Friday, November 8, 2013


Welcome to Gropius! Beautiful Gropius, where the wine is Terran, the glass is delicate, and the VDSS is lethal. Just my kinda place.

[It's been a while since we last played, so certain facts may have gotten lost in the shuffle for some.]
Lyta: "At what point do we get a doctor and blood packs for Grizz?"
Ariel: "I got fucked up? Oh, I did. I'm fine!"

[Okran Radsley gives us train tickets to Gropius and a chameleon mask so that we can leave a trail of breadcrumbs to the terrorist Freewill Movement. Of course, that's not all we want out of Radsley.]
Brock: "I stand there awkwardly."
Georges the GM: "Oh, right. There was one other aspect of this."
Julie: "Payment?"

[Because we don't have a bank account in the Humanist Alliance, Radsley gives us our 5-figure payment in cash.]
Brock: (to Zac) "Are you eyeballing the suitcase full of money?"

[Fennec gets her payment separately from the rest of us.]
Brock: "So, 12,500 dinar. Is it in small bills? Are you stuffing it into your bodice?"

[After a mostly uneventful trip, we arrive at Grimly Station in Gropius. Lyta is approached by some POPs, whom she deflects by playing the cooperative but dumb tourist.]
POP: *gives back paperwork* "Have a nice trip. Enjoy the New Cycle festivities."
Lyta: "Thanks!"
Julie: "This is what happens when you cooperate with the authorities."
Georges the GM: "In my notes this is 'escape from Grimly Station.' It's rather anticlimactic."

[We get our first view of Grimly, one of the sixteen boroughs of Gropius.]
Georges the GM: "There are no large buildings."
Julie: "Lyta's disappointed."

[Torgath still hasn't seen the doctor.]
Georges the GM: "Torgath is... damaged."
Brock: "Leaking."
Ariel: "I'm fine."

[Meanwhile, Lukas must dispose of the chameleon mask and clothes he's been using to masquerade as the terrorist after dropping one last breadcrumb for the cameras. He decides to do this outside the train terminal. Which is good.]
Georges the GM: "Within two minutes, the POP are running past you. You can assume the response would have been even faster at the train terminal."
Brock: "Huzzah! Right decision made!"

[On the way to our B&B in Beleen, another borough of Gropius, we pass through the Leura Vineyards.]
Ariel: "So, this is wiwne? Wyne?"
Georges the GM: "Actually Earth grapes, so real wine. No extraneous 'w's or 'y's."

[As we approach our B&B...]
Lukas: "All right, we need to talk about our relationship. One of these things is not like the others."
Fennec: "I don't need to be connected to you."
Lukas: "No, but you need to have a backstory."

[With our cover story as exchange students in hand, we arrive at the B&B.]
Georges the GM: "The B&B is called the Empty Chalice."
Brock: "Well, that's disheartening."

[We settle in to the B&B.]
Ariel: "We have three rooms between the four of us? Whose room am I building the pillow fort in?"
Zac: "I could build my own pillow fort."
Brock: "Unthinkable! We can only have one eccentric pillow fort builder in this group!"

[The owner of the B&B asks for our papers, just as a routine check.]
Georges the GM: "Is Fennec's paperwork under her real name?"
Ariel: "It depends on how paranoid she is."
Brock: "And how many layers of identity she can keep track of."

[It turns out that Beleen is having their annual wine and glass festival. We go take a look around.]
Zac: "Is there is anything with useful materials, moving parts, or that takes batteries?"
Georges the GM: "Actually no."
Zac: "Fennec is terribly bored."

[For the moment, things are quite pleasant at the festival.]
Ariel: "Neither Torgath nor I have any experience with real small-town festivals, only the literary ones that go horribly wrong."

[As a local dignitary is giving the opening speech, the PCs notice the POP forming a cordon around the crowd. Shortly after that, hoppers start moving in.]
Ariel: "Is this normal?"
Georges the GM: "You don't think so."

[Lyta et al have noticed some of Krak Bhakir's guys. As the VDSS starts closing in, one escapes with the rest of the fleeing crowds. One throws a gas grenade.]
Georges the GM: "You're not immediately affected, but within 10-15 seconds it could be... problematic."

[The gas grenade has had a galvanizing effect on the crowd.]
Georges the GM: "The Southerners are running out of there with typical Latin exuberance."
Brock: "And a lack of concern for the locals that only conquering imperialists can show."

