Shadowrun Play => Play-by-Post => Topic started by: Lorebane24 on <08-27-18/1631:01>

Title: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-27-18/1631:01>
       A neon haze creeps through the windows, painting a congealed rainbow across the carpet.  Even through concrete walls and thick plated glass, the honking horns, crowds of tourists, and not-too-infrequent gunshot - not quite close enough for Knight Errant to bother with - blends together into a constant staccato of muted white noise.  It's been a week since you've moved in here with three other freelancers who are barely now acquaintances - you've run in the same circles, know a couple of the same people.  And so far, business has been nil.  Bills are a few weeks out, and now you've got overhead to worry about.

       A sing-song digital tone cuts through the sound of Touristville - the alert for your intercom.  An AR window appears in the periphery of your vision, displaying the feed for the exterior camera.  A middle-aged ork who is trying far too hard to look nondescript stands waiting outside your door.  He wears nondescript jeans and a synth leather jacket sporting a mid-shelf designer lable, and his features are obscured by a large pair of aviators and a Concrete Dream cap yanked down as low as his head will allow.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-27-18/1801:21>
There was a time, not so many years ago, when ‘Jawsey’ would dashed outside astrally to check on their visitor, leaving his beaten body and shattered face hidden in a dark room.  At times during all the reconstructive surgery he might have wondered if the pain was worth it; right now, knowing that he can answer the door and not scare a client away, he knows it was worth every iota of pain. 

He sends an ARO to the others <<I’ll get the door.  See you all in the common room.  Can someone check if we need to make fresh caff?>> Then he grabs the cheap cane from beside him on the floor, levers himself up off his yoga mat, and walks quickly towards the door  He slows down and thumps the cane for the last few steps before reaching the door, and takes his time opening the locks.  Multiple locks -- important security in even the best part of Redmond, but not a bad prop for building anticipation either.

Finally he opens the door, flashes the best smile that his father had been able to buy, and suggests “You look like you’d like to get off the street.  Why don’t you come in, and then you can ask your questions or say your piece.”

Using his cane so that the others can easily hear their progress, he leads the orc to meet the others.  He just hopes nobody took his chair.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <08-27-18/1905:08>
Bobby got up from the small bed in the laundry/training room. He had called dibbs on the room on the principle that he was the one most likely to come home late and dirty. Last night had not been an exception.
Now he was bleary eyed and half dressed - and of course now for the first time in days a customer arrived. Typically.

Happy to let his colleague handle it for the moment, he looked for the cleanest shirt in the heap next to the washing machine and got dressed.
More or less presentable, but not particularly fresh, he joined Jawsey.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-27-18/2343:25>
Things did not look very well... moving to Seattle and getting a deck was expensive. She had a terrible debt to go with these, but there were few options for the SINless. She never owned a banked account or seen the inside of a bank, and a credit card debt seemed like a dream to her. 10% interest rate, pay with money or with services, so far she survived, but it seemed more luck than skill. Some opportunity came along, her contacts needed something, the Finnigan's needed something. However, this particular month was slow, and each day made it more stressful. She joined that PI business hoping that it would give her more business. Business was slow, but at least they reduced the cost of rent. All she had to do is to endure living with 3 guys she did not know... It was better than getting beaten up.

AM finds herself laying on her bed, submerged in the matrix. Following her shadow forums, looking for work. She snapped out of it quickly and still disoriented dashed to the mirror. She was not satisfied with her look, but she never was. She quickly prepared herself, wearing her one good suit, and not forgetting to apply a dash of magic to make herself more presentable. Satisfied she went to the common area and begun making some coffee. Since it was a special occasion, she also opened a pack of biscuits. She'll join the meeting a bit late with cups of coffee, and some biscuits for everyone.

Charisma enhanced by 3 points, no drain.
Improve Charisma F5/drain ( 2#10d6t5 3 6

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-28-18/0305:35>
Mato stands stone-still at the second-story window, looking at the neon blur through the plated glass while he studies Touristville below. It is the only part of Redmond outsiders generally see, the place to go for a taste of “life on the wild side” without getting too wild or too real. Tourists and slummers hang out in sleazy clubs, the richer ones with their bodyguards in tow. Crimson Crush orks peddle chips while Knight-Errant patrols try to keep the corp kids safe. In AR, it's mostly one big spam zone.

Mato is glad that Jawsey gets the door; the elf has the gift of gab and it is generally better for everyone involved if Mato doesn't have to open his mouth at all. Still, the ork might appreciate seeing another ork in the room, so Mato wordlessly leaves his perch and heads for the common room.

Jawsey clumps along with his cane, making it easy to track his progress. Mato knows that the elf is being coy - he is far more nimble than the cane suggests - but it's a good prop. However, it's also a good idea to convey to prospective clients that the team is physically competent, even exceptional. To that end, Mato pushes up the sleeves of his Henley shirt so that his black matte cyberarms are clearly visible. The titanium-and-carbon-fiber limbs are sleek and expensive and worth showing off.

Mato assumes his position on the periphery of the common room, ready to play the role of "strong but silent". Plus, he's laced with sensors that are ready to analyze the visitor's person and behavior. Mato syncs the thermographic vision in his eyeglasses to his Thermal Mood Reading software, then does the same for his earbuds and the Vocal Tension Lie Detection software. Then he readies the cyberware scanner in his right arm, and the radar sensor in his left leg, on guard for any contraband the ork might be bringing with him.

<<Ready for soykaf>> he comms the rest of the team.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <08-28-18/0402:57>
Bobby made his way to one of the chairs, sitting down quickly before anyone could notice the bloodstain on his left leg.
He moved with all the grace of a hungover sloth - which had made his classmates in highschool give him the ironic monicer of "cat".
Mato's words made him look up.
<<Soka, soycaf would be much appreciated right now.>> He still rubbed sleep from his eyes when he greeted the client.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-28-18/1139:05>
The ork quickly steps into the room and removes his shaded glasses, revealing East Adian features.  He pauses for a moment before slumping into a chair with a heavy sigh.

"You are detectives, yes."  His fingers slide through the air in front of him and your links ping a new message.  It's a photo - an ork youth, around 16, you'd guess, with a denim jacket and quaffed up hair grins as his gold-plated cyberhand displays a middle finger.

"I want you to retrieve my son," the ork continues.  "He was taken hostage in a fight with one of his rival gangs, and they are demanding what I feel to be an unreasonable ransom for his return.  He is a dissapointment, but I will not suffer this insult from a group of Barrens hood rats."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <08-28-18/1238:53>
The man was to the point. Bobby liked that.
With a curt nod he said: "How much did they ask for?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-28-18/1303:02>
Amy Maka, AM for short arrives and pours coffee to whoever is interested.
When the orc arrives, she replies "Please, have some coffee... Let me assure you that you came to the right place. Do you know which gang took him?" She asked the man.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-28-18/1330:37>
Mato nodded, and maybe was even secretly pleased. Gangers aren't always reasonable - their territoriality means they don't always recognize or acknowledge a superior force - and that means that they could be fun.

Still, the job strikes a bit close to home. Mato sees some of his father in the man; Mato's parents had never been called him a Disappointment to his face, but it was something that they had probably thought, sickly and infirm as Mato had been in his youth. The memories are distant, almost to the point of feeling like they were from someone else's life, the result of massive Essence loss following Mato's voluntarily cyberlimb replacements. He studies the photo of the ork youth and wonders if the gold-plated cyberhand was similarly voluntary - bling for a feckless youth - or the by-product of the lad's gang-banging. The hand was tacky to the extreme, a clear violation of the "rich, not gaudy" guideline that Mato's father had passed down.

Mato's mind begins to spin with questions. He feeds them to the team so that the silver-tongued elves could ask them. AM beats him to the first one as she pours the soykaf, which Mato accepts.

<<Let's also ask which gang the kid is affiliated with. When and where he was taken would be helpful. Expected level of resistance, constraints on retrieval methods, deadlines, etc.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-28-18/1342:30>
The others are asking good questions, so Jawsey leans back and lifts a cup of 'caff up to his nose, and lets the world fade for a bit.  Not into the aroma and steam of the caff, although he hopes he's giving that impression, but rather into the astral. 

He studies the man's aura as the initial questioning goes on.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-28-18/1441:49>
The man pauses for a moment as he considers your questions.  "He was captured by the Halloweeners, and they are demanding more than the 25,000 nuyen I am offering your agency."

OOC:  if anyone has any sort of gang knowledge, they can roll to see what they know about the current state of the Halloweeners.  Beta, plx make an assenssing check to see what you can glean from his aura.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-28-18/1538:04>
With a mental command, AM texted her contact TJ...
She frowned as if considering his offer trying with her body language to prepare the field for negotiation. "Halloweeners...  Why am I not surprised." She said without adding details.   

With a mental command from her trodes, she texted her contact TJ.

>> Yo TJ, what is the gossip about the Halloweeners?

If TJ knows about the Halloweeners, AM would question him about their current state, territory, and leadership. She'll also ask if he knows anyone reliable from there gang.

AM does not have a knowledge about the Halloweeners but she has a contact that may know them as a member of some (smaller) gang (connection 3 loyalty 3).

TJ is a ganger and freelance debt collector. He might know about the Halloweeners as they are a rival/ally gang. He also accepts work for many gangs, as he is very intimidating and good at collecting debts.

 Amy has him in connection 3, and their relationship coin is barter - she helps him be more popular with the ladies (with some magic e.g makeover or improve charisma, advice and sometimes going with him as his 'wing woman') and he provides some favors in return. 
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-28-18/1613:28>
Jaw-Jaw:  His aura is nothing too special.  He's not in the greatest health, but nothing too atypically for a man of his age, assuming a sedentary lifestyle.  He's got a datajack at thw base of his neck but otherwise is a chrome virgin.  His mental state is a bit strained, though.  He's.more worried about this than he's letting on.

AM:  TJ hits you back with a message after a few minutes.  "Halloweeners, huh?  I'd be careful if youre getting mixed up with them.  They've always been small time.  Downtown gang with a chip on their shoulder.  Liled halloween masks, hated the corps.  A few years back it looked like they were wiped out after thwy pissed off too many people at once.  Crimson Crush and Knight Errant both qent to town on them and killed the old boss.  Lately though, they've been making a comeback - lile big time.  I hear they got a new leader who calls himself Nightmare, and over the ladt years they've been making some moves way out of their league.  Taking territory from other gangs, getting a foothold in the Barrens.  They're.moving into straight up thrill gang territory, and they've been getting.more violent."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-28-18/1655:53>
Mato studied the ork silently. The opening offer was good; Mato had initially been concerned, wondering how much the Halloweeners could really be asking. Of course, the price begs the question of is the boy's value purely sentimental, or does he provide leverage against his father, or does he know something that would be worth that much on the open market? (How would the Halloweeners even know who the kid's father was? The brat probably told them himself, Mato thinks. "Do you know who my father is??") He wonders how much the gold-plated cyberhand would be worth if they just chopped it off and melted off the gold.

Mato doesn't know much about the Halloweeners, other than they're crazy and fond of fire. Again, a recipe for resistance, and thus for some fun. Plus the payday would keep him fed and clothed for another month, and the Koshari leg-breakers at bay.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-28-18/1832:32>
Jawsey returns his attention to the physical room, takes a sip of the caff, then straightens up and demands "How long have they had him, and what else have you done to recover him?  We need to understand how big this mess is before we take the job."

The questions and comment are deliberately provocative, as he wants to watch how the man reacts.  But he's also curious about how the man came to this brand new agency, and if others have either walked away from the job or failed.

(OOC: will buy 3 successes on judge intentions)

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-28-18/1930:20>
The ork looks away, but continues speaking.  "We... had a fight three nights ago - I found he was stealing from me.  I haven't seen him since - I assumed that he wasting time with his friends, but then yesterday, I received the demand for his ransom in my inbox - I was instructed to render payment at a bar two days from now, in certified credsticks."

Jawsey & Mato:  You don't get the impression that he's telling you any outright falsehoods, but he is choosing his words very meticulously whenever the ransom demands come up - it would seem that he doesn't want anyone to know exactly how much the Halloweeners are demanding of him.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-28-18/2131:40>
Mato nods, not from sympathy - which probably disappeared four cyberlimbs ago - but from factual acknowledgement of the situation. Ultimately it didn't matter what the Halloweeners were demanding; it was a simple supply-and-demand transaction. If anything, Mato was thankful for the Halloweeners being so unreasonable.

He falls back onto the language he remembers from his parents.

<<Let's see if we can scare up the price with performance bonuses and scope-of-work additions. Delivering ahead of schedule, sending a message to the captors, things like that. Anyone know any good Halloweener stories we can use to upsell the risk factor?>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-28-18/2224:01>
Jawsey fires off an ARO to the team <<Any of you good at image searching?  I'm pretty sure that this guy is worth a lot more than 25k, so I'm curious.  Mato, we'll get to the price shortly; I want the ugly details that justify the price first.>>

To their client he gentles his posture and voice, but carries on with questions  "I don't know that we'll need to know the information -- but I don't know that we won't either.  Can you tell me the names of any of his ... associates, shall we call them?  You mentioned a gang, I believe?  Does he have a personal vehicle that he was apt to have been using, and if so have you tried to get it traced yet?  And do you know if he is a regular user of drugs or BTLs?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-28-18/2236:54>
His brow furrows.  "His friends - they call themselves Nova Rich," he grunts.  "They spend most of their time squandering their potential and smoking bliss downtown, I believe.  He does have a bike - a tasteless one.  I can give you access to its Grid Guide information if you wish to track it down."

