[The Menagerie] Meeting with Clarion (Sh1.3, Wi1.3)

edited January 2011 in In-Game
Corbett leads you away from your place, into the deeps. You cross over the bridge, an old thing made out of large salvaged chunks of asphalt, laid on top of rusted out cars, in order to create a path over an underground river which separates the daylight portions from the deeper portions in a visceral way. The water rushes past, cold and furious as always. Some drink from it, but most try to avoid it for other sources. The water in the river is believed to flow from sources Above, from which some of the megafauna drink. The riverwater is probably contaminated, then, and dangerous. Or so goes the popular belief, anyway. Not too many willing to test it. Swimming in the river is a blatant way to ask for death, too, what with its speed.

You cross the bridge, and now you're moving through the deeps. The phosphorescent lichen and moss down here is multicolored; the deepers save their worrying about colors for their own domiciles. It's not terribly bright, but it's bright enough to see by and move by. The deeper sections aren't as wide open as the daylight sections, with their single large tunnel. Instead, there are a number of smaller tunnels, interweaving, criss-crossing. There is one central chamber to the deeper tunnels, before they descend into the ruins from Before.

You move through some of the deeper tunnels, led by Corbett. You pass a few pale-skinned deepers on their way to whatever recreation awaits them; deepers aren't typically ones for hard work. Eventually, you arrive at a doorway, cut into the dirt and stone. It's in a tunnel (think neighborhood) of the deeps that isn't terribly upper class, or well-maintained, or populated.

Corbett motions you inside. "Clarion's inside." Then he seems to think for a moment, before saying. "A word, Shade, before you go in?"
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Comments

  • I'll wait for Shade to go in. If the "word" is to be private, I'll step away, but not into Clarion's room just yet.
  • "Of course, dear. What can I do for you?" Wilson probably knows that "dear" is about as false a term as Shade uses, reserved for people she's keeping at arm's length or finds off-putting.
  • I'd like to read him, if it's appropriate to do so at this juncture.

    #DiceRoller(2d6+1 )

    XP2 if a Read is deemed acceptable.
  • Shade:

    What do you wish Corbett would do right now?

    How could Corbett get you to like him? Not necessarily love; just like.
  • edited January 2011
    I wish Corbett would go away. He makes me uncomfortable: I look into that eye and what I remember is his fingertips digging into my arms, his face animal-stupid with mingled scorn and desire, the smell of his sweat. The way he displayed his status, as if I should be impressed with the way he lived like a worm in the dirt.

    How could he get me to like him? Hmm. If he did something that helped out the Menagerie, not for any particular reward but just as a demonstration of his goodwill, I'd revise my opinion of him and could call him a friend. Or he could bring me Bowdy's head on a plate, that'd be one less Deeper I have to worry about. Like him as a fuck-buddy? Whew. I dunno. It'd have to be something major, epic even, like ousting Clarion in a coup and turning over the hold to the Menagerie.
  • Corbett looks up at Wilson, who hasn't gone inside like he clearly intended. He doesn't exactly want to say what he has to say in front of her. But eventually he just focuses his eye on Shade, and pushes through with it.

    "I, uh. I just. Wanted. To give you this." The words are grunted and halting. His hand goes into a pouch, and comes out with a piece of ivory, polished and carved into a fleur-de-lis shape. It's attached to the end of a leather thong, as a necklace. "I'm, uh. I'm sorry I hurt you. That time. Yeah. Sorry."

    He coughs.

    "You should probably go in now." He goes to stand next to the door. As he goes, when his face is out of sight of Shade, he aims his cyclopean gaze at Wilson. It's quite a glare. But it's gone by the time he turns around.
  • I don't squeal, I'm not a squealer. Ask Wilson! But I do like nice things, and this gift totally catches me off-guard. A small gasp of surprise and delight escapes me, and I drape the necklace over my head.

    As we enter, I catch his hands and pull him into a hug. "Corbett, thank you." I kiss him warmly – cheek, not mouth, near his ear – "It's like last season's rain, we don't have to think about 'that time' any more," I whisper to him. "Maybe someday we can have a drink and catch up." Before this gets any awkwarder for him I step away and follow Wilson in.
  • Corbett grunts, doing his best to stare straight ahead and not react at all as you kiss his cheek, Shade. But maybe, just maybe, there's a hint of a blush.

    So, the two of you head inside, right?

