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  • The Found Arcana – Fourth Interlude [IC]

     jack_spade updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago 4 Members · 55 Posts
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Sunday Morning, November 27, 2078, Touristville, Redmond

    It’s Sunday morning and a cold snap has hit the region this weekend, leading to snow in the mountains and freezing overnight temperatures in the city. It’s cold outside which means it’s cold inside, because you still don’t have power or Matrix access.

    Despite the early hour, there’s a koborokuru – a Japanese dwarf – outside trying to fix the transformer that Bobby fried. Either he doesn’t have the right tools or his hands are cold or some mix of the two because there’s a lot of swearing in Japanese and the power isn’t back on yet.

    Conditions in the HQ are fairly miserable, as the lack of power makes it difficult to stay warm. Bobby is happiest wandering around as a husky or a long-haired cat. It seems to be carrying over into his personal life, as his body is hairier than usual. Jawsey had the right idea staying in a hotel for a couple nights, as he is much happier (and cleaner) than he otherwise would have been.

    Jawsey is back at the HQ this morning, having brought hot soykaf and bagels from Bellevue. The sun is out and rising over the mountains to the east, but isn’t high enough to have warmed the neighborhood yet. There’s still frost on the ground, and the insides of the HQ windows are damp with condensation.

    It’s against this backdrop that you hear a roar of motorcycles outside. The roar builds, and builds, and BUILDS until it sounds like you have a whole biker gang outside. Then, checking out the window, you confirm that you do. There are at least four or five dozen members of the Crimson Crush outside, and they’ve stopped directly in front of your place. They’re mostly on Harley-Davidson Scorpions, BMW Blitzens, Gaz-Niki Titans, and other massive choppers. They’re blocking the street but nobody’s saying drek because who’s going to step up to several dozen armed ork gangers? From his perch on top of a telephone pole, the koborokuru watches with wide eyes.

    This doesn’t smell right. It’s early Sunday morning… shouldn’t ork gangers still be drunk or on drugs? Or, at the least, sleeping off their hangovers? But, no, they’re not; they’re outside your place, revving their engines loudly.

    An ork and two trolls gets off their bikes. All of them are massive for their respective metatypes. The trolls flank the ork as he walks up the steps of the HQ and pounds on the door. They don’t appear armed, even though the gangers in the street are littered with carbines, assault rifles, and shotguns.

    “Knock, knock,” the ork calls out coldly after hammering on the door so hard you wonder if the door is okay. “We have business to discuss.”

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    July 28, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Bobby had spend the last two days repairing the roof – properly. It helped turning into a monkey with prehensile tail to do so. The high he had felt when he finally managed to pay off his debt had gone by now and the all to familiar waiting for the next job had made him restless – pasing around the flat not just because of the cold but also to burn off energy.

    It almost was a relief when the motorcyclists turned up – something else to occupy his mind.

    Still munching on one of the bagles he said: “One of you get that. I’m going to the roof in case we need to escalate to more than talking.”

    Bobby casually touched both AM and Jawsey on the shoulder, establishing a minlink

    F3 Mindlink: [url=https://orokos.com/roll/831461]Mindlink F3[/url]: 13d6t5 4

    F3 Mindlink: [url=https://orokos.com/roll/831463]Mindlink F3[/url]: 11d6t5 3

    [url=https://orokos.com/roll/831464]Drain resist[/url]: 11d6t5 4

    [url=https://orokos.com/roll/831465]Drain resist[/url]: 11d6t5 4

    No drain.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  jack_spade.
  • gilga

    Member
    July 28, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    AM woke up early to continue working on her advanced construct. She wanted something smart but not something human. A cat, she liked cats and cats eat rats, and she hated rats. Black cat naturally, tribute to Iktomi there a cat that is prejudice to be bad news honoring a great spirit people consider bad news. Still, she wanted her cat to be sapient, and in a way a person. The astral form was easy, as a watcher, even Tatanka had an astral form, but the ability to gain a physical form was tricky. It required more precision or her cat would look like a tribute to Salvador Dali rather than to Iktomi.

    She made a few attempts, and both of them utterly failed. Forcing her to clean unstable remnants of cat organs from the floor. If she really wanted, she accidentally invented a spell formula for messing up the floor with blood and fur. Then again, AM moved on with her research because she did not anticipate that such a formula would be in high demand. Perhaps for Satanists… but no it was a silly spell.

    She would have the third attempt materialize when the bikers arrived. “Saved by the bell, little one.” she told the construct and went to the door. She barely spoke to Bobby in these last days, and she felt ugly and unattractive the fact that her last shower was before Urubia’s party did not add to her self esteem. It was winter, but still… Yuck.


