((Missing from this entry is more of Alpha-Woman’s solo session that ended with her unconscious and Megan taking the role of G-Man Rudy Malefor temporarily. How Rudy escaped from his cell, I don’t even remember anymore. Also, our Sewer Rat player came back after a short absence.))
"I'm not sayin' anything against St. Louis! I'm sayin', someone should keep an eye on these guys. I don't trust 'em."
"Well, it sounds like you just missed the secret sign. Just go ahead and get those prisoners inside!"
Before anyone could change their mind, the heroes crossed under the gate, then the bridge, and up to the entrance of the temple. This time the doors were even open! Once the group was inside, they looked for an empty side hallway they could use to shed their disguises and help their “prisoners” out of their bonds.
Finding an empty hallway proved difficult. The first side passage, where Sewer Rat had fallen last night, had a mobster standing there between the door and the ladder going up. He looked at them non-threateningly, keeping his pistol holstered at his hip. Up ahead was a tall ladder in the nave of the temple that was not there last night, and another mobster standing by that. The tall ladder in the nave was tall enough to reach the ceiling two floors above the pews. A third mobster was on the ladder and the second mobster, spotted a moment earlier, was spotting him.
“Let’s see if we can find where they keep the prisoners,” the Mountain Man said in a low voice.
Once out of sight, the Mountain Man removed the bark strips from the Daoist's wrists and Captain Liberty did the same for Silver Scorpion. They were whispering their intentions of what to do next when the second mobster peaked around the corner. "Hey!" he said loudly. "Are those two of the characters who attacked us last night? You need to get in there and show them to Willy!"
Though Alpha-Woman had been captured, she had found and managed to free FBI G-Man Rudy Malefor from the temple’s dungeon.
Agent Malefor finally completed his disguise and was ready to make a break for it when he saw two jailors escorting a new prisoner down the hallway. Their prisoner’s arms were tied up with rope, but his legs were left free for walking. One of the guards was holding onto the loose end of the rope like a leash. More unusual still, their prisoner was dressed up in a rat costume.
Rudy, confident in his guard uniform, approached within 10 feet and tried to size up the guards to see if he could take them. "Hey guys,” he said, “I can take him off your hands. I am not doing anything. Where you guys heading to?"
The guard Rudy addressed shook his head and said, "He's not going to be heading back to the cells after this. We're taking him to the waiting room upstairs." The other guard kept a close eye on his prisoner.
Rudy silently decided to just follow where the guards were going because that was where he was planning to go anyways. Maybe at some point he could save this other prisoner.
Silver Scorpion quickly moved her wrists back together as if they were still tied. She turned slightly to the side so the mobster could not get a good look at them. Otherwise, she remained submissive and quiet, maintaining her role as a defeated prisoner. The Daoist followed Silver Scorpion's lead, locking his wrists together and dropping his head in resignation.
"Of course...we were just going to,” the Mountain Man said. “Is Willy looking for us? Where is he?"
"He's in his office!" the mobster said, pointing to the door in front of them in the side hallway. "Just don't stand outside his door all day! There's lots of work to do around here and everyone can use a hand."
The Mountain Man knocked on the door to Willy's office.
The walls of this small, L-shaped room were paneled in gold pine. A rug covered the floor. There were three matching white oak pieces of furniture in the room -- a couch against one wall, a cabinet against another, and a small writing desk in the center of the room, facing away from the heroes with thick binders of papers on it. An oily-looking man with slicked hair and a big black moustache had his back to them, but turned as they entered. "Who are you people?" Willy asked.
The heroes tried their St. Louis cover story again and Willy nodded. "Sure, sure. I've heard you St. Louis boys were coming. I've got something for you..." he said as he opened the desk drawer.
The Daoist was the first to suspect something wrong, but no one could reach Willy and stop him before he pulled an automatic pistol from the drawer and turned it on them.
The Mountain Man charged across the room with his hatchet hoping to knock him out before he could fire his weapon. Silver Scorpion also dropped her act and leapt at Willy to attack. Willy was taken aback by the rapidness of their response and it allowed them to close the distance safely. The Mountain Man's hatchet grazed the side of the slick hoodlum’s head. Silver Scorpion was also on Willy in a flash, slashing at his arm with her knife and cutting him. Then Capt. Liberty, with uncharacteristic good luck, landed a punch on Willy's face and Willy went down without getting off a shot.
Taking a quick look around, they found the desk was covered in accounting books and the cabinet had a long-distance radio/PA system in it.
"Alright, what do we do now?" the Mountain Man asked the others. Then, remembering his pulp detective novels, he began collecting documents and stowing them in his pack as possible evidence.
The guards escorting Sewer Rat had stopped in the upstairs gallery to turn and question the “guard” following them.
“"Are you followin' us for some reason?” one of them asked Rudy. “Don't have nothin' to do? There's plenty that needs doin' before noon. Stop bein' lazy and lend a hand!"
This had not been a good day. Tommy had lost his mask, been captured, and remained captured despite his best efforts. He missed his days of beating muggers in alleyways, instead of heavily armed and organized cultists. Tommy was very different than Sewer Rat. He just wanted to hide. He was afraid.
Rudy, for his part, said nothing. The guards gave up on being answered and led Tommy through the door on the far side of the gallery. There, they emerged into the south end of the nave of the temple. Ignoring the people tidying the temple, they rounded a corner and took Tommy to another door.
Rudy and Tommy saw that two mobsters were working at lowering a collapsible ladder in the middle of the chapel and an ordinary-looking woman had appeared with a broom and was sweeping the floor. Then, one of the mobsters at the ladder called over to the guards. "Hey, can one of you go check on Willy? I think two of our attackers from last night just got captured and brought to him!"
Hardboiled Space Detectives!
19 hours ago