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205991 No. 205991 ID: 4f6e37

This quest is in the same continuum as Eivr and Oren: They share elements and characters between them.
>Eivr Archives are at: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Eivr
>Oren Archives are at: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Oren

Some take what they can get out in a world that gives them shit.
Some reason with life's problems, try to make the best of it.
Some sit by their broken windows thinking what they could have had.
But some said to themselves, Fuck that.
Maybe we were just born bad.

Expand all images
No. 205992 ID: 4f6e37
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The flatbed rolls down the canyon, bouncing on the uneven road beneath it.
It’s hot in the back, and there isn’t much shock absorption, and the mercenaries are all getting pretty banged up. Some of them complain pretty loud so they don’t get drowned out by the roaring engine. But she just stays quiet, watching the road rush by.
No. 205995 ID: 4f6e37
File 127880512634.png - (118.15KB , 800x600 , p2.png )

One of the guys riding up front in the air conditioned cabin opens the door, walks into the bed of the truck. She looks up. "Arright, shut the fuck up and listen," he calls over the noise, holding onto the door to keep balace. "One thing off the bat. Y'all are here to do what we say, when we say it. You are not here to complain, ask questions, or think for yourselves. Y'all got that?"
He waits, and eventually the mercs murmur their agreement. "When we get to the facility your job will be to defend the mage while he unlocks the doors, and from there you are to enter the building itself and retrieve the package. Anyone gets in your way, ain't one of us or one of you, you beat 'em out of the way. Anyone resists, you kill 'em. Understood?" Another murmur of agreement. "Arright. Now do any of you have questions?"
No. 205997 ID: a594b9

How much resistance is expected? Also, what's the package look like again?
No. 205999 ID: 940a91

no questions boss.
No. 206000 ID: 701a19

No. 206001 ID: c2c011

What kind of resistance is to expected. Will they have any reinforcements coming. If reinforcements are coming then what response time can you expect from them. And lasty, what is the extraction plan and if things go to shit is there any alternate extraction plan.
No. 206009 ID: 4f6e37
File 127880590447.png - (52.68KB , 800x600 , p3.png )

"Wh-" she says.
"I said no fucking questions," says the man at the door.
She shuts up.
"Anyone else emptyheaded enough to ask something?" says the man at the door. Everyone else stays silent. "Don't be like this bitch and keep listening to us and maybe you'll make it through tonight,"

He slams the door, cutting off the sweet flow of cool air from up front.
They all sit in silence now, waiting to get to their destination. She leans on her crossbow and stares at the floor. Stupid. Every damn time you open your mouth you get humiliated. Don't even matter how many damn s'es are involved.

She feels dirty and out of place among these thugs. It pains her to think it's where she belongs. She wonders dully how the hell she got this low.
No. 206010 ID: 701a19

You're smart. You can figure it out.
When you do, tell us.
No. 206011 ID: c2c011

Ok, this is starting to seem like a very bad op. They're not giving you sufficient information to properly get through this. Mercs are almost always considered expendible, but this time it seems like they're planning to let you all die.

Check around if there is anyone else there you feel like you might be able to trust. Having someone now that can watch your back would probably be worth alot.
No. 206015 ID: a594b9

You can let these other pricks go in first.

Also, as for how you got in this situation? Well... not everyone is dealt the right cards to play. You gotta make the best with what you've got. Maybe later, you can get a more normal job.
No. 206025 ID: 4f6e37
File 127880812154.png - (56.88KB , 800x600 , p4.png )


She doesn't have many illusions about how easy the job's gonna be, but she needs the money and the rep. And if she dies, well, she isn't missing out on all that much.

She looks around the truck. There's about eight or nine people besides her, all of them armed, shifty-looking folks. The kind she'd been long trained to keep an eye on once, before. She looks over at the guy next to her. Armor a bit too big for him, sword trembling in has hand. Can't be too much older than 18.

The door opens again. Another guy from up front walks inside. Looks like it's the mage who's supposed to open the doors for them. "Hey," he says to the assembled mercs. They don't respond.
He looks around the cabin, stumbles a bit as it goes over a bump. He sees the empty seat next to her, walks over. "Mind if I sit down?" he asks. She looks up, nods.
He sits down on the cold bench next to her.
"Hot damn night," he says. "Ain't it,"
"Still, it ain't all that bad, huh?" he says. "Wind. And such."
"So, uh, how are we all tonight?"
One of the guys in back mutters something indistinct, and some people sitting next to him laugh, nervously.
"Well," says the mage, quietly. "Can't say I didn't try." He sits back, then sees her looking at him. "Hey," he says. "I'm Aldo. What's your name?"
No. 206027 ID: 701a19

Go ahead and tell him.
No. 206034 ID: c2c011

Can't hurt to let him know your name. The guy doesn't seem very experianced at this, but having the mage like you is probably a good thing. Will let you hang around him during the op.

Which is both a good thing and a bad thing, you're likely gonna have to work a bit harder to defend him as he's a priority target, but on the other side if you manage to do it and he gets through then you have a greater chance of getting extracted alongside with him.
No. 206054 ID: a594b9

No. 206066 ID: 4f6e37
File 127881420716.png - (54.18KB , 800x600 , p5.png )

Focus. It can't be that hard to just go -sss, everyone else does it all the time. Maybe move your tongue differently this time than you always do, and-
"Thofiya," says Sofiya.
"Hi, Thofiya," says Aldo.
"No, it'h Thofiya," says Sofiya. "Thorry. I have a lithp."
Someone nearby snorts at her.
"Hi, Sofiya," says Aldo, ignoring them. "Excited for the fiesta that's about to go down?"
"Hmm," says Sofiya.
"You done this sort of thing before?" he asks.
"Thort of," says Sofiya.
"Well, just stay close," he says. "I've got some tricks up my sleeve and I reckon we'll get out okay. Okay?"
No. 206071 ID: 8ce2bf

Looks like you got at least one person to lean on in this mission. Say okay and scoot a little closer.
No. 206072 ID: a76809

...Can you do z's normally?

If so, you could just transpose z for s, get something that people might assume is an accent, not a lisp. Your call.
No. 206084 ID: 8ce2bf

Can't do Z's normally either with that kind of lisp.

If it's physiological there isn't much she can do about it, certainly not in here. Maybe she has a huge tongue and a small mouth. Just try not to worry about it, Aldo's pretty understanding about it anyway, it seems.
No. 206089 ID: 41fbc0

This guy ain't so bad. Hopefully. He's a Mage, so he's kinda important, right? Never hurts to be friendly to 'important' people. Especially when they have tricks up their sleeves.
No. 206168 ID: 4f6e37
File 127882516799.png - (56.04KB , 800x600 , p6.png )

"Okay," she says, and scoots a little closer.
He grins and sits back.

Maybe this won't go so badly. Maybe it'll be okay.
No. 206170 ID: 701a19

"Wanna hit a pub after?"
No. 206171 ID: 4f6e37
File 127882543578.png - (39.79KB , 800x600 , p7.png )

It does, and it ain't, in the long run.
The whole thing goes pear shaped, in point of fact.
But this isn't about what happened then. It's about what came after, after the two escaped what happened that night ten months ago, met a man named Joseph with two knives, a shark smile, and a mad mind, and found themselves in the prison of a humble little town calling itself Hearthback.

"Want to maybe hit a pub after thith?"

"We'll see."
No. 206173 ID: 4f6e37
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No. 206267 ID: 4f6e37
File 127886824283.png - (127.99KB , 800x600 , 1.png )

This is Sofiya Daniels.

She was a cop until she had to quit, and from that point on she took pretty much any job that required a crossbow and a good eye behind it. She likes to think that doesn't make her a bad person, but usually any job she takes involves working on the outskirts of the law.
Take this last one, for example. It landed her in the prison of her former classmate (and onetime unrequited crush, but that was when they were 16) Oren Loper.
She's sort of a sullen, quiet person, but to the friends she's got she's fiercely loyal. She thpeaks with a lithp, and has since she was a kid.

