The Stare Down wasn’t quite the dirtiest in eatery I have ever had the honor to sit down in, but it would probably sit in a cozy spot in the top ten. It had a population of miserable drags who had been out too late the night before nd were just recovering. The scum who had survived the night in Chinatown and were just trying to sort out their existence. Their storys the stuff of angsty third rate philosphers who spend their days chain smoking in french coffee house. Our group were look into the existence of a Chinese death cult established in the literal underground of the city. Above ground their territory only extend over two or so blocks. This rat infested establishment being right in the middle. Maybe I was grasping at straws, but perhaps the “Stare” was the way “Down” into the darkness below.
The door opens and three men entered; faces twisted into angry grimances sat below red caps. Red caps: these were the Chikong Tong, and they looked like they wanted a fight. I was starting to get tired of dawdling about with no direction. No mind maps, no trying to figure out who sent a hit on who, no italian mobster assassins, no missing ancient Chinese swords, just the chance to bring my knee it someone’s face and get some good clean information.
I glanced to Armitage after finishing the chapter. “Don’t you just hate it when a story begins near the end and then just cuts to the beginning? Then you have to read the whole way back to the start.”
He shrugged. “Don’t really have much the time for reading. Too many of them Mayans we got to deal with.”
“And dinosaurs. I mean, what’s next? Oriental black magic?” Okay, that’s not really what I said.
“Sir Arthur and his knights?”
“We’ll be landing soon.” Armitage held up his watch.
Damn. I folded my book and shoved into my violin case next my two derringers. The great detecive John Kalkoon would have to wait.
Chuck invited us into his family’s noodle shop for lunch. It was quaint. The noodles were good, but the neighborhood was obviously not the best. Chuck’s cousin was stuck in a protection racket, and we had the disfortune of being there come collection time. We managed to somehow not get into a fight right then. Though I may have been recognize. I suppose that’s not too surprising considering the number of one-armed, women crimefighters running around.
After we left the noodle shop we split up. I went to do groundwork, Armitage decided to tale some military types, and Chuck went to sort out family matters of his own.
For the low-low price of $35 I managed to get some information, that may or may not be important. Apparently there was going to be a fight tomorrow, some control would be shifted and one gang would emerge victorious. The Chikong tong apparently had good odds.
It’s surprising what you can learn in Russian trinket shops.
After dodging some stalkers I walked out of China Town I heard a gunshop and dashed to see what it was. After turning a corner I see Armitage holding a corpse in the middle of the street. I tried to stay inconspiculous while I scanned for the shooter. The gun had been hidden in a baguette, which might have fooled a common person, but not someone with not my
Of course I did the obvious thing: chase him into an alley and knock some respect into him. A hired gun, Mafia, ex-military, anonymousy hired. I let him go, but he’s going to hve a hard time getting a date for a week or two. Someone is pissed off at the longshoreman union. How does this tie in with Chinatown; does it at all?
After meeting up with Armitage, he let me know he was heading to meet with his posh British allies. We would meet up again at the museum( we still had to get our acquisitons appraised and labeled). Chuck let us know his father was out of jail but now missing, and may or may not be a member of an underground death cult that is responsible for people being turning up dead with a complexion somewhat redder than it should be.
This is where we found that the ancient sword of General Cheng was stolen. A descendant of the general would be unbeatable if they held the sword. After interrogating the guard we learned we were dealing with the Chikongs.
We return to China Town and we learn what we can from Chuc’s family about his father. We then head to a flowershop where we manage to map out the territory of the Darkness Below. The poor flower salesman was stuck with a fountain he would never be able to sell. We visited an astrology who predicted that I would bring about mass destruction and death, but really who could take that seriously. He, he…….
We were kind of lost of what to do next, that’s when I spotted the Stairs Down.