Saturday, May 3, 2014


More meetings! These ones went… less well than last time. Lukas’ negotiation skills are why we can’t have nice things.

[Ariel and Zac resolve their breaking-and-entering op by rolling a few dice. Zac botches one of his rolls.]
Brock: “Just remember that botches are always bad. A botch on putting on your socks isn’t that you put on the wrong socks, but that you put on one sock, and the second is a poisonous snake.”

[We resolve the op to temporarily indispose Teo Baness, the Comptroller’s transporter.]
Georges the GM: “They put him in the trunk and drive off.”
Julie: “It was so fast, it’s almost like it didn’t happen.”

[Lukas and Lyta, meanwhile, are in Perth to meet up with Lucian Jacobi. But first they have to get past the massive woman who is his bodyguard.]
Brock: “We’ll find out if this is Bhakir’s sister.”
Georges the GM: “Damnit, I should have thought of that!”

[It’s always important to make a good first impression.]
Brock: “We’re wearing our business merc outfits.”

[The beginning of the conversation goes… cordially.]
Ariel: “Did Jacobi have his sense of humor surgically removed? That would be cool.”
Brock: “It’s a special procedure Humanists can have.”

[We want to meet Jacobi face-to-face, but he will be leaving imminently on his ship and won’t be back for a while.]
Lucian Jacobi: “I could meet you on the 15th.”
Brock: “How’s the 15th fit into my schedule?”
Georges the GM: “It’s ridiculously tight, but at least it’s not—“
Brock: “…Impossible.”

[Jacobi invites us to spend a few days on his ship, the Concordia.]
Lucian Jacobi: “Mura will meet you at 0300. Bright and early. Well, dark and early.”

[Georges the GM is surprised that we’re not calling the rest of the team for the meeting.]
Brock: “I don’t want to put both halves of our team at this guy’s mercy, on a boat, in the middle of a lake.”
Georges the GM: “Are you really in a better position with only half your team?”
Brock: “It minimizes our losses.”

[The Concordia is, in fact, the same ship that Lyta infiltrated during our op in Thebes.]
Brock: “We missed our chance to stow weapons on the boat.”
Julie: “Didn’t think of it at the time.”
Brock: “Well, when we get a time machine…”

[The ship is quite large.]
Ariel: “How many different shuffleboard sets do they have access to?”
Georges the GM: “Four, which should be quite sufficient.”

[Some people have different priorities than others.]
Lukas: “So, ready to start our career of piracy? I figure you can take out all his guards.”

[Lukas and Lyta meeting with Lucian Jacobi for lunch.]
Lucian Jacobi: “Jax, that’s an unusual name. Where do you hail from?”
Lukas: “Oxford.”
Lucian Jacobi: (knowingly) “Of course you do.”

[We explain why we’re here.]
Lukas: “I don’t want the Comptroller to do anything – I just want him to take his money.”

[More of the same.]
Lukas: “I would like to delivery a briefcase full of money, or whatever the local vernacular is…”

[Lukas spells things out for Jacobi.]
Lukas: “I understand the Comptroller is a logistics…”
Lucian Jacobi: “Facilitator.”
Lukas: “Yes.”
Lucian Jacobi: “But you don’t sound like you need any facilitation.”
Lukas: “I’d like to avoid any anti-facilitation.”

[Always good to keep your story straight.]
Lukas: “I don’t know how you do things down here, but where I come from… in Oxford…”

[Lucian Jacobi informs us that the reason the Comptroller may have sent people after us for the Oxford fruit job was not so much because he didn’t get his cut but because we may have been stepping in on other people’s territory.]
Georges the GM: “Radsley thought he’d struck on something brilliant, and so did you, until Jacobi just told you, ‘Yeah, welcome to the party.’”

[Lukas informs Jacobi of our intended cargo and explains that he’d like the Comptroller’s help in transporting them.]
Lucian Jacobi: “That would require a full 140-car train.”
Lukas: “Or 1,600 ESE slaves.”

[While the boys are talking…]
Julie: “Lyta’s been sizing up Mura in case she needs to deal with her at some point.”
Brock: “Not if. When.”

[Lyta’s assessment of Mura, Jacobi’s large bodyguard.]
Georges the GM: “Well, very few people are Lyta’s equal, but she could probably take out Jax pretty easily.”
Zac: “That’s how you evaluate people.”

[While Lyta sizes up Mura…]
Georges the GM: “She’s way less subtle that she’s doing the same to you.”
Zac: “That just means she knows her role.”
Georges the GM: “Also that she spent less xp in getting secondary skills.”

[The men are still talking.]
Lukas: “Let’s talk a little bit more about this problem you were mentioning. If it is a problem, how big a problem will it be?”
Lucian Jacobi: “Currently our transportation is down.”
Lukas: “That strikes me as a big problem!”

