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139175 No. 139175 ID: f98e0b

don can't breathe
there's a bag on his head and he's tied up he can't breathe

he's in a car he's buckled in it's bumpy there are voices coming from the front seat. three.

"Spirits it's cold out here. My nipples could cut glass, I shit you not."
"Then maybe you thoud put on thome clotheth, both. You're dithtracting me."
"And get stains all over them? You're fucking nuts. Eyes on the road. I know where you're looking."
laughter."You're thuch a friggin' fairy, both."
"We far enough out yet?"
"Yeah, yeah we are. Stop the car here. Let's go have a talk with our new friend."

Expand all images
No. 139177 ID: f98e0b
File 126722442184.png - (276.70KB , 800x600 , 2.png )

don's lifted out of the car and dumped on the ground. sandy.

"Can you hear me, Donny?" says a voice.
No. 139203 ID: 632862

"Nope, not at all."
No. 139206 ID: f98e0b
File 126722853743.png - (118.55KB , 800x600 , 3.png )

"no" says don

"Jutht take the hood off," says the woman with a lisp.

the bag is ripped off his face
the night cools the tears streaming down his face

"Hi, Don." the man in front of him he is naked he has a photograph and a knife he says "My name's Joseph. I'm going to kill you."
No. 139207 ID: 632862

"I object to that."
No. 139208 ID: e3f578

"Well I've quickly deducted that. I'm more curious why I'm naked in front of a stranger without dinner in my stomach."
No. 139213 ID: f52552

"Hi Joseph. I understand we all have wants, but think about how they impact other people before you go through with them."

Do you know a joe?
Murdered any families and missed one?
Caused deaths by neglect?
Possibly gunned down his parents in an alley while he watched?
No. 139214 ID: cfad4e

No. 139215 ID: f98e0b
File 126722927570.png - (123.35KB , 800x600 , 4.png )

don did worse he doesn't want to die

"w- uk," says don. "naked."
the witty reply he wants to say catches in his throat his voice is nearly gone he was screaming earlier for a long time
he doesn't spirits he doesn't want to die
he tries again
"i- ob- why?"
"Why am I naked? You're going to bleed and it's easier to wash skin. Why am I going to kill you? I was hired by the father," he says he is dropping the photo on the ground don looks

don looks at the girl oh no and she is beautiful and don wants to touch her hold her he wants to say "i am sorry" to her he

she is laughing in the picture don knows it's too late for that

"Was she good, Don, or did you forget her like the others?" the man "Did you have a good time? I hope it was worth it, Don. I do."
No. 139217 ID: 632862

You touched her inappropriately, didn't you, don.

That's very bad. Very. Bad.
No. 139218 ID: e3f578

"world is ugly and horrible. women beautiful and nice. good girl. miss her. i want to say sorry to her. can't help it. so lonely all the time."

I've discovered our man here might be a tad retarded or at least simple, what with no capitals and a limited vocabulary.
No. 139230 ID: f98e0b
File 126723026896.png - (111.28KB , 800x600 , 5.png )

"the world is ugly and horrible and she was beautiful and good and i miss her. i want to say sorry to her. can't help it." don isn't retarded or simple he's not thinking clear he's so scared

"Both, could we wrap thith up?" the woman

"Okay. Okay, Don." says the man and the blade is at his throat now. "You can apologize to her when you see her, I guess. Hold still."
No. 139231 ID: f98e0b
File 126723027683.png - (64.01KB , 800x600 , 6.png )

don exhales sharply and it turns into a gurgle
there’s no pain except a little there’s just a sucking emptying feeling and don’s head is swimming he can’t see well wet warmness on his front
he’s dying he realizes he’s dead and the thought just repeats itself firing across his brain in the last few watts of electricity that aren’t fading with the blood in the hole in the front of his head because when you’re dying what else can you think except
no no no no no no no
No. 139234 ID: 632862

Nothing you can do about it. Best to just accept it.
No. 139238 ID: e3f578

We're sorry Don, you were tied up. Witty replies are the only thing we got right now. Try to think of nice music. Nice music.
No. 139241 ID: cfad4e

Any distinguishing marks on your assailant?
No. 139246 ID: f98e0b
File 12672313607.png - (93.07KB , 800x600 , 7.png )

it is too dark it is getting darker

don tries to accept it as he lies on the ground

he does, sort of he guesses

"He'th pathing,"
"Okay, let's get back to the car. I need some fucking pants."
"If only for your ego's sake,"
"Look it's usually bigger. I told you it's cold out here, okay? Where to now?"
"Got a call. New job thomewhere, thith town called Hearthback."
"Heard of it, I think. Nice place. Donnie's done. Let's rock, children."

No. 139248 ID: f98e0b
File 126723137178.png - (19.04KB , 800x600 , 8.png )

No. 139252 ID: 67c611

No. 139253 ID: ab04d4

No. 139258 ID: f98e0b
File 126723351720.png - (289.12KB , 800x600 , 9.png )

In his dream, Oren visits the Prophets.
He has traveled for five years and eight months to find their tent, camped out beyond where the road ends and the waters meet.

The Undertaker's outside, in a funny hat.
No. 139259 ID: 3b6c92

It's freakin' dark out here. You didn't bring a light?
No. 139260 ID: 632862

Trying something new on?
No. 139262 ID: 6834bc

What's shakin', Undertaker?
No. 139264 ID: f98e0b
File 126723420771.png - (353.75KB , 800x600 , 10.png )

"Undertaker. Nice hat. How're you doing?" says Oren.
"Hey, Mr. Loper." says the undertaker. "I think it's Vizier tonight, actually. Fits the theme, anyway. This hat itches."
"It's better than the carnival barker thing."
"Really? I thought that had charm. Never mind. You're lucky, Mr. Loper. This isn't just a normal dream. It's a portent. A foretelling. The Prophets can see into the future and tell you about yours, if you give them an offering. You have one, right?"

"Yeah, I think so," says Oren. He realizes of course he knew he needed offerings. He has them in his pockets.

"Go on in then," says the Vizier. "They've been waiting for you."
No. 139265 ID: 3b6c92

Well, let's go meet these Prophet types and hope that whatever they reveal about your future doesn't involve untimely, horrible death.
No. 139267 ID: 632862

Alright, let's do this thing.
No. 139270 ID: 6834bc

What, are you kidding?
This is Oren we're talking about.
Sudden, untimely deaths seem attracted to him like a hooker to a millionaire.
Although it's not Oren's fault he just happens to get involved in a lot of untimely deaths, this shit just happens. Call it fate giving the murderers the finger, and Oren's the finger.
No. 139272 ID: 3b6c92

I meant Oren suffering a horrible, untimely death.
No. 139273 ID: f98e0b
File 126723492522.png - (183.79KB , 800x600 , 11.png )

They are there, the three prophets. The Warrior, the Maiden, the Stone.

says the Stone.
"Well come, Brother Sheriff." says the Warrior. "Good night for prophesizing, eh?"
"It is if he has brought the Offering" says the Maiden. "What do you have for us, Oren Loper?"

"I have... lessee." says Oren. "One of those plastic spider rings you can get in big bags. I've got this baseball, that my dad threw to me when I was seven. I didn't catch it. I've got this locket with the picture of someone's True Love I have never met before."

"Worthy gifts all. You can ask us three questions, Brother."
"Of romance, perhaps," says the Maiden. "Or of old enemies, or death."
No. 139286 ID: e3f578

Uhh, I can't figure out if we should ask about the voices in Oren's head (us) and our recent explicit ability to know something much like a narrative. I mean what was that about?

All well, if we shouldn't waste a question about us (because we're just stress voices in canon so far it seems), then perhaps we should ask about the red marble thingy.
No. 139288 ID: 632862

"Who sent the hitmen?"

"How do I handle Indala without... a mess?"
No. 139304 ID: c0f3bf

This red marble... does anyone know about it and are hunting it down and will find me and attempt to kill me for it?
No. 139309 ID: 632862

Well, looks like we want to ask about the red marble...

"What is the nature of the red marble?"
No. 139310 ID: f98e0b
File 12672385616.png - (138.43KB , 800x600 , 12.png )

"Does anyone know about this red marble? Will they try to hunt me down to find it?" asks Oren.


"There will be fighting over that marble before all's been settled, Brother. How else can you settle it?"
"You will hurt people, and you will be hurt."
No. 139316 ID: f98e0b
File 126724026311.png - (159.05KB , 800x600 , 13.png )

"Who sent the hitmen?" asks Oren.
"We deal in Future, Oren Loper. Not past."

"Fine. Does that count?
"How can I settle with Indala without a mess?"
The Warrior chuckles. "Matters of women, eh, Brother? Simply tell her the truth. You have found another stronger woman. She won't like it but you will face her over it, to be sure. If it is any consolation, Brother, you make the correct choice with the Squires Woman. It will last. She is a soldier, like you. And we both know soldiers are the best lays, aye?" He winks.

"That said," sniffs the Maiden, "She is a mixed breed, Oren Loper. A mutt. Her coloration is almost bovine in nature. You are purely Grey. You could do better."
"I know," says Oren coldly. He feels Nessie's arms around him in the waking world, his hands resting on her hips, her heart beating peacefully against his chest. "I didn't ask you about that."
"Very well, Oren Loper. Continue sucking at the udders of your cow. Waste your pure seed within her, if you feel it wise. You have one more question."
No. 139321 ID: 6834bc

"Why are you such a bitch?" probably wouldn't get a meaningful repsonse.

How about "Will Blejwas's corruption ever be exposed?"
No. 139328 ID: f21281

"Will I meet an early grave?"
No. 139332 ID: f52552

What should I look for in the future to ensure the happiness of myself and my village?
No. 139354 ID: 632862

"How can I avoid the early death of my friends?"
No. 139364 ID: 00b11b

Directly to the maiden: "Who crawled up your ass and died?"

C'mon, you know you want to!
No. 139365 ID: 632862

Let's not piss off the Prophets. We can't very well get help from them if they're pissed, and they might give us bad information instead.
No. 139378 ID: f98e0b
File 126724624830.png - (142.61KB , 800x600 , 14.png )

"How can I avoid the early graves of me or my friends?" asks Oren.


A chime rings once, softly.
"We have taken your offering, and fulfilled our purpose. You may go, Oren Loper.
The chime rings a little louder.
"Just one thing before I go," says Oren.
"You are allowed but three-" says the Maiden.
"Where do you get off being such a bitch, Maiden?"
"I-what," says the Maiden, as the Warrior laughs a deep belly laugh, and the chiming grows still louder in the background. "How dare you-" but she's drowned out by the ringing chiming, which pulls Oren up out of
No. 139379 ID: f98e0b
File 12672462715.png - (167.46KB , 800x600 , 15.png )

the dream. The phone’s ringing. Nessie, Oren’s Deputy and best friend, is not yet awake, having wrapped herself around Oren in her sleep. “Fugoff, fuggin’ moon aliens,” she mutters in response to the ringing.
No. 139381 ID: f21281

You have your hands on an ass.

