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[Lacuna, Part 1] im sorry communication has been interrupted please hold

AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internetRegistered User regular
edited September 2012 in Critical Failures
Good morning, agents. You can call me Agent R, or Control for short. I'll be processing all potential clearance upgrades for you today. That includes yours -- yes you. If you want to get out of your routine of sitting in front of the computer all day, alt-tabbing between whatever paperwork project you're working on and whatever gossip rag web site you've got bookmarked, then you want to talk to me. If you've decided you need something a little more exciting, with a little more leg-work, detective-work, and dream-work... then you want to talk to me. Yeah yeah, I know, the work you do is really important... that's why you're here. Because you enjoy being a desk jockey. Certainly not because you want to play Mystery Agent.

Let's see if we can get you cleared for Blue-level, shall we?

Can I get you anything before we begin? Coffee, chocolate? You won't be diving quite yet, relax, you're allowed to let that heart rate climb, ha ha. Nothing? Then let's begin your review.

I'll turn on the polygraph now.

Lacuna, Part 1: The Creation of the Mystery and the Girl from Blue City (second attempt)

Let's start with a refresher course. The Company consists of two branches presided over by the Directorate answerable to Control. Not me, another Control. Actual Control. Anyway, those two branches are Special Company Services and the Mystery Agents. SCS is made up of Agent Training, which you're familiar with. It is also made up of Mnemonic Engineering -- responsible for Agent Monitoring -- and Mythography -- responsible for documenting our work. The Mystery Agents... well...

Please review this file to reconfirm your interest in the operations, investigations, and mission-statement of The Company.

I'll wait. Are you sure you wouldn't like a bagel?

...

All right, now that you've read the file, let's discuss it.

You've done good work at Green-clearance. You've got someone's attention. You're being considered for upgrade. If you leave this room, and I have all of the right answers penned in on this review, you'll be on your way to the big times. You'll be entering Blue City and handling the big cases. You'll be putting those talents of yours to good use, fixing things here in the real world even as you do your police work there. That got your attention, I see.

So, the psyche-evaluation, physical portion.

Do you have any reservations or misgivings about the Experiment and its use of drugs/code-triggers to induce REM sleep, or any health conditions that would restrict you from projecting your senses into the subconscious topography codename: Blue City?

Are you prepared to risk non-corporeal life and limb in pursuit of the subconscious projections of sociopaths, mass murderers, terrorists, serial killers, and worse?

Do you consider yourself possessing of enough restraint and skill to tag -- not kill -- these Hostile Personalities for treatment of their mental diseases?

Are you prepared to risk your own mental well-being interacting with Personalities and Blue City, potentially blurring the lines between what is and isn't real?

Do you trust The Company and Control with your life, knowing that on the other side you may experience certain...difficulties...processing friend from foe and that you will have to believe we have only your very best interests at heart?

Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?


Very nice, very nice. Looking good. Is this your first time applying for upgrade to Blue-clearance? I mean, do you know how all of this application stuff works? If so, you can just pull your file up out of the system and we can proceed from there.

If this is your first time, well I've got some paperwork for you to go ahead and fill out. Here it is:
Pseudonym: Mystery Agents are assigned a pseudonym upon joining the company. All names are English-language occupational titles derived from Anglo-Saxon. (ie, Fletcher, Archer, Shepherd, Chaplin, etc). Roll d% or 2d10 and consult Page 13 of your Company Handbook, or share your Agent # with me and I'll look up your name on your behalf.

Attributes: All Mystery Agents are skilled, competent individuals who have been conditioned to physical and mental fitness-for-duty. Their abilities are graded from 2 to 4 in three areas: Force, corresponding to their physical fitness and ability to interact with others and Blue City; Instinct, corresponding to perceptive abilities, reaction time, intuition and detective work; finally, Access, corresponding to their inter-departmental clout and Company records for use in requisitioning equipment and information while in Blue City.

No Agent is perfect and they will either be competent across the board (3/3/3) or exhibit specialization (2/3/4 in some order).

Talents: All Mystery Agents have a knack -- a particular trait or quirk that makes them a primary candidate for this job. Without such a skill, they are not even considered for the job. Mystery Agents have one of these Talents, each of which gives a perk to a particular field of ability:
Force Talents: Aggression (kill, destroy, damage), Athletics (movement, chase, escape), Strategy (incapacitate, subdue, capture, process)

Instinct Talents: Investigation (search crime scenes, analyze evidence), Communication (interrogate, persuade, subterfuge), Intuition (sensing an ambush, following hunches)

Access Talents: Logistics (weapon and equipment acquisition), Intelligence (information retrieval), Navigation (information about zones, ejecting from Blue City)

Mentor: All Mystery Agents have undergone specialized training at the beginning of their career with The Company. In addition to general training, every agent is paired with a Mentor to specialize their skill sets and show them the ropes. These Mentors, furthermore, give The Company a human face for agents to interact with. Every Agent is shaped to a degree by whoever their teacher may have been -- what Techniques you're trained in is informed by your Mentor, as are what Techniques you can learn with your experiences in Blue City. Roll 2d10 to determine who trained you.
2-3, Agent Gardiner. KIA. (Grants: Achievement; Skill Techniques.)
4-5, Senior Agent Chambers. KIA. (Grants: Training, Asset Techniques)
6-7, Special Agent Miner. MIA. (Grants: Endurance, Cover Techniques)
8-9, Chief Agent Wagner. Deceased. (Grants: Training, Skill Techniques)
10-14, Senior Instructor Snyder. Active. (Grants: Meditation, Skill Techniques)
15-16, Senior Agent Baxter. Active. (Grants: Meditation, Cover Techniques)
17-18, Agent Duke. Active. (Grants: Endurance, Asset Techniques)
19-20, Vice-Director Forester. Active. (Grants: Achievement, Asset Techniques)

Technique Details:
Standard Techniques:
Meditation (spend a Commendation Point, reduce Heart Rate by 1d6)
Training (subtract 10bpm from Heart Rate)
Achievement (start each mission with 1 Commendation point)
Endurance (extend Target Heart Rate 5bpm up or down)

Asset Techniques: agent must spend a commendation point to use
Bulletproof (ignore 1 point of Force attribute loss)
ESP (ignore 1 point of Instinct attribute loss)
Armed (agent has a +0 weapon in her possession, +1 per Commendation point)
Driver (agent has a black four-door sedan)
Caller (agent can communicate with Agents and Control without an Access roll. does NOT use commendation points)

Skill Techniques: agent must spend a commendation point to use
Writer (agent can understand written material in Blue City)
Doctor (agent can restore one lost attribute die in himself or others)
Thief (agent can access restricted areas in Blue City)
Judge (agent can detect falsehoods when questioning a suspect)
Spy (agent can disguise or hide herself from Personalities)

Cover Techniques: agent does NOT need to spend a commendation point to use
Identity (agent has a cover ID in Blue City)
Documents (agent carries official-looking identification)
Credit (agent can acquire provisions and equipment in Blue City, using his Mentor as a reference)
Contact (agent has access to a friendly contact known to the agent's Mentor)
Safe-House (agent has access to a safe, secret location set up by his Mentor)

Medical History: All Mystery Agents must put their medical history on file for The Company to pull, copy, and use as it deems fit. These records are necessary to ensure the safe insertion and safe ejection of all agents prior to and following mission completion. This is done through analysis of an agent's heart rate.
Age: All Mystery Agents are between the ages of 21 and 60. Roll 2d10 to determine your base age, and add that to an additional 2d10. This will determine your Heart Rate.

