New Year’s Lock-in, Year 2
“Alright, Mark.” Steve looks at Mark, his trusty employee. “This New Year’s lock-in will be the best darn lock-in we’ve ever had!” Mark looks at the counter, lost in thought about that horrible year when everyone shat in boxes of Warhammer because Steve clogged the toilet in an attempt to flush down the key. “You see, Mark, I’ll be taking certain… precautions… this time.” Steve continues. Mark was about to protest, when Steve continued; “See, last year they seemed to have found the back door…” Mark grabs his head. “Sir, am I being paid overtime?” “Shut up!” “Yes sir.”
All the gamers have arrived, in the gaming room adjacent to the counter. Steve walks into the room. “Alright guys, this New Year’s Lock-in will be the best Lock-in we’ve ever had!” Everyone murmurs, looking to the ground. “Like always, there will be no leaving the store until six in the morning. Now go pick a partner and play a game.” He walks back to the counter.
“Mark, handle the gamers, will ya? I’ll be out back. Under NO circumstances are you to open that door.” Mark interrupts, “what’ll you be doing?” Steve gives Mark a satisfied grin, followed by a wink. “No… no… sir! What if there’s a fire!?” “Then you’ll be the first to get it!” Mark looks indifferently. “Get it? I’ll fire you?” Mark continues to stare. “I’m not paying you to stand around!” “Actually you are sir…” “One more word outta you, and you’re outta here!” “But I can’t get out! You locked the door, remember!?” Steve smiles again. “You seem to be forgetting that there’s a back door.” Mark interrupts, “you’re on your way to bar it right now…” Steve looks to the ceiling thoughtfully, “oh yeah…”
Mark hears hammering outside. Steve was really nailing boards to the door. From the outside. Mark sighs. Steve’s going to make him de-nail it on Monday. The hammering finally stops. Mark rubs his head, thinking about the gamers in the other room, and how they have absolutely no idea of what Steve was doing…
Steve appears outside the window in the door, and twists the knob. His face turned to a state of disbelief, than into an exaggerated state of realization, then to anger. He raps on the door, and Mark walks over. Steve is yelling, but Mark can’t hear anything through the door. Mark puts his hand to his ear, signaling that he can’t hear him. Steve turns around and paces, fuming. Then, without warning, he rams his fist into the glass window on the door. Mark backs up, just in time to avoid the debris of glass.
Steve howls in pain, his hand being covered in glass shards. “Steve! What have you done!?” “Mark, get the key, open the door.” “But sir, you said…” “Oh, forget what I said! Open this door right now!” “But I can’t.” Steve yells at him, “why not!?” “Because”, Mark replies calmly, “you said that under NO circumstances I open this door.” Steve yells and thrusts his hand through the opening, trying to grab Mark’s face.
Steve is sitting on the steps, while Mark is handling the store. Then, Steve gets an idea.
Bruce walks over to the counter, and demands to see Steve. “Erm… why do you need to see him?” Mark asks in reply. Bruce answers, “Well, you see, my Wraiths, Flayed Ones, and Warriors are gang-busting some Plague Marines with Typhus. Now, when I divide my attacks, do I get to choose who I want to attack, or does my opponent choose?” “Well…” Mark tries. “Then, when I decide to split my attacks, am I allowed to put, say, two attacks on Typhus, and the other attack on the Plague Marines?” “Well, you could…” “Furthermore, my opponent claims that…” “WE NEED STEVE!!!”
Mark paces around the room. Steve left. He wasn’t sitting on the steps. “Oh, what am I going to do!?” Then, the light glints off the telephone on the counter. Of course! he thought, I’ll just call his cell! “Oh, please please please…” He picks up the phone. “Phew.” It wasn’t cut. Mark dials Steve’s number, and waits for the ring. Then, he hears it. In fact, he hears two. Turning his head slowly, he sees Steve’s cell phone sitting behind the counter. “Noooo!” he yells.
Mark looks hopefully out the window, in hopes that Steve will come back. Then, like an angel out of Heaven, he came, despite the fact that he looked like a demon out of Hell. Covered in blood, Steve charged up the steps, a chainsaw in his hands. “No! Steve, I’ll open the door!” Steve yells outside, raising the chainsaw above his head. “Raaaawrgh!” The chainsaw comes down, punching through the door, wood splinters flying in every direction. At this point, all of the gamers had gathered around the door.
