>And we're back. Apologies for the delay, but I doubt anyone expects to come back to the family home to find it burgled.“Portable Summoning Circles!” one of the whitecoats cries in ecstatic triumph, mirroring the jubilant JJ’s own excited gesticulations, “And they told us it couldn’t be done! Ha ha!”Portable…?Well, that’d certainly explain what you just witnessed. It also tells you why JJ was late for lunch with his doting… what, foster mother? Sister? Maybe you should ask one of them about that some time, if only to sate your own curiosity.Part of you would like to go an let the kid know that Des is almost frantic in trying to find him, but another part of you is more than a little curious at what else the boy has in store. Then again, you suppose if there were more to be seen, you suppose that one of the other whitecoats would have calmed him and their fellow down for a next phase.With that thought in mind, you approach the team and give one of them a gentle nudge. The distinctly pencil-necked researcher whirls around, his brows knitting together in puzzlement as he registers the presence of someone who is almost certainly not meant to be here. When he speaks, it’s clear to hear that he’s a Jersey boy; that accent could not have hailed from anywhere else.“Who are you?”“Just a concerned citizen,” you say, injecting a trace of irony into your voice, “Is he finished?” you jerk your head in JJ’s direction, who has stopped jumping up and down in place and is playing with what looks like three more of the curious… porta-summons?Hrm.He blinks for a moment, uncomprehending, but understanding dawns on him soon enough as he rolls back the sleeve covering his left wrist to reveal a slim and unassuming-looking watch.“Ah,” he says, “Yes, I imagine Desdemona must be beside herself. Sorry, the boy came to us with a few designs a couple hours ago and we just had to try them out.”Your turn to blink now, and you wonder if your expression matches how stupefied you feel in that moment, “A few hours ago?”He nods, enthusiasm gripping him, “Oh yes, indeed. The boy has a remarkable talent--quite unlike anything I’ve ever so much as heard of. He came to us with a few schematics…” he trails off, biting his lip, “Well, okay, scribbles on paper really, but once we worked out what he was getting at, well, we just had to try it out.”Is that how funded science works? People just get ideas and put them into practice? You’d have thought there would be someone they’d have had to notify or clear it with at the very least.(Cont.)
>>3078679“We’re afforded a liberating degree of freedom here,” the man says, like he’d just read your mind. He couldn’t be a telepath, could he? “As long as the material requirements aren’t too high--and we record and report the results of any experimentation, obviously--we can do almost whatever we like down here,” he pauses, then adds, “Within reason.”“That’s… pretty neat.”Also a little worrying, but the place is still standing. So, surely nothing can have gone too poorly since they set up shop, right?>Inquire more into R&D--who heads it, how it’s run, any interesting projects going, etc.>You know what, Des was pretty worked up, just grab JJ and go meet up with her before she has a fit of some kind.
>>3078683We're back, baby!>You know what, Des was pretty worked up, just grab JJ and go meet up with her before she has a fit of some kind.We can probably come back later.
Meta post.Twit-two-ter: https://twitter.com/FrostyZippoArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Paranormal%20Agent%20QuestFirst thread because hue, tags: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2907129/And just a reminder that the OP art was done by the excellent Pixelfag.
>>3078683>>You know what, Des was pretty worked up, just grab JJ and go meet up with her before she has a fit of some kind.
>>3078683>You know what, Des was pretty worked up, just grab JJ and go meet up with her before she has a fit of some kind.Need food, get food. But must grab child and bring to woman before food.FOOD
>>3078683You’re tempted, for a moment, to quiz the man on what he does; what his department gets up to, but you decide it’s for another time. Des was really worried, after all, and while JJ’s clearly in no trouble of any kind, you don’t think it’d be a good idea to keep them separated for too much longer.With that in mind…“Hey, JJ!” you call.The boy whips around, his face a blend of puzzlement and curiosity as he takes you in. Clearly, of all those he expected to see here, you weren’t one. That’s fair.“Finish up what you’re doing, Des has been worrying herself sick looking for you.”He blinks and you can see the realisation clock as his eyes widen in panic. He really must have lost track of time judging by his reaction. He waves to catch the attention of the other whitecoats, all of whom--barring the one whose attention you caught--are all scribbling down notes on clipboards. He motions with both arms, jabbing at you and then the exit.“Oh, yes, of course, son,” says the man you presume is heading this particular experiment, “you can run along now. We’ll be trying a few more practical tests throughout the day. You’re more than welcome to jump back in.”The big toothy grin he offers is all the response the man needs, and he beams at the boy, “Outstanding. Now get on out before your mother has a fit,” he says with a chuckle.JJ flushes a shade darker but nods before jogging on over to you and practically dragging you out with him. His enthusiasm is infectious despite his inability to speak and you can’t help but grin along with him. You can already picture well in your head the utility that his little spark of genius will provide. Entire logistics could feasibly be carried out by one man or woman in moments. Provided, of course, that there aren’t any nasty surprises that tag along with the object in question.You exit R&D, Morgan seeing the two of you out, “Enjoy your lunch, my boy,” he says, his expression demure as he gives you a nod, “And yourself, too.”“Thanks for taking me to him,” you say. A thought then occurs to you and you peer over his shoulder, “Uh, your boss isn’t going to be upset about the whole...?”“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about her,” he says, waving a hand in dismissal, “Brilliant as she is, she is not overmuch blessed with a lengthy attention span. I’m sure she’s found some new problem or equation to fuss over.”“That so? Well then, thanks again for your help.”(Cont.)
>>3079026“Any time,” he says, before turning smartly on his heel and stepping back into the buzz of activity.“JJ!”Ah, perfect timing.You’ve barely turned around and Des has already scooped up the boy, who flails his arms around, face now truly aflush with embarrassment as the red-haired telepath cradles him like she’s afraid he’ll vanish if she releases him, “Ohhh I was so worried about you! I waited and waited and you didn’t come, so I looked around the canteen to see if you were there and you weren’t and--”Having known some rather… talkative women in your life, you tune out her babbling in relative short order, instead taking some enjoyment in the way her elfin features twist from almost blubbering concern to unadulterated joy at having been reunited with her ward. Yeah. That’s a much better look on her, you decide.Unfortunately, your stomach is utterly indifferent to the scene before you and voices its protestations loud and proud. The pair pause, glance at each other, and then turn their gazes on you.You clear your throat, “Sorry,” you say, “Kinda hungry.”“You can come sit with us,” Des tells you, “And I ain’t gonna take no for an answer.”JJ hesitates, but agrees with a nod.>It’s fine, really. You were kind of hoping to catch your team for some more of that good old ‘bonding’ stuff you’ve heard so much about.>Sure, you’ll sit with the cute redhead and the genius summoner.
>>3079029>Sure, you’ll sit with the cute redhead and the genius summoner.
>>3079029>>Sure, you’ll sit with the cute redhead and the genius summoner.
>>3079029>Sure, you’ll sit with the cute redhead and the genius summoner.Truly our team can be considered grown up enough to take their "frustrations" on eachother in a grown up manner right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?
>>3079029>>Sure, you’ll sit with the cute redhead and the genius summoner.>>3079038Be careful, who knows if some of our members are actually shapeshifters pretending to be older than they are?
>>3079029>Sure, you’ll sit with the cute redhead and the genius summoner.don't say that out loud. and hope she doesn't hear it in our head.
>>3079054>Be careful, who knows if some of our members are actually shapeshifters pretending to be older than they are?And then it turns out that everyone in the group except for us is really 10 years old. And the twist with this quest is that it's actually a wild interpretation of that KND show. But with 500% more spooky monsters instead of adults as the villains.
This seems like a pretty clear-cut choice to me. Update soon.
>>3079029You ponder the merits of hunting down your team and getting them to try some more of that whole ‘bonding’ thing that’s all the rage these days, but you dismiss the thought as quickly as it appears. They’re adults. Surely you can rely on them not to behave like they’re all in middle school while you’re not around, right?Secondly is that Des really looks like she means it when she says she won’t accept a ‘no’.Thirdly is that you still have a weakness for a pretty lady, and Desdemona Fox was nothing if not that. Part of you wonders if she doesn’t already know of this particular Achilles Heel, what with her gift.Deciding it doesn’t matter in the end, you affect a shrug and a sigh, “Looks like I’ve got no choice except to eat with you two.”“I knew you’d see it my way,” she chirps, having set JJ down and resting both hands on the youth’s shoulders, “Come on, then. Let’s get some eats.”You follow the Southerner and the boy back up to the canteen. You discover that Des is… wow, that is even more than Naru scooped on her tray. Curiously, you note that even JJ balks at the amount. A stress eater? You don’t see how she’s as thin as she is if that’s the case.Speaking of the short, Japanese woman, you spot her, along with Arnold and Diedrich, sat together on a table. They look like they’re playing… cards?You feel weirdly proud of them.“Tuck in,” Des says, tearing your attention from your team as she attacks her meal like it’s going to be her last.You and JJ share a look before getting down to your own food. Roast beef is the order of the day--tender and moist and oh-so-good, along with roast potatoes, gold and crisp and crunchy, and a modest pile of assorted boiled vegetables. All of it is, naturally, bathed in gravy, and it smells absolutely heavenly, proving with finality that the continued prowess of the catering team has been no fluke.“So,” Des pipes up in between mouthfuls, “I saw y’all come out of R&D.”JJ glances up at you, nodding towards the feasting young woman. You aren’t sure what he’s trying to tell you before it clicks.“Oh, yeah. JJ was giving the eggheads a hand. Came up with…” you trail off, wondering if maybe you shouldn’t just keep it a surprise.“Came up with what?”“You know what; you’ll find out soon, I think. It was pretty incredible, though.”“What was?” she says, “C’mon, tell me.”“It’d spoil the surprise,” you tease, spearing half a potato with your fork and popping it into your mouth, biting down and relishing the way the soft innards blends with the tang of the gravy.“Please?”You shake your head, looking pointedly away from her pouty face. You’re not certain you’d be able to resist.(Cont.)
