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Subject: Bifford's Lady Blackbird IC Game B - Newbie Initiative 2013. rss

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The All Father
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Naomi, darkness surrounding her, jerked her head around towards the sound of booted threats approaching.

Behind her, there were two other enemy; but it sounded like most of her companions were keeping these men occupied, by the sounds of screaming and gunfire.

It was dark in here, due to Kale's spell, but not pitch, and Naomi wasn't blind.
She could see the fault outline of a doorway not far off ... the thin, faint slivers of light that poured though the between the doorframe and the door itself.

Quickly, she moved forward, until she stood with her back against the wall, near the door. From here, she'd be able to ambush those about to enter the fray.
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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No one actually said anything out loud but you could almost hear the imperceptible countdown coming from three sets of heads....10....9...was the darkness slightly less dark?....8...the light around the door was definitely more distinct...7....you could see the rough outline of people across the room now...6....

Loud voices mixed with the heavy boots in the corridor shouting warnings and commands "...eady for an ambush boys!" and "Cap'n!" several times over.

Behind the table the Imperial was looking around wildly for the hell hound he knew had come smashing over this way but had now disappeared. Locating her by the door he let off a wild shot.

Alive+Imperial+Tactics+Pistol+Service Record+Marksman (Diff 4 due to darkness) 6custom2{0;1} = (1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) = 6

Not without a certain amount of luck the bullet hit home, biting in to Naomi's abdomen, near to where her right elbow would rest. Apollo couldn't help but inwardly smile at such a lucky shot.

Between the table and the side door Snargle still grappled with the Imperial, who was starting to wobble and feel feint from the pain and blood loss, it wouldn't be long before he toppled.

Naomi - you take on the Condition Injured. As you are who you are you can roleplay that this will not initially affect you except for the first pain (your used to it!) but you may decide it hampers you at critical moments (ie if a dice roll fails) and as you continue to play with a wound you may (or I might) decide it has a greater impact on things such as putting difficulties up by one. Either way this wound WILL need looking at before too long...!
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  • 256592. Bifford
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  • Alive+Imperial+Tactics+Pistol+Service Record+Marksman (Diff 4 due to darkness)
  • Fri Feb 1, 2013 1:31 pm
Kenneth Stuart
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{Cyrus}

As the darkness fades, I pick up the abandoned pistol and transponder. I pocket the transponder as I hear another shot fire. Blood splatters the wall next to Naomi and I know she's been hit, though I can't tell how serious the wound may be. I catch sight of Kale lunging at the last remaining guard.
OOC: If Kale attacks and fails, I can use my Secret of Leadership so he can reroll.
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The All Father
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Naomi nearly screamed in pain, as the bullet tore through her; but she was a combat hardened veteran, and knew that she had to cope, or die.

The soldier across the way had marked her, and would no doubt shoot again.

As it didn't seem like anyone else was going to do anything about him, Naomi moved, fast and hard, to remove this threat.

Pit fighter + combat tested + brutal, hard and fast + living weapon +1 pool 8custom2{0;1} = (0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 1) = 4

Pushing off from the wall, knowing more enemy were coming from that direction any moment now, she lept at the gunman.
As she did, the dagger she had previously stolen was drawn from her belt; and she landed on the soldier, blade first.
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  • Sat Feb 2, 2013 4:13 am
Paul
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Snargle let go of his guard as he slumped to the floor, unconscious. He'd heard the sound of more approaching guards; Naomi'd been shot, they wouldn't last long like this. An idea formed in his mind even as he darted back to Kale, placing his own hands behind his head.

"Cap!" he hissed to Cyrus, "make like you've just shot Naomi to subdue her. Between my Slyness and your Ex-Imperial Soldier-ness we may be able to talk our way out of this yet; follow my lead! Some extra Cunning sure would come in handy..." he said, half to himself, but within earshot of Natasha.
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Paul
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Just then, they heard the door being kicked open.

Alive + Sly + Crafty + Sneaky + Distraction + Bluff + Trade Speak + 2 pool = 9custom2{0;1} = (0 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) = 6

In the fading murk, a commanding voice rang out, "Stand down, men! We have the situation under control. Jailbreak; see to the wounded while we bring these prisoners before Commander Hollas."

