Cult of the Kitsune I

GM: Kensai
Players: Kensai, Nine, Neena, Amarra
Synopsis: Hired to retrieve a long-stolen idol, the runners stumble upon a creeper cult - only to further discover that the cult wasn't that fraudulent at all.
Date: April 22, 2082

As the moon begins to rise in denver, quiet word gets passed around. There is a job to be done, with much discretion needed - your contact has snagged information on a meet and sends you the details. The Little Chiba Botanical Garden, nine thirty this evening.

Amarra is a bit suspicious of this, given that she is still healing a bit from her last job.. But well, discretion is something she's fairly good at. And she's not so banged up that she can't still wreck somebody's face. She's learned her lesson about *caution* being the better part of valor, and shan't be making the same error twice. That said.. She'll show up at the Garden, ten minutes early, one arm hanging limp and loose in her choran, the other holding her kiseru. "Mmm." The smell of nature has a very soothing effect. Makes her feel calm. Placid. Sort of a Jimmy Carter-like serenity.

Somewhere out there, Nine dresses herself to look like someone else, doing so with the magical wonders that are not only the Fashion and Makeover spells but also the poly mask she can apply with professional tools at Jaya's salon. Apparently, she appears to be a Japanese woman in a traditional kimono all patterned with cranes before whispy clouds swirling in a background of blues. Somewhat obscuring that is a lined coat about her form. Meanwhile, there are chopsticks in her hair where her trodes do not interfere.

She is not the only one disguised for the run, though, since her trusty sedan changes color to a deep maroon before picking her up in the back alleyway.

Neena makes her way across the town in probably not the most discrete vehicle being a Westwind but it is for Neena considering her other vehicular options. Once it's parked a decent bit away her trusty coat is grabbed from the passenger seat and pulled on as she walks the last bit to the meet also striving to be a bit early to survey the place first.

The garden is a greenhouse affair in one of the nicer neighborhoods of Little Chiba- though not quite so nice as to be hidden behind a gate. A dark-haired woman waits inside, carefully tending to some of the errant twigs of a cherry tree. Her Long dark hair, black-blue as the night sky, is worn loose, and she wears red-marked white robes. "Friends," she says quietly, as the runners enter, turning to give them a smile, though her eyes are politely downcast. "Thank you for coming." She gestures at the two bodyguards standing nearby, fierce-looking Japanese men in impeccable black suits, white shirts, and red ties. One begins to protest, but she shakes her head. "Kitagawa-san will not let anything happen to me," she tells them, gesturing to the tall Japanese man in a cheap, ill-fitted suit that comes up now to join the other runners. "Besides, if you guard the entrance, what harm will enter that is not of the spirit world? And you cannot protect me from that."

They frown, but leave. "Now then, we can speak freely," she continues. "A great wrong has been done, kind strangers, and it falls to to me to see it undone - and so I seek agents to carry out a task."

After checking the astral as well as the physical for anything awry, then the Japanese-seeming woman (who is really Nine) steps inside quietly and bows deep whenever it seems appropriate to. She does not yet speak, deliberately masking whilst staying aware of the astral realm.

Neena keeps her eyes on the physical world eyes darting here and there trying to do a threat assessment on everyone walking and talking. For her part she keeps her hands free of her pockets as to not seem like a risk and even makes sure as she moves her coat flicks open this way and that so it can be seen there are no weapons inside.

Amarra calmly lights the kiseru as people begin appearing with her. The pleasant smell of applewood wafts in tiny wisps from the angel-hair thin strands of artificial tobacco packed into it. She adjusts her grip on the pipe a bit, and leans back against the nearest solid object. The very image of a modern masterless samurai. She scrutinizes the large man in the poor fitting suit, then turns her eyes toward the shaman(?) or whatever she is, while her ears move around like a pair of big, fuzzy radar dishes. "Very well. Tell us about this task, and we can discuss how far your credstick can carry it, hai?"

You paged Nine with 'she is a grade II stream shaman, has no ware, is a little sad and with an undercurrent of paranoia but otherwise healthy, and she has a force four spirit of the waters waiting in the nearby astral.'.

The woman bows slightly to Amarra. "Of course, noble usagi." she says gently. "Forty years ago, priest by the name of Igakari tended a small shrine not far from the cherry lake park. IT chanced one late october that he was robbed - all he had was taken from him, the shrine despoiled, and the golden idol of sujin was stolen and 'sold' to a local art museum. Time has passed, the priest has long since died - hounded by shame unto the grave- but three nights ago, that museum, served by karma, has failed and had to sell all of its pieces." She turns back to the tree, lifting up a hand to cup a blossom. "An American businessman, a Thomas Paumer, purchased it. I would like yo to take it from him, and bring it to me so I can see the shrine set to rights and the kame there pleased."

Amarra exhales a plume of smoke out of her nose, sharply. "Hmm." She rubs her chin briefly with free hand. "A straightforward enough run, it sounds like.. Though I believe I am not out of line by requiring more information about this Mr. Paumer. Where he's keeping the idol, what information you have about his security protocols and personnel, whether or not we should be going in expecting a fight, and of course- your opening offer."

Neena gives a small nod of her head as the tale of woe is spun. "Any information on his habits and daily routine could also greatly assist in making this business venture fast efficient and clean. "

Since Amarra covers everything that Nine would have asked, she simply smiles. Shifting her currently-dark-brown-seeming gaze (go go contacts) to Miss J, the Nines nods at the right moment to indicate that she is, indeed, quite curious about the answers to the aforementioned.
She gently lifts her palm, pressing the blossom up and away unharmed, then looks back down. "I know little about him other than his name," she says. "And that he resides in a place called Castle Rock, at <she gives an address>. I am new to this area, and know little of its geography. I know that, when he arrived at the auction, he was unguarded, but he arrived by limousine. I have … contacts that tell me he is a bad person, and earns his money doing bad things, but they are just words. I have no proof. He may have no other crime than good taste." She looks away, and moves a few paces to a small stream that runs through the gardens. "This stream is badly polluted," she says. "While it springs from underground not far from here, it is fed by runoff by the old tech center. It is purified when it reaches here, and given time to amble through the plants as it pleases before it must go out to the world to run down to the waters of Cherry Creek. If only we could give all things such care."

She looks back up. "I understand your concerns, and how my lack of knowing makes things more complicated. So yy offer is one-hundred thousand. It matters that much to me that the little stream gets its peace."

Kensai stutters. "Where did you…"

She lifts her gaze to meet his, and he quiets down.
You paged Nine with 'shinto kami of the waters.'.
You paged Nine with 'you think it's not a legendary artifact, and 'a golden idol of Sujin' would be as accurate as 'the.''.

Amarra whistles a little bit. "A hundred thousand, eh..? Alright. That's a good deal given the lack of information and potential dangers, not to mention that we'll be dealing with one of the ritzier places. You've got yourself a samurai, if nothing else." She'll flick her ears. "We will need a bit of time to acquire some additional supplies and equipment. I would feel safer going in with a few extra grenades, at the very least."

The exchange between the Lady of the Stream and Kensai earns a curious look, but not for long before the disguised Nine fusses with a scarf that encircles much of the front of her throat while also matching her kimono. She speaks up now, except it sounds warped to a degree, as if touched by some kind of technology. "Igakari… any relation of yours?"

Neena lifts one hand to tuck some stray hair back behind an ear. "Well water is important it does provide life to all manner of things. Plus that offer is enough to get me to leave the comforts of my den. I think I can help."

The lady shakes her head at Nine. "No. As I say, I am new to this place. Up until recently I had never set foot in North America, nor had any of my ancestors. I have some family here, but … not this man. My stake in this is simply trying to mend harm that has been done. I am grateful for you all and your willingness to help." She bows to amarra. "Thank you, Usagi-san. As always the rabbit brings with it good luck; I think that bodes well. I do not have a time limit for this task, but I do not know what Mister Paumer's plans are."

Amarra flicks her ears some, letting them go lop and hang at the sides of her head. "He'll either want to move it to a private museum or be rid of it with speed, especially if he's aware of its history, I would guess." She begins mulling things over in her head. "Let me make a couple of calls and see if I can't scrounge up a few flashers and maybe some information on Paumers-san." This is a payday right here, this is something worth going after and going after hard. She'll look at the other two, "I recommend you two do the same, whatever preparations you need to make. If you need extra time to do that, let me know. I'll use the extra time to poke around his local 'trix grid and see what the security's like."

