June 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm #19853
Michela shies away from the daytimer at first “Oh, that is private, I couldn’t!” but settles after a moment, mumbling “Well, I suppose it can’t hurt now.” and takes a look.
“His handwriting is terrible, especially with that dratted pen. I had to insist he use pencil when leaving me notes, just so that I could read them more reliably. This looks like ‘Blade’ to me, he is — was — bad about not finishing his final character in a word. Probably his appointment last night was to buy or sell a blade?” She suddenly bangs her desk “He used a ‘vault’ of some sort in Bellevue for most of his collection. He always took Reynolds with him when he went there. If he didn’t go to the vault then something should be missing from the few pieces he kept here.”
Then she calls over AM, and points to the screen of her dataterm “Here is what I can do with the building cameras. See I can connect to the two out front and one at the back, and I can ask them to pan right/left or up/down. So when guests arrive I can take a look and make sure that they look right, you see?” Further questioning reveals that Michela doesn’t have access to archived footage, or at least doesn’t think she does. She explains “I’m a researcher. This position came with some receptionist work, but I won’t claim to have spent more time than I had to with building management.”June 20, 2019 at 4:42 am #19874
<<You guys know I’m always up for honest, dirty work. Wasting a murderer doesn’t keep me up at night.
Let’s ask Reynolds what he knows – before KE turns up, wastes him and decides that it was likely the troll whodunnit. “Open and shut case, sprinkle some Zen on it and lets get the hell out a here”-style.>>
“Let’s find this Blade guy. I’m sure it’s a name. Guys like Runningbird love to be precise – especially if they are dealing with lots of merchandize.”
Having his clothes back on, Bobby walked over to Reynolds appartment and knocked.June 20, 2019 at 1:20 pm #19908
<<No no no, you don’t sprinkle Zen. That’s an inhalant. You need something you swallow, like woad, or maybe a few bottles of hurlg.>>
Mato goes with Bobby and Michela to find Reynolds.
”If knocking didn’t work for Michela, I doubt it will work for us.” He holds out his hand to Michela to get the key to Reynolds’ apartment from her.June 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm #19912
>> Great so it is settled, let me milk their host for information, negotiate a reasonable price with Mr. Morad, and then we’ll find that guy. She then texts Jhonny Morad >> We’ll be interested if the price justifies the risks. Let’s talk about it in a few minutes once we finish our initial investigation. With that, the short and skinny elf seats take a deep breath, closes her eyes and dives deep into the matrix to get some archival access to the security cameras, hoping that they saw something.June 20, 2019 at 5:38 pm #19933
Sorting through the camera feed isn’t hard for AM, just a bit tedious. It might take only a few minutes, but they are awfully boring minutes.
But in due course she sees:
– three people arrive in the right time frame, between 7:45 and 8:00.
– Then a troll with distinctive cut off horns leaves at 8:04,
– then the last of the arrivals leaves quickly at 8:09 while neither of the other arrivals from that time frame are seen again until morning.
– She sees Michela arrive about half an hour before Jhonny had called them that morning.
The figure who arrived and then left seemed fairly slight, but was wearing a long rain coat with the rain hood up. The deep hood hides most of their face, giving only a glimpse of a sharp looking chin and the black frame of some clunky looking glasses. Black boots, possibly rain boots, can be seen below the coat. The right hand is seen opening the door, and it appears to have a thick ring on the thumb, while the left hand is shoved in the coat pocket, which looks like it may also contain something bulky.
The troll moves slightly oddly. Not like he is drunk, but he bangs his head on the doorway instead of ducking underneath it, and has to reach twice to find the latch to open the door on the way out. And he heads out into the wind driven rain wearing a vaguely uniform looking armored jacket and pants, but no rain gear, nor does he pause as the weather hits him, instead he just walks down the steps and out of the camera range at a steady pace.
(sorry, have to run, will try to get to Reynolds apartment later tonigth)June 20, 2019 at 9:55 pm #19942
Reynolds apartment is clean and uncluttered, most notably not cluttered by a troll.
A small kitchen area features a full sized refrigerator as well as a chest freezer. A sitting area has three troll-size chairs and a couple of more delicate ones. The bedroom is mostly full of a bed that looks comfortably large even for a good sized troll. There is a somewhat fancy looking multi-nozzle shower system in the bathroom, that also looks built to handle trolls.
The bed is neatly made with a precision that suggests he may have served in a military at some point. There is a picture on the dresser of showing what might be Reynolds with his mother, assuming he is the youngish troll with horns cut short, wearing a military uniform. There are no dirty dishes, and just a few dirty clothes in a hamper in the bedroom, and even those are folded. A closet by the door contains a raincoat that looks large enough to serve as a tent as well as a selection of umbrellas.
