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  • The Found Arcana – Chapter 5 [IC]

     beta updated 19 hours, 50 minutes ago 4 Members · 75 Posts
  • beta

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    As Jawsey headed back through the astral he was sure his aura was disturbed. AM’s words had gotten under his skin, and the whole concept of making the sacrifice to learn a secret about the Funhouse …. after they had to be there, rubbed him wrong too.

    But the truth was that the team was stretched thin, not in a good position to make the sacrifice. Still, once the spirit had the scent of soul, would it accept the lesser trade for the information and a promise of the big trade later?

    He found the spirit easily enough, it didn’t actually look like it had moved at all. Maybe it hadn’t; as best as Jawsey had been able to tell it had once spent a week watching a Stuffer Shack.

    Jawsey explained “My team agrees to the price for the information. And we are interested in the Secret too. We have another commitment to go to now, and the rest of them cannot come here so easily, since their bodies might not be allowed here. I would suggest, we meet halfway between highest-sun and sun-down to do the ritual. ” There followed the usual challenge of giving an address to a spirit, but eventually they identified the place to meet, and Jawsey returned to tell the team.

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 1 hour ago by  beta.
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 24, 2020 at 1:00 am

    Green Toes studies Jawsey closely. His stare is unwavering, unnerving. He doesn’t share the social niceties of metahumans. He scours Jawseys aura, then stares some more.

    “Very well,” he says. “Just as you mortals speak among yourselves, so do we fae. Your reputation is known, Jawsey. I am aware that you have done these deals in the past and so that you know what you are agreeing to in the future. The spirits appreciate this willingness; it is part of the reason that the come so readily for you, and that who Comes is sometimes larger than who you Called.

    “But know this,” he says with a raised finger. “What is done can be undone. Those spirits who hear your whispers may stop listening. They may even become your bane. That is not a threat, just an understanding of how agreements work among the fae.”

    He extends a sylvan hand in what appears to be an attempt at a handshake.

  • beta

    Member
    March 24, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Jawsey extends his own astral ‘hand.’ He takes care to restrain his aura — not to smash at the spirit, but also not to leave his own aura wide open.

    And he makes a mental note to get some reagents and somewhere safe enough out doors that he can make some sacrifices to spirits that he has been calling. He’s shocked to realize that he hasn’t done this since they started the detective business.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 24, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    When Jawsey woke up, Bobby asked: “Alright, so are we ready to head over to the Yak and see what he wants?”

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 25, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    You get ready to meet Andrew. There’s no hot water for the shower, although you might be able to take a warm(ish) bath by boiling water over a flame and pouring it into the bathtub. Otherwise it’s a cold shower or a wipe down with a washcloth.

    After dressing, you head to Lotus Rising Restaurant, which is very close to HQ. It’s grey, cool, and cloudy, with an on-and-off drizzle. There’s a bit of a breeze but not nearly as windy as it was yesterday or overnight. The lights of the restaurant are still off but Andrew is sitting at a table that’s right by the front window. Whether that’s so everyone can see him (and who he is dining with) or just a practical measure to leverage what little daylight is coming in through the windows is an open question.

    Andrew is wearing a suit, but not the Scout’s Tux this time. The suit is grey and somewhat muted – conservative, even. Andrew sips tea from a small porcelain cup. There’s a black cast iron tea pot with a intricate design that make it look like a dragon curling around the kettle, with the spout coming out of the dragon’s mouth. It sits on top of a small stand with a candle underneath it to keep the pot and the tea warm.

    Andrew stands when you enter. “Green-san, I’m so pleased that you could come,” he says, offering you seats at the table. “I have taken the liberty of ordering lunch.”

    The restaurant is quite dark aside from the pool of light by the front windows. Either the kitchen staff are metahumans who can see in the dark, or they’re working with a portable light source, like a candle or a solar light. Presumably they’re cooking on propane stoves, or maybe you’re going to be eating raw bok choy.

    Andrew sits and begins to pour tea into small porcelain cups for each of you. “I wished to inquire after your health,” he says. “You are all looking well to me, but we all know that not all injuries may be seen with the eyes.” He puts down the tea pot and sits back with his hands in his lap, one leg crossed over the other.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 25, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Bobby was – surprise, surprise – hungry again. A month very low nutrition would do that to a body. So he was perking up at the mention of food.

    To the question he only shrugged: “We had little sleep – had a lot of fixing to do to stop the storm from blowing through the bullet holes.”

  • gilga

    Member
    March 25, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    AM bows respectfully and says “Musai-San it is a pleasure to meet you.” when he mentions lunch she replies “You are most kind”.

