Puddles and Whiskers, All About The Case

Previously.

“His case?”

“Yes, his brief case,” stated Beverly Amson.

Puddles shook her head. She must be hearing things or there was a miscommunication. Puddles watched Beverly take another long sip of coffee; she did not appear upset or even concerned over her husband’s death. Composed, rational, unemotional and wearing on one hand Puddles income for an entire year, Beverly’s only concern was a brief case.

“Just so we are clear, you want to know what happened to his brief case?”

“That is correct.”

Puddles was thankful Beverly could not see her tail slashing away as her irritation with Beverly rose. Setting her paws in front of her, trying to control her urge to drum her claws, Puddles looked into Bevely Amson’s eyes hoping to see any sign of humanity. Nothing.

Sighing Puddles began, “Your husband’s brief case was carried off by the man who killed him.” Puddles paused looking for some reaction. “Whiskers chased the man with the puppet until the man jumped into a waiting taxi and escaped.”

“Did the man have the case when he jumped into the taxi.”

“I…I will check with Whiskers.” Puddles sent a text to Whiskers. “Another cup of coffee while we wait?”

Beverly looked at the cup of coffee with more emotion than Puddles had seen all meeting and then looked up at her, “No thank you.”

Whiskers replied promptly. “According to Whiskers the man had the brief case when he jumped into the taxi.”

Beverly thought for a few moments, “I need you and your associates to retreive the case for me.”

“What?”

“The job I hired your firm for is not complete.”

“Your husband is dead,” Puddles snapped back, “our case was to follow him and catch him in the act with another woman.”

“No.”

“No,” Puddles hissed.

“I hired your firm to follow Mr. Amson, gathering information on where he went and who he interacted with. You inferred I wanted to know about another woman,” Beverly shot back enunciating each word. “Thus, your job is not finished. Mr. Amson interacted with the man who killed him. That man took something that belonged to Mr. Amson. You need to find that man and the brief case.” She stood up and headed for the door, stopping as she headed out, “I expect results and updates.”

Puddles dug her claws into her side of the desk, let her tail slash through the air freely, and took a moment before cursing Beverly Amson out. Whiskers would be proud she thought, this time the client was not in the office.

[We have an issue.] Puddles texted to Whiskers and Chuck.

Lost Time Smells Funny

A wise man once said, “Oh crap, where did the time go!”

That wise man was not me. I am the guy who not only forgot where the time went, but kept on going until someone said, “Hey, you not so wise man, you have something you should be doing!”

I replied, “The lawn looks fine.”

And the lawn does look fine. I mean the lawn could use a mow, just the back forty, but honestly I don’t mind the grass being a bit long and the longer the weeds and grass grow in the fire pit the more likely the next year the fire pit will be filed with…grass and weeds. Not exactly my best plan, but a start of potential…yep I planned on the weeds and grass and got a fire pit filled with weeds and grass.

And that is how I found myself in a car on the way to Grand Rapids to take care of a day of fun and business. What is fun and business in Grand Rapids? A trip to the same five or six store that we always go to. Sorry we are not those people who do exciting things in Grand Rapids. Honestly the town or city for those of you who are big on specifics drives me NUTS. Too many damn people, in too small of a space. City sized be damned! Why are all of the people where I want to go or in the way of me going where I want to go unless I wanted to get some food then there is no one around.

Why! I say why was Denny’s understaffed during the lunch rush so much that we stood there, a group of starving forelorn looking individuals who only wanted to spend money on food, for two passes of a haggard waitress who only had one line of dialog, “HODOR!”

Oops wrong film.

Her line was, “Sorry, someone will be with you soon.”

Why no you? We are good tippers. We are hungry. What is soon? Soon is too abstract of a concept, yet abstract enough that we allowed her to say it to us twice and a bunch of new people once before we took off for some other place that served food…sadly that was Burger King where…

the main dinning room smelled funny and the kids playroom smelled great. How do I know what a Burger King should smell like, I worked at several for two years and we have one in Big Rapids that smells of old fryer oil, sadness, desperation, and FEET and that is the main area. The kids area smells of sadness, feet, and pee. Thus this Burger King in Grand Rapids smelled of the same unless you were in the kids play area like we were. Stare all you want, I prefer to eat in relative quiet and not around smells that make me wonder why the mohawked manager was not doing her job and how the staff would react to me taking charge.

Which is how we ended up at home with a bag of glow in the dark rocks, some frames, some miniatures, and a few books to read. 🙂

Unfinished Summer Bucket List

I could tell you all of the things we have done this summer as part of a “How We Spent Our Summer” post, but if you are a regular reader and you are a regular reader, right? If not become a regular reader. 🙂 Since I routine chronicle what we have done how about something different the things we have not done. No, not in a depressing or complaining way at all…I hope.

At the start of the summer each of us made a bucket list of things we wanted to do by the end of summer; end of summer as defined by kids in school not by the end of the season. Try as we might some things have not gotten done…yet…there are plenty of summers ahead.

