The Gathering of Clouds

A brief recap:

Zane carries with him a spirit known as "The Red Wolf". Accelletrix claimed it is one of their own, unjustly murdered by UncleThing, a Scavenger. UncleThing is certainly fighting to get it again, and his old Nemesis, Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos from the Greater Thelema Society has entered the picture.

Through luck and manipulation, Papa has Zane, as well as Katie and Mara, in his luxurious estate Ravenside Manor. 

Meanwhile Prince is with Blackjack of Accelletrix, having just become UncleThing's enemy, and having severly undermined the trust many scavengers have in the mysterious electronic godfather figure. 

Zane's best shot is with a fourth group: The Sisterhood of Salem, lead by the fearsome Marianna, who, apparently out of nothing but altruisim, wish to rehabilitate the Wolf -a wild card neither group particularly prefers. 

4 out of 7, and 2 to go, we conitnue our journey through the Shadowside. 

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Forge's picture

10 AM. 

Time to wake up.

Katie had innocent, sweet dreams of her childhood -before things went down the drain, that is, so a brief period. In those dreams Mara is now present, aged as a child just like her, playing with her toys, playing hide and seek, being the sweet sister Katie never had. It is a pleasant dream. 

And the sun comes shining through the rich velvet curtains, landing on Katie's eyes and waking her up. She discovers Mara has officially nominated her as a life-size teddy bear, and is hugging her even as she sleeps still. It's easy to see why Turtle fell in love with her: some women look better without makeup than with it, and Mara is one of them. Plus, there is the whole vulnerability/trust aspect. She is a *good* person. 

Zane has just woken up too, in the bed next to Katie's. After his strange dream of running through a forest being chased by what sounded like an army of footsteps, he feels puzzled, but physically refreshed, full of energy, very lucid, ready to take on the world. 

Two closets in the room: one is full of male clothes, expensive suits of all kinds, but all several sizes too big. Zane may have to improvise. The other is full of expensive designer dresses, proper for high society events and parties and hobnobbing the corridors of power. It also has a wide selection of white greek togas, which seems to be the indoors uniform of all the girls -Mara confirms this.

Prince, many many miles away in a military base known as Sierra 7, also wakes up with the alarm clock after sailing tranquil in the ship Sanity. He too feels renewed, lucid and ready to face the brave new world. He has a change of clothes from his own backpack, and there are showers down the hall, used currently by other soldiers.

Prince, Katie and Mara are all able to take a shower without incident, and dress -in whichever chosen manner- in time for their engagements at 10 AM.

At Ravenside Manor, Tatiana politely knocks on the door, and invites Zane, Katie and Mara for breakfast, while at Sierra 7, Blackjack rings Prince's cellphone and calls him down to the cafeteria.

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Forge's picture

At Ravenside Manor, the table is richly set: a veritable buffet with many kinds of dishes, every single one carefully arranged on the plate, surely by a chef who cares about presentation just as much as following a recipe. Mara briefly comments that she doesn't know what happens to the extra food -something about all two dozen girls in the house eating like kittens and Papadoupolos like a lion- it's an Ukranian saying that doesn't translate too well. 

Papadoupolos himself is nowhere to be seen, but sends words with Tatiana to Zane, Katie and Mara to please help themselves as he will join them soon. 

Many of the girls recognize Mara, but seem too afraid to strike conversation. Likewise, Mara is hesitant to stir things at the moment, and tries to keep to herself during the meal. It's awkard, to visit your fellow inmates after you broke out of prison five years ago, and when it's uncertain whether or how you'll be let out once again.

Meanwhile at Sierra 7 Prince finds himself in what looks very much like a college cafeteria, where soldiers with trays line up to receive the meal of the day. Another soldier, thinking him a newbie, carded him through several doors as a favor to get there.

Blackjack is likewise nowhere to be seen, even though he himself called Prince down to the cafeteria, but it's safe to assume the agent already ate, and is maybe dealing with other business. The poached eggs and ham smell good.

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Jack of Spades's picture

Markus "Prince" Crown

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{So Jonah, what sort of ghost powers do I get form you? Can I fly? Walk through walls? May as well flex our muscles a bit sometime to get used to it. It doesn't look like you'll be finding a new host any time soon.}

 

{Gods that breakfast sounds good, but it might be bugged... Can you bug food? I bet they can...  fuck it. I'm hungry.}

[He takes a tray, goes through the line, getting a good helping of whatever doens't have radio antennae coming out of it, and he finds a place to sit down alone.]

