[M&M 3E] October 1962


Gabriel’s heart seized. The pretty Latina girl was talking to him. He’d grown up in Texas before moving here four years ago, so he’d known a lot of girls like her.

His eyes went wide at her question. Ketchup? What did she mean? Oh god, did he wear one of his stained shirts without realizing it?

He looked down at his chest, searching for the stain. No, this was a clean one. He remembered his mom had just done all his laundry. No stains in sight. Then what was she...

Oh. Ketchup. Right. They were in a restaurant.

“Sorry,” he said, passing the bottle. “My mom hates ketchup. She says it’s a poor imitation if salsa. But she has to make the salsa herself, cause she can’t find anything here that doesn’t taste like ketchup and pepper.” Why was he talking about food? Why did he always wind up talking about food?

He flushed upon her revelation of where she’d seen him before. Wonderful.

“Yeah, I, um, had a cramp. In my leg. You know. Hard to do that stuff with a cramp...”

A cramp? Geez. How exactly was that somehow better than not being physically strong enough to lift your bulk off the ground?

“I’m Gabriel,” he said, alternately hoping she would keep talking to him and that he could crawl in a hole and die. It’d have to be a big hole, though. Maybe more of a ditch.

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Charlie watches as Sofia enters and chooses the stool next to him to have a seat. The diner was getting packed and figured someone would eventually sit there but was surprised it was one of the kids from school. He was even more surprised when she spoke to him. He glances over and nods at her question.

"Doc Wexler's class? Yeah, Sofia, you sit in the back row three seats over from me."

Charlie is about to continue the conversation when his food arrives. He uses it as a distraction and Sofia turns her attention to another classmate who just sat down. He waits for a brief pause in their conversation then clears his throat.

"Sofia could you pass the ketchup, please and thank you."

He puts some on his burger and takes a bit. As he chews he pulls the map from his pocket and flattens it out on the counter. He begins to look over it noting the locations of the public bunkers and then at where his house is in relationship. His family had owned the 200 odd acres since before Washington was a state or at least that's what his Pa always said. Though it usually ended with a rant about the Reds never takin' it. Though with this Cuba thing his Pa seemed a little more sane.


New Falls, Washington/New Falls High School
Tuesday, October 23, 1962/12:05

“Gracias,” Sofia said when Gabriel handed her the ketchup. “You eat salsa? No one up here even knows what it is! You should taste mine,” she said, dumping the ketchup bottle over her plate. It was her mother’s recipe, but her mother rarely had time to make it anymore. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t go on fries. Well, people look at me funny when I do. I’d have to carry around my own. What I wouldn’t give for some good tortilla chips up here,” she said with a sigh. “Now that poutine stuff that those Canandians bring down, that is good with salsa.”

She listened to Gabriel’s story about the rope and gave him a sympathetic smile. “Si. Cramps are the worst,” she double-entendred. “I’m Sofia. Nice to meet you, Gabriel.” Of course, he wasn’t one of the cool kids, but then neither was she. Not up here. Not like when she ran with Tres Reyes in Miami.

Sofia turned her attention to Charlie when he spoke to her. “Si. That’s me. Always in the back,” she said. Un momento. Sophia shook the ketchup bottle, soon uttering a string of cursing in Spanish that would make a sailor blush if anyone in this damn place knew Spanish. Finally the ketchup blorted out all over her plate and onto her shirt and she sighed. “Carajo!”

“Here you go,”
she told Charlie, handing him the ketchup. Then she leaned against Gabriel to get some napkins. Escuse, she apologized as she pressed into him, then started to dab at her shirt to get the ketchup off. “Can I get some water, por favor? Agua?I

“We speak American here, girl,”
someone behind her spoke up. “Take yer forren north o’ the border.”

Sofia muttered. “They don’t speak Spanish in Canada.”

tags Charlie, Gabriel


“I usually have salsa on my eggs, these days,” Gabriel said. He was amazed that he was actually having a coherent conversation.

Then she splatted the ketchup and some a few drops splashed on his shirt. He just looked at it. Why couldn’t he keep a clean shirt? At least it wasn’t his fault, this time.

