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[5e IC] Sunt Venatores Venationem

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Tecumseh

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« Reply #120 on: (02:36:25/04-24-15) »
Achak listens to Duncan's explanation of the piece's previous ownership. Achak's dogbrain is ill-suited for such matters. His instincts are superb, but the subtleties of law and philosophy escape him. He tries to articulate his thoughts on Duncan's question.

"It's one thing to profit from the estate of a vampire when you do not know who they have stolen from. It's another when it's such an identifiable piece, especially one with such cultural heritage.

He raises his hands and his eyebrows, then looks at Sister Rebecca to see how she is feeling. "But as you say, el Museo is no more. The country is divided against itself and there can be little hope of finding a rightful owner. As such, we may have an opportunity." He turns look at Sister Rebecca again. "Perhaps it may be sold to a worthy bidder - one that will be an appropriate steward for such a piece - and then a portion of the proceeds tithed to the Church and other charitable organizations."

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« Reply #121 on: (12:17:25/04-24-15) »
"Perhaps it may be sold to a worthy bidder - one that will be an appropriate steward for such a piece - and then a portion of the proceeds tithed to the Church and other charitable organizations."

Duncan Abbey's eyes visibly brighten at the mention of a "steward."

"I personally know the curator at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, as well as the Denver Art Museum.  I would be happy to open lines of communications should you find the arrangement to be up to your standards.  Of course, the SAM would also be viable, and would keep this beautiful piece a little closer to home, should you ever choose to visit again.

"The money, of course, will not be so good, but I'm sure a proper tithe could be arranged."
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« Reply #122 on: (13:51:43/04-25-15) »
"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."

Rebecca listens as her companion lays out the strange details of the night before, smiling proudly at the mention of the girl who repented and welcomed holy redemption. She had known something wasn't right about the way things had gone down the night before, but couldn't figure out exactly what it was. Hearing Achak explain it this way cleared up a lot of things for her. That painting was a trap. Her eyes go wide. The whole nest was a trap. Her jaw loosens a bit. Someone wants to find hunters. She stops paying attention to the conversation for a moment, lost in her thoughts. She's not used to being the one hunted, and the feeling makes her uncomfortable in her stomach. When Achak finishes his account of the evening and looks to her for additional input, all she can muster as she snaps back to the moment at hand is, "Yes." She clears her throat to give her time to adjust before continuing. "Vampires are not my area of expertise, but nothing about the events of last night felt right."

"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, which is no more.  Arrojo 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. 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, Arrojo'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?"

"It's one thing to profit from the estate of a vampire when you do not know who they have stolen from. It's another when it's such an identifiable piece, especially one with such cultural heritage. But as you say, el Museo is no more. The country is divided against itself and there can be little hope of finding a rightful owner. As such, we may have an opportunity. Perhaps it may be sold to a worthy bidder - one that will be an appropriate steward for such a piece - and then a portion of the proceeds tithed to the Church and other charitable organizations."

"I personally know the curator at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, as well as the Denver Art Museum.  I would be happy to open lines of communications should you find the arrangement to be up to your standards.  Of course, the SAM would also be viable, and would keep this beautiful piece a little closer to home, should you ever choose to visit again. The money, of course, will not be so good, but I'm sure a proper tithe could be arranged."

The conversation had gotten far larger than Rebecca was able to process quite quickly. Last night when they'd found it, she had imagined there was some art gallery or private collector or something like that who would immediately lay claim to the piece, but now? Argentina? Hong Kong? Denver? Amazonia? When the mention of a steward came up, things once again became local enough for her to follow along. "I like the idea of a steward. A trustworthy person, a man of honor, one who will indeed put proper effort into locating the rightful owner." Completely unaware of the social faux pas she is committing, she turns to Achak and asks him bluntly, "Is Mr. Abbey here such a man?"
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #123 on: (02:35:17/04-27-15) »
When the mention of a steward came up, things once again became local enough for her to follow along. "I like the idea of a steward. A trustworthy person, a man of honor, one who will indeed put proper effort into locating the rightful owner." Completely unaware of the social faux pas she is committing, she turns to Achak and asks him bluntly, "Is Mr. Abbey here such a man?"

