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  • The Found Arcana – Chapter 5 [IC]

     gilga updated 2 months, 4 weeks ago 4 Members · 419 Posts
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Thursday Morning, November 24, 2078, Touristville, Redmond

    It’s a rough night in the neighborhood. Residents are unsettled and scared. There’s a desire to clean things up, but with no electricity and a cloudy sky it’s difficult to see. The dwarves and trolls fare a bit better, but even the orks and the elves need flashlights to see what they’re doing.

    The promised storm finally arrives, with howls of wind and a driving rain. Your repairs hold up and keep the rain out but not everyone is so lucky. Most of the heat in the neighborhood is produced by electric heaters which aren’t working at the moment. Between that and all the broken windows, it’s a cold night for many.

    The storm makes it hard to sleep. Bobby can block it out better than most, but then there’s still the adrenaline coursing through you. You finally get to sleep after a few hours but you’re woken up early – much too early – the next morning.

    BANG BANG BANG!

    Not gunshots this time, but rather a heavy fist on your front door. AM claws for her Erika – which didn’t charge last night but seems like it still has some battery left – and discovers that it’s 08:00. There’s also a message from Andrew:

    <<Green-san, I wish to meet with you later today and inquire after your health. Please meet me for lunch at Lotus Rising Restaurant. Your associates are welcome. I wish to inquire after their health as well.>>

    BANG BANG BANG!

    Without electricity, the camera over the door doesn’t work. The only way to figure out who is pounding like that is the old fashioned way: lean out the window and see. Bobby does so and sees two Knight-Errant officers at the door, both human. There are two squad cars in the street. Two more K-E officers – orks this time – are watching the backs of the two officers at the front door.

    BANG BANG BANG!

    They don’t seem to be here to arrest you. If they were, they wouldn’t be knocking, or so the logic goes. Nor are they ordering you to open up with threats of warrants, etc. They seem to be here to talk. The rest of the neighborhood eyes them warily. Nobody is screaming at them about what happened last night, or castigating them for a lack of response. Nobody’s asking them for help, or asking them anything at all. They’re not being ignored; they’re being actively avoided.

    BANG BANG BANG!

    Doesn’t seem like they’re going away on their own.

  • beta

    Member
    March 4, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Jawsey scans the situation astrally, moans to himself about the cold and damp, then hauls himself out of bed. He pulls on trousers and his housecoat, grabs a cheap cane, then braves the world.

    He yells to the others as he heads down the stairs “I’ll get it.”

    He’d rather that the more dangerous members of the team not be seen yet.

    At the door, he opened it a crack and offered his friendliest “Good morning, officers. Can I help you?”

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 5, 2020 at 1:12 am

    Bobby rubbed the sand from his eyes and looked for trousers. Having KE standing in front of the house wasn’t usual or – for that matter – healthy. But he was hungry and so he made his way to the kitchen to eat what he could find. His ordeal still sat in his bones and he needed the nutrition.
    With one ear, he listened for what was going on downstairs.

  • gilga

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 2:13 am

    BANG BANG BANG…

    “They knock like police, hide.”

    BANG BANG BANG

    “Get up Amy.”

    AM wakes up from a dream, still tired and very upset. She calms herself that it is not the Sioux, and the police have no reason to look for her. Then she gets a bit stressed up, the Erika alone is enough to lock her up – she has no reason of owning such a tool capable of illegal matrix actions, her fake SIN would not survive deep scrutiny. There is a cause for concern, but then Jawsey wakes up to open the door. She stands up, already well dressed due to the cold, and walks to brush her teeth, taking her Erika alongside. She does not like what she looks like in the mirror, it is too early, and cold.


    Andrew is texting, she looks at the Erika instead. Confirming her suspicion that it would be best not to be the one complaining about last night’s events. It is the Yakuza’s problem as they expect to collect protection money, not the SIS’s directly. Now, Andrew probably wants their help in resolving the situation – because it makes his organization look bad.


    She texts back in the spirit of what she understands about Japanese etiquette.

    She texts >> Musai-San, we are forever grateful for your attention and are honored to meet you for lunch.

    She knows better than to mention last night’s events, or to discuss anything business-like over the matrix especially as the KE is litterally at their doorstep.


  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    AM signals her assent to Andrew. However, one has to wonder… Lotus Rising Restaurant isn’t that far away. Presumably their power is out as well. Are they actually going to be open for lunch, or will you be dining on raw food in darkness?

