I showed up close to 7pm and given that the only ones I saw were Ian, Sean, Sam, Jackie, Aaron and Lowteck, I was a little worried the game would be called on account of rain, despite the "rain or shine" notice on the site. I caught up with folks and more people started filtering in. We talked rules, teams were forming, and oh shit
I don't have a team. I asked Jane McG if she and Kiyash needed more team members, but they thought they'd be cutting out early. Fortunate finally smiled when I saw Britt again and got to meet Amber and Joshua in person for the first time, as well as Amber's roommate Adam. Sweet. Losing time being teamless, I got all assertive, landed a spot on their team, and Team Lovecats was solid.
So, i think we picked Team Lovecats as a name simply because Amber knew it would irritate me. It backfired, because I've never been more proud to be a lovecat. Growwr. I was also really glad to meet Jason for the first time since our little Potted Plant Adventure
back in aught six.
We trailed another Team to the first Checkpoint, and had a little trouble until we realized there was more then one person we needed to talk to. (Ian's Mom clued us in.)
I actually had a suspicion that there was a second clue somewhere in the garage, given the differences in the backgrounds of two of the starting photos and the fact that it said "first three checkpoints" in the game materials. But we didn't see anything so we headed on down and across the street. Mrs. Kizu did indeed let slip that there was another clue on the roof, which we afterwards were able to find. (The guy there... PopsBlair
, I think... said he had just got there so it's possible we might've missed him the first time.)
We quickly figured out the Lexington clue (strangely enough, a block down the street from the place of a friend of mine who, due to a back injury, was not able to come to the game) and a few other pieces of visual puzzle, but we still couldn't practice law. We had to do something about that.
Then we tromped off to take the Bar, missing the bus we needed we decided to walk, and lost one of our member (Amber's Roommate Adam, who is not a player) when he wussed out from the rain. But he left with one of our evidence pieces! Jason sensed an ambush at the canal and we had an elaborate plan to get across unharmed but didn't see any chasers.
Seriously, evil agents: always cover the bottlenecks.
The Bar was mostly uneventful (B was the better Ketchup and anyone who doesn't think so is stupid) [I totally lied and put down A, thinking it was a trick question about socialism. -J7au]
and afterwards we ran into a very nervous and in-character Orion, who I wasn't sure of at first but he proved very helpful in warning us about dangers across the tracks. Soon we saw this mysterious man in a brown jacket, umbrella & hat. His face was fleshtones so we approached. Then the train went by, and he was gone. Shivers ran up and down my spine and I turned 90 degrees and moved laterally to his position. The rest of the team crossed the street tentatively, and I saw the Man again behind an electrical box. He stepped out towards Amber & Jason and I saw his face was a hideous visage of bandage! MASK MASK! I yelled and the team scattered, I stood there, daring this man to chase after me. Which, seeing I was standing still, he did.
Now I have a bit of a bum foot, but with my long legs I am very, very fast. I soon out-distanced him and found myself out of breath and separated from my team. With a little use of the shadows and some good timing, I snuck back past where the chaser was and down south to try and meet up with my teammates. I found Britt and via high-tech communications we arranged to meet Amber & Jason at the 22nd st. Caltrain station. they had their own little adventure which I hope they will recount here.
So honestly I have no idea what the fuck happened when our masked evil agent went after Joshua. I know that Amber and I ended up on the original side of the tracks, unable to cross, and this guy driving a white boxy car with a Caltrain logo on it starts circling the lot, talking on his cellphone, which I can overhear him saying something about having something he has to check out (meaning: us). I waited to talk to the guy, who was wondering first off if we were okay (as he had witnessed us fleeing an evil agent) and what we were doing there, so I said that we were there as part of a larger game. He then warned us about going under the underpass because "there are homeless people there, there are needles there, people have been raped and murdered there" -- generic scare-tactics. Also he said he could call the police and have us ticketed for trespassing which, despite the potential points to be had there, did not sound like a good time. We were trying to leave, anyway, before he showed up. Basically we got the "get out" speech and he drove off.
We didn't leave immediately, talking to Orion and the other person with him again, and we managed to nab the other piece of evidence that he had hinted at before, and which we forgot about because Lovecats wanted to go investigate the guy across the tracks first.
So Britt and I hiked our asses up Potrero Hill, my foot kind of hurt at that point but Dr. J. Daniels had the prescription for me. We checked some of the footbridges above the highway looking for the notary we knew was ‘above the freeway’ and found Ian and Sean hanging out in the rain. This was the moment of truth between Britt and I, and as I passed my evidence he caught a glimpse of the white dove in the photo, and objected to it being notarized. It was clear, he was for the Defense, and I, the Prosecution. Then he tried to submit something, but I was having none of that nonsense.