[Keep in mind the reason the Comptroller’s transportation is down is because we took out the guy who manages it.]
Lukas: “If I do have to use my contingency, which I hadn’t even thought was an option…”
Georges the GM: *picks up dice*

[The conversation wraps up.]
Lucian Jacobi: “It’s very exciting to have such fresh blood with your level of enthusiasm.”

[After our meeting with Jacobi, we meet up with Okran Radsley on the train to Matoux’ caravan.]
Okran Radsley: “Where are you taking me?”
Lukas: “You’re not coming all the way. You’re getting off at the next stop.”
Okran Radsley: “You just want me to class you up.”

[We mention that we met up with Jacobi on his ship.]
Okran Radsley: “Is it the lap of luxury?”
Lukas: “It is. You should strap a limpet mine on it.”
Okran Radsley: “…I beg your pardon?”

[We recap the conversation with Jacobi.]
Okran Radsley: “How’d you read him?”
Lukas: “Hard. He knows how to play the game. As I said, he may have played me.”

[In discussing Radsley’s own transporter, who will probably be burned doing this job.]
Okran Radsley: “The thing about a lynchpin is that you can just put one back in.”
Julie: “As the two mechanics are sitting here going, ‘I think that’s a flawed metaphor…’”

[Lukas mentions that we may need to pay more to our transporter.]
Okran Radsley: “Whatever it costs, half of it is coming out of your pocket, so I know you’ll...”
Lukas: “Fight for every penny.”
Okran Radsley: “Every half-penny.”

[We need to go out to the desert to meet with Thamo Matoux. Conveniently, we have a truck with a roof-mounted heavy weapon.]
Georges the GM: “This is what you assaulted the Chatterbox with.”
Brock: “By getting out of it and approaching on foot.”

[Remember those differing priorities. They’re still out there.]
Torgath: “Tell me if there’s someone I need to kill.”
Lyta: “Not yet.”
Lukas: “But I will.”

[We discuss how to approach Matoux.]
Torgath: “At least we can say, ‘Yeah, the Doc’s a dick, but we all make money.’”
Lyta: “That has been your line from the beginning. It’s not a bad one.”

[More of the same.]
Lukas: “In terms of specific plan: do a deal, don’t get killed.”
Lyta: “That sounds specific.”

[More planning.]
Fennec: “The worst he can do is send back our heads.”
Lukas: “There’s no one to send them to. We’ll wind up buried in the desert.”

[Lyta makes a few things clear in regards to the ‘favor’ we’re expecting Matoux to request.]
Lukas: “It is not my intention to whore you or Ryss out… sexually.”
Fennec: “You plan to offer yourself in our place?”

[Always good to have a backup plan.]
Fennec: “Do you have a rendezvous point if things go south?”
Lukas: “Yeah. The truck. First person to get there starts up the engine, second person fires the gun. …Actually, reverse that.”

[We arrive at a caravan parked in a desert oasis and get a look at Thamo Matoux.]
Georges the GM: “He looks like a post-apocalyptic motorcycle repairman.”

[Matoux approaches us.]
Thamo Matoux: “Come in and share my shade.”
Brock: “…That’s a Sandrider line, isn’t it?”
Georges the GM: “I’m glad someone picked up on that.”

[Matoux is surprised Benelice sent us to him instead of dealing with us herself.]
Thamo Matoux: “Benelice is usually my negotiation specialist.”
Lukas: “Yes. She is… adept.”
Thamo Matoux: “You sound like someone who has been on the receiving end of her adept skills.”

[We lay the groundwork of the conversation.]
Lukas: “I think my plan is straightforward. Bold, but straightforward.”
Thamo Matoux: “These are both things I appreciate: boldness and transparency.”
Luks: “I want to hire every one of your longrunners.”
Thamo Matoux: “Well, I see the boldness.”

[Thamo Matoux notes the impossibility of fulfilling Lukas’ request.]
Thamo Matoux: “The Badlands Caravan Guild has me surrounded on every border.”
Lukas: “Except the south.”
Thamo Matoux: “Yes, but I have other problems to the south. The South is to the south.”

[Now we come to the tricky bit.]
Lukas: “There are other parties that are interested, and that are interested in making money.”
Thamo Matoux: *tenses up*
Ariel: “Has he got it yet? I think he’s got it.”

[He’s got it.]
Thamo Matoux: “So now we are being transparent. Let’s go back to being bold. What can you offer me?”
Lukas: “Let’s go back to being transparent.”

[Lukas presents what he has to offer.]
Lukas: “I stand to make a tremendous amount of money, and I’d like you to have some of it.”
Thamo Matoux: “How generous of you.”

[Matoux mentions that he has the possibility of making life difficult for us.]
Thamo Matoux: “I think you underestimate my tactical abilities. I can do more than nothing – I can do something.”
Lukas: “There is nothing you can do that is worse than doing nothing.”
Thamo Matoux: “That represents a critical lack of imagination on your part.”

