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Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Tsukada Mitsuo - FP: 1

(Rolled 6 on d10.)

One step inside. Scan the room... four doors, five windows. Two good exits. Patrons. Usual crowd. Mostly non-issues. Handful of serious mojos. Two- no, three military trained. Some familiar faces on the floor. J.R.'s in the corner, smart man.

Forsaking the bar, Mitsuo strides across the room, sliding onto the bench across from J.R. They exchange curt nods. Both heads swivel back to take in the room. Similar in action, the two are perfect opposites in countenance. J.R.'s stare is almost vacant, Mitsuo's very present. J.R.'s faded clothes and neat whiskey fade into the background. Asiatic features, silk jackets, and empty hands pop right out.

Mitsuo leans over the table. "Any news, cowboy?"



pre:
Name: Tsukada Mitsuo ("Mitsuo Tsukada" in the Western order)
High Concept: Cold-Blooded Sorcerous Troubleshooter
Trouble:  Life on the Edge
Base Refresh 8 - Powers 7 = Refresh 1
(Note: Mitsuo uses the Buddhist elemental array - Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void)

Aspects: Dashing Forward (挺進集団 / Teishin Shudan), Cause for Alarm (First Lawbreaker), Foreign Correspondent, In From the Cold, something else

Physical Stress: ooo
Mental Stress: oooo
Social Stress: ooo

Skills +5: Discipline
Skills +4: Conviction
Skills +3: Alertness, Lore, Weapons
Skills +2: Athletics, Deceit, Endurance, Stealth
Skills +1: Intimidation, Investigation, Presence, Survival

Stunts: N/A

Power: First Lawbreaker (0, +1 bonus to lethal magic)
Power: Evocation (-3, Void, Wind and Water elements, +1 Void control, Black Gloves focus item)
Power: Thaumaturgy (-3, +1 divination control, Embroidered Cloth Belt enchanted item)
Power: Wizard's Constitution (0)
Power: Refinement (-1, Evocation, +1 Void power/control for a total of +1 power / +2 control)

Black Gloves: +2 power for defensive Void evocations.

Embroidered Cloth Belt: enchanted item, Wind evocation
+4 block strength vs. Might to immobilize and paralyze one target for two exchanges, 3 uses per adventure.
Currents of wind rush in to hold the target fast.

Rote Spell: Vanish / 消えて (Void evocation, veil / defensive block, 1 stress)
+5 power vs. Alertness to make self invisible for 3 exchanges.
Bends light around the caster.

Rote Spell: Blind / 盲目 (Void evocation, offensive maneuver, 1 stress)
+4 power vs. Alertness to blind target for 2 exchanges.
Covers the target's retinas with dark clouds.

Rote Spell: Negate / 否定 (Void evocation, defensive block, 1 stress)
+5 power block against attacks for 3 exchanges.
Absorbs kinetic or magical energy from incoming attacks.

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Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

Just rolling Alertness to see if I can pick up what's being said at the other table. Alert +3 -/++ = +4 result.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo

With brows furrowed, Mitsuo says to JR, "Assistance, I am not sure. At the least, though, we should make conversation with him and hopefully discern his attitude towards us. If that means offering help, so be it."

He glances down at his cuffed hand on the table, then back up to JR. "Shikashi... perhaps you should take the lead. I will back you up. Okay?"

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

There's far too much banter going on here for Mitsuo's taste. Taking advantage of the distractions, he slips a long knife out from inside of his jacket and flanks out to the left of the group. He glides past his friends and attempts to plant the blade in a sensitive spot.

Weapons +3 -+++ = +5 stabbings. E: tag Headache to make it +7.

Breathing softly, he pulls the knife out and settles into a practiced half-crouch. "You should probably stop playing around, ugly man."

pre:
Defenses: Weapons +3
Applicable Aspects: Dashing Forward
Physical:	( ) ( ) ( ) 
Mental:		( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
Social:		( ) ( ) ( )
Any Mild (-2) Consequence:	( )
Any Moderate (-4) Consequence: 	( )
Any Major (-6) Consequence:	( )
Any Extreme (-8) Consequence:	( )

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2012 around 04:22

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

Looks like things are settled down here, but no sense getting comfortable. Too much going on for this to be just a coincidence. Mitsuo kneels and cleans the blade in the grass. He glances over the body - or what's left of it. Really, it looks like the ghoul's done a good number on whoever this used to be. Still... there's always something to see.

Mitsuo puts the knife away and steps up behind Jenny. While she focuses on the specifics of the corpse, he runs through a quick mental exercise, clearing his mind of pre-conceptions, and looks at the scene with a new pair of eyes. He scans back and forth, taking in as much information as possible. Watching quietly. Letting the important things jump out at him.

