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[5e IC] Sunt Venatores Venationem

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Tecumseh

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« Reply #105 on: (02:35:24/04-15-15) »
Achak listens to the high-pitched drumming of the rain on the van roof while Eli races back to civilization on 520.

Stake doesn't respond to Eli right away. Achak can tell that it's the kamikaze. He didn't see Stake take it, but he knows the symptoms, can even smell it. A mild dose might be wearing off right now, but from the looks of it Stake got a strong, clean hit. Achak thinks back to the time when he rode the 'kaze. Excitement, uncontrolled trembling, flashes of euphoria. Almost like Holy Spirit.

If Achak spoke Japanese he might draw further parallels between the literal meaning of kamikaze and his own impressions of the experience, but, alas, he does not.

It also kicks the crap out of you, from the inside out, he reminds himself. He wonders how long it will be until Stake crashes, and if he'll be worth anything after that. He leans forward to examine Stake's body armor, notices three flattened rounds. The caliber looks like a machine pistol or an SMG. Not life threatening, but they probably felt like getting hit with a sledgehammer three times. Of course, between his bioware and the kamikaze, it's possible that Stake doesn't even know he's hurt. That much more likely he'll just pass out sometime in the next hour, Achak thinks to himself.

"It's a canvas with some pretty squiggles on it," Achak tells Eli. "Let's see if Duncan Abbey is in town; he'll be in the best position to" - he glances at Sister Rebecca - "get it back to its rightful owners. Head to Queen Anne. It's 2300 on a Sunday night; I'm sure he's still awake!"

He drops a line to Duncan just in case that's not true. Stake is on slightly better terms with the elf than Achak is, but right now Stake is busy tripping balls. Achak is not well-educated or well-cultured, but he is blessed with a modicum of social grace that often allows him to pretend otherwise.

<<@Duncan Abbey, Team [Achak] Dear Mr. Abbey,
     If the hour is not too late or the company too
disagreeable, we would be honored to have an
audience with you presently. We  have uncovered
a small prize that would directly benefit from your
expertise. If you are not currently indisposed, or
otherwise located in Manhattan or Tokyo, may
we be so bold as to call upon you? Our apologies in
advance that we are not properly attired for a social
engagement.
     Yours,
          Achak
[painting.img]>>

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« Reply #106 on: (12:50:14/04-15-15) »
Within 15 minutes, Achak receives a reply on his commlink.

<<Incoming Message
<<Sender: Abbey Imports, Intl
<<cc: Duncan Abbey
<<Message: Dear "Achak,"
Greetings, sir, and thank you for your message and attached image of the item under consideration.  Mr. Abbey is unavailable at the moment, but I am certain that I may be of some use to you.  Mr. Abbey will be free for tea at 11:15 Monday, December 3rd at his office in the Queen Anne.  Please bring the piece under consideration no later than 10:45 so that initial authentication protocols may be enacted prior to your meeting.

If the above arrangements are amenable to your and your team, please let us know at your earliest convenience.

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter, "Achak."  Your efforts in the past have always been appreciated by Abbey Imports, Intl and to Mr. Abbey personally.

Cordially,

Ms. Amethyst Killarney
Personal Assistant to Mr. Duncan Abbey
<<End Message>>
« Last Edit: (12:23:53/04-16-15) by rednblack »
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« Reply #107 on: (18:15:40/04-15-15) »
The short, stocky human woman feels much more comfortable now that she's got her helmet off again. The rest of the team is puzzled by the look on her face, much more serene and content than the one she wore just minutes ago, before the run. After picking up the scabbard from the floorboards of Eli's van where she'd left it before they went in, she sheathes the Blade of Gabriel and puts it back down on the floor of the van. She then takes a few moments, double checking the MGL for wear and tear, as well as unloading her remaining four sawdust grenades from the clip and passing them back to Achak. "Thank you. They served me remarkably well." she says as she does. Those are the only words she speaks on the ride. She assumes she'll be paid at some point and so is not terribly worried about it. After all, she was completely unhurt, and had expended nearly none of her own resources, save the small amount of nuyen and reagents she wasted earlier. She does use the wireless link provided by the trodes in the collar of her armorjacket to send off the picture she took of the painting to a couple of her contacts, though.