«Plot» Nine says, "At some point Nine is gonna trode to <name redacted> and ask him what museum it was that had the Idol of Sujin in it. XD"
«Plot» Kensai says, "he knows all about it. The Jean Vash Collection - it had a bad reputation for acquiring art through seedy means. He's glad it's gone under. He will note that 'the Idol of

Sujin' is a minsomer; there was nothing legendary about it, save that, through happenstance, it was cast the same day that dunklezahn appeared, and thus the cherry creek shinto shrine was considered an auspicious place for it. It is reputed to be pure gold, but he has his doubts."
Kensai inclines his head to the lady. "You know I will do what I can, Sakura." He tells her.

Her eyes toward him are sad but kind. "Of course… Jack. I had no doubt."
Although Nine is silent, she is on the phone with the electrodes as it were. After a moment or two, she pipes up with her warped out vocals to explain the 'down low' that G Money just told her (but without naming him, of course).

Neena gives a small nod to all the listed prep work. "Well I have everything I need already except a change of clothes. If we want I can more than keep him occupied for an evening at any venue giving everyone else a chance to do the object relocation"

Amarra makes an agreeing nod to Neena. "Then let's not waste time. If the idol is indeed golden, then it will likely rapidly disappear to one fate or another, and none of those fates involve going back into our Ms. Tanaka's gentle care." She'll pull out her poc-sec and start sending a few texts. Flash grenades are easy enough, that's not an issue. Information on the other hand.. Might be more difficult. Hopefully, one of her contacts has heard of this guy.

Kensai looks at Neena, inclining his head as the contact quietly leaves them. "How do you intend to keep him busy?" He asks. "We know so little about him."

Nine almost opens her mouth to quip in a characteristic fashion, except the Cougar Mage is currently disguised. She remembers it at the last moment before saying things about 3 dollar bills, and the like. She instead makes haste to exchange contact information with not only her peers but Miss Sakura, as well.

Neena looks down at her chest…than back up…than back down…than back up. "Really? he is a guy that likes pretty things." and shes looking back down trying to get the point across.

«Plot» Nine says, "Nine asks <name redacted> the timeframe of the Jean thing (so she can try to infer whether it was recent which might mean that the man has not yet picked it up but only paid for it). If it was weeks, she might assume that he probably already did pick it up."

«Plot» Kensai says, "nine: the exchanges were made at the auction three nights ago. the collection closed its doors today.He wonders if you know what became of a kabuki mask, like a red and silver oni."

«OOC» Kensai says, "amarra: what questions do you have for mako?"

«OOC» Amarra says, "Asking if he or any of his friends have heard about this Paumers guy and his expensive acquisition, mainly."

«OOC» Kensai says, "nice! he's heard of him. Nothing good. makes deals that usually end up poorly for the person he's bargaining with. gets regularly delivery, though - lots of heavy metals, if you know what he means. gold. mercury."
«OOC» Amarra says, "Anything about what kind of people hang around him? Big bruisers, mercenaries, corp-sec?"

«Plot» Kensai says, "he lives in a run-down estate - think mansion - outside castle rock. got it cheap because of the state it was in, like so much around there. Mako hasn't heard of anyone else being around much then the driver - who is, in fact, a robot."

«OOC» Amarra says, "I can call my personal Johnson and see if he knows anything, since this guy likes Japanese art."

«Plot» Nine says, "Nine jokingly inquires if <x> has ever seen Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (about crazy masks at some points), but that is just a joke. She does take curses seriously, though, because she has been cursed at least twice before. (Neena has seen her in dire straights before.) Before the Egyptian curses, there was a Japanese one about oni, too. She curiously asks about the alleged curse: what is it and what does it do to people? She will hook him up with a detection 9 expendable focus for all this help. // To the team: Nine mentions the fact that Mister Loser, er, Mister Paumer collects a lot of these different types of metals sounds like he might be trying to do alchemy with them. Maybe."

«Plot» Kensai ;'s contact spits at the name - an uncharacteristic display of temper. Thomas Paumer has a nasty name in local japanese circles. He's a second-rate alchemist who has wasted countless resources, and thinks just because he works as an alchemy consultant for Mitsuhama he can pretend to be japanese. He was fired from his job, for being incompetent, but somehow got a massive severance package.

«Plot» Kensai says, "neena: you hang out relatively undetected. You notice he doesn't go out much - although he does send his car out from time to time. It returns with girl(s), and eventually they leave, looking more… bewildered than well used.

You see him once or twice, standing on an overgrown balcony, drinking sake as he hangs around in a kimono, but you see no living staff. You see his driver - a human-like robot, dressed - yes, actually dressed - like something between a chauffeur and a samurai. You have also managed to spot (good eyes!) a mini-blimp drone often floating on the air nearby."

«Plot» Kensai says, "Nine: i'm sure you'll take your time, so here it is: He's a grade III fox shaman. He has an alchemy lab set up, but it's not actually in use right now. He raises a Force 8 Hearth Spirit every night and sets it on lookout, and the idol, along with several other items of precious make - some of which look like he made them himself, are set up at the feet of a four-foot tall marble kitsune statue with obsidian eyes."

After taking the time to get comfy with the bast help on the purrlanet to be medical backup, Nine astrally projects from her comfy vehicle whilst her spiritual self sneakily infiltrates the home of Mister Paumer and locates the Idol of Sujin as well as a warded area. Too curious, she wills her aura to be flexible and bend with the weave to step through the field of mana.

«Plot» Kensai says, "nine: the room is kind of gross. it doesn't feel evil, just kind of smelly. a lot of weird stuff happens up there. but there -is- another life sign up there. a human cybered into within an inch of her life."

Amarra will, after a tremendous amount of exhaustive decking, inform her erstwhile companions about what she's found. Handful of cameras, mostly around the pool for some reason. Motion sensors in the Gate and at the Greenhouse. There's also a node but it appears to be geared for a Rigger network- this guy and/or his robot probably relies heavily on drones. She's going to be bringing her dikote'd nodachi when they actually break in. His local Matrix security is tight as hell, make sure to keep your faces covered, that sort of thing. She would not be surprised if Paumers himself was a robot at this point.

You paged Nine with 'almost all the cyberware and bioware is in the brain - both arms have been replaced to. the person is paraplegic, and is underslept, overweight, and eats too much junk food.'.

You say "I've hit places like that before. Minimal obvious security to draw you in, enveloping fire from automated defenses once you're too late. In this case, the robot would be used to try to keep us in place while others chew us up." He frowns. "In my opinion, at least."

You paged Nine with 'she doesn't seem any more unhappy than a person who lives in a hoverchair should be.'.

You paged Nine with 'only drugs present are painkillers and caffeine. lots of the latter.'.

Amarra says "There will probably be IR/thermal sensors all over the place too, so I would expect stealth to only work for a limited amount of time. But we should be prepared to go loud at a moment's notice."

At some point, Nine shares that she found a weird room in the home where there seems to be someone who is living in a hoverchair whilst jacked into what may very well be the drone network (but only guessing). The person is hopped up on caffeine and pain killers and junk food. Overweight and paraplegic, too.

Also, she makes sure to point out that their alchemist is a fox shaman, y'see?!

Neena is careful in her study of the place and quite good at being unseen when she wants to be just as good as she is at being seen when she wants to. "Well this guy seems to be a big time wanna be gobbled up a cheap manner house pretty girls come and go but seem confused not sure on the confusion could be he is a massive disappointment could be something weird either way he likes the appearance of wealth and he wishes he was japanese" Neena gives her report on ehr findings almost seeming like it's routine.

Kensai leans up against a tree near where Neena has her stakeout - never touching her car, never, ever touching the car - and checking through his gear. "So," he says, breaking his accustomed silence. "We have several challenges in front of us. Rigger and Magician. This suggests the enemy being able to perceive in a number of different ways. Thoughts on a plan?"

Neena hmms a bit as she keeps her watchful eye monitoring the place. "Well best bet is to get him to leave the place. I can try t lure him out. He likes nice things it seems but lacks the means to truly have them so is on the wanna be side. Wanna bes seek validation and recognition of their status usually. Plus fox shaman and you get them involved in some kind of game of wits and they can be quite blind to other things. Lure him out than only really mechanical security to deal with. " shes hmming a bit "option 2 is go in under magical invis and silence and than only the shaman to deal with since the mechanical won't see you."

