Friday, December 6, 2013


The bad news is we've lost all leads on Krak Bhakir and have few ideas about how to regain the trail. The good news is we were taken out to dinner, and Torgath yet again did not get killed by people he annoyed. It balances out, I suppose.

[We recall that last session, Torgath ran afoul of a guy named Riley Markus, who is tangentially associated with Tom Chambers.]
Ariel: "I could sneak in and leave a note for this guy and freak him out."
Brock: "..."
Ariel: "It's just an idea."
Brock: "You are 0 for 1 in sneaking up on this guy."

[We contemplate what Riley's might know about us.]
Ariel: "His superiors have told him I'm mostly harmless."
Julie: "In most circumstances."
Brock: "There are the other circumstances in which you're particularly deadly."
Georges the GM: "He's more like a benign threat."

[The game gets started in earnest.]
Georges the GM: "3 Winter 1927. What are you doing with this fine day? Because it is a fine day in Gropius."

[Torgath is still deep-wounded.]
Ariel: "I'm bed resting? In the hospital?"
Julie: "In Lukas' room, in your pillow fort."

[Torgath uses his bed rest to look into the reports of yesterday's 'incident.']
Georges the GM: "The newspaper reports that the VDSS had no choice but to subdue him..."
Julie: "With lethal force?"

[Okran Radsley has informed us that the crate which no longer contains the webbled Emerati slaves is now in Gropius. We decide that someone should get eyes-on.]
Lukas: (to Fennec) "You're our resident thief."
Fennec: "...I will take that in the spirit in which it was given."
Lukas: "Excellent."

[Fennec surveils the freight depot where the crate of interest is stored.]
Zac: "Are there any obvious points where I can slip in?"
Brock: "You mean non-obvious points. The obvious ones will be monitored."
Zac: "Obvious to me."

[Back in his room, Torgath gets a visit from Riley Markus.]
Riley Markus: "We had a bit of an unfinished chat yesterday."
Torgath: "Did we?"

[Torgath has a certain effect on people.]
Riley Markus: "I didn't really want to kill you until I got to know you. Maybe killing you now would be... impolite."

[Riley continues the unfinished conversation from yesterday.]
Riley Markus: "Tell me this, if you're able to..."
Torgath: "Am I?"
Riley Markus: "You're not dead."

[Riley has indeed discovered some information about us.]
Riley Markus: "'Doc Grim' is better than 'Brumhilda.'"
Torgath: "I agree, but that's not my name."
Riley Markus: "Right. Operational demands?"
Torgath: "I don't know what that means."

[Riley continues to press the point.]
Riley Markus: "Is 'Doc' an honorific, or is it short for something?"
Torgath: "It's short for 'Doc'."

[Riley tries to pump Torgath for information. This can only end badly.]
Riley Markus: "Was there or was there not water where you grew up?"
Torgath: "That's a very difficult question. Let me get back to you."

[Circumspect questioning rarely works well with Torgath.]
Riley Markus: "I hear you and your friends are handy in a fight."
Torgath: "But fighting's against the rules here."
Riley Markus: "That's true."
Torgath: "I don't like breaking the rules."

[Riley inspects Torgath's pillow fort.]
Riley Markus: "You might want to consider a moat or something."
Torgath: "I tried that when I was five. It messed up the carpet, and then my father beat me."
Brock: "Please -- your father didn't care enough to beat you."
Julie: "It was the nanny."
Zac: "That explains so much."

[Lukas, meanwhile, is out exploring the city.]
Georges the GM: "Everyone seems friendly, and everyone is friendly, but..."
Ariel: "They can't wait for the tourists to leave?"

[More of the same.]
Georges the GM: "Lukas has the ability to look and just see the depressing side of Gropius."

[Meanwhile, Fennec has noted that our crate has been transferred out of the depot. She attempts to follow on bicycle.]
Brock: (to Zac) "Pedal like your life depends on it!"

[Fennec informs the group of the crate's new status. Sadly, she's not really up on the latest operational lingo.]
Zac: "'Our lunch is on the move.' That's nice and obscure, but everyone should know what it means."
Brock: "We should, despite the ridiculously phrased message."

[The crate is on a truck, while Fennec is on a bicycle.]
Georges the GM: "So, this thing is roaring away from you. Lunch is getting cold. What do you do?"

[The crate is transferred from the truck to a boat.]
Georges the GM: "So it's now on a barge moving north."
Brock: "Tinker yourself a jetski and get to work!"

[Fennec has her hands full in the chase and has not realized she never actually said where the crate is moving to.]
Georges the GM: "What do you do in the intervening half-hour?"
Brock: "I impatiently wait for Fennec's reply!"

