Trail to the Red Ravine

GM: Kensai
Players: Yin, Kensai
Synopsis: Yin and Kensai are hired to investigate the disappearance of a young miko.

Date: 2/6/2083


It's five o'clock on a saturday; some people might be out doing all sorts of things with their time. Heading out for an early dinner, watching a simflick, betting on barely-legal pit fights - but Kensai? He's knocking on Yin's door, a brown synthpaper bag tucked under his arm.
Yin opens shortly after he'd checked the spyhole. He wears a casual outfit, which means office slacks, loose tie, no jacket and rolled up sleeves: "Kitigawa-san! Now, this is a surprise," he greets the man with a bow. "Please come in." He offers Kensai a place to put his shoes and leads him into his apartment.

Yin's Apartment: The basic layout of this small apartment has been repurposed for office work. The combined kitchen, dining, and living area is illuminated by several modern but dim lamps, hanging low over the central dining table. A small window filters some street light through half opened shutters. The dining desk is covered with paperwork, sketches, a personal computer, as well as some remnants of fast food, donut deliveries, soykaf, and the occasional energy drink. The arrangement of chairs suggest that client meetings happen here from time to time. Two elegant steel chairs are placed on one long side of the table, with a third one directly opposite.

The busy desktop chaos seems to be limited to the dining table. A nearby small desk, the kitchen niche and some shelves are kept clean and in order, bordering to obsession.

Consequently, there are not many personal belongings on display. The only exception is the selection of wall decoration. Several grey colored print photographies are placed in the center of otherwise empty white walls. There is a certain sense of symmetry. On closer inspection, the photographs have been manually painted with asian letters and delicate, colorful additions to the otherwise grey subjects.

Kensai bows deeply, and places his shoes in the appointed place before walking further in. He offers the brown paper bag. "Sake," he says. "I assume you have been here long enough for no house-warming, but please accept anyway. The kame will like it to." He looks around, curious. He's dressed in his usual cheap suit, and he isn't even wearing either of his swords. Probably.
"Ha! Sake? Thank you, this is very kind. I'll see that all benefit from it, some humans, some Kami," he smirks and places the present on the kitchen table, saving the unwrapping for a later time. "May I offer you something? A tea, or something to eat?"

The air in the apartment is filled with a fresh incense that reminds one of a light summer rain, a garden, or green tea.

«Plot» Yin says, "You might as well roll a casual perception test if Kensai looks around a bit."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 4

The dining table - now office desk - has quite some notes and data pads on it. Compromising information is not on open display, however there is a visitor access card for some Channel 9 media station. It dangles from one chair. Also, on one of the shelves, a pistol is tucked in its safety holster. Otherwise, nothing unusual here.

Kensai shakes his head. "You are very kind," he says. "But I have just eaten. I could not possibly…" He stops for a second, his brows furrowing. "A moment please, I have a call coming in."

At the same time, a message bleeps on yin's device - a message from Supervisor Leng, to call him back asap.

Yin nods, and looks for his own cellphone, tucked away in his jacket in the wardrobe: "Uh? Excuse me, I didn't expect and visitors or calls today," he checks for the incoming number and looks over to Kensai: "Heh, coincidence, hm? I have a client calling in, but I guess this can wait for a few minutes," but then he realizes that Kensai also has been called just now. He waits for Kensai, to see if he answers the phone or not.

«OOC» Yin says, "If Kensai is answering his call, Yin would call Supervisor Leng back as well."

Since Kensai seems to move a little bit away, into the corner where a small couch is located, Yin calls Leng back in the kitchen area: "Respected Supervisor, you tried to call me? How can I help?"

The supervisor is quick. He has a job for you, discretion needed. Missing person - young woman, around twenty years old. She's been missing since yesterday, but her boyfriend says she would have checked in by now. Are you interested?

Briefly, Yin confirms and asks Leng to send all available details to his wrist computer. SInce he has a guest right now, he can't discuss the details on phone.

Kensai says "How long?" from the other room. "Only a day? Do you think… all right. I'm on it. Yeah, of course. I'm visiting a friend, but then I'll head to 'chiba. All right? Good."
The supervisor thanks him. He can't go to the department, and this needs to be discreet. You'll see why in the deets.

Yin hangs up, taking a deep breath. Work is always good. "Excuse me, Kitagawa-san, this was indeed a job offer."

Kensai says "Yeah?" His gaze shifts a little, and his attention comes back to this place. "Me too. Well. A favor offer." He studies the other man briefly. "Do I remember you were a detective of some kind? An investigator, hai?"

Yin starts to set up a decent green tea while he readies his computer for any incoming details on the job. But catering a guest is also important, so he returns to Kensai, with some small and nice tea cups made from dark clay; some fine cracks are outlined with glittering golden color. "Yes, I run a business as an arcane investigator. But, well… most of the time, it's the usual non-arcane stuff. A missing person case just came in. The client can't deal with it, so I'm on it. What's on your menu today?" he asks casually, pointing at Kensai's phone.

Young Woman by the name of Jessica Winter-Blossom. Mid 20s, mixed-race elf. Father was a sioux elf, mother a fortune teller in little chiba. Occupation: Talislegger, all above-board and legal. Married to Lt. Hontaro Lee, Shining Mountain… involved with Sgt. Aikiro Hanzo, -also- Shining Mountain. Last seen at her shop, Three Lotus, yesterday evening when she locked up.

Kensai grunts. "…Friend of mine went missing. She … visits the same shrine I do, sometimes. Might not actually be missing, but some friends of ours would like me to go check up." He shrugs. "Guess we will have to visit the shrine here later, hai?" He adjusts his coat, looking up towards where his apartment is, mind already racing with calculations.

Yin checks for the details on his computer, sitting on the couch by then: "Sure, the shrine is not going anywhere. It's in my former bedroom," he laughs dryly and nods towards the bedroom door, next to the bathroom. "Hm," he scrolls through the briefing, "say, your friend did not happen to live in Asiantown, running a Talismonger shop?"

Kensai looks suspicious for a moment, but then that fades. "Hai," he says. "That is a thing that she does. Her neighborhood isn't great - probably nothing," he adds. "But prudence demands, right?"

Yin looks up, not really concerned, but sobered and serious by some suspicion he's just about to groom: "A half-elf, by any chance? With roots in the North American native community?"
Kensai's narrow again. "Hai. That's why the worry. Not a good neck of town to not be fully japanese - not to mention meta." He stares accusingly at the jacket the phone came from. "Is it a trap," he murmurs. "Or the will of the kame?"

Yin laughs, "I have no idea? But I know that the Shining Mountain is looking for a Jessica, who went missing since yesterday. Can you confirm her last name? If so, I think that's the most unusual and convenient way to find a witness to a case of mine." Carefully watching what he actually does tell and what not, Yin offers some details but waits for Kensai to confirm by himself if this Jessica Winter-Blossom is actually the person both are looking for.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Willpower for "hmmm. can he mentally justify whether or not this violates secrecy stricture?":
2 2 5 5

Kensai looks at Yin, his face conflicted - if his eyes were real, they might reveal more of his inner turmoil. "Jessica Winter-Blossom," he says. "Three Lotus shop, Lucky Wen street. Combines shinto ritual with native understanding of local flora and fauna. Also makes a mean udon."

Yin rubs his face: "By all higher powers, we are faced with the very same case. From different perspectives, most likely." He stands up, "Kitigawa-san, get your coat off and I get us the tea, and then we have to talk. - Also," he starts to type a text message, "I order a gridlink car to get to us. We might need one later." Then he explains, while getting the tea: "You see, I strongly believe this coincidence has been arranged by higher powers, and I am inclined to suspect the Kami, actually, rather than the Shining Mountain, or whoever. But we have to clarify this carefully in advance. If your primary concern is your missing friend, then we have to exchange the information we have, in order to see if both of our 'clients' are on the same side, or maybe on a different one. You understand what I mean?"

Kensai looks back to the door, torn again, then looks back. "You think tea is better than hurrying," he says, and then nods, easing. "Yes, you are probably correct. Planning first." He does as requested, taking off his coat, and hanging it in place moves to join Yin. "If preferred, I have a car," he says. "Locals know it. Won't mess with it. And hai. We pool intellectual resources."

Yin nods and serves the green tea in a fitting teapot, "Normally, noone accepts a missing person case after… 20 hours. There is a big chance this is all about nothing. But on the other hand, the first three days after someone went missing, are of the greatest importance. So, we will hurry. Soon. But now, let's see. Hm, Kitigawa-Jack, at this point, I'd treat you as a witness and a partner in the investigation, but you have to be aware that this does imply that everything we share has stay between the two us, until we both agree to share the information with someone else. Is this acceptable for you?"

"Because I don't want to end up at the tip of your sword, and I don't want to see you end up on an arrest warrant from the Shining Mountain," he adds.

Kensai nods. "That is the way I prefer it," he says. "Jessica is a… trusted ally. Discretion is important." He grunts. "I have no desire to cross Shining Mountain before I have to, either," he replies. "They are not my enemies." Then he rolls his eyes at himself. "I say that like I am some ancient warrior. Ha!" He scratches his scalp-line with his metal fingers. "Agreed," he continues.

«Plot» Kensai says, "can we also assume this conversation is all in japanese?"
«Plot» Yin says, "For sure!"

"Alright. Let's do it then. Hm," Yin checks the details from Supervisor Leng again: "Curiously, it looks like an internal investigation no one wants to run, because your friend, the missing subject, is married to a Shining Mountain Lieutenant, and is in a relationship with another Shining Mountain Sergeant. Jessica Winter-Blossom, mid-twenty, father Sioux, mother probably Asian, a fortune teller. Subject's occupation is noted as Talislegger, just as you confirmed. Was last seen yesterday, when she locked up her shop, the Three Lotus, Lucky Wen street, Little Chibba. - What's your relationship with her? And, most importantly, who let you know she's missing?"
While Yin listens, he offers Kensai some of the tea. It's a good green tea, imported from Japan. Fresh smell, earthy color and note. Its raw spirit is uplifting and activating.

Kensai finds a place to sit, slowly lowering into a crossed-legged position. "We are both members at the Wellness Center," he says, carefully, picking his words. "We have studied some together. A mutual friend called me - they were meant to do some work together at dawn, but she never showed up." He sips the tea, and then again. "This is quite good."

"Thank you, I'm happy the taste is at your liking. - Hm, Wellness Center? Em, odd. Okay." He doesn't seem to have a clue what that name might refer to. "So, Jessica and you are in the same workout class or something like that? And the mutual friend, how is he involved with her?
Yin asks, "they had work planned at dawn'? What kind of work? And where was it, that your mutual friend did expect her to show up How is she involved?"

Kensai says "Ah, no," in reference to the wellness center. He pulls his pocsec out, presses a few keys, and then tight-beams a link to Yin. "That should help explain it. We were taking classes on refining flower blossoms into tinctures. Our mutual friend is involved the same way with her. Both at the wellness center," he adds quickly, making sure the organization is mentioned, not anything on a… smaller scale. "I believe she was going to share some of her understanding of Amaterasu."

"Hm, I see," Yin makes some old fashioned notes on a small notepad, even: "Do you know where Jessica lives? Do you have her personal address?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Intelligence for "does he?":
3 3 3 5

Kensai shakes his head. "We're not -that- close," he says. "But I've been to her shop before. It should be open again today - her assistant ought to be there." He takes another sip of the tea. "I also know the shrine she visits, and the miko there."

Yin nods a few times, in thought: "That's a good place to start, the shop. The temple, this Wellness Center, and her private home are also of interest. So, we have," he counts, "five people who might give us insights: her husband, boyfriend, assistant, the miko, and your 'mutual friend'. That's quite a good list for the start. Let's see if the list will further grow; or maybe we don't need all of them anyway." He leans back, enjoying his own tea now. It's probably obvious that Yin is about to enjoy another two minutes of calm and joy, and then will switch to activity. "Do you need to pack some equipment first?"

