I walk over to Yura and set the medicine we retrieved down.
"This should be enough for now right?"
"Yeah, I'll get it ready. Do you have any lettuce?" She asks, before being tapped on the shoulder by Providence. Yura sighs and puts her head down. "And thanks, I guess…"
Cita walks off into the kitchen, already shuffling through your rather empty cabinets looking for cooking utensils.
"Probably, I usually have a head of it for sandwhiches."
I nod at the kid, giving her an understanding look before going to the kitchen.
"Honestly, what type of food did you eat that you don't have some sauce pans, and grilling planks, or…" Cita goes on and on about your kitchen that even Acino has tuned her out. The bags are put on the table and some water is set to boil.
"You weren't hurt, right?" Acino asks.
"Fast food mostly. I worked really long hours." Shake my head at Acino "No, we didn't get attacked. They weren't that good."
"So even if we had gone home, the same thing would have happened? This whole nightmare…" Acino replies downcast.
Spread a wing and pat her back. "Just give me a few days, this is what I was trained for.. thou usually I'd have a at least somepony backing me up, a hacker would be great right now for example.."
"Sorry, sometimes even the microwave gave me issues." Acino tries to laugh.
An actual, real food smell is flowing through the apartment. You've made food before, but it's different when you make for this many people. The whole stove is putting in work as Cita and Acino make preparations. You see Yura with a cup of water as Providence takes her medication with the lettuce.
Inhale the scent and let my feathers poof in joy.
"You know, this kind of works."
Take a look at the numbers from 'mother's phone again, I knew the security guard right?
Yes, with a little more digging, you might be able to get some real, usable info on him.
Cita interrupts your thoughts, though. "Alright, time to dig in. But blow on it, soup is still pretty hot."
"Thanks Sis." I reply and set the soup beside me, choosing to wait until it cools on it own, turning on the laptop and checking the web for the security guard, he probably has a profile on the usual sites..
Acino and Cita share recipes, something to keep their mind off their troubles. The kids stay quiet but eat their soup dutifully, not spilling a single drop.
It doesn't take much, the guard has a simple page on YokedIn, even has a phone number and ComLink address.
Make a notepad and start storing the info, lets go full cyberstalker, does he post about his favorite hang out or have a picture with his friends?
'1d10' rolling for luckRoll #1 10 = 10
Seems the Guard, a Gryphon by the name of Kreider, isn't all that careful with his online presence. Passwords and accounts are easily guessed, you basically have enough info on him to steal his identity if you could secure a few more.
He's got lots of pictures of him having good times with 'clients', people he's guarding at clubs and restaurants, but nothing illegal so far.
But, a cursory search shows that his clients are far from clean. Lots of accusations and convictions, they practically get arrested for every crime in the book.
"Ha. And the hackers always pretend this is hard."
I eat my soup in victory and make note of a few of the seedier ponies names, so I can throw them around if need be.
"He like dangerous types, I think I might have an idea for an approach. "
As you finish the soup, you finally notice it has gotten quiet. All the other girls are looking at you.
Look them over with a flat look and then realize they were waiting on my plan and let myself smile.
"Oh. You know, the classic 'approach the dirty cop as a criminal with an opportunity for him'. "
"That's nice, but that's not what we want to focus on." Cita states frankly. "When was the last time you did your talons?"
"Do you even use feather shampoo?" Yura asks.
Acino and Providence are holding on to a whole load of little tubes.
"I.. what.." Blinking in confusion I look down at my talons, are they really getting long again?
"They could use some work." Acino states.
"And so could the rest of you." Cita adds. "Come on, don't tell me you weren't expecting this? I thought we shared memories."
"Only OLD memories!" I protest but get up to follow them.
"Hmm, I wonder up to what point it goes then…" Cita says as she walks toward the blanket pile. Yura and Providence are giggling and talking about what they're going to do to each other, even Acino seems to have some light in her eyes. Even the gun shots outside the apartment don't dim them for long. She just closes the windows after keeping an eye out.
"So they taught you how to blend in, but did they actually teach you how to do a taloncure? How to care for your feathers?"
That's far too cute for me to even be mad.
"Oh, I wash them, and dry them off with a towel, or just let the wind do it. Why what do you do?"
A surprised sound comes out of all of them. They gather around, talking about all the work that needs to be done before the night is over.
"Okay, this is a fashion emergency." Cita exclaims with the others nodding. "We'll start from the top and get this Infiltrator good enough to win the Saddle Mare Pageant before the night is over!"
"Thanks for playing along.
" Cita whispers.
In the end, we're all girls. Lighten up a little and give them a soft smile at the care.
Whisper back to Cita "Sure, its a sleepover right? Just don't let the little ones near any permanent dye. Who knows what ideas they have.
Kreider, the Gryphon whose name you found on your deceased Mother's contact list, is going to go out for just another day at the "office", according to his social media account. He's even posted a picture of him posing.
It's morning at your apartment, and you had forgotten how small it all was. With so much fur and feather here, you'd have to worry about allergens if you weren't engineered to withstand them. The whole group is still asleep, but Providence is still shaking in her sleep.
Dig around my closet, I'm sure I had a teddybear or plush doll lying around in there.. some stupid gift from a hopeful stallion no doubt.
You've got a few toy goats, actually. Offerings from the local children when you first moved in.
The sun is barely starting to peek over the horizon.
Pick up the softest one and slide into Providence's grasp.
She clutches it with a death grip, but she stops tossing and turning, even her squeaking stops.
Yura has her eyes on you, but she doesn't say anything.
Give the tiny me a nod, and then go back to closet. I need something cool and punk feeling to wear today.
'1d10'Roll #1 2 = 2
What you have available smells and has a fair share of smells. Nothing blood coated in here, but your life got turned upside down right before laundry day.
I grumble and pick out the cleanest thing then. '1d10' for styleRoll #1 5 = 5
It's literally last gen, as the tag says when you compare it with what has been branded as "cool" and "hip" this fashion season. But you got a good deal for it, there's that.
It will have to do. I'll just impress this guy some other way.
Now I will grab a toast for breakfast and start opening the window to leave.
"You'll be careful out there, right?" Acino asks as she puts on an apron.
"I'll make it back in one piece. Promise." I give her a firm nod, seeing someone actually ask.. Shake away the thoughts as I hoover outside. I can't let it soften me.
"I'll have everything cleaned up for you, so you'd better." She says, in an attempt to be firm.
There are clouds above you, the day hasn't decided if it will rain or not. A light wind, but you can handle it as you float outside, but there are already a few Equestrians outside holding on to their hats.
Busy day for them no doubt. Lets try to fly near the "office" and see if our friendly gryphon is around.
If you're talking about the checkpoint Gryphon, he's not here yet. In his place is a stocky Donkey lady. The line is still short at this hour, but she's making sure everyone gets checked efficiently.
Okay, then he must be still on the route.
Check his address, which way would he usually have come from to get here?
The overly touchy Gryphon who works the checkpoint? He lives just north of here, on the other side of the checkpoint.
Kreider, the Gryphon you want to tail? He's a bit to the east, though he did mention that he might have to take a Mana-Cart and his client, through here.
So many gryphon, how could I forget.
Go a bit further back from the check point, look for a place I watch the road in stealth. '1d10+2' ?Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Say what you want about the Sister's not having as much influence as before, but you should show some gratitude. There's a lot of sycamore trees around. Not too high, but thick and full of leaves, great for a Gryphon who wants to keep watch.
A few more Equestrians are showing up for the lines.
All I have to do is keep waiting for Kreider. Check on his posts occasionally in case he decides to post the something changed.
Nothing like a picture, but you can see his newsfeed explode with all the hot chicks he keeps giving "Hoofs Up" to.
That all changes as he uploads a pic of himself with his client, a rather morose looking Earthie named Akhal, his current charge. Kreider seems very happy with his purchased alcohol, his buddy, not so much. They're at the store you were at last night, seems they're headed to one of the 24 hours clubs that dot the city.
Interesting. I will jump down from my tree and go toward the club nearest that store. In theory a club is ideal to get close to someone, crowded, noisy room with lots of drunks..
The High Horse Club is open 24/7, but even at this hour, it still has a good number of guests. Lots of Equines can be seen drinking or being drunk at this hour, but the lights are calmer, and security is non-existant except for Goat nursing a coffee.
Slide inside the club and order a rum and cola, just to have something to hold.
'2d10' spot checking the roomRoll #1 1, 7 = 8
Seems like a normal club, or at least the public image of them. It has numerous lights and big speakers, but they aren't on at this hour. The tired Buffalo cleaning the bar is certainly checked off the trope list.
Even the eager bar patron who is going to hit on all the pretty ladies is coming over.
"Hey Fergy, I thought today was your day off?" A young, male Zebra asks as your quarry parks their mana-cart.
Asking me? Another case of mistaken identity? scoot over for him to sit.
"Huh, Zanz, are you drunk already?"
"I wish. Between work, school, and my family, everything here seems mighty tempting." He laughs, then quickly shuts up and sighs. "Great, it's Kreider again. I wonder what poor sucker he's got today."
"He looks like money today." I comment with a chuckle.
Take this as an excuse to look over the client '2d10'Roll #1 7, 8 = 15
You can read him like a book, but the title of it would have to do with him being a Majiu, a gangster from Quadza gang. He's got the telltale mane cut and branding on him, but he isn't too happy at all.
Kreider, on the other talon, looks as giddy as a child. Even from a distance, you can already make out him pointing out what other joints they're about to hit up.
However, your training also helps you spot a Diamond Dog putting a lot of attention on them.
"Ay, Zanz, you best get ta' work. I'mma mingle a bit since I got a break." Pat the zebra on the shoulder with a half drunk smile and wander toward the Diamond Dog's area, getting a seat near him.
Kreider and his pal come in and take a seat at the bar, while the Diamond Dog takes one of the tables behind them. His ears keep focusing on Kreider, but he tries to keep his attention to the drink menu. He fidgets with his business collar every few seconds.
Sip on my drink just barely, like I'm bored stiff.
'2d10' can I see if he's armed?Roll #1 7, 8 = 15
He's actually got a gun. It's a standard, police issue firearm. Not only that, you can see a wire popping out of his collar.
"Fergy, I know you're off, but can you cover me for a bit?" Zanz comes to ask of you. "We just got a big order, one that includes a real big tip."
"What really?" I groan, but look over at what his uniform is to guess his- and now mine, job here "How long are you gonna be?"
"Just a bit. Me and Benni need to load the drinks to our party bus. Just for a bit, okay? It's going to be a nice bonus to all of our paychecks." He pleads.
, I mean at least there aren't many folks here yet so I won't have to do much.. Also I didn't bring my keys with me."
'2d10' rolling to figure out what needs me to do?Roll #1 4, 9 = 13
"Swaini left her uniform in the back, just hold the bar in the meantime, please. Just a few minutes. Thanks" Zanz quickly takes off to the back.
