Storm Warnings Part 2
GM: Sasha
Players: Sasha, Dalton, Vera, Mr. Terrific, Blaze, Blindside
Synopsis: See part I!
Date: December 28, 2070

Dalton looks at Sasha "Alright, so, we got one member down, any brillant plans." He would ask Vera, but she is still in the back of the truck.

Blaze is still unconscious in the back of the pickup, sprawled across poor Vera in a way that would make elven-fetish-seekers very happy.

Sasha shrugs at Dalton and says, "Well, assuming that they," a jerked thumb to the back, "aren't dead, we should probably go try to get the body. Unless you plan to leave the money on the table and tell the J that we cannot do it." She'll pop open the door to step out into the rain, shielding her eyes to look out towards where Blindside went off to.

Dalton grunts faintly "So, lets sneak in and find the body. Though I'm going to leave the sneaking to you ladies, since I'm rather obvious at the moment."

Vera looks around, noting, through the complete short-out of her eye display, that all of her systems are down. Time to go the old-fashioned route - if combat drugs worked for Japanese soldiers a hundred and thirty years ago, Vera hopes they're going to work now. She rolls Blaze off of her after reholstering her pistols, and then pulls one of the small one-use popper-inhalers from her gear pouch. "Let's hope it lasts more than ten minutes or so," she mutters, putting it back in the pouch. "All right, I'm going to use it when, I guess…we're about half a kilometer, or a little more, away." Making sure that Blaze is relatively safe and secured, she hops out of the back of the truck and comes around to the cab. "Well. I'm reasonably quiet, and I've got camo, and so does Sasha. Perhaps we should go on ahead? Maybe you could protect the truck, Blindside, and Blaze, while Dalton follows at a short distance behind."

Sasha gives a sideways look to the prone and unconscious Blaze, the headachy Mr. Terrific. She'll shrug and say, "May as well. It's that or hope this goes away at some point." She gives a dirty look to the rain and then looks to the lead mage on the mission, "If you turn off whatever is doing whatever that is to you, you could sneak along?"

Dalton nods "I suppose I could turn it off and sneak along, but I sure ain't going to turn it back on later." He sighs, and drops the armor spell, cause, well, he cant concentrate on much else while holding it. "Shall we then?" he gestures to the ladies.

Blaze just kinda lies there.

Vera nods to Dalton. "Good. We're all quiet now." She checks to make sure her silencers are both attached to her Brownings and then smiles, nodding to Sasha. Everyone, at least in this advance team, looks properly geared up and ready. Time to try to gain this…body.

Blindside pulls his ride up along side the truck. "Alright! From here, I need time to rejigger my guns. I didn't think the electronic triggers would go offline, so I've got an armored tank with a fast engine, but no punch. Gimmie 10 minutes in the truck. What do you want to do? Also, WHAT THE FrAG HAPPENED?"

«Plot» Sasha says, "Blaze, roll Body or Will, whichever is higher"
«Auto-Judge[]» Blaze (#10706) rolls Willpower:
1 1 2 2 4 14
«Plot» Sasha says, "Blaze will awaken in 10 minutes."

Sasha spares a shrug for Blindside. "Someone broke technology." She motions to Mr. Terrific, who is suffering from a bit of shock himself, "Get her into the truck and under some blankets. Keep her warm, she'll come around in a few minutes if she just got knocked out."

Dalton frowns "The problem will be communications, I cant trust spirits, we cant use tech. How do we alert our cavalry?" he points at Blindside.

Blindside nods to Sasha, opening the door to his ride to take the injured. "I'll catch up with you in a bit then. Do cellphones still work?"

Mr. Terrific will move to do that, getting out a blanket from one of the survival kits that someone logically brought with them to keep the unconscious fire mage warm until she gets better. He comments, "I'd wager that cells are offline as well."

"Anyone have a non-digital clock?" Sasha asks without much hope, "Otherwise, count to about 10,000 and then come looking for us. We'll be the group trying to cart off a body between raging gunbattles."

Blaze stirs as she's moved and moans before falling silent again.

Dalton reaches under his coat and pulls out a small shotgun, its a short barrel number. He takes a few moments to check various rounds in his pockets.

Watch?
«OOC» Sasha says, "Roll 2d6. On a 7 or better, you have one"
«Auto-Judge[]» Blaze (#10706) rolls 2:
3 4
There is a glint of something sliver that pokes out of Blaze's pocket. It's ticking.

Vera shakes her head. "I suppose we could rifle through the pockets of Blaze, just in case. I've only carried my…" She turns toward Blaze. "Well, well, lucky us." She smiles at the unconscious elf. "Sorry, Blaze. I'll get it back to you," she says, as she makes sure Blaze gets a blanket and relieves her of the watch. She hands it to Blindside. "This should be what you need."

Dalton finishes checking his shotgun, and holsters it back in its spot. "Alright, we got time, so we better hurry up then and find that body. I'll try not to stop whatever is doing this." he waves a hand at the sky "Cause if I do, we will get company fast."

Blindside's poor robot clock has passed into the great beyond, and is depressingly silent. Good night, sweet prince.

Sasha glances at the man she often thinks of as a prostitute and nods, starting off towards where they believe the town is on foot. Green lightning flares white hot in the sky as she and the others set out, the wind picking up and blowing water across the road.

The Male Hooker follows Sasha and Vera, and of course, well, its a long walk, and he has to look at something….

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 6 for "Mystery. Multiples bad":
1 1 1 2 3 4

«Plot» Sasha says, "Dalton, out of curiosity what spells/tattoos/foci/STUFF do you have active at the moment?"
«Plot» Dalton says, "Improved Reflexes F6, Improved Body F4. That is all."

Blaze suddenly blinks and rolls upright, clutching her head. "What the FRAG? WHO THE HELL?!" She looks around and then just clutches her head anew.

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Stealth for "+4 Cause I gots camo!!!":
2 3 4 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Stealth for "+4 for Camo":
2 3 4 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Stealth for "+4 yeah!":
1 1 5 5 8

Blindside is in the truck, sitting off to the side from where Blaze wakes up, working on the ignition system for the autocannon, assuming this is a little while later. "Shit happened. Bad things happened. An APC exploded."

Dalton looks around for bad stuff, but during the quiet moments, will appraise Sasha and Vera from behind, noting that Sasha seems to be the more athletic of the two, and quite possibly more flexible. After that moments thought, he goes back to sneaking and looking around for dangers.

Sasha moves quietly, alert for patrols or wild animals or whatever else will come up in this Ghost forsaken terrain. The rain makes it wet going, their footsteps muffled by thunder and the seemingly never ending flood of rain.

In comparison to the toned Sasha, Vera is positively plush. Both quite perfectly turned examples of very different types. At the moment, now, most of the forms of -both- of them are concealed by the rather baggy reinforced camo held in around the chest and waist by the heavy sleeveless flak jackets. Both of Vera's pistols are drawn, and she keeps her eyes peeled, occasionally making circuits and checking flanks as best as she can, doing her part to help the group move at a reasonably swift pace for covert movement.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 3 for "Truck. 10 or better":
3 4 9

«Plot» Sasha says, "Sasha, Vera, Dalton: Perception, TN 10"

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10 for "What what!!":
1 3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10:
1 1 2 3 5 5 10 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10 for "What what!! KP:14":
1 2 3 4 7 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10:
1 2 2 4 5 9 = 0 Successes

Blindside reaches over to his wall-mount and pulls down the mike. "Breaker-Breaker One-Niner, this here's the DaBallahOfftheWallah, the BigrigBigboy with the Hammer down and music up callin the rollen peice of shit. Got your ears on?" He asks. When Bambi was driving the truck, she'd have set the channel and frequency.

Vera's focused a little too much on the ground in front of her, making sure she moves stealthily, to notice anything amiss.

For Dalton, Sasha: You see a flicker of light in the distance moving towards you three, bobbing back and forth, this way and that way. It seems far too erratic to be a person with a flashlight.

For Blindside: There is no answer.

Blindside mutters, looking at the mike. "Must have knocked out radio transmissions. Damn things as analog as they come these days."

Dalton frowns, and reaches up to tap the girls on the shoulder and point at the flickering light, he whispers, well, in a storm its not really a whisper. "Looks like magic, lets try to avoid it."

Vera nods at Dalton, moving to follow. "Could it just as easily be a truck or something?" she asks, quietly, moving to stay with the group. hopefully out of sight of whatever is approaching. Probably going to be a dangerous infiltration.

Sasha nods, indicating the light with her chin. "Great. More magic," she murmurs, moving to make a path around the lights while still heading towards the city.

Dalton keeps the team shielding and masked on himself, just to keep those pesky tattoos from glowing at all. He does check himself on the astral, just in case his masking isn't working or something.

Vera stays with the team, hoping to avoid the trouble unless there is a need to overcome it.

Blaze mutters under her breath. "I remember the APC," she murmurs.

The main party manages to trudge past the floating lights out in the distance, heading ever closer to town. As they go over a small rise it is apparent there are vehicles perhaps half a kilomter away, their boxy shapes too man-made to be anything natural.

Back at the car/truck, the other runners just have to contend with rain, lightning, and a growing sense of being watched.

Dalton will follow Sasha and Vera's lead on this one, cause, well, they are the ones who are going to be fighting when stuff starts happening.

Blindside works on his guns, trying to get them to power up, hoping the simple systems can be recovered. It's unlikely, but it sure does pass the time.

Staying with the stealthy group, Vera moves to stick with Sasha and Dalton, continuing to try to evade attention on the way in to retrieve the body.

Dalton points at the vehicles, and shrugs, mouthing "That way?"

Blindside moves over to the comms console, looking at various readouts on the displays. "Scabbard's still offline… means all higher functioning systems are down." He mutters to himself. "Bambi, Get me my…" A pause as he looks over to the collapsed form of the drone slut. "No.. It's okay. Just lie there, baby." He says, looking back to the boards. "Son of abitch. I was supposed to have 10 more miles…"

Vera frowns a little, glancing at the trucks. "Well," she says. "We've got two options. We can try to approach, and use surprise to take out the opposition on the way in. Or we can try to bypass it. I think we should go for the latter, but it runs a greater risk of us being surrounded. However, it looks like we've got capability to defeat opposition silently. We're relying on excellent low-tech approaches…which in our favor, seems to be working in our favor." She grins. At this moment, the scale of battle is now reduced to being rather similar to that of the SAS in North Africa.

Sasha starts to speak, perhaps to ask what now when a hissing voice behind you all remarks, "Or perhaps you could all die here instead?" There is a moment of laughter and then the voice remarks, "I did tell you to run away, white mage."

Dalton grunts "I'm Japanese you dumb shit." He turns to face whatever is there whispering.

From the left now, "I'm Japanese you dumb shit."
From the right now, "I'm Japanese you dumb shit."
There doesn't seem to be anyone around, no bodies or animated watchers or singing cacti

Dalton shakes his head and gestures to the girls "Keep moving. Ignore it, it cant hurt us." Though of course, he still keeps his shielding up.

«Plot» Sasha says, "Dalton, Vera, Sasha. Quickness Test vs TN 6. You need at least 2 successes to move forward."

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Quickness vs TN 6 for "Need two successes":
3 4 4 4 4 7 11 16 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Quickness vs TN 6 for "Well, dang.":
2 2 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Quickness vs TN 6 for "Well, dang. KP:15":
2 4 5 11 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Quickness - 1 vs TN 6 for "Well, dang. KP:17":
1 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Quickness vs TN 6:
2 2 3 5 5 9 16 = 2 Successes

Blaze stands up at last and looks at Blindside. "I can grab things for you if you need them," she offers silently. She suddenly leans into the truck and rummages around. In the glove box she finds a pack of cigarettes. Cheap, but dry. And she puts one in her mouth. Without thinking, a flame dances to life above her finger tip to catch the end of the cigarette on fire. She inhales deeply, lowers her right hand, the flame winks back out.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 6 vs TN 10 for "Test":
1 2 3 3 4 4 = 0 Successes

There is a peal of laughter at Dalton's words, "Cannot hurt you, you yellow devil? This is OUR land. We can do much more than hurt you. Should we wish, 'Japanese', we can hold you here forever!" With that, the muddy ground becomes much more clinging, sucking at your boots with every step, slowing you down inch by inch, step by step. The wind picks up as well, blowing rainwater into your face and temporarily blinding you.

Where Blaze and Blindside and Mr. Terrific wait, the sense of being watched grows for a moment and then fades, as if disinterested.

Blindside mutters darkly… "I hate being blind."

Dalton struggles through the muck, but apparently is not moving that fast at all, since he is a rather weak and frail mage type person. He slowly falls behind the ladies, grunting with every step he tries to take, only to sink deeper into the muck.

«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Strength vs TN 6:
2 2 3 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "karma reroll":
1 1 2 5 = 0 Successes

Vera stops and moves to grab Dalton, as she looks over her shoulder as she tries to fight off the …intelligent mud. She's able to move through it with relative ease, but as she tries to grab Dalton, she's just simply not strong enough to pull him free. "Need a little help!" she hisses, through gritted teeth. "Please."

Blaze blinks for a second. "There is something awakened watching us," she says softly. "The flame I just used… It made the watching stronger. The point is to disable us, I think…" She looks at Blindside. "Look, the majority of the focus is going to be on Nightmare and his group. We could flank this sucker."

The voice speaks again, laughter evident in its tones, "You think your learned walls can defend you and your friends, but you do not understand The Land. You and yours are intruders here with your 'Japanese' magicks. We do not welcome your intrustions. Soon, all of this will be Clean."

Sasha looks back over her shoulder as Vera stops to help Dalton. The woman considers the mage for a moment and then the elf before taking a step backwards to help them. She'll snag Vera's arm with her hand and pull.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Unsticking Dalton":
1 1 1 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Unsticking Dalton, karma":
2 3 4 5 = 0 Successes

Dalton waves his hand after the few moments to pull him free result in nothing. "Go ahead. Move on….give me some space and I'll get myself free, but I don't want you near me when I do it."