Kensai glances up at Neena, taking her in again. "I believe you can pull that off. Any sort of invitation you can acquire? Something he wouldn't usually get into?"

He looks back down at his Alpha, satisfies himself that it's all in order, and begins reassembling it. "If we could at the same time somehow disable the rigger, that might leave us with little else to overcome. Hai?"

Amarra idly chews on the remains of some Stuffer's Shack takeout. "Depends on who, or what, the rigger is. If the rigger is his robot butler, then it may not matter where he goes- it could have a constant connection to this place."

Kensai begins to draw a very crude map in the dirt - very crude. "We have at least two drones, hai? And the spirit. Correct me if I am wrong, but a shaman… if you draw them out before sunset, they will not have that spirit there after sunset, correct?" He looks around for confirmation, having no idea.

He jabs at the turret. "This here is where our catty friend has pointed out the only other living being. If that is the rigger, well…she still could be present with the man's chauffeur. But if the robot is the rigger… that adds other complications. More dangers for our… is the phrase 'nectar trap'?"

Neena shrugs her shoulders as some beef jerky is dropped into her mouth. "Well again one thing can be taken care of either everyone goes in cloaked against electronics or no Wanna be clearly inferior fox shaman on site." that last part makes her sound almost professionally offended. "Hiding things from sight is kinda my thing and I can make it so no one is seen."

Amarra shrugs at the inquiry about shamans. "Got me, I'm no shrine maiden." She'll flick an ear in Neena's direction. "I like the sound of invisibility. And if anything should happen to see us anyway.." She'll open her coat, a small bandolier of grenades around her chest. "I've got a few tricks to help that be rendered less of an issue. The biggest concern is that the alarm is raised- I saw one jackpoint in there the other day, so I can at least try to neutralize things from inside if need be, but.. Better it doesn't come to that."

You say "Whatever you two think is best," with a respectful nod. "I am a sword in your hands, so to speak. I am yet new to this place - you are certainly more experienced in these matters than I. I possess destructive capabilities - but nothing but a knife that is very quiet."

Amarra pats the nodachi and tanto strapped to her left hip. "I'm not much better. I believe I can handle the robots.. But that may be wishful thinking. Better to not fight if we can help it."

Neena stretches her arms up over her head. "Well if that's what we want all invisibility for everyone can be arranged. But I won't be able to distract the shaman…I mean he's clearly not much of one to begin with but that is besides the point."

Kensai looks to Neena. "I think we are in full agreement with you. If you can distract the shaman, take him out of the picture - that should leave us with evading the Rigger. A job I believe is possible, with the luck of the black rabbit."

Neena looks back and forth. "Okay I got one saying distract wanna be the other saying invisibility I can only do one of these two things…so we need to make up our collective minds."

Amarra thinks for a moment. "Perhaps we can do both. Give me a moment, let me think.."

Kensai thinks. "Distracting the shaman might not be necessary. If we can cloak ourselves from the rigger, and we can get close enough… I am certain I can take him out. Even without killing him. Not even the most veteran shamen can manage much with their teeth rattling around in their jaws." As Amarra begins to hatch a plan, however, he falls silent.

Amarra says "That's about what I was thinking, sir. The only issue is, of course.. Finding him. Mansions are a lot of ground to cover.."

Neena hmms slightly. "Well I mean there is the lure him out and …shall we say give him a prolonged to permanent distraction…always an option." she shrugs off the talk of possible murder as if its an every day occurance "I just figured we were going for lower footprint."

Amarra says "The lower footprint is the best, I think. I can try to find him- my ears are exceptionally good. If I can do that, we can probably render him a non-threat."

Kensai ponders. "Neena-san," he asks. "We have talked about you drawing him out… could you get him to invite you in?"

Neena just cocks her head to the side. "Well which approach do we want to take want me to jog by as a runner while hes sipping his sake set that up for a day or two than on the third use the ole I need to use your bathroom ploy? Or does the fact that I speak fluent japanese and all but have a degree in old anime help?"

You say "You said he keeps getting girls brought in," thoughtfully. "Where do they come from?"
Neena shrugs her shoulders to that. "I can watch place or follow the limo both at the same time that's a bigger trick. So what I am hearing is next time we follow the limo."

Amarra nods. "Mmm.." A bit more thinking. "…I don't think I'd want to pose as a joygirl in a place like this. Too skeevy. Even if it IS nicer on the inside than it looks on the outside. Something about it sets my nape fur on end.."

«Plot» Kensai says, "DECISION FORK! Do we make a plan of action now - or do we take a little longer and follow the yellow brick road? (by yellow brick road we mean tarted-up Buick Park Avenue?)"

Neena shrugs her shoulders to that. "this is why I have a hot tub and pool on my deck I can wash away any amount of sleaze." she grins just a bti to that.

Amarra says "Lucky, that'd take up my entire apartment." A brief chortle. "…Something feels off no matter which way we go.. Following the limo might be a good idea, if only so we have an opportunity for more information."

You say "Hai. As you say. Something here feels … what is the word? Screwy? I don't like it." He looks at Neena. "I think you are right - we should follow the trail and see where it goes. Now." He looks at the two women. "Who is driving?"

Amarra says "…Well I only have my bike…"

Neena looks to her car for a second. "It is my car..and this is my blend in car."

Amarra says "It would seem Neena-san is driving, then. Shall we?"

You say "ah. I did not want to assume." He bows to Neena. "Thank you."

Time passes. A day goes by- the car goes no where. but the day after next, around three o clock in the afternoon, the gate slowly swings open and the not-quite-a-limo rolls out, driven by its robotic driver.

Amarra will spring for cheap takeout in the meantime. Might as well be useful, ne?
Neena sets out to follow the limo making sure to keep some distance and hopefully not to be obvious about it. But at least in an upper class neighborhood her Eurocar shouldn't raise to much attention.

Kensai is crammed in the back - because of course that's where he would sit - trying to fit his height and muscular bulk onto that cramped little bench seat.

The car works its way into denver, staying all into the CAS sector, and slowly rolls into the downtown area - or, the part of downtown that starts to swell up right before you get to the free trade zone, then takes a turn over into the Crestmore district.

The shadows here in Crestmoore are held at bay by the power of faith. Several large Churches, Synagogues and Mosques can be seen in this area. The older buildings harken back to a time before Denver became a city of many countries. The faiths represented here serve their higher calling while serving their faithful by giving them a place to come be at peace with their divine being.

The streets are well taken care of, the residents of this part of Denver striving for greater things than just the material. The traffic here is light, respectful and well regulated. LoneStar takes care of this part of town and protects it like a shepherd tends their sheep. Quick to respond to any sort of trouble, the hum of a passing drone is almost as common as the sound of the call to faith.

The vehicle takes another hard turn left, and then it's cruising into a small commercial section, populated by restaurants and caterers and bible shoppes and finally pulling up to a couple of three-story office buildings.

Amarra makes sure her weapons are wrapped up and well hidden, and left in the damn car. Which means she's not too much better than Kensai is, cramped up in there, being a jacked rabbit and all.

Neena just keeps following as calmly as possible no need for panic as they are not doing anything illegal currently(thats always subject to change on whims of vehicular occupants). "Who gets to go in and follow the driver if it comes to it?"

You say "I would, honored friends, but if I climb out I may never fit in again. I am a little too big, I fear, for such a tight space."

Amarra says "I'll follow him, if need be."

Neena smirks just a bit to that comment about being stuck inside. "if I brought my other car it would be even worse just be thankful I drove this one."

Pulled up to park, the robot gets up and slides its door shut. The robot adjusts its suit - yes, its suit - and walks towards one of the buildings. This one has a donut shop in front, but he bypasses it in order to head to a second-floor meeting room. The sign he's following reads, in Japanese- 'Faith of the Obsidian Fox.'

Neena can't help but rub her temples as she sees the sign and starts to let out a string of mutterings in German…it's probably not polite at all.

Amarra narrows her eyes a bit at that. "Hm. …Going to try something. Let us see how thick their walls and windows are.." She'll get out of the car, adjust her choran, and begin walking toward the donut shop. Her ears perk up for a moment, one sticking out a little hard on the side.. And she tries to listen to the 'church' while taking her time in walking.

