May 9, 2019 at 4:22 pm #18605
As batshit pulled the doors shut there was no denying the ease and competence she handled the massive rifle. She scurried over to the truck, her hand naturally falling to cover the breach. She hopped up into the seat. She expertly trapped the rifle up against the centre console with her knee.
“Ok young samurai, remember this the times people do things and places they do them.” she took a deep breath and the child fell away leaving a hardened veteran “these people we’re up against are looking at patterns we have to fit into the pattern, like a group of marching soldiers, we can’t be out of step.” she brightened “that van was a good idea if it had been a catering company or a cleaning company, something that would be there all day” she spread her hands “you got to put yourself in the mind of the guy in the van. And then as you your the guy looking. They were good teams hunting me, I got lucky a few time. But I never switch off.
#74May 9, 2019 at 5:04 pm #18608
Ichante holds up her hand to stop Zag from going anywhere before remembering that he can’t see it.
<<You think like a bodyguard>> she tells Zag. <<Always on the defensive, always avoiding danger. That works for bodyguards, but not runners. This could be the lead that we’re looking for. Just keep a gun trained on the hole while I check out the van. The hole is a choke point: only one person can come up the ladder at a time. Between two spirits and your Cavalier Flash, we can keep them bottled up all night.>>
Ichante drops her astral vision and decides to check out the footprints. She tries to see if they have treads on them, like a boot, or if they’re prints from a bare foot. Then she tries to see if there are any prints leading away from the hole, perhaps to the vacant parking spot where the van that Al followed was previously parked.
<<Alright, let’s go through our options.
Option A: The person or persons in the van went down the ladder. The vans that drove away were driven by someone else or on autopilot.
Option B: Vice versa. Something came up the ladder and got into the van.
Option C: The delivery vehicles delivered dinner to the ghouls. Perhaps the ghouls are acting as disposal for whatever is coming out of the Institute.
I’m leaning toward Option C, but this is a multi-choice question. For all we know, the answer could be all three. Option B seems the least likely, but it would at least explain why the footprints were wet. After all, if the vehicle came from an indoor location (under the Institute) and arrived at an indoor location (here in the warehouse), you wouldn’t think that the driver or passengers would have wet feet.>>
Ichante goes to the delivery vehicle and looks to see if there’s any evidence that something was being delivered. Are there any stains in the back, or off smells? Was anything dragged between the vehicle and the hole? She pokes around, looking for clues that might have been left by the driver, or to see if the autonav system has a History function that would suggest whether it was recently used. Ghouls, after all, are terrible drivers.May 9, 2019 at 5:25 pm #18610
”What if they get Monique the two of you seem close, would you keep your cool then or let your sentimentality overwhelm you. Attachments are dangerous, and not all blackmail is sexual. Not that I say don’t make attachments, but Roger taught me that each person you bring into your heart is an additional danger. Which is why I struggle with it, still no need to dwell on the subject. Let’s see things unfolding. Movement is fluid, nothing remains static.”
She rolls her eyes ”I just rarely get positive reactions from women. Most project their own frustrations on me, or feel unease at my presence or feel the need to compete with me, or whatever. Can’t say I like it, but I don’t let it get under my skin, I fight my own hot temperament into being a more responsible person. The more lethal I become, the more in control I am over my emotions. Positive or negative be it…
Still, it is a good meal and atmosphere- had I not known better I’d imagine you as you describe yourself. You are quite a charming person Tanya. Perhaps I feel too comfortable around you. We just met and everything” she said, and took another sip from her wine closing her eyes to sense it better.
”No idea about the vintage, but it is a memorable taste. she comments.May 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm #18612
Sunday, June 5th, 2078, Restaurant, Gates Undersound Hotel, Downtown, Seattle
Tanya grimaces and nods. ”It has already happened, both ways. Some thugs picked up Monique as she was doing some errands for me. There was an initial round of communications wherein they demanded a lot of money for me to get her back alive and I played the tearful ingenue and agreed to pay the ridiculous ransom and not involve the police. I used a few contacts I already had and found out where she was being held. Suffice to say that I left the wannabe kidnappers in small pieces when I left the building they were holed up in. About a year later, some Vory soldiers stopped me on the road and took me and my driver captive. I told them to call Monique and she would pay the ransom. The end result was the same; thugs in small pieces. I would be very angry if someone were to just up and kill Monique, but I would exact my vengeance when I felt it best to do so. Letting my anger rule my actions would be a sure way to disaster.”
”I understand what you mean by other women hating on you. I get that a lot, too, and even from some men, who feel a bit less than manly when I show them up. I have learned to not let it bother me at all. I admit that it was difficult at first, but after so many years, it is nothing to me now. You know, I agree with you about the atmosphere and the meal and I am glad that you decided to come. As for charming, don’t cut yourself short in that area, as you are also very nice and easy to chat with. I think that is because we are both successful, powerful women in our own right and have no reason to compete with each other. And thank you for the comment about the wine. Each of the vintages tonight is from a very good year and is from my personal wine cellar here at the hotel. Several of those who live here have their own space in the cellars and I try to keep mine stocked with some good vintages. If you are a wine connoisseur, I can take you to the cellar and let you pick out a nice bottle to take back to Roger, or for yourself.”
