WTF, D&D: Hard Ticket to Baghdad 1: Kuwait Beach Party
Zack: Heyyy, Steve! Long time no talk!
Steve: I thought you might have died. Or joined ISIS.
Zack: I don’t think I could stand wearing black in the desert like those guys. That’s a serious commitment to a whole aesthetic.
Zack: You seem a more likely candidate anyway.
Steve: What?! Why would you say that dude?
Zack: ISIS fighters are the closest things we have to modern day barbarians what with their raping, pillaging, and chopping off heads. Swap a horse for a Toyota Hilux and a great sword for a Kalashnikov. It’s pretty much the same.
Steve: NO! Not the same at all. Barbarians don’t go around slaughtering innocent people.
Zack: Quick refresher. Things got out of hand when Left Eye tracked down tuning forks being used to tune Tony! Toni! Tone! and their many doppelgangers in from faraway realms of madness. Luckily, her love of fire sorted that business out.
Steve: Kurt Cobain went on a vision quest and was left for dead by assassins. He managed to track them back to a supposedly defunct supercollider in Texas conducting experiments on the reality itself. He killed his way through a bunch of people and put a stop to that, but not before being taunted by rap mogul Suge Knight.
Zack: When last we left our intrepid crew, Eazy-E had made an unspeakable oath with Hastur that helped him defeat Suge “The Shuggoth” Knight. He failed to stop Saddam and a mysterious woman from absconding from Leng with a meteor that may allow them to open the way to earth for the Outer Gods. A self-loathing moon beast named Craig warned that whoever possesses the stone could build the Omniopticon.
Steve: That was harrowing.
Zack: E barely survived and he lives with the terrible secret that at any moment the Unspeakable One might take possession of E’s body and turn him into a slavering monster.
Steve: So where are we?
Zack: It is six months later in Bongo Beach, Kuwait.
Steve: So far so good.
Zack: Kurt Cobain, Eazy-E, and Left Eye are in the resort city controlled by decadent Kuwaiti royal Prince Muhammad Al-Shalad to provide entertainment and act as judges in the 69th annual bikini contest.
Steve: Things are getting better by the second.
Zack: The bikini contest is real, but your presence there is a cover so you can find a mysterious Russian uranium dealer they call the Hyena. According to Courtney Love’s network of geology contacts, the Hyena is going to provide the yellowcake Saddam Hussein needs to build the nuclear reactor at the heart of the Omniopticon.
Steve: So we’re trying to bust them and prevent the deal?
Zack: “No,” says Courtney Love, looking at the three of you sitting on the couch in your HQ basement. “You want the deal to go through so you can identify the Hyena and the Iraqi buyer. Then you want to swap out the real yellowcake for fake yellowcake that conceals a tracker so the US Air Force can bomb the Omniopticon.”
Steve: Eazy-E says, “We’re workin’ with the government now? I don’t trust them.”
Zack: “The three of you have been on the Agency’s radar ever since that presidential debate that turned into a bloodbath. The CIA wants you working for them or they want you out of the picture. Do you understand?”
Steve: Kurt is all swinging tonfas and kicking those Shaolin wooden practice pegs. “I understand we can’t trust the CIA.”
Zack: “Your contact is named Bill. Meet him at the Cowboy Casino. He can provide you with the tracker and maybe some help in locating the Hyena and Saddam’s buyer.”
Steve: None of them like this plan. Left Eye is all, “Can I bring my flamethrower?”
Zack: “The Agency wants you to keep a low profile. No weapons. No killing. And No Station. I’ll take care of him.”
Zack: Station has swallowed your Super Nintendo controller with the cord still attached, but somehow he is playing Super Star Wars. He makes a croaking sound and looks at you with a few of his eyes.
Steve: We can’t leave Station behind. Kurt isn’t going to say anything to Courtney about it, but as soon as the meeting is adjourned he is going to arrange for Station to being hidden inside a panel van and then shipped to Kuwait.
Zack: Cut back to Bongo Island, Kuwait. Bikini girls are playing beach volleyball, men and women are lounging in the sun, and the stage for the bikini contest is being set up outside the Cowboy Casino. It would be a perfect beach scene if it weren’t for the numerous armed guards in tan military uniforms. These are Al-Shalad’s elite bodyguards.