[Fennec follows the barge.]
Georges the GM: "There is a bike path along the river."
Julie: "Gotta love the Humanists and their sense of aesthetics."
Brock: "The best part of today is that the fox in on a bicycle."

[Lyta picks up Fennec in a rented car. Sadly, not quite soon enough.]
Georges the GM: "Something just went completely awry."

[Yes, friends, it turns out that whoever's running the barge tossed our crate into the river.]
Brock: "What's Fennec's message?"
Georges the GM: "'The lettuce is wet. They lost our order.'"
Fennec: "'I'm sorry, our lunch is in the toilet.'"

[Lyta and Fennec follow the barge -- now without our crate -- as far as a local lake, where they lose the trail.]
Lyta: (by phone to Lukas) "Fennec is not capable of making this car amphibious in the time we need."
Lukas: "You disappoint me."
Lyta: "Me too."

[Lukas must now inform Radsley that we lost our lead on the crate.]
Lukas: "I've got an update for you."
Okran Radsley: "I like updates."
Lukas: "..."
Okran Radsley: "I don't like long pauses, though."
Lukas: "..."
Okran Radsley: "Ominous long pauses."

[Lukas updates Radsley that we lost the crate.]
Okran Radsley: "But you still have eyes on them, right?"
Lukas: "When you say 'them'..."

[We theorize that whoever had the crate dumped it overboard because they realized it was empty.]
Lukas: "I'm still not sure how they knew we took the prize."
Okran Radsley: "Is that a question, or are you just complaining about your own incompetence?"

[In an attempt to get some useful information, Lukas calls up Bill Pearce.]
Lukas: "Where's he staying?"
Bill Pearce / Georges the GM: "'Who?'... He asks knowingly."

[Lukas also tries to see if Bill knows anything about Bhakir.]
Lukas: "I'd like to know who Bhakir is working for."
Bill Pearce: "At the risk of sounding maternal or patronizing or just plain worried, why do you want to know?"
Lukas: "He's an interesting guy."

[Bill agrees to see what he can dig up, given that Lukas suspects Bhakir is connected to a larger network of criminals.]
Lukas: "You know us -- we can't walk around without stumbling on a global conspiracy."
Bill Pearce: "You were born under a conspiratorial star."

[Torgath returns from a brief information gathering trip and is stopped by the hotel receptionist.]
Torgath: "You have a message for me?"
Receptionist: "Yes."
Torgath: "From a gentleman leaving his number for me?"
Receptionist: "No."

[More of the same.]
Receptionist: "Are you looking for a gentleman? Because we don't offer that sort of service here."

[We reconvene at the hotel to plan out our next move.]
Lukas: "Who's the strongest swimmer?"
Fennec: "So long as we have the right equipment--"
Lukas: "We don't have any equipment."

[The river is too deep to skin-dive down and check out the crate.]
Zac: "I could tinker us some scuba gear."
Brock: "If there's one thing you don't want to trust your life to..."

[All we can do about the crate at this point is speculate.]
Fennec: "Wait, you think they transferred the nothing out of it...?"

[More about the crate.]
Lukas: "They dumped it in the river, which I assume is illegal."
Georges the GM: *nods vigorously*

['Operation: dive down to the crate' is a bust. The next idea is to sneak into the control room of the freight depot to see if we can find any other WestRim crates. Lukas nominates Fennec and Torgath.]
Lukas: "Also, Hilda is preternaturally sneaky."
Fennec: "I haven't seen any evidence of that, but I'll take your word for it."

[Lukas wants Fennec and Torgath to go in at night.]
Lukas: "I imagine it'll be a lot harder when the control room is full of people."
Fennec: "It's always full of people."

[We realize there's an easier way to get into the freight depot: have Perry, our henchman running our front corporation, send us a package that we can pick up there. First step: contact Perry.]
Perry: "Uh, boss, it's been a while."
Lukas: "You should be sitting on a pile of coffee by now."
Perry: "Is that what I was supposed to be doing?"
Lukas: "How much coffee is in the office?"
Perry: "Uh... six bags."

[It's been about a half-cycle since we left Perry in Port Arthur.]
Perry: "I've been waiting for this call for a while."
Ariel: "Doesn't he have our emails?"
Brock: "He's not exactly proactive."

[Perry informs Lukas that he flunked out of the business class he was taking.]
Lukas: "So, you submitted my business plan as your business plan?"
Perry: "It was easier than coming up with my own."