>>3079255“Y’ain’t no fun,” she huffs, “You’re on my side though, JJ. Right?” JJ nods. Des beams and gives you a smug look. You roll your eyes at her, but can’t keep a grin off your face. There’s just something about her non-stop exuberance that seems to--hm, how to describe it? Infects? No. Permeates? Hmmm, good enough, you suppose--permeate the air around her. Simply being near her lifts your mood. In fact, you’ve not so much as contemplated your thoroughly undesirable overall situation once around her.Makes you wonder why someone so bright and sunny wound up here of all places and doing this of all things.“Say what, now?”Oops.“You want to know how I came to be here? Is that it?”“Forget it,” you tell her, “I didn’t realise I’d said that out loud.”JJ is squinting at you, looking back every few seconds between you and Des, suspicion writ upon his face.“Oh, it’s not a problem,” she says with a bright smile, “There really ain’t all that much to it if I’m honest.”...well, seeing how she’s offering.You motion for her to go ahead. JJ continues to squint but leans forward in his chair and gives Des his full attention, picking idly at his food in the meanwhile.“You see, I’ve known Grim since I was a little girl. Hell, he helped me realise my talent for telepathy.”“Really?” Now that was interesting.“Uh huh,” she nods, pausing to shovel more food into her mouth before washing it down with some juice and continuing, “My granddaddy and him were real great pals, so he said. And my daddy was his friend too.”“Right,” you say, nodding, “And your parents were…?”“Oh, my family’s been in banking since the days of the Frontier. My great-great grandpap moved to Louisiana just before the Civil War broke out and through all that happened since we’ve stayed ever since.”“Banking? That doesn’t sound very supernatural.”“That’s not what my daddy would say,” she giggles, “But naw, I get my talent from my ma’s side of the family. My gramgram came from a line of sorceresses who fled England way back in the Colonial era. Story ma told me is that my great-great-grandfather helped hide her from a lynch mob and...” she trails off and squeals, “It sounds like it must have been so romantic.”You cock an eyebrow. Yeah, the fear and adrenaline and trauma from having almost been hung by the ignorant masses must have made the whole ordeal positively picturesque. You keep your smart-mouthing to yourself, though, content to let Des fawn over her ancestry. Instead, you turn your thoughts to the old man who seems set to plague your every other waking moment.“So, you knew the old man?” you ask.“Yeah, since the day I could crawl, I think.”>What was he like?>Did he teach you anything as you were growing up?>Did he have anything to do with your being here today?>On second thoughts, let’s not pursue this topic.
>>3079261>>What was he like?
>>3079261>What was your most enjoyable moment with him that didn't involve magic or anything spooky?It was either this or asking if Grim ever taught her any self defense lessons.
>>3079261Yeah, backing >>3079283
>>3079261“What was he like?” the question is asked before you’re even aware you’ve said it.Des ponders for a moment, tapping her lips with a dainty finger, “I don’t reckon he was all that different to how he is now. He smiled a lot more, though. That I do know.”You can’t honestly say that you can ever picture the sour old git giving anything more than a sardonic smirk. Your dubiousness must be showing, because she giggles again, “It’s true,” she insists, “Every time he’d arrive, my grandpappy’d greet him and he’d have this kind old smile on his face. They’d give each other a hug and then they’d both share a drink on the veranda and just talk away and my daddy would join them.”“Huh,” you utter, bemused, “I guess even the old man had friends.”“Has,” Des corrected, “My grandfather ain’t spry as he was back in his heyday but he’s still alive and kicking. Same for my daddy.”“And what about you?” you ask, curiosity piqued.“Come again?”“You consider him a friend?”Now she looks thoughtful and, after a short pause, she nods, “Well, yeah, in a sense.”“So, you have good memories of him, then?”“Hmm, when I was learning my way through my family’s old books, he looked through them all with me; helped me make sense of them all. That was pretty good of him. Even helped me realise that I was a telepath--a damn good one at that,” she puffs out her less-than-modest chest, her pride all too obvious.“Anything that wasn’t to do with magic?” you ask with a wry grin.“Well…” she trails off, wracking through her memories, “There was this one time he helped me find my way out of the forest when a gaggle of Fae rolled into our neck of the woods.”“Anything that wasn’t to do with anything spooky at all?” while silently, if grudgingly, giving the old man your approval, if only in this instance. You’d never encountered them yourself, but stories of the Fae and their trickery were as plentiful as those telling of their malicious and sadistic hunger when said games were done.She pauses again, for much longer this time and, for a moment, you think she’s stumped.“I was real young,” she speaks up, softly, quietly. Not at all like the Desdemona Fox you’re already used to, “My parents were having an argument. I don’t remember what it was about, but it was bad. I thought for a moment that one of them might start hitting the other and I…” she sighs, “I didn’t want that. I tried to tell them but they both started yelling at me to go to my room. So I did.”(Cont.)
>>3079489JJ appears crestfallen in spite of the fact that his own short life has inarguably been infinitely worse that Des’ own has, and he sidles up closer and wraps a comforting arm around her. You observe the kid as he does so, and watch the way Des raises an arm to ruffle his curly charcoal hair. Not an ounce of resentment at the treatment, just love, and sorrow. What a good boy, you think, and find yourself surprised to discover that you actually mean it.Sometime, you’ll inquire as to the story of how they came to find and care for one another in such a fashion. Not now, though.“I was just crying my little eyes out. I didn’t want my parents to fight; tried to stop it and they screamed at me for it. I heard them screaming even louder after I’d gone; neither of them was quietening down any and I was getting so sick of it, I...” she pauses to sniff.“I never heard him come in. Didn’t know he was there until he put his hand on my shoulder and told me that it’d be all right--that the shouting was actually a good thing.”You raise an eyebrow.She chuckles, “Yeah, I thought so too. I told him that was the dumbest thing anyone had ever said. He told me that the shouting, the screaming and crying they were doing? Said that was all because they cared. I didn’t understand it, and I told him as much. He got this really sad look on his face and told me that the day my parents stopped shouting and having arguments ever was the day they’d given up on each other. I still didn’t understand it, but he told me I would in time.”She hums, “Then he asked if I wanted him to stay until I went to sleep. I told him I did. He held my hand in his big, blocky one until the shouting died down and I finally drifted off. He was still there when I woke up the next morning, and so were my parents.”A wistful expression comes over her and she rests her cheeks in her hands, propping her elbows up on the table, “I still don’t understand it today. Not completely, anyway. Maybe I will one day when I…” she stops.“Ah, look at me, getting myself and y’all all down in the dumps,” she says, plastering a smile on her face, “C’mon, finish up your grub. I’m sure we’ll find ourselves busy, busy, busy once we’ve finished eating. Always more to do in this big wide world of ours.”You sense that this particular line of discussion is over, and reopening it probably isn’t the best of plans. You and JJ share another look, and you give the boy a nod, which he returns. You’re more than a little surprised at the connection between her and the old man, but exploring any further it will evidently have to wait for another day.(Cont.)
>>3079491“Thanks for the company, Des,” you tell her, “JJ,” you give him another nod, “Don’t forget to show her what it is exactly you did down there,” winking, you pick yourself up and return your empty tray as Des calls after you, wondering what you’re referring to. You don’t give her a response.Your heart is almost stopped in your chest when you turn around and find that weird Russian woman standing scant centimetres from you. Iszoldi? Iszolda. That was it.“We are to gather in the Command Room,” she tells you--that fucking smile is still on her face. The one that doesn’t reach her stormcloud-grey eyes.“We?” you ask, getting a sinking feeling that you know exactly what’s coming next, and you don’t mean a--“We are sortieing on a mission.”Yeah. That.“Are you joining us?” you ask, already dreading the answer.“I am the last member of the team, yes,” she confirms. Peachy. A fresh dynamic to Arnold’s bluster, Diedrich’s standoffishness, Naru’s identity crisis (of sorts) and your not-so-secret reservations regarding everything: creepiness. Great. Just great.“I don’t suppose you caught what it was about?” you ask, partly for a change of topic. She still hasn’t moved away. Not that she’s ugly or anything--far from, but that smile just feels all kinds of wrong. It’s not even a big or wide smile. A little thing, like she’s heard some small but amusing joke that only she is privy to.“I think I overheard something about...”>A branch of the British Military attempting to summon Fae on the English coastline.>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.>A vanished Japanese Battalion in Burma.>Whacked as all shit and I'm back to work today so I'll be taking off here for some shuteye, but I'll post the next update as soon as I'm up and about. Thanks for bearing with me through the delays and thanks again for taking part. Take care folks!
>>3079496>>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.I swear if we're going to enter a threeway fight with those Thule or Church agents...Either way, we're probably going to need some holy relics.
>>3079496>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.Did someone say drifting in a Kubelwagon? I do believe that someone said drifting in in a Kubelwagon!
>>3079496>>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.
>>3079496>>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.I'm glad I never caught a burglar in the act or the result would have been me ending up in a straightjacket.
>>3079496>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.Hon hon and all that. Doubt we'll get any time to see the sights, though.
>>3079496>The sighting of a demon in the South of France.
Neato. Vote called.
>>3079496“A demon sighting in the South of France.”And just like that, your blood becomes ice water.“A demon…”“In the South of France, yes. This is what I said,” the Russian cocks her head, looking quizzically up at you, “Are you hard of hearing?”You swallow what feels like the mother of all lumps in your throat, “I don’t suppose there was anything else they mentioned?” maybe something not related to an otherworldly hellspawn roaming around an occupied nation?“Just that your presence and those of the others is required immediately.”You can’t help but think of that one file you read down in the Archives. An entire team all but slaughtered to a man by demons. But wait, there’s a ray of hope: they were up against a summoning. A demon implies singular, which hopefully equates to being much easier to bring down.The thought is only slightly mollifying, however, as you’ve heard many a horror story regarding these visitors from another plane even before now.“Okay,” you sigh, “I’ll go grab them.”You trudge on over, feeling rather than seeing Iszolda follow you. She might as well, a bitter voice in your head snarks, it’s her team now, after all.“Fold,” Naru spits in disgust, tossing a hand onto the table.“Same,” Arnold grouses, setting his own hand down. Diedrich smirks, triumphant as he reveals his own hand… a Three of Hearts and an Ace of Spades to match up against a Jack of Clubs, Five of Hearts, and a King and Seven of Diamonds. Wow.“Son of a bitch,” Arnold bites, “Yer know ‘ow t’turn a bluff, Jerry, I’ll give yer that much.”Diedrich shrugs and scoops up his winnings: a packet of roasted peanuts and a cigarette lighter, along with a few mixed coins. You raise an eyebrow; truly this ranked among the highest of stakes. It’s the German who notices you first.“What is it?” he asks, noticing the snowy-haired woman behind him with not a little trepidation.The other two turn to face you as well.“Awright, guv?” Arnold greets.“Hey,” Naru grunts in a most unladylike fashion.“We’re requested,” you tell them, deciding just to lay it out straight.“For…?” Naru inquires.“An operation,” the Russian answers for you.“And you are…?” Naru asks the other woman.“Iszolda Romanova,” she states. Naru’s brow knits together, almost like she recognises the name, “I will be joining you from here on.”The reaction is one of muted acceptance from the two men. Naru, on the other hand, is muttering to herself in puzzlement, “Romanova… Romanova. I know that name from somewhere.”“We should be going,” Iszolda says, ignoring your shorter teammate, “I was told that time was of utmost importance.”Slightly peeved that no one allowed you to get a word in yourself at all, you shrug, “As she says. Come on, guys and girls. Let’s get going.”(Cont.)