Steve: Where are we?
Zack: You have just arrived to your joint penthouse suite and are looking out on this scene from your window. There is a lovely gift basket from Prince Al-Shalad, along with an itinerary for the contest tomorrow and your expected performance to open the contest. There is also an invitation to dine with Prince Al-Shalad at 9PM in the Texas Pete’s Ranchero Steakhouse VIP dining room.
Steve: Yeah, sure, we can get some steaks with the prince. Are we the only judges for the contest?
Zack: No, it lists someone named Viceroy Durkman, along with last year’s winners Tawny and Penelope Bongas, the identical bikini models from Brazil, and Pauly Shore.
Steve: Eazy-E clearly should investigate all the bikini babes in the contest to make sure none of them are Russian.
Zack: Several of them are Russian.
Steve: He will especially scrutinize them. What about Station? Did his ship arrive?
Zack: Kurt will have to go get him and the van from the docks.
Steve: Alright, so Left Eye will investigate the other judges. Do we have walkie-talkies?
Steve: Can we get some?
Zack: The security force has radio units. They probably have spares being kept somewhere, but you have no idea where they are.
Steve: Call of Cthulhu is one of those games where splitting up is often a good idea, because it can reduce casualties, but if somebody dies I want the other people to know what happens.
Zack: Dang, man, already thinking Kurt, Left Eye, or E is going to die?
Steve: Valar morghulis.
Steve: Okay, dude, Left Eye is going to hack into the hotel computer and locate the security room. Kurt and E can go get us some radios and weapons.
Zack: Imagine an appropriately lame sequence where Left Eye is tapping away at her Compaq laptop and she brings up a loading bar to crash their datawall. Roll it.
Steve: Oh, wow, okay. Hang on.
Zack: Left Eye easily penetrates the hotel’s meager computer security and brings up a wireframe diagram of the hotel on her computer. She can rotate the image and tap into any of the cameras in the hallways. She locates the room being used as an equipment room for the prince’s security force. It seems to be just a normal hotel room.
Steve: Alright, Kurt and E are going to the security room. Did Kurt at least bring his tonfas?
Zack: No, unfortunately.
Steve: Making clubs out of chair legs I guess. He’ll wield them as tonfas. We’ll get a room service cart someone left out and wheel it up to the door.
Steve: “Room service,” says Kurt in a high womanly voice.
Zack: A stony-faced Arab man answers the door. He gives you a confused look.
Steve: Kurt is giving him a tonfa look.
Zack: You club the guy in the face, knocking him back into the room. As you follow him, you see two other uniformed guards rising in surprise and reaching for weapons. There’s also a third guy coming out of the bathroom with a newspaper under his arm.
Steve: I’m going to have Kurt throw a tonfa at each of the guys trying to draw a gun. E will have to handle the guy coming out of the bathroom.
Zack: Alright, you need to add 20 to whatever you roll for your martial arts and you need to roll twice.
Steve: 34 and 19.
Zack: Kurt flings the chair legs across the room, knocking one of the guards unconscious and causing the other to drop his gun.
Steve: E is tackling the other guy.
Zack: Give me a percentile roll.
Steve: 79. I guess E missed.
Zack: Actually, no, that was for something else. Secret Keeper stuff. E successfully tackles the guy who is caught completely off his guard. He’s trying to get his hands on his gun. Meanwhile, Kurt has one action as the other guy picks up his Uzi and tries to aim it at Kurt.
Steve: Kurt Cobain, being a master of Krabi-Krabong, is going to kick the crap out of this dude.
Zack: We’ll keep it simple. Kurt nails this guy in the head with a kick that sends him spinning into the air and crashing through a table. E manages to wrestle the other guy’s pistol out of his hand and manages to knock him unconscious by clubbing him in the head with the butt of the pistol.
Steve: That’ll work!
Zack: Yeah, congratulations. You can load up on AK-47s and ammo, uniforms, radios, and all you have to do is figure out how to handle the four guys you knocked out.
Steve: Oh, yeah.
Zack: Yeah, they will wake up, unless you are going to cold-blooded murder four guys.
Steve: We have collectively killed a lot of people. Especially Kurt when he went on his revenge spree in Texas.
