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Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

e of pi posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2018-10-13 20:22:49
Luis nods. "Sounds good to me. He thinks for a second. "Actually, we've had good luck with some bombs of our own. FTE, you feel like having some area of effect if it comes to it? I've got some more explosives."

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2018-10-11 23:19:03
"Fuck," Garrett says at the bottom of the stairs, and pauses.
"Any bright ideas, oh Smiling Beast?" Hale asks from the back of the line.
"I'm thinking," Garrett says.
"Might want to think a bit faster, lahna," Ngawai says.

Garrett stares at the stair in front of him for a few moments longer, then snaps his fingers - well, he tries to through the metal gauntlet of the Turai armor. "FTE, how attached are you to that shell?"
“It’s so last 30 seconds,” it responds, catching on. “I was thinking something in red would go nicer with my pumps.”
Garrett nods. "We back out, FTE goes up the stairs. If it's a bomb, we're behind cover when FTE kicks the door in. If it's a camera or set of cameras, FTE should be able to take them out before getting trashed."

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

CrazyIvan updated in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2018-10-11 23:12:12
“Not good.” Is Angel’s simple answer as he sights down his rifle, taking in the scene.

“Five suits - the lighting is fucking up their active camo, they’ll be easy enough to see. Wazir and both sons are up there too.”

(Angel Wits: 1d10+1d8 vs. 1d10 = 9 vs. 1)

It takes him a moment to put into words why “everything we want is in one room” seem like a bad thing.

“One of them’s just standing in the fucking window, unarmed. Lighting’s bright. Wazir didn’t get where he is by being stupid. Feels like a last stand turned publicity stunt. I’ve got even odds on you all ending up on YouTube - or the explosion that’s triggered the moment you come through that door making CNN. Either way, they know you’re coming and they’re not terribly upset.”

edited by punkey on 2018-10-11 19:10:12

Re: Empire

Gatac updated in Empire on 2018-09-30 09:13:31
(Update for Toshiba and Takao pending)

---

The hallway leads down on a subtle grade and curves, spiraling down. Ueki continues to alternate between gobsmacked silence and protesting that all of this is impossible to build, while Yukio's hand hasn't left the grip of her sword since they entered. At the half turn mark, Kirika realizes that the subtle hum in the air is not that of machinery: it is a chorus of chanting voices from beneath. As the thought crosses her mind, the tattoos on her shoulder flare up, and out of her shadow floats Kaede Kamura.

"Argh!" Ueki yelps, almost jumping back behind Yukio.
"Two in a day?" Kaede goes. "You really like me, don't you?" She looks around. "...where the hells are we?"
"Ikishi's lair," Kirika hisses. "And I think of this as more a continuation from before."
"Well then!" Kaede says. "Let's get to it."
"...you're a ghost," Ueki says.
"What, ghost?" Kaede goes, then mimes reaching through her body. "Heavens, you're right! I am a ghost! How did that happen?" She tugs at one of the arrows sticking out of her chest. "Oh, right. It must have been arrow-related! Look at us two, figuring this out together."

Yukio chuckles a bit.

"All right, all right," Ueki says. "Forgive me for being a little shocked."
"You're forgiven," Kaede says. "Say, is that tinnitus or is there chanting coming from down the tunnel?"
"That is definitely chanting," Kirika replies. "So if we're done with the shouting, shall we proceed with caution?"
"Sure," Kaede says. "Lead the way, niece."
"Caution sounds good," Ueki agrees.

Proceeding with somewhat less conversation down the tunnel, you clearly make out the chanting further down. The tunnel - past a massive set of sliding iron doors - terminates in an enormous cave. Sitting in an underground lake tethered to a landing bridge is one of those strange foreign ships that can sink and rise under their own power, though it lacks the Devilfish's markings. Various side caves split off via shorter rock tunnels. The source of the chanting, however, is smack in the middle of the main cave: dozens of translucent spirits, dressed in semblances of normal clothes - normal, save for the Shadowwatch pendents on their belts. They look slouched over, their eyes replaced with a solid green glow. In the middle of the commotion, a 50-ish looking man in the garb of a priest works some sort of ceremony on a flat slab of stone, while in the background, a circle of pure light has been drawn on the ground - a cage in which Kagemaru's flickering form sits, as if to meditate.

