Wednesday Night, November 23, 2078, Touristville, Redmond
It’s been a tense week since the new mob war kicked off with the assassination of a high-ranking Vory member and his family through a fuel air bomb over their estate. Things are especially bad down in Tacoma and Puyallup. Loveland is a blood bath, with drive-by shootings every night. Some off-duty Metroplex Guardsmen are caught in the crossfire, leading the politicians to weep and gnash their teeth and pound their desks.
Enter Natoko Munakata, the interim governor who stepped into office earlier this year when Brackhaven resigned and fled for the Carribean League after his various misdeeds came to light. Munakata had been the Commissioner of Public Works but she is not interested in a regular term as governor and did not put her name forward as a candidate in the upcoming special election. While the corporations and political parties scramble to assemble candidates, Munakata is free to do whatever she wants since she’s not particularly concerned with poll numbers or popularity. As long as she doesn’t piss someone off so badly that they try to kill her, she’s fine. Her solution is to deploy more Metroplex Guardsmen to Loveland (on-duty ones this time) to curb the violence, which – to everyone’s surprise – actually works! Or, more accurately, it pacifies Loveland while pushing the violence elsewhere. The Puyallup Barrens get the worst of it, but there aren’t as many trid cameras there to document it, nor SINners getting caught in the crossfire, which satisfies everyone who has a say in the matter.
It’s against this backdrop that the Crimson Crush and the Brain Eaters are going back and forth on turf and control of the local markets in Touristville, especially protection payments and BTLs. The Crimson Crush outnumber the Brain Eaters at least 2-to-1, but the Crush have a much larger turf to defend and can’t commit their entire force to wiping out the opposition. The Brain Eaters are more concentrated and more tech savvy. They seem to have a supplier of milspec explosives, which they attach to minidrones before detonating them in the faces of unsuspecting Crimson Crush enforcers.
The violence has been targeted up to this point but it feels like the pot is about to boil. A storm is brewing, both literally and metaphorically. The Pacific jet stream is carrying warm, wet air from the ocean inland, where it is meeting cold air from Salish-Shidhe. The result is strong winds and stormy weather. There’s rumbling in the distance that sounds like approaching thunder.
Mato is gone for the week to return to Sioux Nation. He’s cobbled together enough nuyen to pay off his Koshari creditors, and now needs to deliver his final payment in person and jump through whatever hoops they demand to be free and clear of his debt.
<<I’ll be back Sunday or Monday>> he messaged before he left. <<I might be offline for certain stretches, depending on what’s going on at the time. If you need me, drop me a line and I’ll respond when I can.>>
MemberFebruary 21, 2020 at 12:13 am
AM was reminded twice of their actions as a red leathered orc gets blown up by a small explosive charge to the head. With no opposition in sight to retaliate. She feels the Trickster’s pride in bringing the explosives to such clever use, but she also senses the disappointment of her mother that always tried to keep her out of danger. However, proud or ashamed, AM desperate needs suppresses most ethical considerations.
While AM’s mother always encouraged her to be smart and to embrace technology. Her father had a matter-of-factly expectation that such episodes would inevitably have undesirable results. Her totem Iktomi is also known as Ksa or wisdom which explains AM’s fascination with the questionable spirit. Indeed, AM sees technology abused every time she watches chipheads that would buy beetles instead of food. There is truth in the observation that knowledge often brings more harm than good. Therefore, her Sioux part admires the cleverness in the way the BrainEaters use their new explosives to gain turf. Even though her mother would be ashamed of AM, providing gangs with more means to cause damage.
She spends most of her days at the lodge, meditating, chanting, studying, and making tea. Indeed, scourging the matrix for magical knowledge, and even reading stuff from other traditions is not the way Bear would approach the problem of creating a permanent construct. The matrix itself is Iktomi’s web that spans the entire world. It seems appropriate that AM would feel the Iktomi’s guidance in the matrix; the outdoors are not the only way to contact the spirits as she plans to prove.
