Shadowy shapes reach out to Domino. A silhouette in the doorway steps into the light – it’s a woman dressed as a samurai – all in silver. She’s a short woman in sparkling silver armour. It has a few dents and crumpled areas. She has a fat lip as well. She raises her katana and points it at Noh.
El-Nino tries to disarm everyone in the area. He successfully takes the bottle away and off to groom lake it goes.
The Silver Samurai slaps Domino out of the way.
Domino dazzles Silver Samurai. She then disappears and takes a step away.
The Spirits/shadows were trying to get the bottle, but it’s gone. A few slither into the fallen’s mouths and they bring the people up. They demand to know where is it/where is he. They move with stilted motions.
As El-Nino returns, he checks in on Bruno (who is confused). Then returns to the cafe. Domino’s gone, Noh’s still spazzing out. Two communists and Dynamo have lurched to their feet and don’t seem to be OK. They are speaking in women’s voices demanding revenge. Silver Samurai is stumbling forward, trying to find the mask while being mostly blind. El-Nino hits her, many many times.
She calls out “Witch! Your spirits will not avail you!” And strikes at one of the possessed communists. He falls backwards, and blood splatters on the wall.
Domino picks up the table and smashes it down over her head.
The spirits grab a hold of Silver Samurai, despite her struggling.
Meanwhile in the endless shadow that is unconsciousness, all lack of sense and sight – without up or down, the first thing that comes to your sense is a glimmer of sound. A very up-beat song starts playing. Slowly, all around you, figures start appearing and dancing out of the darkness. You feel the hard ground beneath your feet, the dance floor. Noh is wearing her old dating clothes and Dynamo is wearing what Tom use to wear. They are dancing together.
Noh recognizes the dance hall as the place where she last had a happy moment with Tom. There were no arguments, or angry discussion. They came here, danced and had fun. Dynamo has no clue what’s going on. All around them, the dancers are wearing black and red. Dynamo/Mark realizes they are no longer masked. In addition he spots a pattern — everywhere he looks he sees the 4 suits of cards: a woman wearing a heart necklace, a man with cuff-links of spades. There’s nothing of the sort on them. The people around them are tightly packed, but somewhat ephemeral still.
Tom’s voice cuts over the music, and Rosie and Tom start to argue. The crowd strikes out and Tom continues the argument (despite Dynamo’s zinggy comebacks). Noh fights back and suddenly she holds a shadowy sword. She starts waiving it about. At her insistence, Tom appears as a being encased in crystal; with weeping sores on his face. He is furious almost beyond words. Noh strikes at the bottle with her sword. It shatters, and Tom reaches for Rosie. Dynamo steps in and clocks Tom!
The mask turns from a theatrical Noh mask to a samurai face place. The form becomes that of a samurai – with big square shoulder pieces and a skirt of plate. The weapon is a pole-arm with a blade on the top. She’s awake and standing in the cafe. Dynamo wakes up and in a lot of pain. He’s holding onto another woman.
El-Nino disarm her and runs away.
Silver Samurai screams in rage! She is able to free herself from Dynamo and the others grasp. She looks at Noh and pauses.
Domino throws everything at her – papers, wood fragments, broken bottles, you name it.
Dynamo tries to hit her several times, succeeding at last and popping one of her ribs.
Noh takes a ready stance with her naginato and offers Silver Samurai a deal – she claims this mask. If the Silver Samurai is willing to leave her alone, the sword will be returned.
The spirit voice coming from the beaten-up communist staggers away from the cloud of flying debris – becomes a chorus of voices declaring vengeance on Tom and this city.
El-Nino adds to the flying cloud of debris.
Silver Samurai takes a moment to try and focus. She asks what honour does Noh have to keep this promise.
Noh promises to speak for all the voices of the women who will cry out in the darkness, unheard.
They agree that, when Noh is done with the mask it will be sent to the Buddhist temple in west Holiwood. Noh stands at-ease, and bows to the Silver Samurai, who returns the bow.
Noh asks El-Nino to retrieve the sword. He does so. And she reclaims it.
She dismisses all claims to the mask, bows, and leaves.
El Nino returns with Bruno, who freaks out! We all feel it, but are able to push through. Domino calms the boy down.
Antoine takes his son home.
As we drive back home in the Phantom Corsaire, it’s the end of the chapter – but not the story.