Currently she is lying on her back, screaming.
No. 206268 ID: 4f6e37
File 127886825518.png - (127.64KB , 800x600 , 2.png )

This handsome motherfucker's name is Aldo Molder. He is currently six inches
Feels more like five and a half...
How would you know? Uh, six inches inside Sofiya Daniels.
Aldo is an evoker, with a specialization in manipulating metal. This has landed him a job as a guy who unlocks things, no lockpick required. He's been able to charm open any door, safe, or pretty pair of legs that he's come across.

Aldo is a bit full of himself
So are you right now, hon.
but even though he isn't the handsomest man in Elde, and even though he's a crook, he's sharp, handy in a fight, and he's the first man in Sofiya's life who makes her feel beautiful. He thinks her lisp is cute, too.
They have been in love with each other for a long time.
No. 206269 ID: 4f6e37
File 127886829186.png - (92.45KB , 800x600 , 3.png )

For several days they've been locked inside separate cells, with their former employer, an insufferable douche named Joseph who Sofiya went to the Academy with. Three hours ago, Loper and his Deputy (and apparent girlfriend) Nessandra Squires started the long drive to Anchorturn with Joseph in tow.
Sofiya and Aldo decided that now would be a good opportunity to let themselves out of the cells for a while. There's no way to escape, not stranded in a small town like this in the middle of the wastes with no car, but they're making the best of their temporary freedom while they can. They are in the bed of Oren and Nessie. Sofiya is handcuffed to it. The safe word, which was Aldo's idea, is "Sassafras".
No. 206270 ID: 4f6e37
File 127886831418.png - (93.64KB , 800x600 , 4.png )

The phone rings, for the fifth time in five minutes. They stop and look up for a second, then Aldo shrugs and starts up again.
"Wait, hold on," says Sofiya. "Thathafrath."
"Hmm?" says Aldo, still thrusting. "Didn't quite catch that."
"Thathafrath!" says Sofiya. "Thathafrath, athole."
"What is it, Darlin'?" grins Aldo, letting up. "Just let it go to the machine or something."
"They've been calling thteadily for a long time," says Sofiya. "It might be thomething really important."
"We ain't cops," says Aldo. "Do we look like cops to you?"
Maybe it's her training, but Sofiya just doesn't feel good about ignoring someone who might really need help. And the way the phone is going it seems like whoever's on the other end sure does.
Aldo personally does not see why they should care.
No. 206272 ID: 701a19

"Old cop habit. Can't get off when people need help."
No. 206274 ID: 8ce2bf

Grab the phone and answer it while getting back to what you were doing.
No. 206275 ID: c2c011

Whoever is on the line might have a car. Or need a car moved from their property. That would mean you could get away from this shithole of a town and get somewhere good, and you would be without that knifewielding psycho Joseph. He probably had a hardon while slicing the throat of that guy when he was naked. Should get as far away as possible from him.

So stop fucking around and get out there and get a car.
No. 206276 ID: 315b01

If people think we aren't prisoners, becasue no prisoner would answer a police call, they might let us just walk outa here... or hitch a ride or something.
No. 206285 ID: 4f6e37
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"Old cop habit," says Sofiya. "Can't get off when people need help. "Bethideth, maybe they've got a car or thomething we can ride out of here."
"You're too good an influence on me, Sofiya Daniels," says Aldo, pulling out and looking for his pants. He waves a hand at the cuffs and they click open. "Whatever. You ain't hurt or anything, are you?"
"No. Uh," says Sofiya. "Could you maybe anther it?"

Aldo heads into the kitchen where one of the phones is and picks up.
"Hearthback sheriff's office, can ah hayulp you?" he says, imitating the Sheriff as best he can and feeling sort of stupid.
"Is this Mr. Loper?" says a voice on the other end, at the verge of panic. "It's Elena Fierberg. Henry's gone missing again and and I think he got took and I've been getting these calls and I think they're gonna kill him this time."

No. 206286 ID: a594b9

"Okay, calm down nah. Who's 'they'?"
No. 206288 ID: 315b01

'Fraid I'm just filling in for him ma'm, We'll be over and see what we can do.
No. 206290 ID: 701a19

"Sheriff Loper ain't in town, so mah partner and I are coverin' for him. Give us your address and we'll be there in a few."

New plan: Kidnapping with intent to murder? If you solve this case Loper might just decide to forget about the whole jail thing when he gets back.
That's the upside to the lax justice system around here.
No. 206292 ID: c2c011

Ask her to please calm down and tell you who they are and where they're at. And if she could also describe how things went down when they took him that would be just super.

Have to find out if there might be some people you can get away with killing and stealing their car. Hopefully the ones that took him are just that kind of people.
No. 206327 ID: 4f6e37
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"'Fraid I'm just fillin' in for Sheriff Loper, Ma'am," says Aldo.
"Oh," says the voice on the other end, uncertainly. "I...okay."
"Now just calm down and tell me what happened," says Aldo. "Who exactly took your Henry?"

"It was, uh, Andri. Pavel Andri."
Aw, hell. If Pavel Andri is behind this Aldo doubts Henry's got a snowball's chance in hell, not for long.
Aldo knows Andri. He's worked with him a few times. A Furlesian expatriate with a temper to match his height. Pavel had his 15 minutes of fame when he defected to Elde after being some minor earl or something in Furlaia. He got a taste of non-royal life in Elde and decided he wanted nothing to do with it. Now he runs a tidy narco-empire, and among the small towns in Elde he is the go-to guy for what makes you high. And if you cross him, he likes dealing with you, personally. The examples he makes of people are the stuff of legend in morgues, Aldo's heard tell.
"Henry just didn't come home from work one day, and then I started getting calls," says Elena. "He told me he'd gone clean, he did, but Pavel said he'd run up this giant debt. And if, if, if I don't pay him fifty thousand gilt, he's gonna start sending Henry home in pieces. Is what he said. I I don't know what to do."

No. 206330 ID: 701a19

Tell her to stay calm and you'll be there to talk with her in person shortly.
Get Sophia up. She's got police training, so she'll know what to do.

You're going to want to start at his house and trace his path back to work in order to find the crime scene.

Unless you know where he would have been taken, of course, in which case you should just go there directly.
No. 206331 ID: c2c011

Tell her to calm down and you will deal with it. All she has to do is tell you where they're likely to be holding Henry and you're gonna take care of things.

That Pavel guy sounds like he has a car and nobody would ask too hard what happened if he ended up dead. This is your chance to get a ride out of town and stay free.
No. 206333 ID: a594b9

I think we might wind up doing a job for this dude in order to save Henry. Or, if Pavel is smalltime enough we could just take him out. I rather doubt that's possible though.
No. 206334 ID: 701a19

Or solve the problem and watch as the charges 'mysteriously' drop. Legit security consultants make a shit-ton more money than criminals, and they don't have to put up with cops hassling them.
No. 206335 ID: c2c011

That is not a certain thing though. Much much safer to just get the fuck out of there and let Oren wonder where his prisoners went.
No. 206338 ID: f95872

If we just split, Oren's gonna do his damndest to grab us again.
If we solve the problem for him, he's not likely to try too hard there, I think.
No. 206341 ID: c2c011

That's why we save this Henry guy and leave Pavel dying in a pool of his own blood while we get out in his car. That way he should feel moderatly grateful and we should be far away before he gets back.
No. 206343 ID: 197650

No. 206593 ID: 4f6e37
File 127890287282.png - (194.05KB , 800x600 , 7.png )

"Just calm down, now, ma'am, y'hear?" says Aldo. "We'll be down shortly to investigate." He hangs up before she can keep talking at him.

