Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
Episode Two: The Lucky Little Dragon Death Danger
Chillin’ like heroes. Phone call from a lady, Annie Duke. Poker player. Noticed suspicious things in World Poker Tour. Four deaths called accidental, she thinks otherwise, wants to hire investigator who knows about strange side of life. Called Harg Bullock. Offering reasonable pay.
Day 1 – Harg calls everyone to meet at the bookstore. Middle of the afternoon. Harg throws print outs of victims’ dossiers on nearby table. “We have work to do, and it’s on our side,” he says to Reggie. Annie discovered the true nature of the world when helping out some gnomes, and she got a good luck charm from them. The team talks about going down to the casino and just looking around. Evening of Day One, down to Gordon’s (casino, site of one “accidental” death) for poker time.
Harg asks around for anyone who knew the victim, Eve Mason. Gordon’s is open but hasn’t had grand opening yet. Already there’s a rumor about a curse, about the Money Tree casino and now no other casino being able to be built there or anything. Employees know about Mason but aren’t supposed to talk about it, especially in front of customers. They can’t really tell him anything more, so he goes to the police station to talk to old friends. Eve Mason didn’t really have anyone who would benefit from her death. Her parents and boyfriend seemed appropriately upset. Had a rabbit’s foot keychain, business cards.
Meanwhile Reggie and Garth go to the site of the house fire to see what they can see. He brings a Haste the Day CD along to listen to in her Smart car. Except that Alan came too so they went in the Hummer and listened to old southern rock. Not burned to the ground, but part of the roof caved into the second story. Marketa Jasper was the only one who lived there. With her knowledge of arcane lore, Reggie doesn’t notice any sigils or anything obviously magical. Garth decides to go inside and investigate further. Front looks sturdier than the back. Front door has been broken open by rescue personnel, taped with caution tape. Garth takes the rest of the evening to search for Marketa’s good luck charms. Finds key chain, looks like something was pulled off it, possibly while still on fire. Looks like there was fur or something stuck in it. While he’s doing that Reggie searches the yard, finds lots of footprints. Around a basement window, she finds some small footprints that look a little strange, kind of animalistic, hard to tell and they’ve been tracked over. Clawed foot marks. Garth: “Maybe it was a dragon that burnt the house down, and went in and stole the rabbit’s foot, which is actually magical!” He’s slightly hysterical by now. “We should ask Harg if he found out anything about a rabbit’s foot on the woman he was investigating,” Reggie says.
In the very late evening, Harg goes to break into Eve Mason’s apartment. He calls Reggie to find out what they’ve learned. They agree that the rabbit’s foot might have something to do with it—there was nothing on Eve Mason’s keyring, either, but one was logged in her personal effects. Garth, Alan and Reggie plan to go back to the Tattered Cover to do some research. Harg is excited about his new B & E. It might be his favorite part of this job. He manages to pick the lock and gets inside. Many subtle symbols of good luck, faded patches on the wall of things that have been packed up. A store bag for a store called Bell, Book and Candle.
The next day they meet at the Tattered Cover. Reggie wants to find out if the other two victims also had rabbit’s feet. Harg just wants to go straight to Bell, Book and Candle. Garth asks Quarrel if rabbit’s feet can be actually lucky. Quarrel says that they can. “Are Lucky Charms cereal actually lucky?” Garth asks. “Only if you like the taste of those stale little marshmallows.” Garth is satisfied with that.
They go to Bell, Book and Candle. The shopkeeper has hair that almost seems to shimmer and change color magically. Very attractive and very blond. Asks very forcefully if they’ve come to spend money. Alan asks her out on a date and Garth is disappointed that he didn’t get there first. She wants to see Alan’s bank book. It’s healthy, and she’s impressed. (Hello, Anya.) She asks what they want to purchase, and Harg says, “Information.” Shows her a picture of Eve Mason, “Do you know this girl?” “Yes, of course. She buys things. Lots of things. Why do you want to know?” “Well, she was in an accident, and she seemed to come here.” “Well, yes, of course. People come here, and people have accidents. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. But if you think that we’re involved, I think you will find that you are wrong.” He shows her pictures of the others, too. She recognizes them all. “That one talked a lot.” (Captain Morgan.) Eve came in the most and bought a lot of charms.
Harg asks to look at their rabbit’s feet. They don’t have any desert rabbit’s feet (the kind the victims bought) left, but they have others. Some are cheap and touristy, some are dyed funny colors, some appear to have been chopped from actual poor suffering rabbits. “Yes, it’s sad, but that’s capitalism,” says Anya. Anya goes in the back and gets a leatherbound book with records. All four of the victims bought those rabbit’s feet. The last one was bought by a man named John Jones. Harg asks for contact information for her suppliers. Her suppliers are Pam and Jean Remington. Garth leaves a message on their voice mail.