Using Alertness to see if we've overlooked anything in the fuss - clues to how the body got here, where the ghoul came from, other bodies, whatever. Alertness +3 -+++ = +5 eyes.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

"Ah... Mister Cole?" Mitsuo snaps back to reality, raising his voice to carry across the lot. "You may want to look at this."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

Mitsuo leans over to whisper in Warden Cole's ear.

"Mister Cole, I am not sure if you saw the head in the bushes over there. The cortex and one eye have been removed, the eye, at least, more cleanly than this fellow would likely have done. My comrades are looking into Madam Nazarene's possessions, namely her car in the next lot. Do you need any other assistance?"

He stands up. Cole's eyes flick down the hedge, then back up to Mitsuo, who stands ramrod-straight with hands clasped behind his back.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

"Many things. I would guess from her name that she is American of English or western European descent, and probably Catholic. Mortal or a low-powered practitioner, given her modern car and habit of carrying a cell phone. And..." Mitsuo's eye twinkles dangerously, "more to the point, she was not only decapitated but both her brain and one eye were cleanly removed before she was left to the ghoul."

Mitsuo looks around the shop, scanning the charms and curios that Mary has on display. "J.R. has intimated that you may be able to shed some light on what happened to Miss Nazarene. On top of that, I would like to ask you specifically about the eye. What sort of other-worldly powers would be interested in eyes? What particular rituals make use of eyes? That sort of thing. And," he turns back to stare at Mary, "as a personal interest I hoped you might procure for me a grimoire pertaining to those sorts of demons, if demons they be."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1 -> 0

Suddenly Mitsuo goes rigid, brushing aside J.R.'s question. As he talks, his muscles unclench, settling into a disturbingly relaxed stance. "I did not ask whether you had such a thing here. I said that you would procure it for me. These..." and he sweeps a hand out, enveloping the shop, "gadgets are nothing at all, but even that would surely have attracted the attention of stronger things. And I do not believe for a moment that you are only interested in gadgets."

He slaps both palms down on the counter, leaning much too close to Mary. "It's a simple request, really. You like books?" He glances down at the book she's reading. "I like books as well. All you need to do is find me a book about my favourite hobby." He raises his eyes - not the brown-and-white balls Mary looked into a moment ago, but obsidian pools, dancing with lights in almost-visible red and purple, the barest edges of an aurora pushing past the edges of human sight. "Which just happens to be demons."

You might have guessed that this is Intimidation to get the hookup. +1, invoking Kingdom of Shadows for +2, -/++ = a +4 result.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 0

With a blink and a black spark, Mitsuo's brown eyes return. "I believe... it was the left, yes." He steps back and straightens the knot in his tie.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 0

Mitsuo steps out of the charm shop, with J.R. just a pace behind. The pair walk down the street casually. Without looking back, Mitsuo slows to drop level with J.R. and speaks genially. "Reggie's Inks and Copy. I plan to go immediately, will you be joining me? It should not be too hard to find."

After a moment's pause, Mitsuo gently presses his hand to J.R.'s chest, directing him to stop. He turns to face the cowboy. "I am sorry about pushing your... friend? Contact, or whatever she is. It is not my way to be overly aggressive. But when there is work to do, equivocation is a dangerous waste of time."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

Mitsuo looks at JR, then back to the kid. Mary's instructions were quite clear; best to play this one safe.

"We would like to speak to Duke Reginald. If he is not here, we will have to wait."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1

Battle-tested reflexes kick in. Mitsuo throws himself against the wall to cut off as many angles of attack as possible. One gloved hand draws a knife from his pocket, the other weaves through a quick series of mudras. When he releases the last gesture, the vampire across the room begins to glow with an eerie bluish light. It's not much, but in the darkness it makes her easy to track. Mitsuo allows himself a tight grin and shifts to meet her charge.

5 shift Void evocation - 3 shifts to put up "Phantasmal Glow," 2 shifts to get 3 exchanges out of it. Discipline +5 //++ = + goddamn 9 to control the spell.

pre:
Defense: Weapons 3
Aspects: Dashing Forward
Physical: ( ) ( ) ( )
Mental:  (x) ( ) ( ) ( )
Minor (-2):
Moderate (-4):
Severe (-6):

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo

Weapons +3 to defend -//+ = +3 and success.

Mitsuo slithers inside of the vampire's outstretched arm and turns it aside with the rib of his knife. The force of impact with her body sends them both stumbling a few steps. Mitsuo recovers by shouldering the wall, turning himself back and using the rebound force to drive his blade at her, center mass.