Kensai doesn't understand german, but gets the gist. "I have a bad feeling about this, Neena-san," he says. "I ha ve never heard of such a church."

Neena rubs at her temples some more. "Yeah I think someone is trying to form a bit of a fox seriously I just wanna walk in there and slap the bitch out of this guy now." there is a small growl "I have never and I mean never been so offended." her hands can be seen tightening on the steering wheel to the point of white knuckling it.

Once the robot shuts the door behind him, all sound is cut off; but there are a row of windows on the side of the second-floor wall.

But at the Donut shop, Amarra can hear two old women shaking their head. "There he goes," one says. "Again."

"He? Can you even -call- it a man?"

"Whatever. The servant of that… man. The priest."

"What priest?"

"A charlatan. Calls himself the voice of the black-eyed kitsune. Has these men and women under his thumb… and every time he sends that mecha-abomination, it brings a girl back for him - to grow closer to the fox-spirit, it says. Closer to nirvana."

Amarra will buy herself a couple of nice, big donuts.. And find a nice, inconspicuous spot where she can eat them. One ear listens to the old ladies, recording everything. The other ear aims up at those windows, to see if she can get anything out of them.
"And they fall for it?"

"They always come back," the other old woman replies. "A little changed. But unable - or unwilling - to say what has happened." She frowns. "Young people these days will try anything that makes them feel special. But will they buy a full-price donut? No!"

Amarra has absolutely bought no less than *three* full price donuts, y'damn crone

They are -excellent donuts. Complete with a matcha filling!

Amarra ooh, matcha. Nomnomnom.

Amarra takes her time in throwing away the wrappers, getting closer to the 'church' as she does, and straining her ears as much as she can..

Kensai listens to Amarra's reports, and looks at Neena. "I have a crazy idea," he says. "That Buick has a pretty big trunk. Do you think I could fit inside?"

Neena shakes her head to that a bit. "It will be noticeable. That much weight in the truck puts weight on the rear axel and will affect the handling in a noticeable way….I work on cars so pick up on these things."
Kensai ahs, and looks back. "I would never have thought of that. I doubt i could have fit in any way and still been useful later, regardless."

After about an hour has passed, the door opens again, and various people - mostly young, attractive women- leave.

Eventually, the robot butler leaves, as well, in the company of a girl no more than twenty years old with big, excited eyes and a blank smile.

Neena shakes her head just a bit to all this. "Ya know we could go for a new plan I could just kick down the front door and have a very professional conversation with this guy. Be a good distraction and while he is getting a lecture on proper foxology you all can do the lift."
Amarra will get back into the car and relay what she's learned to the others. "Something *incredibly* skeevy is going on here.." She'll explain what the old ladies said, and the strange but unintelligible chanting she heard from inside. "I don't like where this is going at all.."

Kensai looks at the two women. "I agree. My skin is crawling just thinking about it -" He turns and watches as the robot courteously helps the girl into the back seat, then walks around to get into the driver's side. "So what do you think? We head back, talk to Nine, make a plan? I don't like the idea of one more girl spending the night there than has to."

Amarra nods. "Hai. I believe tonight would be best. They'll be distracted doing.. Whatever, to their latest acquisition. …We hit the place while they're busy with that, and should we find anything *too* terribly untoward happening.. …Well, then I for one intend to level the place with the ferocity of the fucking Spetznaz."


«Plot» Kensai says, "a) he has a workshop, that does not seem currently in use. b) he has a small trove of gold and such, laid at the feet of a fox-statue in the ruined greenhouse area. It is not warded, but -is- his lodge (a force 9, can you believe it!) D) the warded room is at the top of the victorian-style turret, which is where the (presumably) rigger lives."
«Plot» Kensai says, "and yes. in theory the address is in castle rock, but it's off in the boonies a little."

«Plot» Nine says, "Multiple paths (not just one inlet road) to get in/out?"
«Plot» Nine says, "Tree boonies?"
«Plot» Kensai says, "tree boonies. and correct; the gate is on the driveway, and the area is overgrown enough to prevent most other vehicle traffic, but for people on foot there are multiple entrances into the house."
«Plot» Kensai says, " windows, the greenhouse, there's a back door next to the overgrown pool, the front door, the garage… etc."

«Plot» Kensai says, "so far, you have spotted two drones. the blimp high in the sky, and the robot driver. possibly the car. that is definitely the fox shaman's ward, but the lodge is… tinged with something else's."

«Plot» Kensai says, "it seems like it's been touched by a free spirit, more than once."

«Plot» Kensai says, "it's possible the free spirit is an ally. (not like… ally spirit. but opposite of an enemy.) there' no evidence of any sort of magical struggles, that might be the case if the spirit coming around was looking for trouble."

«Plot» Nine says, "Can Nine go searching to see if she can find this nature spirit?"
«Plot» Kensai says, "like zipping around the area?"

What is more noticable is what Nine doesn't find. The spirit energy around here - for lack of a better word - is minimal. As if something has been feeding on it, sating its own hunger. The greens that spread over the manner are more decay than wildness, symptoms rather than life of their own.

«Plot» Kensai says, "there you go: that spirit might be eating energy. there's nothing… toxic here, not yet. but if someone were going to try to find a way to make it… potable, maybe a free spirit could eat ambient mana the way it eats offered karma?"

«Plot» Kensai also notes that this is flavor, a feeling. there is no bg count here - rather notable for its lack of bgcount, really - but niners is an advanced mage girl so she can pick up on some weird shit.

Nine cattiously/catfully scopes whilst astrally sneaky. Well… she sure hopes, anyway! She hmms quietly before she heads back to her warded vehicle to go settle down into her meat body and curiously inquire with Mister Terrific!

After a few minutes of recovery, sipping some dark tea and limeade mixed, the Nines gets her text back from T and then she projects back to the astral and flies upward to check out that blimp above. What is the deal 'wit all dat'?

The Blimp seems to be a sentry drone, complete with rifle.

«OOC» Kensai says, "in that range… wow. way over there *gestures vaguely* is a shaman, nearly a kilometer away and in the opposite direction from the road. Unwarded, but engaged in some ritual magic something or other? and he's being guarded by a small spirit whose astral form is like a fluffy teddy bear. Then there's kensai, of course."

You paged Nine with 'Also, he's being followed by what appears to be a water nymph? in the astral? like even in the astral she looks like a tiny little japanese woman made of water, with over-exaggerated eyes - but anime style.'.


«Plot» Kensai says, "while the trio were out tracking, nine did further investigation: discovering that the hand of a free spirit seems involved here. also, that the blimp in the sky is a sniper drone."

"So," Kensai says, now back in place with the others and slipping back into his armor. "What's the play? That girl will be going in there -soon-. That will focus attention. Do we strike then?"

Neena hmms a bit at the ever evolving situation. "Well I can cause a hell of a commotion at the front gate if we need to act fast giving you both time to move in from another angle. Or we can do the quiet sneaky part where but thats going to be slower."

Amarra glowers.. Not anyone in specific, just the situation. "Yes. I don't like it but the girl will be an excellent distraction, at least until either the drones, the security, or the local spirits see us." She lights a cigarette and begins puffing on it. "…And if the opportunity arises, I wish to go through his local Matrix jackpoint. And, possibly, to cut this 'Shaman' down."

«Plot» Kensai says, "nine mentioned to me that she was not going to let the girl be 'freaked on' - so she will volunteer to be up in the tower and ready for when they bring her in. would the rest of the party let her do that?"

«OOC» Neena has no problem using others as distraction or bait……..
Kensai says "If that's your plan…" He hmmms thoughtfully. "Neena, do you want to directly confront the fox shaman, or should he walk into a surprise at the top of the tower? We could take our mage friend's distraction as an opportunity to rob the treasures laid at the fox idol's feet?"

Neena shrugs her shoulders to this question. "I am open to either which ever you think will give you the best chance to get the job done."

Kensai seems to think it over. "Tell you what," he says. "Neena, Amarra, focus on getting the loot? The two of you can handle just about anything, I'm sure. I'll follow up the stairwell to back nine up - catch them between us and they'll break right down. That should leave you two the other defenses to get past, possibly the hearth spirit to deal with, and any surprises down there?"

