November 5, 2018 at 10:53 pm #10397
Ben starts the car You know, when you give more than one excuse, both of them are usually bullshit He drives silently through the night, outside of the city. We have a garage in the Mehsek, you are welcome there, plenty of old junk. (Meshek is kind of a small one family farm).
He finally speaks We actually tolerate the HMVV infected in Israel, but their options are limited – serve at the border, or be executed. So, you can’t just pick someone in the city – it will work for a while but this is not Redmond. Everyone is registered, a SINNer how you say it – must have access to the police, and criminals have access to worse. The one place you’ll be able to feed no question asked is the border, either you catch someone trying to cross or we go to a punishment camp. Nobody will ask questions if you do it there, they’ll just assume that one of their border guards did it.
He sighed As for your earlier question, the name is Meir Gindi, look him up. He has this new project TLV towers to the south of the city. It is a gated community. Problem is some archcriminal vampire is extorting him, he does his Blood ritual that makes people feel dreadful in a large radius from his layer, an awful place that the police do not enter, and the mayor is too stubborn to call in the army. Anyhow, being as full of yourself as you are, you agreed to remove the problem for Meir Gindi. In exchange, you’ll get an apartment in his tower, which you could sell for about half a million nuyen. Actually, we get because we are married, mr. Gindi has also granted you a line of credit, 100k nuyen. Sadly, I am also responsible if you do not pay back. So try to keep your word if you really are powerful enough to handle that monster vampire. You’ll be doing the country a service.November 5, 2018 at 11:36 pm #10399
”You prejudiced, mealy-mouthed, holier-than-thou son of a bitch!“ Misery snarls. ”Am I fragging child? Do you think this is my first goddamn rodeo?” She pounds a fist on the dashboard. ”I am well aware how most of your miserable kind sees mine, and I am well-versed in dealing with it. Do not presume to think yourself some noble man, taking the poor vampire girl under your wing despite her wicked nature!” She mimes crying. with her fists, then flips him the bird with one hand. ”You don’t like me, fine. You don’t like HMHVV carriers, fine. Boo fucking hoo, man!”
Misery takes a deep breath, forcing her tone level. ”Just because you know what I am doesn’t mean others will.” She gestures at herself. ”I’m curvy, not emaciated.” She smiles, and manages to do it without betraying her fangs. ”My teeth aren’t like a human vampire’s. I can walk in the daylight! I can mask better than most can see. What on earth makes you think I’d get caught?”
The level tone starts to disappear again as she continues, ”And that’s another thing! You think this marriage is funny? You think it means something? It doesn’t! You’re a means to an end. Anything we might have had is either gone or was a lie in the first place! I love someone else! Someone who isn’t a preachy little bitch with the best ‘ware selling his freedom to a corporation could buy!”
Misery grinds her teeth. ”If we are married, then I’m divorcing you. If we aren’t, then it isn’t a funny joke, and the sooner you stop making it, the less painful it will be when you push me too far.” She gestures out the windshield. ”I’ll do your job. Not for you, not for your country, and sure as hell not for some rich asshole. For me. Just me. ” She turns her head, looking at “Ben” for the first time since she started ranting. “Find me a place near his lair, and a wrecked Westwind or something similar. One of the old ones, before ’64. It should only run eight or nine thousand for one that’s flooded or burned out. Put it on my tab. Then I’ll leave you alone, and you don’t have to see me again.”
She turns her gaze to look back out the windshield. ”And the next time you want to say or imply that you’re better than me, that I’m weaker than I think I am, you pull over this car and get out, and I’ll show you how weak I am. And then I’ll bury your ass in the desert and make my own way.”November 6, 2018 at 12:16 am #10402
Ben finally seems to lose his composure I fucking mention it as an evidence. You have a legitimate and believable SIN, a solid stay in this country, your SIN does not say that you are infected. This means that you can pass a police inspection. It is a police state, being legal is a big thing. “Security above everything.” was the election campaign that won here, imagine how powerful the police is around here.
You may be a demigod with arcane power, but you still want to pass a random inspection. Everything is photographed, and there are spirits patrolling for illicit use of magic, if you drain someone in Tel Aviv it will make people dig deeper. If they don’t get to you, they’ll get to me. I was all over the world, but here is my home. I don’t want to lose it due to your recklessness. I am risking my fucking neck for you, and you just want to flex your muscles and screw the consequences.
No thanks for fetching you, or for taking you feeding, for paying the proper bribes for guard patrols to look the other way when you do.