Squeeze it.
No. 139382 ID: e3f578

Nuzzle her
No. 139384 ID: 3b6c92

Wake up Nessie in whatever way occurs to you. |3
No. 139385 ID: 632862

Pick up the phone. "What."
No. 139386 ID: 3b6c92

Oh yeah, answer the phone too.
No. 139395 ID: f98e0b
File 126724750824.png - (168.14KB , 800x600 , 16.png )

Oren nuzzles the Deputy, grabs a handful of soft flesh and squeezes.
Nessie snorts and her eyes open. "PROBE-whu. Mmm. Morning, Sheriff." She makes no effort to break away, smiling sleepily and nuzzling back.

"Morning, Nessie."
brrrring brrrring
"You're gropin' my ass."
"It's intensely gropable."
"Phone," observes Nessie, blinking the sleep out of her eyes.
"Reckon," says Oren.
"Go put on pants and answer the thing. Phone." says Nessie.
No. 139397 ID: 632862

Answer the phone with a "Oren Loper here."

Unless it's still goddamn early, in which case "What."
No. 139399 ID: 3b6c92

You heard her. And us. Answer the phone already, or they'll keep calling you.
No. 139405 ID: e3f578

Careful, its a ruse for her to get a good angle at your ass to smack it.
No. 139407 ID: 817cd3

You say that like this is a problem?..
No. 139408 ID: e3f578

I say it like its a game of soft flesh groping. Oren's ahead by two with the addition of last chapter's wake up call.
No. 139417 ID: f98e0b
File 126724965760.png - (62.33KB , 800x600 , 17.png )

Oren disentangles himself from Nessie and hops out of bed. He realizes too late her ploy and is rewarded a smack on the ass for his efforts. Whatever. It's still 2-1.

He pulls on pants and staggers into the Kitchen, grabbing a phone off the wall. "Hearthback Authority. How can I help you?" he says.

"Yes, hello," says a voice on the other end. It's got an accent Oren can't quite pinpoint. "I was wondering if I," he takes a short pause here for some reason. "could speak with Mr. Oren Loper,"

"Uh, yeah, this is him."

"A pleasure to make your acquantance, sir. (here he pauses again.) I hope I'm not distracting you from work."
Oren glances back to the barracks and the beds. "It can wait for a bit. What do you need, mr...?"
"My name's Professor Orpheo Diraiphe," says Orpheo Diraiphe. "and I was wondering if during the (pause) various investigations you've done (pause) you'd come across a small and red marble."
No. 139424 ID: 632862

"I assume you already know I have, to ask so directly. What is it?"
No. 139429 ID: e3f578

Isn't there legal mumbo jumbo that prevents you from disclosing evidence or the lack thereof? You know this is a goddamn trap, right?

Then again, this might be the good guy who might be the only one able to help us figuring the damn thing out. However, this endeavor would then no doubt lead to a trap or potential ambush. This is an obvious case of a possible wolf cry. Do your duty. If we must pursue this, even with the inevitability of a trap, then indulge the man's question for great justice.
No. 139441 ID: 632862

Psst Orpheo is the cool Professor from the Eivr thread. Plus, he probably already knows Oren has it anyway so it's not likely to be a trap.
No. 139482 ID: 655d51

Tell him you'll keep an eye out for it (GET IT, dohohoho), but you really don't do lost and found.
No. 139507 ID: c0f3bf

I saw it. Why, is it stolen property or something?
No. 139509 ID: 3b6c92

"Well, I mean, you already know I've got it, don't you?"

Or if you can phrase that to be a little more polite or whatever. If this guy is asking about that we probably don't want him angry at us.
No. 139564 ID: f98e0b
File 126729593153.png - (151.36KB , 800x600 , 18.png )

"Who is it?" yawns Nessie, wandering into the kitchen in her PJs.
"Some professor asking about the marble," says Oren.
"Oh. From the spook. What's breakfast?"
"Cold cereal or something."
"Pfah," says Nessie, stretching. "I'm making pancakes."

Oren turns his attention back to the phone.

"Technically I'm not obligated to tell you that, but it sounds like you know about it alreaady," says Oren. "What is it?"

"It's important to my colleagues and I," says Professor Diraiphe. "I don't suppose you'd part with it for me?"
No. 139570 ID: 3b6c92


I'm thinking you do kind of want to be rid of the creepy thing, but at the same time you want to know what the hell it is and why it was in the apparent possession of a creepy serial killer magey type.

Not really helping matters is the claim by the Prophets that "there will be fighting over that marble before all's been settled" and "you will hurt people, and you will be hurt."

At the same time, this guy actually bothered to call you and say "hey could you give me that marble thing" instead of, I don't know, having someone come in, raze the town, kill everyone in it, and just generally retrieve it by force. Which given where you found the thing seems like something you might expect someone who wanted it to do.

So I guess... maybe more or less agree that if he sends somebody to get it or whatever that you're willing to part with it but you'd really like to know what the hell was going on with the circumstances you got ahold of it in? Maybe? I guess?
No. 139579 ID: 28c1cc

Hey, you are an official, bring out the police-talk. Would be glad to oblige, however need to make assurances as to safety, potentially dangerous item, public cause, happy to accept evidence of good cause, consultation with experts, third-party opinions, et cetera et cetera.

If they are bad guys, they're probably already unnerved by the prospect of facing the law, so lets not shake that anxiety too much.
No. 139584 ID: 620bfb

Only if they can explain what the fuck is going on in relation to it.
No. 139613 ID: f98e0b
File 126730770943.png - (120.01KB , 800x600 , 19.png )

"I'd be happy to release the piece in question from my custody," says Oren. "But I'd need proof of ownership or an adoption/salvage form signed by an officer at least. You an expert on this? I'd need a consult."
"Could we perhaps avoid all the red tape?" asks the professor. "I'd like to keep this quiet, if I can. (Pause.) Less fuss, less mess, I think the term would be."

"Only if you explain the circumstances surrounding this thing," says Oren. "Look. There were some truly strange happenings around the time I found it. Homicidal one-eyed mages, clay men, sort of thing."

There's a sharp inhalation on the other side of the line. "We should not discuss this over the phone," says the professor. "Perhaps if I could meet with you out there (pause) we can speak of the marble, sheriff?"

"What's he want?" asks Nessie, searching for the flour.
"Talk face-to-face about getting the marble," says Oren. "He seems to think it's too sensitive for phones.
"Your call, I guess," says Nessie. "Sounds mighty fishy to me."
No. 139614 ID: f21281

There is an ass next to you.

Spank it.
No. 139615 ID: 817cd3

Sounds fishy.. but we don't really have any other leads now do we?
No. 139617 ID: 8ae1fe

Well, we can pretend we're the good guys and give the guy the benefit of doubt, call him to come explain himself. You know, standard procedure.

Problem is, chances are he's a screwed-up powerful mage like the one you got the marble from. Any ideas on how we can get ourselves ready for that?

Maybe he wants to avoid messing with related paperwork because he can't provide it.

Hey! Maybe someone from the big city can help you to identify this thing properly! The Arbocks might know someone who knows someone.
No. 139619 ID: 67c611

Give it a good smack.
No. 139622 ID: 3b6c92

Point against this guy is that he's kinda shady and is interested in a shady object.

Point in this guy's defense, though, is that he's been basically forthcoming.

I say sure why not.
No. 139630 ID: d1210a

I say go to it, with the Marble left behind, in case they try to take it.

But don't leave it here, who knows, they may come looking for it.

...Hm. Give it to Nessie. But where could she hide it? Can't leave it in the house, but it still needs to be hidden. Prefferably mobile, so it can be moved quickly, and near at hand to someone we trust.

Oh hey, we trust Nessie.

Smack that ass, while putting Marble in her pajama pockets. Try to imply (without saying it, in case whatever group it is found out you have the marble has your room tapped somehow) that she should keep it with her, while making it sound like ass-based innuendo. You have worked with Nessie for a long time, you should be able to do this and be assured she knows what you meant.
No. 139633 ID: 6834bc

From what the prophets told us, dangerous people are going to be looking for that marble.

You're suggesting we give it to Nessie and put her in danger?
Fixing for misreading shit
No. 139635 ID: d1210a

As opposed to bringing it to a meeting with a potential mage, or leaving it in a house they know we are in?


Nessie is not some delicate flower, she is an officer of the law as well. Hell, she's probably more capable in melee fights than Oren.
No. 139645 ID: 3b6c92

This guy makes a good point. If you don't want to blindly trust this Orpheo guy, you could always go talk to him first and then have Nessie bring the thingy later if he seems reasonable.

Of course, he managed to figure out you had it in the first place. Did you tell anybody you had it? I'm thinking he might, y'know, know that you don't have the thing if you show up without it. And I'm still leaning towards thinking that pissing off this guy is not a great idea.

No. 139656 ID: 8ae1fe

There IS people who knows, the Authority's arcanists checked over the marble. It was deemed nonmagical.

Hey, you think this Orpheo guy will have a reward for the marble?
No. 139677 ID: 28c1cc


Make him come to the office, at least, get yourselves all official-looking. If and when he does come by, try to imply (or outright say) that you've contacted someone else about this. Just so they don't think that you can be disposed of cleanly.

Oh, hey, ask for his name and address while you're at it. If he refuses, that's grounds enough for you to be suspicious and "consult with your superiors", which I'd bet he wants to avoid.
No. 139680 ID: 28c1cc


Or you could arrange to meet somewhere more public. Not his place, but the nearest town to? Might be able to get info on him from his local lawmen.
No. 139691 ID: f98e0b
File 126731789473.png - (161.54KB , 800x600 , 20.png )

"Okay," says Oren. "I suppose there's no harm in meeting with you, professor. You'll excuse me if I want you to meet me here."

"Excellent," says Orpheo. "One moment."
"What?" says Oren.

There's a whumph of displaced air behind Oren. Squires looks over and her eyes widen.

"You're right behind me, aren't you?" asks Oren.
"I'm sorry, should I not be?" asks Orpheo.
No. 139696 ID: 3cddbc

Well, I hope there's enough batter in that bowl for three.
No. 139697 ID: 3b6c92


We probably could've seen this coming, eh?

But at least he's being polite.

So, uh, I suppose it's probably time to reiterate your questions from earlier about just generally what the hell the deal with the multiple homicide was. 'cause that shit weren't cool, &c.
No. 139699 ID: 3b6c92

Oh and sure offer him some pancakes, why not. He did agree to come on really short notice, after all. |3
No. 139702 ID: 8ae1fe

Okaaaaay O.o

What was that?
No. 139703 ID: 6834bc

Get a little creeped out by teleportation, but notice that he is being rather pleasant.

Rather pleasant, compared to showing up and slitting throats and/or wrecking shit while trying to find the marble.
No. 139704 ID: d1210a

Right then.

Mage who clearly could have murdered your face, actually trying to be cordial....

Yeah, let's not be an asshole to him.

Nonetheless, suggest telling him something like

"Just for future reference, non-magic types can get right freaked out by the sudden appearance. If I may suggest, in the future appear at the door and knock? It is the social standard when visiting, after all."

Not getting angry or anything, just giving him a friendly heads up. He seems a bit disconnected from the normal world, maybe this might make him more likely to be as level with you as possible.
No. 139710 ID: f98e0b
File 126732112917.png - (126.89KB , 800x600 , 21.png )

Nessie finishes the pancakes and rushes off to put something on. Orpheo accepts a few and says he'll eat them later.

They reconvene at the breakfast table. "Next time it's generally better to use the door," says Nessie.