<<@Nori Koizumi/Nevermore [Sister Rebecca] What do you know of this painting and it's rightful owner?>>
<< Painting.pic>>


A moment after hitting send, she realizes she could probably find out a little about it on her own before they even get out of the car. She's never been great with computers, but she understands the basics. Using the pic she took for an image search, she tries to find any information about the strange painting she can. Unfortunately, she just can't get the darn search engine to work properly. So be it. Knowledge, like all things will come in time. She sits in her seat between the two drones, awaiting their arrival at... somewhere. She wasn't terribly clear on the lodging situation, nor how long this particular assignment was to last.
« Last Edit: (19:30:34/04-15-15) by Poindexter »
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« Reply #108 on: (11:31:04/04-17-15) »
Stake snaps back to himself, and rubs the flattened rounds over his armor absent-mindedly.  When Achak relays that Mr. Abbey will not be available until brunch the following morning, he says, "I got a condo not far from here.  The water's hot, and the food prepper's full, so we can clean up, get a bite, and good night's sleep before the meet tomorrow.  Unless there are any objections?"

Hearing none, Stake sends the coordinates to Elijah from his comm, and the Bulldog does a 180 off Mercer and heads back east.  The sudden change in direction and speed makes Stake look like he might vomit, but he grabs the door handle and keeps him aright and intact.  The rest of the trip to the condo is quick and uneventful, though Sister Rebecca does hear back from one of her contacts.

<<@Sister Rebecca [Nevermore] Hey, n00b.  Not really my area of expertise, but I may be able to dig something up.  This a paying gig, or one of those favor for favor things?  Gimme a few ticks.>>

Elijah pilots the van into the basement parking, and the team puts their weapons and head gear in black bags before exiting out the back.  Stake slots his passkey at the elevator, and again at the door, and then the team is inside his condo.  Achak has been here before, made many pre-run plans, and post-run celebrations in the living area, but this is Sister Rebecca's first time inside.  the living room is well laid out, though not terribly big, and Stake -- starting to get a little groggy -- points out the necessaries, as he heads to the kitchen to grab some water.  "Toilet, sheets, my room -- Sister, you can stay there tonight.  Achak and I will bunk on the couches.  Trid, kitchen, obviously, umm, oh frag," Stake retches in the sink, and turns on the faucet before falling to the floor, unconscious.
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« Reply #109 on: (13:08:23/04-18-15) »
"I got a condo not far from here.  The water's hot, and the food prepper's full, so we can clean up, get a bite, and good night's sleep before the meet tomorrow.  Unless there are any objections?"

She waits for the team leader to make eye contact through the rearview mirror before shaking her head, no. I wonder how these lost brothers live...

<<@Sister Rebecca [Nevermore] Hey, n00b.  Not really my area of expertise, but I may be able to dig something up.  This a paying gig, or one of those favor for favor things?  Gimme a few ticks.>>

Smiling at the message that pops up in the corner of her vision, she answers.

<<@Nevermore [Sister Rebecca] Whichever you prefer. I have a payment for services rendered coming my way in the next 24-48 hours, so if it's to be the former, it will have to wait until then.>>

Elijah pilots the van into the basement parking, and the team puts their weapons and head gear in black bags before exiting out the back.  Stake slots his passkey at the elevator, and again at the door, and then the team is inside his condo.  Achak has been here before, made many pre-run plans, and post-run celebrations in the living area, but this is Sister Rebecca's first time inside.  the living room is well laid out, though not terribly big, and Stake -- starting to get a little groggy -- points out the necessaries, as he heads to the kitchen to grab some water.  "Toilet, sheets, my room -- Sister, you can stay there tonight.  Achak and I will bunk on the couches.  Trid, kitchen, obviously, umm, oh frag," Stake retches in the sink, and turns on the faucet before falling to the floor, unconscious.

It wouldn't be right to sleep in this man's bed, to take his space when he has been wounded and I have not. "Thank you, but no, I'll sleep out here and- " She hasn't finished her thought before Stake hits the floor, drooling white foam. "Mother Mercy!" In an instant, she's dashed across the room to the kitchen, crouched beside him, and lifted his head into her lap. She turns her gaze desperately to Achak, seeking answers. "Is he ok?! What's wrong with him!?"
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #110 on: (15:32:49/04-18-15) »
Achak likes going to Stake's place. It's not as spartan as Achak's quarters, which are practically monastic. The fact that Stake is paying for the luxuries allows Achak to not feel guilty about enjoying them. He was often tempted to emulate Stake's lifestyle, but it felt untrue to Achak's hardscrabble upbringing on Cascade Ork lands. He was worried that the additional comforts would make him go soft, lose his edge. You need all the edge you can get when dealing with the undead.

Stake's place was such a sharp contrast to the apartments where they had just been. Already, the memories of it were getting hazy, like a nightmare fading. Such a hellscape; Achak wondered who would clean it up. Could such a bloodbath in the Barrens even be cleaned up? What was the cost, and what was the benefit? Who would want to live there, even with clean walls and carpet? The background count would be monstrous.

