Due to one player having an illness this week, the usual Dogs in the Vineyard session was put on hold, and Chris ran me and Will through a one-shot of a session using the Unknown Armies universe.
We are playing with pre-generated characters, mine was called Lucius Banner, and Will had John Crow, both in the bodyguard profession. The story is set in modern-day Los Angeles area.
Both John Crow and Lucius Banner have been on the bouncer scene for some time, Lucius is well known on the scene, especially for bodyguarding film actors and keeping his mouth shut, they do know of each other and have been on a few jobs together. The new job is to protect another love himself actor, and Lucius knows that the current target he has to protect has had a few early videos flood on to the market again, in several different versions and some groups will not deal with them. John has heard that the current target has gone a bit wacky lately, becoming very mouthy and boastful, doing more and more drugs and booze, along with a lot of womanising.
The two bodyguards are to work together again on this next assignment, and are both stood in the publicists office, he looks rather harassed, the telephone rings out on his desk seeking for attention from those in the room, the publicist quickly picks up the receiver and then slams it back down again, silencing it for now. He greets the two bodyguards with a rushed formality, and quickly explains about the job he has for them both, sharing that this will be his last act as the actors publicist as he will retiring, he informs them that they will have to keep Charles Clean the actor alive, and to not let him do anything more stupid than normal for him. They are to help him around town and to parties, reassuring them that Charles is of the most danger to himself. Lucius asks how long the contract will be for, and is told that it is for a whole week, twenty-four hours a day seven days of the week. Also to not let any people from his early days of work to talk with him about those days, or any other people who may bring that subject up. Lucius also asks the publicist where Mr Clean would be right now, and is told that he is more than likely at one of six clubs. The two bodyguards are told that they will get half of their payment now, and the other half when the job is done, also at the end of the week either someone else will take over, or Mr Clean will be too far gone. As the publicist explains these last details he is busy cleaning out his desk and filling a duffel bag with bundles of money, throwing each of them a bundle each. He also explains that if they need to send in any more expenses then they can send it in via email and they will be reimbursed.
As the publicist wishes them luck he hastily exits his office rushing out and down the stairs, with the bags thrown over his shoulders and clutched in his hands. With this the two bodyguards look at each other and give a brief greeting and get to work discussing what they plan to do next, Lucius suggests going to the club that was closest to where he was working last, and John goes for suggesting the club that has the most extreme entertainment. They agree on John’s plan and head off to the club called The Pussy Cat Club.
The doorman to the Pussy Cat Club is stood in front of the entrance in his smart dark suit, an ear piece stuck in his right ear, he looks up and recognises Lucius, greeting him and asks if the big guy next to him is with him. Lucius introduces John as Mr Crow to the doorman, and John shakes his hand palming him a green note explaining that they are there to keep an eye on their charge, hoping that nothing interferes with that plan, asking in fact if Mr Clean is actually within his club. The doorman lets a wily smile cross his lips and confirms that Mr Clean is within, telling them that he has already gone up to the second floor with a guy and is probably already busy in the toilets.
The club is heaving within, with lots of punters drinking and enjoying their private shows, the floor as the two bodyguards walk through is very sticky, they make their way to the stairs leading up, and exit out on to the second floor heading straight for the toilets. A guy is crouched outside the door listening to whatever is happening within the room, Lucius recognises the man as a lowlife drug dealer. “I wont go in there if I was you, someone is taking a major dump”, the guy warns, as they ignore his warning the guy stands up and puts his arm across the doorway, he warns them again adding “what a guy gets up to in his private dump is his own business”. Lucius puts a reassuring arm around the guy’s shoulder letting it sit heavy on his back, and ever so slightly squeezes his hand on the top of the guy’s arm, “then why are you there listening in on the poor guy”, Lucius offers as he leads the guy way from the doorway. The guy offers an ever-so-slight resistance before giving in and being lead away from the door. John heads on in to the restroom, closing the door behind him.
A wild haired man in his mid forties is crouched in a cubicle, a young lady is laying naked over the closed toilet seat, her black hair flowing all down the length of her back, looking like a skunk with the white stripe down the centre, but upon closer inspection the white is not actually her hair but a large line of cocaine. The man rubs his hands in delight at the sight before him, getting ready to go down on her back. John quickly steps in stating that his agent had sent him to help paint the town red, “hey! more family, good” the man answers as he looks up at John, an ever so slight slur to his voice. “Why don’t you come on outside and meet some more of your family”, John thinks quick on his toes, “you don’t need anymore of that” he suggests. “yeah you’re right, I am already high, high on Charles Clean”.
