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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


Thrash & Maw-Meow Memorial Fishing Fund: 75/80 coin
+10 coin: 01's blaster repairs

01@THIEF: brom $
”<GGHGGGGGGɢɢɢɢɢɢ---->” A shower of crackling sparks and flame erupts from A.G.NeS’ chest as your blade ruptures a good half-dozen of his power cells; the guardbot shudders, jerks, and crumples to the floor, spouting thick black smoke from every orifice. Thus and so. Another opponent falls. Let no softskin say you’ve failed to uphold your directive. A smoldering piece of rivet slides off the edge of your blade and clinks to the floor.

Then Nizhda pops up from behind the counter and unloads both barrels of a shotgun into your back from fifteen feet away! More sparks fly as you stumble under this unexpected assault, and Nizhda seizes this opportunity to slam a palm on the big red button on top of the counter and flee out the shop's backroom door, shrieking at the top of her lungs. A blaring burglar alarm fills the room with noise! Fortunately it was buckshot, not solid slug, but still. Ow.
You take one no forceful damage.

There - you can see it right away. In a pigeonhole behind the counter, it’s your kinetic force amplifier module, cleaned, polished, and wrapped in oilcloth. Guess what? You got it for free. And look! the store’s completely empty. You’ve got your pick of the showroom floor. Pistols, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, body armor sized for softskins, spearguns, compound bows, even a couple heavier machine-gun models -- it’s all here. But once you leave, you should probably never, ever come back here again.
Your blaster is fully functional once more, and it has 2/2 ammo.

In addition, choose two:
• Take whatever you want in guns, ammo, or armor from the gun shop’s stocks, within reason. Most guns are 2-weight; pistols are 1-weight, anything heavier than a rifle is 3-weight or more. Ammo varies by kind of gun: the bigger the gun, the less the ammo you get per 1-weight. You tell me what you get and I’ll tell you what to add to your inventory.
• Loot 35 coin from the register.
• Pursue Nizhda while her trail is still hot.

What do you do?



STATHIS
District’s really maybe the wrong word. District implies anyone wants to go down into those filthy alleyways between the Raft’s real ships - the lightless, rain-soaked cloaca of this excuse for a city. Nobody down here these days but crooks, rats, and refugees with nowhere else to go. On a night like this the shacks down here will be utterly at the storm’s mercy, even with a few thousand tons of steel in the way to blunt the worst waves. But for all that it’s a smuggler’s paradise: all you gotta do is wait for the client to pull up at the Raft’s edge and have them haul the goods in by rope under cover of night. Nice and clean.

Nobody in their right mind would be out on the "streets" tonight, and even fewer would think to look up. All the better for you: you can travel along the undersides of bridges and across the ships' hulls, a whole city of secret streets spread out just for you. It’s easy going as long as you don’t have to cross from ship to ship, and either go under a bridge or get down to sea level where the “alleys” open up a bit and the sightlines aren’t as constrained. It’s at one such juncture, where three ships’ prows all point straight at one another, that you spot something unusual bumping against an old oil drum. A flash of lightning silhouettes it -- a bloated body, bobbing in the swell, staring sightlessly up at the pouring rain.

Was he some unlucky drunk who took a wrong turn and forgot how to swim? Some poor stiff who made it out of Aqualantis just in time for the ocean to decide she was gonna throw a tantrum? Who knows. Whoever he was, he’s nobody you knew -- and look. Something’s growing out of the corner of his eye: a tiny, delicate mushroom, pale and grey…


...on second thought maybe you’d better not get too close to that guy.

***

Corpses aside, your best bet to find the Halwyrd is to look for activity. Anderson might rabbit whenever things get hot, but you know he runs a drat tight ship: even on a night like this he’d have men he can trust watching the Halwyrd’s entrances. So down you go, over the side of and down into that ugly mess of scrap iron and scavenged plastic. Anything that’ll float, really; anything flexible enough to more-or-less hold together under the constant relative motion of the various ships making up the Raft proper. Lucky for you that you've got such good night vision. There's almost no light down there, and a hand-torch would just scream "cop".

It's not long before you spot something unusual: three dull red lights clustered around the broken wreck of an old troop transport from the Elvenwars. Cigarettes. That’s the one -- that’s your mark. The “HAL” in flaking white paint on its bow gives it away. Amazingly the old tub is still afloat somehow despite losing its entire stern half in the shattering wake of the Big Sink. Three burly men in oilcloth slickers and watch-caps are lounging around at the end of the No. 2 deck - open to the air now and mostly papered over with tarps. Anderson’s boys, like as not. They’re peering out into the dark like they’re waiting for something -- or someone -- to show up. One of them digs in his pocket and snaps open a battered watch. Looks like whatever it is, it’s running late.

***

This must be the place, but where’s that crazy woman Ramona? She’ll want to know about this. Hell, if Anderson’s dead maybe you can slip right in and claim some of the goods for yourself. But maybe you want to wait until you’ve got a little backup on hand. One drider against three crooks is all well and good, but you’ve no idea whether or not Anderson’s got enough clout to have backup waiting in the wings. And if this all goes pear-shaped you might want someone around to pull your rear end out of the fire. Oh and speaking of fire a burglar alarm just went off like twenty feet behind your head! Smoke and groaning metal and a thin orcish shriek - sounds like somebody’s robbing the Alpaca Arsenal and Armory across the way! Now who the hell would want to go and do something like that?
What do you do?


RAMONA, SERENITY, TUTRESIEL
Posts for the rest of y'all coming as time allows. Don't feel like you have to wait for me to post again to !

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at May 13, 2016 around 03:32

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Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

As she waited for a reply from the man, who was no doubt not expecting to get a hail from a world-famous (In her own mind) bard, she spoke over her shoulder to Tutresiel.

"While I suspect it may not be a matter for my ears, I have to admit - I'm curious. What brings an angel to the world? And to Aqualantis, of all places?" She hated being rude to her companion by not facing him, but she also didn't want to be rude to the dock worker. And if anyone was not going to care about minor things that like, it would be a creature literally beyond such concerns. Or were they? She had to admit, direct extensions of a god were a bit out of her sphere of knowledge.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

"There was another servant of the Silent God who came to Aqualantis recently, after it had sunk. I must find what became of them, and if necessary continue on their holy mission. If it will help finding them then I will tell you the name that they went by: Hamon." replied Tutresiel as they regarded the cube, not looking directly at Serenity either - but since she was not looking towards Tutresiel either no-one would notice how rude anyone was being to one-another. Tutresiel's tone was as even and neutral as it always seemed, though when they pronounced the name of their compatriot there was an ever-so-slight shift making Tutresiel sound almost... pained? Perhaps it's just your imagination however, after all, as Tutresiel spoke there was a constant and slightly distracting susurrus emanating from the cube they held in their hands, these hushed glossolalic whispers might have just created some audible interference, after all.

"Pray tell, why do you seek the sunken city then, teller of tales?" inquired Tutresiel in turn, their interest piqued. Elves were generally more interesting in the eyes of immortals anyway, since they too had a keen mind for plans that were long in motion and grandiose in execution, since they could survive to see its fruition.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11
Take whatever you want in guns, ammo, or armor from the gun shop’s stocks, within reason. Most guns are 2-weight; pistols are 1-weight, anything heavier than a rifle is 3-weight or more. Ammo varies by kind of gun: the bigger the gun, the less the ammo you get per 1-weight. You tell me what you get and I’ll tell you what to add to your inventory.
Loot 35 coin from the register.


The shotgun impact scuffs my armor and spins me around, but otherwise does nothing. I let the scurrying fleshbag escape, pursuing her would simply waste time. I quickly snatch up my gun's part, slotting it in until it clicks. An indicator light blinks a few times before holding steady and my auditory pickups measure a slight subharmonic hum as the weapon re-initializes.
Satisfied, I holster my gun and blade, feeling almost whole.

I scan the room, running a cost/benefit analysis at the moment I spot the tarp. If Aqualantis is to be cleansed, as my lady and I were hired to do, we must have more guns. Lot's of guns.

I unfurl the tarp, and lay out the two largest and heaviest looking weapons in the shop, along with reloads. I wrap the bundle securely and tie it, using The Ramona's spear as a carrying handle as I head out swiftly into the darkening evening back to the ship. Once I drop off my haul, I will head out again to find a nearby mechanist's shop for repair parts (if it's not too late in the evening for them to be open)

taking 2 BFGs and however much extra ammo 1 weight gets me (7 weight)

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


RAMONA
Of course you recognize grandpa here. He sent along the usual bona fides in his last letter to you. Just a little more time, he said then; and a bunch more excuses as to why he couldn’t pay you that last installment on all the failed powersuit experiments you sold him. Not that you believed him. But the first few payments were drat generous for a lot of busted gun and armor prototypes, and he sent along a glittering blue scale in the envelope, as always: Cyrus’ scales. You haven’t seen the little fishboy since that last mad fight for the Priceless some four months ago -- but you’d never forget his face, or the face of his older brother. Even if you only ever did see his face for about five seconds while he was running off with his little brother to, apparently, go track down a teleporter. This is Lopence. He made it out somehow, and maybe Cyrus did too.