Off in the distance, something howls. That howl is picked up and echoed as well, piercing the rain and thunder.

Dalton struggles slowly, pulling one foot out of the muck and taking a step forward, then another. He creeps along, basicly having to dig himself out one leg at a time. Its, well, slow.

Blindside grunts to Blaze. "That's because the spirit of magic is watching for magic use. It's suppressing other mages… and I think that's what woke it up. Dalton's a great mage, but he doesn't think much beyond his spells. I'm going to give them an hour, then we're going to pull back to a range I can get my systems back on line… then we're gonna reassess the situation."

Sasha shrugs and lets go of Vera, moving to step away from the area that Dalton is in. She dares a look over her shoulder at the sound of the .. wolves? Coyote? Giant hellhounds? Hard to say with the rain. She'll squat down to watch Dalton's progress with a sour expression, commenting, "I think something doesn't like you."

A crooning laugh calls at Dalton, "Where are your platitudes and brave words now, little magician? While you crawl along like the lowliest worm and tell your whores that we cannot hurt you."

«Plot» Blaze says, "Alright. I'm going to ask my elemental to parley for us with the Big Shaman Nasty."

Dalton grins faintly "I'm deciding on how best to proceed, I have several options, but I'm going to leave you guessing." He keeps slogging through the muck, and starts to whistle to himself.

«Plot» Sasha says, "Okie dokie, pose it up"

The howling grows louder, passing by (you think) where Vera and Dalton and Sasha wait and heading perhaps towards where Blindside, Blaze and Mr. Terrific are. The winds pick up as well, the air taking on a desperate chill as cold rainwater makes the mud that much muddier, the sounds and scents and sights obscured to the point of near-invisibility. Also? Outside of the metroplex it is DARK. Darker than the inside of a Johnson's soul.

Sasha comments to Dalton, "We are not going to get very far like this."

Dalton nods "Very well, I can try a really weak spell, it should make my speed a bit better, its, risky though."

Blaze growls faintly. "I don't wait well," she says. "And this thing is gonna kill us if we can't find a way to talk to him nice-like." She brings her right hand up before her, two fingers lifted with the thumb and ring finger touching and her pinky extended. Her eyes, normally a warm cinnamon brown, glow the colour of molten gold and her copper hair flickers like flames about her head.

Out of nowhere, there is the sound of rushing fire and a tall woman of pure living flame and burning sulphur appears.

"Phionia," Blaze says, a respectful bow of her upper body. "I am in grave danger. There are magics here beyond my ken, and they are… hesitant to deal with us. They will respect you. Seek out this Indian Shaman Spirit; parley for us; assure him that we do not want to interfere with their cleansing. This land is theirs, we merely want safe passage and we shall come and leave. Speak to the Spirit for us, and come back and tell me what has happened."

And the spirit departs.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 5 for "Test":
1 2 3 3 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 5 for "Test, karma reroll":
2 3 5 7 14

The spirit is gone for perhaps a handful of heartbeats, an eternity really in the Astral Realm. The gateway between worlds rips back open and Phionia reappears before you in all her glory. Manifested on the material plane, the raindrops sizzle to a dire end long before they touch her molten form.

She stares at Blaze for a second and then asks, her voice a crackling of wood, complete with pops and hisses, "Which one?" She waits for an answer.

Blindside blinks. "That's fucken crazy. Shes' on fire!"

Blaze looks askance at Blindside. "No. She -is- fire."

The elemental considers that for another span of heartbeats and replies, "Which one?" It looks over the muddy and wet landscape and then back to you, waving a flame-covered hand towards the darkness. "They are legion, and they refuse to speak to a 'collared slave."

Blindside looks over to Blaze, and the fire chick… "Well… see if one of them will come talk to a Mormon Dwarf? I'll go outside, if they won't kill me or anything."

The elemental glances at the sack of not-yet-cooked meat and then to Blaze, waiting an order it can carry out.

MEANWHILE, Sasha, Vera and Dalton continue to get rained on while Dalton plays in the mud.

Dalton finally decides he cannot just slog here all night, and begins to focus his mind and try to fight through the background count in the area.

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Centering vs TN 2 for "Centering Against Bgcount":
3 3 4 4 4 5 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 1 vs TN 6 for "CAsting F1 LEvitate on myself.":
2 2 2 3 3 3 8 9 9 = 3 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Willpower + 6 (PF) vs TN 5 for "REsisting 5M drain, need 2 successes.":
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 7 15 = 5 Successes

Blaze sucks in her breath, her ire rising. "Phionia, you are -not- collared or a slave!" Blaze is indignant at this slight. She steps forward. "If they will not speak with me, then please… Go and find Dalton and speak to the spirit that was tormenting him earlier. Even if they will not -talk- to us, perhaps they will -hear- you. Give him my message, then please come back and tell me the reaction."

The elemental bows and vanishes in a literal puff of smoke. Moments later it will appear fully manifested next to Dalton's floating form, looking this way and that. Sasha takes a step backwards in the sucking mud as the elemental appears.

"Ah, another whore's slave come to help you?" The wind begins to pick up as Dalton rises via magic, "Instead of playing in the mud, shall you be a kite, little magician?"

Dalton shakes his head and gestures to the two women, ignoring the elemental "Lets keep moving." he now floats just above the mud, and manages to keep up.

Vera looks a little confused. "A whore's slave?" she says, trying to tug at Dalton again, releasing her grip as Dalton lifts up. She's tired of the annoying presence of the voice. "You know, you might be spooky and pretending to be menacing," she says defiantly, "but I've never heard of a whore having slaves. I think your metaphors are becoming confused." She hmphs, turning around in scorn, and nods to Dalton. "Yes, let's."

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 4 for "Reaction Test.":
3 4 5 14
«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 5 for "Reaction Test, modified by Vera's comment.":
1 2 3 10 15

The very air itself turns bright purple before you, the sound not unlike a sheet being torn in twain. Where the 'sky' is being torn, a hole shows in the fabric of reality, one that shows stars and what looks remarkably like some sort of staircase leading off into the netherworlds. "Then let's drop the pretenses, shall we?"

The fire elemental immediately vanishes, reappearing before Blaze, "They said they all will die." It stays there, burning in midair.

Vera turns, as the voice addresses her. She focuses her intention on the others, recalling the sensation that she had had with the other elemental she had encountered. A frown shows over her face. "I don't recall contracting with you for anything," she replies. "If you'd like to come speak to us, we'll listen, of course, but you initiated this conversation with hostility. You will attack us, or you will not, or perhaps we will come to some arrangement. But if you are looking for fear, you will be sorely disappointed. Find it from the others here." She keeps her tone respectful, but firm. Perhaps this could be an opportunity to end these childish games.

Dalton frowns "Go around, do not enter the area. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm assuming its bad." He waits to float behind the girls, watching to see if they can actually get around it.

Blaze swears softly. "These people have no possible appreciation for delicacy… Drek, Drek drek drek…" She lets out a sigh. "Thank you, Phionia… You have done a herculean task. Where are they? How far away? And please… stay close? I may need your help again before this is all over." And she releases the Elemental for now.

She looks at Blindside. "I don't think we have time to wait."

Sasha starts to move around towards the left, her boot sinking into the ground perhaps six inches. She levers the foot out and then glances to Dalton. "Um," she replies.

"You go no further. If you speak to me again in such a manner, female, I will remove you from this plane of existence and have you tortured for all days." The gateway pulses, growing larger as lightning strikes not so far away. "Since you are deaf of ear as well as of mind, I will tell you this once: you are hired whores, taking money to do your dirty work on the Land. We do not want your filth here. YOU," it intones, speaking at Dalton, "you have sullied the Land with your so called magicks, causing more and more destruction."

«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls Willpower for "Hum":
1 3 4 5 5 5 11

The elemental gives Blaze a mental impression on how far away the others are before she vanishes.

Blindside stands up, thinking that over… "No. We don't. I agree. But…" He says, drawing himself up to his full 4'4 height… "We don't know where they are. They took off with -no- communications that were operational, we have no operational vehicular mounted weapons and no plan at this point. Half the team can't be reached. Unless you've got a hell of a plan that involves your lips and my crotch, I don't know if I can justify risking not only the several millions of hardware here… but also… your life… going in there."

"Of course we take money to do our dirty work. It is what we are for. Surely you take some form of tribute in order to do yours. It is the way of things," Vera replies staunchly. "Enough of this. Show yourself, if you wish. We are continuing, if you are not," she replies. And with that, she nods to Dalton and Sasha, moving to turn away from the stairway to hell, toward their actual goal.

Blaze looks at Blindside. "Phionia just showed me where they are, little dude. Now come on and we'll talk about lips and crotches later. Before this whole place turns into a giant mana nuke? Play it by ear. Plans ain't gonna work now. Best we can hope for is to diffuse the fucking situation…" Her eyebrow arches. "Or. We can let them keep the Big Shaman Nasty distracted, and slink around it. I'm sure Dalton has something up his sleeve. We go in totally dark. No magic."

Vera ceases to exist. She utterly and completely vanishes from Sasha and Dalton's sight whatsoever. They do not see, hear, taste (!), or otherwise capture her existence.

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Intelligence for "Vera?":
2 2 2 3 4 7

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Intelligence for "Where is mah Vera?":
2 3 3 4 4 5 5 10

For Vera: everything looks just how it should. Sasha and Dalton are looking around but otherwise are there.

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Centering vs TN 4 for "This ones a bit harder, stupid magics!":
1 3 4 4 7 10 = 4 Successes

Vera traces her toe in the mud, glancing back over her shoulder as she continues making her move. "You both coming?" she asks, as she sees them looking around, her footsteps squelching heavily as she walks back toward them.

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 1 vs TN 9 for "Casting F1 Spirit Barrier, centering on myself, 12 meter radius dome around me. Stops all spirit powers.":
1 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 7 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 1 vs TN 9 for "Casting F1 Spirit Barrier, centering on myself, 12 meter radius dome around me. Stops all spirit powers. KP:16":
1 2 2 2 4 4 4 5 10 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Willpower + 6 (PF) vs TN 3 for "Resisting S Drain, need 4 successes with TD.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 8 9 = 10 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 24 vs TN 2 for "Dispell":
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 9 9 17 = 17 Successes

«Plot» Sasha says, "Dalton's Spirit Barrier goes away, dispelled"

Dalton raises a hand to the air, and focuses his mind, trying to brush past the astral crap around him and draw in the pure mana energy. The black cloak and hood of his totem surround him, blowing in the wind, and then vanishing. Then, well, nothing happens, and he frowns.

"Try again. Try harder."

Blaze looks at Blindside. "Well? Shall we flank?"

Dalton chuckles "But you gave it away already. You dispelled my barrier, meaning, your using a power on her, I know spirits, she is simply concealed by you." he gestures to Sasha "Lets move on, Posh will follow us."

Blindside moves back to the rear of the truck. One hand moves to the trucks rear autonav pannel… He sets it for 20 miles back up the road. He writes a note for Bambi telling her whats going on, taping it to her forehead. "Yeah. Lets move." He says simply, heading out the back door for Leviathan.

Mr.Terrific is happy to follow the driver, stretching out his creaky, contused muscles, locking and loading his rifle and getting the iron sights ready.

"And now she isn't protected by your powers, little man. And then I'll take the other one. And then, I'll simply expose you to the other humans not so far away. And then you can play with them. Doesn't that sound /fun/? Tell me again, mortal, how ineffectual I am. Please. One. More. Time."

Blaze pulls out her manhunter and makes sure that she herself is locked and loaded. "Alright. Let's go see a man." And she hops into Leviathan.

Dalton grunts "No, your effective, just cowardly. Your people would come up and fight thier opponents face to face, even touch them in battle. You hide from me out of fear." He also prays that if the thing shows up, Sasha has spiritbusters, cause she had a fancy clip at one point.

Vera thinks she has an inkling of what's happening, so she tries to think of a way that she can offer a useful signal to the others. Out of curiosity, she casually draws her two pistols and puts a pair of shots from each to try to plump them into the cactus. Nobody who's not nearby is likely to hear, but the sound of bullets striking and tearing up the cactus should be pretty obvious to Dalton and Sasha, unless something else is afoot.

Sasha eyes Dalton and then the air. "Well. This is getting us no where. As much fun as it is …" The woman trails off, rain pattering steadily down on her helmet.

"You know nothing of MY people, mortal. One last time. Go away from here and do not return."

«OOC» Sasha says, "Dalton and Sasha, roll perception"
«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 2 3 3 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Intelligence for "Rain, silenced gunshots, etc":
1 1 2 4 5 5 5 9

DALTON AND SASHA: You hear a faint thump thump into a cactus right over there. Hailstones, maybe?

For DALTON: Amidst the severe background in the area, you can clearly see one .. two .. ten .. more than ten .. spirits of all types, from storm to sky to land and desert watching you with dwindling patience and more than a little hostility. Many are smaller than the elemental Blaze sent to you, but others .. others are /old/, older than the White's presence on these shores. The most malevolent of those, the largest, the oldest, is staring at you as you peer into the Real World and away from the illusion that mundanes believe in. "Greetings, 'Japanese'."

Leviathan's engines open up. Not a smooth as he would like, with some of the higher end engine modifications offline as their software is too complex, but the engine is powerful all the same. He pulls out on to the road, getting the heavy transport up to speed.

Dalton turns his head slowly, looking around at the spirits, then at the big one. "So, what do you want done here anyhow?" he gestures to the sky "You realize your mess won't hold everyone back forever."

The spirit tilts its head, releasing Vera from the concealment and into the 'world'. It speaks, its voice a rumble of the desert, the cry of the eagle on the winds, the shake of leaves in the trees some thousand miles away, "What do you know of forever, little magician? I need not forever. Now is enough to hold you and the others back."

Annoyed that no one seems to notice her, Vera draws her cougar short blade and begins to dismember the cactus as a more obvious sign.. She has no idea how Dalton is doing what he is doing, and cannot see what he sees. "You know, this is hardly some eternal world of torture. He was hitting on me too much anyway," she idly says back to the 'voice'

Dalton frowns slightly, staring off at something Vera or Sasha cannot see. "Whats the point? They came to take the body, you stopped them. Now they surround you, eventually they will take the body. What is the purpose of all this?"