Meanwhile, Amber and I didn't know how we were going to get across the tracks. We still had our masked evil agent visibly lurking about, and we every time we started making for the tracks, we saw the boxy white car driving by... that guy was circling around making sure we didn't try anything. What the fuck.
At one point, the evil agent reemerged and tried beckoning us over. He was saying something but we couldn't hear what over the din of the freeway and just the distance between us. We thought he was saying, "C'mon over! I won't chase you too hard!" and we said, "Ha ha, evil agent, we're not buying that." (Turns out it was Rubin saying that we could cross and he was going to give us a pass, but we couldn't make that out and we weren't taking our chances."
Now, the problem with being told not to trespass and to get out when you've already done some trespassing to get in
is that the authority rarely tells you what options you have to get out. A phone call to Joshua had sorted out that we were going to meet up at 16th and 6th to head down to Caltrain, but the only way out left to us was going in the opposite direction. If we crossed the tracks, we'd find boxy car guy and a chance to get points for having a run-in with the cops while doing a task. Checking the map after the fact, what we should've done is gone back under the freeway and gone east on the next street, but I was a yutz and didn't check the map, and we ended up going west down the street remaining. It took us back north
which was even worse, but we had a pleasant chat about the game so far. And then we both came to the realization that we were heading right to the Caltrain station on 4th Street. And if our intended destination overall was the 22nd Street Caltrain station... hey, wait. Why couldn't we just take Caltrain to Caltrain?
I called Joshua and told him of our new plan, and we agreed to meet up at 22nd Street. At the station, we saw at least a dozen people sitting around with no trains going anywhere, which isn't the best sign. Checking the posted schedule, we found that we would have to wait 30 minutes for the next train, and it was already 9:30. Amber found the bus map and we saw that busses 15 and 91 would take us right down to a couple of blocks from our goal, and they picked up right out front. We went outside again to see if that was a viable option, and luck was with us when two minutes later, a 15 showed up on the corner. We got on and headed down 3rd Street, south back down to the Dogpatch. I got us out one station too early, so we had a bit of an extra walk, but in doing so, we discovered that there was some life on 3rd after dark, passing a fancy wine bar and a couple other places.
We made it to the station and found a friendly caltrain worker who asked “if we were in the scavenger hunt?” and said he didn’t want to give anything away but basically told us where the clues were. Then I met a bum who didn’t have anything to do with the game but was very friendly. It was 9:45. Jason & Amber showed up, we were reunited and it felt so goooood.
For sure, meeting back up after Rubin's quite effective job of scattering the team was awesome. They had apparently only been waiting a couple minutes for us, so our timing was good. Amber and I learned that some sort of notarization attempts and objections occurred and that the other two had discovered that they were on opposite sides of the case... uh oh! But being sly, they wouldn't tell us who was who.
Suddenly, a car passed us as we decided to go. And it was THAT GUY IN THE BOXY WHITE CALTRAIN CAR. What?! I called after the car, "Dammit, you given us a ride,
We decided to eschew the locations further west because we were running out of time. So we headed to Warm Cove Park or whatever, which was dicey. The Light and the end of the one way street made me nervous, so our team fanned out across the road ready for more action.
Aaron told me at the afterparty that when the Lovecats were approaching, he was glad to see another team of players making it to their checkpoint, but when we spread out across the street in anticipation of having to flee another evil agent, that he thought he and Lowteck were toast. "Oh shit, those aren't players," he told me he thought, "they're coming to kick our asses." Our bad, Aaron!
Haha, sorry Aaron. But thanks for the whiskey and juice. This was a much needed respite in what felt like hostile territory.
We got one piece of evidence off the bat, and another for all doing a shot of whiskey (and I was to find that whiskey and I do not mix well, but c'est la vie). Lowteck told us that their was a third piece of evidence to find on the way out... all we had to do was find the balloon lady. We hadn't seen anyone on our way in, but... okay! He assured us we'd find her on the way out. We thanked them and headed back towards 3rd, and after we were a block or so away, Lowteck busted out the bullhorn: "FIND THE BALLOON LADY!" Hee hee!
We were almost to 3rd when... ta da. A business van marked "The Balloon Lady." I'm really glad no police drove by because these guys totally looked like they were casing the van to break in when looking for evidence. Finding nothing, we saw that the next van was also labeled "The Balloon Lady." And the next big moving truck. It was on the last that we found some photos under the windshield wiper.
