my cell. If I can I give that a try. If no one else shows up i`m gonna be soo pissed. Is anyone else working around?
*

Winston Smith
So- G=1 and 2=5 and 3=6 as far as I can tell. I circle that portion of the note.

Therefore the shot has come up from a room in the first floor (or at least the one below). As I circle the right answer in my book, I run down the stairs to the ground floor lining up where that room should be.

Since I heard Mr. Undesirable-Visitor leave I don`t expect to run into him. I am curious about the “a moan means I should walk away reaction.” Didn`t he hear the moaner?

At the door (assuming I get there) I repeat the “Is everything Ok in there?” And add, “if I don`t get a yes from you, I`m either coming in or getting the management!”

It doesn`t even occur to me to call the police. Come to think of it- the danger I might be in- also doesn`t cross my brain either.
**
Declan O’Connell
I stagger up out of my chair, holding a hand to my wound. “Hrrmmm… that`s a lot of blood”.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

OWWWWWW!!!
**
[Aubrey]

Cell signal is awful, too. It tends to go in and out hear, often in conjunction with the density of the mist and rain. This isn`t the first time you`ve tried making calls from your rooftop apartment and over time you developed the habit of seeking out the cell tower nearest you. If you could see the tower through the weather, chances are your call would eventually make it. If not, tough luck, sister.

So, tonight, you do the same. As you fight frustration, your eyes scan the distance for that cell tower.

And it isn`t there.

Not just `vanished in the haze` not-there, but… `not-there` not-there. Of course that is ridiculous and you stare and stare, deeper and deeper trying to find it. Only the `low-battery` beep on your phone shakes you from your thoughts.

As far as others working, well, you only know that you are always notified when staff arrives and you have not been notified… of course, if you are in your quarters, someone lets you know by telephone or the desk intercom and we know how successful the phone signals are going.

[Allison]

The view is lovely, however, and that is something. Behind the glass of balcony doors, you take it in. Rain spatters on the windows, flags in the distance shredded by years of winds, bell-towers sending out accidental peals as they rock.

Belltowers.

2… 3… 4… 6…

8?
10, 11, 12…

They are stretching off in the distance and the driving fog is playing tricks, but surely… a dozen… AT LEAST a dozen… church-bell towers visible from this spot alone.

Ridiculous.

But there IS something… repetitious (?) about the skyline.
*
Jacob Haliwell
I giggle slightly at the appearance of my friend in the room, then try to compose myself. With only minor success.
The day`s frustrations having taken their toll, common sense takes a momentary leave of absence regarding gunshots and hostile sounding men. Through the door, I yell, “Will you shut the fuck up? Mind your own goddamn business and let me get some sleep! Asshole…”
I pause, realizing what I just did, and go sit in the bathtub…eyes wide and sweat starting to bead on my forehead. Slowly, I pull the shower curtain closed.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
I plug the cell in on my night stand. grab my work blazer and a book, and take the elevator, heading for the front desk. Wondering….is anyone but me working today? I check the schedule to see who else is here now…and go looking for them.
*
Allison Rhodes
I`m a little unsettled from my day and need to release a little energy. While a warm bath and a glass of wine would help, I`m afraid it won`t be enough. The gray skyline is NOT calming (stupid bells never tell the right time) and the rain outside means that the balcony is not an option. When I hear someone walk by, I think that perhaps a stroll would help. I head briskly for the stairs, rubbing the bronze elephant between the eyes.
*

Winston Smith
Casting an annoyed glance at the obscenity hurling neighbor. I look up and down the hall- judging whether it would be better to check the front desk for a key and an ambulance or just kick in the door. If no-one official is in sight, I try kicking in the door. Several times.

I mutter to myself, “If Mr. Loud mouth comes out, I`ll use his head for a ram.”

After the first kick that doesn`t work, I cast a glance at Mr. Peeping Tom, and say, “Hey someone could be dying in there! Got a fire extinguisher or something heavy?”

I keep bashing at the door- listening to see if someone is going to open it suddenly or come to the door to blow my head off. Come to think of that – that would solve a lot of problems.
**
[Declan]

Just within your senses are thuds upon thuds. Pounding. In your head… and outside it. It takes a minute, as you squelch the bleeding (not bad, considering), to separate the throb of your pulse from the sounds that are starting to come back. You are still not hearing, as such, but these sounds are bass, deep bass…

Someone is bashing your door in. You can `hear` rasps that are surely yells coming from the hall, but they are truly just static.

Whoever they are, they`re coming in.

[Aubrey]

The ride down is unsettling. It always is, the scrapes and squeals and lurches that come with these old machines, but now is a little different.

In the elevator is a nearly useless intercom. It`s never worked well enough to rely on, but now it is flickering into at least some sort of half-life.

Static broken by snippets of speech.

“Asshole!”

“Fucking… coming in there!”

“Shut the fuck up!”

For some reason, the intercom at the desk is picking up something going on in or near the lobby and just funneling it out there in broken bits of transmission. Nothing new. On a friday night elevator ride, you could often be serenaded by a ripply and shattered version of whatever the pianist was playing in the lobby… but this isn`t pretty.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Coming off the elevator into the lobby, I don`t open the gate, until I can peek out and see what is going on.
*

[Allison]

It`s a long way down. For a second you imagine what would happen if you fell (jumped?… was that YOUR thought?) over the railing. It`s a cramped space, not a lot of chance of a body making it all the way down without tumbling, banging, breaking, shattering on every rail and concrete stair for all that way…

You shiver and shake it off. Bad way to go.

The stairwell rumbles and echoes for the first floors as the elevator (that Aubrey uses… only staff have the keys) descends slowly. Grindingly slow. You dream that if you ran, you could beat the car to the bottom, and you`d have a pretty fair chance of being right. Even though it is on the lobby end of the building and the stairs are on the back end, the giant cogs and pulleys of the elevator machinery ripple tremors through the hotel that bounce around, magnified, in the stairwell.

The stairwell is thrown into sharp sillouette briefly by lightning coming in through a cracked, dripping skylight at the top and thunder cracks in the grey sky, high above.

Well, not THAT high above.
*
Allison Rhodes
I`m in excellent shape, perhaps I can beat Aubrey to the lobby. Or shall I finally try what I`ve been thinking of? I know I`ll have to stop on each floor but…nobody else is around and I`ll hear a door open. Mary Poppins has got nothing on me. Banister sliding here I come! (Please note that a lady slides side saddle and upright, not astraddle…plus the pencil skirt wouldn`t allow it.)
*

[All]

<< OOC: We are coming up on day 5 of the running. I apologize for any glitches (especially the re-application stuff at the beginning) and ask for your input. Not mystery or plot thoughts, but `how are things going?` system-wise. This online set-up is brand-new to me and has brought up some unexpected gm`ing experiences. Being on the outside, and seeing what EVERYONE is writing is very intriguing, as is the ability to truly dole out information in different ways to different characters, so I`m having a lot of fun… but I`m also doing a lot more.

I hope that you like things so far. One of my biggest challenges is to craft a single short passage that contains all the new info that a character would get, AND strip it down to a kind of `creepy-haiku` level of brevity. In other words, keeping your attention, despite the one or two short posts of new info a day.

Let me know how that is.

Also, we are moving steadily thru Act One. As of right now, none of the characters have met up with each other, so all of the posts/comments have been for one person AND all of your posts have been directed toward me. That will change very, very soon. Once PC`s start making contact with each other, it would make sense that you can start directing your comments to each other as well. Perhaps beginning them with bracket-name-bracket will be handy, that way if you are in a position to communicate with So-and-So or do something that they would see, they`ll find their name and read the entry, rather than everything being filtered thru me.

Also, be prepared now and again for some timing issues. I almost had to edit someone`s post simply because it took them longer to respond than I expected and other PC`s were kind of relying on them to do something, so they themselves could act. If I ever need to retroatively change reality, I will A) let you know and B) adjust only the bare minimum necessary to move things along.

I don`t know. I`m making this up as I go.

thanks all, you`re doing great! >>

[Aubrey]

You`d have to open the gate at least a little to be able to look around and into the hallway proper, but the lobby itself is completely empty of people.

There is something going on in the hall, however. While you cannot see the action, it is clear that someone is bashing the living hell out of one of the doors. Probably about halfway down the hall. Could be that wierdo Haliwell (you checked him just before your trip up to your apartment) or O`Connell (the twitchy vet). Both are very new to the Hotel and look as if they either are on or need, strong meds. They live across the hall from each other.

[Winston]

Out in the lobby, the elevator dings its arrival. Only staff has keys to it.

[Allison]

It really IS a long way down, but you are committed to making the trip via bannister and despite a few wobbles (which don`t scare you, I`m gathering), you the ride is smooth.

You do, in fact, catch up with the elevator briefly, as it gets stuck for a moment in between the 9th and 8th floor, but then it is gone again.

Your soft laughter echoes strangely up and down the stairwell.
**
Winston Smith
[I`ll take the hint that I didn`t get the door down- and I`ve also not chosen to announce that I`ve done so.]

Arriving at the elevator just as it opens.

[Aubrey?] “Oh thank G*d your here. There`s been a shot fired and it sounds like someone`s hurt and unresponsive in 213. Can you help?”
*
Jacob Haliwell
Once I realize that the violence nearby is not being directed at MY door, I begin to calm down. I climb out of the bathtub, slightly embarrassed, and head back to the main room. A bit of fresh air seems like a good idea, but I don`t want to walk into the mess in the hall. I check the patio/window and attempt to make my way outside.
*

Allison Rhodes
Tralala…still sliding down the bannister. Why in the world would someone wallpaper a stairwell? The pattern is abstract but there is something odd…a mechanical repetition while biologically sinuous. No, I will not be distracted…it feels hypnotic…
*
Allison Rhodes
Was the counting of the towers or the ringing bells?
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
Stepping out of the elevator and looking down the hall.

(Winston) Wh-wh- what! Christ. The phones are down. I`m going to the diner to try their phone, or get some help or both. Was the shot in the room or the hall? Is it some kinda nut job? I don`t get paid enough for this shit. (casts a wary eye at Winston and thinks….did you shoot somebody?)…then heads to the front door to go to the diner.
**
[Winston]

<< OOC: There was half of you that was waiting for management, and serendipitously, management showed up.>>

In a shot, Aubrey is out the door. The rain swallows her up almost instantly.

The door of 213 is open, but not quite. The chain holds it on to a 4 inch view. Someone who is paying you an absurdly low amount of attention (considering you just kicked thier door in) is pacing back and forth. You know they are not someone you recognize, you know they have a head wound (judging by the make-shift bandaging), and you know they are very, very drunk.

[Jacob]

You do not have a balcony, or even a sliding-glass door. It is a regular window, but large and easy to open. It unlatches smoothly and the cold rain pelts you as you gaze into the murk.

A woman, the staff member you recognise from school, runs from (assumedly) the hotel to the closed diner across the way. She struggles with the heavy chains that entwine the door-handles.

[Allison]

Ahhhh… it was the towers. A dozen or more seemingly identical towers on your horizon (they ARE the highest points, easiest to notice). There can`t possibly be that many churches on the GROUND, can there?

You have no fear on your bannister-ride, despite the distance you could fall and the mangling desecrations your body would endure (both of which you picture perfectly, you are simply not afraid of them).

As you arrive at the base of the stairs, you hear violence and shouting in the hallway beyond. Someone is smashing a door, someone is calling out for emergency help…

Beyond this door is chaos, chaos that can offer little joy compared to the sheer lightness of riding a bannister like a child.

[Aubrey]

The rain is smothering. It is a cold, rubber pillow on your face. But you are tough enough and you push through it.

Just across the street, east of the hotel, is Cafe Rope. A diner far less sublime than its name might imply. And, that is at the best of times. NOW, it is closed.

And, not just closed.

Iron chains wrap the handles of the doors and you get to the overhang in time to watch the lights click off, one-by-one. Before the last bulb goes, you make eye contact with the boy who makes your lattes just how you like them. His eyes says he knows you, but his fingers that flip the switch, leaving you to the darkness, say you are on your own.

The lights at Cafe Rope were the last lights on the street aside from the hotel.

Dusk and rain have you.