He sends another ARO your way, including the user's manual and serial number  for a bog-standard Suzuki Mirage, as well as a picture pulled from p2.0 of the bike heavily modified and painted blue and gold.

"This is what he rides.  It appears to be..."  He pauses as he scans an ARO before frowning.  "Gone?  I can't get a location on it, I can track the vehicle's movements over the last three days.  That may be helpful."  He swivels his thumb, and your commlinks ping with a new message.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-28-18/2344:56>
AM listens intently to the conversation and nods,  she texts back to Jawsey -">> Of course... I'll do a deep search once we're done, but let's see if anything pops up."
She said  "Nova Rich... now, why would they call themselves that... The bike is something though... Shiny enough to make an impression. Do you want to salvage the bike as well?" She suggested.

She pauses and says "What kind of other augmentations does your boy have? I am asking as it would make it easier for us to spot him quickly with magic."

She drinks from her coffee and thinks, making a quick search for the boy's picture, and the bike to see if anything surface. That kind of boy - must have some social media presence.

Computer search (quick) ( 11d6t5 2

When the information from her contact finally arrives she shares it with Jawsey - to better prepare him for the negotiation.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-29-18/0128:44>
Mato is self-aware enough to know that he has the personality of a bag of doorknobs, and even if his mind can form a coherent argument his tongue or his personal character will get in the way. He internally shrugs and moves on, leaving Jawsey and AM to do the bargaining.

He sends a DNI command to his commlink to run the boy's picture - along with the father's - through the MonaLisa program to see if it can generate any clues as to who the Johnson might be. Hopefully the same P2.0 account that featured the blue-and-gold Suzuki Mirage would also identify the boy they're supposed to recover.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <08-29-18/0208:37>
Bobby knew quite well that he had no talent for small talk, negotiation or friendly relations. What he brought to the table was the anvil of intimidation. Scaring up the price was something he could do...
"Helloweeners. Nasty bunch. They like to torture people they catch. Branding them with glowing red irons. Working their way up to the genitals.
There's a reason people cracked down on them so hard.
Still, you are coming to us instead of KE which means the background of what your son stole from you isn't exactly legal, right?
What have we to expect here? And don't bulldrek us. We are a bunch of fragging detectives."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-29-18/0441:56>
The man is easy to find via his son's P2.0 page.  He is Arthur Liu, a local accounting director for Fidelity Mutual Insurance.  He is by all appearances a single father and corporate lifer.  His son, Brian (though he apparently prefers the moniker "Yin"), has a considerably larger Matrix footprint.  His P2.0 profile is filled with pictures of his bike and detail work he's had done on it, boastful posts about all the chrome he'll be sporting someday, and pictures of him joyriding and committing petty crimes with his gang.  His most recent post, dated three days ago reads: Stepping into the big time - just one easy score and I'm leave this kiddy drek behind!.  There is a single reply from another member of Nova Rich: Get fragged, you faithless slot.  Hope they jack your wheels and chop it for parts.

Meanwhile, Liu turns to Bobby.  "I said I caught him stealing from it.  Obviously I put a stop to it.  And I said some things that may have been... harsher than usual.  He may be a dissapointment, but he is my son nonetheless, and I've been given a two day deadline.  Knight Errant would not handle this quietly or quickly - if I were to involve them, the odds of me seeing my son alive are very low."  His voice wavers ever so slightly as he rubs his nose, stifling what may be a sneeze or a sniffle.

Jawsey observes his aura darken.  Despite his relative composure, his discomfort is give way to an intense anxiety.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-29-18/1214:29>
Gonna go ahead and wrap the meet up.  Also, how do I roll dice on this forum?  The only PbPs I've ever done were on Paizo, and those were like 5 years ago.

The back and forth with goes on for around half an hour before you're satisfied you know everything he does, or at least everything he's willing to tell you.  And offer for 25,000 (presumably on a four-way split) is on the table for the safe return of his son, with a deadline of two days.  Now is the time to negotiate the price.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-29-18/1759:09>
The set-up to drive up the price was there, but when it was time to get serious about the cost of this, Jawsey struggled.  He wasn't the best negotiator, but he knew he was decent and that the team had set him up with some good material.

But the right words wouldn't flow.  Maybe it was a Father trying to protect a son.  Maybe it was nerves.  But he knew he was not being convincing.  He went back and covered the same ground again, this time working from basic negotiating approaches instead of trying to be subtle, and it made their case better. But he couldn't help but be disappointed at his underwhelming performance.

He wondered if a hit of Psyche would have kept him sharper, let him put the case together more tightly?
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-29-18/2332:44>
AM stepped in to helped as much as she could, sharpening some of the points after Jawsey.
"At the end of the day what you are requesting is much more than detective work, detective work is to find out where the kid is, but you require an extraction. A much more expensive service, demanding, and involved service and the price should reflect it.

Second, the extraction target is not the average gang, Nightmare their new leader is ruthless, his followers are fearless. They are likely to be actively guarding your boy and alert to any extraction attempts, considering how much money they expect to make out of him. They'll guard him carefully!

Third, it is a rushed job. You leave us with 48 hours to find and rescue your boy. This is difficult and forces us to abandon anything else we are doing, and forces us to more direct, and risky approaches to get information. We are your best option to save your boy, and you are unlikely to find any better team given the ultimatum you are facing. Quality is worth paying for... Look around you, we are a team of hardened professionals. e." - she gestured at her team. "Much more than detectives, expensive augmentations, fighting skills, magic, matrix and social skills, we are your best chance!" 

"Now we don't take offense, you clearly are new at this business and were not aware of the actual pricing, let's agree on some number that would make all of us satisfied? You are asking for quite a lot, with a very modest paycheque... Perhaps 40k would make everyone happy.?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-30-18/1843:21>
Liu's lips purse tightly when he hear's AM's figure.  "I take your point, but 40,000 is too high, and, more to the point, more than I can afford right now..."  He leans back in his chair and issues a heavy sigh.  "In nuyen, at least.  I can raise my offer to 32,000 but that all I can pull together right now.  Or..."  An ARO pops up before you, showcasing a sleek, black, and by all appearances new Hyundai Shin-Hyun.  "In addition to the 25,000, I can give you my car - the nice one, with title.  I bought it two months ago after settling a major account, but another project will come along, and the situation being what it is, well, my Xenon will suffice until then."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-30-18/1933:35>
Mato glances around the room, watching for reactions. The team is so new that they don't know everything about each other, but enough comments had been made on all sides to understand that they were all in debt to different parties... parties that took their debt-collection seriously. Mato's hole was modest, but he had no desire to have any of his cyberware involuntarily repossessed.

He tries to think of the proposal as his parents would have. Before their deaths, his father was in accounting and finance while his mother was in marketing. There are concepts that Mato vaguely understands, like depreciation, but can't fully articulate or apply. He fires off a mental command to his commlink to help him with some math.

<<On the surface that's ¥7,000 for a car that retails for ¥28,500. Even if it loses half of that value when it drives off the lot, it's still a fair trade. Add in the fact that the car isn't taxed, unlike the monetary portion.>>

Mato isn't sure who in the room is paying taxes, but he sure is, and he'd prefer not to get audited.

<<Paying 15% of 32k brings it down to 27k, which isn't that different from 25k. Even if we sell the car used, we'll make up the difference.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-30-18/2227:22>
Jawsey had been running numbers of his own, and responded <<I can make ends meet for a while on my share of 25k, even if we have to drop some small bribes.  And a second car is useful for everything from easier tailing someone to getting two things done at once to not being too often in the same place.  I'm in favour of the offer, if we can all afford to take it.>>

Then he got up, asked their guest if he'd care for some 'caff now, prepared a fresh cup for himself, and tried to be unobtrusive about loosening up his back a bit.  All the while he sent small talk around the room, to fill in the time while the team completed their AR discussion.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-31-18/0053:42>
AM texted >>I really need the money to survive...25k pays the interest...  but I still need to make rent.  So I tell you what, let's take the car and sell it if this is to be our only paying job this month. We won't lose much, but we'll benefit if we get to keep it. Then again, as the car is very expensive to him,  I think I can reach a better compromise.

She suggested To Liu "I'd hate to take your brand new car because you are a little short. Perhaps you can pay 32k and the Xenon? Like a trade-in deal? "
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-31-18/1052:56>
He raises his hands briefly.  "Yes, fine.  32,000 nuyen, and a used Dodge Xenon - paid upon delivery of my son, reasonably unharmed.  I know that these groups, these... Halloweeners, are not gentle men.  I know..." He looks away and massages the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.  "I know they may have already hurt him.  He may be scraped and bruised.  They may have taken that ridiculous hand of his...  But I expect him to be protected, and delivered in a condition no worse than when you find him."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-31-18/1143:18>
"Of course we'll take good care of him.  If we find him in dire condition, however, would you prefer that we take him straight to a hospital, or contact you first for instructions?"

<<Any objections to the offer?>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-31-18/1213:57>
"I would insist that you contact me as soon as he is retrieved and out of imminent danger.  Here, I have a private commcode you can call for this purpose."  He sends you the number for a cheap Azi brand knockoff link, probably a burner.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <08-31-18/1526:57>
Bobby nodded along, both to the real-life conversation and to the subtil matrix one.
<<Fine by me. I've got to pay taxes and loansharks. It can't hurt to keep our eyes open for paydata during this operation - lot's of people want a piece of the reformed Helloweeners.
I suggest our spell slinger calls up a spirit asap and has it search for the boy directly. When we have his position pinpointed, we can see how we get this done - although I suspect strongly that we'll have to use some kind of distraction to even the odds a bit.>>

To the Johnson he said: "For me these terms are acceptable. Just make sure you have the money ready when we call. We are no charity."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-31-18/1636:50>
Liu nods.  "Of course.  I'll have the Xenon professionally cleaned in the morning.  We are in agreement then?"

[/color]OOC: It seems like everyone is on board with where the negotiations have panned out, so in the interest of moving towards the legwork, I think we can move wrap the meet up.[/color]

After finalizing terms with and an awkward handshake, Arthur Liu sees himself out, leaving with you a contract in your office with a contract and a deadline.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <08-31-18/1657:06>
AM seemed satisfied... her share of 8k would pay for rent, and for interest on the debt. If they pulled it off she survives another month, and a new car is some step forward, either they keep it or sell it.  If they find another paying job this month, she'll be able to repay some of the capital, but for now, she was content in knowing that she can survive another month... If they pull it off.

"Of course, we will start looking for your son right now! Nice doing business with you"

After they remained alone she replied.

"I am an aspected sorcerer so I can't summon spirits. I can create a watcher if I am lucky, but it requires reagents and I barely sustain myself as is.  Jawsi, perhaps you can summon a spirit? It is cheaper than a watcher, and even at low force, I can augment it a bit to make ends meet, but we'll need to know at least roughly where they are keeping him.

... It is also worth talking to the Nova hots, especially that guy with the nasty comment. Perhaps they know more, the closer we are to where the kid is held the more likely we are to find him with a watcher or a spirit."

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-31-18/1718:41>
Jawsey nodded along with Amy Maka's suggestions, then replied "I'd suggest we follow all avenues."

"I could contribute some reagents to the cause to help with your watcher -- perhaps when we get some time you could teach me enough ritual magic that next time I could help.  I can only safely summon and work with weaker spirits, but I can certainly ask one to search anyway.  Certainly we need to talk to the person who made that post, preferably on his own, somewhere that nobody can hear him call for help.  And we should start checking out the Halloweeners."

"But first, just to be paranoid, I'm going to follow our customer for a bit and make sure his activities match the story he told us.  I have no reason to doubt him, but it would be an hour well spent, I think."

With that he stretches himself out onto the floor along one wall.  Knowing his body will complain when he comes back, wishing he had his weapon focus with him, but not willing to take the time to return to his room, in case that makes him lose their employer.

In a flash he is out of his grumbling meat, and is whole and pure in his astral form.  With a thought he is out on the street and looking for the aura of their employer.

(ooc: Amy Maka and Jawsey are both shamanic tradition)
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-31-18/1755:22>
Mato is silently impressed. ¥32k plus any car is a good result.

<<No objections. Good negotiating.>>

Now that there's no real danger of his personality scuttling the negotiations, Mato stands to shake the Johnson's hand and say, "We'll be in touch soon."

He looks into Mr. Liu's eyes, perhaps searching for a trace of his own father. Mato's parents had loved him, but he had certainly been a disappointment. It had taken his parents' deaths to make him the capable ork he now is. Maybe he can make their spirits proud by helping this father. or maybe they are dead and gone and past caring. Either way, Mato will take the job; he needs the nuyen.

Bobby's comment about not being a charity is true, but not particularly diplomatic under the circumstances. Mato doesn't know much about the man other than he's quick with a barb or a backhanded compliment, he doesn't have any cyber, and that he has one of the strangest suits of armor, one that one never fit a person. Mato doesn't know what that's all about, but figures that he'll likely find out soon.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <08-31-18/1832:49>
OOC: Normally I'd call for a few rolls here, but this being a PbP, I want to get us a little closer to run's real meat.

Jawsey: You leave your body and a mild sense of nausea washes over you as you enter the not-yet-familiar astral space Redmond.  The neighborhood lights up with a myriad of auras, like fireflies on a summer night in Snohomish, but a malaise hangs over everything.  You glance about and your eyes fall on an aura you recognize as Liu's - he's heading towards the subway.  He gets onto a train, but in the astral the signs are too distinct to make out exactly where he's going.  Fortunately, it's an on an overland rail, and you can follow it without risking bumping into other auras on a subway car.

