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Technoir» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: Who's Afraid of the Dystopian Wolf? (IC) rss

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Internet rage goon
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It's a typical Saturday night in March for the Los Angeles Sprawl - which is to say, it's been pouring rain for 48 hours with no signs of letting up. The heavy raindrops patter on the metal roof of the long-abandoned warehouse near the Long Beach docks where Michelangelo Dumas runs the action for fighters looking to score big. They're almost all down-on-their-luck actors, refugees from small towns who had hoped to make it big in the Immatrix but turned out to be no better looking than the rest. Still, those courses of transroids should have been good for something, right? So they've found themselves in the fights.

Rumor is the fix is in on some of the fights, but at least some have to be fair, right? And anyway Dumas is fickle enough that it's almost impossible to guess how he'll fix them - so there's always something to bet on.

Tonight is no different: two fights down already (one of the starving actors gave up quickly enough to keep his skull intact, though his ears are still ringing from the boos; the other fell hard to one of the few trained fighters in the pool) and five more coming. Everything appears fine, if you don't know what to look for. Except that Dumas hasn't shown up yet - and that's not like him. His enforcers are getting antsy, and that means they're getting a bit rough with the crowd, too.

Welcome to the Technoir game! The above is intro text; I'll leave it open for a couple of days so that you all can mingle and get situated. I'm happy for everyone to add a bit of narrative, setting, etc., so feel free to expand upon the above.

Please put any OOC thoughts in gray like this, or take it to the OOC thread if it is extended. Let the games begin....
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Dean
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Benedict wanders away from the ring as the latest loser gets dragged from the cage. He spies Cole sitting by himself and helps himself to a nearby backed stool. He reverses it and leans forward over the backrest.

"Cole," he rasps. He coughs wetly. He's mostly over the surgery, but a lingering infection has him popping pills and snuffling like a junkie.

He angles a thumb back at the ring, where a new pair of posturing atom-weights are currently sizing each other up. "Where's Dumas finding these breadsticks?" He hawks and spits. "'scuse".

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Andrew Butler
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The less he spends on the chumps, the more he can afford to pay us right? Cole scoffs as he takes another swig of his beer, knowing full well that Dumas would sell his own mother if there was a buck in it for him.

Where's DumbAss tonight? Haven't seem him all night?
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"Don't call him that, Cole," Benedict says in the bored tones of an old argument, and shrugs. "No idea where he's at, though. 'Sure it's nothing."
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Benedict looks over the crowd again, and sees a familiar face tucked up the back. He grunts, and at Kinton's quizzical glance, nods toward her. "66. I thought she was driving for Dumas tonight?" He waves his hand in a desultory effort to catch her attention.
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Meanwhile, Cass has been grumbling to Michiko about Dumas' absence, just outside the closed door of a makeshift office in the back.

"What, he's too good to take delivery in person now? Syd's gonna be thrilled to hear I left his stuff with some faceless goon."

She's too wrapped up in her agitation to notice Cole and Josh across the floor and isn't even aware that she might not have Michiko's full attention.
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The clang of the bell cuts through the hubbub, and the two fighters begin circling. Benedict, his attention drawn back to the ring, watches them a moment, and then leans back in disgust. He looks back, but 66 has vanished amid the swirl of the crowd. He mentally shrugs and sips at his beer.

A sudden melee breaks out in the crowd, and the Enforcers are there in seconds. The troublemakers are roughly separated and unceremoniously tossed out, Benedict's cry of "Put 'em in the cage!" notwithstanding.

"Enforcers' seem touchy tonight," he grunts at Cole.
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Cole flexes his tired body. They always think they're king shits when Dumas is away he mumbles.

But if he doesn't rock up soon, someones going to get killed
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idlerking wrote:
Meanwhile, Cass has been grumbling to Michiko about Dumas' absence, just outside the closed door of a makeshift office in the back.

"What, he's too good to take delivery in person now? Syd's gonna be thrilled to hear I left his stuff with some faceless goon."


Michiko leans against the corrugated steel wall and nods. "Something's not right," she says scanning the room. She spots Benedict as he waves to her and she points him out to Cass. "Maybe he knows something."
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Benedict scans the crowd again. It's a mixed bag tonight. From local hoods with the green to buy their way in, either from boosting cars or other small-time larceny, to some mid-level players with actual clout, bookended by mooks with the alert looks of bodyguards.

Enforces and bodyguards keep a respectful distance - a kind of social "same-charge" repulsion that keeps weapons stowed and the veneer of civility intact. Not so with the punks and hoods that form the bulk of the crowd. Benedict watches as a spilled drink leads to argument, violence, and ejection all within the space of a minute. "Ouch," he remarks, as the two antagonists are efficiently beaten down with batons and dragged out. The casual brutality is something of an education even to him, and he raises an eyebrow to Cole. He was right. The Enforcers are nervous as hell. Maybe it's time to split.
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"Right," Cass says to Michiko. She finally starts to catch on to the atmosphere of general unease pervading the warehouse. "That's where I wanna be anyway when the guns come out."

