Marina- Trouble in the City

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Marina- Trouble in the City

Postby Skoll » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:27 pm

Tuesday, January 03, 2012, 7:35 PM
GM: Nicodemus
Characters: Marina

In which Marina discovers she may never leave her cabin again...

Regan Avenue East, Downtown
Red brick buildings rise, some of them crumbling from disrepair and disuse, others patched together by repairs. Graffiti covers some of the walls near street level, some rude, most crude, but the occasional drawing is meant for a lighter-hearted reaction. The graffiti becomes a colorful, almost gaudy mural at the western end of the district, an announcement of the Regan Hope Project's presence. Trash litters the majority of the gutters, from Harbor Park in the east across to just before the Regan Hope Project's domain, where the trash is less prevalent and the buildings less run-down. Small shops with apartments in the floors above them span a block here and corners there: delis, second-hand clothes, textiles, small restaurants, a grocery store. Sandwiched between the buildings are weed-choked empty lots.

Night time in the city in one of its quasi red-light districts, when and where all the freaks supposedly come out. (And here you are.) This particular stretch of street has several legitimate businesses that are still open, so people are still coming and going--although there's not very many people coming and going. There's usually less than a dozen pedestrians on the sidewalks per block. The majority of traffic is headed in or out of one of three businesses: Garcia's (a pizza parlor), Jerry's Qwik Shop (an overpriced grocery store), or Velvet Glove (an adult novelty and video store). There's usually a prostitute or three working this block on your average night, but there's none here at the moment. The reason why is fairly obvious: there's three well-dressed picketers marching back and forth with in front of Velvet Glove, warning the good people of St. Claire about the dangers of sins of the flesh.

What is a girl like Marina doing in a place like this? Why, ordering a pizza of course. She's not really one to splurg, but so long eating vegetables from the garden and dried meat will cause anyone to want to just pig out on a nice big slice of grease once a blue moon. The woman is wrapped in knit to protect her birdbones against the cold, handbag draped over one arm and a pizza picking up fuzzies from her gloved other hand. She regards the picketers with a sort of frown... after all, no one that has anything to do with that store has harmed anyone, as far as she was concerned. Still, she pauses to watch a moment and read the signs, taking bites of her quickly-cooling pizza.

Closer inspection of the three picketers readily indentifies the leader: he's the pudgy 30-something one trying to hand out little Bibles to people who are passing by, and then shouting "WHORES! FORNICATORS!" at people who still choose to enter or exit from the store--or the store itself if there's no one nearby. The other two picketers--one male and one female--are largely silent, save for the occasional "Jesus loves you!" to the few who take Bibles or turn away from entering the sex shop. The male is in his early 20s and prematurely balding. His sign reads "Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. -- Corinthians 6:9-10." The woman in her mid twenties rounds out the trio of picketers. Her sign reads "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. -- James 1:14-15." They're definitely managing to drive away a few of the Glove's customers, but not terribly many. They can't have been doing this for long because they weren't here when you'd gone into Garcia's earlier.

Marina lets herself smile a little beneath her hood as she sees the picketers aren't having much of an effect on the patrons... still, it seemed a waste to be standing out in the cold for such an unworthy cause. She draws close enough to peer into the windows of the store, having never been within the place herself but seeing it often. She picks off a pepperoni and chews it thoughtfully. What could be so horrible...?

Drawing nearer to the store, you're able to see inside. The front of the shop has nothing worse than PG-13 visible to the public, which is probably some kind of legal requirement. There's a beaded curtain beyond two swinging saloon-style wooded doors on a back wall, partitioning the fit-for-public-viewing from the more indecent and sexual fare. A cashier and two customers are visible in the front half, and another customer just went into the back area. The beaded curtains sway enticingly. And that's when the group's leader approaches you, arm out, cheap plastic-covered Bible in his hand thrust at you. "In him--Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior--we have redemption through his blood, and the forgiveness of our trespasses. Amen." This is supposed to be the part where you say "Amen," take the Bible, and are saved by His righteous followers. Or, perhaps, not so much.

Marina turns the wide, deer-in-headlights look of someone who has not grown up around religion towards the pudgy man. "That sounds horrible," she observes with a soft gasp, looking down at the bible as if it was going to bite her. If it crosses her mind that she is supposed to take it, it's not obvious. It wasn't even a very pretty book. In fact, in turning so abruptly, several drops of pizza grease has fallen onto the thing.

