Girl Reporters

Neither Colin nor Sam were able to make it to yesterday’s gaming day. We all missed them.

I decided to take a more active approach with my gaming character. Bluebooking taught me that I was being too passive.

This session began with the former drifter (me), at work as a tour guide on The Seattle Underground, noticing that new surveillance cameras had been installed underground. He inspected the cameras to determine if they were working – they were. At his next break, he sent a text message to the hacker (Kathi) about the new cameras. The hacker didn’t care.

The former drifter reported to his boss that he’d noticed a small crack in the brickwork beneath one of the new surveillance cameras. The crack didn’t look too bad, yet, he said, but he’d keep an eye on it. The point, actually, was to see if his boss looked surprised by the words “new surveillance cameras”. He wasn’t.

Meanwhile, the cop (Daniel) noticed a man watching their condo building – “casing the place”. The cop confronted the man, who turned out to be a FBI agent. The FBI agent explained that a lady had reported that a man matching the former drifter’s general description was acting crazy, saying crazy things, and that she suspected he is a drug dealer. (The lady who spoke to the FBI was Joyce James, the drifter James Joyce met in the previous session.)

(That sounded like rather flimsy evidence to me, and a sign that the FBI had too much time on its hands. But, as Phillip reminded me, on the drive home, our group has powerful enemies who are constantly watching us.)

The cop, of course, cooperated fully with the FBI, giving them the former drifter’s name, confirmed that he lived in the building, and that he worked as a tour guide for The Seattle Underground.

(Something occurred to me, much later in the game: When he’s at work, the former drifter is using an alias name, and is wearing a magic uniform which makes him look “so ordinary that no one notices him”. So if the FBI did go to The Seattle Underground, they wouldn’t find him, even if he was there.)

When the former drifter returned from work, the cop confronted him and gave him a lecture about the importance of not giving out information to strangers. The former drifter reminded the cop that Joyce didn’t suspect anything until they were chased by the mob of James’ friends.

(In hindsight, I wish the former drifter had asked the cop how much information he gave to a stranger claiming to be a FBI agent.)

The FBI continued to case the building, so (after I remembered the magic suit) the former drifter began leaving the building in the magic suit, walking around the corner, unbuttoning the suit (so he looked like James again) and returning home. He repeated the process several times, so that the FBI would see him returning home five times in a single day, but never leaving.

Later, the building’s security system got hacked, completely shutting down all computers. The hacker got to work on fixing the problem, with the cop and the teacher’s aide (Ben) assisting. The former sex slave (Phillip) meditated, in a successful attempt to tackle the intrusive computer program on a spiritual level. The former drifter stayed out of it.

I scored an extra game point for this smart-aleck comment:

Brian: “And what is James doing?”
Me: “I’m stocking my kitchen cabinets with small baggies full of oregano and powdered sugar.”

Then there was a flashback to Seattle in 1932 (when the Gum Wall had one piece of gum on it). The gang were all in a coffeehouse with a hidden stairway down to a secret room.

I’d created my character the last time we had a 1932 flashback, but I still had a few details to work out. She’s a “girl reporter” named Prunella Labell, who, because of her gender, is assigned to the Society Page, but who has a taste for the hard-boiled crime stories. I hadn’t assigned her an age, so, yesterday, I made her 26-years-old, because that’s how old Jean Louise is in Go Set a Watchman. I gave her a nature (how she truly is) of “Rebel” and a demeanor (how others see her) of “Conformist”.

Kathi had missed the previous 1932 flashback, so she had to create a character from scratch. Without knowing anything about my character, she created a 26-year-old woman who is a reporter, assigned to cover farming stories. She’s in Seattle to write about Pike Place Market.

Brian decided that my girl reporter works for The Seattle P-I, and that Kathi’s reporter works for The Seattle Times.

There were mysterious goings-on in the coffeehouse. A police officer arrived, but the gang somehow figured out that he wasn’t a real police officer. He went to the men’s room and disappeared for a long time. (No one in the gang knew about the hidden stairway yet.) When he finally reappeared, Kathi’s reporter tailed him to the Green Tortoise Hostel.

My reporter chose to remain in the coffeehouse, and figure out what’s going on there. She enlisted the help of a 12-year-old African-American boy (Phillip) named Thomas Jefferson Washington, who worked there.

I don’t think anyone got very far in their investigations.

When the gang returned to present time, the former drifter began receiving a lot packages in the mail, on a daily basis. They were free samples of things – a wide assortment of things – none of which he’d requested. There was no indication of where they originated from.

Then a package arrived, addressed to the former drifter, with no return address. It was wrapped in plain, brown paper. He used his perception skills to determine that it didn’t feel dangerous.

Remembering the time he received a mysterious package claiming to be free coffee, and deciding to be safe, had dropped it, unopened, into the dumpster – only to have it retrieved by the estate broker (Sam), who enjoyed his free coffee – the former drifter took a risk and opened the package, right there in the building lobby.

Inside the package were a pair of board trunks, seaweed, and a postcard.The board trunks didn’t fit at all. He left them in his condo, somewhere. He put the seaweed on the door handle of the cop’s condo.

The postcard promised a free night’s stay in Ocean Shores. The former drifter packed up his VW van and was ready to leave that instant, when he remembered that he had to be at work the next day. He called his boss and arranged a couple of days off the following week.

I’m pretty sure that’s where we left off yesterday.

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