Magic fried rice

GM: Lotus
Players: Darius
Synopsis: Lotus and Darius are employed by an eccentric dealer in magic and antiques to infiltrate a very fancy restaurant in Asiatown that's reputed to use magic in their food. They manage to steal a wok pan from the place, but things don't go very smoothly.
Date:27th of December, 2080


The other day, Pema came into Darius' shop like the good neighbour she is with something that sounded like a job. "There's someone I'd like you to meet," she said, "I think you'll like him." She also mentioned something about dressing well, but with Darius that's a given anyway. Sunday morning, on a corner in Asiatown. When Pema comes with stuff, it's always in Asiatown.

That Sunday morning where the meeting is meant to be held, Pema stands waiting on the corner outside the place, smartly dressed in one of those short women's trenchcoats with a matching short skirt and hair set up in a bun. The place in question seems to be an antiques shop, labelled "Lord Wei's Vintage" in Chinese and English on a hand-painted sign. Pema, not being a smoker, instead stands with a can of hot tea from the nearest vending machine. Just a layer of pantyhose isn't enough to keep her skinny legs warm in this weather.

Darius arrrives shortly, dressed in his own smart three piece though the usual suit jacket is forsworn for a heavy brushed wool greatcoat, given the time of year. He's also wearing a filter mask, to deal with the worst of the city smog. Darius offers a dip of his head as he approaches the skinny teenager. "Morning." he offers as he draws within talking distance. "So, Lord Wei, is it, we're meeting?" he asks, and offers a glance up towards the signage on the shop.

As Darius arrives, Pema smiles broadly but restrains herself as to not give one of her silly waves. She sips up the last remnant of her can of tea then levitates it away to the nearest bin. "Good morning! Lord Wei it is, though he might not be what you expect…" she smirks and looks back at the shop over her shoulder. Plenty of Chinese antiques in the window; slender old chairs, porcelain snuff bottles and painted screens. Looks like it could be an interesting place.

"He's an old gentleman with class, that's why I asked you. You understand that sort of thing better than Walker does, for sure. Shall we?"

Darius chuckles a bit, "The term Bull in a China Shop comes to mind." Darius muses to Pema, but nods his head at the invitation. "I'm anxious to see what all the fuss is about." he muses, peering through the window at some of the items on display before joining Pema in heading for the door to the shop, pushing it open and allowing her to step through first before following along.

Pema naturally accepts the gentlemanly gesture and enters the shop first, taking dainty little steps in her high heels. A few steps of stairs follow up and they enter into a room with the musky sort of air typical of antiques, mixed with the gentle wail of a Chinese Erhu fiddle.

And antiques it is; the whole shop looks like an old Chinese gentleman's study. Various ornate furniture like tables, screens and chests of drawers, glass display cases with paper fans, calligraphy scrolls on the walls, the works. In the middle of the room is a large tea table that's been carved out of a single piece from a huge ancient tree. There sits an old gentleman with long white hair and a gentle beard, with that fiddle in his lap. He's dressed somewhere between a pimp and an ancient Chinese scholar; a bright green silk coat with gold embroideries and a thick lined hem, and a three-piece suit underneath with gold tie. What's the most surprising, however, is that Lord Wei is not Chinese at all, but very much a Western man.

As guests arrive, he puts away the fiddle and gets up on his feet. He's at least in his sixties so it's not going all that quickly but he's got energy in him. "My dear Lotus, how marvellous of you to come," he speaks with the poshest English gentleman sort of accent imaginable. "Please, seat yourselves wherever you wish." He walks over to Darius and offers his hand, "Lord Allen Wei, at your service."

Darius casts his eyes around the shop as he makes his way through, peering at the various antiquities with curiosity, but his attention goes to the tea table and its occupant as they come into view. "Good Morning, Lord Wei." Darius offers respectfully, taking the hand and shaking it. "Darius Greci. A pleasure." he offers his own name in return. "Lovely little shop you have here." he offers friendly enough- if he is taken aback by the dissonance between the shop and its owner, he does a good job of masking it.

"Mr. Greci, what an honour" the old gentleman replies, seemingly with genuine delight. "It is a humble establishment, but thank you most kindly. Do you smoke? May I offer you some fine perfumed tobacco, to be enjoyed through an antique Siamese ivory pipe?" he man chuckles and insists they sit down before he does so himself. Pema quietly crosses her legs as she takes a seat further away like a proper Asian woman, deliberately leaving the seat closest to Lord Wei for Darius.