Kensai says "I have some of what I may need in my car, if it comes to it," he says. "But I should fetch Autumn's-Razor from upstairs. This is the sort of thing I should have her with me for." He inclines his head to his friend and rises. "Down in the parking lot in… five minutes?"
"Certainly. And I'll cancel the gridlink rental…" he gets up and starts to pack a travel bag full of things he might find useful. Some electronic equipment, some expendable foci, also a bullet proof vest with ceramic plates and a sturdy coat.

Yin says "I am telling the supervisor that I am working on it, checking back with witnesses, but I keep your name out of it for now."

Kensai agrees, and is waiting for Yin by a blue-grey mustang as he comes out. He shuts the trunk and looks over at the shaman. "Ready to roll?" He asks. "I am worried," he adds, a frown crossing his face. "I am not sure how long it takes a trail to go cold."

Yin puts his own bag on the backseat. He still wears a dark suit, but he also has a greatcoat dangling over one shoulder, for harsh weather. "Don't worry, it's still early. The only thing that worries me right now is that seemingly two more or less unrelated circles of acquaintances see reasons to suspect her to be missing. But we are far from a cold trail, I'm pretty sure." He tries a reassuring smile and his voice carries confidence. Hey, he still works on a 14 months old missing person case and there is still progress and hope! He gets on the passenger seat then, adjusting his concealed holster.

A bit impressed by the stylish car he investigates the interior a bit, obviously enjoying a good ride. "One day, I'll have my own car," he mutters at some point, while they drive to Jessica's shop

Kensai says "It bothers me, too," sliding a scabbarded wakizashi out from his belt and tucking next to the drink coaster by the front seat. He climbs into the front - he's had to have the bench pushed back some to accommodate his legs, but he fits. More or less. "If anyone knew I was going to see you, I would suspect a trap. But perhaps it is nothing but the kami's guidance. She has led a hard life - perhaps they repay her karma."

He isn't anything like a fancy driver, but he knows how to hook up to the autonav well enough and how to pretend to know what he's doing.

The trip isn't long - just about half an hour, given the traffic, and Kensai finds a spot only a block away. From there it's a quick cut through the markets, bustling with their early evening business, the street food just starting to sizzle for the evening feasts, the scents of chilis and garlic spreading through the air. "I love this part of town," Kensai confides. "I have some friends here… I have been thinking of opening up my own Izakaya."

«Plot» Yin says, "Quick question: while on the move, Yin would've asked if Kensai has a photograph of her, or an idea of how she used to dress. But I don't need the details yet."

"Ah! Well, you would have one frequenter already!" Yin jokes, enjoying the ride through Chibba and the casual talk.
The Three Lotus is a small shop mostly obscured by a much larger restaurant, whose rowdy crowd spreads out all the way in front of the entrance.

They enter, the small silver bell above the door ringing, and it's like stepping into a different world. The lights are dim, but not dark, and their air is cool but not freezing. A small brazier in the middle gives off the sweet scent of agarwood. There is precious little on display - there is a row of bookcases loaded with datachits, the cover-art of various books on folk magic hanging above them. One case holds hand-made flutes, and a collection of drums rest in a corner. Toward the back of the room, sitting at a table, carefully cleaning dirt and carbon off of a small green jewel, sits a young woman. She doesn't look up as the enter, a look of absolute concentration on her face.

«Plot» Kensai did not have a photograph, but he could describe her. dressed casually, blue jeans and fitted blouses, short coats in the winter. Never wore a hat, Would tease others about not being able to handle the cold. Wore her black hair in a braid.

Yin takes in the atmosphere, and all the little details. He tries to get a feeling for someone who would call this shop her own. Since the assumed assistant is focusing on her craft, he simply greets her with a "Konichiwa", without addressing her directly. Instead, he checks out the corners for any other guests, exits, or anything that might catch his attention. It's only after a little while, when the assistant had some time to finish his current work, that he approaches the table.
The japanese girl looks up, peering at him uncertainly, and then at Kensai - when she relaxes a little. She hops off of her seat, and stretches out to her full height just below five feet tall.

"Kitagawa-san," she says, with a bow, and then a bow at Yin. She looks at them both. "Jessica's not here," She says, impatiently, then looks at the door. "She was supposed to be here an hour ago, take over for me. I'm half tempted to shut down the shop. I am supposed to look after Grandfather tonight! She's not off with officer dreamy, is she?"

"Greetings, Miss…"Yin tries on English and would offer a bow and a handshake - if the latter seems appropriate, since she's doing some craftsmanship.

The woman responds to both, taking the hand - having put her tools down. "Akida," she replies, smiling to show off the dimples in her cheeks. "Akida Mitsuo." She bows again, staring dreamily into Yin's eyes, then looks back at Kensai. "Your friend is handsome, Kitigawa-san," she says, and then blushes at her failure in decorum.

Yin laughs lightly, and response: "Mitsuo-san, I am honored. It seems Kitigawa-san is generally blessed with handsome friends then, I didn't even notice until now" returning the compliment, a little bit more wrapped up in pretty words. "I am Yin Lee, we're looking for Jessica. Is she around?"

With remarks like this, Yin tries to be uplifting and reassuring, that Jessica is fine and they will find her soon. So, while some would wonder why Yin seems not to care too much about the case, it's actually a facade for Kensai, to ease his concerns. Positive emotions and hope are crucial in Yin's line of work. And the darker it gets, the more important this aspect usually becomes. Hence, Yin tries to enjoy the calm moments, the riddles, the casual moments, the encounters with curious people, hoping to create a positive vibe for Kensai.

The girl shakes her head. "No!" She says, and her eyes flash with anger. She can't be more than sixteen years old - maybe seventeen. "I'm not even supposed to be here now. I got off an hour ago! And now all those thugs drinking sake outside…" she shakes her head angrily. "I don't know where she is. I think she might be having it off with her boyfriend." She pauses. "Not that I blame her. He is very handsome."

"Hm," Yin nods, "I see. Have you been around yesterday as well, when she left and locked the shop?"

She shakes her head. "I don't usually work past three," she says, and gestures outside. "The bar next door? Some of the people that go there. They say… not so nice things. I'm usually gone before it starts filling up." She glances around. "She even left me a note, with today's work." She looks back at Yin, suddenly wary at his questions. "Why?" She asks, glancing at Kensai and then him. "Is she in some kind of trouble? You're not with -them-, are you?" The last bit is thrown at kensai, almost like a fireball of sudden venom and suspicion.

Kensai, for his part, as forced an impassive look on his face, and just stands there, listening - in this part of town, he wears his wakizashi more or less openly, tucked into a simple white obi tied above his belt.

Yin is a bit surprised by here attitude towards Kensai and /them/: "Um, well I don't think I am with /them/, but Kitigawa-san is a good friend and we've been asked to look for her. Some are worried. - The note she left, is this a usual thing, can I read it? Is it like she leaves a note when she knows she won't be around the next day?"

"Not quite," she says, retrieving a small computer pad and handing it to Yin. "She trusts me to open the shop, so she usually just puts tasks down. This emerald needs to be ready for pickup -tomorrow-. I can do most of it, but I'm not as good as her."

Kensai looks at Yin, then back at the girl, and finally adds, quietly. "I'm not here for Elder Brother," he says, quietly. "I'm here for my friend."

The girl seems to take this under consideration, and sighs. "I hope she's okay. Sometimes she stays with her boyfriend over night - when her husban…" then she stops, her mouth snapping shut, and her cheeks go bright red.

Yin reads the notes, "It's fine, Mitsuo-san, we know that she has a friend. It'll stay between the three of us," he winks. "Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about her? This could be very helpful, since you are basically her left and right hand here."

The notes are simple. Running balance from last night, a list of expected pick ups today, information on where some of the alchemy is on its circulation, detailed instructions on how the emerald was to be prepared, with a note that Jessica would finish the job when she came in.

Mitsuo nods. "Okay," she asks. "If you really think she's in trouble."

During the unfolding conversation Yin tries not to rush her, but to let the conversation follow a natural trail. Things he'd like to address are: "What did she work on recently? Was this of some special importance?" Which leads to the topic of whether "there were any issues which troubled her lately, business-related or private?" Speaking of private matters, "the relationship between her boyfriend and her husband is a bit odd, isn't it?" Maybe Akida can be convinced to shed a little light on how this works out, with Jessica and two men. From Leng Yin knows that the boyfriend reported her missing as well. And now Akida made a suspicious remark on Jessica's husband: 'she stays with her boyfriend over night - when her husban…'. Maybe Akida could elaborate on this?

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Etiquette vs TN 6:
2 2 3 4 7 = 1 Success

She is hesitant about some answers, but soon opens up. The only issues she'd really been dealing with was managing to keep her boyfriend secret from her husband. It wasn't a love match with her husband, she had married him to make her mother happy, and he had a good job, but he had been low-key racist to her the whole time. She said she had been planning to leave him any day now, but was afraid - he was a cop, and he also had friends among the local yakuza. But she had been more cheerful the past few days, had been working on a formula for a new kind of spirit.

Listening carefully, Yin is thankful for her cooperation. Some other, quicker, questions come up: "Did Jessica tell you if she had an appointment yesterday evening?" Unlikely, though, but sometimes the simple things are overlooked.

The girl looks thoughtful, then shakes her head. "No," she said. "She didn't. Only… I think she left late? Her note was timestamped a few hours later than usual. It's not too weird, not with the formulae she's working on, but… neighborhood gets worse the darker it gets, you know?"
Yin nods, "Yep, you are right. And we'll have a look at this Izakaya in a minute, I believe." Yin looks at Kensai, briefly, for reassurance, "Also, Mitsuo-san, you should probably just lock up for today. I'd feel better if I knew that you don't have to sit here alone until late evening." Yin would be ready to move on by now.

«Plot» Yin says, "Depending on how the outside situation is, Yin would probably like to call for a Watcher to just have a look around for Jessica in the closer neighborhood. But this would require a little bit privacy."

As they are about to leave the shop, Yin speaks quietly to Kensai: "Hm, this was insightful. I'd like to try and set a spirit on her trail. This is her shop, her life, her labour, her hopes, her home. She's probably more attached to this place than to her husband's home. Might be a good chance to pick up a trail here. - Also, what do you think, Kitigawa-san, should we ask around at the sake bar for anything that happened yesterday evening? The bar owner or employee might know something."

Kensai, who had shifted his sword to be a little more obvious before they left, nods. "Hai, that's a good idea." He turns towards Mitsuo, and, offering another bow. "Mitsuo," he says. "May we?"

She searches his face. "You're really worried, aren't you?"

He nods. "I am. I need to make sure she's safe."

She nods, and then turns to unlock the way into the back. "Have at it," she says. "Just don't take anything?"

Kitagawa laughs. "I am many things, but I am not a thief."

She stares at him, and then giggles. "No, I guess not."

The back room is impeccably laid out, the work of an intensely organized mind - but not a hermetic one. There is a shrine to the sun-goddess, a selection of braziers, some alchemical beakers and cauldrons bubbling together atop incense burners, and piles of dried herbs hanging carefully from wooden rafters that seem hugely out of place.

Yin bows in reverence to the sun goddess: "This is a perfect place to try the spirit world. It's certainly a well-tended and cleaned place." He then would humbly kneel down in front of the shrine, trying to call for a helpful servant from the spirit world.

«Plot» Yin says, "Would try to call a F3 Watcher"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls 4 (Conjuration dice) vs TN 3 for "Conjuration of F3 Watcher, 2 dice go into the drain test":
2 3 3 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Charisma + 2 (Conjuring dice) vs TN 6 for "Resist 6L":
1 2 3 4 5 7 8 10 = 3 Successes

Kensai looks around, surveying the equipment. "Jessica has a nice set up," he says. "A good blend of our traditions and more modern thoughts… and look at her use of the native herbs. That sage is a sioux twist."