Achak blinks languidly at Sister Rebecca's question, uncertain of how to respond. He didn't know her well - still less than 24 hours - and was uncertain about her powers of comprehension in social situations. Achak was no intellectual, that was for certain, but he knew the difference between hearing and listening. Did Sister Rebecca understand that there was no rightful owner to locate? Or that "rightful" was a flexible concept, subject to negotiation and possibly litigation? Or were her desires directing her thinking, regardless of reality? He didn't know.

Achak also didn't know whether to suppress the mercenary spirit of his previous life - the profit-motive that got him into this business in the first place - or to embrace it as a practical interface with a practical and uncaring world. It would be easy to hop up and down and yell "SELL SELL SELL!" giddily, which might be what Stake or Elijah would be doing, were they here. There was much good that could come of such an approach. But yet Jesus was practical too, simply in a different way. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neighbor moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. This painting was simply a treasure on earth, and thus of little consequence. It's highest and best use would be to liquidate it and use the proceeds for God's work, be that a soup kitchen or a new Ultimax Rain Forest Carbine.

But he should get around to answering the question before his delay gave the appearance that he didn't trust Duncan. "Yes, Mr. Abbey would be a trustworthy guardian." He turns to Duncan, and speaks a little more slowly in a listen to me and read in between the lines manner. "Mr. Abbey, may we impose upon you to act as the steward a little longer? We trust your ability to find the rightful owner and to negotiate the pertinent details with everyone's best interests in mind. You will, of course, receive the appropriate consideration once the divestment is complete."

Achak smiles, hoping this is ambiguous enough to satisfy Sister Rebecca yet clear enough to give Duncan some direction. If not, he could clarify later via comm. Separately, he wonders whether he used the word "divestment" correctly.

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« Reply #124 on: (13:24:05/04-27-15) »
"Yes." She clears her throat to give her time to adjust before continuing. "Vampires are not my area of expertise, but nothing about the events of last night felt right."

"Indeed," Mr. Abbey says, finishing his tea.  He places the empty cup on its saucer and pushes it away slightly, before circling around his desk and retrieving a pewter filigreed cigarette case.  He grabs a black cigarette with gold filter, and presents the case to Achak and Sister Rebecca in turn.  "Sobranie?" he asks before lighting his smoke and continuing. 

"There is something quite unsettling about this find.  Mercer's team had a similar acquisition before they went underground, or God willing, that's where they are now.  I was not privy to the sale, but antiquities is a small world.  I believe the piece was an early medieval pieta found in the Aurora Warrens in Denver."

Achak knows of Mercer.  He commanded a team of four hunter, based in the DFW metroplex, and had a Grotto1 ranking that rivaled Stake's.  He was known for having a slight lack of patience but brutal efficiency that led most to assume he came from a military background.  It's been about three-and-a-half months since he, or any of his team, have made a post on Grotto1 by achak's recollection. 

Duncan Abbey shifts in his seat at Sister Rebecca's question, and pulls with a little more force than is customary on his cigarette.  After a moment, he smiles, and leans forward as if to stand, but Achak speaks first.

"Yes, Mr. Abbey would be a trustworthy guardian." He turns to Duncan, and speaks a little more slowly in a listen to me and read in between the lines manner. "Mr. Abbey, may we impose upon you to act as the steward a little longer? We trust your ability to find the rightful owner and to negotiate the pertinent details with everyone's best interests in mind. You will, of course, receive the appropriate consideration once the divestment is complete."

Achak smiles, hoping this is ambiguous enough to satisfy Sister Rebecca yet clear enough to give Duncan some direction. If not, he could clarify later via comm. Separately, he wonders whether he used the word "divestment" correctly.

"You do a me a great kindness, Achak.  And, Sister, you honor me with the forthrightness of your question.  I will happily recuse myself if you wish to discuss the matter further, but I would be honored to steward the painting, as well as make inquiries into any number of possible homes for its placement.

"Is there anything else that I may do to be of service?"
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« Reply #125 on: (18:41:15/04-27-15) »
She holds up one palm toward the pack and shakes her head, declining the cigarette, continuing to do her best to keep her focus on the conversation between Achak and his high-class contact rather than on the sinking pit in her stomach.

