Sunday, May 25, 2014

Better Angels: Steps to Redemption

So what kind of game do you have when three of the four characters turn out to be the bad guys, and one of them has a chance to redeem her little self? Hmm.

Last time, three of the characters wound up crashing in a currently-uninhabited mansion. Livi, however, had gone home.

Next morning, the three in the mansion starting poring over the list of coded locations they'd stolen from the church. Gary took the mansion owner's Escalade and went driving around, photographing these locations. Most were churches, but there was a locksmith, an antique shop, and a couple of private residences as well. Gary stopped by one of the houses and posed as a gas man. He poked around a little, but the women wouldn't let him in, and his Psychic Object generated ID wasn't enough. He left.

Livi woke up and found the social worker, Stella, making breakfast. They talked, and Stella coaxed a little more goodness back into Livi (shifting a dot from Devious to Insightful). Livi started to feel bad about the people she'd hurt, and less interested in seeing the other Hellbinders again. Stella promised to take her for lunch and then to see her parents.

The other Hellbinders, however, had their own plans. They showed up at Livi's house, and Avro turned Invisible and sneaked up to the house. He tapped on the window and lured Stella out to get next to Livi, and told her to come with them. She wasn't interested, but also wasn't very adept at concealing her conversation with an invisible dude from Stella, who seemed to suspect something. She made a phone call (Avro heard her say "we'll be right there"), and they got into her car. Avro sneaked into the back seat.

They arrived at a hot dog place which was, surprisingly, across the street from the locksmith place on the list. Livi was, again, having conversations with both Avro and Glasya-Labolas, her demon, and Stella waved to someone across the way. A man started walking over, and Willa approached and tried to offer assistance, but Stella brushed her off. The man, Peter, arrived, and talked to Livi, who was wary of him. They talked a bit, but Livi was weirded out by now and wanted to see her parents. Stella agreed to take her; Willa offered to go along (claiming that she knew Livi from around the neighborhood) but Stella wasn't buying it and told Willa she could follow them if she wanted.

Avro, meanwhile, had gone across the street to check out the shop. He Withered the lock, which set off a very loud alarm. He cased the place, quickly, and found a safe behind a key rack, which held two shotguns, two pistols, and slots for a third pistol, a rectangular object, and a round object.

Peter, hearing the alarm, went running across the street to his shop. Avro's demon, Nidhogg, activated Flame-Wreathed and torched the place, and then went out the back. Peter intercepted, holding a pistol and a round, golden disc that made Avro very uncomfortable, and said, "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I command you to...get behind me." (Not really what he meant, but it was a tense situation.)

Avro started moving, and Peter shot him. Avro charged, grappled, and Withered him, but Peter pulled free and trained the gun on him. Avro told him, "Just leave it alone. Walk away."

Peter replied, "You leave her alone. Stay away from her." Avro laughed, and Peter shot him, badly enough to strip a dot of Open. Badly wound, Avro slunk away. Nidhogg was not happy.

Willa and Gary had followed Livi and Stella to the hospital. Willa used Dead Ringer to turn into a reporter she'd seen at the park (way back when this started), and asked a doctor for help finding the Stevens; he refused. Gary made himself a janitor's badge and started snooping. Livi went to her parents' room, and found them patched up and ready to go home. She went with her father to the cafeteria while Stella talked with her mother.

Avro stole antibiotics from the pharmacy, to treat his gunshot wound (healing in Better Angels is kinda hand-wavy; basically you're hurt until you manage to slide enough dots around to be healed, which means you have to sin to get better) and then rejoined Gary and Willa.

They saw Stella and Livi's mom exit the elevator, talking about Livi. Listening in, Avro (still Invisible) realized they were talking about an exorcism. It wouldn't hurt, they said. They just needed to get the demon out.

This, the Hellbinders decided, was unacceptable. They'd need to get Livi first.