Amarra nods. "I believe we can handle that. Neena can watch out while I do some decking on the inside. In turn, I can protect her from non-spirit threats." She'll start pulling on her helmet, making sure the group has her personal comm frequency. "I think the invisibility is our best bet for gaining entry. No sense letting them know we're here until we're there."

«Plot» Kensai says, "PARTY SPLITS: Amarra goes with Neena (We will call them the A team)

Kensai goes with Nine (who we will call the B team.)"

Neena sits back as she takes in a deep breath and prepares for some foxyness. "I think it's time to blow this thing get everyone and the stuff together okay 3..2.1. lets jam" shes than having that trademark shaman face shift where she gets some super imposed fox ears and eyes for that brief instant before shimmering for a second than fading from sight than sound than Amarra also leaves the visible spectrum.

Amarra makes sure her helmet's fancy new upgrades are engaged, and.. Time to go. She'll make sure to take off her sandals before beginning to make her way across to their ingress point. …

The victorian style imitation plantation home is an example of okay ideas bent by an ununderstanding eye and then left to decay over decades. Built in the early 2000s boom, nearly 80 years past, it was designed with a mixture of elements by an inexperienced architect and an overeager buyer. It had all the trappings of luxury: a large pool set with elephant fountains, a greenhouse down in burnished glass, a broad balcony - a victorian turret - and lots and lots of columns.

Time has not been kind to it. Half the greenhouse roof fell in, long ago. The pool is a green, noxious mess from having been left alone, undrained, for fifty years - and vines crawl over the whole house. The kilometer long driveway, at least, is mostly clear, lots of room for the wannabe-limo to drive, and as it approaches the garage door slowly creaked open. Kensai and Nine have already disappeared, off to do their part, leaving the usasgi-ronin and the Neena to do theirs.

Amarra takes to making a hard sprint across the driveway pavement- which should be quite free of snow, ideally- and toward the garage door, telling Neena that she's going on ahead just a little bit to make sure it's clear. Her first target is in there, and with the Mage's help and a little fortune, perhaps she can do more from inside than she did from outside earlier.

The coast seems clear, but now that the robot butler has parked the car and escorted the girl out, the garage door is sloooowwwwly closssssinnggggggg…

The inside of the garage is dark. Very dark, except for the few blinking on and off yellow-blue lights. The car is cooling; as it sits there, a hatch pops open and a poer cord flops out. Something next to the jackpoint lights up a brilliant blue white, and with a magnetic -grab- the power cord is jerked away from the car and into a power port (next to the jackpoint, not inside of).

The doorway to the house from here is open, the garage door is closed, and you can dinstantly here a voice rise in greeting - a human's voice, telling the girl how happy he is to see her, how she truly deserves the blessing that is yet to come.

Amarra will, after hearing the greeting, quietly try to contact Neena, and inquire as to whether there's spirits of some sort active around here. She's going to try and use the jackpoint, unless the magical girl can identify any reason she shouldn't.

Neena uses the ole fashion text message to convey information. 'Spirit being summoned need to move.' short and to the point as shouting or speaking won't work.

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « wait for it. Getting into position. If all goes well we will have the shaman distracted up here before you engage the spirit. Copy? »

Amarra texts back, while plugging her brain into the spare jackpoint. <Give me exactly one minute. We need to make sure we can get through without tripping mundane alarms too.>
Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « If I can get exactly one minute I might be able to do something that can help us with the spirit. Or at least, keep the drones off our backs. »
Neena keeps an eyeball out as one minute in the physical isn't nearly as long and well if worse comes to worst lasers start flying

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « ..Shit. There's no Matrix access. The whole damn HOUSE is a rigger network. »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « so what they've got is a security rigger. A proper spider. »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « extreme caution, advised. »

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « And nothing else. This means our only means of dealing with drones is avoidance or violence, unless there's a hidden jackpoint I haven't seen. »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « or eliminating the rigger directly. »

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « Or that, if we find him. Welp. Better get moving.. »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « …which is violence, yes, but against a hopefully squishier opponent. »

Amarra resists the urge to make a frustrated noise. She'll quickly put her deck and plugs away before getting up to move again, texting to Neena- <Never mind. We should move. I don't know how I can help you deal with the spirit unless it can manifest and give me something to cut.>
The hearth spirit is summoned, and bade to guard, and then there are footsteps heading up the great spiral staircase.

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « If there's no jackpoint, we also have to find the idol the *hard* way. »

Neena keeps texting away. "lets move fast than…can banish spirit if needed." stealth spells useful and not useful at the sametime.

Amarra begins making to move inside the house proper. <Moving fast is going to be difficult. Without any jackpoint, we have to guess where the idol might be and root around for it the hard way, or hope that our host has left it out somewhere obvious.>

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « we see them coming up the stairs. They will pass the barrier of the ward in approximately 2 minutes. »

Amarra, after receiving the reminder from Nine, will think about the layout of the house- what little she has- and where the Greenhouse is. <Okay, this might not take too long, I hope..>

Amarra realizes the windows, mentally cursing herself for being dumb. <Good idea. Let me check..>

Amarra begins inspecting around the window. Aha, a lock sensor. She'll quietly turn that off and move to open the window..
The window opens into the lovely evening air.

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « engaging… now! »

Amarra will hop out, and text for Neena to follow her.

Neena follows on out the window as the pair head for the greenhouse for the snatch and run. Cause as far as Neena is concerned the girl is on her own and she will deal with this terrible fox shaman later..probably with a rolled up newspaper and a laser.
There's the sound of automatic weapon fire from up above - two short, controlled, three round bursts.

The journey around the back of the house is utterly silent - despite the violence going on above, no part of it touches down here, where even the wind has gone lifeless. Step by step, inch by inch… the algae-filled waters of the pool do not stir, no bight-birds call… and the two hidden runners find a footpath, the only not overgrown way out here, leading to the broken greenhouse, which once stood two stories tall like an aviary out of a storybook. There is a door on this side, still half-way standing, jagged glass and rusted iron.

Amarra will cautiously approach it first, to make sure it's safe for Neena to follow, gingerly stepping around in case of hidden traps. She'll pause briefly before going too far though, and check her surroundings first. If there's no camera's watching their immediate location, she's going to drop a smoke grenade.

Amarra texting to Neena, <If we have a moment, I'm going to drop a smoke. There might be laser tripwires or motion detectors.>

Amarra drops the smoke and waits to see if it reveals anything.
Amarra ..obviously stepping back so she isn't caught in it.

Smoke billows up around the greenhouse, revealing no lasers, no hidden shapes, but for just a moment the smoke wavers in a wind that isn't there, and there's a sound like wings - but not one the ears can hear, more like one the soul feels.

From high above, a girl's scream tears through the night!

Neena is keeping an eye the other direction while Amarra is checking the inside eyes in the back in of the head kinda thing and still texting. "Watching the house if clear grab so we can go."
Amarra is about to move forward when she feels the sudden wing-ing feeling, looking around uncomfortably. <I think the spirit is here.. I'm going to move around to a smoke-less side of the greenhouse and make my way in.>

Amarra will carefully pick up a rock, aim for a good sized panel, and launch the rock into the side panel as hard as she damned well can. If she's lucky, it'll go through both sides.
Glass shatters with a mighty crash, the remainder of the structure that's stood for so long crumbling to the ground, leaving only the chest-hih statue of a fox standing next to an overgrown apple tree, scattered items around its feet. The missing idol, a jade turtle, a silver cross, a deck of cards… all important to somebody, imbued probably with love and care.
Sitting bestride the kitsune statue is a beautiful woman, timeless in age, with black eyes like the depth of night and hair that falls in nine long dark braids.

"Hello, beautiful rabbit," she says. "Come to dinner."

The kitsune's first response is, of course, aggressive, as she steps lightly, almost daintily off of the statue and throws up her hands, hurling a ball of pure fire at the pair as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

Neena just grins a bit as she literally brushes the fire off her jacket for a second. "Get That bitch a cannon bitches love cannons" is called out before she lets that shaman mask show not making any efforts to hide it as she throws out a rather powerful laser spell. A smirk forming on her lips as she holds out two fingers up in front of her aiming anime style as it seems someone has a flair for the dramatic at times.

