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Antecedents/Orphans Menu
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  1. Game
    1. Session Logs
      1. Antecedents PI: Case Logs and Reports
      2. Orphans: Mishaps and Adventures
    2. Setting
    3. Character Generation
    4. House Rules
      1. Dreaming
    5. Atlantis Background
      1. Atlantian Confederation
      2. The Orphanage
      3. Dor-Manis Surrender
      4. Friends and Strangers
      5. The Bloodlines
    6. Antecedents Background
      1. Age of Aquarius
      2. Antecedents P.I.
      3. Dr Butler
      4. The Antecedents team
      5. Fundis
  2. Antecedents Characters
    1. Andrew: Leopold Arkenov
    2. Byron: Victor Cabal
    3. Ian: Robert Stane
    4. Richard: Corey
    5. Samson: Kai
    6. Jim: Royce
  3. Orphans Characters
    1. Andrew: Puyter the Archonian
      1. Puyter's Plan
    2. Byron: Wendy (Woody) Winter
    3. Ian: Mouse
    4. Samson: Vecna
    5. Jim: Piper Jake

Leopold Meets his new Spirit Guardian

Leopold Sub-pages
(Go to Leopold Arkenov)
  1. Recruitment Logs
    1. Recruitment Interview
    2. Paranormal Aptitude Assessment
  2. Case Reports
    1. Case: The Frozen Stiff
    2. Case: The Spinster's Ransom Note
    3. Leave Report: Three Days in Vegas
    4. Leopold finds his new Guardian

Rudely Awakened

Leo woke sceptically. When he saw the apparition sitting next to his bed, it renewed his faith in sleep.

“Go away. Sleeping.”

“They say you can sleep when you’re dead. But I think you know that’s not true.”

Leo grumbled and rolled over, pulling the blanket tighter.

“I found you,” said the apparition.

“Obviously,” said Leo, still lying in his bed and otherwise feigning sleep.

“It took me a while. You might say it was quite a quest. But now I’ve found you.”

Leo grudgingly gave up his ruse, clear now that sleep was to be denied him.

“And?” he asked. He sat up to face his intruder. He’d recognised it at first, but looking at the ghost properly now confirmed its identity. The rugged, youthful features, the close-cropped blonde hair, the broad quarterback shoulders, the dark blue UCSF sweat-shirt, running shorts and cross-trainers he was wearing when Leo last saw him prove the spectre to be that of Biff.

Biff held Leo’s gaze for a long moment before choosing to reply.

“And? You stupid Commie fuck! And? What the fuck do you think? Why do you think I tracked you down? So we could play poker? Huh? Why do you think I’ve been wandering around in this fucking ghost world for the past 8 months? So we could hang out? So we could be poker buddies? Eh? You think I hunted you across the country and all the way to fucking Mexico so we could hang out and play poker and shoot the shit about the good times we had together?”

“Hey, look man...”

“No, you Slavic fuck! What are you, anyway? Some kinda Russian mob bigshot? No, you fuck. What reason do you think I’d have to hunt you down? To take eight months following your stinking aura of guilt and hunt you down? Why would I do that?”

“Man, I didn’t mean...”

“No, let’s answer that question first. Now why would I do that? Eh? EH? Why would I track you down? What could drive me to do that? What reason could I have?”

Leo covered his face with his hands, then drew them down with a long, exhausted sigh.

“Let’s think back, eh? When did we last part ways? When did we bid each other a fond adios? You know, I think it was that time... when you fucking sacrificed me to a fucking demon! That was it. I remember now, like it was fucking yesterday. Like it was the fucking last day of my life. You held me there, and sacrificed me to a fucking witch-demon. You motherfucking, cocksucking, prick. You sacrificed me. Remember? Is it all coming back to you now? Ring any bells? The demon? Remember? Bit like a harpy? Does that jog your memory? Yeah?”

Leo turned away to look at his blank bedroom wall and rub his hand slowly across the back of his neck.

Rude Transportation

“OK, you are clever ghost. You found me. Now what? You want to talk at me forever?”

Biff leaned forward and sneered, “I think you know how this works. You know what happens next. I didn’t hunt you down to keep you from your beauty sleep. I’m here to get my own back on you. You gotta pay, you definitely gotta pay.”

“Right. Okay. Good. How?”

“I’m gonna kill you. Gonna drag you into the afterlife, see how you like it here. See if being dead suits you.”