And he still hasn’t paid up.

You didn’t exactly see any glimmer of recognition in his eyes, lucky you -- must’ve been the glasses. They go flying as soon as you crash into the ocean about two seconds behind Cooper here, though. Looks like he whacked his head into a bit of plate glass or something on the way down - there’s an ugly gash on his scalp bleeding freely into the water, and his eyes are dull and unfocused. Perfect. Don’t even need to knock him around a little. In all the commotion he’s too stunned to notice one tiny little prick on the outside of his thigh, right through the clothes, clean. He'll never suspect a thing. The needle gets dropped into the sea right after; no sense giving Savior a chance to use it against you, even after most of its potency’s just gone into Anderson here.

He splutters and chokes; thrashing helplessly in the water for a couple seconds before he gets his breath back and starts treading water. You dunk his head under for a couple seconds and relieve him of his fancy gold watch, the custom waterproofed one the briefing said he’s got a habit of wearing everywhere. “Hey, THAT’S MY WATCH!” he shouts. “HEY!!” But you don’t stop, or look back - just keep swimming. With flabby little rich man’s arms like his, there’s no way he’ll catch up.

You’re next to the Bonnie Oyster, which is apparently still on fire - when you look up you can see smoke pouring out of the top-deck doorway where you walked in the first time, and you can hear shouts and crackling flame. Ahead of you, a filthy tangle of jerry-built shacks and bridges fills the space between the hull of the Bonnie Oyster and that of the next ship over. Anderson is behind you, swimming steadily your way. A head pokes out of the porthole where you dived out - Lopence’s. In the light spilling out from Anderson’s room you can see his face is contorted with anger and fear.
Your needle and disguise are gone. Add Anderson’s watch (0 weight, bounty) to your inventory.
You have no other weapons, gear, or armor, except for Savior.
What do you do?



SERENITY AND TUTRESIEL
Tutresiel, you speak, and the Cube of Araboth opens to you. A swirl of disjointed information floods your senses - the weird geometries of your sacred artefact brushing fractal fingers along the fabric of timespace, bringing together all that the records know of this person, this Security Chief Orson. War, first -- a desperate rear-guard action amid a forest of dying pines, sinuous black forms darting in and out of the beams of floodlights with awful grace, crackling guns and flame-throwers and the screams of many races.
<<((){((){ Drink the poison yourself. The red forest. The serpent bites. Betcha Boa Four is overrun; })()

The vision swirls like grains of sand and reforms itself around you. A brief glimpse of him as a barefoot chub, dandled on his grandfather’s knee. A furious argument between him and a squat toad-man in a lab coat: the other man dashes a clipboard to the floor and storms off. Orson picks it up; the vision shifts and changes again - a dark room where strange lichens hump in their racked petri dishes. He picks up a jug of bleach and flips open the lid.
((){ Coherency Four is its status. You can’t do this to me, Richard. What is your advisory?; })()

The vision trembles and warps; the Cube is nearly exhausted. A last few fleeting fragments - the man seated in full-lotus pose on the floor of a ship. He removes an autoinjector from its kit and presses it to his neck. His eyes flutter; his mouth opens slack - and the vision dissolves into a sputter of random colors. One final image remains to you as the Cube snaps shut, silent and inert: that of a serpent, eating its own tail…
((){ Received and acknowledged, brother. Dispatch authorized; })()})()>>

***

Serenity, while the angel Tutresiel consults his own sources of information, you turn instead to good old fashioned good looks and charm. (And a big fat elven quarter-sovereign in your hand never hurts, either.) The man snaps your coin out of the air with one hand and bites on it to test its authenticity. Satisfied, he favors you with a sardonic smile. “Oh, so you’re the one that lady at the Invincible keeps singing about every night.” He laughs, and toasts you with an empty bottle. “Jeez, lady, what’d you do to her?”

He points you in the complete opposite direction from the Expectant, out where a dull red light is growing on the bulk of a particularly large ship. It backlights the furled sails of the Gracious Gale -- just what has Anastasia gotten herself into to end up tangled up in this place? “If’n you want a duet, miss, you’d just need to follow the lights! Crowd’s nice ‘n big on a night like this.” Goodness, it’s a spectacle just watching this man point. You could bounce a washer off those pecs and kill a man stone dead at thirty paces. And, true to his word, you can see a trio of spotlights pointing up into the rain. You can’t see where exactly they’re coming from, but he’s got a point: lights like that are hard to miss. All you need to do is keep them in sight.

Having answered your question, the man turns and strolls off into the rain, seemingly unperturbed by how completely soaked he is. Before he goes, you pick up a fragment of song the man is singing quietly to himself. Somewhere out in the distance, a burglar alarm is blaring steadily...
Lose one coin (you have 2 coin left) and remove the invoice for 59 coin from your inventory.
You and Tutresiel can go see the chief aboard the
Expectant, or you can investigate that burglar alarm on your way to the Invincible, but not both at once unless you split the party.
Dawn will come in a few hours.
What do you two do?

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

"Thank you, good sir!" Serenity called after the man. She admired him as he went before turning back to Tutresiel. Her demeanor shifted quickly, a deadly serious look replacing the good-natured one she wore only a moment before.

"I'm sure you have heard of the folk we call Abyss Wyrms. A grandchild of mine went searching for them, decades ago. I only recently learned of this, and I don't know what possessed her to pursue such madness. If she still lives I am determined to find her. If she's been hurt, those responsible will receive that pain back, sevenfold." Her eyes narrowed as she stared passed Tutresiel's shoulder at nothing, her anger focused on an image that existed only in her mind. Her eyes refocused and snapped back to the angel's face. A hand brushed a braid back over her shoulder as she continued. "Aqualantis exists in the seas. If the wyrms truly exist, someone there will know how to contact them. To that end, while there is other work to be done in securing passage, I think it best we speak with this Orson fellow."

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

"Agreed, I feel Orson would be the best first port of call. Once his presence has been investigated we can further deal with whatever lies within this place. We should be cautious when dealing with Orson however, it seems that he is veteran of a war of some kind, involving many races. Hmm. From what visions I have gathered it seems possible that he has allied with Warwick out of fear of aging, a lust for immortality. A fear that I can sympathise with, I am surprised more mortals do not dedicate themselves wholly to trying to live forever. But then again if that were the case I doubt the short-lived races would have ever left their caves." replied Tutresiel as they slipped the Cube of Araboth, (now spent) back into the Pall of Shekina.

"Regardless, if he is using some methods or pharmacology or enhancements given to him by Warwick, then he might be more than he seems, especially when it comes to conflict." mused Tutresiel as they gazed more directly at Serenity, the rain sliding off of the angel's form entirely as though repulsed by whatever material it was that they 'wore'.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

"Well. Ideally there will be no reason for a conflict. We just want information, right?" She searched the angel's face for anything to read, but it was a futile effort. And the mention of being able to sympathize with mortals...had Tutresiel once been something or someone else? A mysterious being to be sure, and the longer she spent around him the more that mystery grew.

"But if you think there might be a risk, should we regroup with Ramona and Zero One first? I'm in no proper condition to be scrapping with anybody right now."

I'll leave the decision on how to proceed to you, Oregano. I'm good with anything, but we ought to go ahead and do something.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 0 Armor
She sees her target is not yet completely without a doubt screwed, and rolls her eyes. Josephine didn't hire her to pickpocket, and that's all she'd really done so far.

Hyperventilation is how she prepares for the next and hopefully final step in the process. She dives back into the sea, drawing her pistol out of her jacket. Then she gives the gun a button press and twist, turning it into the grappling whip, and unleashes the coils upward, at Anderson's ankles. She descends, he descends.

It was just a matter of holding her breath at this point. The debilitating symptoms would start showing up around 8 minutes, and certain death in 20. She could hit without even trying a good day, wouldn't even need to push herself. It was easy because her ghosts were like bees in more than one way–when she was diving they also could only angrily swarm above the water and wait for her to surface. Gave her time to relax, same as when she's drunk. She'd figured out drinking worked after diving because slaves didn't exactly get to imbibe that much, but they could swim, and when you dove deep enough the martini effect went into play. Nitrogen narcosis, which altered the brain much like the timeless drink. Even after she surfaced, it kept the insects from being able to land on her until the effects wore off.

