Tuesday, March 13th, 2007 AD
[The players started the game session by making some minor changes to their player characters to reflect the most current ruleset that I have. Furthermore, Steve Bauer's Robert Harrington was retired, and David Matchuk introduced his new character, Harrison Williams, a tourist guide.]
The player characters began this auspicious day with a regular morning, interrupted by a few oddities. Sitting in her office, Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy) started her day off continuing her internet search for more about the creature that she encountered in Chelton Park. Her research has turned up nothing so far. Her assistant, Kathy Blaine, interrrupts her, saying she has a visitor. Malcolm Adams, a dark-haired man in a business suit, greets her, and tells her that he works for the Home Office. He's there to question her about the incident in Chelton Park a week ago. Somewhat put off by Adams's brash manner, Amanda is not all that cooperative with him. After Adams leaves, Kathy Blaine is somewhat curious about what's going on, having noticed Amanda's researches, but the zoologist is hesitant of telling her too much. Amanda receives a call from Jessica Ransome, who wants to get together with her and discuss the business in Chelton Park. Amanda agrees (the two of them have become friendly over the last week or so), and they decide to go to dinner in Soho.
David Bannister (Nick) is on one of his few days off and relaxing at home. Reading the newspaper, he sees that a couple of winos have been reported missing, presumably dead, in a small part of Soho. While he's not overly concerned, he's worried about his partner, Christine Foster, whom he's been dating and who lives in the area in question. David decides to take a trip to visit Christine, and starts to get dressed. However, he receives a call from the Emergency Services, asking him if he can take a small, five-hour shift, as several of the Ambulance Services workers have called off sick. Feeling rather obliged to do so, David agrees to the extra shift, and vows to visit Christine for the evening, and perhaps take some fresh meat and produce with him to make her dinner.
At the SAS base in east London, Captain Alexander Taylor (Tom) receives a dressing down from his direct superior, Commander Richard Harte. Much of his problem stems from two soldiers in his squad, Donnegal and Hennessy, who have been causing too many problems of late. Alexander is told that if those two don't get into shape soon, things will be pretty nasty. When the commander leaves, Alexander asks his assistant, Helen Wensley, to put out a call for Donnegal and Hennessy. He wants to see them immediately. When the two arrive, Alexander gives them a dressing down that leaves the two shaking in their boots. As he prepares to go about other duties for the day, Alexander receives a call from his wife, Sally, who asks him to go to the butcher's in Soho, and pick up some meats for supper.
At Masters Electronics, Charlie Harris, one of Jenny Hansford's (Joanne) fellow employees and friend, tells her that his apartment is being fumigated, and that he's staying with several friends. The way he makes it sound, Jenny feels sorry for him and asks if he'd like to come to dinner at her place that evening. Charlie says he'd love to, but Jenny adds that there's nothing romantic going on - she's just feeling a bit sorry for him. He tells her he understands, but hope springs eternal, as he's secretly got a bit of a crush on her. She tells him to meet her at her place around 7:45 pm, as she'll need to stop off at her butcher's to pick up some meat for the two of them.
Jessica Ransome (Angela) is busy making some notes for the evening news report that she's helping out on when her boss, David Ford, tells her that this is going to be her last night on the news broadcast. Based on the "fictitious" report she wrote about the business in Chelton Park the week before, the head of Media Relations, Maggie Hill, has recommended her for a posting there, one of the perks of which will include working with reporters on some of the stories they cover that are relevant to that side of the tv station's business. Jessica is somewhat annoyed, as she wanted to work as a reporter out in the field, but David eventually cajoles her into taking the job, which also comes with a bit of a pay raise.
At Heathrow Airport, Harrison Williams (David), a tour and wilderness guide down on his luck somewhat, arrives from overseas to find a Monica Albright, a representative from Kensington Tours, waiting to greet him as he expected. On the way into the city, she tells him that they've managed to find him a decent flat in Soho, and that if he's as good as his resumé says he is, he'll be able to make a good living working for the company. After settling in to his new flat, Harrison decides to explore a bit of Soho. He decides to take a hunting knife along as protection.