    Forcing a smile, she opens the door “Easy there big fellow, we are still fixing this house from your previous visit. Come in, I’ll make you some herbal tea. “

  • beta

    Member
    July 28, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    As Bobby headed up and AM headed down, Jawsey lay his head on the table and headed ‘out’. He cast his astral up through the roof and did a quick circle to check for lurking disasters, then headed down to the cacophony of gangers.

    At least on the astral he didn’t have to hear the noise pollution. Looking down at his astral form he could see himself grow angry at the assault on the morning’s peace. Still, enough time for the anger later, for now he needed to focus on gathering intel.

    He checked out first the trio who had gotten off their bikes, then the rest of the gang.

    Spoiler
    Spoiler

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 28, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    The pack of gangers doesn’t look particularly violent or aggressive at the moment. They’re alert and attuned to danger. Their guns aren’t pointed at anything in particular, but they’re close at hand. For the most part they look cold, annoyed, and irritable.

    The leader is like that too, but turned up to 10. He’s irate to the point of being angry.

    When AM opens the door, she recognizes the leader from the party: the older ork that Chaz and Bonita had been pleading their case to prior to the big conference of gang leaders. He’s older for an ork, with once-black hair that’s steadily going grey at the temples. It was slicked back at the party – and maybe a little darker too – but now it’s naturally wavy and more grey. His jaw is wide and covered in a few days of salt-and-pepper stubble. His tusks are polished and Jawsey can see that got enough chrome in him – bones, muscles, nervous system, cyberspur – to be a proper shadowrunner. Some of is high quality too, alpha grade cyber plus custom bioware.

    His voice is deep and gravely. “Little pig, little pig, let me in,” he growls lowly after AM opens the door. It can be hard to guess his age since orks age so quickly, but he’s at least in his 30s. He follows AM inside, staring at her hoop as she leads the way up the stairs.

    The trolls follow silently. They’re massive to begin with and have cyberware muscles that make them even larger. One has a cyberspur while the other has striking callouses. Their mood is business-like. They scan for threats but don’t speak.

    The ork looks around the office skeptically, feeling how cold it is and seeing his breath in clouds in front of him. “What a drekhole,” he says to nobody in particular. “You’re sure this is the right place?” The trolls nod.

    AM leads the trio into the meeting room. The ork takes a seat at the conference table without being invited. The trolls stand behind him, flanking him in a wall of muscle. He doesn’t wait for tea or exchange any pleasantries before speaking.

    “This is Tiny,” the ork says, throwing a thumb over his shoulder at one of the trolls. “This is Cousin Swol,” he says, gesturing to the other. Upon closer inspection, Cousin Swol appears to be a woman. “And I’m Big Stank, leader of the Crimson Crush.”

  • beta

    Member
    July 28, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Once AM leads the group inside Jawsey zooms back to his body and pulls out some glasses. He’s just filling a pitcher of water (at least that is still running) as AM leads the others in, and he lets them settle down as he finishes filling.

    Coming back to the table he starts filling glasses and sliding them towards people. Water is poor hospitality, but offering some sort of hospitality still matters.

    As they finish their introductions he fills the final glasses and replies “Welcome to SIS, and indeed until we get electricity hooked back up we feel like we are squatting in our own building. I’m Jawsey, nice to meet you all.

    He’s impressed at how pleasant he sounds, because right now he’d really like to be screaming some common sense into this lot. But since they are probably well armored against that, he’ll stick to charm for now.

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

    Member
    July 28, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    “Amy. she says and nods in appreciation, true to her word she lights the camping stove to boil some water for tea. She is uncertain if they’ll stay long enough, but hospitality is hospitality.

    Please. seat… make yourself comfortable. What brings you to our doorstep, Mr Big Stank?

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    July 29, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Bobby took position at his favorite place on the roof – just between the old chimney and the AC block. When it didn’t look like the whole gang trying to storm the place he relaxed somewhat. But not much. If the CC were now the undisputed gang rulers around here, this could only be two things – they wanted money or they wanted something done for them. Neither was a particularly inspiring look out. And so Bobby got ready to rip out some throats, should the current situation require such actions.

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    “You’re detectives, aren’t you?” Mr. Stank grumbles. “I want you to detect.”

    He moves to send an ARO, but then makes a big show about power and Matrix being down. He’s being overly dramatic; Jawsey – having stayed at a hotel – has a fully-charged commlink that could receive a direct transmission, but Mr. Stank seems to be putting you in your place by highlighting the lack of basic modern amenities. At least he hasn’t made fun of your ‘refreshments’ (yet).