Leo picked up an empty vodka bottle from his bedside table, looked down its neck hopefully for a last mouthful. “Dying must make you stupid. You a ghost now, you can’t hurt me. You forget about that, eh?”

“Not at all. Actually, I had that backwards. First I’m gonna drag you in here with me, then I’ll kill you.”

At that, Leo’s view of the glass bottom of the Tovarisch bottle warped and jolted, then his world performed a ragged quarter Cartesian cartwheel through its semi-minor axis. The bottle dropped through his hand as he looked up in panic. The room’s axes leered randomly, as though hand-drawn by a drunken geometer. Saturation seeped from the walls and objects in his hotel room, leaving only greys and sallow, deathly hues. Leo’s stomach fought six ways to wrench free, finally resorting to pathetically retching its gruelly contents up his throat as he tumbled from the bed to land on the floor on his hands and knees.

Biff chuckled snidely and Leo looked up at him. Biff was the only thing in the room radiating bright, clear colour.

“Didn’t expect that, did you? Ha. You can expect this though.”

Biff leapt forward and swung his arm, driving his fist down into Leo’s jaw and sending him sprawling into the goop from his stomach pooled on the floor. Biff followed with two more quick but solid right hooks, then leant into a series of stiff kicks to the ribs.

“You’re... my bitch... now... Make you... deader... than dead...Cocksucker...” Biff punctuated each utterance with another kick.

Leo’s sambo-trained reflexes finally burnt through his palpable disorientation and he locked his forearms around Biff’s foot, giving a sudden twist. Biff fell off to one side, and Leo lurched to his feet groggily. The world’s denial of perpendiculars threw him, however, and he stumbled through the bed and wall behind, passing through them like they were as solid as holographic images.

Leo staggered on for a few more steps before his shattered senses registered what it was he was seeing out on the open plain of the afterworld. The walls of the hotel faded away to a half-seen, blurred smog. Low on the horizon, a fierce yellow Mayan sun, all pointed and concentric circles, like an actual calendar stone hand-painted on the sky’s dome, burnt with an unfulfilled promise of solar warmth. Ancient pyramids, temples and golden palaces, the iconic dreams of ancestral greatness, each standing to an unreasonable height and gravity, spotted the plain here and there, sifted through with the faint shadows of real world tenements and office blocks. Spectres of unrestful souls lurked and loitered, bound to the vicinity of their last living moments, while attenuated images of people in the real world passed through them and around them unheeding.

A shout from behind brought Leo back to the moment, but not soon enough to avoid Biff’s flying football tackle. They both went down in a bone-jarring pile. Biff got a knee in Leo’s back and pinned him for a moment until he could get a hold on the back of his head, before ramming it into the ground. Blood streamed from Leo’s nose as he tried to push himself up against Biff’s grip.

“Get fuck off me, or you make me kill you again, pretty-face boy,” said Leo around a mouthful of blood.

“Not happening, prick,” grunted Biff through clenched teeth, before leaning closer to Leo’s ear. “I met a guy in Vegas, said you were some kinda shaman, a real hot shit. Seem like a fucken half-assed shaman to me, you don’t even know shit. Me, I know a lot now. Death has opened doors. Given me new life, ha! I know places. There’s gates and dark places everywhere. The Boar’s shown me a lot. But you know? I’d much, much prefer not to have fuckin’ died, you ugly Russian motherfucker!”

Biff rammed Leo’s head down again, but he was ready this time and cushioned with his forearm. He raised himself against Biff’s weight, then bucked his body suddenly as he reached behind him to grab Biff’s shoulder and pull down and forward, which succeeded in flipping his opponent off him. Biff rolled roughly to his feet and only turned in time to see Leo come springing in from a ground crouch, taking him around his legs. Leo had the initiative this time, and the wrestling experience, and quickly scrambled around until he had Biff in a rear choke hold, with his legs locked tight around Biff’s waist.

“If you going to kill someone, just do it. Don’t fucking talk so much,” spat Leo bloodily into Biff’s ear as Biff struggled for an escape from the body lock. Leo’s left hand, his misshapen claw, was wrapped around Biff’s skull, pressing Biff’s throat into the crook of his right elbow. From here, Leo just had to draw his elbows together for a few moments, and straighten his thighs to squeeze Biff’s ribs, causing him to fall into an oxygen-starved heap.

“Last chance, boy. You should giving up now,” offered Leo, and tightened his clinch to make his point.