"There is something quite unsettling about this find.  Mercer's team had a similar acquisition before they went underground, or God willing, that's where they are now.  I was not privy to the sale, but antiquities is a small world.  I believe the piece was an early medieval pieta found in the Aurora Warrens in Denver."

The pit grows deeper. Mercer? Achak will have to fill me in on that name later. In an almost gruff tone of voice, she half barks out, "Who bought that painting from Mercer?" I'll need to talk to them as well and ask about a stealth tag.

She picks at her remaining spicy hot orkish dip with a piece of bread as she listens to the two of them finish the conversation, a look of cold emptiness on her chiseled face.

"Yes, Mr. Abbey would be a trustworthy guardian. Mr. Abbey, may we impose upon you to act as the steward a little longer? We trust your ability to find the rightful owner and to negotiate the pertinent details with everyone's best interests in mind. You will, of course, receive the appropriate consideration once the divestment is complete."

"You do a me a great kindness, Achak.  And, Sister, you honor me with the forthrightness of your question.  I will happily recuse myself if you wish to discuss the matter further, but I would be honored to steward the painting, as well as make inquiries into any number of possible homes for its placement.

"Is there anything else that I may do to be of service?"


Knowing the universal language for "time for you to go now," the good sister stands slowly from her chair, bows hastily to Mr Abbey and says, "Thank you for your hospitality, good Sir." With a look to Achak, she asks, "Shall we?"
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Tecumseh

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« Reply #126 on: (20:20:46/04-27-15) »
Achak hears Mercer's name and his hackles go up. Antiquities may be a small world, but Grotto1 is even smaller. Much like the world of shadowrunners, there was a delicate balance between cooperation against a shared adversary, counterbalanced with a keen sense of competition. Mercer was direct and lacked subtlety, which ran against to Achak's instinct for stealth and precision. Mercer was military bravado; Achak was a smuggler's shadow. Achak was not sorry when Mercer disappeared from the scene, but it was alarming to hear that his team's disappearance had been preceded by a situation uncannily like the one that Achak is in now.

"I understand that you were not privy to the sale, but do you know who assisted Mercer with it?" Achak asks. "If antiquities is a small world, then perhaps you can hazzard a guess." Have they disappeared too? is what he is really thinking and what he really wants to ask, but he's trying to play it cool for the moment. The stealth tag is now borderline alarming, not just an irritating oversight. He's tempted to fire off a message to Stake immediately, telling him not to go home alone. Frag, I left my club there, Achak thinks. And my Alpha and my armor. Frag frag. He wonders about Elijah too.

The mercenary side of him wonders if Duncan is now at risk as well. Duncan trusts his security, but it was one thing to be on guard against magical and matrix intrusions, and quite another to defend against things which disappear into a cloud of mist and then reform wherever you least expect (and least want) them. Was Duncan compromised? Should Achak sell to Duncan immediately, for fear that Duncan will be "underground" tomorrow? The double-meaning of the expression was not lost on him.

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« Reply #127 on: (11:15:35/04-29-15) »
To Achak and Sister Rebecca's query, Duncan Abbey answers, "Lisette Espada handled the sale."  He opens his desk drawer once again and pulls out a paper -- paper?! -- and a pen.  It may be the first time Sister Rebecca has ever seen a pen, and Mr. Abbey writes a few notes on one page, tears it away, and then consults the comm at his desk before writing on a second.  He approaches Achak with both sheets have paper, handing them in turn, saying, "She keeps a gallery in Carrollton.  Here is the commcode, and address, should you need it. And here," he says handing the second paper, "is a formal introduction, should it be useful."

Achak feels the weight of the paper in his hand.  It's embossed with the seal for Abbey Intl, and in a moment, Mr. Abbey produces an envelope for Achak to keep the papers safe in.

"I will start making some calls immediately, and inform you of any interested parties.  Please stay on touch, Achak, and Sister Rebecca, it was a pleasure to meet you.  Please pass along my greetings to Stake as well.

"And be careful, please."
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« Reply #128 on: (18:53:21/04-29-15) »
Lisette Espada, Mercer.