  1. Top of everyone’s bucket list, a trip to the beach. Given that the state is surrounded by water, most of it at least, going to the beach, any beach would seem to be a no brainer. Unfortunately due to a combination of weather and work schedules we have yet to go. In a way its funny because on Barb’s days off we either have something that needs to get done or the weather has not cooperated, cold temperatures or rain.
  2. Related to the beach, kayaking and canoeing. Neither on my list, but on most everyone else’s list. Seems one or two experiences in a kayak or canoe caught their interest. Like the beach above…in fact the beach above is why.
  3. Visit each of the Great Lakes, this was mine as part of a travel around the state idea, something I hope we can do. I thought it would be fun to see each of the lakes and along the way go to places we have not been. Problem is that we do not like long car trips or maybe more correctly, we are easily distracted and tend to stop in places, find a bunch of stuff to do and then instead of traveling on we head home.
  4. Fishing. Our girl wants to fish. I like to fish or at least I like to toss a line in and read a book or write. I have no idea why we haven’t done this, there is a bridge near our place where people routinely fish off of day and night.
  5. Visit a few local comic cons. Before the summer started we found as many small, local, single or weekend comic cons as we could. Then as the summer unfolded we discovered that some of them were further away than we thought, our bad for not researching the location, but more than a few were more expensive to get into that three days at Motor City.  On the plus side in a few months a couple of larger cons arrive.

Not bad for the top five things we have not done this summer and there are a few more weeks to go. Hopefully schedules and weather cooperate so we can go to a beach before the kids go back to school.

 

Gaming Stories 2, Bolian Death Dance

I can be a pain in the ass. I know this. People who know me know this. Me being a pain in the ass is one of the reasons why I run role playing games instead of playing in them. I have yet to find a person who can run a role playing well enough that I am interested and not bored. I have a very low threshold for losing interest…does the adventure have a “follow the bouncing ball” element, bored; are the non-player characters stereotypes and not interesting, bored; does it take too long to get back to the  players i.e. game master monologing, bored. Get the idea. Knowing all of this I warn people who want to run games.

Steve is or maybe now was a Star Trek Fan. He put other Star Trek fans to shame with the length and breath of his knowledge and fandom. Going so far as to offer toasts in Klingon during parties…before he was drunk. My knowledge of Star Trek up to this point limited to the television shows and movies. Everyone else in the group, less than that. Still, Steve was eager.

I warned him. Everyone else warned him not to run a game with me. He said he could handle me. Okay, warning issued. Something else I should mention, the craziness I cause is infectious, I start and others start. We wanted to be like the people we saw on TV, you know the bridge crew of the starship, not the helping hands. Eventually he agreed after telling us how hard it was going to be to be the bridge crew. Whatever, I was the Captain.

The setting, us as bridge crew of some starship with the singular task of meeting the USS Hood at some star base to fight the Dominion. I should mention, that none of us, other than Steve, had watched Deep Space 9 thus had ZERO clue what the Dominion were or why he was trying to convince us that they were SOOOOoooo bad.

On our way, first crisis a murder. Ah ha! I knew how to handle that, since everything was recorded on the starship (saw that on the TV show) I wanted to recreate the murder in the holodeck. Gathered on the holodeck, we discover that it is mysteriously broken. One of the players had a Bolian character, imagine a human half blue-half white with a zipper looking line separating the halves, dancing. Why dancing, because nothing was happening.

Fine, not able to solve the murder and having zero interest in the case due to a complete lack of information from Steve, we moved on…to discover that for whatever reason we were traveling really slow. I mean really slow. So slow that Steve kept mentioning it, but none of us were engineers and the engineer, guess what…had no clue.

Bored, the Bolian player continued to dance everywhere and every chance. I was not the Bolian, I was the Captain and I was getting bored too…then we arrived at the star base…

“You come out of warp to find the hood is missing.”

“Maybe that is why we took so long getting here.”

“Do we have starship sized bungie cords to hold the hood down.”

“Yeah, we don’t want the hood flapping about while we fly around space.”

At this point the Bolian player really began to dance. Steve developed a throbbing anger vein in the center of his forehead. Determined to get control of the game we were attacked by the Dominion, at this point we asked what they looked like. Unfortunately for him, the Bolian was our weapons officer and began his Bolian Death Dance and the best our group could determine was the Dominion were lizards and we needed to shoot bugs at them.

Vein red and throbbing, Dominion defeated, Steve informs us that someone fixed the holodeck. Yes, some enterprising (see what I did there) crew person took the time to fix the space VCR during the fight of our lives. I don’t think we actually won, I think we wore him out with the Bolian Death Dance and constant references to the bungie cords holding our hood down.

And here we are at the end, the entire group of players gathered round the holodeck the whole murder plays out and when we ask who did it, Steve points to the only person who had not joined in on the craziness and shouts, “She is the murderer!”

She, like the rest of us, looked baffled. She, unlike the rest of us, recovered faster and shouted, “If I am the murderer I phaser everyone to death.”

“I do the Bolian Death Dance!”

We never did find out what happened to the hood.

 

 

Gaming Stories 1

Every gaming group has gaming stories to tell, I have a lot. I usually keep them to myself or people who I gamed with because outside of the event gaming stories tend to sound…well, odd. Just the nature of any story that relies on a specific event. Still there are some that are just fun. Inspired by Big Man who shared one of the better gaming stories with others I am sharing some with you.