As the air cleared, the soldiers glanced quickly from uniformed Cyrus to the surrounding carnage, holstered their weapons and ducked to follow orders. Snargle gave Cyrus a significant look, hoping his companions would seize on their parts and usher them all out ASAP.
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  • Sun Feb 3, 2013 6:29 am
Lady Blackbird sighed. No more. No more hiding. No more waiting. No more sneaking, no more lying. No more folding herself inside a common shell, concealing all that she was. No more denying the grace of the blood that flowed through her veins. No more struggling to escape the bands of a life grown tight around her dreams. No more. No more. She would simply live. Her life. Her rules. Her way. She was Lady Blackbird, and that was enough for now.

Bullets spattered across the walls all around her with sharp metallic pops. In the stories they always said time slowed down. They lied. It was horrific, a swirling maelstrom so very far from the elegance or rules of civilized combat and the high society that birthed it. She wryly noted that her life had not flashed before her eyes either, not really. She didn't see a string of loves, of lives, of regrets, of moments won and lost, of the quiet grace with which she hoped she had conducted her life. No, she remembered the poem. The one that hung on a crude wooden plaque above the door to her room, its edges scraggly and coarse like her father's untrimmed beard towards the end, when crippling debts overwhelmed even his immaculate style. She remembered being fascinated by how small the poem was; her tiny, stubby fingers batting the wood, sending it dancing on its cord. Such a small thing. So very small. Yet it filled her mind then as it had done so many times before, and she fled from the cold, hard walls of this ship to the place where Uriah first kissed her as a blanket of molten seedlight leaves tumbled to the ground around them, embracing and embraced. To the place where they fell in love, all those years ago, all fire and ice and inevitable as the turning of the world. To the place where they rose and fell together, where she squeezed her eyes shut to hold back the dawn.

Old seedlight tree sheds
Its leaves, the still point
And the dance.


Her life. Her rules. Her way. The still point and the dance. No more hiding. No more waiting. She was Lady fucking Blackbird and it was time to act like it.

She began to channel.

Slowly, steadily, as the energy built within her, crackling, seething, hissing, broiling, she saw the puddle of blood that seeped from Naomi's wound seemingly take the form of the House Blackbird crest. Then it flowed on and resembled nothing. Lady Blackbird smiled. It was time.

At that precise moment Snargle whispered something. Words reached her through the haze of magic. Something about a bluff. She sighed, anger and resentment bubbling with her. Maybe she had to be Natasha Syri just a little while longer. Like the carving on a string she was tied to this fate. For now. Slowly, reluctantly, she let the energy go.

Thinking quickly she whimpered, spreading some of Naomi's blood across her clothes, her voice slipping easily into her persona.

'Argh. You. You. YOU SHOT ME! SON OF A.... Fine, we surrender. WE SURRENDER! Stop puttin' holes in me, savvy? I'm bleeding out here. Going to need medical, pronoto. You want me alive best be getting me some treatment, sure enough.'

Alive + Cunning + Deception + Misdirection + Disguise + 2 pool 7custom2{0;1} = (0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 0) = 2
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  • Sun Feb 3, 2013 11:32 am
Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Several of the lieutenants who had been first through the door seemed suspicious. One of the Lady Prisoners was whining about being shot but clearly was not in pain.

They kept their hands on their charged energy pistols, and while they were back in their holsters they were not fastened in. It would take but a second to draw them and fire.

The sound of authority could be heard following the men down the corridor they had just barged out of. Presumably the man in charge.

It says a lot about a commander when he Follows his men into a fray rather than Leading them....
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Snargle: You have just badly wounded a man. How's your conscience now? Any blood dripping from your face? Is the man bleeding out (Did you hit an artery?)

Naomi: Just how much pain are you in right now? Plenty of new heads to knock together here...you must be angry that you let yourself get shot? Surely you need a punching bag right now?

Lady Blackbird: You don't think your acting was that believable. Back up plan time? You've got your bodyguards' blood on you. Does that not make you queasy and horrify you? You and your linen white, daisy-scented, fresh-from-the-maids-laundry-basket clothes?