[Samson]

The chaos in the hall grows. The door sounds like it has given way, but now management (Aubrey, the grrl-Friday who seems to do every-fucking thing in this place) is joining in. She is running across the street to get help. Whatever angry fucker started to get involved thought better of it.

In the stairwell, the giggles and `whee`s grow. They are the sounds of prim, proper and very dangerous joy. Unchecked, aristocratic chuckles being let loose because they don`t believe they can be heard.

[Declan]

You were more sober than you thought. You had the foresight to chain the door. If you hadn`t, it would be swinging free right now. As it is, you are essentially deaf staring at a mostly kicked in door and the rumpled excuse for a human peering through it.

And why wouldn`t you be? You shot yourself in the fucking head on the first floor of a hotel. Not that you thought you`d end up on the ground floor when you got keys for room 213, but you did and what`s done is done.

You made a big bang.

And someone heard.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Dammn it. I head back to the hotel, to see how much blood I have to clean up, and see if maybe , just maybe, one of the maintenance guys, or cleaning staff are still on from the last shift, or have come in for the next. I hope the psycho doesn`t shoot me, prolly some suicide case. loonies. ….bunch of savages in this town.
*

[Aubrey]

Oh, please!

You know this is not right. Not right at all. Never, in all your… time… at the Rain Hotel has no one…NO ONE shown up for their shift. Never has the diner been chained shut. Never.

You have your big-grrl pants on… You KNOW it is just you… And, right now, plowing through the stinging drops of ree-dick-ulously cold rain, you know that you have some decisions to make… And fast.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Damn it.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
sigh I head to the 1st floor room with all the ruckus. Looking for Winston, and trouble. I don`t know the guy, but I suspect if I find one I will find the other.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Who is on the hotel register? How long have they been here? Any odd special requests logged?
*

Winston Smith

Muttered out loud while waiting for Aubrey….. “Why the hell is a first floor room number 213?”

[To bandage guy.] “Hey there, is that from the shot? That bandage? Are you OK? can you talk? Are you bleeding?”

Do I see blood?

You know that thing that can be done with a chain on a door and a knife to undo it? Waiting a brief moment until Aubrey is back- (timing concern) I`ll pop my BSA pocket knife out, and flick the chain open. Then cautiously push the door open more looking for other people with guns- as long as no-one has looked like they are going to kill me in the interim.

And is creepy guy still watching me?
*
Allison Rhodes
Looks cautiously around the corner. She sees a nervous looking young man pacing approximately half way down the hall. She spots a slightly open door, as well. Did Mr. Disheveled come from there? His attention is on a different and slightly battered door. (Does every door in this place look like someone took a hatchet to it?) I don`t really like the look of this situation, but I do like to know what`s going on.
*

Jacob Haliwell
I climb outside, enjoying the feel of the rain on my skin for a few moments before turning around to close the window most of the way. I want to be able to crawl back in if I need to. If I can reach her before she gets back in, I`ll offer my assistance to the girl struggling with the chains. If not, I wait outside the
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Aubrey is back.
*

[LOCATION RECAP: ROOM 213]

<< OOC: We hit the ground running with a hell of an opener and as of this moment, details are sketchy to pretty much everyone. So, with that in mind, and knowing that virtually all the PC`s can observe 213, I`ll lay it out a bit. If someone cannot see 213 right now, in a round or two they will, and any `surprise` that could be ruined is far outwieghed in my opinion by the ease that a little clarity will offer… Heck, we`re already playing telephone as it is with everyone painting pictures in their minds with as little forcing as I can.

So, every now and then, I may do a Location Recap. Here is one now. In order to let everyone keep writing stories in their head, Location Recaps will be as sparse as they can be.>>

Room 213.
The room is dim, but even then it is obvious that Declan O`Connell is a mess wobbling around in his underwear. He is clearly at the deep end of a very dark alcoholic bender. He is missing a leg and the prosthesis is leaning against the bed, ignored by him as he lopes and fumbles. The blood that covers the right side of his face and head stems from his ear. He is stifling the bleeding with a sock. Declan has been here less than 24 hours but has already accumulated a wonderful collection of whiskey bottles. He is furious at… well… everyone, and is waving an automatic pistol around spasmodically (an M1911 for those who could identify it).

The ugly-as-sin clock radio has a small, gory glob of meat stuck to its face.

In addition to his drunken, one-legged imbalance, he seems to be impaired by at least partial deafness.

<< OOC: As of this second, the people that can directly observe these details are Declan (obviously), Winston, Aubrey and Allison.>>

[Jacob]

It is peaceful out here. You ARE soaked and you ARE cold, but somehow you feel comfortable. At least more comfortable than those unlucky souls in the Hotel. You can see 3 people. There`s a man in a wrinkled suit looking into the room across from yours and seeming to plead with someone inside. There`s Aubrey, the staff member you recognise and just barely missed when she made it back into the hotel after her trip to the locked-down diner. Another woman, too. She`s just coming out of the stairwell at the very back end of the hall. She`s far away, but you can see she is dressed like you`d picture a naughty librarian to be and she walks prissily on high heels but with a strange combination of nervousness and… what?… lethality? Maybe.

You can see these things, but you hear nothing. Just mouths moving through the glass of the lobby doors.

The Hotel is a corner of a square. The Southwest corner. Across the street, NW, is the Diner. Directly behind you (SE corner) is a cathedral and at the NE corner of the square is a library.

The sounds out here are muffled by the rain and the fog. Other than the noises of wetness, all you hear are bells. Big bell-tower bells. They are not ringing on purpose. These are just soft, arythmical chimes of great bells rocking in the wind. Some some like they are coming from the heights of the cathedral and others are distant, fading and almost not there, like the light from stars.

[Samson]

Good news. At the moment, nobody seems to care about you at all. There`s some sort of psycho in 213 waving a gun around, at least that`s what you gather from the yelling in the hall. Smith kicked the door in and now it sounds like management has finally decided to show up.

The sounds of, well, glee, coming from the stairwell have stopped (as who ever was making them finally got to the ground floor). The stairwell door opens slowly and the Librarian (you don`t think you ever got her name, despite her having been here for at least as long as you… and hell, she looks like a librarian… or a porno-librarian, at least) slowly pushes her head out. She is just inches from your slightly open door, but seems very intent on the action up the hall and doesn`t appear to see you. There is something very dangerous about this woman. But then again, there`s something very dangerous about you too, huh?
**
Allison Rhodes
Allison comes closer and looks through the doorway.

[Winston] For heaven`s sake, just trip him or bowl something at him. He`s got one leg and an eye filled with blood. He`s also drunk as a skunk. His finger isn`t even in the trigger guard.

…oh good grief

> Do things like this often happen here?’
**
[Allison]

In the door of the stairwell, you are still a distance away from the chaos halfway down the hall, but Winston has noticed you. Beyond him is Aubrey, trying to make some sense of this and WAY beyond, unseen by both of them, is a man you`ve never met, standing outside the main hotel doors looking in. He is soaked to the bone and serenely watching the scene outside of room 213, but obviously from the opposite end.

Eye contact. With the man in the rain.

Just a split second.

[Jacob]

The woman emerging from the stairwell locks eyes with you for a split second. It is a long way away, and it may have been accidental. Probably was. But it was there. For half a moment. And is gone.

She then leaves the stairwell and drops herself smack dab in the middle of the 213 chaos. She seems… annoyed?
**
Winston Smith
[Allison] Um, Right.

Looking mock-tough. I boldly approach the handicapped, blinded, and quite wounded, drunken person, on his blinded side and push him over on the bed so he lands face first …um very forcefully.

Once he`s there I remove the gun, by twisting it out of his hand away from us all and in the direction counter spinwise to the direction of his palm. (So no one gets shot and he can`t possibley stop me.)

Once its in my had I pop the safety, drop the magazine into my other hand, eject the remaining cartridge, flip the thumb catch, and remove the top tossing it in a corner of the room, the magazine to Aubrey, and the grip to at Allison. I don`t expect anyone to catch anything.

I then start to walk out say, “I`m headed to the front desk for a first aid kit, and then to the bar.”
**
[All]

<< OOC: It has been brought to my attention that I have no way of knowing if a message I receive is broadcast to everyone or if it is `GM Only`. I am going to ask Nik the admin to offer some sort of color-coding, but until then, IF your message is “GM Only”, please bracket that at the beginning so that I know. I am making assumptions based on what I think you can and cannot see, so if those assumptions are flawed, I need to know that.

Thank you.>>
*
Jacob Haliwell
I turn my face up into the falling rain, take a deep breath, and sigh. With a little reluctance, I make my way back inside the hotel. I wring out my shirt a little and wipe the rain from my face before heading toward my room.
Cheerily, I say, “Evening, everyone,” as I open my door (#412, across from 213 – GM edit), then go inside. Before I close the door, I pause and get a better look at the amassed people, particularly the woman I saw from outside. With a small smile on my face, I shut the door and change into dry clothes.
*

[Aubrey]

<< OOC: I`ll let the current situation speak for itself, BUT despite the chaos, you are aware enough to notice that there is no one at the front desk, that the piano player hasn`t shown and that for all intents and purposes, you are clearly the only staff member in the Hotel.>>
**
Samson Cavendish
I open my door (room #314) and take in the scene. Very impressed by Winston`s methodical disarming of Declan (not sure I actually know any of their names).

Still only leaning through my door, ready to duck back in. Asking the group of people:
“Was that the only gun? What room was he in?”
Very deliberately, “Did anyone call the cops?”
*
Declan O’Connell
“Ged off of me, shons of bitches!” I scream drunkenly. “Gimme back my fucking gun! Feel good to pick on a fucking cripple?!?”
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
Aubrey tries to catch the magazine.
(Alison) The Rain Hotel is a lovely retreat for all your travelling needs….that and weird shit has been known to happen.

(Samson, and in a voice loud enough for all) Phones are down.

(Winston) No one is at the front desk. None of the staff showed up (bastards). However, I`m supposed to be at the desk, so let me help you find the kit.

….and she quickly heads to the front office behind the desk.
**
Winston Smith

(Declan) “****”
(Jacob)It wouldn`t surprise me if there`s another.
walking
(Aubrey) “Thanks for the help. So is Allison hotel staff too?”
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
( Winston) Ms. Rhodes? Seriously? No one who works in hotel service would ever wear heels like that.
*

Svetlana Dugan
“I am needing a bandage.” Svetlana wanders out of her room (401, across from 213) holding her bleeding hand
**
Winston Smith
(Aubrey) Ah, well good. Then its good that I didn`t miss her when trying to learn the staff`s names.

You know there`s now another bleeding person back there. I hope this kit is reasonably extensive. And given how dirty she looks- it better have a lot of antiseptic. Any idea about the phones? Have we tried cell service? (Checks phone)
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
No go on the cells, mine anyway, yours Mr. Smith..er…Winston? (helps clean and bandage Svetlana)
*

Svetlana Dugan
Svetlana surveys the scene.
(Loud, everyone) “What the hell is goink on here?”
The cut on her hand doesn`t look too bad, but antiseptic isn`t a bad idea considering her disheveled state.
Svetlana realizes she said the last statement out loud and tries to quickly duck back into her room.
**
Samson Cavendish
I walk out of my room, nearly jogging to the lobby. To Aubrey (and Winston), "Well, if the phones don`t work, we won`t call the cops. Who is that woman in 5… er, 401? Russian? Is she a tenant? How long has she been here?

AND WHY IN GOD`S NAME IS YOUR CLOCK RUNNING BACKWARDS?

… Sorry, I`m a bit on edge. There was a gun shot."

I stand for a moment, staring at the shelves and inboxes behind the counter. Beads of sweat roll down my forehead.
*
Svetlana Dugan
(Samson) I am Svetlava, I mean, not of your business. I am just gettink here. (Aubrey) No cops. Thank you for bandage. Sorry, but there is broken mirror in my room.
*

Samson Cavendish
I nearly jump out of my skin when Svetlana speaks to me.
“Right… none of my business. Fair enough. And yes, no cops. Phones don`t work. That`s fine.

(to no one in particular) So who exactly shot who? Was there a fight?"
**
Winston Smith

(Samson) You know its rude to ask for someone`s name without introducing yourself first.