Too bad she wasn't going to get anywhere near the depth that'd accomplish that. Then again, the ghosts had been quiet lately. Maybe Max had something to do with it? Who knows.

Anyway, after she finally completes the Anderson mission, Ramona rendezvous with her armor and alcohol in that abandoned store room, and returns to the concierge. She gets paid, then pays the doctor and gunsmith via the concierge, then she could get drunk and pass out... unless she needed to keep an eye on Juan, Tootsie. drat troublemakers. The way they treated colleagues, mere strangers were doomed. As for that elven antidote to age, Serenity–she knew well enough that beauty alone painted enough of a target on one's back without looking weak as well.

So of course she'd have to stay up and watch over them. No rest for the wicked. Hopefully the concierge would have some spare uppers. Caffeine, amphetamines, whatever. She would put the armor back on the Harpy, get her spare glasses and umbrella, and head back out there in disguise again. Hopefully nothing too sudden would happen, and she'd have time to put up her hair and throw off the disguise before swooping in to save the day. Didn't like being out of the "uniform."

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


Of course now is a fine time for more complications to arrive. When it rains, it pours. A scream and alarm from a gun store was as bad of news as any, and it's been bad enough that I don't want the headline tomorrow to be any worse. But first a sign for Ramona. Heavy rain and the thug's own cigarettes should cover the smell of burning paint and metal, large enough on the prow to be noticed by anyone walking the streets. Won't catch anyone's attention from across the Raft but it'd be enough while I dealt with the robbery in progress. One problem handled I leap off, hanging off the portside of another ship. Both visible doors in sight, a knocked over trashcan by the back showing someone escaped in a hurry. Likely the screamer, anyone knocking over the Alpaca couldn't clear out any kind of goods that quick without having half the district helping them loot. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the fly to wander into my web...

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


01
Though you’re spoiled for choice, you haven’t got a lot of time in which to choose: A.G.NeS’ ruptured power cells are burning freely now, and his broken corpse is beginning to snap and crackle as the electrical fire spreads through the guardbot’s subsystems. You’re not interested in those pansy little softskins’ guns, oh goodness no. You know exactly what you need. A big gun. A really, really big gun. The enormous anti-materiel rifle taking up a good third of that display rack there certainly fits the bill. Goodness, look at the size of that barrel. Rounds that large would give even you pause. And conveniently packaged for easy transport on the backs of softskins, to boot.

But come on. You can’t get just one gun. It’s like trying to eat one potato chip. (Not that you’ve ever done anything so appallingly biological as eat.) And for the task ahead of you, nothing will do but the prize pig of the whole drat store: the fully-automatic, belt-fed, air-cooled, extremely deadly heavy machine gun displayed in all its lethal magnificence in the center of the showroom floor. But that’s really all you’ve got time for. You snag a couple boxes of rounds for the machine gun, and a couple spare magazines’ worth of the outsized cartridges that rifle uses, and head out into the night with a tarp fulla guns slung over your shoulder like a murderhobot’s murder bindle. Which is, in fact, exactly what it is.

Add your new loot to your inventory:
anti-materiel rifle (far, piercing 3, reload, 1/1 ammo, 2-weight)
heavy machine gun (reach, near, +1 damage, reload, 2/2 ammo, 3-weight)
1-weight of anti-materiel rounds (2/2 ammo)
1-weight of HMG rounds (2/2 ammo)
35 coin



STATHIS
Lucky you that it’s such an awful godsdamned night. And that your pyrokinesis charms don’t give a flip about pouring rain or sea spray, because otherwise you’d be up poo poo creek without a paddle. You burn your widow’s mark into the Halwyrd’s hull in two-inch lines of melted metal. If that don’t shout “Stathis Was Here” to that madwoman Ramona (and anybody else who happens to have a history with that particular chapter in the Elvenwars), nothing will.
You know the way now. You can get back to the Halwyrd any time you want for as long as you’re on the Raft, and so can anyone else in the party who comes with you.

It’s not more than five minutes or so before the robber comes into clear view. A mechanical man, unlike any model you’ve seen on this Raft or off it, sporting a pistol and sword of archaic design and toting a spear-bindle of stolen guns over his shoulder in plain view. But just a bindle’s worth of guns? And nobody else around? You know full well the Alpaca stocks everything from derringers to howitzers and anything in between - but to knock over a highly regarded arms shop and then not completely rob the place blind? And without accomplices or lookouts? Curiouser and curiouser. Now this mystery merits closer investigation.



RAMONA
Down you go into the black and frigid sea, towing a thrashing and bubbling Anderson by the ankles like you’re his own personal set of cement overshoes. Eight minutes you can hold your breath on a good day -- he doesn’t even make it four before he runs out of breath, opens his mouth, and tries to drink the sea. After that, well, it’s all over but the obligatory little stream of bubbles escaping his flooded lungs. Anderson Cooper is certainly, definitely, and without the slightest doubt dead. Scratch one smuggler.

You surface noiselessly and shinny back up the Bonnie Oyster’s anchor-rope. Your muscles, already pushed nearly to its limit in getting you here before anybody else on the Harpy, are screaming at you to stop by the time you pull yourself back up on deck. Cold rain lashes at you through your soaked clothing as you climb. You may be the hardest thing in this city - man, woman, or otherwise - but even you aren’t immune to hypothermia, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation. You’ve been up, what? 48 hours now? More? But you have to go on. Serenity needs you.

***

Your armor and booze are just where you left ‘em - and as soon as you put on that helmet the ghosts are back to their usual bullshit peanut-gallery chatter. Great. Just what you needed right now: a couple dozen dead mechanics and engineers yattering on about everything and nothing. And if that’s not enough, once you get back to the Harpy you can’t find Dom anywhere. He’s not aboard. Neither is Zebley. One of the guys in the medical ward tells you he overheard them talking about selling the hoard of fish in the Harpy’s freezer, and sure enough, when you get down there to inspect the hold, the ship’s freezers are 100% empty. Not so much as a fingerling left. Huh. Well, he may be missing - but he left quite the sack of coin on your bed. Capitalism, ho!
The Thrash and Maw-Meow Memorial Fishing Fund is now in your possession - add 75 coin to your inventory.

Josephine, like most sane people at this hour, isn’t taking any calls, but her adjutant Janine gives you a rather muzzy hello over the radio. But when you waltz onboard the Conundrum and deposit Anderson’s watch neatly in the palm of her hand, her eyes go wide with surprise. She has to blink a couple times and rub her eyes before she can quite make sense of what she’s seeing. “Whhzz…?” she mumbles, then comes to attention. She flips the watch over and inspects the engravings on the back, then pockets it and gives you a brisk handshake. “That’s his watch, and no mistake,” she says. (“IT WAS HIS DAD’S WATCH, JANINE!” the peanut gallery chimes in. She can’t hear a thing, of course.) “Right. Right, payment. ‘N coffee. C’mon down here. Not gettin’ any (yyyaaawwwwn) anymore sleep tonight, ‘nyway.” Coffee. Oh praise heaven.
Add another 60 coin to your inventory: you’ve been paid in full for this assassination.

***

Your meet your concierge back aboard the Brined Gnome - an efficient, bright-eyed peppy type who told you his name is Ericsson. The bastard doesn’t even seem to care that it’s gently caress-you-o’clock out and still raining. Even if it is slowing down a little. He hands you back the vibroglove, safe and sound. “Gonna cost you though, miss,” he tells you regretfully. “Had to grease a lotta palms to get it out - looks like somebody knocked over th’ store while you were out. Nasty business, mm hmm. Active crime scene ‘n all. But I’m sure you’re good for it.” He grins innocently and holds out a palm. Good thing you’re flush with coin.
Your vibroglove’s back and fully functional, but it cost 45 coin in total for the repairs and all the bribes Ericsson had to pay.

It was good coffee, but oh it’s just not gonna be enough. Not after two days straight of running around. When you ask the guy about something stronger to keep you up, his eyes light up with glee. (And avarice). “I got just what you need, miss,” he says. Motions you into a deserted doorway aboard the Brined Gnome and pulls out a little baggie of white powder. “You gotta need to feel shiny? I got you covered. First hit’s free.” He flashes a white smile and snorts a line of the stuff himself before offering you the next. Whoa whoa whoa that’s good oh that’s good. Hot and tight and sharp. Ericsson sucks in a breath and shakes his head like a dog. “Ahhhhh yeah that’s better,” he says. “Haaaa. Okay, okay yeah. Here, take this too. Boss wants to see you.” It’s another business card, with a little note written on the back in a fine flowing hand:

quote:

“My esteemed MS. de SAHAGUN,
It would be my very great pleasure, should you choose to accept, to extend to you an offer of EMPLOYMENT. Please call upon me aboard the INVINCIBLE at your earliest convenience. Simply show this card to the doorman, and my people will extend you EVERY COURTESY upon your arrival.
I remain,
Very sincerely yours,
-R. VARANO”
You’re wide awake and surging with energy. Take +1 forward, but you’re also Shaky (-1 DEX) until you get some real, actual rest. Your five-second catnaps aren’t gonna cut it for this one -- you need at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep in order to clear this debility.