But then he got distracted when Sophia reached across him, pressing in to him. His mind went mostly blank. That was likely the first time a girl had touched him on purpose.

His eyebrows raised when he heard her talking in Spanish. He didn’t speak it, but he understood a few words. Especially those.

He shook it off. No reason to be weird. He took a napkin and wiped his shirt. All he managed to do was smear the ketchup around, but that was par for the course.

His food came, and he decided not to use the ketchup. He dug into his first burger, and most of his problems went away. Food always did that to him. Meal time was His time. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a book to read while he ate. Fellowship of the Ring. He’d read The Lord of the Rings twice already, and never could get enough.


New Falls, Washington/New Falls High School
Tuesday, October 23, 1962/12:05

Sofia cleaned herself off as best she could with the ice water brought for her. She sighed. Maybe if she finished early enough, she could run home and change. She’d probably be late for class and get detention, though, and that would mean not being home when her sister got home. Damn it!

“What’s that?” Sofia asked, looking at the book Gabriel was reading. Tolkien. Never heard of the guy. Not that she was up on her American literature, outside of what they had to read in school.

Mark Chance

Boingy! Boingy!
The blare of the air raid siren interrupts any answer to Sofia's question. A sort of stunned silence falls over those in the diner. A sitting in booths near the windows lean to look out the windows. Cars stop in the streets. A woman gets out of her car, jaw slack, and points toward the sky.

Flashes of light burst high above New Falls. From each flash of light races a contrail. Whatever is at the head of each contrail is too small to see, but whatever they are, they are moving fast and descending. The siren continues to scream. The panic starts to spread. Silverware on tables vibrates. Drinks ripple.

Something deadly is coming to New Falls.


Gabriel blushes as Sophia asks about his book. “It’s...um...just a book about another world, one with...”

When the siren went off, Gabriel’s first reaction was relief that something had cut him off from having to explain. How did one just explain Tolkien? That was like trying to explain the Odyssey.

But then he realized what was going on. A Siren. Something bad was happening.

He grabbed his second burger and stood up. Hey, he’d paid for that, he wasn’t about to leave it.

“That doesn’t sound good,” he said, his stomach tying in knots.

But he didn’t know what to do. He remembered something about shelters, but he had no idea where they were.

Gabriel looked to the other two sitting at the table, taking his cue from them.

As the other girls talk, Jennifer suddenly remembers something and gets up. "I've got to run, girls. I forgot I needed to stop at the post office and I won't have time after school." She rushes out to her bike and heads downtime to the post office. She's about to enter when she hears a wailing siren. Everyone on the street pauses a moment before pandemonium breaks out. "Stay calm," she shouts to no avail.

Shelters, she thinks. But the pamphlet with the shelter locations in buried in her book bag. She sees a few of her fellow students running out of the diner. She rushes over to them. "Do you know where to go?" She asks. "There's a shelter on Elm St, I think. But I don't remember where."

When one of them suggests a way to go, she follows after them.

Okay, I've brought the four of us together (for the first time) on the sidewalk outside the diner. Someone else will have to bring us to the shelter.

Charlie's head shoots up from the map at the sound of the air raid sirens. His father had been drilling him since he was eight at what to do, get to the bunker. He stands leaving the map on the table. He turns to the two class mates sitting next to him.

"We should get moving keep your head down and if you notice a flash for god sake don't look at it."

Charlie leads the two outside and curses when he sees the contrails. He'd never make it back home in time. He'd need to go to one of the public shelters. He visualizes the map trying to guess which shelters would get over crowded. He begins to make a decision when Jenny runs over.

"No Elm St is to central. It will get swamped. We'll run out of supplies if we are lucky enough to get in. The one on Stockten Ave is more out of the way and it's only a couple blocks farther than Elm in the other direction."

Charlie says all of this while running towards the shelter on Stockten. He curses that he didn't have his survival bag. Pa always said to carry it everywhere but it didn't fit in his locker at school so he had left it by the front door. His Pa was going to yell at him if they both survived this.

He took a quick glance at the incoming doom and increased his speed. He watched as other residents began to run past them towards the center of town. He shook his head knowing there were going to be to many people at the Elm, Main and Oak St shelters.
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Gabriel followed Charlie. He seemed to know what he was doing.