"Please stay on touch, Achak, and Sister Rebecca, it was a pleasure to meet you.  Please pass along my greetings to Stake as well."

"And be careful, please."


"Thank you, Mr Abbey. The pleasure was mine. We will be." she does her best polite smile and bows before she leaves.

Once back in Achak's car and reunited with the Blade, the human woman sits quietly watching the city go by for a few blocks, collecting herself. She's doing a good job of putting on a "hardcore demon hunter" face, but the feeling in her stomach is getting worse and worse. She almost feels as though she might vomit if the road were to get too bumpy. She'd always been a little nervous about being tracked down by some vengeful demon or mage, especially considering her condition. The whole "Astral Beacon" thing was always a constant topic of mockery for Marcus to use. It's actually the main reason she's so liberal with her face and name these days; not just out of spite either. After all, God, she'd been told, had not intended for her to hide her faith, but to walk it's brightest path of glory. To this day, she feels like it's part of the reason she was chosen and Marcus was not. This thought is the only thing that gives warmth to the cold dark swamp in her gut. Let them come for me. They will find one who has been trained to be found.

After waiting a few blocks, she asks bluntly, "Who's Mercer?" without taking her eyes off the road ahead of them.
« Last Edit: (19:51:23/05-03-15) by Poindexter »
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« Reply #129 on: (01:59:11/05-01-15) »
Achak stands, accepting the papers from Duncan. The formality of the procedure was pleasant, but it was also a pain in the hoop. Does the physical letter mean that we can't call in advance? What if this Lisette has multiple offices, like Duncan? Are we going to go to Carrollton only to find that she's in Detroit? he wonders to himself.

"Thank you for the hospitality, Duncan, and for the introduction. Please keep us informed of your progress with our little beauty here." He shakes Duncan's hand, looks one last time at the painting, then departs with Sister Rebecca.

Achak wonders if he should be feeling more attached to the painting than he is, or at least what it represents. Vampire hunters could go their whole careers without such a plum. It seemed likely to fetch a princely sum. Duncan would absorb much of that, Achak was sure, but the remainder - even divided four ways - would be enough to live on for a year at least, likely two, and maybe even four or five! Yet for all that, it was easy to leave. Perhaps that was due to Job.

"Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”


Achak is quiet while returning to the hired car. He gets in the back, retrieves his machine pistol, then slips it into the concealed holster in his suit. He doesn't speak until Sister Rebecca breaks the silence with her question about Mercer. He glances at the driver, who is dutifully ignoring the conversation - or at least pretending to.

"Mercer is a hunter, like us. He has a team of four working out of the CAS. More of a sword than a scalpel, if you catch my meaning. He's been in the game for a long time, which doesn't happen unless you're good. But he's also been off the grid since mid-August. Could be he's laying low, but he never really struck me as the vacationing type. He likes the work too much."

Achak wrinkles his face a bit. He could conceal the doubt but he figures it's better to be honest with Sister Rebecca about the situation.

"I hadn't heard about Mercer's score before he went underground. The parallels with our situation are distressing. We should be on our guard."

He looks out the window at the people going about their Sunday business, none of them, presumably, being actively hunted by vampires. The rain falls as people duck inside cafés for their soykafs and pastries. He pulls out his commlink and does a quick Matrix search.

"There are a dozen Corrolltons in the UCAS and CAS, but I'm guessing Duncan meant the one in Texas. Mercer and his crew operate out of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

"We should check in with Stake to see if he managed to chase down anything. We'll also need to redeem our trophies from last night, but that will have to wait until tomorrow when municipal offices are open. Then we can pay out Elijah and use the funds to underwrite our next steps. Maybe go to Dallas."


The car arrives back at Stake's building. Achak settles accounts with the driver, tipping appropriately, then steps out into the rain. He holds the car door for Sister Rebecca before closing it and ducking inside the warm building.

Inside, in the elevator, Achak slips out his machine pistol. He exchanges a look with Sister Rebecca. "I'm concerned about the stealth tag," he says. "Let's hope for the best but be prepared for the worst."