Sasha stays quiet, noting when Vera pops in abusing a cactus. She frowns and then looks to Dalton, who is playing with the spirits. This job is NOT worth what it pays to deal with crazies.

"Your understanding of what is and is not is flawed. Go away." The spirit makes a shooing motion and looks to the sky a moment, the spirits far above him speaking in rain, in thunder, in barometric pressure and a thousand other signals, "I am told that you are given one of your hours to run."

Dalton nods "Fine, we will leave, but perhaps if you explain the situation, we can help you? You realize we are mercenarys, we work for payment. Do you not wish aid in whatever you are seeking?"

The heavy transport rolls through the wreckage of the APC, its front end knocking a bit of the rear end off the road, sending it spinning in to the snow drift at the side of the roadway.

Laughter shakes the ground, as if you stood on Santa's tummy when he chuckled, "You think highly of yourself. 59 of your minutes." There is a pause as the spirits speak in a language far beyond mortal ken, and then a sigh. "I am told that if you are whores … what you call mercenaries .. that you will leave for money. Is this true?"

Dalton nods "We came here seeking rewards, I have seen your numbers, if you simply all manifested at once, you would overwhelm us in no time. I am not totally blinded by my loyalties that I do not appreciate a situation I cannot win. Yes, we will leave for money."

Vera narrows her eyes at Dalton. "We accepted a job and contracted. This line of conversation is over…" she says, her pistols at the ready. "Unless you're eager to immediately become my enemy. You do -not- speak for me, and frankly, this is rather honorless."

Blindside, at the front of the truck, Blindside is musclign the stick shift like a master. He downshifts for more power, to blow through a snow drift like it was paper, sending snow spraying out. The truck doesnt' even shudder. "FIfteen gears, and whatya' get? Another mile down road and covered' in shit!"

Sasha looks between Dalton and Vera, measuring the animosity and general unpleasantness. Crazy. Chaotic. The woman rises stiffly in the cold and shakes her head, keeping her hands clear of weapons, taking several steps out of the battle scene. No profit in a stray bullet.

Dalton turns to regard Vera "We are outnumbered, we are out powered. There will be no success in this mission should we continue. I know my limits." he looks to Sasha "What do you say to this? There are at least fifteen spirits surrounding us now, some weak, some very strong."

Mr.Terrific is a more patient man. He's just grimly hanging on, covering with his rifle, being ready. His time will come, his eyes on the vehicle itself to protect it - as useless as that may be.

Blindside, at the front of the truck, is muscling the stick shift like a master. He downshift's for more power, to blow through a snow drift like it was paper, sending snow spraying out. The truck doesn't even shudder. "Fifteen gears, and whatya' get? Another mile down road and covered' in shit!"

Blaze chuckles, hanging on. "I like you," she says to Blindside. "You're cute." But it's really just a way to keep from going nuts.

Vera shakes her head. "There is no way they can be immune to the same sort of thing that stunned our own magic-users," she says to Dalton. "They are playing games because, for some reason or another, they can't simply kill us. Perhaps it would kill them. They are trying to convince us to turn away. Don't assume they've got all trumps just because you can't see their cards," she says. "If you contract with the enemy and turn on us, you become my enemy at that very moment. I ask you not to do that."

To Dalton, Sasha says, "I am not going to get in the middle of a gunfight over a contract in the middle of a rainstorm. Everyone has their own morals and code to have to deal with. Me? I prefer not to die in the middle of a desert over money for no reason." As Vera responds, Sasha says, "And this is going to go poorly. If you two want to go this route, I am out." She'll continue to backpeddle, giving ground, losing herself in the gloom and rain.

The spirits watch the interplay with interest, saying nothing, doing nothing to tip the odds one way or the other. Perhaps this is trideo for them.

Vera smirks at Sasha. "Morals? No. Standing by your word is just good business," she says.

Dalton frowns, and looks long at Vera "What do you suggest? Simply proceed, walk on and hope for the best? You have no ideas the powers you are dealing with. Your only alive now because I have shielding you." With that, he does indeed drop his shielding of Vera. "Your choice then, you think you can fight an army of spirits, tell me how?"

"I don't believe you, Dalton. You consider yourself the end-all and be-all. I doubt all of our competitors are dead too. That's the problem with mages, they think spirits are the beginning and end of the world." Perhaps she speaks from ignorance, but she turns away, moving to head again toward the objective. "Going to come with, Sasha?" she asks, as the initial heat of the conversation seems to die down. "I suppose we'll get to split his share."

Blindside punches the stereo on Leviathan, and Concrete Afterthought (A Concrete Dreams Tribute band) launch in their 2067 version of that good old classic: THUNDERSTRUCK. "Na na na na na naaaaa na!" Growls the halfer as he upshifts for speed on a clear stretch of road. The turbine engine that powers the beast roars its approval at being unthrottled.

For her part, Sasha is silent if she is indeed nearby. The rain and wind and gloom make it hard to place her without high tech gear.

Dalton shakes his head "I know my limits, apparently you do not know yours. My magic is worthless here, the storm prevents me from acting. The spirits have no such restrictions."

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Stealth for "+4 Camo, rain, etc":
2 2 4 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Intelligence vs TN 9:
2 2 3 3 5 5 = 0 Successes

As Sasha abandons the project, Vera simply curses, leaving Dalton behind. She holsters her pistols, then…encounters with any competitors will have to be approached with guile, she reasons. She does not see Sasha, who has apparently stepped back and abandoned the team. "I suppose a job's a job to only one of us."

Mr.Terrific personally would be tempted to rock out the Zohar Argov, but, you know, his ride, his tunes. What can you do? Just be ready to shoot on command.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 5 vs TN 10 for "Where are you?":
2 3 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Sasha says, "Blindside and co are unseen so far. Continue"

Where does a locomotive on massive wheels drive? WHEREVER THE FUCK IT PLEASES. That's Leviathan. "I want some eyeballs in the top turret! Can't shoot nothing, but you can see for miles! Whichever of you has better vision! Go!"
Blindside said that.

The spirits watch the party separate, telling Dalton via the Astral Plane, "56 minutes."

Dalton waits until Vera is out of sight, then regards the Spirits "How much is your offer to leave?"

Mr.Terrific heads up thataways - as his vision is decent enough.

The road locomotive shoulders a small car off the road, spinning it into the snow bank with a shudder. The big beast hardly even noticed. YAY for right-of-way-by-mass!

The air begins to rain in front of Dalton again, this time however the drops are not water, but golden coins and gemstones, turquoise and silver. The pool in front of the man, the shower slowing to a trickle after a minute. The rain soaked treasure sits at his feet, not gleaming as it would in sunshine, but rather catching the red and green lights of the lightning as it flashes.

«Auto-Judge[]» Dalton (#8435) rolls Talismongering for "Just rough guess, how much?":
2 3 4 4 5 7 11

Vera continues to walk down the road. She remembered the 'timing' mark for Blindside, having given him the watch taken off Blaze, and figures she'll either meet up with him or with…the Ministry folks, in which case she'd better get her 'splainin' muscles ready. That is to say, her lips, jaw, and tongue.
em For Vera: Each step towards the city seems slower and slower, each step taking that much longer to set down. Rain and mud cling to your boots much easier now that Dalton is gone, each step coming that much harder. Is it colder? Is the wind stronger?

For Vera: Each step towards the city seems slower and slower, each step taking that much longer to set down. Rain and mud cling to your boots much easier now that Dalton is gone, each step coming that much harder. Is it colder? Is the wind stronger?

«Plot» Sasha says, "For the log: Vera is moving 24 times slower"

You paged Dalton with 'Roughly 100,000 =Y= after you sell it off for 'real' money'.

Dalton kneels down, checking the various coins and gems in the light, then he looks up "May I send a spirit to report this offer to the rest of my team? Minus, the one who just left."

"We are not unkind. You may send one spirit to report to them. You have 55 minutes."

It's indeed not fun going, and Vera is indeed a lazy person, and fantasizes about a shower, chocolate colored strawberries, and a massage. It almost feels like she's moving through molasses, but how hard can it be to get to the road?

Dalton nods, and stands up, then summons a watcher spirit to deliver the following message to Blindside. "We are surrounded by fifteen spirits, some of them, more powerful than I have ever seen. We are being offered 1/6th our initial contract to leave in peace. This line is not secure. Respond."

Na Na Na Na NAAAAA! Blindside's rig plows through the snow as the song builds. "Event Horizon in… drek, I don't fraggen know! Range finders are offline!" He calls back. "Eyes on top, you see anything important, like army tanks an' drek at the town?"

A spirit wolf appears where Blindside is, holding a single-eyed watcher spirit from Dalton in its mouth. It squeaks, ""We are surrounded by fifteen spirits, some of them, more powerful than I have ever seen. We are being offered 1/6th our initial contract to leave in peace. This line is not secure. Respond."

«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence (to Sasha):
1 2 3 4 5 7

You paged Mr.Terrific with 'It looks like there is a crashed jeep and bodies on the side of the road about a quarter mile ahead on the right'.

Mr.Terrific calls down, "Crashed jeep, bodies on the side of the road, quarter mile!"

Blaze jumps faintly at the wolf and then relaxes. A wry smile. "This is what I get for messing with mother fucking nature," she murmurs. "Well…" She looks at Blindside. "I say we fucking take it."

Blindside looks over at the wolf. "AHHHHHGHGGHGHGHGHGHGH!" He shouts before calming himself. "Auh… We're headed in to the city! Getcher asses out, o meet up at the road. I'll pause at mile marker 2 for only long enough to pick up whoever's there!"

Dalton waits patiently in the cold for his watcher to return with a report. He scans the area for Reason, to see if she left or is nearby, using astral perceptions to spot her in the gloom.

The spirit reappears and spits out Dalton's watcher who reports, ""Auh… We're headed in to the city! Getcher asses out, o meet up at the road. I'll pause at mile marker 2 for only long enough to pick up whoever's there!""

Dalton frowns slightly, a bit confused by the message, then sighs and looks to the spirits. "I will withdraw then, am I free to take the pay?"

Blindside comments to Blaze… "I ain't turning trick. I sure as hell ain't doing it for money that skinthin. Thats all we need is someone to tell them we got bought off from our target. Never work again."

"You are. Pray for your friends."

Dalton nods, and kneels down to collect as much of the loot as his pockets will carry. Then simply floats off after Reason. Heading for mile marker 2 at floaty speeds.

Blaze growls. "Look. I'm not willing to die for this shit…" But she's trapped. So she swears. "I'm getting off this crazy death rocket," she says. She relaxes her body and waits until they stop so she can slip astral.

Mr.Terrific uhs, well. He knows it's unwise to go astral in a moving vehicle, but hey, she can follow the road back to where she left her body.

Mr.Terrific is tempted to ask Blindside to stop so he can loot those bodies - or offer them medical attention - but you know, he's more going on for the ride. He's here for a certain answer and he hasn't gotten it yet and it's just not the time to ask, as of yet.

Blindside wouldn't stop anyway. He mentally ticks off the miles, judging by the speedometer and his mental count. "Mile Marker 2 in 3 minutes. And son of a bitch, Blaze, you signed on to do a job! If you don't like getten shot at, then get the fuck off this ride, but mind that first step. Wer'e fucking shadowrunners, paid mercenaries! Did you forget that part?"

Blaze looks at Blindside for a looooooong moment. Then shrugs. "Fair point." And she hunkers down for the ride.

Sasha, for her part, seems to be trudging towards Scabbard. The magical assets said "run, scurry, flee! We are all gonna die!" and so Sasha took him at his word. Plus, he and Vera were going to shoot each other and there isn't anyplace to ghoul a body out here.

Dalton floats back with Sasha, and even offers her a lift, via levitation, F1 of course. He will fly her back to Scabbard.

«Plot» Sasha says, "Mr. Terrific, Intell check to see hitchhiker"

Mr.Terrific says, more quietly, "We took a job and we made a promise. We may fail, and that's one thing. But taking money to get bought off is entirely a different thing."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence:
3 3 4 4 5 10
«Plot» Sasha says, "One success. You see someone standing on the side of the road."

Vera takes off her helmet. She'll be a little more recognizable if what she hopes happens is, which is that she'll be able to not miss the bus.

Mr.Terrific says "Hitcher, eleven o'clock! Weapons up and ready!""
Mr.Terrific says "Identify first!"

Blindside pulls the throttle out, letting the truck start to slow down… "Eyes out! Get me an ident!"

«Plot» Vera says, "Any way I can recognize the truck?"
«Plot» Vera tosses an intelligence roll, you can say if it works. :)
«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 2 3 4 5

«OOC» Sasha says, "It looks like a huge truck in the pooring rain. It might be Blindsides, you think. Maybe."

Mr.Terrific does his best to identify the possible passenger, possible target.
Mr.Terrific will astrally perceive, for contrast.
Mr.Terrific will put on his goggles that don't work and verify that they still don't work.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Aura Reading:
1 2 3 4 7 16
«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence:
3 4 4 5 11 11

You paged Mr.Terrific with 'Yes, it is Vera and HOLY SHIT look at all that spirits out here!'.

Mr.Terrific says "Well, holy shit. It's Posh. Pickup, aisle two.""
Mr.Terrific , in a conversational aside, says, "There are a fuckton of spirits out there."
Mr.Terrific says "We clearly haven't angered them yet, or we would be dead."

Posh enters if she is being picked up, her eyes narrowed, her face almost darkened with thunder. "Dalton's left us in the shit," she says. "Took the payout, left us high and dry. Talked Sasha into going with him. Bastards been nothing but a liability and now has squelched on is." She nods to the others. "If you're still in, I'm with you all to the last."

Blindside engages the jake-brake, a back-baffle system that slows the engine down by backing up compresion in the exhaust system.

Blaze looks at Posh, her eyes a little more gold for some reason, and she offers a feral grin. "Welcome to the death rocket," she says.