"I'd call dibs on the priest," Kaede says, "but this is your mission, niece. What's the plan?"
Kirika pulls her Shadowguard sash out of her pocket and slings it over her shoulder. "The direct approach," she says as she stands up. "If this is in my name," Kirika shouts, "I wasn't informed."

Yukio takes position behind her, while Ueki ducks down and checks his gonne.

"Put a little spine into it," Kaede says, floating disapprovingly beside him.
"How'd that work out for you?" Ueki hisses.
"That remains to be seen," Kaede says, floating closer to Kirika.

The spirits turn their heads, and some shuffle their feet to face Kirika. The glow in their eyes overpowers whatever glimmer of recognition they might show for the sash, but at least they're staying in place for now. As for the priest, he puts down his ritual ladle and straightens up.

"Kirika Kamura!" he shouts over to her. "As ever the impatient one. And here I thought the Rose's gambit would keep you a bit longer. I am, as you may have guessed, General Noronu. And your little coalition of bandits, ronin, ninja and...what are you, even?"
"Weaponsmith!" Ueki calls, taking position beside Kirika. "Though I suppose I was a bandit before that..."
"In any event," Noronu says, "I suppose it is a bit much to ask you to stand aside one last time?"
"That presupposes a first," Kirika says as she approaches. "Release my friend, and my people, and come quietly, and I won't cut you down where you stand."
"I think we gave you plenty of chances to work with us," Noronu says. "But you wish to negotiate. Very well, let's see here...there are four of you, while I have the spirits of three dozen Shadowwatch agents under my total control." He smiles. "Your bargaining posture is highly dubious."
Kirika's eyes narrow. "How many of them died by your orders?" she asks, loud enough for the spirits to hear.
A few of the spirits twitch, but Noronu smiles. "Technically? None. I gave the orders to have them captured; Lady Ikishi separated their spirits from their bodies and sucked out their chi to sustain herself. But I guess when it comes to technicalities, one could start with debating whether they are truly dead. They haven't moved on to the hells or the heavens...they still serve a purpose here."
"I don't know if you're taking input, niece," Kaede says, "but I vote we separate his head and his neck and then conduct our own philosophical inquiry into the technicalities of how dead that makes him."
"That was, uh, eloquent," Ueki says.
"Yeah, I got bored with 'let's just kill them' a while ago," Kaede comments.
Kirika's hands tighten around the hilt of Crane's Dance. "Let. Them. Go. They were good people that served with honor, they don't deserve this."
"When it comes to matters of empire, a soldier serves as his general demands," Noronu says. "Allow me to demonstrate."

Noronu begins a deep hum that changes the chant around him: individual spirits seem to come into focus and "solidify" into corporeal forms. One by one, the ghostly Shadowwatch agents draw weapons and advance on you - all but a few, who seem confused and shuffle a bit towards Kirika, then turn around and advance on Noronu.

"Useless!" Noronu shouts, then draws a gonne and puts a bullet into the spirits advancing on him. They each burst into little puffs of smoke before disappearing.
"Hey!" Ueki protests. "That's one of my gonnes! He has one of my gonnes!"

Besides Kirika, Yukio prepares to draw - but still waits for a sign from Kirika.
Kirika, as expected, draws her sword. "Hear my words!" she shouts. "This traitor to the Empire has slain you and is slaying your comrades! Men and women you fought and you died to protect! Are you slaves? Or are you Shadowwatch?"

(Kirika's Impress: 1d20+14+4+2 = (1)+14+4+2 = 21
yikes)

The spirits stop momentarily, looking at the Shadowguard sash Kirika is wearing.

"It's a fake!" Noronu shouts at them. "Hiro Homi is the Shadowguard! Do not fall for such a simple trick!"