"It would probably not work at home, on the island, but it surely does here. Amazing." Yin then does lower his head two times, to the ground, reciting a short prayer to Amaterasu, but he then also asks "the stroke of Sasinsagamira to paint helpful symbol of hope, for us to find Jessica Winter-Blossom, who created and maintains this very lodge around us." And shortly after, a faint form seems to spring forth from one hand-painted cloth with Japanese kanji. It's a shadow, framed by a golden aurora: "Thank you, for heeding my call!" he bows again, "I ask you for one thing: go, follow the trail of Jessica Winter-Blossom, the black-haired woman of Japanese and Native origin, she, who created this place here, this shrine. Look for her, wherever her trails leads you to, when she left through the front door yesterday night. Return and report your findings then."

«Plot» Yin says, "The Watcher would search for three hours."
«Plot» Kensai says, "what's your intelligence?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) has the Attribute Intelligence with the value '6'.

Kensai watches the man work, and then the spirit go, and then says, quietly, "I never would have thought of that. Sakura has told me about those smaller kami, but I have never worked with them myself." He shakes his head. "And other than under the open sky, I find myself… stymied, by the city. The ancestors come naturally enough, but I have not summoned one by myself. Not yet."

Mitsuo watches, too, looking at Yin with fresh appreciation. "You are a priest," she said. "I had no idea."

Yin stands up again, bowing once more before turning to the others. "Ah, well, Mitsuo-chan, I don't think I deserve the title f a priest, but I happen to have crossed the path of a Kami that loves and adores pretty pieces of craftmanship, art, and places like this. Let's hope they are not too moody today," he smirks. To Kensai then: "Sasinsagamira happens to reside within the most unusual forms and pieces of art sometimes. Even for the 'smaller' Kami, a nice calligraphy sometimes is already enough to step out into our world. Anyway, shall we see what the sake bar has to offer?"

Kensai nods again, then bows to the assistant. "Mitsuo-chan, as my friend says, there are worries. We can escort you to your vehicle? Call you a taxi? I worry for you. Especially with Winter-Blossom missing."

She looks dubious, but as he invokes her employer again, she concedes. "I've got a bike," she says. "Down the block." She bows. "Thank you, Kitigawa-san. I apologize for my rudeness earlier."

While Kensai and Akida talk about closing shop early today, Yin simply leaves a coin on the shrine's centerpiece, below the portrayal of Atamerasu. He then steps backwards, and turns after three steps.

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) uses 1 of item 8: F3 Expendable Manipulation Focus (Coin) from Expendable Foci (#13409).
After the shop is closed, Mitsuo leads them down a street, and then another, to where her glorified street bike waits. They have only just made their first turn when Kensai quietly remarks towards Yin, just low enough that only he can hear - 'We Are being followed.'
Yin replies in a low voice, without looking, "Any idea who, or where they picked up on us?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 5

Kensai doesn't glance over his shoulder. 'From shortly after we left. May have been watching the shop. They kept with us after our first turn. They are on foot.' They get to the bike, and Kensai smiles at the girl, offering her her helmet as she gets astride it. "Safe Travels."

"Good thing, the shop is closed tomorrow, I hope. Whatever happens, we have to keep any harm away from her…" he remarks while Akida Mitsuo prepares her departure. "Mitsuo-chan, it was a pleasure to meet you. And thousand thanks for your long and dedicated work at the shop. Jessica can be happy to have such a reliable employee."

Kensai Watches the girl drive off, making sure nobody in sight swoops up behind her, and still doesn't turn around. 'Do you mark them?' He asks again, still quiet. 'If they mean trouble, they will make their move on our way back.'

"I will mark them soon enough," he says, "let's just turn right down their allay, straight on. As if we are clueless. I'll try to see if they wield any magic. If so, we evade on the next possible turn. Agreed?" Yin devises.

«OOC» Kensai notes it's been about half an hour since you sent your spirit.
«Plot» Yin says, "Plan is to cast Detect Magic now, then follow Kensai back towards where the stalkers are"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 6 for "Casting Extended Detect (Magic) F3 (range 180m) for TN 6 (direct line of sight +2 BG Count)":
1 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 7 8 9
«Plot» Yin says, "Forgot the TN. So it's 6 for LOS. 3 successes. I make that a reroll."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 6 - 3 vs TN 6 for "Casting Extended Detect (Magic) F3 (range 180m) for TN 6 (direct line of sight +2 BG Count)":
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Willpower vs TN 3 for "Drain Detect (Magic) 2M + BG Count":
1 3 4 5 5 8 = 5 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "So, 4 successes against LOS, 2 against hidden targets"

Thankful that Kensai's street senses noticed the stalkers, Yin takes a deep breath, and while they are about to turn back towards the shop, he taps the spirit world for insight on any magic that might come from the people up ahead. He sustains that spell while walking next to Kensai.

«Plot» Kensai says, "they have no foci or spirits around them."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence:
4 4 5 5 5 7

You can see them as you turn toward the shop: two japanese men, dressed in cheap suits, with sunglasses even despite the late hour, not even trying very hard to hide. They aren't in the back street, not quite, just standing to its side - and will let the pair walk by.

A few meters in, and the pair have turned down to the alley, following them still. 'what do you think?' Ken says. 'they're thugs. might just be tailing us. might be following us too an ambush. Two wouldn't be a problem.;

A few meters in, and the pair have turned down to the alley, following them still. 'what do you think?' Ken says. 'they're thugs. might just be tailing us. might be following us too an ambush. Two wouldn't be a problem.' (fixes)

Yin just moves past them, if Kensai doesn't bother. He then says to him, with a lowered voice: "Maybe we should skip the sake bar for the moment. I'm placing these guys in one corner with the local yakuza. And if Mitsuo-chan was right, they might be closely tied to Jessica's husband. Could be good, could be bad, I'd rather not ask around at the bar now."

Kensai loses his nerve, for just an instant, looking over his shoulder at them. The men stop, one lowering his hand to his coat. Kensai does nothing - they do nothing - and then he turns.

"Whatever you think," he says, starting to walk again. "I don't think they're here for a fight. The local yakuza might be involved - they might have answers. Or we can go wait at the shrine. Your friend be able to find you again?"

Yin looks at Kensai, realizing how tense he is, how ready for violence even, maybe?

"Kitigawa-san, I'd like to make a call, see if this thing here has somehow reached the rumor mill. I think I know someone who could've heard something, actually. If the call turns out to be a dry river, we go to the sake bar and see if we can lure them into confronting us, these thugs. If they are involved, the yakuza, they certainly expect to see people showing up here, asking around sooner or later. So, I totally agree with you, would be interesting to hear what their story is. If they have any, on Jessica, that is."

Kensai's eyes shift to the goons, who have started approaching. "Do we stand them off, or do I shred them?"

Yin raises his head, alarmed: "Shred them? By all means, Kitigawa-san, do you really think the situation warrants such a measure right now?" He quickly looks over in their direction. "Just get away from them for now, we have no idea what's going on. They might as well be ready to help, depending on how things actually lie."

Kensai grunts, his eyes never leaving them, his hands playing on the hilt of his sword, giving them a weighty glare. But he doesn't draw. "They make me… uncertain. Place your call, I will try to keep them from approaching."

Hoping to get some fast answers on that matter, considering Kensai's short temper, Yin starts to dial his contact Ganghua. Yin drops his Detect Magic spell for that purpose, to be able to concentrate fully on the snitch and what he has to say. After a short moment, the conversation starts on Cantonese: "Ganghua-san, greetings! Listen, I have an issue here. I am looking for a girl called Jessica Winter-Blossom. She's the owner of the Three Lotus talismonger shop. Has she been caught in the middle lately, between Yakuza and some Mountain cops? Namely, her liaison Sgt. Aikiro Hanzo and husband Lt. Hontaro Lee? I see soldiers from the Lucky Wen street stalking me right now. They seem to be serious and on the lookout. What's going on?"

While he places the call, Yin leans against the closest wall, not caring too much about his suit jacket. He looks up into the sky above that reveals itself as a thin blue line between the towering buildings that surround. 'Maybe the watcher spirit is pacing as fast as we do', he ponders, and waits for Ganghua to reply.

When Ganghua's phone picks up, you can hear booming music in the background. "Yin! Good to hear from you! You… oh, you're calling me for information. Always with the talking. You think I'm some sort of snitch? Go eat a cabbage!"

He hangs up, hard… and about forty-five seconds later your phone rings again. "Sorry man, I was in the middle of talking with some gangoons. Now I'm clear. So. Winter-blossom - Lee's girl. Right."

«OOC» Kensai says, "etiquette test… v 6, i think."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Etiquette vs TN 6:
3 5 5 8 14 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Yin says, "Complementary possible? Organized crime, maybe?"
«OOC» Kensai says, "go for it!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Organized Crime vs TN 6:
1 2 2 = 0 Successes

"I've heard… something about that. The japanese don't really talk to me, right? But they're lookin' for her, too. There's been a bit of a stir today. I even heard a couple of 'em showed up at Hanzo's place this afternoon, made a heck of mess." He pauses. "I might have heard a little bit more, but i'm no charity. Two c-notes and I'll tell you the rest."

"Ah, no worries, Ganghua! Please excuse my rush. Any information would be helpful." Yin listens carefully, putting his cellphone between his ear and his shoulder, thereby nodding to Kensai, to signal for some positive prospect on the matter. "Sure, I'll make it worthwhile, don't worry a thing. I place it at Choko's, with the Vietnamese girl, as last time."

The two thugs have stopped again, about 8 meters away yet - not far by some standards, but this is a close, small street. The tension is palpable, a sort of standoff where nobody has gone for a weapon. Yet.

"Right. Good. I know you're good for it. I heard another guy stopped by Hanzo's, after the first raid - while Hanzo was getting stitched up. He's another of them, called… Yoshi, or something, I don't know. But scuttlebut is he speaks to spirits, an' that he left with a hairbrush. If you want to find him, he is often at the Sable Neko izakaya."

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) spends 250 nuyen.

"Great, thanks friend. See you soon," Yin ends the call quickly, with the goons at arm's length and the tension rising. To Kensai, he says briefly: "We've got a lead. And this gentlemen here are probably not in our way. Let's get moving." He urges Kensai with an inviting look to leave the scene without any further trouble.

Kensai stares at them a little longer, taking a step backwards… and another… and then he's walking with Yin. "They are bad men," he says quietly as he walks with the investigator. "I feel like we are being herded. But I trust you, hai?"

Nobody gets on their way on the journey to the other side; some of the drunken men outside -this- izakaya (not the Sable Neko) turn to watch them, but there is no overt threat in their stares.

As soon as the situation allows for some privacy, Yin relays the new information: "Now, seems like the local Yakuza are actually looking for your friend as well. They even showed up at her liaison's place and wrecked it up - and him. My contact said they send an awakened one from their ranks to Honzo later, and he took a hairbrush. Sounds like ritual magic to me. This guy is called Yoshi, and should hang out at the Sable Neko Izakaya. Do you know that place?"

At the mention of the specific place, Kensai's attention snaps over to him. "Sable neko? Yes. I know that place. We may be in luck. He will not be performing sorcery there - unless…" His voice trails off, and he gestures with his head towards the street. "It is not far," he adds. "We can walk."

"That's good news!" Yin is determined and starts to move faster, involuntarily. "What is this place? What should I know?"

Kensai says "It is near to jig-jig street," he says, mentioning a street in little chiba that is still very very close to the Denver tech center. "The owner is deep in debt to his local syndicate, and it is definitely a dive. But the owner's daughter is a friend, and there is a helpful spirit at the place." He looks at Yin. "The spirit and I are on good terms." He cuts down another street. "Most of the sake is bad. He cannot afford the good stuff - he's had bad luck with trucks getting robbed. But his noodles are excellent."

"Hm," Yin nods, listening carefully, "interesting place then. Did Jessica frequent that place as well, has she friends there too?"

Kensai says "No. She wasn't much of a sake-joint girl. She was more… Lunar Nocturne, when she could afford it. That kind of person. She wanted a better life than what Little Chiba offered." He finds a small storefront, with the name 'Sable Neko' blinking in lurid blue and pink neon lights from a hanging sign. Two women are sitting outside, drinking, trying not to look at a shabby ork slumped over a plastic table.

