Molly wakes up. She’s stiff and sore and her head hurts like a fucking bastard, enough that she wonders about brain injury. She’s in a cave, and it’s cold, so she figures she’s up the mountain. Unfortunately she’s trussed up to a camp cot, and Ken is sitting nearby on a folding chair wearing his Arctic Ninja shit, and there’s a frost giant standing in the cave entrance. “Sorry, it’s strictly business.” Ken introduces himself and says that he and the party didn’t come to a satisfactory arrangement for her release; they have something he needs, and they didn’t give it up. “I expected them to want you back more.”
“So what is it that you really want?”
“I want to give you something. Just keep it with you, and I’ll let you go rejoin them.”
“So what is this thing?”
Ken pulls out a carved piece of stone, about the size of a small Altoids tin, with a leering Mesoamerican face on it.
Molly tells him she’ll sleep on this generous offer, but in fact she just turns away and quietly tries to figure out what the fuck to do next.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party still has no idea where Molly is, and even if they knew, they don’t feel good about their chances against six frost giants. Casey raises the point that Ken probably could have taken the party, so why didn’t he? Is he unwilling or unable to kill them? Does he think the party is more powerful than they are? Nobody comes up with any brilliant insight that would give the party an angle here, so the decision is made just to trek until the fucking satellite phones start working again, and then make some calls and hopefully get some backup or at least clearer instructions.
About 45 minutes out from the cabin, the phones suddenly start working. Casey calls his dad, but gets voicemail. Raahi calls Professor Sato, but finds that he’s no longer even at the university; his group has returned to Japan and Sato’s not teaching there anymore. Zhou calls Kua, and gets no answer. At least his driver is still safe and bored at the base station.
Molly tries to figure out how to escape and doesn’t come up with anything particularly workable. She tries to scam Ken into untying at least some of her bonds, and he actually
undoes her arms. A number of variably plausible escape plans occur to her but none of them look quite likely enough to try out.
“Have you thought more about my offer? Don’t think too long, we do have limited supplies.”
Molly stonewalls Ken, and he threatens to strand her on the mountain while he goes down the mountain. When she demurs, he starts to get pissed off. “If you were actually considering this at all, you’d ask me what I wanted to give you.” He tells her that the object is a locator, and that "if you were to dispose of it, you might not survive. But, I give it to you, I locate you at a later time, you give it to me, the obligation is broken. " The thingy is actually a carving of Tlaloc holding a cellphone.
Dayna: “What the fuck, Tlaloc.”
Raahi: “It’s like you can’t trust the guy who drowns children.”
Raahi uses his echolocation, looking for Ken’s cave, and makes the interesting discovery that there’s a huge tunnel network underneath the mountain and that it’s fucking full of frost giants. Dozens of the bastards.
Zhou is cold and tired of all this crap. He decides to rustle up a helicopter, under the pretext of a medical evacuation. It’s decided that he’ll take the key back to Seattle and work on the situation from there. The group builds a signal fire at a plausible landing space, and sets up a system of watches.
Ken is incredibly pissed off and frustrated by now. His mood is not improved when she tells him she needs to pee. With ill grace he stalks off out of the cave, and a naked seven-foot blue woman — a frost giant — shows up to guard Molly while she uses the local facilities. On her way, she learns that the cave goes deep into the mountain, farther than she can see; there are also some expensive-looking supply caches here and there in the cave, and the passage leading back into the mountain has some stairs cut into the rock.
Meanwhile, Casey decides to call Tom, the kid who broke into his hotel room. “I admit now, some of the gods are stupid annoying shitface guys.” “No shit.” Tom and Zhou arrange to meet when Zhou gets back to Seattle. “We’re playing this club. Nemo on Pine. I’ll be there after 9pm.”
The helicopter descends. “Who’s got the broken leg?” Zhou stalks up to them with a c-note in each hand, clearly walking effortlessly and painlessly. He gives one to each and drops the God’s Honest on them: “It’s a Type 3 break. Perfectly functional for three days, then it turns to broken glass.” The pilots are utterly bemused by this line of low-effort horseshit. “They didn’t teach us about this in med school. We could take you to the children’s hospital, they handle all kinds of weird shit.” “Sure, fine, whatever. Let’s go.” They do.
Raahi: “I feel like Zhou has completely pulled one over on us.”