>>3080309The three grudgingly pick themselves up from the table, Diedrich working quickly to dump his earnings into a pocket before either Naru, Arnold or someone else can think to swipe them. Together, you make the brief journey into Control, which is just as much a hive of activity as the last time you saw it. There’s definitely been some headway into making it more than just a few rows of tables and machinery, though. Some more permanent fixtures have been placed; and already specialists crowd around them as other machines print off what you can only assume are various readings and data. The marquee, however, is still up, and still it lends more of a DIY feel than that of a secret society of monster hunters.You also notice that the people here are a little more thinly-dressed. Then you notice the warmth. Oh yeah, you remember Des’ telepathic PSA not long after you woke up. They must have got it running, and you shrug off your coat, folding it over an arm. Feels nice not having to worry about catching cold in your new abode.Pushing aside the thick plastic roll of the entrance to the marquee, you are, of course, greeted to the sight of Grim, who speaks in a hushed voice to the other woman you met yesterday: Rook? No, Rowe. Rowe. Among those also present is Zafi; still disturbingly beautiful and shapely as all get out. Still effectively brainwashed you.That’s going to take some time getting over. She gives you a wink as you all enter, and you can’t help flaring your nostrils in aggravation.Grim turns around as though he expected you to enter that very moment. Maybe he did. Even after what Des revealed to you, you’re having serious difficulty picturing him as anything other than this conniving old fossil who will do whatever it takes to get his way. The idea that it was a long time ago is discarded as irrelevant by your smouldering dislike of the man for dragging you into this.“So, boss,” you say, “What’s the story?”He launches into it without any preamble, “A demon was sighted in Nice, South France. I have a direct account from an eyewitness I hold in some regard and she would not have sent this my way if she was not absolutely certain of what she saw.”“Did she see what type it was?”“Only an Imp, but as I’m sure you’re all aware, these are usually the heralds of greater and more powerful creatures to come.”You suppress the urge to swallow. So much for an ‘easy’ demon-slaying.“Any idea who the dumbass was that brought it over here?” Naru asks.“None,” Grim shakes his head, “it was spotted ascending the Tower of St. François, whereupon it vanished into the night. These beasts can hardly resist the urge to slaughter for very long, though, so if we can’t at least prevent such a thing from occuring, we can at least mitigate the damage and, discover where exactly the rent in reality is to close it down before anything more makes its way through.”(Cont.)
>>3080310“South of France is occupied by the Wehrmacht, right?” you glance at Zafi to try and gauge her reaction. None whatsoever. Either she genuinely doesn’t care or she’s extremely good at hiding her own thoughts on the matter. You aren’t sure which you think is more likely, “Is that going to cause us any issues?”Grim inhales through the nose. You’d almost think he was… dissatisfied.“Our position with Germany as a whole is still up in the air. Since they sent over Mr Drescher here, we have had no further contact from them despite prompting. Tread cautiously around them. The war that has eclipsed Europe and the Pacific is not our own, but that doesn’t necessarily mean others won’t see it as such. Be discreet.”“You want me to hide from my own countrymen? My brothers-in-arms?” Diedrich sounds particularly offended.“I didn’t say hide, Mr Drescher,” Grim tells him, fixing him with a look. You think you’ll start calling it The Look; the flat stare that feels like he’s digging through the contents of your very soul and not thinking an awful lot of what he’s finding. “If you have friends in the area that you are absolutely one hundred percent sure you can rely on then, by all means, make use of them.”“Sensin’ a ‘but’ here,” Arnold murmurs, folding his thick arms across his barrel chest.Grim turns his gaze upon the hulking Briton, who actually wilts a fraction, “Nothing I can verify with absolute certainty as of yet, and you will have your hands full tracking the demon. Be cautious around the occupiers. That goes for the scattered Resistance as well; they will almost certainly attempt to drag you into their struggle. Understandable, but such would almost surely disrupt our own objective: the finding and neutralising of the demon.“Are there any other questions?” he asks.>Yeah (write-in)>No, you’re ready to go. As much as you’ll ever be, anyway.
>>3080311>No, you’re ready to go. As much as you’ll ever be, anyway.
>>3080311>>No, you’re ready to go. As much as you’ll ever be, anyway.
>>3080311>No, you’re ready to go. As much as you’ll ever be, anyway.It really wouldn't hurt to get our hands on local and occupation weapons to lessen the pain of ammo loss.Now I really wonder if we'll ever be able to hijack a Panzer II or III.
>>3082491If we do 'borrow' a tank, we better decorate it with enough religious iconography, and douse the whole damn thing with Holy Water to make the Imperium proud. Maybe throw in some special ammunition as well.
>>3082511I wonder if we can make some holy oil so we don't make the metal rust.
>>3082528Well, some well known anointing oils have always been Myrrh, Sweet cinnamon, Cassia, Olive Oil.I'd probably go for olive oil due to the relative availability.
>>3082544I'm down for it. It also probably wouldn't hurt to get a Priest on a paycheck or something.
>>3082558>>3082544Hell, even a local priest could do the job. Though I'd be more wary of some super secret Knights Templar organization stealing our mark.
>>3082491If we're desperate, we could always try looting a French tank though it probably won't be my first choice
>>3082615Yeah I'd rather jack a Kubelwagon than a French Tonk. Lord only knows how slower they can get than normal when the spooky shit is about.
Wow, discussion, I'm only sorry I missed it.Wwwwwritan.
>>3080311Go to France. Locate horrifically lethal devil-beast. Slay horrifically lethal devil-beast. Don’t get caught by the occupiers. Don’t get dragged into anything by the Resistance.Simple enough.“I guess we’re good to go,” you say, suppressing the urge to sigh at what your life has become. Again.“One last thing,” Grim says, “Zafi will be going with you all.”Biting back the ‘no’ takes serious effort on your part. Hell, you think you’ve actually drawn blood from your lip.“Fine,” you say, sounding almost like you’re attempting to sing in falsetto, “Yeah. Why not.”The others give you funny looks (except Iszolda, who just smiles that weird smile). Rowe, however, seems less than amused.“Your team is still greener than what I had for dinner last night,” the much older woman says. Where is that tinge in her accent from? You want to say Eastern European, “And given where you’re all headed, I’d think Zafi’s knowledge of the local language would be more than a little useful.”“I won’t get in the way,” she says, demure and all affectation. Arnold raises an eyebrow, and you can see his eyes running across her curves. Diedrich and Naru have more sense, and regard her with wary expressions like she’s a fox that’s just slunk into their living room. Iszolda doesn’t seem to think anything of her, not even glancing in the French woman’s direction.“Fine, let’s just get this underway.”“That’s the spirit,” says Rowe.And just like that, your briefing is done, and you’re on your way to the armoury. The as yet unnamed Lakota running the show greets you with a gruff nod, “Heard you’re going devil-hunting.”Word travels quick here, it seems.“I’d suggest you not take the Balefire rounds,” he carries on, without waiting for you to respond, “Does nothing on good days to the fucking things. Worse than nothing on the bad days.”“What could be worse than nothing?” you can’t help but ask.“The healing bullshit kind of worse.”Yeah. That sounds worse.“Fortunately for you,” he continues, “the eggheads cooked up a new line last week and they made it ready today. Might come in handy but, as ever, it’s up to you and yours.”You can’t help but wonder when exactly they became ‘yours’, before glancing over your options. Obviously you don’t want to go walking around loaded for a full-on firefight. That’d draw all the wrong kind of attention. Whatever you pick is going to have be concealable.(Cont.)
>>3083512>(As stated above, anything you pick will be sufficiently fudged so as to be concealable. I’ll just have to do some wiki-magic to find something suitable, unless one of you fine anons has a suggestion.)>Medium-close: Short-barreled carbine.>Close: Submachine gun>Danger Close: Sawn-off ShotgunAnd choice of special ammunition:>Vorpal Rounds: Bullets that penetrate the target and warp to another dimension inside of it, literally ripping chunks of its guts out along with it. Perfect for the individual who wants his targets to stay down.>Tracker Rounds: Fire a single shot. If it lands, all further shots until the magazine/feed is empty will home in on the location of the first shot, arcing around cover to do so. First-shot tracking round can be deactivated with a spark of power--which is as easy for you as blinking--just in case you miss. A fine choice for those who maybe aren’t the most consistent shots.>(NEW) Auger Rounds: Cover? I hardly know ‘er. These augmented rounds will phase through solid cover like it isn’t even there to strike your foes. Perfect for urban combat.
>>3083514>Medium-close: Short-barreled carbine."The farther I am from the hell-beast the better.">Tracker Rounds: Fire a single shot. If it lands, all further shots until the magazine/feed is empty will home in on the location of the first shot, arcing around cover to do so. First-shot tracking round can be deactivated with a spark of power--which is as easy for you as blinking--just in case you miss. A fine choice for those who maybe aren’t the most consistent shots.
>>3083514>unless one of you fine anons has a suggestionUzi in a stomach holster with a coat or baggy sweater over it, fake beer belly concealing a weapon, you name it.
>>3083514>>Medium-close: Short-barreled carbine.the De Lisle carbine comes to mind>>Tracker Rounds: Fire a single shot. If it lands, all further shots until the magazine/feed is empty will home in on the location of the first shot, arcing around cover to do so. First-shot tracking round can be deactivated with a spark of power--which is as easy for you as blinking--just in case you miss. A fine choice for those who maybe aren’t the most consistent shots.Just in case the demon is a tricky bastard
>>3083514>Close: Submachine gun>Tracker Rounds: Fire a single shot. If it lands, all further shots until the magazine/feed is empty will home in on the location of the first shot, arcing around cover to do so. First-shot tracking round can be deactivated with a spark of power--which is as easy for you as blinking--just in case you miss. A fine choice for those who maybe aren’t the most consistent shots.This thing is going to be moving around a lot, Auger Rounds are asking for collateral, and while vorpal rounds would do LOTS of damage, they'll do lots of damage to WHATEVER we hit.Question for the Tracker Rounds, does the next round turn into the tracking round if the first is de-activated? That's important to know.
>>3083514>Close: Submachine gunSuppression is always a good thing ladies and gentlemen, I'm thinking an MP-40 since we can grab ammo and it won't be extremely suspicious as to why there's 9mm shells lying everywhere. Granted there would be some measure of suspicion but at least the locals won't realize that there's someone else on the mainland.>Tracker RoundsWe're hunting demons, if I had my way I'd ask one of the other members starts packing the Vorpal Rounds so we'll have a sure fire way of killing shit right off the bat that doesn't die fast enough.
I think we should also consider the types of ammunition readily available on the field (read: looting) which would most likely be german or french stuff.I am not opposed to getting some Italian submachine guns though
>>3084488I highly agree. We're going to be in war torn Europe and We can't afford to simply sling around guns with ammo not readily available in those parts.I don't have a strong preference towards Italian guns during WW2, but I can respect someone who loves them.
>>3084530Just wait until we head to the places under Japanese occupation. Imagine trying to get the correct cartridges for the right weapons when there's such a huge rift between Army and Navy that they use different stuff to deter stealing from each other.