Once back outside the restroom the lowlife drug dealer quickly pipes up to Mr Clean, “what about that major high, you’re not going to waste that are ya?”, but Charles parries back with him telling the guy that he didn’t need it, “after all I am Charles Clean”. A Small dribble of spittle from vomit trickles down the side of Charles’ mouth. Lucius suggests to John on the quiet that they should take Mr Clean to a more upmarket strip club, see if they can keep him pre-occupied and in control of the situation.
After arriving at this different club they quickly sit him down near the front, so he can enjoy the full show up close and personal, quickly getting him some more drink for him to enjoy. Charles Clean doesn’t look too impressed by his new surroundings, suggesting that they joint is rather dull, he pulls a metal hip flask from his inside jacket pocket, and pours this dark liquid into his new drink that is sat in front of him, “thats a bit better”.
Soon an attractive blonde comes along and sits down right next to Mr Clean putting her hand down on his leg, telling him how nice it is to see him here. Charles doesn’t waste anytime and puts her hand further up his leg, in fact right up on to his inner thigh, “want to see whats under the my fig leaf?” With that he quickly turns and points his head towards the floor and he pukes onto the carpet at his feet. She explains to him that there is a special room here that they can go to if he would like, and he soon gets to his feet hearing this, looking at both of his bodyguards, they look at each other and then nod to him. “Lead the way my dear, and I hope your ready for whats going to ‘come’.”
She leads Charles Clean through the club to the stairs, along with both the bodyguards bringing up the rear, on a few signs they pass as they all head up the stair it states ‘This way to Heaven’. Soon they arrive at a room which she goes straight to and pulls a key out, unlocking the door, Lucius steps up and stops anyone from entering before going on in himself, giving the room a once over.
The room is not of your average hotel room, it has a large heart-shaped bed in the centre, there is a drinks cabinet in one corner, and along one wall is a couple of large wardrobes, the decoration is of the typical seedy variety, dull with blacks and reds, wall lights that do not illuminate too bright. Within the wardrobes there are many and varied instruments of pleasure, along with liquids and powders. Lucius picks up all the whips and chains, taking them out of the room with him. “That is all right”, the blonde smiles at Charles, “we still have these”, she holds up a pair of sturdy handcuffs. Lucius holds out his hand to her, “do you have the keys for those?”, she hands them over then leads the way in to the room, Charles quickly following like an obedient dog as he smiles back at the bodyguards.
Soon the bodyguards hear stilted words emanating from the room, a female voice, words unclear to what is being said. John soon realises that the words are in fact in German, they seem almost unemotional. He starts to follow what she is saying when she goes quiet at one point demanding that Charles say something and to hurry. Next thing the two bodyguards hear is a loud crack of bone on bone, John quickly barrels his whole weight behind his shoulder as he forces his way in to the room.
A naked Charles Clean is stretched out on the bed, with the blonde sat upon him gyrating her hips, her fingers dripping with blood. The blonde is looking over at a spread of photographs and stills on the floor near the bed, looking like many different exotic sexual positions. “Don’t come any closer, that is if you want to save him!” the blonde shouts at John, her buttocks clenching as her thighs tighten around him.
Vomits bursts out from the mouth of Charles Clean as the blonde is sat upon his crutch, distracting her enough for John to make his move. John dives in to the room, flying head first in to the side of the blonde, knocking her off her perch. A scream of pain ushers out from the still dripping mouth of Charles Clean, his member being yanked in a direction it didn’t want to go. Lucius enters the room and goes over to Charles, he quickly picks up Charles’ clothes and bundles him out of the room.
The naked blonde now led out amongst the pictures on the carpet, John laying over her pinning her to the floor, she lifts a hand and gently strokes John’s weight on her. Suddenly John feels himself stiffen all over, he can’t move his mouth or any part of his body, the blonde now easily slips herself out from under him, once free she runs for the door.