(All) I`m Winston Smith. I`m on a floor up above, and found the bullet hole when it happened.

(Samson) I`d ask our swearing companion over here on the bed what happened- assuming you`re up to it.

(Svetlana) While taping up her new bandage to the now clean spots on her hand.
“Pleased to meet you. I`m sorry you broke your mirror. How`d that happen?”

(All)If someone wants to give me a hand restraining our drunken friend here, whose name I`m not sure I know- we`ll replace that dirty sock with a real bandage. I`m not sure if that`s a chunk of ear though- I don`t think we can do anything about that- without someone with more medical training or an ambulance."
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
The clock? heh….go figure.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
How long has Svet. been here?
**
Winston Smith
(Gm Only)
I`m hoping to announce- after all this bandaging, that I need a drink, and I`m going to the bar. I don`t know if there is one, or if I can say that and you`ll find one or open a hole in the wall for one for me. Or what your plan is for resolving that… if you can clue me in, please do. Otherwise I may be announcing that I`m going to find a bar and mean one out in the rain- when I say, “I`m going to the bar.”

Please also confirm whether I see the clock running backwards, and is my watch running forward or back ward, and whether I have cell signal. -and whether that clock is forward or backward.

Thanks. This is lovely, and Nik says he made the Gmonly button just for Rain Hotel.
**
[Aubrey]

<< OOC: Svetlana checked into the Hotel 25 minutes ago, or 20 before Minute Zero (the start of the game). Jacob checked in 1 minute before the start. He was the last person you saw before going up to your apartment.>>

[Winston]

<< OOC: No bar in the hotel. There was a place “Absins” about 3 blocks east a few days ago, but you haven`t been back since then.>>

Currently, the clock on the wall in the Clerk`s Alcove says “5:55”. If your watch has hands, it reads “11:55”… If digital: “00:55”.

Your cell phone bars jump in and out spastically. When it has ANY bars it reads: 00:55. Every 3 seconds it has no bars at all and losing the network. While offline and “Searching” the time is `00:00` and when it catches the signal it goes back to 00:55 (for now at least. In a minute, that could change.)

[All]

<< GM edit: Svetlana`s room, 401, is not across the hall from 213. Jacob`s room, 412, is across the hall.

Rooms on the first floor go like this:

LOBBY
Elevator….. 400
401………. 402
403………. 404
405………. 406
407………. 408
409………. 410
213………. 412
415………. 414
417………. 416
419………. 418
421………. 420
315………. 314
Stairwell
>>
**
Winston Smith

(Gm only)
“Every nineteen minutes the place goes craaaaazeeeeey. Rain Hotel!”
**
Winston Smith

(Declan)Can you hear me? Are you going to hold still for this or are you going bleed to unconsciousness?

(Allison) Alison you seem fit and capable, do you want to hold Mr. Sock or help bandage if he`s trouble?
**
Allison Rhodes
Easily catching the grip of the gun and slipping into her pocket.

[Winston] I`ll happily assist you, Mr. Smith. I am good with such situations. As long as you keep him reasonably still, I should have no trouble. If there is some crazy glue around I could probably take care of the earlobe, too.

[All] What, no crazy glue? Oh well, he`ll just have to make do. I suppose it is the least of his concerns right now.

I get the antiseptic, plenty of gauze pads and some bandages. When the antiseptic hits open wounds our drunken friend writhes violently…I admit that his cursing approaches the poetic.

[Aubrey] A lady is always a lady no matter her profession or the situation in which she finds herself.
*
Winston Smith
Regarding watch. ITs a ticker. And I check again in a minute. I also look to see if the second hand is going forward or back.
*

Jacob Haliwell
Since it seems likely that the party outside won`t be breaking up any time too soon, I decide to join the festivities. Before I he
*
Jacob Haliwell
I notice all the bandaging going on and can`t help but come to two conclusions. One: I made the right call in not coming out here sooner, and two: my day is, in fact, getting progressively worse. I can`t wait to see what gets screwed up next.
*

[All]

Declan is the first to notice. And he notices visibly… by settling his suddenly sober-ass down on the bed. Each of you follows in turn, tracking the head movements and eyes of each other until everyone reaches the same conclusion and stops what they are doing…

You hear music.

<< http://www.myspace.com/thehappytalkband>>
<< “Forget Me Not”>>

[Aubrey]

By the way, while you didn`t scoop the pistol`s magazine in mid-drop, you DID cover it with your foot immediately and were able to slip it away unnoticed (as far as you can tell).

The music that you begin hearing is coming out of the the crackling PA speakers around the lobby and the intercoms at the front desk and in the elevator. You know there are intercoms at the desk, in the elevator and in your apartment. Each one has a PA button that when pressed will broadcast to every speaker and intercom in the building.

[Winston]

You saw that Audrey snatched and pocketed the magazine of the pistol, and that Allison spirited away the gun itself. You have the final, ejected bullet from when you cleared the chamber.

[Declan]

Your hearing has slowly returned. It isn`t 100% by any means, but it`s coming back, and you are sobering up fast. In fact, as you said, you had `drunk yourself sober`, so much of this rampage was depression-fueled and not alcoholic.

You know that your gun is gone and you know that while the pressure on your ear is strong and well applied (someone knows what they`re doing), the bleeding hasn`t stopped entirely. Your right ear is full of blood and so while your hearing is somewhat back, you are still off-balance a bit as it feels like your head is full of fluid (which it is).

[Allison]

Between you and Winston, you have gotten Declan`s wound as clean as possible. It is still bleeding somewhat, but the pressure is tight and you have done what you can. With the right side of his face clean, you can see that in addition to the ear wound there is a thin streak of 3rd degree burn running up his cheek to the missing ear.

You do have the gun. You pocketed it smoothly without looking at it.
**
Allison Rhodes
[GM] Well now that there is a pause in the action (bleeding) I`d like to take a moment to gather myself.

Is there anything interesting about the gun?

The eye contact with Jacob (?) has me intrigued. Is he vaguely familiar? Do I find him attractive? Does he seem all there? I mean, he apparently doesn`t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.

What type of filth is Svetlana covered in? Is it the type of filth from long term poor personal hygiene? fixing cars? gardening? crawling through ventilation systems?

Does Winston seem competent? Was he merely distracted or does he need someone to order him around?

re Samson: he`s sweating. Is it the oily sweat of withdrawal? smelly fever? fear and tension?

Also, I have a slim ladies` watch on my left wrist with a second hand. What time does it currently say? If I watch it for a few minutes, what does it do? Do the carrilons ever chime a time that matches it?

Where is the music coming from? Is it disembodied? Is there a PA system in the hotel? Does it sound as if it coming from the piano in the lobby?

Perhaps more questions for you later. Now I am off to the park since it is a beautiful day here even if it isn`t at the Rain Hotel.
**
[all]

<< OOC: Theoretically, at this moment, you should all have this message visible. I have sent it to a Location: The Rain Hotel… Ground Floor. Everyone in that location should get this message. No need to respond, I tested it first…

Note that this means you all have access to the Ground Floor map… for what good that`ll do ye. >>

[Samson]

You are confident… reasonably confident… that you have never met Svetlana before now… But she is holding your attention something fierce. She really does look fucking awful. The bandage around her hand is slowly seeping through and you can see a spatter of blood under her leather jacket on the pink sequins.

She smells like sawdust.

[Jacob]

As the song crackles through the hallway, you lose touch with your immediate surroundings. Your mind focuses tightly on the music (this is not strange, it happens from time to time), and you feel as if you are inside the story it is telling. You experience it all but from a detached 3rd person view.

While this is happening, you are aware of nothing except the song.

[Svetlana]

The Englishman in the tweed is staring at you. You aren`t even sure if he knows he is. His eyes say he`s afraid of you.

Even though your hand is bandaged as well as it can be, you can feel that you are still bleeding. Maybe not a lot, but it is there. The nerves along the wound are starting to wake up and they hurt. They hurt/itch in the way that broken-glass cuts do: It`s fine one second and then you can feel the sharper-than-sharp incision open back up.

[all]

<< OOC: Now for some fancy-dancing and gm hijinks…>>

You are hopelessly lost in the song that is haunting you throughout the floor. You can do nothing but listen.

<< OOC: As the song fades out and is replaced by static, consider the scene to be fading out. This `blackout` is time for reflection and personal regrouping.

AS OF RIGHT NOW… your characters cannot interact until I fade the scene back in. Until then, it is just between me and you. Make sense?>>

[Allison]

The only question I will answer before the Song takes over, is that the pistol is an M1911.

<< OOC: If you think you would know what that means, wiki it and take what information you want from it. But ONLY if you might reasonably have read up on it at some time.>>

You find, to your dismay perhaps, that the magazine of the weapon is completely missing, and (again if you know these things) that there is no bullet in the chamber. It is completely empty.
**
Samson Cavendish
[GM]
How about my watch? Is it running backwards as well? Regardless, I`d like to compare every time piece I can see. I need numbers.

Currently terrified that Svetlana is part of the “family.” Given her current state of physical dishevelment, is she psychologically/ emotionally a mess as well? Is she giving me any more attention than anyone else in this motley group.

I realize these might be questions impossible to answer during a blackout, but they are on Samson`s mind.

<< OOC: Is this blackout something happening to the characters, or is it a meta-game scene change? I`ll draft up a bit more of backstory to my previous hour`s encounter in the next day or two. I`m looking forward to fleshing that out, even if it has nothing to do with what is going on here.>>
**
Winston Smith
Note:
I threw the gun in three pieces in three directions. One has the magazin. One has the grip. The top of the pistol- the slide and barrel is in the corner of Declan`s room – unless you or some one else moved it.

For consistency retro-conning my cold opener- I`d like to know what staff I made a point of interacting with- and what staff I believe have witnessed me waking in different rooms.

I believe I copied you on the PM to Aubrey saying that since I said I made a point of meeting and knowing the staff`s first names- She and I would have spoken on a staff, talk about the weather basis- and I would`ve at least asked her to call me Winston. In keeping with that….at ret-con update seems reasonable since the gestalt has changed what I thought the shape of the hotel is- unless I have a completely different hotel in mind and it will all be handled at some time in the future.

Partially if other peple that I met- are now missing- or not showing up for work- I sort-of need to know who I met- that is now missing to react to it.-Apparently its not the bartender-there isn`t one. Possibly not the piano player- is there one? Is it the two Hispanic maids? or Just Aubrey? Does she know I`m a wanderer- do I know that she knows…. etc. (Sorry this is a bit more work- its just throwing several wrenches in how I view what is going on.)
*
Winston Smith
What are the do-hickies around the lobby walls that could be pillars or suits of armor or just about any do-dads.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
**
[Aubrey]

The little door behind the clerk`s desk used to be living quarters for the clerk. An efficiency. A SMALL efficiency. It is no longer in use as such and functions as a broom closet.
**
Aubrey Rose Davies
Aubrey muses…..

All the things, the bullet, the one legged man, the egos, the silly russian lady, the severe lady who makes me think of an old ballet teacher….these will all make great little stories. Everyone is so jumpy and secretive…and …bloody. I really hope the cleaning lady shows up in the morning. I hate cleaning up the blood.
I`m torn between wanting more things to happen and wanting nothing to happen so I can go to my room and write.
And that song…where is that coming from? I like it, it makes me want to drink and dance and cry all at once. It makes me want to be an old blues singer, with a harsh voice and a glass of harsh whiskey, swaying and singing, leaning on an old piano.
There is no one playing the piano tonight, and if there was I would have no one to dance with…and that song didn`t sound like the normal tunes.

I will wander upstairs, to sip tea on the balcony in the rain and scrawl what ever falls from my head down. Maybe I can find something on the radio to sway to…Maybe I will see a light on at the cafe (or him) (but I suspect I won`t).

