The Fixer From Boston – Chapter Twelve

The Fixer From Boston – Chapter Twelve

Friday 17th April 1925 – The Decline and Fall of Jimmy Wiseacre:

10:00pm – Going For Wiseacre – Continued

Entering Wiseacre’s ostentatious country retreat through the shattered remains of the double front doors, McGee and McNifey enter the lobby area, taking care to keep under the footprint of the floor above. Lets hope Sloane is not here. I can feel cold beads of sweat trickle down my back.  An angry marriage of fear and anticipation knot my stomach.

I head over to a closed door on the west side and prise it open. Inside it is dark. I reach for a stick of dynamite.

Then all hell breaks loose in a room to south of the entrance hall. Morello has part wedged shut a door that exits the library. Someone pushes at the door, trying to force their way through it. They have taken Ed and Morello’s bait and the trap is sprung.  Ed loses a blast from his weapon and the unmistakeable squeal of a deep one rings out.

McNifey moves across to join me, covering with his Tommy gun and keeping dog on the upper floor.

The mansion is dark and sombre in the wan dawn light.

I roll the dynamite into the darkened room, hoping to distract anyone within. The fuse fizzes briefly…then nothing….a goddam dud. A make a note to visit the scum bucker who ripped us off and collect a refund…in blood and teeth.

I change tack and run to the library where I find Morello and Ed curiously reluctant to follow after the leaking deep One. I intend to circle around to the other side of where the deep one came from, which looked possible on the map the mercenary gave us.

As I cajole Cherry, he looks beyond me waving a hand towards a heavy fog that is mysteriously forming outside.  We voice concern at the instant there is a crackling coalescence of unnatural static energy. Two dark and shambling anthropoid creatures emerge from between Cheery and Ed.

Their rugose, dead-eyed rudiments of heads swayed drunkenly from side to side. Their forepaws were extended with talons spread wide, and their whole bodies were taut with murdererous malignity despite their utter lack of facial description.

Ed gets the drop and fires an impaling shot with his Mondragon blasting the foul shambling beast into oblivion. It evaporates almost immediately.

As the other creature lumbers ominously towards Morello, the Italian ratchets his trench gun and fires a hefty blast into it, but it staggers on towards him, just as it reaches out to embrace the Ghost with its monstrous claws, he manages to fire his second shot. Fortunately it is a devastating blast which throws the creature backwards, hard against a bookcase. Within moments this beast is also dissolving, bubbling in a noxious ferment of unwholesome stinking froth.

I can hear creaking from floor above. McNifey moves up the stairway and Ed heads out and up to join him. I estimate that it must have come from Wiseacre’s bedroom.

On the ground floor Cherry checks the corridor next to library, making out a luminous, slimy trail heading down a stone staircase. I head over to the open library window pull it closed and draw the curtains. The sea fog is getting thicker. Trapping us within its clammy grasp.

At the bottom of the stone stairs is a closed, thick wooden cellar door, barely perceptible in the unlit gloom.

Behind another doorway at the top of stairs Morello hears the sound of a young woman, with what sounds like a vaguely European accent, but praying in English.

Best to leave her here where she is safe.

Upstairs McNifey readies a stick of TNT and under- arms it to the door leading into Wiseacres inner sanctum. The door makes little protest as it is blown off its hinges.

McNifey musters all his Irish charm and wit and offers Wiseacre a few ideas on personal hygiene and his ethnicity.

Wiseacre’s pompous reply is all hellfire, brimstone and Dante. The guy’s a cheesy corn ball. With a heavy ham topping.

McNifey laughs out loud.

McNifey: “Games up Wiseacre, you ain’t so wise now you chump!”

He is joined by Morello who hears chanting coming from W’s bedroom, which has its entrances bricked up.

Morello: “Magic!?”

I sprint across the stairway to where door’s been blown off. Looking to run in and catch W unawares.  We reach the inner door which leads off to a sumptuously appointed lounge – could this be where the safe is?

I blow apart the door lock and McNifey, who is backing me up, kicks open the bedroom door.

Inside Wiseacre stands facing outwards facing a floor to ceiling window that is wide open.