{I'll eat, and then I'll find a way to get to Othersiders.} 

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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[Katie finds as many suits that will fit her and places them inside whatever bags she can gather. She wears one on herself, a light color - white or yellow or whatever, and turns to Mara. Katie feels like Annie Lennox. She straightens her tie and sighs in relief.]

Mara, my love, across and ocean of time. ... I was yours, you were mine.

Mara, my dear, hold me tightly tonight. ... And prepare for the fight.

[Katie follows the group down to breakfast. On the way down she mutters to herself lyrics.] But Oh Ma-a-a-r-a. With your blood still warm on the ground. Mara. And I swear to the stars - and I swear to the staaaaars...I'll burn this whole city down

[Katie sits to eat.] Hey Zane, what can we do to build trust with you? I want to prove we're here to help you. [Katie starts eating, avoiding anything with meat in it.]

{I'm trying to figure out how we can live this luxurious lifestyle without having to deal with ritual Eli Roth enatcments. Be nice, for once, to not have to scrounge for change.}

I don't exactly have a home to go back to. At my apartment - I didn't have much. Uncle promised a lot of things, but all I got was a place to live and a phone-leash he could dangle me with. Everything I have right now is in this messanger bag at my side. My laptop. Some supplies. And this deck I've been working on. ...[Katie sighs over some fruit.] I hope my old roommater is ok.

So what about you Zane. What do you have to go back to?

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Forge's picture

Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos

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[Papadoupolos walks in the large dining room wielding what looks like a TV remote control. He points and clicks -behold: it actually *was* a TV remote control. The giant flat screen TV embedded in the corner between the wall and the vaulted ceiling above the church-like windows to the east side of the long table -which runs north-south- turns on -with the image of Blackjack. Katie and Zane instantly recognize the Accelletrix agent. Papadoupolos then hands the remote to young Irina next to him -her hair strangely disheveled- who takes it and quietly goes to store it inside the top drawer of a Louis XVI cupboard-like furniture piece.]

[Papadoupolos speaks]

You're on speaker, Mr. David, and in very fine company as you can see, might I add. Please now, could you repeat your offer, so that my associates can hear?

[Papadoupolos smiles warmly to Katie, Mara and Zane. He's wearing a different robe today, black with red highlights, and the GTS logo proudly emblazoned over the heart. The obese old man sits at the head of the table, in a chair so wide it might was well be a throne. Katie recognizes the chair. It's exactly the same from Mara's Shadowside nightmare vision. Tatiana quickly, and unprompted, begins pouring wine into Papa's glass.]

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Forge's picture

Blackjack

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I said a million dollars. I know you're a rich man, Pagonis. But what you're buying is insurance and protection against UncleThing.

[Blackjack spots Prince alone in a table, eating his breakfast. He hurriedly waves at him to come over. Prince sees Blackjack walking away from the cafeteria, into a hallway, then turning one corner after another, trying to lose the crowd and speak privately.]

[Prince sees Blackjack is using videoconferencing from his smartphone.]

Zane's been found [Blackjack whispers to Prince, on the side, and points to the screen in the smartphone, which shows Zane, Katie and Mara just having had breakfast, still at the table]. Neither by your scavs nor by my S&R team, but by a shady third party who's actually rather famous for finding things -guess I shouldn't be surprised. [saying so, he returns to his normal tone of voice to face Papa again.]

I assume there's no use negotiating nor bargaining. You already know how vital the Wolf is to the corporation, I have the VP of finance desperately trying to join in the call. This could reach up all the way to the CEO. Your choice is clear, Papa. You've played the game for a long time staying neutral, but in the next few minutes you're going to make an enemy of either UncleThing and his cadre of two dozen nerds, or the entirety of Accelletrix Corporation, all over the globe. It's not a hard choice, old man. Not with a million dollars to sweeten the pot. 

Plus, you've already made up your mind, haven't you? You wouldn't have called me otherwise. You didn't call UncleThing and allowed him to make you an offer. You didn't call anyone else but me. You would have kept Zane as your ace in the sleeve for much, much longer. So. Let's cut the market haggling and just skip straight to the logistics of the exchange. You have Swiss bank accounts, yes?