2, 19+2d10
3-5, 20+2d10
6-8, 22+2d10
9-11, 24+2d10
12-14, 30+2d10
15-17, 32+2d10
18-19, 34+2d10
20, 35+2d10

Heart Rate: Your Heart Rate determines how long an agent can operate in Blue City. Every stressful action taken while under increases a Mystery Agent's HR from its Resting Rate, to its Target Rate and -- if you're not careful -- up to its Maximum Rate. All missions are begun at Resting Rate through the use of chemicals and psychological trigger-phrases. Through repeated action, those Rates climb. In their Target Range, agents are lucid enough to perform impressive feats of skill, power, and confidence within Blue City... at the risk of pushing themselves too far. When an agent's HR reaches its Maximum, complications can occur -- killing the agent in the real world. It is every Mystery Agent's personal responsibility to eject themselves and end the mission should their HR begin to approach its Maximum. Failure to do so may result in an ordered ejection by Control or the mission's Lead Agent. Insubordination will not be tolerated.

Age 21-24, Target Heart Rate 100-150
Age 25-29, THR 98-146
Age 30-34, THR 95-142
Age 35-39, THR 93-138
Age 40-44, THR 90-135
Age 45-49, THR 88-131
Age 50-55, THR 85-127
Age 56-59, THR 83-123

To determine Maximum Heart Rate, subtract your age from 220. (ie, MHR for 21 is 199; MHR for 55 is 165, etc)

Gender: The Company is an equal-opportunity employer that does not suffer gender discrimination in the work place. To this end, all bathroom facilities are unisex and all agents are issued standard dress uniforms consisting of black suits, black flat shoes, black neck ties, and black sunglasses. This uniform makes it possible to instantly identify another Mystery Agent while in Blue City, and maintains gender equality in the work place. The only difference recognized between Genders recognized by The Company are the differing Resting Heart Rates of male and female agents.
Male Resting Heart Rate: 70
Female Resting Heart Rate: 75

...

Got your file all sorted out? I'll just take that. Medical Records, Service History, Personnel File... the evaluation I just conducted. All right, seems everything is in order, agent. Thank you for your cooperation and patience throughout this process. Oh, one last psych question, agent.

What's your most recent childhood memory that you can recall?

Take this paperwork, and your psych answer -- go ahead and hit Post to submit those to your supervisor. I'm only looking to upgrade the status of three agents, so let's hope you gave all the interesting answers, ha ha, right? Just go ahead and !Sign your name at the bottom.

Thank you for your time, agent. There's still some coffee if you want it.

Oh, let me turn off that polygraph.

So, to clarify: what's happening is I'm going to run a game of Jared Sorensen's surrealist science-fiction RPG Lacuna, Part 1. It's like Adjustment Bureau and Dark City, and The 13th Floor and 12 Monkeys, and The Matrix and Inception, and The Cell and MiB. You're agents, you go bump in the night, you dive into the collective unconscious to solve crimes, and there's The Mystery but fuck if you know what it is. It's dark, it's surreal, it's detective-work, it's actiony, it's philosophical, it's weird, and that's before Bad Stuff Happens and before you don't know who to trust. Also, it's fun and easy to play. You can either click one of those links above for an instant pregen, or follow the directions in the spoiler to make your own. Both are acceptable as long as you give me your agent's most recent childhood memory.

I didn't say any of that up top because Lacuna is a weird RPG. The more you know about it, the worse of a candidate for play you are. Its "The Game You May Already Be Playing." If we were in real life, I wouldn't 'walk you through character-creation,' I would walk you through this paperwork. We would already be playing it before you finished your characters. So... The above. Lacuna has started. Apply below with characters. I look forward to playing with three of you, hopefully. :)

AlfredR on
«13

Posts

  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    !Signed

    Pseudonym: Agent Carver. Female.

    Attributes:
    - Force 2
    - Instinct 4
    - Access 3

    Talents:
    - Access: Navigation

    Mentor: Agent Duke, Active.
    Endurance (extend TGR 5bpm up or down),
    Asset Techniques (spend 1 point to use)
    - Bulletproof (ignore 1 point of Force attribute loss)
    - ESP (ignore 1 point of Instinct attribute loss)
    - Armed (agent has a +0 weapon in her possession, +1 per Commendation point)
    - Driver (agent has a black four-door sedan)
    - Caller (agent can communicate with Agents and Control without an Access roll. Does NOT use commendation points)

    Age: 40
    THR: 90-135 (can extend it from 85/95-130/140
    MHR: 180
    Resting Heart Rate: 75

    Most Recent Childhood Memory: Watching my neighbor Sasha's dog die in the street while they panicked and tried to figure out how to save it, with no way to get it to a vet. The dog panted furiously and couldn't move. Don't remember what was actually wrong with it. In the end, a little bit of blood trickled from its mouth. He watched me the entire time, mouth open like he was smiling, like when I used to play fetch with him. Then he just took in one big deep sigh, and that was it.
    The tricks the Mentor teaches me, do I get all of them, or do I pick a certain amount?

    weirdspaceships on
  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    Looks good. You have no Techniques to start, actually. Everytime you complete a mission though, you get to select from that list you have.

    With a 12, the pseudonym you receive is Carver.

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    how many players are desired?

  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Egos wrote: »
    how many players are desired?

    Three.

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    Egos wrote: »
    how many players are desired?

    Three.

    bleh that's what I get for doing a "find" on players instead of agents

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    Yes, three people to play. Sorry about making that hard to determine! My bad.

  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    !Signed
    Agent Name: Redman. Female.

    Attributes:
    Force 2
    Instinct 3
    Access 4

    Talents:
    Access: Logistics

    Mentor
    Senior Instructor Snyder. Active. (Grants: Meditation, Skill Techniques)

    Age: 51
    32 + 19
    THR: 85-127
    MHR: 169
    Starting HR: 75

    Most Recent Childhood Memory: I'm seven years old, sitting on the shag carpet in my living room, picking up cat hairs and rolling them into little balls while I eat my Cheerios. Outside our window, I can hear people shouting, holding signs, but I can't read them. My dad comes in, his tie ruffled, and begins grabbing his things. We're going to stay with Aunt Jesse for a few days, he says. There's something on his shirt.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Signed?

    Agent Name: 13 , Male (though I guess I could go female O_O )

    Attributes:
    Force:4
    Instinct:3
    Access:2

    Talents
    Aggression (though I may want to change this based on the agent name, if that is alright)


    Mentor
    Senior Instructor Snyder. Active. (Grants: Meditation, Skill Techniques)

    Age:29
    7 +7
    THR:THR 98-146
    MHR: 191
    Starting HR: 70

    Most Recent Childhood Memory: Going to visit my grandparents along with some other relatives. They had cookies out and all that wheat thins with a various assortment of cheese (I remember that for some reason)...triscuits also. My grandmother was flicking channels on the tv. Suddenly they switched channels. The show started off innocently enough . It was two neighbors , a male and a female, talking about their various lives and then suddenly it turned into a very different kind of film..... My parents ,aunts and uncles all shuffled to get the remote from my grandparents hands to change the channel... My grandparents weren't all there.


    Notes: I can give something more mysterious for the childhood memory if it's AW-ish and it's something you play off of in the future. I'm not exactly sure how the system works. Also Talent wise. Intuition and Strategy were in the running- if having an "Aggression" oriented agent makes things boring.

    Egos on
  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    @Dex Dynamo: With a 65, your pseudonym is Redman. Welcome to the team.

    @Egos: With a 13, your pseudonym is Chaffer.
    You can go female if you'd like and we can have the all-girl squad diving into Blue City, or you could go guy and enjoy being the guy and the "young punk" of the group. Role-playing opportunities either way. You can totally change Aggression if you'd like to! Not a problem! An aggression-oriented agent doesn't make things boring at all... the game may be a mystery-style sci-fi gonzo game, but you're still crack federal investigators. Intuition, Strategy, and Aggression are all good choices. If I were to offer any thoughts, I'd say that the youngest team member, as a guy, with aggression is a classic collection of character tropes. If you like that, good stuff -- you don't want to play to the archetypes, then don't. No matter what, its not going to damage the game at all.