The elevator opens and Achak walks smoothly into the hallway, hoping that his nice suit will draw attention away from the automatic weapon he's holding at his side. He approaches Stake's door and pauses, listening for sounds within. He stretches out his senses, probing for magic or motion inside. Stacking up next to the door, he knocks three times.

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« Reply #130 on: (20:07:44/05-03-15) »
Nothing Achak has to say about the situation makes her feel any better, but she listens intently, never once looking at the man as he speaks.

"Mercer is a hunter, like us. He has a team of four working out of the CAS. More of a sword than a scalpel, if you catch my meaning. He's been in the game for a long time, which doesn't happen unless you're good. But he's also been off the grid since mid-August. Could be he's laying low, but he never really struck me as the vacationing type. He likes the work too much. I hadn't heard about Mercer's score before he went underground. The parallels with our situation are distressing. We should be on our guard."

"Indeed." The hardcore little demon hunter sits with a stiff jaw, observing the city lights passing by. This just gets worse and worse by the moment.

"There are a dozen Corrolltons in the UCAS and CAS, but I'm guessing Duncan meant the one in Texas. Mercer and his crew operate out of Dallas-Ft. Worth. We should check in with Stake to see if he managed to chase down anything. We'll also need to redeem our trophies from last night, but that will have to wait until tomorrow when municipal offices are open. Then we can pay out Elijah and use the funds to underwrite our next steps. Maybe go to Dallas."

She's tired just thinking about tomorrow. A dark, flaming cavern ripe with the stench of death and crammed full to the gills with foul hellspawn does not fill her heart with dread the way a day spent signing papers, filling out forms, and showing ID does. Between redeeming our trophies, my meeting with Marcus's contact, and hitting the airport for the second time in as many days, tomorrow shall be nothing but further indignities to test me. Her eyes focus on a homeless dwarven man on the sidewalk for a moment before the car speeds by and he's gone. He had a large gut and a long filthy dreadlocked beard. For the brief instant she could see him, she noticed the telltale signs of disease on his wrinkled face. She longs to be out on the street healing, rather than facing tomorrow's adversary; Bureaucracy.

Once they get inside the elevator, she feels Achak tense. The big adept even pulls out his machine pistol, holds it at the ready, and speaks quietly to Rebecca.

"I'm concerned about the stealth tag. Let's hope for the best but be prepared for the worst."

In three quick motions, she pops her helmet onto her head and fastens it. With one hand on the handle of her mighty blade, she gives answer through her sub-vocal mic.

"As am I. Ready when you are."
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« Reply #131 on: (12:14:32/05-04-15) »
Achak swipes the keycard and opens the door, ready for what's on the other side.  The living room is bright, breaks in the clouds have given enough room for the midday sun to shine in through the windows, and Stake's motion-sensing lights pop on as the pair enters.  As they start a sweep of the house, a brief moment of panic seizes Achak as he circles around the couch.  Did he open the window blinds?  Did Sister Rebecca?  With a quick look to his left, he takes in the city scene below: beautifully laid out residential units, a few office buildings, and plenty of cars down on the street.  A threat could come from anywhere, really.  But wouldn't a place as nice as Stake's have mirrored windows, security conscious as it is? 

The pair makes a clean sweep, everything appearing in its place, and on the astral, Sister Rebecca doesn't see any errant spirits waiting in the closets or ready to drop down from the shower heads to engulf them. 

In fact, it's just quiet, the unit humming along as usual, but then Achak gets a ping on his commlink.  When he looks down, the text gives him pause, and a prickly feeling at the base of his skull.

<<MARK Granted://Device:Renraku377B69552[Virtue]>>

Literally less than a second later a second prompt pings:

<<MARK Rescinded://Dev//>>

And the previous notification promptly disappears from view.
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« Reply #132 on: (21:35:42/05-04-15) »
Achak's first thoughts go to his war club and his armor. There is a palpable sense of relief when he finds the club; everything else after that is just a bonus. The armor looks untouched too. He wonders whether he would be more pleased or more alarmed if he had come back to find it had been cleaned in his absence.

Achak circles the condo, silently hoping for some sign of Stake's return. Sensing no immediate danger, he holsters his Crusader. He sniffs as he goes, looking for anything out of place. He freezes when he catches the whiff of something off. I know what Stake smells like and that's not it, he thinks to himself. But at least it's noodles instead of blood.