[Prince can see the smartphone is showing up the icon of "Rogers, VP Finance" as dialing in. Blackjack hits the "ignore" button. 3 seconds later, the icon appears again.]

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Forge's picture

Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos

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Why I *do* have Swiss bank accounts. Too many, as a matter of fact. A million dollars is what I blew for my birthday, agent. And protection from UncleThing? Don't you know that UncleThing has been my enemy for decades? If he *could* harm me, he would have. 

But... perhaps I am being selfish. Perhaps, my associates would find a use for the million dollars themselves. [he looks to Katie and Mara]

What do you say, dear partners? Would you like 1 million dollars from Accelletrix? All yours. I don't need the money. You could consider it as a peace offering gift, from good ole Papa, eh? To make up for the sour times, dear Mara. 

Didn't I promise you I would trade for nothing but a kiss on the cheek, most chaste? I am a man of my word. What say you?

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Forge's picture

Mara

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[Mara, who had been rather happy up to this point listening to Katie's song, even trying not to giggle out of respect for the other prisoners, is now back to being slightly worried. She looks at Katie when Pagonis makes his offer. Mara is unsure. Uncertain. For things like this she needed Turtle before. Once a decision was made, she brought up the Strong Siberian Woman act and went through with it. But before, she needs guidance. She looks up to Katie, then Zane, then Katie.]

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Forge's picture

Turtle Jim

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It's a trap. I don't know how. I don't have the faintest idea how this ends up benefitting Papa, but words came out of his mouth: therefore it is a trap. Is that simple, Katie. Just.. that's the default setting. 

[Katie can feel Turtle's is trying his hardest to figure out what the endgame is, but is coming up with blanks. Turtle was never much of a brainy guy.]

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Jack of Spades's picture

(sorry, busy day for me; I won't be able to really comment until later. This is just a heads up about that.)

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Trapturtle's picture

Zane Carter

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Well I hate to break it to you, but I'm not for sale asshole. 

[Zane says at the screen.] 

{What the hell am I doing? Do I really want to piss off Accelltrix?}

Before UncleThing tried to break me out of the Zapper, you were about to turn me to goop. I've seen what your machines do to people, its not pretty. You said it yourself, Accelltrix's goal is to conquer, to exploit. Well I'm tired of being exploited. Thanks for the food.

 

[Zane heads for the exit, looking rather rediculous in the oversized clothes he had found.]

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Forge's picture

Blackjack

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Goddamnit Zane, can't you see that if you don't come willingly Papadoupolos has no qualms with sedating you, or worse? Maybe he already did -did you enjoy your breakfast? Hate to break it to you, but you ARE in Mind Controls R Us right now, eating the food, breathing the air, hell, wearing *his* fucking clothes. You think the girls serve him willingly? You think the air isn't pumped full of pheromones -have you forgotten.... have you forgotten the chopper? It was about to crash, and the goop, MY goop, was the only parachute, and I gave it to you, knowing that even if I survived the crash I'd still have to deal with the pack of Somosas on the ground anyway, alone. Have you forgotten? But I did it because we, *WE* had to save Veronica, we had to return her back home!

She is basically a lost girl and you're the goddamn million-dollar Samaritan bringing her back to the people who care for her! Of course we wouldn't hurt her, is the *last* thing we want! And you? We're the ONLY group with the technology to pull her out of you without killing you. You know what Uncle had planned for you? Come the fuck back to your senses!

[If any of what Blackjack said is true regarding Papadoupolos' mind control, the old man shows no reaction other than a pleased smile, nor does he instruct any of his minions to get into Zane's way.]

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Forge's picture

Jonah Montclair

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Well there's one trick I learned how to do [responds Jonah to Prince's question], while aboard the Sanity, aye. I can summon the winds to act like me very own hands! Fill my sails! Fetch me things! Or just plain make a mess of cupboards and shelves, eheha. One time I did rise up in the air, carried aloft as if by a mighty hand. I don't know if this works outside of the Dark Swirling Place, for I had never been out until I set sails with you yester-day, but I suppose we could try!

[Jonah would continue, but events in Blackjack's "pocket window" as he refers to the Smartphone hint him that he should try to catch up and understand, for the time being. The modern world is as dazzling as is baffling.]