    She takes a brief moment, to access the situation and decides that projecting strength is the most useful emotion here. She is not going to complain about the war, Andrew has plenty of complaints as is when he is in charge to keep the hood safe. He loses face when the neighborhood looks like that, and as much as they may be friendly, he called them because he needs something. It is best to appear as professional as possible.

    She replies“Thank you for your interest, Musai-San. Iktomi teaches us that hardships make us stronger, and it takes more than a few stray bullets and fuel bombs to scare us. We are all in good shape body and soul. “ she smiles and adds warmly “However, we may need to change some of our business models as clients tend to be less spiritual about hardships.

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 22 hours ago by  gilga.
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Andrew doesn’t comment about the Iktomi thing, but he does nod sagely about hardships and changes to business models.

    “It pleases me that you are well. Tea to your health.” He raises his tea cup. The tea smells lightly smoky and is pleasant by Redmond standards.

    Some dishes come out of the kitchen. The kitchen staff look harried and nervous, like they didn’t sleep last night and they didn’t shower this morning and then they were pressed into service. But, unsurprisingly, they are heavily deferential toward Andrew.

    The food is completely inauthentic – Japanese cuisine with Touristville ingredients – but it looks hot. The noodles and broths waft fragrant steam, while the sauces are surely packed with MSG.

    “Thank you, Takashi-san,” Andrew nods. The staff bow deeply and then withdraw, looking relieved.

    Andrew encourages you to serve yourselves first while he speaks.

    “You have touched upon the nature of our appointment,” he begins. “I find these bullets and bombs to be disagreeable for business. And, in the end, they are ultimately unnecessary. It is much more civil – and profitable – to spill ink instead of blood, to waste your breath instead of to waste your assets, wouldn’t you agree?”

    It’s a rhetorical question; he doesn’t pause for a response.

    “I have a vision of a Redmond without war, of a district without violence. That vision may seem very distant after the events of last night but I assure you that it is within our reach. And I don’t just mean within our lifetimes; I mean within the year.”

    This is a bold statement, given that it’s late November.

    “Allow me to tell you how, and to tell you how you fit into this vision. Allow me to refresh your memory that in our initial conversation, we agreed to a lower monthly rate for our support in exchange for the occasional favor or service. What I’m about to describe is one of those favors, which – if executed with the competence that I know you possess – will be easy. And, dare I say it, even fun.”

    That sounds familiar. He launches into his speech.

    “There are forces at work in this district that are trying to find common ground among many of the competing interests. Some would call these forces unnatural but I disagree: they simply represent a new way of thinking, a new order. Certainly those who benefit from the current state – the old ways – are resistant to change. But change we must. Change or die.”

    This is a bit rich, as the Yakuza are among the most traditional and conservative enterprises of the Underworld, but maybe living and working in Redmond will affect your world view.

    “Now to the matter at hand. There will be a party tonight at the Funhouse. You’re familiar with it, are you not? Almost every local organization will be represented. At this party, negotiations will be conducted and agreements will be made. I believe that these agreements will be in the best interests of the district.

    “What I would like you to do is to attend this party. Be neutral diplomats. Use your social graces to smooth out misunderstandings, to iron out differences. Be a bridge between the revelers. Say kind things about the others, and put a positive spin on things. Help people get along and have a good time.

    “There may be some naysayers and malcontents there. Counter their voices with your own, and get them expelled if you can. Inciting violence is one of the surest ways to accomplish this, as the party’s host has no tolerance for it.”

    He holds up his hands.

    “That’s it. Attend a party. Ensure everyone has a nice time. An easy favor, is it not?” He sits back and waits for your response.

  • gilga

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    It is a bit disturbing to see the extent of the effect the Yak boss has on the neighborhood. Yet, she does not let it affect her too much. She ignores the oddness of the situation, and keep it friendly and calm; she nods in agreement, to the rhetorical question and then agrees that it can be fun to visit the Funhouse Fun assignment indeed, with all the music and dancing. she smiles and then adds “Your vision seems very ambitious Musai-San. We’ll need to understand it better to be of use to you. Can you explain some more about the negotiations and the players of interest? Are you saying that the Brain Eaters and Crimson Crush would attend? or are there other gangs of interest to you? Also, any intel on who the nay-sayers might be?

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Andrew nods slowly. He gives some high-level answers but seems hesitant go into great detail.