The old gentleman sits down, preparing to light up the very pipe he mentioned earlier. "I shant waste your precious time, so I'll get right to the point," he says. "Apart from these mundane antiques I dabble in the magical as well. Naturally, the old and unusual appeals to me especially and I've found one such item, I believe. There's a prestigious restaurant not far from here, also in Asiatown, famous for its unusually exquisitely seasoned dishes. I could almost -taste- the magical residue in the food, quite frankly. Thus, I could use some magically savvy people to help me find out what sort of magic they are using. Get into their kitchen and find whatever magic they are using to create such tastes. The restaurant in question is of the highest class, so I need people of that very same calibre." He regards Darius and his outfit, "And I believe miss Lotus found the right man for the job, should you be interested."

Darius politely declines the pipe, "Sorry, I'm not a smoker." he says and then takes the seat as it is offered. He listens to the spiel, nodding his head absently- again, doing a good job of masking his doubt on the topic of magical food- or that any of these antiquities are of magical value, but he eventually says, "I'd be happy to help, of course." he says then. "Though, there is the small matter of a fee…" he says, doing his best to seem embarassed at broaching the topic of money. "Thaumaturgical Consulting Work is my bread and butter, after all." he adds with an apologetic shrug.

The old man chuckles, "Oh, worry not young man, I will naturally compensate you for such delicate work. I know very well the value of such consulting work." He reaches out to the table and picks up a credstick, setting it down next to Darius. "Please, use this to fund the visit to the restaurant. If you wish, I could add a prepayment to it as well. Then, with the job complete, I'll transfer the remaining funds onto whatever credstick you wish." He leans back in his chair, stroking his thin little beard. "I'd ask you to attend the restaurant in your finest evening wear, get a table as close to the kitchen as possible. Order some dishes, to see if you can taste the special flavour as well, then try to figure out what's causing it. Then, get into the kitchen, and procure whatever the source of that magic may be for me. It will require discretion of course, and a keen sense for magic."

Darius nods his head, and he takes the offered credstick shortly, slipping it into a pocket, "No, no advance necessary. I'll take it on good faith as you're acquainted with Miss Pema." he offers with a small smile. "Well, I suppose I have all I need to know. And you have my word- ciscretion is my middle name." he offers the man, resting his hands on his knees as he prepares to stand.

"Wonderful," the old man says, getting up again and offers a handshake again, adding a second hand to it for emphasis. "Come back to me with the restaurant's secrets and you'll be well rewarded." He gives a hearty chuckle and gives a nod to Pema as well, though she doesn't get a headshake. As the two gentlmen arise, so does she, quietly slipping off towards the exit, not adding much to the conversation.

Darius takes the hand, returning the handshake, "A pleasure, again, Lord Wei." Darius offers, and then takes off after Pema. He doesn't say anything, himself, until they are outside of the shop and the door closes behind them. "He's quite a… character, isn't he?" he muses Pema's way. "I can see why you didn't invite Walker, though. So, what do you think? Magic food? It is possible but it seems… unlikely." he admits. "My car's parked just around the corner." he adds then, gesturing towards it. "Unless you'd rather walk." he adds, checking again the address given.

Pema gives a giggle as she comes out, naturally covering her mouth as she does so. "He is an interesting man for sure. He seems to be a practicioner of Wuxing magic as well. And no, Walker would definitely not be the right man for the job. His totem could've made this an utter disaster," she shakes her head, all sorts of scenarios popping up in her mind. "It's a little early still," she says, "I suggest we wait until tonight, I don't think expensive restaurants like that open until the afternoon anyway. Shall we meet outside there tonight? Dress to kill. Don't bring a weapon, security there is most likely very tight."

Darius offers a cocksure smirk, "Why I always do, my Dearest Pema." he says, in a vague imitation of the posh english gentleman's accent. "I'll see you tonight." he adds then, and makes his way back towards his parked vehicle.

So the two mages part ways for now, waiting until the sun goes down over Asiatown and the mixture of neon lights and paper lanterns typical of the area begin to light up the streets.

The restaurant itself, that only has a Chinese name, leans strongly towards the latter. The establishment has three floors, built into a modern building but with an exterior made to replicate an ancient Chinese wooden structure with its swaying roof beams, and rows of red paper lanterns. Outside stands Pema, dressed up in her most expensive Cheongsam under her winter coat, her hair set up with pins and coloured flowers exquisitely made from folded red paper. She looks cold, even though she hasn't been waiting for long.