"My apologies," says Orpheo. "The magi of the Arcanopolis can often lose touch with many local customs. That's the reason for the Alienation, actually. It helps us to see life on the outside, as it were."

"Alienation?" asks Oren.

"The mage you killed was out on his Alienation, a sort of magical thesis paper, if you will," says Orpheo. "His specifically had to do with the exploitation and amplication of the Soul. Hence the sacrifice. His death caused him to drop the marble I'm after. May I have it?"
No. 139712 ID: 632862

Better tell him about your dream. Then show him the marble, and ask for an explanation before you give it to him.
No. 139713 ID: 6834bc

Does Orpheo realize this guy was basically killing people? Do they condone this sort of act in the magical community?

He seems very one-minded. Why does he want the marble back so badly? What's the importance of it?
No. 139714 ID: 817cd3

Yeah... I mean, is it acceptable for students to just run around kidnapping and experimenting on the locals for this "thesis project' of theirs?
No. 139715 ID: 3b6c92

"So you're tellin' me this mage guy went and horribly mutilated a couple of kids for a magical thesis paper?

That ain't cool."

Dunno if you wanna be quite so blunt but, uh, well. It just doesn't seem quite right for him to come in and say "oh I guess some guys died can I have the stone now" and that be that, y'know? Something about justice and that kind of thing.

I'm still amenable to giving him what he wants, because he does seem to mean well, but I'd think you'd really like an explanation as to why it's okay for some magic student to go about killing people.
No. 139717 ID: d1210a

Undertaker, what can you glean about this visitor?

Oren, does anything feel off about undertaker now that this guy is proximal?
No. 139720 ID: f98e0b
File 126732302192.png - (12.79KB , 800x600 , 22.png )

[Spirits, Mr. Loper.]
No. 139722 ID: f98e0b
File 126732307025.png - (18.45KB , 800x600 , 23.png )

[His mind is impenetrable. It's like a friggin' fortress. There's no way I'm getting in.]
No. 139727 ID: 3b6c92

[Well, thanks for trying, anyway.]
No. 139728 ID: 632862

Oh, ask him why the guy had no ears, and one eye.
No. 139734 ID: f98e0b
File 12673236443.png - (297.85KB , 800x600 , 24.png )

"So you're telling me this mage guy went and horribly mutilated a couple of kids for a magical thesis paper? There's this entire branch of your 'school' dedicated to going out and killing people? I got no idea how you're running this town of yours, Orpheo, but I wouldn't really find that acceptable."

"It's not. Not normally." says Orpheo. "You happened to throw down with the Ark Fraternity, Mr. Loper. They're fanatics. Cultists is a word, I suppose. Mage Supremacists who see vidders as playthings at best."
"Does that explain the whole no-ears, one-eye thing?" asks Nessie.

"The ears, yes. The eye, no. All Arcanopolis mages have but one eye, including myself. Hence the headgear. But I'm not associated with the Ark Fraternity and believe me when I say the oculus is better off with me than it is with them. I apologize for what they did to your townsfolk. I know I'm seeming shallow and hurried, but the fact is we need to get the oculus out. It wasn't hard for me to find you, Sheriff. It will be even easier for them."
No. 139736 ID: 632862

"Yeah... about that. I think they're already coming. You called it an oculus. Something to do with having one eye?"
No. 139737 ID: 6834bc

"Can you prove you're not with this Ark Fraternity?"
No. 139738 ID: 3b6c92


I'd say to get rid of the damn thing if it's pretty much a "COME KILL ME" sign, which I suspect it basically is at the moment. I mean, you have it on good authority from the Prophets that this oculus thingy is gonna have some fighting involved with it.

But since you've twice gotten unintentionally tangled up in this magery nonsense, and between the statements of this guy and the Prophets it doesn't take a lot of reading between the lines to think that this is a trend that will only continue, it might not hurt to get this guy on speed dial, so to speak, on the off chance that you could use his advice and/or help in the future depending on how things go.

Can't hurt to ask, can it?
No. 139751 ID: f98e0b
File 126732510975.png - (304.09KB , 800x600 , 25.png )

"Oculus. Is that the marble thing?" asks Nessie.
"Prove it. That you're not with the Ark whatever they ares." says Oren.

"Very well," says Orpheo. "It's a little taboo, revealing one's face, but when I popped in neither of you appeared to be wearing underclothes. So." He removes his mask and his hood, then shakes his head a little. "Ears. See?"
"Um, hey. Nice eye." says Nessie.
"Thank you," says Orpheo. "May I take the oculus?"
No. 139755 ID: 6739fc

Ask him if they'll know if he takes the thing. They might still come to you if they don't realize it.
No. 139756 ID: 3b6c92



>>139738 'cause I ain't typin' all that again when pretty much all of it still holds.
No. 139759 ID: 6834bc

...I guess he's trustworthy.
What's he going to do with it, anyway? And is there a reason why his oculus is blue, while the other guy's was red?

Is the red oculus thing a specific feature of these Ark Fraternity people?
No. 139760 ID: 632862

Yeah, I think it's about time to give it to him. You may want to ask about possible protection in case the Ark Fraternity come to interrogate you about it anyway.
No. 139761 ID: d1210a

[Undertaker, if you don't want this said, intercede]
"Okay, well, that's great that you say you aren't with them, but... I don't really have much to go by with you other than your word, and I'll be honest, as of this moment, no matter how forthright you are, I'm not sure I could believe you without something to substantiate your claims.

On that note... I don't know if you noticed, but I have a friend from the dream realm here. If you would be willing to let Undertaker see your intentions, lower your mental defenses on that particular facet of your psyche so that he can check your truthfulness... well, it would go a long way towards this being resolved peaceably, and in a manner you find preferable.

And if you aren't willing to let him in, please, suggest an alternative way for you to prove your claims. I know this is coming off as a bit paranoid, but when lives are lost as a result, I would rather be sure before I take action."
No. 139766 ID: 8ae1fe

True. Ears. If its not an illusion.

Hmn. If deep magic really disconnects people in the degree he says, it's ... really quite disturbing. We're practically dealing with an alien person here, I guess.

Kinda reminds em of the Quals.

The prophets said there would be a fight. And death. We can turn it over to him, and avoid all that -- it would become someone else's problem.

Unless the 'Arks' show up here, after something we won't have.

I'm not opposed to giving it.
But we should check with this guy how we could safeguard ourselves from these Ark guys. Maybe even ask that in exchange for the marble.

Imean, if an undergrad made a mess of THAT size...
No. 139772 ID: f98e0b
File 126732616933.png - (307.22KB , 800x600 , 26.png )

The undertaker doesn't want to be known about by a mage of the Dream Plane. Among its denizens, they are dreaded for their ability to bind and control. Oren understands, he supposes.

"Do they know you'll be taking it? Won't they come for me anyway?" asks Oren.
"No," says Orpheo. [Yes,] comes the echo into Oren's mind.
"Pardon?" asks Oren.
"Don't worry, I'll take steps to hide this meeting and the oculus from them," says Orpheo. [I have no doubt they're watching us right now. What I'm going to do is take an illusionary, fake oculus with me and leave you the real one. They'll search me for sure, and take the fake. I'm leaving you the actual marble with a modification that should keep it from being detected. Hopefully that will keep them off your back and away from the marble. Every oculus the Fraternity takes is a loss for its enemies. I'm sorry, Oren, I am. But it is your responsibility and fardel. I wish it wasn't. Guard it.]

Oren looks at Orpheo. The words of the Prophets echo in his mind.

"I see," says Oren. "Can I have any contact information from you? Keep in touch just in case?"
"I'm afraid not," says Orpheo. [My business card's on the table next to your hand, invisible. It will reappear in an hour, when I'm gone. If anything happens, call me or my apprentice Diometricus if I'm not available. He's on there too. Bright boy. Thank you for the pancakes. Are you ready for me to leave?]
No. 139779 ID: 3b6c92

I guess we've about sorted this out.

Toldja Orpheo seemed like a decent enough fellow. If nobody else has any questions, then yeah, he's probably good to go.


Oren, my friend, you are gonna be in for some tough shit. These Ark guys don't sound like the type to give up on this sort of thing.
No. 139784 ID: d1210a

>my apprentice, Dio
>Dio and Oren

Sorry, that's all I heard.
ANYWAY... huh. Try and think back at him that you got a prophetic dream about this. As a mage dealing with similar fields, this may change things.

But if you can't think it at him, DO NOT SAY IT.
No. 139796 ID: f21281

"[I assume that since you're talking inside my head, you can hear my own thoughts. Who's to say that whoever is after this isn't listening in on this mental conversation?]"
No. 139804 ID: c0f3bf

"...Alright, that's good enough for me I guess."
No. 139821 ID: f98e0b
File 126733091067.png - (242.52KB , 800x600 , 27.png )

Oren does his best to broadcast something across to Orpheo, but it doesn't look like it works. "Okay then. See you, Orpheo."
"Fare well, Sheriff." [Good luck.]
No. 139823 ID: c0f3bf

Don't say anything to squires. Yet at least.

You ate your pancakes right?
No. 139824 ID: f98e0b
File 126733102670.png - (260.31KB , 800x600 , 28.png )

With another whoosh of air, Orpheo is gone, taking the fake marble with him.
No. 139831 ID: 3b6c92

So now it's time to see how well you can communicate "I can't talk about this now" to Nessie without saying a word.

Unless your ol' pal Undertaker can help out with that.

[Can you help out with that? I can understand how you were afraid of making yourself known to the mage, but it seems helping Oren and Nessie talk about this without saying anything because they're afraid of their conversations being "tapped" by frightening fanatic mage types would be right up your alley. Your call?]
No. 139834 ID: 632862

"Well, that's that."
No. 139853 ID: 817cd3

Let's hope that misdirection works. But don't expect it to.

Besides, if that evil mage had any associates of equivalent power they may decide to whack you just out of principle. Not like they needed another excuse to kill you.
No. 139887 ID: f98e0b
File 126733527888.png - (100.06KB , 800x600 , 29.png )

"Well, that's that." says Nessie as Oren clears the plates.
"Hmm," says Oren.
"I don't like that Hmm. What's that Hmm?"
"Just a hmm" says Oren.

"Oren Loper, I've known you for ten years. You don't do just hmms. That's not just a hmm. What's wrong?"
"I'll tell you in an hour," says Oren.
"Why an hour?" asks Nessie.
"I'll tell you in an hour."
"Fine," says Nessie. "Wanna keep your mind off whatever it is?"
"What did you have in mind?" asks Oren.
"Just poker," says Nessie.
"You know we're probably gonna start betting clothes or something and it'll end up with us porking on top of the table, right?"
"I'm counting on it, Sheriff."
He looks over at her and her sly grin.
Spirits, he doesn't want her to get hurt.
No. 139905 ID: c0f3bf

Which is why you need to play strip poker with her to divert suspicion. Usually people stop checking you for suspicious behavior if you're plowing your girlfriend. Incidentally, do you know sign language, morse code, or braille?
No. 139909 ID: 632862

I want to point out here that the Maiden said you would be hurt. She didn't say *how*. Squires dying *would* be painful for you, wouldn't it? I think that you will be hurt no matter what, so don't be afraid to put yourself in harm's way.
No. 139910 ID: 817cd3

However.. knowing these probably creepy mage students they are less likely to actually stop watching very soon you do so. Sure they won't be watch for details.. but they will be watching.
No. 139915 ID: 632862

Avoiding the strip poker would be suspicious. Express your Love freely.
No. 139926 ID: cfad4e

>Usually people stop checking you for suspicious behavior if you're plowing your girlfriend.
Unless they think it's hot. But apparently they think Vidders are some kind of lesser race, so who knows.