Comfy Slippers, and pajamas, and a bit of a read will do me in for the evening.
*
Jacob Haliwell
OOC: Okay, the desk clock is gone, and apparently, so is the spoon…
*

Winston Smith
OOC: I think its OK to share the information that the do-hickies near the walls of the map in the lobby are potted plants. It would be obvious what they are if you are in the room. And at this resolution its not. So they are not- I repeat not Sleestaks- at least not at the moment that I asked and the GM answered. (Of course now I`ve given him the idea… I can`t say what will happen.)
**
[Winston]

<< Blackout: Now that there is time to observe, here is the state of things. Until Minute Zero (the gunshot), the Hotel was exactly as you described it, to you anyway. There WAS a bar, running along the western lobby wall, there were maids and bathroom attendants (as well as a bathroom) and a piano player… and until you made it downstairs to the lobby area, you had no reason to think things were otherwise. On your floor, the only conspicuous absence would have been the ubiquitous staff, but here in the lobby, things are obviously different. No bar, of course, being the most glaring change.

Aubrey does make a point of knowing the guests and you make a point of knowing the staff, so, yes, you two have had a relationship as deep as both of you agree. However, she is not one of the maids who found you in the wrong room and, if she knows that has happened, she hasn`t said anything to you about it.

[Aubrey]

You have concerns, don`t you? And, you`d be correct to. While the Hotel is long past its heyday, before your time, there are still generally 7 staff members on duty at all times: A desk clerk, a piano player, 3 maids, 1 laundry attendant (hotel laundry is in the basement) and a shift manager (in this case: you.) Not only have the new shift not shown up, but at some point after you checked in Jacob, (Jacob who seems to recognize you and now that you think of it, he is somewhat familiar, too You aren`t sure how, but…) all staff on duty simply left.

There also seem to be some residents missing, but without a door-to-door campaign, there is no real way to confirm this.

So… you are torn. You are technically in charge, but how that came to be is so nonsensical that you`re not sure exactly how much responsibility you actually have to anyone but yourself.

The diner is still dark, as are the streets in general. The only light you see is coming from the cathedral across the street. One window. A small one, high in the belltower. A desk-lamp perhaps.

<< OOC: Winston, Samson and Allison are long-term residents and you can have relationships as deep as you agree to.>>

[Samson]

Svetlana may, in fact, be a killer, but if she is, she is not a professional. Despite the fear she is rousing in you, she seems rather terrified herself. Not necessarily of anyone in particular… just… scared. She reeks of being on the run and her eyes say she`d like to bolt again, the first chance she gets.

Just before the Blackout, she catches you staring and returns the gaze. She is trying to recognize you.

Something about the numbers IS poking at you. Your instincts are spinning around and around dealing with the possibilities. Occam`s Razor is sharp and is tough to hang on to. The simplest answers sometimes are the most absurd.

Absurd… Here`s the epitome of it. As your brain tries to conjure sense out of the numbers, you have the briefest of flashes:

For a few seconds there, right after you heard the gunshot, you fully expected to run to your room on the 3rd floor. Completely. And then, suddenly, you remembered it wasn`t actually on the third at all. Remembered. Or knew. Or… something…
**
Winston Smith
OOC: Was it a runcible spoon? Did it run away with the Dish? Oo I`m mixing my metaphors-well nursery rhymes anyway.

" They dined on mince and slices of quince,
which they ate with a runcible spoon.

Another mention of this piece of cutlery appears in the alphabetical illustrations Twenty-Six Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures. Its entry for D reads

The Dolomphious Duck,
who caught Spotted Frogs for her dinner
with a Runcible Spoon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runcible_spoon
**
[Svetlana]

<< OOC Note: The Blackout is not ACTUALLY happening. Think of it as a scene change and right now everyone is between scenes. I know that you just recently arrived (your timing could not have been more perfect, btw), but the PC`s needed a breather and a bit of a regroup to be able to start asking questions of me.

Consider this time, before the next scene begins, as a safe zone where you can clarify your past, ask about some specifics that your character might pick up among the chaos of the hallway but not register until it was calm.>>

There is something upsetting about everyone you have seen in the hall. Almost. Jacob seems harmless and Aubrey, too. But everyone else… The drunken mick waving the gun around doesn`t put you at ease and neither does the Englishman who keeps trying to recognize you. The severe chick in the business suit and heels has a very creepy way about her and the boyscout, Winston, is hardly that. He looks like he doesn`t miss a trick and the only blessing is that his attention seems to not be on you.

The wound on your hand continues to bleed, but just barely now. In a few moments there will be the beginnings of a thin scab that will not only seal the cut, but glue the bandage to it which is just gonna hurt like hell when it has to be peeled away.

But, you are in your room and the door is locked and as far as you can tell, you`re doing just fine… considering.

[Declan]

You pass out. It`s way overdue and you don`t fight it. Your ear wound is starting to get that crunchy-wet feeling. A ball of clotting blood is rolling around in your ear canal and while it may only be the size of a pinhead, it sounds like a boulder and your brain is the little village that is about to be crushed by it. Hey, at least that means you can (sort of) hear again.

Your gun is gone. They took it. Bastards. But at the same time… well, you were kind of asking for it. And someone DID dress the wound, sooo…

[Jacob]

You are within the song, but detached… As if you were the camera filming it. The only way that you know that you are there at all physically, is that you catch your reflection in a window once.

When you come out of its fugue, you are aware that you know SOMETHING else about it. You aren`t sure what… Did you read it in a newspaper? Have you met one of the people involved? You don`t know. You don`t even know if you are making that connection up in your mind. It is more than a small comfort, however, just to believe that the others in the hallway heard the song, too.

<< OOC: Your attention to voice patterns is noted, but please remind me specifically from time to time as that may slip through my cracks.>>

[Allison]

<< OOC Bulletpoints:

Jacob does not look familiar to you. The eye-contact may have just been accidental and after seeing him a little more, you gather that he just does that. You note that he looks `through` people rather than at them and, no, he doesn`t seem entirely all there. He may be on some sort of meds.

Svetlana reeks of being on the run. She smells like sawdust and greasepaint.

Winston definitely seems to know a bit of something about everything. You are both long-term residents and have seen each other at the library more than once, even if you haven`t conversed. That relationship is up to the both of you.

Samson is definitely scared of something and from the looks of it, that something might be Svetlana. He also has been here for a while, you may have some familiarity with each other. Again, you both decide.

The music is coming from both the PA system in the Lobby and the intercoms on the desk and in the elevator.

[Winston]

<< OOC: Detail… regardless of what relationship you have with Allison, you HAVE seen each other haunt the library on a few occasions.>>
*
Samson Cavendish
OOC: Since we are between scenes…
I think some of us (Samson included) are actually living in the hotel, as opposed to passing through. Winston maybe? And of course Aubrey as an employ
*

Samson Cavendish
[GM] My between scene ideas/ actions:
Well, it seems like no one is interested in calling the police, which makes me very happy. If things calm down more, I`d like to take one more walk through of the basement just to make sure I didn`t miss anything obvious.

Mentally, I`m bouncing back and forth between thinking about Svetlana`s sudden appearance and the numeric order of the rooms. I asked for room #Pi, but why is the hall so out of order? Even if 213 is supposed to be 413, where is 411? Putting 314 and 315 at the end seems like an afterthought, but still wrong. And I`m repeatedly checking my watch. One broken clock is fine, but all of them? Freaking me out. I may have accepted the out of order rooms, but since it now seems like something is jarring my brain about it, I`m trying to put my finger on it….
*
Winston Smith
(S/B Gm only)I`m modifying my intent: Before I go to my room and do those things- I realize by looking in the lobby which I haven`t yet that the building is different- and notice others looking a bit bewildered at details. I then pull out my pad and pen, and start asking them each for any who are conscious and hold still: IF they ask why I say just bear with me.
What do you notice that`s different?
When was it last the same?
What city were you in when you walked in the door of the hotel?
How long ago did you check in at the front desk?
How long ago did you walk in today?
Answer the three ambulance questions:
What is today`s date?
What is your name?
And bithday?
Who is president or PM of your country?
Why? Because there was a Bar in the West Wall of the lobby when I walked in- and the floor numbering wasn`t this Whacked before I walked into my room- and now it is. And AFAIK I didn`t do any hallucinogens to make that happen!
(It may be easier to have me ask these before people disperse
*

[Winston]

After the chaos of the hall quiets down and all that it is left of the song is a faint record-skip and dust crackles, several people are gone before you can begin your questions…

Jacob grabs a paperback from his room and sits in the lobby, sometimes reading, sometimes staring out into the rain.

Samson paces up and down the hall, checking door numbers, reading and re-reading the clock, scribbling notes and being frustrated.

These two are definitely available for questioning.

[Jacob and Samson]

<< OOC: There is a strong possibility that Winston will ask you a list of questions today. Do not worry about checking your answers with me. Don`t contradict your character sheet,if possible, but other than that…>>
**
Winston Smith

(Jacob)
Pardon me, I`ve seen you around the hotel on and off. Earlier you said “the desk clock is missing, and the spoon.” I`m really not sure what spoon you`re referring to but I`ve noticed differences in the hotel since the gunshot episode. That is, at least to me, things here aren`t the same as they were before that.

I want to compare what other people have noticed- and whether there`s any other differences in our surroundings and possibly memories- or to figure what the shared objective reality is. Just briefly, and not too personally:

Moleskin flip top notebook in hand-
What do you notice that`s different?
When was it last the same (as it was before things changed)?
How long ago did you check in at the front desk-r start your stay?
How long ago did you walk in to the hotel today? (The first time assuming you went out.)
Can you answer the three usual ambulance questions:
What is today`s date?
What is your name?
And birthday?
Who is president (or PM of your country)?
This may sound odd but, what city were you in when you walked in the door of the hotel?

(After you answer what you will-)
“Why you ask? This may sound utterly crazy- but there was a Bar in the West Wall of the lobby when I walked in- I`ve drunk there over the past 3 months and know the servers and bartender, and the piano player and its not there now and the floor numbering wasn`t this Whacked! before I walked into my room- and now it is. And AFAIK I didn`t do any hallucinogens to make that happen!
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Winston] (OOC: the clock and spoon comment was an OOC comment regarding the game description at the top of the page…for days it had kept time with the clock in the lobby but now it just says “There is no spoon” at the end. But not to fear, I`ll still get to your questions in just a bit)
*

Jacob Haliwell
I continue to stare straight ahead for a few moments, as if unaware of what is going on around me. Then…I blink. Once. Twice. And twice more in rapid succession. I look up into Winston`s face and slowly come back from wherever I was. I pause a few seconds more before clearing my throat, ready to answer.

[Winston]
Ummm…sorry…wasn`t expecting any visitors. Right. Questions? Yes, you had questions. Well…oh, why the hell not, I guess I can play along.

I set my book down on the couch next to me

Let`s see…I opened the door to my room for the first time about five minutes before my neighbor across the hall decided to wake the whole building with his gun. So I walked through the front door and checked in about five or ten minutes before that. Great fucking timing, eh? I was a bit distracted by the smell of the soot still stuck to my clothes, so I didn`t really pay much attention to the decor on the way in. I was more interested in just finding some place to sleep. Which I STILL haven`t been able to do yet. Say, you wouldn`t happen to know where I can score some Ambien or something, would you? I`m beat, but I`m wired. Strange combination.

Anyways.

My name is Jacob. Jacob Haliwell. And I hope to God it`s April Fools Day, because I don`t know how much more shit I can take today. Feels more like Friday the 13th, though.
Oh. You were serious.
Ummm, I believe today is March 6th…that would be Thursday, because I`m supposed to get paid tomorrow. Only a week away from birthday number thirty-one. So don`t forget to get me a cake.

The president is that Alfred E. Neuman look-a-like guy that everybody hates. You know, the sequel.

And as far as I know, the city was, and still is, Seattle. Why else do you think it rains all the damn time?
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Winston] (after your proscribed response below)
Well, if you`re still having problems, I may be able to help a bit with that. I`ll need to grab something from my room first though.
*

Winston Smith
“Thanks for playing along.” [Notices what your book you are reading.]
“You do look really tired- this is a shit thing to walk into-would keep just about anyone up over long.”

“You forgot to say what year it is….”

“On the hallucinogens- This place is weird enough as is thanks.”

Looks around – seeing and hearing no one

“As far as sleeping pills though,…” shakes out three from a pill bottle in his jacket pocket.

“Happy Birthday.”

