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  1. Episode 1: She Looked So Good, She Couldn’t Be Real The door creaked as the young man peeked into the decrepit warehouse. The lights flickered off and on, making it hard for his eyes to adjust. He was a man in his late 20s in a brown jacket and jeans. He had a gym bag slung over his right shoulder. A sudden noise startled him, and he peered back into the darkness. “Hello? Are you there? Alex sent me. Is anybody there?” “Hello, Mr. Smith,” a woman’s voice answered. “Please remain where you are.” Mr. Smith could start to see the figure of a tall, slender woman some 15 feet away from him. She was dressed in what looked to be a purple sports bra with matching tights. He couldn’t make out her face, just out of reach of the light. “Are you Ruby? Alex, she told me that you could help me get out of the city. Maybe even the country.” “Did Alex also inform you that what you request is not an inexpensive proposition?” Mr. Smith held up the gym bag. “I’ve got the money right here.” He stepped forward to hand over the bag when the woman’s voice rang out. “No. Toss the bag to me, please.” Mr. Smith was puzzled by this, but gave a few swings with the bag before tossing it toward the woman. It landed at her feet with a thud. Ruby bent down and zipped open the bag, being careful to not let the light show her face. “I know it’s not all of it, but it’s all I could get! I had to sell my car, the rest of my clothes!” Ruby looked up from the gym bag. “There is certainly less than half the funds required to get you the new identity you requested, Mr. Smith.” “I don’t care about the new identity!” interrupted Mr. Smith urgently. “I just need you to get me to Mexico as soon as possible.” “Don’t worry, Jack,” Ruby’s voice soothed. “You are in safe hands now.” ‘Mr. Smiths’ heart stopped. He took another look at the woman in front of him. “What did you say?” Ruby fell silent for a moment. “I said, that you are in safe hands now, Mr. Smith.” “No no no. You didn’t say Mr. Smith, you said Jack. I didn’t say anything to Alex about being called Jack so why did you say that?” Ruby’s voice grew hard. “Mr. Smith, I think you need to calm down.” ‘Mr. Smith’ stepped into the light toward Ruby, growing more agitated. “How did you know my name?! Who have you been talking to?! Who are you working for?!” Ruby did not respond. “Answer me, damn it!” ‘Mr. Smith’ grabbed Ruby by the arm and pulled her into the light. And then his jaw dropped. Where the woman’s head should be was instead a red sphere. The sound of mechanical inner workings that had been drowned by the traffic outside were now easily heard. ‘Mr. Smith’ took a step back from the bizarre sight. “What…what are you?” The red sphere tilted, like a normal head trying to get a better look at something. “I’m Dr. Ruby Thursday, Mr. Russell. And I’m here to help you.” Jack Russell stumbled backward and tried to run for the door. A long, red tendril emerged from the red sphere and lashed itself around his ankles, dragging to the ground. Jack screamed and kicked but the tendril slowly started dragging him back toward Ruby Thursday. “Now, now, Mr. Russell,” Ruby’s voice intoned. “You are being very difficult. Please try breathing normally, in through the nose, out through the mouth. And I promise this process will be decidedly less painful.” Jack reached into his pocket, pulled out a stun gun and charged it. Then he jabbed it into the tendril. Instantly Ruby’s voice was replaced by screams of pain and screeching static. The tendril withdrew as Ruby fell to her knees holding her sphere. Jack then took off at run, and started going faster when he heard the sound of footsteps running down from the second floor of the warehouse. Two men in black suits and a third man in yellow hazmat gear hurried down the stairs with guns drawn. One open fired, and narrowly missed Jack as he bolted out the door. “You kssh Gah! Kssh Idiots!” Ruby screamed and spluttered as the man in the hazmat suit checked on her. “We kssh kssh damn it! Kssh kkkkk Need him ksssh kssssh skhkk! Damn! Kssshk Alive!” Jack hurried down the sidewalk, allowing himself to slow down slightly as he attempted to get lost in the bustle of activity in East Los Angeles. Car horns honked and music blared from open windows as he sidestepped chatting couples and tourists. He took another look behind him, and that’s when he saw the two men in suits running down the sidewalk towards him. Jack started running again, darting past a short, balding man in glasses and an overcoat pushing a shopping cart filled with trash. The man suddenly made a sharp turn with the cart right in front of Jack’s pursuers. They collided with the cart, sending it’s contents flying to the air and all over the sidewalk. “Watch where you’re going, old man!” one of the men snapped as he helped his compatriot to his feet. “So sorry, sirs. I’ll be sure to, sirs,” the short man said, but they had already gone off after Jack. The short man knelt down to pick up the mess, then closed his eyes. For a moment his face showed a flicker of pain. Then he opened his eyes and pulled back the sleeve on his coat to reveal a rather expensive looking watch. Pressing a button on the side of it, the short man spoke into it. “He’s on the move. He’s being pursued but he’ll lose them. He’ll be exiting the alley off of Verona in 40 seconds. Be ready.” A hoarse but cheerful voice answered back. “Don’t worry, Instagram. We’ll get him.” The short man sighed in annoyance. “Tick Tock, Digger. My name is Tick… oh, never mind. Just you