Weapons +3 to attack -/// = +2 and a very lame opening to the fight.

pre:
Defense: Weapons 3
Aspects: Dashing Forward
Physical: ( ) ( ) ( )
Mental:  (x) ( ) ( ) ( )
Minor (-2):
Moderate (-4):
Severe (-6):

Glow:  (x) ( ) ( )

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo (and JR) - FP: 1 -> 2 (compelled on Kingdom of Shadows)

JR speaks first. "Look, if we kill her, we can still look around for the book."
Mitsuo shakes his head. Hissing quietly at JR, he says, "I don't think we're necessarily making an enemy if we let her live. At least, not any more than the Black Court are enemies in general."
"How is that an argument for letting her live?"
"If we let her live, she'll remember that we nearly killed her with one bullet, and step lightly. If we kill her, Reginald and friends start knocking down our doors."
"I can guarantee if we let her live we'll have Reggie and her after us. Souleaters don't forgive and don't forget, boy!"
"You can guess that they will come after us. Remember, the Black Court admires strength above all else."
"... Souleaters breed more souleaters."
"But one souleater is a drop in the bucket."
"At least it's a start!"
"Look, we have her in a position where we can use her to get what we want."
"We got proof here that God already knows where they go. Why not move them along?"
"If we kill her, we throw away our advantage and don't get anything for it."
"If we let her go, every dead body she makes from now on is on your head!"
"I've already got more dead bodies on my head than you've got years under your belt, cowboy. Some for reasons no better than this. It won't change how I sleep at night. So unless you've been holding back some better reason, put the gun down."
"Fine! You want to make friends with monsters, go ahead. But I'm not gonna hang around here while you do it!" J.R. slams the gun back into its holster and storms out of the shop.

Mitsuo sighs heavily. Though he'd won the argument, he isn't satisfied by pissing off his - friend? Yes, his friend. On top of that, he suddenly finds himself alone in hostile territory. Not a unique situation but never a comfortable one. He looms over the blasted vampire - at a cautious distance.

"We came to speak to Reginald. There is information that I require - a text on demonology, or some similar compendium of knowledge. With certain specific parameters, which should be discussed alone." He glares at the counter where the kid's hiding, raising his voice with the last few words since his gaze can't penetrate the wood.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Mitsuo watches Steven all the way out the door. Once he's gone, he walks over to the counter, speaking as he goes.

"Well. There is a demon, or some other dark denizen, which has been active recently, and seems to have a fondness for certain human parts. Specifically, eyes."

He hits the break release on the shotgun, folds it open, and pockets the shells before discarding the empty weapon.

"So, I am looking for several things." He ticks them off on his fingers as he goes. "One. Demons et cetera which draw sustenance or power from human flesh and eyes in particular. Two. Spellcraft describing the magical properties of eyes. Three. Spells and rituals that use eyes as materials. And four, any other significant historical mention of enucleation, perhaps as torture, punishment, or initiation rites. It is a long list, I'm afraid, but I am sure you can satisfy some of my curiosities."

While Mitsuo speaks, he continues to look around the shop - while of course keeping aware of the supposedly disabled vampire on the floor. The place is dingy, even run down, but there must be more to it than is immediately apparent. He wonders if it might be a front for the entire Black Court presence in New Orleans, or just for this Reginald and his cadre. And... come to think of it, Reginald himself is a bit of a mystery. Mitsuo turns to the Duchess again.

"And on a more personal note, I should like to hear more about yourself and this Duke Reginald. Your Court is quite insular, not the least because you tend to eat people before they can spread their stories."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Mitsuo shrugs off the insult. Ducking behind the counter, he selects the indicated volume and tucks it under his arm. "As you will. Let me just give you one word of advice." Before exiting the shop, he throws the last words over his shoulder.

"Choose easier prey."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Rounding the corner, Mitsuo digs out the keys to a battered grey Subaru 1000. The engine turns over on the fourth try. While rumbling across town towards Village de L'Est, he cracks open the book to glance at the pages. Nope! English would've been too easy. Definitely nothing Asian. It might be German or Yiddish, but his German is pretty weak - mostly "Good morning!" and "DROP YOUR WEAPONS" - and some of the characters are... wiggling. Writhing, really. Let's just close that.

The 1000 pulls into the driveway of a plain concrete-and-vinyl building. The windows on the first floor are all barred, and the reinforced doors were once green but are now mostly rusty red. (Festive.) Gothic print over the peephole reads
pre:
          FORWARD THINKING LLC
Security Consulting and Protective Services
Mitsuo pulls three keys to deal with the heavy bolts. Once inside, he re-bolts the door, hangs his keys on a hook behind the surplus steel desk up front, and heads for the stairs. The second floor is marginally less severe than the first; two large rooms and a bathroom, divided with cypress-and-paper screens into smaller living areas. On the wall at the top of the stairs, visible from below, are hung two curved swords in lacquered red scabbards, underneath a picture of an Asian gentlemen in heavily decorated military dress.

The book is placed carefully on a low table. Mitsuo proceeds to the back room, removes his coat and tie, and opens a large steel rotary-dial bank safe in the living-room area. Vapor pours out of the front, pooling on the floor. Mitsuo emerges with a Pepsi. He closes the safe, cracks his soda, and goes to work on the book.

Lore +3 -//+ = +3. Guess what? German.

