Reality Check

S10. Really Old Rock in SF Underground Scene

Older than Dick Clark

Armed with new intelligence that Larson Kulling had kidnapped Ann Marchment in an effort to blackmail Agent Wander, and that he in turn had abandoned D7 and come to San Francisco in an effort to rescue his girl friend, the Poison Wing arrives at the building adjacent to the sex club, its entrance secured by an electronic lock, in search of him. Gaining access with the universal key function of their D7 identification card, Agent Peyote sets off a flash grenade as they enter the building. Inside they discover 3 homeless sleeping (or unconscious since the grenade fails to rouse them) and that the ground floor has a second entrance by way of a loose board in the wall. Agent Amy notices (!) a pair of footprints leading down the dusty stairs to the basement. A closer inspection reveals them to be of men’s 14 shoes with pointed toes. A texted query to D7 informs the party that Agent Wander wears size 14.

The wing proceeds down the stairs announced by Agent Nico’s squeaky gait. They arrive in an empty and long disused boiler room occupied by rats who scurry away. Their map indicates an adjacent maintenance office and a utility closet hiding a tunnel leading to the sex club. The wing chooses to search the office before proceeding to the sex club basement. The office is also empty and long disused, containing a badly damaged desk missing its drawers topped with a rotary phone and surrounded by empty whisky bottles. Agent Nico spots a shiny object on top of the desk that appears to be a tarnished but very sharp silver letter opener monogrammed BT and pockets it. Agent Holly searches under the blotter and finds a fragile envelope addressed “from LK to BT.” Carefully opening it she finds 10 $10,000 Gold Certificates from approximately 1930 in uncirculated condition. She places the envelope in her extra-dimensional pocket for safekeeping. The wing speculates that this was a bribe and that LK might signify Larson Kulling. The identity of BT remains a mystery.

Agent Peyote is disappointed to discover that the tunnel from the utility closet is significantly wider than the map indicates and does not require shaped charges to accommodate Agent Amy. The tunnel leads to a rough-hewn stone corridor approximately 15’ x 70’ with a dusty but very well-worn floor. Agent Nico follows the footprints into a 25’ x 45’ stone room where the footprints become confused. This room has a carved design running along its walls reminiscent of Celtic knotwork, a very old stone cistern in the corner, a worn stone bench on the opposite wall, and two exits. A spigot with a stalactite hangs over the cistern, which is filled with unwholesome water. The corridor and room present a puzzle to the wing: they are carved from solid rock in an area South of Market that should be bay fill and have a feel of antiquity to them, as if they were already ancient in pre-Columbian times.

While Agent Nico (at the head of the queue) investigates the cistern room, Agent Weed (at the tail) searches the corridor, discovering that the walls are quartz veined with gold. He also finds a secret door a third of the way from the utility closet tunnel that apparently can be opened from the corridor side, but not closed. Agent Weed texts his discovery to the rest of the wing and is content to leave the partially opened door alone until the wing can regroup, but Agent Amy, ever hopeful for hidden caches of chocolate, pushes the door aside and continues into the secret room. Just inside the room Agent Weed spots a control mechanism for the door and closes it behind them. The mechanism is faulty, however, and he cannot open the door from inside. Realizing they are now cut off from the rest of the wing, he quickly texts for help.

Agent Holly leads the others back to the secret door and opens it again from the outside. Agent Weed jams the door open while the rest of the wing investigates this room. Made of the same ancient stone as the others, it contains little beyond two exits and a fire pit. Notably absent are size 14 footprints in the dust. One exit leads to a stairway back up. Agent Peyote climbs it to a locked door of Victorian vintage. Popping the lock she finds a barred door of antique solid iron, and behind that a black curtain and the women’s section of the play dungeon. Closing the door (but leaving it unbarred in case the wing needs to make a hasty escape), she reports back to the wing.

Although relieved that they have discovered another escape route, the wing collectively decides that this room is a dead end on the trail of Agent Wander and returns to the cistern room. Agent Amy notices that leading out of one the exits of the cistern room the footprints appear to resume. This exit opens into a 55’ x 25’ room that contains four 5’-tall purple mushrooms that begin to shriek when Agent Nico gets to close to them. Agent Peyote gestures the rest of the wing back and tosses a white phosphorus grenade which damages all 4 mushrooms. None of the wing are close enough for the mushrooms to successfully attack with their poisoned tentacles. Agent Peyote finishes off 3 of them with a thermite grenade, and Agent Weed shoots the last to death.


SylverWyrd lycanther

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