March 11, 2019 at 4:36 pm #16298
Mato stares out the window during the drive from Redmond to Tacoma, down 405 and then I-5. The city passes by as the sun sets around 19:00. Mato is content to be quiet and listen to Bobby snoring in the backseat. AM is a good driver – more skilled than Mato, certainly, although maybe not with the same raw reaction times.
It’s dark when they get to Tacoma. In the parking lot, Mato studies the crowd, trying to get a sense of whether his Executive Suite suit is going to blend right in or make him look like an impossible square among the young and hip. He also looks to see what sort of security precautions the club might be taking. Bouncers at the door patting people down? MAD scanners?
”Sure, boss,” Mato tells Bobby. “Hop aboard.”
He turns to AM and Jawsey. ”I have smuggling compartments in my legs. It’s a bit awkward because I have to roll up my pants to retrieve something – or, equally awkward, stick a hand down my pants – but I can usually get something small inside. Your Glock is too big, Jawsey, and same for your Walther, AM, but if you want something smaller, let me know.”
With that he undoes his belt, jams his hand down his pants, and rumages around. He swears that he’s just putting some throwing knives into the smuggling compartment in his thigh… but you never really know, do you? Of course, given his black carbon-fiber-and-titanium hands, he might not want to be fondling his twig and berries that much either.March 14, 2019 at 3:12 am #16380
AM grins ”I always carry the blessing of the spirits with me. I’ll be able to help if things go south even without my gun.” She thinks about offering him one of her small throwing knives, but figures that the place will have enough things to fling around, and even then if she gets to use her mojo as a weapon than the best resort is to run away.
The place has a metal detector, and the team’s eyes widen with surprise as the bouncer lets in three Chinese looking men with swords. On closer inspection, their weapons policy is members can bring weapons while guests are forbidden from bringing them. The vast majority of people seem to be guests and unarmed. Their dress code seems to be a high-end street fashion. It is loud, vulgar and colorful. Where people use bright colors and smart fabrics to scream that they are not street rats.
It includes neon dresses with changing light patterns for the ladies and pimped up casual street clothes for the gents including all sort of smart fabrics such as shirts that appear to be on fire and lighting shirts that appear to have real blue lightings that slightly shock to the touch. Hairstyles follow the same style – and seem like a complete zoo to the conservative AM. They are colorful and loud. Pinks, purples, greens, and blues appear frequent, as well as hair accessories like bunny ears, crowns, and fake horns.
Mohawks, hair spikes, and funny hats are also in fashion.
AM watches the crowd and shrugs ”These are some strange fashion trends. Let’s see what I can do about them…”. She thinks for a moment and then speaks a quiet prayer. Her hair to arrange itself in pink spikes that seem to be popular, and her nails to be dyed gold. She looks at a little mirror with a strange expression. ”Not my cup of tea but should fit in with this crowd… Anyone else wants to follow these strange fashion lines?” she suggests.March 14, 2019 at 9:29 pm #16412
Mato nods. ”Do me up like you did for the trid shoot with Bobby the Bear. Purple mohawk, maybe some facial tats. Can they glow? Yeah, that’ll work…”
Mato gets out of the car. ”Let’s get our groove on.” He dances a few steps, nimble but clearly untrained. The he invites Bobby up his sleeve.March 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm #16453
AM complies and gives Mato the makeover spell. The club is protected with a low-level ward (F3), and a metal detector. After a short time in line, there is no problem to get in providing you do not smuggle anything. As you approach the sound of metal music fills your ears and you need to raise your voice to be heard.March 16, 2019 at 8:27 pm #16456
Mato, being mostly metal, enjoys metal music. His purple Mohawk and his custom suit are maybe incongruous, but whatever.
He activates the dampers in his ears to take an edge off the music.
<<DNI if you got it>> he texts to the team. <<He owns the place, right? Check for a VIP area, or a table with a commanding view of the club floor.>>
Mato pushes into the crowd as he starts to look around.March 17, 2019 at 7:17 am #16463
Bobby felt the mana barrier brush against him and he had only a split second to adjust himself to its energies without losing his spell or breaking the barrier.
Thankfully, he managed to do so just in time before Mato carried him over.March 19, 2019 at 5:43 pm #16718
It was with real regret that Jawsey left his sword cane in the car. Not that it was apt to be safe to let his body collapse in the club in order to go fight in the astral. but leaving his most valuable possession to the dubious security of the car parked at a club out here? He knew he’d be concerned about it until they got back.