and Needle see that you do get him.” Jack could hear the shouts of confusion as the two men in suits pushed people out of their way. He ran across the street, causing one car to slam on it’s brakes. He continued with breakneck speed past a large semi. When the two men followed suit, the semi started driving forward, blocking their path. The two men screamed at the driver, but their cries were drowned out by the honking of angry motorists. With the men now far behind him, Jack continued to run into an alley. He didn’t even bother looking behind him. All he was focusing on was the sunlight shining through the other end of the alley. Then his field of vision was completely obstructed by the blade of a shovel being slammed into his face. He fell on his back trying in vain to clear his vision. Standing above him, he could see the silhouettes of two figures, the larger of the two letting the shaft of the shovel rest on the back of his neck. “And…who are you supposed to be?” Jack asked deliriously. “Can’t you tell, my frightened friend?” the big man said. “We’re the Avengers. He’s Thor and I’m Iron Man.” Jack squinted at the silent figure, who appeared to be holding a long, needle-like blade. “Yeah…. Thor has a hammer.” “Meh, he only hammers in the morning,” the big man said. He chuckled at his own joke as Jake fought to stay conscious. “And… Tony Stark’s dead.” The big man stepped closer and leaned down to allow Jake a better look at his face. It was the face of a dead man. Green, rotting skin, his eyes milky white. Stitching could be seen in his skin underneath the tattered garment he wore. He grinned with a mouthful of crooked, rotten teeth. “What a coincidence. So am I!” The shorter figure stepped forward and knelt on top of Jack’s chest. Jack could see that this man was dressed head to toe in white; wearing a hood that concealed his entire face except for his right eye. Jack tried to squirm away as the man held his blade to Jack’s throat. “Please. I just gotta get out of…” Jack’s voice trailed off. In that moment, he could only look into the eye of the man above him. Nothing else existed or matter. There was only that long, unblinking, fearsome gaze. After a minute, Needle put his hand to Jack’s neck to check his pulse. Jack lay motionless on the ground, staring into space. “So? Is he still alive?” Digger asked. Needle looked up and nodded. “Terrific. You managed not to kill him this time. Good for you.” Needle rolled his visible eye and set about laying Jack’s arms across his chest when Tick Tock’s voice rang out from the watch on Digger’s wrist. “Digger! Digger! Did you get him?” Digger lifted the watch to lips and pressed a button. “Hold your horses, Myspace. Needle got him.” There was a pregnant pause. “Oh God. Is he dead?” Needle glared up at Digger as he smirked back at him. “Nah. The kid’s still breathing. Bring the van around. And let Dansen know that we got her captive audience ready for her.” When Jack Russell woke up, he found himself standing on a beach. He could still feel his head aching from being hit, but he couldn’t remember anything afterwards. But somehow that didn’t seem important anymore. He took a deep breath of fresh air, listened the sounds of waves breaking against the shore, and saw the sun just starting to set below the horizon. But that wasn’t all he saw. In the distance, making her way along the beach, was the most beautiful woman Jack had ever seen. Her long black hair cascaded down her shoulders, only obscured by the white sun hat she wore. The white sun dress she had on seemed to glow in the dying light of the sun, as she walked barefoot through the sand and surf. Jack stood dumbfounded at the sight of her, watching her take off her hat and throw it into the waves. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” Jack didn’t know where the voice came from and didn’t care. “Yes,” he answered slowly. “Yes, she is.” “You would do anything for her, wouldn’t you?” the voice went on. “Just to have her know your name?” The woman knelt at the water’s edge, letting the water roll over her. “Yes, anything,” Jack murmured. “Well, she wants to know you, too. But she doesn’t want there to be any secrets between you. She wants you to be honest with her. Can you do that?” “Yes, yes, I can.” The woman turned to look at him, her hair falling in such a way that it covered her entire face except her right eye. “She wants to know the truth about you, Jack. She wants to see the side of you that you have hidden from everyone else. Can you show her, Jack?” Jack’s breath quickened. He could hear his heart pounding in his ears. “I…I…don’t know. I…I….” In reality, Jack was not standing on a beach. He was in a hotel room zip tied by his wrists and ankles to the chair he was sitting in. A woman in white was in front of him, but she was in a white unitard with a black ribbon wrapped around her torso, mingling with her flowing silver hair. She swayed and contorted her body with lithe movements in front of Jack. Crouched on his right was a man dressed in raggedy clothes, while behind them Digger, Needle, and Tick Tock sat at a table. “Come on, Jack” Tatterdemalion whispered. “She wants to see your true self.” Jack started straining against the ties as his head rocked back and forth against his chest. “No. No, it’ll scare her away. It’ll hurt her.” Tatterdemalion put his hands on the arm of the chair and leaned in closer. “No, she won’t get hurt. Look at her. She isn’t afraid, Jack. Just let it out and then you and her can do whatever you like.” “No!” Jack shouted, causing Tatterdemalion