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 Post subject: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Location: Wishing I was not in Kansas anymore
Western Kansas is a sea of cultivation. Vast plains once dominated by waves of prairie grass now swim in wheat and corn and barley, the grain stretching past the endless horizon. Trees buoy the land, unnatural growth planted to end the disputes of neighbors or lift the spirits of homesick settlers long since gone. While a distant farmhouse will appear from time to time to the lonesome traveler, proof that men do work the land, it's the small, scattered towns that keep civilization alive in a region both highly developed and desolate.

Today the sun rises in late spring on one such small town. Though Hill City, Kansas (pop 1200) is no more than ten blocks square, the town is active throughout the day. Children head off to school, the young holding their mothers' hand as they walk the short distance while teens rip down Main in borrowed cars from farms outside town. The grocer prepares his goods for the day, and the local diner has been running hot since dawn first cracked. In the hustle and bustle of the morning, few notice two black, dusty Chrysler Imperials enter the town -- one from the east one from the west -- and begin circling the perimeter. At certain points one or the other vehicle stops and unloads a passenger, six in all, six men dressed in black suits crowned with black fedoras. The vehicles each stop on Main, one at the Schweitzer Hotel, the other at the Western Hills Motel. Two drivers exit their vehicles and check in at two different inns. Two drivers leave their vehicles behind and walk toward the diner. Eight strangers in Hill City go unnoticed. They wait.

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:36 pm 
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At the local secondhand bookshop, Cecil picks up where he left off while waiting for customers.

All right, let's see if I can get past the Orb of Death this time. I've got the Sommerswerd, so I won't be able to use the Dagger of Vashna...

Taking out a ten-sided dice, Cecil rolls it several times, checking the results against a table at the back of the book. Technically, he's waiting for customers...

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Location: Yeah....So????
John leaves his empty home and walks across the street to the service station that he inherited from his father. "Another ^%$ day" he mutters. "My wife ran out on me years ago, everyone in this crappy town thinks I murdered her and they won't buy gas from me. If it wasn't for the money I get fixing motorcycles for the motorcycle gang over in Ridgefield I would've lost...Oh screw it. Why do I even bother getting out of bed?" He reaches into his desk drawer and pulls out a half empty bottle of whiskey and takes a long pull. "That hit the spot." he says to the empty room. He grabs a coke and heads out front to sit in his chair and wait to see if today will be different from any other. Mollified by his morning drink he smiles at the town that hates him.

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:14 pm 
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Mild-mannered Richard Roberts puts on his suit and walks to his place of work, the Hill City Planet. Along the way, he awkwardly mumbles, as if rehearsing something in his head. When he arrives at his cubicle, he gives the deep sigh of someone about to do something dangerously foolhardy. He then walks to the next cube over and finds Bonnie Brown. He then blurts out, "H-h-i Bonnie! Um, I-I-I... Wouldyoumaybewannagotodinnertomorrownight?" Finally, the question that's been on his tongue since high school has finally slipped clumsily out of his mouth.

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:29 am 
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Jethro Wagner steps out of his car in front of the diner and looks around. His potential client hasn't arrived yet. He leans against the side of the vehicle, a long white Cadillac adorned with longhorns on the hood. Jethro's own appearance compliments the car, being the very picture of a stereotypical Texan oil magnate. He is a man who appears to be in his 50s, with a weather-beaten face and grizzled hair. His broad, easy smile is shaded by an even broader white Stetson, and his neck is lassoed by a bolo tie with a turquoise clasp and silver tips featuring intricate decorative engraving. Below this is a plain white button-down shirt tucked into a somewhat weathered pair of Levi Strauss. A broad black leather belt with a silver buckle holds those pants up, which seems particularly important as his jeans seem a bit loose. His feet are shod in a pair of worn-in black leather cowboy boots with metallic caps.

While Jethro is not a resident of Hill City, he is a frequent sight there. Having made his money through hard labor (followed by some fortunate land purchases in the oil fields), Jethro has turned to investing in the farming community here. The farmers often need some money to buy new property or equipment, and Jethro is happy to oblige with quite reasonable terms. He is, therefore, well-liked among the farmers, though not so much among other investors whose terms he undercuts. There are also some farm workers who are not exactly his most ardent fans, whose jobs were made superfluous by farm equipment purchased through his investments. He is not unsympathetic, having been replaced by a farm machine himself in his youth. Rather than be bitter about being trampled by the march of progress, he aspired to lead it. This pursuit has turned him into one of the wealthiest and most well-known men ever to tread upon the streets of Hill City.

Checking his watch, he decides to wait for his potential client inside the diner. He would not be missed, as his distinctive car would certainly advertise his presence. He pulls up to the counter and graces a waitress with a friendly smile. "Could I git a coupla scrambled eggs, darlin'?"

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:24 pm 
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A tall man with shockingly red hair and a smattering of freckles across his face sidles up next to Richard. His black suit gleams.