You show your assets and you are clearly not interested in me, it makes me angry – and as for the marriage – I’ll marry someone that actually likes me. Even if she is not a breathtaking dryad. So if you care at all of how I am feeling, I feel like you glamoured me into risking more than I should have for your own agenda. I feel played, and while 250k is a lot of money – I am not sure that it was a good bargain considering how volatile you became… and I have nothing against vampires, some of my friends are infected. This is why you get to feed tonight without much of a risk. I just don’t like YOU – because you only care for yourself and does not even pretend to care about anyone else.November 6, 2018 at 12:38 am #10403
”Stop the car.” Misery says levelly. ”Pull over and let me walk, because this conversation is going nowhere.” Her tone is perfectly conversational, all the more unnerving after her explosive rage. ”While you do, let me explain a few things to you.”
Misery begins to tick points off on her fingers. ”Firstly, I am a mage who has survived quite a while under the radar. I do know how to mask my own power, thank you very much.” Another finger. ”Second, I don’t have to kill when I’m hunting. If your friends are infected, you’d know that. I’ll pick up a couple at a bar, take some from each of them, wipe their memories, and they’ll wake up happy, with a memory of explosive sex with a stranger who must have left before they awoke, and then they’ll go home.” A third finger, and she resists the urge to flip him off again with it. ”I can’t help but show my assets. Its how I was trained. I can’t stop it any more than you can stop looking like a paramilitary who just swallowed an entire soyplum.” A fourth finger goes up. ”Finally, why would I owe you thanks? From what you’re saying, I paid you to do a job. You’re doing it. This is a business transaction, we are not friends.”
Misery shrugs one shoulder. ”If I didn’t pay you to do a job, then I have no idea why you’re here, and I’d really prefer it if you weren’t. Whatever I thought I signed myself in for, this sure as hell isn’t it.” She can’t resist needling him a little. ”And if a girl showing off and not wanting to sleep with you is going to make you angry, then you’re in for a lifetime of rage issues, dear heart.”
She looks out the window, her tone still pleasant. ”Now, are you going to pull over the car, give me directions, and let me walk, or are we going to continue this pointless exchange? And so help me god, do not tell me you’re not going to let your ‘wife’ walk home alone.”
November 6, 2018 at 1:56 am #10409
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by BrickyardBabe.
Ben sighs “I’ll pull over at the next reasonable place. A gas station or something.” He replies “You are distinctive, exotic and I can sport your ego with a bunch of other superlatives that you already know. Though, I doubt you realize how small this country really is. With your look, and musical words you are just too much to blend in. Do you want to be the talk of the bar? Or the talk of the city? Do you want suitors showing at your doorstep? I don’t fault your survival instincts, I really don’t. I vouched for you to mr. Gindi. I wouldn’t have done so if you weren’t as bad-ass as they make them.
Bianca is the name you gave me when we met. Probably a fake name just like Dana, but perhaps you’d like to know. I am not angry because you do not want to sleep with me. I imagine most of the girls don’t want to sleep with me. I… Lets just say that I do this shadow crap for a reason, and I have my own problems.
What makes me angry is that you seem to expect the worst of me, when I am on my best behavior. You are a lot to handle, I am not sure that you are well, just that the guys in Neve Margoa want you out of there. I get it that you are more powerful than myself, which is why continuing to threat me with violence does not pass well. I am mundane, augmented but still mundane. You are a mage, a banshee and you seem close to explode all the time.
You woke up tonight remembering nothing and already you think you know better than me. I know nothing… the previous times you became sick. I hope they’ll get it right this time – but I carried you to that cursed place more than once. I strongly suggest you stick with me, at least for a week or two to verify that you are healthy.
As for feeding with sex, I suspected you do that. I never look, I just unleash you and you are back when you are done. It make sense actually.. Most vampires I know just scare the shit out of their victims, some injure or torture them. Though, they don’t look like you do. The theory is that you need an extreme emotion, so sex should work if you are attractive enough. Muggles can read you know…
I am taking you to a punishment town, perhaps the analogue of Redmond. This is where they force people without legal status to live until they can find a way to get rid of them. It is a town, bars and everything, gangs motels the full shtick. They are less likely to gossip. You might want to be stealthy to get your job done. “
Shortly after he pulls off in a gas station “Look Meshek 56 in Arugot. This is your home, you can call me when you are there, and I’ll explain how to find your own place. You’ll also need permission to pass through the wards, as your astral signature is changed. You are attuned to the place and will feel better once there. Who knows, perhaps you’ll remember something.
You know, I really was trying to help you out, but I need to deliver the vegetables. Picking you up from Neve Margoa means that I’ll be late, but I would not leave you there knowing how hungry you may be after laying there for a week. You are your own person, I am certain that you’ll find someone to feed on. I did my best to inform you of the dangers.
Go, air up your thoughts, relax… I can wait for say, five minutes and then I need to continue. There are people that depend on me to make this delivery. If you are not back, I’ll go – and I am 100% okay with it.”