Kale: Well that plan failed miserably. Is the captain losing touch with reality? How often can you pull off one of those magical tricks? How do you feel now that you've done that magic? Does it drain you? Give you an almighty headache? Thirsty? Still want that game of poker?

Cyrus: That was an almighty cock-up. Plan failed, Bishop shot and bleeding badly and lots more Imperials in the room and a big-wig of some sorts incoming. What are you going to do now? Will this current plan work? Will this new big-wig (possibly the commander of the security detail?) recognise you?
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Stephen Caffrey
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Kale

Kale positioned himself so that Natasha was between him and the guards who had just arrived. He raised his gun, hoping that they would assume he was aiming at the "prisoner" while he prepared to shoot past her at the guards if the need arose.

"That could've gone a lot better" Kale thought to himself. He resisted the urge to grin as he recalled the last time one of the Cap'n's plans had gone so badly awry. They'd left Nightport with what had seemed like half the planet right on their heels. Kale only hoped that this would become another story they told to impress naive young sailors who always seemed to get worse at poker when the stories became more and more impressive.
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Lady Blackbird gritted her teeth. That could have gone better. Evidently she was more out of practice than she thought. How easily it fled, the air of command, the glibness of tongue. The lies. Wrap yourself up in lies and they leave you. That did not seem right, but there it was.

The blood shouldn't bother her, she bled once a month what matter a bit more? Yet somehow it did bother her - the blood of her friend, one who knew her. One who had forgiven her. And so much of it, oozing, seeping, pooling. Certainly if it bothered her it would bother Natasha Syri the airhead.

The best thing to do was acknowledge the failure, make it part of the act. They were coming, there was nothing to stop that now. She had to be helpless, draw them in further, then strike. Plastering a look of empty and abject horror across her face she wailed, looking at the others, her voice going up several octaves until it was shrill and crackling, her empty hands freely visible to show she was not a threat.

What do you meeeeean I avn't been shot? I 'av been. There's blood. Ewwww blood on my dress. Oh dear, blood. Oh blood, help. Why won't somebody help meeeeeeee?

Alive + Cunning + Deception + Misdirection + Disguise 4custom2{0;1} = (0 + 1 + 1 + 1) = 3
Extra Dice 1custom2{0;1} = (1) = 1

Rolling their eyes the soldiers relaxed. The woman was clearly hysterical. There was no sign of her being hit but she was rolling around and flapping like she'd been gutshot. The real threat, the other woman, was down as well. It was time to clean this mess up. Fastening their holsters shut they started to come closer, their posture relaxed, their eyes less alert, one fumbling for cuffs.

As the guards strolled closer Lady Blackbird caught Naomi's eyes and mouthed 'get ready.' Hopefully the other woman saw. Hopefully she wasn't in too much pain. Hopefully she, or one of the others, would be able to take advantage. If not, there was always her magic...
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  • Sun Feb 3, 2013 8:03 pm
Paul
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Bifford wrote:
The sound of authority could be heard following the men down the corridor they had just barged out of. Presumably the man in charge.

...

Opposite this is a another corridor that leads to....somewhere else?
OOC: where'd everybody go? Let's make like a sky squid and jet!
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Kenneth Stuart
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{Cyrus}

To the newly arrived soldiers: "Great timing guys. We were escorting these prisoners to the upper decks and they almost had the jump on us, but the sound of your approach led them to surrender. Fortunately for them they’ll be able to walk away with minor wounds, but it looks like Apollo and Starbuck weren’t so lucky."

I point at the guard approaching Naomi. "Harwood," reading the name from his badge, "help that one to her feet?" I ask, indicating toward Natasha. The last thing we want now is Naomi to get us into another fray by attacking the armed guard. I use my other hand behind my back to signal Snargle, Kale, and Naomi to begin backing out the rear door.

"This way," I hear Kale say to Naomi, taking some of the attention off of me and easing the suspicion that weighs heavily in the room.

"On second thought, I’ll get her. She’s my responsibility after all. I wouldn’t want to get you involved in this mess." I walk back to where Natasha is still rolling on the floor. 'She’s quite the actor,’ I think to myself, as it appears she kept up the injury ruse through the entire conversation. Helping her to her feet I catch the scent of honey in her hair, mixed with the sickly sweet scent of adrenaline and sweat.

