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  • The Found Arcana – Chapter 5 [IC]

     jack_spade updated 16 hours, 57 minutes ago 4 Members · 253 Posts
  • Tecumseh

    May 18, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Bobby get a dozen apples, which were recently harvested just over the mountains in Salish-Shidhe. Oh, and a dozen pears from southern Tir Tairngire, not far from the CFS border.

    There’s also a bunch of bananas, but it’s not quite clear where those came from.

  • beta

    May 18, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Jawsey hands over a coin for a bottle of whiskey “what kind?”. ” Strong!”. He takes a small slug and rinses his mouth thoroughly with it, feeling like the stuff is stripping off a layer of flesh in the process.

    He passes the bottle to Bobby “sure, I’ll take an apple and a banana, here have a sip of this and wave it around a bit — don’t want to give the impression that we are deliberately staying sober.”

    He looks at the slightly built AM and says “just don’t take too much, since we do want to stay _mostly_ sober”

  • Tecumseh

    May 19, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Jawsey gets a 750ml bottle. The bottle has an elegant label that says “Laguvulin 16-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky.” Not to presume too much about Jawsey’s whisky/whiskey drinking history, but it’s certainly one of the best bottles he’s ever had.

    You look around. There’s plenty to do, from shopping to gambling to cavorting and everything in between. It’s a palace to gluttony, the castle of excess.

  • gilga

    May 19, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    . “can’t hold my liquor.” Am responds to the invitation to try the whiskey. Knowing her shortcoming seems to be a problem, “…but there is no harm in an apple.” she says and grabs one. Something feels very odd about this place, and AM’s rational mind feels suspicious. Providing so many people with such extravagance costs a fortune, and who gives so much for free. AM looks for a nice place to seat, and for something more casual/ladylike to drink.

    Hoping to catch a fly in her web, AM wears her spiderweb ear-ring(which is also her fetish). Perhaps members of the Spyders would actually appreciate her devotion to Iktomi. Would make an interesting conversation, she distances herself from the two guys for a bit but do not leave their line of sight.

  • jack_spade

    May 20, 2020 at 5:50 am

    Bobby shrugged and took a sip. He usually kept away from the stuff as quite a few of his ancestors had – as far as he knew – drunk themselves to death.

    “I’m not particularly good at making friends. So I’m going to obviously do what Yakuza Boy Andrew asked of us: Try to smooth things over if there are any problems with my unique charm. Wish me luck that the building doesn’t burn down while we are in it.”

    With that, Bobby looks out to be a party pooper if he sees gangers ribbing each others, he supports the attacked side, by trying to intimidate the opponent into backing down and in general being a bit of a party-pooper.

  • Tecumseh

    May 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Bobby looks around for gangers to “help” but doesn’t come up with much. The night is still young and people are still early into their partying. He might find more traction later in the evening when people are drunk or completely blitzed, but for now most people seem to be in a good mood and enjoying themselves. Deepweed blunts are being passed around so that mundanes can get a peek of the good vibes on the astral.

    AM sits back and lets the light catch her earrings. Her spiderwebs catch a couple of flies, or – in this case – Spyders, which seems vaguely ironic. Three of them walk by, all female, all cybered to the max. Living with Mato, the cyber doesn’t really phase AM, although some of their gear is… out there. The one in the middle – either an elf or a human with cyberears shaped like an elf – passes by with two partial cyberlegs (from the kneecap down) and two partial cyberarms (from the elbow down) that end with giant knife-like claws extending past her fingertips. One wonders how she grabs anything, or why the Guard haven’t objected.

    The Spyder has obvious cybereyes – black carbon pupils on top of silver chrome irises – that zoom in on AM’s ears as the Spyder struts by. She smiles with unnerving stainless steel teeth, then approaches. The other two Spyders flank her.

    “Wiz jewelry,” she says with a jut of her chin. “Scanner in my palm says you don’t have any cyber. You rocking the bioware?”

  • beta

    May 20, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    After AM turns down the whiskey and moves off a distance, and Bobby heads off, Jawsey finds himself in the odd position of being alone and bored in the middle of the world’s greatest party (at least: it is based on his limited experience). He takes a slower sip of the whiskey while he looks around and thinks, enjoying it much more as a slow burn down the back of his throat and smoky fumes rising into his nose, than as a caustic wave when he’d first pulled back a good slug.

    Everything here exceeded his expectations. He’d expected booze, but not such good booze. Food, but not such good food. Security, but not … he quickly shut down this litany before he found himself singing the praises of a dragon too much. But he had to wonder what his life would have been like if he’d been found as a kid and brought into the Crimson Guard? What would living here have been like? Surely it was not all of this excess all of the time? But even so, it made scrabbling out a living in their detective agency look almost silly, like a children’s game of make-believe or something.