On the bar, Kreider and his compadre are nursing their drinks as they go through their Com-Links instead of talking to each other too much. The Diamond Dog holds his menu, but he hasn't done anything else since coming in.
Sigh and go get dressed into that uniform. Hopefully it fits okay.
Fergy seems to be a petite version of you. Part of her uniform feels tight on you in certain parts.
Except for Kreider's occasional outburst, it's pretty quiet right now. There's a couple of menus to hoof out if people come in, but you won't have to worry about making their drinks right now.
There's a few people giving you a look, but their interrupted as a group of males walks in and seats themselves at the bar.
"Yo Fergy! When did you get stuck with a shift at this hour? Or am I too hammered to know what time it is?" One of the Unicorns yells out.
Wave back at the unicorn.
"Hey! We're a little short hooved right now so I agreed to help. If ya' need anything let me know!"
"Oh, really then? How about a Bull Shot. Last night was a good night, and I aim to celebrate." The Unicorn turns back to his friends and Com-Links, talking around what exactly they did, but it was probably criminal.
"Yep, coming right up."
Get the pony his drink, and a set of menus for his table.
but I still want to keep an eye on Kreider.. '2d10' for overall perception.Roll #1 9, 9 = 18
Your Assassin training helps you when it comes to mixing drinks. If you think about it, you're just brewing another toxin, except the person who drinks it actually gives you money for it!
By pretending to go around the place getting the necessary ingredients, you sneak a fair number of glances on Kreider and his friend's Com-Link. Looks like the Earthie has a few appointments, while Kreider just goes through his frequent visitor cards and StableBook pictures.
Excellent, it would be slightly embarrassing to have to use the drink cheat sheet these places keep around for newbies.
"So, what will the rest of you boys be having?" I ask the unicorn's table with a smile.
"Just bring out the Prench stuff. Me and the boys are going to celebrate! The boss is going to be real happy with us when he gets the news! So a toast!" The Unicorn yells out, and the rest follow through.
It seems your prey has a talon raised up to get your attention.
Chuckle at their cheerfulness, "Okay, I'll bring it right out."
Then go over to the bar and smack my beak a little, like I had gum stuck there. Looking at the gryphon with a smile.
"Can I help you sweetie?"
"Fergy, you're being nice. I like that. How about a few Go-Goats? My friend here needs a few picker uppers and the day is just starting." His companion just sighs, but Kreiden ignores it completely.
A quick glance lets you know the Dog is now following you with his ears.
"He does look a little down.."
Start working on the drinks in front of them, since they are sitting at the bar.
Look at his client "Something heavy on your mind?"
He looks up at you, his eyes tired and droopy, but then goes back to looking at his Com-Link. "I think I messed up and there's no way to fix it. Just get us the drinks and keep them coming." The Earthie says, just looking at his screen.
"Hey, cheer up! You can't be like that with me around!"
"Messed up? Is it about a girl?" I reply while passing him his drink and looking for the expensive prench bottles.
"No, then I could do something. Ugh, I was doing so well with them, what happened?" He puts his head on the bar table.
"Calm down boss, I'm sure everything will work out. Heck, even Fergy is acting nice. That's like a sign from the Sisters themselves!"
"Hey, cheer up, you want to hear a joke?"
I grab a napkin and scribble on it with a pen while I talk.
"Two guys are going hiking, and they come across a large rock. The first guy says 'That's a big rock.' The second guy says 'Boulder', so the first guy yells out 'That's a big rock.
'1d10+2' sneakily write, DD at the table is a cop, and slip the note under his next drink.Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Even the best security cams available wouldn't note you writing anything down.
Though his reaction is less than hidden. His eyes grow three times their size as he starts panicking. He shows it to Kreider, who actually acts as calm as a bodyguard should of such a high-ranking individual.
He turns to you. "Maybe just a soda for my friend. We haven't even started having fun." Kreider says, with a big goofy smile as he begins to check the table for any of their loose possesions.
"Try not let his mind weigh in on him."
set a bottle of soda from the fridge down next to them as I easily bring an expensive wine bottle and a set of glasses to the partyiers.
"Yeah, he'd got enough on hid noggin' already. Say, is Modelo in the kitchen today? I want to say hi to him, and introduce my boss to him." He paws a $100 bit bill underneath his talons towards you.
"I'll go check the schedule.." I reply with a smile accepting it with stealth. "I know how you like to get those fish fries right off the boiler."
I better go make sure the way is clear for him to sneak out the back.
Except for two underpaid janitors, the back is free, except for your Zebra "coworker" who occasionally pops in to grab more crates of drinks.
"You know those give me gas. I can't stand being around myself when I eat those…"
"Then stop drinking them moron. Go take a walk until you're done smelling up the air, the kitchen is too small and I have a special order."
I make a shooing gesture at him.
"C'mon Boss, let me introduce ya." He pushes his employer forwards, standing back and taking one last glance to make sure no evidence has been left behind. Meanwhile, the drunkards at the other table continue their loud laughter, making it easier to sneak to the back.
"Your assistance, I'll reward it anyway I can." Akhal whispers as he passes, obviously in a better mood now that he isn't in the same room as a police officer.
"Chillax boss, I already took care of that. Just put some trust in me." The Gryphon bodyguard says without looking up as he enters the back, clicking away on his Com-Link.
I decide to keep an eye ahead and look out the back door for potential threats
'2d10' was spot checks I believeRoll #1 6, 10 = 16
The Cop Cart stood out. Too clean, too tinted, occupants unmoving. But you didn't stare too long. Whoever was in that Cart was very much a Professional, there was an ominous feeling coming from it.
There's a few hobos sleeping in the alleyway behind the club, and a nice sized luggage case underneath the normal boxes that Kreider is headed towards.
"Keep the boss under control for a bit, I'm going to prepare our getaway route, okay?"
That case. Go grab it.
'1d10+2' stealth to not be seen by the copsRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
You duck the Earthie behind some of the bins, hiding him from their sight. Kreider bribes some of the hobos for their belts.
You pull out the luggage case without making too much noise, just another club worker tidying up, and note that it's one with a simple combination lock.
Look at Kreider expectantly for a sign that this is his
He's chatting with the hobos and handing out a few tips.
"Oh, this yours? You finally decide to up and leave town after all that? You seemed to have been doing better." Kreider says.
I guess not.
"Oh yea, thought it would be best.." get closer to him.
"No. Also we can't stay in this alley, the cop's partner is here.
"Sisters, when did you get so observant? And when has the heat been on us like this?" Kreider sighs, but the pulls out his horrific BDSM gear he assembled. "Boss, got you a harness, hope you ain't airsick."
I almost burst out laughing
"Are you going to wear that? Really?"
"I'm not chancing the Cart being bugged, ya know? I want to show the boss a good time, like I was paid to. Can't have him freaking out about cops." Kreider replies.
"Can we please hurry this up? I'll dress up like a clown if that's what it takes." Akhal pipes up with.
"See, like that. Anyways, think you can stall the cops or something?"
"Honestly, I'm not sure. The guy gives off an intense vibe. Ya konw, like he knows his stuff. But I can help you two escape.. provided he doesn't have the aim of a top agent."
'2d10' look the best cover to use to fly out of hereRoll #1 4, 4 = 8
It's pretty barebones here. Long, straight alleys without too much open area for you to fly into. You'll have to make a few stops to walk, but it should keep you out of sight in case they brought flyers themselves.
"This way." I declare before he can question me and fly into the alleys to get some distance.
'1d10+2' stealth I suppose?Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
You dart into a few corners and cubby holes you find, and very quickly see that you made the right decision. You see the same Pegasus about four times as you fly around. Akhal seems about to wet himself with worry, as the darkness and humidity of the area starts getting to you guys.
"Sheesh, when did you get all secret agent on us?" Kreider asks.
"Maybe I always was." I smirk at him and playfully touch his long head feather.
"Got a lockpick dear? I left my keys at home."
"Whatever I had was on the Cart. Now doesn't seem like the best time, since it looks like it's gonna rain." Above, the clouds are getting dark gray again as the wind starts to pick up. "I kinda want to head to a place nearby, get some drinks and some cover before we all take an unwanted shower." Kreider states.
"Home, just take me home!" The Earthie finally yells.
"No can do boss, you know they're checking the place. A drink will do you good, unless you know of a better place Fergy?"
I grumpily ponder it.
Do I know a place that's safe to hide for a while, that's NOT my home?
Maybe those slums if we get desperate.
In this dingy area? None exactly. While you can spot a few empty homes you can hide away in, it's going to be much harder while carrying a full grown Earth pony.
A quick Com-Link map scan shows some busy marketplaces and a few clubs Kreider might want to hit up. A few places his boss might like pop up, but who knows how he'll take it.
Go for a place his boss might like, show him on the screen.
"How about this? Its not a fort, but we'll be dry and probably not arrested."
"Those are all Yakuza fronts, I might be able to get us some way around this." He buries his head in his hooves. "Or get us all killed if they think I messed up again. Can't anything in my life go right?" He cries out.
"Boss, get a grip. We'll go in, pretend everything is normal, and they won't say anything to not attract attention to themselves. Look, we can get some food at the restaurant of yours, or we can get some
new clothes at the little business you guys have going on 7th Ave."
"You," Aksol looks at you, "what do you think? Maybe an outsider won't bring us such horrible luck."
"I like the new clothes idea. Even just a coat and hat can throw off a tail. Even better if you give your old ones to somepony off the street."
"See Boss, we can take care of a lot of things in one go. 'Sides, they can't get mad at you if it was your bodyguards idea, right?" Kreider adds, smiling. "We'll even get Fergy here a nice dress. Wouldn't she look cute in something pink? Make it feel like we're really out in the town."
"Okay okay." The Earthie finally replies. "But if they ask, we're just getting out of the rain, no mention of police or law anywhere
, got it?"Roll #1 4 = 4
I roll my eyes make an overly girly giggle.
Then snag Kreider's com link. And turn it off.
"Hey, I need that!" He objects.
"Nuhuh, I'm keeping it until all mention of dresses is over." I say and tuck it into my feathers
"Sheesh, I'll keep my beak shut next time. Just don't wipe it like last time." Kreider says.
"No, let her wipe it. I don't want anything getting out. I want everyone to think we're at the bar and that's all we did all day." Aksol interrupts.
"Fine then. Just don't lose it. It's expensive you know. Now let's go before we get drenched."
The route towards the market isn't too bad. It's pretty clean, with only a few Equestrians passing by on the streets, most of them in their Mana-Carts.
"I'll keep it safe."
I keep a sharp eye out anyway, you never know.
Since they are buying, I'll let them pick the store and just go along with it.Roll #1 8, 9 = 17
Eyes, eyes everywhere on you as you enter the discount clothing store. This also applies to the cameras. It feels like everyone knows your an outsider. Kreider's loudness and Aksol less than stellar standing makes it harder than ever to hide away.
