Wednesday, 19 February 2014
The ballad of Fiddlin' Joe
Beware. in-character AP below.
"Now, the story I'm about to tell is about old Fiddlin' Joe Cooper, the Hobo roach some called him, on account of him being of what you might call the insect kind.
For myself, I never held it against an American whether they be vertebrate or in-vertebrate, but some do, and those folks just never would hold with the likes of Fiddlin’ Joe on accounts that he ate shit for dinner. Well he’s a man I say, same as you, cept’ chitinous somewhat and liable to roll hisself into a ball at times. I look past it. Can’t hold a spherical condition gainst’ a man in times like these.
Fiddlin’ Joe rode the rails they say, and a place they took him was the town of Midway. You won’t like it, but truth is this whole town got its dammn self et. Thasright, whole place was et right up by a moveable school they say. Or mebbie a Hos-pi-tall.
Anyway. Folks was plum put out about losin a town like that, an that there architecture was lookin right predatory. Seemed to be castin' its glassy eye over all Pitsburgh for its next meal. It coulda done it to! Schools got capacious appetites, won't set foot in them myself. They got worried enough to do somthin about it so sure as eggs is eggs they call up old Fiddlin’ Joe and say to him;
“Hey Joe! Why don’t you get your-self in that dammn school or hospital or whatever it is and tickle its belly till it coughs up that town of ours.”
Well Joe don’t waste no time (you know Joe) and before they done talkin’, off he goes!
Now Joe had some fellah’s with him at the time. There was old Harry Flash, some kind of hobo hoodoo man from another world with silver nitrate fer his blood. (Wild look about him that one.) Then there was Paulie. Now your boy Paulie was more of a pig than anything else at all. That ain’t no metaphor you get me? I say that boy was pink. And quad-ro-pe-dal. Never saw it slow him down though, fellah just has the right attitude bout’ the whole thing you get me? I’m forgettin’ the lady they had with them too. Don’t you get excited friend! This ain’t one of your romantic stories from the magazines. This girl was nothing but a Bee. That means insectoid you know, like Joe hisself. Cept with the honey and all.
This girl, Yenovel (That was her name) well she was what some people like to call an Enh-Pee-See. All that means is she ain’t got no character insider animatin’ her actions. Well there’s nothing wrong with that I say! Turns out a hell of a lot of folks round here are Enh-Pee-Sees. Nothing inside but dice and some wild imagination. Not even stats, some of em! And bein driven by dice and shouted commands didn’t do this girl no harm, as you’ll see, turned out she was just about the least in-comp-e-tant of the whole crew, and that includes Fiddlin Joe hisself. He’d be first to admit to it.
Cameabouts that Fiddlin’ Joe ended up findin’ that town that got et up. It was right inside that buildin’ with the glass eyes. Whole place was in there right down a drain. Now I aint know much about this kind of thing myself but that sound like nothin’ so much as a Cabali-Yau Dimension Space, and you know how they are, what with the dimensions an all.
Fiddlin’ Joe don’t waste no time, he’s right off investigatin’ business. Boy don’t hesitate to punch his clock I’ll say that for him. Turn out some fellah’s got his arm trapped in a basement somewhere and he’s callin’ out fer help. Now Fiddlin’ Joe aint no fool. First thing he thinks to hisself is;
“Fiddlin Joe” (cause he would always name hisself in his own thoughts you see)
“Fiddlin Joe” He thought “this aint nothin more than a dang old trap! An I’ll be a monkeys uncle before I get myself caught up in it I say!”
Well he got hisself caught up in it.
Fiddlin’ Joe never did have but shit fer patience. That was in account of his player you see. Now you begin to get how these players can trouble a man, getting him all wrapped up in dang lunacy fer no good reason at all.
It aint but the first roll of the game and Fiddlin’ Joe gets hisself brained by a toaster from the third floor. Dang bug only had about four hit points to call his own. It aint no trouble though cause old Paulie dove right in there and braved a dog-gone torrent of household devices to pull him out. I say there was more appliances fallin from the sky than tears at a debtors funeral.
It was a household of these feral boys you see. On account of the whole area bein post-apocalypitic, not to mention bein locked right up in another dimension, just like a chigger up a dogs ass. Place was a mess I say.
Fiddlin’ Joe and his friends they ran like hell I tell you. First thing is they ran into this inventor fellow. Edison type you know? Well Fiddlin’ Joe gets right on down filddlin for him. (That’s how he liked to introduce hisself.) But the dang pig, Paulie, he blows his roll fer dancin and takes out some of that fellahs furniture. Hell of a blow it was.
Was about this time that Joe started winkin out of existence. Now Joe had hardly existed but half an hour and here he was skippin in and outta reality like a doggone stone skippin’ on a lake! What was it you say? It was that dang internet. You see Fiddlin’ Joes player had some kind of arrangement with these folks to bring him all of the internet he could use. Well they never did stand by it and that poor sap ended up glitchin’ in and out of time and space like a bad transmission. That’s another thing these players will do to a fellah. I aint never heard of no Enh-Pee-See actin that way! Either whole worlds here just as you expect, or it aint! There aint no whys or wherefores about it! Binary ah tell you!