>>3084655Yeah naw, at that point We may as well grab a longbow and ride on Arnold's back like some kind of Psudo-Mongolian Archer that survived the Kamikaze and wanted to keep on conquering.
>>3084677Yeah, at that point, I'd rather take a cold iron or silver sword than pack a fucking Nambu.
Rolled 1 (1d2)Hmm, two and two for weapon choice. I guess we'll have a roll off for it.1 - Carbine2 - SMG
>>3084838I think Uzi was meant for SMG. But I will live with carbine if it's locked in.
>>3083514You fish out a rather curiously-shaped short-barreled firearm. It has a wooden frame with a rather more thickened barrel than some of the other weapons you’ve seen in this place. A bolt sits unassuming above the trigger. You mull on your choice and are about to set it back in place and check out something else when you hear the Armourer interject.“That there’s a new piece from England. I gotta tell you, I ain’t fond of the Limeys, but that there is a slice of weird genius. It’ll help you jack shit in a close-up firefight, but I’ll tell you straight up that past 50 or so yards, you ain’t gonna hear it so much as cough. Less than that with all the work yours truly has put into it.”“It’s silent?”“About as close as you’re ever gonna get with a firearm. Our own internal testing post-modification puts any audible noise at no closer than thirty-five yards. You could fire that thing from the rooftop in a crowded city and unless they were directly below you, no one’d noticed a damn thing. Add to the fact that it fires .45 rounds and this thing can do some serious wrecking before anyone even knows their dumb asses are being shot at.”That’s a pretty convincing argument. Coupled with your preferred usage of illusioncraft…“I think I’ll take it,” you say with a nod of your head. The Armourer grunts but doesn’t congratulate you on a fine choice like you were half-expecting him to. Grouchy bastard. As for special party tricks, these Tracker rounds sound like they’d be worth a pick--something that’s prowling about a French city will likely be small and nimble, and provided you can at least tag the thing with a shot…Actually…“A little burst of power lights the chambered shot up,” the Armourer explains, noticing you hovering over your selection, “Provided you hit what you’re aiming at, the little runes we’ve engraved onto each bullet will store the power and act as a kind of beacon for the rest of the magazine. All you need to do to switch the tracking from the previously discharged round to the next one in the chamber is to give it another power charge. Not a big one either; the kind you probably learned to do when you were starting out and figuring how it all worked.”“Huh. So it’s like flicking a switch, almost?”The Armourer thinks for a moment, his face scrunched up in thought, and nods, “Kinda, yeah. One your mind instead of your finger, but yeah, that’s a way of putting it.”“Neat,” you glance down and scoop up a couple magazines-worth of the specialised ammunition before a thought occurs to you.“Wait… so you’re telling me that every one of these bullets has a runic engraving on it?”“Yup.”The amount of time that must have taken, especially considering the copious quantity of stock already present--and no doubt also stored elsewhere--is… wow.(Cont.)
>>3085280“Don’t waste your shots,” is all the guy says before turning back to whatever it was he was up to before you all walked in. Concealing the gun is not a particularly difficult task; it’ll be a little uncomfortable, but your tan coat will hide it well enough that you won’t stick out to anyone passing by.Arnold picks another shotgun; a similar model to the one he picked for the Pacific venture, only with a much shorter barrel--probably sawn off. He scoops up two great handfuls-worth of Vorpal shells. You can only imagine the carnage that would wreak if someone was caught with that. Diedrich takes what you’re pretty sure is a German weapon; a stumpy but assuredly lethal submachine gun. Naru fishes out a shorter-looking version of the same weapon she carried in the Pacific, whatever works for her, you suppose.You glance over to the last two members of your troupe; the two women. Neither of them appears to have taken anything, though you catch a glimpse of the Russian, Iszolda, slipping a handgun int--well, okay, avert thine eyes, gentleman. That was rather a lot more than you were expecting to see on your first meeting (technically speaking).Glancing over to see what the Frenchwoman is up to, you find her eyes locked on you, a knowing, sly smirk on her face. If you were a few years younger, you’d have coloured and turned away. You aren’t, though, so you hold her gaze until one of her perfectly-maintained eyebrows quirks and she turns to observe the rest of your team. You pocket a handgun yourself, an American model, if you recall correctly, or at least, one you’ve seen plenty of times in the hands of various less-than-savoury types back home.Once you’re kitted out, you make the journey to what you think you’ll start calling the Chamber of Removal, being it ‘removes’ you from the facility to wherever it is you need to get to. On the way, you look about the figures of your team. Arnold seems ready to go, and a part of you wonders if he doesn’t actually look forward to this in some way, which is a little worrisome in of itself. Diedrich is the very model of ‘stiff-assed German’, walking like he has a steel pole in place of his spine. Naru looks just as wary as you feel, albeit more twitchy. Iszolda is… completely unreadable. Her expression, posture, body language; not a thing to give you even a hint as to what she makes of all of this or how she feels.“So, how are you feeling?” Zafi asks suddenly, having sidled up next to you as you pace the significantly warmer steel corridors now that the heating wards are in place and active.>Like I’ve still been co-opted into a fight I never wanted to be part of.>I’m on my way TOWARDS a literal hellspawn instead of the other direction. I’m feeling fantastic.>[Silence]>Vulnerable.
>>3085286>>3085286>I’m on my way TOWARDS a literal hellspawnMakes me wonder if some God or Devil out there just loves playing with me.
>>3085286>>I’m on my way TOWARDS a literal hellspawn instead of the other direction. I’m feeling fantastic.
>>3085286>I’m on my way TOWARDS a literal hellspawn instead of the other direction. I’m feeling fantastic.
>>3085286>[Silence]What is there to say really? I'm pretty sure that she's heard it all before from other rookies in the past.
>>3085286“I’m heading towards a literal hellspawn instead of in the other direction. I’m goddamn fantastic,” you shoot her a look, “What exactly did you expect me to say?”Zafi shrugs, “One can never be entirely certain. I thought maybe you’d surprise me.”“Sorry to disappoint,” you grunt at her, decidedly not sorry in the slightest.She sighs, “I’ve already given you my apology. I told you that you aren’t going to get another.”“What, more would be too disingenuous or something?”“Yes, actually.”You almost stop, “When we met in that club, all I wanted was a little fun. If it led to something: fantastic. If not: not a massive deal, it’s not like that was my only haunt.”“Fun? Whilst disguised as another person entirely?” she arches an eyebrow at you, “And then rearranging my memories once the fun was over?”“No,” you bite, but it’s a limp retort at best, and both of you know it. “Look, hell...” you rack your brain for what you could say, “I’ve done some real dirtbag things, but I’ve never messed with anyone’s head to get what I want.”“Did you not hear me point out the memory modification? Even if it wasn’t used in the same capacity as my Charm, that is hardly much different.”You’re about to snap back at her, but you’ve arrived at your destination. A large summoning circle has been painted on the stone floor, and you’re directed to stand in the centre. It occurs to you that these things must need to be erased and re-painted for each different destination, unless what limited knowledge you have of the art is entirely incorrect. You can well imagine it to be tedious work, which must why both of the men on the outside look so sour.“So, once we arrive,” Zafi says, as the two summoners begin to mutter and chant. The edge of the circle begins to glow a dull red, like a slab of metal held in a furnace, “I recommend we search out Grim’s friend in the city. She will almost certainly have a better understanding of the circumstances of the locals than we do over here.”“Does that mean you’re in charge?” Arnold queries.“Non,” she says, a playful smile on her face, “He is.”It’s with only dull surprise that you realise she's jerked her head in your direction.>Fine.>Why don’t you lead, seeing how you’re obviously the more experienced agent?
>>3086639>Why don’t you lead, seeing how you’re obviously the more experienced agent?
>>3086639>Fine. As much as I love bitching, less bitchy more shooty
>>3086639>>3086639>And why exactly am I being picked leader for this mission when I barely survived my first to begin with? Wouldn't it make more sense to let the most experienced member lead?
>>3078679op did you draw this
>>3087638>>3078700>And just a reminder that the OP art was done by the excellent Pixelfag.
I have to wonder how pulpy this is going to get by the end before the splitting of the atom.
>>3088237I kinda hope we'll adopt Not-Hellboy.
>>3088237>>3088363I'm looking forward to fighting SS Werewolf Women in diesel powered mech-suits, and meeting Fu Manchu who kinda looks like Nicolas Cage for some reason
>>3088370I wanna fight a Mummy.And I want the QMC to be kidnapped by the Mummy so that we can play as one of the other characters to go on a rescue mission.
>>3088363I'm also good for recruiting a teenage looking vampire lady, or some sort of supernatural monster willing to ally with us temporarily for a mutual goal.
>>3088398>some sort of supernatural monster willing to ally with us temporarily for a mutual goal.Calling it now, We're gonna be stranded and wounded on the Eastern Front during a winter storm and we come across Baba Yaga and her Chicken Legged Hut, and for allowing us to take shelter and being nursed back to health we're going to have to go on an extremely strange errand for her as a way of accepting payment.One example is finding all the people involved with Project Manhattan and getting their "signatures". Could be a literal signature, could be a piece of flesh or cloth worn by them, but it has to be of them or from them.The place you meet Baba Yaga again is at ground zero of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.It is an example after all, could be simple as just giving up a memento that we held onto.
>>3086639“So, I barely survive my first mission with a bunch of people I’ve never met before,” you say, completely deadpan, “And you’re giving me leadership when you are clearly more experienced at this.”“I’m here in much the same capacity as dear Nathaniel was for your first adventure: observation and perhaps the odd slice of guidance. You cannot be babysat forever, Adam, and besides, this was not my decision. It was Grim’s.”You could bitch and whine and moan but, as ever, the choice has already been made for you. Nothing for it now except to try and make the best of it.“Fine,” you say, following a slow inhale through the noise and will yourself to calm down as much as you’re able to. It’s… difficult. On top of the added stress of trying to keep your own worthless hide alive, you’re now going to get pinned for anyone who bites it on this venture as well.“You took that rather better than I thought you might,” Zafi muses, “There is hope for you yet.”“Ha ha ha, anyone else got anything smart to say before we go?”Arnold grins and shakes his head. You get a “Whatever,” from Naru, and Diedrich bites the inside of his lip but says nothing. Iszolda just… smiles.“Great. Fantasic. So, then, I’m pretty sure I know what you’re all capable of, but let’s all get it out here and share with the rest of the class. You first, Arnie.”Arnold rolls his shoulders and says, “Precognition. Only in me eyes, though, so it only works based on what I can actually see in front’o me.”“You next, big gal,” you move on to Naru, who gives you the evils but gives you the goods, “Curses and hexes. All that fun stuff. I can do some basic glamour too, but only for me.”“What about you, Dee? What’s your power?”He looks very uncomfortable, “I--”“Don’t embarrass yourself, I’ll do it for you: you’re powerless. Yeah, I figured it out,” you tell him when he looks at you with not a little shock. The others--even Zafi, you note with curiosity--snap their heads around to regard him with curiosity. “I don’t know why you’re here, but you are, so you’ll just have to grin and bear with it like the rest of us for the time being.”You turn your gaze onto what is hopefully the last new addition to your team, you don’t think you can handle any more personalities, “So, new girl, what’s your schtick?”“Ice,” she says as if that explains it all. She then inclines her head a fraction, considering, “Some scrying.”Creepy magic for creepy lady. It all fits like a well-tailored suit.“And last, but not least...” you finish, coming to Zafi.She gives you all a lopsided grin before giving you--fucking hell that is an entire laundry list of things she’s capable of. From Charms to Clairvoyence, Kinesis, Wind, Water, Earth… and that’s just for starters.“How has your head not exploded?!” Naru gapes.(Cont.)