    But he had accepted a job as part of the agency. Not that he was going to leave it, but even if he did he’d need to finish this job first, it was just the right thing to do. And the job meant he had to get talking to people. More to the point, he had to ask questions of people, sow some doubt in their minds that might break things up later.

    He looked around for likely people to talk to, but was distracted by all that was on offer. They might need their coins later, as bribes or payments, but surely it wouldn’t hurt to spend another coin. Or two? No, just one. Almost certainly just one …

    And then he found his spot. People watching some sort of gambling game were jamming up against the line of people waiting to get some sort of food — Jawsey couldn’t quite make out what the plates were holding but it certainly seemed popular. Popular food and different groups interacting? That was his place!

    It was easy enough to start chatting with the ganger in line in front of him. Not that the guy seemed overly interested in chatting with Jawsey, but the elf knew how to keep people engaged. And then it was a matter of waiting for near contact and saying “Oops, watch behind you! Don’t step on your new gang-mate” Followed quickly by “I mean, that is what I’ve heard.”

    He wasn’t quite sure what he would do if everyone involved were actually open to the idea of blending gangs, but he was trusting that history would keep them opposed to that for now.

  • gilga

    May 20, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    “Praise the Destroyer, and thanks Mato for existing.” she thinks. She grins and confesses “Sadly no, it interferes with my talent.” she pauses and then adds, her body language invites the girls to seat. “You gals seem like the real deal though, what kind of stuff you can do?” she asks hoping that she has them intrigued.

  • Tecumseh

    May 21, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    “Talent?” the Spyder asks. Her eyes flare, and AM is uncertain whether she’s just said the wrong thing or the perfect thing. “What does your talent have to do with spiders and spiderwebs?”

    The woman’s aura is intense. She’s either on the verge of breaking the Funhouse’s prohibition on violence – and suffering the consequences – or prostrating herself on the ground and worshiping AM. It’s hard to say which.

  • Tecumseh

    May 23, 2020 at 1:25 am

    The Spyder looks intensely at AM. She still has no idea what to make of the excessive focus concentrated on her.

    Jawsey’s comment earns him a scowl from the ganger that almost stepped on him. The ganger turns around and studies Jawsey with a skeptical look. “And just who the frag do you think you are? Amerind, but you ain’t one of those chickendrek First Nationers. I don’t see any colors or patches. What are you, a tourist?”

    Bobby does a little better, if only by keeping his expectations low.

    “Nice fruit basket,” a troll snarls at Bobby. He’s a troll, a 405 Hellhound from the looks of it. (Go-ganger, thrill gang, lots of dermal plating for when the riding turns into sliding.) “Fruit for the fruit.”

    “Here, this one looks like your mama’s hoop,” Bobby retorts, handing the troll a provocatively-shaped pear. “I was up in it last night.”

    The troll tilt his head back and barks with deep, appreciative laughter. He takes the pear and slaps Bobby affectionately on the back. The blow feels like a crowbar and makes Bobby wince, probably suggesting bone lacing under all that dermal plating.

  • gilga

    May 23, 2020 at 9:26 am

    “…and the fly got caught in my spiderweb” AM thinks and wonders if she can handle such attention. “Spider is my totem, my inspiration, and spiritual guide. ”

    She pauses and then continuous.

    “The web symbolizes a dream catcher, which is a trap for evil spirits in layman terms. In reality, it is a warning from the past. A way to remember that Evil spirits are out there , and we need the cunning and wisdom of the spider to remain free”.

  • jack_spade

    May 23, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Bobby continued to make his rounds, walking on the small path between obnoxious and funny – but mostly he didn’t stay long enough for any one to get a fix on him. Instead he tried to map out where each gang was concentrated the most – and eat a lot more fruit than he had ever eaten before in one sitting.

  • Tecumseh

    May 26, 2020 at 1:14 am

    The Spyders all stiffen. Their eyes shoot open and your practically expect their hair to stick straight out.

    “You must meet Widow!” One of the Spyders insists. She grabs AM with her cyberarm and the small elf is helpless to resist her. The Spyders begin dragging AM off toward one of the drug dens, specifically the one featuring Awakened drugs.

    Jawsey, from his vantage point, can barely see the Spyders on the astral. They’re little more than shadows, with Essence levels a fraction above death, much like Mato’s. However, what little remains of their souls is excited, very excited, and that enthusiasm seems to be what’s driving them to drag AM along whether she wants to or not.