He disembarks in Bellevue and you think you see him make a call on his com before taking a seat on a bench.  After a moment, a taxi pulls up, delivering him to a modest (for Bellevue) apartment complex.  You can't be sure of the physical security, but wards are lightweight and sporadically placed - likely personal measure a few tenants have added within their own apartments.  Arthur steps onto an elevator, and exits one what feels like the 7th or 8th floor.  He pauses at a door and fumbles punches a code into a keypad.  As the door slides open with a muted hiss, he pauses and slowly turns.  His gaze falls upon you and for a moment he seems to be staring straight through you, but he continues to scan the hallway before shrugging his shoulders and entering his home.  The apartment is spacious.  Two floors and what you think is a very modern decorating scheme.  And a single ward.

It's upstairs, and as soon as he enters the door, Arthur Liu makes a beeline straight for it.  He enters a room and locks the door behind him, though this is no barrier for you.  As soon as you follow him inside, the astral goes stale again.  Someone has been doing a lot of brooding in here lately.  Looking around, you realize this room is in utter disarray compared the rest of his home.  Half-empty cups and meal trays have been left in one corner, and the furniture along one wall has been shoved aside to make room for a couple dozen printouts he has on the walls, connected with little bits of string.  From the astral, you can't make out what on the pictures, but it's like something out of a flick about a serial killer or something.

On a desk next to the poster-wall is a small box - warded.  Liu sits before it and clicks open the lid, and produces something that you're not entirely sure how to make sense of.

It's a card, maybe 3x5 inches, and unlike every sign, picture, or piece of graffiti you've observed on the way over here, the image on its face is crisp and clear in the astral.  It shines like a beacon, in fact.  Glancing over Liu's shoulder, you can make out a portrait, painstakingly detailed, of a muscular shirtless man sitting on a set of steps against a concrete wall.  He sports a deep purple flattop and red cowboy boots, with a masterfully crafted katana in one hand.  He gazes contemplatively to the left.  Behind him, almost looking over him, is a statue of an angel with tears in her eyes, and a small but musclebound dog sits calmly at his feet, the Japanese character for the number four carved into its forehead.

Arthur Liu looks at the card for a nearly 5 minutes before setting on the desk before him and his aura shifts to... wistfulness?  He proceeds to pull out his 'link, and begins (presumeably) browsing AROs, frequently looking back to the wall before him.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <08-31-18/2221:06>
With some relief Jawsey found his body without any real trouble.  He always did find it easily enough, but he always worried all the same.  And then he connected with his body, with the aches and pains, and like always he wondered if some day he should just not come back?

But he was back, and he had news.  Still lying on the floor he fired off an ARO to the team <<The other shoe just dropped.  Of course we might be dealing with a fragging centipede by the time we're done, but the other shoe from this afternoon's interview has landed.  Something didn't feel quite right, and now I think I've got a clue about what.  I'll be in the kitchen soon and I can tell the details over tofu fritters.  I'll send a spirit out searching after sun-down, that will give it all night.>>

Later, after he's stretched out his back and gotten to his feet and cooked and eaten and gone over the story with everyone who wanted to hear it, he just needed to do one more thing before he could lie down in bed.  He gathered his good cane and a pouch of reagents, and returned to the living room. 

<<Amy Maka [Jawsey] I think you wanted to put a spell on the spirit that I'll be summoning?>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-01-18/0209:12>
She replied: "Yes, an improve intuition spell... Eagle's blessing as my old mentor called it."

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-01-18/0408:40>
Mato clicks his tongue at the description of the card that Jawsey brings back. He doesn't know much about magic, but he can usually sniff out when things don't smell right.

"That doesn't sound like something an accounting director for Fidelity Mutual Insurance would have.

"He said the ransom was to be paid in certified credsticks, but one wonders if the real demand is for the card, or if the value of the card is high enough to pay what the Halloweeners actually asked for."

He glances to Bobby. "I'm not opposed to a two-pronged approach, if we want to go converse with some Halloweeners in person. We can put that sharp tongue of yours to use, maybe get the spirit a head start on where to look."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-01-18/0444:28>
While Jawsey was on his astral quest, Amy Maka did some research. She invited the other team members to help if they liked. She searched for Nova Hot members, including their house address, or current location if they uploaded a geotagged picture or something of the sort.  Then she searched about the Haloweeners to understand where in the Barrens these guys call home and tried to conjecture at least which blocks are more likely to contain a high valued prisoner.  Lastly, it was a long-shot but she expected that a super shiny bike would make some waves in the Barrens. So she searched to see if anything surfaced about the bike.

She used a combination of magic, and hot simulation to get the best results. Unlike common folklore that the two did not mix, Amy Maka felt like she needed them to blend so that she would have a chance to blend in. She sustained the spell with her focused concentration, a capability which she worked years to develop. Then, when her mind was extra sharp from the spell she configured her deck with the proper programs, took a deep breath and submerged herself deep in hot simulation,  an experience unlike any other... 

In general, AM studied the arcana rigorously, and such a combination of occult and technology was her forte. She was different than her traditionalist shaman mentor - as she used her magic among other things to access the matrix better. She aspired to see all her abilities and skills as part of something harmonious where everything blends into its place. Clearly, she was deeply influenced by the harmony with nature philosophy which she was taught by the Sioux shaman - but she took it a step further.

AM laid on the couch, completely submerged in her own world. The only telltale sign that she did not fall a sleep where her rapid eye movements as she galloped massive amount of information.She did not just read, she touched the letters and pictures, smelled them and felt their emotional content as they pass through her. It felt to her as the out of body experience that her mentor described as an astral projection. The kind of experience that she was told would be forever out of reach for her, due to her inflexibility with magic.

OOC: Spell to prepares for the search:
improve intuition ( 2#10d6t5 3 4
Hot simulation search:
Computer 6, intuition 8 (5+3) + hot simulation (2) = 16 dice.

Search  1:
Nova Hot members, who they are, where do they hang out, where do they live. Especially the one with the nasty comment but not just.
Matrix search ( 16d6t5 6 (Her limit is 5)
Search 2: Where are the Haloweeners? What are their recent activities.
Matrix search ( 16d6t5 7 (Her limit is 5)
Search 3: Was the Kid's bike spotted recently. (perhaps sold, or adopted by some ganger)
Matrix search ( 16d6t5 6 (Her limit is 5).
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-01-18/1321:18>
Mato  It actually doesn't take you long to find something that soynds a lot like what Jawsey reported.  You're actually a little surprised you havent seen anythig about these before.  Over the last year or or two, there's been this meme or prank quietly gaining traction.  People have been reporting these weird tarot cards turnig up all over the world.  They seem to be a moder  take on the classic Rider Waite tarot deck, and people have taken to calling them the Sixth World Tarot. 

No serial number has been found, no source of production located, and no artist has claimed credit.  Images of them are on all over fringe and conspiracy sites, but they dont match up well - details are all a little different, so people arent quite sure which images match the real cards.  Still, it has become the object of interest, even obsession, with certain conspiracy theorists, wealthy execs with too much time on their hands, and more recently some fringe magical researchers.  Some people have reported seeing places and people they know, amd even themselves on the cards, but few respected researchers are taking it seriously.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-01-18/1348:06>

The Bike:  Unfortunately, you cant turn up anything useful.  There are plenty of reports of stolen bikes, found bikes, but Seattle is a big city, and there are a surprising number of blue and gold racing bikes around, and while people are  happy to report when yhe go missing, not many people are boasting about stealing or chopping them.

Nova Rich  This "gang" is made uo exclusively of rich kids rebelling or playing at gangster.  Their colors are denim and gold and they sport a look yhat's kind of a throwback to late 20th century hair metal.  They hace a reputation for having expensive toys but no skills, so when they leave Bellevue other gangs tend yo look at them as vending machines, taking their shit or capturing them in brawls to ransom them back to their wealthy parents.  They are very bad ay covering their tracks.  Many of them openly yse their real names and brag about their exploits and where they are going to be on social media.  You can pretty much take your pick if you want to talk to one.  The guy chewing put Yin is talking up a street race he'll be taking part in tonight in Bellevue.

The Halloweeners  These guys are a lot more professional.  You find very few with anything resembling a p2.0 page, and those that do are quickly admonished by anonymous posters if they mention anything hinting at their actually activities.  Those that have continued to do so havemt posted in a while.

What you find is rumors and discussions from victims of their joy rides, other gangs, and others cl9se to the streets.  They have historically been a downtown gang, but they also have had a bar in Redmond called The Jackals's Lantern that generally serves as their face.  They keep one foot off the grid, and people say if you want to tall to the gang or hire them for something, the Lantern is the place to start.  The place's matrix security got an upgrade recently, and some tske this as a sign that the 'Weeners have either gotten cozy with a corporate ally or added a competwnt decker to their roster.

About three years ago, as TJ said, they got a new leader calling himself Nightmare.  He works from the shadows, and descriptions of him are mixed, but he's always described as "big" and there are more and more rumors that he's a mage of some kind who definitely knows his shit.  Under his direction, the gang has become meaner, more disciplined, and making bigger moves than they used to.  Last year they were stomping around the Barrens, pushing the Crimson Crush out of a lot of their territory, but they stopped short of wiping them out and have instead been sitting on their hands and shoring up their presence in the newly acquired territory, making sure sure the locals are getting their drugs from Halloweener dealers and protection rackets are filling Halloweener coffers.  Their are a few rumors that that Nightmare has been decoting gang resources to finding cards from the Sixth Eorld Tarot, or even that he may habe a card himself.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-01-18/1420:36>
Mato shares the results of his search with the rest of the team.

He pulls open images from the classic Rider Waite tarot to see if there is a classic equivalent to the modern card, and thus any hints about what the new one might signify. A time of tribulation? A period of self-reflection or self-sacrifice? A crying angel seemed ominous, as did a dog symbolizing death, but death for whom?

"We starting with this Nova Rich street race?" Mato asks when he finishes. "Maybe we can double-dip if we get their boy back for them."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-01-18/1433:26>
Mato clicks his tongue at the description of the card that Jawsey brings back. He doesn't know much about magic, but he can usually sniff out when things don't smell right.

"That doesn't sound like something an accounting director for Fidelity Mutual Insurance would have.

"He said the ransom was to be paid in certified credsticks, but one wonders if the real demand is for the card, or if the value of the card is high enough to pay what the Halloweeners actually asked for."

He glances to Bobby. "I'm not opposed to a two-pronged approach, if we want to go converse with some Halloweeners in person. We can put that sharp tongue of yours to use, maybe get the spirit a head start on where to look."

Bobby grinned - a bit wolvish: "Great. While our two astral and matrix specialists do their things, I thought I'd go out on a little real world info gathering. Amy just gave me an idea where we might find such a talking punching bag. Bring the car and park somewhere close to the bar. Put a beer can in the middle of the roof so I can see it from above. And now,open the door if you would be so kind?"
He said that while getting rid of the hastily donned shirt and the crumpled jeans.
For a moment a gaudy piece of ornamentation became visible on his bellybutton: A piercing made from bone with tiny inscriptions.
But before Mato can look closer, Bobby squatted naked and his human form began to flow and melt, leaving a large osprey in his place.
Once the door opened, he took flight, heading directly for the Halloweener bar, taking care to fly high enough not to be immediately visible to anyone out there hunting for a bit of street meat. Flying a few lazy circles over the bar, he tried to get a sense on who was coming and going from there, trying to intuit who would be a good target for a quick smash and grab.


Shapechange F6 ( 15d6t5 9
Resist Drain ( 11d6t5 2
No drain
Using Heigtened Concern to ignore the sustaining penalty.

Eagle Stats

B3 A8 R6(9) S2, natural magnification

Perception: Perception ( 13d6t5 4
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-01-18/1607:37>
Mato:  Finding a set of old Rider Waite images is fairly easy.  In fact, you find a Matrix forum called Dealer Net that seeks to compare found (and speculated) card images to classic tarot cards (sometimes from those outside the Rider Waite deck, but those matches usually seem a little iffier to you), and even includes a map of claimed sightings.  The map itself is relatively simple, with nothing more than little markers to note where a card has been reported, and very occasionally which card is it believed to be, but it looks to be being frequently updated by multiple users using different sources of varying credibility, and the whole thing is a mess.

The image that Jawsey described doesn't appear on any of those of cards reported as found, and it doesn't look insantly similar to any of the classic cards that you spot, but after some looking them over for a while and browsing the forum you notice a few consistencies.  The new cards are divided into the same suits as the old ones, along with a number of unsuited "major arcana" cards, and for a card of any suit (which are each represented by an object - blades, coins, batons, and cups), the image on the card always features a literal or symbolic representation of the suited object matching the card's number in the suit.  Sometimes a dog appears on a classic card but not on its modern equivilant, or vice versa, but if the two of coins will always have two coins in the picture, the four of blades will always have four blade-like object, ect...  Considering this, you think that the King of Swords might be the closest match, both images depicting a single, older male holding a single sword (though it is a classic broadsword in the classic picture) and seated stoically (on a throne or on some stairs).
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-01-18/1622:41>
AM notifies the team of her finding and says: "I'd guess that that Nightmare dude wants the card. It seems a strange coincidence that our Jhonson owns such card and that the leader of the Haloweeners is rumored to be interested in them." She sighed and said "There is this street race which we intercept Yin in. Perhaps we go there..."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-01-18/1736:23>
Mato watches somewhat incredulously as Bobby strips naked then turns into a goddamn bird in the middle of the room. He's seem some weird drek but this takes the cake. He stands there with a befuddled look until Bobby squawks and reminds him to open the door. Mato does so, then puts his hands on his hips while he watches Bobby fly south.

"Well I'll be a peace-loving pinkskin..." Mato mutters to himself as some sort of curse.