Michela wrinkles her nose and mutters “You can smell him in” here. Disgusting.” It is true that there is an odour of troll in the apartment, but it is quite mild. Michela points to a box sitting in the shadows of the closet by the door. “Condoms. He has silver caps on his horns, and he says that the rain here corrodes them. He’ll roll condoms over them if he thinks he is going to get wet. No sense of decency at all, and when somebody notices he just laughs. He actually thinks he is clever for doing that, if you can believe it. Anyway, he obviously wasn’t there when Mr. Runningbird needed him, he was probably paid off.”June 21, 2019 at 3:53 am #19946
Mato walks in. He activates his olfactory boosters and sniffs. He runs his radar sensors, looking for hidden nooks and crannies. He opens up the refrigerator and chest freezer, as much out of curiosity as anything. He sweeps with his cyberware scanner too, using it as a millimeter wave detection system to try to find any concealed weapons.
He eyeballs the condoms, then throws a look toward the closet.
”That doesn’t scan,” he says, walking toward the closet.
”Someone so fastidious suggests a military background. You ever known anyone in the military that carries an umbrella? Especially one with such a, ah, unique approach to horn care?”
Mato goes over to examine the raincoats and the umbrellas, both in person and with his sensors. Inspired by Jawsey’s sword cane, he examines the umbrellas to see if any of them are more than what their outward appearance suggests.June 21, 2019 at 8:31 am #19947
“More evidence for mind control – not the umbrella, but the coordination problems. We need to find Reynolds, he might be able to identify the visitor – provided he hasn’t thrown himself into traffic yesterday.”
Just in case he also took a look into the astral to see if one of the umbrellas carried an aura as Mato conjected.June 21, 2019 at 1:44 pm #19961
”What about illusion magic?” Mato asks. ”Either an awkward phantasm that the camera could see, or someone masking their appearance? A masking seems more likely, given the clumsy interactions with the doorway and the latch, since you think someone doing a phantasm show would be smoother about things.
”How would that work if you have someone masking themselves as a troll? Would you get clipping, like in a shoddy Matrix game, or is there some sort of feedback for the person who is masked?”June 21, 2019 at 2:34 pm #19962
AM makes a copy of the recording, and verify that the strange man is indeed Raynolds. ” Michella – do you recognize this troll with distinctive cut off?” she asks and shows Michella the imagery. ”
Another question is about the ring “Michella have you seen this ring before?”
She takes a closeup of the ring and then runs an image search trying to figure out how special/distinctive it is. When they arrive at the apartment AM first checks the matrix for sensor aided devices or other online things in the apartment.Spoiler:
June 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm #19963June 21, 2019 at 4:00 pm #19968
- This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by Gilga.
Bobby thought for a moment and shook his head: “It would be a possibility, but no. First: To what purpose? It’s hard to keep an elaborate phantasm going if it’s supposed to act real. Especially if you want to have it interact with the environment you’ll also need magic fingers. A masking is as convincing as a mage can make it. Clipping is one possibility, but it wouldn’t explain the trouble with the latch – you can still grab stuff just fine.
Also this doesn’t gel with what we saw: Going in he had no coordination troubles – only when he came out he was clumsy and without raincoat.
Na, this was someone neutralizing Runningbirds bodyguard, targeting a weakpoint of trolls – their mental defenses agains mind manipulation are on average a bit lower than the rest of the population – not being racist, just a statistic fact.
I’m going out on the streets and try to piece together which way the troll went. In the rain and in his condition he could have left markings. Also these spells don’t keep that long if you move through changing Background Count, so he can’t have gone too far. With some luck, his body is still around, even though he probably no longer has silver horn caps.”Spoiler:June 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm #19993
Urban tracking is an interesting affair, a mix of using publicly available camera feeds and physical traces. Of course when your quarry could have gone in any direction you need a bit of luck. Fortunately Bobby appears to be lucky today.
At the next intersection he notices a stop sign that is bent and scratched, with the scratched area still shining like the damage was recent. Reasoning that if Reynolds could walk into a door he could walk into a sign, Bobby looks in that direction. There is a lack of both public camera feeds or physical trace for a bit, but when they come to a more major road he notices a scattering of broken plastic that looks like it might be from a headlight. Some of the pieces are still fairly large and unworn, suggesting that not much traffic has gone by since it was broken.
Bobby looks around the area some more, dodging the growing traffic, and finally he finds a sure sign — wedged in a sewer grate he finds what looks like a silver cup, about the right size to fit over a severed troll horn.
If Reynolds was hit here, one of the private camera feeds may have caught what happened, and what happened next, but Bobby would need AM’s help for that. Else he could look around to see if anyone disposed of a troll nearby or if Reynolds survived and moved on.June 23, 2019 at 5:51 am #19999
Bobby picked up the silver cap and called the team: <<Seems like Reynolds did go an play in traffic. I’m going to look for witnesses. AM, can you call up a spirit to search for him as well and also take a look at the cameras around my position? Thanks.>>
Bobby turned around and searched for a dealer or some other hustler usually out on the street, looking around.