Mr.Terrific says "It is important to remember that Dalton is his own punishment."
Blindside pauses, while the truck is stopped… He looks over at Posh, thinking this over, one halfer hand resting on the big red-eyed silver skull that is his stickshift. He hops out of the drivers seat, then goes over to the door out of the truck.

"HEY SPIRIT DUDES! NAKED INDIANS AND CLOUDS OF MAGICAL DREK! I'M BLINDSIDE! THIS IS MY RIDE! WE GOT HIRED BY A FREAKY DOOD TO GO RESCUE A DEAD INDIAN! SO WE'RE GONNA DO THAT! UNLESS LIKE, YA REALLY DONT WANT IT AND DREK! SO YEAH!"

With that, the halfer heads back in to the truck. "If we ain't dead in 60 seconds, we're going in."

«Plot» Sasha says, "Blindside, what your vehicle's body?"

Vera slips her helmet on, giving a grin to Blaze. She nods to Mr.Terrific. "There's going to be more punishment than just that," she says, perhaps a little alternately. "I don't take kindly to being fucked while on a run." She nods to Blindside. "Damn right," she says.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 24 vs TN 3 for "No.":
1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 7 9 10 16 = 16 Successes

«Plot» Sasha says, "-16 to acceleration"
Mr.Terrific ums. "Uncalled for," he says to Blindside, while applying spell defense, for what it is worth.

Blaze waves a hand. "Don't want to talk about someone when they're not here," she says softly. She looks at Blindside and just… groans. "ALRIGHT. TO THE FUCKING MUNDANES IN THE TRUCK. DO. NOT. -FUCK- WITH WHAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND."

You paged Mr.Terrific with 'On the astral plane, you will see a literally massive spirit that feels like it is part of the desert. There are probably six or more storm spirits and dozens of spirits of the land converging on this area.'.

Blindside glances back to Blaze. "Look. Let me put this another way. We go in there with this truck, and we take the body… right? Lets say, for a moment, we do that. Do you want them to get pissed NOW and stop us… or get FURIOUS and kill us?"

Blindside sort of makes an even/odd gesture with his hand, tilting it side to side. "I know what side of THOSE odds I come down on, scan me?"

Mr.Terrific attempts to address the truly massive spirit which he sees. "May I speak with you?"

Blaze looks at Blindside. "On the other hand," she says tartly, "they're already furious. So let's not keep spitting on them, hmmmm?"

Vera gives a grin to Blaze. "So I suppose it'll take a little longer," she says. "And if you understand it, why don't you explain it?" she asks. "Aren't the spirits just as vulnerable to what happened to you? They've made it clear that they hate and want to kill us. But if we are just little toys to them, worthy of nothing, why haven't they swatted us yet? I suspect it's because they -can't-."

The largest of the spirits speaks to Mr. Terrific, "You have 45 minutes to do so, according to the deal your 'Japanese' made."

Blaze looks at Vera. "Darling… They aren't mortal. Most powerful beings know when to with hold fury, and when to smite."

«OOC» Sasha says, "It is a matter of the road beneath you turning to mire and then solidifying in the wheels and associated machinery therein"

Blaze looks at Blindside for a moment. "Don't go anywhere until Mr. T gets back, okay?"

Mr.Terrific ponders, and says, "I was not informed that a 'Japanese' was making deals on my behalf. I have a different request. May I air it?"

Blindside tries to power up, but the wheels just won't turn… "Well. If they want us out of here, this is the wrong way to go about it."

There is a moment of silence as the spirits converse in their own language, "You may. 44 minutes and thirty seconds."

Mr.Terrific is standing in the turret, talking aloud to the air. He can hear something, clearly. Whether non-astrally-perceiving people can hear it is unknown to him.

Blaze looks at Mr. Terrific and decides to slip astral beside him. For the moment she remains quiet, offering only a respectful bow on the astral plane.

Vera shakes her head. "You know, I will never understand why mages seem to think magic is some how fascinating or fundamentally different. If I went back a thousand years with my smartlink and my guns, I'd be the world's most powerful mage." She fishes for a cigarette, giving Blindside an opportunity to object before lighting up. "If they can smite us, and they know what we're doing now, why not just smite? There's something that we haven't considered. I think that flash hurts them just as much as it hurts you. Otherwise they'd have killed us already."

Mr.Terrific says "I took this job and came here because it was obvious to me that a burial ground had been disturbed and the spirits were angry. It is given to my tribe, the tribe of Levi, the gift to handle the magics in cases such as these and to give them the proper respect in their transport. I came here to find out what was wrong and to figure out how to set it right.""

Blindside sort of looks back at MR. Terrific curiously… but he does keep the engine at power.. just in case.

Mr.Terrific says "I am here because my spirits and my worship tell me that I am supposed to be here for you."

Mr.Terrific says "And so I ask you. Has a body been disturbed? Do you need it lain to rest? Is there something going on that I should help with, using those gifts that my great spirit gives to my tribe?""

There is a moment where the spirits speak amongst themselves, the sky lighting up with flashes of lightning. "I know of your people and have felt their presence. I can understand your motivations; indeed, some of the True People echo those requests. There are those that are moving to put the body to rest. There are /many/ bodies that need to be laid at rest, however, and many hurts that have been laid upon our tribes. We," and with that he seems to indicate the multitude of spirits that surround you, "we disagree on how it should be done, and by whom."

"What the one who speaks ill of us does not understand is that we are .. what is the term .. negotiating with you. The 'flash' she speaks of .. she does not understand. It no more hurt us than the words we speak. Should we wish to 'smite' you, we would do so. We have been asked by the others of our tribe to give another way."

Mr.Terrific will repeat these words for anyone who can't hear them. "I understand what you are doing and the way you are negotiating. I was hurt earlier, however, and did not see or hear much of it. I feel as if I am not getting much of the story. In any case. Is there any way we may help, or may we only depart?"

Blaze snaps her head to Mr. Terrific at something, and a smile takes her lips. She seems, however, to be utterly in awe of the spirits that surround her on the Astral Plane. "You are all so beautiful," she whispers, seemingly unable to stop herself. The Elementalist moves somewhat, drawn by the spirits. "Please, may I ask why all of this is happening?"

"I do not speak ill of them, just respond as they have responded to us," she says, as the words are relayed. "I think my reaction is understandable, given the immediately hostile terms on which they decided to introduce themselves." She pauses for a moment. "Is there a particular enemy around here that they are concerned about? Perhaps in exchange for access to what they seek, we could operate against a greater threat than they, for them."

Blindside calls out… "Hey! If there are others of their tribe, why can't we talk to them? Sounds like these guys are sort of an enemy of our enemy! Tell em how we destroyed the enemy warriors on the road!"

Some of the spirits preen at Blaze's words. The older, however, are not as easily swayed. The Oldest, the one who speaks with the voice of the desert, remarks, almost as an aside to Mr. Terrific, "You speak with many voices. Much noise," and like a grandfather at a family gathering he snorts disapprovingly. "You are familiar with the White Man's 'politics'?"

Mr.Terrific says, "Very," to the spirit. "I have studied the ways in which people interact."

Mr.Terrific adds, "I also know of the dealings between different tribes."

"The ways in which people interact?" Vera asks. "I might have a little knowledge on the history of that subject. Particularly on the colonial, hegemonic interactions of Euro-Americans with native peoples."

Mr.Terrific is still translating, but is expertly ignoring Vera's momentary nattering.

Blindside calls back… "Tell em I'm a mormon and my people help the native peoples! I blow up Ministry goons and respect the spirits of the road!"

Blindside probably doens't respect the spirits of the road, in fairness. It just sounded injuny.

"Our tribes are at a turning point. Should we allow the White Man .. or the White Man's agents into this? Some of our tribe believe we should. Some do not. Some of our tribe are VERY angry, and we keep their anger at bay." The spirit gestures to the sky, "The storms that cross this land are but a very small example of their anger. Should they have their way …"

"No. We would prefer that you simply go and let the True People deal with their own messes."

Blaze is Elvish, so… Yes. Racial discrimination is no stranger to her. She sits down, astrally, as if wanting to soak this moment in, to learn, to listen… Finally, she speaks up. "I apologize," she says quietly, "for the insensitivity and temper of my party members. I.. do not want to disrespect you and your people." And here, she makes a critical error in the career of a Shadowrunner: she asks a question. "But can you answer a single question, please? Why do they want the body? Why have we been sent here?"

Blaze adds to Vera and Blindside. "You know they can hear you, right?"

Mr.Terrific says to the spirit. "We suffer, because we did not designate a leader. We thought that we were so few, that we would each bring our special skills to the conflict. Right now, you are dealing with me, and if we can come to an agreement, it is my job to make the others agree. I am fairly good at that. Now, I have a ritual shared by many people, and it states that you must deny me three times before I can be certain that you really mean it. For the second time, I ask you - those of us that remain, we have special skills, special abilities, special powers. We respect you in our own ways and we are the ones who keep our promises. You state that it was the True People who made a mess. How did they make the mess? If we knew that, we might make a better case for how we could assist."

Vera nods. "Indeed. And why are you apologizing to them? They showed nothing but hostility from the very beginning. So the only reason I can see to apologize to them is because you fear their power. And that's not a very good reason to apologize." She shakes her head.

«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls Intelligence:
2 3 3 3 4 4 5 7
«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls Intelligence for "KP 5":
4 4 4 4 5 7 8 10

Mr.Terrific says "If we could appease the spirits of the sky, we would engage in the ritual to do so."

Blaze shakes her head at Vera, still seemingly 'out' of it as most of her attention is Astrally aimed. "There is more than fear, Posh," she says quietly. "You would not fly in the face of what I see. I am not afraid. I am in awe. Besides, politeness is a virtue, I'm told."

Vera nods. "Indeed it is. And none was extended to us."

Blaze looks at Vera. "They're being polite now."

"You have skills, yes. You also are very treacherous. You attempt to kill each other over 'honor', a contract. We would not have that mess brought into the True People's problems. A second time we must say no." He adds quietly, "And the maddest of us will not negotiate with you in this manner, nor will appeasement come easily."

Mr.Terrific looks a little confused. Here he thought he was working with professionals. "Are you saying members of our team threatened to kill one another? Was it a joke, or for real?"

The ground shakes for a moment as the Oldest steps fully into the Physical Plane. It's words shake the ground as he speaks, the echos perhaps metaphysical rather than carrying throughout the night. "Indeed. The angry one threatened the 'Japanese' with death should he turn against the paid cause. The Silent One left rather than engage in the conflict."

Vera coughs. "Dalton immediately contracted and took pay from them, to leave. I said that if he fought against us, in opposition, he'd become my enemy, and I'd have to attack him, if he actively tried to oppose us. He instead took his coin from them, and left."

Blindside spins in his seat, choosing his words very carefully… "Spirits. Listen to what I got to say, cause I ain't one for words. I appologize, honestly, for any offense I or my machines have given you and your people. I am Duncan Sorenson of the Tribe of Nephi. We are a friend to the True People, and always have been, since the time before magic. The Tribes of the Ute People… are fighting with themselves. We helped Howling Coyote and shield the True from the White, though we are white ourselves. I ask you, I ask you please… let us give honor to the bones of the great Shaman. I will make you this promise. If you let me do this, if you let me TRY… I will forsake payment. I struck a blow on the way in to town, today, against those who hurt my tribe, the Tribe of Nephi, I struck a blow and I can go home a happy warrior… So I need no coin, no payment. I ask only to be given the chance to honor the Shaman, to fulfill my contract. Tell me no, and send me home, or release my wheels and let us try to give honor."

Mr.Terrific turns to Vera and says, "Posh, do me a favor. Get on your knees, put your head down, and promise that you'll do whatever I say. No arguments, no crap. We are past that at this point. I'm not Dalton, I'm telling you it's important, do it for me."

Blaze breathes deeply, a muscle working in her jaw. She bows to the Oldest, deeply as he manifests. She looks at Vera and nods once, if that helps.

Vera smiles. "I am happy to extend a hand in friendship to anyone who extends one to me. We came with no ill intent towards any spirits of this land, and have only been able to respond as we were treated." She nods to Mr. Terrific. "I'll do what you say."

Mr.Terrific says, "Down," to Vera.
Mr.Terrific says "They won't believe me otherwise. I wouldn't."

The spirits are quiet for many heartbeats, the rain still pattering down. The Oldest stares through the vehicle towards Sorenson, then to Vera at her words. It sighs, the sound a troubled one. "We hear many things, and we can see into the hearts of men .. and women. We hear and see your words, your intentions. We wonder, though, why we should trust? The Tribe of Levi and the Tribe of Nephi we know. The magician of fire, we can see her intentions. The Angry One still doesn't trust. The Japanese does for the love of gold and jewels. The Silent One left rather than extend the chaos."

Mr.Terrific says "That is why we ask for the opportunity to prove ourselves."

Vera, finally lowers her head. "I trust you," she says, to Mr.Terrific. "And I trust what I cannot see, on your honorable word," she says, finally, lowering herself as mentioned.

Mr.Terrific thusly demonstrates his level of calm control - clearly not immediate, but that he can rein the Angry One in. And don't we all have Angry Ones to rein in?

Blindside looks back to Mr. Terrific… Its his show now.. "I said all I can man…"

The ground shudders and retracts around the vehicle, returning it to dry and solid ground. The Oldest stares down at Mr. Terrific. "You speak wisely, and with true intentions. We will remove the curse on your machines and pull back our forces. There is no need for 'what ifs' with us. You will do as you have said and you will do it truely. You will accept no payment for this, as the one called Sorenson has said. Take the bones of the ancestor to the appointed place and you shall be called friend."

Blindside sighs… "I… drek. I'll make this right guys. I can't pay you for it, but I'll make it right"

Mr.Terrific says "I agree. You will tell us the appointed place?"

"Others in our tribe have sent the word and inscribed it on your reading disks. When we remove the curse on your machines, you will know where to take it.

Mr.Terrific turns to those remaining in the vehicle. "Do we all know our jobs? Are we all now committed to task at hand?"
Mr.Terrific says "I need to hear yeas."