The spirits remain confused, though some start moving towards Kirika again.

(Kirika's Knowledge check: 1d20+6 = (13)+6 = 19)

"Even a blade that is not drawn remains a blade, until it breaks," Kirika shouts. "So it is with our path. There is no certainty when we will be called upon, and even when we are granted respite, we take our duty to the grave." She pauses to look each spirit in the eyes. "Hiro Homi is the Shadowguard, as he will always be. Kirika Kamura is the Shadowguard, as I will ever be. And you are the Shadowwatch - as you will always be. You laid your lives down for your friends, your family - what has Noronu done?"
"Oh, spare me -" Noronu says - but just then, Kagemaru stops meditating. Instead, he starts...buzzing around his prison, slamming his shadowshape against the walls of light. As he does so, the spirits lose substance again, though some of their eyes seem to clear as their former selves return to them. "Your defiance is as ill-timed as it is futile!" Noronu shouts at him, then casts off his robes to reveal the armor beneath - and draws a sword. With a wave of his hand - and a glowing tattoo visible up his sleeve - the Shadowwatch spirits are tossed out of the way.

"Enough talk!" Noronu shouts.

(Kirika's Impress: 1d20+14+4+2 = (4)+14+4+2 = 24)

"We are Shadowwatch," some of the spirits repeat. Noronu turns around to see that some of them are floating back into position - but not yet quickly enough to catch up with him as he backpedals, then turns again to stride at Kirika.
"We all would give our lives in defense of the Empire - and what has Noronu done? What has Ikishi done?" Kirika asks. "Remember who you are and what he did to you! Rise up and help me strike him down!"
"SHUT UP!" Noronu shouts, swiping his sword at the approaching spirits. He raises his hand again, a force from beyond grabbing a trio of spirits and slamming them into the cave wall where they disappear into more puffs of smoke. "Do you care about them?" he demands. "Then tell them to back off!"
"Let them go first!" Kirika growls back.
Noronu swipes through a few more, but as they set upon him, he raises his tattooed hand and holds it to the sky. When he closes it into a fist, a light shines from it - and under its glow, the spirits fade away into sparks until they are all gone.
"They're at peace," Kaede mutters.
"That was...very inconvenient," Noronu spits, turning to look at Kirika. "You cannot possibly comprehend the profound irritation you have just caused me!"
"Blah blah blah," Ueki says. "By the way, I checked your math. Looks like you did okay counting us, but it turns out you're just one stupid old bastard." He cocks his gonne. "Tell me you're not gonna try to arrest him."
"We don't know how many others he holds in bondage," Kirika replies.
"Well then," Noronu says. "New equation: you need me alive. However, to me, you're all expendable." He smiles, then lifts his sword to point at Kirika. "Shall we?"
Kirika nods. "Yes, I believe we shall."

Re: IC 5 - Hamburg - Day 2

Gatac posted in IC 5 - Hamburg - Day 2 on 2018-09-29 14:15:14
Gallerie FreiGeist. Oh boy. Where do we begin?

The only thing that remains of its gilded age manufactory origins are the dull red brick walls, but by golly we're gonna save every fucking last one of those walls and don't you dare touch a single brick, don't you know this is an INDUSTRIEDENKMAL? So the walls are not painted, nothing is attached to them, people even seem afraid to touch them. Accordingly, the whole cabling for the event runs in thick strands suspended from the ceiling, snaking through doorways and branching off down the multitude of hallways. You've heard of cable drops, but this is just ridiculous. The lighting outside the "performance space" consists exclusively of LED spots aplenty, fully half of them shining upwards from the heavy plywood floors. Don't trip over the space heaters, either! The Gallerie does have a full wing of "found art" but only one room of "flat art" (i.e. paintings). Much of the building is "taped off" tonight by rented metal bollards with extending ribbons, airport security style. A wood shack out front sells Guinness, fritz-kola (of course) and bottled water to the waiting crowd, while two food trucks serve kebabs and fish sandwiches, respectively. The trees nearby are hung with lightbulbs and post-ironic miniature disco balls. The waiting crowd looks like mostly walkins off the street, though you do spot a few metalheads in the crowd, wearing ratty black t-shirts with slogans like "Don't Get Mad, Just Shred", plus one dude with a truly ancient "Stratovarius - Sonata Arctica 2000" tour shirt and a beard of roughly the same vintage.