“My family...” his dad would be at his practice downtown. His sisters were in school. His mom was at home. Would they see? He didn’t have time to find them.

No time to think about that now. He hiked up his pants and tried to keep up with Charlie. It wasn’t long before he was huffing and puffing with the exertion. He really needed to lose a few pounds. He held on to his burger, anyway. No idea when he’d get to eat again.

I should go get Emily. No, that's silly, she at the middle school. They would not let me leave with her. I'd have to stay there. I hope Daddy hears the sirens. He sometimes slept like the... like someone who sleeps really deeply, she thought. What am I going to do? The thought scared her as she always knew what to do.

"You're right," Jennifer says, relieved that Charlie has a plan. "Stockten will be less crowded." She joins them in their run to the shelter on Stockten. Thoughts of her sister and father running through her mind the whole time.


New Falls, Washington/New Falls High School
Tuesday, October 23, 1962/12:010

Sofia looked up with surprise as the alert sirens went off. “Que pasa?” she asked, looked at the contrails in the sky. And then everyone around started to panic.

“My sister!” Sofia exclaimed as they piled out of the diner. She looked in the direction of the elementary school. Her mother was at Titan. She would probably be safe. But Alejandra…

But there wasn’t time. Something in Sofia knew that. So when someone grabbed her hand and dragged her along to Stockton Ave, she didn’t protest too much.

Sofia piled into the shelter with the others, falling against Gabriel as they tripped over each other. She stared at his burger in surprise.

Mark Chance

Boingy! Boingy!
After the fourth student rushes through the shelter door, the doorway itself swirls shut, metal pieces sliding together to clang shut the way the iris lens of a camera shuts. In the next instant, the lights shut off, plunging the room into utter darkness.

"Please remain calm, children," a female voice says.

The darkness vibrates, grows still, vibrates again, as if something enormous is hammering on the building above the shelter. Then, the floor drops away, and everyone falls while horizontal bands of light race from floor to ceiling, one after the other, creating a strobe light effect.

OOC: Everyone please make an Acrobatics or Dexterity check versus DC 10. Failure means you fall as the room begins to descend rapidly.

OOC: Not that it really matter but Agility is usually used for balance. Dexterity for hand-eye coordination.

Dex check DC 10: 1d20 6

Before she can react, Jennifer finds herself on the floor as the room rapidly descends. "What's going on?"

Mark Chance

Boingy! Boingy!
Before she can react, Jennifer finds herself on the floor as the room rapidly descends. "What's going on?"

"Please remain calm, children," says the female voice. "Relocation to safe zone is in progress. Telluric immanation imminent. Walls to reach minimum opacity in 10, 9...."

OOC: Forgot which game this is. Agility does make much more sense. :)

Charlie drops into a crouch at the floors sudden drop from beneath his feet. He is surprised at this fact as the disorientating strobe of the descent wash over the room. Charlie moves to help Jennifer stand, this is not out of chivalry but more an automated response as his brain processes the situation.

"What did that woman say? Something about telluric emanations, what are those?"

He knew from his Pa that rads would be almost completely blocked by 3 feet of dirt. They must be that far underground now and there was concrete and steel as well which was even better than dirt. So what the hell was this woman talking about.

OOC: DC 10 Dex Roll: 1d20+1 20 I marked it as Dex in the roller since that is what you asked to roll. However Charlie's Dex and Agi are the same so roll would be identical.

"Thank you, Charlie," Jennifer says. She looks around wildly for something that might make sense. She calls out, "Maximum wall opacity? These words make no sense. What's going on?"

Mark Chance

Boingy! Boingy!
The walls of the room fade, becoming nearly transparent, and the rapid descent continues. Outside the room, the students see rock ripple by, as if liquid for an instant before returning to solid form above the room, the ceiling of which is now also nearly transparent.

"Telluric immanations are chthonic radiations trapped in subsurface rock structures," the voice says. "Through these immanations, you shall be prepared."

The rock outside the room gives way to magma, glowing and rolling as the shelter continues its descent. The students feel their skin start to tingle. Hairs on arms and the backs of necks stand on end. The sensation increases, progressing from tingle to itch to burning.

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