Slowly moving toward the now open door, I turn to the guard that had been fumbling with his cuffs, "Let me have those?" I ask, hoping to draw their attention for just a few moments longer. I of course have no intention of actually using the bindings.

I catch sight of Kale through the doorway and give a slight, almost imperceptible nod, and whispering so that only Natasha can hear, "Run!"

(OOC: I realize this may be wishful thinking, but that is why I didn't narrate us all the way out the door.)
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The All Father
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{Naomi}

She had been willing to kill them all.
But then suddenly something changed, and the others (including Natasha) were suddenly playing pretend. Pretending to be hurt. Pretending to surrender. Pretending to give in.

Naomi wasn't stupid; she understood the ruse, even if she didn't like it. But Natasha was a part of that ruse, and so Naomi snarled within her own mind, and had bowed her body and head ... pretending to be much more wounded than she was.

The bullet wound stung, but that was about all.
She'd suffered worse in the arenas: swords, javelins, tridents and spears. This she could deal with.

She held her hand over the wound, letting the blood seep ... bowed her head and body, and acted weak [could she ever forgive herself?]

And somehow, the fool Impie's were being successfully played by Natasha and Cyrus.
Naomi let Kale grab her bicep, and 'haul her to her feet'. She even let him 'shove her towards the doorway'.

The damned Imperials aught to be thanking Natasha for saving their sycophantic, pathetic lives.
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Paul
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The pneumatic door closed behind Cyrus with a hiss. It was quiet now, save for the low rumbling throb of the Hand of Sorrow's engines. They were in the belly of the warship, in its cavernous cargo hold. Five Owls could fit in here nose to tail, easily. As the Captain had said, they'd have to run about 250 meters across the hold, then climb stairs (or better yet, find a lift) to the hangar, four decks up. Snargle did a quick pilot's calulation in his head and estimated they could make it to the ship in about two minutes, barring further incident. Depending on the effeciency of the crew in raising the alarm, they might just make it in time. He tried not to think of the alternative, that the Imperials could jetison the Owl. Nothing for it now but to run, which the others were already doing, having heard Cyrus' murmured command.

Before joining them, Snargle spun the wheel of a valve near the door they'd just exited. Steam vented somewhere as the needle of a pressure guage dropped. That'd slow down their would-be pursuers (once they figured out what had happened); the heavy metal door would be difficult to open without its pneumatic apparatus. They needed every minute now.

Warping his body shape to a tall, lanky figure, Snargle had no difficulty catching up with his companions. As he ran, he spat the taste of blood from his mouth. He'd hated to cause another being pain, but had he not acted, the third soldier would likely have shared his fellows' fate at the hands of the fighter. Snargle had been surprised by her brutality; she was a little too good - lethal, apparantly. She fed on some inner rage which gave her no regard for the lives of Imperials (and seemingly little more for her own). Two casualties and two more injured, one of them Naomi. Snargle wondered if brutality was simply the nature of the universe, and if he was being naive.

No, he'd left his home seeking something better; he believed in human dignity–even within goblins. He felt a stab of pity for Naomi and hoped that she'd heal from her wounds, both physical and otherwise.
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She had almost fried them anyway, almost used the lightning. Almost. She barely remembered what that felt like, the rush, the power. Channelling it, controlling it, shaping it. Watching it discharge, blue-hot, the arcing spasmodic calligraphies of light twitching at her command. Almost. But there were other things to worry about right now.

'Stop!' she cried, trying to maintain an edge of that air-headed hysteria in her voice. Sure they knew she wasn't the bozo from the fire-fight, paralysed at the very sight of blood, but they didn't know who she really was either. She had to keep it that way, for now. Naomi would help her regardless, but would the others? Would they help Noble Lady Blackbird or would they leave her to her fate?

Then there was the magic. She remembered why she had reluctantly reined it in, why she had tried to limit herself after the mugging. She remembered unleashing the lightning and watching all that was left of him weeping into a rain of dirty ash lifted up by the wind. She remembered the joy. It could swallow someone whole that feeling. But there were other things to worry about right now.