Reggie tries to convince Anya to give her John Jones’ information so they can look him up and protect him from possible danger. “What kind of danger?” “DEATH DANGER.” She is unconvinced. Reggie argues that since the other victims bought the rabbit’s feet about three months ago and died starting about seven weeks ago and have all died since then, Jones is in danger. John Jones bought his two weeks ago, so they need to find him soon. Anya thinks they might be crazy, thinks it might all be a coincidence. She finally gives them a physical description and says he wanders around. So the four are gonna go play blackjack.
They wander to a downtown casino, Little Italy. There a floor manager asks them if they’re visiting, why they’ve come. Harg describes John Jones, says they’re looking for him. Says he’s Harg’s grandfather and Harg is worried about him. The floor manager, Slater Fox, senses something off. John Jones is a chatty old guy and he knows he has no grandchildren. Garth is shocked by the lie. Slater: “Look, I don’t understand why you would come in here lying about our patrons…” “Why would you think it’s a lie?” “Well, A, I talk to a lot of people and I can tell when someone is lying, and B, it seems that I know more about this man than you do.” Reggie and Garth tell him that John Jones is actually in death danger. They’re sincere, but Slater is not quite ready to be on their side. He does tell them that John Jones is a corporate lawyer, a chatty, very nice older man who is well known for walking around the strip and talking to people.
They find his small ad in the phone book. Annie knew enough to know that he was extremely superstitious. So they argue about whether the truth or a cover story would be more believable. Reggie is elected to make the call. A lady for a screening service answers. Reggie tries very hard to convince her that she has very important information that John Jones needs to know immediately, but the lady is unconvinced and hangs up. His address is not on Google. Alan says they should go back to the floor manager and get the name of a current patron of Jones, then call the number again and say, “so and so referred me.” Unfortunately, Harg calls Slater “futsy nuts,” since that’s what Alan called him. That causes some distraction for bit, because “futsy” is not a nice word.
It’s the end of Slater’s shift. He calls over a dealer who knows John Jones. The dealer, Jenny, can’t really give them any more information. But Slater has nothing else to do and is willing to hang out with them for a bit. Reggie suggests that he call the screening service and try to get Mr. Jones to listen to what they have to say. Slater tells the lady that he knows Mr. Jones and is calling in regards to some winnings he left. She writes a note and thanks him.
Fortunately, John Jones then shows up at the casino. Slater says hello and introduces them. They try to convince him that he’s in death danger. He’s very skeptical. Slater, though not totally on board himself, eventually steps in. Still, Reggie comes on too strong. Meanwhile, Alan sneaks away to the magic shop and looks for a rabbit’s foot near identical to the one Jones bought. The rest try to stall for time. Slater by now has become fascinated and wants to know what’s actually going on, and Jones is similarly interested despite himself, especially as Garth becomes more and more hysterical about dragons and swooping and fire and so on. Jones asks if this is one of those things where people film a prank and put it up on “the youtube.”
This train is basically being driven straight into a cliff.
Alan eventually returns. He grabs a salt shaker and a manila envelope from among his gun stuff. Dumps the salt in the envelope. He approaches and enters the madness. He says that this about terrorism. He tells Jones that there are toxic versions of the rabbit’s feet being passed around. He says he has a chemical in the pouch and if he sprinkles it on the rabbit’s foot it will turn red to show that it’s dangerous. Jones hands him his rabbit’s foot, and Alan uses sleight of hand to switch it with the one he just bought. He tells him that it’s white so it’s okay, and he hustles the group away. He hands the rabbit’s foot to Garth, who immediately gives it to Reggie.
It’s a left hind foot. Reggie and Garth go back to the Tattered Cover to do research. Alan buys Slater a drink and talks about weird stuff in the world. Through research, they find that the left hind foot of a rabbit (and a black cat bone) is a common protective item, particularly to scare away nasty magics like necromancy, voodoo, bogeyman. Both can be substituted for a human bone in a certain ritual. In other lore, the rabbit’s foot can be only lucky if it’s left hind foot from a rabbit shot in a cemetery that’s actually a shapeshifted witch (the rabbit, not the cemetery). Other lore says it has to be a full moon, or a new moon, a Friday, rainy Friday, Friday the thirteenth, shot with a silver bullet, cut off while the rabbit’s still alive…
Garth is still a little hysterical and trying to deny things. “Maybe they were just accidents and this was a waste of time and we chased a red herring.” Reggie: “Well, then, we’ll know we’ve chased it until it’s dead. A dead red herring.” “Maybe we didn’t fight kobolds or pixies. And maybe you’re just a person with a pointy ears and maybe he’s just…” nodding to Harg “…big.” “We did fight kobolds and pixies. How did you get that burn on your arm?” “I’m…clumsy.” Quarrel hands him a cup of tea, which Garth drinks while he talks. It turns pink.
So three of them research, two of them get drunk, and three have fun while they’re doing it, and they learn a lot about rabbit’s feet.