The lead picketer makes a face like you'd just told him something absolutely ghastly about his dear mother, but the look evaporates immediately as another man, this one in his forties and completely bald, comes out of the alleyway next to the Velvet Glove. Baldy nods to Leader, who in turn nods to Balding and Woman. They drop their signs, pull bottles out of their packs, and light rags that have been stuck into them: molotov cocktails. They start to light them as the leader turns from you, raises his voice into a yell, and apparently starts addressing those inside as he backs away from the store front. "The door of mercy will be shut and all bowels of compassion denied, by God, who will laugh at their destruction; by angels and saints, who will rejoice when they see the vengeance' by their fellow-suffer the devil and the damned rejoicing over their misery."

Concern turns to trepidation, trepidation to fear, and fear to utter stunned horror at what she is witnessing. This couldn't possibly be happening! Her reaction is quick and spontaneous: the still-steaming slice of greasy pizza is hurled, cheese first, right at the leader's face as she screams wordlessly, hoping to alert those who had already tuned out the fanatics' droning speeches.

The leader, about to further his hellfire sermon, is immediately silenced as a big slice of pizza splatters him in the face, adhering for a split second before being ripped off. In the poor lighting, molten cheese still clinging to the man's face make it look almost as if his face were melting like the Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Your assault doesn't stop the molotovs, though. *Crash crash FWOOSH!* The firebombs don't go through the storefront windows like you might have expected. Instead, the molotovs both impact on the cement sidewalk, creating a sudden inferno of heat and light that prevents entry or exit, unless someone is willing to walk through fire. The initial blast of heat is potent and instinctively drives you back a few feet to safety. Miraculously, no one seems to be physically burned from the attack, though the fires still blaze as the oil and/or alcohol mixture is consumed.

Marina does indeed retreat, throwing her arms to shield herself from the sudden onslaught of heat. She hunkers down, frantically scrabbling for her cell phone in her bag, her goal obviously to call the cops. "Someone help!" She attempts to call to the bystanders. "An extinguisher! Try the Pizza place!" Ah, there's her phone!

The handful of nearby pedestrians stop and stare at the fire, as if not sure what to do with it. Is that really happening? Baldy takes over for Leader, who's stepping back from the flames and cleaning hot cheese off his face. Unfortunately, Baldy is nowhere near as good at hellfire sermons. "Know ye, O' Fornicators and Whores in this store of unwholesomeness, that the fires before ye now are nothing compared to the fires of Hell! Repent! Repent and be saved from eternal hellfire! Oh, shit!" he adds, as the front of the building catches fire. The people in the front of the store begin panicking and rush to the back part of the store. Leader, profoundly, says, "Gah!" as he peels cheese out of his eye.

Marina produces the phone with shaking hands, quickly dialing 911. "HELLO! There's a fire on Regan Avenue! It's... some sort of terrorist attack." That'll put a rush on it. "They're still here, they might be armed!" The little lady can really focus on one thing at a time, it seems. It's either talking on the phone, running for her life, or attempting to help people. And she's got the phone.

The customers and staff that disappeared into the back of the store re-emerge, even more panicked than before. Why the hell did they come back up front, anyway? The fire creeps up the storefront and almost instantly consumes the canopy awning. The female picketer now seems to be panicking as well. "It's not supposed to catch on fire!" She grabs and shakes Balding. "It's not supposed to catch on fire!" Balding and Baldy both look too shocked at what they're seeing to react. They stare, mouths open, as what was supposed to have been a fear tactic display turns into a full-blown fire. A voice on Marina's phone assures her that emergency services are being dispatched immediately and to stay on the line. A couple other people seem to have gotten the idea into their heads that they should be calling 911 as well. The front windows begin shattering from the heat, allowing the flames easier access to the interior. The customers hesitate a moment, then flee into the back again--except for one college-aged kid. He steels himself, then charges and leaps through a broken front window and the flames. He leap takes him through the window, but not the flames. His leap ends up in a fall to the cement sidewalk, still ablaze from the molotovs and covered in glass. He hits, rolls, and comes to a stop with one leg in the fire. He kicks and screams on the ground as his pant leg burns and his blood spills onto the city streets.

Marina does a horrible job of staying on the line as she drops her phone, letting it clatter on the pavement as she tears off her fire-retardant wool coat and throws it over the boy, hoping to stifle the worst of the flames. "Help me!" She pinpoints the frantic woman picketer, reaching out to her emotional side to help her pull the kid to safety and knowing she isn't strong enough to do it herself.