The small bar is full of lots of browns, utilizing wood for its color and decor- some of it may even be real. It is kept clean. The lighting is dim,a mixture of paper lanterns dangling from the roof, neon lights of various instruments behind the small bar-counter, and the mingled neon lights filtering in from the outside. Harried saraimen mingle with more dramatic types - men with leather jackets and spiked hair, women with dreads of many colors, the occasional bleak-eyed outlaw with robot prosthetics where fingers once were. The small space lends itself towards shadows, and even when it's busy the structures absorb sound and keep it at a dull roar. A few japanese men who are none of the above also lurk here and there, wearing pressed suits that all look like they come from the same tailor - at least two of them are missing joints from fingers."

The bartender, a middle aged man with thinning black hair, looking lean and ill-fed, his dark eyes sallowed by darker rings, looks up as they enter, and a moment flash of relief crosses his face as he recognizes the tall samurai.

Yin ponders for a moment, in what category he himself fits best. He has this dark pinstripe suit, white shirt, black tie. Most likely, he'd go well as a wageslave, but his mannerism - especially in /this/ kind or parlor, is more that of what he once used to be on everyday basis: a detective of a police force. Maybe it's how he moves or how he observes. He almost feels like back home, and that's not necessarily a good thing. So, he leaves it to Kensai for now, to get the introduction going.

Kensai leads Yin to the bar, finding a spot that has just enough room for both of them, and bows briefly at the bartender. "Cochiro-san," he says. "Hello. This is my friend, Yin-san."

The man bows to Yin, and looks back up. "No trouble today, hai? Promise? You just drink sake."

Kensai nods. "No trouble. But no sake. Tea, hai? And yakisoba, fried hard?" He looks at Yin, then back at choshiro "For both of us."

Yin replies the bow naturally, making clear that he comes as a friend and someone who respects hospitality. "Domo. Would like to try your tea and noodles."

The man bows back, casting a glance at one of the suited-men who looms near the door, watching over things, and darts into a small kitchen to get things started.

Kensai gestures with his head toward Yin, and then moves to a small booth, currently unoccupied. "I don't suppose you know what this… Yoshi… looks like?"

"No, sadly not. I had to cut the call rather quickly, with the soldier's closing in. - Will you do the talking?"

Kensai says "I can try," with an incline of his head. "And we will have some help…" he says, and his voice trails off, because all of the sudden there's a small, slim woman sitting in the booth next to Yin.

"Kitigawa-kensai," she says, her voice almost a purr. "It's good to see you tonight." She looks at Yin. "Who is your friend? He is cute. His aura is soothing.""

Yin straightens up like he just received an electric shock: "Wa?! By all spirits!" he bows, as good as possible in the booth, then dares a quick glance into the astral world, to get an impression what kind of 'small, slim woman' this actually is. "I.. I am Yin, honored to meet you, pleased to delight you."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence for "Astral Perception":
1 2 3 3 5 8

The woman's aura appears to be that of a normal, healthy human girl in her early twenties, no illness, no implants, nothing special at all… and then the woman -winks- at yin, shifts, and it's like she's taking a mask off, revealing an amused free spirit underneath.

The spirit form dwelling there somehow seems just as much like a cat's as a woman's.

"Free One, I am humbled and honored to meet you. Kitigawa-san already gave me a heads-up. But your presence can't possibly be anticipated in advance." His aura should show serious respect for the apparition. And the fact that he is a shaman of a Kami.

The woman shifts in place, smiling - you can almost sense the tail that isn't there swishing back and forth in amusement. "It is my honor to meet you, holy man," she continues in flawless (if archaic) japanese." She looks back and forth between them. "I can tell that you are not just here for noodles," she says. "I hope if you're asking for any help beyond the most basic, you have some payment in mind."

«OOC» Kensai says, "roll shinto religion, if you like!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Shinto Religion:
3 4 4
«OOC» Kensai says, "4 is good enough in this case. You are looking at a bakeneko."

Kensai says, "We are looking for someone, we are told he spends time here." He looks around. "It is an important thing," he continues. "We are searching for a missing person. He may be able to help us."

Yin nods and adds, "He goes by the name of Yoshi, and is most likely able to tap into the astral world as well."

Her smile grows a little wider. "I know of you speak," she says. "And we can pass on the question of payment. He asked for use of my old friend's circle, and paid well for it." She smiles again,the kind of smile a well-fed cat might share. "Are you friends of his?"

At this point, Choshiro stops by their table, delivering two plates of steaming, crispy noodles, and two big cups of green tea. When he spots the cat, his expression goes dour… but he doesn't say anything to her, just continues on his business.

Yin offer his thanks to Cochiro-san and bows repeatedly. The tea and noodles are received with proper attention. He then adds to the conversation: "The question of friendship can't be answered yet, since the reason why he is looking for the same person as we are, is still shrouded. But I think that there is no conflict necessary, as long as he cares about her wellbeing."

She nods. "So new acquaintances," she purrs. "This will be entertaining. He is outside, behind the garage, by the cherry tree. I do not think you will find him in residence, if you know what I mean, but he should be back soon. I promised not to let anyone harm him, but… well. That's not your plan, is it?"

Yin leaves this question for Kensai to answer, obviously looking at him over his tea cup.

Kensai shrugs. "I have no reason to hurt him," he replies after he finishes a big bite of noodles. His plate is almost empty already. "As my friend says, we may be seeking the same thing."

"All right," she says. "Head on to the back. We both know Choshiro won't stop you."

Kensai bows where he sits. "Thank you, Bekaneko. We will finish noodles and come out, hai?"

She smiles again, and just then she's shifting, no longer a woman, but a beautiful and elegant black siamese cat. When the noodles are finished, she will lead you to the back, into the kitchen where a bedraggled looking japanese man with obvious cybereyes and cyberhands is desperately frying up lots and lots of noodles, then out the door there into a garage with no car, just a lot of tools of various kinds on the wall, and then to the small backyard with a single, poorly-tended cherry tree surrounded by carefully arranged rocks. There is a figure behind it, sitting in the lotus position, but while his eyes are open he does not react to Kensai and Yin at all.
Yin eats about the half of the noodles and does focus more on the tea, and the gathering of his thoughts. Somewhat used to the interaction with spirits, he follows the cat readily and takes in the garage and backyard - and the tree. Involuntarily he pulls out his camera from his pocket and makes a shot out of intuition, covering the cherry tree and the scene in the backyard, with all the sharp shadows cast around the sujet. A gift for his own Kami, to report later, about what had happened today!

"Hm, there he is, it seems…", he whispers. Let's see what we can see…" Yin would cast Detect Magic to learn what kind of spell this man in lotus position might be wielding right now.

«OOC» Yin says, "On the other hand, just make it an assensing. The place seems to be safe enough"

Kensai, for his part, brought his tea with him.

«OOC» Kensai says, "despite this being a not great part of the city, the background count here is 0."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6 for "Assensing the scene!":
1 1 1 3 5 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence - 2 vs TN 4 for "Assensing the scene!, reroll! 1 KP":
2 5 5 11 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "5 successes vs. 4"

The man sitting in the circle is behind an astral barrier - but a very small one, and it proves in sufficient. (the astral barrier, for what it's worth, is a r2 shamanic lodge aspected towards shinto and cat.) He seems in good health, no complaints that cannot be described by living a long life in a polluted city- his eyes seem younger than the rest of him, and you think there are implants in his knees.

But otherwise, his aura is impossible to determine, because his astral self isn't present.

The cat, walking through the astral barrier as if it isn't there, curls up under the poor sick tree.

Upholding the astral eye for now, Yin carefully circles the cherry tree. "Hm, he's actually out there, maybe looking for Jessica. Who is this man?" The latter question directed to Kensai but also to the Bekeneko, if she's in the mood for answering. "I think we could follow the astral trail to where he's venturing, but it's risky. Do you see anything significant on the mundane world, Kitigawa-san?"

«OOC» Kensai says, "to yin's trained eye, this place was once a stronger lodge, and probably beautiful and well-cared for - but it's been left unattended for a long time, and the only reason it's not overgrown is winter."

Kensai Shakes his head. "I do not know. I have not met him before."

-he comes here sometimes- the cat-spirit says, but in a strange way - she just meows, but somehow the words are intelligible. -he is not a monster, but i believe he works with the people choshiro is in debt to.- Her tail swishes, but then it stops as she just sort of curls into a neko-biscuit. -He should not be gone much longer,if I do not miss my guess. And I never do.-
Kensai looks over to yin, and adds quietly. "Our friend here was the conjured ally of a cat-miko. She is choshiro's late wife, and his daughter's mother. She fell into darkness some time ago, and lost her life." He gestures towards the backyard. "This was her lodge."

Yin takes a heart and steps beneath the cherry tree. He then settles down on the ground. "I don't know, Kitigawa-san… He most likely used the hairbrush as an anchor and now kind of rushed after her into the astral space. This sounds daring… and if our honored and respected Bakeneko is right, he might already stress his possibilities. I'd rather keep an eye on him."

Kensai watches carefully, and then bows. "Seek him out," he says. "And I will make sure no one slices open your unattended mortal form and removes your organs for resale."

Usually, in a past life, Yin was never expected to get into a situation like this one. He was part of a greater force, a team, with people protecting him. His task was specific, limited, and precisely defined. And he always knew what his responsibility was - and his limits. But now, this was different. It had been a question of time, all the time. He knew it. And now? Within the time of one cup of green tea he suddenly was sitting in an unfamiliar lodge under a suffering cherry tree, with a yokai spirit next to him and an unknown mage in front. Another stranger with a sword was just pointing out the obvious: this was madness, and anyone with a clear mind would leave it be as it was. And for what? For a woman's fate he never met. - But now was sitting here, closing his eyes while shaking his head. "Sasinsagamira, lead the way, take me by your hands, and guide me safely." Then, he turns his attention inwards. "I'll be going, Kitigawa-san. Expect a quick return."

«OOC» Kensai says, "given the nature of the connection, and you just following it, i would work with a base time of one hour."
«OOC» Yin says, "Roger. Will pose!"

While Yin turns his attention inwards, and towards the spirit world, he tries to conjure two watcher spirits before he projects himself on the astral plane. His concentration shifts towards the suffering cherry tree that makes the center of this fragile lodge. It takes him a short while to find anything that represents the continuing will to live and to prosper. A shy cherry bud, waiting for a new chance with the upcoming spring, a hidden insect, or bird even; even any moss that might cling to the tree, sturdy and resilient enough underneath the cold Denver sky: "Kami of the sky, Kami of the tree, Kami of the cats that roam this place, climb this tree - Kami of the maze of streets that lead to this place: I, Yin, humbly ask for your assistance, just for a short while. I promise you to tend to this tree for ten days, if the owners will allow me - and the spirits will have me."

«Plot» Yin says, "Would try to take two Watcher with me, with different orders in mind"
«Plot» Kensai says, "go for it! keep in mind you also have a watcher out there running around."
«Plot» Yin says, "I know. :)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Conjuring - 2 vs TN 3 for "Conjure Watcher of the Hidden Bud":
3 3 5 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Charisma + 2 (Conjuring Dice) vs TN 4 for "Drain for one hour of service":
2 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Conjuring vs TN 3 for "Conjure Watcher of the Moss":
2 4 5 5 5 7 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Charisma + 2 (Conjuring Dice) vs TN 4 for "Drain for one hour of service":
2 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 = 4 Successes
«OOC» Kensai says, "nice! the watchers heed your call!"

«Plot» Yin says, "Alright. I limit their service to one hour, as you can see from the drain TN. And they always follow only a single order."

The shapes manifest shortly after, as a bowing branch, a rustling wind, then a shadow, that's cast across the dirty ground, where Yin is kneeling with both hands on his legs and his head lowered in a bow: "Spirit of the Bud, I ask you kindly to travel with me, and help me find my way to the projecting Yoshi, who left this body right in front of me. - And you, Spirit of the Moss, I ask you to travel with me, and be ready to deliver a message back to my friend Kitigawa-san over here, as soon as I order you to do so."

With at least some company, he finally projects and hurries after Yoshi's astral track.