[Meanwhile, Torgath decides to follow a lead we picked up earlier, someone who might be working for Dr. Chambers.]
Ariel: "I follow the blond guy."
Georges the GM: "Roll social chameleon."
Ariel: *botches roll* "I guess I bump into him."

[The blond guy leads Torgath into an alley and confronts him from behind.]
Torgath: "You have a gun."
Blond Guy: "You noticed that, did you?"

[The interrogation begins, such as it is.]
Ariel: "Torgath's new method of lying is to say everything exactly true."
Zac: "So the question is, are you a spy, or are you just feeble?"
Brock: "Those are not mutually exclusive possibilities."

[More interrogation, sort of.]
Blond Guy: "Why are you here?"
Torgath: *holds up book*
Brock: "I can't believe we haven't given you a bulletproof book. It's the most blindingly obvious piece of equipment."

[The blond guy demands to see Torgath's paperwork. He initially refuses.]
Blond Guy: "To be frank, there's a couple of ways this can go, but you won't like 'em."
Torgath: "So there's no good options?"
Blond Guy: "Only more or less uncomfortable ones."
Torgath: "I'm pretty uncomfortable now."

[Torgath is eventually convinced to show the blond guy his paperwork, which lists his name as 'Grizzlethorpe T. Squadgley.']
Blond Guy: "That's gotta be a fake name."
Torgath: (sincerely) "What?! No!"

[More of the same.]
Torgath: "You can call me Brumhilda. That's my nickname."
Blond Guy: "Is that what the T stands for?"
Torgath: "No, that's just a T."

[It turns out the blond guy's name is Riley Markus. Not that that helps anyone.]
Riley Markus: "It seems your overall plan was ill-conceived."
Torgath: "That's assuming I had a plan, which I didn't."

[This is about the point where I started laughing so hard I could barely write.]
Riley Markus: "I must say, Brum, you're a remarkably difficult man to interrogate."
Torgath: "Oh, is that what we're doing? I'm sorry."

[Riley continues to get no information out of Torgath.]
Zac: "Before he was gonna shoot you because you might be a counter-agent. Now he's gonna do it because you're annoying."

[Torgath is, indeed, remarkably annoying.]
Riley Markus: *cocks gun*
Torgath: "You know, modern guns have automatic cocking mechanisms. You don't have to do that."
Riley Markus: "...All right, you win."

[Meahwhile, Lukas has been following Bhakir's guy who ran away. As part of the chase, he got onto a mini-bus going south.]
Brock: "The road is perfectly smooth?"
Zac: "The jostling is built into the bus to convey a sense of homeyness."

[Lukas tries to get the Emerati's gun away from him, but is noticed first.]
Lukas: "One word, and this bus stops in a swarm of POP."
Emerati: "One bullet, and you won't be around to see it."

[Lukas name-drops Bhakir, making it seem as though we know him in a less antagonistic way.]
Lukas: "He must be friendly with you because you have both your arms attached."
Emerati: "How do you know Bhakir?"
Lukas: "Oh, now you wanna talk."

[Back in the main square in Beleen, the other of Bhakir's guy's has taken a hostage as the VDSS moves in.]
VDSS Leader: "Now, let's not be rash. I'm sure we can come to some sort of negotiat--"
Georges the GM: "Three bullets smash into his head. It explodes off his body."
Julie: "They shot him while they were talking to him? These guys don't mess around. Good to know."

[Lukas fills Radsley in on the situation.]
Lukas: "They just liquidated one of Bhakir's guys and I just gave the other one my number and said if he needed help he should call me."
Okran Radsley: "Well, way to anticipate my needs."

[Turns out that the crate we put back into the system has found its way to Gropius, and along with it, Bhakir and some of his guys. Radsley wants to know what's going on with all that. Conveniently, we're already well positioned to do this.]
Okran Radsley: "You're a useful man to know."
Lukas: "Remember that when bonus time comes around."

[To help us blend in, Lukas has Lyta acquire some Southern Republic clothing.]
Lyta: "Getting Southern clothes is fine, but none of us speak French."
Lukas: "Well, you have a little--"
Lyta: "No, I have none."
Lukas: "Well, try to sound less Badlander."

[We discuss what to do about Bhakir and his crate.]
Zac: "Are we having this meeting?"
Brock: "When you say 'we'..."

That's it for this week. Now we have yet another two-week hiatus. But when we come back, it's time to advance the plot. This time for real!

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