Blaze starts. "Wait," she asks the Oldest all of a sudden, almost childlike. "May I speak with you again? After this is over? Not about payment, I promise."

Blindside nods then… "Alright. Thank you, spirits." he murmurs… He reaches for the comm unit, checking to see if it works again… "Breaker breaker. This is Blindside calling Silent one and Japanese, come back if you got your ears on?"

Mr.Terrific shakes his head to Blindside. "I think they are out."

Mr.Terrific says "If we can pick them up so they don't freeze, that's one thing. But I don't think they are good to help where we are going."

The spirit waves a hand, a shockwave crossing over you all again and spreading out across the horizon. It is more gentle than the last time, however, more like a slap from your mother than a right cross from Pulse. Computers and cyberware and comms reboot quickly.

The spirit glances to Blaze, "We shall see. There are still many minutes left in this day, and who can say where we all shall be?"

Vera looks with surprise at Mr.Terrific, saying nothing. For right now, at least.

Vera is clearly tangential to all of what is happening, so says nothing.

Mr.Terrific makes a strange gesture with his hands, at his crown chakra and his heart chakra. "I thank you." Then he comes down out of the turret. "Do you know where we're going to get to the body?" he asks BS. "Do you know where we're going after that? "

Bambi comes on over the comms system, calling out, "Baby!? Baby are you there?"

Blaze bows, making an Elven sign of respect with her flamed hand.

Blindside's attention turns to his digital readouts… as they come back on line. "Oh frag-yeah." He murmurs as the engines roar turns back to something more controlled. "Running you redline baby… I'm sorry."

Bambi comes on over the comms system, calling out, "Baby!? Baby are you there?" Bambi's voice comes quick on the comms. "What happened?"

"You slept baby. Suit up in Cerberus and get ready to drive. We got work to be doing."

"Okay Blindy."

Turning in the seat as things come back on line, he looks to Vera… "We got work to do. Look, I know what its like to feel like I'm but-ass pointless on a run, but you're not. And we're not rolling on our Jay, not yet. Our job was to get this matter taken care of, and we are. I'll make the run right to you. Now, for now, when Cerberus gets up here, I want you to ride shotgun with Bambi."

Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "Everyone alive out there? *He seems surprised*"
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Yes."
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "So, are you retreating then?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Is everyone on? Does everyone need the explanation?"
Mr.Terrific taps his commlink.
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "No. We're at mile marker two about to head on in. Mr. T is team-lead as of now."

The spirit nods soberly to Blaze and Mr. Terrific before fading out of the Material Plane and back into wherever it was he was before. In the astral, the other spirits begin to back away as the 'curse' is lifted, moving farther away to watch the game the mortals are playing.

Vera looks completely surprised to Blindside. "No, I just don't like the idea of rolling on my J. Contracting with something that had been nothing but hostile to us from first encounter seems to be quite suspicious, and I suspect they were quite dishonest in an attempt to split us apart when speaking to Terrific." She smiles. "Oh, I'm -never pointless-. At the very least, I can make a run team look good."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I'm happy with any approach that might lead to a successful conclusion of our original contract, so long as it has even a sliver of a chance."
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "Your retriving the body for the jay? How did you manage that?"
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "They just must not like you very much Nightmare. Now stay put. We've got a run to do."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "By not rolling at the first sign of danger."
Commlink-«Reason» Sasha says nothing, but keys her mic in understanding.
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "I know when I'm outmatched, I simply took this money to return our initial clients investment partially. I don't like showing up after a job with nothing to give the jay."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "You took money?"
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "Not for me, no."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "He sure did."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "So. First task. We are going to the body, securing it, and taking it to the location the spirit gave us for proper internment as properly directed. We may engage in more violence on the way. I will be the one handling the body itself. Got it?"
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Roger, Terrific"
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "But… you took money. That explains so fragging much. Anyway. Posh - Cerberus is 5 minutes out. Ready to transfer?"
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "If you like. I'll be ready with my rifle."
Commlink-«Reason» "I will remain at this location and secure our exit, if that is agreeable?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Second task. Once we have interred the body, the situation will change radially. We evaluate from there. Observer, orient, decide, act.""
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "… Okay. Whatever. Let's just get going."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Agreeable."
Commlink-Posh> Vera smiles into the mic. "Nothing could be more so from my standpoint, Reason. Too bad we can't have you with us. I agree, Mr.Terrific. I think, also, that our Ministry opposition might show itself much more clearly.
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Reason - Transmit location, I'll dispatch Gladdius to your location."
Mr.Terrific has a secret about negotiation, but he's not going to say it aloud. After all, if they can take their commlinks up and down, they can listen to everything we say.
Mr.Terrific is sure the clever can figure it out.
Commlink-«Reason» <burst transmission with GPS data>
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "And as for me?"
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "I'm out of trucks."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Sod off."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "You took money to leave, Dalton. What do you want?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Do you want to help>?"
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "I took money to pay the Jay for our failure."
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "You have no reason to believe we will succeed unless you plan on double crossing the spirit you just made a deal with."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "No, you took money to save yourself. I was there. Let me translate to American. Fuck off."

Blindside reaches over to his remote control deck, patching through to Gladius. The sports car launches out of the back of the rig, and starts to make the high speed run, passing Cerberus, to pick up Reason.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "lets kill the chatter people. We have a job to do. Lets at least sound like professionals."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Yes, I do. But in any case, I don't think it is safe for you to help us now, Dalton."
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "This is counterproductive, Posh."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "It would be great if you secured the exit."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "True, Blaze, and I'll be a good girl, now. But it -was- satisfying."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Being available to rescue us if we all die is another great way to help."
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Good girls get lollies, Posh. Good girls get lollies."
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "I'll hang out in the cold then. Hollar if things go bad."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Thanks."
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Will do Nightmare. Thanks!"

Mr.Terrific turns to Vera, and talks not-through the comm. "Do you know what 'showing brave' is?"

Mr.Terrific says "'Showing brave' is what native americans do to other native americans they capture and are going to kill. They gradually torture the enemy brave, to give them a chance to show their moral worth and pain resistance before they die."

Mr.Terrific says "That was what was coming next for us."

Mr.Terrific says "At first they slowed us down. Eventually they would start hurting us, slowly, to give us the chance to 'show brave.'"

Mr.Terrific says "Spirits, especially amazingly powerful spirits, have a power called 'Accident' that can be used to kill very very slowly."

Mr.Terrific says "If we cracked under the pressure we would be dishonored. And then killed quickly."

Vera smirks. "Barbaric. My people got over trials by ordeal a thousand years ago. Still, what do you expect from a people who never made it out of the Neolithic?"

Mr.Terrific says "You're still missing it a little, Posh. It's not a 'trial'. You die in either case."

Mr.Terrific says "But anyway. If you didn't know you that, you also don't know how I'm negotiating and how tribal cultures work."

Blaze looks at Mr. T and then Vera. "This is what I meant about powerful beings knowing when to with hold their fury, love. Perhaps you call it barbaric, but they still kill you in the end and it doesn't matter then, does it?"

"As was the case in most trials by ordeal. No, I understand the concept, just not your formulation for it. "

Mr.Terrific says "We will see how my play goes."


122910

Mr.Terrific says "'Showing brave' is what native americans do to other native americans they capture and are going to kill. They gradually torture the enemy brave, to give them a chance to show their moral worth and pain resistance before they die."

Mr.Terrific says "That was what was coming next for us."

Mr.Terrific says "At first they slowed us down. Eventually they would start hurting us, slowly, to give us the chance to 'show brave.'"

Mr.Terrific says "Spirits, especially amazingly powerful spirits, have a power called 'Accident' that can be used to kill very very slowly."

Mr.Terrific says "If we cracked under the pressure we would be dishonored. And then killed quickly."

Vera smirks. "Barbaric. My people got over trials by ordeal a thousand years ago. Still, what do you expect from a people who never made it out of the Neolithic?"

Mr.Terrific says "You're still missing it a little, Posh. It's not a 'trial'. You die in either case."

Mr.Terrific says "But anyway. If you didn't know you that, you also don't know how I'm negotiating and how tribal cultures work."

Blaze looks at Mr. T and then Vera. "This is what I meant about powerful beings knowing when to with hold their fury, love. Perhaps you call it barbaric, but they still kill you in the end and it doesn't matter then, does it?"

"As was the case in most trials by ordeal. No, I understand the concept, just not your formulation for it. "

Mr.Terrific says "We will see how my play goes."

Vera sighs, shaking her head at Mr.Terrific. "Well," she says, "I suppose it's an interesting concept, but it does suggest an entirely different concept of honor. Social, vs. personal. My conception of honor is that it is really tested when no one is looking, not the other way around," she finally replies, giving a smile. "But as I said…I don't make a commitment lightly. Your idea, and your dealings with the spirits seem like the best bet for me to try to fulfill the job I took up. In for a penny, in for a pound," she says.

Blaze just looks for a place to lounge, pulling out her nailfile. "So we moving now or what?" she asks as if nothing creepy had happened over the last few hours. EVERYTHING is normal, yep! Besides, she still has a bitchin' headache.

Dalton finds someplace to hide, cause well, its cold, its wet, and there are lots of military folks out there that will probably shoot first and ask questions later. He sighs as he never learned a fire spell to warm himself with.

Outside the vehicle, the rain continues to patter down. Now, however, it isn't quite as insistent nor is there unusual lightning hammering the landscape. It appears, to all eyes both mundane and magical, to be simply a normal, albeit heavy, thunderstorm.

"Well, I suppose it's just a quick two mile drive into town, until we run into some sort of new trouble," Vera says. "Terrific, want me to spell you up in the turret?" she asks.

Mr.Terrific has already stated what goal one is: get the body, and move it to the place where it is supposed to be and lay it to rest. Goal two comes after the world changes due to goal one. "That would be wonderful. I could use some rest to get into fighting trim."

Mr.Terrific has indicated that he has an idea, or a plan, or a knowledge about what goal two is going to be like, but he hasn't particularly revealed it. His guesses have been pretty good though not perfect so far, so he likely wants to maintain flexibility.

Mr.Terrific rests now, trusting Blindside to get them going where they are supposed to be going, because he's the best there is at what he does. "And someone give me the one-sentence deal - who is the Ministry? Are they the secret police we're fighting whom you guys shot when I was konked on the head?"

Sasha hunkers down, waiting on Gladius to pick her up. She spends the time rebooting and running diagnostics on her operating systems, checking that everything is operating at peak efficency after the downtime and surge.

Vera's up there in the turret, providing overlook for a spell. She's had a pretty tough time of it, with all that time spent on foot, but she's wired and eager to make sure things go as good as possible. She also checks over her wired reflex and smartlink subsystems on her eye display, checking the efficiency ratings. Everything looks good.

Dalton watches the road, now that the storm is, well, no longer as threatening, he figures people in military outfits will start moving into town. The least he can do is send a report when he sees someone moving.

The radios blurb with static, mostly, with only a few lonely CB Channels getting through. Perhaps the 'curse' was only lifted on your group? Nevertheless, off in the distance there is movement of vehicles, of men, of wind-blown wreckage.

Blindside boots up the Sensor suite. "Levi! Interlink Sensors and EMC! Keep us invisible from anyone outside the event horizon. Scabbard, I want a full sensor read out of hotbodies in the event horizon as we roll forward. Glady! Whats your ETA to Reason, Bambi, stop when you get here to pick up Posh. Everyone else, sit down and shut up… we're going in."

Blaze gives Blindside a -look- and sticks out her tongue. She -is- being quiet and sitting down.

The speakers of Levi spark up, with a throaty sexkitten growl, feminine… "Fourty three seconds to target, Blindside."

"Good Girl Glady. Reason! Eyes up. White Mustang, snow camo patterns. Heaters on."

Mr.Terrific opens an eye. "Do I hear a hostile?"

Vera glances down at Blindside, from the turret. "Out of curiosity, why do you have me with Bambi? I'd be best, at least in my estimation, making sure that the rest of the team doesn't get jumped at close quarters."

Blindside comments to Vera.. "Fast Reaction and response."

Vera nods. "I'll make sure to take my Walther, too, then. Just in case things need to get really heavy. I've probably got a good field of fire from the passenger seat. I presume we're no longer going in covert?"

Reason glances up at Blindside's comment and rises slightly, her ears straining to hear the sound of the coming vehicle. She'll hotswap from one muscle memory program to another, tiny icons in her visual range letting her know the skillwires current load rating, efficency, and so on.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Everyone be aware. We have several disabled vehicles on the road one kilometer ahead. All vehicles are Land Rover Military models, and have 17 distinct heat forms around them. Mages to the turret or fiber optic casting system. We're gonna blow past them.""

Blindside has a motherfucking fiber optic casting system built in to his ride. How awesome is that?

Mr.Terrific goes to the fiber-optic system, warming up his Wreck Vehicle and Stunballing spells. And yes, it is fucking awesome.

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Got it, B-Side."

«Plot» Blindside says, " GM: Unless sensors show anti-vehicle weapons as we approach, I'm just going to blow past the little men in their little jeeps."

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 4:
1 2 4 7

You paged Blindside with 'They are reading cold, air temperature. Nothing electronic active'.

Blaze grins at Vera. "Sweetheart," she psuedo-purrs. "We need you and Bambi to keep our backs clean!" And she gets all hopped up to jump into the turret.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "All vehicls are showing ambient temperatures, no electronics active. We're blowing past - Only fire if we are fired on, and then, only to disable. We don't need to hurt people. There's 90 different factions here. We're here to do a job. Lets get it done, yo!"

Rain splatters against the windscreen as you move along, the man-made shapes of vehicles lurking off to the side of the road, unmoving as the dead.

Sasha steps out onto the side of the road, her internal clock beating down the seconds, the gutteral sound of Glady all but apparent.

The speakers power up, outside the rig as the Concrete AfterThoughts roar to life with that iconic remake of Thunderstruck…

Vera lifts an eyebrow at Blaze, hearing the pseudo-purr. She smirks. "Why do I get the impression that you're equally interested in…getting rid of me?" she says, amusement playing on her face, though she gets out of the turret to make room for Blaze, checking her rifle and pistols one last time.