[Perry tries to figure out our business plan.]
Perry: "We buy beans at retail price and sell them at wholesale price to pretend we're wholesalers. My teachers said businesses are supposed to do this thing called 'profit,' and this is the opposite of that."

[Lukas sees the merit in Perry's critique.]
Lukas: "I want you to scout retail locations in Port Arthur."
Perry: "...Boss, you wanna give me an example?"

[Perry is a bit slow sometimes.]
Perry: "So... profitable coffee? That's what we're trying to do?"

[Perry informs Lukas that one of the good students in his business class was a guy named Barry.]
Lukas: "Find Barry."
Perry: "Okay, Boss. And what do I do to him when I find him?"

[We get Perry to draw up the paperwork that will in theory send us a crate of coffee. That's not actually what we're sending, naturally.]
Zac: "So what are we actually sending?"
Brock: "Our weapons crate."

[The problem with having so many aliases becomes apparent.]
Georges the GM: "In terms of credentials, you're using your legitimate fake IDs?"

[We reach the depot to pick up our crate. Out of game, Zac suggests finding a terminal we can use to search for other WestRim crates instead of breaking into the main control room. In game, it's Lukas' idea.]
Brock: "Excellent suggestion. Glad I thought of it."
Zac: "But, but..."

[The wheels in Lukas' head are turning.]
Georges the GM: (as Lukas) "Hmm... there are legitimate reasons for knowing this. And if I had a legitimate reason for knowing this..."

[We discover there are about a dozen WestRim crates in the depot.]
Zac: "There's also the possibility that these WestRim crates are all legitimate."
Brock: "No, because WestRim is not a legitimate company."

[We leave the depot with our weapons crate.]
Zac: "How wide are my eyes when I get to look in?"
Brock: "Who says you get to look in?"

[Lukas informs Fennec that under no circumstances is she allowed to access our weapons crate.]
Lukas: "Just in case you get curious, there are lethal countermeasures on the case."
Fennec: "I look forward to it. Reminds me of home."

[Having retrieved our weapons crate, it's now time for dinner with Riley Markus.]
Georges the GM: "There's a modest wine list at the restaurant -- only 300 bottles."

[We arrive fashionably late. Riley and his guest are waiting for us.]
Brock: "I'm gonna seat Fennec, and Todd will seat Lyta."
Ariel: "Awkwardly."
Brock: "I'm gonna do it smoothly."

[Riley introduces us to his guest.]
Riley Markus: "Benelice, these are... well, I'm not sure how to qualify these people, but they're our company for tonight."

[Riley immediately tries to poke holes in our cover identities.]
Riley Markus: "It's so rare that I get to meet other Badlanders--"
Torgath: "I'm not a Badlander; I'm from Mainz."
Riley Markus: (knowingly) "Of course you are."

[Zac raises a pertinent question.]
Zac: "How do Badlanders greet each other?"
Brock: "Guardedly."
Georges the GM: "With a revolver and a grunt."
Brock: "With open hands and slow movements."

[Fennec is posing as an exchange student from Peace River.]
Ariel: "Riley's from Baja, so he wouldn't know how rude it is to ask what tier Fennec's from."
Georges the GM: "Or maybe he's testing her."

[To make up for his 'indiscreet' question, Riley offers to buy a round of drinks. For Fennec.]
Riley Markus: "I don't rightly know what constitutes a round of drinks for a single person."
Lukas: "One for each hand."

[Pleasantries continue.]
Riley Markus: "So what brings you to Gropius?"
Lukas: "Reasons. What brings you to Gropius?"
Riley Markus: "No reason. Tourism."

[Lukas pushes back against Riley, pointing out circumspectly that he knows about Riley's illegal firearm.]
Lukas: "Grizz said you had a rather unusual item on you."
Riley Markus: "An inhuman level of patience?"

[Riley continues to push people's buttons.]
Torgath: "Are you trying to be rude to everyone?"
Riley Markus: "Well, I haven't gotten to you yet."
Torgath: "You said I needed extraordinary patience."
Riley Markus: "That was just being honest."

[More of the same.]
Georges the GM: "Who else's buttons is Riley gonna try to push?"
Ariel: "Not mine. He knows what'll happen."
Georges the GM: "Yeah, your buttons aren't connected to anything."
Brock: "They're the sort that'll spray water in your face."

[Talk turns briefly to religion.]
Lukas: "Well, I believe in one higher power."
Ariel: "Money?"

[Just a nice quip from Riley.]
Riley Markus: (to Torgath) "You're sharp as a butterknife, aren't you?"

[More dinner conversation.]
Torgath: "I have a whole bunch of stories."
Riley Markus: "And I bet your delivery is one of the best in the Badlands."
Lukas: (deadpan) "It's unforgettable."