83May 9, 2019 at 7:07 pm #18619
Al nodded at Bronwean’s words. “Well, that’s all worth takin’ on board. Bein’ a naturally law-abidin’ sort, dedicated ta clean livin’ an’ moral foundations, such criminal thinkin’ don’t come as natural ta me as ta one steeped inna ways o’ life’s seedier underbelly. But reckon I’d best learn, bein’ in this line o’ work an’ all.”
Al pulled to a stop at a red light, taking the opportunity to wolf-whistle out his open window at a passing miniskirt. The light turned green and her curses dopplered in their wake.
“But here’s the trick about ol’ Al – the sorts o’ patterns Silky said these cultists is lookin’ for, well, they don’t work on me. Or so I’m told. Long story. Which would explain how even though you spotted me, they never did. Reckon them decoys was jist they SOP. Which makes that switch point more’n jist a point fer switchin’. How they doin’ in there, anyhoo? I got bored listenin’ an’ switched my ear bud ta Zombie Ghost Train.”May 9, 2019 at 7:33 pm #18621
Ichante completes her investigation and comms with the results.
<<The prints were made by shoes. Looks like they made a round trip between the ladder and the vehicle. Some of the wet is raw sewage, so that tells us that someone actually came up from the ladder. The delivery vehicle is clean; I’m guessing someone hit it with C-Squared. The nav logs are wiped.>>
Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka – Great Mystery – what is it about my life that finds it necessary to intersect with ghouls and sewers so frequently? she prays rhetorically. The spirits don’t respond; Ichante feels that questionable life choices might be involved somehow. She instructs her guardian spirit to accompany Ulrich’s mind shard as it sees what’s down at the bottom of the ladder.
<<Seems like Option C, and it seems like someone was able to go down and come back up without being automatically devoured. I say we go down there and figure out what – or, more specifically, who – they are disposing of. Good thing I’m wearing my drek kickers, neh?>>May 9, 2019 at 11:21 pm #18625
<<By any chance do either of you have spells for neutralizing ghoul cooties? ‘Cause I’m thinking they could really put a damper on my love life. In other words, to be clear, I am not well equipped for possible ghoul fighting right now. I’ve got a low calibre pop gun I carry around for when people feel a need to show that they have a gun, and of course I can kick ’em into next week but that may cause significant splatter, and none of us are sealed up in giant condom suits. If you insist on going right now, I’ll come. But an hour and we could be back here with proper gear.>>
Despite his words, Zag moved towards the entrance, and changed up his smartskin to flat impact plates, to hopefully reduce splatter if it came to that.
May 10, 2019 at 11:19 am #18636
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Beta.
<<No, sorry. If I had, I’d be rich and not a fugitive. But I do wear an FBA. Still, keep away for now until my mind shard had a chance to look around. Besides, there are no showers available here, so I’d prefer no-one of us going down there just now.>>
Ulrich replied laconically.May 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm #18642
“Al, honey, just cos you ain’t showing up on their patterns they still got eyes and ears. If I spotted it while I was skating they could just see you by looking out of the window, like security guards do, all the time. Better to waste your time being over cautious that getting wasted from being over confident. ” she looked at the satnav.” We better hang back or see if we can get an overwatch somewhere. ”
She looked at her gear” I’m thinking I need to get out of the amateur hour and get some real gear, you know a dealer “
#75May 10, 2019 at 1:43 pm #18645
“Well, lot o’ folks done accused ol’ Al o’ bein’ overconfident, an’ ain’t none of ’em been right yet. As is attested by my continued state o’ bein’ not dead. What I think? Yer sellin’ yerself short. That you spotted me is a credit to yerself. No need lumpin’ yer not inconsiderable skills together with some cultist rent-a-cops. Anyhoo, yer counsel rings true on the practical side, an’ take her ta heart I shall.”
He liked that she looked at the HUD satnave. Most passengers had a habit of just turning off, losing all situational awareness just because someone else was driving.
“Yeah, reckon I’ll park right up here. That’ll put us about three seconds out if’n I motorvate. An’ ol’ Al does know how ta motorvate. Whyn’t ya let ’em know we’s standin’ by?”May 11, 2019 at 12:44 am #18652
Ichante rubs her temples at Beta’s and Ulrich’s objections.