>>3088496You’re wondering a lot, lot more than that. Most multi-practitioners, yourself included, choose a main practice, and then no more than a handful of others to take in at a basic to moderate level. The reason is because of what Mages call ‘Ley veins’ (which has always struck you as a damn silly name, but there it is) in the body simply do not allow for it. Magical power permeates the air around you, but taking on a discipline is like writing a page in a diary--once it’s there, it’s there. It can’t be unmade, and the space it takes up is permanent. Some lucky assholes born with a set of Ley veins with more capacity than others can maybe squeeze out an extra practice or two but the skill level would have to be only basic at most. Try and take any extra on and, well, Naru gave you one example of what could happen.It’s for this reason that no one’s seen a race of uber-mages conquering entire nations on their ownsome. Turns out attempting to unlock the mysteries of the universe comes with its own brand of bureaucratic red tape. This one is lethal, though.Diedrich is the only one uncomprehending, his gaze flitting back between the assorted shocked faces (Iszolda has even stopped smiling!) and Zafi herself.“That’s good for us, though, yes?” he asks, hesitantly.“Well, yeah,” says Naru, uncertainty clouding her voice, “But...”You see Arnold swallowing and making the sign of the cross over his thick chest.“If I may ask,” you say, starting slow, trying to keep your voice as steady as you conceivably can, “...how?”“The circumstances are long and complicated to explain,” Zafi says, idly brushing a lock of hair from her face, “And we have time for none of it.”You don’t like it one bit, but you suppose she’s right.“Okay,” you mutter, “But we’ll be talking about this later.”“Buy me another drink and I may consider it,” she smirks.You’re not sure if there’s even a bar in this place. Not one you’ve seen, anyway. So you opt for a noncommittal shrug just as the chanting reaches a crescendo.“Eyes shut,” you manage to shout just in the nick of time. Everyone does so, and once again, you go through the motions of being reduced to your base components before having them flung violently through a cheese grater. The travel time doesn’t last longer than an instant, and yet in that same instant, you feel as though you may have gone through an aeon of torment that your body remembers only fleetingly, like waking up from a horrendous nightmare.Summoning: useful, but damned if it isn’t nauseous. You guess you’ve got JJ to thank that it isn’t worse.
>>3088497The distinctive aroma of saltwater is about the only thing that is instantly familiar to you. The rest… not so much. Where’s the dull undertone of sweat from a teeming press of humanity? The reek of burning gas? The distant rattle of running trains? The constant clatter of a hundred feet pressing against concrete as a thousand people just go about their daily lives?You open your eyes.You’re in what looks like the attic of an old, and not especially well-maintained house. Probably the kind that looks as though its owner only takes just enough care of it to avoid having to call a tradesman to fix it up. Hopefully that also means no one is going to come snooping around. You can only imagine the stink it would raise if they found a pentagram painted on the floor.Movement draws your attention to the corner of the attic where a middle-aged man sits in a leather armchair, an unlit cigarette in one hand, pot-bellied and with thick, dark hair in the process of greying. He regards you with a neutral expression, entirely unsurprised at the way six people have just materialised into his attic.“This is one of a few safehouses we have here in this city,” he states without preamble in good English, albeit with a very thick accent, “We had a couple more but the occupiers have turned a few over in their hunt for the Reisistance. I’ll give you the locations once you’re all settled in, just in case.”He pauses to pick up a lighter, but he doesn’t light his cigarette yet, instead continuing, “I’ll warn you now that the city is in lockdown. Gruesome murders all over town that the Nazis are blaming on the Resistance and the Resistance are blaming on SS kill teams. I assume you’re here about that?”“Something like that,” you nod. A humourless grin splits the man’s face.“Curfew starts in just under an hour and a half. If you want to investigate past then, you’d better have a damn good disguise. Unless one of you has--”A snap of your fingers and a pulse of ethereal power and your appearance changes to that of a gaunt-faced man in a dazzling white suit. Another snap and you revert back to your original look. The man cocks an eyebrow, “All right, I can see you have that covered, at least. I hope a few more of you know the trick too or you’ll have some difficulty getting anything done past certain hours. Word to the wise: avoid the Jardin Albert-ler; an SS Major likes to haunt the area. Nasty piece of work. Same for the old club deeper into the city: L’Amour; the Resistance uses it often as a hideout.”“Right, thanks,” you say, “Anything else?”He gives you a wry grin, “Welcome to Nice, friends.”With that, he lights his cigarette and picks himself out of his chair, plodding down a row of stairs at the end of the attic.Right, so…
>>3088499>Zafi, you said you had a lead from the old man himself?>Gruesome murders? Sounds like our otherworldly visitor. Let’s check those out first.>We’re not doing anything until we get a proper lay of the land.
>>3088502>Zafi, you said you had a lead from the old man himself?
>>3088502>>Zafi, you said you had a lead from the old man himself?
>>3088406>Zafi, you said you had a lead from the old man himself?
>>3088502>Zafi, you said you had a lead from the old man himself?>Also do you know or know of someone that has experience with the Patrol routes? I wouldn't want us to get caught with our pants down in the middle of the street at the worst possible moment.
>>3088502>Zafi, you said you had a lead from the old man himself?>Dei, you were German military, could you predict patrol routes with a proper layout?
Vote done. Writing.
>>3088502“Zafi, you said you had a lead straight from the old man himself?”“I did,” she nods, “Am I to assume we’ll be following up on that first?”“This lady friend of his is the one who called it in. You said it yourself: she’ll have a better idea of where we might find the thing. Or where it first appeared.”She nods approvingly, “Find the rift, close the rift. Good choice.”You return the nod, “I assume you’ve got something that might help with that?”“I might,” she says with another sly grin.“Good. Then let’s get the locations of these other safe houses and get on our way.”It’s at that moment that Des reminds you of her particular role as her voice pops into your (and presumably, everyone else’s) head.Just letting you know that the telepathic network is all set up on this end. Just think of the person you want to talk to and you’ll do it. Simple! she bubbles. You don’t think you’ll get used to that anytime soon, though you don’t doubt that it’s an invaluable method of communication, particularly for this kind of work.Well, unless you come across an ancient magic-disrupting crystal forged by something old and bowel-clenchingly terrible.Testing, you ponder, thinking of everyone present in your little team. All of them, save Zafi, react immediately, turning--or spinning in Diedrich’s case--in your direction.“Well, at least we know that works,” you say with a grin.“Bet that’ll come in ‘andy,” Arnold muses. You don’t doubt for a moment, though you wonder how well Diedrich will take all this. He already seems deathly pale, and again, you find yourself puzzled at just how someone with no obvious experience in dealing with any of this found himself in an organisation comprised entirely of mystics and mages.You suppose you’ll just have to resign yourself to keeping a special eye on him. If (or when) he does snap, you can’t imagine that it’ll happen at anything less than the worst possible time.Naru, you broadcast, this time exclusively to the shortest member of your team. It takes her a moment to work up a response.Yeah? What?Keep a watch out for our German buddy.Why me?I don’t trust Arnold not to get a kick out of anything bad that happens to him. I don’t think he’d do anything himself, but...Uh huh. All right, fine. I’ll hold his hand. Want me to change his diapers, too?You chuckle and shake your head, severing the link between the two of you.“What is it?” asks Iszolda.“Just a joke I reminded myself of. I’ll share it later once we get back.”Your party makes its way downstairs into a dimly lit upstairs hallway. Two closed doors sit opposite another at one end, whilst an open door just to your right greets you with the sight of an ill-kept bathroom. You can’t help wrinkling your nose up at it. The state of it is just atrocious.(Cont.)
>>3090292“Are you about ready to head out?” comes the older man’s voice from below.You give your team a shared glance and jerk your head towards the open bathroom door, “We’re not stopping for potty breaks.”“I’m good.”“No thank you.”“Non.”“You cannot be serious.”“Suit y’selves,” says Arnold, who lumbers on past and shuts the door behind him. You hear Diedrich mutter something distinctly unflattering in German and silence him with a look. International rivalries later. Demon-hunting now.You step downstairs whilst Arnie sorts out his own business, finding yourself in a much brighter front lounge. A table is set up next to an old, worn couch, upon which lies a map of the city. The as yet unnamed owner of this particular safehouse looks up at you as you all descend.“Ah, good. I’d just got this set up. Aside from this house that we occupy just here…” he points to a marked spot on the south-east district of the city. Worryingly, you note that you’re only a stones throw away from the place that this SS Major supposedly hangs out in, “We have four other safe houses throughout the city. You’ll find them here, here, and here,” he points to three more locations marked on the map. They cover a sufficiently wide spread, one to the north, another to the west, and the last two are close to the city centre, in fact, perhaps no more than a few minutes walk from the other.“If you’re going to be investigating murders, I’d--”“We’re going to be looking for Beatrice,” Zafi tells him.“Beatrice?” the old man glances up at her in surprise. The expression shifts into one of consideration, and he nods, “Well, I suppose that makes sense. You’ll find her hanging about the Gambetta district. Due west of here. Try the restaurants; she does love her food.”“Thank you,” says the Frenchwoman as you ponder over the map. Frowning, you realise that due west takes you right through the place you were warned to stay away from.The housekeeper catches your expression and waves a hand, “I know, I know. You’ll have to take a detour. I’m afraid I can’t help you on routes. The Germans are starting to pass things over to their swine friends, the Italians, and all of the patrol route layouts that I’m familiar with are an utter mess because of it. The upside is that you’ll find the Italians generally more agreeable to deal with than the Germans. Lazier, too,” he adds with a smirk.“Right,” you murmur, pondering. A thought springs to mind and you turn to Diedrich, “Hey, Dee, I don’t suppose you’re familiar at all with patrol patterns at all?”He looks offended that you’ve even asked the question, though you aren’t sure if it’s because he thinks you believe he won’t know, or at the idea he might have to give up an oh so important doctrine of his beloved homeland. Reluctantly, he folds his arms across his chest and shakes his head.(Cont.)
