[Ashen Snow] Red Rover, Red Rover [Ami 7.8]

edited January 2013 in In-Game
Amiette,

You gathered up quite a motley crew for the walk up to Red House. Trundlerock, Roark, Corbett, Spurlock and Whisper, (EDIT: and Lala, of course), plus the Pryer Five all head up to Red House. You're just coming up to the front door and there's Coo Coo and Gossamer standing guard. Gossamer is chatting with Tse Tse. You've seen Tse Tse before, but have you met her?

The place is busy, lots of gangers and a few of Alonzo's off-duty folks here spending the last of what they got on hookers and booze. Coo Coo nods, "Hey Ami."

What do you do?
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  • I smile genuinely. My half-brother never seems to want to acknowledge us as family, but maybe he will change his mind someday. On the other hand, maybe not. It is fortunate, I suppose, that we don't resemble each other a great deal.

    "Hello, Mr. Coo Coo, I do hope you're well."

    I glance and see Tse-Tse. As I told Alonzo, I haven't met her formally. She's avoided me as many do, but I've seen her. I know that Alonzo suspects her of stringing Crawly and compelling him to kill someone... someone important to Alonzo.

    I look at her for a moment. My eyes deader than the pearl she has in one of hers.

    "Hello, Miss Tse-tse"I say when their conversation pauses. "Please forgive my rudeness in introducing myself so abruptly but my dear friend, Mr. Crawly, told me I simply must meet you. He seemed to think we had common interests."

    And I'll reach though the smoke for her thoughts.

    Also, I assume Mr. Lala is still on me, per Norvell's orders?
  • Casual Brain Receptivity

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  • Holding 1 for the moment.
  • Gossamer and Coo Coo are well armed and a little wary now that you and your crew walked up, but hey, as long as you're paying customers, plus Big Daddy has courted you before, right?

    Tse Tse smiles widely when you address her. She abruptly ends her conversation with Gossamer and fully focuses on you, walking lightly over to stand inches away from you. You're taller than Bones, but still pretty short, right? Well, Tse Tse is right at your eye-level. She looks you in the eye with her good one and the pearl, not cocking her head to look with the one living eye, "You are simply glowing, Amiette."

    She talks in a light lilt, like reciting the lyrics of a song. She reaches up to touch your cheek, like you're a porcelain doll, "Crawley deserves thanks for sending you. My gods I could devour you. So pretty." Then she removes her hand, with a little regret, but observing propriety.
  • Glowing? I suppose I might be after the bath. I don't even shift my gaze but I consider that pearl. She doesn't act as if she's blind on that side. It makes me think she sees with it. Sees the smoke, I suspect, though I don't know how clearly. I remember my own vision fuzzing, seeing the smoke around things after the previous augury.

    Yes I am about an inch taller than bones. 5'3" or so.

    And when you say 'well armed' what does that mean, exactly?

    "What a lovely compliment indeed. You are most kind, but I'm afraid you exaggerate." I say demurely. "But since we have met, perhaps you might enlighten me on why Mr. Crawley would do something so terrible as he seems to have done recently."
  • Ah yes, well-armed, that equals some armor and assault rifles, a shotgun propped up against the wall, pistols and knives. Well-armed.

    Tse Tse purrs, obviously trying to unhinge you, "No, I tell what I see. I see the in and out of you, Delicious." She trails her fingers from your cheek to lightly rub her thumb across your bottom lip, "Crawley? The poor thing was in a spot. I told him an awful lie so he wouldn't run away. And now, he's in jail at the hold. So yay. Win for me."

    You can feel Roark's unease at this tete-a-tete. He clears his throat in an attempt to break it up.
  • I shudder a little at the touch, the intimacy of it. I'm sure she feels it. It seems so obvious to me that it's as if everyone sees it. Still! Even with my indiscriminate activities of the last week I'm still so hungry for touch that it gets to me terribly.

    Roark's throat clearing helps shake me. I step back, regaining my composure.

    "Really... Miss Tse-tse."

    What does she intend to do?

    "I'm afraid I have business which I can't delay any longer. Perhaps we'll continue this conversation another time. Good afternoon."

    I'll go into Red House, looking for Big Daddy.
  • Tse Tse intends to learn your secrets or get you out of the way so she can learn how Logic knows the Smoke so well.

    But for now, she moves out of your way and you can enter Red House. Coo Coo stops you, "For you, two guards."

    Besdies Lala, who do you bring inside with you?
  • edited February 2013
    "My apologies everyone... I will try to take care of this quickly. Mr. Spurlock, if you don't mind, would you come in with me as well?"
  • Spurlock and Lala enter Red House on either side of you. The place is very busy. Every ganger, thug, lowlife and worker from the Element who is doing something for the hold defense is here, trying to get one last game or one last screw in. Big Daddy is talking with a table full of men full of different gangs, a couple of Chigger's guys, a few from ShantyTown. He hasn't seen you.

    The piano isn't playing right now, looks like some Armory Boys are giving Calendar a rough time, she doesn't look pleased. It hasn't become violent, but there are more violent bastards than Red House staff, it could soon.