He shakes his head and then starts to gather his things for the drive to The Jackal's Latern. He pulls on his armor jacket, which is both prudent for both the chilly, almost-autumn weather and the chilly, almost-feral locals.

He has the presence of mind to scoop up Bobby's clothes too, just in case the madman doesn't want to be a fragging bird all night. He also fetches a beer can out of the fridge to mark the car; he finds a can of Orkstaff’s XXX and wonders who would have bought it. Someone who wanted to get totally drekfaced, most likely.

Mato checks with AM and Jawsey to see who wants to join the party, then heads down to the Americar for a short drive south.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-01-18/1910:38>
Bobby: A nearby kid gives a surprised yelp as your wings lift you into the air.  Catching a warm current, you rise above the rooftops of the Barrens and the streets shrink before you.  The bar is only about six kilometers from Touristville, but as you make your way there, you find yourself very glad you get to do it by air.  Touristville is wild, but what you're seeing now is a true slum.  Gun barrels peek out from board up windows.  Packs of wild dogs roam the streets and nests of devil rats seem to lurk in every alleyway.  The people below you walk briskly and never alone, constantly looking over their shoulders and ducking behind debris for cover any time a car backfire or a motorcycle rockets by.

The Jackal's Lantern sits near the edge of the slum - further south is nothing but a feral urban jungle, and in the distance the eerie light of Glow City.  The bar is a squat, dated, two story building nestled between a Stuffer Shack and an abandoned tenement building that shows signs of use by squatters.  The exterior is covered in graffiti drawn over graffiti, but left untouched is an actual painted doorsign depicting a jackal howling at jack-o-lantern.  Strings of old Christmas lights are strung up along the edge of the roof and blink on and off in a schizophrenic strobe, and a fires burn from two metal drums on either side of the entrance, where crowds of leather-clad men with painted faces stand smoking e-cigs and betameth.  They glower at anyone walking by, and on one occassion a ganger casually pulls out a gun and shoots out the headlight of a passing compact, eliciting raucous laughter from his comrades when the car speeds off in a panic.

Out back, there's a fenced in lot where there are around a dozen bikes parked, with half as many gangers milling about.  In the corner of the lot, you spot a blue and gold Suzuki Mirage mirage tipped onto its side, with two Halloweeners disassembling it and tossing the parts into boxes.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-01-18/1933:34>
Mato and anyone tagging along:  You coast out of Touristville and beyond the supported range of Grid Guide, switching the Americar to manual controls.  Almost immediately it feels like the numbers of AROs demanding your attention is cut in half, and many of those flicker in and out a you drive by the shattered and shoddily repaired building they decorate.  You find yourself running most of the stoplights that are still working - a still car out here is always a potential mark for someone, and it's not like Knight Errant is watching anyways.  No one obeys the laws of the roads here, and you routinely see people get into a car only to witness them disembark a block away in the rearview mirror.  Cars are mobile armor here, not just transportation.

You park the car about a block away from the Jackal's Lantern, and on the opposite side of the street.  The bar is easy to spot - a van-sized ARO of a laughing lack-o-lantern spins in place over the door.  You see a trio of Halloweeners outside smoking, and through the Stuffer Shack's windows, you see a few more milling about inside.  The bar's windows are heavily shaded and have a bars over them, making seeing through them problematic, and a single camera swivels about right over the door.

You notice a tired - looking Halloweener coming out from the tenement building next to the bar, wiping blood off of his hands.  You know what to look for, and as you crack the window, your heightened olfactory system picks up on the vaguely iron tang.  It's not human blood, though.  In fact, wrinkling your nose, you realize it doesn't smell quite like any other blood you've ever encountered.  Not a dog, not a cat, not a rat.  For some reason, it reminds you of horse, but that's not quite what it is.

OOC: Without any kind of audio enhancement ware/powers, the noise of the Barrens is too omnipresent to make use of audio perception to get anything relevant unless you want to get closer, which needs a driving+intuition check to avoid alerting someone to your snooping.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-02-18/0033:08>
AM's reply to Bobbies asking if she and Jawsey would join is "I want to drive!" She is very passionate about driving. She'll return for a short moment 'change into something more armored' and returns when sporting her gun, as well as the urban tomahawk, and two throwing knives.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-02-18/0329:40>
Taking close note of the two gangers working on the Mirage, Bobby decides to head back to his colleagues. Spotting the car is easy when you know where the best observing spots are.

Landing behind the car, Bobby drops the spell and knocks on the side window:
"If you've got some pants for me I've got some info: Two gangers are in the process of disassembling a Mirage. I'd say those are prime suspects for being involved in the abduction. Now, I can sneak up on them and grab one, but I'd need a good distraction and maybe a bit of backup as well. What do you say."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-02-18/0348:45>
MMao smiles. "I say, 'Why not both?'" He gets out of the car and asks Bobby for the lay of the land.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-02-18/1045:38>
Jawsey sighed.  The back seat of their car was surprisingly comfortable, and he'd almost hoped that this evening wouldn't require getting out of the car.  Then he realized that maybe it didn't have to.  After all, why count on an armored vest, his limited skills with Glock and sword, and his somewhat greater skill at talking to keep him safe around a vicious gang, when he could stay physically invulnerable, and able to flee at nearly the speed of thought?

"I could check things out astrally.  Perhaps avoiding the inside of the bar for now to reduce the probability of alerting anyone.  Then I could manifest to create a distraction when you need it."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-02-18/1109:24>
AM said, "If you do not wish to run them over with the car... a transparent man cursing them is distraction enough."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-02-18/1415:35>
"That sounds about right." Bobby explained the situation in detail, before continuing:

"Maybe shoot some shit in front of the bar too. Payback is a bitch and all that.
Now, for this to work, I'll take on the form of a big cat - and I need someone to help me into my armor. I've got trodes fitted to my goggles, so I can stay in contact. I'll subdue one of them and drag him over the fence. That might take a moment or so. If someone could gel shot him before that, this would make my job a lot easier and quicker. Not to mention - the guy has a much better chance to still be alive if I can drag him out without a fight."

While the discussion went on, Bobby took a few pinches of a powder from the pocket of his armor and once again began to change his shape.


BC 1
Using 2 Reagents to add to the limit
Shapechange F6 (Limit 8) ( 14d6t5 4
Resist Drain ( 11d6t5 6

B6 A6 R6(9) S6
-1 AGI currently from armor encumberance, -1 from BC

As soon as I'm in position:
BOD Boost ( 8d6t5 5
AGI Boost ( 8d6t5 5
+4 to Body, + 4 to AGI

Sneaking ( 15d6t5 5
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-03-18/0216:46>
Mato just got here and barely has a grasp of the situation before Bobby is naked (again) and hatching some plan about dragging off a Halloweener like a lion bagging a gazelle. Then Bobby goes and transforms into a lion or a mountain lion or Wakan-Tanka-knows-what because Mato isn't a zoologist and didn't do that well in school. Mato rubs his temples at the improbability of it all while Bobby sits there and waits for someone to dress him.

"There are lots of ways to cause a distraction," Mato says, massaging the bridge of his nose. "I have a flash-bang, and a gas grenade full of pepper punch. If I get up on one of these roofs, I can plink the 'weenies with gel or stick-n-shock. I got an Ingram in the smuggling compartment in the trunk which has a suppressor on it.

"Or we can take another approach. Maybe AM can hack a bike and drive it off. While they're chasing after it, we tag a couple of the stragglers. I can drop a target T-and-F'ing with the best of them." Maybe not everyone understands the expression. "Twitching and foaming. Tweaking and freaking. Stick-n-shock, chummers."

He looks to AM and Jawsey. "Or maybe one of the finger-wigglers has a trick up their sleeve. Maybe have a 'weenie break off of the pack. He walks away, thinking that it's his own idea, and comes right to us. AM's a credible honeypot."

Mato has no idea if this is a compliment or an insult or both. He shrugs; biz is biz. "Loud is fun, but loud kicks the hornet's nest. And all the hornets are angry, drug-addled pyromaniacs."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-03-18/0328:53>
AM said "lets try to hack before combat... "
She moved  form the pilot seat in case things go bad, and plunged into VR for a short while looking to see which wireless devices are in the vicinity. With an emphasis on the two gangers.

Perception (Matrix) ( 11d6t5 3
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-03-18/0955:20>
"If we want non violent, I could ask a spirit for help.  Give it a burner link, have it float up to the bar and announce that it has a call for ... Well maybe AM could extract a name for us?"

"That alone is odd enough to probably start pulling an audience.  We set the phone to project, I quickly make myself up like a drag queen and berate the guy for cheating on me.  Spirit floats up out of reach so it is hard to stop the call.  Enough of a spectacle and chance to laugh at their own that if I can drag it out long enough it should pull most people out front to watch.  Hopefully the ones working on the bike would not be the first to move."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-03-18/1514:31>
Bobby waited patiently while his colleagues made up their mind. In his experience adding complications to the plan seldom made it simpler in execution. Still, even if he was an asshole, he certainly wasn't an idiot. So he cooled his haunches and reviewed in his mind how he could approach the fence unseen and make his way to the target.
Sneaking was after all, one of his strengths...
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-03-18/2325:26>
>>> I am thinking of a simple and mundane distraction, such as playing very loud music from one of their comlinks. Very difficult to hear someone sneaking when you are struggling to stop your comlink from deafening you.  The best distraction is simple and leaves little to going sideways. Seeing obvious magic is alarming and would have them calling for backup. A faulty comlink is not a reason to call the cavelry. Also if they use wireless smartlinks, their guns may be hacked before combat making it safer for us to surprise them. There are like 10 different ways that a social drama scene can go horribly wrong, as much as I'd love to see you in heels.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-04-18/0754:08>
Jawsey sinks back in his seat, mumbling "Ah, it would have been a grand spectacle"

After chewing on his thoughts for a bit he offers to Bobby "I suppose I could provide astral overwatch for the extraction.  And if it would help I could have a spirit off a bit of extra concealment or slowly levitate your target so that you don't have to carry him off in your jaws. "
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-04-18/1438:43>
You have surveyed the landscape thoroughly by aggregating the information you gathered from the overhead flight and a casual drive-by of the area.  The car is currently parked inconspicuously in the lot of the Stuffer Shack where a few cars are plugged into charging stations, but mostly people are milling in-an-out to get packs of BBQ rice chips and que-soy-rittos.  I realize I forgot the scale marker, but you can use the 30x50 lot of the bar as a frame of reference.

OOC:  I'll be posting this next part in sections, just in case something happens with the window and I lose progress.

The Bar: The bar has mostly been covered.  Three guys standing out front as doormen.  The lot with the bikes is on the western side of the building, along with a small open-air porch area that is littered with empty bottles and spent BTL chips.  A few windows are cracked on the first story, letting the sound of a Jetblack cover band creep into the streets along with a soft orange glow.  The second story offers no immediate access from the street, but with a brief window of being unabserved a skilled athlete might be able to reach a window fairly quickly by making use of some of the debris cluttered all around the base of the building (or by using hydraulic jacks!).

Icons:There are a few AR decorations, most notably the big spinning jack-o-lantern.  There are about two dozen personas projecting from the bar, but some of them could just be local junkies and drunks.  Most of them seeming to be running on fairly cheap links (rating 2), but you spot sporting more advanced Erika Elites (rating 4), and they're forming PANs that include smartlinked smgs.  Several of the halloweeners are sporting varied cyberware, but with the exception of some cybereyes and the afore-mentioned smartlinked systems, you don't see much wireless functionality to it.  You can spot the icon for the camera overlooking the door, as well as three more on the interior, and some low-grade basic BTL recording equipment.  The camera doesn't look like much, but, curiously, is part of a WAN - slaved to the host of the Stuffer Shack across the street.

There is one icon that catches your eye, both because of it's uncommon detail and because spotting it is all you can do - whoever is running this persona is better at hiding their Matrix presence than any of the other gangers around.  It's projecting from inside the bar - a French nobleman decked out in all of the pomp and foppery of the late 1700s.  He's got a powdered wig and pastel orange overcoat lined with a gold trim and glossy black buttons.  Baggy trousers terminate at the knees giving way to frilly white leggings and buckled, high-heeled shoes with the pointiest tips you've ever seen.  You're worried the face is going to show up in your dreams tonight.  It looks like someone started with a blank mass of flesh and then carved a grinning jack-o-lantern into it.  There's no bleeding or scaring around the cuts, though - simply ragged, torn flesh - like someone took a pair of pinking shears to a corpse already drained of blood.

The Stuffer Shask  This is an old one, from before the 50s when Stuffer Shacks were fueling stations/convenience stores/pharmacies before the the supercenters they've become today.  It also hasn't been renovated properly since then either, because it's still got the in-your-face Aztec aesthetic that AZT was slapping all over everything when the Nuhuatl Renaissance was still novel, so the exterior almost makes it look like the gift shop for a theme park.  The interior is stlightly more modern (dating back only to the mid-60s), but extremly run down - no one cares about keeping it clean anymore.  Paint has peeled and no one has bothered with decorative AROs, and the ballistic windows are riddled bullet holes.  It looks like someone even tried to spray a smiley face on there with a machine pistol.

Though only a single story, the building, there is a largish parking lot and a covered area for vehicle charging stations, with two old gasoline fuel pumps with signs over them that "out of stock."  The traffic is slow-but-not-dead here, and you're pretty sure that at least one of the cars in the lot is abandoned, on account of it having no wheels.