“You see!? You see!? I was right! I knew he was a murderer!” Daniel yells, remembering the last New-Year’s lock-in. Nobody answers. The chainsaw finally cut through the door, and Steve enters, fuming. “Steve… You gotta listen to me man…” Mark begs. Steve answers in gasps, his lungs tired from the yelling, “You got… five seconds… Mark.” Mark runs into the gaming room, and looks around. Then, he sees it. The tripod.
Steve charges into the room, chainsaw held high. Mark runs forward, eyes closed, yelling like a kid. He swings the tripod at Steve, but he bats it aside with the chainsaw, and brings it up, cutting through the pole. “No! My tripod!” Daniel sobs. “It’s okay man, let it go…” Ron comforts him. Mark backs into the corner, raising the half-tripod and wailing like a girl. He waits for the finishing blow, but it never came. Steve stood above him, smiling largely. “It’s okay Mark, get up.”
Mark gets up. “Are you crazy!?” Steve walks off, pondering to himself. “Perhaps I am, Mark. Perhaps I am…” “You need help.” “You say that to the guy holding the chainsaw?” Mark looks to the ground, afraid to say another word. “Why are you covered in blood?” he asks. “It’s paint. I bought it where I bought the chainsaw.”
Everyone resumes their games, while Mark and Steve wait behind the counter. Mark’s nerves were shot, completely stiff from the recent event. Steve slaps hard him in the back. “Stop doing that!” Mark begs. Steve turns his head so Mark wouldn’t see his enormous smile.
*Munch* *munch* *munch*. Mark turns his head. Steve is eating a bag of Cheesies. “Hey, give me some Cheesies” he demands. Steve stops munching and looks at Mark thoughtfully. “You know,” he begins, with his mouth full of Cheesies “you’re supposed to say ‘please’ when you want something”. Mark gets frustrated and responds, “No, I’m telling you to give me some Cheesies. You owe me for that whole chainsaw-thing.” Steve laughs loudly, spewing particles of cheese everywhere. “I owe you?” he asks mockingly. “Yeah, you do.”
Steve leans in closer to Mark’s face, fixing him with a sterile gaze. “I am your manager, and I owe you nothing! If anything, you owe me for not opening the door.” “I was going to open the door, but you were too insane to let me!” Mark retorted. “Well maybe I wouldn’t be insane if you would’ve opened it earlier!” “You told me not to open the door, under any circumstances!” “I’m your boss! You do what I tell you to do!” Steve responds angrily. “And you told me not to open the door!” They stared at each other for several long seconds.
“There’s only one way to settle this.” Steve said. “Warhammer?” Mark asks. “Oh yeah.” Steve smiles.
Mark and Steve approach a long gaming table, and set up their armies on trays. “ATTENTION, EVERYBODY!” Steve shouts. Everyone looks. “Mark and I will be settling a dispute once and for all. He who wins this battle will be the one who was right all along.” Jimmy pipes in, “how does that make any sense?” “Shut it Jim.” Steve barks. Jimmy presses up against his dad. “Now, let the game begin!”
At one end of the table is a bright red Blood Angels army, being played by Steve. At the other, an Eldar army, being played by Mark. Steve lends out his hand. “May the best man win.” Mark reaches out to shake, but Steve quickly withdraws it. “Psych!” Mark grinds his teeth. All the gamers gather around the table, to witness this climactic battle.
“Listen, Steve, I never played against Blood Angels before.” Steve looks hard at Mark. “I will grind you up.” The game begins. Turn 1, Mark’s turn. Mark moves his jetbikes 18” up the table, carefully staying out of range from his Dreadnought, while his other forces advance. Steve’s turn. Steve moves his dreadnought 12” up the table. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a sec. Dreadnoughts move six inches.” Mark says. Steve grins widely in victory. “No, no, no, my friend.” He circles around the table, and leans onto Mark’s shoulder. “You see, Blood Angel dreads can have a psychic power that lets them move twelve inches instead of six.” “That’s broken.” Mark replies. Steve gets up and goes back to his own table edge. “Oh, you haven’t seen broken yet, old chap. Behold the awesome power of Matt Ward! Muahahahaha!” Ron whispers to Tim, “what a douche”.
Turn 2. Mark moves Eldrad and his retinue up the table, to grant Fortune to one of his units. The rest of his army moves up the table steadily, firing at the Assault Marines. “Okay,” Mark says, “Eldrad is going to cast-” “Not so fast, good chum.” Steve cuts in. “What now!?” Mark asks, angrily. Steve circles the table once more and crouches down behind Mark’s chair. Pointed over his shoulder, he indicates the Dreadnought. Leaning in very close to Mark’s ear, he whispers, “It’s got a psychic hood”.
