They drove into Valletta. To the house of Montgomery Donovan.
[The PCs were pretty messed up right now; Jimmy and Dr. Orange were both at negative Health. Sadly, they were out of First Aid.]
They arrived at the square in front of his townhouse. Yvonne, their sniper, had already taken a position on top of a roof across the street. Boris, Dallas, and Umberto were sitting at a cafe drinking coffee.
“They have about six guys we have to worry about, plus staff,” Boris told them. “It’s bad, fighting floor to floor like this. We have been studying it in Soviet War College. Might come in handy…someday.” He gave Dr. Orange a quick glance.
The square began to empty of people as they took up positions. Shutters banged shut on the houses surrounding the open space. From somewhere, the sound of Spanish guitar music could be heard.
“I could go inside, find out lay of land, maybe kill somebody,” said Boris.
“Please do,” said Ruby. “But if you find somebody, maid, butler, who doesn’t shoot at you, just knock them out.”
“I make no guarantees.” He loped into the shadows and vanished. They waited a long while. Ruby thought she saw a window on the side of Donovan’s townhouse open and close quickly, and a person slip inside.
Suddenly there was a horrible, unearthly scream, something that could not possibly be human. The screams continued over the sound of gunshots. Suddenly Boris and another man came crashing out through third floor window. They tumbled through the air in a cloud of glass shards and smashed into the cobblestones with a crunch.
“Mouths,” said Jimmy with distaste. “They must be using them as some kind of magical alarm system. They’ll know if we get inside.”
[Cthulhu Mythos spend by JP, 2 points of Stability loss.]
“No use going in soft then,” said Dallas.
“We’ll throw some explosives in one window and go in the other,” said Jimmy. “Capitalize on the confusion.”
“I like your thinking, Mr. Jimmy!”
“Yes, Mr. Jimmy’s a smart fellow,” said Ruby resignedly.
“We did something like that in Oklahoma once. Them bootleggers never saw us coming. We drank well that night!”
Geronimo darted across the square and threw the pipe bomb through one of the front windows of the townhouse. It exploded almost immediately, showering him with shards of glass and debris. Based on the screams, he guessed one of the guards had been taken out by the bomb.
Meanwhile, Ruby, Dr. Orange, and Jimmy used the confusion to force one of the side doors of the townhouse, next to its garage. They jumped through it and landed in a well-appointed parlor. Cowering in one corner, under a Bösendorfer grand piano, was a young woman in a maid’s uniform.
“Ne me tuez pas,” she whispered.
“Just stay down,” Jimmy said. “We’re not going to kill you.”
She nodded, eyes large. “Deuxième étage,” she said.
“Third floor,” said Dr. Orange, mentally converting to the American method of counting stories.
Jimmy cracked the door of the room. He heard someone come down the stairs and flattened himself against the wall. As soon as he heard the man hit the carpet runner in the front hall, he opened the door again.
“Hey,” he said. The other man, one of Donovan’s ubiquitous black-suited minions, spun around. Jimmy put a bullet in the center of his forehead. As the others emerged from the parlor, he picked up the dead man’s sawed-off shotgun.
Geronimo kicked in the front door and joined them. Jimmy nodded. “There’s a guy upstairs covering the landing. Heard him move around.”
“I have a pipe bomb,” said Dr. Orange. “If one of you wouldn’t mind risking getting shot…”
“I understand, Kaiser Wilhelm,” said Ruby. “And I accept your mission!”
“I’ll do it,” said Geronimo, gently pushing Ruby to the back of their group. “She’s a little out of her head.”
Jimmy and Geronimo charged up the stairs. They saw a man standing on the landing, holding a Thompson. Jimmy fired off both barrels of his shotgun to distract the man, and Geronimo flipped the pipe bomb at him.
It went off with a loud report. Down on the ground floor, the lamps swung back and forth and plaster dust rained down on them.
They made their way up the stairs in a rush. Suddenly Jimmy stopped dead. “There’s a garrote strung across the doorway,” he hissed. “Clearly they wanted to distract people and then try and shoot them—”
A shot rang out and caught Jimmy in the shoulder. He crumpled to the ground. As Dr. Orange crawled over to treat him, Geronimo slid to the side, drew his sword, and cut the wire with it. “The man with a gun is in the bathroom across the hall,” he said.
Ruby lit a pipe bomb. “It’s the Fourth of July, everyone!” she said, and chucked it across the hall.
The sound of the explosion was quite literally deafening. Through the cloud of dust and the ringing of their ears, they saw a man stagger out of the bathroom, bleeding from his arm. Geronimo shot him.
They crowded into the only room other than the bathroom on that floor. It seemed to be some kind of a sitting room, a windowless box with a few armchairs and an expensive wooden bookcase. There was a double door set in the wall opposite the entrance to the sitting room. Geronimo rapped on it, and it rang hollowly.
“Steel door,” he said.
“This had better be the last time I do this today,” said Dr. Orange grumpily. He set up some explosive charges and they retreated to the landing.
He had done his work well—the charges went off with a muted bang, and then they heard the grating of metal as the heavy door swung inward, shearing through its hinges and dropping with a clatter to the floor.
Jimmy strode through the smoke cloud into a large bedroom, dominated by a huge canopy bed. The windows were shuttered, and the light that filtered through the slits in them cast bar-like shadows on the smoke and dust hanging in the air. Medical equipment was scattered around the room, including an IV stand next to the bed. A line snaked down from it into the arm of Montgomery Donovan, who was lying flat on his back on the bed.
“Mr. Wright,” he gasped. He raised one arm off of the bed. In his hand he was clutching a sawed-off shotgun. Jimmy leveled his pistol at him.
“I was hoping you’d be the one to do it,” sighed Donovan. “It’s a terrible thing to be a man like me, when you give up. You just don’t have it in you to do it yourself…”
“I can’t kill you if you kill me first,” said Jimmy simply.
“Why don’t you put your gun down first?”
Jimmy shrugged and lowered his pistol. “I don’t need a gun to kill you,” he said. Donovan let his arm fall back on the bed.
“Where’s the spell?” said Ruby.
“It’s on the bookcase over there,” said Donovan. “Monty’s library is upstairs, if you care to peruse any of his volumes.”
“Mensch, was gibt’s?” said Dr. Orange. “How did you end up like this?”
“There was a lot of money to be made. And I thought I was a man without sentimentality. Until my wife died. And then I realized I was not…I won’t say strong enough…more that I was not the man I thought I was.”
“Yeah, that will happen,” said Dr. Orange. Jimmy twitched.
“My son was not the person I thought he was as well,” continued Donovan. “It is a terrible thing to discover your son is a matricide.”
[Me: I mean, the kid is like 14, so he’s basically spent his entire life near a Major Mouth.
RP: That kid is like the next anti-Jesus.
Me (singing Omen-style): Chorus! Evilus! Bogus! Latinus!]
Jimmy walked next to Donovan and bent down close to his ear. “We’re not all the men we thought we were,” he whispered. “But I never gave up.”
“You make me wish that what I was about to tell you wasn’t true,” replied Donovan in a sepulchral whisper. “I’m sorry, Mr. Wright. But mercenaries don’t always stay bought.”
Jimmy twitched again, then dragged a pillow across Donovan’s head, shoved his pistol into it, and pulled the trigger twice. He turned around, blinked, and then said in an odd tone of voice, “I need to get to the plane. I can fly it.”
“Why does he sound like Ruby?” muttered Dr. Orange. “Oh…right…the telepathy…”
[Gol-Goroth cherry use by JP to borrow Ruby’s piloting, since Ruby can’t fly one-handed.]