to jump back. “No! It’ll kill her! It’ll kill her! Don’t let me kill her!” Tick Tock nervously looked up from the table. “Is there any chance we could speed this up?” Tatterdemalion knelt back down beside Jack as continued to pull at his restraints. “We have to be sure. We need to know that his powers are real. And we need to know that we can summon them without waiting for a full moon. It will take time.” He turned to look at Tick Tock with a sneer. “Or would you like to be the one who explains to the Shroud why his newest recruit is in a coma?” “He continues to fight me, Tatter,” said Dansen, the frustration in her voice belying the grace of her movements. “If he keeps resisting me he’s going to send himself into shock anyway. Either that or I will need to use a stronger dance.” “Oh! Oh! Why don’t you try flossing next?” chimed in Digger. Tatterdemalion glared back at him as Dansen continued dancing. “Not helping in the slightest, Digger.” Suddenly, Tick Tock rose from his seat with a start. He groaned and held his head in his hands. Tatterdemalion rushed over to him. “Tick Tock! What is it? What do you see?” Tick Tock looked up from his hands gasping for breath. “Men. Lots of angry men. With guns. They want the wolf. Only the wolf. No witnesses.” Dansen lifted her arms above her with a flourish then crossed them in front of her chest. “Very well. We are ending this now.” She raised her crossed arms as Tatterdemalion ran back to the chair. “No! Dansen, we don’t have to kill him!” “Shroud put me in charge this mission, Tatter,” Dansen snapped. “We cannot afford to have Mr. Russell tell these people anything about our activities. If we can’t make use of him, it’s better that no one does.” She raised her arms up again as Tatterdemalion leaned in to Jack and whispered urgently as he continued to groan incoherently. “Jack! Listen to me! The men who are after you, they are coming. They are coming for you and the girl. They are going to take you away and kill the girl. Save yourself! Save the girl, Jack! It’s your only chance! Let! It! Out!” “NOOOO! NOAAAHHROARRRRR!!” Jack’s screams began to morph into the sound of animalistic growling. The zip ties broke off him as his muscles expanded. Fur began to sprout in patches all over his body. His nose stretched into a snout and his teeth became fangs. The men that Tick Tock had foreseen finally reached the door of the hotel room. There were 20 of them, all in riot gear with automatic rifles at the ready. “Remember,” the leader said. “Orders are to eliminate hostiles, capture the subject. Only use lethal force if necessary. They want him alive. Breach on 3. 1. 2.” Before the man could reach 3, the door to the hotel room flew off it’s hinges and collided with the front line of men. Standing in the doorway in a torn pair of jeans, was the creature that was Jack Russell. The side of him he kept hidden was that of a werewolf. And it was now free. It howled at the ceiling as the mercenaries tried to regroup. “Open fire! Open fire!” But it was too late. The werewolf was upon them, slashing at one man unfortunate enough to get in striking distance of it’s claws. Tatterdemalion grabbed his hat and wrapped his scarf around his face. “Digger! Get Tick Tock out of here!” “I am the leader of this mission, Tatter!” Tatterdemalion glared at Dansen. “Alright, leader. What are your instructions?” Dansen fumed at Tatter before finally turning to Digger. “Digger, get Tick Tock out of danger. Needle? Tatter? With me.” Digger grabbed his shovel in one hand and Tick Tock by the other and charged out the door. “Sorry about the mess, fear fans,” he called to the armed men. “The housekeeping in this place is murder!” One gunmen tried to get a bead on the undead giant, only to have Tatterdemalion grab a hold of the gun. The man tried to fight back, until he cried out in pain and alarm. The place where Tatterdemalion had gripped the gun had started to glow red with heat. The mercenary dropped the gun to the floor, just in time to catch a flying kick from Dansen. Needle leapt into the fray with his long blade, slicing through armor and dispatching any who got in his way. Then the werewolf tackled him to the carpeted floor. “Dansen!” Tatterdemalion shouted. “Get Russell under control!” “I can’t!” Dansen yelled back. “He isn’t responding to me! The wolf has taken over completely!” Tatterdemalion charged ahead as Needle struggled to hold back the snapping jaws of the werewolf. Unwrapping one of his scarves, Tatterdemalion pulled it taught around the werewolf’s neck. The creature thrashed it’s head back and forth until it made Tatterdemalion lose his grip and collide into the hallway wall. Dansen tried to run to help, only to have her way blocked by more mercenaries. “Very well,” she said defiantly. “Who will be the first to feel the vengeance of Shiva? Have at you!” OK: The Night Shift: Tatterdemalion (Athletic, gloves secrete a substance that burns clothing and burns more solid objects) Dansen Macabre (Martial artist, creates hypnotic spells through dance that can cloud people’s minds, control them, or kill them) Digger (Undead, strength, durability, unbreakable shovel) Needle (Paralyzing stare, skilled fighter with ‘needle’ blade) Tick Tock (Can foresee events that take place a minute into the future) Werewolf by Night: Enhanced strength and durability. Mercenaries: 30 armed men with SWAT/riot gear. Whichever sides defeats the others and captures Werewolf by Night, wins. If Werewolf can elude capture, he wins. Game On!
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