Before opening the door he shared his contact details with her.November 6, 2018 at 11:26 am #10425
Gas station? Vegetables?
Misery turns to look behind her at the crates, and sure enough, they were filled with produce, actual, grown vegetables. Except for a couple of fancy parties she’d worked when she was…was…Misery shook her head. She knew she’d seen vegetables, but never in quantity, never as anything other than a luxury.
What the frag had she stumbled into? Nineteen fifty-three?
And what the frag is a muggle, anyway? That sounded like one of those weird literary references the hipsters in the West End liked to throw around to show how cultured they were, reading the classics no one ever thought of anymore.
As the car rolls to a stop in the antiquated service station- does his car actually run on just gas?- Misery turns to look at “Ben.” ”Nothing personal. I expect the worst from everyone. I’m sure you have your own reasons for doing this, but that’s just it.” She exhales slowly through her nose, her mouth a tight line before continuing. ”They’re your reasons. And all I have is a lifetime of training that says anyone with their own reasons for helping you is probably going to slot you off in some horrible way down the line. Innocent until proven guilty died with the last century, and any vestiges of trust I had died with my memory.”
Misery puts his contact details into her commlink under “That Guy.” She considers telling him that if he wants to imply that she’s a whore, he should just come out and say it, instead of saying he “suspects her” of combining sex with feeding. She’s done it, yes, with…someone…but its not her preferred method, she knows. Besides, if she’s not using her fancy powers, she needs to feed all of twice a year to keep going. She considers telling him all of this, considers pointing out that she has to kill with feeding to make more of herself, considers telling him a lot of things.
Then she shakes her head and opens the door. Softly, not ungently, Misery says, ”The emotion was love, actually.”
Misery steps out of the car, glances at the service station, looks back at her unwilling companion. ”I can find my way to your border town from here, and from there to ‘home.’ Feel free to come check in on me when you have time, but if I stay in this car, I’m going to snap. A couple hours’ walk in the dark will help me get my head on straighter.”
Misery reaches in back and pulls out her bag, withdrawing the credstick. Slotting it to her commlink, she creates an ARO for a thousand nuyen, from her funds, not the loan, and flicks it to Ben’s PAN. ”Here, for the ride. Buy those kids you mentioned something nice. I’ll see you in a day or two.” She starts to turn away, then wheels back and leans in. ”If you need further motivation, I’m serious. Give me what I need to get through this, and you can have that whole damn half-million nuyen apartment. Goodnight, Ben.”
Misery shuts the door and steps back, then turns and heads into the service station. She’s going to need a few things.November 6, 2018 at 12:06 pm #10427
Ben replied dryly “It is over 100km but I am sure that you can. Have fun, and try not to die on the road.” He refused the money offended, cursing quietly. Then shrugging and saying I do have my reasons, I gave my word to the person you were. You should know better than to toss money at me as if I am some kind of waiter. You lived with these people for some months, they opened up to you, invited you in. Gave you a small place to lay low in, and were concerned about your health. You say that it is all business but carrying your sorry ass over there every time you crushed, and the long weeks we’ve been into this rollercoaster, then when you wake up you are… well yourself. It is personal, Dana. “
He shrugged… and you feed a lot Dana, I think the medicines drain you or something, or perhaps you are just into fucking strangers.” well the last part was a joke, Ben clearly thinks that she feeds often, and says it with a grin – not as an offense. For some reason, their whole conversation seems to amuse him. His eyes are bright and his intent is sincere when he says “Good night, fake wife. Be safe, and when you are home, be nice to Maya and Ron. Even if they do want to slot you, they are teenagers, nothing more. [/b]
With that, he closed his door and drove off. Misery found herself in a small gas station, late at night with no transportation. The area was abandoned, and she could hear coyotes. Though she was the scariest thing in that night, the gas station had a small shop in it, mainly for snacks.
#OOC: Give me Intuition + navigation to get to punishment town.November 6, 2018 at 10:43 pm #10483
On her own, in hostile territory, in the dark, with no resources. Poorly armed, underinformed, in way over her head.
Her only contact someone she loathes and who seems to think of her as nothing more than a two-bit slut with nothing between the ears but the leavings of last night’s john.
On the run from nameless, faceless enemies that are sufficiently terrifying as to force her to slag her entire life.
Ahhhh, familiar ground at last.
Misery rolls her shoulders and cracks her neck. She’s been in this situation before, she knows. She came out on top then, too. First things first, though. A way in, food, a way out. Then scouting, an exit strategy, maybe making really clear to Ben what she thinks of him. Then the job.
And then she could tell Ben and her apparent employer and Maya and Ron- whoever the frag they are- to kindly frag off, and blow out of this country like the hounds of hell are after her.
