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[5e IC] Tabula Rasa, Chapter II

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Tecumseh

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« on: (02:45:59/11-19-14) »
Registering no objections, Ohanzee approaches the crate. He's small for a dwarf - about as small as a dwarf can be, really - but what he lacks in brawn he makes up for with personality and flamboyant funeral rites.

Ohanzee is a halfer somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.25 meters, more if he's levitating. The crate is about a meter tall, meaning that it comes up to his chin. The crate itself is in bad condition: cracked and splintered, presumably from the crash. Ohanzee stabs the crowbar in a horizontal gap near the top and pries it open wider, only to find that it moves without resistance. He looks closer and sees a hinge for the lid of the crate. The crate doesn't have a latch to keep the lid shut; Ohanzee sees a couple nails were used to quickly seal the lid, but he also notices that they're already bent and loose.

Flinging the lid open, he stands on his tiptoes in order to see all the way down to the bottom of the crate. Katsina stands behind him, looking over his shoulder. The obelisk is almost as large as the crate itself, with a large octagonal base and a thinner, flatter tablet on top. The entire thing appears to be metallic in nature, although the base and the tablet are distinctly different. Ohanzee recognizes the tablet as hepatizon, which he knows to be an alloy of orichalcum and cerrukite. The tablet is covered in unintelligible script, divided into dozens of different parts.

The Dwarf and the Masked Woman assense the object. It is most certainly dual-natured, and thrums with ancient power. It's almost blinding on the astral, and Katsina has to look away before long. The shape, the materials, the inscrutable inscriptions... none of it suggests that this was a recent creation.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #1 on: (03:03:29/11-19-14) »
The Masked Woman
"If we survive, the good news is that we're probably rich. The base is made up of large amounts of gold, iron, copper, mercury, silver, platinum, osmium and silicon. I'm no metallurgist but If it's heavy enough that Sam and Chino were struggling with it, then the value of the materials alone is likely a million plus. I don't think the insurers are just going to cut a check for this one though. The fact that we've got strike teams tailing us suggest that this is more than some C-suite trophy."

She moves away from the obelisk, sliding her back down the wall of the van to a seated position. She looks away from it, as if the sight of it is giving her a headache.

"When we first woke up, I noticed a strange tinge on our auras. It was subtle; I could only see it when I was specifically looking for things out of the ordinary. It was a signature of some kind, rapidly fading, that I had never seen before. Something definitely happened to all of us that affected our auras. Now that the crate is open, I can tell that it was from the obelisk."

Zweiblumen

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« Reply #2 on: (14:03:22/11-19-14) »
Crumpled looks over the oblisk in the box, capturing images with his cybereyes.  With the flick of an AR widget he sends the images to his Agent and has it do a Matrix Search for more information on it.  He then goes about the process of adding all of the electronics around to his PAN and making sure they are all secured behind his firewall and running silent.

With this being the first time he's had to put any attention towards his old deck, he starts to dig into it to see if there's anything recoverable from it.
« Last Edit: (14:46:02/11-19-14) by Zweiblumen »
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8-bit

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« Reply #3 on: (14:05:11/11-19-14) »
Chino felt nothing as he watched APB's body burn. He didn't really get to know her since the accident. He did have a sinking feeling as he realized; there were only 5 people left he could trust now. He had known it before, but it somehow seemed more ... final now. He focused on drvinig. Keeping his eye on the road, he listened to Katsina's description of the artifact. It seemed rather unimportant; they had more pressing matters to worry about. The least of which were the constant strike teams that were likely in pursuit. As the others were musing about the thing in the crate, he asked, "Still headed to Aspen?"
« Last Edit: (14:32:58/11-19-14) by 8-bit »
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Poindexter

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« Reply #4 on: (14:16:41/11-19-14) »
Sam is opting for quiet through the ride. He's not terribly impressed with the revealing of the artifact, as seeing it doesn't help their situation at all. He just leans his horned head back against the wall of the Rover, feeling the cold arctic air slip through the bulletholes as it rattles and bounces over the mountain road.

"Still headed to Aspen?"


"Mmmmm hmmmm."
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Zweiblumen

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« Reply #5 on: (14:34:51/11-19-14) »
Looking up from his ruined deck Crumpled says, "Aspen seems like the best bet to me."
With a quick glance at the troll leaning against the window, he quickly gets back to work on the drek he has in front of him.
<<<@UncleSam [Crumpled] Would you mind forwarding all of the previous info you had about me to me?  Commlink code, contact info, pictures.  You seem to have the most collected data on each of us.>>>
« Last Edit: (13:32:23/11-21-14) by Zweiblumen »
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Malevolence

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« Reply #6 on: (15:19:36/11-19-14) »
Ohanzee stared at the Artifact without his astral sight for a few moments, considering its meaning. Obviously valuable, obviously ancient. Such a thing was rarely encountered in the sixth world, and he felt he should be more in awe, but the pressures of the situation drained all such feelings from him. Was it an asset or a liability? Was it both?