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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[Katie stands and stops Zane, touching his shoulder, eyes on the
screen.]
Hold on one moment, friend. [She walks over and looks Blackjack in the eyes.]

Mara is mine. Zane here is mine. Prince there, he's mine too. These are my people.

Now the way I see it, our benefactor here has no need for your petty money. I'm sure he's got piles of money and beautiful women to roll around in. Not only that, but he'll help us out for "free" if it means a fatal blow to UncleThing - which we plan to do. We will not be blackmailed and terrorized by Uncle any more. Nor will my people allow you and your corporation to manipulate or control us. We will find a safe haven, and we will not be a part of your manipulative plans, or Uncle's shadow war,
or Papa's pleasure palace [Then in whisper to Papa.] No offense.

[Katie walks closer, straightening her tie, hands steepled and eyes dead serious.] So here's my proposition for you. Walk away. We will not be Papadoupolos' goons - his understanding with us is one, so far, of mutual respect. We will not be UncleThing's puppets on a string, we are close to locating him and destroying him once and for all. We will not be your corporate stooges, and we will not turn over Zane. All that can come of this is bad. For you.

[Katie moves back to Mara, touching her hair.] Mara here has made her choice, she will not go back to enslavement. [Katie moves to Zane.] Zane here has already voiced his choice. He will not go back to you or Uncle or anyone else. [Katie looks up to where Prince would be behind Blackjack.] Markus there made his
choice for now, which I respect. He's welcome back to our good safe harbour when he wants. [Katie turns and looks Blackjack in the eyes.] Turtle died protecting Zane. I am willing to die protecting him too, if you force your hand. This is non negotiable. Leave the four of us alone. No more deals. In case you think you're going to outmaneuver me here...know this.

I can tell you I don't have money, I don't want yours and I don't need money. What I do have are a very particular set
of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my us go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you. If you don't walk away now, if you don't leave us alone - and this is a promise - I will rip both your balls off, BlackJack, and wear them around my neck. Are we clear?

[Katie touches Zane's shoulder one last time with a nod, then moves to Papadoupolos and kisses him on the cheek.] I'm not Mara, so consider that one charity. [Katie moves to Mara and sits next to her, hands steepled, eyes on the monitor. She whispers to Mara.] I hope I didn't just dig our graves. But I can't sit by and take this any more, you and Zane deserve better. I'm Peter Pan and you are all my Lost Boys.

{Well Turtle, finally my arrogance and anti-authoritarian zealousness pays off. Let's hope we all survive this. I hope I'm making you proud Turtle.}

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Forge's picture

Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos

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Wonderful! Wonderful!! Ah-ha-ha-ha!! [Papadoupolos' belly laughter comes joyous and spontaneous!] Such fire! Such moxy! [he even claps at Katie's performance, and has a wolfish grin when she kisses his cheek].

I'm sorry Mr. David, but it would seem my associates are not inclined to negotiation! My hands are tied! Oh I truly wish I could help you, perhaps next time! Pass my regards to dearest Astrid, and please, don't bother sending a squad of visitors to Ravenside -my guests have plans of their own and will not be honoring my humble Manor with their presence for much longer. Where will they go? Only the flowers know, carried as they are by the morning breeze!

I say good-bye, sir! 

["No, Pagonis, WAI-" but Pagonis hangs up the phone, and resumes his hearty belly laugh]

By Zeus that was the most entertainment I've had in ages, my dear Katie, it was well worth a million dollars!

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Forge's picture

Turtle Jim

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Holy shit, Katie. Holy shitballs and matzo.

I think you may have just killed us all, but by God I don't know how you got out of bed this morning beating the gravitational pull of your planteray-sized balls. 

...

And dying ain't so bad, anyway.

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Forge's picture

Blackjack

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[after the call hangs up, Blackjack remains frozen for about 5 seconds. Prince can see his chest breathing in and out, deeply. The icon comes up again. "Rogers, VP Finance." Blackjack presses the "Answer" button.]

["John!" begins the voice from the phone "What the fuck?! How much did you pay? If you went over 20 mill I'll have your fucking pensio". Blackjack hangs up.]

[He turns to face Prince.]

Level with me. Pick a side. Right now. 

[His voice is so eerily calm, that it wouldn't be out of character for the agent to turn to murder the next minute.]