    As for your childhood memory, that one is perfectly fine. I'll find plenty of ways to use it. The childhood memories are less part of the system, and more fodder for me in setting up some of the surreal stuff to come.

    @weirdspaceships: Go ahead and assign your +/-5BPM to your THR. So, either 85-135 or 90-140 is your choice. Five off the bottom or five on the top.


    Thank you for your applications, agents. You're all cleared for security level Blue. I'll have an assignment for you all by tomorrow.

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    AlfredR wrote: »
    @Egos: With a 13, your pseudonym is Chaffer.
    You can totally change Aggression if you'd like to! Not a problem! An aggression-oriented agent doesn't make things boring at all... the game may be a mystery-style sci-fi gonzo game, but you're still crack federal investigators. Intuition, Strategy, and Aggression are all good choices. If I were to offer any thoughts, I'd say that the youngest team member, as a guy, with aggression is a classic collection of character tropes. If you like that, good stuff -- you don't want to play to the archetypes, then don't. No matter what, its not going to damage the game at all.

    As for your childhood memory, that one is perfectly fine. I'll find plenty of ways to use it. The childhood memories are less part of the system, and more fodder for me in setting up some of the surreal stuff to come.

    I think I'll stick with what I have, seems like it could to some funny situations
    ArcherS2E8Mugshot.jpg

  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    I'll go 90-140.

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    0546 hours, pre-dive

    Agent Redman, Agent Carver the two of you were summoned to The Company today, your phones ringing before the sun had even fully risen outside your duly-appointed government houses. The voices on the other ends of your phones were less than useful; they asked if the line was secure, and once assured they said a case had suddenly come up and to start your day with decaf.

    Decaf -- polite code for "keep that heart rate low."

    Getting into work was easy -- though it was pitch black outside at this hour, no stars left blinking in the sky, the roads were softly lit by purples swatches of skyline peeking over the horizon. No one else was on the streets or highways yet. You arrived, and were escorted to take your seats in the Company waiting room.

    The waiting room is quiet; simple: Four wooden chairs, low-backed with wide seats, wine-colored paisley cushions fluffed on each of them. A small desk in the corner, with a brass table lamp (unlit). Beside it, a coffee machine (a white plastic American-made one, one button only; nothing special) with a hot decanter of decaf sitting on the plate. One small old-style wooden ceiling fan, like the cliche kind overused in period detective stories, spins lazily -- like it just could not be bothered to cool the air for you people. Through a tiny speaker in the ceiling you hear the tinklings of piano music. The walls sport prints of Norman Rockwell paintings, framed in dark wood, giving the room the atmosphere of a dentist's office or doctor's waiting room.

    The only particular surprise waiting for you this morning -- Agent Redman, Agent Carver -- is that by the time you each arrive here, another person is already here: Agent Chaffer.

    It takes some time before someone comes for you three, escorting you to the prep room to hear the case notes. Until then, you're left to languish -- with only each other and the ticking clock on the far wall for company.


    Go ahead and introduce your characters with descriptions and such.

    Agent Redman, are the three of you partners? Have the three of you worked together before? Or just you and Carver, and Chaffer is a new presence? Have you and Chaffer worked together before without Carver?

    Agent Carver, have you and Chaffer worked together before without Redman? If you post before Red an does: are the three of you partners or is this a new thing for you all?

    Agent Chaffer, are you just younger or are you also less experienced than Carver & Redman? What sort of reputations do Carver and Redman have at the Company? Not that its true, just the bullshit that gets said behind backs at the water cooler, y'know?

    AlfredR on
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Agent Redman is an older woman with a shorter, stout frame, red-haired with a few gray strands here and there, neatly tied into a bun behind her. She wears a sensible grey jacket that is perhaps a little worn, paired with black dress pants, and a green ruffled blouse. As she enters the waiting room, slides her sunglasses up to the top of her head. Upon seeing Chaffer, she raises her eyebrows slightly and tucks her clutch under her shoulder, extending a handshake, though her eyes remain heavy on her face, and her expression remains blank. "Chaffer, I presume? Chief Instructor Snyder mentioned you last time we spoke."

    Carver and Redman were partners in the past, but haven't worked together in a fairly long time. Chaffer is a new presence. Redman is aware of Chaffer's reputation within the office, but mainly because of their mutual history with Chief Inspector Snyder. What that reputation is, I'll leave up to Chaffer.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    I'd like to suggest Redman and I worked together a little. Nothing intimate, maybe just a mission or two, enough to develop a few good memories? Dex, how does that sound?

    I'd like to say Carver has been at it for a while.

    She's got dark hair; open, expressive eyes; and hands that show the can both type efficiently and follow a needle along a line of thread. Grooves and wear are starting in at her face, although she tries to hide it with copious make-up.

    When Agent Carver first started working here, she came in all professional, suits and heels, lipstick, all. But then after a few assignments, that started to go - business casual all the way. No one cares if you look good. You look professional, in line, sure, but there's shit to be done. She's got a black blazer, gray top underneath, long black skirt and nice shoes. Glasses she hates, the edges dotted with imperceptible bite marks. She could just never do contacts.

    "I could really go for tea. Hot tea. That doesn't have caffeine, does it? Just regular black tea?"

    She watches the coffee drip. Each tiny little drip. She's so bad at small talk, but she forces through it because otherwise, the silence is unbearable.

    once through, when the dream collapses, she closes her eyes and covers her ears because leaving one world for another is like being born again, and it's a sensation that reminds her of her family.

  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Perfect--that's exactly what I was thinking!

    "Whoa, there, Carver," Redman chuckles, turning away from Chaffer in a heartbeat, "hate to break it to you, but Tea is on the banned list on mission days. The rulebook specifically calls out black tea, if I remember correctly." Her raised eyebrows clearly state "and I DO know, it's what I do," though a slight grin betrays her stickiness.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Ah, Mentors. Redman heard of Chaffer from Snyder, Duke trained Carver, Snyder has opinions on Duke (few of them good), and on and on and on. Mentor relationships: the great gossip and drama mill of the Company. Who trained whom, better than whomever else, on and on until the end of time. In the field, you're all one family, but it can get muddled when members of the family let their differences get in the way.

    Senior Instructor Snyder, Agents Chaffer and Redman, is known throughout the Company as its toughest trainers. He now heads up Agent Training and has been at it for a while now -- he's an anamoly. He's the oldest mystery agent The Company has to offer -- the big Six-Three -- and a legend in his time, known for his attitude and extreme methods. But now, his legend begins to wane, fading away with each new recruit and month that goes by. His cases are considered more and more to be exaggeration, as each hotshot newbie tries to build his or herself up by tearing the legends down.

    Snyder hasn't changed any, though, despite it all. Despite his forced retirement to desk duty, despite the new kids he has to break down and rebuild through all their mewling. He remains gruff, he remains proud, he remains extreme, and he still demands each Agent he trains to be the very best for The Company. This goes ten-fold for any agent he's mentored in his career. They're expected to be unstoppable and unflappable.

    To that end, there's a story he likes to tell all his mentees -- a joke really. All of them have heard it at least twice, but it never gets old with Snyder. He likes to watch the reactions he gets -- watch people around the eyes -- when he tells them that in his time, "retirement" was a single-malt scotch and a bullet to the back of the head.

    He never laughs at his own joke. He always turns down scotch.

    Much different than Agent Duke, Carver. He's young, almost insultingly young to have been partnered with back when you were in training. He is only now 29, and he speaks with all the assumed- cleverness and wit you'd expect him to display -- but with the genuine intelligence to back it up. Duke is an agent working for the Cursor Mnemonic Engineering branch of Special Company Services -- research, analysis, theory building, experimentation. Not playing it by the book -- writing the damn book for the rest of you. Which is about all he can do now; he certainly can't dive anymore.