    He digs into the pocket of his armored vest to pull a piece of electronic paper that features a photograph. On it you recognize the smiling face of Bonita, but not as you know her. She’s younger, for one, and it looks like a formal portrait, the type where people dress up and do their hair and sit in a studio with controlled lighting conditions. She has café au lait skin, a frilly dress, and a huge head of curly hair that would be completely impractical on the streets.

    “María del Carmen Juanita Jaureguizar,” he says, tapping the photo. “A.k.a. Marita, a.k.a. Maricarmen a.k.a. Straight Edge. She’s like a daughter to me.”

    Jawsey, covertly peeking on the astral, questions the validity of this. It might be true, but there isn’t a lot of love and warmth in Big Stank’s aura that you would often associate with people discussing others who are close to them.

    “A *prodigal* daughter. She’s missing. I want you to find her.”

    There’s an edge in his voice, a hard, sharp tone to each syllable that lets you know he’s not amused.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    July 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Hearing the thoughts of his companions on what was just said, Bobby remarked:

    ‘Looks like we did Bonita a favor by setting up the fake assassination attempt – she got the message and went into hiding.

    I wonder what the CC is willing to do or pay for her location.’

  • beta

    Member
    July 29, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Well … ” Jawsey let the pause dangle, making it clear that they were not jumping to Big Stank’s commands. “Finding people IS something that we do. But we aren’t bounty hunters, and we aren’t baby-sitters. We could find her and let you know how she is doing. We could find her and bring you some pictures of what she is doing. But finding her and dragging her back, or finding her and sitting on her until you show up, those are very different than just finding and observing. She is Crimson Crush, right? Toughest and most dangerous gang on the streets? That is no minor detail.

    He hoped that by complimenting the gang at the end he could soften Big Stank’s response.

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 29, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Big Stank looks Jawsey straight in the eye. “I want you to find her and drag her back, if necessary. Failing that, I want you to find her and sit on her until I show up.”

    He pulls out a silver credstick and stands it up on the table. The fact that it’s silver suggests that its value is somewhere between ¥5,000 and ¥20,000.

    “I pay for results, not effort. I’ll pay your agency ¥10,000 to deliver her to me. I’ll pay an additional ¥5,000 per person to deliver anyone else that’s with her.

    Alive,” he adds pointedly. “The dead are worth nothing, except to the 162s.” That’s the ghoul gang.

    He gaze wanders around the office before lingering distastefully on the glasses of water. “From the looks of things, you need it.”

  • beta

    Member
    July 29, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Jawsey makes sure just to think the words, not say them. But he thinks them at Bobby very loudly “No chance of fragging this bastard on the way out the door, without having the rest of them level the building, eh? The money is pretty good for tracking someone whose aura I know — and with AM’s ritual spell even easier. But this guy is such an arrogant piece of dreck that I want to shove those credsticks about a meter up his nose.

    Out loud he then said “Interesting offer, for a standard missing persons case. It might even pay for the repairs needed because of [i]your[/i] fight the other night. But it probably wouldn’t pay for the next set of repairs, from the next time the Crush come around, shooting everything up. You her delivered to you, we want to be free of worrying about being shot by a stray bullet coming in the window. Maybe there is some grounds for a deal, if you are willing to talk a no-guns-no-fire zone next to our building.

  • gilga

    Member
    July 30, 2020 at 12:52 am

    AM watches the guys measuring metaphorical dicks. She thinks about Jawsey You don’t have to like the guy to take his money. Besides, if you insist on hating one of the CC, Bonita is your woman. She and her people vandalized and terrorized people in the hood, and she personally led the attack that damaged our house and wiped up your Brain Eater friends. This guy is the strongest one but I bet that Bonita was the mastermind of it all. As arrogant as he is, he offers money for something we can do, be polite, and get us a good deal. There is no reason to refuse him. Besides, he’ll destroy our house if you insult him infront of his people, and I can’t afford a hotel room.


    She tries to soften what Jawsey is saying and adds “Big Stank, we run a business here. You lead the strongest gang in Redmond, and are the man responsible now. We want a lasting relationship with you and with the Crimson Crush. Yet, StraightEagle was bullying people on the streets, and causing excessive collateral damage is very bad for us. She did so under the Crimson Crush colors. This is Touristville, we make our living out of tourists. Nobody wants to come to a war zone, not for dining in a restaurant, and not even for a photograph of their cheating wife. Other businesses experience the same problems even if they are too afraid to approach you. This turf would not worth much to you without the businesses. Think about it.

