Friday, December 13, 2013


Back on track! In yesterday's game, we rediscovered the trail to Krak Bhakir... only to find out that, unsurprisingly, this rabbit hole is deeper than we'd initially suspected.

[Georges the GM picks up from where we left off last time.]
Georges the GM: (to Ariel) "You were knocked out, but gently. Not enough to impede your healing."
Brock: "Not permanently."

[We go down for breakfast at our B&B.]
Georges the GM: "It's an excellent spread. Fresh-squeezed juice, piping hot lemon scones with preserves, a salad of just-picked fruit, granola pancakes that are both fluffy and crunchy..."
Ariel: "Wow, that sounds like a really good breakfast."
Julie: "We should totally stay there, if it wasn't 4,000 years in the future."

[Unexpectedly joining us for breakfast is Benelice, Riley Markus' associate.]
Benelice: "Why are you looking for Bhakir?"
Lukas: "Because we don't know where he is."

[Benelice is unwilling to help us until she knows where we stand.]
Benelice: "Is he an enemy or an ally?"
Lukas: "He's a person of interest."
Benelice: "That wasn't one of the two options."
Torgath: "Hypothetically, which of the two options would lead to you helping us?"

[Belelice leaves until such a time as she knows where we stand with regards to Bhakir. Torgath, unsurprisingly, follows her. And, unsurprisingly, he is found out.]
Ariel: "That's a 4 on my sneak, unless I'm silently killing her."
Julie: "Please don't -- she's our only lead."

[Torgath wants to know Benelice's association with Bhakir, so he asks her outright.]
Benelice: "You are not 'finding out,' you are asking."
Torgath: "That's the fastest way to find out."
Benelice: "Then you are wise."
Torgath: "Thank you."
Benelice: "But not very smart."

[Benelice takes her leave of Torgath.]
Benelice: "Do you wish to follow me?"
Torgath: "Yes. Can I?"
Benelice: "Certainly. Would you like me to tell you where I'm going?"
Torgath: "That would certainly make following you easier."

[The results of Torgath's conversation with Benelice.]
Georges the GM: "Lukas gets a text message three minutes after Torgath walks out the door."
Brock: "At least he's not unconscious."

[Benelice has set herself up in the Gropius' caravansary. We try to find an excuse to go visit her.]
Lukas: "What other supplies are we short on?"
Fennec: "That depends on what we're trying to do."

[More of the same.]
Lukas: "Based on what you know of our equipment, what do we need?"
Zac: "Have you shown me your equipment yet?"
Brock: "...No."

[Of course, the supply run is only a distraction.]
Zac: "But buying stuff isn't the main reason he's sending me to the caravansary."
Brock: "In fact, it's close to the bottom."

[Lukas lays out his requirements for Fennec.]
Lukas: "I need a truck with a full monitoring suite, something we can use to track and follow Bhakir. I want it armor-plated in case we get into any trouble. And it has to not look like a tank when you're done. It has to look like an ordinary truck."
Fennec: "And you want it to fly, right?"
Georges the GM: "And run on banana peels."

[Further on the topic of the truck Lukas wants Fennec to construct.]
Fennec: "Well, what's our ETA on this?"
Lukas: "Obviously, I need you to do it today."
Fennec: "What's my budget?"
Lukas: "...We have some money."
Georges the GM: "Keep receipts."

[Georges the GM sums up Lukas' requirements.]
Georges the GM: "Huh. What he wants is like a news van. Too bad it's almost impossible to find those sorts of things here."

[Fennec is a little overwhelmed by Lukas' request.]
Lukas: "My expectation isn't that you'll delivery exactly this."
Fennec: "I gathered. I've seen how you roll."

[First order of business for the day: renew our tourist visas. The Lassander siblings all have real papers, albeit under assumed names. Fennec's, on the other hand, are forged.]
Julie: "Fennec's fake papers are still fake."
Zac: "I need to update these! Give me an evening in..."

[Next up: try to figure out how to get Benelice to give us information on Bhakir.]
Zac: "We don't know if Benelice is from here either?"
Brock: "We don't know anything about her."

[We arrive at the caravansary and do some preliminary scouting of Benelice. She seems to be working with a crew of about three longrunners, drawn from all over Terra Nova.]
Georges the GM: "They seem to be speaking..."
Brock: "Common?"
Georges the GM: "Yeah."

[Torgath makes initial contact with Benelice.]
Benelice: "I can understand why Riley likes you."
Torgath: "I thought he hated me."
Benelice: "You infuriate him, but he likes that."

[Torgath must decide how much to tell Benelice about our intentions towards Bhakir.]
Ariel: "I wouldn't mind telling her, but I'm under the pall of Lukas."

[Torgath decides to be his usual uninformative self.]
Ariel: "I've learned I can't lie, so I try not to say anything that means anything."