A jarring of the cabin as the rover hit a patch of ice caused Ohanzee's adrenaline to spike as he fought to steady himself. He needn't have bothered as the movement was minor, but the shot of adrenaline was enough to break him out of his reverie. He sat down heavily and focused on where he and his new chummers were headed. By rough estimate, they would be in Aspen in less than 15 minutes. They would need to ditch their ride, and get some lodging for the night.


Ohanzee turned his attention to his commlink and started looking into options for laying low for a few days. After a minute or so of fruitless searches, he gave up in frustration.


We need a place to stay, preferably one where we can pay cash and not invite a lot of questions. Any ideas? Maybe one of you might have better luck finding something useful with these drekking things. He indicated his phone in agitation.


And, ideally, without exposing our faces to anyone, including lobby cameras. Disguises would be useful.


He didn't wait for a response. The artifact proved that they were at least semi-competent. The team didn't need babysitting, and they could be trusted to operate without having things spelled out in excruciating detail. It would get done. He idly flipped through the matrix, checking out the local scene in Aspen. Legal business was handled during the day, but the business they needed to attend could be done 24 hours a day. Dive bars, night clubs, anything that operated after the sun went down held promise. A good medic that had night-time office hours could, literally, be a life saver.


As he searched, he kept finding himself digging through the contents of the commlink, searching for clues as to his past. Soon, the original search was abandoned and his whole focus was on the contents of his commlink. Before he realized it, the SUV was slowing to a stop on the outskirts of Aspen.
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Poindexter

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« Reply #7 on: (16:23:24/11-19-14) »
@UncleSam From:Crumpled
>>> Would you mind forwarding all of the previous info you had about me to me?  Commlink code, contact info, pictures.  You seem to have the most collected data on each of us.


Noticing a slight color change in the lens of his goggles, Sam slips them back down over his eyes to see what's up. After reading the message, he sends a few mental commands through his trodes.

<< Copy File/s: All files present
<< Rename Copy: TheWholeShebang
  << Send File/s: Ohanze, Crumpliah, Chino
  << FileName: TheWholeShebang


After sending off the entire contents of his commlink to who he believes are his team mates, he pulls the goggles down around his muscular neck, powers them off all the way along with all the rest of his gear, then leans his head back against the rolled up thermal hood of his armorjack and uses the rocking of the vehicle and the cold breeze through the bulletholes to sooth him to sleep, perhaps remembering the sensation of something from long ago...

Not long before the shooting starts again, i fear.

We need a place to stay, preferably one where we can pay cash and not invite a lot of questions. Any ideas? Maybe one of you might have better luck finding something useful with these drekking things. He indicated his phone in agitation.

Indeed, we do, dwarf friend. Indeed we do. are the last words that go through his head before he's out cold.
« Last Edit: (16:43:35/11-19-14) by Poindexter »
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #8 on: (16:42:36/11-19-14) »
The Rover moves heavily along Highway 82. The extra weight of the obelisk is terrible for fuel economy but does help the vehicle keep traction on the wintry roads. Chino managed to stop the fuel leak but is still painfully aware that the fuel gauge is getting close to E; there's a light on the dashboard that's blinking anxiously to indicate the same.

Katsina pulls out a throwing knife and begins inscribing it to pass the time. Her drawings are tight and display a degree of fine motor skills. Five minutes later, she leans back and twists the knife between her gloved fingers, admiring the alchemical preparation. [Katsina realizes that she has Artisan 2.] She pockets in then debates the merits of working on another. She takes a deep breath, removes another knife, then begins working again.

The Crumpled Man sits with what's left of his Renraku Tsurugi on his lap. It's in pieces and obviously in bad shape. He squints; it's dark in the Rover and his human eyes don't have any low-light capabilities. He finds himself wishing for vision magnification too, while he's at it, but he'll work with what he has. What he has is a cyberdeck with a terminal case of lead poisoning. It's clearly non-functional, a verdict which is silently ratified by the fact that his previous self decided to take possession of someone else's deck to replace it.

The data-recovery effort is noble but ultimately doomed. In the end, all he can salvage from the mess are a few garbled clips of sound and video. The recordings sound like gunfire - perhaps a shotgun? - interspersed with maniacal laughter. There's another of a man swearing about an unlucky break, followed by more shotgun blasts. It's not at all clear whether these are recordings of real-life or the remnants of some epic trid collection that Crumpled used to have.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #9 on: (17:01:48/11-19-14) »
As you approach town, you pass by a couple campgrounds. First there's Weller Campground, then Difficult Campground. Chino slows as you pass. All scouting - astral, Matrix, thermographic - indicates that they are completely empty. Ohanzee finds an online reservation system that indicates that the campgrounds are closed for the season and won't reopen until late May. For now, all you see are dark trees tall snow drifts. It's serene enough to put Sam to sleep.