A naked blonde woman darts through the room door and runs down the corridor and disappears, Lucius notices her leave the room and vanish. Once she had gone Lucius helps Charles back in to the room, easing him down in to an easy chair in the corner. John is stuck in an odd position on the floor, but Lucius concentrates on Charles, he goes in to the little bathroom, checking all is well within and runs a sink of hot clean water, emptying the hip flask he pulled out from Charles’ jacket pocket in to the toilet, then goes back to Charles and suggests that he go in and clean himself up, “I’m fine now, no need to clean myself up, I am ‘Clean'” he answers with a piss stain down his trousers, but Lucius manages to get him to go in the bathroom and freshen up, while he puts the hip flask back.
Now noticing that John has not moved all this time, Lucius goes over to him and gives him a gentle shake. As John rolls over on the floor knocking his rump on the floor, he starts to feel life and movement come back to his limps.
While Charles cleans himself up in the bathroom, John and Lucius have a closer look at those odd pictures that are now scattered over the carpet. Some of the pictures are from a very early film in Charles Clean’s career, along with a shots from a very low-budget, low quality amateur film, but there is a lot of blood in this film, and this blood looks very real. John picks up all the pictures, taking a note of the date time and room that all of this had happened, then pockets the lot.
As they leave the club an old woman in baggy clothes walks up to them, “is he alright?” The two bodyguards give no answer as they wonder who and how does this person know what has happened, Charles Clean just looks at her, his eyes wandering down her body. “She has made her move then I see.” the woman states not waiting for an answer. John and Lucius start to ask her questions, like how does she know all this, and what exactly is happening, but all she says is that it is to do with the early porn film that Charles was in, and a group want to re-enact it, she suggest that Charles will never be safe, not now and offers to take him along with both of them to somewhere safe, sweeping her arm across and in the direction of their parked car. John explains how fired up Charles is and that they will need to be able to calm and pacify him, that she explains will not be a problem and she walks up to Charles pushing herself close to him, caressing his arm and talks to him gently, with this Charles calms down and will happily get in the car.
Once they are all in the car the woman tells John the address they should drive to, and off he goes. The address takes them to an apartment that is located above a Chinese takeaway/restaurant, in a less plush area of the city. Upon entering the apartment they spot three people within, one is a smart dressed woman who looks up as they enter, giving Charles Clean and his two bodyguards a disapproving look. Another female sits at the other end of the room hugging a large army looking duffel bag, she looks like your ordinary young woman. The third person is an elderly man with a shotgun at his hip, as they enter he raises it up before lowering it again once he sees who walked through the door.
The smart dressed woman wants to know why ‘they’ are here, referring to Charles, John, and Lucius, and address the woman that had brought them all there. After some choice words, back and forth with why or why not it was a good idea, the smart woman explains that their group has a race on with a different group, a bet to make a re-enactment of the original porn film that Mr Clean had starred in many moons ago, the film is called ‘When I’m Sheening Windows’, and the other group have the original, fortunately not the full copy and some still shots from other parts. The original porn film was released on the old Betamax format, and that there was a copy that had been on DVD, explaining that the other group wish to do a re-enactment that involves someones having to die, where as they are trying to do a re-enactment that is less ‘real’.
After this explanation the smart woman argues with the girl at the other end of the room, they find out her name is Sirse and she is the niece of the elderly man, that she should do the re-enactment, especially with something this important, Sirse looks hurt by this and argues back before being cut off by the old man who states that Sirse will do the act.
Finally John and Lucius agree to help out with this and to leave Charles there with them for safety while they go about looking for this old original tape, they need to try to find a remaining copy of the original recording without any edit or cuts. Lucius has an idea and suggest that they go to an old contact of his that he has in the trade, this is agreed on and they are told that Sirse will be going with them.
John pulls the car up at a small backlot type film studio, and they all get out and head on in. Lucius is greeted by the large guy behind the desk informing him that it has been a very long time, and asks Lucius if his two friends would be willing to do something with each other while they talked, but Lucius quickly refuses, then the guy asks if he and his male friend would be willing to do something, again Lucius shoots his idea down before it goes any further.
Lucius asks his old acquaintance about the old porn film, and the guy tells them about a store not too far away that deals in this type of thing, he has all sorts of old format porn, suggesting that they should try him as their best bet. Before they leave he tells them that someone else had been asking about the film too, and about the snuff version, it was a woman with dark hair, quite a looker and she would not do anything either when asks, he looks at them rejected.