Despite keeping busy, she appreciates any help with the knowledge rituals, company in drinking herbal tea, and she misses Bobby. Well, misses is a strong word, but she awaits his return – eager to see how the spirits would change him.
AdministratorFebruary 21, 2020 at 3:47 am
It was around six in the morning, when Jawsey and AM awoke to the sound of things crashing to the floor of the loundry room – followed by loud cursing.
Bobby had obviously returned after staying over four weeks out of contact.
He looked terrifying: he hadn’t been particularly fat before, but now he looked downright skeletal. His eyes looked sunken and the overall impression wasn’t helped by the angry red blisters that stretched from the top of his head in a lightning shape across his naked body. The strike seemed to have burned away most of his hair as well.
His voice sounded rough as if he hadn’t used it in quite a while.
Noticing his audience he said: “Why the hell is there a set of base drums in front of the laundry window?
Since you are already up, how about some breakfast? I really need something else than rats and grass for a change.”
MemberFebruary 21, 2020 at 9:50 am
AM is still awkward by Bobby’s naked form, and no amount of repeated exposure is ever going to make her feel comfortable. Knowing it is him, she says I am happy to see you again, there are some leftovers from yesterday’s noodle night. Or we can order in, dressing mandatory though.” She says, and she quickly turns back and walks to the kitchen before her eyes embarrass her further.
AdministratorFebruary 21, 2020 at 10:17 am
Bobby picked a pair of trainers from the hamper and put them on. “Sounds like heaven.”
Bobby made a complicated kata and suddenly AM heard in her mind Bobby’s voice. “Also, I learned a few new tricks – the Great Spirit is indeed powerful.”
After that, Bobby devoured the leftovers and whatever else he could find in there.
“Can anyone get me the burn salve from the medkit? Took me two tries to master the lightning form.”
He burped: “So anything interesting happening while I was away?”
MemberFebruary 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm
AM tries to respond mentally “Wicked… Seems like you get closer and closer to figure out sorcery, was not even sure it is possible with physical magic“
Seeing how hungry Bobby is she decides that it is time to order in some more food, “Pizza?” she asks. When he asks AM leaves and returns with a green looking ointment and hands it to Bobby. Since AM assumes that Bobby knows where their medic kit is, she decides that he has gotten a bit spoiled by the wilderness, but it was a difficult and dangerous ordeal and the man deserves some slack. At least until he has some rest.
“… We were making money when you were talking to the Great Spirit, and I literally defused bombs. Mato showed some impressive people skills, and each of us made almost 15k, yourself included. “
AdministratorFebruary 21, 2020 at 2:56 pm
Between bites – Bobby almost inhaled the food – he managed to say: “That’s fragging fantastic. After taxes I’ll be nearly out of that hole for good.
Thanks for the ointment. Na, it’s not real sorcery. The spirit just showed me a few tricks – I have to touch stuff and I learn things about it. But I can also break magical barriers with it. Pretty neat. But nothing on your level – just enough to keep up with you guys.”
Only when his stomach visibly bulged, did Bobby stop eating and began slathering the burn ointment over the blisters. The stuff obviously had some contact anesthetics as ingredient, because Bobby visibly relaxed.
“There are so many things out there – I wish Mato could experience them too. We have to take him on a trip one of these days – when we have the money for that.”
MemberFebruary 22, 2020 at 12:25 am
AM pours from the herbal tea to whoever asks and then takes a seat. She risks a smile when Bobby mentions finishing his debt, and then even makes plans for having money in the future. These thoughts are so far from AM, and they collapse on that one time she couldn’t pay in time. Would Bobby the ex-military badass understand how vulnerable she feels when dealing with violent thugs – that are more worried about their street-cred than for actually getting their money back? That would harshly punish her for any failure to meet the loan payments?
“Well, these are idle dreams for me. The last gig made a dent of my debt but not nearly enough to free me. Difficult for me to imagine the outdoors in this situation. Though I do miss road trips, roads are too short in this enclave.