“Hey you, did you see a troll coming by here last night, looking a bit stoned? Maybe got hit by a car? There’s a fiver in it for you.”June 23, 2019 at 7:34 am #20000
AM replies >> sure I’ll have my new watcher search for him, he shouldn’t have gone very far. She follows Bobby and releases the spirit at the last location asking it to find the troll matching the description of Reynolds. The physically invisible Buffalo nods and runs off to accomplish its task.
“A construct… not a spirit,” she thinks bitterly a residue of the failure to be proper Shaman strikes at her. She’ll never be truly okay with it, not until she manages to construct a proper spirit using her sorcery skills. To overcome the problem in a creative manner as Iktomi would suggest.Spoiler:June 26, 2019 at 11:05 pm #20150
Reynolds may not have Runningbird’s collection of antique weaponry, but he’d accumulated a fair bit of the modern kind. Mato found five knives outside of the kitchen (and a couple in it that might also qualify as weapons), three Saturday Night Specials (two adjusted to troll hands), a well cared for Ingram SMG, and a few clips for a Ares Predator, and an aluminum baseball bat which Mato was not quite sure if he should count as a weapon or not.
The umbrellas were a bit of an odd mix. There were two large, high quality, umbrellas that showed wear, several of varying quality that still had their original tags on them, on three more that had hand-written tags which may have indicated when and where he’d found them. They all ended up being disappointingly mundane to various sorts of investigation. The umbrella stand had contained one of the knives, however, so it hadn’t been an entirely innocent piece of furniture.
In due course the entire team was on the search for Reynolds, starting from where Bobby had found the tusk cap. Bobby didn’t have a lot of luck with local vagrants at first — this close to Bellevue most kept a low profile anyway, and the wind storm last night had kept people even more hunkered down than usual. However had indicated that he thought he’d heard the breakage of an old fence, although he couldn’t swear that hadn’t been caused by the wind. When they go looking, however, they find damage that would make more sense for a troll tearing through it. From there AM’s watcher starts casting about, and in ten minutes it does find a troll that is in poor health. The troll is wedged into the angle between a wall and a truck that appears to have backed into the wall.June 27, 2019 at 4:11 am #20151
”Over there” AM says and hurries with the rest to evaluate the troll’s state. She takes a quick look in the astral to see if she finds anything unusual about the troll, and also examines the near vicinity of its surrounding.Spoiler:
June 27, 2019 at 4:19 pm #20154
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Gilga.
Bobby looked a bit helpless at the prone form of the troll. He knew that you were supposed to check the pulse and give first aid – except that he had pretty much completely ignored this mandatory course back in boot camp.
<<Mato, do you know first aid? The troll certainly could use some help.>>
Tentatively, he also looked into the astral to see if the troll was actually alive stillSpoiler:June 27, 2019 at 9:58 pm #20163
AM has a moment of clarity in aura reading, seeing the troll’s whole being laid out before her as if it were an annotated ARO.
First, he was definitely still alive.
He was poisoned, but while some of the toxin was still in his flesh his blood was mostly clear – – and indeed she could see the bioware that was helping him filter it out.
Then there was severe tissue damage to one leg, hip, and parts ofhis abdomen. There had been some internal bleeding but it had clotted up fairly quickly. She coild see the bioware in his blood that had helped with that.
Finally his femur was cracked. Broken, really, but held in place by steel bone lining.
She could also see the remains of some painkillers and clotting factors, nearly filtered away.
He had additional ware: smart link, boosted reflexes, the stubs of his horns were hollowed out for storage, and he has an internal air tank.
He is not so much passed out or asleep as he is just shut down mentally from the abuse his body has been through. However he has a large pistol clutched in one hand, and she expects that if he awakes he will be ready to fight.June 28, 2019 at 6:53 am #20166
AM responds ”He is in surprisingly good condition. He was clearly poisoned, I can see the traces, but he is mostly over it now. He has some augmentation to filter his blood for toxins. The main issue is the hip bone being broken, but again he is lucky for bone lacing for keeping it together and preventing damage to blood vessels. He is exhausted but awake and he is holding a large pistol along with an implemented SmartLink and augmented reflexes. I also think I figured out the horn-condom mistery, as his horns are hollow… I bet what he stores there does not mesh well with water. I’d approach cautiously in a non-threatening manner. Possibly best if Michella would approach him as he already knows her, but given that we want to free him right now. I will do it as I look less threatening than the rest of you.”
She cautiously approached the man, with her arms visible and unarmed. ”Reynolds, can you hear me? We came to help.”
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Gilga.
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