But before any of that, she’s going to need a map.
Misery walks into the gas station, all smiles and light, a bubbly, energetic young woman with a great hoop and an easy smile. She explains yes sir, she’s all alone out here and no sir, she doesn’t need a ‘link. Just a map. She’s had a fight with her boyfriend and- *deep breath*- he’s left her here, and could the clerk be so kind as to- *big wet eyes*- sell her a mapsoft? She’s going to try hitchiking back to Tel Aviv because- *giggle*- at least she can have an adventure, and awww- *adoring look, peck on the cheek*- its a sweet offer but she doesn’t need a ride.
They eat it up, the morons.
Two minutes later she’s back outside, a mapsoft slotted into her commlink, with very detailed directions to pretty much every major location in Israel and a commcode to call if she gets lost.
The night is cool, the stars-actually visible this far from anything that could be considered civilization- are out, and she’s moving on her own at last. Misery laughs a strange, brittle laugh, a combination of fear, anger, and wild, exultant joy. Then she buttons up her jacket and unfurls her cloak, settling the shimmery grey fabric around her shoulders and pulling up the hood. A quick pair with her link, a tapped command, and she fades from view, her cloak rendering her invisible from any angle where the fabric conceals her body.
Then she starts to walk, slowly at first, but picking up speed, until her easy stride is eating up forty kilometers an hour.November 6, 2018 at 11:03 pm #10484
The clerk is terrified that the poor girl is alone, and unlike what she is accustomed to the UCAS, it takes a LOT of convincing not to call her a taxi or perhaps call the police. For what she knows, the man might have called the police nevertheless after she left. Because no longer than half an hour later, a car pulls over next to Misery, a police car. They address her in broken English (or was she talking in Hebrew?) “Is everything alright lady? You should not be here on foot at night”.November 6, 2018 at 11:04 pm #10485
Misery’s Hebrew is conversational, but even with a non-local’s barrier for tone and nuance, she still catches the patented cop wary-but-trying-to-appear-friendly vibe. KE and London’s finest used to do it all the time. How in god’s name did they find her so damned fast, though? It was the night clerk, it had to be. Cute girl walks in, obviously in distress, and he has to be the fragging hero and make sure she gets home okay.
Ugh. Busybody asshole.
While framing her reply, Misery gives the cops a once over, first physically, then astrally. Healthy, well-fed, magically acti-
Son of a slitch.
Okay, this changes things.
Suddenly Misery is less concerned with things like hero clerks and playing nice with beat cops, and a hell of a lot more concerned with things like blast radius, how much armor is on that car, and how fast she can step back about eleven meters to get out of the splash zone.
One’s got sustained spells, the other a really high magical index. Probably mages, then. Yeah, definitely spellworms. That means counterspelling, and that means she’s going to have to fry them both, and the car, and the radio, all in the same gesture. She can do it, sure, but it’s going to be tough, and the backlash is going to suck troll knob.
None of this crosses her face, however, and it all happens at light speed. Again, Misery marvels at how fast it comes. She can’t remember her name, or any movie that came out in the last two years, or where she’s been, but she can make a threat assessment and calculate responses- like if they’re active, a spirit will come searching if she geeks them, so she has maybe forty five seconds from start to finish- in seconds, without even trying.
They’ve got astral perception, same as she. They won’t see that she’s infected, not unless they look really hard and maybe not even then, but they’ll see her quickened spells. One against allergies, one to make her look good, one to make her fast and graceful, one to sharpen her mind. Nothing overtly hostile. Okay, that’s something to go on.
”I’m fine, officers.” Misery replies in accented Hebrew. ”Just enjoying the night air. Having some relationship issues, as I’m sure the man who called told you.” She manages to suppress a giggle at the thought. Her reactions to Ben, and his to her would certainly count as issues! ”I thought maybe a walk before I called for a ride would do me good, maybe help me get my head on straight.” She gestures at the cloak, which materializes into its shimmery silver-grey. ”I got this stupid thing at a fashion show in London, never thought I’d use its little features.” She smiles, careful not to show any fang. She hasn’t stopped walking, though she’s slowed it down to a merely human pace and they just roll along beside her.
She cocks her head, the picture of concerned innocence. ”I’ve a talent for health magic,” she said, thankful that all of her spells were of the same school, ”enough that I’m not too concerned about some creep in a panel van or a few coyotes out here. Oh dear,” she puts her hand to her chest, ”you’re not just out here for me, are you? I’d hate to think I dragged you all the way out to the middle of nowhere just to check on one girl!”November 6, 2018 at 11:37 pm #10489
One of the cops says dryly “Papers…” he means SIN, despite it not being a paper. Her SIN checks out, registered mage married to Ben. “You should get over these issues else you get deported. You have a conditional status, but as long as you are still married, Dana you are alright”
He laughs at the Fashion show comment “A magical researcher, AND a model… this is something.” His partner says “She sure looks the part”, the first cop replies “Oh shut up, excuse my friend he too has some relationship problems… lack of relationship.”
