Nightmare on Vine Street
Asa "Specs" Jacobi
(All subject to change)
Geist: The Sundown Man
Threshold: The Prey
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 2
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 1, Composure 3
Mental Skills: Academics 1, Investigation 4 (cases), Occult 1, Politics 1,
Physical Skills: Athletics 1, Brawl 2, Drive 3 (the Nash), Firearms 2, Larceny 1, Stealth 2 (tailing)
Social Skills: Empathy 1, Intimidation 2 (tough guys), Persuasion 1 Streetwise 1,
Merits: Resources 1, Contacts 2 (the law, bootleggers), Status 1 (private detective), Iron Stamina 1, Memento 1 (Reggie the Rat’s Punched Ticket), Ceremony 1 (Finding), Allies 1 (the rich), Retainer 2 (Annie)
Keys: Grave-Dirt, Stillness
Manifestations: The Curse 1, The Shroud 2
Keystone: The Sundown Eyes— A pair of sunglasses tinted almost black, they do not impede the wearer’s vision in the least. On the contrary, they cloud the edges of onlookers’ sight, making the wearer that much harder to see. The Sundown Man told Asa that these were what he wore all his life without seeing; he was blind. And yet the Man saw the sundown before he met his death, and he knew that something was wrong. Also, they seem to be Asa’s prescription.
Threshold: The Prey
Keys: Pyre-Flame, Stillness
Charm: Reggie the Rat’s Punched Ticket— Reggie the Rat, rumrunner and general hard case, didn’t come to a very nice end. He had one last stash to grab before bailing on the next Blue Water towards Chicago, and it was in an abandoned tin mine up near Mackinac. Asa had tailed the little bastard all the way from Battle Creek, and tipped off the local law about his hole. A shoot out ensued, and Reggie learned the hard way that some mines get abandoned for a reason. It took a week to dig the bastard out from under three tons of slag and rock, and when they did Asa took home a little souvenir. This train ticket has two punch-holes in it. One’s from a conductor’s clipper. The other matches a bloody chunk of quartz that’s currently weighing down papers on Asa’s desk.
Threshold: The Prey
Armor: Trench Coat and Suit (1/0)
Equipment: Glasses (two pair, at least), Trench Coat, Lighter and Cigarettes, Pocketknife, Private Badge, the Ticket, the Eyes, Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless (but Asa doesn’t like carrying it)
CASE FILE #167
FRANCIS “SNAKE EYES FRANKIE” GRIMM
CLIENT: *REDACTED FOR CARBON COPY*
CC: CHARLES PIERCE
It was an awful afternoon, one of those Michigan storms that pours down rain like buckets and thrashes the trees around like discontented ghosts. The wind was howling when I stepped out of the Nash, the rain running down my gun…
I had tracked Frankie all the way from Kalamazoo, following a trail of blood and booze in speakeasies in Portage, Traverse City, and Mount Pleasant. All leading here, to this desolate little scrap of ridge and pine in the Peninsula. I asked the Yooper at the gas station if he saw where the shiny Model T went. He lied to me. Figures.
Frankie had stolen something that my client wanted back, something I couldn’t go to the law about (sorry, Charles, but the case is still hot, so I can’t spill just yet). Why he kept it with him all the way up in this godforsaken stretch of the UP is anyone’s business, especially mine. I loaded the Colt and started getting my coat muddy.
I’d just about caught up with the boy when I heard something off to my left. I turned and looked, and almost dropped my artillery. Right there, before God and Creation, was a man with the Sunset in his Head, and the Clouds of the Horizon in his Palms. My new, permanent client, as good as handing me a business card before we’d been properly introduced. Sister Lise would have slapped his palm with a ruler for that. No etiquette at all. Then the light changed and he was gone (like hell he was).
I looked back up the hill and there was Frankie, his back turned to me. He had a mook with him, big fella in his shirtsleeves. They’d just buried something, or dug something up. The gorilla had a shovel at any rate. I got up the hill and cleared my throat. They whirled on me, and I showed ‘em the buzzer. Polite as heck, I asked for my client’s property. Frankie just smiled with those viper eyes of his.
Then he set his man Friday on me.
I got one shell into the ape, I give myself that much, and a few boxes around the ears. But the creep had fifty pounds and seven inches on me, at least, and a shovel besides. Two whacks and I was seeing stars. One more and I felt the earth slip out from under me. Oh, wait, that happened.
No decent God would have let me wake up in that gorge, both legs broken and vomiting from the pain. I mean, Jesus, Charles, it was awful. At least you went quick, you didn’t have to watch the sun set on your life, knowing that you might not even get a tombstone except for some crumbled rock and the moss on your shooting iron. And I still crawled four miles before the exposure got me.
And then the Sundown Man introduced himself properly. Not bad. A for effort, and I can’t complain.
Anyway, that’s what happened. Frankie’s still out there, spooking around Detroit these days, or so I hear. I got no interest in hitting the big time anyway, not while the Combination’s still running that joint. Frankie’ll come back. They always do. And the caseload from my new, permanent client just keeps getting bigger. Oh well. Keeps me from shredding the wallpaper, I guess.
(Scribbled at the bottom)
Redacted some confidential info for the sake of my client’s confidentiality. Hope you understand. Swing by sometime, we’ll talk leads and play backgammon. And it’s not healthy for Sin-Eaters to drink alone. Or as close to alone as we get, anyway…