Well I’ll cut to the chase as they say.
Joe and his associates, they found theyselves up in this church at the north end of town. Well it was one of those post-apocalyptic churches and I guess you know what that means. Whole lot of rantin’ and the parishioners armed-to-betsy. Not too keen on strangers, you hear?
And who do they find in that there church? Well only the mayor! Now the mayor was dead at the time, which was not uncommon for the era. Lots of folks dead about the place. It was casuin’ some tension I can tell you, what with the cannibalism and all. Now Fiddlin’ Joe spots the mayor crucified up there with his arms spread.
“Fiddlin’ Joe” thought Fiddlin’ Joe (he was namin’ hissself in his own mind again you see) “Fiddlin’ Joe, that there is what those collage boys call irony.”
Course you and I both know what Fiddlin’ Joe was really lookin’ at was the silver on the alter there. Whole heaps of it! It was right about then that Fiddlin’ Joe started schemin’. That boy was fixin’ on levelin’ up right there! Internet or no internet. And rescue the undead mayor? Well why not if your robbin’ the place?
Now the head cleric of the whole place was named Washington, that fellah was loco like a phoby-cat in a chicken coop. That means rabid you hear? First thing is this Washington starts tellin Fiddlin' Joe and his crew bout some kind of crazy undead sodomy house, says god told him ta burn it down. Paulie, he makes the mistake of askin’ how come this fellah knows about the exact quality of the sodomy in that house? Him seemin’ well informed an all.
This Washington tells him God told him directly and in detail bout’ the sodomy and made a point of it to boot. After that everyone just goes silent for a while. Guess they were imagining the nature of that conversation.
Well these boys give old Washington the smooth shuffle right enough. We’ll burn that place, they say, they get old Washington to give em’ kerosene to do it with too.
I won’t go into the logistics of it all, I reckon you’ve guessed how the whole thing turns out.
Few hours later Fiddlin’ Joe’s climbin’ that makeshift two-by-four crucifix with a pack full of stolen silver, and a dammn pistol in his hand tryin’ to get down that dang undead mayor while a real kerosene-firestorm kicks off outside.
Well of course in come some parishioners and see Fiddlin’ Joe, a gigantic bug lest we forget, literally climbin’ the walls of the church and loosing a ghoul. They didn’t like it I imagine. Fiddlin’ Joe gunned one of those fellah’s right down and he ran like hell. Not fast enough though. You see, Fiddlin’ Joe had forgotten one of his own rules that he made hisself to keep him safe. That is; you always shoot the magic user first, and you guessed it, that’s just what one of those boys turned out to be. Just one word from that fellah stopped old Joe right in his tracks and up comes his friend with the sword to finish the job.
Now old Joe couldn’t move at all, but there was one thing he could do. What was it? You guessed it! That dang roach just curled hisself right up into a ball! He always had a talent for it. That sword bounced right off. Then smoother than a rats whisker, in comes old Harry Flash to roll off old Joe just like a tumbleweed. Off they roll, sweet as can be and right outside is Paulie pourin’ all that borrowed kerosene over the doors to block off pursuit. It was a hell of a sweet plan.
Course’ that plan went to shit.
Fiddlin’ Joe never could stand to let a plan run smooth. Always had to be doin’ somethin’ regardless if useful or not. So he thinks to hisself;
“Fiddlin’ Joe” (You know by now it’s his nature to name hisself in his own thoughts as I explained to you before. I swear, that Fiddlin’ Joe never had even a daydream without it havin’ a stamped addressed envelope to’ Fiddlin’ Joe’. Anyway.
“Fiddlin’ Joe” he thinks “what we got here is one of those old ranged-weapon situations, and, having thought ahead (as I customarily do), I got just the thing for it.”
Course your thinkin’ that bug had a bow or a gun on him, or maybe a knife or some kind.
No. He threw a cat.
That god-dammn roach reaches right in his pack and whips out, you guessed it, a Hurleycat! A cane-tailed extendable flying cat!
Well Joe fucked that roll too. Never seen anything like it.
That dang Hurleycat ends up wrapped around that innocent pig while the Hoodoo man flails around in spilled kerosene. Quite a sight I’ll tell you, a dang talking bug yankin at the tail of his flyin’ cat which is clawin at the chops sides of that anamorphic pig there while a wizard with silver veins get ready to set em all on fire. And all with a whole heap of upset religious types makin’ fit to kill em all.
They woulda been goners for sure if someone hadn’t remembered that there Bee lady, Yenovel. Well I told you how she wasn’t nothin but an Enh-Pee-See. Seems it turns out that havin’ no animatin’ player preserved her somewhat from the errors of the time. That girl was powered by dice! Her performance was strictly average, and in that group average is above-average if you get my meanin’. She speared those biblical types like a darn shish-kebab and off they run, dang pig bleedin’, wizard makin’ free with some kind a invisible jeeves and poor old Fiddlin’ Joe glitchin in and outta reality and tryin to avoid bein’ killed by his own dang cat!
Tch, players. I tell you there’s no need for them!"