Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dystopic: Dead Women Tell No Tales

A showdown with a Tyrant in an abandoned school. 
Seems fitting.  (Tiffany Bailey)
The following morning the team regroup to discuss what to do next.  Despite Tokyo pushing for their first contact to be with her Minister, there was a concern that the Lion Ministry's people might be a little cross about their demonstration the night before.  Besides which, having the court's military people behind them would be helpful as it would be the Lions who would be sent after them if the Tyrant figured them out.  So they decided to head to the pizzeria to track down Garcia, using London as the figurehead and pretending that they were all his subordinates.  To do this, it was decided that no one else should speak - though Tokyo did suggest that it might be an idea to show themselves as a team of peers.

They all piled into the pizzeria and placed their order with a guy who didn't seem to much know how to do counter duty and then were sent into a back room to meet Garcia.  They were surprised to see that Garcia was not alone.  Not only did she have half a dozen of her own people from the Lions Ministry in that room (including Jackman and Garrand) but she was also seated at a table with a woman with a layered cut fringe, two skull-topped sticks in her hair / ponytail, black ink running from her kohl-lined eyes as though she were constantly crying black blood, and wearing loose trousers under a Chinese-style high-shouldered tunic with slits up the side to mid-thigh.  London surmised correctly that she was the head of the Ravener court - the court of Stolen Shame.

London, put on the back foot, asked for the woman's name.  She refused him.  He became offended by this lack of a simple courtesy.  Her response to that: "The name you have given me is likely a lie.  The name I would give you is bound to be the same as you have no right to my name.  Why do you demand a lie for a name and why are you angry when I refuse to lie?" 

She also declared that she was apolitical, that she preferred to be honest, that she hadn't knowingly aided the Tyrant (which London took to mean that she had, but was trying to seem otherwise), and that she couldn't speak for her court as to whether they had killed for the Tyrant as they were free Fallen and she didn't track them at all times.

Learning that she was apolitical and noticing how little she revealed, London figured her for worse than worthless.  As she was a Ravener, he figured her for a cold and callous creature who doubtless didn't care about what happened within the city.  So he tried to dismiss her so that he could talk to Garcia and finish this part of the mission.  The Ravener refused to be silenced but she offered to speak to one of the other Fallen instead who had been so silent thus far.  London rejected that out of hand, stating that she only wanted to corrupt them with her ennui.  The Ravener said that were they free Fallen they should be able to make their own decisions in this.

When she tried to speak to the others, however, none responded.  Until she gave her condolences to Miami for his loss.  Sensing her going for a weakness, London tried to shut down the conversation and Miami apologised for his insubordination.  When the Ravener offered hints of more information, Miami couldn't help but respond and London, feeling increasingly irritated but recognising that it would be wrongful to shut down Miami's lead on his wife's killers no matter who it was from, grumpily let the conversation continue.  After all, they had all focused on the political fall out from his appointment to the cruel and tyrannical Ministry of Aurochs (which would have turned him against his peers or destroyed him) and poor Miami's loss had fallen by the wayside.

The Ravener spoke cryptically and though there were some pretty good hints in there as to what they were facing and where they should look, her naturally vague way of speaking and her suppositions meant that most of it was lost on the team.  In the end, they felt like they had learned nothing from her.  Oh well, I'm sure they'll find the clues again somewhere else.

The Ravener, having said her piece, then agreed to leave.  Her half a dozen followers (who had a delinquent cast to them - likely criminals and thugs) went after her.

London spoke to Garcia briefly about the Ravener and found that she was referred to as the 'Sweet Priestess' and that she provided succor to the other Raveners.  She wasn't a Tyrant of them, however, as she believed them all to be free people.  Then they moved on to other things.

Garcia offered her neutrality.  She wasn't going to help them assassinate the Tyrant but she wouldn't stop them either - she even implied that she probably couldn't if she wanted to.  Though she really didn't seem to want to get involved one way or another.  After all, she didn't know London (whom she knew by a different name - city designations being a sign that they were working for a big organisation after all), and had no reason to suspect that he would be a better Tyrant.

London assured her he didn't want to be Tyrant.  He would be the Aurochs Minister instead.  He also stated that he had no plans to assassinate the Tyrant.

During all of this, Tokyo had tried to crack through layers of security and had found that the place was abuzz with several wireless hubs and dozens of other devices that caused a field of 'noise' to chew through.  She finally figured out that she'd need to get access to the closed-circuit information and went to the nearest access point (surreptitiously, of course) to touch it and hack it.  Inside she found several emails from the Tyrant demanding results on who had slain her Minister.  The last email, unread, was also a summons to a particular location.  Tokyo read it and deleted it.

When they all left, Tokyo explained what she had found.  They resolved to go there.  It was an abandoned five-storey school building in a suburb that had been built on the outskirts of town to house refugees but which had since been closed down due to the contractors hauling in radioactive soil to level off the ground.  This whole mini-suburb has a number of tall buildings - between 6 to 12 - but has since been blocked off with fencing and abandoned over the past couple decades.  They landed the flyer on the quadrangle and then went into the building through the front doors.

They headed into the assigned classroom to find Tyrant Chakraborty pacing while an unknown woman with long curly hair stood by.  Upon seeing them, the unknown woman drew forth her revelatory form and revealed herself to be the Aurochs Minister!  It turned out that she'd found a new host after all.  They also noticed a man with a sack over his head handcuffed on the floor in the classroom.  Despite the presence of a hostage, Oxford had a thermite grenade ready to douse the room (likely killing the hostage, the Tyrant and the Minister - of which only the third *had* to die and the first wasn't meant to die at all).

Luckily for the hostage, Leningrad got on the drop on them all.  He charged forward and slammed his blades into Minister Ortega's side.  She responded by beaming images into London's brain of storefront grille's rattling back to reveal a horde of shambling walking dead.  Had she set up a series of infection points in case of her death?  Oxford quickdrew his gun and dealt the woman a fair chunk of lethal damage.  London speedcuffed her with epic successes, hoping to take her hostage to learn what they needed to know about the infected.  Tokyo stayed out of the way to begin with but then headed in to try to pick the hostage's handcuffs.  When the Tyrant turned to mist, Nomad6 dropped down to do the same.

As the Tyrant misted out, London spun around and used the accursed side of his Radiance to knock her out of mist form.  Becoming real once more, she opened the door and started out into the corridor but Oxford had decided that she had to die (being as she was still aligning herself to the Aurochs Minister) and he threw a thermite grenade in with her as she closed the door.  It erupted and dealt so much damage that she died in the first round (9 lethal).  During this time, Ortega simply healed herself, threatening them with what would happen if she didn't check in with her subordinates in the next few days.  Leningrad stabbed her once more for good measure and Tokyo downed her with a touch of paralyser from her fingertip-injectors.  She passed out.

The group freed the hostage, who turned out to be Remiel, who offered to go and get the CDC so that they could deal with any rampaging zombies.  There was some concern about releasing him.  They didn't expect to get him back, after all, and were worried that he'd just run off and leave a whole bunch of zombies in the city.  In the end, he mostly got them on side.

At this stage they're heading back to the chopper with an unconscious Minister Ortega in hand and Remiel walking beside them.  They intend to deliver Ortega to the Prometheus Project and to alert the CDC to the potential trouble in Miami.  They still have a potential new Tyrant to enthrone as well.  Perhaps the Minister of Eagles?

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