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 Post subject: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Auld Lang Syne is a one-shot, freeform RPG that will run for the month of December only. Bring whatever characters you like (just make sure they have their warm coats) and get ready for adventure.

This is my Christmas present to you guys for creating a forum of amazing games that I've been able to play in, run, and enjoy from the sidelines. Thank you for a wonderful year.


---

6:00 pm CST
December 31
44.471234, -96.836952

Deepfreeze is a small town even by small-town standards. It doesn't have stoplights. Most of the intersections don't even have stop signs. There's one grocery store, one school, one post office, one bank, one grain elevator, one gas station, one cemetery, two churches, and a bar.

The bar is the most important of all.

Everyone in Deepfreeze knows everybody else. Most people have been here all their lives. You have to be a little funny, a little off the wall, to make this your home.

And now, another year of sleepy small-town life is coming to a close. Anybody who wants to celebrate has driven to the "big city" an hour away. But that's not for most locals. Around here, everyone rings in the new year quietly at home, or almost as quietly at the bar.

By six o'clock, it's already dark as midnight outside. Snow is falling in heavy curtains over the little houses and the deserted Main Street. Nobody's come into the Ice Shack yet. Joe Dee, the bartender, is watching Babe Winkelman on TV. Frances, the waitress who's been working there since God was underage, sits at the bar with him, playing video poker and smoking. In the kitchen, Clark, the seventeen-year-old cook, amuses himself by deep-frying mozzarella sticks one at a time and ignoring his algebra homework.

The new year approaches, bit by bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Geeze, sounds like the town where I grew up. I'm in, and moreover, I will be playing myself, Adapted appropriately to the setting of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:47 pm 
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Location: Up on the hill, down by the river.
Outside there is a rumbling just barely audible under the howling wind, and a huge bank of bright white lights cut through the snowfall as a massive truck pulls up into a spot right outside the biggest windows in the Ice Shack. After a moment the lights die and the outer door to the Shack bangs open and shut. A moment later the inner door opens,* and a figure in a stained tan Carhartt and an IH cap stomps in in a pair of heavy boots and blue jeans.

"Afternoon Joe. Fran. I'll be damned if I'm gonna keep plowing while this poop keeps coming down. I don't care if they are paying overtime. Gotcher parking lot though. For about the next twenty-five minutes!"

Jan (like with a Y) Gunderson hangs his coat on a hook by the ATM and pushes the sleeves of his dirty sweatshirt up above his massive tattooed forearms and takes a seat at the bar. He reaches over and grabs a plastic cup and stuffs a couple of napkins down in the bottom and spits a stream of tobacco juice therin.

"Gimme a Coors, Joe."







*No bar I know in cold climes has a door that opens directly to the outside. They all have man-trap arrangements, even though plenty keep both sets of doors propped during busy hours. The arrangement at least keeps the elements from getting inside.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:20 am 
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Skitzophrenik wrote:
"Afternoon Joe. Fran. I'll be damned if I'm gonna keep plowing while this poop keeps coming down. I don't care if they are paying overtime. Gotcher parking lot though. For about the next twenty-five minutes!"

"Appreciate it, Jan," says Joe, coming over to shake the man's hand in greeting.

"You want anything to eat?" Fran doesn't look up from the video poker, but she does take the cig out of her mouth to talk, which means she's pretty fond of Jan.

Skitzophrenik wrote:
"Gimme a Coors, Joe."

The bartender does, starting to ask a question but then holding up one finger when the phone rings. He pulls the cordless phone from under the bar and answers, listening intently and making monosyllabic responses. At last, he hangs up.

"I might have to call Nate in to cover for me, Fran," he announces. "First Responders."

"You still doing that?"

"Not officially, but they're swamped, I guess. Three separate calls already."

The door opens and in comes a teenage girl named Jenny, known to everyone in town as Clark's semi-crazy, on-again-off-again girlfriend. Despite the weather, the heaviest thing she's wearing right now is her over-applied eyeshadow. "Clark in back?" she asks cheerfully.

Joe motions her toward the kitchen with a jerk of his head. Fran lights another cigarette. "He's too good for that girl."

6:12 pm

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Location: Somewhere doing something.
Giovanni walks in from the cold. He's a stern looking man in his mid-40s with slicked-back, dark hair. He's wearing a full suit and tie along with a fedora. "Good evening, everyone," he greets, sitting down at a table. "Joe, I would like a Guiness please. And some mozzarella sticks." Giovanni looks like he could be some sort of villainous leader of a faceless corporation. Hell, he could be, for all anyone knows. I believe he mentioned his job once, but it was quickly forgotten.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:18 pm 
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"Howdy," Joe says, getting Giovanni a Coors. "You been out on the highway? How's the roads looking?"

Frances heaves herself off her bar stool and heads toward the kitchen. "You and that hat," she says as she passes, brushing a little snow off the brim and down the collar of his suit. "What do ya think, you're Elliot Ness?"

The lights flicker once, twice, then come back on. The TV reception goes fuzzy.

6:14 pm

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:27 pm 
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"I'd prefer it if I was, since that would make me untouchable," Giovanni calmly but sharply retorts, cringing at the cool water now running down his back.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:13 pm 
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Location: Up on the hill, down by the river.
"Roads are a real bitch-kitty, Joe. I been plowing since the day after Christmas, been home maybe three times since then. Highways are barely open between passes, town roads are worse."

Jan reaches into his mouth and removes a tightly packed lump of long cut snuff, and dops it into the cup with the napkins. He spits another stream of juice and then a few more times arily to get any leftover shake before reaching for his beer.