    You get a bunch of looks, but most of them pass you by once they recognize you, so you get a wide berth.

    What do you do?
  • Before I went in, I left my coat with Roark. I know that Winter uses her looks as something of a weapon. I'm not Winter but I'm pretty enough. So I'm in the red saree and my arms are bare.

    I try to keep my eye on Calendar. She is something of family, though I had been driven away before she really became my father's lover. Our relationship is... well ambiguous. I dont' know how she feels about me. The same, I suppose, as so many others. But I've always been thankful that she was able to give Papa some peace after I killed Mama.

    I attempt to approach Big Daddy at the table. As unobtrusivley, at first, as I can. Perhaps I will hear what they are discussing.
  • As you come closer, you overhear Big Daddy, speaking with a slight edge, like this is an argument he's offered but they are still fighting him, ... agree, Merry and Raven are peaches, fine women, both of them. But you've seen the line. I can't just give you cuts on your say-so, Tirade. Now, if you want to up the ante, so to speak, well, then I've got leverage to juggle things around. This is a business, after all."

    Then, a stranger with green hair on the left side of his head, the right side completely shaved and tattooed with what looks like circuitry, you'd guess Tirade, says, "What if I just kill everyone ahead of me in line? You can have all their jingle..."

    Big Daddy takes a second, shaking his head, "And turn my whorehouse to a slaughterhouse? Hell to the no. What about repeat business? Do you get that? C'mon Tirade, I'll let you have Chin. She's available. Let me get her for you. You can have her right here in the common room."

    You realize Big Daddy is turning around about now.
  • I feel cold inside and a surge of protectiveness. Raven is mine. I let this happen, and it's my fault that she ran back to this. Chin too, is sweet, and I dislike Big Daddy for using Raven's weakness against this... soul sucking life to enrich himself. Maybe for some it is tolerable but it's crushing Raven.

    As Big Daddy turns, another part of my brain is thinking about Winter and how she holds herself. She does it so effortlessly but it's like every move she makes reinforces her sensuality. I do my best to channel her without exaggerating too much. I don't want it to be parody, but I let it change my posture and way of moving into something less ethereal and more sensual. My delicate voice has more husk than usual.

    "Mr. Big Daddy, how nice to see you again." I look out over the others at the table. "Gentlemen, a pleasure." I return my eyes to him. "I am hoping you have a moment to discuss something important... in private."
  • Big Daddy sees you, then narrows his eyes for a second as he answers, "Amiette, doll, good to see you!" He reaches to put a hand on your shoulder, out of habit, then sort of notices he touched your bare skin and casually removes his hand as he looks at you again oddly. "That color looks really good on you, doll."

    He notices your guards, too, but he's slick. He starts to move towards the back, "I'm going to fetch Chin right now, you can come with if you like. Busy, busy, right now, not much time for chatting, I'm afraid."

    So you go with him, right? Sure, back to his back office, cramped little office and bedroom. Looks like he's even using his own bed to take on customers, there are a couple men going at it with a girl you maybe recognize from before, Searchlight. She's got dyed red hair, a bit of age on her, a bit of weight on her, but hey, it's the end of the world, these guys aren't so picky. So she's fake moaning and they're going at it.

    Big Daddy gives you an apologetic look, "No real privacy here, not today. I got a minute to chat before I need to scrounge up Chin from the back. Please, tell me you want to earn some quick jingle, make an old man's day, doll."
  • "Thank you." I reply to the compliment.

    I turn my eyes from the empty display, to fix them on him.

    "I doubt my reputation of late would increase my already limited appeal, and I have more urgent matters at the moment, I'm afraid. I need Raven to come with me."
  • "That's a tall order, Amiette. She's makin top dollar today," he says quickly. He heads over to the back, opens a door and calls for Chin. Then he comes back to you, "What are you offerin?" He stands there amidst the filth of his livelihood, waiting to hear what price you'll pay for one of his top earners.

    That little backdoor where he called for Chin, you see her come out. Her face is bruised, left eye black, lip split. She's looking at the floor, hasn't caught your eye.
  • edited February 2013
    My guards are here in his office or did they stay in the main room? And who does he have standing here as muscle? That one fellow?

    Either way I'm reaching out for his surface thoughts.
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  • edited February 2013
    "Chin! Oh my dear..." I step over to her quickly, lifting a chin with a finger and examining her face. "Oh, love, what monster has done this to you?" I turn to level a look and a raised eyebrow at Big Daddy.

    How can I get him to let me walk out of here with Raven and Chin?
  • edited February 2013
    He tried to get you and him alone, but Lala came in, insisted on it. He's leaning against the door. Big Daddy has no guard here.

    Chin looks up when you come to her. She's wearing a simple dress, like a child's sundress, bright colors, marred by a bloodstain from her dried-up nosebleed. As soon as you ask what happened, she looks down in shame, "My-my own fault, Amiette. I-I chickened out, he paid up front. My own fault Coop hit me." She looks back up at you, a world of hurt in her eyes.

    Big Daddy shakes his head, "You should see the other guy. Goss broke his arm, he won't be allowed back. If we weren't so short-handed, we would have stopped it. I pulled her out, even though it's costing me a ton."

