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The Saga of the Kronies: Index

I. Genesis
II. "A Large Gang...."
III. The Belly of the Beast
IV. The Wrath of Con
V. The Trial 2: Kafka's Revenge
VI. Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
VII. The Pen is Mightier Than the Foam Rocket
VIII. ...But What Have We Learned?

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On arriving in Athens, we parted from the portion of our group who didn't feel like risking assault charges over a petty prank and stopped at a parking deck to change into costume, which had been apparently deemed necessary for reasons now forgotten. Agent K1 lost the ticket to the parking deck and plied the attendant at the booth with the assurance that we'd only been there for a few minutes, as we'd just stopped in to change our clothes, thereby making certain that the man took note of the fact that we were now all wearing black trench coats, hats, and dark sunglasses, just to make any potential future police work that much easier. After a few wrong turns and wrong-way-down-one-way-road incidents, we found ourselves in the clear from any possible legal issues by virtue of our next screwup: no one had bothered to phone ahead and see if Mr. Rook was even in the comic shop that day, which he wasn't. We snagged a copy of his latest convention progress report and left. Via means which might well have been illegal, we discovered that Rook was already at the hotel, prepping for the convention, and decided to try and intercept him there. Re-integrating with the rest of our group, we replied to queries regarding how it had gone with "Well, we shot him. He had a heart attack and died," before admitting to total failure. (Remember this bit later.)

The ill-planned trip had not, however, been a total loss. Reading through Rook's con update informed us of many exciting new developments which we'd not previously surmised. The convention had relocated to an Athens hotel, a much smaller venue, for the express purpose of providing the con chair with the chance to rent out the entire building and thus keep anyone not affiliated with MOCK from even setting foot on the property, which had apparently included evicting a few residential guests for the weekend. A rant in the back of the report explained why this had been necessary: MOCK was apparently under siege by large numbers of "cronies," or people coming into the hotel to visit room parties and hang out in non-convention areas and possibly hold dart wars and such-not that the dart war was mentioned specifically, but the point was clear. People were having unsanctioned fun in the same building as MOCK, and that simply wasn't to be allowed. The reason, we were told, was that "the cronies [were] a large gang run by a rich, powerful, influential meglomaniac trying to destroy [me]." We were stunned. We'd had no previous notion that we possessed such agency as this. We'd believed, mistakenly, it seemed, that we were just a few disgruntled guys who'd had our dart war interrupted. The vast wealth and influence was news to us.

To escape the depredations of these foul fiends, Mr. Rook had moved the upcoming MOCK into the History Village Inn, a ramshackle motel built in a rectangluar configuration around what looked to be a small barn, where presumably the con activities that couldn't fit into a single motel room were to be held. A stack of ladders leaned against one wall, while a pile of old roofing shingles which came close to outsizing the nearby dumpster sat in the parking lot. An impressive collection of disused Days Inn signs were heaped near the rear exit. Garbage was everywhere. Mr. Rook, by contrast, was nowhere to be seen. It appeared that our only opportunity to pop a foam cap in his ass would be at the con itself, one week later. So we set about planning for this really, amazingly stupid idea.