16: ARE YOU AWARE?
Dr. Barrow steps back as the desiccated eyes in the severed head focus on him, and the lip curls back, muscles visible, to show rotten teeth now wet with his blood.
“Oh. Hello. I’m... not really briefed on what to do next.”
The head bares its teeth.
“If only I’d brought along some lungs.”
He steps away. The eyes follow.
“I’ve seen the ‘blink once for yes, twice for no’ thing in films... Are you aware?”
The eyes do not blink.
He grabs his notepad, and doodles an owl.
The head looks at him more than the pad.
“Maybe I need an actual physical thing... the biosciences building might have stuffed owls...”
On the way out, he sends a text to Pavel. “You won’t believe what happened to me tonight.”
Pavel is at the computer, looking over the body’s history.
“Dead eighteen months... nothing unusual about him until...”
He sees the text and gets his coat.
“What did you do?”
“I, ah, brought the head back to life. Probably just temporarily. It, ah, appeared to animate spontaneously in the presence of vitae.”
Pavel gives the doctor a stern look as he follows him to the lab.
Where the head is now gone.
Pavel checks the room for prints before the approaching dawn forces them away.
Valia calls her friends in construction to double check that the tunnel has indeed been concreted shut.
“Pity... I was wondering what’s back there.” Dr. Barrow shrugs.
Pavel looks at him disapprovingly as he mentions his curiosity.
The doctor returns to the sewers, to find a shadowy figure in his way.
“So, ah, we discovered a breach of your security. An... animated corpse on the loose. It was clawing at a section of tunnel, so we advised the Magistrate’s man Leonetti, who blocked it off. Not the most informative way, but safe, I think... Do you want someone to look into this?”
A hint of movement in the dark.
“Oh. I am now a minion. I feel so much safer. Since I’m not dead, can I go now?”
Tracing his way back, he finds an old and annotated map of the storm drains stuck to the fatberg. He glances around, and takes it.
This was the end of the previous session, but the car crash fascination of the rest of the group encouraged me to make it a separate chapter...
“I’m wondering how much blood you need to feed this skull before it starts whispering dark secrets of the universe.”
“Oh no, he’s doing it.”
I wasn’t really sure how to play a possessed severed head, so I opted for glaring. I also considered the head doing nothing, or exploding in a shower of gore, or having an owl-like flying shape made of congealed blood burst out of it, but this seemed like the way to go. Of course, the Brood Mother gives him the silent treatment as well. It’s kind of a default, I suppose...