[Lukas puts in a call to Bill Pearce, just to see if he's found out anything that can help us.]
Bill Pearce: "You know, officially the Humanist Alliance doesn't webble people... yet."
Lukas: "Officially."

[Given that we've already had experience with someone webbled, Bill Pearce wants to know how we found out about Bhakir.]
Lukas: "Oh. We just stumbled onto this guy."
Bill Pearce: "You're right -- you can't take five steps without stumbling onto a global conspiracy."

[Meanwhile, Lyta and Fennec scout out Benelice's caravan.]
Zac: "I'm trying to hide in plain sight by being conspicuously annoying."

[We decide what angle we're going to play with Benelice, given that we still don't know how she's associated with Bhakir.]
Brock: "What we're looking for is information to determine how to profit for ourselves."
Julie: "Yeah, that sounds like us."

[Lukas plays the 'how we can best profit' angle. Benelice reveals that she has a deep hatred for Bhakir and will not help anyone who could potentially help him.]
Lukas: "So you would prefer to see him disadvantaged?"
Benelice: "If you're trying to negotiate with me, it will not work. I will not hire you to disadvantage him."
Lukas: "But I know someone who will hire me to disadvantage him."

[Benelice is not one to be a pushover.]
Benelice: "Perhaps you are used to dealing with... people like Riley."

[We rapidly try to backpedal so that Benelice will help us.]
Benelice: "I thought you were looking for the most profitable way to interact with Bhakir."
Fennec: "Well, you need to be alive to spend your profit."

[Brock makes the extremely reasonable point that we don't actually know that Benelice hates Bhakir, only that she's told us she does.]
Brock: "We don't know what she has behind the doors of her truck. For all we know, she has Bhakir in the back of her truck."

[As usual, Lukas has done most of the talking, though Torgath and Fennec have put in a few words.]
Benelice: (to Lyta) "Are you as bad a liar as he is?" *points to Torgath*
Lyta: "I'm a horrible liar."

[Lukas decides to give Benelice some information in good faith, i.e. that Bhakir was transporting humans into the Humanist Alliance.]
Lukas: "Who would be receiving a crate full of people?"
Benelice: "I'm not an expert on the Humanist Alliance, but..."

[Benelice, in turn, reveals that Bhakir is running an operation out of Pele, in southern Gropius.]
Lukas: "We will use that information wisely. Or recklessly. One of the two."

[The conversation starts to wind down.]
Benelice: "You are not a trustworthy man."
Lukas: "That's true."
Benelice: "But a man surrounded by people who can't lie must be trustworthy."

[Benelice has given us all the information she intends to.]
Benelice: "If I can help to do any harm to Bhakir, let me know."
Lukas: "What do you have in the way of small arms?"

[Lukas tries to rent some surveillance equipment from Benelice.]
Lukas: "You said a thousand dinar a day? That's your discount rate for enemies of your enemies?"

[Lukas haggles Benelice down to 800 dinar a day.]
Lukas: "You did say to ask if there was anything you could do to help."
Benelice: "You asked, I'm providing... at a cost."

[The haggling finally winds down.]
Brock: "I should add a haggling specialization in 'getting what I want.'"

[The deal is struck.]
Georges the GM: "So you guys have a fair amount of surveillance equipment."
Brock: "And a truck. Almost like I foretold this would happen."

[As we're taking our leave of Benelice...]
Georges the GM: "Anything else you want from Benelice? She told you where he is, she told you who he's working for..."
Fennec: "Know where we can get a van?"

[Lukas calls Okran Radsley, our employer, to update him on what we know.]
Okran Radsley: "Is this one of those 'I've got good news and I've got bad news' kind of calls?"
Lukas: "No, it's an 'I've got good news and expenses' call."
Okran Radsley: "So, 'I've got good news and bad news.'"

[Lukas asks Radsley to cover our expenses.]
Radsley: "How much do you need daily?"
Lukas: "Two grand."
Radsley: "Two grand?!"
Ariel: "Bald-faced lie?"
Brock: "No, if we have it, we'll spend it."

[Lukas asks Radsley for some further information based on things we've found out.]
Lukas: "We've heard tell that Bhakir works for a guy called 'The Comptroller.' And I figure anyone with a name like that is the sort of guy you would know."

[Radsley doesn't give Lukas much more information.]
Okran Radsley: "You're making friends really quick."
Lukas: "You're not making it any easier."
Okran Radsley: "I just gave you 10,000 dinar."

[Radsley reveals that he, too, would like to work for The Comptroller.]
Lukas: "So, just to be clear, you want to work for the guy Bhakir works for, moving webbled humans."

[Radsley only wants to be involved in smuggling, not webbled humans. We agree to keep working for him. So, the first step is to find Bhakir.]
Julie: "What is Pele known for?"
Georges the GM: "Crime!"