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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[When the monitor goes off, Katie sighs and crumbles into herself...eyes closed and breathing.] I hope years from now you remember this. I hope you understand my sacrifice. Mara, worst case, you get brushed off and lose both me and Turtle as you find safety in the Sisters. Zane, I may have bought you time to escape to somewhere. I've just put a face out there for Accellatrix facehairs. Either I swing my king kong balls so hard I blast through every roadblock they've put up, or I'm going to die for your sins.

[Katie kisses Mara on the head.] I think we'll turn out ok, hun. But you need to find a safe place, more than anything. [She turns to Zane.] Hey, you tell me what you think on the way out of here. [Finally turning to Papadoulopos, she sits straight and smiles.]

Look, Papa, Thank you. I know no one does anything for free. When we leave here, I'm open to doing you favors, though you know my character by now - what I will and will not put up with. So you'll have to lie to me a lot better than Mr. David there. When we leave here, I'm not going to ask for your safe harbour... or come running back to you when things go bad. Whatever debts we have now, I want to clear up.

Alright. Here's my plan. We have to swing by and talk to Mariana or whoever is responsible for the hippies. You have any slight with them, Papa? I don't want to step on your toes. We see if the sisters can help us build a Neverland. I want a place for all the Lost Girls, those of us who want no part in this. Escaping from Captain Hook and his pirates.

I don't know if Prince is still meeting us up at the Othersiders or whatever bar it was. I think it's going to be a trap. But I have to go, so we need to figure out a contingency for dealing with Plan Bs.

Then our main objective. I want to see UncleThing face to face. Anyone have an idea how I can get to the bottom of tha-

[Katie suddenly turns to Papa.] Can you fund me? If I do your dirty work? If you're the cloak, and I'm the dagger? Something that doesn't involve...[Katie motions to Mara and the servant girls.] Playtime. Or binders full of women. I want to cause chaos and blow shit up and I need cash.

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Jack of Spades's picture

No whammy no whammy no whammy, I need this to be good!
Rolled 3d20. Result: 1, 17, 6 = 24.

Markus "Prince" Crown

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(OOC: LOL at the binders of women!)

[He stares at the screen stunned as well.]

[and then mutters under his breath]
God damn Anne... I've been trying to get people off our back and you go trying to piss off every dan one of them.

{I don't like this... I mean, she means well? Does she? She's threatening now, and that guy behind her looked like Seymore from Final Fantasy X in a weird sort of way. And everyone else... fuck, no one's being honest about anything, EXCEPT for the Men in Black here. But I'm not going to just bend over.}

(OOC: I'll spend beleif to boost this roll. I think I have more than 10 after the 20's and 19's he's rolled in some high stakes faceoffs)

[He looks up, locks eyes with Blackjack, and doesn't back away from his stare.]

Don't. You. Threaten. Me. You owe me! If it wasn't for me you'd have been dead. TWICE! You think Turtle didn't want you dead when we first crossed? Remember how I got people to back down then? And then again when they had AK's. And then I got us fucking out of that theater without a god damn scratch!

(Roll of charisma to make his point. Not necessarily intimidate, but he's making a damn good point about what he's done for him.)

Alright Blackjack. I'm on your side. But I want to do this my way. I want don't want my spirits turned to goo. Unless they're some fucker like the tooth fairy. I've got one with me, that deserves a better host, and I promised to give it to him rather than see him gooped. And somewhere, there's another entity. I think he's a dangerous one, more than most because I think he's attack OUR side of the world. 

 I'll support you guys. And you support me. Because you need someone like me. And Fuck the Sisters. Fuck Uncle. Fuck those guys with Ak's you called Somosas. {Isn't that some sort of food?} Fuck that old guy. {I feel like I'm siding against Ulfric Stormcloak in Skyrim. Most people think that just because the rebellion is smaller, they're the good guys. But that isn't always the case.}

So far, you're the only players in this Shadow Game that are being open about what you're doing. Even if it's shifty.  

If that sounds like a reasonable deal to you, then count me in.  [he holds out his hand]
So am I a Free Agent, or an Acceletrix Agent?

(there's multiple rolls because I'm not sure how many he needs. To convince Blackjack he's valuable. To agree to his terms. And to get some fucking respect because DAMN Prince doesn't have a scratch on him! He's done pretty fucking awesome!

(Edit: Well, if my rolls are in the order I made them... it looks like he might get his terms met! And maybe I can spend some beleif to get that respect. Or maybe he just earned it.) 

