Friday, September 21, 2012


What do you do when you've been shot at, irradiated, and lost someone you love? If you're Our Heroes (tm), you go back to one of the places you hate most on Terra Nova, in an attempt to free someone who hates us back from one of the most secure prisons on the planet. Because we're masochists or something. But at least we're quotable masochists.

[Coming out of the hospital after being treated for radiation sickness, Lukas decides it would be a good idea to let Tatsugoro know that Wallcraft is dead, before he tears up Khayr ad-Din looking for him.]
Lukas: "I thought you might be interested in an update on... someone you were interested in."

[More of the same.]
Lukas: "The situation resolved itself."
Ariel: "With extreme prejudice."

[Next call: Karin Hassan. Primary purpose of the call: put out feelers on whether anyone's seen Ti Corovan. Secondary purpose of the call: flirt.]
Karin Hassan: "Lukas! How've you been?"
Lukas: "Irradiated."

[While we've been in the hospital, news has been coming out from SNS on a nuclear 'incident' in the UMF. Karin puts two and two together.]
Karin Hassan: "Are you in the UMF?"
Lukas: "...That depends on why you're asking."

[Karin realizes we were somehow involved in the nuclear incident.]
Karin Hassan: "Are you okay?"
Lukas: "Oh, yes. We've been de-radiated."

[And now to the crux of the matter.]
Karin Hassan: "Everyone's okay?"
Luaks: "Funny you should ask..."
Ariel: "Not as such, no."

[Karin admits that the rumor going around is that Ti Corovan is dead. Lukas agrees that this might very well be the case, but that it's still unconfirmed.]
Lukas: "There are interested parties seeking confirmation."
Karin Hassan: "...Interested parties?"
Lukas: "My sister."

[Remember the secondary purpose of the phone call.]
Karin Hassan: "I'll talk to you when I hear something."
Lukas: "Or sooner."

[We get a visitor to our hospital room.]
Brock: "Who's our visitor? Is it Ti? 'Cause that would be great."

[It is not Ti. It is Terra Nova's equivalent of Columbo, come to ask us a few questions. Lukas leads the conversation in his usual unconventional way.]
Lukas: "Look, mister, you have to believe me -- we didn't do it."

[The UMF officer is, naturally, a bit caught off guard.]
Officer: "So you are not denying you were in the Nazarene area?"
Lukas: "I don't know. Is that bad? Should we be denying it? Do I need a lawyer?"

[Lukas gives the officer his story about how we were trying to start up a scavenging operation in the Nazarene battlefield when we were set upon by raiders -- the number increased from 40 to 120 over the course of the telling -- and ran away just before the explosion.]
Julie: "This game really is a series of jobs Lukas is better at than his own job!"

[The officer, naturally, would like to see our irradiated Gears. Lukas tells him that his and Lyta's Gears were left behind, while Torgath's is being sold by a middleman named Mario, who fronted us some money. And required a bit of other compensation.]
Lukas: "He also said something about an indenture. I don't know what that means."

[The officer prepares to leave.]
Officer: "I am most grateful for your... detailed narrative."

[We are, of course, not indentured. We are also rich enough to have no problems paying for our hospital stay. On the other hand, it never hurts if someone else pays first.]
Ariel: "Is our bill already paid?"
Brock: "That depends on how generous Antie Enn was feeling."

[Lukas goes up to reception to see about paying our bill.]
Clerk: "Room number?"
Ariel: "Isn't his room tagged on his wrist-band? What kind of future is this?!"

[Our bill is already paid for and we are free to leave.]
Clerk: "I hope you enjoyed your stay."
Lukas: "If I ever get irradiated again, this is where I'll come."

[Leaving the hospital, we naturally assume that the UMF officer has left some kind of tail. Which means we need to stay in character.]
Brock: "So now what we need to do is look like lowlifes..."

[Next step: get out of town.]
Lukas: "How soon do you guys want to leave? Right away? Me too. Excellent."

[We return to Prince Gable and go to the Grimstone Grill, local Brotherhood hangout.]
Lukas: "We look for a table in an appropriately shadowed corner."

[Out of immediate danger, Lyta reflects on the fight back at Nazarene.]
Lyta: "Do you think those were Ti's people with him, who got dead?"
Lukas: "I hope not. It would be embarrassing."

[More of the same.]
Lyta: "He shouldn't have fired us."
Lukas: "I'm sure he had that exact same thought."
Georges the GM: "At the very end."

[Lyta and Torgath drink. A lot.]
Ariel: "Us two are getting pretty trashed. I don't know about you."
Brock: "Lukas is pondering."

[While Lyta and Torgath drink, Lukas gets a letter from Mr. Smith.]
Julie: "Isn't Smith..."
Brock: "The guy we gave a face adjustment to."

[After our bender, we spend the night at Mark Kim the Bartender's place. In the morning, Lyta tries to make cawfee.]
Lyta: "You have no sugar here."
Mark Kim: "I'm sweet enough."