The neon lights seem to keep all the corners of this area well lit, and the air freshener they have stands out, it'd be hard to get the smell off without a good soaking.
But their selection is pretty good. You could see yourself shopping here when you weren't expecting life or death situations to happen at anytime. Aksol quickly grabs a change of clothing, everything the exact opposite of what he had. Kreider takes his time, giving you a moment to look around. Since Aksol will be paying, what might you be looking into?
An eager Goat girl gallops up to you, with a big, wageslave smile. "What can I help you with today?" She asks as Kreider takes a selfie with some clothes.
"I need something dressy for gryphons, what's trending now? The Dazzling Line?"
What the heck, didn't I take his phone already?
Casually walk over to him as I talk and snatch that one too. "Stop it dear! I told you no pictures until tonight's party."
This phone is small and old, something that even you wouldn't want.
"Hey, that's just my backup. It can't do no harm." Kreider protests before looking at the clothing.
"Sort of, it's actually Glim Glam. It's an off shoot of them, so you aren't wrong. Here, we have a few of their things!" She says excitedly as she points towards another side of the store.
One of the store's Security Dogs looks in your direction and talks into his Com-Link.
"Oh, does it still come with the Glover Seal?" I absently ask the goat and shake my head at Krieder pretending to help him look at suits to get closer to the security.
'1d10+2' stealth?Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
Stealth here isn't possible. A pair of Gryphons and a dishonored YAKuza are a glowing beacon in this place. Best bet is to just pretend to be customers.
"Hmm, I don't think so. I can look that up if you want." She points you to an overdesigned set of shelves. The lights alone are extremely gaudy, as are the clothes, but you have seen them on plenty of people while you were out and about.
The Security Dog stands at the door. A second one appears and stays near another set. He whispers something into his Com-Link. Aksol is starting to sweat bullets while Kreider tries to calm him down.
Huh, look at the clerk with a strange expression, letting her lead me to the other side of the store satisfied that those two aren't going to hurt us.
"You mean you have to look up
which pieces are hoof selected for runway testing by Glover Cloth himself? "
"Yup." She says with a fake smile. "Half the videos are fakes, just some corporate hackers being paid to alter clothes on the models. I've seen an entire show that was faked. You should have seen my face when a customer pointed out everything
to me. Like, Celestia please, I'm so embarrassed."
An over dressed Earthie is being escorted by a Security Pegasus towards you. The Security Dogs are also walking towards your group. Even Kreider loses a bit of his confidence.
Look for the nearest exist. '2d10'Roll #1 5, 7 = 12
There's the main entrance. The other exits were being blocked and the Dogs are coming from those directions.
Time to leave. Hold up one of the phones as if checking, but holding the screen away from anyone who could see it. Curse and put it back at my side.
"I'm getting a call, I'll have to step out moment. Sorry."
I excuse myself from the cleric and urge Krieder and the Yakuzi pone to leave with me.
Aksol trots ahead with due haste. Kreider actually has to put a talon on him to keep him from simply darting away from you. None of the security personnel make moves towards you once they see you're headed out.
Still, you're back outside, with the wind and soon to come Seaddle rain. Aksol is starting to look sick from all the stress.
"We need a motel. Boss needs to lie down real bad." Kreider tells you. "If you're going to play phone guard, at least look one up." He says.
Roll to Notice.
'2d10' like this?
"Sure, I can do that Kriedy." I smile at him and use mom's phone to look up a place rather than one of his probably bugged ones.Roll #1 6, 6 = 12
You catch a glimpse of two bad things. The cop car that was tailing Aksol is turning a corner. Three street Hooligan's Com-Link has just gone off at the same time.
There's a bunch of skeevy and cheap motels nearby. While it may be lewd, two guys and a girl walking into them won't turn the eyes of any locals. There are three nearby.
'1d10' speedily move roll.
Those are in order of closeness I presume?
Go toward the first one until we can see it and turn on Krieger's phone. When we can see the building bring them close and take a picture with it in the background.
"Kriee, I'm gonna update your mybook, what do you want it to say? Chilling with my boi? Getting Fergy wet?"Roll #1 9 = 9
"Uhm, uh," Kreider wasn't expecting this question. "Just say that we're getting ready for a night out, Yeah, that'll work with my followers."
The motel is brown and decaying thing, the Hollow Horse, with a broken sign on top. Nearby, you can hear lots of hooves moving and the occasional Mana-Cart being aggressive on the speed bumps.
The wind is picking up.
Then the phone goes off again.
"I'm sure you'll get plenty of likes."
Lead them the sneakiest way toward the third location now.
'1d10+2' stealth perhaps.Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
He smiles for a moment before he joins you in running off. Aksol, though, is not really used to this type of life. He knocks over plenty of trash cans in his haste and frequently slows you all down.
The hoof steps are farther away, but they haven't left you. You can't hear the Mana-Cart anymore.
It has started to sprinkle.
"Okay. Aksol, I'm gonna carry you."
Put the pony on my back, I'm tough enough for it.
Also make sure I turned off that phone again.
'1d10+2' keep making random turns into alleys to lose the hoof patrol.Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
You're making some good ground towards the motel, but you also start seeing what you're up against. Every couple of streets, you see the same Equestrians running around. People looking too intently at their Com-Links. They're looking around harder. You can hear yelling.
It's getting closer.
It's starting to rain properly.
At this rate they are going to be able to deploy a missile on us and not do any damage to the sidewalk.
'1d10+2' go through the next possible building to let the on lookers go past.Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
You dart into an old industrial building. The Homeless have repurposed it for their needs, the ground filthy with their garbage. A Yak and a Buffalo quickly run past, paying no heed to the inclement weather.
A Pegasus stops under the door, escaping the rain. She's dressed similar clothes as the two who ran past, but she's focusing on her Com-Link.
'1d10' use backstab to KO the girl on her com link.Roll #1 3 = 3
Against an Assassin, a thug is nothing. She drops to the ground when you knock her out. She even did you the favor of drying off the Com-Link there. Nice, isn't she?
Look at her com-link and see what she was doing.
There's a few recent messages.
"This here is someone dear to me.">A picture of Aksol is attached, from better times.
"He can't stop kicking up needless storms." >There's an ad from the soft-drink machine they passed.
"Teach him the value of being behaved, got it?"
Several messages are locations that have been checked. A cursory check of those makes it clear they're getting closer to you.
>>671718>Got it, I saw them go toward the liquor store past [street back the way we came]
"Dang, thought I checked that."
"2much cise ned brk."
Similar messages pop in from other groups.
Okay. Tell you what.
I'm gonna keep this comm link, can I hook it up an ear bud so I can hear messages ping as I walk?
You don't have any earpieces right now, but the vibrate function is still good. Two more messages pop up, about trying to find Aksol.
Poor Equine will probably hyperventilate himself to death if this keeps up. He knows they're after him.
I think the whole city knows they are after him by now.
"Its fine. I know where they are looking now." I assure him with a pat on the back.
With this new information try to get to the motel while avoiding the search parties.
'1d10+2' stealthyRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Roll #1 9, 4, 7 = 20
"Please, please…" Aksol say meakly in prayer throughout your journey to the cheap motel. Kreider keeps an eye out, like a real bodyguard should.
You're only a block away from the motel.
The Police Mana-Cart is parked across the street from the motel.
The rain is poring hard now.
Is there a back way in? Maybe just an open widow from another guest will do.
'2d10' spot checkRoll #1 9, 4 = 13
The Motel has an alternate entrance through the side. The Cart wouldn't notice you from there.
The problem might be the more obviously marked police mana-cart passing by.
"Hold on tight to me." I put the scared pony on my back again and prepare to dash over at the right time.
'1d10' one for the moneyRoll #1 6 = 6
Roll #1 8, 3, 9 = 20
The Com-Link you stole is vibrating an awful lot now.
The Mana-Cart that's been hunting you pulls away, down the street.
The Police mana-cart is stopped at the red light.
Get inside and check the phone with baited breath.
"Shouldn't she be here?"
reply back>Got covered in mud, had to change clothes, be there soon.
"For this you spell properly?"
"Get a tetanus shot too. Where'd you see the guy run off to?"
The light changes color, the police car carries off down the street.
>>671734>Looked like he was going to buy booze lol I wish I had some too.
put the phone back and approach the desk to ask for a room key.
The Donkey at the desk looks at your group, then turns his head back to his Com-Link.
"15 bits a night. Keep it quiet."
Urge the earthie to pay up, I don't really have money to spare after getting fired and feeding my clones.
He fiddles with his vest, plopping the money on the desk. The Donkey programs a card and picks it up. "Room 115, all the way in the left corner. You'll need to be out by 10AM." He says, drifting back to his internet endeavours.
He hoofs the card towards Aksol.
"Thanks, we'll keep to ourselves." I assure the clerk and accept the card going to the room.
As you leave his office, you can hear his Com-Link go off.
No matter, let's just get to the room safely.
Akhal, your Earthie Yakuza member, holds his head down in shame. You can see his mind is moving at 100mph and not getting anywhere.
Kreider, his Gryphon bodyguard, is a bit more cheerful. You can hear him trying to liven up the mood by telling his charge about all the booze and babes they have waiting for them.>>671741
The room is nice and warm, a contrast to the cold, rain, and wind that has come up from the inside. You can smell an insidious smell coming from the bed. Aksol heads to the bathroom, locking the door.
I'm going to lock down this room. Lock the door, put a chair in front of it, lock the window and close the curtains.
'2d10' sweep the room for bugs too.Roll #1 6, 7 = 13
"You expecting a siege?" Kreider smirks at you. "And expecting to hold out it seems."
There is a peephole near the mirror. Likely so someone could watch you undress.
"I wouldn't look so calm about that." Smirk back at him. "You're gonna be expected to help."
Remove the whole mirror to be sure, and cover up the hole with a bandage or sticky note.
Removing the mirror reveals some of the damage the place has suffered. The hole has clearly been rubber cemented over.
"Yeah, I don't think the boss is going to be in a mood to hit the bars at this rate." Kreider makes sure to close the check under the bed and claw at the outlet covers. "Though to be honest, its nice not getting arrested during a gig."
"You usually get arrested doing this? And ponies still hire you?" I look disgusted by his causal attitude about this.
"I should clarify, I get 'taken in for questioning'," he does the air quotes with his claws, "but I've never actually been arrested." He stops for a bit.
"Though, that doesn't stop some of my previous hires from believing it. Only thing that saves me is my sister. She's gotten me off everytime." He smiles and looks down. "That, probably didn't sound too good either, huh?"
"How's she manage that? Got connections with force?"
'2d10' check the windowRoll #1 3, 9 = 12
With a little jiggling on the right side, the whole thing could come off.
"She's one of Luna's Prosecutors. Can you believe that?"