Could always do something else. He and she should develop a wide range of activities they enjoy doing together, if this is going to last. Video games, card games, tell stories, read books about how to fight wizards, draw her nekkid. Those sorts of things.
No. 139961 ID: f98e0b
File 12673419048.png - (117.82KB , 800x600 , 30.png )

Oren doesn't know much about drawing and he doesn't even want to think about fighting magi right now. But if he just needs to hang out with Nessie for a while to avoid scrutiny, that he can do. For the rest of the morning, they fight (Nessie calls it camping, Oren calls it winning), play racquetball (furlesian rules come into play again, resulting in several bruises on both sides), try their hands at Art (Oren gives portraiture his best shot), and go for a few rounds of poker (it ends predictably).
No. 139962 ID: c0f3bf

Excellent. Put a book down on where the business card is. Can't be too safe.
No. 139965 ID: cfad4e

That should be good enough. Grab the marble and the business card and take a drive or walk around town with Nessie and explain everything you know.
No. 139970 ID: c0f3bf

Make an excuse, you're taking her out to eat.
No. 140132 ID: f98e0b
File 126737955026.png - (138.14KB , 800x600 , 31.png )

Oren and Nessie gear up for a beat and hit the streets, heading to Marlowe's for lunch. It's good food and Authority eat free. They pass by the garage, say hi to Grease. He seems sort of agitated. Plans are made to go to First Reel and see Icon tomorrow at noon. Along the way, Oren tells her everything.

"Wait," says Nessie. "So they were watching us when we, um..."
"I hope not," says Oren.
"Eugh," says Nessie. "What are we going to do with the marble thing, anyway? Did he say why they want it so bad?"
No. 140133 ID: c0f3bf

Nothing specific, but it was mentioned that losing it makes their enemies stronger. You should probably wrap it up and agree not to talk about it often.
No. 140135 ID: 3b6c92

Not... really.

He did definitely say that they wanted it though.
No. 140154 ID: f98e0b
File 126738565376.png - (114.37KB , 800x600 , 32.png )

"Nothing specific," says Oren. "They just really want it, he says. Could mean trouble with them down the road."

"So we're gonna have a round two with the spooks?" asks Nessie, as they head out to the porch to eat. "I've actually been thinking about how we can fight mages better, actually, ever since Red-eye McShieldface copped a feel."
"Like how?" asks Oren.
"Well we clearly know their weak spot," says Nessie. "The oculo or whatever. They probably can't fight close up for shit and they think we're inferior. They'll underestimate us. There's four types, apparently. Enchanters shouldn't be too hard. They throw their spells around, so if we can just block or dodge or take cover we can avoid them. Same with Evokers, just a little more difficult. We should probably avoid flammable clothes if we know they're coming. Illusionists would be a little harder, but we've got your friend with the hat to help out there. Thaumaturgists are just a bunch of goth pussies, but if we kill one it'd probably be back later. I've got some tactics we can use on all the different types, I'll show you the playbook when we get back."
"Sounds like you thought this through," says Oren.
"He had cold hands," says Nessie.
No. 140155 ID: f98e0b
File 12673858372.png - (139.49KB , 800x600 , 33.png )

They're talking about getting some enchanted gear when suddenly two people are standing over them.

"Oren Loper? Nessandra Squires? Holy shit! How are you?"

Oh, no. Joseph Bird and Sofiya Daniels are here.
No. 140157 ID: 3b6c92

Is this a bad thing? You say that like it's a bad thing.

You know these guys?
No. 140158 ID: cfad4e

Maybe you could head to your local library or book collector and find some more info. Specifically, ways to keep the marble hidden. I don't know what would stop someone from just teleporting in and grabbing it as soon as you change your pants.

Do you know what flashbangs or stun-guns are? You should invest in some.
No. 140161 ID: f98e0b
File 126738753546.png - (49.26KB , 800x600 , 34.png )

They were classmates of his, back at the Authority Academy. Bird dropped out then a few years later resurfaced, as what he calls a "consultant". Wherever he goes, people usually end up dead. There's never any solid proof linking him to anything, so he ain't a wanted man. He's trouble.
Oh, and he and Nessie dated for a while.

Oren doesn't know how he got his hooks in Sofiya. She was the best damn shot in Oren's class. Doesn't really know her that well. She never talked much. Had a lisp she was self-conscious about.

"It's been, hell, almost two years. How have you been?" asks Joseph.
"What are you doing here, Bird?" asks Nessie.
"Nessandra. Is that any way of greeting me? We were thick as thieves in Academy."
No. 140162 ID: c0f3bf

"Sorry, it's just kind of random, is all."
No. 140163 ID: f21281

The fuck is up with her eyes. She get punched or some shit?
No. 140168 ID: f98e0b
File 126738928423.png - (139.50KB , 800x600 , 35.png )

"Sorry," says Oren. "It's just kind of random, is all."
"Speak for yourself," mutters Nessie. "I, uh, need to use the bathroom or something, Oren."
She gets up and goes inside.
"Go ahead and walk away, babe." says Joseph. "'Cause watching you go is a treat." He laughs. "So. Sheriff. You and Nessie, huh?"
"Soft smile and softer tits, huh? Hey, does she still do that thing with her hips?"

"Cut the bullshit, Joseph," says Oren, resisting the urge to rearrange his face. He's the thug, Oren. You're a cop. "What are you doing in my town? Last I heard of you you were up in the city doing what you do."

"The bodies were never found and there's no proof I was there," says Joseph. "Anyway. My lady friend (Sofia gives a slight nod) and I just wanted to escape the bustle, y'know? Take in the country air. No idea you were out here. It's a pleasant surprise, of course." He keeps smiling that shark smile of his.
No. 140170 ID: c0f3bf

"Just don't cause any trouble and we should be fine. Seriously, I have way too much work to do already."
No. 140177 ID: d1210a

'So, you aren't here to kill anyone? Not even here for some sort of morally gray thing where someone the law couldn't touch gets their comeuppance, via [insert Vidder analogue for 'Columbian Neck Tie] quite possibly in a graveyard? And for some reason I am thinking of nakedness being involved, but that could just be because I was porking Nessie a bit ago.

SO, nothing like that, right?"
No. 140179 ID: a56bd0

Let's 'not' tell the obviously jealous bounty hunter that we know what he did last summer (erh.. night) ehh? We don't want to explain why we can subconsciously exploit the dream realm ehh?
No. 140189 ID: d1210a

I was just thinking that with supernatural hitters potentially coming, Oren would feel at least somewhat stressed, coupled with seeing someone he does not like AT ALL, I see no reason he wouldn't be a jerk, even if it isn't tactically the best choice.

That, and I feel confident Oren would love to see the guy squirm, especially right now.
No. 140194 ID: e75a2f

He came from the city. That crooked cop may have hired him.

If so, look forward to killing his ass.
No. 140215 ID: f98e0b
File 126739663815.png - (233.94KB , 800x600 , 36.png )

The thought of Blejwas just makes Oren angrier. He's got a headache.

"Just don't cause any trouble," says Oren, his head throbbing with anger. "Spirits know we've got enough on our plate.
"Don't worry about it," says Joseph. "I'll make sure you never know we were here."
"Really." says Oren. "So no killings."
"Nope," says Joseph.
"Not even any morally grey revenge throat-slittings done at night?" asks Oren, the words spilling into his mouth from his burning subconscious for reasons he does not know. Why is he saying this? Sofiya turns white. Joseph is unmoved. "Nope."
"Really. And for some reason I'm thinking nudity. But maybe that's because I was making love with the deputy earlier. And it was good."
They just stare at each other, Joseph with a frozen grin on his face.

Oren's phone buzzes.
No. 140219 ID: c0f3bf

Dude. Chill. Answer your phone.
No. 140223 ID: d1210a

Answer the phone, and act like what you said was pure happenstance.

But if a poignant pause comes up in the phone call, give him a smirking stare.

No. 140225 ID: e75a2f

That's what I'm talkin about.

When someone tries to fuck you, fuck back harder.

It's the best response in both war AND peace.
No. 140228 ID: 4531bc

pacifism has its benefits. If this guy's really good at killing people and not leaving evidence, then perhaps you should make sure you have an edge over him before pissing him off too badly.
No. 140231 ID: d1210a

Or he is so used to having covered his tracks, this line of questioning will freak him out (even if he doesn't show it) and make him sloppy, making arrest easier.

Granted, it COULD lead to him putting you on his shit list, but since the Ark Fraternity has already done that, his threats, while still valid, don't seem as great.

Also, building a rep for crazy know-how/intuition/whatev is a good thing.
No. 140327 ID: f98e0b
File 126741085544.png - (247.67KB , 800x600 , 37.png )

Oren takes out his phone. Sofiya and Joseph take the opportunity to leave hurriedly. "Sheriff Loper," says Oren, watching them leave with a feeling of satisfaction.

"Howdy, sheriff. It's, ah, Grease," says Theo "Grease" Galvin, official mechanic of the Authority by virtue of being the only one willing to do it free.

"Afternoon, Grease. What's up?" says Oren.
"Y'know how I always say you just owe me favors for all the times I've fixed yer rides and such?" says Grease. "Could I maybe call those in right now?"
No. 140328 ID: 632862

"Depends on the problem."
No. 140334 ID: 45be60

what, all of them?
No. 140336 ID: 3b6c92

I like this answer the best.
No. 140338 ID: f21281

"...did you find a dead body in the trunk of a car which was dropped off by two suspicious people not too long ago?"
No. 140437 ID: 00b11b

"Gimme the lowdown"
No. 140834 ID: f98e0b
File 126750091142.png - (118.36KB , 800x600 , 38.png )

"I hate that fucker," says Nessie, coming back outside. "I didn't even have to drain it. Just had to get away. Did you have to tell him we're sleeping with each other?"
"Does that make you unhappy?"
"Eh," Nessie sighs. "It did for a second, but it's nice to rub it in his face." She shakes her can a little, and grins. "Besides, you're right. It was good. Better than with him, anyway. It always is, when you do it with friends. Who's calling?"
"Grease," says Oren. "Who apparently wants to trade in all his favors owed for one. Why is that, Grease?"

"'Cause I kind of want it to be clandestine, it's bordering the edges of legality, and I don't really want a whole lot of questions asked," says Grease.
"Hmm." says Oren.
"No one'll get hurt or anything, it's just a touchy matter. Need you to use yer Authority clout to get some very sensitive paperwork from an information broker. Kind of urgent. If Clara Avery gets her hands on it before me... I don't really wanna think about it."

"Why not do this yourself?" asks Oren.