As she wends her way toward Cole and Josh's table, Cass calls up an Interface overlay, pinging every player on the floor who has a secure link. It's disconcerting to see the data haloes flare up around not just the obvious fixers and cowboys, but here and there around otherwise inconspicuous nobodies, a pulsing constellation of vague dread whose every line converges on Dumas' idle specks . . . wherever they are in meat-space.
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Just then, Michelangelo Dumas himself sweeps in. He's wearing an expensively tailored black business suit, dark glasses - it's an open secret that they jack into the Interface - and hair slicked back with products worthy of James Dean. His face looks even harder than usual - even the ever-present animated Mickey Mouse on his tie looks angry tonight. Probably because he's holding a gun.

Duman circles the raised viewing platform and scans the crowd. A few moments later a hosrt message appears across both Eggs and 66's specs. I need a word, quickly. Bring your friends, they'll be handy, it scrolls across. Dumas disappears into a back room - his office.
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Michiko does an about face and taps Cass on the shoulder. "No, that's where we want to be when the guns come out," she says pointing at Dumas. "The others will be there, too, if they know what's good for them."
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"C'mon, Doc," Benedict says, depositing his half-finished beer on the table and rising to his feet. "Dumas wants to chat."
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Hmmpf. He's always with the drama.

Cole knocks back the last of his drink and stands to follow Eggs. Pausing he turns and grabs Egg's half finishing beer sculling it it one quick motion.

Now we can go
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Benedict leads the way to Dumas's office. On the way, C.V. and 66 fall in beside them. Terse greetings are exchanged.

"Anyone have a clue what's up?" he asks, more to have something to say than out of any expectation that anyone present would know.

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You file toward the back of the warehouse. As you go you see all the enforcers appear to have backed off from worrying about the crowd - but with the way they are standing at attention, they are still stressed out.

Soon you come to a door with a particularly beefy man in a poorly-fitting suit (probably not his fault; you can't imagine anyone could make a suit in quite that shape) standing with his arms crossed before it. To his side, a slender woman (known to Eggs and 66 as Manny) lounges against the wall. She gives Cole and C.V. looks, and you can almost feel the hum of her ultrafast Interface link digging up info on you. After just a moment she waves her lacquered fingernails to the beefy man, and he steps aside and pulls open the door.

"Boss, they're here," he grunts.

Dumas's office rises only slightly above the level of shabby, but then again that puts it far above the rest of the warehouse. Somewhere he managed to dredge up a pair of lava lamps from god knows how long ago, and the walls are decorated by kitsch celebrating decades of Americana. From his accent, Dumas wasn't born here - but the convert is always the strongest believer.

He waves you to some chairs and pulls his own chair over to chat. It's one of those massive desk chairs that puts him a good foot or so above you - even with his diminutive build. He nods at you all and doesn't bother to introduce himself to those of you he doesn't know. "Looks like you'll do nicely. You all know each other, then?"

I'll pause here in case you want to introduce your characters more formally, to each other or to Dumas. If not, just thumb this post and I'll continue.
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It's been a couple of days, so I will plow onward!

Dumas continues in his usual clipped speech, with an accent that is vaguely European but impossible to pin down - the product of too much Interface mixing, no doubt.

"Right. This afternoon, a girl was murdered. A nice girl, who I liked very much, and who liked me very much, I like to think." His eyes flash up toward you and then down toward the table again. "It is a disgusting scene, brutal and savage. I tried to handle it with some...discretion, but somebody else had other ideas, and the cops were summoned.

"Problem is, men in my line of work - and yours - don't entirely trust the pigs." Dumas was fond of venerable American slang. "Especially when my DNA is all over the scene. And the victim. So I need a posse I can trust to look into the matter for me. Of course you will be compensated. Are you game?"
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"Anything for you," Michiko says. She politely leaves the As long as it will knock some money off my debt subtext unspoken.
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If by compensated you mean COMPENSATED, then yea I could do with some extra credits Cole grunts out
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Benedict gives a short, choppy nod, as if the question of whether he would help was merely pro forma.
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Cass shrugs. "Yeah, sure. I got bills that ain't paying themselves."
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Dumas smiles briefly, and a moment later Eggs' i-mail lights up. It seems the Lagos Miner's Collective has opened an account with five kreds in his name.

He leans forward. "For expenses. More to come later, on delivery of the info. I want to know what the police think, and I want to know who really did it. Five more kreds for each of that info, on delivery.

"The girl's name was Vindra Swing. I met her a month ago, but she never told me where she came from. She was living in the Standard, in Hollywood. Room 405. Any questions?"
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"I got what I need," Michiko says, already mapping the address with her specs.
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Cass clears her throat. "You got any more profile on her? Like, uh, aliases or anything? I can run that name against credit bureaus, and internal police records too, if I'm lucky, but it'd help to know if we're chasing a ghost."

Cass abruptly realizes what she's said. "Shit. No disrespect."

While the meat mind is struggling with social graces, the machine part is already busy building the necessary Interface queries; in the background sniffer software starts to prowl the LAPD data structures for potential weak links.

I'd be happy to take suggestions about pacing Interface actions and possible limits for hacking--also open to hearing if you think I need to roll for a particular effort. And definitely offer up any more persuasive or poetic techie speak if mine seems boring or incoherent.




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