"Must be true, career choices aren't genetic."
pace around the room being ready, but stop at the bed to look at the gryphon.
"You ever take jobs from.. a gryphon that looks like me, like she could be my mother or something?"
"Yeah, I asked her about it and she played coy with me."
He stares at you.
"Then I asked Fergy and she showed me her family picture."
, I narrow my eyes at him.
"That job, what was it?"
He looks at you for a moment.
"Just a normal corporate protection thing. I get them often. Some manager wakes up on the bad side of bed, wants a worker to make a mistake, and sends me. Not my favorite jobs, but guaranteed pay."
"You remember what corporation? Who made the mistake?"
Sit on the bed right next to him, wing reaching around his back and smile curiously.
"Sorry, I'm on the clock. Can't give you something without getting something in exchange. Why don't you start with telling me your name?"
"Krieder, please. I don't want to be mean to Fergy's friend."
Pin him to the bed, almost playfully.
"Just tell me about that job."
"Listen, I can't endanger my job prospects like this. I don't know who you are, but this is clearly above me. You understand?"
"Okay. I'm Cita. I used to be a normal gryphon until these jerks came after me, tried to kidnap me, then I remembered something. My memories of being trained to be an assassin. Its all been very confusing, a trail of bodies of thugs bigger and stronger than you. But. I found out that the source was that old chick you spoke too. She was the original me. She was upset about the rest of us existing. And she's dead. So I can't get any answers from her. So." I draw my blade on him.
"I'm stuck asking random contacts of hers. Like you."
"Dang it, dang it, come on! Sis even offered me a job, something stupid, but that won't get me involved in this type of stuff."
"Alright, all I did was drive her around. Basic stuff. Out of work, took her to the DMV, one of the warehouses of the companies, and then drove her home after the cops took us in. They let us go, so I just drove her home and that was it."
Now we're getting somewhere. "You remember where any of those were? The warehouses, her home? How long did you work for her?"
"I got her info on my Com-Link. Just copy what you need and leave the rest, okay? I don't need anymore trouble after this."
You can see him sweating. He knows he's in something big, and is making the smart idea of cooperating as least as possible without fighting.
Look at him judgingly.
"Okay.. Krieger, how well do you know my clone, Fergy? You're real close right?"
"She, she's just a bar girl I recognize. Nothing more…"
Roll to spot.
'2d10' looking carefullyRoll #1 3, 9 = 12
You see him start to turn red, but a quick breath brings him back to normal.
"That's all? What a shame. I thought you might actually care if something happened to her, like it almost happened to me. That you might like to stop that from happening."
Sigh in deep disappointment.
"Hey, hey, don't play this game with me. It ain't funny, okay? If you know something, tell me!"
"Why? You just said that chick means nothing to you." Scowl at him with a sort of hateful look.
"Listen, just hold up, you
don't know me or
Fergy. If you know something that might hurt her, tell me!"
Poke his chest feathers with the tip of the blade shaking my head.
know something that might hurt her. The old chick that you drove for, she was arranging for all the clones to get abducted, recalled like bad tuna cans. Who knows what happens to the ones who aren't lucky enough to escape. I've had to fight everyday since they discovered me. Everyday. Just to not get taken to their labs. Even after their boss is dead. Do you think Fergy
can fight that kind of pursuit?"
"Just, what do you want?! If you, if I can help her, what do you want?"
He's doing his best to keep himself from trying to fight you. You can see his feathers popping up.
"For now. Tell me everything you remember, anyone she met with, any codes she used, any unusual places she went." I try to break it down as simple as I can. "Odd calls she took. Anything that stood out really." Then ease up.
"You take pictures all the time! Did you take any when you worked for her?"
"Should have just bought the one without a camera." He curses under his breath. "You can see the dates I worked for her, I had about three weeks on the gig before the boss called it off. I don't really notice too many things, part of the job, so just copy what you want and you try."
"Okay." I let the gryphon up sitting down with his phone, powering it on to look through photos.
"Go check on your client. He's been in there a long while now.."
"Can this day get any OH COME ON!" Kreider yells. "Breathe, boss. Please, don't make this harder for me." The Gryphon bodyguard says to the Earthie on the floor having a panic attack.
There's a lot of pictures he's got there. With their file size, it'll take a while to even transfer. You see some pictures of a few odd buildings, as well as some familiar ones, like the one you killed your mother at.
I suppose I better take all of pictures from that timeframe..
Get the transfer started, from his comlink over to my mother's. Leave them both plugged in to the wall so it can't die in the middle of the transfer.
A normal and simple procedure. You see the progress bar quickly start filling.
Outside, you can hear several Mana-Carts come to a quick stop in the parking lot.
The motel is cheap and run down, but it's keeping the water and wind out as Kreider tries to deal with two earth shattering events in his life. Aksol remains on the floor, unable to even properly use his brain meats as his life crumbles.
Outside of the beat down motel, two Mana-Carts quickly arrive and empty out their occupants. Three occupants per Cart, all well dressed and looking around with focus.
The data transfer rate from Kreider's ComLink is reaching 70%.
Looking around? They aren't already aware of what room we're in?
Pop my head into the bathroom. "Krieger, do your damn job and don't let either of you get killed. The window can be popped out, be ready to move him if I tell you."
Then go to the bedside lamp, does it look pretty hot, movable?
Nope, they're communicating with each other and looking around. They occasionally check their ComLinks, but two of them do branch off, leaving 4.
The lamp is an LED one, barely generating any heat.
"What? Why would we need to do, oh Luna, is someone out there?" Kreider asks.
"Yes. A lot of someponies."
Okay, what about the brightest light in the room?
More LED lights.
Interestingly, they can be controlled by your ComLink if you download the app for it. You can even change the color!
The well dressed Equestrians outside don't say much. One of them went into the Office.
If I have the app? But my comm link is all tied up, no time for that.. Oh, I have the thug's comm link, open it up and install the app.
While I'm dong that go into the hall, investigate the door across the hall, try to open it. '1d10' ?Roll #1 10 = 10
Carefully tiptoeing your way back there, you find the door leads to the maintenance room. Washing machines for the blankets and other supplies are stored here. There are two big windows above.
Another Equestrian has walked into the office.
That is I hurry back to the room and check on Krieder and Asksol.
"Hey, are you gonna lie on the floor like that forever?"
"I think he is Copy." Kreisler responds. "I can carry him, wouldn't be the first time I did. Is whoever out there looking like trouble?"
"Carry him, they just went to the office, won't be long before they get this room number."
Lead him to the maintenance room, taking care to watch for oncomers. '2d10' spotRoll #1 7, 6 = 13
One of the well dressed Equestrians is arguing with the guy in the office. Another keeps an eye out. However, you manage sneak out from under him.
One of the Equestrians is in the parking lot, another has left.
You are in the moldy, smelly maintenance room.
These windows go outside?
They lead straight into a small alleyway. Only 1 cart wide.
Problem is that one of the Equestrians from the Cart is at one of the ends of it, snooping around into the Motel windows.
Only a small problem.
"Krieger, I'm going to leave this room, you push those washers in front of the door behind me, and if things get real bad use the windows to flee." I order him as I check on the app's progress, also grab that comm link's number and rattle it off to krieger as I return his alt phone to him.
Despite the 6g LTX connection, the app is downloaded.
The patrolling Equestrian starts heading down the alley, but his attention is split, as he keeps looking around.
Great, pocket both of those commlinks turning them off, then on the thug's commlink start messing with the app, prep a setting as bright as possible, with red blue and yellow flashing. Ready to press at a single tap
'1d10' app aptitude?Roll #1 8 = 8
You recall the serial number easy enough, so the App quickly connects. It already has several party settings!
The well dressed Equestrian is about 30 feet away from your window, walking towards it. He keeps peering into the windows.
Okay, step one is I'm gonna remove this window and wait until he is peering into one of the other ones to sneak out.
'1d10+2' sneakyRoll #1 9 + 2 = 11
"It's all your fault!">"We can fix this!"
"No it's all over idiot!"
A couple a few rooms down starts yelling, causing the Equestrians eyes and ears to perk towards it, a trained pro like you should be able to slink away!
I go behind the lone Equestrian, and KO him with backstab.>sentry, stealthed
I'd like to take him back toward his cart so he's not out in the open.
You're better off draging him into the Maintenance room. All the other routes are pretty open, letting civilians and his buddies see you.
'1d10' okay, into the maintenance room it is then.Roll #1 6 = 6
With a little help from Kreider, you manage to pull him up and into the Maintenance room.
With a splash, a shiny metal badge falls from one of his pockets.
Pick a couple up, what are these?
On closer inspection, it's a police badge. Specifically, part of the Seaddle PD.
"Well. Your client is in big trouble."
search the cop for his radio or comms device
He's got a well maintained Com-Link on his hoof, it's even got a fresh ear piece on it.
Putting that ear piece directly into my ear.
what's displaying on the commlink?
Kreider and Aksol's pictures are on the ComLink, as well as some of their details. Fergy is mentioned as a Gryphon of Interest, but so are a few others as you scroll down.
>"This is Horse 1, still no sign of the suspects near the East End, over.">"Horse 1, this is Donkey 2, moving over to your location, over."
Can be heard on the ComLink.
"handle tying this guy up for me." I suggest as I crawl out the window again.
'1d10+2' stealth to the roof topRoll #1 3 + 2 = 5
>>674929>"Donkey 2, this is Horse 2, I've gotten the information from the clerk. Heading to the room now, awaiting back up."
One of the street lamps highlights you as it starts turning on, but it's an easy flight to the top for you.
They finally got the info, okay…from here I want to look around a bit better, anyone still near their carts?
'2d10'Roll #1 3, 7 = 10
You only spot one of them approaching the carts. Sadly, he reaches in and pulls out a hefty looking shotgun. Fortunately, he's only packing beanbags.
Well Dressed Equestrians>1 with the info on your room>1 armed with a shotgun>2 teaming up>1 unaccounted for
Sneak over to the one with the shotgun.
'1d10+2'Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
He takes a position at the front end of the cart, looking at your room's direction. He's not looking anywhere else, focusing on the room.
>"Horse 2, Donkey 2 and Horse 1 are about to rendezvous with you. ETA 20 seconds."
Lock on, but instead of KOing' him cover his mouth and push him against the side of his cart.
Aggressively whisper to him.
"Are you on the take?
"Roll #1 1 = 1
You grab his mouth, but he reflexively jumps back into you! He's struggling to break free!
'1d10' keep him still
"Listen, I know that's only a beanbag round, I don't wanna hurt good cops for this scum, so settle down.
"Roll #1 3 = 3
"My name is Officer Caballus with the Lunar Tax Department, who are you?
He struggles, but seeing your claws keeps him calm.
The Lunar Tax Department is the enforcement arm of the government's tax collection department. If they're here, it's very serious. Even you know they were the ones who took down Al Capony.