Steve gets up and punches the air multiple times in mockery. He grabs a dice, spins around and tosses it across the table, in such a way that it lands right in front of Mark, with a 6 as the result. “BOOYA!” he shouts.
Steve’s second turn. “Alright, I’ll roll my reserves now…” Mark stands up. “What reserves?” “Landraider!” Steve shouts, tossing the dice. The result was a 5. He takes the large vehicle and places it directly behind Mark’s two Fire Prisms. “Hold on a second!” Mark exclaims. “Is there a problem, old chap?” Steve asks, with a puppy-dog face. “Yes, there is a problem, ‘old chap’! No one in their right mind would ever allow Landraiders to Deep Strike!” Mark vents. “Oh, but Matt Ward would like to claim otherwise.” Steve opens up the codex page and shows Mark. “Success!” Steve shouts.
Okay, I’ll fire one Lascannon and the Heavy Bolter into this Fire Prism, and this Lascannon into the other. Mark stares at the battlefield, stunned, his mouth wide open. They both exploded. He managed to roll double 6s. Steve raises his hand in the air and shouts “FOR THE EMPEROR!”.
From that point on, everything went downhill. The crowd was shocked by Steve’s success and partially annoyed by his excessive boasting. “Okay, you win.” Mark says, giving in. Steve looks at Mark mockingly, and says, “Giving up so soon, xeno filth?” Mark walks away, back to the counter.
Mark sits there looking at the clock, waiting for the New Year’s celebration. Wait, it was New Year’s! “Everybody! New Year’s started!” The gamers rush over.
“Let’s break out the champagne!” Mark cries. “No, it’s too late.” Steve says gravely. “What do you mean?” “We never missed a New Year before.” Mark walks over to Steve and throws his arm over his shoulder. “Come on, it’s only a minute after. We’ll just celebrate next New Year’s a minute earlier.” Steve looks up at Mark, and smirks. “Flick the switch.”
The wall rotates around, covered in shelves upon shelves of… nothing. “My booze! My beautiful booze!” Steve cries, rushing over to the wall, and finds a notice taped there. Your alcohol has been confiscated due to the absence of a bartender’s permit. It is illegal to serve alcoholic beverages without a license. Signed, the Police Department. “But… how did they know…?” Steve asks, shocked. Someone shuffles in the crowd. His head shot up, and locked eyes with Tim. “You…” Steve muttered, menacingly. “That’s right Steve. I am Officer Tim of the police, and I have confiscated your booze.” “You @$%[email protected]
@!!!” Steve bends down and retrieves a shotgun. Prepare to die, coppy boy.” Tim throws open his vest and draws two pistols. “Let’s dance.”
Steve fired off a burst from his shotgun, just as Tim dived to the side, firing his dual pistols blindly at Steve. Steve ducked, and pumped his shotgun. Mark cried. He was stuck behind the counter during a firefight. Steve popped up and fired another burst, before ducking again. Then, he paused and looked at Mark. “Mark, how much do you value your job?” “What are you getting at?” Mark asked. Without another word, Steve grabbed Mark and jumped up, firing the shotgun, just as bullets impacted Mark who was being used as a living shield.
Everybody comes to, eyes puffy and tired. Mark looked at Steve, who was slumped up against the wall, cradling his chainsaw. Mark, still drunk, got up and ran for the door, but careened into the wall in his drunken trance. Jimmy decided to go with some Irish Whiskey this time, and Tim finally realized that Gran Marnier wasn’t the best beverage available. Glass lay shattered on the floor, liquid pools beneath them.
Mark stands up again, and goes outside for some fresh air. “Noooo!” he hears yelling behind him. Steve is running at Mark like a madman. “Nobody leaves until six ay em! “No, Steve, don’t!” Steve rams into Mark, throwing them both over the long staircase, and crashing onto the sidewalk.
The gamers look around the room. Bruce picks up his son. “My wife is gonna kill me…” Daniel asks, “Does this mean we can go now?” Ron stands up, rubbing his head. “Yes Dan. Yes, we’re free now.” The gamers emerge from the hobby store and call for taxis. Steve looks up at them from his crippled position beside Mark. “Nooo!” he calls out feebly. “Don’t go! You’re all a bunch of traitors! Traitors I tell you!” The yellow taxi cabs arrive and take off with his valuable customers. “NOOOOOOOO!” then, Steve turns his head slowly towards Mark. “You’ll stay with me, won’t you?” Mark moans weakly, having taken the brunt of the impact. “Do I have a choice?”