Sofiya walks into the kitchen, scratching at Squires' clothes.
"None of thith fith me," she says.
"That is because you are abnormally skinny and tall," says Aldo.
"Maybe it'h becauth Thquireth ith a fat ath," she says.
"You look fantastic," says Aldo, hanging the phone up. "Now take it all off again and let's get back to business. The safe word can be susurrus this time."
"Whoa whoa whoa," says Sofiya. "Who wath on the phone?"
"Some lady saying her husband or something got kidnapped by Pavel Andri."
"Hmm," says Sofiya, arching one eyebrow. "Maybe we should jutht find a car or thomething and thkip town."
"I already told her we'd investigate," shrugs Aldo.
"Whatever," says Sofiya. "I'll thee if I can find a crothbow or thomething that ithn't shit. Where do we thtart, if we're tharting?"
No. 206595 ID: 701a19

I'm sticking with this: >>206330
No. 206600 ID: 97e0c5


"We start after we finish."
No. 206718 ID: a594b9

Well, first order of business is we visit the house, then find out what route he takes to his workplace, and see if you can find anything along that.
No. 206775 ID: c2c011

Well time for some cop work then. Start by arming up, then go check out Henry's house and see if you can find anyone that knows where Pavel might hold someone.
No. 206783 ID: d560d6

This is what happens if you leave the phone on the hook.
No. 207237 ID: 4f6e37
File 127904845982.png - (179.62KB , 800x600 , 8.png )

They finish up quick, then clean themselves up and find something official looking to wear. The closest thing they come up with are the maintenance suits they were wearing when they were arrested. They hit the armory and find Sofiya a good crossbow. It's nowhere near the precision instrument she's used to, but it'll fire a bolt straight enough. Aldo goes unarmed but for a dented shield. Sofiya doesn't ask why.

It's for evocation spells, darling. Aldo specializes in metal manipulation, see, and it helps if he's got some raw material to work with.
They show up at Elena and Henry's house, an unassuming place on a unassuming road. Wealthy looking, though. Aldo's got zero cash because of the arrest, and he's pretty sure they could find some valuable stuff to pawn inside, if so inclined.

Aldo knocks on the door and a nervous, mousey-looking woman answers. "Yes?"
"Mrs. Fierberg?" says Aldo. "We're from the authority. I'm Deputy Orion Hill and this is Deputy Cissy Sesaphas." He avoids flinching as Sofiya stomps on his foot. "We spoke on the phone, remember? Can we come in?"
"I...I really would be more comfortable if you were Oren," stammers Elena. She looks over their getup. "What if this is something Pavel is trying to pull? How can I be sure I can let you in?"
No. 207239 ID: f21281

"Because if we were with Pavel, we wouldn't have asked to come in."
No. 207254 ID: 4ae7b5

I understand that the kidnapping has you nervous, and you would prefer your regular local law enforcement officers to be on the case. But these here are irregular times madam, as I'm sure you will agree.
No. 207259 ID: f95872

"If we were with Pavel, you wouldn't be able to stop us. But we can talk out here, if you're more comfortable with that."
No. 207264 ID: e3f578

"Well, um, Maam, we're kinda the only hope you've got right now. Besides, Pavel wouldn't try and kidnap the only person left capable of paying back their friend's debts. If he was after your stuff he would have just basically repo'd your ass all polite like instead of the good ol' classic 'pay me or we start getting all theatrically gangter' ploy."
No. 207304 ID: 4f6e37
File 127905956316.png - (191.53KB , 800x600 , 9.png )

"Because if we were with Pavel, we wouldn't have asked to come in," says Aldo. "We would have just come in."
"We can talk out here, though, if you like," says Sofiya.

"I'd prefer that," says Elena, stepping outside and closing the door snug behind her. "So what's the first step, now? Do you need me to do anything?"
No. 207312 ID: c2c011

If she could give you a list of places where Henry hangs out and people he know that would be good. It would also be nice if she knows of any places where they might have taken Henry.
No. 207318 ID: a594b9

Awww, now we can't nab any small valuable items.

Ask what route he takes to work, so we can trace his footsteps and shit.
No. 207407 ID: 701a19

Agreed, but first ask if she has any idea where they're holding him.
No. 207414 ID: 8bdb6a

Ask the usual barrage of questions to get a fix on where he might have disappeared from, or where he might be now.
No. 207430 ID: 4f6e37
File 127907556044.png - (79.46KB , 800x600 , 10.png )

So they can't steal anything. They probably wouldn't have, anyway.
Speak for yourself. Aldo's effin' brasic and he personally thinks he and Sofiya deserve the finer things in life.
Well okay, maybe just some silverware or something.

"Do you have any idea where they may be holding him?" asks Sofiya.
"None," says Elena. "I had no idea he was even involved in this sort of thing any more until he went missing."

"Oh-kay," says Aldo, thinking about what to ask next. "So you said Henry didn't come back from work, right? What route does he take to work?"

"That I do know," says Elena, excitedly. "Every day he starts out from home to the end of the block, then he turns up Dalance onto Helm, stops in Helm Plaza at Chell's Coffee, then goes to his job at a consultant office at the intersection of Delillo and Isha Street. Five years and he's never deviated from it much, as far as I know. It's about a ten minute drive. I could take you along it, if you want."
No. 207433 ID: 701a19

Do it. Stop at each of his stops and ask people when he was last seen, and if the noticed anything suspicious.
Also, does she have a way to contact the kidnappers?
No. 207437 ID: 0b2a05

Hm. They likely nabbed him somewhere along helm or delillo. Ask her to take you to the plaza, look around for skid marks and other oddities along the way.
No. 207446 ID: 701a19

They probably nabbed him IN the coffee shop.
Walk in, sit down next to him, 'convince' him to go quietly, walk out. Odd, but not going to raise a fuss like a car crash would.

On the upshot that means the people who were on shift that day may have seen the perps, while on the downside they might not remember what they looked like.
No. 207515 ID: e973f4

Hmm. I guess asking around along his route is probably a good start.
No. 207683 ID: c2c011

Accept. They probably nabbed him in one of the smaller streets. See if you can find any homeless people or drunks that sleep or hang out in those spots. With some persuasion they can probably be made to remember what went down.
No. 207787 ID: 4f6e37
File 127913972479.png - (181.18KB , 800x600 , 11.png )

They agree to let her drive the route Henry took, and
Hey, Sofiya. Aldo reckons we could overpower this chick and take her car easy.
That would just be low down.
...Let's just keep it in mind.

They agree to let her drive the route Henry took, and take it slow along the first leg, looking out for shady side streets with clues or homeless folks who might have seen something. Unfortunately, this is a nice neighborhood in a nice part of town, so neither one of these are all that common.

They arrive at the plaza without incident, and Elena pulls up in front of the Coffee place. "Here's his first stop. Chell's Coffee." She looks back at them. "He never missed...misses a chance to get a cup here. It's his... favorite..." She takes a deep, shaky breath. "Have you seen anything yet?"
"No, not yet, ma'am," says Aldo, looking out at the place, idly stroking Sofiya's thigh with one hand. She seems distant. He ain't much for this detective bullshit, but she's dedicated to it, and he feels like she hasn't been happy enough in a long time. He debates going inside the shop to look or ask around more.
Sofiya just looks glumly out at the plaza. This whole thing is giving her flashbacks to when she was an actual, legitimate cop instead of a crook pretending to be one. It wasn't so great at the time, but there's something about doing good for the public instead of just mercenary work that lightens the weight of the crossbow at her back. Makes her stand up a bit straighter. She misses that feeling. "What do you reckon?" asks Aldo. "Think it's worth scoping this place out?"
No. 207788 ID: 701a19

"Lets check it out. The employees can tell us if he made it this far, and if we're lucky then the grab might have happened here."
Sophia, what was it about cop life that you hated? Following orders? Paperwork? having your hands tied on how to handle so many things? Having to look the other way because protocol says so?
No. 207795 ID: c2c011

It's probably worth to check out. And check out that van in the alley there as well. You should probably ask around a bit on the plaza as well.

Although nabbing someone so publically is normally not a good idea unless you have the area locked down or the residents have a tradition of not talking to the authorities.
No. 207819 ID: a594b9

Let's inspect it!
No. 207826 ID: 701a19

HA! You don't even know!
Walk in, sit down next to them, whisper a threat such as "Come quietly with us or your wife gets a new fuck-hole" , and walk out with him. Odd, but not the kind of thing that gets cops called.
Running somebody off the road? Hijacking their car at a stoplight? Those are things that will get the police on your ass in a hurry, and organized crime doesn't last long if it doesn't understand how to do subtle.
No. 207829 ID: 40cb26

Yes check here. If he missed his usual coffee you know he got grabbed earlier. If he didn't, you know it happened later. Or maybe this is the spot it happened and you'll find out a lot more.
No. 207862 ID: f95872

At least check if he got there or not.
No. 207869 ID: 4f6e37
File 127914626745.png - (191.67KB , 800x600 , 12.png )

>What did you hate about being a cop?
A lot of things.