«Plot» Yin says, "The Bud Watcher would roll tracking against 3, Yin against 4. The idea is to travel together."

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls 3 vs TN 3 for "Watcher of the Cherry Blossom is looking for Yoshi! Base Time is 2 hours (living being); Base TN is 9 - Yin's Intelligence":
2 5 9 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Yin is looking for Yishi with Astral Tracking. Base TN is 4. Base Time set to 60 minutes":
2 3 3 5 11 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence - 3 vs TN 4 for "Yin is looking for Yishi with Astral Tracking. Base TN is 4. Base Time set to 60 minutes, reroll 2KP":
1 4 4 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "So, I'd take the five successes, which lowers Base Time to 12 minutes"

The astral space around the tree is still strong and humming with peace - it has decayed, but not so much as to be less than sacred. On the astral plane, the cat with the swishing tail is in her full astral glory: not a mighty spirit, by any means, from her original form, but now brimming with the spirit energy of a well-feed free form. Her spirit smiles at you… and then it's off on the journey. Jig-Jig street is a chaos of twisting auras and lines, written with pain and shame and greed but also exploration, and pleasure, and family. The streets zip past you as you and your friends navigate the maze, retracing the astral tracks of the yoshi - overhead, everywhere, there is a feeling of a dragon line passing around you - but almost similar, not quite the same…

And then you're out of asiatown, zooming across space and time out of the city and into the wilds, and to a small house where a small kanji-kama drifts around aimlessly. The house shines with the power of an astral barrier…

…But yoshi's trail only stops there, briefly, before moving onwards. You know you must be getting closer.

What a wild and quick travel, with so much impressions! Yin is not really used to astral travel. But he should probably be. Anyway, here he is. The idling Kanji Spirit is dismissed first of all, with the impression of thankfulness: 'You did well, but crossing the barrier this was more than I could ask for. Farewell…'

Then, it's time to take care of the matter at hand. 'Hm, Yoshi must've had crossed the barrier, it seems…' Yin ponders, and tries to peek inside, to overcome the barrier's haze.

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 10 for "Overcome the barrier, easy!":
1 1 2 2 7 9 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Kensai says, "one detail to mix into that! as you try to peer inside, you get the sensation of a bear staring back at you, implacably, daring you to come further. (shamanic lodge: bear)"

While examining the place, it appears to be a well tended fortress. And then, Yin realizes that Yoshi's trail moves onwards, beyond the house in the wilds and suddenly he connects the dots, speaking to the Cherry Spirit: 'Well of course! This is Jessica's refuge, maybe, her lodge even… Yoshi followed her trail and it lead through this place, like an anchor or milestone. Onwards then!' He urges his spirit companion on, to continue on Yoshi's trail. The presence of a bear totem might hint at Jessica's affiliation to the North American natives. But Kensai didn't exactly tell him what totem she had. Anyway, a mental note is taken.

The trail travels deeper into the pueblo territory, on the way into the denver mountain park, and up towards the Ostara circle… then there's a puddle in the astral, a stain of blood and violence, and yoshi's trail takes a sharp turn deeper into the woods.

At last, you come to him, the catlike-astral shape of the miko you've been tracking, itself tainted with violence and cruelty and hard years in a hard place - down below, just in its vision, three auras can be seen. One of them is shot through with cyberware, full of ill-intent and hatred - another, awakened, injured and dwelling in pain - and a third. Massive, powerful, but not aura-active, and not human.

Not much time has passed, in the physical realm. Kensai, despite the cold, has also sat next to the tree, his scabbarded daisho across his lap, trying to both accustom his body to the temperature and mentally puzzle through the riddles before them.

«Plot» Yin says, "Okay. Have to read that carefully :D Yoshi was referred to as a man earlier, but the astral projection is a man too, or a woman? Mostly maiko are women, so, I am wondering if Yoshi could be the miko from the temple Jessica used to visit."

«Plot» Kensai Grins. the book also refers to shinto-shaman as miko - although, that's definitely a female aura. Let me sum up. You are looking at 4 auras. One is the astral shape you followed her. Down in what seems to be a ravine, or a cave, are three more auras. One is an awakened woman, another is a cybered man, and the other is not awakened, either, and you're pretty sure it's not metahuman. all you get from its aura at first glance is hunger and anger, but the anger isn't directed at anyone there.

SInce none of the tracked-down group seems to be magically active right now, Yin makes himself heard when he approaches: ~Yoshi~ he quietly exclaims, filling his voice with seriousness and raising his hands in a universal gesture of peace. ~I am concerned about her~, and again, the emotions direct his attention to Jessica, down below both observing shamans. ~Are you concerned too?~

The astral form turns towards yin, instantly wary - but seems to back off of it quickly. -I am-, she says quietly -That is her at least. And that -' she lifts a hand-claw and points at the cybered aura. -is her husband. it seems it is he, after all, that has found her. her wounds… they are like the mistreatment a debt-collector or interrogator might inflict.-

She points again, at the other aura. -and that is a fenris wolf-, she says. -it seems to do his bidding-.

Yin's appearance should basically reflect his bodily representation: slim, a suit, glowing in somber red, outlined with a borealis in brighter orange. However, one thing stands out. Yin necessarily wears his shaman mask, and it is, in his case, actually a mask. A white face, outlined with strong lines of black and red, the mask of a kabuki theater play. Black feathers adorn the mask, shrouding Yin's face and head. The mask he wears right now represents Wagoto, a soft and elegant male role, usually fighting for the good. The mouth is smiling, the eyes are sharp and welcoming, but they quickly shift to doubt, if Yin lowers his head.

~So, the Yakuza didn't send you. You came on your own terms to Honzo's house and took the hairbrush?~ Yin concludes and asks at the same time.
She appraises him. Her own aura is… well, now it's male again. It seems to shift with her moods, maybe? -Yes and no. It was her husband that alerted us - perhaps to draw us off the scent. When the soldiers could discover nothing, my superior sent me, instead. They are unaware of matters here.- He shifts his gaze back to them. -and they are unlikely to do much, in any case-, he hisses. -just take this information and keep it, until they need something from him.- His displeasure and disgust are obvious. -I have been here a matter of minutes. They have been here longer - how much, i cannot say, but long enough to hurt her more, from the way the astral feels.-

Yin nods and shifts his attention fully at the scene now: ~Further conclusions about his motives and how everything unfolded have to waitfor now. - What can we do? I have a friend back at the cherry tree, protecting both of us. But here, we can't do much. The lieutenant can't shift his attention to the astral world and we can't reach him. But, can we get to him? Can you describe the physical trail that leads to,~ Yin points at Jessica, ~her?~

The astral form nods. -i can. the trail here is not difficult. I could return to my body, or you could, and guide your companion- his voice trails off. -my apologies, i assume. I want to help jessica. I do not think my superior would want to… i am hoping you can.-

~I can, and so can my friend back at the tree. - Who is your superior?~ Yin asks, already considering to use the help of another spirit to make sure they find the place in the physical world.

«Plot» Yin says, "How sure is Yin about finding this place here in the physical world?"
«OOC» Kensai says, "roll your intelligence and find out!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence for "Where am I??":
1 1 3 4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence for "Where am I??, reroll 3 KP!":
1 1 3 3 4 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence for "Where am I??, reroll 5 KP!":
1 2 3 3 5 7
«Plot» Kensai says, "relatively certain. there are astral landmarks, like the ostara shamanic park nearby, and a few humongous trees - and if you get close enough, the ravine may be obvious."

Yin nods and weighs his options. Again, he looks at Jessica and Hontaro Lee, investing a couple of seconds to make sure if the auras and their behavior fit the general situation: He has captured her, and his hatred is directed against her, while her suffering and maybe fear is linked to him? Furthermore, is there anything else in this ravine or cave, that catches the astral eye? Is this a mystical place, does it go further down, does it lead to somewhere? What is the general situation? What are they doing, basically?

«Plot» Kensai says, "astral perception for questions about the zones, and one for each subject you're scrutinizing?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Have a look at the vicinity!":
4 4 4 5 5 15 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Have a look at Hontaro Lee!":
1 2 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Have a look at Jessica, finally!":
1 1 1 2 3 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence vs TN 4 for "Have a look at Jessica, finally!, reroll 6 KP":
1 2 3 4 5 14 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "Stay with that all. Technically, I could reroll all for a second turn to observe, with +2 TN, but maybe it works out already"

The ravine is not particularly notable in the astral, other than the fact that it dipping down takes it far away from the positive energy of the shamanic park - a small spot of astral-empty in the shadow of beneficent power.

Jessica's fear and hatred and discussed is purely at the figure before her, mixed with a sense of despair. She has gashes across her face, burns on parts of her skin, and drugs course through her body.

The male figure has a lot of hate. Hate towards the woman, the way one would feel about a possession that dared to think for itself, hatred towards all of her kind, bitterness and jealousy in a way that has poisoned him almost beyond recognition. She is reacting to that, too - while he has no astral force, no awakening, the hatred in him is at a fever-pitch that it would impossible for the awakened to ignore.

-My employer… is a person of influence among the Kito-ryu family and their organization. He and Lee do business together. The type that involves looking the other way, or making sure that a police patrol comes a little too late to a call. I cannot say more.-

Given the amount of hatred and violence that is just - and still - unfolding, Yin makes his decision and turns towards the Spirit of the Moss: "So shall it be then. Return to our mutual friend at the tree and inform him that I have found her, and that I will return soon. And he shall hurry and get everything going for a rush to the Pueblo territory: past Mountain Park and Ostara Circle. He is allowed to move my body. And he should pack all things necessary to fight a cybered man and a critter. I'll return to him soon."

Right now, the man isn't doing anything - he seems to be waiting, recovering his strength, and allowing the woman to do the same.

He doesn't want to kill her too quickly, after all.

«Plot» Yin says, "Yin has decided to stay a little while longer, about 20 minutes, then return to Kensai. So that Yin can support him and lead the way from the move"
Kensai bows to Moss as the message arrives, and moves to his feet quickly. He looks down at the body of his friend, and gently picks him up to put him on his shoulder. He slips out the back as quickly as he can, but holds Yin like he's helping carry a drunk friend home… eventually laying him in his car before driving to a hidden weapons cache to get some equipment - and then, there's the border…

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Denver Border Crossings + Karma Pool: 1 for "well here goes nothing!":
4 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) spends 500 nuyen for "bribe to cross into pueblo. He knows a guy.".

«Plot» Kensai says, "yoshi promises to linger for the moment - if jessica seems to move into a place of imminent death, he will find a way to intervene."
«Plot» Kensai says, "barring that, in approximately one hour he will move to the nearest road location and be ready to guide you the rest of the way in."

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 6 + 3 (Expendable Focus:Detection) for "Casting Extended Detect (Life) F4, radius 240m.":
1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 8 9 9 11

The drive is swift but unhurried. As Kensai hears the tale, his face grows darker and harder. Asiatown turns into rest of the CAS district, turns into Highway 25 - a switch down a bumpy back ground, to a secondary checkpoint. Kensai must know the officer there, because words are quietly exchanged before a wireless transfer is engaged, and then they're in the PCC and the mustang is -flying- until the roads are too bad and tight to allow it.

The mustang's wheels are unhappy as they dip into the roads of the Denver Mountain park, even as well-traveled as the path to the Ostara Shamanic Park - a road Kensai clearly knows well.

Short of the words to the guard, Kensai has been quiet as stone.

«Plot» Yin says, "That would be four successes against TN 6 (hidden lifeforms, out of sight)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Willpower vs TN 2 for "Drain Detect (Life) 2M":
1 1 1 2 4 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Willpower - 3 vs TN 2 for "Drain Detect (Life) 2M, reroll 7KP":
2 2 5 = 3 Successes

«Plot» Yin says, "That would be four successes against TN 6 (hidden lifeforms, out of sight)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Willpower vs TN 2 for "Drain Detect (Life) 2M":
1 1 1 2 4 9 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Willpower - 3 vs TN 2 for "Drain Detect (Life) 2M, reroll 7KP":
2 2 5 = 3 Successes

On their way, Yin returns into his body, at some point. A funny scene, for some, when he opens the door at the next traffic light and vomits onto the pavement, casually. Silently cursing, he composes himself within half an hour or so. Astral projection is certainly not his primary hobby. Then, eventually, he prepares for a confrontation, picking up some foci, adjusting his pistol, and dons his armored vest with plates over his suit.