"Mr. Richard Roberts? I am speaking to the man himself,right?"

***

A swarthy, stocky man with a head of thick, black hair as dark as his suit trumps into the service station.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for a, ah, John..."

***



A weedy young man, his suit a little too big for him, enters the used book store.

"Mr. Ceeeecel...seciil...how exactly do I pronounce..."

***

An older gentleman with salt n pepper hair walks across the diner and slides into the booth across from Jethro.

"I believe you to be a Mr. Jethro Wagner. Is that the case, sir?"


Last edited by weatherwax on Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:09 pm 
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"Um, ah, yes! But I was actually, uh..." Miss Brown doesn't appear to be paying attention, leaving Richard disheartened. "Um, yeah. I'm Richard Roberts."

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:05 am 
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Cecil quickly puts away The Cauldron of Fear (using his character sheet as a bookmark) and attends to the customer. "It's pronounced 'Cecil', sir. Might I ask which sort of books you are looking for?"

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:00 am 
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Location: Currently on expedition.
Jason Dubois, aged 24, awakes in his spartan second story apartment, and proceeds to go about his morning ritual with military precision. This done, he prepares himself for his daily run. He is a short man, with brown hair and green eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:21 am 
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The redheaded suit smiles easily and puts out a hand.

"The name's O'Brien. I've been interested in your work a long time, sir. A long time." He handily directs Richard to his desk. "See, my people back in Chicago are looking for someone new, someone with a little bit of the rural voice to punch up the paper. Getting a lot of people from the outskirts of the city reading now. You know, those Suburban folks."

He laughs, and slaps Richard on the back.

"They're wanting something wholesome out of us! Can you believe it? So we start pulling papers from every podunk town, and your name keeps popping up! I'm here today, sir, to offer you an interview."

O'Brian reaches in his back pocket and pulls out a thin blue wallet. And now Richard notices that the man has a pair of black leather gloves on. Strange in this heat. But all that is forgotten when O'Brien pulls out the card. It gleams white, this card, and seems to be radiating light and hope. At first it looks blank, but on second glance, it's obviously printed: John O'Brien, Sun-Times. O'Brien offers the card.

"Waddaya say?"

***

"Oh. Hah. 'Cecil,' sure. I've only seen the name written before." The young man walked up to the front of the store and nervously drummed his hands on the counter.

"The name's Cooper. Um. Pretty nice spread you've got here. I'm...kinda looking for something, but I don't have time to search the stacks. The Lensman series? E. E. Smith? If you find it, could you give me a call? I'm staying at the motel just down the street." The young man pulls out a bright and shining card and proffers it with a leather hand: John Cooper, Editor, Ace Books.

***

A chiseled man with sandy brown hair brushes off his suit and knocks on Jason's door.

"Mr. Dubois? Mr. Dubois, are you available to talk?"

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:52 am 
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"Oh!" Richard shakes the ginger's hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Dottie Anderson sees the strangers in town from the window of Brandon's Pharmacy -- the notices her 11-year old son showing too much interest in them. She stops the 16-year-old soda jerk as he leaves on his break, presumably also to check out the action.

"Pete, could you tell Georgie I said to either come here or go home, please?"

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:58 pm 
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"Lensman?" asks Cecil. "Oh, yes, we've gooooooo..."

His words peter out as the card catches his attention. "I'll dig them out," he says, reaching for the card, "and give you a call later today, then."

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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Location: Wishing I was not in Kansas anymore
A handsome young man with slicked-back blond curls holding his hat in his hand passes the soda jerk on his way into the pharmacy and comes up directly to Dottie.

"Excuse me, Mrs., ah, Anderson? It is Mrs. Anderson, yes?" He flashes a brilliant smile, his cheeks dimple. "How do you do? I happen to be the son of one of your father's old friends. When my father found out my travels would take me by Hill City, well, he was very adament, VERY adament, that I find out how your family was getting along."

He smiles at Dottie's son and scruffs his hair with black-gloved hands.

"Anyway, if you'd be so kind, if your father still survives that is, to pass this along to your father?"

The man removes a white card from a blue wallet: John Cox, Kansas City Police Dept.


Last edited by weatherwax on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Invasion! Day 0
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:44 pm 
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Quote:
An older gentleman with salt n pepper hair walks across the diner and slides into the booth across from Jethro.

"I believe you to be a Mr. Jethro Wagner. Is that the case, sir?"

As the stranger speaks, a steaming plate of scrambled eggs, seasoned just as he always likes, is deposited before Jethro. "Thanks, sweetie," he says. Taking the plate in one hand and a fork in the other, he turns on his stool at the counter to regard the stranger. "It most certainly is, but ya got me at a disadvantage. Happens to me pretty regular, though, so I'm used to it." Jethro smiles and leans an elbow back on the counter behind him. "What's yer name, mister?" he asks as he takes a mouthful of eggs.

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