Darius arrives nearby in his red americar- roof is up, at the moment. He emerges in a very slightly more fashionable outfit than his usual three piece- the shirt is white and embroidered with subtle patterned vertical stripes in almost the same color, and has a high square collar, buttoned up. His tie is black matte silk, with satiny subtle embroidered floral patterns. His jacket is a slim waist, fitted affair- black, though with a colorful persian inner. His waistcoat- barely visible with the suit buttoned up, is charcoal to offet the black jacket and trousers. Trousers are immaculately pressed, tie is pinned down with an elegant- if slightly brash- tie pin, and the shirt cuffs are linked with similar bits of gold set with small bright stones. Shoes are oxfords, mirror polished.

"Hope you've not been waiting long." he says to Pema, offering the crook of his arm to escort her into the establishment.

"Just a few minutes," Pema says as she gently wraps an arm around his and lays her other hand on top, in a ladylike fashion.

The interior is much as one would expect; synthwood lattice panels, huge Chinese vases, paper lanterns and a pond with running water in the lobby for good Feng Shui. Red being the dominant colour, of course. Also, two burly-looking orks in black mandarin-collar suits and obvious cyberware are in the lobby, and a MAD scanner. Pema tries to ignore them, and instead is greeted by a bowing staff member. "Reservation for Evelyn Cheng," she says in Cantonese and the woman nods and leads them to the lift.

"I found out the kitchen is on the top floor so I booked us a table there as well. Pretty tight security, hopefully whatever we're looking for won't be too big…"

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 2 3 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence for "KP1":
5 5 8 8 9 10
«Plot» Lotus says, "Security cameras in the lobby, just outside the lifts as well as inside them."

Darius nods his head in agreement with Pema as they head inside, likewise ignoring the burly orks- playing the role of the well to do, they are as scenery to him. "Lots of cameras." he muses, though he doesn't do something as overt as point them out as they pass through the lobby, "Here as well." he adds as they step inside of the lift. "Stairwell to the rear, incase the elevators aren't an option. Didn't see any cameras in there." he adds quietly as the elevator goes up. "I should hope there aren't any in the restrooms, either, could possibly use them to become invisible if necessary- if they aren't too busy." he adds to Lotus as he waits for the lift to arrive on their designated floor.

There's a *ping* as the lift reaches the third and top floor, and more of the same scenery follows. A man in livery receives them, seemingly already knowing where to take them. Unlike ordinary restaurants, this place does not have a large room with tables, but rather each visiting party gets it own room, which gives the restaurant a labyrinthine feel with long corridors of synthwood panels lined with numerous doors and Chinese ornaments. At the end of the corridor is a set of double doors with 'STAFF ONLY' written in Chinese on them. Obviously the kitchen.

The table they get is just around a bend from the kitchen, a small room for two with a square table rather than round. They're given a seat and a trid menu built into the table. Pema, after having taken a seat, orders a number of dishes - far more than the two of them are expected to eat - and then the server leaves. "We had better eat a little, lest they get suspicious," she says as she adjusts the ruthenium on her Cheongsam to display a gold-and-red festive pattern suitable to the establishment.

Darius counts his steps and keeps an eyee on the hallways, trying to commit the path they take from the lift to their seat- as well as to the kitchen- to his augmented memory as he is lead along by the staff. "Agreed. I just hope there's nothing too unusual in it." he adds to Lotus on her comment. He unbuttons his jacket, hanging it over the back of his seat, before settling into it. "I'll chance an astral glance, see if they have any less mundane security." he suggests to his companion, as he makes a show of perusing the drinks menu.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence + 1 (ME3) for "Memorizing the Floorplan":
1 2 2 5 5 5 11
«Plot» Darius says, "BGcount?"
«Plot» Lotus says, "1"
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Assensing, BGCount 1":
1 3 3 3 7 10 = 2 Successes

After some time, two servers - a man and a woman - come into the room after knocking. They set down about half a dozen dishes, plus chopsticks and bowls, then slip out again. The dishes themselves look like typical Cantonese fair but arranged in an especially fantastic fashion, with cold ice fountains of smoke and even a dish with a standing Chinese character fashioned out of sugar and flower petals. The food has magical signature on it, implying that something in the cooking process does indeed include magic. Apart from that, though, the magical defences in the place seem fairly lacking. The only place with a magical presence is the kitchen.

