The Midnight Zeppelin

Party Crashers

With a little investigation, Don Seeker learned that Ian Benden – black sheep son of the sponsors of the ball – owns the Wheel and Keg tavern, a working-class establishment a few blocks dockside of the site of the ball. Don makes an appointment with this gentleman, and is directed to a Suite 507 of slightly seedy office building, which the Bendens also own. Unsurprisingly, Don is ambushed, and given a very clear message to "Stay away from the party."

Don stakes out an empty market across the street from the Wheel and Keg, and intercepts the rest of our heroes before they enter. After seeing Don's assailant enter the tavern, our heroes decide to see what's going on, crossing the street in ones and twos. Vera tells the bartender that she wants to talk to "the boss" and slides the ace of spades across the bar.

It's a boisterous place, which quiets down when Laura and Blake enter, but people resume talking to try to ignore their bickering. Vinnie and Stefan go directly to the back room; Vinnie knows the password.

Thugs sidle up to each of us. Vera kills one before he even knew she was on to him. Blake's "wild swing" takes one out and draws enough attention that Laura and Don are able to get the drop on their assailants. Laura says "Shhhh!"

Vinnie hears the commotion and begins wading through the higher-class crowd in the back room to return to the fray. Stephan provides a distraction by inducing a gentleman near him to buy a round for the house.

Dan spots his assailant – one Farris Desmond – on the stairs, and he descends into general view just as the fight comes to a standstill. He says he'd have to tell his boss that we never showed. We depart for the ball at the Birchland Hotel, with nary a ruffled ascot.

Once we arrive at the party, there is much to puzzle out. Vinnie wonders what the Rigatoni brothers are doing here. Ian Benden is talking to celebrated journalist Guillermo Pietro. Don navigates close to the Senior Bendens on the arm of the Widow Moschevitz, but when she learns what he intends to asks them she diverts him away with a fainting spell. It seems we were not exactly invited to the ball.

Blake, Laura, and Stephan are schmoozing the room, while Vera is fading into the woodwork. Blaze notices a round shadow sliding over the skylight, just in time to warn Vera, before it starts raining ninjas.

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