    Something happened while he was under (and he's explained he doesn't know what it was) and now he can't be inserted into Blue City anymore, no matter what they try. Agent Carver: you know, more than the others, that impossibly weird and catastrophic things await agents with every Dive.

    I'll post the mission brief tomorrow so Chaffer has time to post if he'd like.

    AlfredR on
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    "I just can't do coffee in the mornings. Coffee is a bedtime thing for me. Is that weird? It just makes me drowsy, doesn't hop me up or anything. But tea!"

    She imagines this is how SWAT teams must feel. Or the military. You're going in and certain danger awaits, and you're just sitting there acting like it's a calm day at the office. Like a potential heart attack isn't on the table. Like there aren't... things... deep in there.

    Think of clouds instead, rolling overhead your two-story loft paid with company money.

    "Chaffer? Your name's been going around recently. I don't think I've actually seen you around before. It's nice to meet you." Calm pleasantries, and an eagerness to extend the conversation.


  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Chaffer extended his hand "Nice to finally meet you, Agent Redman. I've heard many good things"

    The man sitting down had the look of a spy from a movie if a tad younger and a tad rougher around the edgers - perhaps a spy imagined by the likes Jim Jarmusch, David Cronenberg or Christopher Nolan when he was feeling more eccentric. His dark brown slightly ruffled hair with lighter streaks from being out in the sun and he had dark spots under his eyes as normally seen from lack of sleep. He briefly turned his attention the other woman entering the prep room, a slight smirk crossed his face "Agent Carver" - he nodded. It always amused him to see these aliases not match up with the person they were given to. Granted he knew that from little he read on her file... still it ruined any hopes that he would be accompanied by Jack the Ripper.

    As the two women started going on about tea, he sighed and started diddling around with the buttons on his upper left sleeve of his suit jacket. The way he was dressed was that of a fancy bodyguard or for a gala. Expensive black suit with silk red tie. Leather shoes too. The laces were tied very tightly.



    Chaffer was picked up soon after college. He was part of the CIA co-op program and later migrated to the Company after graduation. In terms of what he has heard about the other two agents, he would assume the other two have more experience than he does. Redman certainly does. The stories almost rival those of Gadiner. A "bureaucrat" to be sure, it's said she takes a certain pleasure in destroying careers. Chaffer assumed that's what she wanted others to think.

    He didn't know Carver by name. About 5 months ago outside one of the "Company Buildings" , Chaffer was standing near the smoking area with a fellow who resembled Bill Clinton- a woman resembling Carver exited the entrance exited with a box full of documents and various shit you'd find on ones desk. The older man nudged Chaffer "I tapped that..", Chaffer didn't really know the man aside from talking about the weather- at first he just gave his an odd glare and then nodded to placate him as the other man smiled with self satisfaction. No idea if it was the same woman or if the guy was even telling the truth.


    Egos on
  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    0606 hours, pre-dive

    The coffee pot sizzles, sitting on its scorch-marked hotplate -- hissing idly in the background noise of the room, clearly insulted by the mention of tea. The three of you are left waiting for twenty more minutes, fiddling with buttons, discussing tea, and maybe flipping through yesterday's newspaper. Tucked away inside it, a small article's title reads LOS ANGELES MAN KILLS GIRLFRIEND. Finally, there is a knock on the glass window of the door -- it opens, and two security guards escort the three of you to the briefing room.

    Unlike the waiting room, this room is truly small. The three of you, with some difficulty, are able to situate yourselves at a long and narrow metal table in the middle of the room. Across from you, behind your contact, is a pane of mirrored glass. In the corner of the room are small specks of dark stains. The room is nearly too warm, and the beginnings of beads of sweat begin to swell on your skin after a few moments. Your contact, a young woman from Cursor Mnemonics Engineering, is already sweating -- her light brown hair is pulled back tightly into a ponytail, but a few stray strands hanging heavy with moisture still cling to her forehead. When you enter, she stands up and corrects her green necktie, scooting her aluminum chair across the concrete floor of the room with a ruckus. You're almost certain this briefing room doubles for interrogation.

    "Carver," your contact greets first. She's an associate of Agent Duke's, after all, and has heard his praise for Agent Carver. Only missing maybe half a beat, she likewise greets Redman and finally Chaffer, offering her long-fingered hand to each in turn. She reclaims her seat, and introduces herself as Agent Prince.

    "Thank you all for getting here so quickly," she begins, with no hint of a smile indicating appreciation. "Engineering thought it'd take you all longer, so we took our time with our preliminary examination. Sorry that you were kept waiting so long." The line of her mouth curls on one end at the end of this sentence; whatever it may mean, it seems added for you. She produces, then, from beneath the thin metal desk a manilla folder stamped with YOUR EYES ONLY and CONFIDENTIAL and a curious seal: 46 stars circumscribed around an Eagle, bitten by the snake it holds in its talon. The folder is thin, with only a dozen sheets inside it.

    Prince opens the folder and slides the paper out, setting them all side by side from one end of the table to the other. The first is a full 8.5 x 11 photograph of the subject. "Today's subject's full name is Carl Sebastian Daniels. Male. 28 years old, 29 this December. You've probably read about Carl without even realizing it. He made the news yesterday after his girlfriend made a barely legible police phone call -- said she was being threatened, that "he" was going to kill her. The phone cut off, but not before she could say her attacker was her boyfriend."

    The second sheet is also an 8.5 x 11 picture. This one, of Elizabeth Dewlittle. Prince points at this picture and taps it, "This is the woman who made that phone call, Elizabeth Dewlittle. 30 years old, female, and the victim. The police didn't make it to the flat she and Daniels shared in time. She made the emergency call at around 1600 hours yesterday; police responded at 1604 hours. In those four minutes, Daniels managed to take a cleaver to Elizabeth's neck and effectively hack out the right carotid artery, before fleeing the apartment." Clipped to this photo is a transcript of her 911 call in which she is frantic and at a loss-for-breath. She is already bleeding, Elizabeth says, by the time she is making this call.

    The next few pieces of paper are floor plans to the apartment Dewlittle shared with Daniels, as well as coroner's reports and crime scene photos. The attacks apparently began in the kitchen of the apartment and continued throughout the living room and down a small hallway -- evidenced by a tipped bookshelf, broken picture frames, and other incidental damage to the home. Dewlittle locked herself in the bathroom, at which point she made the 911 call from her phone which was cut short when Daniels smashed down the door and attacked her. The crime scene photos show Dewlittle's body and it's a terrible sight of chunked flesh and muscle, blood pooling on linoleum tile, and hair missing in chunks from the death-grip Daniels had on her head while he did the deed. The coroner's report rather comfortably explains Dewlittle was doomed from the second cut Daniels made -- the first cut deep enough to open the larynx, while the second was low enough to cut the trachea-proper. If she didn't bleed out, she stood of chance of being unable to breathe or even drowning in blood run-off.

    Prince passes these crime scene photos around to the three of you, summarizing the coroner's report as she does. After a brief period of silence in which she lets you pass the pictures around, she continues. "So, it's pretty straight-forward. Carl Daniels, 28, kills his girlfriend Elizabeth Dewlittle, 30, in their Los Angeles apartment. They'd been dating for eight months -- that's the date investigators give us based on findings in their flat, which Mnemonic will corroborate with our findings from the initial fact-finding dive. The pair of them would appear to have no real friends -- together, that is, no shared friends. Seems Elizabeth Dewlittle had several friends of her own until she stopped seeing them at Daniels' insistence. We have a half-dozen brief phone logs on the vic's phone from contact with these friends several days prior to her death. What they were about, we don't know but one could probably guess."