Pema, intrigued by the food, arms herself with chopstick and grab a bite of some succulent roast pork belly. She munches on it slowly, and her eyes widen. "Wow," she says, looking at the food with slight incredulity. "There really is something special about the tastes here… can't tell exactly what it is. But it's absolutely amazing."

Darius's eyes glaze over as he peers at the food, and then towards the kitchen. After a moment he blinks, and the glassy appearance disappears. He looks down to his food again with mundane senses, "It actually is magical, in some sense." he admits unable to hide the surprise in his voice, and he takes a pair of chopsticks himself- no disposable bamboo chopsticks here, they're laquered and embossed with gold chinese characters. He helps himself to a bite of the food as well, chewing throughtfully. "It really is very good." he agrees. "I'll take a peak into the kitchen in a moment." he adds then, as he selects another morsel to munch in the mean time.

Pema regards the food with much curiosity but the exotic, strong flavours that seem to dance and transform in the mouth lures her in, and soon enough she's attacking it with chopsticks again. "What do you suppose is it?" she says as she scoops up herself some golden fried rice into a small bowl. "Having a mage casting spells on every dish must be draining indeed. Maybe the cooking utensils?" she takes a spoonful of fried rice and looks like she's about to die. "Heavens, this is good fried rice." She remarks and downs the entire bowl very quickly. "What's the plan? Astrally project in there? Then what? If we walk into the kitchen they'll throw us out, probably…"

Darius shakes his head, "Was planning to use Claiyvoyance first. Get a good idea of the layout." he says as he picks at more of the food. He's usually a fairly modest eater, but he almost forgets to empty his mouth before speaking. Seems that he's enjoying it, as well. "Could be an adept chef. Virtuoso." he adds between mouth-fulls. "Hope not, though, or this will turn into an exfiltration. Much more difficult to make it discreet."

Grabbing herself a slice of roast duck, Pema nods agreement, "Ah yes, good idea. I could do that too," then slips the morsel in her mouth. "Place is a bit like a labyrinth, but there ought to be alternatives to leaving through the lobby. Maybe alternate ways into the kitchen too, but going invisible into a busy kitchen will be extremely risky." She ponders as she grabs another slice of duck. "If you change my clothing to look like a server's, I could probably enter the kitchen that way. Though I'm not sure what I'd be looking for…"

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 7 for "Casting Clairvoyance F5, Not centering.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower vs TN 3 for "Soaking M Drain":
1 1 1 3 3 4 4 4 5 16 = 7 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "The kitchen look like a typical Chinese restaurant kitchen; people chopping up ingredients with big cleavers, people with woks stir-frying stuff over jet flames, etc. No sight of any mages though."

Darius nods his head, "We'll peek first, and then decide on a plan of action. You may be right about the invisibility, though. If we were to bump into something or someone." he says then. He pops another chopstick full of food into his mouth and then closes his eyes for a moment. When they open again, they are staring vacantly, though he continues to chew, as he presses his senses outside of his mind and towards the kitchen.

"Nothing obvious, layout is fairly straightforwards." Darius reports after his mouthful of food. "Lots of sharp implaments. I wouldn't want to start a fight in there, even if they are chefs rather than martial artists." he muses. His senses return shortly afterwards, "I suppose we'll need to take an astral peek, then."

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 4 vs TN 7 for "Casting Clairvoyance F3":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 5 7 11 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 3 vs TN 3 for "Soaking M Drain":
1 2 2 3 5 5 9 10 13 = 6 Successes

Pema has to restrain herself from overeating. She sets down her chopstick and takes a breath, then closes her eyes to join into the clairvoyance session as well. She remains quiet with closed eyes for a moment, then nods. "Yes… go ahead and check the kitchen astrally. I'll look for security around the place."

Darius glances about the little private booth they are in then, keeping an eye out for prying eyes. "Alright. Make sure I don't fall into my plate." he adds with a faint smirk, as he settles back into his seat. He closes his eyes, and then allows his astral form to rise from his body, hopefully braced well enough into the chair not to slide off or slump forwards. He then pressed towards the kitchen, keeping his astral eyes peeled for any other forms sharing the space.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Astral Peception inside the kitchen, bgcount 1.":
2 3 3 5 5 5 = 3 Successes

Once slipping into astral space, the secret of this restaurant's extraordinary cuisine becomes fairly apparent. Though there's magical signature all over the kitchen, rather messily, there are about half a dozen woks in the room that have the aura of anchoring foci. They're wielded by mundanes, but there's one awakened person in the room; the head chef.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Assensing the Focus, bgcount 1":
2 2 3 3 3 3 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Assensing the Focus, bgcount 1, KP2":
1 2 4 5 5 13 = 3 Successes

«Plot» Lotus says, "So, the woks are definitely anchoring foci. The spell that's being anchored on them is unknown though, but presumably it's some kind of spell that can alter the flavour of food. Probably a spell designed by the head chef himself."