    Jawsey opens the door. The cops don’t barge in or rush him. The one banging on the door is a big guy, maybe in his 40s, with a lot of extra bulk around his belly and his chest. Either they don’t have fitness standards in the Redmond precinct or he’s getting fat off his job or both. He actually looks pretty strong; it’s his cardio that’s in question. His skin is pale and he has a hungry look in his eyes.

    The cop behind him is younger, skinnier, and darker-skinned. He looks somewhat apologetic about the pounding on the door. “Morning,” he says in a tone that might even be described as neighborly.

    “Come with us,” the bigger man growls. “All of you.”

    “The mayor would like to see you,” the thinner man explains.

  • beta

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Jawsey makes his smile wider. If you didn’t know him you might think that he was pleased at the prospect. “Wow, that is unexpected.” He doesn’t open the door up any wider however.

    He goes to send an ARO, then realizes that he’d forgotten to put on his trodes. Frag. He needs to buy a few seconds for a back-up communication plan, so he babbles some mindless niceties “With the power being down around here I guess I could understand a concern in the mayor’s office about whether our links were up, so whether they could reach us through our matrix presence. So sorry that you got sent out here on this not-so-lovely morning. I wish I could offer you some soycaff but of course we can’t even make that right now.

    Meanwhile he quickly called up Red Jacket Boy — keeping it on the astral for the moment — and gave it instructions to: “Find the other two people in the house, materialize, and tell them ‘The mayor wants to see us, make yourself presentable as fast as possible then someone come replace Jawsey at the door.’ after that you can leave.

    Switching his attention back to the officers at the door, he made an opening offer. “I’m sure the mayor doesn’t want to see me in bare feet and a house coat, and Bobby, well the state he’s in when disturbed from sleep is really not something that anyone needs to see. Fifteen minutes to pull ourselves together should do it, and meanwhile you can wait inside, away from the … weather.” He refrained from adding “and bullets” after “weather”, but his tone probably put the message across well enough.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  beta.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  beta.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  beta.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  beta.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  beta.
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    The cops nod and accept the invitation inside.

    “Thank you,” the thin cop says.

    “Hurry it up,” the other cop grunts, but you can tell he’s not exactly displeased to have an excuse to do nothing for 15 minutes while chalking it up as police work.

    The fat cop looks around the inside of the office where you receive clients and sniffs a bit disdainfully. “So are you going to make soykaf or what?” he asks gruffly.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 5, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Bobby wouldn’t have needed the spirit to know what was going on, but he was pleased with Jawsey’s quick thinking. He was less pleased with leaving his half eaten breakfast behind.

    But there was nothing to it. He got up and passed through the ante room where the police men were waiting to get into the locker/cleaning room. He managed to muble something that could be interpreted as “Morning officers” – but might have also been “moronic oafs”.
    Bobby didn’t have any nice clothes – anymore. Nowadays he bought what was cheap or what could be get out of in a hurry – like training pants with press buttons.
    For a moment he was tempted to raid Mato’s wardrobe – the ork usually had something nice, didn’t he? But it probably wouldn’t have fit, so that was out.

    He decided not to worry and just put on his usual attire – training pants, t-shirt, training jacket and since it was cold outside, a coat that looked more like a bath robe than anything else.

    When he was done, he stepped out and looked at the fat cop: “Did the mayor say why he wanted to see us? You know, this is a private detective agency. Stress on the “private”. What are we supposed to do that your lot can’t?”

  • beta

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Jawsey gives a pained smile “We lost power last night, not sure when it will be back. I guess if we stay here we should get some camping cooking gear that would let us make caff when the power is down, but we haven’t gotten that far yet. We might be able dissolve some crystals in cold water?”

    Once one of the others comes downstairs Jawsey will head upstairs, take a two minute cold shower, and put on some of his better clothes. He’ll leave his weapons behind and just take a normal cane with him when he heads back downstairs.

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    The fat cop sneers, and Bobby suspects he’s said something wrong, either factually or in terms of etiquette.

    She didn’t say why. The honorable Sonja Scholl has commanded her lowly subjects” – he gives a mock bow – “to summon you specifically.”

    It’s not clear if the cop is needling Bobby about his pronouns, or if he’s mocking the mayor, or if he’s upset at the task he’s been assigned, or all of the above.

    The fat cop shudders at the offer of soykaf crystals dissolved in cold water.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Bobby didn’t seem to be fazed at not knowing who the mayor of Seattle was. It was the kind of information that just had no relevancy to his day to day life. So he shrugged:
    “Fair enough. Seems like our advertising video got around after all.”