    "Dewlittle worked as a photographer," Prince summarizes, pointing to a picture of of the apartment in which it becomes obvious all of the framed work on the walls was her own. "Daniels worked the night shift in data input."

    "This really isn't The Company's business, however," Prince then says, her eyes squinting up in a way that says technically anyway. "Domestic disputes are not what we're here for. This is where things get interesting."

    She now points to the last set of papers on the desk. One is a photograph of a Bunny Ranch in Nevada, with Daniels glimpsed going inside. The next is a picture of Daniels in the custody of police, dated this morning at 0300 hours. "Carl Daniels was taken into custody a few hours ago. He's no hardened psychopath -- I know, arguable. What I mean is, he broke almost immediately under interrogation and confessed to the murder of Elizabeth Dewlittle."

    "He also confessed," she says tapping the final piece of paper, "to a lot more." The last is a collage of several different women's pictures, composed of attractive breezy vacation pictures. Pictures of the women having fun. Pictures of smiling victims. "He confessed to the murders of seven different missing persons cases from across the United States." She points to each woman in the collage as she goes.

    "Melina Croft, Rhode Island, eight years ago. Shelby Stiles, Georgia, six years ago. Angelica Walsh, Texas, five years ago. Sarah Nguyen, Arizona, four years ago. Brandy Fanning, Utah, three years ago. Jasmine Quinn, Nevada, two years ago. Judith Dinkley, one year ago." Prince uses her free hand and pinches the bridge of her nose as she inhales sharply. After a moment, she continues. "He confessed to the murders of all seven of these women, and provided details of their personal lives found in police reports but previously kept from the media while each search was being conducted. Furthermore, when apprehended he had in his possession a single duffle bag loaded with two changes of clothes, and..."

    "Well, I suppose you'd call it memorabilia from each of the eight women. Personalized bracelets, small photographs, love letters, hair. Most of it has been sent out for testing and verification where necessary, but by all accounts it looks like we have a surprise serial killer on our hands."

    Agent Prince takes her hands off the paperwork in front of you and folds them in her lap, getting out of your way. She takes a moment to straighten her tie again, and wipe her brow of the brine that has accumulated while explaining the case. She silently wishes someone would turn on the damn A/C in this sweatbox. She clears her throat awkwardly.

    "Those are the basics, the overall of the case based on our findings and the findings of the LAPD. We've conducted a topological survey of Daniels' mind to verify many of these claims, so we have a pretty good picture of what you'll be dealing with. Is there anything else I can tell you? Anything you need from Engineering?"
    Go ahead and ask for additional information that you/your character would want from this briefing. If its available, it'll be supplied; if its not, you'll be told, and Engineering will look into it while you're under.

    AlfredR on
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Chaffer pulls out a small notebook from his coat pocket and starts doodling as Prince goes into details. He quickly folds up what he drew up.
    usamapn.jpg
    "Was Dinkley killed in Nevada also?" Chaffer looks around his cramped surroundings as he waits for answer. He loosens his collar and muses "Odd that his annual ritual skips a year."




    the great part about making little maps and doodles and such in an rpg, or I guess not-so-great part, is that it can be completely irrelevant. Unlike a tv show where you know the protagonist has to be onto something :)

    Prepare for

    Prince Blank Stare of Death

    Egos on
  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    I endorse detective doodles completely. You will be this game's Cole Phelps, drawing everything in your little journal.


    Prince shakes her head and consults the collage for a moment. "No, Judith Dinkley went missing in California one year ago. This makes Elizabeth Dewlittle the second California victim of Daniels'."

    "We're still unsure exactly why Daniels'..." a pause and a look at Chaffer with raised brow, " 'ritual' skips a year. Prior to his his killing of Victim #1 eight years ago, we can find no substantial police record. He has parking tickets out of Rhode Island, but nothing else. No assaults, nothing. Maybe Victim #1 opened a whole new world for him."

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Chaffer tried to get better grasp of Daniels and why he was of such interest. He looks over pensively at Redman and Carver positive that they know what is going on. Inner Chaffer sighs.

    Placing both hands on the table, his brows furrows in an instinctual attempt to look like he knows what he is doing. Was it the way the women were killed? He mulled over the details on the desk. Was it where he took them to vacation? He went to see if the photos were all taken in the same place.
    I'm basically asking if any of these things are answered clearly on the table/documents available or if I would have to ask :D

    like is it clear in the vacation photos one is in London while another is on a beach. Or are they all on beach scenes? Were they all murdered in a similar fashion (I imagine this would be detailed)

    Egos on
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Redman leans back in her chair, pulling out a small notepad as Prince begins her evaluation. She quickly fills an entire page in notes, before turning it over and filling the backside--waste not, want not, after all; plus, these notepads are a pain in the ass to properly requisition. Once Prince finishes explaining the case, she skims her scribbled notes, quietly muttering along as she attempts to review--but stops once Chaffer asks his questions, raising a single eyebrow and shooting her eyes in his direction.

    "Nice catch, kid... Also a little weird he seemed to make short-distance hops every year, but started in Rhode Island..."

    Her eyes drift down to her notebook, before she shakes herself back into place.
    Page1.jpgPage2.jpg

    "Anyway, yeah, few questions. Hold on, let me... let's see, Sabastien, kills wife, carotid artery, cleaver..."

    "Alright, got it! Cleaver to the carotid--little sloppy for a serial killer, right? Blood, hair, broken furniture... just seems out of place for a guy who killed seven women and didn't get caught."

    "Let's see... they met after Daniels' birthday, interesting... Any word on his friends? Landlord? Boss? He had to stay in each city for at least six months. Someone had to notice him."

    Dex Dynamo on
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Agent Carver's eyes glaze over the photographs of butchered women. She thinks of her own pseudonym. Then, of terrible things.

    She gets interrupted twice, but stays silent for the other questions to be answered. Then she goes. "You said he broke immediately under confession? You said he's not a 'hardened psychopath.'"

    She pushes the photograph away.

    "How did he react when he confessed? Did he seem afraid, nervous, vengeful? Is there a tape of the confession?"

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    We didn't interrupt you. You were simply too slow, Carver :P

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Egos wrote: »
    Chaffer tried to get better grasp of Daniels and why he was of such interest. He looks over pensively at Redman and Carver positive that they know what is going on. Inner Chaffer sighs.

    Placing both hands on the table, his brows furrows in an instinctual attempt to look like he knows what he is doing. Was it the way the women were killed? He mulled over the details on the desk. Was it where he took them to vacation? He went to see if the photos were all taken in the same place.
    I'm basically asking if any of these things are answered clearly on the table/documents available or if I would have to ask :D

    like is it clear in the vacation photos one is in London while another is on a beach. Or are they all on beach scenes? Were they all murdered in a similar fashion (I imagine this would be detailed)

    The collage of victims is under one of your hands, Chaffer. Its a glossy piece of paper -- photo paper. Its a copy made in this building; written under each of the seven photos is a small citation. A source for each of the pictures in question. Melina Croft's picture features her bundled up in a cap and scarf in front of a small bread shop -- the text under the photo says "Pennsylvania" and dates the picture. After doing some math in your head, you know It is from before she met Daniels. Next to the location and date, the text reads "provided to CNN by family." Similar text accompanies all of the other pictures. They're all photos given out to the media to help the search efforts when they were first initiated, compiled here on this one sheet for you all.

    As such, you can basically rule out any link between vacation spots or the like. Every picture seems to predate each victim's involvement with Daniels. This implies, since these are the photos families used to search for them and since they predate their relationships with Daniels, that Daniels was an expert at emotional isolation. Nothing in the reports indicates that he hauled women off the mountains or warehouses and hid them -- it seems he could convince or threaten each of his partners to attach themselves solely to him and sever all ties. Including family. This occurs to you Chaffer, as you review the pictures. Daniels must be frighteningly charismatic or personable.