They step inside the building. It's a normal, quiet cafe, with a few patrons drinking and reading the paper or typing on laptops.

The guy behind the counter, a wiry looking teenager, is listening to music or something. He looks up when they enter and pulls his headphones down. "Hey. Welcome to Chell's. Could you maybe, uh, leave your crossbow outside?"
No. 207871 ID: c2c011

Tell him that no you can't leave your crossbow outside.

Ask him about Henry. Don't let him dodge the question.
No. 207876 ID: 701a19

Could we get a list of the problems? 'cause out in the middle of nowhere like this seems to be the kinda place where you could enjoy yourself.

"Fraid not. When was Henry last here, who was on duty then, and what happened then?"
No. 207895 ID: f95872

"The crossbow'll leave when I do, which should be soon. I need you to answer some questions."

In addition to asking if the victim was here, ask if he was looking all calm and natural or if he was twitchy or what.
No. 207899 ID: a594b9

Re: Crossbow- "Nope, we're Authority."
No. 207982 ID: d8deac

We should keep a low profile. So we don't alert Pavel Andri (or anybody else that might be a danger to us if it's not him) that we are looking for Henry. Just listen to him and leave the crossbow outside.
No. 208108 ID: 4f6e37
File 127916131986.png - (184.62KB , 800x600 , 13.png )

"The crossbow'll leave when we do, which'll be soon," says Aldo. The barista folds his arms. "We're Authority, and I'm gonna need you to answer some questions about Henry Fierberg."

"Henry?" asks the barista. "Yeah, he's one of out best customers. Two cups a day like clockwork, until recently. And he's had some pretty screwed up people asking after him over here, but we are loyal to those who are loyal to us, and I know I ain't telling no one nothing about the guy. Now you," he points to Aldo, "are not Sheriff Loper, and you," he points to Sofiya, "are not Nessie, and I don't think I can trust you. You say you're authority? Prove it or I'm not saying a thing. Where're your badges?"
No. 208111 ID: 54aa3e

... you did bring your badges right?
No. 208115 ID: d560d6

We ain't got no badges.
We don't need no badges.
No. 208117 ID: 4531bc

metal-morph some up quick if you didn't
No. 208118 ID: a594b9

"Erm, not official Authority. We're more like, friends of Oren filling in for him while he's gone. We don't have any badges or anything; he had to leave in a hurry. We're ex-cops, in case you're wondering."

Maybe Sofiya can rattle off some official laws or something from her time on duty. Ask about the day that Henry disappeared.
No. 208119 ID: f95872

Aldo: Make some badges from the shield.

Sofiya: Stall while Aldo does that by explaining again that Loper's out of town, and you're covering for him.
No. 208121 ID: 701a19

"Perhaps I'm not being clear. We're not asking about Henry, we're asking about the people who have been asking about Henry.
What can you tell us about them?
Do you have any idea where they have been staying?
Was there anything odd the last time you saw Henry?
Had they been around earlier that day?"
No. 208124 ID: 45be60

oh YEAH, badges are metal when you are police
No. 208126 ID: f95872

>We're not asking about Henry, we're asking about the people who have been asking about Henry.
It's possible that he knows. In which case that'd be why he's defensive.
No. 208722 ID: 4f6e37
File 12792532001.png - (232.96KB , 800x600 , 14.png )

"Badges? Badges. You want our badges. To see them. Of course. Yes," says Aldo, thinking fast. "They're out in the car. Let me just go get them real quick."
"Okay," mutters the barista, watching him step out.

"stall," whispers Aldo to Sofiya as he walks outside. He sets about shaping the badges from the metal shield. He's seen enough flashed in his face to get the general idea of one down.

Sofiya and the barista just stare at each other. Sofiya is thinking hard about what to say.
"Intereth- Ni- Cool pla-location you've got here," says Sofiya, picking her words. "How i- doe- do you make your coffee?"
"With beans," says the Barista.
"I thee," says Sofiya. "Uh, I mean, I get it."
No. 208724 ID: 4f6e37
File 12792534868.png - (296.96KB , 800x600 , 15.png )

"Badges," says Aldo, rushing back in and flashing his creation in the barista's face.

"Okay, that looks legitimate," says the barista, and the tension leaves his shoulders. "I'm sorry, officers, but it's just that Henry was attracting the wrong sort of crowd, y'know? Near before he vanished he was always sitting in a corner with his back to the wall or rushing out without picking his cup up or something. And these shady people kept parking outside Chell's and just watching, or coming in and asking about him. Like you." He coughs. "Uh. Not that you're shady or anything, but..."

"We get it," says Aldo. "When was the last time you saw him in here? What happened that day?"

"It was three or four days ago," says the barista. "No. Three, exactly. He came in for his morning coffee just like normal and then never showed up in the afternoon." He shrugs. "That's all I know. Can I do anything else for you? Maybe get you something to drink on the house?"
No. 208726 ID: 701a19

"No, but thanks for the offer. Let us know if you hear anything."
Ok, so he went missing three days ago some time between morning and afternoon, and the grab occurred either at work or in the segment between work and this shop. Continue tracing his path.
Tell your driver to keep an eye out for his car, while you look for signs of violence.
No. 208730 ID: f0641c

Get descriptions of these shady people, what kind of car they had, that sort of thing. Also if Henry gave any indication that something was unusual on the last morning he was seen, and what times were normal for his morning and afternoon coffee. Then ask if there's anything else unusual they've noticed recently, and get out of there.

Sofia will know if it's appropriate for cops to accept complementary beverages while on the job.
No. 208744 ID: 4f6e37
File 127925697383.png - (385.10KB , 800x600 , 16.png )

"I don't know. Are we allowed to accept drinks on the job, Officer Sesaphas?" says Aldo.
"Why not," says Sofiya, grabbing a cup.
As the barista grinds the beans, Aldo asks, "What were these shady guys like? What sort of car did they drive?"
"Several," says the barista. He turns and looks out the window, then suddenly stiffens as he sees what's parked next to the Cafe.
He grabs a napkin and a pencil from his pocket. He scribbles on the napkin and then tosses it down on the counter. He points to it.
No. 208745 ID: e973f4

That's not good.

Act normal.

I'm not sure if you should go try to take these guys now or try to give them the slip or what. I'm really not. :/
No. 208747 ID: 701a19

"Well, we better get back to our investigation.
If you hear anything then let us know."

Head outside. If somebody is at the steering wheel, then put a bolt in them then jack them out of the van. If not then fuse the ignition into a useless lump, then do the same for all the van's hinges and locks, then start menacing the occupants with horrible painful death in order to extract information from them.
Start by having tendrils of floor rising up and burrowing right through their feet, forming a closed loop that requires cutting in order for their feet to be released.
No. 208770 ID: 0b2a05

Ask for the drinks.
No. 208774 ID: c2c011

Accept your drinks. Drink a bit. Have Aldo loudly declare that he needs to take a piss and go into the alley to do so. Disable the van, subdue and arrest the people inside the van. Drag them back to the station. Interogate them, forcefully if necessary since time is limited and you're not real cops anyway. Save Henry, skip town.
No. 208799 ID: 22f0f6

Don't leave Sofiya alone. She's probably a target too.
No. 209500 ID: 4f6e37
File 127943003496.png - (204.41KB , 800x600 , 17.png )

"Thank you for the drinks," says Molder as he takes his cup. "We'll be on our way, now."

He and Sofiya head outside, intending to confront the white van.
But as soon as they walk out the door, they see Elena talking with two imposing-looking guys in suits who are standing between her and her car. They're speaking in low tones, and whatever they're saying is making her shift from foot to foot like a cornered animal.