“We have few issues, first we need to fine you 100 shekels (25 nuyen) because you do not wear a yellow vest. If you are out of a car by the road you must wear one, this is the law. Second, you really shouldn’t walk here there are evil spirits from Jerusalem, very hostile, and very powerful. Perhaps we can give you a ride somewhere? To the minimum we should bring you to some place to buy a vest, but if we are to patrol this sector anyhow. We can take you whatever, you certainly don’t want to stay here all alone.”
Well, everyone with a pulse (perhaps except Ben) was interested in her, and these cops may have some interest. Though as far as Misery is concerned the cops are in a good mood and seem honest. Perhaps part of the reason for their good behavior is the fact that they wear cameras, and so everything they say and do is recorded somewhere. Or perhaps it is the numerous spells that they see on her, that does not make Dana seem like an easy mark.
November 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm #10524
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by Gilga.
Misery rolls her eyes, the picture of an affronted rich girl. ”I don’t have a vest, but…” she taps her commlink again, and suddenly her jacket and cloak are bright, canary yellow, almost reflective. Its actually kind of painful to look at in bright light, and she’d be visible from the horizon line. ”Will this do?” She asks, showing dimples, then she leans into the GMC Sidewinder- nice SUV, plenty of space for armor, going to be a right slitch to crack if she has to throw down with these well-meaning idiots- and looks at the indicated cop.
”You? No! Handsome, looks good in uniform, obviously talented…how are you not beating the girls away with a stick?” Misery lays it on pretty thick, trusting her adorable dimples and a lifetime of training in tone, body language, and observation to sell the lie. She didn’t have to lie much, he was pretty good looking. If he wasn’t a bloodsucker, these guys could solve her problem right here.
Internally, however, Misery is seething. These motherfraggers won’t even let her walk anywhere, and it’ll be a snowy day in some especially fiery hell before she gets in a cop car with two vampires. It is, at that moment, that Misery’s hatred for Israel, for Ben, for this whole situation solidifies. She hates everything she’s been confronted with in the past few hours. She hates the idiot who called these guys for being a busybody, these two for interfering, and Ben for a whole host of reasons, chief of which right now is that, knowing she’s walking, he didn’t tell her about the vest. She hates the terrain, the climate, the guttural language, the name of her SIN, and reserves a mental curse for whatever put her in this godsdamn situation in the first place.
But none of that shows on her face. Instead, Misery flicks over an ARO for the nuyen and tells the first cop, ”Not just a model and a researcher. I’m also a party girl and a gearhead who likes to get engine grease under her nails.” She turns to the second one again. ”Tell you what, baby. How about you give me your commcode, and if things don’t get worked out between me and my husband, I’ll give you a call and maybe we can go discuss your relationship status?”
Misery blushes artfully, then straightens. ”For now though, I’d really rather walk. You’ve pegged my profession correctly, a magical researcher, and I’m writing a thesis paper on free spirits for Stuttgart University in Berlin. Its much easier to study them in their native environment, and I’m well-versed in banishing if one becomes a problem. I’m hi-vis yellow now, so if there’s no other issues…?”November 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm #10531
The copper slots the credsticks, and seems satisfied with her improvisation. “Technically you need a vest, but as far as we are concerned this will do”
Well, the cops cannot, or would not resist Misery’s charms, she can tell that her flattery had an effect. They are even convinced by her words, but then as she spikes their interest, and even offers her comcode they assense her, and their version of assensing tells them that Misery is a minor mage (with 2 magic). “Ahm… we won’t force you to take a ride if you don’t want to, but… it would not be responsible to leave you alone. I’ll ask command to assign you a watcher. The spirit army will be there if you have any problems. Take care Dana… and call me!” He said and shared his contact details. Tomer Bibas. They give Misery a last appreciative (and shameless) look, and head off into the night.
To her misery, she notices that indeed a watcher arrives just a few seconds later, a powerful one.
#Cali can add Tomer Bibas as a loyalty 1, connection 3 vampire cop contact.
You had to flirt with them didn’t you 😉
Assensing Calista: 2#10d6t5 3 4
None of them saw through the mask explaining their relucance to actually leave you alone.
Watcher is F8, tasked to follow her around.November 7, 2018 at 2:50 pm #10540
Misery waits until the cops are out of sight. Then she screams at the top of her lungs, a sound of inarticulate, murderous fury. How fucking dare they?! This entire miserable, misogynist country could get eaten for all she cares! Misery takes a deep breath. Then she looks at the watcher. Its tasked to follow for now, not to report. She could kill it with minimal effort.