He makes eye contact with Sister Rebecca. He opens his mouth but then stops himself. Don't talk. Room could be bugged. They could have one of those laser microphones pointed at the windows. He looks around for some paper to write on, even though his handwriting is terrible and his literacy is marginal. The introduction from Duncan is in his pocket but doesn't want to write on it.

Without explanation, he goes over to the windows to close the blinds. Then he returns to the kitchen and turns on the kitchen faucet full-stream, hoping it will interfere with audio surveillance. Then he looks for flour, sugar, anything powder-like. Finding some soykaf grounds, he pours a giant scoop onto the counter. Patting the pile flat, he clumsily traces a few words into it:

Someone has been here since we left.

Looking up to make sure Sister Rebecca understands, he erases the message then writes again:

Grab what you can carry.

His commlink pings with an incoming message, then a second. He knows enough to know that he doesn't know what the hell they mean. Gritting his teeth, he turns the device off and motions for Sister Rebecca to do the same.

Achak points at his eyes in the universal symbol for "watch", then points at the front door. He grabs his dirty armor, drags it to the bathroom, then throws it in the shower. Turning on the water, he does his best to blast it clean of dried blood and whatever else was in the waterlogged basement last night. Maybe Stake will come home tonight and be royally pissed about the mess in his bathroom and we'll all have a big laugh. Or maybe Stake wouldn't come home.

Pulling the armor out, Achak dries it off and probably ruins a towel in the process. He grabs duffel bags out of Stake's closet and starts stuffing everything into them: armor, war club, Ares Alpha, everything they brought in with them last night. He looks at the bucket full of commlinks and personal possessions. Are those clues? Or incriminating evidence? He dumps those in a bag too.

He meets up with Sister Rebecca, looking strange in his suit with his two armloads of duffel bags. What to do about Stake's things? I don't want to leave them, but nor do I want Stake to come back and not have them available.

A thought occurs to him, a little belatedly. He looks for Stake's bug scanner, tag eraser, white noise generator, area jammer, and directional jammer. He doesn't really know how to use them but hopefully they are idiot proof. He puts the white noise generator on the kitchen counter and turns it on. Then he grabs the bug scanner; it is fairly idiot proof, but only if you have wireless on. Achak scans his equipment and then Rebecca's. The tag eraser is ready to delete any tags that they find.

That task complete, he turns on both the area jammer and the directional jammer. He checks the wireless functionality on the bug scanner to confirm that the jammers are working. Once he's convinced things are as private as he can make them, he turns to Rebecca.

"Someone was here and it wasn't Stake. They smelled like noodles. That suggests it wasn't a vampire at least. 

"We need to lay low or get out of town, or both. Stake has a bolthole and I have a couple hideouts too. We can try to get a message to him via Grotto1, which might be more secure than direct communication.

"If you have any suggestions, now's the time."

Poindexter

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« Reply #133 on: (18:57:56/05-06-15) »
Nothing on the astral... She slowly steps in the door, and right off the bat, nothing looks out of place. What sets her alarm off is the posture her big friend Achak has just taken on. He's moving like he did last night, with a sense of dire purpose and drive. Out of reflex, she puts her hand on the blade and stays close to her ally, just behind him on his right.

She follows him around for a moment, watching him sniff the air. What manner of gifts has he been granted? After a few seconds, his nose has led the two of them into the kitchen area. He becomes very alarmed and looks like he's about to speak, but then doesn't. There's a reason he isn't talking, and she won't be the one to muddle it up. Then he dumps the soykaf grounds and starts scribbling.

Someone has been here since we left.

She grits her teeth behind the helmet and grips her sword a bit tighter. Stake is dead.

Grab what you can carry.

She shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head, having no idea what to grab or where any of the good stuff might be hidden. Before he can run off into the bathroom, she scribbles a response to him.

U GRAB I CARRY

Achak points at his eyes in the universal symbol for "watch", then points at the front door.