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Trapturtle's picture

Rolled 1d20. Result: 10 = 10.

Zane Carter

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Well to be honest, as much as I hate Accelltrix and don't want to be turned into a goop smoothie, I owe Blackjack. He saved my ass, twice. But before anything else, I want to see the gypsies, I'm hoping they can help me with my wolf problem.

{No offense.}

You know it's funny, before all this I was going to be a psychologist. I wanted to help people. It seems like everyone involved with the Shadowside just wants to manipulate, control, and exploit. From what I've gathered, Big Sis seems to want to help people. I can respect that. I think they should be our first stop, but how do we get there? Do we even know how to find them?

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DarkMoonINC's picture

Katie Hensmith

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You know what's the funniest part about this whole thing, Z man? [Katie laughs, warming up to him.] As far as I can tell, that Blackjack guy is the only one who hasn't tried to screw us. He's been straight foreword, he's been open, he's helped people out. In a way, part of me is pretty sure I'm the villain of the story. Like somehow, Mister David is just poor shmuck in middle management and all he wants is to do his job and get out of this with a retirement package before he's too crippled to enjoy it.

Unclething, I think, we all agree on disliking. Even if I love some Scavs. The fish rots from the head, as Doctor Horrible so terribly quoted. And UncleThing is a cancer to be culled. We're in agreement on that.

Papa up there? Every ounce of Turtle and Mara here want to put him in the dirt. I probably made the worst mistake of my life by striking a deal with this devil. So there's two strikes on my soul, eh? I get it, I see why we should dislike him. [Katie stands up, finished with her food.]

But here's why I did what I did. Morality. I believe. At a fundamental level. That Accellatrix's policies and methods are against every fiber of my core being. So... no matter [Katie makes dramatic monologue hand movements like she's an italian villain.] ... HOW nice - Blackjack may be inside. No matter how much we think he's helped us. He works for - what is in my world, the New World Order. Jackboot nazi corporations. They are the Nike and McDonalds of this spirit war. They're the Republican backed Homeland Security.

You're not some helpless guy with an uncontrollable wolf spirit inside you. You're a barcode to them. The wolf is simply an asset or a liability. If you benefit them, they will pay you and use you like a car battery. When you no longer benefit them, then they start doing risk assesment on you. They don't care about you Zane. Not about Prince or Me or anyone.

I can't agree with that. So I've made my choice. And you guys may turn your backs on me, you may hate me, you may disagree. Right now I only imagine Prince is selling me out just to save his skin - I can't blame him. We've put him in a terrible position. I'd be surprised if he isn't sent to kill me himself - that's how movie irony would work. [Katie laughs, straightening her tie.] Part of me wants him to cut out one of my eyes, or shoot me in the eye and let me survive. Because I'll be damned if I don't feel like Nick Fury right now. [Katie takes a deep breath.] {I chew scenery worse than Shatner.}

I'm going to talk to Sis. If they try the same bullshit game as Accell and Thelema and Scav wants to play - I'll give them the same middle finger. If that doesn't work, on to the Somosa, and each and other group. SOMEONE in this game has got to have a get out of jail card.

Like a spiritual underground railroad...

By the way, Papa, these suits are lovely. Very lovely. Make me feel like smoking cigars and crushing the hopes and dreams of Plebs. Thank you. So ... about what I said. What can we do for you, what can you do for us, and how do we chat with Mariana?

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(OOC: I like how Prince is with Accel wearing crumpled clothes out of a backpack, and she's anti-Accel wearing the fancy suit. :P I also really want to find a chance to get Prince on a phone call with Anne. Want to do a chat over gmail or reddit messages and post it here in one chunk sometime?)

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(I PMed you on Reddit about this. My decision, and Forge can strike me down if he disagrees, is that we should approach each other and set up a way to have private character discussions outside of this forum. Then we need to figure out a way to record them and post the chat on this site for posterity sake. For canon official clarification. It also means all private discussions between players and characters will not have rolls associated, and no major changes to the game. But yeah, it'll be a great way to handle those "awkward" conversations outside of single daily posts.)

(Also I love all you guys.)