Icons:  There is a crude host attached to the Stuffer Shack, and not much else.  It's the boilerplate pyramid design that AZT rolled out onto all of their properties when the new Matrix went live, before they started getting creative with their sculpting.  There is basic wireless functionality attached to the charging stations, and they are slaved to the host.  Since grid-guide doesn't operate out here, the cars have all been pretty much locked into manual functionality, but you could still tinker with alarms, remote lights, etc...  There is a security camera looking over the parking lot, and two in the store, both slaved to the host.  You can see a few Halloweeners milling about in the aisles from out here, but none of them are showing any smartlinked or wireless gear.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-04-18/1514:46>
Tenement: This structure looks almost like a big wall with a bunch of doors in it.  The building is essentially 25 shotgun houses stacked on top of each in a 5x5 gride.  Each unit has a single door looking towards the east and towards the west.  The eastern doors have a very small balcony that connects to a single exterior elevator (of which there are five - one for each column of apartments).  It would seem that people tire of waiting on other tenants coming and going, because many of the lower-level balconies have rope ladders rolled up on their floors.  A second, communal balcony (though only about 5 feet out from the doors) runs along the eastern western edge of each floor, and each of these grants access to the fire escape hugging the building's northern wall.  The ladder from the second floor to the ground is currently lowered, and people seem to use the scaffolding regularly to come and go, or just to sit on while they have a beer.  There is also a management office jutting out from the ground floor along the southern edge.

Icons There are some cameras in the office and one on western balcony for each floor, as well central terminals in each apartment that form a PAN for some basic amenities.  The whole system seems to be running on some dated tech, with no host attached to the building, so the cameras are slaved to a central terminal in the office.  Curiously, you note that a handful of the cameras are slaved to the host of the Stuffer Shack.

Pavilion Area: There is a run down common area outside the apartments where strung out addicts buy drugs from a Halloweener dealer.  A few benches are scattered about a large, circular area of tiled concrete that might have been nice forty or fifty years ago.  A broken fountain sits in the center, with a congealed pool of brown liquid surrounding a shattered and broken statue of some guy in a suit.

Icons:  There's not much to speak of out here.  A few personas from the people milling about, but a lot of them don't even have comms.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-04-18/1525:16>
Abandoned Squat: This old, fairly basic apartment building has long-ago been abandoned by whoever the last landlord was.  Windows and most of the doors are boarded up, but you spy movement indoors occasionally.  There are a few meta links with out-of-the-box personas active indoors, but no other Matrix activity.  There is a trio of rusty old shipping containers dominating a small lot outside.

Rubble:  This used to be a building, but now it's not.  Whether it was a demolition project that never got cleaned up or was torn apart in riots, or simply fell apart from years of neglect, this lot is a big pile of concrete, plascrete, and rebar.  No Matrix activity here.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-04-18/1555:24>
Jawsey sinks back in his seat, mumbling "Ah, it would have been a grand spectacle"

After chewing on his thoughts for a bit he offers to Bobby "I suppose I could provide astral overwatch for the extraction.  And if it would help I could have a spirit off a bit of extra concealment or slowly levitate your target so that you don't have to carry him off in your jaws. "

Having been given his goggles with the trodes, Bobby was able to respond:
<<Concealment would be good, but levitation is too slow. Maybe just give your spirit a can of gasoline and a lit zippo. Nothing like a burning man to get the attention of a crowd of pyromaniacs. Or drop Molotovs from on high. One thing you could levitate for me would be a sturdy piece of cloth like a blanket over the razor wire. I can get over no problem, but if I carry a man in my fangs he might get a bit scratched without something to blunt the edges.

My suggestion on how to do this: I'll sneak up close to the fence screened by the pavilion area and helped by your spirits concealment. Mato gets into position to knock our target out.
Your spirit starts some shit in the north of the parking lot - setting fire to stuff would be my suggestion - while you get ready to levitate the blanket I take with me. As soon as the distraction starts, Amy creates lots of noise with all the gear around here. Mato shoots the guy while the noise covers the shot and adds even more distraciton.
I jump in, bite the guys ass and carry him out over the fence and drag him back to the car.

Anyone got a better idea?>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-04-18/1733:19>
"The idea sounds grand.  Only hitch is that I'm quite new to actually summoning spirits, rather than just dealing with ones that I find wandering around the astral.  I understand that those who are better at this call up powerful spirits that will happily complete many tasks.  So far I'm at the level of being happy if the spiritual equivalent of Gus from Stuffer-Shack will do one thing for me."

After a moment he added "I should be clear: Gus from Stuffer-Shack is probably a great guy and deserving of kindness and respect, he just doesn't have the strength and cunning and power that you have, for example.  In no way do I look down upon the spirits that respond to my call, I just don't want to confuse anyone at to their potency and flexibility."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-04-18/1829:47>
Mato nods with Bobby's plan; it was remarkably similar to one that he had come up with, but there were still holes to be addressed.

"A distraction is great, but it might not draw the attention of the doormen out front, or the dealer in the pavilion. Any of them have a good chance to spot a mountain lion trying to slink past to get into position near the fence. Same with dragging the target away. It's broad daylight for another hour.

"Speaking of which, we got this job an hour ago. We have two days. Let's do some surveillance. If these goons go home, we follow them and bag them along the way. Until then, let's keep them under observation. Anybody have a drone we can use? No? What about an directional mic? No? Well, we can add those to the shopping list once the job is done.

"For now, someone can buy a hit from the dealer in the pavilion, then squat next to the fence and listen in on the choppers. Or I can jump on the bar roof, sit in the corner, and eavesdrop. Or chummer here turns into a crow or a pigeon and does the same thing. Maybe they tell us what we need to know without even asking a question.

"What time is that Nova Rich street race in Bellevue tonight?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-05-18/1321:08>
AM said "I am all for going fast and strong because 48 hours is not a lot of time. That said, I am not sure what we are going to do after with the ganger? where do we interrogate him? At home?! 

I can try to dig in for information in their comlinks if you like. I won't start right now as failure would alert them so I want us all to be in agreement before we take that risk. "
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-05-18/1428:10>
"Information from commlinks would be good in general, obviously anything specific to our boy is best.  But if you can get the names, or street names, of the two tearing down the bike, that might help us find them later if needed.  I was also thinking that I should go take a look at their aura's, so that I can also recognize them that way.  If our other leads dry up, I can come looking for parts, hopefully end up talking to them."

"Any objections if, after I take a look at their auras, I go take an astral look-see into their bar?  See what numbers they have in there, any awakened talent that we have to take into account, that sort of thing?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-05-18/1430:11>
Bobby replied:
<<@Jawsee: I can do it without concealment. Even a really weak spirit can fly a gas can over a target and set it alight. Just be careful not to get caught - those guys might have a pyromancer or some adept who can see you on the astral.
@Mato: The doorman shouldn't have line of sight - especially if the matrix distraction works. But I take your point about the daylight. Better to wait for twilight.
But waiting for those guys to go home, only to realize that they share accomodations with half a dozen other gangers doesn't seem to be a good idea. The 48 hours don't necessarily mean that the boy will still alive. Those guys aren't exactly the rational types. I can clear 40m in three seconds, probably more if I concentrate and take an hour to watch a few instruction guides. 
Eavesdropping is certainly a good idea.
But I can't do pigeons yet. To great a mass difference. I'm working on it though.
@Amy: We can interrogate him by hanging him from an overpass or any other dark corner in the Barrens. There are way to make them talk.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-05-18/1641:38>
"Hang him from an overpass ... or just float him fifty metres in the air, and then start seeing if whatever pistol we took off him is accurate at that range.  My best guess is that about the time we reload for the second time he starts talking.  But if you want to be less dramatic I'll settle for hanging him from an overpass."

"But for now, a-scouting I will go.  If I'm not back to my body within a couple of minutes it is because I've been spotted and am worried about leading anyone back to our car.  If that is the case I'll take the time to lose them, and please bring my body back to our office within a couple of hours."

Trying to pretend like he's not worried about losing his body, Jawsey slides out of it sideways, quickly flits across the street, and then passes through the rubble pile, happy that it had not been there long enough to have picked up the aura Mother Earth.  Once on the far side of the rubble he soars high until he has a view of the bar and the lot behind it. 

(conditional on not seeing awakened)
Once he is confident that there are no awakened types paying attention to him he moves farther and comes lower, to get a good look at the aura of the two who are chopping the missing bike.

(conditional on still not seeing awakened). 
He takes a moment to brace himself, and another to regret that the background count here renders his weapon focus useless, then plunges into a corner of the bar building, to see what he can see from there, moving carefully through the building until he has a fair idea of the layout and has seen what occupants are in there -- unless and until he sees anyone else astrally aware.

(ooc: architecture pool 8, so can possibly guess on some of the layout details with a couple of bought successes?  (so as not to just run dead into the middle of things). 
4 successes on asensing
asensing the bar ( 11d6t5 4 )
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-05-18/1713:29>
Once everyone are in place AM would try to hack the comlinks.

Improve logic F6 ( 2#10d6t5 3 4

Hack on the fly comlink 1:
Hack ( 13d6t5 2 Let's edge it to not tip them off.
 Hack (reroll) ( 11d6t5 6 8 hits all kept. 

Which files are stored in the link?  Next action either edit file to copy the file (or crack it if protected).
5 logic + 6 skill +2 hot sim -2 silent + 3 logic spell -1 BGC = 13 ( 13d6t5 6
Amy would browse what information is avilable to her...
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-05-18/1721:02>
Mato nods appreciatively, not having previously considered the intimidation opportunities of levitation. That sounds like a good way to tap into a primal fear of falling, he thinks to himself. Mato remembers how he had to overcome that same fear when he first got his cyberlegs and hydraulic jacks, how to trust your legs to absorb the shock of a 15-meter fall when you hit the ground at 60kph.

He also nods to Bobby's response. "You're right, I shouldn't have implied that we would let him get home. So many things can happen while driving in the Barrens. Something sharp can hit your tire and you can take a spill... But gangers are pack animals, yes, so he might not ever be alone.

"I'll see if I can get into position to hear what they're saying."

Mato steps out of the car. His intention is to walk along the road that crosses the northern wall of the bar, then jump to the roof and sneak to the southwest corner from there. Hopefully that will be close enough for his earbuds to eavesdrop on what the gangers are talking about.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-06-18/1255:43>
AM:  The firewalls on the links part for you like the Red Sea, and you begind digging around their files and old messages.  Most of it is either drivel or not pertinant: a few messages sent to other gang members about their activities or new tattoos, a desperate plea from a shop owner behind on payments, that sort of thing.  You can find where thwy live, though - one resides in the tenement building, and the other has a shitty squat a few blocks away.A few of the messages from today are about a nova rich hostage that was brought in last night - the kid is definitely here somewhere.  One medsage does seem odd, a memo that was sent out this morning to several gangers.

-"If you're checking on the kid, make sure to grab two steaks - that thing devours them fast.  Madjack only brought one on the way in, and took some burns on the way out."

Mato:  Traffic is regular but slow along the road.  You aren't certain you can avoid being seen, but this is the Barrens - your prettt sure you saw a guy running from a ghoul on the drive here and jo one blinked, so its really a matter of not being seen bu the wrong people, and that you can manage.  Your jacks launch you into the air towards the edge of the roof, but as your fingers reach for the ledge, you find gravity pulling you back down.  Reacting quickly, your toes find purchase where a brick has fallen from the wall, and you are able to kick back up, scrambling your way onto the rooftop.

There is a boarded up maintenace entrance up here, and not much esle but a cooling unit and a lot.of old debris.  Staying low, you make your way swiftly and silently to the southwest corner.  The guys beloow you are oblivious, and currently seem to be engaged in a heated debate over whether the Jet Black cover band indoors is hot drek or just drek.  Eventually, ome of the gangers tosses is hands.  "You wouldn't know good music if I blasted it up your hoop.  I'm gettin another drink."  He step indoors, momentarilly leaving the other guy alone in the lot.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-06-18/1430:13>
Jawesy:  In fact, you spot an awakened aura pretty quickly inside the bar - a sorcerer, and with a magical strength higher than your own (magic 4).  On top of that, you note that a couple of the gangers (one inside the bar and one of the doormen) are sporting some mid-level cyber typical of a razorboy, all either standard or omega grade.  Some implanted muscle, a but of work on their central nervous system, and some blades inside their hands, but no headware or anything else unusual beyond a few cybereye systems and datajacks on random gangers and civies.

As sorcerers do not astrally percieve, you aren't too worried about him seeing you, but before you slip inot the bar (which will get an interior writeup later and a map when I get home), something else catches your eye.  In the tenement building there is a faitly distinct aura, and a more potent one (magic 5).  It's awakened and appears bright on the astral, but it seems to be pacing on a floor rather than floating.  You cant make out more details without getting closer, but whatever it is, it's dual-natured.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-06-18/1450:41>
Jawsey:  Forgot to mention -  You also spot a weird anomaly you arent sure what to make sense of.  There are sveral stray animals rooting around, but you see two cats in the area with auras that are just plain weird.  They're fuzzy and indistinct like any other non-awakened creature in the astral, but their auras are slate grey, as if they are emotionally and mentally dead.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-06-18/2111:23>
<<I have a window!>> Mato DNIs urgently. <<Parking lot is empty, target is all alone! I can neutralize him out in five seconds or less. Slice through the fence and we're gone. I just need a distraction for the chummer in the Pavilion as I drag him to the street for extraction. Objections?!>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-06-18/2201:55>
Coming straight up through the roof of the bar, Jawsey is surprised to see Mato there, even if he's stuck over in meat-space.  Looking around Jawsey realizes that they are alone on the roof for the moment, so he manifests, with his form lying on the roof to minimize his profile.