Zack: These dudes guys didn’t do anything.
Zack: Take some time to think about it. Because we’re going to cut back to the hotel room where Left Eye is hacking with her computer. She hears a musical knock at the door.
Steve: “Who is it?” Closing up the laptop and stuffing it under a pillow.
Zack: “It is Prince Al-Shalad. May I enter?”
Steve: She’ll check to make sure there is nothing sitting around to give away their intentions and then she opens the door.
Zack: Prince Al-Shalad looks less like Kuwaiti royalty and more like a sleazy hot tub salesman. He is tanned darkly from head to toe and his skin and hair both have an oily sheen. He is wearing a dismally inadequate bathing suit and a robe that hangs open over his paunchy midsection. He takes Left Eyes hand and kisses it.
Zack: “A pleasure to meet you Miss Left Eye Lopes. May I call you beautiful? Is this okay?”
Steve: She is going to back away from him. “You had better call yourself an ambulance if you try that again, buddy.”
Zack: “Oh, American girls, so spirited! My beautiful Cyclops, I have read in the People magazine that you are into the computers, so I have set up a super computer from Europe for your amusement. I will make you my very special guest at dinner tonight and then you can see my computer. They say it is so powerful it can calculate reality itself.”
Steve: Left Eye is not letting this gross horny dude get close.
Zack: He’s not chasing her around the room, just being gross. “I will not leave until you promise me you will come to dinner tonight. Bring your, eh, colleagues. I will have dancers in bikinis and I will show them my royal monster truck. Did you know I like to drift in monster trucks?”
Steve: “I think I read that in People magazine.”
Zack: “Ah, very good. Then you will come?”
Steve: She reluctantly agrees, mostly because she needs to get this guy out of here.
Zack: He is overjoyed at the news. Cut back to Kurt and E looking at four groaning security dudes slowly regaining consciousness.
Steve: “I got this,” says E. He is going to cast Create Gate and we are going to throw these guys to another planet. Literally.
Zack: What planet?
Steve: Well, you know, E isn’t trying to cold blooded murder these knocked out dudes. So maybe let’s go with a planet where life might survive. What’s that moon that might have life?
Steve: That’s it. The description for create gate says E has gotta sacrifice POW permanently equal to log to the base 10 of the distance in miles. That’s some trigonometry stuff or whatever.
Zack: Europa is 390,000,000 miles from earth. That comes out to 8.6 POW. I’ll let E share it with Kurt 50/50.
Steve: How about E just uses Kurt as a battery since Kurt is never casting spells?
Zack: Okay, but it’s going to cost him a bunch of sanity. Like 2D10.
Steve: Doing that. Rolled an 8 and a 5.
Zack: Dannnnnnnnnng. Kurt goes immediately crazy. I am going to say he strips off all his clothes and runs out the window. Luckily you are on the second floor and he lands in some bushes and runs out on the beach. But your gate manifests. The doorway to the bathroom now opens on the creaking vista of an endless ice sheet with aurora swirling in the sky from intense radiation and Jupiter looming huge.
Steve: Tossing these guys through the portal.
Zack: You heap them up and they all start convulsing and gasping. One of them starts trying to claw his way back through the portal. Frost glitters on their bodies and the guys open eyes freeze over. He’s still desperately trying to come through.
Steve: Oh, dang, how cold is it on Europa?
Zack: About negative 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steve: Closing the gate! Well, I tried. Don’t blame me. I tried. I wanted to just get rid of them.
Zack: Why didn’t you send them to Maui?
Steve: I can send them somewhere on earth?
Zack: Not now you can’t. They are stuck on Europa forever and will all be dead in about ten more seconds tops.
Zack: E loses five sanity as he confronts the cosmic inhumanity of what he just did.
Steve: Gonna have to work this one out in my lyrics.
Zack: Let’s hear some.
Steve: Straight outta Compton… is a wizard who will send you beyond Jupiter / makin’ y’all stupider / to my powers ain’t none who compare / but I genuinely regret I sent you to a planet without air.
Zack: You can have one sanity back for your sweet lyrics.
Steve: Can I get Kurt calmed down?
Zack: Yes. Despite his ranting and raving, you are able to get him calmed down and convince him to put some clothes back on.