He’d pulled out his disguise kit to draw in a filigree pattern around his eyes, looking almost like a mask, then added a bright purple synthi-silk scarf around his neck for color, and let AM work her magic on his shirt. His suit he didn’t let her touch; he’d spent a lot of money on that by his standards and didn’t want it messed with. Besides, it fit well over his armor vest.
While he wasn’t as colorful as much of the crowd, surgical good looks and an easy-going smile helped ease his way into the club. Once into the sonic assault inside he did resort to DNI <<If a fight breaks out in here, I’m not going to be useful for much but screaming and running. So count on me to be motivated to come to a negotiated solution. I would say we shouldn’t openly threaten the man when he has his own people around him, that is the sort of insult he probably can’t afford to take.>>
Then he picked up a drink and started circulating through the crowd, getting a feel for the vibe, keeping an eye on where the armed people were, and looking for the boss man.March 20, 2019 at 4:50 pm #16769
The party is a bit slow at this hour, but most people load on on drink. As you carefully make your way inside and discreetly look for him, Chau is nowhere to be found at that hour. Though there is a similar but much older man in the crowd, seating at the bar along with an ageless gorgeous blue haired elf. While clearly an eye candy, she carries a golden katana that seems real.
Other than that, there are a few other armed men drinking at the bar, all armed with swords.March 20, 2019 at 6:06 pm #16770
<<Why did it have to be Triads? I have some Russian and some Japanese, at least I could talk to Vory or Yaks in their own language.>>
With language not being a likely way to connect, he looks around for any sign of a stage. His knowledge of the music scene down this way isn’t very strong, but if they have bands he knows enough to at least start a conversation. And then he goes to stand next to a wall for a bit, and scans the room in the astral. Not that he can do a lot about magical defenses, but better to know than not.Spoiler:March 21, 2019 at 1:17 am #16774
Mato looks around the club. There are a lot of swords around and he wonders if they indicate the club’s employees or if the MAD scanner at the front door really sucks. The golden katana is wiz, but Mato can’t help but think that whatever makes it gold makes it soft, or makes it hold less of an edge. He doesn’t intend to find out, but – being mostly metal himself – the abundance of blades don’t really bother him.
<<Let’s make some vague, non-threatening inquiries. ‘We’re here to talk business, we have a proposal to make,’ etcetera, drekcetera. Nice and non-committal. We’ll tell Chau that Gao is protected, see how he reacts. Could be that easy. Probably not, but it’s nice to imagine.>>
Mato wishes that Bobby could be included on these DNI and subvocal exchanges. He trusts Bobby to follow their lead and only react if the plan goes awry, but Bobby probably didn’t earn the name “MadCat” for no reason. There was that little scuffle with Sergeant What’s-His-Name, wasn’t there? Something about a chimpanzee and Bobby’s own feces… or was that what happened at the children’s party?March 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm #16797
Bobby took an intensive look around on the astral as well, trying to gauge what exactly these gangsters were packing between the two of them.
At the moment he had no desire to leave Mato’s side.Spoiler:March 22, 2019 at 4:45 am #16809
Mato and Bobby can see that there is indeed magical defense to the club, but also magical entertainment. Some of the scenery is fake, other things are not as polished and brand new as they appear to be to most patrons. The works are of impressive quality, perhaps not triads high, but it is done by a professional or a lucky amateur. Jawsey can identify a semi-famous singers seating with his milieu which in a private booth.
Many of the patrons are indeed Chinese, by look or mannerism but there are many faces. Not the cooperate suit-types – these would not show themselves in a place like that. At any case, the only one with an unmistaken resemblance to Chau is the guy speaking to the elven girl. You cannot spot Chau in the crowed, perhaps he is not there so early – or perhaps he does not visit his own club every night.March 22, 2019 at 1:52 pm #16817
<<Alright, Jawsey, let’s go make some friends. I’ll stay behind you and to the side like a bodyguard; maybe AM can provide discrete coverage for our rear.>>March 22, 2019 at 3:34 pm #16821
Jawsey drifted toward the bar, as if to get another drink, but paused and looked at the older man who looked like Chau. He nodded to himself, as if he’d just come to a decision, and openly walked toward that gentleman. He stopped a respectful distance away and said “I am so sorry to bother you, but you look like a wise man, and I am in need of advice. May I buy you a drink and have a few minutes of your time?”March 22, 2019 at 6:54 pm #16841
The elven lady eyes Jawsey with a piercing look, she seems a bit annoyed but actually is hyper-aware of the situation and carefully observes Jawsey, and whomever she manages to associate with him for any sign of threat. The man says “I admire your audacity, Cheng Mu Chou at your service. Since I own this joint – let me buy you a drink. My companion goes by the name Void, don’t piss her off.” Since Void is already pissed off Jawsey understands that he’ll need to tread carefully if he does not want to offend Mr. Chau.