Well, at least it's not Aramaic or something. That would be silly. Mitsuo glares, frustrated, at the pages, until his ancient black rotary phone jumps and rings. He closes the book and picks up.

"Mosh-"

"MITSUO!"

"Hugues, I-"

"Umm, can't talk much. We're on the way to Cole's office after we saved his rear end from a demon."

"But th-"

"You two might want to head over here too, and let us know what the hell you've been up to. Bye."

*click*

Mitsuo stares at the handset for a moment before replacing it in the brass cradle. His first thought is to bring the book along for Hugues to translate.

...

His SECOND thought is that this is a SPECTACULARLY TERRIBLE IDEA, bringing demonic grimoires into a Warden's office. He takes another disgusted swig of Pepsi and slips the book onto a nearby shelf, between Xenophon and Clausewitz. Grabbing his jacket, he downs the soda, neatly places the can into a recycling bin downstairs, and fires up the 1000. (Second try! Not bad.)

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo

*knock knock knock*

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Turning to face JR, Mitsuo says, "I have not yet had a chance to get too far into the information I've found. We can discuss it later, for I will be asking Hugues to help me translate."

Cole opens the door for the pair. Mitsuo nods slightly, in deference to the man's authority in his own headquarters. Cole proffers a chair, but before taking it Mitsuo sees him pull the pins out of his drawer. The others go for them, some quickly, others after a moment of thought. He hangs back, watching them, occasionally looking at the lone pin left on the table.

On the one hand, Mitsuo and the police had never gotten along very well. Worse, should Cole discover the skeletons in his closet, the might of the White Council would immediately descend upon his head. Maybe it would be better to keep a safe distance.

On the other... maybe the army would be a better comparison. Cole evoked images of a few lieutenants Mitsuo had known - young, inexperienced perhaps, but full of fire and earnest belief that they worked to create a safer world. His boss is another matter entirely, but she doesn't seem to be in the picture much just now. With some careful omissions of fact and an appropriately respectful attitude, Cole could be an excellent ally.

Finally, Mitsuo steps forward and picks up the pin. With another curt nod to Cole he stashes it in a pocket. He lowers himself into the folding chair.

"So. It seems I have missed quite a lot here. Would you care to fill me in?"

"Oh, and as for the vampire..." He shrugs. "It is not an issue. The Black Court are capricious, and there is little to be done about that. Better to avoid them entirely, if possible."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

With another loaded glance at JR, Mitsuo replies, "Well. Curiosity about the nature of Miss Nazarene's attacker led us to a shop downtown called Reggie's Inks and Copy. Rather than speak to us, one of the Black Court cut the lights and jumped us. JR and I managed to fight her off - he's a very good shot - but it's quite likely that she would think of us as enemies, regardless of her aggression. And that's saying nothing of Reggie himself, who was apparently not present at the time."

Now to hope that Cole's zeal distracts him from his own curiosity.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

"I don't believe they had any information on Nazarene herself, and we certainly didn't give them any," Mitsuo says while shaking his head, "but they may know something about the nature of her killer. And somehow I cannot bring myself to disagree that they should be eliminated."

He produces the Subaru's keys from a pocket. "If anyone needs a ride I can oblige. There will be one brief stop on the way."

Revving up the old gray compact's engine (eventually) he sets off, with whatever passengers in tow, for his office. After the usual dance with the door-keys he steps inside and heads for the top of the stairs, where he bows his head before the portrait.

"Forgive me, Father, but I may need your help for a time."

With great respect and open palms, thumbs extended, he raises the larger blade off of its cedar hooks. Deftly he undoes the knots on the cord, wrapping them around his own waist and cinching them tight. Then he removes the smaller blade and slides it through one of the loops in the cord, next to its companion. With that done he returns to the car. He slides the scabbards in between the seat and the belt hardpoint - a maneuver that obviously took some experimentation, but is now fairly natural - and proceeds on to their destination.

Made of Seki steel hand-forged for a celebrated military commander, the swords are Weapon:3 and Weapon:2 respectively.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

"drat! Well, so much for a well-planned incursion." Mitsuo does his best to enter unobtrusively, moving quietly and attempting to keep his sight-lines to a minimum. Ada's gotten pretty far ahead already, but there's no sense in letting her go in alone.

Stealth +2 ///+ = +3 sneakiness

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Mitsuo ducks behind the front desk, where he'd found the book before. He glances up and down the shelves to see if there's anything of note - more books, cash boxes, dead bodies, loaded shotguns, et cetera.

Alertness I guess? +3 and ///+ for +4. I'm not searching for hidden switches, just looking it over.

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 7, 2012 around 06:16

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Padding quietly down the stairs, with footsteps muffled by soft-soled shoes, Mitsuo catches JR asking for help. He steps up to the door. Shifting the sword belt around to hang off his back, he crouches into a three-point stance, well-practiced from his days in Munich playing pickup football with a squad of American GIs. With his shoulder set against the door he nods to JR and waits.