But she doesn’t.
Instead, she pulls out her commlink and steps off the road about a hundred meters, her cloak going back to invisibility. She faces away from the pavement, her cloak shielding her from passing cars, and she reaches for her masking. Evil spirits, huh? Fine. She’d look like one of them. She searches her memory, knowing she’s met free spirits before…
Holly surges forward, and she can see that her pretty blue eyes have gone a hard, glowing yellow-green. A scent of foxglove and nightshade, wild roses and black lotus rises off her skin as she moves, betraying her as a spirit in human form, and her eyes widen in surprise as the mask drops away and her astral sight sees the inhabiting toxic plant spirit for what it is, poisonous and deadly and enormously strong…
Misery shrieks at the memory, a sudden surge of pure, stark terror overtaking her before she remembers that she is here, not there. That life is gone, and its monsters with it.
But the spirit will do as a template. She makes some alterations, more suited to the climate and the locale, but keeps the general impression.
Then she calls Ben.
He picks up after a few rings, and Misery doesn’t let him get a word in edge-wise. ”Don’t. Whatever smug thing you’re about to say, don’t. I’m about twenty kilometers from where you left me. I just had a lovely chat with two very nice vampires who stopped me for not wearing a yellow vest. You really should have mentioned the vest. I’m so pissed at you and your countrymen that I can’t even speak. I’m not a child, I’m not mundane, and I’m not taking any more of this misogynistic, alpha-male, protect the innocent girl bulldrek.” She pauses for breath, then continues. ”You’re going to tell me everything you know about Gindi. Then you’re going to give me a way to get in touch with him. Then you’re going to tell me everything you know about the vampire, his location, everything. Then you’re going to tell me anything else that might be even the barest bit useful. You’re going to do it now.”
Misery pauses a beat, then drops the bombshell. ”Or I am going to call those two nice officers back here, explain that I wasn’t entirely truthful. I will drop my mask. They will take me to punishment town. I will tell them that the SIN is fake, that you’re not really my husband, and that you and Gindi are responsible for helping an unlicensed mage and banshee get into the country, falsifying her papers, and shielding her from the law. I will do so in front of a mage who can analyze the truth of my words. Then I will be deported and you will get to explain to Gindi why he’s suddenly the subject of a government inquiry, where his tame shadowrunner went, with his money, and why his job will no longer be completed.”
The hard-edged smile appears in her voice as she goes on. ”You want me to be your shadowrunner? Fine. I will. That means job only, no personal attachment. That means that I’m a deniable asset. Fine, I can live with that. It also means that I cut and run if the job goes sour. It means I do the job and leave. I don’t like you. I never will. I really don’t give a devil-rat’s hoop what you think of me. I’m sure you’re out of patience. So am I. I’m rude, you’re condescending. You imply I’m a slut. Maybe you’re right, I don’t know. But the woman you knew is dead, and I’m in her place. Don’t treat me like you would her.”
Finally she stops, waiting for a reply.
November 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm #10547
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by BrickyardBabe.
Ben remains silent and listens to the whole spill. He is drained and angry and does not feel that he deserves any of it… Yellow vest – doesn’t everyone knows that? It’s a small fine, why is she so worked out about it. A dinner in a nice restaurant is more expensive and she just offered to tip him 400 times he fine… He refused… So why is she so angry? He did his best to understand, and when he spoke he gave it whatever emotional empathy he could give the woman.
“Calm down Misery, please. First of all, I apologize. I did not mean to insult you. You had a difficult day, you are exhausted, emotionally confused and in a culture you do not understand.
It is a lot to process at once, and you do not even remember who you are. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for you.
I do not think that you are a whore, you are what you are, and your sexuality is yours and only yours and nobody has a right to criticize it. Especially not me, I am a bit of macho – I thought that this is what you needed feeling so lost. Someone that has it all figured out, to let you adjust gradually to this strange place with strange people and a culture which is very different than what you can imagine. I… never meant to offend you so much.
I can tell you all the things that you want, but I cannot do it on the phone. Is there anything I can do for you now? Do you want me to pick you up? Do you want to meet in punishment town after you fed?