No. 209510 ID: 701a19

Also, go seal the van. Sophia, notch an arrow and keep a bead on one of them. Then tell them to put their hands on their heads, and approach.
If one of them makes any sudden movements then kill the one you're aiming at.
No. 209536 ID: a594b9

...can we even do that?

I'd suggest sneaking up on them if it's possible. Get close enough so you can hear what they're saying, before they see you.
No. 209538 ID: e973f4

Go up to the van and ask if there's anything you can "help with," to use the cliché line.
No. 209568 ID: 545b13

This is too aggressive for a cop cover. We need to keep playing to that in any confrontation, mostly using falsely implied authority while also making it clear that we're willing to escalate to direct conflict if necessary.
No. 209585 ID: c2c011

Aldo, go and stealthily disable the van if it's still there. Sofiya get set up on a nice marksman position and draw a bead on one of the thugs.

Aldo, once the van has been disabled, walk over to the thugs and ask if there are any problems. If they try anything then Sofiya can pin one to the car with a bolt through a leg while Aldo knocks out the other one.
No. 209598 ID: 701a19

Not really, no. They're menacing a victim's family, and unless they're undercover federal agents they're in the employ of a crime syndicate. Either way, they are armed.
Also? The war acts are still on. Nobody will ask any questions. If they're dumb enough to make a sudden movement, then they deserve to die.
No. 251963 ID: 4f6e37
File 128883685837.png - (83.46KB , 800x600 , 18.png )

((No, this isn't someone else doing the art, and it isn't permanent, so if you hate it don't freak. Check >>/questdis/335867 for an explanation.))

Aldo takes advantage of the thugs' distraction to prepare a bit of a surprise for them if they get it in their heads to bolt. That's the front tires loosened on both cars. Just in case.

Devious. Sofiya sets herself up behind the tinted glass of the door, ready to break the glass with a bolt if it comes to that.
"Wait, what?" says the barister.
Authority. Deal with it.
No. 251967 ID: 4f6e37
File 128883695996.png - (90.80KB , 800x600 , 19.png )

Aldo marches up to the two thugs, his hands on his hips. "What's going on out here?" he asks.
"Nothing that needs your help," says one of them, coldly. Heavy Furlesian accent. Face like someone streaked shit on it.
"I'm with the Authority, it's my job to help," says Aldo.
"So go get an old lady's cat down from tree," says Shitstreak.
"Cool it," hisses his companion, who Aldo will call Weaselly Motherfucker, or WM for short, because he is a Weaselly Motherfucker. He turns to Aldo. "Us and the lady just want to talk. We're friends."
"You don't look that friendly," says Aldo.
"Look harder," says Shitstreak. "No. Tell you what, look somewhere else. Things to fill your quota, ja? We need no guests looking into private conversation.

No. 252080 ID: 9a5057

Can you do the noir babbling dialog option? It tends to throw folks off guard
No. 252105 ID: 701a19

"You must be poor friends to smile while she's obviously uncomfortable. And scared.
If you want a private conversation then I can arrange for that."
No. 252110 ID: a09a03

"My quota's problems solved. She's got a problem with you. You got a problem with me. I got a problem with your mouth. We've all got problems. But I'm here to help."
No. 253499 ID: 4f6e37
File 12891045694.png - (172.06KB , 800x600 , 20.png )

"Friends wouldn't act like gazelles in the Lion cage," says Aldo. "I think the problem's on your end, folks."
"You are our problem," says Shitstain. "Is not healthy position."
"Now if you really can't help but want to talk to her I can arrange for a private place, say six by eight feet," says Aldo. "The Authority's here for everyone, after all, no matter how much their suits make 'em look like waiters at a restaurant where the theme is thawed cave trolls."
Shitstain growls, but WM steps in front of him to placate him (and out, unfortunately, of Sofia's current cone of fire. Aldo is now blocking her shot). "There's no need for that sort of talk," he says, "from either of you. Now this is just a little shindig."
"A hootenanny?"
"If you want to call it that," he says. "So how about we just pay an official Authority public hootenanery fee of, say, 100 Gilt, and you let us go about our business unmolested?"

No. 253509 ID: 0d5620

Score. Free money.
No. 253522 ID: e3f578

100 isn't worth a man's life. I'd say even 1000 isn't. make the offer about 9000 or so, maybe up to 10,000
No. 253523 ID: 701a19

Raise your hand up like you're motioning for them to shut up. Then Sophia can see it in case you need to signal her to take the shot.
"Ah, see, there's some problems with 'at.
First is ya seem to be saying somethin' a might unethical and mighty 'legal.
Second is a bent cop 'd just take ya down and 'misplace' your valuables.
Third is I ain't dumb or blind. Start talkin' 'fore I toss ya in lockup an' see whacha doin' in town my way."
No. 253525 ID: 754124

Sounds like good money. But >>253522
is right. We can probably scare up a bit more.
No. 253536 ID: a09a03

This isn't a man's life, per-se. It's so we look the other way while they beat up Elena. They probably don't plan to kill her in broad daylight.

I say take their money but then arrest them if they do anything to her anyway. It's not like you've got a reputation to maintain. You're not even using your real name.

Plus, it'll piss them off so they start a fight, so you can kill them. It'll be great.
No. 253544 ID: e3f578

100 is still chump change. You wanna slap up a woman you gotta pay big money. One hundred is an insult to our integrity, which is almost priceless in itself, so there's definitely a price-hike percentage to repair that damage of such a fine work of art.

The total is still 10,000. Even then since with all the work of calculation, plus tax, it will have to double that.
No. 253545 ID: 4f6e37
File 128911021632.png - (153.77KB , 800x600 , 21.png )

Sofiya can't hear shit through this door. She does her best trying to figure out what's going on outside. Big guy and ratty guy. Oh, hell, the big guy's looking right at her and growling. Now it looks like they're getting Aldo in the way to keep her from taking a shot.

"Whoa whoa whoa," says Aldo. "100? That is a tiny price to pay for this sort of hootenanny. I believe I see some jacknavery occurring."
"Skullduggery, even," says Aldo. "Now I am not dumb or blind."
"I suppose we could work out a larger amount..." says WM, nervously.
"Good. So add two zeroes onto that number and we'll call it a deal."
"Two zeroes?" says Shitstreak, starting.
"Now now," says Aldo, holding up his hand to placate the man (and prepare a signal to Sofiya, just in case). We"

The final straw for Sofiya comes when the big one jerks toward Aldo. He brings up his hand-wait, is that a signal? That's a signal to her, isn't it? She makes a split second decision. Aldo might not see he's in the line of fire but Sofiya has no other choice. He needs her. She's taking the shot.
No. 253546 ID: 4f6e37
File 128911021937.png - (176.62KB , 800x600 , 22.png )

"can't be having any

oh fucknuggets."

No. 253547 ID: 880ed2

Tackle the second guy!
No. 253549 ID: 1854db

No. 253561 ID: a09a03

Woops! Knife to the throat!
No. 253564 ID: 56dc25

Well, shit.

Nothing to do now but roll with it and press your advantage. Engage this guy in melee, immediately while he's still in shock/thinking you're a cop, and get him pinned, knife at throat if possible.

Then it's interrogation time.
No. 253569 ID: 754124


Then I guess we want to interrogate him in a controlled setting or something.
No. 253643 ID: 701a19

Clothesline the one left standing. Bring him down before he even knows what's going on, and act like you didn't expect that.
"Th' fuck did ya piss off?!? Th' hell ya boys bring to my town!?!"
No. 253693 ID: 4f6e37
File 128915368522.png - (164.62KB , 800x600 , 23.png )

Knife? Knife? When did Aldo say he had a knife? He doesn't have a knife.
He can make one, though, and he starts to do so, warping the metal of his badge into a blade.

But Shitstreak is not shocked into any sort of complacency by his companion taking an arrow. At all. He immediately pushes himself off the car with a roar and smacks Aldo in the face so hard his right eye goes temporarily blind. Ow, spirits. He's pretty sure one of his teeth just got chipped. Elena screams and stumbles backward. Aldo's not sure if that's because he got hit or if it's because Sofiya just shot that guy in the head.
The balance of combat is in Shitstreak's favor.