Athletics +2 -/++ = +3 to throw up "In Position." Passing the tag to Piell so he can open the door.

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 7, 2012 around 17:21

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay



Mitsuo - FP: 2

As quietly as he can, Mitsuo looks over his shoulder and asks, "What is going on back there? Have we got a problem?" With all of his leverage forced squarely up against the door, he's feeling more than a little exposed. The last thing he needs is something jumping on them from behind, or worse - it looks like Ada's the center of attention - something riding Ada suddenly deciding to pick a new target or targets.

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 7, 2012 around 21:58

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2 -> 3

With the door open, Mitsuo fires one last glance back at Ada. It looks like there's something going on, but he can't figure out what it is, and there's definitely something going on behind door #2. Best to get the recon done and deal with other things later if necessary.

Mitsuo takes a shallow breath. The irises of his eyes dilate slightly. He opens his mouth just a crack and mutters, "消えて." Then his outline shimmers and vanishes. Even the splashing of the water as he walks settles down to a gentle murmur. With a hand on the hilt of his blade he ducks through the door and into the next room, hugging a wall as he surveys.

Casting Vanish as a rote. +4 Alertness (stupid water) to detect Mitsuo for 3 exchanges.

Alertness to see what's up. Alert +3 --// = +1 result


pre:
Defenses: Weapons +3
Applicable Aspects: Dashing Forward, In From the Cold
Physical:	( ) ( ) ( ) 
Mental:		(x) ( ) ( ) ( )
Social:		( ) ( ) ( )
Any Mild (-2) Consequence:	( )
Any Moderate (-4) Consequence: 	( )
Any Major (-6) Consequence:	( )
Any Extreme (-8) Consequence:	( )

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 8, 2012 around 00:01

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 3

Mitsuo sloshes up behind Cole. "I cannot see anything here other than the bone. Please keep moving forward; I will be flanking you and jump in if there is danger."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 3 -> 2

Sensing his veil slipping, Mitsuo sidles up behind Zombo(com). Between the darkness, his veil, and the smoking barrel of JR's Ruger, the bum is completely oblivious. Mitsuo sets his hand on the hilt, thumb extended. While it's distracted by its new cranial vent, he sweeps the blade out its scabbard, turning as he goes to complete an upward cut.

Weapons +3 and invoking "In From the Cold" to fight in the dark +2 --// = +3 attack with the W:3 sword.

pre:
Defenses: Weapons +3
Applicable Aspects: Dashing Forward, In From the Cold
Physical:	( ) ( ) ( ) 
Mental:		(x) ( ) ( ) ( )
Social:		( ) ( ) ( )
Any Mild (-2) Consequence:	( )
Any Moderate (-4) Consequence: 	( )
Any Major (-6) Consequence:	( )
Any Extreme (-8) Consequence:	( )

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2 -> 1

Mitsuo reels from the undead assault, turning the force from the smack to the head into a stumbling half-turn that rips his arm out of Slimy's mouth, sans a fair bit of flesh.

Bringing his pain and frustration under control, he channels it all down through the hilt of his sword. It emanates a soft purple glow, edged in blue-green where the metal meets the air. Mitsuo mouths a few words while the light intensifies. It's time to start whittling down the field. To that end, he grabs and draws his shorter sword, briefly crossing the blades. The light dims as it spreads to the tanto, then continues to strengthen. He points the long sword at Squishy, the shorter at his early-rising companion ZomBum. Finally, he screams at his opponents.

"闇の流れ!"

The colours stream out of the swords, wrapped in shining filaments around a mass of light-sucking black fluid. With terrifying speed they splash against the zombies, hungrily stripping and vaporizing flesh. The zombies are too battered to get out of the way quickly, so the stream continues to bite into their bodies until it finally peters out.

Void attack against Squishy (Weapon:3) and ZomBum (Weapon:1). Discipline +5, tagging Jawless and Headless for +4, and pushing a fate point on "Zompopsicled" for another +2, --// = +9 so it'll split up as follows:

Squishy: Weapon:3, attack +5
ZomBum: Weapon:1, attack +4


pre:
Defenses: Weapons +3
Applicable Aspects: Dashing Forward, In From the Cold, Kingdom of Shadows
Physical:	(x) ( ) (x) 
Mental:		(x) (x) ( ) ( )
Social:		( ) ( ) ( )
Any Mild (-2) Consequence:	( )
Any Moderate (-4) Consequence: 	(Ripped Up - Physical, Unused)
Any Major (-6) Consequence:	( )
Any Extreme (-8) Consequence:	( )

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 1 -> 2

Self compel on "Cause for Alarm." Steve's in the wrong place at the wrong time, to Jenny's misfortune; Mitsuo sees way too much of his own history in the situation.

Oh.