[We get a visitor at Mark Kim's place: Ellen Cranby.]
Lukas: "If the Doc wants to talk to me, he can call me."
Ellen Cranby: "I'm sure he'll appreciate that."
Lukas: "Not when he hears my terms."

[Lyta lets slip that we didn't find Ti's body. Lukas is annoyed.]
Lukas: "We sell information, especially since we're now unemployed."
Torgath: "We still have two bosses out of seven."
Lukas: "...That's true."

[Lukas does not call Mr. Smith all morning. He prefers to inconvenience people.]
Georges the GM: "It's halfway through siesta."
Brock: "I will call Smith. 'Cause I'm a jerk that way."

[Smith wants to offer us a job.]
Ariel: "Why do we need another boss? We have enough bosses. Even if they are kinda dying off."

[Smith suggests the name of a plastic surgeon for Lukas.]
Julie: "You could still wear a mask after facial reconstruction."
Brock: "And of course I will."

[Lukas goes to see Smith's local Kolson contact, Marcy Brannigan. Brannigan runs a 'modelling agency', but she herself is not the type who looks the part.]
Ariel: "That's not a Marcy look. She should be named Griselda."
Georges the GM: "Exactly."

[Lukas has told Smith that, due to past experiences, we will only work for him if he pays everything up front. Brannigan has clearly not been privy to this information, and suggests 40,000 in advance and 60,000 on successful completion of the job. Lukas reiterates his position.]
Marcy Brannigan: "I believe that completes our business."
Lukas: "I believe it does."
Brock: "I leave. She'll come back. They always come back."

[We contact Nicosa Renault to tell her what's going on. Lukas has Torgath set up the secure trideo feed.]
Nicosa Renault: "I assume this is a secure link."
Lukas: "...Yes."
Nicosa Renault: "Because I insisted on it beforehand."

[Renault suggests that the entire operation at Nazarene may have been meant to get rid of us.]
Lukas: "That seems like a disproportionate allocation of resources."
Nicosa Renault: "Don't underestimate just how... meddlesome you have been."

[Nicosa Renault has no new information on Ti.]
Lukas: "Ti doesn't have my flair for the dramatic."
Nicosa Renault: "You may need to revisit that statement if he turns out to be alive."

[Due to our compromised nature, Lukas suggests we rebrand ourselves into an assault squad. Naturally, there are priorities in any rebranding.]
Lukas: "So... team name?"

[After the failed negotiations with Marcy Brannigan, Lukas goes back to the source.]
Lukas: "I wouldn't go to Port Arthur for 40,000."
Smith: "Then you may be out of my price range."

[Smith doesn't want to pay everything up front; Lukas won't work without it. They agree to give half the money to a third party, in this case Khayr ad-Din's Spider, payable on delivery. Naturally, he'll ask for a commission for his help.]
Smith: "I'm sure we can agree on something."
Lukas: "Yes. We will agree that you will pay whatever he asks for as a percentage."

[Smith's job: free Christina Katchelli from the diamond mines of Port Arthur and return her to him.]
Smith: "In Mainz. Alive."
Lukas: "In the condition we find her in? More or less?"

[Smith has no good intel on the diamond mines.]
Smith: "I'm leaving that to your capable and well-funded hands."

[Negotiations are tense, due to past business relations.]
Lukas: "Oh, we'll do the job. That, historically, has not been the problem."

[Smith is paying us very well to do the job.]
Smith: "Money should mend many bridges."
Lukas: "We can hope."

[Torgath reflects on the job we've just accepted.]
Torgath: "We'll be fine."
Lyta: "Every time you say that, you get shot."
Torgath: "And it's fine!"

[We're going back to Port Arthur, land of a quarter-million GRELs.]
Lyta: "Can we take a nuclear warhead this time?"
Lukas: "Sadly, our one chance to acquire a nuclear warhead..."
Lyta: "We could find another. We have four weeks."

[First problem: we know nothing about the diamond mines, except that they use SecBuro guards.]
Lukas: "We know a guy in SecBuro."
Lyta: "He doesn't like us very much."
Lukas: "We know another guy in SecBuro."
Lyta: "He doesn't like us very much either."

[Lyta reflects on the job.]
Lyta: "We're breaking into the diamond mines of Port Arthur?"
Lukas: "We may not even need to go into the city!"
Lyta: "Right! And they can just keep us in there when they find us!"

[Division of labor is a good thing.]
Ariel: "So my job is to research the mines, Lukas' job is to contact Stone. And your job..."
Julie: "Is to heckle."
Brock: "And not get attacked by GRELs."

[We may not have left Port Arthur on the best of terms.]
Georges the GM: "You guys do have other contacts in Port Arthur."
Julie: "And most of them hate us."

[Sometimes we need specific experience. But I never thought it would be both this specific and this accessible.]
Torgath: "We need Ennik's mine-prison experience."

[We go to Port Arthur.]
Ariel: "We travel there at the speed of plot."

[We arrive in Port Athur.]
Ariel: "I get some blinders for Lyta."