Mr.Terrific will use the fiber optic system to see if anyone is, like, visibly bleeding out in front of him, as could be quite likely.

There doesn't appear to be anyone bleeding. There are a number of men on the side of the road, a few clutching their heads as with a massive headache. Others are simply waiting in the rain, a few others trying to figure out why the vehicles aren't working.

Blindside opens the door as Cerberus pulls up outside. Bambi flicks her hair back. "C'mon Sugar! We got places to go, meatpeople to kill!"

Vera hops out the back as B-Side waits, hopping into the convertible as she moves to scan everything as well, now able to provide long-range fire backup for the others.

Well, in fairness, it's not a convertible. It's a car-shaped tank.

Blaze laughs and bumps the other elf's hip with her own. "Pish posh, Posh. I'm just having some fun." And she brings her hand into that strange position, waiting. And she waves with her left hand as Vera scoots.

Vera returns the hip-bump, smirks, gives a last wave, shaking her head free of the momentary illusion of the convertible, and hops herself into the passenger seat of the car-shaped tank. She lowers the window and twines her foot in the seat belt, partly out the window and sitting on the edge of the door.

Those on the side of the road look up in curiosity, peering through the rain to see who or what still has power and is heading towards the city. One man ventures close to the road, waving hands frantically to try to get Blindside and company to stop.

Mr.Terrific astrally projects, sees if he dies, sees if spirits rush at him, flies towards the man, sees if he dies, spell-defends himself and the vehicle, and manifests twenty feet away from him, if he's not dead or being attacked. He keeps the car in sight. "What's up? No time."

«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls 1 for "Even?":
5

Blindside narrows his eyes… "Mage! Give that man a watcher spirit and ask him what the fuck he wants. If its life or death, I'll dispatch Ricer with supplies."

Blindside hammers-down then, the turbine engine roaring as they blow past at speed.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 4 for "Test":
2 4 5 5

The waving man studders as Mr. Terrific manifests nearby. He hastily salutes, "SIR! Permission to report, Sir!"

Mr.Terrific says, "Report fast!"

"Sir, all vehicles seem to be disabled by enemy forces! We need evac from this locale or transpo into the city to continue our mission, sir!"

Mr.Terrific says, "Evac on the way when we can call in!" And he fast-travels to ahead of the cars, shooping back into his body when it drives 'through' him.

Mr.Terrific tells everyone over the comm what he heard. "I could not get more out of him because I couldn't lose the vehicle.

The soldier salutes smartly and turns to give orders to the others milling around. He'll be gesturing off into the distance as Mr. Terrific rejoins his body.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Good job, Mr.T. But it confirms that they have no intel of whats happening here and no heavy support."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Let's move up in convoy and act like we're supposed to be here."

Blindside reaches up, turning on the HUD to orient on their destination. "Levi, scan for heavy equipment and digging equipment."

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Just promise me that I'll get to blow -something- sky high."

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Not in the business of murder, but if something shoots at us? Shoot back."

The town squats not so far ahead of you, darker than the inside of a troll's gullet and not as pretty. The darkness adds an air of mystery and despair to the dirty little town, no more than a piss break on the side of the road. It's shining glory was the buried shaman here, now a political tool for numerous interests in the Nation. A few abandoned vehicles sit on the side of the road, their drivers long since abandoning them.

Sensor sweeps come back as negative for heavy construction or digging equipment.

Blaze starts soft-singing, some oooooooooooooold song in a jazz style. Her voice ain't bad, but it's hard to tell, really, considering that she's currently vocalizing sotto voce. "Birds in the sky.. you know how I feel. Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel…" Someone's in a good mood.

Levi rolls closer to the Paiute Cemetery, sensors scanning away for heat signatures or any indication the body was already uncovered. That would make this SO much easier…

«Plot» Sasha says, "Blindside, active sensor roll"

Mr.Terrific , of course, is assensing, for the massive glow, or a big pointer, or a sucking vortex.

Vera takes a few moments to look a little more closely, admitted curiosity as she looks at the redhead next to her. "So, Bambi, are you completely externally controlled, or do you have your own sort of…AI system, or something?" she asks. "A personasoft, adaptable, et cetera?" she asks.

«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls Intelligence for "Sensors 5 - I see all but the photons in your crotch. A good roll, and I can see those too.":
2 3 4 4 4 5 5 9

Bambi smiles at Vera. "I'm an autonomous companion drone with an advanced robotic brain. Also, I like puppies and anal!"

Vera's lips twist, as she shakes her head. "Oh, that's interesting. So do I."

Mr.Terrific says, "I see some auras at the town hall. More than that I can't tell through walls. I'm getting a sense of 'fear' as well I should."

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Alright. Reason. Check your HUD. I've highlighted the Townhall. Do a driveby, full sensor ping. There's peopel huddled there, and the target is NOT at the cemetery. It's been removed already. I'll do a quick cruise of the residential sector. Bambi, Posh, back up Gladius and Reason."

Vera find herself hmming a bit. Conversation with a robot is a rather question-and-answer affair. "You know, I hate down my own cooking and laundry. How much does a model like you cost?" she asks.

Commlink-«Reason» "Affirmative." Reason doesn't bother with any other words, directing the vehicle towards the desired location.

Bambi eyes Vera jealously, brows drawing down. "Stay away from Blindside, whore." She says, then turns back to the road, sliding in behind Gladius as they link up.

Vera arches an eyebrow. "Hmm. I suppose the software must not be very advanced," she says. "I was curious how much a personal servant model costs, for me, completely unrelated to you or your…paramour."

Mr.Terrific says "So, who wants to knock on the door and say hello?""

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Roger. Your robot isn't very friendly."

Blindside takes Levi away from the town center. He's confident, for the moment, that the group has the ability to outdistance anyone they please.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Sure she is. Bambi, are you being friendly?"

Sasha leans in and stares at the displays as they light up, showing various indicators that feed data to the vehicle. Over the comms she'll remark, "I have fifteen metahumanoids in this building that seem alive, and several not alive."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "She called me a whore. My feelings are shattered."

Bambi: "Blindy, I'm very friendly. She said she likes Anal. I.. I got jealous. I know how much you like it.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "…"

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I said I like -puppies.-"

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I have asked this a couple of times. Blindside, I was told that the spirit gave you the location that we are supposed to take the body to. Is it in your memory banks? Where is it?"

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Sorry, I didn't hear you. Um. Check the LCD panel to your right. Look for recent modifications to the database."

Mr.Terrific does this thing, punching up what may be obvious.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "And Posh. Really. I didn't take you for a furry. Rarrrrrr."

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "…"
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Eww."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "*Heavy, pretend-exasperated, amused sigh*"
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "I need brain bleach now."

FOR MR. TERRIFIC: The data display says that the Johnson gave a throwaway number to use once you had the body in your possession for drop off purposes.

Mr.Terrific says "Not the Johnson, the spirit."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "So do I. I thought she meant corgies."

Mr.Terrific says "The spirit said he gave us the data."

The interface blinks at Mr. Terrific.

Mr.Terrific says "Am I the only one who remembers this?"

Commlink-«Reason» "Can the slumber party. Focus." Sasha's comments are transduced with no emotion and no inflection.
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Mr. T. The Spirit said that someone had already sent us data."

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Said it was on our reader disks."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Aha. Okay. Next. We have two main options for opening the door. Reason can open the door with her mask on, or I can walk astral through the wall and probably be attacked."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Which do we like."

«Plot» Blindside says, " GM: I'm checking the outlaying areas, specifically the houses near the routes out of town."

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "I would rather not have to fireball the place. Old corpses are too easily kindled. Reason can go in and Bsyde looks idian-ish."
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Reason did him up."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I feel that the rigger must remain jacked in for to shoot things with vast firepower."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I can wait beside the door, out of sight, as Reason opens it, to provide immediate backup if things go sour."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I like that plan. I will be back aways, but in meatbody, shielding you. KNOCK FIRST."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If fighting ensues, I suggest we get to the vehicle and use it as cover. Anyone got anything like neurostun grenades?"

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Our objective is not to shoot through this."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Our objective is not to shoot through this."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "How about viciously deadly offensive grenades?"
[Fixer] «AUCTIONMASTER» Vulcan says, "FIXER TIMER: 1.0 Minutes Remaining"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "No, that will hurt the body."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "So NO indiscriminate fire."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Discriminate fire only. Got it."

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Scabbard - Move forward. Scan the jeeps and soldiers on the road. I'm looking for a casket."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "No area effects that can hurt a body, too, Blaze."

Reason directs Gladius towards a parking spot, asking it to leave its engine running. She'll start towards the Town Hall building, sending through her link, "I understand."

Mr.Terrific , when Reason is closer to position, will get out, presumably with Posh. He will keep them in view, for spell defense, and like, watch the windows for people poking rifles out at them, and stuff.

Vera moves to follow, leaving her rifle slung. Inside the building, precise fire with her pistols will be both more accurate and lay down a greater volume. This doesn't seem like the situation for her verbal talents, so it's going to be time for heated lead.

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "I have shattershield and spiritbolt should someone try to attack us."

The Town Hall looms darkly, squatting on the city block. There are flickers of light inside, perhaps from hurricane lamps or candles and the occasional darkened face will peer out of a window.

Sasha moves to the door, using a flashlight more for the effect it gives than any real need for it. She'll head towards the door as if she were supposed to be here, looking neither right nor left nor giving any indication that she has assistants here. She'll pound on the door to get attention, although the sound of the car likely gave her away.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Looks like we have a little game of find the body."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Reason, I will try to help you via the comm, although someone talking in your ear while you are having a conversation sucks big time."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Assuming they don't shoot you through the door."

Sasha gives no outward sign of speaking into her comm, the datajack-linked transducer giving her thoughts sound, "We'll see."

The door opens a crack and an older Native man peeks out, "Who are you? Do you have a working radio? What is going on?" His words tumble out with a tint of fear being held in check by some sort of authority. As the flashlight plays over him, his Sheriff's badge catches the light.

Sasha remarks, her lips playing into a small smile, "Evening folks. I've been sent to check on things here and give you an update on what is going on. If I can come in out of the rain, Sheriff? It's been a cold wet ride, let me tell you."

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls Negotiation for "Fast Talk. You want to love me. Modifiers on both sides":
1 4 11

There is a momentary pause as the Sheriff eyes the Native woman before stepping back, opening the door to let her in. A thought passes over the link, «Ok. Going inside. Any requests, instructions, or admonishments?»

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "See if they have the body, ask them if they know about someone digging it up. When you get to it."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "See if they have the body, ask them if they know about someone digging it up. When you get to it."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I suggest, only, that you mention that you're a magical troubleshooter with the Ministry. Mr.Terrific, can you supply the appropriate vocabulary?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Will do if you need it."

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Reason - On your command, I'll switch Glady to any paint/emblem pattern you desire."

Vera is waiting out of view, by the wall, both of her pistols ready…and crossing her fingers (mentally, of course) that the Sheriff doesn't decide to come out for a look-see.

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Wait a second. Isn't the Ministry the ones trying to kill the Natives?"
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Or am I totally confused."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I am also very confused, so it's likely a good idea to be vague."

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Damn headaches…"
[Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Chatter -down-."

Blindside calls back in the rig. "Use your fucken voices! Keep the comms clear for Posh and Reason.
"
Voices in her head, Sasha follows the Sheriff in and accepts a cup of lukewarm coffee from one of the man people lingering around, most of which have come forward to see who has shown up and if they are saved. The Sheriff waits for her to take a drink before asking, "So, what is going on? Did the local electrical go offline because of the storm or was it the shooting that we heard?"

Sasha warms herself with a gulp of the weak soykaf, hiding a flicker of disgust at the temperature and bitter aftertaste. Not a good brand and probably stored for too long. She'll say aloud, "I've been told they are working on the problem and should have things taken care of shortly." Always give a vague answer; details pin you down. "I've been sent to secure and bring It out of the area before things go totally to hell."

Over her comm, Sasha sends private to Blindside details of a miltary or ministry vehicle."

The Sheriff looks quickly at Sasha, raising an eyebrow. "Huh."

Blindside transmits the specs to Glady's onboard computer, and a microsecond later, her paint ripples.

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 6 for "Detecting Dalton":
1 2 4 4 4 5

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 5 for "Sheriff":
1 3 5 5 7

The Sheriff gives Sasha a very visible once over, eyes traveling from her muddy boots to the top of her helmeted head. He sucks on his teeth and considers his options. She's got a working flashlight, he has candles. She actually drove up in a car, and they haven't heard a peep in hours.

Sasha gives a weary look to the Sheriff, "I have a -long- way to go, Sheriff, and a reaming when I get there. Let's just get It and bring It out so I can go. The faster I get back to the car, the faster I can get some help out here for your people. Blankets, a genny, some warm food, maybe some portable trideo system?" The woman gives a nod towards the milling people, all looking to the Sheriff and trying hard not to yell at him to get this stuff.

Commlink-«Reason» "He has *something* here. I'm gathering it is the body or something else important, given how he is hesitating."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "The body might have had incredibly valuable accoutrements."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Like his original Ghost Shirt."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Doubtful. THe body was of a poor man who died in 1939."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Alright. I'm looping back. ETA 90 seconds."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "So make sure you get everything that was dug up."
Blindside pulls the rig around, switching its color scheme to match Gladdy's.

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Nightmare? You alive? Found a way to stay warm?"

Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "I'll survive."

The Sheriff sighs and rubs at his face, "Fine, fine. Better in your hands than in mine, anyway. We had graverobbers here last night, you know that? First time in years. Two orks in that group, made a mess out of my deputies."

Sasha makes understanding noises, touching her ear in a manner familiar to those that watch trideos: she must be getting orders. She'll remark, "My recovery crew is on the way and will be here very soon. Let's bring everything up and taken care of, OK?" She'll offer another smile, her features beneath the mask moving to mimic a genuine smile.