Oh no.

The shotgun... the sounds... the Duchess screaming about her possessions. Steve just got caught in the crossfire. Why the gently caress did he have to be down here? Why couldn't he have gotten on the first bus to Abu Dhabi after seeing the little showdown between Duchess and the cowboys earlier? There's bad luck and then there's just plain stupid.

And why, oh, why did it have to be JENNY that took him out? The only vaguely compassionate, actually nice one of the team? She was just trying to help... just trying to...

oh crap.

crap crap craaaaaaaap

By the sound of things, she's at most three minutes from breaking the First Law. Probably a whole lot less, depending on which way that shotgun was pointed. Dealing with that sort of guilt... Mitsuo doesn't know much about Jenny, but he's pretty sure this would devastate her. And then there's the Council's response. They tend not to even let First Lawbreakers get through the first sentence of their story before breaking out the silver swords. He's lived under the threat of Council "justice" for so long... Jenny doesn't deserve that. He won't let them make a criminal out of her.

Injured or not, he's got to save Steve.

Ignoring the remaining zombies, Mitsuo jams the swords back into their scabbards and hurls himself towards the doorway. He keeps as much cover as he can between himself and the Duchess. Steve's just inside, his blood tinging the water red all the way to the door. Mitsuo stretches out, braced against the wall, and hauls him up over one shoulder to keep his head above water. Pushing with both feet, he drags Steve into the corner, falling against the wall to keep them both semi-upright.

Might +0, -1 supplemental action, /+++ = +2 to get Steve out of the water and into Zone 1 with Mitsuo.

There's not much he can do from this position. The best he can hope for is to give the others an advantage. With a quick, twisting wave of his off hand Mitsuo makes Steve's shed blood glow, lighting the far room just enough to pick out the form of the Duchess against the darkness. He shouts at JR, then turns his head to the group in back, and his voice gets a bit more pained.

"Take your shot! Jenny, get over here and help me!"

That light was the supplemental.

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2012 around 00:21

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

"It is not him we are trying to save..." Mitsuo looks at Ada, then Jenny, and re-evaluates his statement. "He is not the priority. She is. The White Council-"

Mitsuo's head drifts around again to spot Cole. Seeing that he's absent, Mitsuo relaxes a bit. "The Council regards killing via magic a capital crime. They will send a Warden as judge, jury, and executioner - or worse, force Cole to take that role."

His voice gets much quieter. "There will be no trial, no leniency for mitigating circumstances. Just a violent fate which she does not deserve. But if she can heal him..." He turns back to the scene ahead, cheering on Jenny, satisfied with his own contribution, blissfully unaware of what they have planned.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

"Use my car, Ada," Mitsuo says as he heaves at Steve's shoulders. "It will not be the first time removing blood stains from the fabric. It comes up surprisingly easily with a bit of club soda." Normally he'd throw in a sardonic little grin - and a slightly creepy one at that - but the day's been far too long and he may be removing as much of his own blood from the upholstery as the kid's.

Once they're packed into the vehicle, Mitsuo looks over his shoulder at the boy slumped across the back bench. He's in worse shape than was obvious before. A lot worse. That's one, two... and, well... call it two and a half rapidly-fatal wounds. Still, his breathing is ragged but steady.

Lore +3 //++ = +5 which I assume is good enough to realize Steve's recovery wasn't wholly natural.

Mitsuo narrows his eyes. As he turns the key, his gaze fixes on Ada.

"Now that we're out from under the Warden's eye, why don't you tell me what our young friends have done here."

Ooh, a chance for quality time with someone who isn't a cowboy! Here's hoping I have more free time this weekend for these shenanigans.
e: Pushing Weapons to +4.

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 16, 2012 around 05:39

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

"I... see. That was not really..." Mitsuo looks out each window of the car furtively, then glances back at Steve who's still miles away from reality. He clears his throat.

"Those injuries are beyond serious. Even bringing him up the stairs should have been more than his body could handle. That is..." He waffles for a moment, then looks again at Ada. "Bluntly, did Steve cross the boundary before Jenny healed him?"

Taking a very small liberty with Ada here, I hope you don't mind Trans, if you do I'll retract it.

Her pupils flare at the question. She half-opens her mouth. Before she makes up her mind to speak one way or the other, Mitsuo jumps in again. "Ada, I am not one of the Council. I am not interested in punishing Jenny or anyone else for their actions. And, I am no saint myself." He grimaces as he speaks. "We all have our demons. Jenny's may be far kinder than mine. But... if we are to be working with Cole, and there are things he may not need to know, we must be very clear with each other. So I must ask for the truth."

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

A hard sort of grin tugs at the corners of Mitsuo's lips. "For the last sixty years I have kept my own secrets. What is one more? We must only hope that Cole has been too distracted to pay close attention."