After several moments, Darius returns to his physical body, waking in his chair. He pauses, glancing about to make sure he hasn't attracted any undue attention for 'dozing off' in the middle of his dinner, and then leans across the table to speak to Lotus. "It's the woks." he says then. "Head chef is awakened, likely designed the spell that's seasoning the food, but the woks themselves seem to be what Wei wants." he says then. "Which is unfortunate. Not an easy thing to slip under a jacket."

After waking up, Darius notices Pema is standing behind his chair, holding onto his shoulders to prevent him from falling over. Once he returns to physical space, she lets go and steps away, walking back to her seat. "Interesting. But also difficult yes, those woks are heavy. I can barely handle them, let alone run away with one…" she looks at the door, pondering, then takes a seat. "We need to distract the chef somehow to make them lose attention of the wok. Perhaps you could pretend to be dissatisfied with the food and demand to speak to them, then I go in disguised as a waitress? Or do you have another idea?"

Darius ponders that for a little while, "I could influence one of them to accidentally leave a wok somewhere accessible after hours." he says after a few moments. "I wouldn't like to get the poor man fired, though." he adds then as he settles back into his chair to think things through. He finds himself picking at the food once more while he ponders, and eventually says, "You might have the right idea." he eventually settles with a nod of his head. He glances about once more, and then says, "I have a good mental image of the waitress uniform. I can make a reasonable facsimilie, and then you can take me to the resturant. I'll put on my entitled upper class act." he muses.

Pema nods in agreement to leaving one of the chefs out to dry. "I agree, they're just doing their job. I could take you into the restaurant, or I could ask the chef to come out there. How do we grab the wok and go, though? Levitate it out the window?" she ponders, then gets up on her feet to open the door, peeking out.

Darius nods his head, "Out the window might be an idea. We should have taken a look around the back of the building earlier, to see what it's like back there." he says then with an absent frown. "We might attract more rather than less attention going out that way if it opens up into a busy alley or balconies or what have you." he muses.

Their private booth does have a window, fortunately, though it does not appear to be the type that easily opened. Pema walks up to it, tapping the glass and looking out. "I suppose a sturdy iron wok will go straight through if we throw it, but then we'd probably need someone to catch it outside." Darius remembers though that there was another window in the end of the corridor that could probably be opened, big enough to jump out of if needed. "So…" she attempts to sum up, "I call in the chef, asking him to speak to you, then I go in, grab the wok and run for the window?"

Darius nods his head a moment, "I don't know about running." he says then, and ponders. "Even magical woks must need washing occasionally. Head that way as though you are meant to be there. A confident attitude is a very valuable asset." he suggests. "I wouldn't break the window, though. That's hardly discreet." he adds, "There's a window we could use in the hallway. I'll go take a peek out, see what the street outside looks like." he says to Pema.

"Alright," Pema says, then looks down at her own precious Cheongsam, a little ambivalent. "I hate to sacrifice my most expensive dress for this, but… Give me a transformation and I'll head into the kitchen."

Darius chuckles a bit, "I can change it back afterwards, don't worry. Shame I don't know that other spell I was working on, yet." he adds then. A brief pause, as a thought occurs, "Although. I'm not sure that would be the most practical solution, here." he adds. He shuts up, and moves over to hold out a hand towards Pema's outfit, tapping his fingertips on the shoulder of it after a moment of concentration as he closes his eyes to bring to mind his memory of the waitresses' uniform.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 7 for "Fashion F4":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 8 11 11 15 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 3 for "L Drain":
1 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 10 15 = 8 Successes

The transformation that Pema's clothing undergoes is not particularly drastic, granted; the one-piece cheongsam turns into a blouse with the exact same cut and a knee-length skirt, basically going from one piece into two and with a different colour scheme. She also takes the hairpin and paper flower out of her hair in favour of a more simple unadorned bun. "Right, I'm off to the kitchen, try to look as indignant as possible…" If you hear screaming or commotion, try to get out as soon as possible." With that, she heads out the door and into the corridor.