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Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos

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[Papadoupolos rises from his seat, content]

Marianna LeFleur is expecting you -she is the "flower carried by the gentle breeze" I told Blackjack about, Le *Fleur*, see? Haha. What is life without games? Don't you worry: the stuck-up agent won't get the reference until after it has happened, and so I'll laugh a second time. I talked to Marianna this morning, and she'll be glad to assist you, as was her intention in the first place, before things became so fascinatingly derailed. Oh yes, I chat with her just as often as I do with Astrid, or Yamato, or Father Barnabas, etcetera, etcetera. You don't get to live this long without meeting a lot people, -in fact UncleThing is the outlier in the group, all by himself in an electronic corner. He's at best a hobby of mine.

[he then adopts a much more serious tone, as Katie speaks of working together.]

Dear Katie, I was young once, too, and I believed in things. I made it my mission to save all the wisdom of the Pharos before it burned in the flames of World War II. Oh, I'm older than I look, my dear. And I did it. I won. Haha, I don't look like it now, but I was once quite the Rudyard Kipling archetype, think "Mines of King Solomon"? Hm. Maybe a more recent reference, Indiana Jones? Ha-ha-ha. But my dear: do you know what lies at the end of it, after the villain is defeated, after the world is saved, after the girl kisses you and the curtains roll? You never see that in the stories. Because there is nothing to be seen.  

[he looks out through the window, at the beautiful blue sky and verdant trees in his estate.]

If you get to be as old as me, you'll eventually realize too, that there is no real "winning" at life. There is no greater lesson. There is no greater purpose. We're all simply collecting memories so that we have things to play with later, in the Hyperuranium. I don't "play the game" anymore, as these young pups so passionately insist in doing. 

Aand as such, I have no work, dirty or otherwise, for you to do, and no interest in becoming a player once again, through your agency nor mine. 

Don't be dissapointed. Precious few people have given you advice since you started this odyssey, I presume? Let me the voice of the Sybill and spoil the ending for once: it's all about pleasure. Hedonism, they call it. It's all about enjoying the flesh, while you have it, -which is a mighty precious short period of time, compared to how long you'll spend in the Hyperuranium longing for it after. 

Today you owe me nothing -everything I've given is a gift, never to be repaid. Walk out of Ravenside Manor, as my friend. But if you desire more, you and Mara both must join the Bacchanalia. That is my price, the only thing I care about -not money nor power- just pleasure, and then you'll have access to a mighty toy box of arcane artifacts, interesting contacts and vast resources I've accumulated over the years. 

Don't answer me now. If I see you step in to Ravenside Manor again, I'll know your answer is yes. 

Now farewell my dear. Marianna is expecting you -here, to help you on your road [he gives her a wad of 100 dollar bills. Probably close to $5k, then kisses her in the forehead softly.]

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Turtle Jim

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[Katie can feel Turtle shiver when Papadoupolos kisses her in the forehead. EEEWWW. But, as she has detected other times before as much as Turtle tries to hide it, she can feel too a certain *curiosity* about the "Bacchanalia" concept. All men are the same, it would seem, thinking with their dicks. Turtle tries to think of something else.]

Okay, off we go! Finally. Thank fucking Xenu, I wasn't sure we were getting out of Ravenside alive. Once we're at Necrotopia we'll be safe with Marianna, Mara has a map.

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Mara

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[Mara was talking to a few of the younger girls, in whispers. When it's time to leave, she nods and walks out with Katie and Zane... she stops for a second right before the door that leads to the garden. She hesitates. Then she turns to face Papadoupolos, and says, very meekly...]

Thank you....

[Papadoupolos responds with his usual confident wolfish grin. Mara quickly nods, and leaves the room like a mouse given permission to leave the mouse trap.]

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Katie Hensmith

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Shit, old man. I never imagined you for an Alan Quartermain type. Maybe one day we'll have tea, and you can tell me about it. [Katie nods, bows.] Well good day Sir Papadoupolos. I'm off to sow my wild seeds, to fight for causes and believe in something. Before my soul is crushed, jaded, under the gears of inevitability. All living creatures die alone, it's said. So I am off to march to my doom. I can only thank you with the most of graciousness. If you hear of UncleThing's demise, I expect you to send me my own pretty foriegn pleasure girl to start my own little Dionysia - as a thank you. [Katie laughs full heartidly and walks with Zane.]