'Stop! Naomi is hurt, we need to get somewhere out of sight, stop the bleeding. We can't just drag her along behind us, she's been shot.'
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Bifford "Bring back Ernie" (Sam)
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Behind you all there is a distinct banging as the door is hit in an attempt to open it. Naturally that wouldn't work as the door there slid open sideways...but human natural tends to dictate that if something doesn't work you hit it until either the item or your fist submits.

Then that muffled and indistinct voice can be heard again. The man in authority has obviously entered and sounds like he is questioning his soldiers.

A short while later a claxon goes off. Anyone who has worked or been on board an Imperial ship recognises it as an alarm claxon. Presumably the commander had one of the soldiers check on the prisoners and found the unconscious guard. Right now that commander will be putting a call through the Captain of the Hand of Sorrow and reporting the escape of prisoners.

Hell is most likely about to break loose.

And you're all in the middle of a large container area. In sight should anyone enter.




GM Questions:


All. Answer One Each Only! :

What kind of cargo bay is this? Shelves/Bays/for boxes/for vehicles/for food/full/empty etc
You know there's one exit that you need, but are there other exits/entries?
Any work force here or is the place currently deserted?
What's the light levels like in a cargo bay?
When are re-enforcements likely to arrive?
How do your chances look now?


No personal questions at this time as I think you all have that side of things sorted and can incorporate new personal stuff in to the general narrative. Right now this is about the escalation of the situation.
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Kenneth Stuart
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Bifford wrote:
How do your chances look now?

{Cyrus}

Natasha doesn't appear to be herself. Her frantic plea for Naomi seems contrary to to aura of calm she has exuded in our time together. Perhaps that brief battle really has her rattled. I make the decision to slow us down, at least for a moment, knowing as I do so that my concern isn't really for Naomi, but Natasha.
(OOC: Key of Hidden Longing?)

I turn to Naomi. "Are you okay to continue or do we need to slow down?"A pause, and then to Natasha this time, "And what about you? Are you okay?"

Before either of them have a chance to answer, the alarm sounds, echoing through the cargo hold. The muffled voice of a guard immediately follows. "Attention on board. Prisoners have escaped. I say again. Prisoners have escaped. Be on the lookout for two males, two females, and a goblin. Prisoners are assumed to be armed."

Suddenly an idea forms. I remove the transponder from my pocket and prepare to transmit. I think back all those years ago when a ship like this was my home. 'What's near us in this vessel? Where would the Imperials think as a likely place for us to try and hide?'

I press the transmit button. "Prisoners spotted in corridor outside engine room bravo. I am in pursuit."

After a pause, we are rewarded with a reply, "Roger. All guards, proceed to maintenance area bravo. Prisoners have been spotted."

That should give us enough time to reach the Owl as they run around chasing shadows. I'd say our chances of escape are looking pretty good.

I turn my attention back to Naomi and Natasha. "Well," I ask, "how shall we continue?"
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The All Father
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{Naomi}

Bifford wrote:
What kind of cargo bay is this? Shelves/Bays/for boxes/for vehicles/for food/full/empty etc

Naomi looked at Cyrus as though she thought him a fool. Time was already against them; how did he expect them "to continue"?
"We continue swiftly, Captain", she replied, attempting to hide the derision in her thoughts.

The wound still stung, but was already feeling 'full' ... a sign that the blood had already begun to congeal there, and the muscles were tightening to mitigate the damage.

Looking around at the cargo space, and it's rows upon rows of machinery and engine parts, she suspected that this was an auxiliary room to a machine plant or work room; possibly a vehicle bay.

Either way, it provided some cover from the eyes that might already be about the area, and those imminent in arrival.

Grabbing Natasha by the arm, she all but dragged the Lady into the nearest aisle, and moved quickly to conceal them deeper in the bay's maze.

*** *** ***

Some small part of her still chaffed at being denied the blood and lives of the Imperials behind them.
Yet another part, wiser and more prominent, understood the need to turn her back on that good fight ... that she could fight an even better one later.

The Lady had always been good to Naomi; but now, rising within her, was the need to really hurt the Empire. The Lady had bought Naomi out of slavery, and taken Naomi under wing, it was true. But Naomi still chaffed within the Imperial Heirarchy, standing behind Lady Blackbird, and unable to take her vengeance unless Imperial individuals attacked the Lady.
Naomi yearned for more direct, aggressive and proactive action against the hated Heirarchy.