[First step: get some apartments and safehouses.]
Brock: "Who wants to practice their streetwise?"
Ariel: "You."

[Some out-of-character contemplation of how a conversation with SecBuro might go after they discover Torgath has been investigating the diamond mines.]
Brock: (as SecBuro agent) "Why are you looking into the diamond mines? Guess where you're going: the diamond mines!"
Georges the GM: (as SecBuro agent) "You like diamond mines? Let me give you a personal tour..."

[We go to the natural first place to go in Port Arthur.]
Brock: "We go to see Minnie."
Julie: "All of us?"
Ariel: "I thought you had a thing with her."
Brock: "I do. But she might shoot me."

[Unsurprisingly, we encounter Jimmy and Billy Croyden.]
Jimmy Croyden: "So what brings you back to this rotten vat hell?"
Lukas: "Tourism?"

[Lukas tries to explain to Jimmy Croyden why we're here.]
Lukas: "We're looking into a place where people go in but don't go out."
Jimmy Croyden: "I do love riddles."

[Torgath helps.]
Torgath: "There's a lady and he wants a diamond for her."

[Jimmy expands the metaphor. Explicitly.]
Jimmy Croyden: "I do know some wholesalers."
Lukas: "We're looking to be a little closer to the source."
Jimmy Croyden: "I call them wholesalers because they sell out of holes. Sort of a black market, if you will. Black because it's dark... and underground."

[Billy Croyden, the sneaky one, is a genius at slipping unseen into a crowd.]
Ariel: "All this time I was watching Ti, I was watching the wrong guy."

[Jimmy's business has been going well. Which might or might not be a good thing.]
Jimmy Croyden: "I've had one or two great successes. Which saddens me, because I'm probably only another one or two great successes from having to leave."

[There are some bridges we might have burned the last time we were in town.]
Jimmy Croyden: "Are you on better terms with Major Beria now?"
Lukas: "They say time heals all wounds."
Jimmy Croyden: "Do they? 'They' obviously haven't met Major Beria."

[Jimmy Croyden goes back into the crowd to conduct other business.]
Brock: "The tables have turned."
Julie: "Have they?"
Brock: "We sat at his table last time."

[Naturally, it wouldn't be a trip to Minnie's without some lighthearted veiled conversation with Minnie.]
Minnie: "Quinn! What brings you back? No, no, no... I know. I'm irresistible."

[In the last cycle, Minnie's has gotten a band... and a microbrew.]
Lukas: "We've been enjoying your microbrew."
Minnie: "My vat juice."
Lukas: "Is that what you're calling it?"
Julie: "Don't tell that to Lyta."

[Lukas implies that he's seen a GREL vat up-close and personal.]
Minnie: "I thought you'd start with some of your minor achievements of the last cycle."
Lukas: "That is where I'm starting."

[Ah, Minnie... always the intelligence agent.]
Minnie: "I don't believe you mentioned who you were working for last time."
Lukas: "Well, I was working for you."

[Minnie still has at a disadvantage, as we're pretty sure she knows most of our biographical information and we know pretty much nothing about her.]
Minnie: "Guy like you, I'd expect to know everything about me."
Lukas: "Jimmy is very expensive."

[Minnie reflects on the last time she saw Lukas.]
Minnie: "Funny how things got so much calmer after you left. Almost perfectly mirrors the way they got worse after you arrived. Do I need to take out extra insurance?"

[Minnie asks an obvious question.]
Minnie: "Anybody severely wounded?"
Lukas: "Not presently"
Ariel: "I got better."
Minnie: "So just arrived, then."

[Lukas tries, weirdly, to set up a date with Minnie.]
Minnie: "So you're asking me to ask you to one of these cultural events?"

[There may or may not actually be any cultural events going on at the moment.]
Minnie: "Well, I think your return to Port Arthur warrants an event."
Lukas: "You can't hold it here."
Minnie: "No, that would be cheating."

[Lukas asks that Major Beria not receive an invitation to the event. In fact, it might be best if Major Beria didn't know Lukas was in town at all.]
Minnie: "You're 1.95 meters tall and wear a mask. He already knew when you were on your way."
Lukas: "Well, he hasn't shot me yet."

[We reflect on what type of cultural events might be happening in Port Arthur.]
Ariel: "Is the Baja underwater ballet here?"
Brock: "There should totally be that if there isn't."

[Minnie suggests a masked ball.]
Lukas: "I like the mask thing. I don't know why, but it resonates with me."
Minnie: *taps his mask* "Probably at that frequency."

And that's it for this time! Next week: planning to break Katchelli out of prison. The horrible diamond mine prison. Whereupon she'll probably just try to kill us again. But, hey, that's why we get paid the big bucks.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Certain Betrayal said...

[The slightly less abridged version of the conversation over the phone.]

Karin Hassan: "Lukas! How've you been?"
Lukas: "Irradiated."
Karin Hassan: "irritated?"
Lukas: "No, ir-radiat-ed"

Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.