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Blackjack

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(CHA of 7 vs Diff of 14 needed a 16 or more. A 1 was rolled. Applying all 10 available points gives us an 11. I believe the dice are trying to tell us something. I usually respect the 20's -such the one that turned the Americana scavs against Uncle, and the 1's -such as this, as "messages".  Btw, no need for multiple rolls if they're all related to the same stat, CHA.)

[It feels just like in Oblivion's speech minigame. The choices were "Boast", "Joke", "Intimidate" and "Flatter", and whatever Prince thought he was choosing when he told the agent that *he* owed *him*, dropped the disposition value into the single digits. ]

[Blackjack doesn't shake Prince's hand, and when Prince asks "am I a Free Agent or an Accelletrix Agent?" Blackjack replies with]

Both need work. 

The Somosa is short hand for Somos Santos, an aggregate of tribal religions. "Rough Riding" is the practice of gangbanging a woman, usually white, until she loses her mind enough for a spirit to freely posses her. That would have been your mother. I owe you nothing.

[Blackjack turns around and lifts his smartphone, then starts talking into it]

File Update: Both the S&R and scavenger search parties secured by PRC failed, and HP surfaced in the posession of known GTS Monarch Anatoly Pagonis Papadoupolos: he seems to have formed some sort of alliance with new entry Katie Hensmith, a former Scavenger candidate who was present at the failed kidnap attempt at Saint Antoine and seems to have turned hostile against both UncleThing and Accelletrix for reasons unknown. Any retaliation against Papadoupolos must be first cleared by Astrid. [he sighs... and mutters "fucking unlikely" then continues] Katie Hensmith has HP en route to S.o.S. stronghold codename Necrotopia to be acquired by Marianna LeFleur. Will attempt to negotiate then. Advice assembly of a Strike Force Pack Beta in case negotiations fall through: 15 M1 Abram Tanks, Gas Agents and 150 Marines should suffice; warn our Homeland Security partners of possibility of military action and advice them to start preparing the public for news of terrorist cells operating under the city. [he looks at Prince, and exhales....] no further updates at the moment.

[he hangs up the phone]

Markus, I'm headed to Necrotopia, a Sisterhood of Salem stronghold below the city where I'm not welcome. You can choose to come with me and help prevent a military outcome. Or you can choose to leave on your own and warn them that Accelletrix is willing to carve their insides out like Malleus never did if they don't return OUR Veronica. 

Either way I'm walking in the wolf cave in person, to give them a chance to do the right thing voluntary. What you choose is your choice. 

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Katie, Zane and Mara exit to the vast gardens of the Ravenside estate. They are carefully manicured, and you see several young girls, in togas as usual, gardening. They seem content with their work, no one looks like they're trying to escape.

After a long walk, you reach the perimeter fence of the property, and learn that Ravenside Manor sits on a hill overlooking an amazing view of the city. 

Tatiana waits for you, in front of a black Cadillac, and opens the doors.

"Papa has asked me to drive you to the city, to any address you wish. Please, step inside."

(ooc: [bangs the gavel] if it doesn't happen in front of the GM then it never happened!! Er.. I mean SH. Lol ^_^ Feel free to start other game threads for your character conversations, for example, Katie and Prince chatting over the phone while nothing else is going on -just make sure you choose "The Red Wolf" for the Saga part, so they're all grouped together here. They need to be in this site, in view of everybody, like everything else. Also feel free to use this thread too! I don't find it awkward at all, I enjoy it, and actually I would prefer it if it was all in this same thread, for chronological purposes. But yeah, feel free to use other threads! Coming along fine, btw, you're all still alive ^_^ A few more groups to meet still....)

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Katie Hensmith

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[Katie offers Mara to the car first, then Zane, then herself.] Turtle went the way he did because of you. I just put my head on the chopping block for you. So Zane, could you - perhaps explain to me why Uncle thing is willing to kill people over you.... and why Accellatrix thinks you're worth one million dollars? Why Mariana is going to have an army protect you. All of it. The whole thing. From how you acquired it, to everything it knows about why everyone's so interested in it - to what you plan next.

What.... exactly - is this nuclear bomb you're carrying?

(OCC: That's what I'm saying, Fable, about chatting: people can chat anywhere anytime - only if they post the transcript here. People can only roll dice in the forum posts. That way, players can have side-tracked conversations and give a link to them at the beginning of their next post. Mostly for private talks, phone conversations, and psychic cybersex.)

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