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The Ritz is a Saga or alternate storyline of Pineapple Soda.

Three powerful Syndicate members Pearls, Pyrite and Soot are suddenly bumped up several ranks within the mafia and asked to live alongside the mob boss himself, no strings attached. This dream turns nightmare when it is found that the boss wants Pearls' hand in marriage.. and things are definitely more sinister than at first they seemed.

Chess
Original release June 7th 2014
The Ritz, like other Sagas, is an alternate storyline of Pineapple Soda which follows it's own unique path but stars the same characters and obeys the same series mechanics. Sagas may affect one another indirectly, but the events of each are typically non-canon in the overarching story. Note: this Saga is no longer available to read and as such, its synopsis is subject to debate and may be inaccurate. It is not yet clear if the Saga will see a revival as the art style has since changed.

Synopsis

January 28th, Cardston 1996: 33 year old Jeremiah Kristensen or Jeremy begins acting strangely. He is seen in the storage room of the comic shop he owns and manages, setting up shop for the day. However, he begins to sweat and looks to be overheating. Soon after, Jeremy begins to remove his clothing despite the heavy snowfall on the ground and the late winter setting. Jeremy is very disheveled and underweight and has trouble concentrating behind the register. His shop is receiving no customers and so he pulls himself into the bathroom to look at his pallor in the mirror. It is here that he discovers the beginnings of his Guardian form manifesting across his face, able to visualize them with the use of the eyes associated with the Syndicate. His Guardian form's first level looks severely pock-marked and decaying like a corpse. After staring at his monstrous reflection for a time and remarking on his how hideous it looks, he crouches near the urinals and begins to cry. After which, he becomes very sick. Jeremy then vomits in the toilet and sprawls out on the floor.
Jeremy awakens later and can be seen carrying out various mundane tasks around town such as heading to an ATM to take out cash, feeding his pet cat, and sleeping in the storage room of his comic shop while hooked up to an IV and breathing mask. He thinks about how much he wishes to die, romanticizing and fantasizing about the idea of no longer living. He laments on his devout religious beliefs prohibiting suicide and worries that if he knowingly killed himself, he would not be accepted by the lord. He decides that the only way to kill himself in a justified manner is by accident, even if he is intentionally increasing his chances of death. He fantasizes about putting hemlock in the food he took in from his late mother's closed bakery, as well as littering his garden with the toxic plant and gardening without gloves. He thinks of perhaps stepping too close to traffic, being more reckless around stairs or mixing his medications in hopes that he might take a bad combination unwittingly. He is subsequently brought out of these fantasies when a young child named Chess Hart runs into him on the sidewalk.
Despite Chess proceeding to be very rude to him, it so happens that Chess is the first person he's talked to since Jeremy's mother's death some time prior, and as the small town comic store gets very few customers in the winter. Jeremy learns that the unattended child got separated from his mother and can't find the street he lives on. Consequently, Jeremy asks him to follow back to his comic book shop while he contacts the local police station. After Jeremy unlocks the store which has metal shutters on its windows and is now chain locked, implying he intended to close the store for good. Upon seeing the lights click on, Chess becomes extremely eager to eat the chocolate display cookies by the donation jar on the counter, and to touch all of the collectors figurines on the shelves as he mistakenly believes them to be toys. Jeremy, still saddened, tells the child that he can have anything he wants and that everything is free and appears to take some comfort in his good deed. While the two of them eat cookies and read comics, Chess begins to have trouble breathing.
Mistakenly believing Chess to be choking, Jeremy attempts a heimlich maneuver and then attempts to perform CPR. Chess loses consciousness despite these efforts. Identifying some of the symptoms, Jeremy concludes that the cookies must have been poisoned by hemlock but does not remember having poisoned the cookies. In fact, he had only fantasized about doing so that morning. Still, stricken with grief, guilt and fear and knowing that the police were on their way, Jeremy places the body of the unresponsive Chess Hart back in his seat at the reading table and decidedly finishes off the plate of cookies in hopes that more were poisoned. By 9 PM, both appear to be dead and positioned at the table face down in their comics. This is not where the comic ends, but no further pages or chapters have yet been released.

Trivia

  • Despite being a Saga about the Canadian Syndicate, Pearls, Pyrite and Soot have as yet not appeared within the comic. In fact, as of the last update, no Syndicate members have.

Notes


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