>>3090294“I wouldn’t know where to begin with these Italienisch. The handful of times I have fought alongside them only baffled me further as to how their own war machine functions,” he scoffs, “Both times I was convinced that, were it not for us, they would flounder and perish like the weakling power they are.”“Careful there, Dee,” you warn, “You heard the old man; this thing that’s going on outside our own boundaries ain’t our war. Not anymore.”He meets your gaze, but can only do so for a moment before he looks away. You suppress another frown. Yeah, there is no conceivable way that anything can go wrong here.“All right,” you intone, “Let’s get this show on the road. What does this Beatrice look like?”A sudden flash appears in your mind: a portly old woman with short, silvery hair, a pair of well-worn sandals on her feet, and the mournful look of those who have suffered deep and irreparable loss.“There,” says Zafi, “You all know.”That’s… pretty useful, actually. You wonder if you could do something similar, given a few moments. Nah, later.“Useful,” Iszolda says, repeating your own thoughts, “Shall we go, now?”You can’t think of any reason to stick around. Only way forward now is to decide how you’ll proceed through the city streets. Clustering together with such a disparate crew seems like a good way to get the wrong kind of attention--Naru, especially, will stand out. Glamour and illusioncraft, then, is going to be key here. Fortunately, you’re talented enough in this particular field to feel pretty damn confident about keeping all of you disguised even from a sufficient distance away--you managed it just fine back in the Pacific, after all.You decide...>Not to split the party.>To split the party into two groups of three.
Argh, I hate the idea of splitting parties, it usually ends with people going missing or dead.Especially since some of the team might not know either German or Italian.>>3090295>To split the party into two groups of three.
>>3090295>>To split the party into two groups of three.We'll meet back in a few.
>>3090295>To split the party into three groups of two.The patrols will look out for any group bigger than that.
>>3090295>To split the party into two groups of three.
>>3090295>>To split the party into two groups of three.
>>3090295>To split the party into two groups of three.Preferably into teams of us, Arnie and Iszolda so we can disguise 'em and then Naru, Zafi and Diedrich as they can handle it without our illusions.
>>3090295“We’ll attract too much attention if we all head out in one group, even if I glamoured us all up. I don’t like it, but we’ll have to split up,” you tell the others.“It makes sense,” says the new girl. Thank you for your input.“Yeah, except how many of us can speak French, German or Italian?” Naru says, grimacing. “Kinda puts us in an awkward place if we get flagged down by a patrol at all.”“I can speak all of those,” says Zafi.“Of course you can,” you can’t help but mutter under your breath, then raise the volume as you add, “I can speak pretty decent German, but not a lot of French.”A muffled flushing from upstairs tells you that Arnold must have finished relieving himself, and scant moments later you hear him plod on down, the stairs creaking beneath his not inconsiderable bulk, he sees you all cloistered around the table with the map and cocks his head in quizzical fashion, “Wozzis?”“Good, you’re back. We’re going to be splitting into two smaller teams of three. I don’t suppose you know French, German or Italian at all?”He frowns, and you’re about to move on when he launches into a tirade of… French? You are entirely too busy looking stupefied to take any satisfaction in Zafi’s complete surprise. Arnold finishes and glances about you all, “What?”“That’s pretty good,” the house keeper nods in approval.He shrugs, “Figured it’d ‘elp if I ever wanted t’impress a French bird.”Of course.(Cont.)
>>3093393You sweep your gaze across the rest of your team, “I don’t suppose anyone else has any hidden talents they want to share?”Tragically, they don’t. So all that’s left for you to do now is to sort out the teams, as Zafi isn’t willing to help out on that front. You settle upon taking Iszolda and Arnold for your own team, as your knowledge of German and the big Brit’s surprising knowledge of the local language, coupled with your illusioncraft will help see you through any potential encounters. Iszolda is coming along mostly because you don’t know her and want your eye on her. She hasn’t left you with the best impression so far, though, granted, she may yet have surprises of her own in store. The scrying could also come in handy, though you aren’t sure how, yet.That, of course, leaves Zafi, Naru and Diedrich in team two. While you aren’t exactly trustful of Zafi, you’re certain you can rely on her to stick to the mission. Her entirely inexplicable assortment of spells will assuredly be a boon to them--provided, of course, that she wasn’t lying, though damned if you can figure out a reason for her to--and you feel pretty confident that Naru will keep an eye on Diedrich. Servicemen (or servicewomen, in this instance) tend to be of a certain breed from what you’ve observed and you’re pretty sure Naru is one of them. She’ll carry out her little side job. Diedrich, you’re less certain of but, should he take leave of his senses, he’ll have two mages breathing down his neck and him without any kind of meaningful countermeasure.As satisfied as you can reasonably be with the compositions, you assign everyone and get ready to head out. The only“We won’t head out all at once,” you tell Zafi, “Whoever leaves first, the next team will leave a few minutes before following on.”“Why?” Naru asks, “Why don’t we all just--”“Because,” Diedrich interjects, “the fact that other safe houses have been compromised might suggest that my--the Wehrmacht or the SS are keeping tabs on others--possibly even this one. For one large group to leave a house under observation will be noted, I guarantee it.”“Thank you,” you say to the German, pleased by his reasoning, which is exactly in line with your own, “For exactly the reasons Diedrich just stated, we’ll head out in smaller groups. Maybe it’s just me being paranoiad, but why take the risk?”The others, save Zafi--no doubt experienced in such matters already--nod along, grasping the logic.“So, which team’ll be goin’ first then, boss?” Arnold asks you.>Mine will.>The second team will.
>Speaks French so fluently that it takes the token french girl off kilterAnd Arnold continues to be the best man of this quest.>>3093394>Mine will. Since if worst comes to worst and we get caught with our pants down, we'll at least be able to slug our way out fast or provide a decent distraction for the second team to jump the problem we're in.
>>3093394>Mine will.>>3093492Sound reasoning.
Afraid there won't be a post today. My family's taking me out for my birthday party in a half hour and I'm not sure when exactly I'll get back. If I am back early enough, however, I'll try and push through an update. If not, updates will resume tomorrow morning. Sorry again, and thanks for bearing with it. Guess I'll call the vote here, too.
>>3095086That's not something to apologize about. Happy Birthday Frosty!
>>3093394“Ours will,” you decide, beckoning for Arnold and Iszolda to hustle up, “We’ll start our own search and, hopefully, we’ll all get to meet up whenever we find this Beatrice person.”“If I may suggest: try the south of the district,” the housekeeper--you really do need to ask his name before you go--chimes in, “She tends to wander around the coastline after she’s had a meal. Reminds her of… better times.”You hum and nod, “Thanks for the advice. Anything else, Mr...?”“Arnaud, and no. Be wary for patrols; they are still ongoing, even if the Italians have endeavoured to make a ballsup of it,” he says, and you can’t help but feel a twinge of amusement as you glance back to Arnold. If your larger companion makes anything of the curious likeness in name, though, he doesn’t show it.Spoilsport.“Right, thanks. We’ll set off, then,” you turn to Zafi, “How long before we can reasonably expect to see you and yours, then?”“We’ll give it a half hour before following on,” Zafi says, “That should be enough time for any potential observer’s attention to have wavered enough for an opening.”“Okay,” you guess that’s that, then.Time to go to work.You open the front door, but not before glamming up the three of you to appear like perfectly generic-looking locals. As you step out the door, you hear Zafi suggest to Naru that she fix her appearance before they leave.“What? What’s wr--oh. Yeah.”And then the door’s shut and you’re out on the streets of an unfamiliar town with only a vague idea of the direction you want to go.Feels a little like your first day out back home.The distinctive aroma of saltwater isn’t overwhelming, but it’s difficult to ignore. Hell, if you were up for a paddle, the beach is hardly a few minutes walk away. You imagine it must be very picturesque in the summertime when the crowds swell.Overhead, the overcast evening sky paints the city in a grim light as street lamps flicker like a hundred little signal lights. You know better than to think they’ll lead you anywhere you want or need to go, but the childish temptation to try lingers in the back of your mind. Briefly, you recall the first time you tried such a thing in your childhood; dad had been furious with worry when he’d finally discovered you some hours later.No dad to find you if you get lost now... “Is there something we are waiting for?” Iszolda asks, and you realise sheepishly that you’ve done everything except shift her voice. A quick thought, and it any noise she makes will now fit her masculine appearance.“No,” you tell her, and carry on. There’s hardly any traffic; vehicular or otherwise. In a place this big, it feels… wrong. Those that are present have their heads down and grimacing, twitchy expressions. Back home, that would denote a life spent in one of the seedier neighbourhoods where drawing attention was liable to get you mugged.(Cont.)
>>3098305You guess this, then, is your first proper look at the consequence of losing a war. A city run by those not cut of its own cloth. You try to picture your own home in a similar state and… can’t.“Eyes up, boss,” you hear Arnold murmur, and a quick scan reveals two German soldiers, rifles slung over their shoulders, chatting merrily away in German. Typically, the conversation is about girls. Specifically of the merits of the homegrown versus the local kind. You and your two teammates keep your eyes averted and your heads down as they pass without incident. So far, so good.You come up to a street corner. There’s no cars about so none of you need bother checking the road for oncoming traffic, crossing over without issue.“I don’t like this,” Arnold mutters, “This many buildings; ‘ow many hundreds of thousands of blokes an’ birds d’yer think live ‘ere? An’ ‘ow many of those d’yer think we actually passed? A couple here’n there?”“We’ve only barely left the safehouse,” Iszolda reminds him, speaking softly so as not to be heard, “Besides, the quiet is nice. Lets me hear myself think.”Well, there’s something you’ve learned about your new addition, if nothing else. Arnold, however, continues to press the topic.“Lemme tell you: in London, you can’t take two steps outside yer ‘ome without almost crunchin’ into someone. That was before Jerry started bombin’ the place t’shit, mind, but still,” he looks around, “Place ain’t been touched. I’d not think there was even a war goin’ on, except for them two goons we passed earlier.”>Arnold's right. It’s weird, and you don’t like it.>Oddly, you actually don’t mind the quiet for a change.>You guess foreign occupation will do that to a place. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.>Also, 1d100.
Rolled 77 (1d100)>>3098307>You guess foreign occupation will do that to a place. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.
Rolled 56 (1d100)>>3098307>You guess foreign occupation will do that to a place. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>3098307>You guess foreign occupation will do that to a place. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.
Rolled 29 (1d100)>>3098307>>You guess foreign occupation will do that to a place. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.
Rolled 98 (1d100)>>3098307>You guess foreign occupation will do that to a place. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.
Right, so I realised that I kind of dropped the ball a little with the dice prompt. The idea for this particular roll is that there's no success/failure tied to it so high/low doesn't really matter. What I intended was for the first three rolls to be added up, div'd and the result would, well, result in one of two encounters depending on whether it was odds or evens.>but QM why didn't you just take the first roll only if that's what you were doing here?Because I like making life needlessly complicated for myself, that's why.Just some context to iron out any potential confusion that may have ensued.