    It's a short hallway carved out of the dirt and rock, leading to a pretty bland hemisphere of a room. There's one lamp hanging from the ceiling, casting a yellowish illumination on the brown and gray walls. Clarion is sitting on one side of a simple wooden table, his hands folded. He's wearing what passes for nice clothing. A button-down shirt he's managed to miraculously salvage from the ruins. Spectacles, on his face, even though there are no lenses in the frames. A kilt. His pale deeper's skin seems eerily luminescent in the light from the lamp.

    He's clearly been waiting for you. There is only one chair opposite Clarion.

    He rises and smiles, until he realizes that there are two of you.

    "Oh, dear," he says. His voice is high-pitched. "I believed that I would only be speaking to Wilson, here. How, ah, foolish of me. My apologies, Shade." He moves his seat to the other side of the table, for you to sit in.
  • Sounds like sitting is the thing to do. If he offers a handshake, I'll oblige, but otherwise, I'll smile and wait for what he has to say.
  • ((Max and/or Brendan, how's our rapport with Clarion? I've written a couple things now and discarded them as perhaps-inappropriately based on an adversarial relationship. I mean, I know he's a threat but if he's a nice threat I'll treat him different.))
  • My thoughts so far are that he's unnecessarily bureaucratic, but not otherwise unpleasant, but I made that up when discussing the meeting, so we can either go with that or change it as needed.
  • Bureaucratic is a good descriptor. He's not above having others do violence for him, and he's not weak, per se. But he prefers to keep everyone happy, especially the powerful, rich deepers who help pay for the things that keep 12th Street running. But The Menagerie counts as pretty powerful, too. He probably tries to take advantage of you (financially) every now and then, but it's almost a friendly ritual at this point, as he tries to negotiate your price lower, and you try to negotiate higher. Almost friendly.

    He's not your friend, though. He's the guy in charge, and ultimately, you're all outsiders enough that he doesn't see you as his people, if push comes to shove. So, you may be cordial with each other, but you all know what the sitch is.

    That good with everyone?
  • ((Perfection. ))

    "Thank you, Clarion, that's very kind of you." I sit demurely, nudging the chair a little closer to Wilson's. "Don't mind me, I'm just here to learn." I toy idly with the necklace that Corbett gave me, as if contemplating taking it off.
  • Sounds good to me.
  • Clarion does not offer a handshake.

    He starts pacing on his side of the table, before he begins to speak, gesticulating as he does.

    "Obviously, Wilson, we can speak of arrangements concerning your meat and goods from your latest venture, but to be frank, I don't believe that will be of any consequence, will it? The arrangements can be as they have been in the past, and I don't have the time to dilly-dally on such matters.

    "As I'm sure you have ascertained by my inviting you here, far outside of the normal spectrum of our meeting places, I have a different purpose in communicating with you today. You see, ah..." His eyes flit to Shade, and back to Wilson. "Well. I have a rather more serious situation to discuss with you, Wilson, concerning a service which you might be able to perform on the behalf of 12th Street. It would be a great boon to us, were you to oblige us." He coughs.

    "And, of course, I could see that you were duly compensated. For your, ah, efforts."
  • "I like words like 'great boon,' especially when they come so close to 'duly compensated.' Care to elaborate?"

    I smile as I'm genuinely interested in the details. This must be A Big Deal, and Big Deals are good the crew, as long as we can walk back from them.
  • "Yes, well, ah. You see."

    Clarion lets out a sigh, rests his hand on the table and stops pacing for a moment.

    "There are certain elements of our civilization which we have had to expunge, for the betterment of all, yes? For the safety of 12th Street. In general, these were individuals. Rabblerousers, no-good anarchists. Delusional, sensational, often obsessed with dangerous mysticism, devoid of rationality. But without followers, except for a few other similarly deranged individuals. Easy enough for the 12th Street patrolmen to send them off. Yes.

    "Well. Of late, you see, there has come to be another such element in our fine society. But this one, it is somewhat...different. The rabblerouser in question has several followers, who seem to believe in what he says with great conviction. He has begun disseminating some kind of chemical substance among his followers in order to help propagate his irrational beliefs. It is subjugating their minds, their senses, and transforming them into crazed and addled addicts.

    "Unfortunately, we...did not become aware of this issue previously, and now, he has quite the following. Enough so that the patrolmen would be hard-pressed to cast them out. And enough so that, even were we to succeed, the casualties and the damage in an out-and-out conflict might be excessive."