When they pass the Ostara Circle, Yin breaks the silence that had transpired after his lengthy report of the scene that awaits: "Let me give you some spirit help. May the Kami lend you insight into all things living around us. You might even discriminate if they're hurt and if it's an animal. So, a wolf, a man, a woman. This should be a good anchor for your sixth sense." He then simply lays his left hand on his cyberarm and speaks a brief and simple shinto prayer. A phrase probably well known to Kensai to join in.

«Plot» Kensai says, "time check - it was late afternoon when the pair began their search. it was just past sunset by the time they reached the Sable Neko."
«Plot» Kensai says, "and sunset had just passed by the time yin left his body. so it's full dark by now."

With the spell sustained, there is not much else to say now. Yin checks his weapon, trying to get used to sustaining the spell while doing other things. The plan is simple: whatever the situation is, they have to clear it. While the car is bumping across the rural roads and tracks, Yin suggests: "If we are about to confront them, I could try to scout ahead in the astral, but I'd rather avoid that, if possible. The wilderness at night is the hour of the predators."

Kensai listens to the words, just slightly different than the one he knows, and he finally pulls to a stop. He finally breaks his silence as he engages the parking break. "I am a servant of monsters," he says, the bitterness and shame evident in his voice. "But when I get a chance, I prefer to kill them. Is there a reason I should hold back with this oathbreaker?" He steps out of the trunk and opens it up, exchanging his rumpled suit for a black compression tee, swinging an armored jacket over that before retrieving his helmet. He stares at its amber visor. "Once more," he says, and puts it on.

"It is," he agrees with Yin, engaging his own low-light system. "Do we know the rest of the way?"
"The plan was that Yoshi will catch up with us, when we close in on the road. If she doesn't, we have to cover the distance from the road to where the spirits might pick up their life essence on our own."

Yin prepares himself by packing a small bag: a medkit, a high-powered binocular (with low-light and thermographic), a magazine for his pistol, with AOD tracking rounds, and a tracking locator, also personal TACCOM unit with external transducer net. He offers a TACCOM unit to Kensai as well: "For silent communication. Thoughts only."

Kensai grunts an affirmative, and slings his ares alpha across his back. Finally, both swords are tucked into his obi - a glorified rope, in this case. He regards the TACCOM unit briefly, then taps his helmet, linking up to Yin's commchannel . «I am personally equipped for such,» he says. «But thank you.»

It is at that moment that the astral shimmers and a shape manifests. It is yoshi, in his/her/theirs normal guise, the older japanese man dressed simply. The figure regards Kensai for a moment. "Elder Brother's Blood-spattered sword. Interesting. He will do."

She/he/Them bows to them both. "Things grow darker. Her life dwindles."

Yin bows briefly, and adds restraints as well as a headjammer and jackstopper to his bag: "We move as fast as we dare to, Yoshi-domo."

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) uses 1 of item 4: Expendable Spell Focus (Detect 3) from Foci and Foci Formulae (#13409).

Kensai hurries after them, not reaching for any of the weapons yet. «Kito-ryu family. They serve the Osaka, I believe. Interesting. My involvement will not point back to them.»

The astral form ducks between trees, only occasionally remembering to stop for them as they have to navigate roots and brambles and loose stones, but in a handful of minutes you are perched on the edge of the ravine - ten meters deep on each side, running down to a long-dry stream bed, with several large rocks providing cover.

-Down there,- Yoshi says. -He has started to work again.-

Commlink-Samurai V> Kensai sends, « I realize you may be confused. The Kito-Ryu family is yakuza. Their presence in Denver is associated with the Osaka twins. The man that I often work, while not opposed to them, is more often connected with another. »

Commlink-Yin> Yin sends, « «< I see. It might surprise you, Kitigawa-san, but I did not have the 'honor' yet to get introduced to the Yakuza in Denver yet. Anyway, focus on your spirit sense. Any life within reach that might be the ones we are looking for? »> »

Yin stays a good stretch behind, focused on the sustained spell and avoiding to slip or make some noise. So, it takes him a minute to catch up with Kensai, where the ravine opens up.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Intelligence:
1 3 4 10
Commlink-Samurai V> Kensai sends, « got them. »
Kensai finds his position, and using the detect life, pinpoints where they are. «Couple of rocks, using them as shelter. Wolf is outside, watching. He'll likely smell us as soon as the wind turns. I got heat on the other side -shit. There's fire.»

Commlink-Yin> Yin sends, « Roger, .. one thing… this doesn't have to end in a blood bath. I'd rather see him brought in in one piece, if the Mountain is willing to deal with him properly. I feel your anger, but you don't have to put a weight on your shoulder that should be his to carry… Wait, a fire you say? Like a campfire? »

Yin peers over the ravine, trying to capture some impressions through his binoculars. He doesn't even care that he's basically lying in the dirt in his dark suit. That's just how it is.
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Willpower:
2 2 2 11

A woman's scream pierces the night - it's weak, wracked with pain, but it's still ear-piercing in its horror. Kensai starts to move, bounding up from his covered position, but with an anguished sound forces himself back down - the time is not yet for attack. Not until they coordinate him. But he can feel the ripples of pain as well as hear them, the magical connection he's forbidden to speak suddenly overwhelmed by sensation.

There is not much emotion carried on a transducer, but it's easy to sense the way Kensai's emotions are running - he is stock-still but quivering at the same time, an arrow ready to be launched from the bow. «I will deal with the wolf first. If we wish to avoid a blood-bath… neutralize the torturer before I get done. I am not certain on my ability to hold back, should I face him.»

« Wait a second, let's get this sorted out… » Yin starts to finalize his preparations. He puts on blue latex gloves, and pulls up a neck gaiter across his lower face. Also, he readies a micro-camcorder, attaching it on his armored vest. « I will ask a spirit to confuse the suspect, and steal his attention away from Jessica the moment you attack the wolf. I'll be behind you then, trying to get to Jessica as soon as I can. But… Kitigawa-san, I am not a fighter. Both of them, wolf and man, will rip me apart if we fail to time it right. But,… agreed so far? »
:forces his focus back into the moment, away from the pain and the fear. This is the time to be strong, not raging - professional, not sloppy. «Hai. I understand. I should provide a big enough distraction to draw focus.» For a moment, there's a feeling of lightness. «Just do not leave me hanging too long, hai? I am only so much bullet proof.»

Kensai forces his focus back into the moment, away from the pain and the fear. This is the time to be strong, not raging - professional, not sloppy. «Hai. I understand. I should provide a big enough distraction to draw focus.» For a moment, there's a feeling of lightness. «Just do not leave me hanging too long, hai? I am only so much bullet proof.»

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls 3 (Conjuring) vs TN 4 for "F4 ravine spirit":
1 2 22 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Charisma + 3 (Conjuring Dice) vs TN 4 for "Conjuring Drain 4M stun":
1 1 1 2 3 4 4 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Conjuring + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 3 for "Force 3 forest spirit":
2 2 4 10 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "Whoo! One service, no drain! Oh, and the Detect Life is dropped for that purpose of course"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Charisma vs TN 3 for "m drain":
1 1 1 2 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Charisma vs TN 3 for "m drain kp 3/14":
4 4 7 8 = 4 Successes

Kensai listens to Yin, and as they speak it is enough to broaden his thoughts. «A spirit… of course…»

He chants himself, perhaps even in tone with Yin's own words, reaching into the mana-sphere and beseeching the kame for help…

Yin nods, grinning beneath his neck gaiter: « Of course! We are far from alone. And I think we have the power of justice on our side. Let's do it…» Yin is surprised, when Kensai joins in and whispers a chanting, but in a positive way. He concludes with a finalized command for the spirit too appear: "Kami of the land, I call you forth, from the ravine! Don't you hear the suffering that unfolds? I reach out with my hand, grasp it, and help us to put right what is wrong!"

Shortly after, a crackling sound can be heard, as the spirit makes itself known through dust and shifting rocks. But in the darkness, nothing can be seen. The command follows shortly after, with Yin breathing heavily, but taking courage and comfort from Kensai next to him, and his own summoning: « Kami of the Ravine, I want you to wait for my friend Kitigawa-san to attack the wolf below, then I want you to aggressively confuse and mislead the torturer below, the man who threatens the woman. Lead him astray, and keep him away from the woman until I release you from service. »

Kensai finishes his own chant, and the trees around them begin to sway with no wind. "spirit," he whispers. "Divine ghost of the forest. We go to battle, and we need your aid. Please, I beseech you. When the mountain-kame begins to confuse the half-man below, use your power to conceal him and the shamaness below. Please."

There are no words, no physical form, but a sensation of ascent ripples through the leaves.

Kensai takes a deep breath, hand closing on the hilt of his sword. His rifle is with him, but… his posture, with the shamanic mask of the older samurai drifting around him, the true spirit of a kensai… there is only one choice for him.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Initiative with a result of 13.
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Initiative with a result of 10.
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls 1 for "Kami of the Ravine, Initiative +15 (physical), +24 (astral)":
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 2 for "+4":
1 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 2 for "+7":
3 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1 for "kami of the woods, init +14 (phys), +23 (astral)":

For a short moment, both, Kensai and Yin, are wearing their shamanic masks - the samurai and the kabuki. A memorable moment, at least for Yin. But there are pressing matters at hand. Musing the situation and its significance must wait for a later time and another day.

«Plot» Kensai says, "ar 26, af 24 lt 15, ken 13, yin 10, woof 9, ar 16, af 4, let 5, ken 3, ar 6, af 4"
«OOC» Yin says, "I can do the spirit?"
«OOC» Kensai says, "you may! for the sake of sanity, kensai began his charge, which starts off the series of things, so your orders can be properly timed. :D"

While Kensai and Yin start to move, the ravine spirit is already gone. On the astral plane, it moves through rocks, dust, stones, pebbles - its natural terrain. But there is not much to do for now but waiting, waiting… In the physical world, the surroundings are calm, only some inconspicuous pebbles are toppling here and there. - And then: a charge has been called! The spirit manifests instantly, raising a pile of dust and debris, even some ashes and sparks from the fire, up into the air, hailing down on Hontaro Lee.