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Right. I'll make sure you get warm once we rendezvous. K? Nice fire."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Let's make this look official. Blaze, Terrific, make sure your gear is shipshape. We'll go in, and follow Sasha's orders, like we're military."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Don't forget your balaclavas."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If you want me in, I am in, Reason."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Reason's ball. She calls it./"
Commlink-«Reason» "Yes, if you can verify that this is the correct body. I'd hate to leave with a graverobber."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Of course, I'm just suggesting And if the guy died in 1939 and we know the graverobbers were orks, that's going to be pretty easy to tell."

Mr.Terrific heads on in. If the real body has been in contact with magical forces for years, there should be some residuals. His head is up, he's looking official.

Blaze slips out and heads in after Terrific, looking as smart as possible for someone with no military experience at all.

The Sheriff nods his understanding and snags two of the townfolk to go retrieve things. For her part Sasha will excuse herself to let in the rest of her team, stepping back out of the way once the door is open and asking everyone to move back. She doesn't make introductions; these are little people, and the MSD doesn't explain things.

Mr.Terrific does look around for anyone injured.

Vera follows in after Mr. Terrific, balaclava down and helmet firmly in place - it would be very difficult to tell, with the sweat and grime of everything that's been happening, that she's /not/ NAN. She certainly acts under Sasha's command. "Ma'am?" she asks, as if awaiting orders. She acts, appropriately, as if the Sheriff is invisible and Sasha is the only one who matters.

«Auto-Judge[]» Vera (#11342) rolls Etiquette:
1 2 2 5 8 10

Aloud, Sasha says, "Secure things here and return them to Echo Point. I'll follow after I speak with Command about getting supplies to these good people." She'll smile to those in the room, a manufactured emotion. She'll wait while the Sheriff and the two men bring up a body in a new bodybag, the zipper tagged and closed.

Blindside pulls up, the massive truck rolling to a stop, the M-SD markings obvious. The back ramp hisses down, to allow loading, whiel bright lights inside flicker on to blind anyone looking in.

Mr.Terrific approaches the bag, giving a nod to his superior officer. Obviously he's the 'specialist.' He clearly wants to examine it, say, on a table, before it goes in the truck.
Mr.Terrific says "On the table, if you would."

Sasha motions to the Sheriff to comply, standing off to one side and waiting. "When you are ready," she'll direct Mr. Terrific.

Vera replies with a crisp salute. "Ma'am," she says, simply, moving to take half of the bodybag with another. She nods, moving to help oversee the point of placing it on the table - she's sort of taking the role of competent sergeant, who takes the orders and makes them happen. After she helps muscle the body properly on the table, she stands back, allowing Mr. Terrific to have his look.

Blaze comes to a parade-rest. Just like they do in the trideos! Brown eyes scan the room carefully, moving to tend to anyone with injuries while Mr. T inspects the It.

Mr.Terrific approaches the bodybag, murmuring something under his breath, which to those with really good ears would sound something like 'baruch ata adonai elohenu melech a-olam ascher bechanu bemitzvoter bel balaila." And then he'll unzip and look - for a body this long dead and theoretically properly cared for, it should be fairly dry and light.

«Plot» Sasha says, "Intelligence and/or Forensics or anything like that, Mr. Terrific"

«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 3 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence for "KP:1":
1 1 3 5 8 15

Mr.Terrific looks intent, and a little harsh, just in case. "Is this all? It's very important that this is all," he says to the Sheriff. "Was there a wrapping, or a torc?" He refers to what a shaman would be buried with, not a headdress, which would be for chiefs and braves."

The Sherrif looks baffled and holds up his hands, "This is what was left with us. The other stuff, it was taken by some of the so-called specialists." He looks between Mr. Terrific and Sasha as if questioning what is going on.

Sasha interrupts, "That's fine, Sheriff. I'm sure Operations has everything well in hand and ready for our return." She'll nod to the others and motion to move out.

Mr.Terrific gives the serious-shit-is-going-down nod to his commanding officer, and zips up the bag. He hefts it carefully, and though he's not particularly strong, it's only so heavy and he doesn't ask for assistance.

Blindside still, as it happens, looks like an indian. He stands near the back of the rig, to direc tpeople.

Mr.Terrific carries carefully to lay it down.

Vera moves to help bring up the rear. As Mr.Terrific, oddly, seems to want to heft the bag on his own, she doesn't stop him, wanting to present the appearance of a well-oiled unit to any outsiders. She files out, moving to help oversee the transition of the bag into the truck.

The Sheriff and the townsfolk will watch the proceedings with wide eyes, the way people do when the government agents are here and doing things. People are quiet, with only the softest whispering between them.

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Let's get out of here. If you have a way to track those other specialists, say the word."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If it's too late, it's too late."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Scabbard has them under observation at long range."

Sasha nods her thanks to the townsfolk and heads for Gladius, slipping in to follow the big rig when it moves out.

Mr.Terrific will say, when we are back in the vehicle, and on the road, and away from the Sheriff, "Okay. There are fading auras on the body. It is obviously the shaman in question. He has a few minor items on him, but nothing sufficiently interesting to a grave-robber. As has been stated, those guys who came here first took that away with them, and left the body.

Blindside raises an eyebrow at that…

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Wait a minute. tHere are artifacts missing from the body, and the grave robbers wanted those? Where are -they-?"

Mr.Terrific says "The big artifacts, like his Ghost Shirt and maybe something I can't guess at."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "You just said Scabbard has them under observation, right?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Or are we talking about two different things?"

Blaze follows and then is very careful to let T have room for the body. "Ugh. It stinks," she says softly. "Lets go grab the Ghost Shirt and then get the heck outta Dodge."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If you are certain that those people you are looking at are the ones who were here before us, then we should go get them, and re-unite all items to respect the body.""
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If not, then we just complete the mission as the spirit wanted."
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "I'm with Mr. T on this, really. I'm sure they want the whole package."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Got it. I'm going to report to the J that we have his package."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Of course they want the whole package."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Go ahead and report."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I sense that we are agreed. If so, let's roll out and be on the move. Time is wasting."

As soon as she's out of sight of the villagers, Vera is going to go to her pocsec and report to the J that the body has been secured.

And to participate in the general 'rolling out' from the villagers.

Mr.Terrific ahems if he sees Vera on a pocsec. "Is that secured?"

Vera picks up the cord, which she had been about to plug into the encripted micro-transciever she has, and accomplishes that task. "It is now."

Mr.Terrific says "There we go."
Mr.Terrific says "Blaze, are you any good at enchanting?"

A response comes almost immediately, giving only GPS coordinates that map to a street in the Ute Sector, Denver, Colorado.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Alright. Rolling out."

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Reason. Turn over control to Onboard for docking with Scabbard. Scabbard, Reorient for egress and prepare for docking manouvers."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Start working up a plan to hit the people with the items. Again, only discriminate fire. No explosions. Whatever they have is fragile and old."

Commlink-«Reason» "Yes. Wait. What people?"

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "All right. Looks like we've got a problem. I've been given GPS coordinates that map to a street. Our destination for the body is a street in the Ute Sec. So we can do whatever we can to do that…but it's not like we can reinter the damn thing."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Of Denver, to be more specific."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "B-Syde said he had a line on the robbers, the ones who were here before us and picked up the really important items from the Sheriff."

Blaze looks at Terrific and shakes her head. "Not really. I'm a Fire Elementalist. Combat's my thing. Need me to set something fire, and I'm your girl."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Roger. I doubt anyone will be happy if the items are separated from the body."

Mr.Terrific tells Blaze, "You and I will take a moment to look at the body. Eyes only, no manipulation. Touch nothing."

Sasha hits the various controls necessary to give the vehicle control and remarks, "My impression was that the Ministry was here previously and removed the items. The graverobbers were something else. I could be mistaken, but …"

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Alright. We have a choice. Pull out as is, contract fufilled… or go after shineys. I like shineys, but I think our job here is done. unless one of you mages wants to go talk to our spirit friendS?"

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "B-Syde, do you have a line on the Ministry that was here before us, or on the graverobbers tromping through the snow?"

«Plot» Blindside says, " GM: I would like to activate my power amplifiers in conjunction with my EMC and Sensors. I want to blind a wide radius with general supression and in that moment, scan for any group trying to move out on foot."

«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls 5 for "EMC":
1 1 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls 5 for "EMC KP 6":
2 2 3 5 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls 8 for "Sensors 5, Power amps to the max.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Blindside (#2329) rolls 8 for "Sensors 5, Power amps to the max. KP 7":
2 3 5 5 5 5 10 11

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "AStrals! I want your eyes on the sensor pannels. I'm going to light up several locations. Sweep them for anything that looks like old artifacts. These are groups moving out on foot."

Blindside then lights up an LCD monitor with a top-down map of the area.

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "We will need you to stop the vehicle so we can find our bodies."

Sasha climbs out of Gladius after the car is recovered, moving to see what the heck is going on.

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "When you have a safe place, we'll scan them."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I think we've got to make a call. I think in either case our…employers? Allies? did not even consider that the body and its equipment might have been stripped or not intact. I suppose we don't even know which MacGuffin we're chasing. I like to have the best job possible associated with my name, we've got deniability, and we've got you and your rotating barrel machine gun, B-Side. I say we go for it."

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "I'm only willing if we can do it without avoiding damage to our primary concern."

Mr.Terrific does the astral recon - QUICK, so as not to give any enemy wizards time to react at each sight. A blink and you miss him.

Mr.Terrific would be only too happy to have Blaze help.

«Plot» Blindside says, " GM: I will pull Leviathan off the road about a quarter click uotside of town."

«Plot» Sasha says, "Blaze, Mr. Terrific, let's see some astral stuff going on and some Intelligence rolls"

«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Aura Reading:
1 1 1 2 3 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence:
2 5 5 7 7 9

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I'm with you on that, B-Side. Should I rejoin Bambi, and be ready to provide long-ranged support?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Blaze (#10706) rolls Intelligence:
2 4 4 5 5

Blaze flits around astrally, trying to work around the MAAAAASSIVE headache she's got. This one? No glow. That one? No glow… *spasm-ache*

Mr.Terrific sticks with Blaze, flitting out to the points labeled for him on the readout, glancing, and flitting back to check the map for the next. He keeps his spell defenses ready - it's totally impossible for him to be stealthy doing this, and he is hoping just for a lack of reaction and capability on the enemy's part.

The town is still full of fear and despair and the general feeling of helplessness that comes with this sort of weather and power outage. Nothing holds up a sign and waves "HI! ANCIENT INDIANT ARTIFACT" or anything. There is residual magicks all across the town like fine dandruff, however, from the storm and God knows what else. Excalibur could be in the town square and be hard to find.

Mr.Terrific supposes he could also check for military bearing and equipment, but that is harder to spot. "I'm not getting anything too serious, too obvious. Wish we asked how many of those Ministry people there were." He will try one last time, on those walking groups, looking to add in other clues - where would they be walking TO if they were people with an artifact like that? How many would there be? What armor would they be wearing, what as he can get from their given auras? And such.

Mr.Terrific thinks he will have to expose himself to more visual rish in the look-seeing.

«Plot» Blindside says, " I am idle until the mages report back"
«Plot» Dalton is trying not to freeze to death, somewhere, he has no idea.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Aura Reading:
2 2 3 5 5 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Mr.Terrific (#7242) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 2 3 10

«Plot» Vera says, "Hmm. I have no knowledge IC of military procedures. What roads are in and out of town? How many? Is it just the way we came and the other direction? What cities are in those directions?"

Mr.Terrific is flitting to and fro slower now, taking more care, keeping low to the snow. He knows he could get fucked if any of them are shaman, but he has to know. It's his drive and his purpose. But he has to search out each one of them and affix them to a penetrative gaze, divining intent from shadows, grasping at straws to distill meaning from the vapor of nuance.

«Auto-Judge[]» Blaze (#10706) rolls Intelligence:
3 3 7 8 10

Blaze keeps near Mr. Terrific, not shielding so much as keeping herself ready to spiritbolt should anyone decide to get nasty. She too.. is sifting carefully through the magical detrius left by the Manastorm's wake.

The astral search seems fruitless. None of the various groups have anything magical whatsoever with them. There are no magical artifacts in the town itself, unless they are inside a home somewhere.

Mr.Terrific eventually comes back, gets in his body, and says, "We got jack."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Unless they attack us, or someone knows something clever to spot those Minitry fellows, we head back."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "And if you have two ork graverobbers in your sights, take pictures."

Vera pulls up her balaclava, freeing herself from the stifling cloth. The pressure has made the tac armor warm. "Hmm. Massaging liners. I'll have to get some of those," she says. "I suppose we can head west, after the Ministry folks, or we can head back. I say we fulfill the contract. Back east, then?"

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Yes, fulfill the contract, go to the requisite location. I think we have to cross a border to do it, so that's our plan, if we have one."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "And if we pass by them graverobbers…."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I'm thinking bang headshot."

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I dare say that sounds about right."

Blaze lets out a shuddering sigh as she too rejoins her body. "They aren't in town," she reports. She eyes the stinky body, looks at Mr. T. "Can you stop the smell?" she asks, that Billy Idol lip curl coming back.

Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "So let me get this straight. You got the body, and the spirits just let you take it?"

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Playing nice worked. Mr. T has mad negotiation skills."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Looks that way. But I promise you, they'll kill us the moment we fuck something up."
Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "But, the spirits are letting you take the body to the Jays site?"
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Someone shut up and tell me the score."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Looks that way."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Did we locate any artifacts?"
Commlink-Posh> Vera says sweetly, "Enjoy your treasure."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "We did not locate any artifacts."

Sasha finds a place to lurk and gets something to eat. Unless something comes up she has to deal with, there is little she can do in this vehicle. She'll turn off the comms for the moment, being in the same room with most of the team.

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Drive to the coords the Jay sent us. And no. No artifacts."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "We are driving towards the address in the Ute sector that we are given."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If we have to cross a border to do it, we need a plan to do that."

Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Mr. T. Can you make the smell go away please?"