[We still don't have our uber-truck.]
Fennec: "You gave me this list..."
Lukas: "And what have you accomplished on this list?"
Fennec: "I had tea."

[We prepare to start surveillance on Bhakir.]
Zac: "I'll try to get our mobile command centre up to His Majesty's requirements."

[There's one small kink in the mobile command centre...]
Georges the GM: "Each of the 16 burroughs if foot-traffic only."
Zac: "I'm beginning to think this whole 'truck' plan was ill-conceived. Now, whose plan was that...?"

[Fennec still doesn't have the truck ready.]
Julie: "Zac, thank you. For once, Brock is berating someone who isn't me."
Zac: "I don't think he's berating me. I see someone trying desperately not to fall into his own quicksand."

[We make our way to Pele.]
Georges the GM: "Pele is as close to seedy as the Humanist Alliance gets."

[Pele is quite close to the MILICIA base, which means there are a lot of off-duty MILICIA-men involved in activities of dubious legality.]
Georges the GM: "If one had brass balls, one could certainly do business amidst all that."

[We contemplate some of the illicit activities going on in Pele.]
Georges the GM: "Yeah, if someone had a Hermes uplink, they could definitely run some sort of illicit betting den on underground Gear duelling."
Ariel: "Maybe we should get into that if no one else is!"

[We each take our individual beats.]
Brock: "I'll spend the evening working the strip clubs."
Ariel: "Ha! 'Working' the strip clubs..."

[Torgath, being injured, is back at the hotel doing research for us.]
Georges the GM: "It looks like Bhakir had been involved in some sort of lap-dance club that's since been shut down."
Ariel: "Anything they tell me about, I research."
Brock: "I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to google porn here."

[Torgath has his priorities.]
Torgath: "While you're in the red-light district, could you pick up a sexy nurse to go with my good nurse?"

[Fennec believes she may have sighted Bhakir for a brief moment.]
Ariel: "Do you need to take a picture?"
Zac: "I want to confirm it's him."
Ariel: "There's only one giant guy in a fez."

[Lukas is disappointed that Fennec lost her target.]
Lukas: "So let me get this straight: you had eyes-on the gigantic guy and you lost him?! If this wasn't just a replay of the time you had eyes-on the gigantic shipping crate and then lost that, I'd say that was impossible!"

[We're having a hard time keeping track of Bhakir.]
Ariel: "Here's the plan: we need to put a tracker in his fez."

[Fennec hears Bhakir speak for the first time.]
Zac: "He has a ridiculously squeaky voice?"
Julie: "He really does."

[Bhakir has left a bottle with a glass merchant in some sort of a dead drop.]
Lukas: "Fennec, do you think you could steal the bottle?"
Fennec: "..."
Lukas: "This is what you do!"
Fennec: "Well, not quite..."

[While Fennec is prevaricating, the issue becomes moot.]
Fennec: "So, the bad news is that somebody bought the bottle. The good news is I can ID that person."

[The woman who bought the bottle is Theresa Vendar, a socialite Benelice had mentioned in connection to Bhakir.]
Brock: "So we confirmed the link to the woman we already knew he had a link to."

[It turns out that Theresa Vendar will be hosting a party for the Olympic sponsors in about three days.]
Torgath: "Oh, another party..."
Fennec: "You guys go to a lot of parties?"
Lyta: "Yes, and they always end badly."

[If we're going to have a party...]
Lyta: "Time to pull out the flak corset!"
Fennec: "You have a flak corset?!"
Lyta: "That was the same reaction as the last person who found out I had a flak corset."

[We continue our investigation in Pele. It turns out that the next day, Theresa Vendar brings a different bottle back to the same glass merchant. Lukas tries to buy it. The shopkeeper does not want to sell it to him.]
Shopkeeper: "It hasn't been cleaned yet. I can't in good conscious sell that one."
Lukas: "Oh. Well, give it to me, then."

[Eventually Lukas buys another bottle instead of the bottle of interest.]
Lukas: "I want you to know that I'll give you a bad Yelp review."
Shopkeeper: "...As you should, citizen. I never should have put this out."

[Bhakir comes and buys the bottle. Lyta and Fennec follow him back to his speakeasy, where they see him bring it down into the cellar.]
Brock: "How sneaky are you?"
Zac: "Reasonably."
Brock: "That's not exceptionally."

[The plan is to have Fennec sneak into the cellar and steal the bottle while Lyta distracts the bartender.]
Brock: "You don't have to seduce him -- just take off your shirt. I guarantee that will not fail."

[In the end, we succeed in stealing the bottle, which we suspect has micro-etching along the bottom rim.]
Georges the GM: "Fennec tinkers together--"
Zac: "A light refractor?"

That's it for now! Next week, it's time to party! This can only mean one thing: disaster!

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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