“So were you covered in soot for a good reason? You`re not a chimney sweep are you?”
**
Jacob Haliwell
[Winston]
Ummm..I thought that was fairly obvious. 2008.
And I didn`t mean to suggest I can help you see things. Quite the opposite in fact.

a grateful smile crosses his face as he accepts the gift
Thanks. I really appreciate it.

Uh, no…not for a good reason. Not a good reason at all. A pretty shitty reason actually, at least for me.
laughs
No, I`m not a chimney sweep, though I`ve pushed my share of brooms around.
*
Winston Smith
Yes I`m on the lobby. I could use a scotch.
*

Winston Smith
OOC:
Just to capture the bits- I envision this as occurring with Allison starting to walk into the lobby looking for glasses and possibly people.

“DangerMouse says: YEs in the lobby
David says: and no glasses here, there was no bar since I came to the hotel
Allison Rhodes says: lift, rather.
Allison Rhodes says: I don`t feel like hiking up to mine and Aubrey seems to be the only one with access to the life.
David says: brb….going to pick up my pizza for dinner
Allison Rhodes says: when the bar left, did it leave glasses? or do you have some in your room?
David says: yup. my butt is parked on one of the couches
Allison Rhodes says: since the bar seems to have gone AWOL
Allison Rhodes says: are you two in the lobby? I`ve got a bottle of decent scotch.
David says: I was planning on it”
**
Chapter One
“The Body in the Basement”

Seven players, each with their own trials, with their own triumphs and most importantly, with their own reasons for being in this Hotel tonight.

Aubrey, reluctant senior-officer in a shit-hole that once played host to Duke Ferdinand. Quiet and deep while the storms rage around her penthouse apartment, wondering “What did I do to deserve this?” at the same time she imagines the turbulence turning into words and sentences and stories to be told…

Samson, such a smart, smart, wreck of a man. Cursed with gifts that make no sense and that few can respect but even fewer can deny… the results, at least, even if the methods are absurd. A man locked in seconds into becoming someone he never thought he could and forever worried he`ll stay that way…

Winston, whose cynicism might well be his saviour. Who makes the Devil weep at his attention to detail, both for the raw ability and because Lucifer Himself doesn`t want that curse…

Allison, out of her element in this ground-zero… or perhaps not. Reading more than she speaks and Prada nothwithstanding, part of her belongs with the Hotel and she reeks of it. She just happens to look very good doing it…

Declan, brute, blunt and looking the fool… But sad. And his sadness is sublime and it is not that of a simpering, wounded wolf. Even if it was, if the wolf can dress as a sheep, can`t the Fool be a costume as well?

Jacob,
*
Svetlana Dugan
Chyort voz`mi! Svetlana is in the shower when the alarm goes off. She grabs a towel and wraps it around herself and rushes out the door into the lobby.
*

Winston Smith
“Bloody Hell!”

setting his empty, clean, coffee mug down

“I was just getting somewhere toward- ah blast.”

  • Runs to the front desk, jumps/slides over the desk and turns and looks at the zone lights on hotel fire alarm. To the extreme left of the registration computer. Looking for the lit lights.*

“Where is it?!”

“If the phones are still out the Fire Department won`t be notified.”

“And do either of you know if our “patient” is conscious and can get out of the hotel?"

Grabs fire extinguisher, and starts to run up the hall.
**
Samson Cavendish
GAAH!”

I was already in the hall, heading towards the stairs, looking for the way to the basement. [Hey, GM รข??where are the stairs to the basement, they don`t seem to be marked on the map. I`m guessing the same stairwell up goes down as well?]

Sprinting back towards the lobby, ready to run out the front, when I see the folks in the lobby being far more proactive than myself.

“Er, Winston (right?), where is the fire? What floor, what room?”

I`ll run with him if he`s already moving.
**
Jacob Haliwell
I reflexively look up in the direction of the alarm, but without the surprise, concern, panic, or even disbelief that you might reasonably expect someone to experience in a situation like this. Instead, my face is contorted in a grimace of disgust and frustration as I slam my empty glass down on the table.

Looking up towards the ceiling, I call out to no one in particular, “Oh, come ON! You`ve GOT to be fucking KIDDING me!”

I pick up my book, and stomp down the hall to my room, apparently disaffected with the threat of fire blaring overhead. Once inside, I grab my duffel and unhurriedly repack my few possessions. I head back out to the hall and kick Declan`s door, yelling at him to get up, then stomp back to the lobby muttering to myself.

I look around at anyone still (or newly) there, and ask, “Now what?”
**
Allison Rhodes
takes the last sip of scotch from her glass. She closes the bottle and slips it and the glass into her valise.

[Winston] Is the fire above or below us?

[Jacob] Go OPEN the drunkard`s door. If he needs assistance with his leg, give it to him. <mutters:>
**
Winston Smith
(Allison)
“Give it to him? The leg or assistance? (Bad joke sorry)Still Checking. There`s more lights on this thing than I expected-not fires but one for each zone- and looking for the one meaning “fire.”

(OOC: Waits for jdm…to answer….my guess is below given our chapter title)
**
[Samson]

The door to the basement is actually in the lobby, directly left of the front desk. <<there>>

Declan is passed out in his room, Aubrey`s quarters are on the top floor (so if she IS on her way down, it will be a minute or two at least, and Svetlana was apparently in the shower when the alarm began… She actually cleans up rather well.

No sign of smoke, flame or sprinkler yet.

The emergency light panel is a flashing mess of bulbs, but the most reasonable deductions seem to say that the fire is on the third floor.

Somewhere there is another sound. It is outside the hotel and distant so is having a great deal of trouble competing with the immediate and brutally loud fire-alarm bell…

But it`s something low and long and droning. Through the windows, the rain and wind are whipping heavily against the glass.

[Aubrey]

Up in your apartment, staring out at the cityscape, the fire alarm seems distant. You can`t even recall how many times the alarm went off (or was pulled by some jackass) with no disaster following, so needless to say, you don`t overreact…

Especially with the skyline looking at you. There is something… wrong… with it. Something very… repetitious. That`s all you can really say. The mist plays tricks and makes it hard to nail down details…

But somewhere below, running through the streets is another, more immediate sound (to you, up here, at least)… unlike the fire-alarm bells, it is a long drone… And it is actually seeming to source from different areas. The drone overlaps into a bizarre Tibetan throat song that could be beautiful if you weren`t exactly sure what it was.

Throughout the city, the air-raid sirens are calling.
**
Winston Smith
(Allison)
“At least Declan`s in his room.”

looks at the panels, staring to drown out the noise

(All/Any)
“Anyone know what the hell that droning noise is? The City doesn`t get Hurricanes – well not without days of warning.”

Finds what he wants with a finger on the light

(Samson & Allison)
“Its the 3rd floor- above us, can`t tell the room.”

re-takes fire-extinguisher from counter
moves out behind the desk with the fire extinguisher

“-Crap, that`s my floor.”

looks all the way up the hall at the stairwell- and at the front doors- at the rain, then at the table with glasses- and his bag

moves back to table stashes notebook into small, shoulder sling man-bag -ducks into it

“I`m going to have a look at the floor see if I can get my computer & some story notes. If I don`t come back- you should probably get out- and take The Patient with you.”

Runs up the hall, fire extinguisher in hand, checks stairwell and door before opening it, finds it safe, looks up stairwell for smoke/flame sprinklers-seeing none -proceeds up the stairs several at a time.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Aubrey snaps out of her reverie with the realization that it is not only the fire alarm, but the air-raid sirens. She looks out over the odd skyline, trying to see what has changed. (is the church light still on? Do I have a fire escape, and if so what kind of shape is it in?). She grabs her long coat, and heads out (1st choice fire escape, if its sturdy enough, 2nd choice, check out the elevator for smoke, then take it, 3rd is the stairs).
*

[Winston]

Samson joins you having found another fire extinguisher.

Even as you round the first landing, you feel like something is wrong. Not in that “Hey, the building`s on fire” kind of wrong… but that there is an instinct that you are ignoring.

Before you open the door to your floor you already know you are not going to find a fire there. You feel misdirected, played but you cannot say why.

For the briefest of flashes the hallway looks as though it only has half the number of doors that it should.

At least your stuff is intact.

[Aubrey]

No fire escape. At least not one that you would want to use. Even if it weren`t a rusty deathtrap, which it is, it still was built to be a last resort. Not a safe climb. Given that you aren`t really sure that there IS a fire, another mode of descent seems a better option.

That leaves the stairs or the elevator.

Nope. No sign of trouble in the elevator shaft. And even though you really should always take the stairs in an emergency, it`s SUCH a long way down. Fourteen floors…

No, wait. Eleven. Eleven floors. Not fourteen. But for a second…

A strange glitch in your memory.

[Samson]

<< Forgot if I got you this info already… The basement stairs are behind the little door to the left of the front desk.>>

You snatch another fire extinguisher as Winston moves past you. You both are heading for the third floor, where the emergency status lights indicate the fire to be.

As you climb, you have a strange sense of a misfiring memory…

You suddenly recall running into the hotel after hearing that gunshot. All the way down the hallway you EXPECTED to get to the stairwell and climb two flights to your room on the 3rd… but in an instant you knew that your room wasn`t on the 3rd after all.

Half a second of that memory

[Jacob]

Well, you have a few choices in front of you. Winston and Samson took off to the 3rd floor together with a couple extinguishers. Allison and Svetlana are in the lobby with Allison opening the lobby doors and peering into the street and it`s driving winds.

The sound of air-raid sirens plow into the hotel through the open door with pelting rain.

Svetlana is standing in a towel, having had a shower interrupted. She cleans up pretty well, but clearly could use a few more minutes under the hot water.

As your eyes and ears bounce around the space, you realize that you DO in fact, smell smoke… it`s faint, but definitely there. The winds disassemble it and you lose the scent after a second.
**
Jacob Haliwell
I toss my duffel to the floor at Svetlana`s feet. Besides the original contents, it also contains the towel I stole from my room.

[Svetlana]
Go ahead and grab a shirt from the bag if you want. There`s a pair of sweat pants in there too if you think they`ll fit. I`ll be back in a minute.
**
[Allison]

The door of the hotel nearly flies out of your hand as it is caught by the wind. The rain is heavy now and drives into the lobby soaking you quickly… At least superficially. You close it instinctively and then open it again… Just an inch.

There is more than rain and wind and ear-busting sirens flying about out there, there is debris. No… not `debris`… paper.

Scraps of paper, full sheets, post-its, manilla folders… all wet and running and virtually unreadable… but typed… that much you can see…

You might try to grab one if you weren`t pretty damn positive that the gust would slam that door and you`d never see your fingers again.

Before the wave of papers heads past the hotel and trickles into nothing, you think you saw your name on one of the sheets. Maybe.

But then you catch the letters “Svet…” on another and you are sure.

Then they are gone.
*
Jacob Haliwell
I run back down the hall to Declan`s room and open the door, by force if necessary. I attempt to rouse him, and will help him gather anything important before we head back to the lobby. If he is still dead to the world, I`ll grab his prosthesis and anything interesting looking and stuff them into a suitable piece of baggage if available, or make a bundle from a bed sheet. Then I`ll try to pick him up in a fireman`s carry and make my way back to the lobby, either carrying or dragging Declan, kicking the bag/bundle down the hall in front of me.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
Down the elevator I go, feeling not unlike Alice. Decending, destination unknown. For as worry some a day as it has been, Aubrey is still finding things to smile about. Curiouser and Curiouser. She heads for the lobby, intending to walk outside and take a look around, if the light is on at the church, she will take a stroll there. She wants to get some help.
**
[Svetlana]

Winston and Samson fly past with fire-extinguishers and head up the stairwell. Allison and Jacob remain in the lobby near you and Jacob, drops his duffel bag offering some sweats.

<< You DID score some clothing on your foraging mission, by the way.>>

The elevator motor kicks in and begins making it`s long trek down from (assumedly) Aubrey`s apartment and that turns your gaze back to the hallway.

Dizzy from the fire-alarm mixing with the sounds of air-raid sirens blowing in with the rain through the lobby door that Allison has open an inch, you wobble and blink hazily…

Far at the opposite end, by the stairwell, you see a little boy wearing a hospital gown in front of the stairwell door. For just a second. Maybe less. Gone again in a heartbeat… but something is lying on the carpet in his place.

