Lizard and Lunk

The continuing GURPS adventures of eight men who really should find better uses for their time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Subway Station from Hell

Given the history of our supers group, adding "...from Hell" to anything may just be an accurate descriptor.

Having gotten back from our fun with the Feds in the Nevada desert, our supers crew lay low for a while, concerned that the Men in Black might take another crack at hauling us off. After a couple of weeks, we started to reconnect a bit. Tony (Bill's character) and Kevin's martial artist (whose name escapes me) decided to head out to a nifty diner on the south side of Chicago - just because (hey, that's the way lots of good adventures start).

On the way their, they passed through a station on Chicago's famous L. Named for its designer, Samuel Luke, the place is WEIRD. It has lots of religious-themed art, mostly built around themes of peace/war and good/evil, and VERY creepy. It's also been heavily vandalized (well, most of it has), and the scene of lots of nasty violent crime over the years. Just the sort of fun place our characters love!

When Tony & Kevin arrived on their way to the diner, they found a press conference in session. A local politician (a city councilman of some sort) and local neighborhood activist/business owner were announcing a plan to clean up the station and restore the art. There was a TV crew, a small crowd, and the usual flourishing promises about how this was going to rescue a benighted neighborhood and make things better for folks in a somewhat run-down part of town.

In the midst of the press conference, screams rang out from the subway platform below. We rushed down to discover that a college student, intent on saving a woman from assault by some local thug, had swiftly and handily killed said thug with a hammer which happened to be conveniently lying around. The student wasn't the violent type, and made no attempt to get away or avoid arrest when the cops showed up - the whole thing seemed pretty bizarre. (Of course, there's now a Facebook page in support of the student, who is rapidly becoming a modern-day Chicago Bernie Goetz).

This provided a whole new level of excitement for the media. While people were further milling around, a train pulled into the station - and its horn sounded a note, at least to Tony & Kevin, that was bizarrely sublime. Looking around, they could tell that a few other people in the crowd had sort of noticed it, too. The suspicion immediately was that this sound was hearable only to Wonders (or, possibly, Horrors - it didn't recur, so there was no chance to experiment).

Tony & Kevin called in the rest of the crew, sensing that this was clearly a large ball of fun that needed to be shared. The rest of the group arrived, and we spent the afternoon & evening casing the place. In the process, we discovered some very weird statuary, including a Mary with her feet covered (not normal) and a statue of Lilith that, alone among everything there, was untouched by vandalism. There's also a St. Francis and a George-and-the-dragon sort of thing, plus a lot of (pretty roughed up) paintings. Strange people occasionally wandered along amidst the commuters, including a young woman with a violin who served as a sort of Pied Piper for vermin.

There were also a significant number of old hand tools - hammers, crowbars, etc - hidden in various corners for no readily discernible reason. The student who killed the thug had "just grabbed a hammer that happened to be there" - seems like someone is seeding the place with weapons...

Having some researchers in the group, we sent a couple of our number off to try to dig up some information on who Samuel Luke was and why he had created this bizarre station - and see if we could turn up any clues as to what was going on. Ice Man and Richard the Lich both hit the books, and came up with the same bizarre result - they could find individual facts about the place, but as they read on they ceased being able to read the words at all. They brought a few books back to the station to show the rest of us, but we all had the same problem. It seems that, for some bizarre metaphysical reason, it just isn't possible to put together a coherent history of this space - which makes it all the more creepy.

The station closed at 11pm, so we allowed ourselves to be shooed out by the transit cops, then came back in over/through the fence to settle in for the night. Once inside (again) we discovered a couple of frat guys locked in on an initiation, who clearly (but too late) thought better of it. We decided not to give them heart attacks, and stayed out of their way. We checked in (and through) everything else - statues, paintings, walls, floors - but aside from the general feeling of Bad Juju, there was no obvious focus. The rest of the night passed uneventfully, except that everybody had REALLY bad dreams.

Next time we'll see if we can dig up anything else, and whether we can induce something else truly strange to happen.


Anonymous Dory said...

I wish we made a blog like this.

Oh, by the way, in the original story the Pied Piper was actually for vermin. However, the townspeople refused to pay him (or something like that) for leading away the mice, so he used his powers to lead away the children.


-Dory (Yes, I commented here, because A) your stories are cool, and B) I'm trying to figure out how this site works so we can make one someday. I hope you don't mind.)

5:14 AM  

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