The Shenandoah Reports

Stick a fork in it, Morton

When all choices are bad, what do you do?

As Hugo made an arrangement to meet Drexl and get the money for Trish’s ransom, he received a call from a number he didn’t recognize- for an unlisted number, that was happening more than made him comfortable. Andrew Morton, a representative for Councilman Harris called to congratulate them on their strides to clean up Charlottesville, and arrange a meeting to discuss finishing the job, and a mutually beneficial relationship. It seemed that Councilman Harris didn’t agree with Mac’s latest decisions, the way that business was being handled, and the information that he was seeking. He was also interested in the information that the group had retrieved from the warehouse. Hugo told him in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t deal with anyone other than Harris, and to call back when he could make that possible before hanging up.

About the time that they had retrieved the money from Drexl and had to decide how they were going to handle the situation, Hugo received another call- this time from Raymond Harris himself. He offered to meet them to arrange the transfer of information for Trish- and that Mac would be taken care of also. But in the meantime, Hugo had availed himself of having a direct line to Wizard talent again- and Ramirez was able to tell him from materials that they had retrieved from Drexl that Harris didn’t have her- she was still at Mac’s club. Drexl had also been able to tell them that the club was a fortress, and always open- it was going to be a bloodbath one way or another assaulting it to get Trish, and it was very likely she’d be killed if they didn’t follow Mac’s instructions.

The group had two choices- either trust Mac’s intentions, and that he was very interested in covering his tail by taking Harris out, or trust Harris’ intentions, and that he would be interested in trading honestly for Trish. In either case, one of the bad guys would be left holding the cards. That’s when Soup came up with a third choice- to get enough firepower to back them up, make the trade, and kill Mac in the bargain. An intricate plan unfolded…

Arriving at the club with a briefcase full of cash, the group was let past several layers of normal security- the entrance had a high end security scanner, and while they were scanned, they were in an enclosed space, with guards watching their every move. Though there was magical security- the downside of it being a club was no threshold. So veiled, Soup slipped in beside Hugo, Kassandra, and Alucard. Once in the club, they were escorted through a sea of innocents dancing on the floor to the rear of the club. Alucard saw that the club was laid out specifically to deter anyone that might be trying to get to the back quickly, with dead spots and switchbacks to make it impossible to take a straight path, or even to go if you knew where you were going. But being subject to public codes meant that it had weaknesses related to adhering to fire codes, and they were taking them right to where they needed to be to exploit it. There were still intricacies to work out, but so far things were going according to plan.

As anticipated, they made Alucard wait outside, completely ignoring Kassandra as only eye candy, and completely missing Soup. Near the back of the club, there was a hidden trap door underneath the DJ booth that led down to a hidden lounge underneath the dance floor. The glow from the area underneath blinded them as they descended down the stairs, and as their eyes adjusted, they could see that the area was longer than it was wide, with a bar next to the stairs (with a man making drinks, no less), a sectional that ran along the walls with LCD TV panels embedded above them, and a long, minimal coffee table running the length between. Standing in the space there were two huge guards and Ephraim Law. Mac, Trish, and one other man they didn’t know sat on the couch. Other than Mac, everyone else in the room was tense. But he said relaxed as if he didn’t have a care in the world, watching a game on TV.

As Hugo took the briefcase to lay it out on the table, Kassandra maneuvered to give the unseen Soup space to pass. Then, all hell broke loose. Soup protected Trish, keeping her out of the line of fire as he took the man beside her out as he tried to rise, pulling Trish away from Mac. But Mac wasn’t interested in her, pulling a nickel plated revolver even as Hugo lashed out at Law, having seen him in action and deeming him the greatest threat. He found that the man’s secret was a demon that possessed his body, and as they tangled, Law fled through the Nevernever, but not before taking a shot at Hugo. The bullet seemed on target as it hit him in the head, but did nothing. Mac gaped at the sight, and took a shot with his revolver, also hitting Hugo in the forehead to no effect. In the meantime, Kassandra made short work of the other three, taking them out with precisely placed blows, as Hugo unleashed the power from the shots that he had taken into Mac with spectacular effect.

Up above, Alucard had maneuvered himself to be close to the exit door. It was there as a necessity as a fire exit, but it was sealed against code. But that didn’t last long, as Alucard gathered himself and kicked it open, pulling the non functional door bar off of it and making a bloody mess of the guards around him. The calvary came in the now open door, Warden Ramirez, his junior Warden Bethan, and Kai making short work of the Mac’s security measures in the now panicked crowds.

After the fight in the basement, Hugo fell insensate to the ground. Ramirez took a look at him, but was unable to figure out what might have happened to the man. They took his unconscious form and Trish and beat a hasty retreat before the authorities came on the scene. Before they were back to the Sanctum, Hugo awoke, a bit worse for the wear, but still with no tangible evidence of the trauma he had received. But he was out of it enough that Soup had to field his call from Morton. Morton made threats on Harris’ behalf, but they were half-hearted; Harris had already left Charlottesville, and it appeared that the group had carried the day.

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