It looks like a hatchet.
**
Svetlana Dugan
I look up at the sudden and unexpected kindness.

[Jacob]
Thank you.

I rummage through the bag and grab a button down shirt if there is one. I slip it on over the towel and button it closed, and then let the towel drop to the floor with the practiced ease of someone who has changed in public places before. If there is a belt in the bag I grab that too and make a make-shift shit dress.

[All]
There iz somethink at end of hallway. Who will come with me to see?
*
Allison Rhodes
[Svetlana] If I may use your towel for a moment, I`ll go with you. My name is Allison, by the way.
*

Svetlana Dugan
[Allison] Dah, of course. It is not mine, it is hotel`s. I am Svetlana. Pleased to meet you.

I hand her the slightly damp towel.
**
[Allison and Svetlana]

Halfway down the hall you pass room 213. The door is open and Jacob is gathering up the blacked-out Declan.

Svetlana, it is 20 feet away before you realize your mistake on identifying the object.

Allison, at this distance you for the first time see something lying on the carpet in front of the stairwell doors.

It is not a hatchet, Svetlana.

It is a hammer. A ball-peen hammer.

[Jacob]

Declan brought very little with him.

You find his bag, ANOTHER pint of bad whiskey, his military uniform.

As you grab his prosthetic, you spot the disattached barrel of his pistol lying under a small table.

Declan rouses enough to help a little. A little.

[Aubrey]

As you slide the safety grill and step out of the elevator, you can faintly smell smoke. When you track it, you can see small tendrils of it coming from underneath the door next to the clerk`s desk.

The door leads to the basement and is kept locked, even when laundry services are up and running. You, of course, have all the keys.
**
Aubrey Rose Davies
Aubrey touches the door behind the clerks desk, then pulls out her key and unlocks it.

(all) Fire is in the basement, grab the extinguisher…there`s 2 in the hall ( I grab the one behind the desk). When She has some assistance she opens the door.)
**
Svetlana Dugan
I turn to Allison.

[Allison]
You are seeink this as well, yes? The hammer?
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
(all) Anyone know what`s up outside? I didn`t even know we still had air raid sirens around here.
*

Jacob Haliwell
[GM Only]
I stuff Declan`s meager belongings into his bag, but pocket the barrel, before assisting him in attaching his prosthesis. Then I grab his bag and help him down the hall to the lobby.

(OOC: Please let me know at what point I make it back to the lobby, so I know how much of the conversation there I actually hear. Thanks.)
**
Winston Smith
(Samson) Did you just see that? Or the absense of that?

Better yet, tell me what you saw when we first opened the door to the floor?

opens his room, which is oddly at the top of the steps, grabs a sling shoulder, worn, maroon ballistic nylon laptop bag. Leaves without shutting door.

If there`s no fire here-or the second where we passed, I`m starting to think we shouldn`t have left the others alone – things are going from dangerous, to annoying, and starting to shift to creepy.

Turns to the stairs, and shouts while jogging-jumping back down two flights of stairs

So-what do you thinks going on?
*
((more missing info))
*

Svetlana Dugan
I deftly moves out of the way of Samson and Winston, ducking under and around them, ending up behind Samson. I do
**
Winston Smith
*Fishing a flashlight from my outer bag pocket, I set the bag down beside the desk, and pull the ring from my fire extinguisher so it will work – I follow Aubrey- also looking for the screamer. I mimic her getting low under the smoke stance. *

(Aubrey)
“Aubrey, Winston here behind you.”
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
(Winston) excellent…lets go…hold on to my foot if it gets hard to see.
*

Jacob Haliwell
I ease Declan into a chair, leaving his bag on the floor next to him. At the sound of the scream, I turn around and see the smoke coming from the basement doorway.

[Aubrey and Winston]
This is NOT a good idea…

I grab my duffel again and quickly head to the front door. I stop with my hand on the knob, looking out at the rain and clearly debating whether to stay or make an escape.
**
Allison Rhodes
[Jacob] I strongly suggest that you don`t open that door.

[Svetlana] Of course it is a hammer. What else would it be?

[Declan] Can you hear me? What happened to you?

[GM] What door are we in front of with the hammer?

I retreat closer to Svetlana. Aubrey and the rest of these bold souls are a little too forward. Fire is NOT something to mess with.

Has Declan shown any sign of coherence as of yet?
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Allison]
So I get wet…big deal. Beats third degree burns and smoke inhalation. Besides, I`ve already exceeded my quota for fires today.
*

Allison Rhodes
[Jacob] If you must, but I don`t think that you`ll be able to get out the door. It appears that we are trapped here.
**
[Allison]

<< At the end of the hall, between 314 and 315.>>
*
Allison Rhodes
[GM] um…`scuse me, but now I know that you are f`n with us. How much geography warping are you doing? I`ve caught on to the slow decline of our surroundings. I also know that now we are trapped within the hotel.
*

[Samson]

Do I have to tell you that you know this man on fire? <<hehe>>

I now will need to start getting a few details on the bookie situation.
**
Winston Smith
(ALL-)

Begins spraying him with the fire extinguisher. And continues to do so until- he`s either out, moves, attacks- or its empty.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Damn.
*

[ALL]

<< OOC: I am suddenly juggling a bunch of responsibilities and quests at the moment… Because my comedy partner is in town, we are spending the lion`s share of my free time working on our new show… I`m trying to keep up as best I can. I`ll definitely have an entry later tonite. Thanks for your patience.>>
**
Allison Rhodes
ooc That JDM, working on being the funny instead of the twisted manipulator.

Go ahead, buddy, drop a screaming man (who happens to be on fire) and then run. See what it`ll getcha. Just `cause we are spread out geographically doesn`t mean we don`t know where you are.
*
Winston Smith
s/b Gm only.
(JDM) If he “attacks” by which I mean grabbing, moving menacingly or anything un/reasonably dangerous or just about anything other than falling down, being put out and acting like an injured live person, then — I`ll swing the bottom of the tank of the fire extinguisher`s up using the handle for leverage going for his head or shoulder, and I`m going for the stairs at a dead run as if something undead and burning was trying to eat me. Probably Screaming “Run Away, Run Fast.”
*

Winston Smith
(Burning man) “Out out, brief candle!” spraying vigorously and viscously
**
Winston Smith
OOC:
We get it. I mean aren`t one or two of the players here in a show that opened yesterday?

Me I went on a date tonight- in case you were wondering why I wasn`t glued to the chat.
**
Samson Cavendish
AAAHHH! NO! No no no no no no!”

I grab the extinguisher from Winston, charge down the steps, and use it to smash the burning man in the face. Once, two, three times. On the third time, I leave it where it hits, almost more of a throw than a club. Still panicking, running back up the stairs towards the front door.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
*blink
blink
**
[ALL]

Samson charges in and despite Winston and Aubrey`s calculated plans to hit the inferno in the lobby, he hits first… and hard.

The Screaming-Man falls down the basement stairs, with Samson following one step behind.

The extinguishers (whoever wants to be there) douse the twitching blaze.

It screeches down to the last half-second… and then stops.

What is left is just a corpse. A corpse that burned to death in a shitty, ill-fitting brown suit that is still intact… despite being white from the fire-extinguishers.

It looks like a snowman, really. When you squint.

Except that one of it`s shoes is missing.

…………

Up in the lobby, the fire-alarm dies as the Screaming Man goes to sleep. A two-fold blessing: No scream, no bell-cacophony.

The winds that grab the door from Jacob, turn on him just as quickly and push back. The door slams shut, breaking Jacob`s fingers.

The building is wracked with… a… twitch? A twist? The architecture spins just… barely… like a mild earthquake…

and then the winds die down and the air-raid claxons cease…

You are left, finally, in your own silences.

<< OOC: Tomorrow I will add a new map section for the basement. Welcome.>>

[Jacob]

As the door crushes your fingers, I give you two things:

1) Through the driving rain, you spot a light across the street, in the cathedral, high, HIGH in the bell tower. A dim lamp. The only light on the street.

2) A small piece of paper, soaked from the rain, wedges itself under your shoe from the scraps of debris blowing by. No one sees this but you. The only words you can read, while it is jammed underfoot, are, typed: “Svetlana Dugan.”
**
Jacob Haliwell
[GM Only]
(OOC: a couple of questions…well, first a note: Jacob is right-handed. Which hand got smacked by the door? And are we talking compound fractures with lots of blood, hairline fractures that just hurt to move, dislocations, some combination? I know the exact damages wouldn`t be known till we examine them in-game, but any obvious things I can see or feel will affect what my actions can and will be.)

When I kneel down (see public note above) I palm the paper in my non-broken hand.
**
Jacob Haliwell
“Son of a bitch!”

I drop to one knee, my good hand on the floor near my foot and the other held tightly against my chest. After a few deep breaths, I get back to my feet but continue to look outside.

“Where`s the damn first aid kit? I could use some help here. Anyone? And I`m gonna need some splints…pencils, emery boards, whatever…Christ this hurts.”

Despite my request, my attention is focused on something in the night sky. Occasionally glancing down at my damaged hand, but never for long, and always returning my gaze skyward.
**
Winston Smith
(To GM) I`m one of the fire extinguishers. But I`ll also hit Samson with the stream if he`s lit at all.

When extinguishing is done
( To People in basement and dead guy)

nervously chuckling
“…Life`s but a walking shadow,pause a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”

Shakes head, as in no no, not as in to clear it

“Impossible.”

Uses flashlight to look around, or shuts it off dependent on lighting

(Being me: I also glance around for the shoe.)

OCC (perception, location, and judgement questions):

I assume I`m in the basement aware that Jacob is shouting, but dealing with things in the basement, and not aware of either of the door occurrences.

To confirm: Are fire extinguisher people, Samson and the no longer burning man/corpse in the basement? Everyone else up in the lobby?

If Samson`s not lit (and I`m sure the white suited guy is obviously dead) if the lights are out – I find a light switch using the flashlight and turn it on. If lights are on, I look about inspect the dead guy enough to know he`s not going anywhere- and digest on whether Samson just killed him.
**
Allison Rhodes
to self: Now this is extremely odd. Perhaps we should shed a little more light on the subject.

I go behind the desk to see if there are any additional flashlights/candles, etc. I also look to see if there is an additional set of master keys.
**
Allison Rhodes
[GM] bugger all. I had written a number of questions to you, but got timed out and lost the whole thing.

So…

The suit: Is it a special material that is flame resistant? Is it a normal material but specially treated? Is it just a normal wool/cotton/silk?

The scream: Did it really come from the burning man? Could it have come from anyplace else?
**
<< OOC: Sorry everyone, just still very swamped at the moment and am in the middle of some very exciting show-stuff. I am trying to keep up. Just give me one more day. The map update is coming as is the aftermath in the basement.>>

[Allison]

No master keys under the desk, or anywhere around it. Chances are, all sets are accounted for.

[Svetlana]

When you open your eyes, the hammer is gone.

You exhale (sigh?), stand, just breathe.

When you DO begin moving again, it will be five full steps before you notice the weight of it in your pocket…
*
Winston Smith
*I nudge Samson with my flashlight from about an arms length away-expecting him to jump out of his momentary(?) shock or reverie.

“Sam…Samson. He`s dead. He`s not going anywhere at the moment. You can get off him.”

“And if it does, suddenly start to move- I don`t think straddling him like that- that, that`s where you want to be standing anyway.”

Nudges body`s elbow with his foot-experiments with flipping it finding it too heavy- and testing the stiffness of the arm-still wondering at time of death

“- Well …then again…come to think of it, he looked dead to me while walking and on fire and he did wander away.”

“Heh.”

“Aubrey, do you know if you have any rope or sheets down here, just in case?”

Laughs mirthlessly-shakes head some more

Takes his flashlight over to the furnace door, looks in, before starting to swing it shut-using flashlight to push it.

“Heh, he sure looked like a shambling brain-eater – or an angel of death- for a moment there didn`t he?”

(Discretely scans boxes and corners with light, looking for hockey sticks, baseball bats, crowbars and the like, just in case.)