"He's askin' fer 750 gilt for it," says Grease. "How can I pay that, workin' my fingers off to the bone an' not gettin' paid by the Authority. So I was thinking, I dunno, maybe you could claim it as evidence or something? Give it to me?"
No. 140836 ID: 632862

It sounds like someone's blackmailing him. Yes... let's help him out.
No. 140841 ID: 3b6c92

Well, I mean, he's a bro, right?
No. 140844 ID: 00b11b

Ask him what it is. We should help the fellow out, of course, but it's nice to know why.
No. 141159 ID: c0f3bf

"I'm gonna help you, but I need to know more about what's going on. Can we meet?"
No. 141287 ID: f98e0b
File 126757537498.png - (314.48KB , 800x600 , 39.png )

"What is it, exactly?" asks Oren. "Can we meet about this?"

"Look, this is all my favors," says Grease, urgently. "So please just do this for me, then I can answer questions afterward, maybe. We ain't got a lot of time before Clara gets her damn mitts on it. It's very sensetive information pertainin' to both of our businesses, and I really don't even wanna think about what she'd do if she got it."

Clara Avery is another mechanic in town, but whereas Grease works on everyday vehicles and maintaining the windmills, Clara soups up hotrod carts and landskiffs for the rich. She's never been much afraid to rub it in Grease's face, either.

"So mebbe if you could just get all official-looking and head down there and just grab it real quick, no fuss, we could sort this out later?" asks Grease. "The dealer's name is Clive Verata. He's on, ah, Element Avenue."
No. 141294 ID: c0f3bf

Better get it for him... you do owe him after all.
No. 141300 ID: 5a2e05

Precisely how illegal is this?
No. 141304 ID: 632862

Doooo iiiit
No. 141324 ID: bcf25c


Do it. But tell him, that if this paper contains information that points towards lawbreaking, it is your duty as a cop to do what is right.
No. 141361 ID: f98e0b
File 126758986690.png - (167.74KB , 800x600 , 40.png )

"Ah, look, Mr. Sheriff. I'm going to have to tell you the same thing I told Mr. Galvin. I'm an information dealer, n'est-ce pas?" says Clive, turning from his game of darts. "So I'm sorry, but either he or you are gonna have to pay over the 750 gilt regardless."

"That's a lot of money for a piece of paper," says Oren. It's true. Paying that much would set him back half a year's salary.

"Well hey look, it's a hotly contested piece of paper," says Clive. "There were folks in just before you asking after it, too. Willing to actually pay for it, to boot. They aren't prepared to buy yet, but I'd be sweating if I were you. 750 gilt or nada."
No. 141362 ID: 632862

What kind of folks?
No. 141366 ID: e3f578

No legal mumbo jumbo to help you out this time?
No. 141368 ID: f98e0b
File 126759056780.png - (168.43KB , 800x600 , 41.png )

Certainly there is. Oren could easily cite the note as evidence and just take it from the guy by force, if he wants. Seems like kind of a dick move to pull on a guy who's just doing his job, but hey. He knows Grease more than he knows Clive.

"What kind of folks?" asks Nessie.

"Now see that info isn't valuable enough for me to sell, see," says Clive. "It was just some spooky guy and his spooky wife or whatever. Said they represented miss Clara Avery. You know, Avery's Autos. Have you seen the work she did on the mayor's skiff? Nice. Lots of chrome."
No. 141369 ID: c0f3bf

...Were they wearing black, and did the girl's ears rise above her head?
No. 141398 ID: 45be60

genre sense tingling!
No. 141409 ID: 632862

Girl had a lisp?
No. 141441 ID: 00b11b

Say these things. Upon receiving confirmation, say something along the lines of "reckon they're the perps", then inform this fine fellow that his life may well be in danger. The people in question are quite willing to seize by force if necessary, and not particularly willing to part with significant amounts of money.

We'll go from there.
No. 141451 ID: e75a2f

Go make up a warrant authorizing you to get that info for your an investigation, and if he resists slam him with obstruction of justice and throw him in a cell until he complies. That way he'll be in your care and theoretically won't be able to give out his info.

Be careful though; this whole deal reeks of a trap. Your local gearhead is calling in all his favors for you to more or less break the law to help him out with a problem he won't tell you about. When you think about it logically, Clara Avery should have no reason to go after Grease, unless she's really that greedy of a bitch.

The situation doesn't feel any better now knowing your two favorite people are also possibly involved in the whole deal. The whole thing sounds like a scheme to strip you of your legal status and take away your precinct, which obviously would make you a very easy target for whoever wants that marble/Blejwas to fuck you over/whatever's going on.

My advice would be to take this prick into custody pending a criminal investigation, then reel Grease in and GRILL him for what this is all about. Sadly it's the only way you're gonna be able to cover your tracks on this one.
No. 141496 ID: 632862

Half a year's pay? That sure is a big Sacrifice now isn't it. I think we need to pay him, guys. If it's possible.
No. 141498 ID: c0f3bf

>They aren't prepared to buy yet



They're going to just take it from him. How does protective custody work?

Maybe there's something he needs done that could cut it down though?
No. 141503 ID: b4631c

Well, if IS the couple we just met...

"Thank you sir, I'll take the info as an evidence. Its for your own protection too; those guys are hitmen. Basically, Claire found out its cheaper to get you killed and robbed than to pay you 750 gil."
No. 141532 ID: f98e0b
File 12676559236.png - (232.98KB , 800x600 , 42.png )

"Girl had a lisp and high ears?"
"Dunno," says Clive. "She didn't talk that much. Wore lots of makeup or something."

"Mr. Verata, we're going to have to take the info as evidence for your own protection." says Oren. "Those fellas in here before were hitmen. Seems Clara found out it's cheaper to kill you than pay you."

"Oh," says Clive, lowering his drink. "Really?"
"Yep," says Nessie.
"Will you stop them?"
"What we're here for," says Oren.

"Okay," says Clive, slowly. "If you get interviewed about this, could you mention that I helped the Authority out?"
"Reckon that's doable," says Oren.

"Hearthback-Elde National Bank, box 203," says Clive, holding up a lockbox key. "Gratis. Let's do business again."
No. 141534 ID: c0f3bf

Tell him he should... lay low for a while. These guys seem the spiteful type.
No. 141568 ID: 3b6c92



Dammit something feels off here. Like, way off. This guy insists that just because you're a cop, it doesn't mean you can have his info for free, then gives it up immediately after you mention there might be hitmen involved but remains totally nonchalant? Survival instinct, maybe, but... grr, something is really wrong with this whole deal. I don't like any of it and red flags are going up everywhere. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but...

Moving forward I would say you should definitely ask Grease what the hell this is all about. You got the thing for him, least he can do is give you some freaking answers already.

Don't like this at all.
No. 141571 ID: 632862

Well when we get the papers, first thing we do is gonna be reading them.
No. 141607 ID: f98e0b
File 126766845862.png - (233.43KB , 800x600 , 43.png )

Oren agrees. It'll be best to grab the papers quickly, then question Grease afterward as to just what the hell they contain. Or just read them. If there are two thugs after it, it has to be important.

But when they arrive at the bank, they find a sign denying entry on the handle of the door to the deposit boxes. "Can't go in there right now," says a passing clerk. "Maintenance."
"Well then how can we get what's in our boxes?" asks Oren.

"Come back in an hour," says the clerk, breezily. "Sorry."
No. 141611 ID: d1210a

No. Go in now.

This is clearly a ploy for them to get paper first.

Use LAW powers to bluff way past, get in now, your gut is screaming this 'maintenance' is not coincidental.
No. 141618 ID: 632862

"Should 'maintenance' really stop the Authority?"
No. 141628 ID: 3b6c92

Time for some good old-fashioned legal mumbo-jumbo. Mentioning that you suspect an attempt on someone's life could be connected couldn't hurt, if you word it right.
No. 141657 ID: 5a2e05

No. 141682 ID: f98e0b
File 126767505756.png - (274.25KB , 800x600 , 44.png )

"Yeah okay sorry miss," says Oren, completely ignoring her. "We don't answer to any authority. We are the Authority."
"But the sign says-" says the clerk.
Oren opens the door.

"Found it," announces Joseph.
"Took you long enough," says a vidder at the door. "Now let's get out of here before-
Oh, shit."
No. 141684 ID: d1210a

No. 141685 ID: f21281
File 12676752766.gif - (6.86KB , 90x90 , dragoon.gif )

No. 141688 ID: 632862

Gee, what a surprise!

...Oren, where are your weapons?

Fuck it, use the door to block that crossbow if she looks like she's about to shoot. Then you and Nessie can rush in while she's reloading, and handle things.

Follow proper police procedure such as "Authority! Drop your weapon!"
No. 141689 ID: 3b6c92

Well I guess a confrontation with these guys was inevitably gonna happen at some point. Better now than later, I guess.

So, uh, step one, get in a position where what's-her-name is going to have trouble sticking you with the bow right off the bat. Step two, curse at Joseph a lot, preferably with something about "I thought you said you weren't going to cause any fucking trouble," or something like that.

Also be prepared for them to try to make a break for it. This could turn out to be a mess.
No. 141691 ID: 3b6c92

(thank you, paranoia!)
No. 146787 ID: f98e0b
File 126852226221.png - (249.91KB , 800x600 , 45.png )

"Authority!" shouts Oren, then pulls the door closed just as a bolt slams through it and sinks itself in the wood. "Drop your fuckin' weapons!"

He hears the sound of the exit door slamming open in reply.
No. 146788 ID: 1ac39d

now rush them, they need to reload.
No. 146794 ID: e159be

Oh look, they tried to kill you. That means no holding back. After them!

And don't be afraid to shoot, dammit. Hesitation will get you killed.
No. 146796 ID: 15f6d6

Send Squires around the back and you charge straight in. You gots to pincer them.
No. 146801 ID: f98e0b
File 126852570059.png - (175.91KB , 800x600 , 46.png )

Squires runs around to the side of the building as
Oren slams the door open, but the crooks are already booking it down the alley behind the exit door. Who the hell puts a back exit into an alley in a bank?

He pulls out his bow and notches a bodkin arrow. It can easily dislocate a limb or knock someone out if he scores a good shot. He looks to his significantly more damaging broadheads and considers them. Should he use lethal force? It would be justifiable.

Sofia is cranking another bolt into her crossbow as Joseph dashes past her with the letter. The vidder Oren doesn't know is turning around and pulling out a compact hand crossbow.

Looks like they're headed for an old building at the end of the alley. Oren can get off one, maybe two shots before they find cover.
No. 146802 ID: c0f3bf

Hit the guy you don't know first.
No. 146803 ID: e75a2f

Hit Sofia, hard.

You know how good of a shot she is, and it might give Joseph enough pause to give Squires enough time to catch up.
No. 146815 ID: e3f578

"Are you really gonna try and fucking kill a guy from your old school? Goddamn son, the high school reunion is gonna be awkward as hell."
No. 146841 ID: 632862

Use the arrow you have notched already. Switching to a different one will cost valuable time.

Fire it at the vidder you don't know. I don't think he's aiming at YOU. We've gotta worry about Squires too.