    He turns to gaze directly at you, Wilson, and there's an edge to his features that you haven't seen there often before.

    "This, of course, is where you come in. I would like you to oust this dissident, to send him off into the world Above. Or, if need be, to enact a...more permanent solution."

    He considers for a moment, and then continues. "With minimum casualties to his followers, if at all possible. There are...certain individuals who are known to be among his mob, who are of worth to...12th Street."
  • I think I know who he's talking about, but more information is always nice.

    "This rabblerouser got a name? Does he live anywhere in particular, or just wander about?"

    I'm going to try to get a better idea of what I know about this in the OOG thread.
  • Clarion sighs.

    "Yes, of course. The individual of whom I speak is known as Rabbit. He of the fruit of the Crocus, yes? Perhaps you have heard of him? Well, it matters not. You should be able to find him easily enough, and I highly doubt that he would pose much of a problem for you and yours."
  • "I've heard of him. We don't normally take jobs against humans, so I'll have to consult with the crew to see who's in. I may need operational support if my squad gets too thin. Hell, maybe if I tell the guy we've got a whole cave of recruits for him, he'll haul off on his own. I'll consult and do some recon, and if I think the situation merits further discussion, I'll let you know."

    So either Clarion or Rabbit has to go. I'll need to get a better idea of Rabbit's influence so I can make sure we end up on the right side of this one. If Clarion wants to talk further or discuss specific terms, we can, but if doesn't, I'll move to leave.
  • "A cave full of recruits for him? Haul off? My dear Wilson, I'm not sure you understand the gravity of the situation." Clarion's taken on a stern, annoyingly fatherly voice.

    "Rabbit has subverted a significant portion of the populace, which cannot be allowed. We can't lose that many people, and as I mention...some individuals he has taken under his wing, we cannot afford to lose at all. Yes. So he cannot simply leave, as his followers would undoubtedly go with him. Furthermore, where could he possibly go? Fuckoff Cave? Were he to take his followers there, no doubt he would soon transform that exile community into a major threat for 12th Street. No, this cannot be allowed either.

    "No. He must either submit entirely to my demands...for the good of the hold...or he must be made to stop.

    "I will provide you with what support I can, if you need it."
  • edited January 2011
    I stop smiling, and adopt a more serious posture.

    "I apologize. You're correct; I had underestimated the gravity of this. I knew he was popular with people who like his drugs, but if you're this concerned, it's clearly a very serious matter. I'll keep my inquiries discreet, and aim for a resolution to match." A pause. "I appreciate your trust in us. We'll do what's best for 12th street."
  • "Thank you, Wilson. I much appreciate your help...and your discretion...in this matter." He extends a hand to shake yours. "I trust that no word of this will reach Rabbit's ears through any avenue? Should that happen, the results might be catastrophic."
  • "Well, I would like to give him the option to submit to your demands and stay alive, if that turns out to be feasible. I won't do that until I'm in a position to ensure he complies, however. Does that work for you?" I shake, whenever the conversation is over.
  • "Yes, that is...acceptable." He takes your hand.

    "And please, Wilson, keep in mind. Rabbit is expendable, but injuries to those who follow him are not. They should be limited as much as possible. This is very important to me." There may be something behind those words, something he's not saying out loud. Wanna read him?
  • I could read him, but I'm not the sharpest crayon on the bush. How much interaction is required for a read? Can Shade get a read on him without talking herself? Can I help her, steering the conversation in the right direction? If that's feasible, it seems like a tactic we'd typically employ for negotiations.
  • Hmm. That actually makes a fair bit of sense to me, that you'd help Shade do the reading. But for that to work, I think Shade would actively have to participate, and you would actively have to help her. So if you'd like to do that, then Shade will have to speak up.
  • We'll see if Shade's up for that, and I'll do the read if not.
  • ((Sure, I'll take a read on him. I haven't been just sitting here picking my nose, after all. :D ))

    "I've heard of the Crocus Eaters, and I don't care for them," I say. "But 'subvert'? A sizable fraction?" I smile pleasantly, still toying with the Corbett-necklace. "I'm not brave like my sister, Clarion, and I don't go charging headlong into things if I can avoid it. What is it that makes these people so dangerous? More so than any other inhabitant of 12th." My eyes are on his. "Or the Menagerie, for that matter. If he's that dangerous..." I let the comment hang.

    Read a person: #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )

    XP3
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