    She says and pours their guests and Jawsey some of her Herbal tea, she seats and holds the hot mug in her hands enjoying its warmth. She can barely recognize herself for feeling peaceful enough to drink tea with three monster trolls known for violence in their home, but showing weakness is the worst thing one can do when dealing with criminals. The weak get exploited, and the strong get cooperation.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  gilga.
  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 30, 2020 at 2:11 am

    Big Stank grunts noncommittally. “Elves,” he mutters under his breath.

    He seems to soften ever-so-slightly. You’re only aware of it because you’re observant and astrally attuned to such things.

    “There won’t be any more violence in Touristville,” he growls. “Not without my say-so. You pay, you play.” He seems to be referring to protection fees, presumably the ones you used to pay to the Brain Eaters.

    “There ain’t no competition anymore, so no more drive-bys, no more gun fights,” he grumbles at Jawsey. “But there’s no such thing as a no-gun zone. Not in a AAA, and definitely not in Redmond. Maybe if you swim out into the middle of the lake you can find one, but around here you have a Saturday night special or you ain’t anything. You’d know that if you grew up around here.

    “So do your business. You make your money from the tourists, I make mine, and we all live long, rich lives.”

    He waves the credstick around to make his point.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    July 30, 2020 at 2:24 am

    ‘We don’t owe Bonita anything, but something doesn’t add up. They want the runaways alive. And they are prepared to hire professionals they don’t like to find them quickly. So they are on a clock. That means, it’s not just cleaning house. Either Bonita ran with the petty cash or she has something dangerous for the gang under her control. Both might be worth more to the mayor. Try to get him to spill a bit more – and haggle a bit for the price, that’s just their initial offer. I want to know just how important this is for them.’

    Bobby chimed in

  • gilga

    Member
    July 30, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    How many of your people should we expect with StraightEdge? and if I dare ask, what do you plan to do with StraightEagle and her crew once they are back? I am asking to understand if we have room for diplomacy when approaching her.

    She asks, and carefully watches for the response of the imposing orc.


  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 30, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Big Stank grumbles, clearly annoyed by the questions. “I have to talk to her first.”

    On the astral, you can sense some uncertainty, maybe even a glimmer of hope?

    “I don’t care how you bring her in. Diplomacy, drugs, tasers, chains, whatever you have to do. You want to do your elfy thing and pour honey in her ears so she comes along quietly? Do it. You want to ambush her and pump her so full of Laés, Slab, or Trance that you just haul her in like a side of meat? Do it. You want to hit her over the head and drag her home by her hair like a caveman? Do it. I don’t care how it’s done, just so long as she’s alive.

    “Same goes for the others. I don’t know how many there are. Maybe six. Maybe twelve. The more you bring in, the more you get paid, savvy?”

  • gilga

    Member
    July 30, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Big Stank, we are trying to reach an agreement. Your offer while very generous is not as attractive as it appears at a first glance. First, we speculate that some of your new allies want her dead. So there is the risk that she is already dead, or that someone else would get her before us. We took about 20k to find a lost boy, you are asking us to find a very dangerous person that may try to kill us, for a mere 10k. We’ll keep an eye for her, but if you want us to drop what we are doing and actively look for her, we’ll need more.

    She shares her thoughts. Reading between the lines, he wants her or anyone associated with her, and he wants them physically and alive. It feels like he wants to interrogate her. Pretty positive that our Bonita has something of value. The man does not want her dead, and he is not paying cash to find her.

  • beta

    Member
    July 30, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    “[Color blue]maybe he just realized that he needs her advice and planning, and is trying to get her to come back? I guess it doesn’t really matter to us, only that she has value to him, this isn’t just cleaning house or getting revenge.[/color]“

    Seeing that AM is pursuing the job, Jawsey releases his unreasonable demand. He’d rather that the dangers went away, but he won’t undercut a team mate. “[Color red]I’m sure you are a man of your word, no more shooting around here is the goal, however you achieve it. Also do you have any information that would give us an idea of where to start looking, so we have a more realistic chance of finding her? History of where she lived before joining the Crush? Friends outside the gang? Anything? We are shamans, but even the wisest of spirits can’t see the entire sprawl[/color]“. Jawsey doesn’t add that he can’t summon the wisest of spirits, and that AM’s specialties lie in different areas. ” [Color red]if we only get paid for success there isn’t much point trying unless the odds of success are good or the rewards are substantial.[/color]“

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  beta.
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