Contemplatively, he dips a hand into his jacket. It emerges clutching the sword-pin. He spares a moment of attention from the road to look at it. A thought strikes him. He waves the pin-bearing hand gently to catch Ada's attention. Then he closes his hand hard around it. He opens his fingers, then closes them around the charm again, indicating to her to do the same.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

With the pin muffled as best he can, Mitsuo speaks to Ada in a low voice - not a whisper, but a very quiet sotto voce, slurring sibilant consonants in a sort of lisp.

"It just occurred to me that we have only Cole's word on the workings of these pins. We should be careful in our conversations until we have a chance to confirm that they are only alarms. I may do some research into it after this, or perhaps Hugues can take-"

Mitsuo cuts off mid-sentence and slams his closed palm against his forehead. A tiny drop of blood spills down his wrist, presumably from the pin piercing his palm. "糞!* We had to deal with Cole, and then in the excitement I completely forgot to talk to Hugues! We should track him down before the next poo poo-and-fan incident. But first..." He looks over his shoulder again. "We have to deal with our passenger somehow."

* kuso, vaguely "oh poo poo"

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

"へええ、宮殿だなあ..." *

Mitsuo self-consciously pulls the Subaru up near the front door. After meeting the butler, seeing the mini-hospital, and watching Ada make a phone call and get a private physician with no questions asked, he's quietly awed. While she's busy dealing with the doc Mitsuo asks the butler, "Excuse me. May I use your telephone?"

He's led to a sitting-room off the main living area. It's opulent, but in very good taste. There's an ivory-handled rotary phone with a brass cradle sitting on one of the end tables. "Thank you, Roy. I will just be a minute."

Spinning in Hugues' number, he waits as the phone rings.

<Hello?>

"Hugues? Mitsuo. Are you alone?"

<Am for now. Expecting a pixie in a bit, but she'll be silent with a bit of pizza. What's the matter?>

"No problems. Could not ask with Cole around, but when JR and I met the Duch-"

The door to the sitting-room cracks open. Alfred walks in with a silver tea-tray. By the time he turns away from carefully balancing the tray to look at his guest, he's six feet into the room, and Mitsuo is staring daggers at him. Every damned time! And always at the worst possible moment! Alfred pales a bit, attempting a short bow but in deference to the hot liquid he's carrying only managing a nod, and shuffles back out the door.

"... our dark friend earlier, she was kind enough to give me a book. Only problem is, the writing is German."

<Deutsch... schon eine weile her, wahrscheinlich rostig. Haven't used it in a while. Could probably managed something. How dark we talking with this book? Do I need to keep it chained down so it doesn't bite my hand off?>

"It has not bit me yet, but the text... flows? Wiggles? Anyway, there is that and another thing I would like to ask you about, but that can wait. Can we meet up somewhere? I am with Ada, but the book is at my office."

<Sure. If we meet up at my place, I've got my tools already to go.>

"Okay. Give me your address, and call me when you are ready."

<Will do. I've got to check up on Jenny, so it'll be tomorrow. That work?>

"Fine. The address? ... Yes... okay, I have it. Good night."

Setting the phone back in its cradle, Mitsuo heads back into the hospital-room to check on Ada and Steve.


* "Hee, kyuuden da naa..." / "Whoa, it's a palace..."

Chrome Gnome fucked around with this message at Mar 21, 2012 around 15:49

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Mitsuo glances around the corner into the hospital room. Ada looks... terrible. Stressed. Concerned. Guilty, mostly, and desperately searching for some way to absolve herself. Rather than intrude upon her reverie, Mitsuo heads for the door. He bows curtly to Roy on the way out.

Gunning the Subaru, he cruises out of the nicer section of town, and out to the east where the Asian neighborhoods are. He spares a moment of regret at leaving behind the perfectly manicured gardens; he's always had a soft spot for flowers. They bring up so many memories, good and bad. His mother's Hawai'ian garden, full of purples and oranges. The orchids his father's family bred in the tiny box in the front yard. The chrysanthemum emblems on his uniform. Cherry blossoms strewn on the runways before the kami-kaze pilots took off, blinded by hachimaki and dreams of glory. Calla lilies and his mother's voice... I will always watch over you...

With misty eyes he pulls into the driveway at Forward Thinking. Five minutes later he's kneeling on the bamboo mat, bare-chested, gently running an oiled cloth along the blade of his father's short sword. He sheathes both blades and reverently replaces them on their display hooks. Snagging a soda from the thaumafridge, he walks over to an ancient wooden-cased radio next to the barred window. He flips the main switch. It crackles to life, tuned to the local all-news channel. He sips at his soda and shuffles around the room, pulling out random objects and piling them on a low table. Long sheets of paper tied with red ribbon. A round, flat, greenish stone. Two thin waxy rods, one black and one red. A wooden case filled with horsehair brushes. A tiny copper pot. Glass lenses on silk pillows. And finally, the grimoire, carefully placed away from the other objects.

