The Post-Modern Masks of Nyarlathotep

Episode XVII: A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes (Part 14)

On the Emden, the Rev grabs the nurse. “My God…whatever your name is…”

“That doesn’t matter now. Just go and find someplace safe, dear. Oh, do you know anything about depth charges, torpedoes, or sorcery?”

“No…but I think if you ask one of the officers, they’ll know about at least two out of those three. Not always the same two, either.”

[It is a German ship…with several future Nazis on board…]

The Rev crawls up the heeled over deck. The snakes crawl up his sleeves as he moves. “What is going on here?” he yells at Dönitz, who is hanging from a rail.

“Something keeps hitting us from underwater!”

“Do you mean that big protoplasmic thing that is glowing and pulsing under the ship?”

What?”

“Right. Um, the exploding barrel thingies, have they been working well?”

“We don’t know where to put them! And if we set them off below the ship, we will sink!”

“We’ll sink anyway at this rate.”

“Good point.”

The pounding suddenly stops. The Rev and the German exchange glances.

Suddenly, the Ivory Wind, which had been following them, sinks beneath the water faster than anyone could think is possible—as if the bottom had been torn out from it.

The Rev finds the Warrant Officer he…inflicted…with his hyperdimensional sight. “Try putting some torpedoes there!”

The Rev spins around. “I don’t know what to do…Charleston, come back! You know this is ridiculous, there is no Rev and Charleston! You just tried to chop us in half and get rid of the parts you were ashamed and afraid of! Think how much we could accomplish together, hand in hand!”

And he has a vision. A vision of a steel door shutting in his face, and the dry voice of Charleston saying, “So long, Rev. I’m running the show now.”

[And at this point, I started to play the Rev.]

“This is an outrage! You can’t lock me up in your mind! I’m the real you! The you you wanted to be! Except for the snakes! What’s up with that.”

“And the blindness…”

“There was mission creep.”

“Anyway.” Charleston slicks back his hair. “Fire the torpedoes…thyear.”

The main guns also begin to fire. Charleston grabs his ears in pain. “You think I need these?” he says, pointing at his ears. He pulls out his straight razor and slices one of them off, and stuffs a larva from his gun inside.

“That’s better,” he says, once his extradimensional hearing kicks in.

“I like the look,” says a Voice.

“What, you? I’m busy

“Yeah, yeah, I can see. You know what works great on those? Electricity.”

[And so CP wondered if Jimmy or Francis had left a lightning gun. (Are you kidding?) Then he decided to see if a Preparedness roll would help.

Except Charleston doesn’t have Preparedness.

But the Rev does…]

“Um…esteemed Reverend? I could use your help…”

“What…why does everything sound like it’s under water?”

“Nevermind! We need a way to electrify the water.”

“Ah, like when Jesus fought Typhon. We should use…the charging station Katakakatak built for the lightning guns.”

[10 point Preparedness spend.]

Some horrible protoplasmic tentacles suddenly lance through the water and wrap around the deck, driving everyone except The Rev/Charleston incurably insane.

“All right, Charleston,” says the Rev, “for the briefest moment in time we have to coordinate our actions.” They’re already running to the back of the bridge, where the charging station has been lashed down.

“Is this thing code?” asks Charleston, dubiously, staring at the sparking collection of tubes and glass.

“Germans built it, so yes.”

[This was mostly CP, with me playing Charleston from time to time.]

“You should give those crew some pentathol to keep them calm,” says Charleston.

[1 point Pharmacy spend.]

Down the stairs races the Rev.

“Look up in the sky,” says a Voice.

“Wait, who are you? I’m the Reverend Jones.”

“Oh for chrisssakes, keep yourself straight!”

“Did you say for Christ’s sake?”

“I knew him once.”

He reaches the charging station. Below him the Shoggoth churns and moils.

“Charleston!”

“All right, all right, I’m driving again.” Using his martial arts, he kicks the charging station into the Shoggoth, which shrieks. He fires his submachine gun into it, filling the air with the hideous screech of a violin solo.

Back on the island, Jimmy leads Lucy up to the courtyard. “Sit here, and don’t look at anything,” he says. She glances nervously around at the bodies strewing the ground.

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