Friday, February 15, 2013


Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, Dr. Chambers! Yes, just when it seems everything is going our way: we've escaped the worst of the consequences of the train job (for now), we've opened the mysterious case, and we've even gotten a ton of information out of our target-turned-hostage Katchelli, the Doc has to go and muck everything up. Because that's just the sorta guy he is.

[Torgath and Lyta try to open the Mekongese security vault. Georges the GM figures out ways to screw his players...]
Julie: "It goes without saying that we checked that the case is not transmitting a homing beacon before we brought it back to our hotel."
Georges the GM: "That does not go without saying."

[To open the vault, Torgath has an idea of something he's read in a book. Sadly, it's slightly less practical in real life.]
Ariel: "Can a computer accurately model the brain of an autistic savant?"

[Jimmy Croyden suggests that what we really need is a computer program to go through all the permutations of the vault. And to do that, we need a computer programmer. Someone like Mads.]
Lyta: "You sure we should bring him in on this?"
Jimmy Croyden: "They can only hang him once. And since you've already threatened him with death, why not tell him a little more?"

[Lyta takes Torgath to go visit Mads. The TNTR tower where he lives is, conveniently, also the building where Dawn, aka Summer, is being treated.]
Brock: "Unless Torgath is an idiot, he knows he can't visit Dawn."
Ariel: "...That's not clear to me."

[Jimmy goes off to pick up Lukas and his injured brother Billy from the airport. Billy is concussed and really should get some diagnostic scans, but Jimmy is reluctant to take him to the TNTR hospital. Thankfully, he has other options.]
Jimmy Croyden: "We know someone."
Lukas: (skeptical) "You just moved here."

[Jimmy takes them to an orphanage run by Jerusalemite nuns.]
Ariel: "Are they ninja nuns?"
Georges the GM: "They are not ninja nuns."
Julie: "As far as you know."

[Lukas meets with Sister Miranda, who apparently has some history with the Croydens.]
Sister Miranda: "Ain't no good that's ever come of these boys."
Lukas: (feigning surprise) "That's a revelation."

[Lukas was not wearing his mask for the train job. Which leads to other questions.]
Sister Miranda: "What happened to your face? Was that from the train?"
Lukas: "Many years ago."
Sister Miranda: "I hope it taught you some humility."
Lukas: "It has."
Julie: "It hasn't."

[Having finished questioning Lukas, at least for now, the topic turns back to the Croydens.]
Sister Miranda: "What are you doing with these two?"
Lukas: "They're trying to start a new life."
Sister Miranda: "I find that highly unlikely."
Lukas: "A different one, at any rate."

[Sister Miranda vents her frustrations about the Croydens, who she cared for when they were children.]
Sister Miranda: "They don't know how to do anything legitimate. Anything righteous."
Lukas: "..."
Sister Miranda: "You! You know what I'm talking about!"

[Lukas tries to convince Sister Miranda of the Croydens' change of heart.]
Lukas: "Well, Sister, it means something that they came back here."
Sister Miranda: "Aye! It means they think I'm gullible!"

[In any event, the Croydens are there to get medical treatment for Billy. Most likely, he just has a concussion, but you can never be too sure.]
Lukas: "Nothing says a bad time like dropping dead because you have a blood clot."
Jimmy Croyden: "The man speaks truth."

[On Sister Miranda's recommendation, the Croydens and Lukas go to the Meredine Clinic, target of Dr. Chambers' fundraiser gala later in the week. It's... somewhat dilapidated.]
Brock: "They sure need a fundraiser."
Georges the GM: "Yes."

[Also at the clinic is Karin Hassan, Lukas' not-quite-girlfriend, who's helping to organize the fundraiser.]
Karin Hassan: "It's a good thing I was busy, or I might have been annoyed you didn't call."
Lukas: "We were on the train that exploded."
Karin Hassan: "..."

[Karin recovers her composure.]
Karin Hassan: "I didn't realize they were letting people out already."
Lukas: "There was a little talking involved."
Karin Hassan: "...Ah."

[After exchanging some pleasantries, Karin needs to leave.]
Lukas: "Why don't I call you?"
Karin Hassan: (sarcastic) "Yeah, that worked out so well last time."