The spirit's own smug grin is wiped away as Neena brushes off her fire and counter attacks. She spins out of the way, but not enough, and only the sweep of her hand deflects enough of it to not damage her.

Amarra is pretty damn strong as far as elves go, much less rabbits. The nodachi comes out of its sheath as fast as thought, and- even knowing that spirits tend to be difficult if not impossible to damage- Amarra rushes in close, utilizing speed and raw brute strength in what would be an impressive display, if she weren't invisible. As it stands, as Neena drops the spell, she becomes visible halfway through her strike, bringing the massive blade in against the hearth spirit's side and straining all of her muscles as hard as she can, lifting with the swing to bring the entity up off of its feet so that she can then slam it into the ground. It feels like trying to cut through a brick wall, but she can feel the edge sink into mystical flesh, just slightly.. Just enough to let her know: yes. It can be cut. Tatenu mono nashi!

Neena has blasted her, and this… cyber-thing, has cut her! She glides back across the ground with apparent weightlessness, flipping back up to her feet with apparent ease- almost. That otherworldly grace has lost a step. She brushes two fingers across her cheek, looking at the blood there, and even the bit of shorn hair. She looks back up at Amarra with murder in her eyes, and then Neena. "Little Fox," she purrs, her voice-shot through with fury. "I will remember."

And with that same rustle of wings, she is gone from this place.

Nothing of it remains, except scorched earth and the statue, with the treasures scattered around
its feet.

Amarra stares the spirit right back in the eyes. Yes. 'Get angry.' The lion in the back of her mind growls. 'Get mad. Make a mistake. Give me an opening. I'll cut you down..' And then the spirit retreats. "Ikuji nashi.." Hopefully the spirit heard that, before it left. The nodachi is given a swift flip, and sheathed back into its hand-crafted scabbard. She'll start collecting the treasures as soon as that's done. A text goes out to Neena, <Neena-sama. Are you alright?>

Neena just smirks as the spirit runs away. Her phone comes out for another text. "Me I'm perfectly okay lets wrap up." shes than straightening her jacket all unseen and unheard

Amarra looks up at the second floor, after all the goodies have been gathered. "Now to finish the job.." obviously, she intends to go up and help Nine and Kensai, because leaving them behind would be intensely rude.

Neena actually first has to mess with all the spirits other offerings ..not stealing them or anything like that but rearranging them just letting it know she can and will mess with it's den and that this is Neena the foxes territory.


The victorian style imitation plantation home is an example of okay ideas bent by an ununderstanding eye and then left to decay over decades. Built in the early 2000s boom, nearly 80 years past, it was designed with a mixture of elements by an inexperienced architect and an overeager buyer. It had all the trappings of luxury: a large pool set with elephant fountains, a greenhouse down in burnished glass, a broad balcony - a victorian turret - and lots and lots of columns.

Time has not been kind to it. Half the greenhouse roof fell in, long ago. The pool is a green, noxious mess from having been left alone, undrained, for fifty years - and vines crawl over the whole house. Kensai lurks upon the roof, having nestled himself into a hiding spot, just outside a window, his Model 100 in hand and nestled closely against his boy, his knife on his hip where it can be easily reached.

Down below, the robot and the maid enter, speaking briefly with mr Paumer. Some more words are exchanged, and slowly the three of the m begin to walk up, first the grands staircase in the middle, dodging rotten boards, and then moving to the south wing to begin ascending the spiral staircase into the uppermost top. From the gross room, music starts to play, a strange mingling that sounds like unearthly chants had a baby with jpop.

That uppermost room houses an enormous four posted bed draped with golden silks and plush black furs. A woman sits in a hoverchair, her brain plugged into it, and it plugged into a wall connection - a small smile on her face, as if she's not quite there. Everything in the room has been arranged. There is a trid recording unit, fine incense is burning, and a variety of kitsune costumes in plush, luxurious fabrics are lined up for trying-on.

While people were distracted with the meet and greet below, Nine slunk up the stairwell on footpaws that are not quite cat's feet but definitely quietly. Quickly, she opened up the bedroom door and synced up with the ward before stepping through and catfully closing said door amew. She takes note of any spiritual entities in here, if there might be any? If there are none, then the Cougar Mage focuses mewmentarily on the jacked-in person over there…

Swiftly, the mana is brought to bear and rain from all angles toward the girl who now sleeps in the chair after Nine willed that it be done as such: it is.

There's a pause downstairs, the steps completely stopping. "Red-wind? Red-wind are you okay? Answer me!"

"What's going on. Why did your herald stop?"

"I don't know, poppet… I have a bad feeling. Let's hurry! WE may be under attack!"

As people take to the stairs, Nine senses where she made a mark of mana and wills it away, rearranging the astral to look exactly like it did before.

With her trodes and transducer, Nine can give the signal to Kensai that those who were approaching have arrived. She hunkers down alongside a desk in here, keeping that between her and the one who appeared upon the bed and looks to the shaman who arrives like he does. She keeps her breathing at a pace that is silent as she can mewnage, and she prepares to unload more magic soon enough!

The footsteps pick up, the Shaman and the young girl hurrying up the stairs, a worried look on his face - but the robot doesn't follow! He throws the door open, a worried look on his doughy features, and as he sees the unconscious woman in the hoverchair his face pales…

Even as he does, two things happen. His hearth spirit hurries up the stairs behind him, a worried looking man no more than four feet high…

And there's a sound like wings - except it's not a sound, it's an impression, and there's a beautiful woman in a golden kimono lying on the four-poster bed. And by woman, we mean kitsune, with nine perfect black braids, nine bushy golden tails, eyes as dark as the space between the stars and golden-tufted fox ears.

The shaman runs over to the woman in the chair. "Red Wind! Who… what?"

"Paumer," the Kitsune says, testily. "All is not arranged as we expected. Still, you found me a new donor… hello, darling."

The girl falls to her knee, eyes wide. "Great, Great Kitsune Spirit! You're here!"

Although a free spirit and full shaman are here, it is the hearth spirit who comes from this poorly-architected place upon whom Nine fully focuses meow… generally not too keen to wholesale destroy spiritual entities who might be potentially innocent of any wrong doing, she draws up another stunbolt spell, deftly aiming it at the short fellow who is following around Mister Paumer. Slumping sideways is what the short spirit does first before fading out from catual view and going back to rest up for a few weeks in its home metaplane.

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « engaging! »
Commlink-Random Asian!> Nine sends, « Good! »

Kensai comes through the open window (he had opened it went he went out to hide), hits the top of the stairs with his shoulder, and rises to a knee. He waits half a beat, for the shaman to start to look at him, and then his submachine gun is up and firing - first one burst, and then a second as he rises back to his feet and cuts diagonally forward, staying on the move with fluid expertise.

Both bursts are center-mass, right on target, expertise winning out over the gun's kinetic reaction to the bullet fire. What could have been red-death is instead the equivalent of a massive pummeling, and the shaman jerks left and right under the assault before hitting the dirt.
By dirt we mean carpet, of course.

That carpet is probably pretty dirty, anyway.

The expression on the spirit's face is one of disgust and shock as events unroll around her. She looks back and forth, her brow furrowing in confrontation, and is about to say something else when she stops. "My -THINGS-" She hisses, and with a sound of unseen wings she bamfs back to her home plane!

The girl, brought up there to see the spirit and now surrrounded by red violence, screams in terror and falls to her knees next to the shaman.

About to confront the spirit with words, Nine is too late to do that before the spirit is gone! She grunts lowly then moves to the girl and attempts to sling one arm around the woman and draw her up unless potentially resisted by her. "Your parents are probably worried about you, yeah?"

Successful in the grapple, Nine draws the girl up and then attempts to toss her over one shoulder in a sorta fire(wo)man carry after the purrental query.

Kensai has managed enough mercy for this creep not to shoot him full of lead, but his mercy has its bounds. The shaman blasted to the ground, kensai follows it up, finishing his movement to end nearly on top of the fox-shaman - who he stomps -hard- in the ribs, hard enough to make rib-bones crack, and follows it up with a kick to the head that snaps the creepy fox-shaman's eyes closed.

The girl is no match for Nine, and is cathandled into submission, her initial reflex to fight blown away as she suddenly curls around the cattymage and sobs.