SERENITY AND TUTRESIEL (AND EVERYBODY ELSE TOO)
The Expectant isn’t hard to find. All you need to do is follow the lights. While most of the rest of the Raft doesn’t seem to bother burning fuel for lights at night, the Alchemists’ Guild keep theirs on 24/7. Stark white spotlights light up the water around their ship’s hull, and the encrustations of flotsam and trash coating the waterlines of other ships are entirely absent from around the Expectant. The Guild certainly doesn’t take security for granted, that’s for sure. You passed multiple patrols on the way in - hard-faced men and women all; humans, frogmen, a smattering of orcs and other races. The nearby ships are rather more well-kept and expensive-looking than the rusting hulks you saw when you first landed on the Raft.

01 meets you two along the way with a hooning great bindle of firearms slung over his shoulder, and Ramona isn’t far behind him in her usual outrageously-well-armored getup. Stathis, you’re here too - perched atop the conning tower of the Janette’s Revenge well above and behind the typical sightline of this gun thief and any passers-by, with a very nice view of the Expectant’s top deck next door. You’ve tracked the robber this far - but are these his accomplices, partners-in-crime, or something else entirely? One of them’s an elf, whole and untwisted, moving with a stiffness around her torso like she’s recently been through some nasty scrapes. The other one you just do not know what to make of. An armored figure, intimidatingly winged - what in the nine hells is it? Strange crawling specks of light limn the edges of its wings. Ramona's with these people, too. Two others follow in their wake: a strapping young sailor type, and a young woman with an improbably large blunderbuss slung over her shoulder.

As you four approach the Expectant, it seems you’ve arrived just in time for some fresh commotion. A lone figure dashes out of the deckhouse and down the gangplank, several others hot on his heels shouting “stop! stop!” and other such imprecations. It’s a man in a hospital gown, barefoot -- he stumbles and falls to his knees at your feet. His eyes are hot with fever and fear -- his skin sagging as though he’s recently lost a great deal of weight -- and his hands and feet are webbed in the same manner as Nori’s. “Help,” he croaks. “Help me.”


EVERYBODY: WHAT DO YOU DO?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at May 24, 2016 around 02:50

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

Serenity waved at Zero and Ramona as they approached. "Hey, you two!" She glanced warily at 01, eyeing the guns with obvious distaste. "Huh. Looks like you're geared up to sink Aqualantis to whatever's beneath it." She debated saying something else, but the machine-man probably didn't deserve her sass. Instead, she nodded to Ramona before furrowing her brow at her. "Gods. You look dead on your feet. When's the last time you slept, girl? And don't give me any runaround. I know that kind of energy. You could punch a hole through steel plating right now, but the minute you sit down you're going to be dead to the world." She stopped, and shook her head. Ramona likewise didn't need any poo poo right now.

"Anyway. I guess you were the anonymous tip that I needed patching up? I appreciate it. Can't say I'm fond of 'Rachel' as a nom de guerre, though." She brushed a braid over her shoulder and motioned to the pair standing just behind her. "So, Jaime and Nori decided to join up. Zero, you are absolutely not to harm them. Under any circums-" She cut herself off as the sound of bare feet on wood caught her ears. Turning back towards the ship, a barely dressed man collapsed by her feet and it was obvious he was in a bad way. She ignored the protest from her ribs as she knelt down, clasping on of his hands in her own, and putting her other hand on his shoulder. She didn't spare a glance behind him. Whoever was giving chase could explain themselves when she was done looking this poor man over - or end up broken in half, if they tried something as foolish as getting into her personal space. She could complain all she liked about how violent her companions were, but nobody was going to lay hands on her in front of them and not immediately regret it.

Discern Realities: 2d6 7
What happened here recently? (to this man)

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


SERENITY
This man’s been sick - desperately, awfully sick. Whatever it is, he fought it and fought it hard - but for all that it seems his strength is nearly exhausted. He stares blurrily at you through eyes filmed over with cloudy grey, squinched all but shut against the pole-mounted spotlight keeping the area around the Expectant’s gangplank well-lit. His muscles, once bulging, are now wasted and slack, and he gasps for breath like he just ran a half-dozen Olympic sprints. His face, neck, and shoulders are blotched all over with great ugly swollen red-purple bruises. He seems very confused. Uncertain of where he is. “Hahh...hahh…” he pants. “Light...hhh...hhurts. Him...don’...no, I gotta...” He slumps against you like a fevered child, panting shallowly. “...gotta keep…” His breath is far too hot against your neck. He’s fevered. Burning up.

His pursuers skid to a halt just off the gangplank; about fifteen or twenty feet of open space separate your group from theirs: two of them are swaddled in white labcoats, aprons, face-masks, elbow-length gloves, and high boots; the third, in a heavier, darker version of the same general getup sporting a full-face rebreather, levels a tiny little stun-gun at the sick man’s back. “DON’T!” one of the white-coats yells, and yanks at dark-coat’s elbow. “Get away from him!” dark-coat barks. You can hear fear in his voice.
What do you (and everybody else) do?

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

as is customary, I remain silent around the others. I quickly scan the wretched creature before us for threats. He represents none. Which leads to logic points 1, 2, and 3.
1. Serenity will likely take pity on it.
2. I am still bound to follow her directives
3. That means the people in coats are now tagged as possible threats.

If I were biological, this is where I'd sigh, instead I shift my load to my other shoulder, and unholster my newly repaired blaster. I follow one of the few 'de-escalate a situation' imprints within my memory. aiming my blaster at their feet rather than their faces.

"Desist all blathering and attempts to capture this thing, I am far more of a danger to you than it is to anyone. Stand-by for the interminable verbal locutions of the Lady Serenity." my voxponder calls out, at the appropriate volume for all present to hear.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 4 Armor
This is bullshit. Ramona snarls in frustration and fires into the air to get everyone's attention. "What's going on here? You always electrocute your patients when they flee from you? Talk!" She looks over her shoulder at Serenity, "Do get away from him..." Half of her visor turns transparent, revealing her demonic glare. "you will not be bedded again." It turns opaque again as she turns back to the "doctors" and she points at Tutresiel and Zero without looking at them, the ones who can't get sick, with V-fingers and then down at the man. They should be the ones protecting him, not her.
Parley violence: 2d6+3 13

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

Tutresiel regarded the puny mortal, their life wasting away more dramatically than most, morbidities of flesh (and possibly spirit) having eaten away at them from within. The other mortals nearby fear this, a sign of contagion, perhaps? Moving closer to examine the man as Bloody-Handed Ramona made gestures and threats, Tutresiel pondered what malaise this might be.

What disease might these mortals fear so much? And could either Ramona, or more especially at this juncture, Serenity become afflicted?

Spout Lore (Int): 2d6+1 8

Perhaps Tutresiel knows something of this affliction, after all in making preparations to come to this dismal plane, it would be best to make attempts to know more about it.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


A sick man stumbles down the gangplank, calling for help. Rushing orderlies and doctors close behind, stun gun in hand and desperate enough to use it. The group, Ramona's group? Gang? Sees the man attacked and move to defend him. But I know the kinds of sickness in the world, natural and manufactured alike, that they may be biting those trying to defend them. Well, the robo-robber would likely be fine, and if that getup was half as impressive as it'd look so would Ramona. The rest, well, could be too late already, if they were having a night bad as mine.

Wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Discern Realities: 2d6+1 10 I'll take What is about to happen? What here is not what it appears to be? and What should I be on the lookout for? as my three questions.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 5/14

Serenity's ears lowered at Zero and Ramona's words. She spoke as she did her best to soothe the man's pain. Wounds, she had some skill with. What was wrong here was not so simple, and she lacked the means to do more than hold him and offer a bit of solace. "If whatever is wrong with this man is contagious, I think it's a little late for me to worry about it now. But I accept I did something foolish." She tore her eyes away from the man and glanced towards the...doctors?

"We don't want any trouble. Just explain what's going on and I will do my best to cooperate. Provided your argument is sound." The look she gave them said a great deal that her words did not. Lie to me and there is no end to the hell I will call down on your heads.