Jubei

For three years I ran a continuous game of Legend of the Five Rings, imagine a Japan with magic and monsters. In our first game, Big Man who was playing Jubei a ronin (masterless samurai) found himself in a duel with a Unicorn Clan samurai. Jubei won and took the dead samurai’s swords intending to take them back to his clan.

The gaming group passed through Unicorn Clan lands several times over that three years. Jubei’s “legend” grew with each passing year. Fought in several wars, including a few he started, survived a trip into the Shadowlands, and won numerous duels. Near the end of the three year run a woman non-player character joined the group. She claimed to want to chronical the exploits of the famous Jubei.

And she did. She also spent a lot of her time slowly poisoning Jubei. When his death finally came he discovered much to his dismay that the woman was the sister of the first samurai Jubei had killed and she was there to restore family honor. Picking up the family swords she left Jubei to die.

A Potato Gun?

I don’t remember the exact game, one of those D20 side projects that Wizards shit out for a while. The gist for our gaming group was the players were FBI agents investigating paranormal activity, in the vein of X-Files. Assigned to investigate a town in the middle of Montana they immediately got into trouble.

For any game I run, which is all but a few, I have multiple story lines, villains who act on their own, and lots of things of interest. The players are on their own as to what they do. In this case they bumped into a family of ghouls. A point of interest for my setting, not a major or minor plot point, the ghouls had lived in the town since the town’s founding. They were the “weird” people. Their biggest crime, stealing cattle instead of raiding graveyards.

However, since they were the “weird” people in town the players took that as “they must be the bad guys.” To handle the ghouls instead of investigating or even attempting to contact the family they raided the house. Yes, players in role playing games often do completely illogical things that make “sense” to them.

Which is how the first player through the front door found their character on the receiving end of a potato gun which knocked the character out. The other players taking this as a sign of “must be the bad guys” went all commando. Except, because they did zero in game research did not know how large the family was nor how much damage a potato gun can do to an unarmored human. Three characters knocked out, two fled the scene, and the ghoul family left town until the characters left.

 

Puddles and Whiskers, Not NiHo’s

Previously.

With a groan, Whiskers stood up and approached Officer Chu. A brief conversation and Whiskers signaled Puddles and Chuck time to leave. Walking along the elevated walkway wageslaves avoided the three of them.

“We don’t belong here,” Chuck sighed his tail slowly waving.

“What?” Puddles snapped her tail slashed causing a passing wageslave to jump.

Pointing at another group of wageslaves walking past them, “Look they avoid us like we have something.”

“Why do you care what they do?”

Chuck thought for a moment, “I don’t.”

Puddles shook her head in disbelief. Deep in thought Whiskers missed the exchange, focusing on the details of the encounter, “He was wired,” he said out loud.

“Who was wired?” Chuck asked.

“What?” Puddles said

Snapping out of his thoughts, “The man with the puppet, he outran me like I was a kitten. He must have some augmentation.”

“It’s possible,” Puddles said thoughtfully. “What’s our next move? The client is dead.”

“That puppet was interesting,” Chuck absently said.

“That damn puppet almost killed all of us,” Puddles snapped.

Chuck glared at Puddles for a moment, “I know. That doesn’t change the fact that the puppet was interesting.”

“Whatever.”

“Give it a rest,” Whiskers ordered. “I need some food and coffee before I decide what we do next.”

Not NiHo’s

“It’s not NiHo’s that’s for sure,” Chuck commented as he looked around the noodle shop.

“No it’s not,” Puddles responded. “Look at this menu, where is the spicy ham?”

With a wave through the holo-menu, closing the menu and a sigh Whiskers sat back in the padded chair, “Definitely not NiHo’s.” Whiskers set down his cup of tea.

“Something wrong with the tea?” Puddles asked.

“It’s not coffee,” Chuck replied with a smile.

“Chuck is right,” Whiskers answered pointing at the tea, “this is not coffee. Not much is going our way this morning.”

“Whiskers, I’ll contact the client,” Chuck said.

“What will you tell her?”

Chuck paused, “That her…”

“That is where I am stuck. Her husband is dead. However, that is not our concern other than offering our condolences.” Whisker picked up the cup of tea, began to take a sip, thought better and set the cup down.

“He’s dead. Our case is dead. Isn’t it?” Chuck asked.

“Sometimes,” Puddles replied. “She may want to know. That means we need to follow up until we get her answers.”

Chuck shook his head in disbelief. “What about the man with the puppet?”

Puddles sat forward, “I’d like to find him and give him his puppet back,” she finished with a devilish smile, all fang.”

“I too would like to know more about him,” Whiskers said. “However, he is not our concern.”

“After food, I’ll contact the client and set up a meeting,” Puddles said. “By the time we meet she should have the news of her husband from the SCPD.”

A shiny Serv-O droid quietly rolled to the table, depositing bowls of noodles and spoons in front of each of them. Puddles picked up a spoon with two claw tipped digits, “Definitely not NiHos.”