After the young woman ceases fighting, Nine cathandles less roughly meow and back pats her (appropes zones only) as she gingerly steps around the room — whilst carrying the girl over a broad/square shoulder — and scopes what is possibly worthwhile to take from this place. She quietly mewntions, "What is your name? It seems to me that you have been indoctrinated into a cult that intended for you to donate your potential to a spirit who cared little about either you or the shaman who brought you here. That they were about to try to seduce you into acts that have purpose beyond…" She looks around the room, motioning out with her baton-holding hand as the other balances the girl, "…all this? For a cheap thrill? Do you have a family? Somewhere to belong, rather than to be treated like this?"

The girl sobs continue. "I just.. .the spirit… they told us all we were special. That were were her chosen kits! That we would all be big trid stars!" She wails again. "But this all looks really really weird! And he just fell over! And Humble Herald Mister Roboto stopped? And that man has a gun!"

She starts calming down.

Kensai sheepishly tucks his gun behind his back and steps away, searching the room visually. "This is… a strange thing." And then one hand clutches at his talisman-bag (that's not a euphemism) and he gazes around in the astral, just double checking.

Commlink-Random Asian!> Nine sends, « Shammy boi have anything on him? »

Commlink-Random Asian!> Nine sends, « Think we should take him to Mister T for some serious psyche? »

Kensai kneels and searches the shaman. COMM > Nothing that… shimmers? I assume a focus would? Should I take his credstick? He still lives I assure you.

After the question about the credstick, Nine gives a little nod before then patting the girl again and telling her, "Well, it looks like they were doing freaky things that they were going to video tape, probably to use as leverage, were you ever to realize what was happening and then use it to blackmail you. Anyway, I am glad we could stop them from doing that to you."

The girl sniffs, looking around again. "I mean…" she says. "The trid cameras are expected. The costumes… well, they're weird, but just that. We all figured that it was going to be something…" She shrugs. "But trid is better than simsense, right? Like more legit. He told us the kitsune would make us all stars."

Kensai listens more than he speaks, carefully bagging the things Nine hands him, occasionally casting a wary eye down the stairs.

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « We're clear up here. One shaman down, one hearth spirit blasted, one rigger asleep, and one… what the hell was that? Bamfed. »

Kensai is upstairs with Nine, handling cleaning up affairs. He's just given the all-clear signal over the comms.

Very catfully, Nine carries the girl over her shoulder on the right whilst moving around the room with Kensai and working in tandem with him as they do. "Well, going to be something pr0ny?" Nine curiously asks all catversationally. Eventually, she arrives next to the rigger who is unconscious and pulls their plug from their RCD.

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « Wait. »
Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « The shaman, the spirit, the rigger, and 'what the hell'? »

Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « We're clear up here. One shaman down, one hearth spirit blasted, one rigger asleep, and one… what the hell was that? Bamfed. «repose from just before you logged on» »

Neena has to still resort to text messages "So hold on i gotta go do something….should I make it look suicidey or just straight up cut his balls off?" this said as an invisible silent fox starts her way towards the downed people …some murder clearly in her unseen eyes.

Commlink-Random Asian!> Nine sends, « That W T H was the kitsune-like free spirit. »

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « uhhh. »
Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « We're not clear yet then. »
Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « Are you currently engaged? »
Commlink-Samurai-Five> Kensai sends, « Do you need support? »
Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « No. »

The girl blushes. "I mean… it would be naive to think it wasn't that? It's part of the dues you pay to get ahead. That's what he told us." She nodded at the shaman. "He said nobody was going to be touched, just implied, and we'd get to meet the spirit and she'd give us her blessings." <repose>

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « Where the hell did the robot butler go?? »

As Nine hears out the young lady, she mews softly. "Well, I been naive before, but figuring out how those dynamics go over the years. I guess that tapes will reveal to us whether they were gropers." Random gropers! Nine lowly growls! Then, "Although it might not seem like it right now, but I think you can use your natural potential — that which you would have donated away to the spirit — for what might be something better in your life for you, yours, the world, etcetera, but that is only my 2 nuyen."

Kensai peers down the stairs. «Robot is just standing in the middle of the stairway», he comms to Amarra. «It was probably under the control of the rigger in the hoverchair. I understand it stopped moving as soon as Nine knocked her out.»

The girl nods to Nine, listening, and falls quiet as she sniffles.

Nine gives her a pat on the back and then moves to slap the rigger awake which probably works because there is magic involved!

Neena actually is singing unheard to her self. "Total slaughter genocide I won't leave a single soul alive" her entire mind on one purpose her gloves coming out from her pockets and being pulled on. The kitchen is her stop a nice filet knife is selected before she starts towards the downed parties upstairs.

The woman in the chair - a woman in her late 40s, not well-taken care of, her dark hair already thing - opens her eyes with a brief scream of surprise and then falls silent, staring wide-eyed around her.

Kensai adopts a position at the doorway, watching the rigger carefully, his gun still held low down and at his thigh.

After the yelp from the rigger, Nine stops the slapping (not too hard there), and then she pipes up. "Spill the beans or else!"

The rigger recoils from nine, her eyes first falling on the fallen form of the fox shaman, then looks back at Nine. "Who are you? Why are you here? If you think invading here was a good idea, you have another thing coming. My boss is going to be here soon, and she will make you regret being here!"

Neena happily moves along on her murder walk…or skipping yes an unseen Neena is skipping towards her murder happily climbing the stairs.

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « Until I see its deactivated body for myself I'm assuming autonomy, coming to you. »

Amarra is going to be following Neena, not that she can tell since Neens cannot be seen. She's being very cautious and looking out for that damned machine, since she has yet to see it and has no evidence that it's simply another thing run by the rigger.

Nine lowly growls, "You mean the spirit who fled at the first sign of danger?" Then, Nine softly scoffs. "I doubt we are going to see her anytime soon… because, she bailed on all of you."

She visibly pales. "She's been and gone?" She asks. "Oh… oh no. That can't be good." She swallows hard. "What do you want to know?" She looks aorund nervously.

Amarra: no need for a perception check. As you're climbing the stairs, you find mr roboto, just standing absolutely still, as reported."

Amarra will stop dead in her tracks once she sees the machine. …If it was HER in charge of security around here, then the robot would just be playing possum, waiting for the right opportunity to pop up behind everyone with some sort of high powered weapon and gun them all down. Granted, she was CorpSec for a long while, so she tends to think 'smartly'. She'll prod it a few times with the sword, and if it does not move, begin looking it over to see if there's any sort of access panel or means of tortoise access to make *sure* it's disabled.

Neena finish her walk to the soon to be murder den. If anyone could hear her shes still singing her free hand mimicking striking piano keys "Day by day it's nearer, Step by step you grow, Closer to your ruin, Soon your time to go."

Amarra, keeping her eye on the machine the whole time, uses her knife to pry open the access panel on the back. She'll study the internal wiring for a few moments, make a soft 'ahh' sound, as if in understanding. And then she'll rip out several very specific chips and power cables. Satisfied, she'll push the robot the hell over, and then begin making her way to where the others are assembled.

The robot falls over, and slowly rolls down the stairs. THump. Thump. Thump. CRASH.

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « Found the butler. It's permanently disabled. For such an expensive toy it sure had some cheap control parts. Last time I saw a Phillips analog waldo chip I was still playing at being a policlub sukeban in school. »

Nine pipes up, "I want want you to tell me who /you/ are, why you are here, and what you were doing with that guy and the kitsune!"

Neena moves right over to the downed fox shaman. "Life is just a journey yours is near it's end, Bloody evolution, this world transcend, Black out the sky all things must die" of course when she gets to that note shes kneeling down to take a nice quick slash across the helpless shamans throat for a fatal blow but one that will leave him bleeding to death for a moment so she can savor the kill.

Apparently, when Nine pointed to 'that guy' he got his neck cut just then, so drawing the attention the rigger might have from her to bleeding that ensues!

The woman shakes her head. "I'm just living. The kitsune does trade! I film the shows, the girls give her a little bit of their juice, and they get their 90 seconds of fame, and I get enough money to actually live a little. Float on the sky, walk around a bit… I've been in this chair for 20 god damned years! Sure they get on trideo in fursuits and it looks like they're doing some weird shit, but I never let my husband touch them, not…"

Kensai freezes, looking down just in time to see the shaman's throat open up, and then the woman's vision is led by hers and Nine's, and she begins screaming - then, seeing what has gone down, the rescued girl starts screaming too!

