The Castle: Casting Call – Session Notes – 9 May 2020

The Castle: Casting Call – Session Notes – 9 May 2020

16-17 June, 2025 – Dubai, U.A.E.

The party discusses their plan for getting to the container ship. Emily finds several large fishing yachts available at a local tourist marina that seem like prime targets. John tells the party that no matter what happens, they can’t lead pursuers to the container ship itself, so they’ll need to make sure they can’t be traced to it by the time they intercept (otherwise they’d be “floating ducks” as Jamie puts it, out on the water for a month).

Emily uses one of the phones and her senses to find the tracking devices just under the skin in everyone’s shoulders. Emma uses the mobile surgical kit to extract the tracking devices from everyone, discovering that John’s is significantly larger, and all of them have tiny explosive devices in them.

Emily is certain they’re not being tracked at any measurable range, so the party wraps the devices in foil and tosses them in the trash. The party has a fairly sedate evening and beds down for the night. Cutscene.

Hugo-

You wake with a start.  It’s late.  You get up from your pallet on the floor, stretch, try to work the kinks out of your neck, wander into the head and take a leak.  You pour some cold coffee into an oddly out-of-place My Little Pony mug.

The only light in the room is coming from the phone that John is idly flipping through in his comfy chair and a cigarette that Seamus is puffing on while staring out the full-length windows at the lights of the city.  You take up position at the window and try to sip at the coffee without wincing.

“Couldn’t sleep?” you ask.

“Nah.  Too much goin’ on in me head.”

“How’re you handing all this?”

Seamus chuckles.  “You kiddin’?  I’ve ain’t never been nobody.  Even when I was somebody I was nobody.  Now?  I’m a fookin’ mystical warden killin’ Illuminati stormtroopers with a magical faerie spear made out of a broomstick I stole from their secret underground bunker.”  He burns through half his cigarette with a single long pull, and lets it out with a sigh.  “This is fookin’ awesome.”

He chuckles, then the back of his head explodes.  

You and John both leap backwards as the windows explode inwards.  Men in tactical gear and closed helmets fly in through the windows and through the apartment door behind you and the room is suddenly full of bullets.  John pulls you over the breakfast bar into the kitchen and presses a Glock into your hands, and right as you’re both about to pop up and make a run for the door, a grenade ting, ting, tings over the counter and explodes at your feet.

You wake with a start.  You look around frantically.  John looks over from his chair and raises his eyebrow.

“We have to go…we have to go now.”

John leaps to his feet.  You both start waking the others and gathering your gear.  But the windows blow in and the men come through the door and everyone dies again.

You wake with a start.

And so it goes.  After a few more rounds, you give up trying to get everyone moving in time and just work on sorting out the tactical situation.  Snipers out the windows, nothing there but a sixty-story drop and a bunch of dudes in repelling gear.  At the seven minute mark there are guys flooding the hallway and down the stairwell and on the floor above.  You make it up to the roof once, then a sniper gets you.

Finally, after you’ve completely gone numb and lost count of the number of times these guys have killed you, you find yourself in the west stairwell on the 56th floor at six minutes and thirty seconds.  You gasp in amazement as men flood out into the stairwell on the fifty-eighth floor and head upwards.

Six minutes and thirty seconds.

“Yeah, champ, you figured it out,” comes the familiar voice behind you.

You spin around and whip up your Glock and pull the trigger at Jones.  Click.  You pull the slide and chamber another round and pull the trigger again.  Click.  Click.

He’s half a flight down the stairs leaning against the wall of the landing, dressed in the same tactical gear as the rest of the lot sans helmet.  He completely ignores your malfunctioning handgun, doesn’t even twitch.

“I felt you up here….swinging back and forth like a pendulum.  Don’t know how long you’ve been at it, relatively speaking, but it seems like it’s been a while.  A few hours of running and dying maybe?  Lazy-assed cops.  Took the elevator to 58.  You figured it out.  Better luck next time I guess.”

He shrugs and straightens up, rests his hands on his tac harness like they’re suspenders.