She was now realizing that she yearned for it more than craving 'the crash and roar of battle'.
But she owed the Lady this: that she deliver the Lady into her new life first.

So as they ran now, Naomi vowed to herself: no more would she seek the quick, gratuitous fight. She would get Natasha to the Remnants, then Naomi would seek her own path in this world.
And she realized that this would require more stealth and less immediate carnage ... a new way for Naomi, but one that she realized sat well with her right now.

Buying off Key of the Warrior.
Using these two advancements:
- purchase Pit Fighter tag, 'strong'
- purchase Key of the Mission.
{once Natasha is safe with Urich, this will most likely be replaced with Key of The Revolutionary}.
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Quote:
What's the light levels like in a cargo bay?

Natasha frowned slightly as Naomi hustled her into the nearest aisle. There was a look in the other woman's eyes, vacant and slightly haunted. Lady Blackbird had seen that look before. Pain lay behind it. Not the immediate pain of action but a deep, spiritual bruise that opened a void at the heart of you, a void that could be filled only by turning the pain against those who had caused it. She had been there, five years ago, after her obliteration of the mugger lead to other incidents, her anger and her magic spiralling out of control. She had looked into the void and the void had looked back and smiled, recognizing one of its own. She knew where that look could lead, but maybe she was wrong. She would keep an eye on Naomi until she was sure. She had rescued the woman from the Pits and the fighter was not of the blood, but they were... friends, despite all that. Lady Blackbird cared. That was new. But how to see where Naomi stood without appearing too obvious about it?


As long as you are able, Naomi, then let's carry on. We have some time. I'm sure the Captain's 'trick' will have pulled the guards away from the immediate area. It's dark enough here that we can sneak around and, given how our last encounter went, it'd be best not to blunder into more guards, don't you think?


She smiled, and watched the other woman closely.
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Kenneth Stuart
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(OOC: this looks like a good time for a refresh scene for everyone. Natasha and Naomi are separated from Kale, Snargle, and Cyrus. The two groups can talk privately.)

{Cyrus}

"Kale, what do you think about our two passengers?"
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Stephen Caffrey
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Kale

"I don't know if I've ever seen anyone fight like Naomi did back on the ship. She was very... " Kale paused and looked over at the two women. "...impressive. I'm glad she's on our side. What I don't get is how she ended up with some airhead noble woman."
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The All Father
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{Naomi} nodded to Natasha, "Quietly like a mouse," she said, and then, after checking that the Owls crew were out of earshot, "m'lady.

How are you feeling? We'll get you back to the ship, and be gone, soon enough
".
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Lady Blackbird sniffed, quietly. I'm fine, no need to fuss. I'm not nearly as bad as I'm making out. This airhead persona is getting old and it's damn undignified to boot. She raised her hands in mock surrender, I know, I know, it's for my own safety. Best the others don't know for now. They probably suspect something, but they don't know it all. There might come a time when revealing the truth is unavoidable, but I'm not sure I trust them yet. The Captain has Military training, ex-Imperial by his own admission. Sure enough they have gone grey since, but you know how smugglers are, and lowborn to boot? They would probably turn us over if they knew the truth, for the reward or to save their own skins.

She fell silent for a moment. I still have many of my connections you know? Plus my name carries weight. I can make sure you're set up, Private Security or something less risky. That is if you don't want to stay with me. Uriah will know people too who could use your particular skillset. She broke off abruptly, looking slightly awkward as though caught between class and friendship.
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Kenneth Stuart
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{Cyrus}

"You can say that again. Naomi is one of the most vicious fighters I've ever seen, but I guess that should be expected from a former slave fighter. Even I would hate to be up against her in a fight. Natasha on the other hand has been mostly useless in this venture, but as long as she's paying, I'm happy. She does seem to have that air of nobility about her and seems naive to the ways of the Blue.

Looking past Kale back toward where Naomi and Natasha are talking in hushed tones, I catch sight of Natasha. "You really think she's a noble traveling in disguise? It would explain a lot about this strange pair of travelers."

"Where did Snargle run off to?"
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