    One of the two with Searchlight says, "Can y'all take it outside? It aint like we paid a discount for this action!" Big Daddy ignores him. Lala looks like he's counting how many bullets he could put in them right now.

    It's all about money to Big Daddy. 4-Barter for Raven, 2-Barter for Chin.
  • "Nonsense, dear. Hitting a woman he expected to... partake of is the act of a barbarian, no matter what he felt entitled to." I say it gently, drawing her against me for a moment. When we part, I return my attention to Big Daddy, but my arm remains around Chin's waist.

    "Your magnanimity abounds, sir, to sacrifice your profit for the welfare of your employee. But I am drawn away from my point... I need Miss Raven and MIss Chin immediately, to help me defend this valley from the doom which descends upon it, and that will crush Red House and all within it in it's turn. To put it bluntly, I am offering you survival in order to profit in the future."
  • Chin leans into you, even though she's normally taller, she seems smaller as she bends her head to lay on your shoulder.

    Big Daddy gives her a sympathetic look, a sort of half smile, then returns to you, "Amiette, you think I haven't faced an oncoming horde before? Folks told me the same thing when Domino came knocking and we weathered that. I'll abide. Red House is needed, folks need a little escape from this shithole. The Evaners look down their noses, but when nobody's looking, they're here paying for what we offer. I think I'll decline your offer, doll."

    He turns like he's going to head back out, saying, "Chin can go, for a future promise on what I'll lose for her absence, not much. But Raven, she owes me a great deal. I can't afford to let her go till tomorrow at the earliest."
  • edited February 2013
    I let go of Chin abruptly and move to cross his path, fixing him with my dead gaze. My voice getting strange and intense, almost harsh whisper, but loud.

    "I do not speak merely of the oncoming horde. This is far worse than Domino. If Harridan gets what he wants this entire valley will be laid waste as the world breaks anew. I have seen it. The tide of fire rock does not need your services. It will not stop for you, it will not bargin, it will only consume. You, Red House... the Element, everyone. What Raven owes you will be meaningless. Give her to me and we may yet avoid this fate."
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  • edited February 2013
    Big Daddy looks down at you, taken aback by your fire and determination. He looks at you, even reaching up to touch your bare shoulder. He says, almost gently, "Flesh for flesh. Leave me a man or two to help with security. Or after Harridan is gone, you come back for one day and work for me as my star girl."

    You hear Lala say quiet, "Don't, Ami."
  • edited February 2013
    I cannot spare any of those who came with me. I cannot afford to leave one mind out of the loop. Grekkor authorized his Pryers to help me with the augury, not this. Alonzo, similarly. And Lala is not mine to command.

    And Raven has sunk herself in this mess because I neglected her. How many men has she endured today alone? How many has Chin?

    I glance at Lala, then back to Big Daddy and take a breath, raising my chin.

    I nod.

    "One day."
  • Big Daddy leans down to kiss your cheek lightly and in a more lecherous tone than he intended, not trying to gloat, but it sounds that way, he says, "Good."

    He stands back up and says, "Chin, darling, get Bones to look you over when you get back. I'll send for Raven, she'll be down presently. I assume you don't have time for her to wash? She always does before she leaves, but well, you seem to be in a hurry. Let's leave my customers to finish up with Searchlight then." To which one of them replies something along the lines of "About time!"

    When you come back into the common room, Lala leans down to say, "If I could, I'd stay here for you. Why not ask one of the boys who came, Ami? You don't need to whore yourself out. This aint your style."

    True to his word, Big Daddy sets about getting Raven disentangled. The common room is still hopping with excitement. The piano music has just started. Calendar is playing a tune, her back to everyone, as usual.
  • edited February 2013
    I went back to Chin, taking her hand, and exiting to the common room. I look at Lala pointedly after he speaks. Does he not remember having sex with me? Of course that was my price, not his. It had been a dry spell.

    "I know you would, dear. But I cannot spare anyone from the antennae to stop Harridan. Short of hurting him that was the only option. Given the consequences of failure, it is not such an onerous price to pay. I will do whatever it takes to save the Element."
  • In a couple minutes, Raven appears coming out of her room upstairs. Her hair is a mess, she looks worn and a bit confused. She scans the common room below and sees you, then makes her way down the stairs in slow steps.

    Lala moves to the bottom of the stairs with you, to cut the distance of travel, reduce the chance of an altercation. The whole way down, Raven keeps stealing glances at you. She's on something, barely able to keep her eyes open. She stopped asking for any mental controls from you days ago, and with the danger involved, you were glad to stop. No more chances to hurt her.

    "Are we going home?" she mumbles when she comes close enough to fall into your embrace, taking the side opposite Chin, who still clings to you. Some of the men hoot and catcall, asking for more action, but I assume you make your way outside to your group.

    What do you do?
  • Yes, I guide her outside, meet up with the others and begin our walk back to Evan's.

    "Yes, back to the element, dearest." I say quietly. "I'm sorry I neglected you. You are not to go back to that place little Raven, not ever again, promise?" I look at Chin. "You either, dear."

    She's pretty seriously doped up, right?
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