No sooner has that spirit begun its assault on the senses of the offending Hontaro Lee, then the forest kicks in its turn. Leaves begin to swirl on their own, grass starts to wise, and the sound of the woods rises high and wild…

Yin follows after - but much more careful than Kensai. He sneaks towards the assumed position of Jessica, keeping an eye on the general situation that unfolds. He has his Morissey Alta drawn from its concealable holster; muzzle pointing down towards the ground while he advances.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 4 for "hontaro must make a decision!":
2 4 5 8 = 3 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "Morissey Elite, actually, not ALta"
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Stealth for "Open Test to sneak past wolf and Hontaro, +3 Concealment":
2 3 4 11
«OOC» Kensai says, "hontaro leaves cover, trying to discover what's wrong, and squeezes a shot off at kensai. He is currently using an ares predator, his long gun currently forgotten. +4 tn confusion. +4 tn kensai's movement. base tn is 5 from range. -2 tn for smartlink. tn is 9."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 9 for "BAM!":
1 3 4 4 5 9 15 16 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 9 for "BAM! the second!":
1 2 2 4 4 5 8 16 = 1 Success

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Combat Pool: 4 + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 4 for "kensai dodge kp 6/14":
3 3 3 3 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Combat Pool: 4 + Karma Pool: 1 - 1 vs TN 4 for "kensai dodge kp 7/14":
2 3 7 10 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Body vs TN 4 for "soaking M damage":
2 2 3 4 8 15 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Body - 3 vs TN 4 for "soaking M damage kp 8/14":
2 4 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Combat Pool: 3 vs TN 4 for "dodging second bullet":
1 3 4 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Combat Pool: 3 - 1 vs TN 4 for "dodging second bullet kp 9/14":
1 10 = 1 Success

----------—[ Shadowrun Denver ]-
============================> Combat Jumping Roll <============================
Kensai (#8241) jumps with 4 dice with a 2 TN modifier and 7 effective Quickness.
«Auto-Judge[]» Rolls: 2 3 4 7
------> Interpreted Results <-----—-
If this attempted jump is taken as a free action:
A 5 Meter Running Horizontal jump
A 3 Meter Standing Horizontal jump
A 3 Meter Vertical jump of any kind including reach
If this attempted jump is taken as all movement during a combat phase:
A 7 Meter Running Horizontal jump
A 5 Meter Standing Horizontal jump
A 3 Meter Vertical jump of any kind including reach

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Edged Weapons (Katana) + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 3 for "kp 10/14; -1 tn from reach, no vis penalties with the firelight and eyemods.":
1 2 2 4 7 8 9 9 10 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Edged Weapons (Katana) + Karma Pool: 1 - 6 vs TN 3 for "kp 11/14; -1 tn from reach, no vis penalties with the firelight and eyemods.":
4 9 23 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "wolf defence":
1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 + Combat Pool: 4 - 4 vs TN 4 for "wolf defence kp 1/1":
3 3 5 7 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 10 + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 12 for "no armor on the doggo!":
2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 9 11 15 = 1 Success
«OOC» Kensai says, "wolf takes SERIOUS PAIN"

«Plot» Kensai says, "yin! as far as you can tell you are currently unobserved!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 10 vs TN 12 for "knockdown test":
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 5 5 7 = 0 Successes

Kensai comes charging down the hill, the souls of his ancestors shouting at him inside. His sword is out, raised high over his head, as conspicuous as he can be, and he lets out the wild cry of 'BONZAI!'

Hantaro, confused and bewildered, nonetheless has flawless reactions and incredible speed. He comes out of cover and his pistol barks twice.

Kensai half-staggers as he takes a bullet, but the stagger takes him out of the path of the second… and with a mighty HEAVE of powerful legs he leaps up and off the slope of the ravine, clearing a full seven meters in the air and delivering a perfect sword stroke as he passes. Blood flashes in the air and the samurai lands, wheeling to face the wolf … who, for its part, slumps to the ground, not dead but bleeding badly.

The Fenrir wolf, for its part, stands a meter and a half at the shoulder and more than two meters long, with oversized jaws that look like they could almost swallow the sun. Its eyes burn with intelligent malevolence, and its thick grey coat is covered with matted scars.

Amazing, how suddenly and quickly situations like that use to turn violent and aggressive. Yin shakes his head in disbelief but also determination, when Kensai leaps into battle. All in it is, alright. Yin circles the scene on the right flank, moving in partial cover, cowering and sneaking as steady as possible. His polished shoes are crunching on the rocky ground, but there are certainly louder things happening right now. And he is shrouded in a gust of leaves and dust from the concealing forest spirit.

Yin has his weapon in his right hand, supported by his gloved left, which is also holding a small flashlight - turned off for now. His tactical bag is dangling on his left hip on a sling across his chest. Jessica is his primary concern. Where is she exactly? What would her medical situation and general state be?
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Intelligence for "Perception":
2 3 4 5 8 9

Jessica is there, bound with her hands behind her back, laying on the hard, stony earth. Her clothes, sensible for a trip to the woods, are badly torn - and there are narrow gashes along most of the explosed flesh, and fresh, angry burns. She is in most of a mage mask, the bottom half having been ripped off, presumably to let her scream.

In Hantaro's other hand is an iron poker, the tip still glowing.

Otherwise, not much to see. The fire looks fresh-built, but there is not much room behind the rock and the ravine.

«OOC» Kensai says, "second phase. the spirits are busy maintaining their powers, right?"
«OOC» Yin says, "Yep"

«OOC» Kensai says, "this gunman from hell tries again."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 4 for "making decisions!":
1 1 2 5 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 9 for "shooting the samurai":
1 1 2 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 9 for "shooting the samurai":
2 4 5 5 = 0 Successes

«OOC» Kensai says, "oh drek i forgot the woof's turn."
«OOC» Kensai says, "wolf uses its fear power! on kensai!"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 vs TN 7 for "opposed test, essence v willpower. +3 wound tn.":
1 1 2 3 9 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Willpower vs TN 5 for "resist!":
1 5 5 16 = 3 Successes
«OOC» Kensai says, "last action, kensai - snicker-snack on the wolf."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Edged Weapons (Katana) vs TN 2 for "-2 tn for target prone. using reach to increase wolf's TN. base damage 11m.":
1 1 1 3 3 4 4 4 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 8:
2 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Kensai says, "damage stages to D"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 10 vs TN 11:
1 1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 = 0 Successes

The fight rages around the little ravine. Somehow, struggling through the endless noise and madness, Lee manages to fall into perfect weaver stance and squeeze off another couple of rounds - but it is all -too- confusing, and this time he can't find his target. The wolf, grounded, lets out a bone-chilling howl…

Kensai can feel the fear in his bones, making his blood run cold, his heart beat like a drum. He is faced with primeval terror, a monster that existed when the world was still ice, and its gnashing jaws are so large and so close. But he is samurai, and the battle is joined, and the true kensai guides his hands. He strikes with his sword, driving his tip into the creatures side. He drags the cut across, draws it out, and then turns, using a twisting pivot to power his blow as he brings the sword down on the back of the wolf's neck.

It stops moving, but its head moves on, falling to the ground behind it with a massive -thunk- : and Kensai is free to turn toward the real monster.

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Initiative with a result of 8.
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Initiative with a result of 15.
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls 1 for "Ravine spirit":
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 2 for "+7":
2 7
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1:
«Plot» Kensai says, "AR 31, AF 30, Ken 15, lee 15, yin 8"
«Plot» Yin says, "Spirits continue their job"
«Plot» Yin says, "And Kensai and Lee have a real stand-off, same Ini, same Reaction? :D"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1:
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1:
«OOC» Kensai says, "and kensai edges out. :)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Edged Weapons (Katana) + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "disarm attempt. lee engages karate close combat, so kensai reach bonus negated.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 10 10 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 8 for "+4 tn confusion":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 10 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 5 - 1 vs TN 8 for "+4 tn confusion kp 1/?":
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 5 - 1 vs TN 8 for "+4 tn confusion kp 3/?":
1 1 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 = 0 Successes
+roll 5+cp:5-1/8~+4 tn confusion kp 6/6
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 5 - 1 vs TN 8 for "+4 tn confusion kp 6/6":
1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 11 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1 for "scatter":

Kensai faces Lee, who lowers his aim, centering on Kensai's chest, but the cybered samurai doesn't hesitate as he charges the 6m over towards the crooked cop - just a hair faster. His sword flashes out, thirsty for the blood of monsters. Lee steps in, trying to close to minimize the effect of the sword, blocking Kensai's arm with his elbow… but even as they lock, Kensai's true intention reveals itself. He drops a hand from his sword-hilt, grabs Lee's gun-arm by the wrist, twisting, and then bounces away and with a quick kick knocks it back behind Lee by a meter.
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 4:
2 3 4 5 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Kensai says, "Lee retreats 3m and grabs his Rifle from where it leans near the fire! simple action change position, simple action ready weapon."
«Plot» Yin says, "What is my position relative to Jessica and Lee at the beginning of the round?"
«Plot» Kensai says, "you are 2m away from jessica, 4m from lee. the fire is between you and lee, and you're a quarter-turn around it from jessica."

Lee ducks away from the sword, spitting a curse, and falls back to his rock as the storm of dust and small stones still surround him, and he grabs a venerable hunting rifle from where it rests.

It is a millisecond of judgement, and there are two options: free Jessica from the mage mask - or shoot Lee in the back with his gel round ammunition! Yin decides by intuition, and decides for trust in Kensai's ability to cut the man down with this rather unwieldy rifle in a second. So, he covers the final two meters cowering and using the fire as concealment. He then places his left hand on Jessica's shoulder and whispers: "Jessica, I'm a friend, hold still…" There is no other way, he puts flashlight and weapon down on the ground for the moment, removing the mage mask.

The woman screams as she is touched, pain bright and brilliant in her eyes, but the sudden freedom changes the pitch of that. If she hears Yin's words, she doesn't recognize them yet, but her body is quivering as she starts to try o call up power…

«OOC» Kensai says, "Jessica will join the next initiative pass."
«OOC» Kensai says, "Gunman's attention will shift to Jessica. Kensai must decide - kill him where he stands, or try to disable him."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Willpower for "who wins? the teammate, or the samurai?":
4 9 9 10
«OOC» Kensai says, "Kensai will just hit the man."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Pentjak-Silat + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "penjak attack":
1 2 3 3 4 5 8 11 = 4 Successes
«Plot» Yin says, "Very well! I feared for Lee to be so fanatic about her. Hence Yin did try to avoid his attention by shooting him"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Pentjak-Silat + Combat Pool: 4 - 4 vs TN 4 for "penjak attack kp 12/14":
1 1 4 5 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 2 vs TN 11 for "+4 tn confusion, +2 tn distraction":
1 1 3 3 3 3 4 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Kensai says, "well he's going to have a bad day. Kensai's base damage is 7m(stun), staging up to 8d stun."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 vs TN 4 for "4 impact armor.":
1 2 3 5 13 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Kensai says, "he takes a serious, and…"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 vs TN 12 for "knockdown test. +4 confusion, +3 stun, base tn 7. -2 balance augmenter":
3 4 9 9 15 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 7 for "making decision, 4 + stun penalty":
2 2 5 5 = 0 Successes

The astral whispers of the samurai echo in kensai's head and heart, the blood thirst for this monster, the will to see a fight finished - the red samurai training matches it, telling Kensai to leave no man standing, but somehow the street samurai manages to beat both of those voices back. He charges into the man, not slashing with his sword but throwing his shoulder into him, backing him up, hitting him again, and then grabbing him by his throat and sending him crashing into the stone.

Already kneeling more or less over Jessica, awaiting to get shot in his back, Yin is more than just relieved as he becomes aware of Kensai's robust advance. While Jessica is still struggling herself free from the mask, Yon shouts across the fire: "Lieutenant! It's over! Surrender!! NOW!"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 for "lee's thought process":
1 1 4 4
«OOC» Kensai says, "would you like an intimidate check from your last pose? you can default to etiquette if you like."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Etiquette for "Default from Intimidation":
1 1 1 1 3
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Etiquette for "Default from Intimidation, reroll 8/12":
2 2 4 4 5
«Plot» Yin says, "That's how it is then"

«Plot» Kensai says, "modifiers: -2 default. +1 charima. +1 because kensai is bigger than lee. +2 because aggressors outnumber. +2 because kensai just killed a fenriswolf. +2 tn because death imminent. +3 wounds. +4 confusion. -1 professional rating. Base . -2 because result is annoying to guy, -4 because hostile."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 4 vs TN 11:
2 5 5 9 = 0 Successes

Lee is back against a stone wall. Everything is chaos. His pet wuff died in a matter of seconds, he's already been hit hard - and his wife is now partly free, and her voice is beginning to raise hell all around them. In his confusion, he can only find one road… he drops his rifle, a venerable winchester that must be nearly 100 years old.

