AdministratorFebruary 12, 2020 at 1:59 pm
Mato was able to observe Liam’s reaction as it unfolded: Quicker than a rattlesnake, Liam had turned on the spot, leaving his rifle where it was, and had drawn a heavy pistol, aiming at the door.
When he saw his sister’s face on the display, he hesitated and doubt crept into his otherwise stony face.
As Mato continued with his speech, despair crept into it as well.
A full second went by after Mato had ended, before Liam answered:
“I swear to god, if you have done anything to Ira…
He stopped and took another deep breath. “Ok, I get it. You could have killed me already, didn’t you? You knew my position, what I carry and what my targets are.
That means you want to take me alive, don’t you? And you know about the Shrike…
Who sent you, what do you want?”
MemberFebruary 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm
Mato shakes his head, even if Liam can’t see it.
“We’re not here to [i]take[/i] you. You never have to see us if you don’t want to. We’re not cops, we’re not with any of the Families. We’re independents who are trying to get you to see reason. What we want is for you to go home, safe and sound, and live to fight another day.
“Ira’s fine. She doesn’t know who we are; she doesn’t know where you are. If you turn your commlink back on, you can call her. Invite her out to breakfast, or lunch. Is she working tonight? You can see her at Murphy’s. But you can only do that if you [i]go home[/i].”
AdministratorFebruary 12, 2020 at 3:04 pm
Liam now looked confused: “You realize, that I won’t stop until I get that Russian bastard?
So why do you want me to wait – what’s in it for you?”
MemberFebruary 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm
“I didn’t say you had to stop. I said I wanted you to go home, figure out a better way, and live to fight another day.
“We’re being paid to keep the peace. If you geek the Russians and the Italians but get scratched in the process, then it looks like the Irish did it. That leads to a mob war, and that’s a lot of collateral damage affecting a lot of blameless bystanders. That’s a lot of new Kates you’d be creating, spreading your pain and misery to a bunch of innocent families just like yours.”
If Mato were a better student, he might compare it to the dominoes that fell after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, leading to the horrors of World War I. But, alas, AM made Mato pretty instead of smart.
Mato starts counting the steps off on his fingers, even though – again – Liam can’t see it.
“Go home. I’d say ‘sleep it off’ but given the Long Haul I know it will be a few days before you crash. Use that time to plot and plan. Follow your training. Be precise, be surgical, and figure out a way that [i]doesn’t get you geeked in the process[/i].
“Be a good brother to Ira. If she marries Sean and has some kids, be a good uncle. But none of that is possible on your current course, so change direction now while you still can.”
There’s the barest hint of a veiled threat in the last line. Liam seems a sharp fellow, and Mato is hoping that the name-dropping and the details will convince him that his current plan is untenable.
AdministratorFebruary 12, 2020 at 5:21 pm
Liam took another moment, evaluating his situation, then put away his side gun.
“Alright. Fair enough. No harm, no foul. I assume you have eyes on me.”
He got up and carefully removed the magazine from the rifle, moving the bolt to also get out the round from the chamber, carefully reinserting it into the magazine. He picked up the long, padded carry sleeve and stashed his rifle.
AM noticed that a commlink went online as he went down to the door and tapped the package next to the door.
“Alright. I’ve disarmed. I’m going to open the door now.”
Very slowly he moved his hands towards the door, disengaging the chain and unlocked the dead bolt.
MemberFebruary 12, 2020 at 5:35 pm
<<AM, he’s coming out. Get out of sight. Not sure if he’s militant about elves but let’s not find out. And drop the ultraviolet vision.>>
<<Jawsey, can you keep a tail on our friend and make sure he does what we asked him to do?>>
MemberFebruary 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm
It was a bit of a waste of the racoon-headed trickster spirit’s talents, but Jawsey asked it to astrally follow Liam for half an hour, and to let Jawsey know if once he went away, he came back again.
AdministratorFebruary 13, 2020 at 5:12 am
The door opened and Liam stepped out, the riflebag over his left shoulder, but his right hovered near his side gun.
Seeing Mato he said: “Ah, it’s you. I saw you standing on the roof of the gallery. I’m going home now – no promises beyond the coming weekend.”
MemberFebruary 13, 2020 at 12:17 pm
“None expected,” Mato nods. “You’ll have another chance – a better chance – when the Shrike comes in.”
In another world, Mato might find it odd that he’s offering advice on a high-profile assassination targeting a criminal syndicate. But this is the Sixth World, so it really doesn’t seem that strange.
Mato lets Liam pass, giving him his space, and trusting that Jawsey’s spirit will make sure that Liam makes it back to his Growler and then onto the road headed south.