Casey: “That inscrutable Asian asshole.”
Meanwhile, Molly has decided on one desperate escape plan. While Ken goes to the cave mouth to check what the helicopter noise is about, she grits her teeth and flips the cot over, breaks her bonds — doing some serious damage to her arms in the process — grabs her stuff, and jumps on it like a luge, charging between Ken’s legs and the two frost giants and off into the darkness. She clears the mouth of the cave and finds herself hanging onto a cot in midair over a seventy-foot chasm.
“I will make this work, I will make this work, I will make this work…” She holds the cot up, bending the framework into a crude parachute. The flimsy construction grabs the air and lands on the snow-covered slope like a leaf. And weirdly, there’s a bright phosphorescent glow a couple of miles away; someone has jammed glowsticks into the snow, and a helicopter seems to be flying away from the location.
“Is morphine indicated for the care of a… Type 3 fracture?”
“No, but the patient should be given a beer at the earliest opportunity.”
Dayna, looking through Molly’s eyes, realizes that the younger woman is on the other side of a ridge that she can see from their improvised camp. She pops out of the trance and yells, “Molly!” Meanwhile, Casey notices that there’s a goddam miniature frost giant approaching the camp! He’s actually thrown his spear and has to summon it back when he realizes it’s Molly.
Molly: “Hi guys. Ken is incredibly pissed off at me and has four or five frost giants. We should leave.”
Raahi: “Actually it’s more like thirty or forty, within about a two mile radius of here.”
With that in mind, they leave immediately, heading back down the hill and exchanging stories along the way, introducing her to Homer and Virgil. Along the way, Raahi calls Zhou and lets him know that Molly’s back, and that they’ll certainly need his driver’s services to get back down off the mountain. “Well, now I feel fucking stupid. Let me make that incredibly important call now. Do drop me a line if anything else of note happens.” He calls the driver and explains the situation, making sure that they’ll have a ride from the base station.
Zhou lands at the children’s hospital and swiftly eludes his erstwhile caregivers, stealing someone’s flowers and passing himself off as a visitor. Outside the hospital, he grabs the South Lake Union streetcar downtown, where he puts the key to the cabin in a lockbox at the post office. Then he grabs the bus up to Nemo’s.
At the club, there’s a band belting out loud screamo-metal; the virtuoso singer-lead guitarist is belting out a bunch of songs about how great his mom was and how much of a shitheel his father was. “We’re Dead Wednesday Dead! Buy some t-shirts so that we can get some time in the studio to make an album!”
The remainder of the party, up the mountain, is trudging down the mountain in the dark, almost falling off Mt. Rainier, and finding a spot to camp for the night.
After the show, Tom grabs Zhou and takes him down the street to a bar to talk. Zhou gives him the story, and Tom basically says that he wants nothing to do with the gods ever ever, and has no means of contacting anyone who’s remotely close to the gods. He hasn’t even seen his father since the guy showed up at one of his concerts and gave him a capo. A fucking capo, that you don’t even need for an electric bass! Ignorant fuck! Zhou sighs and gives Tom his phone number just on the off chance. They agree that the gods are dicks and part awkwardly.
Casey is on first watch, and he notes that a) there are some large things approaching the camp, and b) there’s a bastard of a storm blowing up. He rouses the party and yells out, “WE DON’T HAVE THE KEY!” towards the shambling shapes in the distance. His phone bleeps and he reads the message “sorry didn’t get msg until now” just before the storm arrives and visibility becomes near-zero. The sky lights up as Lugh descends on a beam of light. “That’s my dad!”
“I heard you need some help!”
Casey apprises his dad of the tactical situation, eg, they’re surrounded by frost giants.
“Oh well, it doesn’t seem fair to massacre them all right now. YOU LIVE ON OUR SUFFERANCE! Now, you folks, come, walk with me.”
Lugh takes the group up with him into the beautiful, radiant sky on his beam of light.
Zhou collects the key from the post office and gets a hotel room for the night, someplace with free wifi.
4xp to everyone who was present; 2 extra to Molly for her incredible escape; 1 extra to Zhao for his broken leg sustained in the line of duty; 1 extra to Casey for various awesome moments; 1 to Dayna for strategic and observational comments out of trance. Raahi gets one extra for dry humor.