Thursday, September 27, 2012
Screams From the Outhouse - Dante Taxi Service
This time we have a taxi service that can be used in most modern supernatural/occult games.
“Should be here in just a minute.” Frank leaned over and told Anna as they huddled under his umbrella. He could still feel the warmth of the card as he put it back in his pocket. “In this section of town they are usually already near by.”
“Good I hate the rain,” she replied as her body shivered up against his a little due to the cold. “Especially when it's like this out here.”
“Don't worry I'll fix you some tea when we get home and warm you up.” Grinning as he looked down at her and received a smile back. “Ah here it is.”
The yellow cab pulled up to the curb slowing to avoid splashing water on the expected passengers. A logo of red spelling out 'Dante Cab Service' adorned the doors with the line 'private service' in black below it. Frank made a broad wave with his hand and made his best face as said “Your chariot awaits my dear.”
Anna gave him a laugh and started to reach for the handle when another person on the street butts past her and opens the door first. “Sorry folks you stand around you lose your ride. Cabby! I need up to fourth and Horatio pronto!” yelling as he dives into the backseat.
“Hey fucker, private service get the hell out of my cab!” The cabby doesn't even look back as he yells. Just motions to the door with his thumb.
The man doesn't just slams the door and pulls out a wad of cash attempting to show it to the driver who still isn't looking. Anna and Frank watch as the two argue inside for a few minutes, their yelling completely soundless as the cab seals everything in. Finally the driver turns around with a face full of rage and begins screaming, Frank notices steam rising from the top of the cab as the rain begins to evaporate.
Suddenly all the windows go completely black and within seconds the cab begins rocking back and forth. The two exchange a look of confusion as they watch. But just as quick as it started it stops and the windows go clear again, the man inside is gone along with the steam stopping. The drive fixes his collar and then rolls down the passenger side window, “Sorry about that folks some people just can't be dealt with in a sociable manner. Hop on in and I'll get you where you need to go.”
They open the door just in time to see a hand getting pulled into the crack between the seat cushions and out of site. With a bit of worry Anna climbs in first followed by Frank who seems a bit more calmer than her. The cabby looks in the mirror back at them, “Okay folks where you need to go and how do you want to pay? Teeth, cash, gold....?”
DANTE TAXI SERVICE
In the secretive inner circles of practitioners of the occult and sorcery there are a lot of people who try to deal with as few others who are 'out of the know' as possible. Which is why they have their own hidden away diners, members only clubs and even laundry services (because they don't want questions on some of those stains). So it is only a given that somebody sat up a Taxi service just for them as well. Strange thing is most folks have no idea who actually runs it or how much it would scare them if they knew.
How to get a cab.
Well the taxi service is set up to be a private one. Meaning that if you don't call for it then they won't pick you up, they don't stop for anybody waving their hands on the side of the road. In order to get a cab you need to have their business card. These are handed out among the society circles and can also be gotten from any cab driver so you can pass them along to friends. They appear to be made out of the same type of plastic as a credit card with the company logo on one side with the phone number and serial number on the back. All you do is call the number and give them the serial off the card and then they will hang up. The card will noticeably heat up for a few seconds as they use it to determine your location and a cab is sent on its way.
The drivers can be of any nationality or ethnic blend. There seems to be no 'norm' among them in any way. One day it's a kilted Scotsmen followed by a Japanese business man the next. Although their cabs are usually cluttered with a few clipboards and remains of fast food meals.
The taxis usually drive at the speed of normal vehicles. However if you need to get someplace fast then you can always pay more for that extra boost of speed. This could result in a flick of a switch and all the lights go green as you approach them or cutting through traffic at nearly impossible speeds for that sort of maneuver all the while never being noticed by the police. Now the top level of speed involves all the rear windows and the barrier turning black and then with a few sudden jerks of movement you arrive at your destination within a few minutes.... even if you needed to travel to the other side of the world.
Well they do of course accept cash but they also accept more exotic forms of payment as well. Any gold, silver or precious metals are usable, along with printed or minted currency from nearly any time in human history. Many drivers seem to like being paid in human teeth, the more pristine and young the better. Spell components, artifacts, its all open to negotiation as payment for services that you need rendered. Oh and they do get paid up front unless you are a known regular customer... and then they may let you travel on credit. Of course they keep a clipboard list with the names of those they can trust and you will have to sign that you will pay them at a later date.
One of the stranger things that has come out of the existence of this taxi service is their cards becoming collectable. The serial numbers (presumably) started off at 1 and then just went up from there. So the lower the number the older the card is. Now a small group within the occults groups themselves has started up whose members have the goal of finding the lowest number out there. There have been auctions, private sales and even thefts to get cards. Even when there is a murder among the occult society it has become common practice for the killer to search the body for their taxi card.
Who is really in charge.
The one thing that very few people know is who actually runs the service or who the drivers are. Most never think about it and those who have searched for answers have either come up with nothing or vanished without a trace. Well the truth is the person who is basically 'in charge' of the service is none other than the devil himself, well at least the entity that various religions claim to be the root of all evil. While the drivers are his demonic servants who have either failed in some way and are sentenced to the job or those who have excelled at pulling in new recruits from the passengers.
Which is what it's all about, bringing more people over to his 'side' culled from those who already live outside of most social norms. Keeping track of who pays with with what is one of the better indicators of likely candidates as the guy who uses the teeth of children is probably not to far from just hopping right in with the big horned one himself. Also don't mistake that signing anything, like say when you need a ride on credit, isn't all that far from selling your soul over as well. Although going full tilt darkside does have it's benefits, you no longer have to call to get your cab just hold the card and think about it not to mention the costs of travel go way down.