Biff continued to struggle against Leo’s grapple before slowly relaxing and going limp.

“Idiot,” Leo muttered, then rolled Biff’s body off him before getting to his feet. He took a few steps away and looked around, his senses adjusting to this place’s idea of cardinal directionality. Their brief tussle had attracted a scattering of onlookers, although most were keeping a cautious distance. Thunderclouds flew across the sky in an unreal fast forward. Behind him, Biff let out a low chuckle and Leo started.

“Oh man, that’s funny,” said Biff, sitting up and dusting himself down. “You still haven’t got this yet, have you? You’re one thick Russkie son-of-a-bitch. How you gonna choke me when I stopped breathing months ago?”

Leo let out a soft curse in Surzhyk, half at the kid’s stubbornness, half at his own ignorance. “So what’s it take to stopping a dead man?”

“Yeah, I could let you in on that secret. But actually I still think I’ll just kill you.”

Leo started backing away, moving towards one knot of spectating inhabitants of the afterlife.

“You could try to run, Russkie, but I’ve got a lock on you now. I can feel your aura. What else you gonna try?”


Leo looked at the ghosts he was approaching. Weirdly, they looked like a band of heavy metal musicians- black jeans, tatts and piercings, non-conformist hairstyles- though it wasn’t obvious what had killed them.

“Hey, you can speaking English? I needing some help, guys,” Leo called out to them, but keeping an eye on Biff, who seemed happy to just watch for the moment.

One of the band replied, “We understand you, mister, but why would we help you? It is your fight.”

Closer now, Leo could see that their clothes seemed to be smouldering faintly. “But I’m not dead, I am not belong here. Stop him for me and I will do what I can for you. What is it you are want?”

The band looked at each other, shrugged and shook their heads. “We’re dead already, there’s nothing we want. We just want to move on.”

“Move on? Like, to heaven?”

“Heaven, Hades, wherever, man. As long as we don’t have to stay here for our eternal lives.”

Leo saw that Biff had started towards him again, but was taking his time. “Yes, yes, I can do that. I go back to real world, I make blessings and funerals for you. I can fix things for spirits, like a priest. I find proper rituals, make you release from world. Okay? Deal?”

The band conferred again with more shrugs. “Cool, we’ll give it a shot. You promised, remember?”

“Don’t worrying, I not forget promise.”

The five members of Los Muertos Diablos moved to form a wall between Leo and Biff.

“Who are you fucks?” asked Biff as the musicians closed up a circle around him. “Who ever heard of Mexican emos?”

The unamused band members wasted no words, replying instead with a leather booted kick that took Biff’s legs out before letting loose with a barrage of stamp kicks and pounding fists on his prone form. Leo was looking on from a few yards away, waiting for the outcome of the one-sided beating, when there was a panicked yell from among the gang of attackers and they suddenly turned to flee. In their middle, Biff’s form had suddenly changed to that of a large beast. It looked like a pig, but not the sort that was all pink and pudgy and ready for a roll in the mud, but more like the sort that was tusked and wire-bristled and ready to gore you through your liver. This was the sort that they made B-grade horror movies about in the scary big animal movie trend of the eighties, the sort that would have you wet your pants if you heard one snorting in the bushes when you’re out alone at night. This was the sort that featured in medieval tapestries of hunting, the sort that Hercules himself was tasked to defeat. It easily crested six foot high at its shoulder, and half of that across, with tusks the length of a forearm and half as thick, yellowed and chipped at the tip, and hooves that were grey as anvils and that looked as hard. Its skull was made for battering down stone masonry and was as big as a V8 engine block, with red-rimmed eyes that glowed a vivid green. This was, quite definitely, a boar.

As the heavy metal band tried to run, the boar leapt forward on stallion-like haunches to plant its anvil-like hoof in the sacrum of the bassist, crushing him to the ground. Swinging its massive head into the lead singer sent him flying with a yelp, then on the back swing with half a step forward and a twist of the head, it skewered a tusk up under the armpit of the fleeing drummer. Taking but a second for the beast to down three of the band, Leo stood gaping in horror.

The boar ignored the two remaining band members and swivelled its head to focus one eye on Leo. As it snorted out gouts of steam and hot mucus, Leo could almost hear Biff laughing mockingly from inside the beast. Leo decided that standing and gawping was the least helpful course of action for his predicament, and panned around the for something he could use as a weapon



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This page was last modified on 6 April 2010, at 09:31.
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