Story 18Dec2021: Saturday Storm and Game

Working backward, I was in bed reading only a few pages of Brother Cabal before I was nodding off just before midnight. I slept even after a cup of tea. Outside was a Pineapple Express storm with slushy snow; it was too warm to be more than just be pretty.

Before I watched the first episode of The Witcher second season with Corwin (a diehard fan), which stars the same actor who played Superman and in the remake of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., This made it hard for me to get over the disbelief. Still, the voice and mannerisms match the video game. This first episode was scary and creepy and even told a moral lesson. I recommend it.

Before this, I drove Air Volvo through the sideways blowing rain and melting snow. With the Volvo’s instruments showing a temperature of 41, I had no fear of ice or the dreaded black ice on overpasses and bridges. I did take the highest bridge and a banked on-ramp to the bridge that is actually taller than the bridge that I call the Space Shuttle Ride. It was snowing up there, but the flooded roadway was the real danger with me passing two wrecks of folks who needed better tires and to go slower.

I had left Richard’s house in Portland playing a board game with five people, including myself. Richard had texted me early in the week to join them, and I took a risk and agreed to the game in the evening, Unfathomable. I had not been able to play a game with them since September, and it was so good to see them.

Unfathomable is a “dudes on a board” just recently published where the players are all working together to save the S.S. Atlantica and themselves and arrive in Boston. The ship is attacked by Mythos creatures (deep ones) and sea elder gods from the H.P. Lovecraft tradition. Each player has some basic one-time power and some skills to help; I played the nurse and could rescue people, for example. There are resource dials that represent various resources such as food and coal and more abstract Mythos-based resources such as souls and sanity. If the bad guys damage every room in the ship, or the players run one of the resources to zero, the ship is lost, and all the humans lose the game. For example, coal is used to get closer to the end of the trip. Therefore, it is essential not to waste any.

But, there is more. There are several traitors player characters that are actually half-deep ones and will win if the ship sinks. These hybrid humans are not revealed unless the player wishes to reveal themselves and then are openly working against the survival of the S.S. Atlantica. Also, each play of a player’s character ends with a challenge to keep going. The players provide resources to overcome the difficulty. If they fail, resources are lost, and other nasty things happen. The process is done in secret, and the traitors can cause the challenge to fail, but then the humans might work out who is a traitor and throw that character in the brig. It is a game of paranoia, evil secret agents, and Mythos. Perfect!

The game is a rework of the Battlestar Galactica board game, no longer published, where the players are trying to save the human race from the Cylons, but some of the players are “skin jobs” and are hidden Cylons. And just like in the remake series of the T.V. show, some of the secret Cylons think they are human and only learn to change sides halfway through the story. This new version, Unfathomable, is easier to play and learn, but some of us miss the heavily themed original version, and being a “toaster” is more fun than being a secret cultist. James and I both like the game better than the original, as it flows much better without so much reliance on the Battlestar Galactica theme. 

Overall, it was excellent to finally get to play the game; I even have a copy and to see the P.D.X.-based gamers. I needed a distraction, and having my character drown just after learning that Richard is a traitor (he locked my character in the brig) and let the ship be destroyed, was a great gaming experience.

Before the game, I drove Air Volvo in the Pineapple Express heavy rain to Portland without events in unexpected Saturday holiday heavy traffic. As a result, I was just on time for the game, with Richard delaying the game for 30 minutes for the weather and traffic.

Before heading out, I finished the other half of my tuna fish sandwich from Subway at home. Susie is allergic to fish, so I never get a simple tuna fish sandwich at home, so it is exotic to me. Subway does a nice one, and all the veggies are fresh.

I left Susie about 3:15 as I had to go shopping to get items for my purification rites (bowel prep) for my surgery on Tuesday. Susie was resting then and enjoying all the Christmas trees, one from the Smiths (plus Jason) and one from Leta and me. I left the lights on for her (running the batteries out soon).


Susie’s heart rate is running slower in the 90s. Her blood pressure is low at 100/67. Her face slightly droops on the right side, and she struggles more to get words out. The nurses think she is unchanged, but I think she has had another micro-stroke. We all decided not to rush Susie to the E.R. for more needles and likely days in the hospital. Susie agreed she would like to stay in Forest Grove for now.

Susie and I had a halting and somewhat heartbreaking exchange. She asked if she was worse (yes) and apologized for not getting better (I told her it was her fault). Susie said, haltingly, that she was trying (I said we all know that). She is still trying to stay hydrated and choked once severely on the water.

We called Leta and Susie had a little piece of fudge and other items. Just enough to taste it but not enough that she needs to chew and swallow. Even with the low bandwidth, we also managed to do a short Facetime with Leta.

Before this, I stepped out for lunch at Subway and got a full-sized sandwich that I then saved half for later.

Moving to the early afternoon/late morning, I got there, and Susie was resting and had just finished breakfast. They had her dressed and had her up in the wheelchair at a table eating before I got there, and she was just back to bed.

Susie was happy to see me and always asked if I would be back tomorrow. She knows I have surgery coming and will miss me for some days. I remind her that we have people coming to visit her next week.

Before getting to Susie, I had to drive back from Portland. My Covid test for my surgery was at 10:25. So I drove in a bit early and had coffee and lemon cake at Starbucks, a fav. I called Kat Smith in New York City and talked about her potential exposure to Covid delaying her Christmas plans to visit Oregon. She saw the off-Broadway show that is a mix of Dickens and Sherlock Holmes; she liked it. So it is likely she will be cleared to travel on Thursday.

I wrote the blog in the early morning and got going about 7ish as 6:30 was just too damned early!


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