Focusing on talking in meat-space he tells Mato "I think I have a lead, something magical in the tenement building.  Details can wait -- what's up, and can I help?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-06-18/2301:18>
AM texts >> The kid is around here alright, these guys deliver him food and stuff.  He eats freaking steaks, what kind of gangs feeds a rich boy captive with expensive food? What kind of terrified prisoner shouts at his captives? My bet is that he is working a number on his old man.

Think quickly as there is only one opportunity for surprise. Do we still need the ganger? Our spirit can find the kid if we release it here, and we can storm the place and extract him once we know the details, but since we do not have an army we must have a surprise or a plan or something wiz to do.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-07-18/0120:04>
Mato looks visibly startled when Jawsey manifests on the roof and starts talking to him. His first instinct is to raise a fist in self-defense; his second instinct is to shush Jawsey, lest he be 'heard' in the parking lot. In all likelihood the sound will be covered by the Jetblack cover band, if it's even 'sound' at all, but Mato isn't up on the finer points of manifesting and astral communication.

Mato resorts to hand-signals, trying to imply that the target is alone in the parking lot and that it might be a good time to grab him. It's largely gibberish and looks like Mato is trying to make shadow puppets of an upside-down rabbit jumping down a hole. He wishes that he knew Sioux sign language, and resolves himself to lobby the team to learn it together once the job is done.

Then AM's text comes in and Mato's sense of urgency drops off. He thinks it through before firing a text back.

<<The steak isn't for the kid; it's for what's guarding the kid. Bringing Jawsey up to speed now.>>

Mato takes a knee next to Jawsey's prone form, then bends down to whisper:

"AM says they're guarding something in the tenement. Might be that 'something magical' you spotted. Can you or a spirit go look?"

Then, back to AM and Bobby:

<<Jawsey says there's 'something magical' over there. That's has to be related, maybe even what the steaks are for. Do we have any cameras inside the building? It's possible they have more than one hostage in there.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-07-18/0356:04>
AM shows the team the exact reference she found and says "Now that you mentioned it does make sense that it is a beast, something that spits fire... a hellhound perhaps?  The information I stole definitely places the dog and the prisoner nearby. I think we should just wait for an opportunity to take the raid. "
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-07-18/0719:54>
Jawsey whispers Mato "Heading to my body.  Comm if you need help." Then he stays low and swings in a loop back to the car.

Once settled back in his body he resumes the conversation <<What I saw in the tenement was awakened, and lower to the ground than a metahuman.  I can go take a better look, but if I can see it, it can possibly see me.  Possibly I can fight it, but the background here keeps the magic on my sword cane from working, so I lose that advantage.  I can't promise that I can drop it in my own, but I can probably hurt it at least if that helps.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-07-18/0756:05>
Amy Maka said, "Well... you would not be entirely on your own, I can make you faster and more difficult to hit."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-07-18/1306:10>
Mato observes the east side of the tenement, stepping back from the edge of the roof so that he's not visible from the parking lot below.

<<Jawsey, which floor was it on? The units are in a 5x5 grid. Can you give me an approximate position, how many units up, how many units over?>>

<<Let's get into position before you go confront it, including nixing the cameras. We'll want to be ready to extract.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-07-18/1315:04>
Jawsey again slides out sideways, through the rubble, and this time rises up through the (mostly) abandoned squat until he comes out the roof and can take another look at the tenement, to try and spot the astral form in there again -- this time taking care to count which unit it is in.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-07-18/1338:22>
Ooc: at work right now so I cant upload a floor plan, but I'll do my best with the description.

Jawsey:  The astral form is prowling back and forth in a room on the 4th floor, the middle apartment (out of 5).  Edging closer, you can make out a large dog with black fur, tangled fur.  It's eyed glow like coals, and occasionally when it growls sulfiric fumes vent from its mouth.  It seems to be on a chain, and a few tall barriers (maybe cubicle walls?) have been placed in the studio apartment, hugging the walls near the door and around two edges to create a sort of U shape in the room.  There is a second aura inside the apsrtment - metahuman, and under an enormous amount of stess.  It doesnt look like they are bound.  In fact, theycan move freely abiut the studii, but they cannot reach the door without stepping into the narrow corridor created by the barriers, bringing him into the hellhound's reach and line of sight.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-07-18/1403:32>
Mato:  It looks like the elevators are pretty unpopular with the tenants.  Not many people are using them except on the 4th and 5th floors.  Everyone esle seems to be going out the western door and using the fire escape to come and go, not wanting to wait on other tenants.

The people here all seem checked out, resigned, or high, and the Halloweeners arent keeping a very active eye on the building.  It seems like they are confident that the camera tjey-ve det up, the hellhound, amd occasional check-ins are sufficient security.  You dont think it will be difficult to approach the room undetected, but once you're in, that's anither matter.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-07-18/1421:25>
Jawsey:  Those two weird cats are watching you.  Amongst the myriad of auras they're easy to lose in the crowd, but there is no mistaking then when they pop up, and they seem to moving around with your astral form, planting themselves at the base of whichever buildings you move to.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-07-18/1524:40>
Jawsey doesn't have anything against cats.  Or he didn't, until now.  But these ones are puzzling and behaving oddly, and that makes them a potential problem.

Of course, one of the things that Jawsey loves about the astral is how easy it is to run from your problems!  He heads over the larger road running to the north of the tenements, and speeds up.  He isn't looking to leave the city so it isn't maximum astral speed, but certainly enough to to get out of the sight range of cats that are bound to the physical. 

Once he is several kilometers away he stops and waits for a minute, then returns, but moving a block south and again cutting through the rubble on his way to the car, to minimize how long his astral form can be seen near the car.

Once back he sends AROs describing what he saw, including a rough layout of the apartment.  He finishes up with <<I can at least distract the beast, with a spell boost maybe take it out.  And that is the only living guard in there.  But I have no idea of what tech they might have in there, and I don't see a way to get the kid out of there without attracting attention on the way out.  I might be able to levitate him down, but not quickly and not while fighting in the astral.  Getting him to the ground, into the car, and out of here without a pack of Halloweeners on our tail could be tough.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-07-18/1620:14>
AM replied >> Well, we will be seen it is a public place. The question is seen doing what.

1. I can levitate the boy faster down the window, I only need line of sight. It should be safer than braving the entire building. 

2. We need a distraction while we do that, either we set the hellhound free and have it run amok in the building, or we get the Nova Rich to do some mess of their own. Manipulate their pride and ego and have them stand up for themselves. 

3. In any case, a fourth floor is like what say 20 meters?  We are talking about 12-9 seconds of levitation to get down, and they don't want to kill the boy. So even if they spot the escape they are more likely to gang on us below the window than shoot at him. I think it would still be faster than the elevator or stairs.  Perhaps Bobby or Mato can physically accompany the boy. Either by sneaking into the building or with shape-changing magic. Just in case the boy cannot make it on his own, or in case we missed some security measure. 

4. We can try to loop the cameras - but if our faces are not going to appear there - it is a risk. If I succeed then we get a bit longer before we are detected. If I fail then we may lose the element of surprise. So I say we only use hacking if the plan involves our faces in the camera. Even then we can wear ski masks and stuff.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-07-18/1656:38>
<<We don't know yet how the doors are secured.  I can't tell that from the astral, sorry.  They could have something as simple as a slide bolt on the outside or as fancy as a maglock, I'd guess?>>

<<I have a pair of binoculars, if we can get them to Mato up on the building, maybe as a starting point he could take a good look at the door?  And AM, you didn't see any locks on the matrix, right?  If we have to we wait for them to send someone to the room, intercept somehow, take the key?  Or let them go in, I hit the hellhound, Bobby and Mato hit the Weeners?>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-07-18/1704:26>
>> We can wait for someone to go in, intercept him on the way out and take his key and open the door. Let me check the matrix...  She looked around trying to see what kind of security measures are visible online.

Matrix perception ( 11d6t5 5
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-07-18/1715:31>
<<I'm not worried about getting in>> Mato tells the team. <<Locks are no problem. Mechanical, maglock, no matter. And, if they are, then doors aren't a problem.>>

<<We can wait for the next feeding to take place, and piggyback on that, but I say we go now while it's quiet, preferably from the west so that the parking lot can't see us.>>

Mato briefly contemplates intercepting the feeding so that he can grab the steaks for himself, but then figures that they're probably feeding the thing Grade E meat, maybe horse testicles for the extra iron.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-07-18/1723:01>
Bobby had almost started to act as the distraction for Mato to grab the ganger. Now he was glad he didn't.
<<Well, that was easy. Now we know where the boy is - if it is indeed the boy and not an unrelated prisoner.
Now if I understand you correctly, you are worried about the person watching the cameras. If you don't trust yourself to hack them, I could take out the guard - or Mato. But hacking would probably be safer. Either I or Jawsee can knock out the hellhound.

Getting the prisoner out means taking out the hell hound. If I don't use my armor I can enter the roof unseen and make my way down. After that it's just a matter of getting into position. I have a microwelder that I can carry in my various forms. That would allow me to open both the door and a window on the opposite site of the building to evacuate the prisoner to you via levitation and without being seen by the bar below. If everything else fails I can transform into a gorilla and climb down with him. >>

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-07-18/1812:32>
<<I can go do a sweep of the building, but those strange cats may show up.  I don't know if anyone pays attention to them or not?  If we need the intel, then it is worth the chance.  But if we are pretty sure of the plan then I'd hold off I'm about to go in, to give less chance for anyone to react if they notice anything odd.>>

After a moment he adds <<And if nobody is paying attention to those cats, if we fed them, do you think we could adopt them?  Could make interesting astral security of our own, by the looks of it.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-07-18/1821:14>
AM texted >> Well, after carefully examining the host and cameras I can loop the cameras.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-08-18/1440:58>
Mato stands and backs away from the western edge of the roof.

<<Coming back to the car for my kit>> he tells the team. He returns to the northern edge of the roof, looks around to see if anyone will notice him stepping him off the edge, then does so at an appropriate moment. His hydraulic jacks easily absorb the 6-meter fall; he hardly has to break his stride as he walks east to return to the Americar.

He gets his things from the car. The sun is setting and the temperature is dropping, so he uses it as an excuse to zip up his jacket. He stuffs his ballistic mask down the neck of his jacket so that he can put it on when closer to the target. A bug scanner goes in one pocket of his jacket along with a tag eraser.

"If they're getting tight with their Matrix security then they might have a tag on him. We'll make sure he's clean before walking out the door."

The other pocket gets his autopicker and his lockpick set. Carrying both is probably redundant but it's an old habit that he hasn't broken yet.

Bobby makes a point about not fiddling with the lock and just using a miniwelder instead.

"That's true," Mato says. "But an old place like this... I don't want to light the door on fire. Seems like a miracle that the hell hound hasn't burned the whole place down already." He glances across the street at the giant pile of rubble to the south. "Nobody ever accused the Halloweeners of being fire marshals."

Still, he takes the point and slips his miniwelder in a back pocket. He considers his area jammer before leaving it in the car. The sequencer gets left behind too; Mato can probably do a better job with his hands. Then he comes across his plasteel restraints, which he contemplates by slapping them against his palm.

"I hate to think we'll need these, but just in case..." A couple of them go into his other back pocket.

He skips his hardware toolkit; it's only really needed for transponder-embedded keys, and even then Mato is terrible at them. He can only defeat the most basic versions, and only when he gets lucky, and even then it takes him at least a minute. If he runs into one of those he'll go to Plan B.

"Alright," he says. "Ready.

"Did we try interacting with the cats? he asks Beta.

"And speaking of cats, what form are you taking?" he asks Bobby.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-08-18/1725:16>
<<Good question. I'll be entering over the roof, so first a bird than something that allows me to open door handles - probably a gorilla. Might come in handy during the escape as well. I'll be incomunicado without my goggles, so I'll rely on Jawsee and his astral form to inform me about anything important. Therefore go ahead, I'll catch up with you once you are in position.>>
Bobby replied while he slowly transformed back, getting rid of his gear again, stashing it in the car.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-10-18/1715:06>
Jawsey looked at Mato blankly for a moment, then admits "I never thought to try and interact with the cats.  They have ... strange auras.  Like they were dead."

He looks up for a moment, thinking, then shakes his head "I've never paid a lot of attention to animals, I can't say that I have any clue on what they could be.  Especially with that 'they don't appear to be awakened, or even living, so they shouldn't have any awareness of my astral form -- but yet they seem to somehow be showing up where I am.  Zombie cats?  Sounds like something out of a bad trid, but then again this is Redmond, things straight out of a bad trid aren't all that uncommon from what I understand."

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-10-18/2003:05>
Mato hmmms. "My concern was that if someone - perhaps the finger-wiggler in the bar - has a paranormal guard dog then what's to stop them from having a paranormal guard cat?

"Other than cats not really enjoying training, nor guard duty, nor work of any kind really.

"Do the cats have a physical component or are they astral only? There are enough strays around here than I haven't been paying attention to unusual cat behavior. Maybe this is just the Barrens being the Barrens."

He juts his thumb over his shoulder. "Otherwise let's just buy all the catnip toys at the Stuffer Shack, toss them into the alley, and let the kitties go nuts. While we're in there we can see if there's some zebra meat for the dog or something."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-10-18/2119:37>
"Fish.  Catnip is fine too, but I remember the stories of the colony of strays that used to live around the port, living in scraps from the fish.  By the time I can remember, the dilocks saw more Russian smugglers than fish, and the cats were gone, probably eaten by someone or something.  But anyways, I'm told cats will show up quickly to the smell of fish.  And if they end up fighting over it, that's another distraction, right?"