[Riley decides to chat with Lyta, who is claiming to be in Oxford on a gymnastics sports scholarship.]
Julie: "I start giving the highlights of the most recent Olympics."
Zac: "This is where your cover story and your actual enthusiasm meet."

[Lukas cuts to the chase.]
Lukas: "So, Riley, other than vague intimations of future meetings and attempts to provoke us with your limited knowledge of our backgrounds, what is the purpose of this dinner?"
Riley Markus: "That's about it."
Torgath: "Oh, is that what he was doing?"

[Riley informs us of what he knows about us.]
Riley Markus: "I was told you were dangerous, unreliable, and where you go, disaster follows."
Lukas: "And here you are courting it, at 2:1 odds, no less."

[Riley has mentioned that if we're in Gardina, he might have work for us.]
Lukas: "So you like to needle people who you want to work with?"
Riley Markus: "I don't want you to work with me, I want you to work for me."

[No one is particularly concerned at the dinner, at least not outwardly.]
Brock: "I'm certain Lyta could take them both out."
Julie: "So is Lyta. But she's not sure she could do it and make it look like an accident."

[Riley's business is exploring the MacAllan networks below Baja.]
Lukas: "I've heard that Badlanders have a fear of water."
Fennec: "I'll have you know I took a shower before I came tonight!"
Lukas: "When was the last time you were in a bath?"
Fennec: "...That's besides the point."

[Riley tries to poke holes in our cover stories, yet again.]
Riley Markus: "And what are you studying again?"
Torgath: "Literature."
Lukas: "With a minor in palaeontology."
Riley Markus: "Palaeontology? Sounds fascinating."
Lukas: "It is. You should hear him go on about it. Do you want to?"
Riley Markus: "...No, that's all right."

[More of the same.]
Riley Markus: "So, an engineer, a literature student, a business student, and a sports scholarship student... What do the four of you have in common?"
Torgath: "Foreign students' association, obviously."
Lukas: "And combat Twister."

[Dinner begins to wind down.]
Riley: "Well, I've had just about as much laughter as I can handle tonight."
Torgath: (whispered, to Lukas) "Is he being ironic?"
Lukas: "He thinks he is."

[Poor, poor Torgath...]
Torgath: "Is this one of those meetings with a whole bunch of subtext I didn't get?"
Riley Markus: (nonchalantly) "Nope."

[Riley and Benelice leave the restaurant.]
Brock: "Do you want to follow them?"
Ariel: "Okay."
Zac: "Because that worked so well last time."
Brock: "He'll do a god job this time."
Julie: "With his -1 penalty?"
Zac: "They won't know he's coming this time!"

[As Torgath is leaving to go follow Riley.]
Lukas: (to Fenenc) "We work on our reputation, not our public relations. Trust me on this."

[Obviously, Riley catches Torgath yet again.]
Torgath: "Oh, hi."
Riley Markus: "So, that didn't go so well."
Torgath: "What didn't go so well?"
Riley Markus: "Your following us didn't go so well."
Torgath: "Oh, is that what I was doing?"

[Torgath tries to dig himself out of his hole.]
Torgath: "I was following you, but I didn't care if you noticed me."
Riley Markus: "Then what's the point?"
Torgath: "I didn't think that far ahead."

[Riley checks Torgath to make sure he doesn't have any weapons this time.]
Ariel: "Does he actually pat me down?"
Georges the GM: "Yes."
Brock: "You should reciprocate."

[Riley takes his leave of Torgath, again.]
Riley: "I trust I won't see you again until Gardina?"
Torgath: "Judging by past experience, that would not be a safe assumption."

[Riley gives Torgath one last parting warning.]
Riley Markus: "Let it be known that I shoot people who come into my room in the night."
Brock: "It's okay. If we come into your room in the night, we'll be shooting, too."

[Riley walks off. Torgath follows him. Again. He is caught. Again.]
Ariel: "Does he kill me?"
Brock: "He won't kill you. He might knock you out."
Zac: "I would."

[Ariel defends Torgath's actions.]
Ariel: "I mean, I'm specifically trying to be safe."
Everyone Else: *boggles*

[The rest of the PCs return to the hotel to find that a cab driver has brought back an unconscious Torgath and a nurse has been called.]
Lukas: "He must have been mugged."
Nurse: "He must have. Though they didn't take anything..."

[Fennec summarizes the last half-hour of game.]
Fennec: (to Torgath) "Are you sure you're good at this?"

That's it for this week! Next week, more plotting! More scheming! More... oh, goodness, I have no idea. Join us then!

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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