She deflects the topic You also missed a war between the Mafia and Vory, and so I mainly hope that Mafia doesn’t drag me into their nonsense. There is also a local war between the assholes from Crimson Crush and the Brain Eaters. Brain Eaters now have explosive mini-drones, that make it hard for Crimson Crush to show their faces without blowing up. “
MemberFebruary 22, 2020 at 9:40 am
Jawsey had been pretty quiet, mostly just looking at Bobby. Finally he said “I think your aura is different … it is hard to tell, but it is like listening to a piece of music on cheap ear buds and then hearing it through a good sound system, it is the same, but richer or something? But I don’t think I can really put my thumb on the difference in a way that would let me tell if someone else has done something similar to you.” He sighs, frustrated.
“Sorry to go off topic. Yah, the gang wars are bad. People aren’t going to want to come here in the middle of a local war, and AM has debts to the Mafia while I have debts to the Vory … I don’t owe too much more so I’m going to focus on paying that off soon so they don’t have as much leverage on me. The focus upgrade will have to wait a while longer. But what about you, what do you want to do now, besides enjoy cooked food?”
AdministratorFebruary 22, 2020 at 2:33 pm
Bobby grinned: “What I want? Earning my keep. You remember that little spat with that Crimson Crush idiot? I had trouble hurting him enough in our little fight, even when I covered my fist with lightning. Well, now I can turn my whole body into a Tesla Coil. Doesn’t matter which form I’m in, I can spit out 100.000 Volts. It’s hurting me over time, but for a few seconds at least, I’m hell on wheels.
You know what was really funny? I’ve lived for a month totally isolated – eating what I could hunt, sleeping whereever I could make myself a little shelter. And I didn’t miss a thing, except for one: Working with you guys. I didn’t realize it before, but going into business with you was probably the best decision I made in the last 20 years.
That and a hot shower. And maybe a real bed. But you are definitely in my top three.”
MemberFebruary 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm
Bobby’s words embarrass AM, while she is undecided if getting the deck was worth it. SIS was keeping her alive, despite the dangers of it all, playing it safer was not an option. She never felt accepted, and never belonged in a group. SIS gave her that, but also a sense of identity and pride and purpose;-the people she spoke to, their clients the negotiations, and hacking and disabling explosives, she felt alive.
“We’re family Bobby.” she says, making the hand gesture in Sioux sign language that litterally means Skunk. (meaning to say “You smell”) she does so gently behind Jawsey’s back, and then she starts washing the dishes.
MemberFebruary 23, 2020 at 7:16 pm
“It certainly is good having people who have your back. I kind of understand the gangs a bit better now, although hopefully we are more selective in when we use our violence!” He awkwardly tapped Bobby on the arm and said “It is good to have you back. Place isn’t the same without you — and I don’t just mean the smell of damp fur … get some food, get some sleep, I’m sure life will get interesting again soon enough.”
MemberFebruary 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm
AM says to Jawsey “Have you considered making our own Foci? I am working on the formula of an artificial spirit. I feel confident in executing a formula, but if I design her alone then the spirit will share my own limitations. However, you are a complete mage – and can potentially study enchanting, which means that you can help me add the enchanting ability to the spirit -and with the two of you working together – we could craft our own foci and save a lot of money. “
AdministratorFebruary 24, 2020 at 2:46 am
Bobby looked up at the mention of foci: ” Should you try to learn how to make those, consider learning how to tattoo as well. There are some things I’d want to integrate into my skin as well.”
With that, Bobby got up and shambled towards the shower.
MemberFebruary 25, 2020 at 12:14 am
Wednesday Night, November 23, 2078, Touristville, Redmond
It’s late, getting close to midnight. The moon is a waning gibbous – about 80% visible – except that it’s covered by thick clouds from the approaching storm. It’s dark out, as there are few street lamps that haven’t been shot out by bored gangers, or their wiring stolen for scrap. There’s a low glow of lights coming from building windows, or the headlights of passing cars or the occasional barrel fire on a corner, but for the most part it’s dim and dreary. Winds whip up and down the street, pushing garbage and debris around. The rains haven’t started yet but there’s ozone in the air.