"If'n you dont mind I'm gonna hole up here till this stops, or the sun comes up, whichever comes first. Snow'll still be there in the new year."

Jan takes a swallow of his beer, nods in approval and gets up wearily to go feed worn singles into the new-fangled digital touch-screen juke on the wall.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:56 pm 
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A young man wearing a black duster (tightly buttoned up), and an old black suede cowboy hat walks through the door, holding a pair of black leather gloves, and unwrapping a black scarf from around his face. His efforts are impeded by a pair of Victorian looking goggles hanging around his neck. His overall appearance would seem quite menacing, if not for the ear to ear grin plastered over his face, making his grey eyes sparkle. He is covered head to toe in crusted on ice and snow, which he does his best to shake off in the boot room. He removes his hat as he steps through the door, revealing neatly trimmed sandy blond hair.

"Frack me, It's getting nasty out there. I haven't seen it come down like this since Saint Pattie's day of '95. You wouldn't happen to have a phone I could use would you?"

The young man beams at Joe.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:52 pm 
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Skitzophrenik wrote:
"If'n you dont mind I'm gonna hole up here till this stops, or the sun comes up, whichever comes first. Snow'll still be there in the new year."

"Aw heck, Jan, you know you're always welcome here." Joe stands on tiptoe and fiddles with the TV antenna until the reception improves, barely. "Got the couch in the back office, yours if you want it."

The power flickers again. The digital jukebox sucks down Jan's dollar and, unprompted, starts playing Ernest Tubb.

I'm walking the floor over you
I can't sleep a wink, that is true


balthazar wrote:
"Frack me, It's getting nasty out there. I haven't seen it come down like this since Saint Pattie's day of '95. You wouldn't happen to have a phone I could use would you?"

Joe hands him the cordless handset from beneath the bar.

"Glad to have you, stranger," Fran says to the newcomer, as she emerges from the kitchen. "You hungry? Yours'll be up in a minute, G-man," she adds to Giovanni.

You've broken your promise
and you left me here alone
I don't know why you did dear
but I do know that you're gone


Outside, the wind howls. Snow slaps wetly against the Shack's roof.

The TV goes blank. Joe swears and turns it off.

6:18 pm

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:24 pm 
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The inner door creaks open as FB enters, brushing snow from his trenchcoat. He never takes the damn thing off, even inside and at the height of summer. When winter comes, though, suddenly it seems sensible. "Think I just saw your antenna collapse, Joe. Should've let me cable you up last summer." Of some indeterminate young age between twenty and forty, FB never seems to be affected by the weather, hot or cold.

He shakes the snow from his hair, making sure the spikes are still spikey (they are). "Anyway, just finished tinkering with your generator. Yeah, I know, you didn't ask. Anyway, it's good and winterised now. Might lose power in the rest of the town, but the Shack should be okay." FB's always tinkering with things around town, mostly unasked. No one's sure why he's got so much time, or how he pays for all his tech, but he's the guy to ask when something goes wrong. It's sort of what he does around town, no charge asked.

He nods towards Fran, delivering compliment without smile. "Hey beautiful. Diet Coke, like usual, please."

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:30 am 
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inspiration wrote:
Joe hands him the cordless handset from beneath the bar.


"Thanks, I'm not getting any reception on my cellphone."

inspiration wrote:
"Glad to have you, stranger," Fran says to the newcomer, as she emerges from the kitchen. "You hungry?"


The young man turns to smile appreciatively at Fran.

"Starving, I'll have whatever's hot, and a Coke to drink, thanks."

He turns his attention to the phone and after a moment, begins a murmured conversation with whoever's on the other end. It only takes a minute, and he hands the phone back to Joe.

"Thanks again."

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:58 am 
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FreakyBoy wrote:
"Think I just saw your antenna collapse, Joe. Should've let me cable you up last summer." Of some indeterminate young age between twenty and forty, FB never seems to be affected by the weather, hot or cold.

He shakes the snow from his hair, making sure the spikes are still spikey (they are). "Anyway, just finished tinkering with your generator. Yeah, I know, you didn't ask. Anyway, it's good and winterised now. Might lose power in the rest of the town, but the Shack should be okay."

"Much appreciated, FB," says Joe, leaning over the bar to shake his hand in greeting. "Good to have you around. Wouldn't want to risk it on a night like this, no sir."

FreakyBoy wrote:
He nods towards Fran, delivering compliment without smile. "Hey beautiful. Diet Coke, like usual, please."

Fran snorts affectionately at the word "beautiful" and fetches him a Diet Coke from the kitchen.

balthazar wrote:
"Starving, I'll have whatever's hot, and a Coke to drink, thanks."

"I'll tell Clark to put some more mozzarella sticks down," she says, returning to the kitchen.

Now someday you may be lonesome too
Walkin' the floor is good for you


She comes back with the newcomer's Coke and Giovanni's mozzarella sticks. "Eat up, G-man," she says. "You'll need--"

From the kitchen comes a man's bloodcurdling scream.

6:25 pm

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:48 am 
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Location: Up on the hill, down by the river.
Jan is over the bar in a shot, leaving the plastic cups behind the sink for mixed drinks scattered in his wake. His boots land on the floor with a thud and he slips through the open doorway to the kitchen.

"Joe grab that first aid kit!"

Jan rounds the corner to the fryers and grill and braces himself for what he sees.

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 Post subject: Re: Auld Lang Syne
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:19 am 
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The young man in black is right behind Jan, and slips to the side, ready for just about anything.

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