[The Hulk] The Black Tower [Le1.2 Mo1.2 Mw1.2 Se1.4 Ve1.2]

edited January 2011 in In-Game
more-or-less the middle of the day

Lemma and Marshmallow

Winkle leads you two back toward the manufactory, but you are intercepted as you pass the Tower. It is Clarion: he steps out of the shadows around the base and hails you. His voice is low and slightly harsh, and his features are pale and soft from a decade of dedication to his work. The glass chip behind his ear is the center of a little spiderweb of scar tissue ... he was implanted before Lemma came along and devised her process, when they'd just drill a hole in your skull and hope for the best.

He has no hair whatsoever, not even eyebrows. He shaves it all, for some reason.

"Marsh-mallow ... and so good to see you again Lemma. Always a ple-sure. I think we have something int-eresting for you. Come this way?"

He assumes your agreement as he turns to lead you up and into the Tower itself. Winkle stands uncertainly for a moment, but likely returns to the manufactory - at this point, Visage would be the only floor boss left in there.

Clarion takes you to the Tower's cell, which is down a short flight of stairs from the entrance - it's a low-ceilinged half-level sandwiched with the Tower's muster hall above and Marco's quarters below. Crine and Mice are standing guard at the bottom of the steps, but Clarion walks with assurance and the three of you pass ... Clarion alone might not have been permitted down here, but you have authority here, Marshmallow.

There's a small landing at the bottom of the stairs, and there's a door. It's hammered out of metal scrap, and there's a six-inch square hatch in it at eye level, closed with a simple bolt.

Clarion: "This woman. She came from with-in the ship, walking out of darkness. I have never seen this. Not but for Kirk, and he was quite mad when the ship returned him to us. This woman, she is distressed, but I believe she is fully rational. And there is something else about her. Some thing very strange."

He has a kind of schoolboy keenness to him as he unbolts the hatch in the door and swings it open. He gestures.

"Look. Do you see?"
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Comments

  • Veronica

    They've thrown you in a cell carved out of the ship's black glass. It's creepy as hell. You think the space is only partially submerged in the ground ... the upper parts of the walls swim subtly with faint light as the slightly-translucent stuff lets through the diffuse silhouettes of whatever's going on around this tower they've taken you to. You can't make out more than the vaguest movements, since the lightbulb in the ceiling (closed into a little iron cage) washes out all detail.

    Nobody's asked you your name or inquired into your business here. They just took your weapons, made you take off your armor, and stuck you in here like this. Rebound your hands after you got off the armor, too. Any questions you've asked have gone unanswered, and you're not sure that even your captors know what will happen to you. Certainly you're sure that whoever's in command here has not yet put in an appearance.

    There're some sounds of muttering outside the door to your cell, and then a square hole opens up in the door, framing a little patch of the landing's wall outside.
  • Marco

    When you arrive at the Tower, you look across the muster hall to see Roark talking to Kip at the duty desk. Partridge is right there behind you - do you want to sit her down somewhere, or does she get to tag along. She's just looking around at the moment, interested. They don't get this kind of glasswork down in Gams Landing.
  • I thanked Winkle before he headed off. Clarion's great at what he does -- very attuned to the ship and manufactory. I'm kind of eager to see what has him so excited. If this were just some freak-show, I'd offer Lemma the first look, but since this is business, I peer through the door's window at the prisoner. I don't see anything exactly special about her; though there is something...and so I let my mind wander in just the right way -- I'm opening my brain as I watch her for reaction. #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 ) xp4
  • (Oops, doesn't matter but should have been +2.)
  • Since this is a person and not a thing, I'll let Marshy do his thing. Is any of her gear around? If I see pristine vintage gear, I'm going to snatch it up and try to comprehend it unless someone gives me a very good reason not to.
  • edited January 2011
    Lemma, there's nothing down here on the landing with you, but you saw some stuff laid out at the duty desk upstairs. I'm thinking it might have caught your eye, yeah? A couple of guns and something that might've been body armor. If you want to wander off up there, Crine and Mice won't keep you from leaving. And you'll see Marco soon as you get to the top of the stairs.

    Marshmallow: In what ways are your mind and soul most vulnerable?

    That out-of-rhythm buzz you usually hear? It doesn't really come. It's out there, sure, but only on the fringes of your awareness, held in suspension by something near at hand.