Stake gives the tour, vomits, then passes out. Achak is immediately grateful that the boss was next to the sink when it all went down. Not that cleaning up some puke would be much after what we just went through.

He's gratified to see Sister Rebecca's care for the fallen. We'll see if she feels the same way after she hears why, he thinks to himself. He comes over, turns on the sink for a few seconds, then crouches next to Sister Rebecca and Stake.

"He took a combat stimulant," Achak explains. He lifts Stake's eyelids to check his pupils - hugely dilated, as expected - then turns his head to the side to make sure he isn't choking. "This is the aftermath. You might call it the wages of sin, or you might call it the price we pay to survive doing the work we do." He points to the pocks on Stake's body armor, in case the good Sister hadn't noticed them.

"If you don't want the bed, we'll put him there on his side." Standing, he puts his hands under Stake's armpits, lifts his shoulders, and drags him to the bedroom. He removes Stake's boots - no need getting the linens dirty - then opens and removes Stake's armored jacket. Achak lifts the shoulders and gets some help from Sister Rebecca to get Stake's feet on the bed. Achak rolls Stake onto his side, pointing over the edge of the bed at a wastebasket, then places a glass of water on the nightstand. When Sister Rebecca's eyes are diverted, he undoes Stake's belt buckle and pops open the top button of his pants. Then he tosses a light blanket over the unconscious elf and leaves him to his rest.

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« Reply #111 on: (23:19:48/04-18-15) »
She's still holding Stake's head in her lap and getting filthy with fluids when Achak approaches to help. The sister can't help but notice he doesn't seem particularly worried, as though this sort of thing is "par for the course" as they say. His words confirm her suspicions.

"He took a combat stimulant, this is the aftermath. You might call it the wages of sin, or you might call it the price we pay to survive doing the work we do."

"It's not for me to judge. I'm just disappointed that my magic can't be of any help to him." She looks back down at him, and as she moves a lock of hair out of the team leader's face, she asks, "Does he need medical attention or just sleep?" After being reassured by the large adept that he'll be fine in the morning, she feels alot better about things. "Well, I'm definitely not taking this man's bed in this man's home tonight. He'll need it far more than I will."

"If you don't want the bed, we'll put him there on his side."

Before he can drag their zonked out captain off to bed, she asks "Do you need any help?" but is waved off with a smile and so she stays in Stake's well laid out living room and begins to admire it for the first time as she sits down on a soft synth-leather couch and takes her soaking wet boots off. I like this. It's comfortable, but not extravagant. A good place to rest, but not large or pleasing enough to settle down in. By the time Achak returns, she's in a grey longsleeve knit shit and the same pair of thick blue jeans she's been wearing since she got off the plane last night and they're just as flecked of blood, sawdust, basement water, and Stake's mouth-foam as one would imagine. She's powered on the trid projector and is looking for any reports of what they'd done that evening, hoping there aren't any. When she sees the massive man return out of the corner of her eye, she turns her head to face him and with a tone that is all business, says "Unless you have any wounds that need tending and cleaning first, I'm going to have a shower, alright?"
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #112 on: (02:36:48/04-20-15) »
Achak is surprised by Sister Rebecca's reaction to the situation. "It's not for me to judge," she says. A proper Christian response, to be sure, but Achak had been thinking that Sister Rebecca might be the zealous, judgmental type. He knew very little about her personally, although some mention had been made of her nomadic lifestyle.

"No need for medical attention, other than hydration. He'll be fine in the morning. Thick-headed with a swollen tongue, perhaps, but fine." Achak looks to the glass of water he left for Stake. He'd probably prefer a sports drink. Coming down from a high makes me sugar-crazy, even more so. I suppose he can get it if he wants it.

Given that Sister Rebecca was prone to wandering, Achak was surprised by how much she seemed to be enjoying the setting. He had halfway expected her to decry Stake's lodgings as unnecessary, and to decamp with her grenade launcher to go sleep in an alleyway. Not that one could really sleep outside in a storm like this, pouring rain as it was.

"No wounds, just bruises," he reassures her. "A shower is an excellent idea."

Once Sister Rebecca slips into the bathroom, Achak goes to the kitchen and washes his hands, then his face. He looks back at the pile of armor he left in the entryway. Not exactly sanitary, but at least the blood was drying. Still, it would require some extra attention to make it hygienic and clean.