A few moments later, she returns with one of the chefs, a Chinese middle-aged man that most likely does not speak any English. "The customer speaks Chinese so don't worry," Pema says in Cantonese to him, trying to sound as convincing as possible.

"What's the problem with the food, huh?" the Cantonese man says, sounding more than a bit annoyed over this disgrace.

Darius waits impatiently in his chair, and then he looks up towards the Chef. "I'm quite sure I /expressly/ stated on my reservation that I can't stand MSG. And this…" he gestures across the spread of half eaten food before him, "Is absolutely loaded with it. I won't believe for one moment that it isn't." he says then, in Clear- but deliberately mechanical Cantonese, like it's coming straight from a chip.

The chef, who obviously knows nothing of customer service, shakes his head, "We don't use MSG in the food! We have our own secret spices! There's no MSG, we don't need it!" Obviously reluctant to reveal the magical nature of their cuisine.

Meanwhile, Pema slips away and heads off to the kitchen, trying not to look nervous…

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Etiquette vs TN 5 for "Pema sneaking into the kitchen":
2 2 2 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Lotus says, "Uh-oh"

Darius scoffs at that retort, arching a brow imperiously, "Really?" he asks then, "You are really going to stand here and lie, right to my face? What sort of establishment is this?" he asks the man then. "I insist- no, I /demand/ a full refund for this… this… swill." he says, gesturing to the delicious food once again. "Or your name will be appearing in the Mile High Eats screamsheet, and /not/ favorably." he adds then.

A few moments later, there's screaming and noise from the kitchen.

"THIEF!"

Since Pema left the door open to the booth, Darius can see her running out of the kitchen in panic, kicking off her high-heeled shoes, clutching the handle of a still-smoking hot wok, bits of fried rice flying everywhere and landing on the carpet. To make the scene even more absurd, she whistles a tune as he does so.

Naturally, the chef turns around at the commotion, "What the hell?!?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 5 for "Foreboding F6":
1 1 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 8 8 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 3 for "Soaking D Drain":
1 2 2 2 4 4 4 5 5 8 13 15 = 8 Successes

"Oh my god, is that a /rat/!?" Darius suddenly exclaims, rising from his seat and pointing at a spot on the ground just behind where Lotus just dashed past. As he does so, he channels his magic through his pointed finger, creating an expanding field of abject terror that spreads from the point he indicated.

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 3 vs TN 6 for "First chef resisting Foreboding, Willpower 3":
1 1 2 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 4 vs TN 6 for "Second chef, Willpower 4":
2 2 2 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 4 vs TN 6 for "Third chef, Willpower 4":
1 2 8 10 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Three chefs entering Foreboding, none of them resist the effects"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Quickness vs TN 5 for "Pema doing stuff":
4 5 14 = 2 Successes

The reaction from the kitchen is… well, they are clearly not going to let go of one of their precious woks without a fight. No fewer than three chefs barge out of the kitchen, brandishing Chinese kitchen cleavers. As they reach the point of the corridor just outside the open booth, though, they suddenly stop. They all freeze in terror, one of them drops his knife and another falls on his bottom and begins to crawl back in fear. The chef that Darius was talking to steps out into the corridor, narrowly escaping the spell but looking utterly confused, first by the mayhem and now by his three fear-stricken colleagues.

Meanwhile Pema rushes over to the window at the end of the corridor, taking one hand off the wok to open the window. Slowly, she manages to open it.

At this point, the head chef - ie, the mage - comes out of the kitchen with slow and resolute steps. He looks absolutely furious.

Darius dabs at the corner of his mouth with a napkin, and then rises to his feet, stepping out into the chaos he's caused- still concentrating on the spell. He begins to make his way back down the corridor himself, towards the stairs, though for the time being he remains within line of sight with the spot where he us sutaining his spell, keeping one eye on it as he does his best to move casually through the mayhem closer to the exit.