<<Coming back in an hour will be no good. If the delivery vehicles are using the ghouls for disposal, then the bodies will be gone by then, either consumed or dragged deeper in the sewers than we want to go. We need to act while there’s something left to find.>>
<<As for your car, Ulrich, how about this: if the spirits give the all-clear, I’ll levitate down there. I’ll bob along, not touching the walls or the ground. It will be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway. I’ll use telekinesis to pick up or move anything I find. I’ll emerge clean and tidy with no raw sewage anywhere on me. And if there is, I’ll find my own way home. Fair enough?>>
She privately mutters to herself while waiting for her spirit to report back on the situation in the sewer.May 11, 2019 at 3:52 am #18653
<<Obviously, if we find something that requires us to go in, we’ll go in. I won’t endanger the mission because of my upholstery. I just don’t want any of you stroming down that hole until we have some intel on what’s down there. If there are ghouls I can impose my mindshard on one of them first to secure evidence.>>
Ulrich replied with a bit of a smile. He wondered when he did become so attached to worldly possessions. He has to admit to himself that it probably happened when getting replacements no longer was a no-brainer.May 11, 2019 at 3:52 am #18654
“cha!” she kicked her head back in mock coolness. She keyed a pretend CB radio “beaker beaker one niner, this is asswhoopin’ and short stuff keepin’ yer tiny hynies clear, ya’ll clear to be commencicating your shenanigans” she winked at Al and laughed that laugh one young adults have in the moment.
<<Al and I are just round the corner, three seconds out, if you need backup.>>
“there done” she gave him a vapid nod and a smile “now you know someone who trades in armour and field gear?”
May 11, 2019 at 8:50 am #18657
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Electric_muppet. Reason: Add number
Al shot her the number for Cannon.
“This feller’s yer one-stop shop. Most courteous play’s probably be ta git a green light from Silky first, but seein’ as yer workin’ fer her now, I s’pose dial-direct’s an option. All depends whether, like ol’ Al, yer a strict adherent ta social niceties.”May 11, 2019 at 9:13 am #18659
<<I’m not worried about the smell, I’m worried about infection. But let’s see what your spirits tell us.>>
Zag entertained a brief fantasy of letting the dwarf go down the hole, then sealing it up from the top. Fragging dwarves, always thinking they know better than everyone else! “It isn’t that I’m biassed against dwarves as a whole” he thinks, “It is just that I never seem to like them as individuals.”
But no, she was a team mate, no throwing her to the ghouls until after the job was done, and probably not even then. Mages in the shadows were rare enough that he could be happy to have her abilities on some future job. He almost had himself convinced.
Then again, if he did have to go down and he did get infected, maybe he could pass it along to her? Nah, she’d probably still find a way to use her magic to make herself look pretty and passable.
“I’ll go in if we need to go down there. But being cautious is a survival trait, you know?“May 11, 2019 at 3:58 pm #18667
Rebbeca chimes in >> There is this fish drone that can brave the sewers for us, that I can buy from a contact. Or a flying eye that I can pilot down there, and see what happens. Perhaps the wisest thing to do is to place some cameras down there, and wait to see who goes in and carrying what. I can be at your place with some cameras and drones shortly if I skip dessert.
To Tanya, she replies”Let’s keep to no gifting, for now, I would not feel comfortable with it. Please don’t take it the wrong way.
Most of the time I sleep around, either in the car or in hotels on the road. I travel around to study from various instructors, and my contacts keep me busy and make sure that my purse remains heavy enough. You see, Roger is not only a lover, but he also took me as a teenager into his home, a short distance from his wife and his children who are about my age. So just by existing, I complicate matters for his family. For my family… and to avoid all these conflicting emotions. I try to keep to the road as much as I can. I owe Linda this much since she adopted me as a child despite everything. I return when the longing gets unbearable, I took deep roots with my family.
May 11, 2019 at 4:42 pm #18670
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Gilga.
Bronwean chittychatted while she typed
<<dear silk, I need to speak to a guy called Cannon, could you convince him of my intentions? I really need to up my level of equipment, thank you so much for your help and support>>
<<Badman? Do you know a guy in seattle called Cannon? If you do could you be my reference, need to get some next level gear in my life, thanks old grumbler>>
“pretty sure I’m getting no sleep tonight, that will be about right for first day at work, what do you reckon Al?”
May 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm #18673
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Electric_muppet. Reason: Spelling and grammar corrections
“Heh heh. Well, ace, I’ll tell ya. Ol’ Al ain’t exactly the right cat ta ask much about sleep. Don’t reckon I do much of it no more. What with one thing an’ another. But if yer eyelids is heavy, give ’em a rest right now. I’ll keep a sharp lookout,” Al said as he opened up a window on his HUD to watch the combat biker highlights.May 12, 2019 at 12:16 pm #18684
It didn’t take long for the spirits to report back. Ulrich vocalized – for the benefit of Zag – what they had found: <<Seems like they are long gone. Signs of ghoul passage, but we’ll have to send a dedicated tracker on this. Luckily, we don’t have to dirty our hands for that. Give me a second to create a pathfinder.>>Spoiler:
After chanting his usual mantra, Ulrich opened his eyes and nodded.
“Let us get back to the car. My shard has found a trail.”May 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm #18690
Sunday, June 5th, 2078, Restaurant, Gates Undersound Hotel, Downtown, Seattle
Tanya nods in understanding. ”Alright, no gifts for now but I do hope that you know that you are welcome to spend in one of my guest rooms here. Any night and no strings attached. So, interested in going for a drive after we finish eating? I feel a stretch of highway calling our names.”
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