He turns to the fridge to check for a midnight snack. He finds vegetables, lots of vegetables. Typical elf, he thinks to himself, wondering what a guy has to do to get a piece of pie. He wouldn't be above something more substantial, but after the night's events he had no interest in anything vaguely resembling meat, even if it were just mycoprotein masquerading as meat.

He grabs some sort of milk - probably soy - and pours himself a glass. It's good, better than the cheap stuff I get. He has some more, and waits for Sister Rebecca to finish her routine. Once she's done, he takes over the bathroom. If it were his place he'd be fine sleeping dirty, but right now he's paranoid about getting bloody bits on Stake's nice stuff.

After cleaning up and switching into warm-up pants and a tank-top, he returns to the living room to crash on the couch. He sets the alarm on his commlink to ensure that he wakes up in time for church, then closes his eyes and prays that he doesn't have any nightmares about what he saw tonight.

Edit: Clarifying pronouns.
« Last Edit: (14:53:53/04-20-15) by Tecumseh »

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« Reply #113 on: (18:37:53/04-21-15) »
For the last few months, the slayer of demons and healer of the sick had been slumming it, living out of the burned out shell of the former Cross of Christ Lutheran Church down in Macon. She and a handful of other well intentioned folks, living off the "land" as it were, if the land were in fact, pandhandling and odd jobs done for friendly local business owners. Honestly, most of the money had come from Rebecca's healing powers though. She always enjoyed the time spent between assignments, as she felt like she was less tightly tied to Marcus's leash and more able to do as she wished. However, it had been so hot and muggy down there, she almost forgot what it was like to have a hot shower on a cold night. She reminded herself to confess her doubt in her superior's wisdom tomorrow in church as she cleans herself with the nicest soap she's seen in quite a while.

She's no stranger to the finer things in life, she just rarely has time or money to obtain them. She does appreciate them when she has access to them however, and she takes advantage of the lack of water rationing on this side of town to truly indulge herself. It's about fourty five minutes before she emerges, carrying a brown sack, containing her soiled clothes from the run. She's wearing a black and white tracksuit/pajama set and her hair looks just like it did when she got off the plane. Seeing her large, club wielding companion crashed out on the couch and sleeping deeply, she lays her bedroll out near the frontdoor, facing it. She lays down to sleep with the Blade of Gabriel sheathed and laid across her chest like a dead king in a sarcophagus. The first big inhale she takes gives her a thought. I should wash this bedroll, too. It still smells like Macon. And then, I should probably report in to Marcus.

With a sigh, she sits up, grabs her commlink from the pile next to her and turns it on. She snaps off a quick message before turning it off again and laying back down, to dream of Macon one last time before the washes this foul thing.

<<@Marcus [Sister Rebecca] Arrived safely. Made contact with lost brothers. Tonight, we successfully eliminated three vampires with no casualties of any form. About to sleep. Request Information: Length of assignment with lost brothers. Request materials: Spell Formula: Detox.>>
« Last Edit: (18:55:32/04-21-15) by Poindexter »
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« Reply #114 on: (02:17:17/04-22-15) »
Achak wakes up before his alarm goes off. He had been dreaming about the previous night, playing it and replaying it in his head, obsessing over the details. He stays on the couch for a while. This couch sleeps better than my bed, he thinks to himself.

He gets up and goes to the window to look at Stake's view. Remarkably, it's not of another wall just a meter or two away. He looks out at the city lights, at the vehicles kicking up spray off the wet roads. It's not light yet and the winter sun won't be up for hours. Even then, it probably won't breach the rain clouds. Achak listens to the rain. It's a soothing sound to his awakened ears.

He turns and surveys the dark condo. His next thoughts are of church but he's in a bit of a bind. First, he didn't bring his nice clothes with him. Sister Rebecca is just off the plane and has her complete wardrobe with her, but Achak's is at home. He bought a Vashon Island Synergist suit - a rare splurge - specifically for church, but it would also be nice to wear it to meet with Duncan. Mr. Abbey would not appreciate Achak in his full body armor, nor his sweats.

Achak knows he needs to attend early service in order to be back in time for the meeting. The upside is that he's not picky about where he worships. Usually he attends a church down in Puyallup - in the thick of gangland where he spent some of his post-smuggling years - but that would be much too far to go today. The other benefit is that Stake and Achak don't live that far apart. With some fast walking, Achak can be home in ten minutes.

He checks on Stake to make sure he's still breathing. Reassured that the elf is on the mend, Achak grabs a breakfast bar from Stake's cupboard and chases it with another glass of soymilk, then ducks out into the rain. He goes unarmed, which is a bit of a risk, but he's guessing early Sunday morning will be safe. Besides, no use in tweaking Knight-Errant, even if Achak is a SINner.