Dynamo flies back. Along the way he spies two figures running along roof-tops. When he gets closer he recognizes Steel Chrysanthemum and Fu-Master. And they’re outside of Chinatown! Dynamo flies down and learns they were seeking the Champions of LA. They ask if something was happening with spirits; and the Alchemist wants to talk to us. With the message delivered, they depart.
When Dynamo gets home, the house is relatively quiet. Stacey has a beer ready for him. He delivers the message. George has drawn the Japaneese character for ghost. He says that Stacey should know how to find them.
In the night Domino leaves a message for Agent Corell, and tries to visit Madame Toussau. The shop is empty and deserted for some time. Domino writes Thank you in the dust, and leaves.
The next morning is quiet. There were no ninjer attacks overnight.
Ernesto leaves early for mass. It seems he’ll be attending mass each morning for a month.
Those who have it, go to work. Rosie takes it easy.
Madame Cobb says she had nightmares last night.
Mark goes to work and… nothing happens.
Domino goes to work at a shop opening.
After work, and supper – Ernesto is very helpful. He does odd-jobs for Madame Cobb, the dishes and keeps busy.
In the evening, we head back to old chinatown to visit the Alchemist (Wu Long).
We are led down into the basement. Wu Long is there & greets us.
He felt something happen in the spirit world. He offers us tea and bids us sit.
After we tell him our tale, he takes us to a table with a geomancer’s compass on it. He’s put various coloured stones atop it. Beneath the compass is the map of LA. He informs us that something has entered the lay lines and begun to poison them. This will change the people and the city itself over time. Tempers will fray, people will fall to anger and murder, magicians will be tempted to dark paths. Noh maps out a few of the lay line locations; one of which is called the Hey Hey, a dance hall that features Jazz bands. We are given a second map with various sites marked out.
There are three knots – three areas that are filled with spirits and the energies of the destroyed ghosts.
He also shows us a crystal he’s working on that will guide us to the strange marvel drugs we’d previously discovered. The crystal glows when El-Nino (or Jorge) touches it.
Wu Long gives us three Taoist prayer scripts. As they are brought into the areas, these scripts should help alleviate the taint. They need to be taken out and stuck to a surface. They are prayers for the rest of the dead. We head out to the dance hall right away, taking the Phantom Corsaire. We hear more arguments, and yelling around — but it’s downtown LA, so it’s hard to discern whether it’s the spirits or just a regular night on the boulevard.
We end up at the “Hey Hey”, on 4th street. We find close-by parking. As we park, there’s a crowd that gathers. Domino locks the car and disappears. El-Nino scouts ahead. The dancehall is full, muggy and loud. They’re playing swing and the dancers are highly energetic. In the back, there’s an argument going on amongst a crowd of young men. There’s a lot of shoving. It’s getting heated. El-Nino causes a small sonic blast, causing many to run away from the building (earthquake!). Dynamo stands in view and signs autographs while Domino becomes a party goer and goes into the club.
El-Nino breaks up the fight.
When Noh shows up, there’s a ghost who’s embracing one of the fighters. She’s got slashes along her throat. There’s another ghost near the other combatant, and she disappears into the shadows. Noh appears before one of them and tells him he should go home. He does.
She slips in the back door, sidestepping the bouncer. She goes downstairs, looking about for more ghosts.
Domino moves through the dance floor, dodging the grabbers and pirouetting away from those being too handy. The vibe is aggressive. The music is spectacular. She spots a girl in the corner being raped with a wall of the rapists friends. Dominio grabs a sailor and beckons others to come save a girl in the corner. Once the men are focused on each other, she moves the victim into the ladies room.
The crowd gets pushed out of the club. Dynamo arrives, dims the lights, lightning arching off him, the lights and the surroundings asks “Gentlemen, do we have a problem?” The fighting dies down quickly and they move on. He then goes into the club. He’s waved past the ticket agent. Domino makes her way over to him.
Downstairs, there are many small rooms. Noh is stealthy, as there are a few people downstairs. There’s two barrels of rum that a guy is selling to refill dancer’s mickies. She finds a ghost and talks with it.
Upstairs it starts to get unbelievably loud. Domino stops the noise for El-Nino and Dynamo – and Dynamo causes a brownout and kills the sound.
Downstairs, Noh sticks the paper on the floor and stands over it.
The spirit seems puzzled by what is happening. The ghost recognizes what’s happening only at the last minute, and the ghost disappates. There’s a feeling of falling and it’s gone. The paper burns up.