    Prince watches you stare at the pictures, Chaffer, and speaks up. "We're currently waiting for reports on the deaths of Victims One through Seven. They went missing, the timers expired on federal search efforts... these are all cold cases, as far as the FBI was concerned. Daniels' confession is the first new clue in forever. We've got agents deployed to the areas again, performing new searches. We're going to turn up the bodies with Daniels' statement and get whatever information to you that we can. We're talking during the dive though, because we won't have anything before then. Sorry," her mouth curls on the edge as before.

    Dex Dynamo wrote: »
    Redman leans back in her chair, pulling out a small notepad as Prince begins her evaluation. She quickly fills an entire page in notes, before turning it over and filling the backside--waste not, want not, after all; plus, these notepads are a pain in the ass to properly requisition. Once Prince finishes explaining the case, she skims her scribbled notes, quietly muttering along as she attempts to review--but stops once Chaffer asks his questions, raising a single eyebrow and shooting her eyes in his direction.

    "Nice catch, kid... Also a little weird he seemed to make short-distance hops every year, but started in Rhode Island..."

    Her eyes drift down to her notebook, before she shakes herself back into place.
    Page1.jpgPage2.jpg

    "Anyway, yeah, few questions. Hold on, let me... let's see, Sabastien, kills wife, carotid artery, cleaver..."

    "Alright, got it! Cleaver to the carotid--little sloppy for a serial killer, right? Blood, hair, broken furniture... just seems out of place for a guy who killed seven women and didn't get caught."

    "Let's see... they met after Daniels' birthday, interesting... Any word on his friends? Landlord? Boss? He had to stay in each city for at least six months. Someone had to notice him."

    Prince nods along as you go through your thoughts, Redman, but speaks up quietly when you say wife.

    "Girlfriend. They moved in together six months after dating, and no common-law-marriage statutes have kicked in yet. So, girlfriend."

    She lets you finish your ideas.

    "I agree. Its a very sloppy job for someone who has killed seven times before and managed to hide the bodies each time, make them look like missing person cases. Something went wrong. I think it has to do with the phone records we linked to Elizabeth's cellular -- the contacts from friends a week prior to her death. I imagine that Daniels got wind of this, and that triggered his episode."

    "We're trying our best to run down information on Daniels' life. We were able to turn up social security once we had his name, and with that we were able to map his work history. He's in the system of a different small time company in each state he's lived in since Rhode Island -- every time, same gig: night shift data entry, night shift data entry. Every job application, only one or two references are given, though. They're never consistent, like he was trying not to reveal a pattern to his movements and his murders."

    "He never supplies his full work history when looking for jobs, either. Only the one he was holding when he met and killed Victim One. Get ready for this. It seems he was employed -- like usual, night shift data -- for Byrd & Baird, a small law firm in. Melina Croft was a mail clerk in that building. Day time shift. Would only, in theory, have met Carl Daniels when shifts changed and he came in to get started on his data entry."

    "She was employed with Byrd & Baird for three years before Daniels even got a job there. At some point they began dating, although we don't know when. We'll get ahold of her family if you'd like and try and map when they stopped hearing from here, and we can extrapolate from there. Anyway, Daniels leaves that job roughly eight years ago, a few months after Croft is reported missing and while the search is in full swing. He takes a plane down to Georgia and we lose him for a little while. Hotels paid for with cash, that kind of thing probably. He pops up again with a new job that he holds for the year he takes off from dating and killing."

    "The pattern basically repeats itself, but the girls aren't all mail clerks, and he didn't work with all of them. We're still dissecting his work history, and that'll help with his residence history. Landlord from eight years ago in Rhode Island died last June. Heart attack. She was 67. We'll get you what else we can find."

    Agent Carver's eyes glaze over the photographs of butchered women. She thinks of her own pseudonym. Then, of terrible things.

    She gets interrupted twice, but stays silent for the other questions to be answered. Then she goes. "You said he broke immediately under confession? You said he's not a 'hardened psychopath.'"

    She pushes the photograph away.

    "How did he react when he confessed? Did he seem afraid, nervous, vengeful? Is there a tape of the confession?"

    Prince snaps her eyes around to Carver when she speaks. "That's right. Not a hardened psychopath. Its not uncommon when being interviewed for psychopaths to be distant or theatrical. Remorseless, talking about their victims like they were things. An extra barrier between them and their victims."

    "Carl Daniels didn't cry when he confessed. He didn't rant or rave. He simply told us what happened, but he didn't treat the victims as anonymous subjects of his violence. Its hard to explain. I'll get the transcript and I'll play it for you once you're under, if you'd like, but I'll summarize as best I can. He seemed nervous when the police caught him -- when they brought him in from the Bunny Ranch he was shouting about how he did it, it was him, and all of those theatrics. While under interrogation, though, he answered all questions directly with no evasion... mostly. He confessed and told what happened between himself and Elizabeth Dewlittle. He wouldn't answer any questions about why he killed Elizabeth Dewlittle, so that's guesswork but pretty easy if you ask me."

    "It's like..." Prince bites her tongue for a 35 seconds, fiddling with her ponytail before finishing. "It was like he was a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He was upset, but he just looked at his shoes while getting lectured by his 'parents,' basically."

    AlfredR on
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    Chaffer crossed his arms. Unsure of the allure , it was likely above his pay-grade. He raised his left eyebrow briefly in slight frustration knowing something was likely being kept from them. The agent looked down as he did this as to seem unconformable from the heat, not wanting to seem overtly rude.

    "Play it again for us when we're under , so we have a better idea what we are dealing with." He nods and looks over to both sides curious to see how his partners were reacting to the mission so far.

  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Egos wrote: »
    We didn't interrupt you. You were simply too slow, Carver :P
    Oh, no, I didn't mean it all crappy-like. I mean like, sometimes when a bunch of people are talking, and someone goes to talk but someone says something a split-second before? That kinda thing.

    Sorry if I worded it poorly!

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    "Will do," Prince responds, Chaffer. "I'll requisition the tape. If I've answered all your questions, agents, then I suppose we're done here?" She stands up, and her metal chair scrapes across the concrete floor once again.
    If you have any more questions you'd like to ask of Prince, go ahead and post them here or PM me and I'll just answer them in a spoiler box next post, and be all 'yeah she totally said all these answers right before y'all left'


    If the three of you have asked all of your questions, then Prince smiles politely and waits for you to stand, open the door, and exit the tiny cell of a conference room so that she may leave as well. In the hall, your two security guards are still waiting. They're middle-aged gentleman, round in the middle, and with a distant look in their eyes. Former mystery agents, like much of the staff with The Company -- did their duty, did their time, but needed to get out of the game. Most didn't judge them for their transfer requests, although some considered it taking the easy way out and shirking the job.

    Your guards, when you're ready (and after a polite good luck from Agent Prince), escort you through the thin hallways of the building. The building seems to still be mostly vacant at this hour; when you pass a wing of cubicles, you see only three of them are occupied, the workers performing some kind of benign data entry. Maybe the case you're working makes you stare at your co-workers a bit longer than usual, maybe asking yourself what malfunction could one of them have or something similar. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe you just go about your business and drift through the work stations and past the occasional man or woman walking in, sleepless bags under their eyes.

    You pass a water cooler with a clock over it just before the guards call an elevator to take you down.

    0636 hours, dive prep

    Stepping off the elevator, you leave your escort behind and make your way down a hallway that looks like it was taken directly from a prison. It's narrow, with a concrete floor; granite stone on either side of you and if you pulled your hands out of your pockets then your knuckles would scrape against the rock. A couple feet overhead, a tangled viper's nest of pipes hissing and rumbling with water-pressure. On the floor, chipped yellow paint and spray-painted block letters reading MEDICAI THFATER, bits of the color chipped and scraped away under mystery agents' loafers.