I’ll tell you anything you wish, and I’ll find you a relatively safe hotel room in Tel Aviv. No pressures, the social connections you made prior to losing your memory should not matter. You are not the same person, and I should think about your emotions rather than about their emotions. I did it all wrong…
About our relationship, we were never lovers Misery. It was professional, the thing is… after carrying you in and out of that miserable place, it became more than professional for me. It is also, not your fault and I don’ expect you to feel the same. You do not remember, I am just an annoying stranger, I get it – perhaps this is what you really thought about me before, but you kept it to yourself. Please, in all modesty, what do you want me to do now?”November 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm #10554
Misery paces a few steps to one side, glancing back at the watcher irritatedly…only to find that it hasn’t moved. ”Wait one.” she says hurriedly. She takes a few more steps. No response. A few more still. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. She might as well be invisible for all the spirit seems to notice.
”Ahhh, civility at last.” Misery breathes. ”I see we have finally approached common ground. Alright, you were professional enough just there, so I’ll extend you the same courtesy.” Misery sighs heavily. Her rage is ebbing, replaced by a bone-deep weariness. Its been a long night already, at the end of a long month, even if she doesn’t remember it. ”I don’t want you to do anything, sir. But I need you to get that data for me. I’ll stay in punishment town tonight. Don’t bother with a hotel.” Misery considers mentioning that nice hotels have nice protections, and wards and magic and she get along like water and thermite. But she doesn’t.
”I’m never going to adjust to this place, sir. It goes against everything that is normal in the sixth world, and its culture is absolutely oppressive to me. Ripping the bandage off quickly is the easiest solution right now. That means get the resources, scout, do the job, and leave. If you really want to make yourself useful, see if you can find me a doss with a garage as close to this guy’s lair as you can without being physically inside it.” She laughs softly. ”Before you give me a lecture on the dangers of any old city, please remember that I cut my teeth in the Lambeth Containment Zone and…and…”
Lambeth. London. Toxic magic, old magic. Below. Cold. Dark. Ghouls. Shrieking. Starvation. Fear.
It all comes in a rapid series of frozen images, and for several seconds, Misery just shakes. Gods, who had she been? What had she done?
Belatedly, she remembers the comm call. Shaken, but her voice firming as she speaks, Misery says, ”Sorry. Anyway. Doss, garage. And another runner. At least one. The more cybered and less spooky, the better. If I’m going to raid a vampire lair, I want a cannon. I’m talking dead inside, more-machine-than-man-now, no soul left kind of cybered. I’ll catch you tomorrow afternoon.”
November 7, 2018 at 7:51 pm #10561
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by BrickyardBabe.
Ben sighed “You are not going to raid any layer. Not even if there are ten like you. They tried that already with superior mojo. You got the job because you have certain physical assets that may get you invited in. Unlike other supermodels… You may actually be able to surprise and kill the man once he trusts you. The most optimistic estimation is that within a month or two you’ll get close enough to the head of the serpent. So please, do not talk about it on the phone. When you can stomach my pretty face we get to talk, and wear your biomonitor…”
Punishment town looks like a medieval town on top of a hill, surrounded by a two-meter fence. There are armed guards patrolling the fences and spirits, many spirits as well that patrol the town. Looking at the scenery from a nearby hill makes you believe that i is one big fish-pond for vampires. Misery can already feel the background count of that place, misery, desperation, rage, and plenty of other negative emotions. Not that she is a stranger to such places, but just seeing it takes a toll.
Sneaking in may be very difficult carrying so many spells, and with spirits. She’ll have to think of something smart or talk her way through the gate.
November 7, 2018 at 9:10 pm #10572
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by Gilga.
”You are not going to-“
Well, there goes the civility. Misery thinks to herself. Then she shrugs, takes the commlink from her ear, and hangs up. She doesn’t need to hear what he has to say, anyway. Whatever it is, what he’s doing to her state of mind isn’t worth it.
Misery considers throwing her commlink into the desert for a moment, then shakes her head. No, not until she has another one. She does, however, use it to log into her SIN’s MeFeed, which Ben had so obligingly told her she has. She sees a bunch of people she’s never met, commenting on photos she’s never taken about stories she’s never told. She stares at it a moment, disgusted by it all, wondering if out there somewhere there was a real one, something that would tell her about her life. Does she have pictures of birthday parties? Weddings? Graduations? Are there comments about things she likes, little videos she’d find funny or inspiring? Does she have friends?
Misery flicks over to options and sets the entire profile to private. There. Now she has an online presence, but its hidden. A decker could get in, she knows, but a casual inspection won’t. She’ll have something there if her name is searched, one picture, and that’s it. She selects a profile picture that is as vanilla as possible.
Then she deletes the rest. Then she unfriends everyone. Then she blocks everyone. Then she deletes every single post made from or to the account.
Misery puts the commlink away. Next order of business, the biomonitor. She pulls it out and looks at it. Its a small bracelet style thing, and she cocks her head as, just as with the Ares Viper, data comes flowing into her head from some nebulous source. Bund für Mobilen Notfall-Arzteinsatz M.2 biomonitor. Can be used for the monitoring and retrieval of BuMoNa patrons. Provides vital statistics and information on a rolling basis. Wireless enabled. Pretty standard, she knows somehow. Gives her name and info to whoever is watching in real time. Cute.