"Lunar Tax Department?
" I repeat back scowling deeply.
"Why do you want Krieger?
"We don't want the bodyguard, the Earthie is the one we're after!
>"Horse 2, hold position, we're investigating something on our end. Stand by."
Investigating? Sounds bad. Click the app with a wing.
"To bring him in? Not assassinate him? I get it. I can give you Asksol, call back your team and set up a safe drop point. This place is too open and someone already made an attempt on his life.
ease up just a little to see what he does.
"You'll be in even more trouble if you don't give yourself and him up!
A true professional, even from his position, he still wants to take you in.
>"This is Horse 2, I'm seeing some strange lights coming from one of the rooms. Can anyone else confirm?"
"That doesn't work for me. Counter offer. I give you Asksol, unharmed, you stop looking at Krieger and anyone else. Refuse, I'll have to disappear with both of them.
"One way or another, we are leaving here with both.
So be it then.
'1d10' KO him nowRoll #1 10 = 10
A swift and sudden takedown. With no marks of any kind, anyone else would have thought he just decided to take a nap.
Slide him into his cart to seal the image then.
Copy his number into the thug's commlink for later, who knows if I might need it.
Any chatter on their comm?
>>674948>"Horse 4, do you copy? Horse 4, respond.">"Horse 5, please give your location."
Looks like they're about to catch on to your work.
'1d10+2' sneak to the roof above the alley where the cart is, that's probably where they will check firstRoll #1 1 + 2 = 3
Stay ready to pounce on him if he comes this way
He approaches the carts, eyes and ears checking the corners before he gets to them.
>"Donkey 6, hold position, we still haven't heard from Horse 4 and Horse 5."
You're just above them.
'1d10' swoop down on him, try for a KO, these guys are just doing their jobs here.Roll #1 2 = 2
6.. that means three down three to go.
Get back to the laundry room.
"We need a secret knock copy, because I am on edge. What's going on out there?" Kreider asks.
"Your client forgot to pay his taxes. Ever. And now the popo ponies are after you both. Strap him on, we gotta move."
"Honestly, why shouldn't I turn myself in? It's not like I owe money or anything. Ugh, I'm taking my sister up on her offer." He tosses him over his back. "Where to? Make it someplace clean, I'm done after this."
"Not yet. I still need you Krieger."
Where indeed. Do I know of a place in the city that would safe? '1d10' luckRoll #1 4 = 4
Not in this part of town.
However, you could do well with most abandoned and rundown buildings. There's a few some blocks away you could sleep in, if you can stomach the smell.
What a horrible thing.
It will have to do thou.
"I got an idea, but you won't like it."
'2d10' spot check to make sure its okay to go, then hold open the window for him.Roll #1 5, 2 = 7
No good, the hall outside of your door, and where the Carts are parked, are guarded by Horse 1 and Donkey 2. They're looking into the parked Mana-Carts, it's only a matter of time before they find their partners.
"I have to deal with the rest of them, I'll call you when its clear."
make sure I have his comm link's number in the thug's comm link and that I remembered to give it back to him.
"No pictures or posts, just wait for the call."
The contact numbers are instantly transferred. You don't have to worry about those.
"Yeah, but just one question. What you're doing, could Fergy do that too?"
"…Maybe if she remembered.." Then smirk as I reach for the window "..the part of the training to hold back on non-targets
'1d10+2' stealth outside toward the alley manacartRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
Looks like the smell of the police has spread, as you see a few people close their curtains as you walk around. Even people playing music seem to lower it, it's just you, the wind, and the two Lunar officers trying to find out where their partners went.
But the two Lunar officers where? Are they together?
The Well-Dressed Horse 1 and Donkey 2. They had broken off, and have now returned to their Mana-Carts, stun batons in hoof, as they look for their comrades. They are checking the two parked Mana-Carts, working their way to their carts.
I go to the furthermost manacart, wait behind it for them to approach.
*returned for their Mana-Carts
Even with the hard rain, you can hear the hoofsteps as they approach. They're slow and wary, so you have a few options.
Move to the cart BEFORE their Police-Carts, this way they don't find their partners.
Move to the cart AFTER their Police-Carts. They'll find their partners, but you'll have a better chance to jump them.
After. Taking out the current threat is most important.
"Oh man, we've got bodies!"
"Check for a pulse while I call for backup. I want a full team brought in!"
They yell orders at each other, but they don't run off as they keep an eye on their partners. They're next to their carts, doors open in case they need to get in and drive off.
Okay. Get the one who was just told to call help first.
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
>>675229>Horse 1 incapacitated
She was too focused on trying to get a signal in this weather that she didn't even register you getting behind her.
Because, let's be honest, who would sneak up on Luna's finest?
Donkey 2 is all that remains. You can see him checking on his unconscious partner, running through every known medical check you can do in the field.
Just one. Okay, one hard strike to KO him.
'1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
He's down for the count along his partner.
Congratulations, you've just beat up an entire team of Luna's Police Team to protect a has-been bodyguard and a criminal. Being out in the harsh rain and worse wind is your only reward.
Kreider and Aksol remain in the Maintenance room with the other Officer.
I'm sure it won't be the first time I have too beat up police..
leave these two in the carts next to their partners and dial Kreider's comm link.
"Hello, is it safe to come out?" Kreider says, in an unusually worried tone.
"Its all clear. Come out the window with the client. We're going above the cloud line."
Click. Wait for them just above the motel's clouds and then go toward the abandoned buildings, looking for a safe spot.
'2d10'Roll #1 1, 4 = 5
The wind is pushing you both down hard. It's difficult to even get to the clouds let along above them, as the darkness and smog obscures your sight.
Kreider's gone! You can't see him!
'2d10' stupid rain, look for that fool and his escort.Roll #1 10, 3 = 13
You see a silvery flash of light coming at your head.
What, okay this is useless. Dive to the ground.
'1d10+1'Roll #1 1 + 1 = 2
You feel an electric shock run through your wings and tail! A lot of your feathers were cut! It's hard to even glide right now, especially with the weather beating down on you!
'1d10' land anywhere, I just need to get out of this wind.Roll #1 9 = 9
Your on the top of an apartment complex. Fortunately, you landed near the door, you could make a break for it easily, even with the shock.
You see another figure land close by. It's fiddling with it's head, but the rain makes it hard to see anything else.
When did this storm roll in, I should really pay more attention to the weather reports..
'2d10' scan the skies for Krieger.Roll #1 2, 7 = 9
You spot Kreider flying about two buildings away, struggling to get some lift against the wind.
Unfortunately, whoever is after you just found you. You hear claws scraping on the roof towards you!
"What now?" Turn towards the sound and draw my weapon.
A stray lightning bolt illuminates your assailant just as they jump to strike with their overCharged Blade.
It's you, decked out in the latest Special Forces gear.
She moves to cover her eyes, the unexpected thunderbolt blinding her for a moment.
"You've gotta me fucking kidding."
'1d10' attack her from the left.Roll #1 2 = 2
You manage to catch her on her stomach, as her arms were raised.
She looks at you in shocked disbelief and starts walking backwards.
"No time to explain. What's your name, I'll find you later."
She nods her head side to side, pointing her sword at you. Looks like she's ready to jump off and into the darkness.
"You really want to keep attacking me.. I'd rather not kill one of us.."
She sheathes her sword, not taking her very cautious eye off of you. She dives off, headed in the opposite direction as you Kreider was.
"Be safe out there, we have enemies.." I warn myself and take off after Krieger. '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
It takes a little adjustment, and realization that your lift has only been cut by a little amount, to catch up to Kreider.
"Sorry, he's heavier than I remember. Care to help a little?"
"Sure, but let's land, we aren't getting anywhere in the storm." I call to him and point toward a room in front of us.
Ahead is an apartment complex with lots of windows blown out, but even more lit up. Looks like it's a habitat for the poor folk.
"At least it'll get us out of the rain. Sorry I couldn't keep up." He says, taking in a few more breaths than you see him normally take.
"Don't worry about it. This storm is bad."
Good enough to hide in for a night.. Go inside and look for an empty room '2d10'Roll #1 6, 10 = 16
There's lots of smells and plenty of bottles on the ground, but you find and pick a door. Only the very basic amenities, and they're dusty, but it's actually in good condition. Looks like the guards occasionally pass by and keep out the undesirables.
"This place looks okay." I inform them and go inside shaking my feathers off from the rain.
It's got a great view of the drenched city of Seaddle. You can see a few restaurants just outside, so you won't go too hungry.
There's only one blanket, but looks like a few dusty towels are available.
"I'm claiming the bed, Copy. I'm way too tired to go anywhere else tonight." Kreider states as he goes limp on the bed.
"Fine, you two share the bed. I'll use the floor or something." Grab a towel and lay it over the pony and gryphon hoping that's enough to keep them from dying of a cold or such.
There's lots of shouting from the apartments nearby.
Both the Gryphon and the Pony are snorers, and there aren't any curtains to block out the light from the neon signs and pitter patter of the rain.
So probably a better place to sleep than a small apartment filled with 4 of you and a small donkey.
Right now, you have a ComLink full of data, waking up in an apartment with two fugitives wanted by the Lunanites. Sleep wasn't the most comfortable, with all the yelling neighbors and the occasional passing hobo, but it could have been worse.
The typical morning drizzle is in full effect. Have something to cover yourself up with or you'll catch a cold. Aksol is still crying but asleep, while Kreider is infatuated with his ComLink. With all the beeps and clicks, it's a wonder Aksol is still asleep.
Eh whatever, if he gets us caught I'll just claw his ass over to the cops.
"Hey, you found any coffee? It doesn't have to be extremely fresh, just the scent would be good.." I ask the noisy gryphon.
"Whatever is left has probably become home to a tiny forest. I wouldn't touch it if I were you, Copy." He sighs. "So this is how it ends, huh?"
"Ends?" I look confused and imposingly walk too the bed to get in his face.
"what did you do?
"Try to explain the situation to the bosses. Keyword being try
, Copy. Looks like the bosses are going crazy, and I'm not drunk enough to think I can trust 'em." He puts down the ComLink and looks back at you, disgruntled. "I liked this job, and now I'll have to crawl to my sister and ask for help."
"You liked being an awful body guard?" I look at him with a seriously concerned look.
"Honestly, how did you keep getting clients?"
"Hey, I haven't lost a client yet!" He yells, upset, before settling back down in bed. "I know I'm the bodyguard of last resort. I know most of the guys and girls I'm watching are counting their days, I'm not that dumb. But, there was freedom in that. If either of us was a janitor, do you think we'd have these kinds of awesome experiences?"
I pause at his question my usual cold glare broken for a moment.
"I'd like to keep having experiences, of any sort, so explain what you told the mobsters."