There’s a flash, then a deep boom a moment later that echoes down the concrete canyons of the street. Thunder?
Then pop-pop-pop, slow at first then picking up speed. Fireworks? Popcorn thrown in a barrel fire?
Then a boom! A car explodes just down the street, the fireball illuminating the low-hanging clouds! It shakes the windows!
The POP-POP-POPS increase in intensity! It’s gunfire, and it’s moving in your direction! There are cries of alarm and shouting from the street!
AdministratorFebruary 25, 2020 at 3:08 am
Bobby woke up from fitfull sleep. A look at the glowing display of the washing machine told him that he had slept nearly 14 hours since the early breakfast and his shower.
Shots weren’t that uncommon, especially at night, but explosions were worrisome.
So he got up, dressed somewhat stiffly in training pants and shirt and went to the window. Since it was facing away from the street he couldn’t realistically expect to see anything. But it had access to the fire escape ladder. And so, despite wind, he climbed upwards until he reached the roof to get a good view of what was going on in the streets.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by jack_spade.
MemberFebruary 25, 2020 at 3:19 am
AM rolls over and wakes up very upset from the loud explosion. Then she does what she does when there is anything she is unsure about. She closes her eyes, lifts the blanket up to feel safer, and allows her mind to slip out of her body and survey the surroundings to see what is going on. She can only distance herself 40-50 meters from her body, but she can also go up to get a birds-eye view. In the meanwhile, her hand is browsing the nightstand for the throds, and once she has them on her forehead she texts the team.
>> trying to figure out what it is. Get up.
Ofcourse she does not yet know if they have AR display, but AM feels exosed without the throdenet.
[url=https://orokos.com/roll/789662]remote sight[/url]: 2#10d6t5 3 3no drain, limit of 3.
[url=https://orokos.com/roll/789664]perception(observe in details)[/url]: 14d6t5 3
MemberFebruary 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm
By the time Bobby gets dressed and gets on the roof, and by the time AM has her trodes on and her extrasensory perception, things are a full-on gun fight in the streets.
While AM retreats to the warmth and safety of her blanket, Bobby stands on the roof. The wind is sharp and cutting. Bobby is no stranger to exposure after his initiation ordeal, but he finds himself longing for a different form, maybe one with a thick layer of fur.
Taking a moment to appraise the situation, it appears to be a running gun battle between the Crimson Crush and the Brain Eaters. The Brain Eaters are conducting a fighting retreat – covering each other while backpedaling down the street. The Crimson Crush are doing the reverse: laying down covering fire (mostly with SMGs and machine pistols) while leapfrogging each other to advance on the Brain Eaters.
It seems the Crimson Crush are the aggressors, fighting with automatic weapons while the Brain Eaters mostly respond with heavy pistols. Furthermore, it seems that the Crush have timed their attack to maximize their advantages while minimizing the strengths of the Eaters. The Crush – being mostly orks – have no problems with the low-light conditions. Conversely, the strong winds are interfering with the Brain Eaters’ flying drones, which seem to be the source of the wayward explosions.
Speaking of which, an off-course quad-copter carrying a petrol bomb comes barreling toward the HQ roof! It hits the shingles and EXPLODES IN A FIREBALL which threatens to envelop Bobby!
AdministratorFebruary 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Bobby saw the drone coming and jumped behind the old chminey stack, letting the fireball roll past him. Performing the punching gesture, Bobby called up the telepathic connection to his collegues:
‘Hey, the Crimson Crush is fighting the Brain Eaters – and the roof is on fire. We need the firebridade or some rain. Jawsey if you can call up a helpful spirit, now is the time.’
- This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by jack_spade.
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