"That is, if the Stuffer Shack has anything resembling fish.  That might be an issue."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-10-18/2332:04>
After a few moments, AM is able to bypass the host's firewall and tap into the camera's feed (which is visual only - it hasn't been hooked up for audio).  It looks onto a room that has been stripped bare.  The surfaces are scored plastcrete, and the only furniture is an arrangement of steel cubicle walls and small cot set up in the corner of a little nook that they form.  Huddled in the middle of the cot is a severely bruised Yin.  He holds one hand close to his chest and his face is contorted in pain.  There is a bucket to one side of the cot, and a small pile of nutrisoy packs and bottle water on the floor.  You can't make out the space behind the makeshift partition, but you can make out the occasional lick of flame issue through the seams.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-11-18/0020:12>
"Chummer here is going to smell like a pit toilet," Mato says, wrinkling his nose and praying that the cut-off function of his olfactory boosters saves him from the worst of it. The car though, the car.

"He looks beat up; I wonder if he can even walk. Speaking of walking, we have four-seat sedan for five adults. Bobby, you want to fly home? If not, I can run."

He looks over to the Stuffer Shack. "I'm going to take a quick turn through the aisles and see what I can find for the animals. Maybe some wet wipes and some spritzes for Sir Stinks-a-Lot. Maybe a Cup-O-Soup and a Ludivenko Lovely Soya-Sloppies with the DoubleThick option to welcome him out of captivity."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-11-18/0042:39>
AM shared the information with the team and suggested "Let's not overthink it... I'll loop the cameras and you do the extraction. Bring him to the car and we GTFO, we have a smuggling space for the stinker. I think we can be fine but a bit of distraction cannot hurt.  "Even if he has a tag, they are not going to Bellevue to reclaim him... So it is mainly a question of how easily we get out of Redmond."

She texted about the cats, still in her hot sim ">>They could be bio-drones, which would explain the strange aura. They are technically alive so they have one, but lack of control over their body would degenerate their entire emotional state, and make their aura pale and bland. Almost like objects, but not quite.  Being drones does not explain how they can see the astral without being dual natured, some critters can instinctively sense magic, but not actively track a projecting mage as far as I can tell.  I'll have a look in the matrix in case they are bio-drones - would be little point in feeding them in that case."

With that she started looking where Jawsei said the cats were and trying to see if they also had some matrix icons, running silent or not. A bio-drone would definitely be driven remotely... unless - the driver is as small as a mouse. That thought raised a strange smile to her face.
Matrix perception (Cats) ( 11d6t5 5

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-11-18/0132:20>
The cats give off no wireless signal whatsoever.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-11-18/0138:53>
>> So no wireless on them... No spells and not awakened.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-11-18/1006:20>
<<My big worry is that the cats are actually dead, but possessed.  I've heard rumours of spirits that can possess empty bodies.  And I'm out of my body a lot. >>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-11-18/1024:04>
She dissmissed the notion. "How can they be possesed without being dual natured? "
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-11-18/1310:13>
<<Well, there is good eating on a cat, so if you want to be extra sure, I can take care of them. But all in all I'd recommend to just fly up to the window, cut through the glass with the micro welder, take the boy to the window, have Jawsee levitate the boy to the ground and get the hell out of dodge. Simple, quick and with a minimum of fuss. Jawsee could try to calm the boy down enough, so I can turn him into a Shizu and carry him away.>>

Bobby replied, getting impatient again.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-12-18/0139:06>
AM said, "Sounds like a good plan to me... Perhaps you'd prefer to enter from within, as I can loop the cameras, but it seems like a nice plan."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-12-18/1544:39>
One way or another, Jawsey was going to want a spirit for when he faced the hellhound.  If he could get it to cast any levitate spells, that would be all the better.

His first thought was to call RedJacketBoy, the spirit he'd known longer than any other.  But even as he made the call he could tell that his heart was not into bringing the spirit to this place with its tainted astral energies, and to fight a dangerous opponent.  The summoning attempt fizzled, but he also didn't lose any energy to it.

If he needed a fighter, he could call Sam, with his long clever fingers that could flick a magicians wand or wrap around a throat.  There was some risk in calling Sam, as the spirit's power was stronger than Jawsey's own, but generally he could handle it.  It turned out that he could handle the drain, but not persuading Sam to come to this place.

Well.  If he had to bring a spirit to this vaguely miserable place, maybe he should be calling on a vaguely miserable spirit?  TheHunchedWomanWithIronTeeth was proof that spirits could be bitter and sour just like metahumans could, but she seemed like a fit for this place. 

This time Jawsey put all of his focus into the summoning, funneling in his desire to be valued by this new team, his frustration with the weakness of his magic and his dislike of the barrens.  The ill-natured spirit couldn't resist that cocktail of magic and emotions, but as she appeared she opened her mouth improbably wide and slashed his spirit with her knife-like teeth.  She cackled into his mind "What are we tormenting?  Or is it finally your turn to die and you are letting me watch?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-12-18/2007:24>
"Time to go shopping," Mato says, exiting the vehicle and heading for the Stuffer Shack.

The team goes back and forth over text to form the plan, Mato contributing via DNI. Luckily he can navigate the Stuffer Shack with little conscious thought: Aisle 5 for personal hygiene, Aisle 7 for pet food and supplies, Aisle 16 for Cup-O-Soup, the dispenser bars for liquid and viscous products. He also looks for treats that he can use to ingratiate himself toward any nosy tenement residents: Sweeteez and Krak-L-Snaps, a pack of cigarettes, a "Beauty and her Breasts" trid, etc.

Discussions about the plan continue, with a checklist rapidly forming about the progression of steps.

Mato also buys a pair of disposable Use’N’Lose plastic gloves from Aisle 10, the better to hide his cyberhands, then goes ahead and buys a whole outfit in case Yin's clothes need to be burned. Luckily the gloves, shirt, shoes, and pants are only ¥2 each. He makes a last-minute executive decision to also buy a couple steaks, reasoning that - while expensive - they were cheaper than medical bills.

<<Just bought some steaks. I'll try feeding them to the dog first at 8a. If that doesn't work, then it's on to step 9.>>

He approaches the counter with his "Tex Shaft" identity ready should the system have the audacity to actually ask for a SIN. Shops in the Barrens usually went out of business if they required one, but sometimes you got unlucky. He holds a credstick at the ready so that the cashier knows that he's getting paid either way.

He returns to the car, drops off some of the things that are for Yin, pulls on the gloves, then looks to get the green light to proceed.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-13-18/0104:26>
When the plan finally stood, Bobby replied:
<<Alright, see you on level 4.>>
This time, the transformation was sluggish despite the fact that he opened up a really large channel to the surrounding mana. His Totem became clearly visible - a chimera made up of the many aspects of Beast. That done, another Osprey took to the air, heading for the tenement building, with the small form of his mini welder in his claw.
Bobby took the time to soar a bit over the roof, making sure no-one was up there, before landing on the window sill of the boy's cell to take a personal look on the situation - after all "trust but verify" had seldomly failed him. Once he had the confirmation, he sneakily made his way to the balcony to meet up with Mato.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-13-18/0818:22>
AM recorded several minutes of the camera feed in order to loop the camera at the extraction point. When the team was ready she would delay detection by making the camera show recorded images rather than the genuine feed.

edit file (loop camera) ( 14d6t5 2
Dice luck strikes me too, but oddly - 2 successes are enough as the camera only buys 1 hit.

Back in AR, she gestured at Jawsei, "give me your hands| she asked. She closed her eyes and chanted a brief blessing to the great Eagle spirit. It was not strictly required of the spell, but they were not in a hurry and it was important to be modest before tempting fate. The blessing was well received as her spell came out potent.  "Go and return safely, the spell is solid." She said.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-13-18/1830:46>
AM's magic left Jawsey's mind feeling clear as a bell, yet aware of everything.  Aware even of why he'd been reaching for a dose of Psyche -- less for the need than the reassurance of the drug.  With a small effort he re pulled his hand away from that pocket, and threw himself into the astral before he weakened.

He flew his astral form to where Mato had left the cat bait, hoping that if they were following him, they would get close enough to be tempted.  Then he flew away from the tenement, then up, then in wide three quarters of a circle.  The  fragging cats would probably show up anyway, but he felt he had to at least try.

Shortly he arrived at the balcony where Bobby was waiting.  He stood his astral form inside the adept, hoping he'd pick up the signal.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-14-18/0705:42>
But after only a few moments of being on the balcony, it occurred to Jawsey that it could be coincidence that the prisoner happened to be in the most defensible unit in the building, but it could also be quite calculated, and they had not scouted the adjacent units.

That could be resolved in moments, and Mato was not here yet.  So he floated into the middle unit on their level, and then into the end unit.  Best to know if there were guards on standby before having to deal with them.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-14-18/2042:49>
"Ready?" Mato asks. Then, to Jawsey, "The cats follow you around, right? So lead them across the street to the south and we'll see if we can distract them." He shakes the Stuffer Shack bags.

Mato leaves the car and heads south across the street. He tries to whistle for the cats but it comes out as a hollow note. Giving up, he grabs a bag of dry cat food labeled Friskzzz! and rips it open before spreading it out in a trail. Then he cracks open a few cans of Fancy Beast in several nauseating flavors and leaves them out on the ground. Keeping an eye open for any hungry hungry hobos that might try to steal the cat food before it's served its purpose, he breaks out the catnip and sprinkles it around liberally.

I like cats, Mato thinks to himself. Never thought I'd be working with a cat. Hey, I wonder if Bobby would like any of this?

Task complete, he looks around to see if Jawsey has lured the mysterious cats over to the buffet. Or would Mato even see the cats? Did they ever confirm if the cats have a physical form?

<<Beginning my run now.>>

Mato walks north, following the road between the bar on the left on the Stuffer Shack on the right. Then he takes a left and makes a beeline for the fire escape ladder. Reaching it, he grabs a rung and puts a foot on another as he readies to pull himself up.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-16-18/1234:13>
So if I am reading this correctly, Jawsey is scouting in Astral, Mato has bought some steaks and cat food, AM is working from the Matrix, and Bobby is an osprey with a miniwelder who's perched on the tenement?  Do Jawsey and AM have their bodies parked int the car?

AM is able to piece together some footage of the kid rolling around on the cot and occasionally glancing towards the corner.  It's not the most seamless loop she's made, but it should do the job for a few minutes once the action starts.

Mato is able to find an assortment of cat-food products in the Stuffer Shack as he weaves through checked out civs and a few Halloweeners wandering the isles, but the closest he can find to steak is a soy-Salisbury imitation.

Bobby makes a few passes over the tenement, but there are no windows.  The only places to perch are on the balconies on either side.  The western walkway is fairly populated, but the eastern balcony is bare (though the bar and stuffer shack offer line of site to it, he will have to be sneaky once he changes back).

Mato makes his way to the base of the tenement, and as soon as the tins of food are open and laid, a stray cat approaches tentatively and begins lapping it up.  After a moment, it looks up suddenly and it's ears flatten.  It looks towards a shadow behind the dumpster and begins to hiss, but the sound has barely issued forth before a devil rat leaps from the shadows and sets upon the cat in a gruesome display.

From astral space, Jawsey sees a few a cats and even a couple stray dogs inspecting the food, but the grey cats remain thoroughly disinterested, staying focused on him.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <09-16-18/1522:41>
Yes, in the car. AM would probably switch to AR once the camera is looped to not be helpless (as Jawsei is in the astral).
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-16-18/1937:04>
Upon seeing the failure of Operation Tempations, Jawsey returns to his body long enough to message <<The creepy zombie-cats just cemented that description; no interest in the food, continued interest in me.  Carrying on with the plan, but be aware of the possible complication."

Then he flies the now-familiar loop to bring himself around to the far side of the building, where he passes through Bobby, and then checks the units to either side of the one they are targeting.

(this is a slight elaboration on the earlier IC post, to react to the car situation)
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-18-18/2218:48>
Mato: There are about a half dozen people milling about on the walkway, but they don't take much notice of you.  They seem to be in the habit of keeping their heads down.  The walls of the building are standard plastcrete - you can pick up the movement of the hellhound stalking back and forth on the other side of the wall.  There's an old maglock on the door with a passkey (it has a wireless signal, and is not slaved.  Rating 3).  There's no activity in the blocks on either side apart from a busted down cleaning drone that keeps thumping into the wall in the northern apartment.  The southside adjacent block is almost entirely empty, with nothing but a few bundles of something-or-other laying on the floor.

Jawsey:The adjacent apartments have nothing going on in them, as far as you can tell.  The one to the north seems like it's occupied, because you get a few vague astral wisps of furniture and personal affects, but the tenant doesn't seem to be home right now.  The one on the south is completely bare - it seems like it may be abandoned.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-19-18/1356:30>
Once Mato had opened the door for them, Bobby slipped in behind him, while taking on the mountain lion form again, so he can enjoy the enhanced reflexes this form grants him - not to mention the ability to evade the fire breath of a hell hound.
Patiently he waits for Mato to open the door, dropping the microwelder for Mato to pick up.

Shapechange F6 ( 14d6t5 5
Great Cat: B6 A6 R7 S6
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-19-18/1828:56>
Mato stares impassively as the devil rat attacks the cat. There's a shred of his humanity that suggests intervening - that identifies the cat as a potentially domesticated companion, while the pale, hairless devil rat is clearly an abomination - but Mato has long since grown impassive to such considerations. Looking away, he continues toward the current objective.

Taking the fire escape, Mato heads up to the fourth floor balcony and then makes his way down to the middle unit, scanning the neighboring units with his radar sensor as he goes.