"Hmm, oh, nothing yet. I've just been trying to read all my messages. I'm not the best when dealing with the higher-ups, dig? I just get calls and get told what to do."
"Which I think is worse. They know I'm watching my StableBook, and they know something is up because I haven't posted anything. See?" He shows you his ComLink, no posts since yesterday from him. "They're going to be awfully worried. Part of me just wants to fly off into the ocean, Copy."
"Well, if they're worried, they'll take you back after I'm done with you." I reply in a slightly forced cheerful tone I used on customers at the cafe who were being too grumpy, as I scroll over the posts scanning for things from his 'bosses'
"You know, this might be in your ballpark. Should we just turn ourselves in? Get a Mana Cart and drive off into the Forest?"
Even for a novice, there's a lot of StableBook messages left by accounts that were just made, and more than a few that emphasize unfortunate
incidents if he doesn't get back to them. He finally gets himself out of bed and goes over a few with you.
"This Unicorn here, my main job dealer. Look at his page, completely shut down. That Jenny and Pony I have linked, even they've blocked me. I would have taken a bullet for them, still would. My life is crashing down on me."
"Hm. You know where they live right?" of course he does, don't even pause. "After we deal with this, I'll bring you to them and help you make this right. Maybe you take a rotten job or something to get good with them again…" I pat his shoulder.
"That can't happen until we get rid of the moon ponies. They gotta go away or you can't go back. Clear on that?"
"What are you going to do, beat them up? Or maybe tell them it wasn't my fault? They were already hounding us, remember? And don't forget my sister is one of those Lunanites. It's not like I can give up my job AND
my family in a few hours after meeting you." He lies back on the bed. "You got what you wanted from us, right?"
"Beat them up?
What would that possibly solve? No, we gotta get you a deal with someone who can actually help. How high up is your sister?"
"She's one of their lawyers. I actually don't even know how high though, the Lunars must have a bunch right? But she's my only option, huh?"
Shake my head.
"There is always another option, its just usually dirtier." let the quote hang for a moment.
"You asking me to leave? To not help? I can dig it, I could work off these photos for the locations to check, that was the plan if those ponies had killed you." I look at him seriously. "You want to turn yourself in? I can leave you the number of one of the cops. You go to jail, serve your time or whatever, no feathers off my back. But."
"Fergie. My copy. I don't want her life ruined too. And I think. Just maybe.
Having you missing would ruin it."
"So, here's what I'm thinking. I spend the morning trying to get you out of trouble, you spend a few hours tonight showing me around those warehouses. Tomorrow we part ways forever."
"You know, I didn't think you cared so much about her, Copy. Yeah, okay. I'm in enough trouble as it is. Letting a day go by might not do more to end my already ruined life. But what about this guy?" He points to Aksol. "I don't want to leave him here, but he's going to slow us down. I mean, even if my career is over, I've still been paid to be his guard for a few more days."
look over the earth pony Aksol, how bad off is he?
"We might have to use him to bargain with. He's the one the Lunanites are interested in, they actually don't care for you."
"Don't put it like that." Depressed, he throws himself back into the bed.
"Do what you want. I'm already glue." Aksol says, having listened in to your conversations. "There is no going back for me now. Just call the Celestians. An underling once joked they had better food. It's all I have left to look forward to."
"I'll give you some notes on the places we visited, but like I said, I was just a Driver and kept to that. I don't know what else I can give you." He wonders for a moment, looking away in thought. "How'd you get the number of one of those Lunar guys anyways?"
"Stole it after I knocked him out." I reply honestly. "We talked before that, real straight shooter, you know, somehow you learn more about a pony in situations like that, where they could die, than in a million StableBook conversations.. I'd trust him."
Look at Aksol. "You're just okay with going quietly? You know, you've done nothing but mope around since I met you. You wanna speak up about what the hell happened with you to get you in this mess?"
"Death by a thousand tramplings." He responds, monotone. "Ten years, ten years I gave the Yakuza all I could, but there was always an issue. A cover up that wasn't complete, a bribe with too many hoofshakes, a ride that didn't get there fast enough. I did my job, got most of the results they wanted, but I just kept slipping, understand." He clutches his head. "Do you know what it's like to know living with the knowledge that there's an axe over your neck like that?"
"…I imagine that's very stressful, trying to jobs that are beyond you. "
"So, what happened, you finally mess up too big to ignore?"
Let him keep talking and check the window, what's it look like out there? '2d10'Roll #1 10, 1 = 11
It's easy to spot the heavier police presence. Lots of Pegasi and Gryphon Officers passing by. Harder to note would have been how they all seem to be talking on their ComLinks. It's a regular search pattern, but going outside will be harder.
"Just, I was just too late to reach the Boss. They know I rushed out to get him when I got word, but I wasn't there to get him out and now the Celestials are putting the squeeze on him. Straw that broke the Camel's back, though excuse me if that's a relative of yours."
"…was that a joke? Huh, you must be feeling better aksy."
Grin at him. "Yea, so nothing for you to go back too, you just wanna be in the same prison spot as your boss?"
"Nothing more than grim humor." He takes a deep breath. "How long do you think I'll last in prison? They won't even let me leave the court house. I'd have to sign everything away, and they'll know it the moment I turn myself in."
Make myself ready to leave. "Longer than you would out here anyway. You'd need the support of a real agency to get enough cover. You could always keep running, changing cities and names, but I can see you don't want that."
Is there a building visible through this window?
"Am I right?"
Nothing but apartments as far as the eyes can see. Even a few Pegasus pulled Carts pass by at this altitude.
"I don't even know. They'll want my head, I'm sure of it." He puts his hooves around his neck, as if feeling for the point where it'll be separated from him. "I like it where it is. A word of advice, whatever you're in, leave it. Don't get sucked in like we were."
"I can't abandon my family." I reply cold and distantly at his advice.
"I'm gonna go to the next building and try to negotiate this thing. You can see it form here. If it gets swarmed with moon ponies, you know it went bad and I'll get in touch with you when I'm clear."
stealth outside '1d10+2'Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
A rare moment of sunlight breaking through the clouds. It's quiet, and you're certain one of the passing cops oggled your butt as he passed.
Once you reach one of the buildings and their unattended windows, you could disappear if you wanted to.
Sounds okay. Let's go inside.
'2d10' spot check this roomRoll #1 2, 10 = 12
It was recently used, as the soft mushy feeling quickly rushes through your body after putting a talon on the carpet.
However, the previous occupants were kind enough to leave some drinks, clothes, and a super old ComLink lying around. It'll be stylistic suicide if the real Cita catches you with it.
Still a bit better than my own feathers. Slip a hat and jacket while using the thug's comlink to dial Officer Caballus.
It rings for a tense moment, then you just get a terse "Who is this?" from the other side.
keep an eye on the door and window.
"We met last night. Are you alone now?"
"I'll get you for that, and no. I've got my boss and half the department looking at me."
You hear a solitary cough happening in the background.
"I don't get much calls."
"Why are you running from your boss?"
I investigate the old commlink while we talk.
"I wish I was running after you. What do you want? And do it quick, I don't like dealing with my coworkers being this close."
You can hear breathing and shoving from people really close to Caballus.
"I want to make a deal, a trade, can any of you on that side of the line make that happen? Or maybe I should reach out to the sunshine pone-trol instead?"
>>675811>"Take it!">"It's a trap, yo.">"Can we get pizza on the way?"
You hear plenty of pushing and shoving.
"I can guess what you have, but what do you want?" Caballus finally rears up and states.
Might as well state it clearly
"Protection for aksol, on the inside, at least three months. Let the body guard and the rest go, and I need a meal, bring that pizza, extra anchovies."
"They're just wanted for questioning, they're not under a…" Plenty of yells and pleading can be heard from the other side. The ComLink can be heard being moved around.
"Protection and pizza, is that really all you want?" Another male's voice can be heard on the ComLink. "Is that all?"
"It would be great if you could put Aksol in the same prison as his boss, he misses him. But I assume you don't have control over that. Who am I speaking with now?"
"This is Commissioner Zalawadi, Caballus' boss. I can see what I can do, but why are you contacting us like this? This isn't exactly the traditional way to do negotiations, even with criminals."
"I thought it would be faster than leaving notes made of cut out news articles like a traditional criminal." I chuckle. "How about we meet?"
Look at an online map of the area, any malls or crowded places nearby?
There's an old, and big, mall with an impressive food court just a few blocks away. But you're aware they won't go in with anything less than three full SWAT teams after what you did to them.
"You know it won't be that easy. Getting Caballus' number is one thing, so we know you're skilled, but you're awfully gung ho about this."
"Which means you want to send more gun at me, which means more ponies getting hurt.. Look Commissioner, I called because I wanted to get this done peacefully. If you're interested in that, send Caballus down to the food court. [give address] Alone. In one hour. With that pizza." Hang up quick and turn off the phone.
If you're going to head to the mall, or at least the outskirts of it, roll 3d10
'3d10' I am going to the outskirts of it, at least to have a view of it.Roll #1 5, 2, 1 = 8
You see and hear the mall security guards being on their toes. They aren't slacking today. Everything else, you just have a feeling of unease.
I casually click on mother's phone and call Cita, chattering at her as soon as she picks up "Hey sis, how was your night? Just thought I'd call and see how your school is going. Oh, the dog did what? No way that's adorable" while on the side walk keeping an eye out for a crowd moving into the mall to follow so I can use them as cover for the cameras.
'1d10+2' sneakRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
"Stay safe OK." Cita manages to sneak in before playing along.
To the cameras, you're just another shopper in need of some knock off clothing. Even as a Gryphon, you disappear into the crowd.
Which is a good thing, since you spot two important things. One of the ManaCarts from yesterday parking and Caballus getting out. The second ManaCart drives off with its occupants.
At least they actually put Caballus here.
Migrate my way towards the food courts, but look for the staff areas and emergency exit routes as I go.
'2d10'Roll #1 6, 1 = 7
Lots of hidden rooms around here. Places for the janitors to put mops away and to go in and fix some pipes. The emergency exits are 'blocked', lots of kids pretending to be cool by them as they surf on their ComLinks.
One of the Donkeys from yesterday pokes his ears from a roof.
Let's play 'try to get a headcount' look toward the best sniping and scouting spots for the rest of the team '2d10'Roll #1 6, 8 = 14
Your training kicks in as your eyes quickly dart to places where the Lunanites pop their heads out off. They're looking down through two nearby roofs, and another pair that could pass as a couple looks down on you from a floor above the open air food court. No rifles so far, just plenty of binoculars.
Caballus heads to one of pizza parlors in the mall.
5 that I can see, that's more than the standard team set up.
Look for a blind spot in their visions. '2d10'Roll #1 4, 2 = 6
You can probably dart behind a few of the support pillars, but someone's almost always going to be able to keep an eye on you.
If the crowd lets them, that'll be another story.