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 12 vs TN 7 for "Head Chef attempting to Dispel Foreboding, Sorcery 6 + SP6":
1 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 7 9 13 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 12 - 3 vs TN 7 for "Head Chef attempting to Dispel Foreboding, Sorcery 6 + SP6, KP1":
1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 8 vs TN 3 for "Head chef soaking D drain":
1 3 4 5 5 5 8 16 = 7 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Head chef taking L stun"

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 4 vs TN 5 for "Pema casting Levitate F3":
2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 14 22 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Centering vs TN 3 for "Centering for Drain":
3 3 14 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Soaking M drain, 1 success banked from Centering":
1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 = 4 Successes

The head chef stops in his tracks, narrowing his eyes as he seemingly notices the spell that's causing his chefs to withdraw in fear. He concentrates, and Darius feels a force pushing against his spell, a rather strong one in fact that manages to wrestle the spell off his hands. The Foreboding spell dissipates, the head chef draws a deep breath and wipes his brow with a kitchen towel. "Find that girl and bring her to me, no more magic tricks!" He screams in Cantonese.

Meanwhile, Pema tries to climp up to the window but the tight-fitting skirt makes it nearly impossible. So instead, she takes a few steps back, runs and throws herself out the window, holding the wok with both hands.

Darius clicks his tongue as his spell is dispelled- the annoyance is clear on his face. Nothing short of a personal insult, having your spell cast aside like that. And as well adjusted and relaxed as Darius likes to act as though he is, nothing sets off his impetuous side like being upstaged. He pauses in his retreat, and looks towards the head chef. He begins to murmur in Aramaic, fixing his eyes on the other man.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Centering Focus) vs TN 6 for "Centering for Successes":
1 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 5 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Centering + 6 (Centering Focus) - 1 (KP) vs TN 6 for "Centering for Successes KP3":
1 1 2 2 2 4 5 8 10 13 15 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 6 for "F8 Stunbolt":
1 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 8 8 9 11 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower vs TN 4 for "Soaking D drain":
1 2 2 5 5 5 7 9 10 10 = 7 Successes
«Plot» Darius says, "Last point is eaten by TD"
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 vs TN 8 for "Resisting D Stun":
2 4 4 5 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 - 1 vs TN 8 for "Resisting D Stun, KP4":
1 2 3 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 5 - 1 vs TN 8 for "Resisting D Stun, KP6":
1 2 3 4 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Head chef takes D Stun"

Darius's mumbled aramaic finally comes to a higher volume as he reaches the completion of his spell, "I cast you into the dream, the sand of fatigue upon your brow and mind absent of thoughts. Now sleep." he instructs the head chef. At the completion of the spell, his eyes roll back and he collapses like a sack of potatoes, mind beaten into submission by Darius's spellcasting. He continues heading towards the stairs, pace increased now.

The chefs who got spooked by the foreboding spell look even more shocked as their feared head chef just drops on the spot. Nonetheless, one of them steps forward, picking up the cleaver he dropped earlier. By now, a few of the other booths have opened too, with dining guests peeking out to see what's this all about. The stairs remain empty, however, nobody there trying to oppose his escape.

Meanwhile, Pema is likely out there in the snow somewhere, unless she found a rooftop to fly to or something.

Once he gets into the stairwell, Darius takes off, bounding down the stairs two at a time to put as much distance between himself and the cleaver-wielding chefs as he can before they get their wits together. He slows once he reaches the ground floor, and emerges to make a brisk retreat, though not too brisk as to attract unwanted attention.

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Athletics:
3 3 4 9

Clearly the Zumba sessions or whatever it was did pay out; running down the stairs in haste proved nowhere as taxing as Darius had thought, and soon enough he's at the bottom floor. Once out in the lobby, though, he is reminded of the two orks standing by the entrance. One of them, seemingly lacking an internal radio, puts a hand to his ear to listen in on his earpiece, which might mean they're aware of what's going on upstairs. They're probably extra vigilant at the moment.

Darius straightens his tie a bit as he steps through the door. The jacke tis worn, but not buttoned up, in his haste to leave. While straightening his tie, he makes sure to adjust the tie pin slightly as he spies the two armed Orks at the entrance, feeling its magic sufuse him, he continues walking towards the exit- like he did on the way in, attempting to simply ignore the two Orks like they're part of the furnature, and like him walking on out is the most natural thing in the world.

«Auto-Judge[]» Lotus (#7659) rolls 3 vs TN 5 for "Will Orks react?":
2 7 7 = 2 Successes

One of the orks, with obvious cybernetic eyes and skull, raises an arm as Darius comes close to the door too, the arm being chrome too under the sleeve of his suit. "Sorry sir," he grunts in English, "We have a security issue, we cannot allow anyone to leave at the moment."

«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 7 vs TN 4 for "Influence F6":
1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 8 9 10 11 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Darius (#9060) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 3 for "Soaking S Drain":
1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 5 7 8 = 7 Successes
«Plot» Lotus says, "Ork with Willpower 3 has no chance to resist, no roll necessary."