No. 253715 ID: e3f578

his hand's on the car, morph the metal of it into a spike into his hand
No. 253722 ID: 45be60

Back off. Get away from him, and try not to be between him and the window. Between him and Elena would be helpful, assuming she doesn't have the presence of mind to back off. You need a moment to recover your footing, and HE needs something besides punching you in the face to think about in the mean time. The prospect of not getting shot in the face should help.
No. 253725 ID: a09a03

If you can't do this, backpedal until you've got a shiv, then make with the stabbing.
No. 253807 ID: 4f6e37
File 128917943049.png - (185.99KB , 1024x768 , 24.png )

Inside the cafe, Daniels sees that the big one's still up and desperately starts winching another bolt into place.
"Did you just break my door and kill a guy in my driveway" says the Barister. She ignores him.

Aldo stops going for the knife, and instead focuses his attention on the car, yanking a spike of metal out of the door, directly through Shitstreak's hand. He bellows with pain and rage, trying to yank himself free.

Advantage is now Aldo's, whose ears are starting to stop ringing from that smack.

No. 253808 ID: 27fe93

grab his other hand and just start punching him in the face, repetedly.
No. 253809 ID: 56dc25

Before he can yank himself free, twist around that bit of metal and meld it back into the rest. Make it so that he literally cannot free that hand without tearing either it or a metal bar in half.

If he brings his other hand anywhere near the car while trying to free himself, do the same damn thing to that one.
No. 253824 ID: 4f6e37
File 128918189849.png - (178.08KB , 800x600 , 25.png )

Aldo twists round the metal and fastens Shitstreak's hand to the car. He's not going anywhere unless he rips either the door or the hand off. Aldo starts punching him in the face, but he only gets past one hit before Shitstreak grabs his fist and squeezes, hard. Ow ow ow ow ow. He can't pull his arm away and his fingernails are starting to dig into his palm. He hears a popping sound and hopes it's just a cracked knuckle.
"You aren't cops, are you?" the Barista is saying.
"Yeth we are," says Sofiya, barely paying attention to him. She's nocked the next bolt, and is almost ready to fire. As she cranks back she looks up, and sees that Aldo is now completely blocking her shot.
No. 253828 ID: 56dc25

Aldo: If he's winning at this range, change it. Leap forward and punch/elbow/whatever him in the face. If he lets go of your hand to defend, you can get away.

Sofiya: Say something vague about your department having broad jurisdiction and more flexible options than local enforcement can legally try. And if you get a clear shot, shoot- but preferably in the leg or arm or something which will allow some interrogation.
No. 253829 ID: 46c430

Gouge him in the eye(s) with your free hand!
No. 253844 ID: 4f6e37
File 128918367181.png - (117.51KB , 800x600 , 26.png )

"We have broad jurthidction," says Sofiya.
"Broad jurisdiction my ass, you shot that guy in the face," says the Barista. "Is he dead?"
"You think he'th taking a nap?" says Sofiya, tugging the crank one last time and hearing tht click. She's finished loading the crossbow and now sights out the shattered doorway. Dammit, Aldo is smack dab in the way. She has no clear shot.

Aldo ignores the jolt of pain that comes screaming from his hand and steps into a punch right to Shitstreak's face, putting all his weight behind it.

He catches him right in the jaw, sees a tooth fly out, feels the grip loosen. Damn, but he's badass.

No. 253847 ID: 27fe93

hit the deck, let her finish him.
No. 253852 ID: 4f6e37
File 128918522395.png - (147.48KB , 800x600 , 27.png )

Sofiya sees Aldo leap away from the stunned thug. Where does she shoot him? Where does she shoot him?!
No. 253854 ID: e17e82

In the other arm! Pin him to the car!
No. 253855 ID: 27fe93

groin. shoot him in the dick.
No. 253856 ID: 701a19

Sophia: "I can't talk about an ongoing investigation, but I think you know they didn't want to do anything Mrs. Fierberg would enjoy. Get everybody in the back of the store, and send the bill for the window to the Sheriff's office.

Aldo: Knee him in the groin, then put your full strength into getting his free hand down against the vehicle.
No. 253858 ID: 701a19

Pin his other arm, or graze his balls so he understands how proper fucked he is.
No. 253863 ID: 754124

In the gut or groin. It should take the fight right out of him, but he'll survive long enough for us to interrogate him.
No. 253887 ID: e3f578

fuck the charade. Sofiya just admit you're vagrants doing essentially vigilante work while Officer Oren and Deputy Nessie are outta town for some good old time fun kicking badguy ass. What's the Barista gonna do, stop two badass motherfuckers from saving two citizens? Tell Oren on us while he's unable to respond?

If anything, admitting you're not the law and two paladinish psychos will probably be defined as Elena not seeking the police for help and its just two stupid glory hounds. They'd even be more afraid of you because there'd be no lawful bullshit holding you back.
No. 254915 ID: 4f6e37
File 128942913796.png - (140.68KB , 800x600 , 28.png )

With a twang, Sofiya fires a bolt right into the thug's Thug Jr., raising an agonized howl. Aldo and the barista wince in unison.
She kicks the door open and snaps another arrow into place, marching briskly outside.
"You aren't cops at all, are you?" says the barista.
"Brilliant obthervation," says Sofiya.
"You're nutcases with crossbows," he says.
"We're altho the only hope thith woman'th huthband hath. Who elth is gonna help her?" says Sofiya, turning back in the doorway. "Her barithta?"
"I could call the Authority," says the barista.
Sofiya smirks. "Thith crothbow and me are the only authority thith town'th got for today, sugar."
She looks out at Aldo, who's waiting for her next to the groaning criminal.
And Aldo sees Sofiya walk out, reloading the crossbow. That broad has got a lot of fucking explaining to do. They now have one prisoner and one body. Elena's just standing near the coffee shop, looking stricken.
No. 254968 ID: d677cc

Go talk to Elena first, I guess?
No. 254988 ID: 27fe93

Aldo: ask what was up with sofiya shooting the first dude! then start interrogating the prisoner. slowly make that protrusion through his hand widen if he isn't being forward with the answers.
No. 255082 ID: 4f6e37
File 128944972597.png - (208.62KB , 800x600 , 29.png )

"What the fuck was that?" says Aldo, as Sofiya walks up to them. "When did I tell you to shoot WM in the head?"
"You thignaled," says Sofiya, raising her voice over the keening moan of the prisoner. "I thought they were threatening you."
"I-" says Elena.
"Signaled, hell," says Aldo. "Since when does holding a hand up translate into 'shoot WM in the head'? I was in the middle of extorting that cockhole!"
"aaaaaaugh" says Shitstreak.

"Exthtorting?" says Sofiya. "Aldo, were you taking bribes from them?"
"I didn't have any intention of letting them go, I just wanted their money," says Aldo.
"Hey-" says Elena.
"We're thuppothed to be acting like the good guyth for onth, Aldo. Will you try and get your athpergerth or whatever under control for one fucking day?"
"Playing Cops and Robbers or whatever we're doing here was YOUR idea," says Aldo. "I was all for just leaving but NO."
"aaaaaaughrhg," says Shitstreak.
"Shut UP," says Aldo. "Now if we aren't rearrested we're going to get hunted down by Andri and force-fed our own fucking HEARTS."

"Hey-" says Elena.
"What do you care?" says Sofiya. "You want to be your usual cowardly thelf and jutht run away. That'th alwayth worked for you before."
"And why not? You just KILLED A GANG ENFORCER IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. As if anyone will think we're cops now-"
"I don't care," says Elena. "I really do not care. You may not be the ideal law enforcers, and your methods are really really not kosher, but you are all Henry and I have got, okay? So would you please just torture this guy or whatever so you can find out where Andri is so you can help me?"
No. 255083 ID: 4f6e37


((Quick clarification: Interrogate how? What questions do we need to ask him? Do we want to ask him? How much do we want him to know?))
No. 255084 ID: a09a03

You heard the lady.