We kept on trucking. Journeying up 3rd street looking for one of the buildings that matched the one in the picture, we found it, and after puzzling over the angle the picture was taken at, realized that we needed to go back up to one of the highway crossovers.
There I found Ian, and hoping he could notarize some evidence I double-timed it to outdistance my more laggard teammates. [Don't think I didn't notice you were doing that... -J7au]
I got there in time, and whipped out my one piece of innocent evidence. Piratey was there too and she strenuously objected to me submitting evidence. Ian and her wrestled over the interpretation of the rules but in the end I prevailed, and Ian got a slug of whiskey for his troubles (feed SF0 Booze). The rest of the team caught up, and we were on our way to the last point we were sure of, the hospital.
What Josh fails to mention is that I caught up to hear everyone discussing something about notarizing evidence, and I figured our guy just pulled a fast one. But I had no way of knowing if he pulled a fast one that I, as a defense lawyer, would approve of. It was time to find out. I pulled out the evidence I had in my possession and started sorting out the guilties to give to Ian. "Objection!" Josh would say with each one, and "Right, I'm sure you do," I would say in return. Britt and Amber caught up while this was going on, and Britt was okay with everything I was trying to get notarized, while Amber didn't say anything. When I was done, I said, "Wait... Joshua, you're the only prosecutor here?"
"What? No, Amber's on the prosecution too. Right?"
"Yeah," said Amber.
Ah hah. The lines were clearly drawn now.
Ian told us it was a straight shot over the hill to the hospital, and we figured we had time left, so we decided to give it a go. We started the hike over Potrero.
We ran into Nicolery’s team close to there and they told us to be on the lookout for chasers at the hospital. Thusly prepared and by now very soaked and exhausted, we trekked west.
Joshua's better at climbing hills than the rest of us, and Amber and I were falling behind. Britt was staying behind with us, but I said, "If he gets there first, he's going to notarize innocence evidence on the sly." Britt made sure to keep up with Mr. Kelly to make sure no one got the upper hand before we could all get there. Britt, you are awesome, and I and our client thank you. :)
We had a difficult time trying to find the overpass to get over the 101, and I believe we missed some clues in the park there. By now it was 10 minutes till eleven, and we were getting tired and desperate, suddenly we found the overpass, huzzah!
At the hospital I was on high alert, even the EMTs looked suspicious, but it was without incident. We found Sean and the last few clues and caught a cab back to the party, (with permission from our notary). Although the prosecution dropped their guard and the defense was able to get away with some notarizing shenanigans while I was finding the last clue. We also met up with Team Cam and Al, and were glad to see them.
Well, hey, I didn't think I'd be able to get anything notarized, but suddenly Josh was away getting evidence and everyone else was standing around talking, and I realized I was alone with the notary, so.... "Hey, can you notarize this? And this? And this? Wait, I've got more." I was actually kind of panicking, as now I though I had lost some evidence and I was being totally inconspicuous digging through my bag looking for it. Fortunately, the only person who clued in was Britt, and he tried to slip me some more guilty evidence, but I wasn't paying enough attention. Still, Britt was able to get his evidence notarized behind the van as they were loading up.
There was only room in the Kizumobile for three more, which went to Amber, Al Gae and Cameron, as the lads were being all chivalrous and letting the ladies have the immediate ride. (I tried claiming that I was kind of a lady, thinking maybe my EquivalenZ affiliation and our attempts to blur the lines of gender, among other things, could be used in my favor, but no dice.) The rest of us walked down the hospital courtyard to Potrero Avenue, where we soon caught a taxi-van that Sean could direct to the party.
At the party, we learned it was EVIL RUBIN
who chased us! We had a good chuckle. This was also when I discovered that the Defense did an end run around us and got most of the guilty evidence notarized! We immediately fired the intern responsible and had a beer.
The look on Amber and Josh's faces as Britt and I counted our guilties and innocents but kept saying, "Notarized, notarized, notarized..." was priceless.
Our first count turned up with 27 total photographs gathered, and an Innocent verdict. That actually, surprisingly, put us in the lead out of all teams, and Piratey Monkey demanded a recount. Fair enough. Turns out we had some duplicate photos we didn't know were dupes, and our count went down to 23. We were not the night's winners, but still, not a bad total at all!
The party was fun, but we were tired and wet, and split soon after the verdict was read and the winning team congratulated.
All around it was a great night. The other players we encountered were competitively good natured and despite the pouring rain (which heightened the atmosphere) we had a blast. The next day my foot looked like an eggplant hanging off my ankle, but it was totally worth it.
The next day I could barely leave the apartment, heading out only once to scrounge for dinner. I was sore and with a slight hangover. Whiskey, oh whiskey... how could you?