Parleying with them. She'll give them her cooperation in return for straight answers.

Parley: 2d6+3 6

...gently caress.

Shardix fucked around with this message at May 27, 2016 around 15:48

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 4 Armor
Irritability is a known side effect of whatever's keeping Ramona awake, so she has no patience for the droopy Serenity's fatalism. She lassos the elf and pulls her off the sick man, and whispers at auctioneer speed, from the stims, "but it's not too late for me to worry about it, so stop doing something foolish. You put your life in my hands, remember? I will not let it slip away. And if you try to let it do so again, now you know how long is my reach."

Then it's back to the white-coats and their dark-coat and her booming voice, "There, you see? We have shown that we are willing to cooperate. Now do something for us."

Aid Serenity: 2d6+2 11

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/11

Before she could even react, Serenity found herself hauled back and on her feet, with a very firm hand around the scruff of her neck. "I. That...

...Ugh. Fine."

She could argue all she wanted, but Ramona was right. It was just in her nature to try and help out, consequences be damned.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Jun 1, 2016 around 05:34

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


STATHIS
From your vantage point atop the Janette’s Revenge, you’ve got a great view of the consternation Ramona’s sudden appearance is causing among the Guildspeople. Every one of the half-dozen patrols you can see is stopping in its collective tracks, putting ears to comms radios, and heading back to the Expectant at double-time. Uh-oh. Well, if Ramona decides she wants a firefight, it looks like the Guild will be more than happy to oblige her.

On the other hand, that sick man doesn’t actually seem like he’s afraid of the two doctors trying to cajole him out of the elf’s arms and back into theirs. He’s not cowering or trying to run away from them, just dazed and confused and really, really ill. You’ve seen a lot of sick people go into that ship over the past couple months or so, and the vast majority of ‘em have come out again spic-and-span. Maybe this whole situation isn’t quite as nefarious as it seems at first glance.

On the other other hand, something else catches your eye while you’re up there watching all this rigamarole unfold. There. Two ships over from where Ramona’s group clusters (and incidentally, right next door to the Janette’s Revenge) the scaffold-jungle and bulbous fractionation columns of the Plagioclase mobile petrochemical refinery wallows in the slackening rain.



For just a moment or two, a small, circular gleam of reflected light shines from the aft-most column’s highest catwalk. The sort of thing that might come from a set of binoculars...or the scope of a rifle.
What do you do?


TUTRESIEL
Perhaps you do know something about this mortal’s dire morbidity of flesh. And truly, knowledge of this benighted plane will serve you well on your quest to discover the fate of Hamon. But as you scour your memories of the Broken Domain - now as fractured and incomplete as their name might suggest - one thing is frighteningly clear. There is nothing in your memories about a disease which bloats its victims with bruises and swelling even as their bodies waste away, that films their eyes with grey haze and rots their minds with fever and confusion. Nothing at all, not even the merest scrap of connotation or association. There is only a blank and colorless void where should reside memory and clarity. It is as if that knowledge has been scoured from the very records of creation.

This fact is of itself perhaps more interesting to you than any detailed record of mortal frailty could hope to be. How could such a thing be possible? Who could be responsible for this heinous theft? And, if such knowledge should be rediscovered by you or those you travel with, how might it be returned to its rightful place in the celestial annals?
Knowing this, what do you do?


RAMONA, SERENITY, 01
Faced with such a bristling hedgehog of guns and steel, the men before you have no choice but to back down. Dark-coat holsters his little stun-gun and unhooks a radio from his belt, speaking into it quietly; the doctors raise their hands in a gesture of conciliation. “Hey whoa whoa okay,” one of the doctors says. “Easy. Easy. Let’s not do anything hasty here…” He approaches his patient gingerly - Serenity, you can see that the hospital bracelet on his too-skinny wrist reads DIAZ, Roberto - even though he’s clearly terrified of Ramona and 01. He shoots a shaky glance up at his glaring ocular sensor and Ramona’s minutely trembling blaster-arm. “W-we’re all just a little on edge, that’s all. Isn’t that right, Roberto?” he croons to the shivering man crouched mumbling at 01’s feet, and gently eases him back up to an approximation of standing. “Let’s just get you back in out of the cold and into your nice warm bed…”

While the one doctor leads his patient back up the gangplank, the other two approach the party as a whole. “You’ll have to come with me, Miss...Greymist, is it?” the doctor says to Serenity. Up close you can see his ears are as pointed as your own. The patch on his right breast reads Antanara, E. “We can’t take any chances, cousin; you’ll need to come aboard for disinfection.” The security guard stops at a respectful distance from Ramona and makes a couple more remarks into his radio. “Chief wants to see you, miss. Mhmm. Got some questions he wants to ask you. Come along now. And get that loving gun out of my face, please and thank you.”
Ramona, your +1 forward has been used on that Parley - also mark that you’re Shaky on your character blurb. These guys will give straight answers provided that Serenity and Ramona both do as they ask, and that you let them take Roberto back aboard. What does everyone do?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 4 Armor
Ramona growls at the other elf as he approaches, pulls hers closer to her, and snaps, " She stays with me, we're not animals, we know how to disinfect ourselves. Tell me what kind of infection we're dealing with and I'll use whatever chemical beats it." She already knows which bottles of spirits she'll sacrifice to clean the idiot.

Still, her whip and hand release her Serenity, and she snatches the radio away from the security guard, speaking into it, "This is Ramona. Your man's alive, I just took the radio. What do you want? I don't have time to come meet you."

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


A sniper? Or merely an observer? Which was more dangerous? The sick man? The fearful doctor? The unknown watcher? Or Ramona's gang? Too many variables, and if the labcoats wanted to decontaminate the elf then introducing a new vector for the disease would likely further agitate the problem. So the fastest way to reduce the complexity of this problem is to remove the most remote variable.

So I leap, silent as the still night, any sound made from my rapid ascent masked by the abating rain. The trick to this landing is going to be not losing all momentum, to grab and abscond in an impossible grace for something so large. Eight legs reach out to meet the column, already working to deaden the impact and keep my arrival silent before quickly pushing off again, this time launching at the catwalk, where I grab the observer and leap back across to Janette's Revenge in the same fluid motion. In a matter of moments I had arrived, grabbed the target, and absconded all without a sound. Instructor Silas would be proud.

Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 8 Gonna take Kidnap Them and No One Else Notices, Target Doesn't Make A Sound as my two options.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

Tutresiel had struck a quandary. Decay. Or perhaps erasure. Hmm. The situation here and now seemed defused somewhat, but Tutresiel did not really care that much, at least if something really active was occurring then it could break Tutresiel from their inner thoughts but alas.

There were several possibilities that crossed Tutresiel's mind. One was that the Broken Domain had begun to decay, for it was already broken (and for a reason so terrible that knowledge of it escaped the mortal senses, largely, except by broken half-dreams during storms where the walls between spaces had become sufficiently thin and the resultant lore drove many mad with insight into the greater cosmos), but such a possibility was very unlikely, unless something had gotten in, for otherwise it remains untouched, unmoved, and silent, the other servants of the Silent God barely moving at all, at least in mortal terms. The other possibility was the inverse, that something or someone was tapping into the Broken Domain in a manner that was unwise, it was unlikely to be Hamon or Tutresiel, as neither used pathways that involved direct manipulation - barring the piece of the Broken Domain that Tutresiel had brought with them, and even that was so minute (and currently secure in the Pall of Shekina) it shouldn't do much in that manner.

Another possibility, although dimmer in perspective was less centred on the Broken Domain itself. It might be a sign that knowledge itself is decaying, but such an existential threat would bode very ill for this world if that was the case, if concepts themselves had begun to be eaten away by oblivion. Also troubling because to mortal eyes such decay would be invisible largely, unless they achieved some greater perspective their memories would be eaten away at the same rate and so something would vanish (possibly retroactively) with no fanfare at all, they would never acknowledge it having ever existed, and the only pause for thought that might occur would be if it cannot be fully retroactively erased because this would create an even greater paradox, and then their minds would likely shy away from such an uncomfortable non-existence.

This would require further research to verify, but Tutresiel already had a few possibilities in mind that they would be unlikely to voice until things are clearer. However it's very possible that either a powerful mortal of some puissance may have caused this (either accidentally or with grim purpose) - perhaps J.R. Warwick, or it might be something more supernal in nature, the Head of Il-Chacham might be the cause. A grimmer possibility would be that this world itself is decaying, although in that case it seems unlikely that it would happen without cause.

Regardless this would require more information before something more concrete can be determined.