    It's a walk of one-hundred feet, made longer by the pockets of shadow that you have to step through. Little halogen bulbs ensconced in wire-cages along the wall throwing their fickle light across the passageway for you, tracing everything in the shadowy spiderweb silhouettes. A few are burnt out, ignored and left where they sit. At the far end of that walk is an iron gate with a chain-link fence strapped to the front of it, and a large lock -- like one off of a cell in Alcatraz -- stares at you from behind a security desk. A little light wood and aluminum desk with a wooden stool for the skinny guard on door duty. He stands up and offers you all a clip board to sign in -- all standard procedure -- and you give your pseudonyms and agent numbers next to your photocopied photograph. Once you're all checked in, the guard produces a large metal key from the ring on his hip, slides it into the door and you hear the heavy clunk of old prison locks. When the door opens, it rattles like a piece of pissed-off cardboard in the spokes of a child's angry bicycle. The guard wishes you luck, and tells you you're in Theater C today. The name on his tag reads Chuck.

    Through the gate, you're in a large antechamber with five metal doors and three hallways winding off in other directions. You've never been down any of those bent passages, but it wouldn't surprise you if one day you discovered there were more medical theaters in this drafty basement than these five you've always found yourselves using. Theater A and B are set off to the left side of the antechamber, with their steel doors shut and the sliding peep-hole set firmly in the 'fuck off' position. Theater C is immediately ahead of you, indistinguishable from the others but for your truly impressive ability to recite the Alphabet and know C is the third letter from left to right. Above the door, its lamp is burnt out. You step through the door, through the shadow, and you stand then in the bleak 'underwater blue' of the Theater's operating lamps.

    The theater is round, like the antechamber before it. Four medical slabs, uncomfortably reminiscent of a morgue, face the compass points and sit roughly equidistant from the outer ring of the theater and from one another. Flanking each slab is an emergency room's worth of crash carts, medicine cabinets, and medical personell. The men and women, wrapped in scrubs and masks, swim in the blue-black light from device to device, like fish from reef to reef. In the brief moments they come up from their work -- calibrating heart monitors, or scrubbing their hands -- their faces are anonymous skulls, the hollows of their eyes and noses and mouths washed away in macabre shadow.

    Lit perfectly, on the north-facing slab (and surrounded by doctors, equipment, and a pair of armed agents) lay Carl Sebastian Daniels. Unconscious, his head has been shaved and electrodes have been taped to his scalp. You can see a purple shiner ringing his left eye, a souvenir no doubt from the police take down in Nevada. He seems peaceful, and unawares of the noise and bustle of a dozen medical staff and the beeping of heart rate monitors.

    At the head of Daniels' slab (and appropriately, the head of all the slabs) you see a man of indeterminate age and race -- his features swallowed by the lights and shadow. He speaks, and his voice has a small hollow accent to it that is strange on the ear. Perhaps its Moroccan or Maybe its Jamaican with a lisp, or it could even just be a Ukrainian lilt in the back of his throat. You can make out that his head is shaved by the way the blue light shines across the twisted patterns of scar tissue from some third-world conflict or first-world gang violence. "Heyy, ladiees and gent," he croons as a hand materializes from his sleeve, extended towards you all.

    "I'll bee Control today. Wee weren't expecting you to get heere so quick, so M.Ee took its sweeet time with its pree-dive reesearch. Wee are just about readyy to go, though, so, bros, if you're set to get wet, strap yourselves on in to a slab." As he talks, he rocks in the rolling office chair he's requisitioned for himself. He's got a clip board in his hands, and his fingertips drum out some tune on its back. Perhaps you consider carefully the reputation most Company slab jockeys have for being weidoes. Perhaps you consider the unfortunate reality that it takes a certain "special talent" to interpret what's going on in Blue City and all Control has to go on is heart rates and half-lucid grumblings of Mystery Agent dreamers.

    "Agent Redman," Control reads off his paperwork, hollow eyes staring blankly down at the page. "Seeems you're the luckyy ladyy gets to run this gameshow today. You'll bee Leead Agent on thee other side, takiing command, makiing deemands, leeadiing thee mysteryy agent clan." He throws his head back and has a great hollow laugh, like nickles dropped into a tin can. "Hop on thee slab, cheree, and wee'll start your insertion."

    Protocol for a dive is straight-forward. One agent is declared Lead and given command of the team while inside Blue City. Agents prepare themselves by stripping down to medical gowns (although that's optional). Lead Agent is put under first and used to "mark twain" for the rest of the team -- acting as a beacon to guide the rest of the team in.

    Right now, its time to get Redman on a slab.

  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    Redman finishes scribbling notes into her notepad, and neatly tucks it back in her clutch, before standing and shaking Price's hand on the way out.

    Her shoulders sag slightly passing through much of the building, her face heavy, and silently sighing from time to time. As she passes the men doing data entry, she takes a split second to check their monitors to see they're working, before catching herself in the act--oh come on, really? What, are you going to tell on them? Can't help it, though, managing this corporate BS is what I do...

    She peeks up at the clock above the water cooler, she furrows her brow and scrunches her nose, peeking down at her modest leather watch. "Is that clock two minutes fast? Is my watch two minutes slow?" she muttered, shaking the watch near her ear, before rolling her eyes slightly.

    She bobs slightly in the elevator, breathing deeply, flipping through her notes, and popping her lips from time to time to fill the silence.

    Upon seeing the paint, she scoffs. "How many people in this company, we can't keep the paint coated. Not that I'd want to be the one coming down here for repairs." She says, ducking under pipes.

    "Dead man walking, right?" She chuckles quietly to the other agents as the guard unlocks the gate. "No? Nothing? Okay then." She affects a steely, serious face, furrowing her brow and moving along quietly.

    She tries to hide her slight grin when appointed lead agent, and mostly succeeds. "Sounds good, mission accepted, as it were." She slides off her jacket and chooses a slab. "So, where are we getting changed? Here, or do we have dressing rooms? Whatever works for you, works for me." The old song and dance begins again.

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    "Oh cheree, wanna drop the pantiees for mee right there, that'll be fine as wine," another nickel-can laugh. "Nah nah, wee've got somethiing set up for you guys."

    He points across the medical theater to a folding partition, like the kind used to dress if there were company in the room. And The Company is in the room, so it's fitting.

    Control hums All Along the Watchtower to himself while you take the time to change, Redman. You half hear him mumble the lyric "there's too much confusion" while he waits for you.

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Chaffer looks wearily at the reaper-esque doctors moving quickly around him. As Redman is called forward as leader, he flashes her a quick smile. Normally when Chaffer smiles in the company of other agents it seems forced, this time it seems as though he is trying to be supportive or at least that's what the empathetic look in his eye would tell you. Aware of the burden being placed on her. Arms folded and his hand over his chin seeming trying to contain any sign of tension. He turns to the man humming.

    "So what sort of evidence did the exploration team find in Johnny Casanova's pretty little noggin?"

    He's a tad curious if the man would get his song reference, but it was of little relevance.

    "Or is that a surprise?"

    He looks bemused for a second.

    ok I initially interpreted a metaphor literally. :( That's what I get for posting after a nap.

    Egos on
  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    The shrouded features of Control's face drift in the dark, and you only know he's facing you, Chaffer, when his bone-rattle voice climbs up your spine with a laugh.

    "Johnnyy Casanova, heeeheee, Agent Chaffer... Sweeet beeat. As much a surprise as it always is, agent. Dig in deeep eenough in Blue Cityy and you turn up surprises of all sizes."