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Other than that we are remaining alert. And no, I cannot. It's a long-dead body in a body bag."

Mr.Terrific can only zip it up, which he makes sure is done.

Vera can't help but allow her attention to be diverted by a book on her pocsec, taking a moment to idly entertain herself while Sasha eats, her equipment within ready reach. "I don't think there's anything that can be done, Blaze. But it's not so bad. He's mostly bones, after a hundred and thirty years."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I am thinking he died around 2039 or so. Remember, he was a shaman when magic hit, and when Daniel Howling Coyote got the Great Ghost Dance going. But he died when he was very old. Have some respect.""

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "Do you people even RESEARCH the jobs? Jesus. This guy died in 1939. HE developed the ghost dance in 1889!"

Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "So, let me get this straight. The spirits, and the Jay, are working together. You'd think intel like that could have been provided to us."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Oh, THAT guy. Okay, I'm wrong."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "This is the original Ghost Dance guy who died before magic came about."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I have been quite confused if so."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "But close enough."

Blindside sends the commands to Scabbard to retrieve both sports cars, form up with Leviathan and travel onward and outward.

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "That's right. But his magic has -become- magic."

Mr.Terrific says to B-Syde off-comm, "Sorry, man. Too many bumps on the head."

Blindside dispatches Gladius to go pick up Dalton. Cause he's nice like that.

The ride back towards Denver is the most boring uneventful road trip that you can imagine. Even the weather is better this time, so there isn't the off chance that you'll slide off the road and die. Instead, you can look forward to four hours of being in each others company.

Astrally, the storm seems to be receding as well, the magical interference in the weather patterns going away.

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "NERPS, anyone?"

Vera challenges Blaze to a game of pocsec holopong!
Blaze accepts!

Vera loses.
And lo. The redheads holopong the ride away

Blindside in route, switches to an SLC transport company… both rigs. He leans back in his chair, letting the rigs drive. "I've got a wicked headache. Bambi!"

"Yes blindy?"

"Bring me the TOASTER."

«Auto-Judge[]» Sasha (#11175) rolls 3:
2 3 4

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "I want an invisibility spell on the body, incase things at the border get hairy."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "That will attract magely attention. A hidden storage space should do if you have one."

The border station coming into the Denver Ute Sector from the actual Nation is mundane, boring even. There isn't much trouble with those coming to the Big City and stirring up trouble. Tourists come all the time to go to Vegas or Reno, after all, bringing in valuable nuyen to .. well, the Mobs really. Oh bother. Still, they are waved on with a bored look and not even a boarding.

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Scope the address in standard wize to make sure it isn't loaded for bear, and then let's make the drop."

While Blindside makes some toast, Vera also restows her equipment and weapons (which she hopes, given her retaining of Blaze during the bump, Blaze may have thrown in B-Side's van. into the big clothes duffel, and strips off her camouflage, changing back into her street armored clothing and synthleather short jacket. She resettles her Brownings comfortably in her shoulder holsters, and stows the rest of her weapons. Better to have and not need than need and not have.

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Let me also mention. I will be refusing payment. I suggest you all do so as well."

Blindside rolls on through the check points, looking like every other transport company on the road. Onward, to the meat. He will dispatch Gladius on ahead for a quick sensor scan, but otherwise, he's not going to scope out the meet point. There's paranoia, and there is paranoia.

Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "I'll make it right."

Commlink-Nightmare> Dalton says, "Your welcome to have what they gave me. I wasn't planning on keeping it, I assumed this job was a failure when I saw the spirits. I'm still not even sure how it got completed."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "Afterwards, I can explain more, but now is not the time. I don't think you'll have to 'make it right.""
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I made an agreement with the J, not with a spirit. Did you say that we'd all refuse payment? I did say that I'd bow down to you."
Commlink-BSyde> Blindside says, "*Disconnect from comm circuit*"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "The spirit said, "You will accept no payment for this." I am not going to use magic on you, and I will explain later. But I strongly suggest you accept no payment."

Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "I tried to tell you about magic before, and you said you weren't curious enough to ask me questions."
Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "I suppose I admit to being cavalier about it before."
Commlink-Blaze> Blaze says, "Well, I've got a nice bank account.. I can stand to refuse the payment on this job. And Posh, think about it for a second. Doesn't it seem like the Jay is working FOR this spirits?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "This is another one of those things that I will offer to explain more fully later."

Sasha switches faces and changes clothing to something less eye catching. She'll wait for the meet with patience, biding her time.

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "Then I -am- wondering what the hell we did. Did we just feel like it is to be pawns or playthings?"
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "There's more to it than that, but yes."

Mr.Terrific asks, "We safe-ish on the meet?"

Blindside pulls the truck to a stop. He looks over to the others… "Lets leave the body aboard. Soemone… say a prayer or something. Maybe one of us should stay with him, as like an honor guard or something."

The check of the GPS coordinates given show it to be a street corner in a less desirable neighborhood in the Ute Sector. That includes a vast swath of the sector, but who is counting, right? A lone 18-wheeler sits there, engine idling.

Commlink-Posh> Vera says, "If not for payment, may we ask for an explanation?"

Mr.Terrific says "Oh, if you don't detect any heavy guns, I will carry the body."
Commlink-Mr.Terrific> Mr.Terrific says, "If you like."

Dalton packs all the coins and jewels he got into a bag, and prepares to go with those that are dropping off the body.

Mr.Terrific will stay with the body, and will repeat his blessing before he picks it up in the approved manner. He is happy to stay here with the body, let others make the contact, and then carry things along when it is 'safe'.

Blindside moves out of the rig. He's n ot armed, he's not in armor. If these people WANTED him dead… he'd be dead already.

Vera frowns. "So, essentially, the J has just hired us to do a job and then screwed us when we did it. Isn't that a classic case of when you should hunt down and kill te J? I mean, I haven't read A Runner's Primer, but…"

Sasha will move out as well, and is probably armed. Probably very armed. She'll make up for Blindside and six other people not having a gun. She'll ask, "How did they screw us?"

Mr.Terrific mildly says, "Like you said, there's a thousand good explanations for why it turned out the way it did."

Blindside sighs, then looks back at vera. "Look. Shut the FRAG up for right now, okay? We'll make this right, but don't over complicate this shit, okay?"

Dalton says nothing, but he does move with the rest of them. He has his bag of gold with him.

Blaze shakes her head at Posh. "They didn't screw us." She grins. "We saved our lives. Do a good deed and consider it charity. You don't even have a bruise." Her face grows serious. "And if you ask for explanations… Be -respectful- or I'll conk you over the head for your own good. Savvy?"
Blindside tries very hard to look professional as he approaches the truck. He stands there, hands at his side, waiting for the truck to… um… do something.

The street corner and the idling big rig wait for you, the side proclaiming that this is Murry's Moving Service, Call For A Free Appraisal!

Once the runners assemble the back door will open slowly and a ramp will jet out, clanging on the ground unceremoniously. Two Native men will start down the ramp, looking around with interest while a third follows them down slowly; he seems older by at least ten years, his face lined with age.

Mr.Terrific , when given the word, will carefully carry the body bag over unto them.

Blindside nods to the men, then gestures to the truck. "That." He says bluntly… "Was -interesting-."

Vera finds a convenient vertical thing to lean back against. She glances around to see if there happens to be an ashtray.

Dalton looks towards the older native man, and holds out his bag of loot. "You want this? Its a gift from the spirits out there." He frowns, cause frankly, he is slightly irritated by this whole ordeal.

One of the men shrugs and says, bluntly, "It's a rental. You have the merchandise?" The older man continues down the ramp and looks over the runners, shaking his head with a faint smile. He'll let the younger man speak, the third staying quiet as well.

Being a street corner, there are no ashtrays.

The older Native man looks at the bag and then at Dalton, "If it is a gift, why would I want it?" He seems curious.

You paged Mr.Terrific with 'The first two are mundane and mildly cybered. The older man is slightly magical.'.

Blaze speaks up. "No," she says softly. "It was payment. And we have declined payment."

Blindside nods to the man who spoke. "Yes." Says blindside, gesturing for him to walk with him to Scabbard. The body will be lain out, as respectfully as possible, in the shop area, on the shop table. "It's in here." He says, gesturing to the rig. "You want us to bring it out, or you want to go in?"

Smoking posts, then.

Sasha stays out of the way, her body angled to watch the runners and those for the meeting as well, giving her back to no one if possible. She'll simply wait, her expression a blank mask. Given she is disguised, it is an apropos comment.

"Please, yes, bring it out to us." The men nod and will wait for the body.

Mr.Terrific , when the word is given, does his thing - with the prayer and the careful carrying. If you were watching on the street, it might be laundry in that bodybag. maybe.

Dalton shakes his head "This was payment for not doing the job, the job got done, the payment is not accepted then. I'm still not even sure what happened."

Vera glances around, feeling something eerie. It's as if something is…missing. She shrugs, softly, and then watches the body being taken away with indifferent. A smile cracks softly as she glances over at Dalton. I'm not sure any of us understand what happened. And now I suppose I'm out several thousand nuyen for all this gear."

All three men look at Dalton a long time at that, trying to parse what strange words the man is speaking. The older man comments, "I see …"

Blindside looks to the Old man, an then trys to translate. "We went in. We pissed off the spirits. He took riches to not do the job and leave, but didn't talk to us. When we spoke to the spirits, we offered to take no payment for a chance to complete the job. You hired us to do the job, not get bribed to not do the job. So here we are. No money, you got your elder. Lets get him where he can be respected, okay?"

Mr.Terrific is only too happy to make the reverential transfer, Blindside having wisely said the words.

Dalton glances at Blindside "I tried to talk to you, your answer was confusing."

Blaze makes an Elvish sign of respect to the body as it passes hands.

White People. The older Native man nods carefully, his assistants helping Mr. Teriffic transfer the body to the waiting big rig while he considers what is being said. He'll stand there a moment and say, "So. You are not being paid to do this, then, and YOU," he mentions, looking at Dalton, "were given money by the spirits." He looks between the group to see if this is right.

Blaze nods. "That's about the size of it all," she says softly.

Blindside nods, with a scratch to the back of his neck, at his datajack. "Looks like. This job is out-of-pocket for me. I'll cover my team. Just… Do a good turn or something. I don't know."

Vera pauses. "Wait a minute. That's…not right. We were ready and prepared to do violence and risk our lives to guard this thing, and bring it here to you. We were competent and deadly effective. You got your money's worth. But that's about it as well, I suppose."

Blaze looks at Vera for a loooong moment.
Blaze looks at the sky for a second and inches away towards Mr. Terrific.

The older Native looks at Vera and then at the others. "It seems you folks have some disagreements. Now, me, I am just the pick up service. What you did or didn't do is not my concern. Me? Body. You bring body, we are good." He shrugs and looks around.

Mr.Terrific takes a deep breath. "As he," and he indicates Dalton, "said.. the spirits paid him to abandon the job, and seeing their might, he took the money and prepared to leave. The rest of us convinced the spirits to be allowed to do the job without receiving payment, and so here we are. And that is why he is trying to give you the money. Consider it a gift, if you like."

Blindside comments simply.. "I'm standing here, with my reputation and life intact, Vera.. I think thats a reasonable compromise. If you want to abrogate that deal, you demand payment. AS for me?" He holds up his hands, palm out. "I'm good." He nods to the old Indian then. "Keep fighting the good fight, Omae." With that, he turns for his truck.

Dalton shrugs "I'll give it to the girl if you want." he looks over at Vera, then back to the old man.

Vera quirks a smile, knowing just how ridiculous this must seem to the poor old man who's just here to receive the body, but she doesn't say anything further.

The old man holds up his hands and looks over his shoulder. At the thumbs up from his people, he'll turn to leave. "No way, chummer. I don't get involved in other people's magical gifts from Spirits. I wouldn't touch it if you paid me." He'll move away, pocketing the teams payment with a shake of his head.

Dalton shrugs, and tosses the bag at Vera "There, for the armor and all that drek."

Mr.Terrific grins. "Hey, it's not drek. Fits me pretty nice.

Mr.Terrific tells Vera, "And if that doesn't cover my gear, I'll make up my share to you."
Mr.Terrific says "Now. A drink on me?"

Blindside calls out… "Rounds are on me at the Mustang Ranch. Anyone wants a drink… my bar's serving."
Mr.Terrific is totally up for that.
Blaze grins and stretches. "Sure thing. Let's get boozy."

Vera allows the bag to simply fall, making no move to catch it. "I'm not touching that money," she says, with a smile, shaking her head with a touch of rapidly disappearing bitterness. "I've never seen the like."

Dalton shrugs "Use it to pay for the gear at least, then donate the rest to charity. You deserve something for your pay, or.." he shrugs "Leave it in the street and make some lucky soul happy."

«Stats System» You pay Vera (#11342) 50000 nuyen for "Making it Right".
«Stats System» You pay Mr.Terrific (#7242) 50000 nuyen for "Making it Right".
«Stats System» You pay Blaze (#10706) 50000 nuyen for "Making it Right".
«Stats System» You pay Sasha (#11175) 50000 nuyen for "Making it Right".
«OOC» Vera paid Blindside 50,000 nuyen back.

Blaze picks up the bag of shinies. "Now let's see here. This is a big old bag of spirit gold. So. Whaddayasay we donate it to their cause. Hrm?" She looks at Dalton and Vera for agreeance.

Dalton nods to Blaze "Donation is a good idea. Next time, I'll make sure when I send a message, if I dont understand the answer, I'll ask again."

Vera shakes her head. "I still have no idea what happened. I signed a contract, and I don't know why we're somehow not expected to reveal our end of it. Perhaps I'm too foolish and mundane to have any idea.

Sasha stirs and remarks, "Should use it to pay for the team gear and the protection the driver had to get us in and out."

Blindside glances at Vera. "Dude. What the frag? I'm as foolish and mundane as they come and -I- get what happened."

Dalton nods to Sasha "That sounds reasonable."

Blindside is already moving back to his rigs. "Anyone needs a fucking ride, get in. I'm going home and getting a beer."

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