With that in mind Tutresiel's senses came back into focus as they surveyed the scene. The others seemed to have made the situation less possibly violent for the moment, but how everyone would react to all of this would be the next pressing concern, and so it was Tutresiel waited (somewhat tensely) to see how things would proceed, the rain sliding with eerie ease off of their 'armour' all the while.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

The moment passes, the fleshies turn to talking. I reholster the blaster and wait silently for things to proceed. I do, however, scan the immediate area as thoroughly as my sensors allow.
Discern Realities 7
What is about to happen?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


RAMONA
Chief Orson’s voice is quiet and measured and authoritative. “Stand down,” he tells you through the radio. “I don’t have time for you to tell me how to do my job any more than you have time to waste in pointless debate. Fifteen minutes, in and out - she needs a full inoculation, antifungals and immunostimulators, or she will be classed as a quarantine risk and detained for treatment. With prejudice. So please. Let’s not waste each other’s time. Stand down and do it now, and then we can talk about what we’re willing to pay you to kill for us.”

His voice warbles, fuzzes, and dissolves into crackly, cackling ghostly laughter. You can see 'em out of the corner of your eye, lolling indolently out of portholes or just drifting in the air, and they're all eagerly watching what may well be an unfolding standoff -- the few canny survivors from the spectral assault on the Shrieking Harpy, now free of their burden of engine maintenance and eager for new work. "C'monnnnnn," one of them giggles. "They're weak. They can't take you. Let us have them." Another ghost-voice, frantic and wild. "get their guns get 'em GET EM split the bones break the barrels yes yes do it"
Roll at +0 LOY to command the Black Gang. What do you do?

STATHIS
You swoop down from the conning tower like an eight-legged hawk, truss your victim up in a cocoon of arachnoid limbs and spring back to the Janette’s Revenge with nobody the wiser. Smooth as eel butter, every bit of it. It’s the observer, as you thought - a lean man, hard with soldier’s muscle, dressed in insignia-less black fatigues. He has a set of binoculars slung around his neck and one of those boxy little machine pistols holstered at his belt.

The radio at his hip pops and squawks. “Castellan, respond,” it crackles. The man struggles in your grip and lets out a stream of cursing, muffled to inaudibility by a hand over his mouth. He bucks and jackknifes like a hooked fish, slamming his elbows or booted feet into any part of you he can reach. “Castellan. Respond.” Then his radio goes silent.
You’ve got him in your captivity, but you must Defy Danger to hold him any longer than another thirty seconds or so. You can do whatever you like with him in that timeframe. What do you do?

EVERYBODY ELSE
That statue act of 01’s is a lie, of course - your passive sonar and ocular pickups are primed and ready to pick up the slightest portent of mayhem in the immediate vicinity. You’re getting the sound of about two, three dozen boots ringing on metal decking, creaking wood and rope - it sounds like the patrols you passed on the way in are being recalled in anticipation of a potential firefight. From the sound of it they’ll be here in little more than half a minute. If anyone might desire to occupy a more advantageous position in such a situation than “out in the open and away from cover”, you’d be well-advised to move now, and fast.
When you take cover, describe what you take cover behind, and where in relation to the Expectant you are. Jaime and Nori are anyone's to command; if your orders result in their being placed into danger or serious mayhem, they'll roll at +2 LOY. What do you all do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jun 3, 2016 around 04:09

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11 | 2-hold

It seems Ramona has Serenity covered, I'm not entirely certain Tutresiel can be hurt, so I usher the other soft-skins into a nearby doorway, out of direct line of sight, but with a view on both the clinic/boat, and the direction I hear the patrol coming from.
I unceremoniously dump my load of weapons at the followers' feet. "guard these or I hurt you." I tell them, unsheathing sword and blaster, I take up a position with them behind me.
Defend 11
Open up the attacker to an ally giving that ally +1 forward against the attacker
and holding 2

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/11

This was turning from a suspicious incident, to a simple misunderstanding, and back into supremely suspicious. Boots on the deck. Several squads of unpleasant coming to say their piece on the matter, despite that nobody had drawn down. Sure, Ramona was being herself and that tended to put people on edge, but this was all getting to be too much.

Putting a hand to her belt, Serenity undid the buckle and pulled it off, scabbard and all. She tossed it gently to Antanara. "Hold that for me, then, and lets get this over with. By the by. You've got a man by the name of Orson on board. My compatriot here," she turned and cocked her head towards Tutresiel, "Would like to speak with him if that's not too much trouble." Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as Ramona listened in on the radio. She had been certain her snagging it from the trooper would have erupted into a fight, but everyone here seemed terrified of moving against her. Lady had a hell of a reputation around here, it would seem. The stories she had heard seemed less and less exaggerated by the day.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 3/12 XP; 4 Armor
Behind her visor, Ramona's eyes narrow. She starts loud enough for everyone to hear and only builds into a furious crescendo, "You let a patient with a disease you can't name or treat escape, may have infected my elf, now you're saying it's either you treat her or you kill her, point a ton of guns at us, and then you offer me employment? Someone should be telling you how to do your job!

Listen, if you knew who I was you'd know you can never threaten me or mine and get away with it. You have to pay. This is how: you bring your inoculations, antifungals, and immunostimulants to me, with instructions, and we leave before another of your patients vomits on us or one of you does something stupid. Five minutes, and we can forget this happened. Then my alien might talk to you."


Then the mic turns off and she starts quickly commanding the Black Gang, "Just jam their guns, don't get fancy, don't get thirsty, be careful around the stunners, they're electric."

command; parley again if necessary: 2d6 6 2d6+3 7

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

An inelegant term. But then perhaps Tutresiel has also been guilty of using terminology that might be too.... ambiguous in nature. Talking to the Security Chief will suffice for the moment, however. It might make things easier, after all, however given the proclivities of those present it might not be so easy to get an audience in the first place. Ah well, such are the nature of... plans.

Keeping the reality of the situation in mind, Tutresiel moved to a defensive position - wary of oncoming violence due to the souring of diplomacy, something that is very possible with this group. A neck-high pile of crates containing some sundry or another (likely medical supplies given the snake/staff symbols it is emblazoned with, a symbol that Tutresiel knew somewhat of the origin of, a misreading of a line of a vision of a mystic in a desert having been visited by an angel of the god that would later become the Silent God, was to blame) presented itself however, which Tutresiel cautiously stepped behind, granting them the ability to duck or squat should they need to give themselves greater cover, while simultaneously allowing them some sight, not to mention the ability to do certain things... discreetly.

Not willing for the moment to advance in an aggressive manner but unwilling to merely wait for the inevitable, Tutresiel ducked down a little as they reached into the Pall of Shekina and from its nigh infinite depths did they pull out a relic vaguely resembling a blue-silver hand mirror, the angles of its borders appearing strange and yet... aesthetically complete, as though this was by intent and its intent was complete (whatever that intent was), within its depths it possesses a brilliant blue crystalline sheet, simultaneously acting as a mirror and as something more transparent, depending on the angle by which it is held to the observer. Light seems to behave aberrantly when passed through (or cast along) the surface of the Cerulean Lens, and although its true purpose was decidedly more... bloody, it would instead be used for another purpose this night, to take advantage of its peculiarities.

Holding the lens firmly, Tutresiel drew it up to 'eye' height and forced open space in the most simplest of ways, rapidly and repeatedly pushing the lens through the space between spaces in order to reposition it and grant some fragment of vision from various different angles, positions, and heights throughout this area - in hopes of ascertaining more pressing matters that only such a peculiar perspective might assist with.

Discern Realities (Wis): 2d6+3 12
Choosing the questions:
- What should I be on the lookout for?
- What here is not what it appears to be?
- What here is valuable or useful to me?

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 4/10 | Load 5/6


No rifle. Unmarked uniform. This didn't answer a drat thing, and very quickly whoever's on the other end of the radio's gonna know something's up. Better-Gyhh! ...Okay, that hurt. If he want's to play that way... In an instant the knife's to his throat, pressing down hard enough to make the point, and that I could very easily drive it home. "Picture this for me. You hear a commotion below, and see armed doctors pointing weapons at a sick man clinging to passersby. Suddenly amidst all this, you see out the corner of your eye a figure cloaked in shadows making efforts not to be seen, and the unmistakeable glint of light reflecting off of a lens. Do you have it in your mind?" He gives a solemn look, not wanting to nod with the blade pressed against his flesh. "Now that I clearly see that those are binoculars and not a rifle, I will freely admit that I may have made a grievous mistake about what is happening, so how about we take a step back and you tell me what exactly is going on here." He hesitates, eyes darting down to his radio. "...Or if you prefer, we can keep going down the path we find ourselves on now." A movement of the hand, to make a point with the point of my blade. He gets the meaning of the gesture.