    Bobby tries to get the lay of the land. The Rusted Stilletos have taken over the BTL den. Nobody else is in there with them; everyone treats them as if they’re radioactive.

    The various go-gangers – the 405 Hellhounds, the Death Heads, and Red Hot Nukes – seem to be spending most of their time in the various shopping bazaars. There’s plenty of kit on sale for their rides, almost as if there were a full automotive shop on the 12th floor. For the most part, they don’t seem too intoxicated yet.

    A lot of Halloweeners and the Crimson Crush seem to be at the various bars. With combat drugs off limits, the Crush seem to be satisfied with alcohol. The Halloweeners also seem to prefer drinking – maybe because alcohol is flammable, and they’re always more comfortable around fire – but there are some in the Awakened drug den too.

    The squad of Ancients is in the casino. They seem to be winning a lot. You know that the odds are player-friendly in Urubia’s casino (or, if you didn’t know that, you could presume as much), but even so… the Ancients seem to be winning disproportionately. Naturally, they’re loving it.

  • gilga

    May 26, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    AM follows willingly texting Bobby and Jawsey to keep an eye for her. >> Forced meeting with Widow, watch up for me if the Spiders decide to kidnap/recruit me or something.

  • jack_spade

    May 27, 2020 at 7:10 am


    Bobby aborted his attempt to get closer to the Halloweeners and instead headed in AM’s direction, trying to keep an eye on her.

  • beta

    May 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Jawsey responds to the team <<Bobby, let me know if you need me to play hostage negotiator, AM let me know if you want another voice to keep you from being love-bombed into joining them>>

    Part of him felt bad for not charging after AM, but he didn’t want to attract a ton of attention by charging after her immediately.

    To the ganger who had challenged his belonging here, Jawsey nodded amiably “A tourist, exactly! Normally I’m an astral tourist, but the Funhouse is a meat-and-bone required sort of place; had to put my meat suit on to come check it out.” He hopes that his sense of humor comes through to the gangers; Zwipe would have laughed, but Jawsey wasn’t as sure that others would get the joke.

  • Tecumseh

    May 28, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Jawsey’s humor doesn’t really find its mark but mention of being “astral” earns him a grunt that sounds kind of like “huh”. The ganger turns his back on Jawsey and goes back to what he was doing before. The matter seems dropped.

    AM gets pulled through the party until she reaches one of the drug dens. It’s a room with no windows and a lot of smoke, likely from the various gangers hotboxing themsemlves. There’s a thick cloud of acrid, skunky smoke that must be deepweed. AM feels a contact high just from being in there, but she has enough control over her senses to be able to turn off the assensing if she wants.

    On the far side of the room, there’s a woman sitting imperiously on a couch with a commanding view of the room. She has four full cyberlimbs, all matte-black carbon fiber, sleek and elegant. Her high, angular cheekbones say ‘elf’ but her rounded ears say ‘human’. It’s possible that they’re cyberears though.

    The woman smiles when she sees AM. She pats the space on the couch next to her, inviting AM to sit down. With her other hand hand she toys with a stack of ten coins, pulling them off the couch and dropping them back down like a poker player playing with their chips.

    “Sit with me,” she says slowly, luxuriously. She must be Widow. “Recluse has told me all about you.” She seems to be referring to the woman who brought you over, who must have been DNI’ing or subvocalizing the whole way.

    Her tone is languid, almost like she’s stoned, but her eyes are crystal clear and her pupils are sharp. Or maybe they’re just cybereyes.

    “Do you know who we are and what we do?” she asks. She continues without waiting for an answer. “We keep the world safe from bug spirits. It requires constant vigilance. They often reach out to weaker minds.” She juts her chin at the room of stoned, assensing gangers. “Minds not like yours, not like mine.” It almost sounds like a purr coming out of her.

    She holds up a finger. “But there are greater dangers. Deepweed is common, but you can’t go anywhere. Ah, but what of Shade? Do you know it? It’s a natural herbal radical of pollen from the red orchid of Southeast Asia. It forces the user – even a mundane – to astrally project and grants them access to the metaplanes if they’re are in the company of a spirit guide. Much too expensive for the average ganger, but tonight it’s cheap at a mere five coins.”

    She holds up five black cyberfingers, which give a little rolling wave from one finger to the next.

    “So here we wait, here we watch, lest one of these pea-headed fools are led astray.” Her cyberfingers flash razor claws, titanium blades shooting out from underneath the fingernails. She retracts them just as quickly.