Next shot should be broadhead though. Fire it at Sophia.
No. 146862 ID: 950529

kill the fucker
No. 146864 ID: 15ffae

Nooo goddamit we're the police! We're not supposed to kill them no matter ho much a bunch of big bastitches they are! Think of the forms we'll have to fill!
No. 146866 ID: 632862

Oh wait, I'd like to add a condition here; only switch to broadhead if Sophia points that crossbow at you again. If she just keeps running, take her down with a bodkin.
No. 146886 ID: f98e0b
File 126853692286.png - (505.77KB , 800x600 , 47.png )

Oren starts to reach for a broadhead, but halfway there he realizes he can't do it. He knows Sofia, sort of. From Academy. She seemed like an okay person. He's got no idea why she's mixing up with Joseph, but no matter how well he could justify killing her to a tribunal, he couldn't justify it to himself.

He lets fly with a bodkin instead. It catches her between the shoulderblades with a heavy thwack and flips off. She goes down hard.

"Sofia!" shouts the third vidder, doubling back. "Fuck!"
"She's okay! Run!" Joseph yells over his shoulder. The third guy appears torn for a moment, but Oren lets fly another bodkin that narrowly misses his chest, and he breaks off into a run as well.
No. 146891 ID: c0f3bf

Can you hit Joseph again? If not, the other one? If not, just make sure Sophia stays down.
No. 146892 ID: e75a2f

If squires is near, let her deal with Sofia; you have more bitches to hunt.
No. 146922 ID: f98e0b
File 126853933033.png - (282.08KB , 800x600 , 48.png )

"Squires," calls Oren over his shoulder as Sofia collapses.
"On it," says Squires, pulling out handcuffs as she rounds the corner of the building and dashes toward the stunned shooter. "Go."

Oren breaks out into a sprint chasing down the two remaining crooks, but they have too much of a lead. They run into an abandoned factory floor and seconds later a crossbow bolt whizzes out of a second-story window. Oren leaps behind the wall of a nearby apartment building.

He could run inside. The door's not locked. But he isn't sure if he can make it to the door before they reload, or whether Joseph has a ranged weapon of some kind as well.

The window has a thick iron shutter over it so if he tries to get into a ranged duel he's unlikely to succeed.

He could wait for Squires and her heavy shield to get here but by then they may have found an exit out the back, and he'd never know.

The only way to go around the building is directly through their firezone, but if he ducks from cover to cover he may be able to flank them.
No. 146923 ID: c0f3bf

Try to flank them.
No. 146927 ID: e75a2f

Is that a box to your left? Pick it up and run towards the door. Use the box as mobile cover.
No. 147453 ID: f98e0b
File 126858383397.png - (289.09KB , 800x600 , 49.png )

Oren moves around to flank them, and is forced back into cover by another bolt.

Oren couldn't lift this thing. Besides, it's not a box. It's got wheels, it's a cart.
No. 147455 ID: 632862

Is that cart pointed anywhere near the door? Can you push it while staying behind cover, so you'll have a better shot at getting to the building?


If not, try getting to the door now that you're closer to it and the shooter is reloading.
No. 147466 ID: f98e0b
File 12685905942.png - (292.78KB , 800x600 , 50.png )

The cart isn't facing the door straight off, but Oren can push it in a circle toward it, getting so close that they couldn't fire out a window to hit him, or down to the side alley so he can flank. The problem is that would be slow, and he doesn't know how long they'll take to escape and keep running out the front door.

Judging by how quickly the second shot came, he's got about a one-in-two chance of making it to the door just running before they fire off another bolt. Should he risk pushing the cart for extra protection?
No. 147574 ID: c0f3bf

Yes. Push the cart, head in the front door.
No. 147796 ID: 632862

Push the cart halfway, and dash to the side door.
No. 147981 ID: 717301

let's get Squires to cover the side while we run around front. We need some way to make them take cover, see if you can fire off a bolt into the window to make 'em at least duck for a second.
No. 148464 ID: f98e0b
File 126878254174.png - (171.25KB , 800x600 , 51.png )

Oren moves the cart up halfway as Squires comes sprinting up the road, skidding into cover next to him.

"Hi, Sheriff," she says.
"Hi, Deputy," says Oren, scanning the crack in the window. He ducks back behind cover as another bolt buries itself in the side. "Sofia?"
"Out cold and cuffed," says Nessie. "Woke up again. Clocked her with my shield."
"Good," says Oren. He does a few quick calculations in his mind, strings two broadhead arrows, and starts firing to suppress. He's got a good angle. He can pepper them. "They're in there. I'll cover, you take side door left, me main entrance. Okay?"
"Okay," says Nessie. Her large ears quiver. "He's reloaded, honey. Say when."
No. 148473 ID: c0f3bf

It's only gonna get harder if you wait. Better to go now.
No. 148494 ID: f98e0b
File 126878813637.png - (229.78KB , 800x600 , 52.png )

"Watch for the bolt," says Oren. "Go." And with a clanking leap, Squires throws herself out of cover and toward the alley. She throws her shield up and the vidder's surprised bolt cracks off it.

Oren takes a breath and vaults the cart.
No. 148497 ID: f98e0b
File 12687882806.png - (275.87KB , 800x600 , 53.png )

He sprints to the wall of the warehouse and flattens himself against it. The door opens out. Mace. Where is- here we are. Should he use it or the bow, going in?

"Opening on you," calls Squires from the other side of the building.
No. 148500 ID: 717301

mace 'em
No. 148507 ID: c0f3bf

Use the bow, they'll expect you to use the mace.
No. 148784 ID: 632862

We don't know what's on the other side. One of them is on the second floor, but the other might be hiding behind a door waiting to ambush you. Use the mace.
No. 148827 ID: d8aa80

No. 148830 ID: f98e0b
File 126885545962.png - (73.79KB , 800x600 , 54.png )

Oren tosses the mace up and down in his hand for a moment, feeling its familiar heft, the grooves his fingers have made in the rubber of the handle. Ignoring the pressure and the anxiety.

He sharply pulls on the door, opening it just enough for him to slam into it, shoulder-first, exhaling, a clean breach. He hears splintering as Squires kicks hers in on the other side of the building. That's Nessie for you.

Oren checks his corners. The room's clear. There's some stairs up to the second floor and what looks like the door to the main factory floor down a hallway.
No. 148831 ID: 632862

Bit of deja vu here.

We know one target is on the second floor. Check through the door to the factory quickly before heading up the stairs. We don't want to get caught in a pincer, or let the second target loop around behind us to escape.
No. 148845 ID: f98e0b
File 126885935459.png - (181.73KB , 800x600 , 55.png )

The more things change, the more creepy old buildings full of killers stay the same.

Oren opens the door to the factory floor.
Joseph's on the other side, fiddling with the door and cursing under his breath.
No. 148848 ID: 632862

Knock him out with one of those blunt arrows.
No. 148857 ID: a09ad6

Right, so those papers on the ground might be what we're after, but they could be something else entirely. I think the best plan is to KO him (the mace might be faster than the bow), gather them up, and go after the last guy. We can get our explanations after we've dealt with him.
No. 148858 ID: f98e0b
File 126886241454.png - (174.05KB , 800x600 , 56.png )

Right. Oren goes for a quick KO with the bow, trying to avoid any close combat with Joseph.

But as soon as the string twangs and the arrow lets fly, Joseph's entire coiled body springs into motion, dodging the arrow completely and he spins around. Suddenly Oren sees the daggers in his hands and as he instinctively reaches for another arrow and hears the air coming out of Joseph's lungs in a maintained hiss as he charges and feels the beginnings of panic welling up inside him he realizes Joseph was waiting for him to do this.
No. 148859 ID: c0f3bf

Stab him with an arrow. The lethal kind.
No. 148862 ID: 632862

Well, he's not trying to escape anymore at least!

Fire another arrow, of whatever kind you reach for first. Then grab your mace. Get ready for him, and try using the door as cover or something. Slam it in his face, ambush him when he opens it, something.
No. 148868 ID: e3f578

Well the last time I suggested this it wasn't really appropriate seeing as how they were running away without much intent. Now we can dodge and get smarmy so...

Dodge and taunt "Are you really gonna try and fucking kill a guy from your old school? Goddamn son, the high school reunion is gonna be awkward as hell."
No. 148871 ID: f98e0b
File 12688670182.png - (143.49KB , 800x600 , 57.png )

Oren fires off a broadhead, directly at Joseph's chest. Joseph leaps out of the way, but he's slowed enough for Oren to slam the door right in his face.
No. 148872 ID: f98e0b
File 126886716513.png - (145.04KB , 800x600 , 58.png )

Oren waits for a response, but there's nothing from the other side.

"Are you really gonna try and fucking kill a guy from your old school? Goddamn son, the high school reunion is gonna be awkward as hell." he calls out.

"I hear that," says Joseph from the other side of the door. "We could avoid that by letting me just go away and pretending none of this happened. You could have Sofia gratis, even."
No. 148873 ID: 632862

"That really depends on what's on those papers, doesn't it?"
No. 148874 ID: 1ac39d

capture if you can, kill if you have to.
No. 148875 ID: f98e0b
File 12688690313.png - (93.38KB , 800x600 , 59.png )

"That all depends on what's on those papers, Joe," says Oren.

"The job says no peeking," says Joseph. "And you know me, Sheriff. I follow the rules."
There's a pause. Then he chuckles. "So are we doing this? You opening that door? 'Cause I'll just go ahead and leave if you don't want this here letter."
No. 148877 ID: c0f3bf

Keep him talking, Squires might be coming up behind him.

Ask him how much he's getting paid for this, and if he'll get more if Sophia isn't there.
No. 148878 ID: e3f578

"The job says saving the day and getting the girl. And you know me, criminal scum. I follow the rules."
No. 148879 ID: f98e0b
File 126886995211.png - (111.23KB , 800x600 , 60.png )

"The job says saving the day and getting the girl. And you know me, Joe, you fuckin' scum. I follow the rules. So Clara's paying you, yeah? You get more if Sofia's not in?"

"Smarter than you look, Sheriff," says Joseph. "But you're still way too obvious trying to stall me. Trying to hold me here so your cunt-in-residence can finish me off. If you'll excuse me I have a door to open."

Oren hears footsteps. "How do you know your hooker ain't already dead, Oren?" Joseph calls out, conversationally. "Awful quiet up there. Oh, fuck this door."
No. 148880 ID: e3f578


"Aww hell naw, you did not just fuck with the law."
No. 148883 ID: a38e55

Keep him blabbing, this way you know he's here. Is Nessie with her cellphone? Ya could call her and give your pos, so you two can flank him.

Better yet. She takes care of third guy, THEN comes to your rescue. A much better plan, aye?

Hmmn, keep him talking... "This brings us to an interesting situation. You walk out from the door, I 'nock you on the head from behind. I open the door, you stab me gut first thing. I think we'll stay in this standoff for a looong time...."
No. 148884 ID: c0f3bf

It's a trick, he wouldn't have said it if he wasn't prepared to dodge more arrows. Don't say anything, just keep listening. If you can, glance up through the shutters, see if you can see anything.
No. 148887 ID: 632862

I really doubt that he went back to the door already.