Caballus gets his pizza, a monstrous large thing, and heads out to one of the smaller tables. He takes a seat, and stands out as a properly dressed Stallion with a pizza threatening to envelop the whole table. if left out of the box.
Well.. no rifles still? Keep scanning them '2d10'
make an approach towards the table.Roll #1 3, 7 = 10
Caballus has a thick coat, and enough training that you should be wary of him, but nothing else that triggers your senses.
You can, however, tell the couple has a tazer on them. Looks like they're doing their jobs properly, not bringing in guns to such a packed area.
Caballus shuffles a bit in his seat, clearly not enjoying his situation.
"Mind if I join you?" I slide into the table just far enough away that he'd have to move to taze me.
His ears drop for an instant, showing his agitation, before returning to normal.
"You've got some nerve, you know. Make this quick."
"I haven't gotten to eat in.. like a whole day." Take the pizza box to my area of the table. "What's your hurry? You got somewhere to be?"
"I've got two people my boss wants to take somewhere out there, and the person who took me and my team down right in front of me. You tell
me how I should feel."
"Maybe you should feel grateful?" I suggest sliding a slice out and greedily eating it.
"So, I take it he's not into the idea of only taking the pony?"
"Both are what the boss wants."
"Both is what the boss will get."
"Non-negotiable huh?" devour another slice while I curiously watch him for the wire. '2d10'Roll #1 10, 1 = 11
He's loaded with equipment, every other hidden pocket holding a recorder you can finally see at this angle.
Away, you can see one of the Donkey's ears go crazy.
"They hold something my boss wants, as he has repeatedly told us
." He states with irritation. "You know we won't back down, so tell me what you really want."
I make a very cold expression at him. "I doubt you could help with the thing I really want. How about a hoof bag? I saw a nice one on the way here. Let's go look at."
You can see him get ready to protest, then his ear piece goes loud in him. You can see him jerk his head to the side as his face goes through several expressions.
"Fine, I'll follow you." He states as he gets off of his seat.
'1d10+2' use the crowds to sneak away into one of the hidden rooms I found earlier.Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4
It's a small room, only big enough for you two and some cleaning supplies. The moment a janitor comes by, you'll be detected.
Not the best but it will have to do.
Help the kind officer remove his coat.
"With all those feathers, I didn't think someone like you would be cold. What's this all about?"
Tuck the wired coat under some supplies. Then reach for the ear that was shouting at him, try to cover it and speak to his other ear.
"Your boss. You trust him?"
"Short answer, no. Long answer, what's it to you?"
Nod in confirmation.
"A few things. What's he want from a lowly body guard?"
"You're a weird one, you know that? Alls I know is what I overhear, and every time it's been where he's been. Regular questions for a witness."
"But even I can tell he's a moron. He's got a new ComLink every time I've seen him."
"Let's not worry about why, but understand that I want to help that moron out."
"After last night, how much dose your department know about me?"
"We'll know what toothpaste you use by the end of the day. You made a mistake thinking you could meet in public."
"It wasn't a mistake. I learned a lot about you too."
"Like how you're putting so much pony power on two witnesses, when you already have the main boss.."
"And you know an awful lot about us. Anyways, that Earthie you have is a witness and suspect. Getting him off the streets will make everyone's lives safer."
"Then this doesn't have to be hard. Just let the gryphon go after you question him. He's not technically committing a crime with what he does right? Or else you would have locked him up all those other times you had him.."
"Like I said, he's just wanted for questioning right now.
But if he so much as jaywalked or flew in restricted airspace, he pays, get it?"
"Bah, I should have just left that night. Nothing to do but turn them both over and hope for the best. They're both scared shit-less of being hit you know?" Sigh deeply. "Made it seem so much more serious than it is. Idiots."
"Hey, I could help you out sometime, later. Not really related to this, but, if you have a problem you can't solve. What do you think?"
"I don't think I'll be needing your help. Us Lunarians can take care of ourselves, no matter how good you are. But you haven't been involved all that long, have you? Here's a free hint, don't get involved with the Yakuza, or the Hawklet Militia, or any other group of idiots. Right now, turn over those two buffoons and walk away. You'll be happier and live longer."
I burst out laughing.
"Happier and longer? Man, you really don't a clue. Alright. Well, maybe I'll find you when your boss isn't breathing down your neck. Get a drink or something?" let go of his ear at last.
"Okay. Thanks for the commlink, I'll bring them by the station. No problem."
"Wait, was that it? Normally, someone in your position asks for something…"
Even Caballus seems a little dumb struck.
Shrug. "You don't know what I want to know, so just ending this without my friend getting hurt is plenty today."
Then leave without further words. '1d10+2' sneak off to a different exit.Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
It only takes a moment for you to disappear from in front of Caballus and his watchers. You vanish straight into the crowd, as if you were never there.
Now to escape the mall back to the building.
They're busy moving in cops to find you, but it only helps to make it harder to track you in the crowds.
The building isn't too far, and you're there in a jiff.
Open the door to the room boldly.
"Hey, still alive in here?"
"Only sort of. So what's the verdict?" Kreider asks. "We going to the slammer forever?"
"No, not you anyway, you'll be out after a short conversation."
Then turn to the earthie. "You however, I told them about your prison request, and they seemed agreeable, protection and moved to the same cell block as your boss."
"Really you two had me worried for nothing, let's just go to the station."
"You do not understand. I am not worried about the Lunanites." Aksol interrupts. "It's what the Yakuza will do. If I can make a deal, I might keep my life. If I go outside, I die."
"They agreed to protect you.." Sigh and sit with him.
"Then explain it. Slowly. Who do you need to talk to, to be safe."
"I'll talk to whoever will offer me protection. If the Lunanites want me, they must already know enough. I can work out a deal with them once I'm inside." Aksol says. "Everyone involved knows how to handle themselves."
"Me, I know I get asked some questions, and then my Sister shows up. I just gotta cooperate until then." Kreider states.
"So this is good bye then? You're gonna tell the cops were we are and skip off meanwhile?"
"I plan on escorting you to the station, since you're a pair of pussies who are certain to die if I'm not on top of you." Roll my eyes.
"I'll find you tonight Krieger."
"We can get ourselves just fine." Kreider retorts. "I can call my sister and have them pick us up. Just send me a message through the ComLink. I'll be taking her up on the offer she gave me last time."
"From what I learned you were just over reacting, and definitely won't die."
Huff and turn to go.
"Just don't break any laws in the meantime."
"Yeah, yeah. Buzz off already Copy. You're almost as clingy as Fergy."
Another morning, but this time you have a chance to wake up in your crowded apartment. Despite being under the threat of abduction, it seems your clones can handle the hardship. Providence is the only one crying on occasion, but her sister has done good work to keep her quiet.
And as stuffy as the place can feel like with so many feathers, it's nice to wake up to the smell of artifical bacon and soylent hay. It's so non-meat even the little Donkey can eat it! You should get eating, you've got a good wait for you if you're going to follow any of your leads today.
"Hey, did you do anything to the kids here? I was passing by, and they just threw this toy goat at me and ran away." Cita asks you at the breakfast table.
"Can I have it!?" Yura asks, before retracting her excitement and herself into her seat.
"Maybe if you eat your food properly." Acino scolds her. Providence just laughs as she looks for the hay fork.
Your Com-Link's message light is glowing.
"Oh that? It was just lying around. They can keep it." I reply about the toy while I check my com-link out.
It's the alert you had set for Kreider and his box. Looks like they were taken into questioning safely.
"Even if they don't find out we're clones, don't give kids bad impressions of us. What if one of those kids belonged to a client?" Cita states with a beak full of food.
"Are you saying that toys goats give bad impressions now?" I scowl softly at her and grab a plate of food.
"It is when kids throw them at you and run away screaming!" She stuffs her beak halfway through the sentence.
Yura is still poking at her food, while Providence is having her food cut with one of your combat knives.
"Perhaps they were playing a game? Restless? Maybe we can chance taking them to the park.." I suggest between bites.
"Yes, they just decided to do that all by themselves…" She looks at you, then starts drinking straight out of the juice bin.
The other three just look at her. Acino is getting mad.
"AREYOUGOINGOUTAGAIN?" Yura asks hurriedly.
I show no reaction to the juice manners.
"Yes. I have to work very hard to track down the threat against us."
Cita is still chugging it.
"CANWECOMEWITHYOU?" A frightened Yura asks.
"WE'LLUHMCARRYTHINGS!" Providence manages to get out of her as you see Acino's feathers start fluffing out.
Barely even look at them, and reply quickly, flatly "No." and continue my breakfast quickly.
"Cita, leave some for the others."
"Remember to bring some juice. We're all out." Cita holds the now empty jug out with a smile. Acino promptly grabs it out of her talons.
"WE'LLSEEYOUTOTHEDOOR!" They yell in unison as they start trying to push you out.
"I'll call on the way home then." resisting the pushing of the kids so that I only move inches.
"Right, I just need a hat or something." I go to my closet and look for a hat and shirt and a pouch to secure all the com-links in. '1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
You can hear Cita being yelled at by Acino, and so can the neighbors on the surrounding floors and buildings.
The backpacks and pouches you have look like they're just one step above a hobo's. You should look into a good one, or it'll look extremely suspicious that you have so many Com-Links.
I suppose I that it will have to do until I get a new one.
Leave while they are tearing each other's beaks off. I don't want to be around when the land lord asks how long my family is going to be staying.. I'm not sure my lease even allows this many residents…
Today was a peaceful trip to the DMV, check the expiration date on my license.
Your real ID is still good, but one of your fakes has expired.
This is a megacity DMV, so there are plenty of attendants, but even more people needing to be helped. Your target, Mancha the Goat, specifically works in the cart registration area, but despite being so close, walking up would be near impossible in this mess.
You could take a number (roll 1d100) and wait your turn, or try something else?
'1d100' let's try a number, and see if it goes to the goat's desk.Roll #1 54 = 54
It'll be a while before you find out. However, as you take your seat, you spot a sort of familiar face. One of the guys who was at the bar yesterday is here. Hungover, and smelly, but looks like he's playing the waiting game with you.
The place smells bad.
The DMV is like that.
'2d10' keep an eye on the goat and the pony for now.Roll #1 10, 2 = 12
It's a good thing you did. Shortly after being called up, the Goat slips a data stick to the pony. Your skills let you pick up that Mancha was nervous, his eyes twitched a little as he looked around for a moment before hoofing it over.
Your number is called to the Main Attendant.
"Seaddle DMV, what are you here for?" The young pony asks.
Very suspicious. Is he leaving right away?
"I need to renew my licence." Show her the expired fake and wait for the forms.
"I'm going to need you to fill out Cart Form 3A if it's just regular license. Do you also need one for commercial Carts?" She asks in an annoyed tone, keeping her head down.