He gets home to his micro-apartment, 25 square meters of simplicity. There's a bed that's closer to a cot, a malnourished soy-processing unit, a small fridge, and a bathroom so small that Achak bangs his elbows in the shower. He quickly towels the rain out of his hair and warms up some water for tea. He could really go for a donut but if he's lucky (or blessed) there might be one with some soykaf after the service. He changes into his nice suit - a gorgeous navy with a subtle pattern that fits like a glove - combs his hair, drinks his tea to chase away a chill, then ducks back out into the rain. This time he has an umbrella at least.

St. Mark's Cathedral is an Episcopal church not far away. Achak sits in a pew in the back, feeling the music resonate in the huge space above him. His thoughts turn again to the night before.

Why was I so sloppy? he wonders during the Psalm. I wasn't sharp all night. Clumsy, bumbling, and generally blessed with second-rate opposition. Was it because I skipped the Jazz? This was a concerning thought. He stands with the congregation to hear the Gospel. Do I need it to be at my best? Is it psychological? If so, does that make it any less real? These are the thoughts turning over in his mind as he listens to the Rector preach about the season of Advent. The season of hope, and waiting. Achak hopes that he's not dependent on the chems, even if he secretly suspects that he is. But what of it? If it's the chems that keep me alive, or my teammates alive, are they not for the best? Are they not God's tools, as surely as blades and bullets? He bows his head to listen more attentively.

After service he manages a few smiles and handshakes while gathering a cup of soykaf and a cookie. Donuts would have to wait. Or frybread for lunch to celebrate getting paid! he thinks to himself. That foodtruck that specializes in it is usually parked at Seattle Center on the weekend. Unless, of course, they decide not to show because of the weather.

He returns to Stake's place to gather Sister Rebecca and the elf. He grabs his Ares Crusader and thinks about swapping out the clip of wooden flechette ammunition. He has APDS and Ex-Explosive, but both are hideously illegal. Best not to take chances on Queen Anne, where the cops are tight and not keen to lose their cushy patrols. The machine pistol goes into the concealable holster with the less-effective but less-forbidden ammunition.

"Time," he says.

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« Reply #115 on: (15:12:33/04-22-15) »
Sister Rebecca awakens to a message from Marcus, one, like usual, in which she can imagine his glee at typing as he flaunts his power as handler.

<<@Sister Rebecca [Marcus] Request for information denied.  Remember "good" sister, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord which will stand."  I worry that I have sent you out as a lamb amongst wolves.  Request Information: Dossiers on each Lost Brother.  I hope that I have not stretched your abilities too far.  Report to Saint Mary's at attached location for urine testing on Monday morning.  I will process your request for spell formula at my convenience, and if granted, it will be waiting for you at the above location.  Go with God, for we are watching.>>
<<Attachment: Saint_Mary's_Church.pin>>


Sister Rebecca checks the location of the church on GridGuide to find it little more hovel of a soup kitchen deep in the heart of the Barrens.  In a way, it will be like a homecoming.  Still, it's a bit troubling that no contact name is given.  Great.  If anything it means that Marcus will be sharing her picture around so that she may be spotted in a way that denies her agency.  Becca tries to force these negative thoughts from her mind, and finds a church close by that she can attend services at.  She eats, changes, makes her way to the church, prays, lights a candle, and makes her way back to Stake's apartment only to see that the elf is now absent, but that he's sent clearance credentials to her commlink.  Before departing, she sees that he had set the painting against his dining room table, with a piece of electronic paper left on the table proper.  It's a hastily scrawled note from Stake reading,

"Went to check lead.  Time sensitive.  Give my best and apologies to D.A.
--Stake"

A few minutes later, Achak makes his way back from church, and the pair has only a few minutes to discuss strategy before it's time to catch a cab to Mr. Abbey's office in the Queen Anne District.

#

Mr. Abbey's office is on the 10th floor of a corner building off Comstock St.  Achak and Sister Rebecca enter at the ground floor, and are immediately flanked -- in an entirely friendly and cordial way, of course -- by 3 well-dressed trolls.  Upon having their credential verified, the pair is divested of the painting, and any arms they are carrying before being sent up to Mr. Abbey's floor.  As the elevator doors swing open, they see their clients taste on display.  The steel and glass of the lobby has given way to rich oak and mahogany, real by the looks of it, and a stout dwarf woman with gray at her temples and a severe bun greets them with a nod of her head before saying, "Mr. Achak, Ms. . . .?" she cuts short her query before continuing "Punctual as always.  Very good.  I see that Mr. Stake will not be joining us.  Very well.  I am Amethyst Killarney," she says to Sister Rebecca as she hops down from a high stool to a small set of stairs before coming around the rather desk and extending her hand.