He lets the friendly drone of the newscaster wash away his thoughts as he picks up the copper pot and allows a few drops of clear water to fall on the green stone. Taking the black rod in hand, he rubs it in a slow infinity-loop on the wet stone. His eyes defocus, gazing through the walls of the apartment, letting the events of the day dissipate as he prepares for a new working.

Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Having ground away a large part of the black ink stick and filled another small copper pot with the resulting night-black liquid, Mitsuo draws out one of the smaller brushes. The body of the brush is a simple sanded bamboo reed. The bulbous horsehair head is tied on with string and natural glue.

Dipping the brush first in the water, then the ink, he unfurls a piece of rice paper edged in red silk, about 10cm by 30cm, with a gold-leaf symbol at the bottom. Gently and deliberately he strokes at the paper, lifting and twisting the brush to alter the thickness of the lines to some inscrutable tradition.

Though he writes only a few characters, the slow pace of his strokes and moments of contemplation between characters add up to a full ten minutes of writing. Finally, he replaces the brush in its case, now selecting a red ink stick and a small square marble rod, topped with a carving of a bull. He swipes the ink stick at his inkstone for a few moments, then wets the flat end of the rod in red ink and stabs at the bottom of the paper.

pre:
    久
 真 延
 実 毘
 を 古
 お
 示
 し
 下
 さ
 い
     塚田
With his gofu finished, Mitsuo sets aside the calligraphic tools and brings out another set of objects. After a few minutes' work he has eight river-stones laid out in a circle on the tatami floor. Five candles light the circle - red to the north, white to the east, blue to the south, brown to the west, and at the center a fat black candle, all of them as yet unlit. Accompanying the black candle on a small lacquered cedar altar are the grimoire and, on top of it, the barely-dry gofu. Next to that he positions one of the ground glass lenses, perhaps 15cm across, on a black silk pillow edged with silver thread.

Everything is in place. Mitsuo kills the lights and kneels at the center of the circle. He takes a huge breath, his whole body arching upwards as he fills his lungs. Then he exhales - slowly, achingly slowly, letting the breath carry away all of his thoughts, emptying his body and his mind. He pauses for a moment at the end of the breath. Finally, his lungs screaming for air, he closes his eyes and breathes again. The four candles at the edge of the circle spring to life, flames dancing in the shadowy room.

Mitsuo's eyes spring open. The black candle catches flame, merrily burning with an impossible purple-black flame that casts flickering shadows where the others create light. He chants the words of his gofu over and over as light and shadow skirmish in the corners of the room.

"Kuebiko shinjitsu-o oshimeshi kudasai, Kuebiko shinjitsu-o oshimeshi kudasai, Kuebiko..."

He feels the crackling energy build up in him, almost reaching the spillover point, but coming up just short. There are a handful of talismans here that could supply that last jolt of power, but the circle is closed and he doesn't want to start over. Remembering a thought he'd had earlier, he casts his mind back into the sea of his memories.

Calla lilies in a porcelain vase, supporting the portrait of his mother in its gilt frame, so carefully arranged on the little table. Such a small shield, too small to block the sight of her casket on the podium, framed with huge sprays of lilies and chrysanthemums and orchids and the plumeria she'd loved so much, the ones his father had spent so many thousands of yen to ship in from Oahu. The smell of her hair when he'd buried his face in her shoulder, and even then she'd promised him, "I will always watch over you," as if it weren't all his fault...

He brushes a tear from the corner of his eye and lets it fall on the gofu, smearing the ink of his signature. A surge of power and the candles flare. Light and dark play over the surface of the lens, chaotically interfering and building on each other, until finally resolving into a coherent image. Mitsuo blinks rapidly and gazes into the glass.



Good ol' thaumaturgy. I want to know the previous owners of the grimoire and what they've used it for - starting probably with Reggie and going back from there. Similar to Sight but probably not as comprehensive.

Meditation gives me a Discipline declaration for "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," using tag to power the spell.

Maudlin recollections are part of taking a mild mental consequence "Misty Eyed" to power the spell.

"Kuebiko (immobile but all-seeing scarecrow kami), show me truth - Tsukada"

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Chrome Gnome
Jan 21, 2009

yum tum yummy tum tay

Mitsuo - FP: 2

Shivering, Mitsuo turns away from the glass. The air stirs and the candles puff out. He shuffles to his feet and begins replacing the ritual supplies. That vision's going to stick with him for days. Replacing the book on its shelf, he vows: that will not be me. I cannot give in to that temptation.

With everything in order, he descends the stairs, quintuple-locks the doors, and heads back up. He tumbles onto a futon in the back corner of the second floor. He's asleep within thirty seconds of hitting the pillow, a trick he perfected in the Teishin Shudan days where every second of rest had to be used to the fullest. Dreaming of black-haired men and ravens carrying golden books, he waits for the phone to ring.

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