Domino checks out the back alley, but she only finds two unconscious men. She wakes them up and gets them moving again. She also tells the Bouncer that one of the Champions of LA dealt with them.
We meet up on the sidewalk outside. El Nino grabs Domino and they’re in the middle of a warehouse. In the center of a firefight. Duck!
There’s five groups – throwing and shooting at each other.
El-Nino starts taking away the guns.
Domino drives 3 of the attackers out of the building due to cold torrential rain.
By the time others arrive, most of the fighters are either unconscious or injured. El-Nino goes to find someone with a flat-bed truck.
Noh comes in and sees no spirits. The person Domino is trying to tend is Thomas. She blocks Thomas from the building’s collapse, and Noh grabs Domino and Tom and lunges for one of the support columns. It traps Noh up to her waist. Domino is safe and in her arms. Dynamo is also buried.
Through the debris something grabs for him.
El-Nino found a car and he’s driving back.
Noh starts moving through the debris.
Domino lifts the debris off Dynamo.
Attacking Spirits reach up from the debris; they are spirits of the female victims of Thomas. One touches Domino and she feels a numbing cold. -2 to all checks.
El-Nino arrives in his stolen truck. The building has collapsed. He finished clearing off Dynamo, and finds a squished man.
Noh – attacks one of the ghosts.
Dynamo blasts out of the rubble, and the spirits reach up to grab him. He does a cone lightning storm effect that melts and burns away the debris. When it’s done there’s a nice round bit of floor.
Domino floats up with the injured man, takes him to the car and drives away to the nearest cop stop.
The spirits attack Noh, El-Nino and Dynamo. The only one who does not get hit is El-Nino.
El-Nino picks one and punches it until he strikes the spirit, dissipating it.
Noh takes out a prayer strip, and pushes past the grabbing spirit arms, and resolutely puts the strip on the ground.
Dynamo flies up and away.
Half the spirits reach for the scroll. Two of them touch it and disintegrate. The other two try to attack Noh and El-Nino and miss. After a few seconds, the spirits dissipate.
Domino delivers the injured man to the cop shop and gets the police’s attention by turning up the radio and leaning on the horn. Turns out it’s becoming a bit of a legend; when a creepy woman’s voice speaks to you—listen, it’s trying to help.
The third spot is probably at the cemetery where Thomas is burred.
When El-Nino gets to the cemetery, he sees the dead have risen.
Domino picks up Noh and makes her invisible. They fly to Mount Pleasant cemetery. As we arrive, there are some 25 dead wandering around the tombstone. One is draped over it.
El-Nino tries to attract the zombies.
The zombies start spreading out until there are just 6-7 near the tomb.
Dynamo and Noh position themselves above the tombstone and wait.
The figure that’s wrapped around the tombstone, she notices that the Champions of LA have arrived. She stands, but her uppoer body moves separately from her lower. The centre of her torso is missing and she has a Glasgo smile. She raises her arms. Her hands are punctured and there are chunks of her right breast are missing.
El-Nino keeps distracting the undead.
Dynamo blasts a few of them.
Noh steps out of Domino’s grip and launches herself down. She brings forth her bow and shoots the Black Dalia in the shoulder. That joint seems to start to burn away.
Black Dalia reaches out and advances on Noh. She touches Noh on the chest. The life force of Noh is drained away.
Domino throws a zombie at her and it flies through her; striking a tombstone. Domino cries out for help.
El-Nino races through the zombies. The surrounding cold makes him tired. He tries to hit the Black Dalia, and mostly misses.
Dynamo is able to to strike her with his lightning; dazing her.
Noh pulls out the scroll and tries to defend it.
Black Dalia goes for the parchment and Noh interposes. Behind Elisabeth Short (the Black Dalia), Noh sees Thomas with a look of sadness and confusion.
Domino makes an image of Thomas with such a smirk on his face.
As the scroll finishes, the zombies start falling. It hurts the Black Dalia, but does not make him fall. Her intention is completely on the illusionary Thomas.
El-Nino manages to strike the Black Dalia, but he grows so very tired and hungry.
Dynamo strikes at Black Dalia and it misses.
Noh fires off two arrows at the Black Dalia. Each arrow enters an eye and she falls and dissipates; leaving Thomas standing there. The mask whispers for Noh to punish him. Instead Noh takes off the mask. She speaks to Thomas and when he departs, curls up against his gravestone.
Dynamo takes El-Nino home.
Domino and Noh follow later.