    “The Halloweeners and Crimson Crush are the two biggest players. They’re getting along well and it would be best if nothing jeopardized that. The Red Hot Nukes are the greatest threat. They get along with the Halloweeners but not the Crimson Crush. We need cooler heads to prevail.

    “The Death Heads and the 405 Hellhounds help goods flow throughout the district and eventually into Bellevue. Things are smooth between them and they just need to stay that way.

    “The Rusted Stilettos are a wildcard. They’re insane, unpredictable. Nobody’s sure that they’re capable of making an agreement, let alone adhering to one. Their mere presence can disrupt a delicate situation. You can use your insanity to your advantage, as it makes them easier to get expelled.

    “The Spiders are another unknown. They should be amenable to an agreement, since all they care about it fighting bug spirits. But that much cyberware changes a man. Or woman. They may react negatively to the sheer number of Awakened at the Funhouse, simply out of paranoia. It would be best if that didn’t happen.”

  • beta

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Jawsey spends a moment wondering if there is any demand for private detectives in Cheyenne. Or possibly Fairbanks, that is farther away. Although when it comes to dragons and the Yakuzza, anywhere on the planet may be too close …

    Certainly the violence does not help when it comes to attracting clients to our premises. Nor do I look forward to going home to a cold and dark residence tonight. I think we all would like less violence in Redmond.

    Jawsey takes a moment to inhale the aroma of his tea, letting the implied ‘but’ float in the air for a few seconds. “That aroma really does make me feel that serenity is possible.

    He sips, then gestures to include AM, Bobby, and himself. “When our nations gained their independence it was said that it would end violence against our peoples. For some it did. In my homeland it led to great violence inflicted by some tribes on other, and eventually control by our neighbours. The Ute nation didn’t have as much violence, but was not strong enough so it was absorbed by a neighbour. I understand that the AMC has suffered greatly at the hands of the Corp that they invited in.

    The point of course is that stopping fighting against outsiders doesn’t mean that the warriors become good governors of their own. I agree that the current violence is unacceptable and something has to be done about it; I hope that your plans for dealing with larger, stronger, gangs progress well too. To that end, are there gangs who you’d rather see thrive, or conversely others that you’d like to see pushed out of the accord

    Andrew does not seem like the sort who would take especially well to being directly doubted, but Jawsey does want to get the point across, even if he has to be polite about it. What people like the Halloweeners might do to non-gang members made him feel a bit terrified. What he’d wanted to say was “make the Crimson Crush and the Halloweeners stronger, are you fragging crazy?”

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    March 27, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Bobby nodded: “Soka, but you said it yourself: Those guys are crazy – and we can’t resort to violence inside the Funhouse – not to mention we have no idea about what they’ll do once they are out again. Do you have some more details about who might go off on whom and should possibly avoid speaking with each other?

    Because honestly, we aren’t that knowledgable about the who is who of gang culture. There’s a 50:50 chance that whatever we say will either reduce friction or cause violence, depending on who we talk to. Especially if we are facing irrationally mad fraggers like the Helloweeners.”

  • gilga

    Member
    March 27, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Things became clear as Andrew spoke, Yakuza decided it is best to go with the winner, or they were involved in this unity scheme. She pauses to see how Jawsey would react, but her initial inclination is to refuse the favor. Refusal is painful and may have some financial obligations — BUT promising to do something and then doing the exact opposite was even worse.

    >> We’ll need to refuse in a graceful manner – luckily this isn’t a public place. I’ll lead if you agree.

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    March 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Andrew looks a little nonplussed by the lack of instant agreement. He turns to Bobby first.

    “You are resourceful,” he says with a chilly tone. “If you don’t wish to incite violence among the Rusted Stilettos, then take the ‘bread and circuses’ approach. Keep them so tranq’ed up on Zen and Bliss that they’re happy and docile.”

    He then turns to address Jawsey. “In this instance, the warriors do not need to become good governors. Urubia will be the strong governor who can plan, who can enact. When the head is strong, the body is coordinated and harmonious. The right hand knows what the left hand is doing, and works toward the same end.”

    He face puckers a bit at the question about who should be pushed out of the accord.

    “It is not my place to pick winners and losers.” Again, this is rich. That’s exactly his job. “I wish to see everyone thrive, and thus I wish everyone would be part of this accord. That is why I would like you to go and sand down the corners, smooth out the rough edges. The more everyone gets along, the better the evening.”

  • beta

    Member
    March 27, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Urubia, ah so. May I inquire as to whether the esteemed mistress of the Fun House is aware of your desire to help with this evening’s party?

    How many dragons were going to be looking over their shoulder this evening!?!

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