<<Alright, that’s the main threat addressed. We’re still on watch until tonight though, and we’ll all need to get some rest at some point to stay sharp. What’s the latest on the creepy human skin statue? Is it still casting a shadow on the astral?>>
MemberFebruary 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm
>> Good talking Mato, you are quite a charmer. Indeed let’s take another impression of the creepy statue, and call it a night. We can leave Jawsie’s spirit to watch the place and alert us if anything changes. I feel that we are missing something about the statue but I have no lead. I’ll try to figure out how it got to the gallery, and who owns it. Jawsie – ping me if you need a sharper mind when you look at the thing.
With that AM browsed the gallery’s system trying to figure out how did the abomination christ statue got into the gallery in the first place. When did it arrive, who delivered it – and who sent it.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by gilga.
MemberFebruary 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm
<<Tatanka knows his drek>> Mato comms, deferring some of the credit.
<<If Jawsey’s spirit can keep an eye on things this morning, I can come back for the afternoon. With my sleep regulator, I only need three hours of downtime. Give me some time to eat and clean up and I can be back by noon, cuffed and coiffed.>>
Mato is only vaguely aware of what ‘cuffed and coiffed’ actually means and hopes nobody calls him on it.
<<I can take the Americar back and forth. You two can take the Hyundai.>>
AdministratorFebruary 13, 2020 at 1:44 pm
Sunrise was about one and a half our away when Jawsey’s spirit reported that Liam had reached his flat and had gone in.
The statue at the gallery was still where it had been, still casting that unsettling shadow in the astral.
At around nine, the gnome assistant opened up the place. At ten, the Janet appeared. Five minutes later, AM’s commlink chirped, announcing a message from Janet: <<Give me a status report – is the event save?>>
MemberFebruary 13, 2020 at 10:05 pm
<<Seems to be. We’ve dealt with the bomber, and the card. But we have concerns about that piece by the entrance, the Christ like one. It has some disturbing astral presence. What can you tell us about who made it and how it came to you?>>
AdministratorFebruary 14, 2020 at 5:54 am
It took Janet a moment to reply: <<What has the Nightmare to do with all that? It’s a work of an African ghoul from Asamando. I bought it for a very favorable price from an estate liquidation last month.>>
MemberFebruary 14, 2020 at 9:06 am
Jawsey keeps the team in the loop with his reply. <<It has to do with whether it is safe to have your event. We’ve dealt with the things that we are sure are threats. That statue … we know there is something nasty about it, but its provenance might explain that. Whether it is a threat or not, well, let’s say that I sure wouldn’t want to go to sleep in the same room with it for certain. When I was checking in on things astrally last night I’d swear it had moved its location. And there is a sort of astral … well it is hard to describe. Somewhere between ‘freezing shadow’ and ‘hole in the astral.’ To be honest I didn’t risk poking at that. The whole thing is also outright disturbing on the astral as I’m pretty sure it is made of human skin and some of the pain and despair that the skin’s owners felt can still be sensed astrally. The word ‘evil’ honestly comes to mind.>>
<<All of that said, I can’t tell you right now that it is a threat to your gallery or your guests. It might be, it might not be, or maybe it is a threat but we can mitigate the danger adequately. We just don’t know enough yet. But maybe we can quantify that with more investigation. You bought it from an estate sale, right? Do you know how the previous owner died, or can you at least give us a name? We’ve been up all night and will have to sleep eventually, but we can keep looking for more information to let you make a more informed decision about that one piece before your opening.>>
- This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by beta.
AdministratorFebruary 14, 2020 at 3:22 pm
Janet replied: <<So what you are saying is, this is a genuine magical work? That’s fantastic. I know exactly who will want to buy this.
As for the estate: An Arthur Liu liquidated all his assets here when he and his family left Seattle. Worked for Fidelity Mutual Insurance if I remember correctly. He had a lot of weird art – I guess an insurance man would know his way around exotic pieces.>>
MemberFebruary 14, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Mato, dead to the world while his sleep regulator cycles him through stages of REM sleep, snores through the commcall with Janet.
MemberFebruary 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm
When AM arrives home, she collapses from exhaustion, and when Jawsie takes the call from Janet, she yawns and tries to keep her eyes open. Her health is not perfect, and it is difficult to give up a night’s sleep without sleeping the next morning. She stands up, frustrated, and goes to the kitchen to make a coffee. Or what passes as “coffee” in their office. AM is happy that Jawsie picks up the call, because she does not have “nice in her – not before she finishes the coffee.
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