    The inside of the cell, then, is filled with something. If you had to put words to it, you'd call it mechanical, though it's not at all physical. But there's this regular, metronome-precise click and hum, like the mesh of complex gear-works, and you can even see elements ... like hovering points of light flicking on and off, moving around on a precise grid.

    There are connective elements: some kind of conduit stretching back toward the manufactory and (you believe) beyond. Where it passes through the black glass wall, the glass seems to flare white.

    There's more in there, but it's a level of detail that just doesn't make any real sense to you at this point. No frame of reference: you haven't been into the maelstrom.
  • Did they take the rosary from me too? If not, then I'm still touching the beads with my fingers but even if it's gone, I'm whispering the words of the familiar prayers, thinking of mom. I'm in a nightmare that's become disturbingly solid, praying isn't the worst idea. My head is bowed forward. When I hear the hatch open I ignore it. It's been doing that a a few times. Guess these people are curious. I won't actually look up until someone seems to actually be opening the door.

    I'm also trying to put things together in my head, but it's not really working.
  • I think you might still have the rosary.

    You're buttoning up right now, but if you want you could listen and think, and read the situation. It's not really charged for everyone else right now, but it is for you, and that could better prepare you for whatever's coming.
  • I'll pop back upstairs. I'm probably too excited to notice Marco at first, but I'll offer him a gesture of respect if he greets me, and won't avoid conversation. Unimpeded, I'd love to put on her helmet if it's there. Would a Things Speak on her gear in general be appropriate, or should I roll and ask questions for each piece of it I have time to examine?
  • I gasp. Then, to Clarion, "There is something very...wrong(?) here."

    I'm opening the door and entering the cell.
  • Sure. I shake myself a little. Listen, Ronnie. Think. What have you seen so far. Heard? I'm listening to the folks in the passageway if I can.

    #DiceRoller(2d6+1)
  • (What should I be on the lookout for?)

    I'll definitely look up when I hear someone opening the cell.
  • edited January 2011
    I'll have Marshmallow and Marco answer that question, Veronica. They're more directly in control of the situation than I am.

    Crine and Mice look like they might be about to say something to you about going into the cell, Marshmallow, but they leave it be. You're an odd combination of friendly and creepy, and you have Marco's backing, so it's easier to just let you do it. The door isn't locked, just barred - there are holes bored for a padlock, but there wasn't really a need right now. You get in without trouble.

    Clarion comments: "Something wrong? Perhaps ..."
  • Lemma, the gear is on the duty desk. To get there, you need to walk past Marco, approach the desk, reach between Roark and Kip, and take the pieces you're interested in.

    But really, I assume that none of that fazes you, and that you are now happily strapping on Veronica's helmet. Probably a general roll for all her gear would make sense.
  • Oh, and Marshmallow:
    Marshmallow: In what ways are your mind and soul most vulnerable?
    Ahem.
  • edited January 2011
    In what ways are your mind and soul most vulnerable?

    Clearly, I've made myself emotionally vulnerable by letting Lemma into my psyche. So really, my mind and soul are most vulnerable through her; if she were damaged, threatened or compromised -- or worse, if she were turned against me, that's probably the most awful thing I'd have to deal with.

    What should I (Veronica) be on the lookout for?

    I'm not sure you need to be on the lookout for anything from me. The closest thing to danger that I bring is if the way in which you are most useful is as a lab rat AND you are unwilling to be a test subject. If either of those things isn't true, then I think we're probably good. (But under the right circumstance, I'd totally be willing to take you back to my place, put you in restraints and test your weird relationship to the psychic maelstrom with my wife, essentially until you were used up. But it's nothing personal.)
  • Veronica, the door is open, and someone is walking into the room: a slightly built woman in high formal wear. At least, you assume it's a woman for a moment, but ...

    The soft, hairless man you'd seen enthroned above the crowd is also there, outside the door. He hangs back, but looks in with keen interest.
  • Rolling for Veronica's things to speak to me:

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • edited January 2011
    Who made these things?

    ETA: 2 experience now.
  • Should have asked this before: What's it like when you open your brain to a thing using Things Speak, Lemma?
  • I lose myself briefly and become one with the object. If I want to see how it's broken, I feel what hurts, and try moving all my muscles until I find something. I think hard about my surroundings and what's going on now, and then reverse. I see from the object's perspective as Lemma puts me down. She might take a step backwards as the gleam drains out of her eyes, and once we roll back to the first time she perceived the object, we jump back to the last thing that happened. It all happens in reverse too, and a little slowly, but I've been doing it long enough to make out words and pick up feelings. After the last significant experience has passed from end to beginning, I flash back into my own body again.
  • edited January 2011
    Your brain goes all over the place. None of these things were made by a person, specifically - they were pieced together by people and machines from a number of different places.