Misery looks from the biomonitor to her Vashon Island Cloak, then back to the biomonitor. Tracking devices are so last season. She thinks wryly. She walks out from the road a few hundred meters and smiles sharply. Then she draws back her arm and lobs the damned thing straight into the air, marshaling her will as it goes up.
As the biomonitor reaches the apex of its arc, she points an imperious finger at it, resisting the urge to shout, “Pull!” A lightning bolt, just a piddling little thing compared to the big monsters she can throw, but powerful enough. It catches the biomonitor with a flash of actinic light and the sharp smell of ozone permeates the air. What falls is nothing more than a charred lump of metal and plastic.
Track that, you ass.
She spends a handful of seconds scrubbing her astral traces, then turns and begins to run, before anything can home in on her little light show. HMHVV has its privileges, and after only a few dozen steps, she’s calmly jogging along at around seventy kilometers an hour, and she feels like she can keep it up forever.
Its another forty minutes of jogging before she crests a hill and sees the rather blandly-named “Punishment town.” Its a town alright, a pestilent shithole that teems with rage and anger and naked fear, and a dozen other emotions, pulsing with greed and hunger and and an inimitable self. She stops at the top of the hill and drinks it in, breathing deeply of the night air.
Misery’s magic is rooted in negative emotion. In hate, and power, and selfishness. It thrives on lust and fury and pain. Yes, yes this will do nicely.
She warps her masking again, changing back into a human, albeit one with a magical index nearly as high as the real thing. She lights up her power focus, adding its light to her own. The only thing she changes is to appear metahuman, a dryad rather than a banshee. Then, her power lighting her way, she calmly walks down the hill, turning her cloak sunfire yellow again as she crosses the last two kilometers to the main gate. She strides up like she owns the place, her arms crossed over her chest, her walk for the last hundred meters or so slow and deliberately provocative, and she schools her face into an expression of irritated authority as she walks up and waits to be challenged.November 8, 2018 at 1:15 am #10575
The profile is extensive, but she deletes it in a few scripts. She is nobody again…
Approaching the town she is unmolested, almost until the gate. The only thing that greets her are a few flying eyes. These seem to flock above the city like a flies on a corpse, though some of them explicitly follow Misery. Apparently, the orders are to prevent things from getting out, not getting in.
November 8, 2018 at 11:05 pm #10634
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by Gilga.
Misery rolls up to the gate more or less unchallenged, her determined stride only followed by a few eye-in-the-sky type drones, buzzing almost silently. She pays them no mind, not giving them a single glance, and passes through the gate until she reaches the guards, which are, to her surprise, mostly facing the other way. Of the six guards she can see, only one faces outward, presumably to call an alert for hungry spirits or approaching wayward banshees.
Misery puts a little extra kink in her step, and he fails signally at the second part of her job description, gawking at the pretty Banshee just rolling out of the desert at him.
Misery comes to a halt a few arms lengths away, her arms still crossed under her breasts and raises an eyebrow. The guard stammers out a challenge, but she cuts him off in mid-sentence, using the imperious tone of someone who has important things to do and doesn’t want to waste time with a flunky.
”Not now, young man. I’m a magical researcher on contract to the astral division of the Ministry of Defense, here to do important research on the long-term effects of incarceration and how it affects background count, as the resultant mana flows may constitute a threat to national security.” She gestures at the unbroken line of footprints behind her. ”I’ve had a long night and a long walk. I have proper credentials and you can call Tomer Bibas of the local constabulary to verify my story, as he kindly offered me assistance earlier tonight.” Her voice is not yet a shout, but it snaps, a whipcrack of command under the irritated tones.
In some cultures, particularly those with a heavy police and military presence, it is presumed that she who shouts has the authority to do so. The guard certainly wasn’t going to contradict this assumption, not when a beautiful, irritated, battlemage like Misery is doing the shouting.
Misery lists off Tomer’s commcode and badge number, along with the time and place of the encounter. Starry-eyed, the guard takes down the details, but doesn’t offer more than a perfunctory scan of her documents. Then he gets the hell out of her way, and Misery has to work hard not to smirk.
If only every man in this country was so easy to deal with!
Misery is waved in without fanfare, and she asks directions to the local watering hole, along with a place to get some basic electronics gear and a room for the night. Finally, she asks for a doctor, figuring with all the tensions around here fights couldn’t be all that uncommon. She notes the nice officer’s responses in her commlink, nods to him, and strides on through. Doctor first. Then a new commlink. Then everything else.
Time to get to work.
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