"Yeah, not falling for that."
No. 148890 ID: f98e0b
File 126887152419.png - (111.62KB , 800x600 , 61.png )

Right. Stall him. Got it. Keep him talking. Resist the little voice in your head roaring in defense of Nessie, trying to knock the door down and bury the mace in his face.
"Not falling for that, Joe," Oren says, fretfully looking through the shutters. No sign of the deputy. No sign of anything.
"Don't matter to me. You just stay out there till I get this open and then I'll be on my way."
Oren's grip tightens on his mace.
"Uh oh, Oren," says Joseph. "I hope nothing bad's happened to Nessandra."
"Shut up," says Oren.
"Shame if she ended up squealin' like a stuck pig, hole right in that taut tummy, blood all over," says Joseph.
"Shut the fuck up," says Oren.
"Good lay, that one. I remember poppin' that cherry. Made her scream. Head down, ass up. That's the way we dah dee dah. I've nailed her, you've nailed her.It's like we're brothers in arms or something, right?"
Focus Oren focus
No. 148893 ID: 632862

"What did Don do to that little girl?"
No. 148895 ID: e3f578

and now that voice of rage asks for a calm before the storm. We can get him back later Oren, worse that a door and mace to the face. Save it for just the right moment.

Now, maybe we should start psyching him out. Do remember any weak spots of his, Oren? Was his mother a whore? The father a stereotypical drunk? He's a horrible gamer that can't win a single round of deathmatch? Maybe the Undertaker can help with getting under this man's skin.
No. 148900 ID: f98e0b
File 126887282057.png - (112.33KB , 800x600 , 62.png )

[Undertaker. Help. he's playing mind games.]
[I can tell. Spirits, Oren. Your mind's on fire. I'm sure what he's saying isn't true. Nessie-]
[Not the time, Undertaker. I'm sorry. Can you get to him somehow?]
[Not so easily. I need a way in. Some sort of shock or surprise or emotional spike, or head trauma, in a pinch.]
[I've got it.]
"What did Don do to that little girl?" asks Oren.
"What?" says Joseph.
"You heard me," says John. "Why'd you kill him?"
"You're a freak," says Joseph, as Oren feels the Undertaker flitting out of his mind. "You're a fucking freak."
No. 148901 ID: f98e0b
File 126887289929.png - (329.74KB , 800x600 , 63.png )

I'm in.

Now let's see. Mess with him, said Oren. Well, huh. I can't take any sort of direct control or action without him figuring it out.
No. 148902 ID: f21281

The guy seems to have no kind of guilt about the people he's murdered. See if you can't 'activate' that part of his psyche.
No. 148903 ID: c0f3bf

Can you make him more... introspective? Pay less attention to noises and stuff, lost in his own thoughts?
No. 148904 ID: 632862

How about you make him hear things? Make him think Nessie is sneaking up behind him (which would be good, if she isn't) Make him see things. Have an illusory Nessie there for him to attack, so Oren can give him a good thumping while he's distracted.

Can you see through his eyes? Hear through his ears? We can get a better idea of what's going on, at least.
No. 148905 ID: 19ecf1

Can you only move his psyche/soul...
Or can you mess with the way his brain fires...

Cause if you can do the second, I got some very nice ideas...

Assuming the first, we know he has no defense mechanisms going. He is used to death... If you can get him to believe a bluff from Oren... Somebody close to him that Oren can say he has under his axe...
Dig that up
No. 148907 ID: f98e0b
File 12688737889.png - (342.30KB , 800x600 , 64.png )

Sight, hearing, that sort of thing, I can't influence without Joseph realizing something's up. Not at my ability level. I'm no illusionist.

I'll try for another tack. Maybe I can stir up some sort of emotional response.
Hell. Looks like he's got a fairly thick mental wall up keeping him from feeling guilt about those he killed. At least, keeping me from doing anything. Looks like direct mental manipulation won't work. What I need is a way to help Oren out a little. Even the playing field. Joseph's got Oren's love of Squires to exploit.
No. 148909 ID: 632862

What about Sophia? Or that third guy?
No. 148910 ID: e3f578

Search for a grave with the last name of Bird or Daniels in it, hell anything juicy to relay the information to Oren. See if we can stir up some bad memories with him killing family or hurting Sofia in anyway.
No. 148913 ID: f98e0b
File 126887449254.png - (30.21KB , 800x600 , 65.png )

Now that I can do. I'm an undertaker, after all.
I find "Bird". A small block with some fresh earth on top. A little digging and- aha.
No. 148914 ID: f98e0b
File 126887457053.png - (107.58KB , 800x600 , 66.png )

It's a filing cabinet, buried in the ground. I pull it out. And another. And another. And another.

I think we've found something.
No. 148915 ID: c0f3bf

Regrets. Open that one up.
No. 148916 ID: 632862

What's in FEARS?
No. 148918 ID: 817cd3

Ohh yeassssss
No. 148920 ID: e3f578

Dear lawman, we regret being criminal bastards, we regret coming to town, and we regret messing with the law. HORAH
No. 148927 ID: d49a93

Hmm. I don't suppose you've got paper and a pen on you, or think you could find them?

Just a thought. Alternatively, it would be interesting to do some reorganizing.
No. 148973 ID: 19ecf1

this is worth more than gold...
Time to do some note takin'
Would be kinda nice if we did the searching... As there are many of us... But this'll do
No. 149212 ID: 717301

fears, definitely. People fuck things up when they're scared.
No. 149245 ID: f98e0b
File 126894411017.png - (112.33KB , 800x600 , 67.png )

[Mr. Loper. We got him.]
[Hm? What did you do, Undertaker?]
[Some digging. Repeat after me, Oren.]

"Did you just kill him for the money, Joe?" asks Oren. "Is that all it was?"
"Pretty much," says Joseph. "It's kind of my fucking job description."
"No it's not," says Oren. "Your job description is 'Consultant', right? You're too much of a pussy to admit what you really are."
"And what's that?" says Joseph.
"You're a failure, Joseph," says Oren. "You wanted to be a cop. You fucked it up."
"What, and follow the stupid Authority charter? You're not better than me, Loper. You-"
No. 149246 ID: f98e0b
File 126894421110.png - (115.66KB , 800x600 , 68.png )

But Oren ignores him.
"You wanted Nessie. You fucked it up. You've been wanting to turn your life around for years, take that money you earn from doing these jobs, and start new but you realize that killing is an addiction and you like being worse than what you are and you're caught in it so you fucked that up too, Joseph. And now you know you've fucked up irredeemably and there's a man with a hand full of mace and a head full of rage knocking at your door. And you can flash your pretty knives and play your pretty head games but you know that though you were better than me in CQC training at Academy, I have dedicated ten years of my life to putting down nothings like you, and all you've done is hidden in the shadows and killed like a coward, for no cause. You're afraid, aren't you, Joseph?"
There's no reply from the other side of the door. Oren doesn't hear any more footsteps. No more fiddling at a lock.
No. 149248 ID: 2eac65

Step to the side. There's probably going to be an angry man with knives bursting through the door in a few seconds.
No. 149254 ID: 8a8cc3

Silence. I don't like the silence. Idunno, get your ears to the floor or something you gotta be able to hear him move.

Heh. Fears AND regrets. Who'd know?
No. 149281 ID: 19ecf1

More likely you provoked him than shocked him...
Get ready for an enraged attack... which means more force, less finesse...

Which means that you'll strike a good blow with good timing...
No. 149329 ID: 632862

If he's not about to barge through the door, open it and see if you can take him on in his mentally unstable state.
No. 149393 ID: e3f578

Also another fear oh his is your manly chin, Oren. It's so intimidating, it makes him shiver at night. It makes all the girls quake as you pass. Goddamn DAT CHIN.

Insult his puny chin. So tiny.
No. 149425 ID: f98e0b
File 126896727834.png - (163.07KB , 800x600 , 69.png )

Oren moves to the side and puts his back to the wall.
"Don't fucking push me, Loper." says Joseph.
[Looks like he's ready to burst, Sheriff. Okay. Now say, 'What would...]
"What do you think Darla would say about you now, Joseph?" asks Oren. "You think she'd still love you? I guess you took care of that problem a long time ago."

"I'm going to kill you, Oren," says Joseph.
No. 149426 ID: f98e0b
File 126896737936.png - (156.44KB , 800x600 , 70.png )

He doesn't slam the door down or anything so dramatic. It opens slowly, and he stalks out, grip tight on his daggers.

"Okay, Loper." he mutters. "You want me, you've got me. Wonder if you know what you've done."
No. 149429 ID: abb30a

Hit the door REALLY HARD into him. And if that doesn't work, be prepared to avoid being stabbed.
No. 149430 ID: 8a8cc3

Slam the door back on him, HARD. Let's start by disorienting the fucker.
No. 149433 ID: 817cd3

Slam door and bring mace up in a under-swing just in case he dodges (or really even if he doesn't, no harm in more harm at this point.)
No. 149445 ID: 717301

whack him in the face
No. 149577 ID: 6fd8ec

...And then immediately open it again. He's gotta know that's coming. Mad or not, there's nowhere else you could be and nothing unexpected. Be sure he doesn't stab you through the door (how hard is the wood?) and once you thwack him, you'll need to get him before he recovers and runs off.
No. 149678 ID: f98e0b
File 126903586080.png - (275.60KB , 800x600 , 71.png )

"And I wonder why you didn't see this coming," says Oren, slamming the door on Joseph's left arm. He lets out a sharp gasp and drops the knife in that hand.
"Fuck you, Oren," he spits. "Pussy."
No. 149679 ID: 632862

Kick the knife away and press the advantage.
No. 149680 ID: 1ac39d

smack his hand with your mace so he can't use it. then open the door and engage.
No. 149681 ID: 94b366

You has mace. He has arm stuck. BREAK IT.
No. 149682 ID: 817cd3

Do this, but watch for another knife coming through the door.
No. 149683 ID: e3f578

"No thank you, I've had plenty today. Now it seems that you..." Smash his hand, "need a hand."
No. 149684 ID: 632862

Oooh, you could grab his pinned arm and twist it to disable him.
No. 149685 ID: 1ac39d

No. 149700 ID: c0f3bf

Why choose?
No. 149707 ID: f98e0b
File 126904505060.png - (213.04KB , 800x600 , 72.png )

Oren aims for the arm, but Joseph kicks the door, hard, freeing his arm and knocking the wind out of Oren's lungs. He grabs Oren's arm
No. 149708 ID: f98e0b
File 126904508621.png - (343.80KB , 800x600 , 73.png )

and lunges through the doorway, knocking the already disoriented Oren backwards and bringing his other dagger toward his neck.

Oren raises up a hand and manages to fend off the dagger, but Joseph’s pushing and Oren’s off balance. It’s all he can do to keep from falling backward.
No. 149709 ID: 632862

Why resist falling backwards? Use that momentum, and toss the fucker.
No. 149710 ID: 6fd8ec

How close are you to the wall? Fall backwards and let him go over you and bang his head on the wall, perhaps.
No. 149711 ID: c0f3bf

Fall, throw him to the side as you do and twist his knife hand with the force.
No. 149713 ID: 94b366

Allright, you´re gonna have to lead him a bit. Guide yourself to a wall, flat your back against it. When things are stable, kick him in the balls.

Never let go of his hand, lets pray he doesn´ lets go of his. With some luck, he´l llet go of the knife when it hits the wall.
No. 149717 ID: f95872

Fall, but twist him under you. Elbow to the throat will work wonders, then push yourself off and up.
No. 149725 ID: 19ecf1

bad positioning... you'd think a guy good in CQC would keep himself balanced

The way his arm is positioned means you can stab him with his own knife... he's also holding his knife in a way that any smart fighter wouldn't...

if anything, you should be able to pull him to the ground with ease for a curb stomp.
No. 149729 ID: f98e0b
File 126904886327.png - (192.01KB , 653x570 , 74.png )

Oren wants to avoid hitting the ground if at all possible, especially when he's got a weapon like a mace which requires a bit of space to swing and Joseph's holding a much closer-range weapon.