Also relevant, here's tonights armbandology: green is underage admission (no alcohol for you, buster!), yellow is general admission, purple is crew, blue is VIP, black (of course) is the band. As hired-on security, you get your purple all-access armbands in place and head in, wheeling in a heavy case of "sound equipment" with you. Still in the background, you manage to spot Sydney Barstow, the Sorceress herself, negotiating with the Gallerie's manager(?) - a dude with a little beard and a ponytail to go with his no-tie suit - about getting the whole show moved outside to accommodate everyone who's shown up. Negotiations concluded, she hurries backstage for the soundcheck, grabbing a thermos of chamomile tea on the way.

While Tim glances at a sign with a just-legally-distinct silhouette of Scrooge McDuck showing the way to Hans "Dagobert" Baumgarten's exhibition room, Alira nudges Mason.

"I walk the crowd, you go backstage?" she asks. "Feel like you'll stick out less back there."

---

While the others are off having fun at a concert, Blake has fun by himself with his computer.

Wait, that came out wrong. He's preparing the heist of K Group. Not whatever you were thinking. (Okay, maybe a little bit, those paperclips won't make themselves OR WILL THEY)

Finalizing conjectural floorplans, preparing spoofed RFID chips, going over SIGINT WiFi captures again, that kinda stuff. It's just when he's deep in the zone that the Fractal phone left by Tim activates. It doesn't ring, it just goes straight on, with Valentina deSilva(?)'s voice on the other end.

"Hello, Leonard Blake," she says. "I was waiting for a chance to speak to you alone. Do you have a moment?"

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

Admiral Duck Sauce posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2018-09-28 19:56:56
"Relocating," FTE sends. It casts around for a position with better sight lines. The bad guys were running out of places and it didn't want to miss a thing, Aerosmith or not.

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2018-09-28 19:48:14
The first floor is clean - I mean, not clean by any stretch, after the mess that Front Toward Enemy's shots and two spearbombs made of the items being stored down there and the people that were hiding behind them it's questionable if the floor could be called clean again, but at least devoid of threats. Well, except for the bypassed booby trap on the front door, and anything else that might be waiting between them and the stairs up to the second floor, but, you know, empty. Of everything but the mess of said guards and a lot of debris. And the booby trapped front door. Okay, let's start over.

Luis, Arketta, Zaef and Hale follow Garrett and Ngawai into the smoking hole in the garage door, finding the couple already stacked up against the doorway leading into what looks like a simple hallway connecting the front door to the stairs leading up to the next floor. Another sweep for traps reveals nothing, and Garrett stands at the front of the single-file formation in the narrow hallway, slipping in the haptic to disable his active camo. No reason to hide now. "How's it look upstairs?" he asks.

FTE, from its position on the ground, can't see much through the windows, but Angel's elevated position has its benefits. He sees a man in what looks like his 30s matching one of the holos of Wazir's sons that Ngawai captured on her scouting run walk in front of the window - no Turai armor, no beamer in his hands, not even a Narsai'i pistol. He blocks the rest of the window rather effectively, though.

(Angel Scouting: 2d10 vs. 2d8 = 9 vs. 3)

That doesn't mean the other three windows are a bust. The lighting inside must be from work lights or something else very intense and very directional, because Angel can easily pick out...at least 5 shimmering outlines walking around in the room. Given what he can't see from the remaining windows, there's...another two in there, plus Wazir and his sons.

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

skullandscythe posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2018-09-27 21:46:21
Rather than question why people who supposedly disagree with him are doing what he suggested of their own volition, Zaef shrugs and makes sure that Luis doesn't march off on his own.