Steve: We’ll all go get Station then.
Zack: Good idea. Stick together. Since you got those walkie-talkies.
Zack: You hire a taxi and arrive at the docks just as your ship arrives. To your horror, it crashes into the docks, smashing them and damaging the freighter. Men have to climb onto the listing ship to turn off its engines. As you’re watching this daring procedure, you can’t help but notice a seemingly larger slimy green creature drop from the side of the ship and into the ocean.
Steve: Going somewhere near the coast where we can wait for that big dummy to come ashore.
Zack: Station slithers out of the water, slurping up the tentacles of an octopus he happened to catch.
Steve: E says, “Hey, yo, Station. What happened with the ship? Did you eat all the crew?”
Zack: Station answers with a mournful and almost comprehensible, “Station” on his blasphemous flute.
Steve: We’re going to have to get Station into a shipping container and steal a truck.
Zack: I’m going to say your latest ill-advised caper succeeds. You get Station crammed into a shipping container and you load that up on a big rig truck. Driven by Kurt.
Steve: Is he back to normal?
Zack: No, Kurt is muttering constantly and picking at bugs on his skin that don’t exist, but he is able to drive the truck. You return to the resort and find the place on lockdown. Apparently four of the prince’s bodyguards have gone missing. The guards at the gate ask, “Do you know anything about that?”
Steve: No, no, we’re just coming back from picking up our instruments. We’re the celebrity judges who will be performing tomorrow.
Zack: They let you through in your tractor trailer truck.
Steve: Okay, so, we need to get Station into our suite, but there are cameras everywhere. So Left Eye is going to have to hack all the cameras again.
Zack: You don’t need to roll again. The same backdoor she used before is still available. You manage to sneak Station up the elevator shaft and out into the suite.
Zack: So far your actions have killed four security guards and the entire crew of a freighter. You are no closer to your destination.
Steve: Yeah, but we’ve got dinner plans.
Zack: So are all three of you going to dinner?
Steve: I think Kurt better stay in the suite with Station. E and Left Eye will go. E is dressed in his finest Raiders sweatshirt and Compton hat and Left Eye is wearing purple overalls, a half shirt, giant floppy magician hat, and sunglasses with only the left lens.
Zack: You are greeted by oiled servants who lead you over to a pile of pillows where Prince Al-Shalad is being fed dates by a busty woman. Pauly Shore, a dead-eyed looking guy who must be Viceroy Durkman, and blonde twins are already lounging on the pillows with the prince when you arrive.
Zack: “What a beautiful girl,” says the prince, clapping his hands. “Come, come, set beside me. Both of you. One on each side.”
Steve: Doing it under protest.
Zack: Prince Al-Shalad talks about his super computer that he bought from the British and how he is going to use it to unlock the secrets of the universe. Dinner is served by more oily beefcakes and babes. One of the prince’s guards enters and whispers something to him.
Zack: “Ah! Our last guest has arrived!” He stands as a haggard looking man in a rumpled white suit is led in at gunpoint. You recognize the man as comedian Bill Hicks. He looks like he’s been punched a few times.
Steve: Weren’t we supposed to meet “Bill” from the CIA?
Zack: That’s right.
Zack: “Now that we are all here, we can discuss what is important,” says the prince. Left Eye and E both hear guns clicking behind their heads. Soldiers are pointing pistols at them. Pauly Shore smirks and the bikini models seem confused. “Why did the Americans send you to ruin my deal with Mr. Shore?”
Steve: The prince is the Hyena? Pauly Shore is working for Saddam?
Zack: Cut to Kurt Cobain in the hotel suite. What is he doing?
Steve: Probably taking a bath and smoking cigarettes. Listening to Station play a little Miles Davis.
Zack: Been teaching Station the jazz flute, huh? Okay, Kurt is soaking away his psychosis, listening to his half-ton blobby friend play Bitches Brew. There is a click as the door of the suite is unlocked. Boots thumb into the room.
Steve: Sitting up in the tub.
Zack: The door to the bathroom creaks as someone swings it open. One of the prince’s guards stands with an AK pointed at Kurt and Station. His eyes go wide in horror.
Zack: That’s about when the shooting begins.
Zack: To be continued!!!!