"It's fine, you can let me past." Darius says dismissively, offering a vague gesture with his hand, and not slowing as he approaches the burly ork guard at the door.

"Yes, of course sir, my apologies." the ork says, the hand he raised to block Darius' path now instead used to grab hold of the elaborate doorknob and opening the door to him. "Have a pleasant evening, Sir," he says. The other ork give his colleague an incredulous look but he doesn't try to prevent Darius from leaving, probably confused over what the orders are or if this particular guest is somehow excempt and he's unaware. Thus, the path out is open.

Once outside, Darius doesn't sprint or run or otherwise do anything that might draw attention to himself. He maintains his brisk pace, like a corper who has spent too long on lunch and is late for his next meeting. He pulls his cellphone out of his pocket, and dials Pema as he walks along, holding it up to his ear and waiting to hear the call picked up on the other side.

It does not take long for Pema to pick up. She does it almost immediately. "You got out of there? I'm in the alley up ahead, slowly dying. Come over with the car, or my coat if you brought it."

Poor Pema, who jumped out of a window into the cold midwinter night wearing nothing but a silken gown, is sitting cross-legged on a box she found there. She's clutching herself in the cold, and since she kicked off her heels when running, she's also essentially barefoot save for a thin layer of wet pantyhose. She doesn't look quite as miserable as when he found her in the cave, but pretty damn miserable nonetheless.

Darius nods, even though he's talking on the phone, "Alright, see you in a moment." he says. He dials the app on his car's autonav, and has it pull out of the nearby lot to wait on the roadside. He slips into the alley, and takes off his jacket as he approaches the girl, and drapes it over her shoulders. "Lets get into the car, the climate control is running." he says to her, offering her a hand up.

When the car and its owner comes up to her, Pema hops down from the box, visible grimacing as her cold feet hit the freezing wet pavement. The wok, that's been on her side this whole time, is naturally brought with her as well. As the jacket comes down on her shoulders, she looks a little relieved but she's still very much in a hurry to get into the car. "Thank you," she says, carefully putting down the wok in the foot end of the back seat where it won't stain anything. "Well… this could've turned out better… what happened after I left?"

Darius settles into the driver's seat, and taps in an address on the autonav, then settles back to buckle up as the car begins driving itself away from the alley, "The chefs came running out of the kitchen with cleavers. I delayed them with a spell, but the head chef was able to dispel it." Darius definitely sounds rather snippy about that. "So I knocked him out and made my own exit while everyone was confused. I had to resort to a mind altering spell with the orks at the door…" he says, clearly unhappy about that, "But it seemed more discreet than knocking them out as well."

Pema sits in an almost fetal position in her seat, knees up against her chest, clutching her poor feet with her hands. "They'll have a very nice description of us after this," she says with a groan. "Well, we got the damn wok at least. I took the liberty of analysing its spell while waiting for you. Pretty interesting, seems to alter the flavour of food. It can enhance the flavours, sort of like a magic MSG, but it can probably make anything taste like anything too. We could keep it for a bit and try to copy the spell, if you want."

Darius nods his head a bit, "I was thinking it was something along those lines. That might be an idea." he muses. "Seems almost a shame to hand it over to that… gentleman. It's quite a nice Anchor." he muses as the car drives them along. "Did he give us a timescale? I forgot. I was to distracted by the rather… loud robe." he says.

"I don't think so," Pema says with some uncertainty, a finger poking her lip as she ponders. "The guy is supposedly close to eighty years old, don't think he's that much in a hurry. He probably just smokes his pipe and pretends to be Chinese all day, I'd be surprised if he even knows what day it is. But he certainly has a good eye for antiques and magical things." She eventually takes her feet down. Only then does she notice the pantyhose on her left leg is completely ripped, with a palm-sized tear over the thigh. "Damnit, and I left my brand new coat behind too… well, a brand new one might be harder for them to track anyway. Not that they'll call the police for a stolen cooking pot… anyway, let's go home, shall we?"

Darius glances across at what has he upset, and he holds his hand out for just a moment, before thinking better of it. Ther are certain articles of clothing it's not appropriate to cast fashion on while they are being worn, so instead he looks back towards the road. "I'll give you one of mine. I can tailor it to suit." he tells Pema then, as they head along. A nod of agreement, and he taps in the new address, and the car takes them away from the scene of the crime.

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