Leader gets enough pizza off his face and eyes to figure out what's going on, and how horribly wrong their demonstration has gone. "Quick!" he says to Baldy. "Unbarracade the emergency exit!" Baldy nods, though he still looks somewhat stunned. Your appeals to the woman picketer bear fruit: she rushes over to help you pull the college-age kid from the fringe of the flames. The smell of seared and burnt flesh enters your nostrils, nauseating you, but you both manage to pull him to safety and put out the flames with your sweater. Balding, finally coming to his senses and looking around, flees towards the park and away from the scene of the crime. Leader turns on you, now that he's mostly free of cheese, and levels a finger at you. "This is *YOUR* fault!"

Marina is a mess by the time they finally save the kid from the flames, so when a finger is suddenly leveled at her it's with enough surprise that it throws her from a crouch to her butt, gaping up at the man in stunned silence. "Oh god... I'm so sorry... I didn't know it was still that hot!" is all she can think to say.

Baldy comes running back from the alleyway. "It's stuck, Jim! I can't get it open! They're banging on the door! What do we do? What do we do?!?" The woman, now noticing that the other person who'd thrown a molotov has run off, decides to mimic him. With the burn victim pulled from the fire, she makes a break for it through the park as fast as her legs will carry her. The leader keeps his finger pointed at you as he recieves information from Baldy, then sees a second of his crew flee into the night. He follows suit, running north up the street and making to duck down the nearest alleyway. Baldy stands there, dumbfounded again, mouth agape as he realizes he's left holding the proverbial bag. By now, sirens can be heard in the distance. It might be a minute or two before the fire/police/ambulance arrives.

Marina scoots back away from the accusing finger, tears stinging her eyes from both her mental distress and the smoke. She is already trying to remember the faces of those who had fled. Her hand bumps her cellphone, and, mouth agape and moving almost zombielike, she raises it and presses a button, freezing a profile of the man in her camera's photo gallery.

The front of the store is by now engulfed in flames. Masked by the noises of crackling fired and breaking glass, haunting screams can be heard from the back of the store. Baldy, tears starting to run down his face, looks directly at you as you're taking a picture of him with your cell phone. He knows what you're doing. He hesitates, looking directly at you, leaving you to wonder what he's thinking, before he too breaks off and starts running from the scene of the crime. The other three have already managed to get out of sight and are who knows where by now. The boy you and the other woman helped to haul out of the fires moans. He's alive, but probably in shock from pain and blood loss. And then you notice that the screams and plantive cries for help inside have, quite eerily, ceased completely.

Marina drops her phone into her lap, tears running freely now as she tears off her scarf and presses it to the most gruesome of the kid's cuts, trying to staunch the bleeding. She can't hear anything but those screams and cries from inside until they stop. No one comes out, no one helps, and the woman is left alone as she pleads for the kid to keep breathing, his blood staining her hands and clothes as she strains to hear the sirens. "They'll help, they're coming," she reassures him as much as herself.

A fire truck is the first to arrive on the scene. Firemen disgorge from the vehicle and rapidly attach a hose to a hydrant, fighting to prevent the fire from spreading. One of the firemen heads to you, kneeling as he arrives. "You alright, ma'am? Where is your friend hurt?"

Marina is obviously on the brink of hysterics, and when help finally arrives, it's all she can do to not hug him. "I-I don't know... he landed on some glass... he's bleeding..." she sobs the obvious, then flings her arms towards the buildings. "The people inside... there could still be a chance!" She has to believe it's true. She completely forgets about her cellphone.

Fade to black...

Message: 11/171 Posted Author
6 dead, 1 injured in Regan Ave Tue Jan 3, 2012 Nicodemus
A religious protest outside of Velvet Glove, an adult novelty and video store, turned deadly when the protestors threw molotov cocktails and set the store ablaze. It's unclear whether the protestors intended to set the store on fire or not, but firefighters found the emergency exit blocked from the outside, preventing 6 customers and employees within from escaping the inferno. Jason Allred, an SCCU student, escaped with second and third degree burns and severe lacerations by leaping through the front windows and the fire. A local woman, Marina Dale, and one of the protestors managed to pull Allred to safety, saving his life. Police have several leads and consider this man to be a suspect wanted for questioning. (A blurry, poor quality cell phone picture of a bald guy in his 40s contains flames in the background.) If you know the whereabouts of this man or the other three protestors at the scene, contact the SCPD or leave an anonymous tip by calling 555-555-2990.
Currently Active Characters: Nikolai Hendershot (Shadow Lord) Marina Dale (Gaian Kinfolk) Danny Hayes (Fianna Kinfolk)
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