Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Upton Chronicles #1: Strange Things are Afoot...

I decided to go back to a project I'd started several years ago, but unfortunately let fall to the wayside.  It has been quite awhile since the Secondhand Lions have played GASLIGHT and it was time to remedy that oversight!

The Gang

Jon Mark, Terry, Bill, Ken, Tim and I rolled off to see who would play on which side.  Jon Mark, Terry and Tim were the forces of 'Good' (that's a relative perspective, isn't it?), while Ken, Bill and I were 'Evil'.

The Plot

1930s, rural America.  A carnival freak show has come to town and set up shop in a remote pasture.  The townsfolk were excited.  It had been quite a long time since a circus, carnival or other oddity stopped at their town and they flocked to the site.  That's when things became weird...

People started disappearing.  Not many, but enough to rouse the suspicion of the local sheriff.  Since the only thing 'out of normal' was the freak show, he and a deputy checked it out.  Hours later, the sheriff found himself back at his desk, but the deputy was missing.  He knew they'd gone to the carnival and had seen firsthand that it was a legitimate show (the fat lady was truly a sight to behold), but he couldn't for the life of him remember driving back to the police station.  That had him worried...

He called an old detective friend of his, Frank Doyle, from 'the city' and asked for him to check it out.  The sheriff also called the land owner the carnival was inhabiting, Sir Reginald Upton, to see if he knew anything and to coordinate with Doyle's investigation.  Sir Upton sent his son, James ("Jimmy" to his friends) and his lifelong ward, Elisa ("Ellie" to most) to aid in the investigation.  They called their friends and colleagues, forming a pseudo-posse.

Our intrepid heroes met outside the show's tent and prepared to find out what strange things were afoot...

The Game

Jimmy and the Jackson twins stepped to the tent's front, where the carnival's barker awaited.  

He welcomed them inside and soon enough the entire party, minus Airman Jones, were enthralled by the wily ministrations of the Puppet Master.  Little did they know, but they were all mesmerized by this heinous villain and would only see what they are supposed to see:  innocent freak show employees!

Eventually, the group continued further into the tent.  As they rounded the first corner, the Fat Lady was seen.  To their eyes, she was gnawing on a turkey leg, but that wasn't actually the case!  Jimmy, drunk before he'd even arrived at the tent, noticed the aberration and stumbled dazedly toward the next booth.  It wasn't until Detective Doyle saw the half-gnoshed human arm that weapons were drawn and the fight began!

"Hey Rube!" was cried by the carnies and demented clown enforcers erupted from hidden places in the tent!  Most attacked Jimmy, sensing that he was too drunk to effectively put up a fight.  They were wrong.  He took his lumps, but roared his fury and gave what he got!

Detective Doyle was attacked from behind and fell, but Professor Edelstein "did some doctorin'" and got Doyle on his feet.  Meanwhile, Ellie used her shotgun to good effect and soon dropped Lester the Carney.  Outside the tent, Airman Jones found that his SMG was barely a match for the barker's razor-edged hats.  He was heavily wounded when the rest of the townies came to his rescue and subdued the carnival's ringleader.  

Little did our heroes know, but Jim the Butcher escaped to warn his Masters of the debacle unfolding within the tent.

It was a tough fight, but the 'good guys' eventually won the day.  The creatures were dispatched, while the others were taken into custody.

Under harsh interrogation, the barker spilled the beans.  The carnival of inhuman and human misfits were a front for their 'Masters'.  The carnies supplied bodies, alive and dead alike, to their bosses for unknown reasons.  Only an investigation of where the bodies were taken would uncover more of the truth.

Jimmy, Jones and Doyle would be holed up in a hospital to recover from their wounds, but the rest of the gang was ready to continue the fight!

Next week:  That's an Odd-Looking Idol...

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