The lodging prospects for the town are mixed. Ohanzee, in his search, finds that Aspen is the most expensive place in the Pueblo Corporate Council to purchase real-estate due to its popularity with the wealthy and famous. The town is riddled with second homes and has the lowest owner-occupied rates in the PCC. This trickles down to the market for hotels and motels. There are a couple discount options but even those are pricey (nothing less than 150/night) and none of them show any availability for tonight. There are a smattering of rooms available at mid-range establishments; they cost 250/night (or more) for double-occupancy and almost certainly will require a real SIN or a decent fake.

Malevolence

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« Reply #10 on: (18:05:12/11-19-14) »
Finding no suitable lodging, and having his discovery confirmed by the others in the cabin, Ohanzee curses internally. Of course, if he had really thought about it, hauling a large magical artifact around a hotel would be highly conspicuous, assuming the crate even continued to hold itself together. No, it was time to let his criminal instincts take the helm.


Plan B it is. We need to find a relatively secluded private residence that is unoccupied. There's got to be some exec that isn't vacationing at his Aspen residence this week. Let's help them ensure their investment isn't sitting idle.


He was aware that he was relying heavily on The Crumpled Man, and he was about to lean a little more.


@Crumpled: We need to ditch the vehicle. Once you find a place to for us to stay and we get close enough to hoof it there, you'll need to have this thing drive itself somewhere it won't be found for a while. If it can do so fiery-like, all the better. We don't have the time to properly scrub it for evidence.


As the lights of the city, such as they were at this hour, grew closer, Ohanzee turned his attention from his commlink to their surroundings. A confrontation this close to a populated area could be problematic, so it was best to make one last look around to make sure they weren't being followed. Shifting to his astral perception, Ohanzee did a final sweep before the struggling vehicle entered the city limits.
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Zweiblumen

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« Reply #11 on: (19:50:32/11-19-14) »
"I think I've been to Aspen at least a few times.  I seem to recall there are some houses that may work for our purposes up either Stillwater or Lupine coming up.  Wonder if I've broken into any of them before?  Anyway, I vote we take the first one and get off the road before we run out of gas."

Crumpled sends the locations to Chino and the team via ARO with the areas that are likely to have houses we could break into.

"This feels very out of charachter for me to be so free with information.  But it seems to be getting positive results.  Lets see if being less of a psychopath works out for a bit."
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #12 on: (01:38:24/11-20-14) »
Katsina visibly brightens at the mention of finding a private residence. Or did she just finish her preparation at that exact moment? She tends to glow when she casts, like the flare of light from a matchhead when it is struck. The glow dies down and she pockets her preparation with a degree of pride. She tucks the throwing knife away and then rises to a crouch to scan the surroundings.

"I'm with Ohanzee and Doc," she says, using the nickname she had tentatively given the Crumpled Man due to his skill with a medkit. "Squatting is free and if we do it right nobody will notice. We can park this thing in a garage if there's not enough fuel to get rid of it, or we can pinch some petrol to top it off."

She looks at Sam but he's drifted off. She looks to Ace to get his opinion, giving him a small nod of encouragement to go along with the plan.

8-bit

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« Reply #13 on: (12:05:16/11-20-14) »
Chino listens to everyone planning, and he speaks up, "Wherever we're going, we have five minutes, maybe less, until we're outta gas. Going to have to take the first place we find unless we want to walk."
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rednblack

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« Reply #14 on: (12:39:48/11-20-14) »
Ace has been staring out the window, trying to gauge the snowstorm and thinking about the obelisk.  This was well outside the limits of his expertise.  He's been mulling over a lot of concepts that don't really make sense to him, but it's all so far beyond what he can logically reason his way into.  He understands "auras" as a concept, even knows that his is compromised by the chrome and augmentations, but that's so strange.  It's not like he feels less human, or at least less humane.  He's certainly not less capable of love or of friendship -- at least, he doesn't think so -- nor is he under the impression that the people in this van who are un-augmented are less capable of inhumane actions, but Ahh, whatever.

He feels a pair of eyes on him -- and how does he sense that if he's mostly machine -- and turns to see Katsina looking at him.  It takes a second to process the conversation that's been going on around him, and embarrassed, he makes her repeat herself.  Once Katsina does, Ace says, "Yeah, yeah.  Let's find an empty vacation home and set up for the night.  I think we could all use some creature comforts."

Going back to the obelisk, Ace adds, "So, I don't speak mage talk, or whatever, but is whatever is going on with that thing the reason our memories are all fragged?"  He has a feeling that this is a dumb question, but when it's every memory of his that he's ever had, Ace would rather know and be thought a fool than risk the alternative.
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