Flying outside, as if at his command is foul manifestation that is part rotting zomboid corpse, part crow, part flying mole and part insect. There flapped rhythmically a tame, trained, hybrid winged thing. It was not altogether a crow, nor mole, nor buzzard, nor ant, nor decomposed human being, but something that should not and must not be recalled. A foul Byakhee.

I fire a rapid blast of buckshot at his back and hit, but curiously some shot drops short – has he got magical protection or a bullet proof vest.

He’s still standing and goes to jump out of the window into the arms of the beast to be borne away – I curse this jumped up coward.

I shoot again, a savage blow that drops him to the thick shag pile carpet upon which he starts oozing crimson bodily fluid.

McNifey shoots beyond and out the window at the creature. A short burst that decimates the creatures wings and removes its head from its thorax. It drops 20’ to the ground below in a jumble sale of unholy body parts.

Wiseacre’s floored, bleeding out but still alive and offering threats.

Ed and Cherry stay with the body and administer a lead injection to his cranium.

I reach down and pick up his valise. Inside it contains a 6” piece of glowing coral, some cash and a silver gourd.

He also has a fancy watch, manilla envelope with deeds inside and a set of brass knuckles.

Damn! I remembered the coral statuette in the lead box in the truck. We don’t want those fishmen running off with it, so McNifey and I run to upper front room – Ickerson’s room – which is, unsurprisingly, full of luxurious designer clothes, jewellery and perfumes. We blow the door lock and I rush in – slap bang into an invisible barrier behind the door; breaking my nose in the process. Does this craziness never end?

There’s a hand written note on her make-up table –

“I told you couldn’t get in here you goon!”

We rush downstairs, with Ed and Cherry not far behind.  As we descend the main stairway we hear the sound of something large settle upon the roof.

SShhh! I whisper, unnecessarily. Two of us are gonna throw dynamite (Me and Cherry). Ed throws a body out through the doorway onto the gravel drive. McNifey is set to cover us with his tommy gun.

A disembodied voice echoes through the fog from above…

Sloane: “Thanks you for saving me a job, he was becoming quite a handful and rather unruly. If you hand over the coral I will let you go unharmed.”

My God, it’s Sloane. It has to be!!  How the hell did he get here and how the hell do we play this!!

He knows about a few things that we can’t figure. But how come he doesn’t know where the coral is?

MaGee: “We weren’t stupid enough to bring it here.”

I lie.

Then go and get it and I will spare the girl (though he can’t be sure where she is, I’m sure).

MaGee: “But we want paying first – in gold.”

Sloane: “Wiseacre has been rather greedy but you can have what is left it’s at the Gentlemen Loser.”

Morello and McNifey then hear a noise from the rear of the mansion.

I carry on talking to keep Sloane and his ego, distracted. The others slip out to the door in the library that leads to the stone stairwell. Morello can hear unshod feet.

Sloane lets slip that Wiseacres piece of coral is a WAND! Does that mean he doesn’t care?

Apparently Ickerson is her own gal and he clearly respects her and her abilities.

Inside, through the open doorway a deep one emerges and is greeted by a heavy shower of propelled buckshot. It drops…battered

McNifey swivels and shoots its pal sending, various pieces in different directions.

Beyond, the sound of chanting leaks out. Ed leaps past them and drops low, shooting twice at what’s beyond:  a vast impenetrable darkness that sucks light from all around accompanied by the foetid stench of rot and death.

What lurks beyond?

Upstairs, I take out the coral wand and clasp it; there is a pulse of energy but nothing more.

Meanwhile the blackness spreads outwards as far as the doorway and stops. The flare fired at it has no effect.

Whatever it is, is struggling to burst through the doorframe.

Sloane: “The wrecking crew are here, I suggest you go and retrieve my coral!”

Taunts Sloane.

MaGee: “You won’t find it with us dead.”

I reply.

The darkness has stopped but McNifey has already committed to throwing his last stick of dynamite. An ear shattering roar, a cloud of dust and debris and the darkness disappears. McNifey finds another pile of fishy flesh beyond the doorway – another sea witch!?

I decide to step outside and toward the lorry, taking out my Mondragon for range. The fog is now slowly receding.

I reverse the van, waiting for the fog to recede enough to get a view of the roof.  In the interim I stall the van as a ruse and go inside to get the girl.

Morello gets the Bentley out of garage.