    The helmet takes you back to its birth in Dunmore, Pennsylvania through the agency of Specialty Defense Systems Incorporated. But Lemma's fingers run over the armor, which is seems to be a tar heel, made in Granite Falls, North Carolina by Protective Products International, though the ceramic armor plates inserted into it are products of BAE Systems in Phoenix, Arizona.

    But there's more! The pistol is almost an Italian, made by Beretta USA in Accokeek, Maryland, while the assault rifle there is from Colt Defense in West Hartford, Connecticut.

    And now you're back to yourself, standing by the duty desk clutching a pair of guns and wearing the prisoner's helmet while Kip and Roark look at you like you've gone off the bend.

    Your move, Marco!
  • edited January 2011
    I stagger and start ripping off or chucking anything I'm holding. So many places, so many people. How did it all get here? It's overwhelming, and I'm a bit afraid.
  • edited February 2011
    I'm a bit unsure on blocking, here, so correct me if I'm wrong.


    I stride into the room purposefully. "Roark. Take Partridge to the mess, get her something to drink, stay with her. I'll come get you when I'm done. Marshmallow, I'm going in first. Back off." I'm about to bark out a command to Lemma when I see her doing her thing. I'm fine with that.

    I beeline straight for the opening cell and step past Marshmallow, taking out my shotgun in a smooth motion as I do. I aim my shotgun at the head of the woman inside the cell.

    "Name. Where you're from. And reason why I shouldn't end you. Right now."
  • Golly! That was a surprise.

    I gingerly follow Marco into the cell. "Uh..." -- It slips out even though I intend to follow Marco's lead for the time being. I'm interested in the prisoner's responses but I can't let him shoot her -- she's frankly more valuable than he. I'm going to try reading his mind. #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 ) <-- if there's a hit, I want to know what Marco intends to do. If it's a hard hit, I'll hold the other two for a bit.
  • As an expansion on your former read of the situation, Veronica, you should also probably look out for what is happening right now.

    This new man has come in, pushing past the transvestite and that pale, hairless guy. And the transvestite (we'll call him Marshmallow, no need to be coy) looks nonplussed, his thoughts written across his face.

    Take 3 hold on Marshmallow, and you can spend that on read a person questions or on read a sitch questions, in any combination. If you do the latter, Marshmallow answers the questions to the best of his ability, and you do get the usual +1 bonus when acting on the responses.
  • Lemma, you've got it all off, mostly messily piled on the duty desk. Helmet on the floor. Roark and Kip are leaving you be. In fact, Roark is taking away a woman you don't offhand recognize, though you do recognize that the assault rifle she's carrying across her back is almost identical to the one you just probed at. Not nearly as fresh and new, but the same model.

    You hear tense words coming muffled from downstairs, where Marshmallow, Clarion, and the prisoner are. And Marco? You think Marco stormed through while you were occupied.
  • I'm visibly shaken, and I pause for a moment to catch my breath. Kip seems unoccupied, so I'll talk to him.

    "This stuff sure isn't from around here. Any ideas where she got it?"
  • "Well, no. No clue. A better question's where she came from. Regal says she just walked into the manufactory from thataway. [he thumbs a finger at the guts of the hulk] She had that stuff on her when she got here. Looks brand new, so I guess maybe someone's turned up a cache somewhere, though this is the first I've heard of it."
  • Posted By: Michael LoyTake 3 hold on Marshmallow, and you can spend that on read a person questionsoron read a sitch questions, in any combination. If you do the latter, Marshmallow answers the questions to the best of his ability, and you do get the usual +1 bonus when acting on the responses.
    Is this for me, or for Veronica?

    And oh yeah, I totally meant to answer what Veronica should be on the lookout for (and forgot when I retyped it last night).

    She should be on the lookout for me thinking she is anything but a non-threat. I owe her nothing right now, and I have no problem with ending her; she's almost more an object to me than a person at this point. If she's at all dangerous I won't hesitate. So she can either not be dangerous, or get me more attached.
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