Bloody Philly - Session 1

Walking the Line (Rob)

Occurs roughly 2-3 weeks before Jerome's Embrace

Bill Henderson - mech lead on CV-22 project. By Bob's assessment, only guy without head up ass
Pavi and Carl - young fuckups
Chang - engineering oversight of MRO
Mrs. Osaki - "independent buyer" visiting the plant looking for info on H-47s
Frank Peller - management
Jeff Collins - trusted line worker under Rob; ex-Navy
Bill Henderson - Rob's corollary on the V-22 line
John "Mack" MacDonald - trusted line worker under Rob

Key Points:

  • Carl and Pavi playing hell with line again
  • Put Jeff and Mack on watch - Jeff to watch Carl, Mack to watch Pavi
  • Called in by Frank to talk to a customer - wants information about the quality, etc., and customization technical details
  • "Rotor incident" caused by Carl
    • Osaki jumps out of way and deflects rotor
    • Rob "decides to assume" she's trained in one of them there martial arts and just happened to hit the rotor just right to deflect it

Days later, taken to "breakfast" (dinner) w/ Osaki and her boss. During meet, Osaki leaves for bathroom just before Jerome's is hit by "drive-by" full of automatic weapons fire (probably SMGs and/or machine pistols). Rob dives toward boss-man to get both to floor, but as he's moving, he's hit in the 10-ring by a .45. Last thing he remembers as he loses consciousness is boss-man's face w/ "Oh fuck", then leaning down toward him.

Wakes up feeling odd in trunk of car. Hollers for help and, finding no trunk release, starts kicking out tail lights. Car pulls into bay in some sort of warehouse. Long interaction with boss-man and Osaka, basically disbelieving the whole situation. Manages to keep self under control for a long time, but finally overwhelmed by Osaka's offer of blood and feeds on her. Convinced to leave with boss-man, but still doesn't exactly believe what he's told is happening to him.

Welcome to Jerome's (Jerome)

It's a cold winter evening in Philadelphia. Jerome wakes up. Breakfast is leftover cold cuts. He rides the bus to work for the graveyard shift at Jerome's. 3 homeless people, one of whom is trying to sleep. A couple of young men in leather jackets but displaying no obvious gang affiliation are joking around in the back seat. A few blue-collar types. Jerome's demeanor is generally respectful and friendly. In particular, he doesn't avoid making eye contact with the homeless as people can sometimes tend to do. These particular ones ignore him. Probably just grateful that this particular bus has a working heater.

Jerome arrives at work. The place has a capacity of 30 persons according to that sign on the wall, (but the most Jerome has ever seen in here was probably more than forty, not counting the Great Dane or the Tuba.) Currently business is a little slow. A few homeless people nursing cups of coffee. A white businessman and an asian businesswoman having dinner over near the window. A college student in the corner taking bites of food while reading. A few punks in one of the booths, one of whom has a bright green mohawk. They've all been served.

As Jerome is tying on his apron, an attractive woman dressed in a leather jacket walks in. The punks hoot and holler at her, but she ignores them. She orders a coffee, and Jerome serves her, then walks around doing refills, makes a little small talk. Jerome tries to suss out any particular mood his patrons are in, but it seems to be just another evening. (Note to self: ones EAT successes in this game!) Puts out good vibes. After he returns to the counter, the woman in the biker leathers strikes up a conversation:

"Are you the proprietor?"

"I am. Jerome runs a tight ship."

"I've heard this place does the second best cheesesteak in all of Philadelphia."

"Jerome is not a proud man. But if there's a better cheesesteak in town, I have yet to taste it. Where have you been eating?"

"Philly Phil's claims to have the #1 cheesesteak in town." (Note: GM was tired and had to make up a name on the spot— assuming this is not canonical given the serious tone he has otherwise tried to cultivate, and will be replaced with a better name later.) I use area knowledge: Philadelphia. Philly Phil's is a mediocre-quality chain with strong branding and multiple locations. They're featured in all the tourist guide books and advertise a lot, but the food is only okay. Basically the McDonalds of the cheesesteak world.

"Philly Phil is an excellent businessman. But here at Jerome's, we understand that a sammich is a work of art. It must be crafted exquisitely to meet the needs of the customer. So. What can Jerome cook for you this fine evening?"

"Give me your finest cheesesteak. It's for a friend."

"Does your friend like onions?"


"What about peppers? Your friend like peppers?"

"He does."

"What kinda cheese does your friend want on that?"

"How about… All of them."

A chuckle forms in the back of Jerome's throat, with the slightest hint of mad scientist in there. He begins by throwing a little cheese directly onto the frying surface to burn. At one point, he adds a tiny spoon of bacon fat. He caramelizes the vegetables in the resulting mess. Liquid Smoke absolutely does not come anywhere near this product at any point, yet the restaurant begins to smell of smoke and delicious char, kinda like a Burger King exploded. There is real smoke, and a little bit of real fire, which is quickly stamped out with a spatula. There are now tiny blackened bits of char in the mess. These are intentional. He sops up some of the excess grease on the grill with the bread, which he then fries on the grill. Then he scoops the hot gooey steaming pile onto the bread, throws it into a cardboard tray, wraps paper around it almost as an afterthought and slips it into a paper bag, which he quickly folds shut.

"Will your friend be enjoying a beverage with his meal?" Jerome asks as he quickly scrapes the diner grill clean. The entire place smells of fat and grease and delicious smoke. People who have already eaten are staring enviously.

"No, just the sandwich."

Jerome low-balls the price of the sandwich a little bit. "For you… eight dollars even. 8.52 after tax, but what are you gonna do?"

She pays and says to put it under the bread-warmer "to keep it fresh."

"Always." Parts of the paper bag are already turning clear by this point. The other player quips "It's the window to FLAVOR."

"I notice there are quite a few customers in your place who shouldn't be able to afford it… or whom other businesses would even refuse to serve." She glances towards the homeless and the guys dressed like her.

Jerome shrugs. "People are just people. Just tryin' to get by. Besides. I find you lose more by turning people away than by helping 'em out."

"Aren't you worried about keeping your business profitable?"

"This restaurant wouldn't be here if I couldn't turn a profit. I'm just trying' to get by, same as anybody. We're doin' all right."

"Do you have children? Or a wife to support?"

After a pause: "Jerome is still looking for that special someone."

"Aren't we all… Do you like helping people?"

Another pause. "There are other people in this city doing a far better job of helping the needy. I'm just doing what I can. We run a few specials. Maybe I give a sandwich or two away here or there…"


Jerome shrugs. "Why not?"

She smiles at that and says she's ready to take her sandwich now. Jerome tells her to get it home quickly and serve it hot. Perception check. He hears a whistle just as she's reaching the end of where she's visible through the window, and Jerome thinks he sees her chuck the sandwich into a alley without even slowing down. Jerome just assumes that either she signaled someone and threw the sandwich to them, or he's going to have a huge mess in the alley to clean up when he takes out the trash later.

In fact, there's just a bum sitting in the alley. No sign of the sandwich. Jerome says good evening to him and asks if he needs to warm up.

Also, Jerome noticed that the asian woman was watching the biker chick intently as she left the building.

Later, one of the other managers asks if Jerome can switch shifts with him for a few days. His mother is going to be undergoing treatment soon, and he wants to be there for her. It's already known that she has cancer. Jerome says sure.

Later, as Jerome is heading home, he sees the sun rising, turning the sky orange and pink. I quip that the best part of the sunset is how it surely isn't foreshadowing anything at all.

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