    After that he shut up. He was all to aware, that he was grumpy and that he didn’t get along with most people. And cops didn’t like to be pushed around. So he stood and stared until the others made their entrance.

  • gilga

    Member
    March 5, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    AM finds the news very disturbing, and her heart beats hard. Cops are never a good omen, and mayors have never wanted to see her. She would rather deal with criminals that look her in the eye than with coppers that see her like human garbage. Then again, they are not SINless – not all of them – and even AM is a legitimate citizen (until you look hard enough). She forces herself to relax and dress up in her good clothes a bit disappointed by herself that she did not get better clothes.

    AM places her Erika in her purse, silently too alert to bitch about how early it is, and how tired she is, and how cold the night is, and how terrible it is that she cannot even make some coffee. She tries to get Iktomi’s blessing to be more charming, but the spell utterly fails, leaving her with a nasty headache. Ksa, mocks me for being so weak”. She decides and gets down, trying to carry herself with dignity, she brings her outdoors small gas-campfire from the lodge. “Bobby – took my tent to fix the roof.” she is angry despite knowing perfectly fine that it was necessary and endogenous, and that Iktomi approves.


    When she is down she says “I am ready! Do we have time for a quick coffee? there is a hint of her smile, attempting to fight off the headache and attract some sympathy. If the cops do not object she would make the soy-caff manually, and serve the four men.




    Spoiler
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  gilga.
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 12:32 am

    Soykaf is made. There’s not much chit-chat and the silence is awkward. The gruff cop isn’t very friendly and the thin cop seems deferential toward him, perhaps due to age or rank or something else.

    “Alright, let’s not keep her honor waiting any longer,” the big cop says when he finishes his soykaf, which seems to have taken the edge off him.

    You’re led downstairs to the squad cars. It’s clear you’re suppose to sit in the back while the officers sit up front. At least you’re not cuffed, but you can feel the eyes of the neighborhood watching you. Are they sympathetic, or do they think that you’re complicit?

    You don’t have to drive far. Well kept even though much of the district is not, the Redmond Civil Center acts as the city offices for the district of Redmond. Located only a stone’s throw from Bellevue, this building is where the crazies work. Anyone who gets into politics in Redmond is crazy, and the building is often referred to as the Sanitarium by locals. It’s also right next door to K-E’s district offices, which look all shot to hell. There are hundreds of casings littering the street, and the K-E building is thoroughly pockmarked. If the Brain Eaters did retreat here looking for protection – and if the Crimson Crush pursued them – then it looks like there was a terrible shoot-out. Armed drones are on patrol, with tracked drones on the sidewalks and flying drones circling overhead.

    Things look empty and quiet. There aren’t many people here at this hour; in fact, it actually seems like the district offices are closed. The cops are buzzed through the front door, then through a second security door and then to a security station where you’re cordially invited to temporarily surrender any weapons before continuing up a wide staircase leading to the upper floor. Your heels click loudly on the polished concrete flooring, and the clicks echo through the empty hallways.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 6, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Bobby was reminded of his time in the military. Orders without explanation, getting up early and now getting dragged in front of an official to either get chewed out or receive some kind of mission.

    He was pretty sure, that no-one could pin anything on him. He was usually pretty careful to commit no crimes in human form.

    So he guessed that they were going to get a job offer – or they were going to get deported back into the NAN.

  • gilga

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 3:27 am

    AM carries no weapons, and her deck is turned off. She seats by the window, and admires the view and counts the drones to try and relax. She has never met anyone that high in the food chain, and was nervous as to what exactly would they want from her. She follows the cops and keeps to herself trying not to attract unwanted attention to herself.

  • beta

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Jawsey passes over his cheap cane when asked to surrender weapons. Why bother arguing?

    His back hurts from the work last night and the cold sleep, and his face hurts from keeping a smile pasted on while dealing with the cops. How do politicians keep those fake smiles on all day when campaigning?

    But he overcomes these difficulties to make what small talk he can with the police officers, and to provide friendly greetings with everyone they dealt with in the building. It never hurt to leave a good impression. Well, except for hurting his cheek muscles.

    And all of that leaving a good impression helped him not think about what was coming. The only senior people he’d dealt with before were doctors and crime bosses. Presumably a politician would be different than either, but he really wasn’t sure what to expect.

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    You’re led up the stairs, heels clicking all the way. Looking around, security seems lighter than you would expect, given that it’s the Barrens. Don’t politicians like a bunch of security guards and bodyguards to help them feel important?