“So Aubrey- did this guy work on the mechanicals down here? Hm in a brown suit-or was it white? A suited furnace worker that doesn`t make sense. And then he left the door open? …………What the-………. hell?”
**
Jacob Haliwell
I go look for the first aid kit, grumbling about having to do it myself, and apparently unconcerned or oblivious to the incident in the basement. Every now and then, I look over my shoulder to make sure that what I saw is still there, ducking low when necessary to attempt to get the proper angle. Once I find the kit, I attempt to splint whichever fingers are broken to keep them from bending and protect them from accidental bumps, and/or tape them together to help immobilize them, depending on the materials I can locate. While working on my hand, I punctuate my efforts with an occasional curse when the pressure or movements send a jolt of pain through my hand. Once I finish, I grab my duffel and sling it over my shoulder, then head back to the front door. I turn back into the room temporarily and announce to those present,

[All]
“I really need to check out that cathedral…I saw something there, I`m sure of it. Anyone want to tag along?”

I wait a little bit to see if I get an answer, and then I kick the door to open it, to make sure that nothing is going to blow back in my face if I pass through. If nothing seems out to get me, or if no one tries to stop me, I`ll go outside and take a good look at the cathedral, checking for entrances (normal or make-shift).
*
Jacob Haliwell
[GM Only]
While patching myself up, I take out the paper that found me and read what it says before tucking it back away again.
*

[Ladies and gentlemen]

<< OOC: It just may be that up to 3 of us are currently not within reasonable reach of internet for this weekend… I have no idea exactly how to handle that. Please take note that if you are enjoying this KIND of rpg (i.e. online) and you have time, consider starting your own, if only for the leap-frogging that can occur if I or a few key players (and seriously, you`re ALL key players) can`t join in for a few days. I understand that this is a glitch in the matrix and not every player is as lucky as Declan and can just `pass out due to alcohol poisoning` and vanish without it slowing the pace.

I`m working on making sure that folks that ARE around can participate. As far as I know:


Svetlana (who may be unavailable) is at the end of the hall BY HERSELF, so that is alright.


Aubrey (also unavailable) is somewhere in the basement with Samson and Winston, which might be okay.


Declan (hunting in Colorado?) is still fading in and out of consciousness in a chair in the lobby.

Take that for what you will. If that means adjusting your thoughts and teaming up in a way you hadn`t planned, well, you are pro`s and I expect nothing less than this “yes, and…” -ing.

See what you can figure out. You all ROCK!>>
**
Allison Rhodes
[Jacob] What is so interesting about the Cathedral? I will accompany you.

I grab an old fashioned umbrella out of the umbrella stand (that appears to be an elephant foot). The umbrella has a nice solid heft and will certainly be useful…I mean aside from keeping the drizzle off of me.
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Allison]
Look way up in the bell tower…there`s a light up there. Despite the entire area outside being completely dark. I don`t really know what it is, or who it could be, but it`s like there`s something…calling me, almost. And since everyone seems to have disappeared except those few of us here in the hotel…well, it`s an anomaly, and puzzles are supposed to have answers.
*

Samson Cavendish
I stand up, quite dazed and shocked at my own behaviour. I look over the body, trying to understand how he hasn`t burned. And horrified at what I`ve done….

“He was dead. On fire, walking, and dead. Did he let himself out of the furnace? This doesn`t make sense.
Winston… should we… I don`t even know what to ask.”

I start glancing around the basement to see if anything else is out of place, or if anything else terrifying is in the shadows.
**
Winston Smith
(Samson)
“Start by backing away from the him. -Just in case.”

“He WAS and IS dead. Was walking and both on fire and not on fire. He doesn`t look very burned. I agree that doesn`t make sense, and that that`s what happened-upstairs.”

“What I want to know /first/ was why was he dead in the basement, and what was he doing in the furnace?”

Stops shutting furnace with flashlight. Looks inside furnace, and at inside of door of furnace for a latch for scrabbling nail gouge marks.

“And whether whatever put him in this condition might do this to us.”

Leaves furnace open, and inspects body`s finger tips.

(GM) -Have I noticed anything else about the basement, Samson, boxes, furnace, shoe? Did I find a light switch? I`ll just ignore Aubrey for the moment.
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Allison]
“Well, if you`re still game, let`s go.”
I open the door and hold it in place, and with a small bow and flourish of my arm, I say, “After you.”
*

[Allison and Jacob]

The wind has softened to virtually nothing, the rain back to the drizzle that it was before the sirens came.

It`s dark. Darker than usual for this hour (you think… honestly, you aren`t quite sure what hour it IS), but there are no street lamps going. They were always thin on the ground, working lamp-posts, but now there are none. (They ARE there, perched above street-signs, but they simply are not lit.) No real skyline sillouette on the horizon either… wherever the moon is, it isn`t high enough to show.

It isn`t pitch black, either. Certainly, light from the Hotel windows is there, all the way up the building, but it feels like it is a lone beacon in a sea of shadow.

The Cathedral across the street is lit, too, but by one small light, high up in the bell-tower, behind dirty, rainbow glass. A shadow moves behind the window occasionally.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
[Winston] Here you go, I found some old sheets. Sorry, i was rooting around looking for them…
*

Winston Smith
OOC:After not<?> viewing any nail marks on the furnace door, nor any sensible reason for anyone to think this guy was in there, or a latch to get out of the furnace.

IC:
takes sheets

“Thanks. Help me roll him onto them, and knot them?”

frisks body for identification, and just in-case checks for unholy items or guns or alien arthropods
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
* Helps with this disgusting project all the while thinking…this is so not in the job description.
*

Winston Smith

Pockets a wallet, keys, a folded up paper, another lumpy metal object, a dry cleaning ticket, and fist-sized wad of large bills. Flips end of sheet over another portion of the body. Tucks that arm in. Ties up ends of sheet literally. Checks his BSA sheet knots. Checks Aubrey`s knots

[Aubrey] “Hm. `I just work here,` is an oblique answer. And doesn`t say what you`ve experienced, which is part of what I`m getting at. Having worked here- I`m wondering if you`ve seen the bar off the lobby. I`m not making any judgment one way or another whether you have -or have not, or been in there or not or even if you`ve seen it come and then go…”

Hefts large heavy box of who-knows-what onto top of body, as if it will hold it down if it decides to move. Puts a large stack of Chaffer pans (long flat catering food warming pans that sterno goes under) on top of this as an alarm.
**
Winston Smith
*Pockets a wallet, keys, a folded up paper, another lumpy metal object, a dry cleaning ticket, and fist-sized wad of large bills. *

Ret con this if you don`t like it. I`m just opening up plot hooks. Please let me know what the metal thing is (Brass knuckles? A dash board Jesus, snub nosed .38?) since that would be obvious. The paper- I can`t read just yet.
**
Samson Cavendish
"Um, Winston, what did you find in his pockets? Any ID? Any idea what he`s doing down here? He doesn`t work here. I like the `alarm` plan… in case he gets up again.

Aubrey, do you know the kid in the room across the hall from me? He creeps me out. I was down here a few hours ago… he might have seen me or followed me or something."
**
Aubrey Rose Davies
[Winston] And here I thought you were asking me to dance. Things are odd here. Stuff moves around. Ya get used to it after a time.

[Samson] What room number is the kid in?
**
Aubrey Rose Davies
So in establishing the odd reality… is this ok to post?

[Winston] The guy that used to play piano in the bar, I kinda miss him, he was a sweet old guy.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
And what do I know about Samsons kid across the hall?
*

Winston Smith

“`Ropes and sheets,` right. Ms. Davies, I`d be happy to ask you to dance. Just when I do, I don`t want a body between us. And after this, I`d be happy to buy you a drink.”

I`d say what time does your shift end, but all clocks here are broken- or accurate in a way we don`t…"

Walks to furnace, removes, then lights a cigarette from furnace flame from pack in jacket pocket

Bluish smoke wafts in the hot air coming out from furnace.

Winston watches the smoke- obviously lost in his last thought

Shuts furnace

(Samson) “Let`s talk upstairs.”

Returns pack to jacket pocket while climbing steps to lobby.
**
Aubrey Rose Davies
[Winston] I don`t think my shift does end.

nudges the body with a toe, takes a look around, then thinks better of being left alone down here and scurries up the stairs after Winston
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Svetlana]
I smile and say, “The more the merrier! Although you might want to take the time to change, seeing that the building isn`t on fire. Not that you don`t look fine the way you are…that shirt looks a lot better on you than it ever did on me. But, uh, you might be more comfortable with…shoes, or, umm, pants…”
*

Declan O’Connell
I rouse myself from my stupor long enough to look around.

“What the fuck is all that noise? Why the fuck am I not in my room? And what the fuck smells like burnt bacon?”
**
Samson Cavendish
(Aubrey) “He`s in the room right across from me. I`m in 314.”

(Winston) “Okay.” I follow him up the stairs. “I feel like this is some sort of… I don`t quite know. Should we get rid of that body somehow? People might ask questions.”

OOC: The map is not currently displayed, and I`ve forgotten what the number is across from me. Me, the player, has forgotten. I don`t think Samson would forget the number.
*
Winston Smith
*Climbing stairs

(Samson)
“I`m less concerned about what people think about the body, or ask questions about it, than I am about what happens if it comes walking back up the stairs.”

Gets to open door, enters lobby while saying:

(General, including Declan)
“If it gets up walking again- on fire or not- I don`t think their questions will matter.”

(Samson)
So what were you doing down there earlier- when you said you saw the boy down there, and why do you think Mr. Brown-suit walking corpse was in the furnace?

(Declan) Oh, Hi. Glad you`re conscious and not dead from poisoning or worse.

takes laptop bag puts it on counter. Gets note book, and a fine point 1 mm sharpie and begins to furiously taking notes as if his life depended on it yet he does it all the time – only those closest notice him sketching in a wild loose style, a good likeness of each of your faces, the layout of the basement, and the first floor. While he does this continues to respond to conversation.
**
[Jacob, Allison And Svetlana]

The intersection is whisper quiet. The breeze is just enough to rock the unlit censer-lanterns on the steps of the cathedral and squeak the street signs. Somewhere in the distance you think you can hear newspapers drifting down the street: the urban tumbleweed.

For the sake of bearings, the cathedral is straight ahead across the avenue. To the left (north) of the hotel, on the other side of the street, is the diner, doors chained shut. Caddy-corner to the hotel is the black shape of the library.

Three huge wooden doors sit atop the granite steps of the cathedral. The taller two are twice the height of a person, while the center door is shorter than the others at about 8 feet. From where you are, you can see a carved saint icon in a little niche with a bronze plaque above that center door.

[Winston]

<< OOC: Haven`t yet noticed the need to ret-con anything>>

No, drivers license or state id. A couple of cards in cyrillic and one with a big logo in english that reads: Russian-American Society Orlando.

The metal item is indeed a set of brass-knuckles.

As far as you can tell, this man died of having his skull bashed in. His other shoe is in the furnace.

[Samson]

You know that Winston will not find the drivers license, because, while you did not rummage thru the bookie`s pockets, you certainly wouldn`t have replaced the drivers license. <>

In your nervous rummagings, you catch sight of what looks to be a door behind the cluttered shelving next to the furnace. It appears to have been deliberately covered up. Once you see that, you spot two more possible doors against other walls, all buried behind junk.

[Aubrey]

While you may come down here relatively often, you don`t STAY for very long. It`s always cluttered and hot and suffocating, and hell, laundry is one of the few jobs you don`t actually get paid to do, so you don`t. That said, you rarely pay too much attention to the basement. Standing there, now, in the hyper-aware, adrenaline state you are in, you DO notice something peculiar before heading up the steps.

A couple somethings, really.

The first thing is that what at first appeared to be a rusted out old bicycle jammed beneath the stairs, is actually a wheelchair. Broken, mangled, ancient.

The second is that once that shift in expectation occurs, you are able to spot different items among the chaotic piles and shelves. Medical things. That COULD be a bedpan, maybe that coat rack is really an IV stand.

You don`t dare linger too long on them (or sure as hell Winston will be on it like flies on a carcass). <<but>>

[Declan]

You come to pretty fucking sud
*
Jacob Haliwell
(OOC: Don`t know if this was intentional or not, but I can see the last set of messages for each character even though I am logged in.)
*

[ALL]

<< Good catch David.