Instead he goes with Joseph's momentum, bringing himself to the wall. He props himself up and strains against Joseph's knife.
"You're laboring under the false assumption that just because you wear black and wave knives around you're scarier than I am, Joseph," he says through gritted teeth.
"I've killed cops before, Loper," says Joseph, pushing the knife closer. "You can't hide behind your fuckin' badge when there's a blade in your face."
"You also seem to think you're the only one who can fight dirty, Joe," says Oren. "Lemme fix that." He kicks, hard. Joseph lets out a strangled squeak as his legs give.

"See, I don't like you, Joe."
No. 149731 ID: 632862

He let go of your arm. Clock him good upside the head with your blunt instrument.
No. 149735 ID: 817cd3

Swing mace up into the lower jaw, then thrust into the neck to push him away.
No. 149744 ID: f95872

That wasn't very nice.

This sounds about right. But you do have two arms, probably best to use both of them.
No. 149780 ID: 8a8cc3

I'd say, push him down, then WHAM! Aim for the head!
No. 149784 ID: f98e0b
File 12690541726.png - (317.18KB , 800x600 , 75.png )

"By the way, Joe, you're under arrest." says Oren, then brings the mace up, around, and into the side of his head, pushing on his neck at the same time.
He's unconscious before he hits the ground.
No. 149786 ID: c0f3bf

Tie him, go find Squires.
No. 149790 ID: 19ecf1


ok... Now we restrain him and put him in a place he won't be looked for...
No. 149793 ID: 43ee50

The papers! Frisk him, and check out the other room, too.

Don't forget that there was a third guy.
No. 149796 ID: f98e0b
File 126905580717.png - (201.11KB , 800x600 , 76.png )

Oren finds them in his back pocket. Unopened.

Should he?
No. 149797 ID: c0f3bf

Yes. You need to read them over ASAP.
No. 149798 ID: 6fd8ec

I don't see why not.
No. 149799 ID: 1d375b

Might want to be careful could be some magic crap on there.
No. 149800 ID: 43ee50

Head into the other room first. Back to the wall, man, stops people from sneaking up on you.
No. 149801 ID: e75a2f

Don't. Keep them as evidence, and read them with Grease in your presence so he can explain himself.
No. 149803 ID: f98e0b
File 126905609197.png - (148.75KB , 800x600 , 77.png )

Oren opens up the page, determined to see just what Theo

what theo

No. 149804 ID: 8a8cc3

No. 149805 ID: e973f4

No. 149806 ID: e75a2f

Goes to show you for how little men will kill themselves over, whether directly or indirectly.
No. 149807 ID: 43ee50

What kind of idiot includes a "Maybe" box? That doesn't tell you anything!
No. 149808 ID: e75a2f

The kind of idiot who is afraid of rejection.
No. 149809 ID: 8a8cc3

No. The hitmen were hired by CLARA, remember?
No. 149810 ID: e75a2f

Hence 'indirectly'.
No. 149815 ID: f95872

No. 149817 ID: 2eac65

How do we know this is the document they were after? It could have been a fake they made to keep the real one hidden so they can escape with it.
No. 149828 ID: 72060b



Anyway first off, TIME FOR JAILSIES. Also call up Clara. And Theo. To a table. With hot white lamps.

Put the letter in the middle.
No. 149849 ID: 2eac65

Think about it. Why would an information broker give a letter like this such a high price? It's far too simplistic.
No. 149992 ID: 19ecf1

did you consider this letter might have hidden wording on it in some sort of invisable ink...
Possibly even blood. That means you need a UV light to check it...

Or the boxes could mean something else. As in the checkmark signifies sometihng other than a relationship...
No. 149997 ID: 632862

Before we do anything, let's check on Squires and the third criminal.
No. 150050 ID: f98e0b
File 12691144044.png - (300.86KB , 800x600 , 78.png )

No. 150051 ID: f98e0b
File 126911442135.png - (286.74KB , 800x600 , 79.png )

"I got the guy, his name's Aldo," says Nessie, walking in and sheathing her blade. "Gave up without a fight when he found out Sofia was okay. They're trussed up outside."
No. 150052 ID: f98e0b
File 126911446594.png - (285.34KB , 800x600 , 80.png )

"Sheriff? Honey? What's up?" she asks, grabbing his arm. "Hey, is that the--"
No. 150053 ID: f98e0b
File 126911447246.png - (286.63KB , 800x600 , 81.png )

No. 150055 ID: 632862

Okay use your phone and call Theo RIGHT FUCKING NOW.
No. 150060 ID: f98e0b
File 126911634452.png - (156.42KB , 800x600 , 82.png )

bzzzt bzzzt

"Grease Galvin. Can I help you?"
No. 150061 ID: 632862

"Theo, what did I just fight no less than three professional hitmen to get? A love note? Seriously?"
No. 150062 ID: 362f0c

so Theo... what is this shit I'm looking at right here? you know people almost died over this right?
No. 150065 ID: 15f6d6

Go down there and punch him in the dick.
No. 150076 ID: 3c6c38

Your cart better gleam like a gemstone and run like Apollo's chariot of the fucking sun for this.
No. 150096 ID: f98e0b
File 126912555193.png - (165.20KB , 800x600 , 83.png )

"Grease I will punch you in the dick" says Oren, and hears a clang on the other side of the line, as well as Grease swearing, loudly. "What the hell am I looking at here?"
"What are you looking at?" asks Grease.
"Theo, what did I just fight no less than three professional hitmen to get? A love note? Seriously?"
"Oren, what're y- three proffesional hit- You opened the letter? Why would you... waitasecond, did you say hitmen?"
"Three of them, Grease."
"Shit, Oren. Really? I mean, I- It was just a love letter. Why'd there be hitmen after it?"
No. 150097 ID: c0f3bf

There wouldn't be. Maybe there's been a mix up?
No. 150101 ID: 632862

"I don't know, how about you tell me why you felt it was valuable enough to cash in all your favors for it? Why was it priced at 750 gilt? Why was Clara not supposed to get her hands on it, when she already had it once already, apparently?"
No. 150102 ID: 632862

I guess we may have to ask our prisoners who hired them.
No. 150114 ID: e75a2f

I think this is a simple case of "You are all goddamn morons."

Just go home and take a nap.
No. 150119 ID: f98e0b
File 126912762562.png - (212.09KB , 800x600 , 84.png )

"I don't know, how about you tell me why was it priced at 750 gilt? Why was Clara not supposed to get her hands on it, when she already had it once already, apparently?"

"Look, it was third grade, alright?" says Grease. "I don't know how the information guy got his hands on it, I mean I never got it back from her, maybe she like lost it. And the information guy wouldn't sell it to me unless I paid him 750 gilt, which I guess is his idea of a joke, and he wanted to sell it to Clara, 'cause he was telling her it was super secret documents that could drive me out of business and she believed him, so I called you to get it for free for me. I thought you'd just walk in and take it and be done with it, Oren. Honest. If I'd known it would get you in trouble with a hitman I'd never have asked you to do it."

"But why would you want to cash in all your damn favors to get this one note?"
"She woulda wasted a lot of money on it if she'd bought it and that wouldn't have been fair. Plus I wanted to lord it over Clara that she could be so easily fooled, and maybe lord it over her if she'd said yes, is all," says Grease. "Um, did she... say yes?"
"Not the time, Theo."
"Right. Sorry, Sheriff."
No. 150130 ID: 15f6d6

Time to interrogate the fuck out of your prisoners.
No. 150134 ID: 632862

Maybe Clara didn't know these guys were hitmen? She might've just been cashing in a favor. I mean, they weren't sent to kill anyone. This was covert ops, and thus not their usual method, so it would make sense that she didn't know their usual method.

Ask him if he was in the same school with any of those three. Maybe Clara knew them.
No. 150136 ID: e75a2f

Pick up Theo, Pick up Clara, bring your prisoners to the table, and bring the information guy to the table too.

Then lay an educational beat-down on everyone.

Spare nobody.
No. 150147 ID: e973f4


You just had to put up with way more shit than one guy should have to put up with in one day, and for an absolutely retarded reason. Someone is getting a tirade over this. Probably multiple people.
No. 150152 ID: 2eac65

At some point, we're going to get that information broker charged with fraud. And possibly extortion, if he threatened to have Theo driven out of business.

A good way to do that is to go to Clara and question her about this mess before she finds out what really happened.
No. 150185 ID: f95872

Naw, you don't pay hitman prices for a pickup job.

I agree with these people. Let's have Squires take the perps in, we tell Theo to get his sorry ass to the station, and we drive on over to Clara's place, and see what happens. Then, we bring her in to the station, and bang people against each other until we know what's what.
No. 150188 ID: f98e0b
File 126913643885.png - (232.77KB , 800x600 , 85.png )

"Are you kidding me?" says Clara. "You're assassins? You said you were consultants! That's what it said in the fucking yellow pages!"
"Technically it'h code," says Sofia.
"Euphemism, I think's the word," says Aldo. "Joseph thought it was more appropriate."
"Appropriate, hell!" says Clara. "That's just false fucking advertising. If I go to a restaurant and ask for apple pie and the chef shits on a plate it's called deceptive advertisement. I'd call for your arrest if you weren't already under arrest."
"Deceptive? You want deceptive?" says Grease. "You checked 'Maybe'! She checked 'maybe', everyone! Who does that? Why did I even have that as an option?"
"Could the cell be co-ed?" asks Aldo. "I think the cells should be co-ed."
"That was in the third grade!"
"Well sorry if I think you're being just a little hypocritical, Clara!"
"My nothe itcheth and I've got thethe handcuffthe. Could thomeone itch my nothe?"
"Hypocritical? You're calling me hypocritical? I'd like to know just who sat behind who in Science pulling whose ears before you call me hypocritical..."

"This is going to be a long interrogation," says Nessie.
No. 150189 ID: 15f6d6

I think maybe people need to be interrogated seperately. Especially if you suspect funny business. I mean, she had to have told them to do something. Also, itch nose.
No. 150190 ID: f98e0b
File 126913699120.png - (39.22KB , 800x600 , 86.png )

"They were taunting me! Taunting me, waving over my desk! That's your fault!"
"Oh, here we go. Here we go, guys. Listen to this."
"Hold on, babe, lemme just use my elbow..."
"This is your pride again. This is you thinkin' you're better than me just because you work on all the good vehicles in town..."
"That's because I am better than you, Galvin!"
"Are you kidding? Have you seen the mayor's skiff? That thing's a shiny chrome eyesore. Now if I was in charge of..."
"You'd just put on hot rod flames or some shit, Grease!"
"You're damn right I would! And furthermore..."
"So about those co-ed arrangements..."
No. 150196 ID: e3f578

This is the part where a headcrab and scientist in an orange powersuit suddenly appear and the headcrab eats a crow and the man poofs away, leaving it behind.
No. 150301 ID: 19ecf1

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