Ms. Killarney offers the team a drink, and a seat while they wait, and at 11:25 sharp, Achak and Sister Rebecca are called into the library.  The painting has been set at an easel, and two young technicians in lab coats make their way out of the room at their approach.  Duncan Abbey, who is standing admiring the work, turns to face the team, and calls for Ms. Killarney to bring in tea.  As always, the elf is exquisitely dressed, today favoring an early 20th century British styled 3 piece with some subtle steampunk flairs.  He is clean-shaven save for a double-decker pencil mustache that looks cut by lasers, as does the part in his hair and the high arches cut around his ears.  He introduces him graciously to Sister Rebecca, inquiring into her name as well, and with the etiquette of a previous age, he refrains from offering his own hand until or unless Sister Rebecca offers hers first.

When the tea arrives, Achak also smells the characteristic spice of ork cuisine.  It seems that Mr. Abbey has brought in some jalapeno collared greens, andouille and crawfish curry over potatoes, and some incredibly potent hot sauce, which he had placed in an antique silver serving bowl.  "Rebecca, if I may call you that," Mr. Abbey says, "I am unfortunately unaware of your culinary preferences, but I have a full kitchen in my employ if you would like say, a chicken sandwich, Montecristo, or a light soup?  Please, it would not be any trouble at all."

Mr. Abbey moves a odd-looking plant with closed buds from the corner of his desk, so that he can more easily lean against it before continuing.  "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears as though the painting you brought in was equipped with a stealth tag.  I'm assuming you were unaware of that, Achak?  Regardless, it's been disabled now.  On the other hand, I am pleased, and quite a bit surprised to say that it is indeed an original Manet.  This particular piece was last in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, prior to all the troubles with Amazonia way back when.  It's been missing now, for nearly forty years.  As you can imagine, I think that this would do quite well at an auction, and as always, I am pleased that you thought of me.  The one point of contention might be a claim of ownership by Argentina, but they're really in no position to contest what we do up here in a more civilized locale.  If I may ask,how would you like to proceed here?  I would be happy to buy it outright, if you would allow me the pleasure."
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« Reply #116 on: (18:45:32/04-22-15) »
<<@Sister Rebecca [Marcus] Request for information denied.  Remember "good" sister, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord which will stand."  I worry that I have sent you out as a lamb amongst wolves.  Request Information: Dossiers on each Lost Brother.  I hope that I have not stretched your abilities too far.  Report to Saint Mary's at attached location for urine testing on Monday morning.  I will process your request for spell formula at my convenience, and if granted, it will be waiting for you at the above location.  Go with God, for we are watching.>>
<<Attachment: Saint_Mary's_Church.pin>>


URINE TESTING?! URINE TESTING?! So not ONLY am I a junkie, but I'm a junkie who's dumb enough to ANNOUNCE it to the only person in the world who'd care?! She pushes the anger aside and sends a response.

<<@Marcus [Sister Rebecca] Acknowledged.>>

When the troll asks for her sword, Rebecca pauses. Unless she was on an airplane, that blade hadn't left her side in 3 years. "No offense, sir" she says to the troll. "but I'd rather leave it in the car outside."

"Mr. Achak, Ms. . . .?"

With a stern and unforgiving face, she responds, "Rebecca. And it's Sister, not miss."

He introduces himself graciously to Sister Rebecca, inquiring into her name as well, and with the etiquette of a previous age, he refrains from offering his own hand until or unless Sister Rebecca offers hers first.

She keeps her hands clasped behind her back and nods. "Sister Rebecca, demon hunter. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Abbey."

"Rebecca, if I may call you that," Mr. Abbey says, "I am unfortunately unaware of your culinary preferences, but I have a full kitchen in my employ if you would like say, a chicken sandwich, Montecristo, or a light soup?  Please, it would not be any trouble at all."

"Sister would be more appropriate, sir. And the food you've offered will do. Thank you." Rebecca hates ork cuisine, but she's never been one to refuse hospitality. This man is sharing his best with us. It would be an insult not to eat it. Isn't that how Gautama Siddhartha died though? No matter. She takes the first few bites of the meal with a smile on her face, doing her best to feign enjoyment.