Bind the guy and transport him away from here so you can interrogate him.
No. 255099 ID: 701a19

Pfft, naw, we can get more information out of him without torture.
Drop your voice low.
"Here's the game plan. Henry has gambling debts, and rather than setting up a payment plan to recoup the losses over time your fuckwit boss decided to try to bleed a stone.
Now, you're going to tell us everything we want to know, then we're going to beat the shit out of you and leave you in the street. Because if you don't share we're going to bandage your wounds and let you go."
No. 255100 ID: e3f578

I think he's suffered enough honestly, he'll probably give anything right now if he could just get some painkillers and a doctor. Just tie him in Elena's car (after fixing it of course). Say you'll only take him to a doctor if you spill the beans if not, he'll take a hike... in the desert a few miles from here where his balls will bleed out in his pants. If he replies he'd rather die than reveal anything just comfort him with the fact that his entire organization would likely be dead in the next few hours if he would just gladly supply the information, taking out all threats that could endanger him.

In one way, he might end up dying horribly of exposure and bleeding out his ballsack, in the other he gets off scott-free with a free vivisection. He'll be able to hit all the pussy if he wants to risk opening old wounds... then we put a arrow between his eyes so he can't threaten the now safe and sound, reunited family.
No. 255211 ID: 754124

This sounds like an interesting idea. Keep the fellow on his toes, at the very least.
No. 255456 ID: 4f6e37
File 128953705167.png - (57.83KB , 800x600 , 30.png )

Fine, whatever," mutters Aldo. "You going to help, Sofiya, or are you just going to stand there and beam self-righteousness at me?"
Sofiya just glares at him.

"Now hear this," says Aldo, dropping down to eye level with the agonized Shitstreak. "Here's the game plan. You're going to tell us everything we want to know or else we're going to let you bleed to death through your balls, no?"
Shitstreak spits blood out of his mouth from his nose. "I know nothing. I am just thug."

"You got a lousy poker face, friend. No judgement, maybe that's a result of the arrow in your crotch. Now spill the beans," says Aldo, "and we'll rough you up and leave you in the street, and maybe you can make it to a hospital in time to save a couple nickels from your coinpurse. Or, if you don't," he leans in. "We'll patch you up spick and span and send you right on back to Andri, gift-wrapped. I wonder what he'll do when he finds out you failed."
Shitstreak pales, but recovers. "He is my cousin, Pavel Andri. He is family."
"Ah," says Aldo. "But I know him. Better than you do, I'll reckon, if you think that's going to stop him."

Shitstreak grimaces in anger, pain, and (perhaps) a bit of fear. "I talk," he says. "I talk I talk. What are you wanting to know, exactly?"

No. 255473 ID: a09a03

Whether Henry is alive, where he is, and how to bust him out before anyone realizes you're crazy enough to stage a rescue.

I can't think of any way to ask the required information without making it obvious that we're going to try rescuing him. This is a problem since he's going to contact his boss as soon as he's out of earshot, but I can't think of any solution.
No. 255791 ID: 24a9bd

You want to know where the kidnapping victims go, and consequently, where his boss is. You want to know what his process is for killing them, and you want to know how many guards and the security of the building.
No. 255802 ID: 4f6e37
File 128962593049.png - (75.62KB , 800x600 , 31.png )

"Is Henry alive?" Aldo asks.
"Yes," says Shitstreak.
"Okay. Where?" says Aldo.
"Being held in building next to. What is the word? Place where skiffs are parked."
"Skiff Station? He's in the skiff station?"
"Next to it, ja. Big brick building. Two floors, used to be warehouse, maybe. Seven, eight men inside and your Henry. Is all I know, I swear."
"And is he going to be killed? What was the plan?"
"Woman shows up, we take the money, kill him and his wife," says Shitstreak. "It is rough business. Examples must be made."
"Classy. Where's Andri?"
"Maybe there, maybe not. We have hotel rooms in Fourth Way Motel. Maybe there."
"So how would one bust Henry out?"
"What, you ask me?" says Shitstreak, grimacing. "Why would I know or tell you? Is not simple. Kill everyone and untie him. You are big hero people."

"Tho? What do we do?" says Sofiya.
"I don't know. You think of something," says Aldo. "It was your idea to play the damn hero in the first place. So now we have a body to get rid of, a hysterical broad to calm down, and a big giant gangster from hell out for both of our hides. He has like eight guys and what, we've got a crossbow, a glorified blacksmith, a couple badges and a car."
"There'th a way out of thith," says Sofiya, stubbornly.
"I'd love to know about it," says Aldo. "The floor is yours, madam."
No. 255820 ID: 24a9bd

Not everything needs to be "run in and kill all the bad guys", what you need to do is get a disguise. What's the induction ceremonies, would they have them while a kidnapping is taking place? And if not, how are guards identified? Passwords, suits, what about janitors and other servicemen? How would you get in without the fanfare?
No. 255821 ID: c99f30

This plan doesn't involve running away and hiding in a hole for a week does it? Or does this one involved gratuitous application of high explosives, must say I prefer the latter to the former.
No. 255822 ID: e973f4

Yeah you are not going to be able to take on eight guys with what you've got. Short of finding some ragtag bunch of misfits to help you out, you're gonna need to scope out the place or something, if you can do that.
No. 255827 ID: e3f578

You know banks don't murder their clients if their loan isn't paid in time. Usually there's a simple penalty a few times before they hand it off to a collection agency. I take it your boss isn't business smart, it's only rough because you dumb fucks decided it was going to be rough. Word gets out about that bullshit and damn people are not gonna go to you at all. How in the fuck do these gangster bankers maintain business if there so goddamn scary? I really want to know their secret.

Damn bankers need some fucking leniency. That's the whole fucking point of a loan, spirits.
No. 256107 ID: 4f6e37
File 128970201173.png - (207.26KB , 800x600 , 32.png )

Andri isn't a banker, he's a druglord. That's a bit of a difference. Aldo's not sue how Henry got into debt with him, or if he even did and that isn't something Andri just made up to sucker Elena into delivering him cash.
"Is there a password or something you people use to identify each other?" Aldo asks.
"Technically, password is 'Sjenka'," says Shitstreak. "But is formality. There are few besides the people in warehouse Andri has brought with him. We all know each other."

"A thtakeout couldn't hurt, though," says Sofiya. "Not if we're careful."

They unstick Shitstreak from the car and let him limp off to a hospital somewhere, then Elena drives them to the Skiff station. She drops them off overlooking it. Below, a Courier Skiff has just arrived, and a crew of utility workers in olive drab suits are dragging their maintenance carts toward it to clean it up and make sure there's no sand in the gears or something.

The skiff is parked below the two-floor warehouse Shitstreak talked about. Looks like there's a guard leaning against the wall outside the door, focused more on a phone he's tapping on than the hubbub below him.
No. 256115 ID: e973f4


Any other ways in, as long as the guard isn't looking at you?
No. 256123 ID: a09a03

Look for a window you can enter with a ladder or from a fire escape without being quickly spotted.
No. 256142 ID: 4f6e37
File 128970815829.png - (81.97KB , 800x600 , 33.png )

There are no other doors that aren't rusted shut and boarded closed from lack of use. There's windows on the second floor that are open or breakable, but Sofiya's not entirely sure how to get up there, especially without a ladder. These old factories relied more on foldable shutter ladders held up on the second floor for fire safety, and fire escapes are unfortunately absent from the walls.
No. 256149 ID: e3f578

I see a bunch of ramps for flying cars through. Do any walls on the second floor look weak enough to fly right through it if your push the pedal to the metal? There's bound to be a few cars the gangsters use nearby that Aldo could steal so we don't have to wreck Elenas.

Flying cars through walls are usually the best improvised plans without floorplans or patrol routes. It's statistically proven in fictionland.
No. 256154 ID: e973f4

This sounds totally insane.