“When you get a little stronger, if you live that long, and you can see about two, two and a half years out, and you see what those things do to the world.  You and I can have a chat.”

He turns to go down the stairs, then stops without looking up.

“Oh yeah, and next time you think about drawing down on me, slick, you consider the fact that I was able to go to the factory and sabotage that firing pin in that Glock to fail in exactly that moment.  And you didn’t even notice me doin’ it.

See you around, tiger.  Time to wake up.”

You wake with a start.

Hugo jerks awake and gets the entire party up and moving in just a few short minutes. They grab their weapons but very little of the other gear and head to the stairs. Once on the 56th floor, they hold and wait until the police enter the stairwell on 58 and move up to 60.

The party enters the 56th floor and takes the service elevator down to the ground. John tells them that no matter what, they have to keep moving, assuming the Division has near unlimited reinforcements, then reminds them not to lead pursuit to the container ship.

On the ground floor, the party moves into a service corridor leading to the back exit of the tower, doors at the end of the hall are open and they see multiple police lights and armed police outside.

Jamie attempts to transport the party into the world of the dead, but manages only to take Daphne and Hugo with him. The rest of the party moves towards the exit, where they are noticed by the soliders.

John leaves the building first and is shot multiple times, Cole transforms into a werewolf, Emily blocks all of the radios in the area, and Mike whispers into the mind of a solider manning the turret on a SWAT APC in the street beyond.

Meanwhile, Jamie, Daphne, and Hugo jog to the end of the block, assuming they are outside the police cordon.

John sees snipers and leaps to the roof of a nearby building.

The battle continues….

1 Comment

  1. Patricia Gillian
    May 23, 2020

    The container ship would be leaving the harbour the next day or so, and as they were supposed to keep a low profile, that meant staying inside the apartment. Ten of them, most of them did not know each other well, had not known each other at all just a few days back. Mike and Seamus had known each other, yes, and Jamie had bumped into Daphne at some point, or maybe just bumped her. It seemed Hugo had seen Cole once, and Margaret herself had been aware of John’s existence. That was pretty much it.

    Now they were coped up together, and would most likely have to be for the foreseeable future. Mainly because the foreseeable future was a fairly short period of time. Had it been a book, they would, somehow, start bonding and work together, and, depending on the kind of book, some of them might even end up as couples. Of course, not a few stories would have one of them backstabbing the rest of the group at some point. Her money would have been on the werewolf, because, well, werewolf. Most of the urban fantasy writers seemed to disagree with her, though, and they would probably have picked the vampire or the fae. But then, most people seemed to like dogs, and they were considered trustworthy and loyal. Right. Right up until they decided they were hungry, or annoyed, or just, well, dogs.

    There were a handful of books here, some probably left behind by earlier occupants of the apartment, and some seemed more like they were intended to impress a visitor. The left-behinds were, several of them at least, trashy romance crap; that almost made her giggle. She might of course be jumping to conclusions, and Hugo’s contacts might be law-abiding, innocent people. Somehow, she doubted it, though, and the thought of hardened criminals reading soppy romances was somewhat hilarious. Also, interestingly, those were in German, so in all likelihood hardened members of an international crime organisation were reading cheesy romance novels.

    The classics were more interesting, though, even though they were the kind that people bought mostly for other people to see, not for reading. Most of them did not look like they had been read, and some felt like they had never even been opened. The kind where rich people subscribe to a service, get sent pretty, well known books each month, and most of the books end up in shelves, looking pretty, and never being read. But that meant there were quite a few classics; Huckleberry Finn; Pride and Prejudice; Moby Dick; all of them leather-bound, with gold inlay on the spines, definitely meant to be seen rather than read.

    In the end, she decided on one she had read before, but reading it anew with things as they were might give her some new perspective. She hoped. It was in English, but she did not really mind; she had read it in Mandarin once, and there were things that did not translate well, but most of the essence was there, and it was the most interesting book she could find. Even had ‘Dracula’ been among the books, she did not feel like reading that right now.