Kensai, for the record, isn't screaming, just staring, then sweeps his gaze around, drawing his knife. «WARNING!» he Comms. «There's something else here! I think the kami is back!"»
«Plot» Kensai Activates his brand new power - ASTRAL PERCEPTION! *beams*
Amarra will pause at the shouted warning. Her face hardens and she moves to a better spot where she has full mobility for both her and her sword. Then she'll comm the others.
What timing! Nine was not expecting that and snaps her senses to the astral, seeing who it is, and how it came to pass. Nine lets out an exasperated sigh, followed up by a bitter/sad expression!

Commlink-Random Asian!> Nine sends, « It is our fox person. »

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « Grab all survivors and run to my location as swiftly as possible. Neena-sama, if you can assist me with the kami- or if you can simply use your considerable magic to boost my abilities, I will draw its ire while you escape. Do this now, please. »

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « I'm sure someone will wish to argue with me at least as a token gesture but in the interests of not dying, I advise against it. »

Also, Nine backs up while firewoman carrying the screaming girl, to be sure whatever instincts are currently compelling Neena are not able to reach her.

Neena watches the blood drain for a second before her compulsion turns it attention to the rigger " This is the end heres where you'll die, Legends have scattered so just say good bye, no one will miss you when your gone so sing your swan song" and well since no one is defending the rigger it's time for another quick slice and dice "all things must die" the fingers no longer playing a piano but mimicking the plucking of some stringed string instrument.

When Nine sees that Neena aims her attentions at the rigger, Nine runs herself along with the girl over her shoulder out the door and down the stairs whilst taking care not to trip and tumble over the wreckage of the drone all over!

Kensai sees the murder-fox on the rampage, looks down at the murdered shaman, then sees Neena going toward the Rigger. Years of his life flash before him. Years spent as a henchman to Renraku, standing by and aiding with their dirty work- some times doing it himself. He could blame it on training, on indoctrination, but… it was him, standing aside, letting others guide his hands for darkness.

Not again. Never again. Once again, the second time in a month, he's put in a position where he must choose between his teammates and doing his right thing.?

The wise warrior nudges him, and he acts, without hesitation. "Stop! " He shouts, his voice as sharp and quick. "SHe can't see you! She's defenseless!" And he jumps toward the rigger, trying to place himself between her and her soon-to-be-murderer…

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « where are the rest of you?! »

Neena lets the silence spell drop. "Ohh the real fox demands a sacrifice…and it detests leaving witnesses. That is a witness" if her eyes could be seen it's pretty clear someone else is sort of behind the wheel at the moment. Of course she only needs to see the target to give them the ole laser the knife is just for more enjoyment.

As she bounds down mewltiple steps at a time until she finally leaps over the destruction of the robot, Nine can hear the voices behind and above her, and knowing that the girl is a witness, Nine makes sure to get her out of the way. ASAP.

Commlink-Random Asian!> Nine sends, « Neena is possessed by her totem, and I am running with the victim over my shoulder to get to the car before she murders her. »
Amarra has seen Nine bolt past her and is hearing screaming, hence why she is now screaming into her comm.

The rigger has slowly stopped screaming, but is still sobbing as she tries to pull her self together.

"How can there be a witness when nobody has seen you?" He growls, and holds up a hand, about to shove Neena in the chest. "If you want to kill her, unmask yourself and do it when she can see you - where she has a chance to fight back. Do not be like an honorless ninja." His eyes flash, though he is fighting trembles in his voice. "Or kill me, too."

Commlink-Amarra> Amarra sends, « FINE, I WILL SOLVE THE ISSUE! »

Neena raises her hands and snaps her fingers uttering some more words that are likely meaningless to most. "i'm not going there to die I'm going to find out if I'm really alive I have to do it Faye" as she hopefully satisfies that urge with a rather bright and powerful bit of light…shes even starting to hum a second after the quote.

Calling to the elements, Nine speaks a word in the language of her mother, and then there is a rush of wind that spins all around her and causes papers and parts from the droid to fly. "Speed us up, please!" says she as her order, and then she is moving even faster than before, zipping out the mansion door!

Amarra, as Neena is moving to laser, will explode into motion. Ear amplifications and selective dampening listening for the sound of Neena's breathing, her singing, her god damned *heartbeat*. If she's lucky, she'll see the laser. Which, coupled with her hearing capabilities, should ideally give her a location- or at least, a general location- of where Neena is. As soon as she has that, or even a reasonably good guess, she's going to spring forward and launch one of those enormous, horribly powerful feet toward Neena's midsection, hoping to knock her the hell out so she stops being a crazy possessed foxbitch long enough for them to make their escape. Seeing the rigger dead will anger her, but that isn't the point- she knows that Neena is possessed, if she didn't know that she'd probably be trying to kick her in the head. And with the bone lacing in her feet? That would really, really suck.

Neena hears those footsteps coming as charging someone isn't quiet she snaps around and brings the knife in a whirling motion as she mostly protects her midsection and slashes across a would be monty python rabbit but it is not a holy hand grenade it would seem.

As the fight breaks out between the invisible fox and the invisible rabbit, a sudden rush of gusting winds roll through, apparently not from the open window but from the breathables themselves.

Amarra growls in an.. Unusually lion-like fashion. Her voice is a booming roar. "KNOCK YOUR DAMNED NONSENSE OFF YOU SPOILED, SELFISH LITTLE BRAT! WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR MINDLESSLY SELF-INDULGENT SOCIOPATHY!" She pauses. Then glares in Neena's direction. "Good job, *brat*. I hope you're happy, now YOU get to fight the local spirit. ALONE."

Most of the room starts to become hazy with whisps of grey that seem to layer stripes through the room as if it the atmosphere were beginning to be painted with that coloration no less tha 9 meters wide.

Kensai is still standing where he was, perhaps in shock - his attention turns to the rigger, lying dead, to the shaman, lying dead, to the physically invisible neena to the noble amarra. comm « it is not the dark kami. it is something else.» He seems to shake off his fugue. «But we have been here long enough. I will worry for my failed honor later.»

«Plot-Page» (To: Kensai and Neena) Nine has arrived as a ghostly image in the astral realm and both Kensai and Neena can sense that Nine - who is projecting - is ordering her elemental to engulf Neena to try to knock her unconscious. There is a part to these orders that involves letting her go immediately after she passes out (if she does).

Neena just shrugs up her shoulders the screaming rather unnecessary. "I'm done…I HAD to do if ands or butts…I got told in a spiritual sense they had to go and well…you can't refuse those requests." shes smiling as if it was no big deal at all. "But hey lets get going now shall we." her tone sounding completely like nothing bad happened at all.

«Plot-Page» (To: Kensai and Neena) Nine hears Neena say she is done, and she retracts those orders and sends the elemental back home ASAP.

Although the stripes seemed to deepen and all seem like they were about to converge upon Neena, the moment she says that she is done, they fade away like dust in the wind.

«Plot-Page» (To: Neena and Kensai) And Nine zips away (straight through some walls) and goes to pick up her meat body and call Sheila to join the girl and get a ride. Of course, Nine will be looking into finding out more about her and how to connect her with people who care about her. In the meantime, Nine will get her some vittles and let her sleep in the back if she wants to.
Kensai watches Neena carefully. "I see," he says, and then looks at Amarra. "I think you are right. Let's get out of here, as quickly as possible."

Amarra snorts, still very plainly irritable about what has happened. But she is moving, and quickly, keeping an eye out for the dark kami that haunts this place, expecting it to show up at any moment. "How *marvelously* convenient. I recommend strongly in the future that you learn *how* to refuse." She'll only stop to smash cameras before she enters their viewfields, and then continue running.

Neena is a lot more calm in the exit. After all she has the car keys and unless anyone else wants to walk they need to be nice to her. "Yeah umm thats not how some types of magic work. Plus I mean the spirit as a point dead men tell no tales so whats the big deal?" shes than starting off singing 'Shiver me timbers shiver my soul..yooo ho heave ho'

Kensai looks back at the manor as they're leaving. "False," he says, quietly to no one in particular. "Dead men -do- tell stories. I'll be back."

Little does he realize Nine is already back, doing marmewllous things, cleaning the astral to make it like their spells were never there…

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