>>3101363Will endeavour to make it known what exactly you're rolling for in the future. Sorry again.Also vote called and writing.
>>3098307“I guess a foreign occupation will do that to a city,” you suggest. Arnold grumbles inanely while Iszolda lapses into silence again.“Also,” you add, “if it’s not suitable to be spoken aloud...” You don’t say it; think it, you send to both of them over your telepathic link. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for trouble.As you wish, replies Iszolda.Arnold merely grunts, but does visibly make more an effort to scan your surroundings. The man isn’t exactly subtle about it so you give him a nudge and another thought and he eases up a fraction. You round another corner, passing a pair of dour-looking Frenchmen who trudge past you with hardly a backwards glance, too busy staring down at the concrete with all the dullard emptiness of the beaten and the downtrodden.Remember, you think to the others, The easiest way not to get caught is not to--“Good evening.”A voice stops all three of you cold. The voice is unmistakably German in origin and even out of the corner of your eye, you see Arnold stiffen.You turn around to see a fairly rotund man, blond of hair with a pair of spectacles perched along a strong, aquiline nose. He wears a dazzling white greatcoat over his unmistakably German uniform that seems to shine even in the fading light of day and a serpentine grin splits his face as though he’s privy to some great joke that only he knows the punchline to. The German stands with arms akimbo, exuding an oily confidence as though it is his sovereign right to stand where he does before you. You shiver, and the dry chill of winter has absolutely nothing to do with it.Throughout your life, you developed a rather uncanny knack for judging people; which are more likely to try to skin you alive if you’re caught cheating at cards; which would be more susceptible to a suggestion and maybe part with a few dollars because of said suggestion. It’s a skill you had to develop or risk going hungry and starving, which was, of course, never an option.This German--almost certainly one of the occupiers, knowing your luck--is trouble with a capital ‘T’. Everything that makes up your very being doesn’t cry so much as screams it. Were it not for the fact that doing so may blow your cover (and leave your two teammates to the wolves, so to speak) you’d have already ducked into the closest available backalley and vanished.“Ah, but where are my manners, interrupting three friends on their evening stroll? Come back from work, hm? Off to find a drink? A fine meal? Some company from the fairer sex?” he waggles his eyebrows, “A risky proposition, especially with curfew in place in an hour and a half’s time. Not to mention these ghastly murders,” He speaks in German, hence your understanding of what he’s saying, but he snaps his fingers, ah-ing in realisation and begins speaking in French instead as you all turn to face him.(Cont.)
>>3101413What’s he saying? you send to your only means of translation. Arnold clenches his jaw before giving you the rundown. One advantage of communicating at the speed of thought is that it's communicating at the speed of thought. There's hardly any delay between the German's spoken words and Arnold's translation.Says he’s sorry fer interruptin’ our evenin’ plans and for introducin’ ‘imself in German when we probly couldn’t understand it. Wants to know what three folk e’s never seen before in this part’o town are up to... he slows down as he finishes translating, giving you a distinctively uncomfortable look. You swallow.It can’t be anyone else. This has to be the Major that Arnaud referred to earlier.>Fuck it. That he’s singled you out specifically means he knows something is up. Maybe you can try to explain and hope that he’ll be understanding.>Grim told you not to get caught. There’s no guarantee whatsoever that this man won’t bring you in if you try and explain your purpose. You have to try and convince him that you’re noone suspicious.>Surprise attack! (TN??)
>>3101415> ExplainHave Arnold say that we’re friends of his from the eastern part of Alsence-Loraine (forgot the actual spelling but it would explain why Mc knows German) and we had plans to visit Paris that were made before the war started and this is the first chance we had to meet up since then. Also ask which parts of the city we should avoid entirely as we’re completely harmless tourists.
>>3101415>>Grim told you not to get caught. There’s no guarantee whatsoever that this man won’t bring you in if you try and explain your purpose. You have to try and convince him that you’re noone suspicious.>>3101513has an interesting cover story, let's try it
>>3101415>Grim told you not to get caught. There’s no guarantee whatsoever that this man won’t bring you in if you try and explain your purpose. You have to try and convince him that you’re noone suspicious.
>>3101513It's crazy enough to work.Supporting
Rolled 7 + 10 (1d100 + 10)Calling the vote and wrrrriting.
>>3101415You suppress the urge to gulp, racking your brain for any kind of explanation that won’t land you in a cell under guard. There’s got to be something you can use. Anything. Think back to the papers, Adam, you know you’ve read something you can--You’ve got it.You’ll need to be fast, Arnold. Repeat what I say to you as soon as I say it.Got a plan for this, then?These two are friends of mine, you send, which Arnold mercifully repeats, or at least you assume he is, We all come from the eastern territory of Alsace-Lorraine and we had plans to visit Paris but then the war broke out and my friends were waylaid. This is the first time we’ve been able to see each other in a long time and we decided to come here instead where it’s a little warmer.The Major’s face affects an air of delight, and he rattles off more French, glancing between each of you as he does so.He seems to be buyin’ that we’re tourists. Asks if any of us know any German, seein’ as we grew up near the border.“I speak a little,” you respond, and his gaze snaps immediately to you.“Ah, so you do speak the tongue of the Reich! Marvellous! You must be so pleased to be once more under the protective wing of a German government, yes?”“It’s… different, yes,” you say.“Different? Yes, I imagine it would be. After dining on French food much of your lives only to have the menus upturned, it must have been quite a shock to your systems,” the Major shrugs, that oily grin still plastered across his face, “Ah, but what is life if not a series of upheavals throughout one’s time? We undergo change after change and we may adapt and overcome or remain as we were and fade into obscurity and irrelevance.”You and the others share a glance, unsure as to where this may be going.“This is a time of particular change--both for myself and the world itself. I’m sure you’ve already noticed that there is a war going on, so I won’t bore you with the details, but here?” he spreads his arms and takes a deep breath, as if inhaling the very air around him gives him strength, “I have always loved France. Its storied history; its people; its food; the architecture--Paris, I must say, was fascinating, I’m sure you’ll all love it when you finally get there someday. But, there is something about the coastline that has always sung to me like the call of a siren.”Great. He’s a talker. Either he’s going to go on for minute upon minute, or he’s building up to a point, and you’re not convinced you’ll like what said point ends up being.(Cont.)
>>3103640“My father was a fisherman, you see. We lived just on the outskirts of Hamburg and each time he would venture into the North Sea, I would beg and beg for him to take me. He would say no, but I would wear him down. I always wore him down in the end. My mother, of course, was not so keen, but I was young and adventurous and, despite the economic climate, we were happy. Were it not for the events of one such excursion, I may have ended up joining the Kriegsmarine instead.”You get a sinking feeling in your gut as you ask, “And what happened on this excursion?”He doesn’t answer immediately. Indeed, his vision glazes over as he relives, presumably, this distant memory. It only takes a moment for it to pass, however, and he’s back in the realm of reality once more to grace you with the sound of his voice.“Well, it’s a silly story. Childish, really--to be expected considering my tender age, of course, but even so. Suffice to say, though, that the end result was that my view of the world broadened significantly. I needed to do more. To be more. And so, after much work, here I am, enjoying the sights and, as the Americans might say: ‘Living it up.’”He pauses to regard the three of you again and, for a split-second, you think you see his expression sour, his grin waver.Did any of you catch that? you hear Iszolda ask.Catch what? replies Arnold.Yeah. I did, you tell her. Good to know that your weird Russian teammate has a pair of sharp eyes, at least.The Major shoves his hands into the pockets of his white coat, the grin returning in force as if nothing had been wrong, “Well, I won’t keep you from your sightseeing, my friends. Do enjoy your stay, keep out of trouble, and if any of you should spot or hear anything suspicious or at all related to these simply awful murders, I am currently bedded in the Hotel Rossetti. Auf wiedersehen.”And like that, he spins on his heel and saunters off in the opposite direction, leaving the three of you visibly confused (and yourself feeling more than a little relieved).(Cont.)
>>3103643Thank fuck fer that, Arnold summarises your own thoughts.Yes. I did not like him, Iszolda agrees, He was… creepy.You give her a flat stare that she doesn’t catch before shrugging and moving on, but not before you decide to give Zafi a quick warning.Zafi, we were stopped by that SS Major that Arnaud was talking about. He didn’t seem to want anything, but I find it a little weird that we bump into him as soon as we leave the safehouse. It might be a good idea to delay your exit just in case the house is under observation.That’s unfortunate, she says, and sounds like she means it too, You are sure that you’ll be all right on your own for a while longer?Yeah. We’ll carry on and keep our heads down. I’ll let you know if we find the lady we’re looking for.Please do. Be safe.You aren’t sure how to respond to that surprisingly earnest request, so you don’t. Instead, you turn your attentions back to the sparsely populated street you found yourself in before that weird little encounter and carry on with your search.>1d100 again. This time, higher IS better.
Rolled 54 (1d100)>>3103644WE'RE JUST TOURISTS! IGNORE US!
Rolled 50 (1d100)>>3103644
Rolled 82 (1d100)>>3103644Smile and wave.
>>3103644Despite your decidedly non committal response to your companions’ micro-argument earlier, you have to admit, if privately, that the lack of activity from such a large city is disconcerting. A part of you rationalises it as being wholly unused to seeing such spaces be so uncrowded, having come from one of the busiest places you could grow up. The lack of human contact is not something you’ve become used to, nor indeed something you think you’ll ever get used to.You come across only one more patrol, this one distinctly Italian in flavour, all of whom simply ignore you as you pass by each other, which you’re all grateful for. It seems Arnaud had it on the money, at least where that particular mob was concerned.Eventually, you find yourself in what a local tells you is, indeed, the Gambetta district. Thanking whatever merciful deity provided one of you with fluent knowledge of the local language, you press onto the coastline where you’re informed the best restaurants--those that are still open, anyway--are located.The scent is, putting it mildly, divine.Even with the occupiers no doubt hogging the best of the local resources for themselves, you find yourself marvelling at how some of these people can continue to eat so well. You can smell grilling meat, smoked meat, boiling and roasting potatoes, steamed vegetables and the ever so heavenly odour of freshly baked bread.Were it not for the fact that there’s a demon murdering its way through the city somewhere, you’d have quite fancied it as a vacation spot.You wonder if you even get vacation time.Probably not.You think she’s in one of these places? Iszolda ponders.Best lead we have, you respond.Maybe we should check out that one on th’corner over there? Arnold suggests, nodding towards a cozy little number with subdued but comfortable lighting. It’s a tempting idea, even if the rumbling of his gut betrays his ulterior motives. To be quite honest, though, you’re feeling more than a little peckish yourself.Fine, you decide, giving in. Maybe we can ask anyone inside if they know where we can narrow the search down.“Nice,” Arnold says aloud, rubbing his hands together in glee. Then he pauses, “Wait… d’yer ‘ave any French cash on you?”The only response either yourself or Iszolda have for him is a blank stare.“So, that a yes?”You ignore him, deciding you may as well see if you can get some answers even if you can’t get something down you. Shame, too.(Cont.)