[After Karin Hassan leaves, Jimmy and Lukas go to discuss strategy at a local bar.]
Lukas: "Also, I need 7,500 to get tickets to the ball."
Jimmy Croyden: "Are we buying our way in? That's funny, I hadn't considered that."

[Meanwhile, Lyta and Torgath have picked up Mads so that he can help them open the Mekongese security vault.]
Ariel: "If we see him fiddling with the puzzle, we make fun of him for being useless."

[Mads starts setting up the computer program, but Torgath wants to be sure he doesn't start spreading the knowledge that we have it. To this end, he calls our friend Oscar to enlist his help.]
Torgath: "Hey, we're working with that kid Mads you told us about. He has way less style than you."

[Mads realizes that he needs his home computer to run the program. Lyta walks him back, only to be faced with his au pair, Consuela.]
Consuela: "Would you like the punch and cookies in... your room, Mr. Magnus? *winks*

[Mads finally figures out the combinations to open the case. The question is, does he give it to Lyta and see her off on her merry way, or does he try to string her along in the hopes that she'll reveal to him what's in the case?]
Julie: "Lyta not being here means she's not gonna kill you."
Brock: "Or your maid, or your mother."

[Speaking of mothers, before Mads has a chance to give Lyta the information, his mother shows up and starts asking questions of Mads' new potential girlfriend. Sadly, because I can't talk and write at the same time, absolutely none of the 10-minute conversation got recorded.]
Brock: "Mother well handled."
Julie: "I think that went well."
Brock: "It didn't end in disaster, so yes."

[Torgath, meanwhile, has unexpectedly encountered his old friend / crush, Calisteria.]
Calisteria: "If you're not armed, how can you save me?"
Julie: "No, that's my job."

[Jimmy and Lukas are still drinking. Which is good, because the 'talking' part of the 'talking and drinking' isn't going so well.]
Jimmy Croyden: "Tell me about this Karin."
Lukas: "I don't think I will."
Jimmy Croyden: "Then tell me about Minnie."
Lukas: "I don't have much to say about that, either."
Jimmy Croyden: "Then tell me something to distract me!"

[Lyta and Torgath finally get the case open. Inside is a data-key. As they try to figure out what to do with it, Lukas realizes he has other concerns.]
Brock: "I'll spend the time inventorying our gear and contemplating how Smith is likely to screw us."

[Another potential problem: it turns out that Mads' mom is the head of TNTR security for the Badlands.]
Lukas: "Croyden! Did you know?"
Jimmy Croyden: "I sort of did know, yes."
Lukas: "This is why I don't work with new people."

[Mads tries to defend the fact that he just helped us pull a huge op on the TNTR.]
Mads: "Why do you think I'm the one who screws with the company?"
Lukas: "Because you hate your mother."

[Mads, meanwhile, has his own priorities.]
Mads: "May I know your first name?"
Lukas: "Quinn. Just Quinn."
Mads: "I've been very curious."
Lukas: "I'm sure you have."

[In other unwelcome news, Lukas finds out that Torgath has sent a novel on a prison escape to 'everyone.']
Lukas: "Why don't you just put on an orange jumpsuit that says, 'I escaped the Port Arthur diamond mine and all I got was this lousy jumpsuit'?
Torgath: "...Can I do that?"

[Once all these unpleasant realizations have come to light, Lukas and his siblings go to Hotel Bravo to arrange to get Katchelli back and find out what the Doc learned in his interrogations. They're greeted by Bill Pearce. Talk turns to the terrorist attack on the train.]
Bill Pearce: "The whole Deathwatch thing... I don't think it tracks."
Lukas: "You know what makes a good conspiracy theory? No proof."

[Bill takes the siblings downstairs to meet Doc Chambers. Also in attendance are Ennik, Major Bakov, and a GREL. Lyta promptly turns on her heel and leaves.]
Bill Pearce: "She doesn't much care for GRELs?"
Lukas: "I thought it was the Doc."

[Lukas finds out about Katchelli.]
Doc Chambers: "My assessment is that she'll need long treatment and medication to regain equilibrium."
Ariel: "She was kinda homicidal-crazy when she did have equilibrium."