Already ahead of you. The blade is out of it's scabbard before Achak's arm has completed it's pointing motion. She backs up about 3 meters from the door, facing it in a relaxed crouching combat stance, determined that if ambush is to made here, it shall be a costly one. She closes her eyes, focusing on her ears, knowing that she'll hear someone coming far sooner than she'll see them.

Once Achak returns carrying his bags and gear, he starts turning on faucets and powering on devices like crazy. Finally, once he's achieved a satisfactory level of noise, he speaks gravely. She doesn't turn away from the door as he speaks, but she listens intently.

"Someone was here and it wasn't Stake. They smelled like noodles. That suggests it wasn't a vampire at least. 

"We need to lay low or get out of town, or both. Stake has a bolthole and I have a couple hideouts too. We can try to get a message to him via Grotto1, which might be more secure than direct communication.

"If you have any suggestions, now's the time."


"The vanished hunter you wanted to speak to, Mercer? Doesn't he live in the CAS? I've got a safehouse down there that I just left before I came here to support you and Stake. I don't know how close it is to your man, but if we need to get out of town, it can be done. Only problem is, I don't have the funds for that kind of travel. I also have a place in the barrens, just west of here. It's your call."

I hope this man realizes he's the team leader, now. She stays in her defensive stance, waiting for the door to burst open and trying not to wonder if Marcus set her up.
"speaking out loud"
<<matrix actions/communication>>
thought
astral
subvocal/whispering
non-english

Tecumseh

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« Reply #134 on: (01:14:12/05-07-15) »
Achak's mind goes through the different scenarios. One, Stake is fine and will be back soon. Two, Stake is fine but won't be back soon. Three, Stake is not fine.

Achak looks around the condo. He feels guilty that he voted to stay here last night, mostly for the comforts that he coveted. Will Stake ever be able to return? he asks himself. Or is this condo and everything in it a complete loss? Maybe the next person through that door will be the landlord with an eviction notice.

"We should take what we need," he decides. "If we could, I'd take everything with us. We could bring it to Stake that way. As it is, we have a lot to carry." He looks at his armor; it's easy enough to walk around in, but carrying it is a giant pain in the hoop. The war club is large and inconveniently shaped, difficult to conceal. Same for the Alpha.

"Stake has a big stockpile. We can take half for our needs, which leaves him half in case he returns."

He leads the way to the supply closet, pulling out boxes of ammunition. He hands a medkit to Sister Rebecca, some patches, a heap of grenades, then the disguise kit. He leaves the armor and clothing, most of which is custom fitted anyway.

Once he has Sister Rebecca loaded down, he thinks about the next steps. Leave town immediately or go check Stake's hidey holes? If they were leaving town, he would need to arrange for transportation.

"I have a friend," he says. "A smuggler who occasionally smuggles people, which I suppose make him a coyote. He can get us out of the city. From Cascade Ork we can grab a t-bird going just about any direction we want. First I want to check his bolt hole though. We can lay low there while arranging transport."

Logistics, logistics. He'd really like to redeem the bounty on these vampires but that office wasn't open on Sundays. The CAS also offered a bounty on vampires, but it wasn't as generous as the one in the UCAS. The difference would be the better part of ¥5,000, and they might need every nuyen for "staying alive" money. They still owed Elijah his share too. Would the CAS even redeem bounties on vampires taken from another country? Achak wasn't a good liar and hoped that they wouldn't ask. But to Sister Rebecca's point, he probably didn't have enough cash on hand to fund a trip to the CAS on his own. Maybe they'd have to wait to redeem the bounties, or maybe he'd have to take Duncan up on his offer for immediate liquidation of the painting.

Ready to leave, he pats out the soykaf grounds, then writes a semi-coded message:

Rebecca's place

With luck, someone looking for them might think of Sister Rebecca and be lead down the wrong path. But Achak meant Rebecca Montreau, one of Stake's fake SINs, and the one whose name was on the bolt hole. Achak hoped Stake would figure it out. He presumed that he would, as Stake was the smarter of the two, and if Achak could think of it then Stake could solve it.

Finished, he turns off the kitchen faucet. He powers down the electronic toys, sweeps them into one last bag which he shoulders, then reboots his commlink. He gives Sister Rebecca a meaningful look and asks, "Ready?"