[We ease into the crux of the matter.]
Fennec: “You think this deal would lose you friends?”
Thamo Matoux: “No, on the contrary, I think for this deal to go through, I would need to make some friends.”

[We reach the heart of the deal.]
Thamo Matoux: “You can kill one of Chambers’ associates for me.”
Lukas: “Which one?”
Thamo Matoux: “We can go into that later, when we’ve proven we are friends.”
Ariel: “He’s gonna say Riley.”
Zac: “Totally.”

[We are not so keen on killing someone for Matoux.]
Lukas: “If the way you tell who your friends are is who will kill people for you, I don’t want to be your friend, and I don’t want to know your friends.”
Thamo Matoux: “I can accept that.”

[More of the same.]
Lukas: “I wouldn’t kill anyone to make you happy.”
Thamo Matoux: “Not to make me happy – to make you happy.”
Lukas: “I am happy.”

[And the differing priorities step into the breach.]
Torgath: “Let’s say hypothetically I was okay with murdering someone, who would it be?”

[The deal appears to be falling through.]
Lukas: “I think you’re making a mistake.”
Thamo Matoux: “When you get to live as long as I have have, young man, then you may get the privilege of telling me that I am making a mistake.”

[Torgath tries to work things out.]
Torgath: “How about this: if the deal goes wrong, I’ll kill the Doc for you, because it means he lied to us.”

[Matoux may have done some light threatening over the course of the conversation. Lukas responds in kind.]
Lukas: “If you move against us, I will join the Doc, and I will fight you and I will destroy you, root and branch.  Every truck, every man and woman in every caravan.”
Thamo Matoux: “You have zeal! I encourage that!”

[Not all of us are so happy with the direction the conversation took.]
Fennec: “‘We’re gonna root you out, tree and branch’? ‘Every man, every longrunner’? What are you playing at?”
Lukas: “Why go small?”

[It turns out that sitting in the same communal tent, lightly disguised, is Tumit Gustafson, the arms dealer.]
Fennec: “You’re the guy!”
Ariel: “He’s the Swedish mafia.”

[Gustafson may have led Matoux to believe that we would be willing to murder someone for him, but may not have given him an appropriate sense of our vengefulness.]
Tumit Gustafson: “I will be sure to mention to him that you are dangerous people. I only collect favors from dangerous people.”

[We recall why Gustafson may have had the impression we would assassinate someone for Matoux.]
Torgath: “I feel way worse about making the deal with Gusafson than I do about killing the urchin.”
Lukas: “Except that making the deal got us something extremely valuable, and killing the urchin got us… still nothing. No, actually it fucked us here.”

[We leave the caravan without a deal.]
Benelice Matoux: (on phone) “Hello?”
Lukas: “It’s Jax. Did you know your father wants, I think, to have your boyfriend killed?”

[Benelice tells us she’s in our debt for not moving against Riley.]
Lukas: “I don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to leverage you on this, but…”
Zac/Fennec: “But can we get some leverage?”

[More of the same.]
Lukas: “I don’t want to leverage you. I just want us to be friends.”
Georges the GM: “Are you writing this down? Lukas is making a friend.”

[According to Benelice, her father envisions that Chambers hates him as much as he hates Chambers.]
Benelice Matoux: “My father sees the world in terms of… passionate relationships.”
Lukas: “It’s a mistake to think Chambers hates anyone.”
Benelice Matoux: “That is what Markus says.”
Lukas: “Chambers loves no one but himself.”
Benelice Matoux: “That is also what Markus says.”

[After Lukas’ threat to Thamo, it’s almost certain we’ll face some retaliation when we move our cargo out of the Humanist Alliance.]
Fennec: “So we need to count on Benelice to tell us whether her father’s making a move?”
Lukas: “No, we have to count on the fact that he’s making a move.”
Fennec: “But it would be nice to know from which direction.”
Lukas: “It’ll come from straight at us.”

[Time to go to plan B.]
Lukas: (to Fennec) “Give that we know it’s coming, you know what it would be nice to have waiting? A Peace River army! So get on the phone!”

[We wrap up the session with some advice.]
Lukas: “I’m open to pointers from the caravan master on how I should have handled Matoux.”
Fennec: “Don’t threaten to murder his whole tribe!”
Lukas: “Why not?”

[There are other confounding factors in the negotiation, of course.]
Ariel: “I was being completely hypothetical!”
Georges the GM: “The situation was hypothetical. You were being earnest.”

[We discuss how things went down.]
Brock: “Was counter-threatening him more likely to have made him act?”
Zac: “No, I think he would have interpreted it as…”
Julie: “As a threat?”
Zac: “Yeah!”

[More of the same.]
Brock: “I didn’t go in there with the desire to antagonize him.”
Zac: “No you came out of there with the desire to antagonize him.”

[A few final words of good advice.]
Brock: “Wouldn’t you rather be on the side of the guy making those sorts of threats than the one receiving them?”

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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