    You’re lead down a long hallway. Looking around, you can’t help but think that everything is so much nicer than you would have expected. It’s not nice on the scale of Bellevue or Downtown Seattle, but still… it’s almost classy. The walls are a pleasant cream color and look freshly painted. Most of the trim along the floors and around door is dark-colored wood (or something that looks convincingly like wood) with few dings or chips. The lighting is warm. Everything seems functional. Compared to the rest of Redmond, this place is an oasis.

    How do they afford it? Tax revenues from wealthier districts trying to create a firewall between Redmond and the rest of the city? Corporate underwriting? Corruption? Whatever it is, there’s some money somewhere.

    You arrive at a large, handsome desk at the end of the hallway. There’s a smartly-dressed female assistant (elven, pretty, looks young but who can really tell with elves) behind it who stands up promptly at your arrival. Your K-E escort peels away – with the large cop leering crudely at the assistant – before the assistant shows you into the Mayor’s office.

    “Welcome,” the assistant says in a professional tone. “The Mayor is expecting you.” She opens up a wide set of double-doors that leads into a large office.

    The office is much like the hallway outside, in terms of “nicer than expected.” The mayor sits behind a large, ornate desk that looks like real wood, and maybe even carved out of a single tree. It’s heavy and imposing, somewhat unlike the woman who sits behind it, who is slender and welcoming. She stands, smiling. She’s human, maybe of Germanic or Nordic heritage. Her age is indeterminate – young enough to still be idealistic, but old enough to have been mayor for a while. She’s dressed modestly but neatly, maybe like what a middle-class professional would wear to church.

    “Hi,” she says, coming around the desk and holding out her hand warmly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Please, call me Sonja.”

    No ceremony here, nor artifice. Either that or she’s really laying on the charm. “Please, have a seat.” She indicates four chairs (nice, no holes or tears, cushions still intact!) in front of her desk.

    Almost undetected – because he doesn’t move or speak – is a man sitting in the far corner of the office. He appears human and his build is muscular and dense; he’s wiry, not bulky. His legs are crossed, he makes no move to greet you, and his suit practically screams nuyen. His features are unimpressive except for large eyes that study you closely. He has a lean and hungry look. Sonja ignores him, treating him like a piece of decoration as she tends to you.

    “It’s early. Would anyone like tea, soykaf, or juice?” she asks. “Something to eat? It might only be bagels but we can probably find something.” She sits on the front edge of her desk to be closer to you while you talk.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    For a moment, Bobby was tempted to utter some harsh words in regards to where the mayor should stick her offer, but then he remembered that a) he was still hungry and b) this sounded like they were going to get an offer. No need to spoil Jawsey’s and AM’s chance to do their thing.

    He noded almost imperceptively and but otherwise keeps his tongue in check.

    But he couldn’t help but grin at the bodyguard in the corner. Seeing tough guys like him always made Bobby itch to start something – just to see which one of them both was the tougher one.

  • beta

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    This was far too pleasant to be good. He suddenly remembered his father muttering “If they are buttering you up, its for their comfort when they screw you.” Ah well, they’d proven pretty resistant to being screwed so far, hopefully this wouldn’t be where their streak ended.

    Of course it would help if he knew the first thing about the woman. Hadn’t he heard that Redmond had no government? Maybe it was ‘no effective government’?

    It is such a pleasure to get to meet you! We’ve heard a lot about you of course,” he lied, “but we never expected to meet you. It [i]has[/i] been a night and a morning, so I think we’ll all gladly accept your hospitality.” There was power in hospitality, and in letting people do small things for you. Just so long as you didn’t let them convince you that the small thing they did for you should be reciprocated with a large thing from you.

    He named the team, pointing them out as he went. “ Bobby just came back from a spirit quest and I’m sure he’s still half starved, so I suspect he’d appreciate a bagel. My name is Guujaw — but please call me ‘Jawsey’ as its easier on the throat — and I’d appreciate tea. And I’ll let Amy Maka speak for herself.

    While letting AM speak, Jawsey took the opportunity to asense the mayor and the man and to try to get a feel for what was going on here.


    • This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by  beta.
  • gilga

    Member
    March 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    AM takes a seat, and greets the mayor and responds, “Just Amy would do in this context.

    She slides her business card down the table to the mayor and adds We are private detectives, combining mundane, and magical methods to find the truth. . She pauses and adds Feel free to text at any hour, there is no need for a police escort – we are always happy to meet you, mayor Sonja. she says peacefully with a smile. The message is serious, SIS also deals with criminals, and the last thing they need is the KE showing at their doorstep infront of the whole neighborhood.


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