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it appears as though the painting you brought in was equipped with a stealth tag.  I'm assuming you were unaware of that, Achak?  Regardless, it's been disabled now.  On the other hand, I am pleased, and quite a bit surprised to say that it is indeed an original Manet.  This particular piece was last in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, prior to all the troubles with Amazonia way back when.  It's been missing now, for nearly forty years.  As you can imagine, I think that this would do quite well at an auction, and as always, I am pleased that you thought of me.  The one point of contention might be a claim of ownership by Argentina, but they're really in no position to contest what we do up here in a more civilized locale.  If I may ask,how would you like to proceed here?  I would be happy to buy it outright, if you would allow me the pleasure."

"That sounds like far worse news for you than for us. Should anyone follow that tag, it will lead them here, not to us. As for the Painting, I'm afraid it's not for sale. We took it so that it may be returned to it's rightful owner. Now, assuming that you are able to help us find said rightful owner, and there's a reward for it, you may share in said reward. But again, I'm sorry. This is not about profit. It's about setting things right."
"speaking out loud"
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #117 on: (20:22:27/04-22-15) »
Achak glances at the note from Stake. He stifles a sigh, not wanting to appear frustrated in front of Sister Rebecca. Stake is by far the more eloquent of the two, and he has a better relationship with Duncan Abbey to boot. Achak would much rather have Stake in the lead, but it wasn't to be.

"We'll need a ride back, so let's get a towncar," Achak suggests, looking at Sister Rebecca's sword. He knows that Mr. Abbey's security won't be as fond of it as Sister Rebecca is. Mundanes had no appreciation for the beauty of weapon foci. Achak knows he'll need to leave his machine pistol in the car too. He makes the call to summon a black Saeder-Krupp-Bentley Concordat with a suitably discreet driver.

Arriving at Mr. Abbey's office, Achak steps out into the cold winter morning. He asks the driver to wait for them, submits to the building's security, and then proceeds up to Mr. Abbey's floor. He inhales deeply inside, taking in the scent of many leather-bound books. The office smells of rich mahogany.

He greets Amethyst Killarney, then Duncan Abbey once he's shown in. "Mr. Abbey, a pleasure," he says. "Stake expressly asked us to deliver his apologies, and to give you his best."

Achak enjoys the orkish cuisine, the strong flavors reminding him of his youth. The hot sauce numbs his mouth agreeably, and he's momentarily thankful that his sense of taste isn't as awakened as his sense of smell. The jalapeņo collard greens are spicy enough on their own; the hot sauce could probably double as a chemical weapon if it were put into capsule rounds.

Achak grimaces internally at the mention of a stealth tag. Externally, he allows himself a slow blink. It's not great news. First, it's an extension of the previous night's sloppiness. Second, it's the type of thing that he would have like Elijah to think of. It makes him question the decision to stay at Stake's place last night, rather than a safehouse or a location that could be burned with fewer lifestyle consequences. Achak files away his pique, doing his best to stay composed in what was surely the opening salvo in the negotiation process.

Achak exchanges a glance with Sister Rebecca before returning back to Mr. Abbey. "Thank you for the research. We are pleased to be of some service to the art community. We have an interest in seeing it returned to its rightful owners. Would you know if they still... exist in their previous capacity?" Achak's understanding of the conflict in Amazonia is minimal, and it certainly doesn't extend to the National Museum of Fine Arts. "We understand the value would not be as great as at open auction, but if they are still a viable institution of fine arts then we would be pleased to redeem it with them. Perhaps they received an insurance settlement?" This is wishful thinking, given the length of the disappearance, but he feels compelled to ask first. Argentina is a corporate republic largely under the thumb of Saeder-Krupp, so maybe there are still well-funded arts institutions in Buenos Aires. The trick would be to make the sales price less expensive than the flesh-eating lawyers that would likely be the buyer's backup plan if negotiations failed.

rednblack

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« Reply #118 on: (22:04:51/04-22-15) »
"Sister would be more appropriate, sir. And the food you've offered will do. Thank you."

Mr. Abbey places his right hand at his heart and gives a short bow of his head.  "Mea culpa, Sister," he says with a smile

"That sounds like far worse news for you than for us. Should anyone follow that tag, it will lead them here, not to us.

"Not necessarily.  One, I trust the security here.  Two, why would anyone want to know the location of an antiquities dealer?"  Mr. Abbey, watching Sister Rebecca eat, stands and crosses the room to the far wall, where he pulls on a gold-braided cord, which leads up into the ceiling.  A soft bell-ringing sound emanates from above, and Ms. Killarney enters a moment later.  "Ms. Killarney, I believe I will have some scones with my tea today."

Ms. Killarney exits the room, and he continues, "How many did you dust, Achak?  Anything off about the run?"