There is a sudden glitch in the Matrix (because I think Nik is working on improving the system) and ALL of you probably will be able to read the messages i send to everybody… I`m glad I am addressing them specifically. PLEASE for now at least, read only the entries that have YOUR NAME (or ALL) in the header. Or, conversely, enjoy the extra doodads but don`t let it change your way of doing things. Around a table, we ALL hear everyone else`s stuff…

I`m sure things will be sorted out shortly.>>
*
Winston Smith
*continues furiously taking notes

probably visible to any who approach him – now seems to be drawing a twisted donut with stretched spikes, or possibly a king cake being pulled apart by cenobite chains – with grid lines showing where its surface is and twists, and then lapses into equations down the page

Down the left side is what appears to be a list

OOC: Is jonesing and jealous of others` lovely noticed details.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
Do I know who is checked into 315? What do I know about the boy?
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
Can I get online on the computer at the front desk?
**
Jacob Haliwell
I step toward the curb and, out of habit, look both ways before crossing the street. As I cross, and as I head up the cathedral steps, I keep looking up at the bell tower to make sure I can still see the light. When I get to the doors, I stop and inspect the icon, and I read the plaque. A gut feeling tells me that something is going to be abnormal about it, but I don`t know what yet. Whether or not I notice anything, I ask:

[Allison and Svetlana]
“Does any of this look out of the ordinary to either of you? Something tells me it`s not quite right. It`s just a feeling, but I`m not exactly an encyclopedia of saints and churches, so any light you can shed will help me figure out if I`m right or just going nuts.”
**
Winston Smith

(OOC: Since that was a lot of description! I`m recapping the last dialogue, the hanging nature of what was said, including an awkward question that is not yet answered, and a rather WEIRD statement about a dead person- that might be the answer to Declan`s question.)


Repost***
(Lobby general, including Declan)

(soft from lobby perspective coming up stairs, sound of two people climbing stairs)

“…about the body, or ask questions about it, than I am about what happens if it comes walking back up the stairs.”

(General, including Declan)
“If it gets up walking again- on fire or not- I don`t think their questions will matter.”

(to Samson)
“So what were you doing down there earlier- when you said you saw the boy down there, and why do you think Mr. Brown-suit walking corpse was in the furnace?”

(Declan) “Oh, Hi. Glad you`re conscious and not dead from poisoning or worse.”

*This is before getting the bag and starting the note taking *

Then-…….Silence…….
*
Allison Rhodes
[GM] What does the icon look like? I`ve got a pretty good knowledge of saints. I spent some time researching them once upon a place. Are the doors unlocked?
*

Allison Rhodes
[Jacob and Svetlana] Well, Jacob. I can tell you that the positioning of the three doors is unusual. It should be a single door, three equal height doors, or three doors with the tallest in the middle. Respectively representing: the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, the three-part god, or the three part divinity with god the father being dominant to the son and holy ghost.
**
[Jacob, Allison and Svetlana]

The icon above the door is of a robed saint on a running horse. The saint`s hooded head is cocked at a painful-looking angle and an arrow pierces him between the eyes.

The plaque reads:

“St. Hildred of Castaigne. Martyred in the service of the wilde, slayer of the archer that contrived his death, victim of the archer`s house. Hyades hide and keep him.”

[ALL]

<< OOC: Given the debacle that on the one night i choose to divulge a bunch of different stuff to different people and a glitch miraculously shares those entries with everyone, I may be sending private messages for a while with sensitive details.>>

[Winston, Declan, Aubrey and Samson]

The Lobby is quiet. The quietest it has been since the gunshot. The wind outside has dropped to nothing and the drizzle is coming straight down, pattering the puddles outside around the sillouettes of Allison, Svetlana and Jacob who are crossing the street to the cathedral.

Still, there is a draught. Not much of one, but it is cold. It is moaning chill from the elevator shaft, clanking the wire-works high up inside.

There is browning, sparking power-surge and then, from the clock behind the desk: the tiniest half-tick.

The clock`s glass face-cover falls to the floor and smashes heavily.

It remains: 6:00.
*
Winston Smith
* pulls out his mac, opens `unix mode. And types about four precise lines of something that must be code but looks nastily abbreviated into it.

**
Jacob Haliwell
After tracing the shot to the hotel roof, I set my duffel down and rummage through it to find my pill bottle. I start to open it, then look at my watch to see how long it`s been since I took the last one…then realize that I have no way of telling how long it`s really been. A quiet “Screw it” escapes my lips, and I finish opening the bottle and fish out one of my candies. I hold it in front my eyes for a few moments, then pop it in my mouth and swallow. “Down the hatch!”

Unsure now of which building is creeping me out more, the hotel or the cathedral, I put my pill bottle away and re-sling my duffel. Then I try the doors to see if any of them are open…first the center door, then the left, and then the right. If they are all locked I begin looking for windows that can be reached from the ground. And, determined to find a way in, also searching for something heavy to smash the glass with if necessary. If I have to, I`ll go back to the hotel and grab a chair from the lobby.
**
Svetlana Dugan
If it looks like Jacob is going to break one of the windows.

“No, please do not harm the cathedral. Let me try the door, I may be able to help”
**
[Svetlana, Allison, Jacob]

Allison and Jacob try the doors and at least those two, the center and the right, open, smoothly and quietly. The interior (from the door and steps) is wide and open, but not as high or quite as wide as might be expected. The dome is already arching in significantly and there are no vertical walls; only the curve of the dome.

Candles, immensely thick and black, drip thousands of rivulets around the outside edges of the pews. The Christ figure, large enough to be seen from here, is formed in the traditional, bent-leg, Hanged Man shape (but upright, rather than upside down).

The incense is thick, heady and smells of vanilla and the sea.

There is no one in the cathedral that you can see.
*
Svetlana Dugan
“What kind of cathedral is this?”
*

[Jacob, Svetlana and Allison]

There is quiet, but discordant, choir music, but no singers.

<<http://www.last.fm/music/noredirect/Lustmord/ParadiseDisowned/Uterance>>
**
Jacob Haliwell
[Svetlana]
“I don`t know, but let`s see if we can find out.”

I walk down an aisle, pausing to smell one
**
Winston Smith

(Samson)
Mm-hm. So you were doing laundry? I didn`t think guests were allowed. You said you thought Mr. Brown Suit was in the furnace and that he doesn`t work here. How do you know?

I made a duration estimator. The clocks don`t work but we still move so there`s duration I`m estimating what the time would be- if there`s still such a thing.

Where were the doors?

(Aubrey) Here let me get out of the way. moves and moves trash can out from counter area- so Aubrey can get to it with what she`s carrying.
**
Allison Rhodes
[Jacob and Svetlana] I do NOT like this music.

I approach the altar looking for any other decorations, vestments, accoutrements etc. Is there a lectern or pulpit? Is there a book on it?

In particular, are there any doors into the sacristy, etc? Were there any doors along the nave? In the lobby?
**
Svetlana Dugan
I pause in a sudden, frightening thought.

“I have never seen a cathedral like this, or the street signs like the ones which are outside…”

I start to shake in fear.

“Do we even know what city are we in?”
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Svetlana]
Someone asked me that earlier. Like I told them…I was in Seattle when I checked in the hotel. If anything has changed, I haven`t explored the area around here enough to find out otherwise.
*

Allison Rhodes
[Jacob and Svetlana] I came here from Chicago. What are you talking about “Seattle?”
**
Winston Smith
(Aubrey) Did you see any doors down there? Other than the furnace door? I must be slipping.

(Samson) So Samson, cat got your tongue?
*
Jacob Haliwell
[Allison]
You know…the Mariners, the Seahawks…the Space Needle…birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, final resting place of Bruce and Brandon Lee, and the home of Starbucks…where it rains all the time. It`d be a hell of a fare to catch a taxi from my house, or what`s left of it, all the way to Chicago. And I don`t make that kind of money.
*

Aubrey Rose Davies
(Winston)….um…yeah….why do you ask?
*
Allison Rhodes
[Svetlana] What do you mean street signs like the ones out there?
*

Svetlana Dugan
[Jacob and Svetlana] Da…I was in Baton Rouge.
**
Winston Smith
(Aubrey)
Just that, before he went silent, Samson said there were doors down that that looked like someone had tried to hide them. I didn`t see anything- both of those things seem weird- that someone`d try to hide doors- and that I didn`t see anything.

Most of the time if I don`t notice- there`s nothing to notice- its one of the reasons I became a reporter. “Hawk Eye” sorta thing.

You know like when the room numbers keep moving around from floor to floor- or rooms aren`t there any more. Usually if I don`t notice- it- it`s not there. It`s gone.

But here- who knows- maybe its only there for some people – so I had to ask. Its why I keep asking -not that anyone`s answering.

You see I`ve got a stable theory that we are in a building that isn`t in a stable geometry- its in a multi-N-dimensional brane. That`s the warped torus here. So just about anything goes- since the laws of physics- and everything else wouldn`t necessarily be the same because at some point upon entering the hotel we walked out of our universe and into another.

The wackiness with Time, and the fact that at least me and Samson didn`t enter the hotel from the same city supports it. You haven`t told me what city you originally walk in from yet BTW. And until you do I`ll assume you live here
and secretly have three hearts and fangs. Not that a city would disprove the three hearts and fangs thing….

Anyway- if these two don`t snap out of it soon- I think I want to brave the currently snoozing, formerly walking fiery dead, and look at the doors.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
(Winston) Winston, you watch a lot of Star Trek and X-files don`t you?
*

Samson Cavendish
(Winston) "Yeah, sorry. I was lost in thought there for a minute. I saw at least two doors down there, behind boxes and rubbish and such. Like someone tried to hide them. And I do laundry down there all the time, no one has told me I can`t.

I`m not sure where I am. I thought I was in New York… but I think I remember visiting Florida yesterday. But I`m here, in my building, except it`s not my building."

(Aubrey & Winston) “Should we check out those doors?”
**
Winston Smith
(Aubrey)
“X-files? No, I was a mathematician in another life. It was a bit boring really. What I`m talking about is an established part of String Theory, and more broadly M-theory.

Its just that until now- there`s been nothing like a way to prove that such a thing can happen. Figuring out the movement of “duration” would help me sketch some ideas of what`s going on. Would that really help us right now? Only in so far as I hope we have no trouble walking back in or out of our own world. It won`t tell us about why the dead are walking or burning."

(Samson)

“Speaking of burning, you never told me why you thought Mr. Lugoyovitch was in the furnace?”

(Samson & Aubrey)
“Let`s go, look at the doors”

Heads back to the door. Stops. Moves laptop as if to protect it form wind from the door, or running dead people coming from the basement. Then asks-

(Aubrey)
“Is there anything like a bat or a crowbar around, either for the shelves or Mr. Crispy, “I`m not dead yet?”
**
Samson Cavendish
[Winston] "Mathematician? Brilliant. I`m a bit a numbers man myself; lab work. Mostly DNA tests, like CSI but the boring stuff. And fish sometimes too.
Lugoyovitch? Is that his name? How did you find that? Wasn`t he in the furnace? Isn`t that how he caught fire? I thought someone had reached that conclusion.

Wait, are you saying we are in another… dimension? Brilliant.

A mathematician and a reporter. That is an odd combination, if I may say."

I move towards the basement as well, also looking for something that might be cricket-bat-esque.

“This is getting stranger by the minute. And it`s already really strange.”
**
Winston Smith
(Samson)
“The furnace might eplain why he was on fire. It doesn`t say either why he was dead, or why he was in the furnace.”

Hands Samson a sturdy umbrella from the free Umbrella stand, while taking up a thick handled broom for himself from the closet behind the counter. (Closet?)

He hands Aubrey the manual carpet lint-roller-picker-upper- thing- chuckling

“What good is multi-dimensional mathematics anyway – Its not exactly real. Uncaring, and inhuman.”

Opens the door a crack, and peeks down the steps.
*
Aubrey Rose Davies
*sigh

***********************
((END OF TRANSCRIPT))

The Original Rain Hotel

The Rain Hotel Tormod