Express Elevator to Hell

Coffee Break was a game I ran for some coworkers on our lunch break back in 2012. These are the session recaps.

We open with the Level-Headed VP taking his usual morning “short cut” to the office. His short-cut takes him too close to the quarantine zone and he’s stopped by the national guard. He glances around but doesn’t see anything out of the ordinary. He gets directions from the guard and heads towards the office.

We then see the Narcissistic Jeweler driving into work. He notices a homeless vagrant slumped next to a nicely kept house. He watches as the vagrant rises and starts shuffling after his car. At a nearby stoplight, the Jeweler sees the vagrant coming closer and closer but luckily the light changes color. The Jeweler speeds off, leaving the vagrant a speck in his rear-view mirror.

Lastly, we’ll see the Frustrated Writer as the pull into the parking area of the office. Across the street he notices an ambulance parked next to a pretty bad head-on collision. As the writer pulls into the parking ramp he notices the EMTs are struggling to get one of the victims into the ambulance. The victim is strapped to the gurney and thrashing around spastically. The writer shrugs it off, parks, and heads into the office.

The Writer spends his morning trying to compile a database that’s due this afternoon. When he starts up his computer he has trouble logging into the LAN and spends two hours on the phone with tech support.

The Jeweler spends his morning in a “Numbers Meeting” where he goes over the sales from last quarter and makes projections for the next three months.

The VP spends his morning in a training session learning a new software suite. The suite allows specialized access to a number of different banking applications and the VP is having a hard time staying awake for the training.

The first break of the morning comes at 10am. Everyone heads to the elevators and starts to make their way down to the break room on the first floor. The Writer and VP are the first to get in and they pick up the Jeweler on the second floor. Then, as the elevator lowers between the second and first floors there is a grinding of metal and the elevator shudders to a halt. The power goes out and the characters are left with only the red emergency light to see.

After checking their phones and finding no signal the VP presses the emergency call button. They all listen as the dial tone gives away to a dozen rings. Eventually the phone picks up but no one speaks. There is a strange, ominous silence on the other end. Then, after a minute or two, they hear a raspy groan right into the microphone. There are similar noises in the background.

Suddenly, there are screams and gunshots on the other side. One last shot sounds extremely close and then the phone goes dead. The VP and Jeweler quickly move to try to pry the elevator doors open, without any luck.

The Writer then suggests trying to open the roof hatch and climb into the elevator shaft. After fighting with the light tubes and hatch screws they manage to pry the hatch door open and boost the Writer up onto the roof.

The Writer looks around and sees the doors to the second floor about five feet off the ground. He pulls the VP up into the shaft and then boosts the VP up onto the ledge by the second floor door.

The VP looks over the door controls but doesn’t have enough room to get the locks to release. As they try to figure out what to do next the elevator lurches again and drops a half-foot. Afraid of being stuck on the ledge, the VP climbs back onto the elevator roof.

The characters discuss trying to break the elevator free and get it to drop down the first floor but before they can do anything the elevator lurches again and drops a whole foot. Afraid of being on the roof if the elevator breaks free the VP and Writer climb back into the car.

Just as the Writer hits the floor the elevator releases and the characters free-fall for two stories, a reminder to the characters that there was also a basement. The VP and Writer both bounce around the car, taking some minor bumps and bruises while the Jeweler manages to survive the fall without a scratch.

The elevator crashes down into the basement lobby and the doors break open enough for the character to pry the doors open all the way. They look out into the basement lobby, home to building security and maintenance… The very place they heard the strange noises coming from over the emergency phone.

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