As evening falls, several of the player characters converge on Soho, and a small meat shoppe/butcher in the area, Sarah's Fine Meats. David Bannister, Alexander Taylor, and Jenny Hansford meet up rather by accident at the meat shoppe, and chat a little bit while waiting in the queue to make their purchases. David notices an odd thing - there's a small amount of soot underneath the main meat trays, with little prints of some sort in it.
Jessica Ransome pays a visit to Amanda Tarrascon, and the two take a cab down to Soho for a night out together and a bit of conversation. As they walk towards the restaurant, Amanda tells Jessica that her researches are coming along, but she's no closer to figuring out what sort of creature it was that they encountered at Chelton Park. She also tells Jessica about her visit from Malcolm Adams, but doesn't go into detail. As the two continue to walk and gossip on the way to the restaurant, a piercing scream from a nearby alley causes the two to pause.
Harrison takes a scenic route through Soho in his meanderings to see a bit of his new neighbourhood. He is approached by a pair of winos who beg for a bit of money, but he's not having any contributing to their sobriety or lack thereof, and moves off from them without a word. As he walks past another alley, he hears a scuttling sound, and sees what might be a glimpse of pulsing light at the far end of the alley, near a coal cellar entrance for one of the businesses there. His sharp eyes catch what appears to be the shadow of a very large insect, spider perhaps?, further down the alley, but a sudden scream from a nearby alley attracts his attention, and he moves in that direction, automatically reaching for his knife.
As David, Alexander, and Jenny are emerging from Sarah's Fine Meats, chatting about the soot under the meat shoppe counter, the three hear a scream from an alley some ways down the block. While Alexander and David race off unhesitatingly in the direction of the cry for help, Jenny is somewhat hesitant, but her innate good nature gets the better of her, and she races after the other two.
Harrison reaches the alley way first, and sees what appears to be a pair of young teens, a boy and a girl, racing out of the alley. The girl is covered in blood on her neck and arms, and she's fast going into shock. He runs towards them, but the male of the two shouts that "they're coming after us!" and warns him to get away. When Harrison looks down the alley, he sees what appears to be some very large, metre across spiders moving rapidly towards them. He reaches down and grabs a garbage bin lid, and tells the teens to get away if they can.
At that moment, David and Alexander reach the alley, and see Harrison and the two teenagers. David races over to the teenage girl, and sees that she has been seriously bitten by some creature, and immediately calls for an ambulance and some back-up. After a quick misunderstanding at which point Harrison explains what's going on, Alexander sees the spider-like creatures in the alley moving towards them, some six or seven of them, and snatches up a garbage bin lid as well, and finds a discarded umbrella in the refuse nearby.
They are joined by Amanda, Jenny, and Jessica, and after Harrison and the others make a series of quick introductions, the group prepare to face the giant spiders. Jessica is the first to spot the tell-tale flickering, shimmering light at the end of the alley, and draws it to the attention of the others. David continues to tend to the wounds of the teenage girl, her boyfriend sticking close to them, but looking fearfully down the alley. Jenny snatches up one of the garbage bin lids as well, and looks around for something else she can use as a weapon. She spots an old cricket bat in the refuse [she paid 1 Story Point for it], and hands it off to Alexander, who gives her the discarded umbrella in return.
As the giant arachnids start to erupt out of the alley to attack the player characters, they realise that they are woefully underarmed to deal with the creatures...
As can be seen, the session started off a bit slowly, though it had some interesting developments for the characters on a personal level. The group started to gell well for the most part, though the introduction of David's character, Harrison, gave things and the situation a new angle to develop from. The players had a good time of it, and the swap of the cricket bat for the umbrella was played a bit for laughs, since the two players in question knew that serious things were afoot.
What happens next? Well, you'll have to wait a bit to find out. :)