>>3105912Your opinion shifts as you enter. The lush interior practically screams fine dining with its exquisite decor and you’re suddenly glad none of you has any local currency on you, as whatever paltry amount you’d have scraped together surely wouldn’t have been able to cover the cost of a meal here. You’re surprised that such a place isn’t shut down with how expensive it must be to run, or that it’s relatively empty and not crawling with occupying soldiers. The only other patrons seem to be a young couple sitting off to one side, speaking in hushed tones and three old, grouchy men, who Arnold informs you are complaining most loudly about the occupation.Dangerous business that, seeing how anyone could waltz in and overhear, but not ultimately your problem.A tired looking waiter regards you all with curiosity as he approaches you and, presumably, asks if you’d like to be seated.Tell him we’re looking for someone called Beatrice. An old woman; probably late fifties to early sixties. Kind of big.Arnold relays your words and instantly the waiter tenses up. He’s frightened, you realise immediately and, more to the point, he knows something. Nervousness would be granted if three men he’d never seen before asked about a particular individual. This is a lot, lot more than mere nerves.I think we’ve got something here, you send to the other two, suppressing the urge to grin in case it sets the waiter bolting for an exit. Even now the poor bastard is sweating bullets, and the wrong thing said here may well lose you an easier way of finding the lady.>Pretend that you’re agents of the occupation and demand the information you need.>Explain that you’re not here to cause a mess, but it’s vital you speak to her regarding the bizarre murder spree.>Say that you’re members of the French Resistance and Beatrice has information they require.
>>3105913>Explain that you’re not here to cause a mess, but it’s vital you speak to her regarding the bizarre murder spree.
>>3105913>Explain that you’re not here to cause a mess, but it’s vital you speak to her regarding the bizarre murder spree.Could we add on that we're investigators brought in quietly if asked who we are?Also pretending that we're German agents or members of the French Resistance is a surefire way of shit going WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too damn wrong. Gotta keep some honesty and relevance with our identities so the lies don't get too far out of whack and bite us in the ass.
>>3105913>>Explain that you’re not here to cause a mess, but it’s vital you speak to her regarding the bizarre murder spree.
Just a heads up that I should be able to push an update out this evening too, as a job I was initially assigned to has been cancelled.>>3105913You have to be quick and you have to get the waiter to calm down before he runs. For a brief moment you consider lying about who you are. The idea is discarded almost immediately. If he should, in fact, be associated with either the French Resistance or any of the occupation forces, your bluff will get called pretty early which may spook him even more.Arnold, you need to tell him, as calmly as you can, that we’re not here to cause anyone any trouble and that we just need to speak to the old woman.Your colleague relays your message. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to calm him down any and he rattles off in his own native tongue, eyes darting between the three of you like a cornered rodent. It’s only now that you notice how young he looks--the guy can’t be older than eighteen at most.Says ‘e don’t believe us and that we should leave the old bird alone. Also says ‘e’ll sic the boss on us if we don’t go now.He’s aware that if we were associated with the Germans then that wouldn’t matter at all, right?He is scared for Beatrice, Iszolda notes redundantly, Too scared to be just anyone. I think they’re family.How do you figure? you ask.I am well acquainted with this kind of fear.You’re half-tempted to ask if she means feeling it or inflicting it, but ultimately decide to keep your barbed comment to yourself. There really isn’t any call for it just because she happens to rub you the wrong way just a little.Arnold, try to impress upon him the urgency of our situation. Tell him it has to do with the freak murders that are cropping up all over town--we’re here to put an end to them and Beatrice may have a lead or some information we could use to gain us a lead.He does so, and is greeted by markedly more subdued chattering.He’s still not completely buyin’ it, Arnold informs you, Wonderin’ what we could possibly know about ‘em or how t’stop ‘em.You grind your teeth in frustration, racking your brain for a way to break this weird goddamned deadlock.>If he knows who she is, he likely knows where she is, too, and he’ll likely try to warn her that there’s trouble coming for her. Break off and follow him when he leaves.>Try one final time to persuade him that you genuinely mean no harm.
>>3108038He's too sucked up in his own fear to want to be convinced otherwise. The only real other answer would be to "ask" for his boss or break off and start tailing the boyo back to her house.
>>3108038>Try one final time to persuade him that you genuinely mean no harm.
>>3108038>>Try one final time to persuade him that you genuinely mean no harm.
Vote called and writing.
>>3108038You feel like you’re driving your head against a brick wall, but you tell Arnold to try one last time to try and get the idiot to calm down and try and think with a clearer head. He’s assuming the worst and his creeping panic is almost surely going to drive him to take a drastic and decidedly dumb action. If he runs and gets himself taken in, you’ll find it a lot harder to get what you need from him.Arnold, I don’t care what you need to say to the guy, but you need to get him to believe we’re not here to break the old woman’s legs or take her off to parts unknown.Only so many ways I can say it, and he’s hearin’ but he ain’t believin’.You’re cursing your lack of understanding of the French language more than a little at this moment, although it’s not like you could reasonably have expected to be shanghai’d and sent to France in the near future. Suppressing the urge to sigh and/or snarl, you turn in place and decide to call for outside help.Zafi we think we’ve got a lead on the old lady but we’re being stonewalled by a scared kid. Any ideas?A kid? What does he look like? Does he have a name?You glance down towards the lad, who’s taken a nervous step back, sweat now running down his face in little rivers as Arnold all but pleads with him to calm his shit down. Christ above, you hope he doesn’t play poker, he’d be absolutely horrific at it. That weird Major from earlier could stroll right on in and see that he’s hiding some kind of secret with a sidelong glance. He does have a nametag, as it happens: Marc. You send that Zafi’s way.There’s an awkward pause as Zafi processes the name, long enough that you start to worry if maybe the telepathic link has been severed by some unutterable entity once again, but then you hear her once again.Tell him that Mademoiselle Celeste sent you on behalf of a friend. He should calm down. We’re on our way now, too. Where are you?You draw a blank on that. Something French that you couldn’t read so you’d subconsciously tuned it out. You do, however, give her a rough set of directions as well as a description of your surroundings.Ah. I know where you are--or roughly where. Don’t lose the boy. We’ll be there soon. Right. Real informative there. And what was the deal with this ‘Mademoiselle Celeste’ business? A pseudonym of hers? She knew the lady by name, so it would stand to reason that they’ve met before. The boy too, come to think.Hm.Filing all of that away to puzzle over at a later date, you return your attention to Arnold and relay everything Zafi told you....are you some kind’o daft?Just do it before he actually soils himself and runs.Yer the boss...Much to your muted chagrin.(Cont.)
>>3108809Arnold gives over this new information in the nick of time. The chatter was starting to draw attention from the three old boys and while you don’t think you’d need to worry about any of them if it came to a confrontation, the attention it may draw would be less than desirable.Also the fact that you don’t want to make a habit of beating up old men. It’s not a very attractive pastime. Contrary to what some may say as to your general unsavouriness, you do have standards.The boy stops dead as Arnold finishes, and once again, he translates.He’s askin’ if Celeste is on ‘er way here now. Also wants us t’tell ‘im somethin’ only she’d know.Zafi? you ask.What is it, now?Kid wants some info only you’d know.Parfait.You can’t help but blink in muted incomprehension....I’m sorry, what?He’ll know what it means.…Well, all right then.Just say ‘Parfait’, you think across to Arnold. Hey, that rhymes. Neat.Yer wot?Zafi said he’d know what it means. Just say ‘Parfait’.Crinkling his facial expression in confusion, Arnold repeats the word aloud to Marc. The reaction is instantaneous. You see the youth undergo confusion, recognition, horror, embarrassment, and the worst attempt at feigned calm you’ve ever seen in a human being all within the span of three seconds. He clears his throat and nods, muttering something in French that you don’t catch.Well, that did the job, says Arnold, He’ll take us. Wants t’see our French lass b’fore we go, though.>That’s fair enough. We've waited this long, what’s a few more minutes for the others to show up and prove we're not lying?>No. We’ve wasted enough time and it’s closing on curfew hour with each minute that passes. If we want to get this done, we need to be getting a move on. Zafi and the rest will just have to catch up.
>>3108811>>>That’s fair enough. We've waited this long, what’s a few more minutes for the others to show up and prove we're not lying?
>>3108811>No. We’ve wasted enough time and it’s closing on curfew hour with each minute that passes. If we want to get this done, we need to be getting a move on. Zafi and the rest will just have to catch up.
>>3108811>That’s fair enough. We've waited this long, what’s a few more minutes for the others to show up and prove we're not lying?
>>3108811>>That’s fair enough. We've waited this long, what’s a few more minutes for the others to show up and prove we're not lying?
>>3108811You don’t like it, especially with not a lot of time left to move freely before the occupation starts handing out free tours of a cell to anyone still out and about, but badgering him to go now many not engender a good response from the young waiter.All right, we’ll wait for the others to arrive. Don’t want to spook the poor kid any more than we already have.With that, you agree to take a table and make it look as though you’re at least perusing the menu, even if you can’t actually afford anything. Marc appears to be the only waiter present, but you suppose he may as well look busy should anyone important poke their noses out. You do nothing but observe in your usual manner, noting the way Arnold all but salivates at the choices on the menu, and how Iszolda glances over her own, as uncomprehending as yourself, before setting it down, blank-faced and impossible to read. For your own part, there’s a few names you recognise, foie-gras, filet mignon, a couple of wines you think you’ve tried once or twice back in the states and, of course, champagne.“So,” you speak aloud for the first time in a while, making sure to keep your voice down. No need to advertise your presence more than you already have, “What does everyone make of our vacation spot?”“Could use fewer’o these poncy Jerries,” Arnold snorts, though keeps his gaze affixed to the menu for a moment longer before sighing, forlorn, and setting it down.Iszolda makes a low hum of agreement, “I do not wish to meet the fat man again.”You nod, “Got that right. Hopefully he’s out of our hair.”Privately, you doubt it, knowing your luck, but here’s hoping.You’ll have some time before Zafi and the other two show up, so maybe you can pass that time with some conversation.>Probe the Russian: what’s her story?>Chat with Arnold about life in London.>Reminisce about your upbringing in the Big Apple.We'll carry on in a new thread this evening as we're getting pretty close to the last page and I'm not sure I'd be able to get away with sticking in the same thread for three weeks running.
>>3109936>Probe the Russian: what’s her story?inb4 a royal hiding from the commies
>>3109936>Probe the Russian: what’s her story?If it's anything nasty, we should make sure it's only heard over the mindwaves instead of vocally, you never know if anyone can speak English in a place like this.
>>3109936>>Reminisce about your upbringing in the Big Apple.
>>3109936>>Probe the Russian: what’s her story?
New thread up:>>3110580