They head over to the store, but before going in Sirse confesses to the two bodyguards that she wants them to stop the other people, and to get ahold of the snuff film, telling them that the film is in fact real.
Ringing the bell on the door, Lucius waits for a few long seconds before a response and he informs them that they have been recommended to go there to look for an old porn film. A buzz sounds and as Lucius puts pressure on the door the catch slips allowing them entry in to the store. Within they find it fairly dingy, with many full shelves stacked everywhere, at the back is the counter with a large thick clear protective screen, a small opening at the bottom on the counter top. Down one of the isles can be seen a person standing at the shelves looking like a flasher type, upon closer look they see that in fact this person is a woman with a very large bulge by her legs under the mac.
A cocking of a shotgun can be heard from within the coat the woman is wearing, “why are you here, I would suggest that you just walk away”, she looks over at John. He informs her that they are there for an old Betamax tape, the guy behind the counter looks over at her, and she nods at him. Again she suggests that they all leave, just walk away, but John argues with her about wanting the tape and that perhaps she should go. Eventually she offers that perhaps they all should leave, and with this the woman walks and goes out the door. Not long after she had disappeared out the door John follows her, leaving out through the door she had gone, then just after Lucius follows bringing up the rear.
Eventually some distance from the store she stops and turns to face John, “you have the tapes don’t you?” he questions her, she gives a quick little laugh, “left them there, I know that they are now destroyed”, seeing Johns puzzled expression, “the store owner had to destroy it a I instructed, otherwise his had would have stopped”, she finished with a glint in her eye. John thinks on this before stating that she must still have a tape on her, then the familiar sound of a shotgun being cocked can be heard as she raises it up, John quickly drawing his pistol.
Meanwhile Lucius as seen them stop and makes his way towards her, as soon as he sees her lift her shotgun he charges at her, pulling out his black billy club. Just as he gets next to her swinging, she turns letting a blast ring out from her twelve bore. Lucius misses with his swipe, but the blast rips in to his leg throwing him forcefully to the ground, blood and flesh spraying. While she was distracted John runs in, pulling his trigger at point-blank range, a hole bores in and through her head, exploding out the other side in a shower of blood and gore.
Sirse upon hearing the gun shots race out from the store, running up to John and asking him if they have the tapes. John goes through the woman’s possession coming back with two tapes, both marked as edited version. Looking very disappointed Sirse turns to Lucius and checks him taking a good look at his leg, “his leg is pretty fucked”. She gets on her mobile and talks with someone about moving somewhere, then after informs John that Uncle Maxwell has moved to a safe house in the woods, and that he has some medical supplies there and will be able to help Lucius. Sirse looks very concerned that the only tapes they were able to retrieve were the snuff versions.
Finally they arrive at the safe house, John carrying Lucius in to the building, Maxwell is already there waiting for them shotgun in hand. Maxwell informs Sirse that she had better get ready, John is about to argue with this when he gets pointed at by a shotgun barrel, “what about Lucius?” Once Sirse has gone Maxwell explains to John that her brother was on that other tape, the one who had died for real, “I can help your friend, but you need to decide what you want to do”, he explains that they need to do the re-enactment now before it is too late, and as they only have the other version then they will regrettably have to do that version.
John now being put on the spot has an emotional turmoil erupt in his mind, eventually he agrees to allowing them to go ahead with the re-enactment, sacrificing Charles Clean in the process. “Good” Maxwell states as he goes over to Lucius and tells John to bring him in to the next room, “we really do not want to be anywhere where we can see the performance. Maxwell cleans and bandages Lucius leg, doing all that he can for now.
Maxwell quickly blocks off his ears as a crescendo of noise erupts from the next room, first of ecstasy before turning to a death gasp. Lucius quickly rolls up in to a fetal position with the thought of what has just happened. Suddenly there is a movement from the bag that Sirse had left in the room with them, a hand pops out as if gasping for air, then slowly an ashen grey body begins to crawl its way out from the bag, flesh starting to reform on the bones, hair slowly sprouting from long dead follicles. A cat outside all of a sudden falls over stone dead.
Sirse slowly come out from the death chamber, very upset with a torrid of tears rolling down her cheeks, her hands and face splattered with blood not of her own, upon seeing her brother stepping out from the bag and huge smile spreads across her face, the sun now returning to her soul.