We begin to drive away. Then abruptly stop. I fire at Sloane who is perched on a flying creature on the roof. I shoot and hit but the thick fog means my shot was extremely tricky

Sloane takes the hint and flies off.

We decide to stay and ambush Ickerson and her bodyguard.

We set up Wiseacres body in the Bentley, smothered in blood and other bodies. Morello hides in the back seat. Two of us hide in the gate house. Ed is hidden behind our truck with rifle at the ready to sniper at Ickerson.

We are now all disguised, hidden or concealed.

I’ll take the role of a mercenary.

Just after 8AM we make out the sound of a Sedan approaching. It pulls up to the metal gates. I call out their password.  The mercenary in the sedan makes a slick manoeuvre rolls out of the moving car and shoots his shotgun passenger stone dead.

Berkley fires but misses,

McNifey fires a short burst into the car and kills another goon.

Morello hits another and kills him with his second shot.

Ickerson is starting to sing.

Slumped across the back seat next to her is Elizabeth Prendergast. She isn’t moving.

Morello calls on her to surrender. Then fires his trench gun.

Ickerson throws up her arm in an open handed gesture and seems to halt the shot in mid-air!!

Ed misses again.

McNifey rolls out of the gatehouse window and moves towards the sedan.

I move towards Ickerson’s side of the sedan.

Ed misses again. Morello doesn’t but again she blocks his shot with her arcane power.

I approach and order her to surrender. Finally she relents and her hands go up.

Ed is keen to finish her.

They all do. The boys have got the lust, but I want to question her. She’s worth more alive than dead

We take off her gold necklace.  Gag and bind her.

We check on Elizabeth. Broken up plenty but still just about alive.

We leave her for now after making sure she’s comfortable.

Ickerson’s got smarts; she knows when to stick or twist and doesn’t hold anything back under interrogation.

Apparently Wiseacre got the crazies about Prendergast and tortured her to death. She clearly didn’t like the man hence the force field (how did she manage that!?), but he was a useful conduit.

Though Ickerson was in charge of the handing over of coral she couldn’t handle Wiseacre, but he was terrified of Sloane.

They needed to power the Coral statuette which is a powerful relic. (WHAT WAS IT’S PURPOSE??) by using human energy, which she leached using her song of enchantment. Unfortunately, not everyone succumbed and if they were inquisitive they had to be disposed of.

Atlantic City proved perfect because of the transient population.

Wiseacre was a useful veneer but the deeds show he only owned 10% of the Gentlemen Loser and Pink Feather. Sloane owned the rest.

Her cousin Amelia is not a deep one, though related she does not have the blood.

The Deep One we released is now in Yahanithlie.

She entreats us to give her the coral and I will use it to protect us against a great evil. It will not be used against your kind. We failed because of Wiseacre and I am sorry for this. There is a portal downstairs that takes us elsewhere. There are many, many of us there.

Her apologies are pointless but I do believe her and anyway what the hell are we going to do with a piece of magical coral that can kill a man just by touching it.

McNifey and Morello don’t like it and start getting curiously moral, but I can see opportunity for us.

I tell her we want Fish Necklaces – which she tells us also hold power for casting spells as well as protecting us. She is strangely non committal to this. Perhaps it was too much of a reach but worth a shot. Still we got the car, the real estate and the safe contents of the Gentleman Loser. I think we can safely say that we’ve come out on top.

There is a portal in the basement that Sloane (who returns on his Beeyaki), and Ickerson must pass through and can then be destroyed using dynamite.

We can get out of this whole crazy mess in one piece. We are the proud owners of two prime pieces of Atlantic City real estate, plenty of cash and some great stories.

Yes, we have given up the noxious coral but whatever was going on with it in Atlantic City has been stopped. We have to take Ickerson at her word but she did say that would not be used to harm mankind. We can only hope that that’s actually the case. We don’t even know what it really was or what they were doing with it. Probably we never will.

We will need to figure out how to get at the safe in the Gentleman Loser when all of Atlantic City’s finest are crawling all over it but the deeds from Wiseacre’s bag mean that, in theory, it’s ours now, as is Wiseacre’s Mansion too.

But for now, it’s time to lay low for a while. It has all got a mite strange in this burg. Boston will be a welcome return to normalcy.

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