<<Maglock>> Mato reports when he gets to the door. <<I know this model. Give me 10 seconds.>>

AM, detecting a wireless signal, bids him to wait. Mato does so, taking the opportunity to take his ballistic mask from his jacket and place it over his face. He then removes one of the soy-Salisbury steaks from its packaging, holding the questionable lump of non-meat away from his boots as it drips gravy onto the balcony.

"Dinnertime," Mato sings through the door, waiting for the lock to pop open so that he can chuck the stuffer into the room.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-20-18/1631:53>
Bobby waited for the sounds of carnage to begin. Jawsee was supposed to attack from the astral - that would give him enough time to subdue the hellhound.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-20-18/2157:10>
As soon as Mato reached into the apartment to toss the steaks, Jawsey flitted into the empty apartment to one side, then through the wall in hopes of catching the Hellhound by surprise.  Unfortunately the 'steak' had fallen short and the beast was writhing on its chain, and more than ready to fight.

The hellhound was quick, for a being of meat.  Jawsey was as quick as he could think, and thanks to AM's spell his thoughts were quick indeed.  While the hounds was still lining him up for a lunge, Jawsey was flying over its back, intending to rake the astral part of the hounds make-up.  The hound twisted faster than Jawsey had expected it to and he almost missed, but then he just stopped.  The hound, slave to physics, continued its spin, bringing its head right into position for Jawsey to slam his feet into the beast, sending it staggering.

The hellhound was staggered, but not willing to give up the fight. It snapped at Jawsey, but the elf was easily able to fling himself back through a wall and out of reach -- and then to charge right back, smashing into the hound with the full force of his will.

That seemed to have been enough, the creature's aura confirming it's lack of consciousness.

After a moment Jawsey pulled himself together from the adrenaline of the fight, and manifested next to the boy.

"I took care of the hellhound.  My team mates will be here in a moment to free you, and we'll get you out of here.  The more that you can cooperate, the faster we'll get you away.  Now, is there anything we need to know?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <09-23-18/1710:01>
          The hellhound drops with a muted welp as a firey bark fizzles in its throat, drawing some raised eyebrows and sideward glances from the residents milling about on the walkway.  A few eyes are remain on the door as AM opens it remotely and Mato slips into the apartment.

          Inside, Yin turns and looks towards Jawesy's manifested astral form.  His skin is blanched and sweat drips down his face.  One eye is severely bruised, and he clutches one hand close to his chest.  As he rolls over in the cot, you can see that his cyberhand has been crudely hacked off just above the wrist.  You can see a bit of blood dripping out from the tangle of wires, and the one remaining pinky finger twitches sporadically.  He seems about to speak, but instead slumps forward and spits a string of thing bile and partially-digested nutrisoy onto the floor.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <09-23-18/1756:56>
Jawsey muttered a heartfelt "Frag!" This was going to make things more complicated. 

Raising his voice just a bit he called to Mato and Bobby "It's a carry out.  You want him floated or do you have it?"
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <09-24-18/0100:09>
Bobby moved in quickly after hearing Jawsey. There was little time to waste and the boy didn't look so good.
Jawsey had asked him something, but Bobby doubted he would get an answer from the boy. Time to find out if the boy came wilingly or not.
Bobby concentrated for a moment while estimating the boy's weight and tried to turn him into an easily portable pug.


Hopefully, the boy is a willing target:
Shapechange F6 ( 14d6t5 2
Drain resist ( 11d6t5 4
No Drain
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-24-18/1802:07>
Mato ducks inside and sees the boy's wretched condition. It doesn't surprise him that the hand was hacked off; Mato likely would have done the same. Not only was the gold valuable, but the boy had likely done something unwise with it, likely a rude gesture to the wrong Halloweener.

<<@AM Ready for extract. Package will need medical attention.>>

Then, to Jawsey, "Maybe keep an eye on the bar and the stairwell to make sure the coast is clear."

Before Bobby turns Brian into a sloth or a babboon or whatever he has planned, Mato runs a bug scanner over the kid to look for tags that need to be erased.

"Yin, we're your extraction team. Please cooperate with my associate here and we'll get you out safe and sound."

While Bobby is working with the kid, Mato gives the place a quick search to make sure they're not missing anything that might not be obvious on the astral or via the camera. He then goes to keep an eye on the doorway to keep their avenue of escape clear.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <10-09-18/1644:20>
The scan reveals no tags, and Bobby goes ahead with his spell.  The kid doesn't really seem to understand what's going on - he's pretty out of it.  You can feel him push against you as you cast, but with the state he's in, he's not in any real condition to resist.

He shrinks down, sprouts fur, and turns into a very startled pug.  The dog's eyes dart back and forth as he wimpers, turning to frantic yipping when you pick him up.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <10-09-18/1952:01>
Mato exchanges a look with Bobby to see if Bobby wants to take Brian for a walk or if Mato should take him. Once the decision is made, Mato steps out onto the balcony and waits for Bobby.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <10-10-18/0001:50>
Bobby carefully takes Brian by the scruff of his neck and hands him to Mato.

That done, he swiftly moves out in front of him to clear the way, should it be necessary.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <10-10-18/2044:00>
Jawsey suspects that he'll never tire of asensinsing a spell being cast.  The way that some vibrant and almost alive comes into being from nothing but raw astral background has a fascination that he can't quite describe .... With a mental shake he pulls himself from that reverie as he sees the others are starting to move out.

He stops manifesting, and flits his astral form back out to the walkway to scout check for trouble.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <10-11-18/1709:50>
The pug in tow, Mato and Bobby make their way past a few confused-looking residents loitering on the walkway.

Returning to Astral space, Jawesy, spots one of the Halloweeners making his way back towards the tenement building from the bar.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <10-13-18/0818:07>
Bobby bounded down the fire staircase while maintaining his concentration and staying vigilant. If everything worked, AM would be waiting for them with the car...
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <10-14-18/0021:10>
Mato cradles the pug as best he can. It's abnormally large and dense, as Magic can only do so much when compressing an ork into a dog. Mato's metallic arms are not not soft or comforting, although his armor jacket at least saves the pug from direct contact with the cold metal.

Mato peels off his ballistic mask and stuffs it down the front of his jacket. Sure, it would conceal his face, but right now he'd rather appear inconspicuous. Hopefully the grocery bags help with that. Just, you know, out for a walk, carrying some dinner to grandma's house, with a mangled dog, like a normal Redmond resident...

<<@AM Coming down. ETA?>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <10-14-18/1213:42>
Mato and Bobb, can you give me a stealth + cha check to see how nonchalant you can can be on your way out.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <10-14-18/1443:52>
Stealth+Cha ( 10d6t5 2

Rather chalant than non-chalant, Bobby moved down the steps - which wasn't particular surprising considering his form.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <10-14-18/1512:15>
Seeing her colleagues depart the stairs, AM hit the gas and gets the car as close to them as possible. A bit distressed that Jawsei is still outside. She extends her spell defense to her team and eagerly waits for their return.

>> I am as close as I can, just get in, we need to get out ASAP.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <10-14-18/1702:41>
Jawsey keeps an eye on the ganger approaching the building, but also on their car.  He wants to be able to give warning if things are about to get hot, but he doesn't want to have to play 'hunt the body'
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <10-28-18/1321:29>
Bobby and Mato hastily make their way down the fire escape and through the courtyard, past junkies palming for a hit, and past a Halloweener carrying a dripping raw steak of something in his hand.  They duck into the car and Bobby takes the wheel (I think he was the designated driver).  The car crawls out of the parking lot and creeps along the road for about a block before he straight up floors the pedal and tears back towards the Barrens.

Scouting the Matrix, AM picks up panicked chatter and sees the 'Weener's icons darting around in a panic.  She makes a call to Mr. Liu, who is at first a bit cranky at being woken up, but his ire quickly turns into relief at hearing you've retrieved his son.  He tells you he practically out the door and on your way to the office with the nuyen, and that the car will be ready tomorrow afternoon.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <10-28-18/1719:50>
Bobby had resumed his human form, riding naked in the car. Now that he had to keep his concentration only on one spell, it felt much easier to stay under the radar.
"Well, that worked out quite nicely. I wouldn't have minded ripping those 'weeners a few new orifices, but all in all I think we come out ahead. Still, we might want to have a little conversation with the boy before his daddy picks him up. I'm pretty sure there is more going on here that we should know about."
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <10-28-18/1914:44>
"Best run is one where you don't fire a shot, neh?" Mato says, repeating the oft-heard line from the trids without really believing it. He can't help but privately bemoan the absence of stabbing, shocking, punching, choking, or otherwise physically incapacitating a Halloweener or two, especially since gangers are so guilt-free. He thought for sure he was going to at least throw one off the balcony, or land on one after jumping off the roof, or maybe clothesline one while sprinting as fast as a car.

"I'm not sure how much we're going to get out of him," Mato says to Bobby. "He was dazed and confused beforehand, and transforming him into a dog isn't going to be any easier on his mind. He lost a hand, probably traumatically, and needs medical attention. Unless one of our finger wigglers can coax the information out of him without his say-so, I doubt he'll give us much."

Then, out of an abundance of precaution, he texts the rest just in case the dog is conscious enough to hear:

<<Let's talk about what we want to do about that card though.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <10-29-18/0058:15>
AM texted >> If we are to steal the card, the easiest time is during the meeting.
 Honestly, I think it is none of our business though. We got paid to a job, we did it.
Going after our first client like that will get us a nasty reputation, and this card is too 'one of a kind'. 

I tell you what I think, we get the money soon. We give him the kid- I don't want to be responsible for his medical condition. If he does problems with delivering the car as agreed then we'll raid his home to get paid. Keeping our integrity and reputation intact.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <10-29-18/1509:47>
<<The job was the boy, and that's job's almost done.>> Mato comms.

<<But let's not forget the fact that we have a second "client", hmm?>> It's an allusion to the agency's financial backers. <<Even if we don't act on it, we might want to pass this one up the chain.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <10-29-18/1740:03>
Jawsey had followed Mato and Bobby back to the car, getting into his body just in time to move aside as everyone piled in.

Once it appeared that they were not being followed, Jawsey offered

<<I think going after our client's card is far more trouble than it is worth at the moment.>>

He let that sit for a moment, and then added

<<However his research could entirely be worth copying.  He should know anything happened, and if these cards are making such waves it could give us an important jump start to understanding these new complications.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <10-30-18/0128:56>
AM texted >> What if I go talk to Nightmare once we are done... I am sure he'll have some job for us. If he can get past the hostility of what we just did... Though we did not kill or permanently damaged anything so I think that there is hope.

We don't have to go after this particular card, it may bring some extra money. The man seems obsessed with them - so he might have some leads for us, and we already had a show of competence by extracting the boy. I can make it work.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <10-30-18/1842:51>
Bobby shook his head: <<Two things: 1) It's bad for business to turn around and sell confidential information of your clients. 2) The 'weeners are fragging crazy. Going into business with them will bite us in the ass, guaranteed.
At the very least they could learn about our address and I really don't want our place to burn down.>>
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <10-31-18/0848:30>
>> So no stealing the thing. We don't know of any other potential buyer than Nightmare... but we get a new ride! This is exciting.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <11-01-18/1106:11>
(Sorry.  I pretty much passed out as soon as I got home last night.)

You get Brian into your office and dismiss the pug spell.  He's jittery and incoherent and doesn't really seem to understand what's going on or where he is.  After about and hour, there is a ding from the door - Arthur Liu is here.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: gilga on <11-01-18/1321:41>
AM reaches out for her armor jacket and closes it over her T-shirt. It is the barrens, after all, then she looks in the keyhole, and only afterward she opens the door.

"Mr. Liu, I am happy to see you. Come have a seat."  She said warmly.

Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Jack_Spade on <11-01-18/1349:00>
Bobby had put back on his clothes and made himself comfortable, but kept in the background while the friendlier half of the team took care of the boy.
He had just fetched himself a cup of soycaf when the doorbell rang. Giving only a curt nod to the client, he wandered into the conference room and leaned against the wall next to the door - just outside the peripheral sight of the client.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Tecumseh on <11-01-18/1930:23>
Mato stands by the window, picking his teeth with a toothpick while keeping a narrow eye on Redmond outside. The job had been smooth and easy, which makes him nervous. He had scanned the kid for tags but there's always the possibility of something outlandish, like magical tracking. Having the new headquarters firebombed by angry Halloweeners would be damnably inconvenient, so Mato watches and waits. They're past the pointing of needing to impress the Johnson, and AM and Jawsey are the friendly ones, so Mato lets them preside over the reunion.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Beta on <11-02-18/1349:28>
The boy was clearly exhausted, traumatized, and likely in physical shock too.  Jawsey had always avoided learning too much about medicine during his treatments -- it was an area where knowing what was happening had always seemed to make it worse -- but he knew enough to make sure that the boy was kept warm, that they get him to drink some fluids, and be kept quiet.  So he sat with him in a dim room, using asensing to keep an eye on his health, making sure he didn't get worse, hoping he'd start to get better.

Which was damnably boring.

When word came that the father was here, Jawsey was more than ready to pass the boy over, but took the time to brush any wrinkles out of his clothes, clear his throat, and paste his 'professionally pleasant' look into place.
Title: Re: The Found Arcana IC
Post by: Lorebane24 on <11-13-18/0409:14>
(Sorry to wrap things up so unceremoniously, but I figure I have made a habit of just clipling along aver few days to a week, so here's basic summary)

Assuming no one does anything crazy or unexpected, it all goes off without a hitch.  Arthur picks up his son and passes you certified credsticks in the proper amount, and the next day the car, newly cleaned, is delivered to your agency.

Everyone gets 25 karma as well.

If anyone wanted to keep running with this, I can pass some notes to them.