"As for the Painting, I'm afraid it's not for sale. We took it so that it may be returned to it's rightful owner. Now, assuming that you are able to help us find said rightful owner, and there's a reward for it, you may share in said reward. But again, I'm sorry. This is not about profit. It's about setting things right."

Mr. Abbey, taken aback, looks to Achak for some sort of backup, but when Achak answers in such a way as to inform him that he will not be making a personal call to one of the board members at Ares or SK, his face visibly drops for a moment.  Luckily, Ms. Killarney re-enters with some beautiful looking blueberry scones, and he retrieves one, offers one to the "Good Sister," and takes a bite and sip of tea before continuing. 

"Achak, Sister, to whom does Jerusalem belong?  This painting here, 'La Nymph Surprise' is of Edouard Manet's secret love, and to him it belongs.  But he is no more.  Following him?  A private collector, maybe 2, in the fifth world the painting belonged to the people in some socialist democracy, and then it belonged to the Corporate Court, and then Arrojo, and now the Corporate Court again.  Ortega is in power now, but he never presided when the painting was in Argentina's hands.  Does it belong to him?  Does it belong to the Argentinians?  Perhaps, but I believe even your Jesus said something about casting pearls to swine."  Duncan Abbey places the remains of a scone on the middle of his plate and wipes his fingers thoughtfully with a lavender colored napkin.

"The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is no more.  What was not taken in the troubles with Amazonia was certainly plundered by Arrojo's regime and pinned on the troubles with Amazonia.  I am of 3 opinions on what you could consider a rightful owner.  1, the legal descendant of Edouard Manet.  2, Ortega's regime in Argentina.  And 3, the man, woman, or institution with the most nuyen.  It's not poetic, but it's true.  What, may I ask, is your reason for taking such an interest in this piece?"
« Last Edit: (15:19:36/04-27-15) by rednblack »
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #119 on: (18:59:54/04-23-15) »
Ms. Killarney exits the room, and he continues, "How many did you dust, Achak?  Anything off about the run?"

Achak leans back from the table, thinking the question over. It implied that there could be a "normal" run against vampires. Achak hadn't been at this as long as Stake, but he knew that things were never routine. Things seemed "off" about it, sure, not that Achak's limited brainpower could connect all the dots. He didn't see any harm in laying them out for Duncan though.

"Besides finding a 200-year-old painting squirreled away in the Redmond Barrens? Yes, some things were off.

"The first two floors of the building were controlled by the Yaks. The upper floors were controlled by the newborns, not that we saw anyone else up there. Looked like killing and feeding grounds. It was odd that the Yaks would just let someone else control the upper floors, yet they didn't seem to know what was upstairs. The Yak guards stopped resisting when they discovered our purpose. They had been unaware.

"Second, we got the initial tip about the newborns from the Yaks. Yet when we did the recon we find Yaks controlling the club downstairs. My suspicion is that it is a Kanaga-gumi holding and that the Kenran-kai are making a play for it."
He pauses to see what sort of impression this makes on Duncan. Mr. Abbey is a fence, and well-educated, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he knows all the ins and the outs of the streets. To many, the Yaks were the Yaks, monolithic and indivisible, even if the reality was often the opposite.

"We found three vampires. Two adult males and a young girl. She was repentant and did not resist. If anything, she seemed to welcome it. The were all newborns, uncontrolled and undisciplined. The apartments were a horror, and the zekes' lack of restraint was on display everywhere. Some victims had nails in the base of their skulls. To lobotomize them? Or immobilize them for future consumption? I don't know. Some were decapitated and then bled dry into buckets. Again, the purpose of this is unclear. A vampire generally prefers to eat fresh, especially if they can drain essence simultaneously. What value buckets of surplus blood would have to them is beyond me.

"They had collected all of the victims' personal possessions in a big bucket. I grabbed it. The mix of victims struck me as odd. Most looked like Barrens residents, but some of the clothes looked like they might have been mid-level corpers. Perhaps it was just a cross-section of people who might be found in the club downstairs on any given night, or maybe some of these victims were intentionally targeted. If so, that would suggest a level of higher level of organization than newborns could be expected to provide. The presence of the painting would suggest that too. How would an ancient painting - with a stealth tag - find its way into the hands of newborns? They certainly hadn't owned it for 40 years themselves. And most newborns aren't even concerned with such things. For them, life is all about the thrill of the hunt, and the rush of feeding. It's not until they mature that they turn their attention to earthly matters. The little girl seemed to appreciate the painting, it must be said, but one could hardly imagine that she had acquired it on her own."


He slows to see if Sister Rebecca has insights to add, or if Duncan can see something that he cannot.