    She settled in a comfortable chair and started reading as the others were heading to bed. Herself, she did not feel tired, and if any of the others commented on it, she would simply point out that she was, after all, now a creature of the night, and there were far worse ways to spend those nights than in a chair, reading. It was almost disappointing when nobody bothered to say anything.

    Several hours had passed, when Hugo suddenly came rushing out, yelling that they had to leave right now. Normally, Margaret would have been sceptical, and she would have wanted more information. However, it was Hugo, who was able to see the future, according to John. Considering who were after them, ignoring a warning like that might be fatal, whereas not ignoring it, and it turning out to be nothing but a bad dream, well, that would just mean an interrupted sleep for most of them. And, finally, John seemed to take it seriously. That alone would actually have been enough.

    Not that she truly trusted him; yes, he had been Ezra’s friend, and the bond that the two of them had had was probably something akin to what she and he had now. But Ezra had been, she assumed, John’s choice. Margaret herself had been forced into this, and neither she nor John had had a choice. For all she knew, he might resent her for not being Ezra, or hate her for not being someone he had chosen himself.

    She did, however, trust his judgment. At least in this case. As soon as she had the time, though, she would have to start figuring out these things properly. She opened her mouth to ask someone to grab one of the bags, but before she actually had time to voice the question, she remembered that she would most likely be able to do what herself, with no trouble at all. She grabbed a bag, and as she suspected, she lifted it without trouble. Bag over her shoulder, she headed for the door, stuffing the book she had been reading inside her shirt. Hopefully, it would not be missed, and if Hugo was right, one missing book would possibly be the least of the apartment owners’ problems.

    Hugo was frantically driving them down the stairs, until they reached the 56th floor. Here, they stopped and waited quietly. Just a few minutes, if that, had passed when they heard the sound of doors opening just two floors above them, and heavy boots stomping up the stairs to the apartment they had just vacated. Definitely not just a bad dream, then.

    Trying to stay quiet, they found a service elevator and crammed into it, heading down. If whoever was leading this operation was clever, he would have someone waiting at the ground level of each elevator. Clearly, he was not. There was no one outside the elevator when they reached the ground level. They exited, and looked around.

    Following a corridor, they reached a point where they were able to see the entrance, or one of them. It was clear that they were in trouble; there were several police cars and armed men outside. Jamie tried to bring them across to the other side, but only he, Daphne and Hugo disappeared, leaving the rest of them standing in the middle of a corridor, far too exposed.

    Then their luck ran out. A couple of the soldiers noticed them, and as John rushed forward, he was hit several times, but did not fall down. Things were happening far too fast. It did not help, not at all, that next to her, Cole changed into a monster. But of course he did. Margaret decided that having someone between Cole and her would be a good idea; as Emma was the one furthest away from Cole at the moment, Margaret moved to stand behind the young woman, even if it made her feel like she was offering Emma up as a substitute dinner.

    Not that it would help any; it was a bloody werewolf, after all. If it decided to, it could probably tear through them all without breaking a sweat. Did werewolves sweat? Or just drool? Until the creature started, which it would, being the slavering bloodthirsty beast it really was and began tearing their group apart, it would be solely an academical question, and when it actually attacked, it would not matter anyway.

    John might be able to do something, but he was already wounded. Not that it stopped him; he yelled something about snipers, then vanished out the door. So much for his help fighting the werewolf. The others did not seem to worry overly much about Cole, though. As in, none of them were running away screaming. Nor were the men with the guns. But their fire had clearly caught the monster’s attention; Margaret hoped it would be too busy attacking the armed policemen around them to try to eat any of its own group.

    It occurred to her then, that she still did not know much about what she herself could do. She, at least, did not know herself, not when it came to what kind of powers she had, if she had any, apart from the increased strength. And she knew even less about their enemies. Meaning if the book she had just been reading was right, they were definitely in trouble. That definitely went into the ‘know neither the enemy nor yourself’ category.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
    Art of War, Sun Tzu

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