Spout Lore with Book: 2d6 2 Books were a mistake.
Parley (+Cha): 2d6+2 12 I want him to spill the beans on what's going on, ideally without radioing back to HQ.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/11

Serenity's left ear twitched.

My elf? The nerve of that...no. Be calm. Take a breath. Hold it. Release. Anger will not help anyone.

She closed her eyes for a moment, then slowly opened them. She gave the doctors and the guards a polite bow, hands clasped in front of her. Her ribs screamed bloody murder, but she grit her teeth and forced the agony to back of her mind. "Sirs. I am deeply sorry for causing so much trouble. My companions here are on edge, as we have had a very trying journey, and no few of the problems we faced I must regretfully accept responsibility for. Ramona especially is owed something from me, and she is determined to ensure I live to pay up. And rightfully so. So, I very humbly ask that you be understanding. We have no wish to start a fight. If there is something I can say or do to ease things, please. Speak. I will gratefully do so. I will beg if I have too. That I be given requisite treatment to safeguard the rest of the city is, of course, mandatory and I will happily submit to what procedures are needed."

Though the elf was looking at doctors and entourage, the way she inflected her voice made it obvious her words were meant for everyone. A slow, careful look over her shoulder as she deliberately looked 01, Tutresiel, and Ramona in the eyes solidified that assumption.

Serenity is using Charming and Open, asking how she can get these guards, 01, Ramona, and Tutresiel to cease posturing or otherwise preparing for a fight, and simply let her get treated with no further trouble. Everyone gets to ask her a question in turn.

Shardix fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2016 around 01:40

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 3/12 XP; 4 Armor
The bodyguard sidles up to the desperate bard, puts a hand on her shoulder, and whispers quickly gesticulating wildly with her gun arm, "Now you listen here, I'm better than--than that. I just don't trust them, the whole thing is suspicious as all hell. Please just, after all I've, how do I get you to let me protect you? Keep you safe?" she realizes too late how shaky her hand is, and jerks it away, "...ugh, fine, if that's what you really want!" she speaks up again, "I keep my weapons, she never leaves my sight. I inspect every label and witness every procedure, for which she gets informed consent. The first impression you've left of how you treat your patients..."

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2016 around 22:51

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

Tutresiel stopped for a moment mid-flow, pulling back the lens and raising their other hand to head height and shoving it gently through another diminutive portal - this one allowing Tutresiel to put their hand upon Serenity's back. Tutresiel whispered through the portal, allowing only Serenity (and presumably anyone really really close to Serenity at that moment in time) to hear. "It is unfitting to assume. I took cover for the sake of being discreet, this distraction of rising tensions is perfect for me to... relocate or find Orson or his... method. Or all three. Meeting with Orson personally would make this less necessary."

Tutresiel continued - still whispering, but did not expect a response, at least not right here, right now. It could wait, after all. "What do you know of the gods, do you know the truth?" was what Tutresiel asked before withdrawing the hand, abandoning that portal and resuming what they were just doing. Assuming things did not dramatically change just after this, of course. Even if things become less... hostile, Tutresiel will not necessarily abandon their position - just be less wary of maintaining full cover, until they are certain they've gleaned all information they can from utilising the portals in such a way.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/11

Serenity closed her eyes and let out a breath.

"...My mind is dwelling on unworthy assumptions." She looked up and gave 01 a slight wave. "I'm sorry for being an annoying sack of meat." She cocked her head over to Tutresiel. "...Yeah. I still can't read you at all." A thin smile, and a short nod. They'd talk later, for certain. Finally, a look up at Ramona. She put her own hand on the one resting on her shoulder. "Get us in and out of this boat no worse for the wear, and I will shut up and take orders from now on. Will that work?"

Finally, she glanced around at the assembled sort-of opposition. No doubt they were all wondering what in the infinite hells was going on with this elf. Brain damage, for sure. No other way to explain her. Something like that.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


code:
{
  Let not the waters whereon thou journeyest wet thee. 
  And, being come to shore, plant thou the Vine and rejoice without shame.
  # excerpt from “Nashira and the Sailor”
}

quote:

The juggler took the boy's hand in his own and turned the card so he could see. Then he took the card and held it up.
Cuatro de copas, he called out.
The woman raised her head. She looked like a blindfold mannequin raised awake by a string.
Cuatro de copas, she said. She moved her shoulders. The wind went among her garments and her hair.

- Blood Meridian

* * * * * * * * * * *

CHAPTER II: NO REST FOR THE WICKED



RAMONA AND SERENITY
When that glass-edged tension finally goes out of Ramona’s stance and voice everybody in sight relaxes like they’ve just been led up to the electric chair when the red telephone rings. Dr. Antanara (who’s still fumbling with Serenity’s sword belt), the other doctor (who’s shaking very slightly and thanking all his lucky stars individually and by name), the security guard with his missing radio - oh, and the dozen armed Guild patrols now tramping into view with rifles at the ready. There’s got to be three dozen, maybe forty men and women out there, three or five to a patrol, every one of ‘em ready for a fight - and their positions at key intersections and higher-level decks give them almost a perfect arc of covering fire across the open space around the Expectant. And wouldn’t you just know it, every man jack of them breathes a sigh of relief and lowers their guns at the all-clear signal from the guard, as he turns and leads Serenity, her bodyguard, and Dr. Antanara up the gangplank for treatment.

Serenity, the guard takes back his radio once Ramona’s finished with it and makes a couple clipped medical-sounding remarks into it; the other doctor stays with Roberto while another team of white-jackets hustle a collapsible stretcher down the gangplank ahead of you. (It’s a pretty nice gangplank. Wide enough to accommodate bidirectional traffic. Not like any of that rickety nonsense Cap’n Price used to put up with.)

It’s okay. You can relax now. But good Lord, it looks like if anything, the stories you’ve heard about that woman understated the amount of terror she’s inspired in anyone suicidal enough to go up against her. Forty men against five - and from the look of it Orson thought that wouldn’t be enough to take her down if it came to blows. Two crewmen are hastily disassembling a matched pair of some sort of heavy weapon off the gunwales. You haven’t the faintest idea what it’s supposed to do, but it’s probably hella deadly. All these guns look more or less the same to you.
If you think I’m wrong, spout lore about it!

Nashira be praised, and even the rain is finally clearing up. It’s been going on for hours. “You just gotta come along, miss,” the guard says to you. The namepatch on his coat reads de Monte. “That’s all - we’ll have you in and out right quick and then you can be on your way. Just standard preventative measures.” A cool breeze is blowing out of the northeast - cuts right through your fine(ly ruined) clothes, wet as they are. “So what th’ hell were you thinking when you hired her for a bodyguard? Hain’t you heard the stories? ‘Bout how she kills anyone so much as looks at her funny?” Nashira’s clean light peeks through the heavy cloud deck, flaking bright coins off the waves--

--

click for BGM


--

The world flares orange-white. Something searing-hot lashes silently past your cheek - a bare instant later, a whipcrack of noise and a scream of terminal surprise as, atop the refinery-ship off to your left, a figure wreathed in orange flames topples from a high catwalk and lands with a sickening crunch on some piece of the pipework below him. Someone shouts “GET DOWN!” and shoves you to the floor. More gunshots erupt. Shouts of panic and pain from the patrols nearby.

Ramona’s radio is so clogged with all the screaming at each other that her ghosts are doing right now that the noise of everyone else panicking is just completely drowned out. But you are drat sure you know what the wake of a sniper’s bullet feels like, even if you can’t hear the sonic boom. Somebody just came within about three inches of putting lead through your neck. Or worse, Serenity’s.
”IDIOT!!!!!”
“IT WASN’T MY FAULT!”
“WOOO ALRIIIIIIGHT! YEAHHH LET’S GO ALRIGHT WOOO!”
“I FIGURED OUT WHAT THE POINTY THING DOES!!”
“AAAAAHAHAHAAAHAAAHAAHAHAAAOOOIAIAA---”
“INCOMPETENT FOOL!”
“OH MAN YEAH LOOK AT ‘IM GO LOOK AT THAT YEAHHH!”
“THE PROPELLANT WAS ALREADY GOING!!”
“OW OW MY loving ARM OW gently caress OW”
“LUNATIC!”
“I TOLD YOU THEY WERE WEAK!! GET ‘EM KILL EM KILL EM ALL NO ONE CAN DEFY YOU THEY *zzzkrzrkrkrzkkkh*”


What do you two do?