    “Everything you said is true. If Spider is your totem, your inspiration, and your spiritual guide, then I must believe that Spider has led you here to me. Or perhaps led me here to you.” She touches AM’s earring lightly. “A trap for evil spirits, indeed. They are out there, and we do need the cunning and wisdom of Spider to remain free. I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

    Widow looks AM up and down closely.

    “I don’t see any colors on you, no patches or markings. You should join us. We’ll help you reach your ultimate potential, and you can help us reach ours. Spider wills it.”

  • gilga

    May 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    “Indeed Iktomi is sending me to the lion’s den. “ she thinks. The small and unremarkable elf glances over Widow, admiring her chrome.

    AM turns off her assessing and seats. “It is a pleasure to meet you Widow, my name is Amy Green, also known as Shaman Maka, the orphan. You are correct. I follow Iktomi, the Spider spirit of the Sioux people.

    She pauses and then replies clearly tempted“Shade is indeed very tempting, but I am not here to party. I tried to get this meeting to warn you. There is a powerful evil spirit here in the funhouse, and I suspect that your Spyders are about to ally with that spirit. “

  • Tecumseh

    May 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Widow pauses midway through strumming her stack of coins.

    “I was not inviting you to try Shade. I was inviting your vigilance over those who do.” There are gangers all around the room, sprawled over couches. Some are tripping on deepweed, examining their hands and the aura of the room, while others are limp and clearly wandering. Whether they’ll find their way back to their bodies is an open question.

    Her tone is cautious. “Tell me of this evil spirit,” she says. “Let there be no… mistakes made tonight.” Her claws flash in and out again.

  • beta

    May 28, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    “Strike one” Jawsey muttered to himself. Well, time to keep mingling and see what other opportunities came up. But he was almost at the front of the line for food, so he waited on that. When he got it, he realized his tactical mistake — it was some sort of vegetarian curry. Tasty, but eyeball watering hot. People coming for that were maybe not the hottest tempered of the bunch.

    After which he really did mean to start looking for opportunities, but trying to wash down the curry with the whiskey turned out to be a mistake, so he went looking for something to soothe his mouth and found the ice-cream bar, and for just one more coin he received a massive milkshake that was so good it surely used real milk and chocolate. In trying to finish the milkshake quickly he ran into the mixed pleasure and pain of being too full and having an ice-cream headache. After that he went looking for a washroom to rinse off some sticky residue from the shake.

    And that was when a word cut through the noise of the crowd and drove other thoughts out of his head “Psyche.” He froze, then looked around. It would make sense that they’d have the drug here, what with the Crimson Guard. Picking up a few doses without spending nuyen would just be good financial management, right? Heck, even here and now, taking a tab would sharpen his mind in the middle of all this confusion. It would likely be the responsible thing to do, wouldn’t it?


    In the end, Jawsey dropped five of the precious coins on Psyche. He already had one dose hidden back at their headquarters, this seemed like enough to carry him through for a while. On top of the whiskey and the two types of food, that left him with a dozen coins. Surely that would be enough for whatever was left?

    He couldn’t resist taking one dose right away, to sharpen his mind. Maybe this was what he’d been missing on the last job, he didn’t sharpen his edge enough with Psyche? He’d been so stingy with the doses, and as the whole world slid into sharper focus he had to wonder why? It wasn’t that expensive, it had barely any downside, and it was so beneficial.


    Once the drug had awoken his brain, he looked down at the whiskey bottle with distaste. The urge to eat and drink and simply to enjoy the plenty of this place had carried him away for a while. Sure he’d been trying to poke at things, but really he’d mostly been wandering around rather than taking an analytical approach.

    They had to report back to the Mayor with their thoughts showing disagreements, arguments, contention. And they had to be able to tell Andrew of how they had smoothed things out and helped things reach an agreement. The obvious course was to help the Halloweeners and Crimson Crush make their deal, while helping build a coalition against it — and if they could get ‘the coalition’ to create an uproar and get kicked-out then they’d both created contention and followed Andrew’s instructions.

    They’d previously reached out to the First Nations and The Ancients. AM had gone off with the Spyders. That left the (crazed, radioactive) Rusty Stilettos and the (crazed, but not radioactive) Death Heads and 405 Hellhounds to work on. Given the reports on how the Rusty Stilettos liked to get blitzed out on BTLs and other drugs, he supposed that he’d better start with them.

    He stepped back to the man he’d just gotten the Psyche from and said “Hey, I’m looking for a chummer that was looking to slot a new BTL. Know where I should go looking to find him?”

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 19 hours ago by  beta.
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