[The Doc and Major Bakov inform Lukas that Katchelli was instrumental in moving around agents from the Abacus List, which had been compiled by her cousin, one of the Spirros, whom Ennik killed several cycles before. Moreover, they reveal that there's a huge coverup going on in Port Arthur with regards to the Jezebel Project: Colonel Arthur and Major Stone are working on secret medical information contained in something called the Borodin Package. Minnie Bartok told Doc Chambers, wrongly, that Bakov had access to the Abacus List so that he'd get him out, but really she just wants him to expose the Borodin Package and the coverup.]
Lukas: "Wow. That's a complicated story."
Julie: "It's like an onion."

[Sadly, the Doc has not succeeded in getting as much information out of Katchelli as he might if he has more time. And he doesn't want what he's already uncovered to get into the wrong hands. Thus, he tells Lukas that he's not letting her go yet, despite our next-day deadline to turn her over to Smith.]
Doc Chambers: "Your mercantile concerns are secondary to global, strategic interests."
Lukas: "Your global, strategic interests."
Doc Chambers: "That's because you don't have global, strategic interests."

[Lukas and the Doc butt heads. Things get tense.]
Doc Chambers: "Are you a valuable asset? Yes. Are you a reliable one? No."

[Things get more than a little tense.]
Doc Chambers: "I'm gonna nip this in the bud if I have to."
Julie: "Are you gonna have to roll up a new character?"
Ariel: "We're all gonna have to."

[The Doc and Lukas reach something of an impasse, with the Doc refusing to hand back Katchelli, and Lukas refusing to say who we're turning her over to.]
Ariel: "Did the Doc become so powerful by being such a dick?"
Brock: "Of course. That's how you become powerful."

[Lukas contemplates the not-quite-veiled threat that the Doc has put before him.]
Lukas: "You kill me? Sure, that affects my long-term interests more than it affects your long-term interests..."

[The outcome, for the moment, is that Lukas and his siblings are being held hostage at Hotel Bravo until the Doc finishes extracting the information from Katchelli.]
Bill Pearce: "Why don't we go find something to munch on?"
Lukas: "I figure, since we're your prisoner, there's no reason not to eat your food."

[Lukas returns to Lyta and Torgath to tell them the situation.]
Lyta: "Hello."
Lukas: "We're being held hostage."
Lyta: "That's nice. Why?"
Torgath: "Balls."

[Also joining into the conversation is Ennik. Lukas has a realization.]
Luaks: "You're not actually a scumbag. It's your boss -- he's rubbing off on you."

[Jimmy contacts Lukas to reveal that the data-key contains the coveted Borodin Package. Of course, Lukas isn't really in a position to bait the Doc with it at this point.]
Jimmy Croyden: "Do you have a conflict of interest now?"
Lukas: "Not yet."

[Given the information Jimmy has uncovered, Lukas tells him to pack up his stuff and hide somewhere until Lukas gives him the go-ahead.]
Jimmy Croyden: "Do I bring the geek with me?"
Mads: "I'm not a geek, Jimmy. I can hear you."
Jimmy Croyden: "I know you can hear me, geek."

[Lukas needs to get a message to Nicosa Renault without anyone knowing, to let her know the situation. Thankfully, he has an easily-coerced agent.]
Lukas: "Mads, do you want a job?"
Mads: "Now?"
Lukas: "Now."
Mads: "What's your name?"

[After the huge fiasco with the Doc, Lukas is taken aside by Bill Pearce.]
Bill Pearce: "Hold on a second."
Julie: "Georges needs to figure out how to salvage the situation."
Georges the GM: "No. Well, yes, but..."

[Bill Pearce suggests that there may be other things Lukas has that can motivate the Doc to let him go.]
Bill Pearce: "The Borodin Package..."
Lukas: "If only I knew how to get it."
Bill Pearce: (deadpan) "If only."

And that's it for this week! Come back next time to answer the pressing questions, "Will Doc Chambers let Our Heroes (tm) leave? With their package? With their lives? With their reputations? What about his own? And, more importantly for everyone, when do we get paid? Find out next time!

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