    The clipboard floats into view, held in one of his hands. His fingers dance into the blue light and you make out a collection of little metal rings wrapped tight around his thick knuckles. "M.Ee. says Daniiels is probablyy blendiing into Blue Cityy much like hee was in Californiia. No power-fantasiies come to life, right, like some seriial killers. So, you're lookiing for a data entryy type of fella."

    A piece of paper flips in the darkness. "M.Ee. found a whole mess of jazz CeeDees in his greeen-space. Maybee hee hits a club or somethiing."

    When he says green-space, you know he's talking about the highest level of a subject's consciousness: emotions, short-term memory, surface thought. The kind of reflexive things a person will find on their mind with no prompting. Seems Carl Daniels has jazz on the brain.

    "They also advise," Control says, letting his voice drop an octave, "not to listen to anythiing hee says. M.Ee. thiinks his charisma may bee an actual threat while you're under. Though -- if you get the chance and it's safe -- exposiing yourselves to his voice and seeeiing if it harms you would bee greatly appreeciiated by Mythographyy."

    "They're puttiing together a paper on somni-audible injuryy. You'd bee doiing science a great service."

    Oh Mythography division. Always wanting agents to do stupid shit for research.

    AlfredR on
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    Redman steps out from the curtain in her hospital gown, hair let down, holding her clothes and things. She places her clothes and clutch down next t0 the slab and hops up, grabbing a seat and settling in.

    "Alright, let's talk brass tacks before we go under. Equipment, support, contacts once we're in. We on our own? What's the best way to get in touch if we need anything? With this guy out there, the last thing I want to do is fly in blind."

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    "Eequipment, support, contacts are all as neeeded and as can bee provided."

    He holds up a fist and counts off by unfurling his fingers one at a time. Each one is lit up on one edge by the blue ceiling lights, making them look like the digits of a rave skeleton -- glow-in-the-dark and gaunt.

    "First, you go under, Redman. Once you're in, wee send in Chaffer and Carver, usiing you as ground zeero."

    "Then, if you find yourselves neeediing anyythiing, you can try to get a hold of it in Blue Cityy. Steeal a car, jack a gun shop, all of that crap, mack. Wouldn't advise it unless you neeed to do it, though. Wouldn't want the poliice interferiing with your investigation, yeah? So, if you're not in the mood to play master criminal, thiink reeallyy reeallyy hard -- thiink of little old mee and thiink out loud, thiink of the words comiing outta your reeal mouth." His hand twists in the dark and his fingertips tap the side of his scarred brow, and you see those thick knuckles and little rings glint. "I'll hear you if you thiink loudlyy eenough. Ask mee and maybee reeceeive, honeeyy beee."

    "Reemember though, all of the mental piings you can fire at mee to get your goodiies -- don't let those heart rates get too high. If you just want to beg mee for a gun or a radiio or a badge or a car, you'll probablyy bee fine. But if you want to ask mee my favorite color or get my well-versed opiniion on somethiing or you just neeed to know I heard you right, you should find yourself a phone line and dial out of Blue Cityy so I can hear your prettyy little voice. Sound swell?"

    "If you neeed to dial mee, remember:," and his voice creeps up into a falsetto imitation of a recording, "dial Zeero followed by thee Pound sign."

    "Always works."

    When inserted into Blue City, all you have is your suit, tie, glasses, slacks, shoes, and a Lacuna Device used when you take down your target. More about the Device later.

    If you want a piece of equipment, you requisition it using an Access (Logistics) roll to get it. If its small -- like a gun -- it will manifest on your person usually. It its more complicated -- like a car -- it will conveniently appear in serendipitous circumstances or a Blue City contact will arrange for you to receive it as soon as possible.

    All equipment in Lacuna functions the same way. +1 on die rolls. Weapons are always +1 Force, and different things can offer +1 Instinct depending on what they are. So it's useful stuff, honestly!

    This +1 bonus counts for equipment given to you through Access and anything scavenged in Blue City. So, you know, make your choice about how to equip yourself and your team, basically. This also means that when making an Access roll to Control, you get a +1 if you can find a phone to use when making the call -- instead of just trying to Think Loudly At Him.

    Asking Control for things can get complicated the longer you're in Blue City. It is possible, but probably unlikely, that if you spend too long in Blue City, your communication with Control will get garbled and you'll start getting the kind of equipment you did not ask for. (ie, a camera when you asked for a Camaro, that kind of stuff).

    That's basically what you need to know.

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Egos wrote: »
    We didn't interrupt you. You were simply too slow, Carver :P
    Oh, no, I didn't mean it all crappy-like. I mean like, sometimes when a bunch of people are talking, and someone goes to talk but someone says something a split-second before? That kinda thing.

    Sorry if I worded it poorly!
    Don't worry about it (if there was still concern I was offended in any way :|). I was being jokesy, hence the smiley


    "Resourcefulness makes an agent, Redman. Not their resources." Chaffers says jauntily with a mock grin. It's rather obvious he is trying to mimic Senior Instructor Syndor and perhaps lighten the mood, his eyes dart off the side seemingly not want to look at how people reacted to his likely poor imitation. Pointing over to curtain area

    "I'm going to get changed now..." his hand changes from pointing that way to a slight wave to Redman and Mr.Unknown. He went behind the curtain and carefully took off his suit, making sure all of his valuables were tucked away in various pockets with buttons attached. With his suit,shirt, and pants nicely folded , shoes to the side , socks within, and tie on top of the pile- he started to wonder why he wore a crimson tie today . Chaffer wasn't quite sure why he was fixating on this. He shook his head and quickly put on the gown and slippers. He always had trouble tying the ties on the back of his gown and he knew he did a shotty job as he came back out from the curtains.

    "I just left my clothes back there." There he goes nodding again.. His arms are behind his back , there to catch his gown should one of the ties loosen up. Carefully he walks over to his slab.

    Egos on
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    so just to get this straight brass knuckles, a RPG, and any pistol will all do +1 force?

    Also were we suppose to have black suits on this whole time Agent Smith style? Or is it just in the Blue City?

  • AlfredRAlfredR I take weekends off from the internet Registered User regular
    Yup, they're all +1 Force! Blue City is weird, man.

    As for your clothes, you can wear suits around the office all you want, though it isn't required. You all had pretty individuated outfits anyway, and looked unique. In Blue City you're provided with standard issue suits so you can identify one another and other Mystery Agents at a glance. So around the office, Agent Smith-wear is optional; in Blue City, it's required.

  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    @AlfredR

    Behold the Abyss

    face1g.jpgface2xu.jpgface3d.jpgface4.jpgface5u.jpgface6e.jpgface7.jpgface8.jpgface9.jpg

    that is one strange little program :I

    the two bald men on top scare me
    Also are the rules of reality governed by the mind we are in? Or can we always go Matrix-y?

    I've been reading reviews where someone was running up buildings :|. I assume it depends on the mind?

    Egos on
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Agent Carver watches Agent Redman while talking to everyone else. "The last few drops for me were rather benign, in comparison. Any chance of hazard pay?"

    She's kidding, of course, but she's only half there. This is the part where you feel giddy, tingly, your body just a big twinge of anxiety until you get under, like waiting for the jump in a scary movie. She lets her hair down and removes her jacket, folding it over her arm and waits for the screen to be vacant to finish. The first time she dropped it was horrible, a whole scene gone wrong, and it was months before she went in again. She saw The Company-appointed counselor and considered a career shift, but the legal hassles just weren't worth it. Now each slip under reminds her of pain.

    She feels safe under Redman. She feels calm around Chaffer.

    Behind the screen she takes everything off, ties up the gown, and comes back, setting her clothes in a folded pile with her shoes on top. One arm, she keeps behind herself to make sure the gown stays pinched shut.

    Her walls at the apartment are all painted, some white and some a gentle rose color. She has two dogs, but right now, she can't even remember their names. Her emergency contact is her ex-husband. Her fists are clenched.

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