If this is mr. Chau – then who is threatening Gau?Spoiler:March 22, 2019 at 7:56 pm #16850
<<Father-son, perhaps? There’s certain a resemblance there, which could be why it threw off AM’s image recognition.>>
AM reminds the team about what she found about the Yellow Lotus and the Octogon factions.
<<If this is Chau Senior then this could still work. Maybe we can play on that sense of filial piety between father and son.>>
<< Or maybe the son is an outcast, or even a competitor. It sounds like the Octagons wouldn’t be active in Seattle, and tarot cards wouldn’t be one of their lines of business anyway. Maybe Junior is trying to set up shop on his own. That would explain why he’s alone all the time. Plus we know Junior has the temperament that would be inclined to be disowned by his parents.>>March 24, 2019 at 8:56 am #16873
“Thank you so much, my thoughts are chasing themselves in circles, and talking with someone who is not of the situation, but who perhaps may have seen similar situations seems like it may help. An acquaintance has embarked on a dangerous path that could see much death, and I would like to avoid such violence.”
He takes a sip from his drink, and lays out the story. “This acquaintance, he is a businessman. He is no saint, but he serves his customers well — me amongst them – and he has been successful enough with his business because he knows it well and doesn’t pass up an opportunity for profit.”
“Unfortunately, in this quest for profit, he has angered a dangerous man, and that man struck back at my acquaintance’s shop. For a small businessman their shop is their life – they may have a home, a wife, and many things, but it is the shop where their heart lies. Fortunately the damage was limited, but now he is mad with fear and anger. He fears that his shop could be struck again, or that he himself could be targeted, and at the same time he wishes to strike back. To the dangerous man this may seem comical, how could a shop-keeper be a threat? But a business-person knows how to buy many things, including the help of other dangerous men.”
“My grandmother once told me ‘when the wolves and bears are at war, the only ones to get fat are the rabbits and deer.’ I feel like if my acquaintance uses these dangerous men to strike at the wolf, it may bring the whole pack down up on him, much to his sorrow. But at the same time with the dangerous men he’s hired I think the wolves would not leave intact either. But in such a war, it is not just the wolves and bear that get hurt, it is those around them, their businesses …” Jawsey trailed off for a moment and then shot a glance toward the musician that he vaguely recognized he added “ … it can all end with artists who should be singing of life and love instead singing of death and loss. ”
He shrugged, then concluded “So I wonder, have you any thoughts of how the bear and wolf could be persuaded to stop escalating, before more damage is done? The young Wolf to agree that he has made his displeasure clear, the old bear to to feel that he is safe and that honour does not compel him to return the attack in kind.”
“Have you seen such situations that did not end like a bad trid-tragedy? Have you any experience on what worked to head off the escalating violence?“
March 25, 2019 at 1:59 pm #16892
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Beta.
The man is surprisingly receptive to Jawsey’s allegory, he listens intently and then replies ”You need a figure of authority that both sides respect to decide and enforce a non-violent and just solution. Any violent action you take always has a counteraction, and things escalate from there. Large wars were started over menial disputes and these things get a life of their own. The deeper you are in the harder it is to stop.”
The elf girl eyes Jawsey suspiciously the entire conversation but says nothing.March 27, 2019 at 2:17 pm #16971
Bobby listened intently, but refrained from showing himself under the lapel of Mato’s suit. Insect eyes were disorienting and only really good at discerning fast movement. That’s why he had switched to astral perception, allowing him to get a much clearer image of what was happening around him.
Still, he was impatient. All this slinging metaphors around was boring and tiring. Still, Jawsey was a lot better with people than him, so the guy likely new best…March 28, 2019 at 1:22 pm #16988
“Thank you, that was the exact thing I was feeling toward, but I hadn’t been able to articulate it. Someone that people respect, that they will listen to.” His eyes may linger on the older man just a little bit as he says this.
<<OK, this is where we find out if he orders his bodyguard to cut me in half or not. Time to be on your toes. >> It was a shame that he had no way of warning Bobby, that was something they’d have to work on for the future.
“I admit that we came here tonight to find one party in this little drama: the ‘wolf.’ We don’t know that he comes here, but our clues suggested that it would be possible. If he does, would you entertain the possibility of taking on this mediator role?”
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