«Plot» Yin says, "Yin's priority is to prevent Jessica from over-reacting. Blocking line of sight to her husband, trying to calm her down"

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Pentjak-Silat + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "guy might have dropped his rifle, but i'd rather he be unconscious.":
1 1 1 4 4 4 5 7 = 5 Successes

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Etiquette for "Calm Jessica down":
1 2 4 4 16
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Psychology for "Calm Jessica down":
2 3 5 19

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 13 for "+2 back against wall, +4 confusion, +2 stunmod.":
1 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 5 vs TN 5 for "soak!":
1 1 3 5 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 2 vs TN 5 for "oh yeah combat pool":
4 4 = 0 Successes

While Kensai continues to struggle the surrendering assailant down, Yin breaks line of sight between Jessica and her husband. "Jessica Winter-Blossom? Calm down! It's over, but I need your help now, if you can, do you listen?" Yin tries a very serious and penetrable voice, and tries to catch her eyes, locking them for a second in the firelight: "We have to move away, just two meters, can you do that?" Very carefully he helps her to sit up and move backwards, away from the flames and away from her husband. It's a symbolic action, actually. She might see that he collapses, but still, Yin is very aware that she could snuff him out, so he's staying with her: "We came a long way to get you out of this. I will now take a look at you, if you don't mind, I'll call the spirit world to see what he did to your body, how he drugged you? Is this okay for you?" It's basically keeping her busy and involved.

Jessica's screaming continues for a moment, but as Yin breaks the line of sight off of her it seems to snap her out of it. She meets his eyes, and for the first time she seems to actually SEE him. Her third eye is blazing open - but that helps, too, as she sees the essence of the man before her.

She stops screaming, though her heart still pounds and her dark eyes, now no longer maddened by red rage, fall back to horror and pain and trauma.

The man may have dropped his rifle, but Kensai isn't done with him yet. Kensai delivers a blow to his chest, a powerful rib punch that involves him pulling back his right hand even as he drives his left into Lee's ribs. He gasps, unable to breath, and as he doubles over Kensai wraps big arm around him, kicks him in the back of the knee, and throws him to the ground.

The sound of the bone-cracking from that kick also jerks Jessica's attention over, just in time to see her husband-tormentor from being hurled to the dirt. There is a harsh take in of breath, and then she begins to sob, letting it all out.

Yin communicates via TACCOM: « Don't touch too much here, I'm going to document and secure the scene, should the supervisor want to pursue this as a formal case. Otherwise we spoil the evidence for the court… » He then secures his pistol and his flashlight again, before starting to set up the medkit and… casting a Diagnose spell on Jessica.

« Damn good job with the suspect, by the way. You did exactly the right thing. I can almost feel it physically. Are you hurt? » Yin adds.

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 4 for "Casting Diagnose F6 on Jessica":
1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 9 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 4 - 2 for "Casting Diagnose F6 on Jessica, 9/12":
1 1 1 1 2 3 4 13
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Sorcery + Spell Pool: 4 - 3 for "Casting Diagnose F6 on Jessica, 11/12":
1 2 2 4 4 5 9
«Plot» Yin says, "Four successes against 9. If Jessica is willing, there is no Resistance Test"

Kensai nods. «He only managed to shoot me once. My armor did its job.» He holds out his sword, flicking the blood off, and with a simple ceremonial motion he slides it into his scabbard.» He looks around the scene again, forcing his breathing to be calm, to let the flow of battle leave him, and then he slowly walks over to the pair and takes off his helmet.

«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Willpower + Spell Pool: 2 vs TN 2 for "Drain Diagnose 2L":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 10 = 7 Successes

----> Text Message to Yin from Kensai (#8241) <----

My comm is in my helmet, but I still have access to the cellular network.

Yin now takes care that his body-cam does not record Kensai directly. Anyway, he is currently leaning over Jessica, resting both hands lightly on her shoulders while closing his eyes, feeling into the spirit world to find the spark of the living within Jessica - and anything that taints. What are her wounds, internal and external? What are the drugs doing to her? Is she bound to suffer more, or even die after a while? How urgent is the situation?

«OOC» Yin says, "Yin's concern are drugs and internal wounds, damage to organs and so on."
«Plot» Kensai says, "She is at 7 boxes of damage. one is from a single, heavy blow (3 boxes - an m wound), the rest is due to small, carefully delivered cuts and burns. She is badly stunned, and she has several doses of Hyper running through her veins. (+info gear chem stun)"

Yin raises his head after a short moment: "Jessica, you'll be fine again, don't worry. Just hold on and sit tight. Meditate your pain, if you can. Try to fight the drug. It's intensifying your sensation, but you might cope with it." Then, Yin looks up at Kensai: "Can you use the medkit? I'd take care of the scene, secure this piece of dreck, and call Leng for further instructions."

«Plot» Kensai says, "no immediate danger - probably. There's a lot more hyper in her body than would even normally be healthy."
«Plot» Kensai says, "well. healthy is not the right word. But there's several doses in there."

"Jack," she says, with a gasp of recognition. "Jack - you're here?"

"I'm here, jess," he says, and she semi-falls against him. He hugs her for a moment, gently squeezing her, and then gently pushes her back. "I can operate the kit… well enough," he says. "I've had some training. Jess I need you to sit still for a minute, all right? Everything I'm going to do is going to hurt but it should help."

Raising to his feet, Yin dismisses the Spirit of the Ravine, if it is still around, then looks down on Jessica and Kensai, allowing himself some seconds to catch his breath and take in the wholesome situation and relationship that unfolds between Jessica and Kensai. They did it.

«Plot» Yin says, "It's a standard medkit."
«OOC» Kensai says, "tn of 9. conditions aren't bad, but it's a serious wound. +2 for awakened, -1 for her body."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Biotech + Karma Pool: 1 vs TN 9 for "kp 13/14":
8 17 = 1 Success

Kensai sets to work with the medkit, carefully taking out the tools he'll need. Sealing the cuts is his first priority, to minimize infection, but first he has to clean them out. She almost screams with pain as he touches the first one - Kensai immediately stops to soothe her, to remind her of some breathing techniques … all told, though, it takes him all of a minute to get her wounds cleans and sealed, minus a minute for the breathing techniques.

Eventually, when Kensai starts the treatment, Yin leaves both of them alone near the campfire and starts to restrain Hontaro Lee with massive cable zippers and the headjammer. Secondly, he documents the scene with his micro-camcorder, including Jessica's wounds while she receives her treatment, and the grim weapon her husband used to apply the burn marks. With plastic bags from his tactical bag, he then starts to secure relevant evidence: weapons, equipment, vials of drug, syringes, whatever can be found. After the crime scene has been documented and secured as best as possible for now, he pulls out his cellphone and would make a call for Supervisor Leng from the Shining Mountain, his client, after all, in this case.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 3 for "availability. at least it's after work hours?":
1 4 4
«OOC» Kensai says, "good enough. Leng will answer on the second ring."
"I was hoping to hear from you," the supervisor says. "What's the situation? Did you find the girl?"

Unseen in the astral, satisfied that the necessary has been done, Yoshi will return to his/her body.

Yin walks a bit away from the others, but keeps line of sight to Lee. His eyes searching the stars above while he speaks: "Supervisor, this is Yin. I have good news, I have bad news, regarding the missing woman. It depends a bit on how your take on the whole thing is. She's alive and needs medical treatment. We are out here in the Pueblo wilderness. Her husband set you on a false track, he abducted her personally, from her lodge in the woods. He was about to torture her to death. It's grim. He was totally out of mind, filled with long nurtured rage and hate. He is subdued now, and the question is: will you prosecute this thoroughly? Because I am just securing the evidence at the scene, should you prefer to make it a legal case. And I would advise you to do so. The Yakuza are already musing how to use this as a leverage to blackmail him and use it against the Mountain. And also, you probably don't want a Lieutenant suddenly cut into pieces appearing somewhere at the outskirts, if you get me. His deed has stirred up some serious anger from folks who keep Jessica close to their hearts. So, if you want to deal with him officially, and his wife cooperates, I can bring him in. And I think that's the best move right now. What do you say?"

«Plot» Yin says, "Kensai might notice that there is no mentioning of Kensai. Probably to keep him out of the spotlight in any upcoming legal case?"

«OOC» Kensai says, "roll etq test, versus 6! what you're asking, makes sense, but guy -does- have rank."
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Etiquette vs TN 6 for "Convince Leng to play it by the numbers":
1 2 3 9 22 = 2 Successes
ooc law, probably.
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Law vs TN 6 for "Complementary":
1 2 3 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) rolls Law vs TN 6 for "Complementary, reroll! 12/12 :D":
2 2 3 3 4 5 = 0 Successes

The supervisor is silent, listening carefully. He swears quietly when Yin is done. "This will be messy. He is popular among certain people in the Little Chiba squad, as it is. And yet… our other officer's house was broken into, today, and he is currently in hospital for sustained injuries. I do not feel we have any other alternative. Not and retain any legitimacy. If the wife will press charges, we will pursue this, as well as Conspiracy to Assault."

Yin nods, looking over to the camp again: "Understood. I'll bring him in to K-Town main station. Maybe we can debrief tomorrow, when I've a dossier ready for the prosecutor. … Yes… Good night, Supervisor."

Yin returns to the other two. Shaking his head about the fenris wolf as he passes right next to its corpse.

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 3 for "how is the expert system managing the drugs?":
4 5 9
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls 1:
«Auto-Judge[]» Yin (#9019) uses 1 of item 2: Medkit Supplies from Medical Supplies (#12047).

Kensai is finishing up with Jessica. Her wounds cleaned and sealed, he's operating the analysis device for an antidote… and then he's giving her a small injection that -almost- makes her scream, but she manages to hold it back. "That should do it," he says, then looks over his shoulder as Yin approaches? "What's the word?"

"They will not let this stand. He will face the CAS court. Supervisor just confirmed it. So, his neat little life is about to change soon. And he'll learn about fascist and racist ugliness soon enough by himself. - This thing will be played officially from here on, so I suggest we escort Jessica to the hospital, and drop her husband off at the K-Town Mountain HQ. And then I cut you out of this as good as I can. I'll probably have to stand in court for as witness."

Yin then lowers down next to Jessica, just offering some comfort, trying a smile. There is not much to do or say right now. She would most likely need some time to sort all out tomorrow and the following days.

Jessica looks at Kensai, and then at Yin. Kensai touches her on the shoulder and rises. "All right," he says. "I would help more if I could - stand up in court and talk about jess here going missing - but my face should not be in front of any cameras. For now." He puts a hand on Yin's shoulder, moves over to the giant slain wolf, making some final acts of his own…

Jessica nods at Yin, and somehow manages a smile. "All right," she says. "I'm ready to go. Thank you."

«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Talismongering for "harvesting animal components for future enchanting use!":
2 2 3 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Kensai (#8241) rolls Talismongering for "harvesting animal components for future enchanting use! kp 14/14 trying to hit a 6.":
2 2 4 10

Yin helps her up: "Your friend Jack did a good job, hm?" he smiles, "Also, your friend Aikiro is also recovering. You'll be able to see him soon, I think. - Careful now, we have to walk for a short stretch, to Jack's car."

While Kensai takes care of the wolf - and hopefully Lee -, Yin gathers all evidence that's of primary importance for the upcoming case. Then he leads Jessica back to the car, together with Kensai. Through the dark night of the Pueblo wilderness, a flashlight dances between the trees and brushes, leading Jessica away from the place of her suffering.

Kensai finishes his bloody work, unable to find any sort of bit that fits his needs - without an enchanting kit with him, it's almost impossible be sure. He does manage to retrieve the giant monster's canine teeth, and he calls it good, trying not to think about how the blood on them is staining the inside of his jacket.

They make it out of the ravine, and through the woods, jack's forest kame helping carry the unconscious form of the crooked lieutenant. It's a tight fit, the car no longer built for more than two, but effort makes it worth it - and the trunk will fit the knocked-out body.

«Plot» Kensai says, "after consideration, - kensai is able to retrieve four teeth, 'Fenrirwolf Canines.' They are not suitable for refining or making into radicals, but may be used as 'awakened animal parts' for rare material requirements, or as virgin telesma."

Finally, they are all sitting (or cramping) in Kensai's mustang. What a night! Yin just shakes his head all the time, muttering to himself: "What a day, just as the next and the last… man." Then, he pats Kensai on the forearm: "Well done. Thank you, /Jack/," using this name in front of Jessica, "you were an excellent partner, even though I probably slowed you down a bit. For good or worse, only the Kami know!" With that, he falls silent for the drive to the hospital and the Mountain HQ, already going through possible takes on the trial and how to support the Mountain attorney over the next days.

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