I'm gonna have to put in a vote for it.
No. 256156 ID: e3f578

Actually I realize how ineffectual that plan would be. We need to drive a skiff through the building.
No. 256160 ID: 4f6e37
File 128971057477.png - (218.92KB , 800x600 , 34.png )

They could ram a car through the wall.
What? That's... what?
There's ramps and stuff. No way to get a skiff up from the desert floor or anything but they totally could ram a car through the wall. Sofiya's the one who wants to be an action hero. Aldo just wants to help her follow her dreams.
Even if they found a car and that did work and they DID get in, they've just rammed a car into a warehouse with eight armed guards inside.
Yeah, but they've got the drop on them if they do this. And if there's anyone Aldo can trust next to him in a fight to the death, it's you, sugar.
Aww, Aldo...
Even if you're the whole fucking reason he's fighting in the first place, you crazy broad.

Sofiya looks up the ramp. She is still no where near sure about this plan.
While Aldo heads over to one of the pit guys. "Do you folks have any cars allowed down here?" he asks.
"Not really, sir," says the man. "Only motorized vehicles are carts we use for tugging the heavier stuff. Cars are a bit unwieldy. If you need to park somewhere there's a parking lot nearby up above."
"How fast do those carts go?"
"Uhh," says the pit guy. "Why?"
"Just wondering."
"I don't know. Fast enough."

No. 256161 ID: 97f72c

Go down and get a closer look at the skiff and the people staffing it. Maybe there is something there you could use as a distraction?
No. 256165 ID: 701a19

If you drive in then I don't think he'll be able to stop you.
However, be smart about this crazy plan: Don't be IN the car while it's smashing through the wall. Instead, fill the car with flammable liquids that happen to actually be on fire and ram that through the wall when you are nowhere near it.
Then while they are distracted you sneak in through the back and smuggle Henry out.

Or, at least, that would be the way you would have done things if the thug had sent you to the right address. Might want to check on that before making a ruckus.
No. 256517 ID: 4f6e37
File 128979650321.png - (117.94KB , 800x600 , 35.png )

Probably the right place, unless you can think up another reason one of Andri's goons would be hanging around the door.
There is no back to sneak into. But yeah, they probably don't have to be in the car when it bursts through the wall. That would be in fact a bad idea, seeing as it's a solid-looking brick wall.
Sofiya heads off to go check out the parking lot and see if there are any cars left unsupervised. She finds one or two likely prospects. Aldo's the one who knows how to hot wire them with that metal magic of his.

Aldo is down at the station still talking to the skiff guys, while scoping the area out for a possible distraction. Nothing besides the big skiff itself but five or six guys and a couple women in jumpsuits. They've got a few carts on wheels, about big enough for you to fit inside if you curl up and filled with the various tools of the trade. One's leaned a ladder against the skiff and is up on top, futzing with the sails. The others are mostly hammering out dings or cleaning.
"What're you guys doing to her, anyway?" says Aldo, gesturing to the skiff.
"Just a straight up maintenance check," says the young mechanic he's talking to. "Like make sure the parts don't fall off on the return trip to Anchorturn, hose her off, that sort of thing. Why?"
"I'm a bit interested in these things," says Aldo. Sort of true. He worked as a chef on one for a while while he was avoiding a PI. That was moderately interesting. "Is there anything awry?"
"Not much," says the mechanic. "The aft canvas rudder's got a bit of a hole punched in it from a rock or something. The whole thing lists a bit to the left now, and there ain't much scrap metal to patch it, so we need to go hunting. Normally we'd just grab some from that old warehouse up there, we have for years, but there's these guys up there now give us dirty looks whenever we go near the place." He pulls a metal thingy out of his cart. "Bet they're crooks or something."
"Jerome, no saying anything bad about the neighbors," says a mechanic nearby, polishing the front cab. "Not when they may be in earshot, anyway," she mutters.

No. 256523 ID: e973f4

Is that distrust on these guys' part that I hear?

Man, I'm almost tempted to try to ask these guys for anything they might know or might be able to offer, in a rather discreet fashion.
No. 256531 ID: e3f578

"I'm about to blow up that warehouse's entrance with a car. Do you want me to get anything for you while I'm at it? Some eggs, a galleon of milk, a few transistors or a 6-pack? In exchange for some information on these guys, or... hell a better way in? A car is still going to blow up though, fun fireworks. Maybe I'll just nuke their cars in the parking lot to draw 'em out, what do you think?"
No. 256534 ID: 701a19

"So, who's skiff is this, anyway?"

Screw jacking a car, can you imagine THIS thing busting through the wall?
No. 256537 ID: e3f578

We've covered that option already. It's fixed to the desert floor
No. 257243 ID: 4f6e37
File 128996944336.png - (73.91KB , 800x600 , 36.png )

Sofiya singles out the biggest car in the place and hangs by it, waiting for Aldo to make his decision.

"That almost sounds like distrust on your part," says Aldo.
"Really?" says the woman, innoncently. "What gave you that impression?"
"Have you even gone near the place?"
"Not since they moved in. We've been a bit too nervous to ask to go inside for scrap."
"If I told you I was here to take care of those gentlemen, how would you feel?" asks Aldo.
"Take care of them how?" says the young one.
"A fast-moving car and a hole in the wall may be involved," says Aldo.
"Well, I for one would wish you good luck and go hide," says the kid, nervously gripping his gadget. "Is that what you're going to do? Should I leave?"
"Got any information to help me with?" asks Aldo.
"Should I leave?" the kid repeats, nervously.
"Hold on now," says Aldo. "I just need to know who or what you saw in or around that building. Info, yeah?"
"Uh," says the kid. "There's this really nasty looking furlesian one, and there's also this one with like scars all over who carries a sword thing with him wherever he goes."
"A sword thing?"
"A skinny dueling sword thing," says the kid. "Like a raper."
"Rapier, hon," corrects the woman, patiently. "Look, mister, is there anything we can do for you? If you're about to do something stupid tell us right now so we can go, okay?"

No. 257438 ID: 394f1e

hmmmm, yeah, tell them to all get in the skiff, should be safe enough for them in there.
No. 257440 ID: 2044df


Sure, this. Why the hell not.
No. 257449 ID: d677cc

"Yeah, we're probably about to do something stupid."
No. 257451 ID: a09a03

"That's probably a good idea."
No. 257623 ID: 4f6e37
File 129006176592.png - (65.01KB , 800x600 , 37.png )

"Probably a good idea," says Aldo.
"So what, you're cops or something?" says the woman.
"We're certainly something," mutters Aldo. "Keep you and yours safe now, hear?" He marches off to go find Sofiya.

Sofiya is standing in front of the biggest thing she can find, which happens to be a delivery truck. Aldo catches sight of her and walks over.

"'Give Pizza Chance'", he says. "There's a sort of cosmic irony there you have to appreciate. Sort of."
"I'll appreciate the fuck out of it if it giveth uth a chanth to thurvive," says Sofiya. "Tho are you going to hotwire thith now?"
No. 257625 ID: 4f6e37
File 129006184087.png - (221.22KB , 800x600 , 38.png )

"Hotwire it, fuse the accelerator to the floor, and get out of the way," says Aldo. "We don't want to be in the car when it goes through the wall, I'm telling you."
"Tho we're really going through with thith?" says Sofiya.
"Unless you have any better ideas, yes, we are," says Aldo. "So I have two plans circling the dome. We could just plow it straight through the fence and hit the building from the side. That would cause a nice big hole and all (if the fence doesn't slow us down so much that we can't get all the way through). Or..." he taps his forehead, "we could drive it down to the platform, then launch it up one of those ramps and right through the wall. That way we wouldn't have a fence or anything in our way and we'd get airborne smack dab into the wall. The problem is that guard might see it coming if we went right from straight forward and weren't fast enough, and if we don't aim right it could just fall off the ramp and then we're fucked. So safe -well, safe for a given definition of the word- and boring, or destructive and flashy?"
No. 257674 ID: a09a03
File 129007181476.jpg - (35.62KB , 196x300 , socool.jpg )

Destructive and flashy
No. 257684 ID: 9b7e5c

Safe. Too much can go wrong.
No. 257690 ID: e3f578

I have developed a plan B. We are pizza deliverymen and someone seems to have ordered 50 pizzas. SOMEBODY has to pay for these.

It leads to sex so it's pretty safe AND exciting
No. 257729 ID: 698a22

Safe is for the police. We are not, as such, the police.
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