July 4th, 1947
We are falling.
Faster and faster.
The only other feeling is one of numbing cold. Then we are slammed to the ground, biting into a reddish dust. We seem to be in a desert. There’s a great vista of a reddish colored sand or dirt. The sky is red with blacker clouds. We don’t recognize the stars and there is a single moon in the sky. As we get up, the shadow recedes, but stays touching all of us.
There’s a slight wind. We see the reflection of stars on the ground; perhaps a settlement of some sort. Something falls from above us, and a translucent form of Jorge hits the earth.
It could be an alternate dimension. Jorge agrees.
Around Noh, there are more spirit lights and you can see each one has a screaming male face.
Stacey has a line of ancestors behind her, all women, all spanish-looking.
Mark looks perfectly normal.
When Emilio breaks free of Noh’s tentacle, he feels stunned. He also learns that this place is not very big (about 5 miles); he hit the edge and started over. It’s a crater. It’s a mostly-empty waste with cacti and boulders. No wildlife or animals or birds. There is a large group of people who seem to be digging in a mine or quarry. The people are a weird mix of dress-styles. All wearing a mix of ancient and modern garb (like watching extras in a movie getting dressed) and others in modern clothes. The workers are milling about, talking.
Beyond the mine is a large city in the middle that’s mostly empty. It looks like an old Babylonian city but it’s hollow. There are people in the city, but they are more translucent (looking like Jorge) than the mine workers (who seem to only have their eyes were white).
Mark suggests we go investigate the mine.
As we approach, we start hearing people. Emilio remembers there were about 50 people there, all young men. They are yelling. They are in a big open wound in the valley (where they’ve been digging). There are huts and tends around a set of scaffolding, and lots of little campfires. The men are all wearing shackles. They look Mediterranean or Arabic in appearance and are all carrying shovels and picks. They are standing in front of a large brutish man who is yelling at them to get back to work.
El Nino is the first to arrive, and punches the big man many times. Domino is able to dazzle him with lights from a distance. Noh uses a tendril of darkness. It snakes out with a screaming soul light. The big man’s arm darkens. Dynamo blasts him with lighting. But the big man is resilient, and armed with a whip that seems to be everywhere at once.
The big man is a Chakul. He claims to be a guardian of Azazel. He grows to be 25’ in height and his muscles have muscles. And he sweeps all the slave and workmen away. They fly into the air, through the shacks, and a few even fall into the hole.
The party is almost stymied by the now gargantuan guard. His mere size seems to deflect their attacks without him even trying. The gargantuan guard grows a rams head and breaks off one of his horns. Before he can raise it to his lips to call for help, however, the party attacks together. Chakul is felled by a combined attack of lightning, punching, shadow claws and a flurry of rocks. As he falls over, he turns to stone.
The crowd of workers reassemble. Many start attacking the stone form of the titan. A small group approaches the lot of us, holding up their picks to deflect us. A lot of them seem to have been severely injured. An older man (grayish-white hair, wearing shades and a toga) approaches us asking who we are. He identifies himself as Aron, and while 10 of them stay behind, the rest come with us to siege the city.
Aron gives a rousing speech to rally the troupes and away we go. It doesn’t take long to reach the city.
We approach concealed. Mark goes over it and Emilio and Rosie go through. While the door is barred, there are no guards.
They push the door open and we go in. Stacey keeps them hidden until the last.
The crowd rushes yelling down one of the real streets. Horns sound and three winged shapes fly out of the ziggurat. We dash off in the other direction. It’s surreal because it’s like moving through a movie set. It is a giant living set piece with canvas walls and backdrops. We head towards the ziggurat, trying to remain concealed. The building is made of stone. We go up and in.
The top room is mostly open and there is a giant beam of light rising upwards. The beam of light is emanating from an orb that is showing the movie set back in LA (the bride of Babylon) as if we’re seeing it through someone’s perception. There’s a stone triangle carved into the floor. The orb is floating in the middle of this triangle. And in three smaller triangles, one at each tip are chains holding down three figures. Two that we don’t know. They are male in their 20s; they seem American. Their fronts are all red and bloody. The third figure is Ester Williams. She is pleading with a tenebrous figure who’s dressed in modern clothes. He’s looking at a watch.
The room is filled with fiends that are petrified; covered in white stone that has them held in place. He opens his jacket and pulls out a butterfly knife; he looks up and invites us in.
As Domino works to free Ms. Williams and the other hostage, the others focus their attacks on Azarel. It is a hard-won battle. There are a few beast-creatures amid the pillars of salt, and they assail the party from all sides. When, after a combined effort, Noh finally drops Azarel falls to his knees and the sphere’s light fades. The sphere pops and the portal opens. We are pulled into it and take the previous kidnap victims with us. We fall upwards. The two men; one of them keeps going up while the other grabs Domino and we are pulled sideways. We tumble out into a heap. Jorge disappears.
We all tumble out in front of Henry Grace. In the last few seconds we saw the orb shows a man punching another man. This other man becomes insubstantial (Joe? – It’s OK I forgive you.) And we’re back. The guy Henry Grace was holding runs away.
She thinks Wally killed her girlfriend. He’s running away. El Nino stops him.
Ms. Williams kisses Dynamo and thanks him profusely.
Henry, now out of Azael’s influence, remembers everything. He tried on the giant wolf-head, he was horsing around.
We speak with Henry and try to offer him comfort. He’ll turn himself in.
Dynamo escrts Ms. Williams to her trailer and then she tries to seduce him.
Lou then shows up (Domino told him where to find her.)
Domino speaks to the producer and gets him to agree to assist the police.
When the police arrive, we give depositions and then leave.
The next day is spent in a good old fashioned barbecue to support the 4th of July.
There’s a call for the Champions of Los Angeles who saved Ms. Williams to come and receive the keys of the city.
Somewhere, delicate Japanese music plays.
A woman, dressed in white plays a shamisen.
A beautiful silver katana rests on the stand.
She looks up and in the reflection she sees a demon.
“My dear white queen, I have something of interest to you.”