STATHIS
Your captive twists and struggles madly in your many-limbed grip, going for his gun - you seize his wrists and yank, but he uses the momentum to pull you too, drawing his legs into his chest and kicking savagely out at your underbelly. Winded, you stagger for a moment - he takes the opportunity to wrest one arm free from your grasp, snatch a holdout knife from his sleeve, and slash an angry red line across your thorax. But for all that it’s still four limbs against your ten, and before long you’ve got a finely-honed argument at his throat that he’s finding very difficult to ignore. He comes around to your way of looking at things before too long. And just in case he starts getting any more funny ideas, you relieve him of his weaponry, too. That machine pistol’s only got the one magazine in it, but the trigger guard looks like it’ll fit your hand well enough. There’s a big soup-can of a silencer strapped next to it too - with the way your night’s going, might be you’ll need a quiet way to wax somebody before too long.
You took two one damage in the struggle. Add his machine pistol (close, reach, silenced, 1/3 ammo, 1 weight), and binoculars (0 weight) to your inventory, if you like.

“Ghhhhlrgck,” he chokes. “Alrih. I’ll tak. Jus. Geddaknifeoff me.” You ease up a little on the pressure and he starts spilling beans all over the place. “I’m a, a private security contractor. Blackthorne Company. Heh. You mighta heard of us.” He might think so, but truly you haven’t. There’s plenty of “private security contractors” (read: mercenaries, pirates, or both) getting fat on petty crime and petty wars these days, but the Blackthorne Company’s not one you’ve caught wind of prior to just now.

“Now listen. I’ll let you know what’s what, ‘cause our client paid drat well to make sure everybody knows what’s going down tonight. And then you ‘n me, we never met, none of this ever happened. Ggghkg. Capiche? Good. Alright. We’re h--”

-- Suddenly there’s a whip-crack report and the whooshing roar of a gunpowder fire- a point higher up on the Plagioclase’s scaffolding erupts in a bright gout of sparks and smoke. A human figure topples screaming from the high place, engulfed head-to-toe in flame, an enormous rifle falling from their limp hands. Your prisoner’s eyes widen in shock and dismay, and he struggles to escape your grip with renewed energy.
He’ll tell you the rest and beat feet without fighting, if you promise to let him go and never tell anyone you saw him. What do you do?


TUTRESIEL
Actinic blue specks of light dot the air all about you as, with the Cerulean Lens to aid you, your perspective expands a hundredfold. Each speck a point of vision, each light an indicator of the Lens’s gathering apertures reaching out through the between-places to funnel its point of view back into your own. Nothing nearby can escape your panopticon glare, even as your body crouches in relative safety behind a pile of caduceus-stamped crates. And hey look at that, those crates actually do contain medical supplies. Your nearest aperture shines its light on an assortment of boxes and bundles within: bandages, disinfectants, phials, poultices, and more. One willing to plunder such a hoard could gain much.

Elsewhere, you witness the ghosts in Ramona’s employ swirling out into the night, laughing silently and contorting their faces into expressions of terrible glee. They ooze into the patrolmen’s weaponry like animated mist, and guns only moments ago lowered in relief jerk and leap in their owners’ hands. Some jam silently, others twist and leak smoke as some essential mechanism goes deliberately awry. Then everything goes to hell - one of the ghosts, disobedient, triggers a deliberate misfire in a patrolman’s rifle. The bullet takes another guard right in the meat of the thigh - he twists and falls, arterial blood pumping - other spirits, emboldened by this show of defiance, fire off their possessed weapons too.

The ordered Guild patrols waver, frightened and confused as shots rip through their midst from the least expected of quarters - then their yells ring spiked with pain as those with overeager trigger fingers find their guns to be inoperable or worse. One of the spirits howls and flees, its arm missing from the shoulder down - it had tried to possess a patrolwoman’s electrical stunner. Then, out of your range of sight, another calamity - atop the refinery catwalks to your right, a figure falls in flame. You see one of Ramona’s ghosts flee the plummeting corpse - but this one looks worried. Fearful, even, if spirits can be said to feel fear.


Your exalted perspective permits you to witness this sudden pandemonium from all angles at once, holding the scene complete in your mind’s eye. And it’s a good thing, too - only the most vigilant of watchers would spot the other armed men amidst the panic, the eight swiftly moving ones in unrelieved black prowling the decks of the Plagioclase and the Janette’s Revenge. Though one of their number lies dead on the cold deck with a patrolman’s misfire through his throat, they neither stop to aid him nor turn aside from their path. No spirits assail them, no guards raise a hand against them. They raise their weapons with smooth professionalism.
AVTOTAR is yours to command. What do you do?


01
You take up a vigilant stance at the entrance to the Excursus, a smallish patrol boat nearby, and leave your purloined guns with Jaime and Nori for safekeeping as tension crackles in the air - but it looks like the Ramona’s decided these softskins aren’t worth her time to fight. Suddenly the tension shatters - a man falls in flames from the refinery behind Tutresiel, the softskins’ guns jam and fire seemingly of their own volition, and what moments before were disciplined squads of gunmen mill in confusion.



The clink of metal behind you catches your attention. You whirl - two armed softskins on the aft upper deck! You squeeze off a pair of quick shots from your blaster, and they dive for cover behind the deck railing as they see you draw and fire - gives Jaime and Nori time enough to turn. Nori yelps in surprise. Jaime yells “NORI, GET INSIDE!” and returns fire - Nori seizes the tarp of guns and runs downstairs.

But oh Jaime, you brave fool - six shots of suppressing fire just isn’t enough. His small-caliber revolver shots spang harmlessly off the heavy steel railing, and as the last round discharges, his foes are ready. As he turns to run for the door, the men pop up over the railing again and drill him in the chest with half-a-dozen rounds apiece. Wet scarlet sprays, and Jaime falls lifelessly to the deck - then the men train their weapons on you! Below, where Nori took your guns, you hear the throaty boom of Nori’s outsized blunderbuss and the staccato tapping of disciplined burst fire. An ambush! Skulking vermin!
Jaime and Nori’s loyalty roll: 2d6+1 +1 LOY forward +1 Defense = 5. +3 loyalty and they roll snake eyes.
The guns are out of your sight, but you still have two hold left. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jun 12, 2016 around 19:50

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 3/12 XP; 4 Armor
Ramona sneers behind her visor at the doctor who apparently had never removed a belt before, is about to comment about incompetence again and just tell Serenity to do it herself. Or do it herself, just to speed up this process. The one telling commonly known stories about her isn't even glared at, lest he accidentally pop off. But then she sees the muzzle flash in the corner of her eye and immediately pushes down hard with the hand on Serenity's shoulder, "GET DOWN!"

She'd like to whip out her own rifle and have a sniper duel, but it the incompetent patrolmen have that covered, Juan will too. Hundreds, probably, will die. Ramona only cares about two lives though, and starts crouch-running the both of them below the hospital ship's decks.

The elf has an abrasion on her cheek.

Whatever ship that was where the fire came from, tomorrow she'd be sending it to Aqualantis the hard way.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2016 around 23:49

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

Tutresiel considered all of these things, although AVTOTAR's service would not be necessary for the moment, as they deposited the cerulean lens back within the pall. Tutresiel made a curt gesture for AVTOTAR to take cover before they began their grand work.

With this in mind the angelic figure concentrated as they leaned around the crates, suddenly piercing the boundaries of space with a slicing gesture using one hand in order to create a sudden portal beneath the feet of the lone hitman (standing over a body) on the 'north' side of the Plagioclase, and creating a similar portal high high high (as high as Tutresiel could) above in the sky, but instead of being directly above the position that hitman would be plucked from, Tutresiel's other gripping gesture with the other hand was aimed above one of the other hitmen standing on the 'south' side of the Plagioclase. Tutresiel's grandiose view of the scene synergising well with the position of these portals.

Using Fold Space, and taking the +1 Forward from Discern Realities.

Fold Space (Wis): 2d6+3+1 16

And was completely unnecessary!!!

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Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/11

Serenity hustled along with Ramona, not that she had much choice, nor did she mind. Incoming fire was all the convincing she needed to get out of the area. She tried to recall what exactly had happened. Had one of the patrols been set off? By what? Her companions hadn't done anything. Whatever the case, it was far too late for her to smooth things over with words, that was for damned sure.

Hopefully Tutresiel, 01, and Jaime and Nori were okay. This was why she disliked guns. It let any idiot with an agenda be a killer. At least with a bow you were obligated to train hard to be any good with it. And bullets were indiscriminate. An arrow didn't ricochet or over-penetrate to take out an innocent bystander. Alas, the days of the bow had passed a century ago or more. All that was left were hobbyists, sportsman, and foolishly highminded sorts like her.

As Ramona led the way, Serenity kept an eye out on their flanks. She had promised to shut up and follow orders, so she would. She would also make sure she knew where there was further cover or possible exits, and let Ramona focus on keeping them safe.

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