"Regular." I reply and begin filling out the form with the right details for that identity, but then my claw 'slips' and ruins the paper with jagged ink lines. '1d10'
"Awh shit.. "Roll #1 5 = 5
"Oh here, don't wo-" Your attendant quickly moves her clawed hoof out of the way and tries to move them as quickly as possible out of sight. "Be careful, the machines sometimes have trouble reading the forms." She keeps her head down.
"Right sorry. That should be all correct. I had 3rd shift last night ugh." Let her take the form to process it, staying at the edge of the desk and looking back at what the pony and goat are up too '2d10'Roll #1 2, 10 = 12
The Pony is good at concealing his movements, or maybe the alcohol is helping him and he doesn't have time to be self-conscious.
The Goat, he's nowhere near as good. You can see him fidget as he moves something into his pockets. Mancha is even wiping off some sweat as the Pony turns and starts heading out.
"The printer, it'll give you your next number. Take it and wait to be called…" Your attendant says, even more self conscious than before.
'2d10' what's up with my attendant, this should be a routine job for him.. spot checking him!Roll #1 87, 43 = 130
/ Roll #2 2, 5 = 7
Looks like your number is going to take a while to be called.
Your attendant, she quickly looks up then down again. As the next Equestrian is called, you spot a fang on her before she turns away.
A vampire at the DMV?
Well. My number is gonna take a bit anyway, leave myself and see if I can find the pony.
'2d10'Roll #1 4, 5 = 9
She certainly isn't going to be getting much sunlight in here… Roll 3d10
The Pony sits in his Cart, water bottle and pills in hoof. His Com-Link is ringing.
'3d10'Roll #1 3, 4, 10 = 17
"Yeah, I got it. Calm down, I already had an appointment made." The Pony says as he speaks into his ComLink. "Yeah" and "Uh huh" follows.
'1d10+2' sneak over to his cart to listen even better.Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
It's a packed parking lot, so he's surrounded on all sides by Carts. One of them has a kid who is turning up his music.
The Pony is starting to look for his keys, but you can still see him responding to his ComLink.
Stupid kid.. maybe I can just get a little closer, see the name or number displayed on the com-link. '2d10' spotRoll #1 5, 1 = 6
It's not some pony's name on the Caller ID you see, but something else familiar.
He keeps waving it around as he looks around for things, be he kept it still long enough you could see it.
"Excuse us, but I need to get to my cart." A young Earthie with three foals says behind you.
"Oh, pardon me." make way for the pony family using it as an excuse to get to the other side of the pony's cart, perhaps stay out of sight and get the plate number.
'1d10+2' '2d10'Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 6, 7 = 13
The Plate Number is easy to grab, but you also get a view of something else on the Pony.
An Aqualesia ID.
He puts down the ComLink and turns on the Cart.
I scowl briefly, I won't really be able to keep up with his cart once it starts going but..
watch which way he goes. '2d10'Roll #1 3, 6 = 9
He heads east, but in this mega city, this traffic, he disappears when he turns the corner.
Your number should be up soon.
With the plate numbers and the general direction maybe.. if he's not careful about cameras I could find him later..
Head inside again.
Good thing, your numbers up next.
"Welcome to the DMV, how can I help you?" Mancha says, much more relaxed than when you saw him last.
"Had your coffee?" I respond with a raised eyebrow.
"Anyway I'm just here to finish renewing my licence. You need a picture right?"
"No coffee today. Had to keep myself cool and clean. Yeah, any picture ID you have would be good. Do you still have your old one?" He says in a much more courteous manner than your first attendant.
Slide the goat the expired one.
"Here's the old one. Say, you know that company Aqualesia that went under a few years back? Weird thing, I just saw a bottle with their logo.. Looked new even.."
"Oh, yeah. They were bring back the name or something." He coughs. "Anyways, seems I just need to do a basic test. Come with me and I'll do an eye test."
"Really? I hadn't heard that.. when did happen?" Go along with the eye exam.
He leads you into a small room with several eye charts.
"I expected you a Aqualesia people a bit later, and without needing an actual
appointment. Read the top row for me."
"Oh, my comm-link's time must be dailed back still, sorry."
"A D E G H.." I read the chart for it.
"Good, now read the next row. As for the item, I'll pass you the location of the next person you'll need to see. If you pass this, you'll have your license to drive over there."
"Sounds simple enough." spare a glance for him, does he look nervous or anything?
"..3 5 2 8 4.."
Roll for it.
"I'm going to count it, that 4 was supposed to be a 9 but someone marked it. One more row please, but give me a chance to give the guy a heads up over the ComLink."
"No problem, I'm a patient gryphon."
"X Z C S M W Z"Roll #1 4 = 4
"Guess it's true what they say about Gryphons."
He's mildly upset, some faster breathing than normal.
"I need to pass a few minutes until my break. If there's anything you need, ask after you read the last line here for me."
"If its the thing about our tails being able to tell the future don't listen to it." I chuckle a bit.
"D E T S J F I L "
"How long have you been working for my bosses?"
"I'm an independent contractor, so don't try to pull anything about rank with me. Here, I need you to fill out these forms. We can do it here so I look like I'm busy."
He hoofs you a pen.
"Wait, what tail thing?"
"Okay." I slowly fill out the forms he gave me.
"Not a rank thing, just curious. Did you hear one of research facilities was hit recently?"
'1d10' checkin' his reactions againRoll #1 5 = 5
"Guess you guys should hire better security. Anyways, keep me out of your corporate battles. I'm just a guy who gets information, nothing else."
"I gotcha, we worked together before yea? A while ago? You remember that?"
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
Mancha looks at you, then turns away.
"I see a hundred faces like yours every hour, on top of countless other Equestrians, so forgive me if I don't."
"Come on, there can't be that many faces just like mine, you really can't remember?"
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
"No, and I'd rather not. Makes it easier for both of us to deny this ever happened. I just need your signature here and we'll be done."
"Fair enough." I nod calmly.
"Being an independent, say I wanted to take on some side work, could I come talk to you about that?"
"I wouldn't mind a courier so I wouldn't have to get my hooves involved, but maybe some other time. Got a number?"
Mancha brings up his Com-Link.
"Yep." Bring up my own comm-link and exchange numbers with him.
"Don't put in any notes you wouldn't want a Solarian Cop to see. You're information seems to be in order. I'll print out your new card and call the contact. Here, you dropped this."
He hoofs over a USB drive and a piece of paper.
"Be careful with your things."
"Thanks, I could get in trouble without that."
sneakily peak at the paper. '1d10+2'Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5
It's an address, to a copy place of all things. He even wrote the title for you.
"Just give him the USB. Don't ask him any questions, he prefers it that way."
"Don't worry, I know how to talk to management types." I assure him and tuck the address and drive safely away.
You've got a shiny new ID card with you to. Looks like some of the old work your contacts had done long ago still holds up.
Head to the copy shop?
Such good quality work they did..
I might as well go to the copy shop, totally a normal activity.
'2d10' spot checking on the wayRoll #1 4, 4 = 8
It's near a community college, so it's full of kids printing things out in various states of hurrying. It's a pretty mixed place, you could probably disappear in here even if you just stood still.
An attendant is keeping an eye on you and on his Com-Link.
I suppose this is the guy.. approach him in the most indirect way possible, meandering through the store with the flow the crowd.
His eyes follow you, but he doesn't lose the bored expression on his face.
"Drive?" He asks without a hint of customer courtesy.
Claw it over to him, why not.
He grunts in acknowledgment. He plugs it into his computer, types in a long code, and the printer springs to life.
And it doesn't stop until it hits 250.
All of them are printouts of different people here in Seaddle.
Even I'm surprised at the amount of people they're interested in.
'2d10' watch for anything that stands out about them.Roll #1 6, 1 = 7
It's almost entirely your clones.
Just where did he put the drive after he was done?
It's being formatted now.
What's he doing with the papers?
He's getting you a binder for all the paper.
Don't worry, Aqualesia is paying a hefty premium for it.
Keep a straight face and wait for him to do his part..
He grabs a big red binder for all the paper, then makes his way to the microwave and inserts *something*. He comes back to the counter and hoofs you all the papers.
'2d10' spot checking.
I suddenly feel the need to leave, quickly. Let's grab the binder and go.Roll #1 5, 8 = 13
There's a black lump in the microwave, but nothing out of the usual, besides all those kids moving their heads around as they talk to each other.
Feels like they are looking at you , only to glance away at the last moment as you turn to them…
The Seaddle weather is taking it's usual turn. It's getting cold and windy.
Cold and windy? I can handle it.
'1d10+2' fly to a roof without being followedRoll #1 6 + 2 = 8
Quietly and quickly, just how you were trained. Maybe some of the kids here were also trained by the same people?
On the roof top, you can see the clouds overtaking the sun. A few Pegasi fly by, saddles full of books.
"Looks like rain soon.." I mutter to myself and look at a random clone's profile, what kind of information does this show?
Name, address, employment history, vehicle data, known family.
For the one in your talons, it gives one extra piece of data:Deceased
…Thumb through and see if they are more marked alive or dead
There's a few normal ones, but those are definitely the outliers.
I shutter and close the binder.
Then return home before the rain. rolling speed. '1d10'Roll #1 6 = 6
It's a heavy and thick binder, dragging you down like an anchor around your neck.
You make it home just as it starts to rain.
"Oh, you're home early." Acino says. "I thought you would have called."
"No time. I had to bring this back here right away."
I take a seat with the binder on my sofa right away.
"What is it?" She asks as they all gather around you. Providence and her sister get on the sofa with you.
"A family tree. Of sorts." I start investigating the 'missing' ones for any that stand out.
'1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
When you separate the clones from the others, most of the missing and deceased ones were single. Only a few were married. Fewer still were marked with children.
"…I wonder how many of these were abducted and how many just changed their names or.."
Stop at one of the ones with children and see how long she's been missing. '1d10' luckRoll #1 9 = 9
You got quite lucky this time. One of the missing ones is right in front of you.
"What's going on?" Acino hesitatingly asks.
"You're missing, that's what." I turn the book around and show her.
"Well, we all are, aren't we? I mean, we were kidnapped."
"But, why do you have that
information. You even have my address, and the new Mana-Cart we just signed for! How do you have this!?"
"I was mistaken for a corp, and given the task to courier this to HQ." I explain.
"There are about 250 of us listed here.."
Providence and Yura go through the pages, then hold up their sheets.
"My feathers looks awful." Yura says, with tears in her eyes.
"You just woke up and didn't want to take the picture." Providence tries to cheer her up.
"What, does it say about me?" Cita finally asks.
"Let's see if we can find you." I reply and flip the pages looking for Cita's. '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
You claw through the whole list carefully, but Cita doesn't show up at all. What you do find, at the very end, is your file.\
It's got an old picture and fake data, but it's unmistakable.
"Congrats, you slipped under their radar! Better than me it seems." I point out my own page as I check the information, trying to guess when they obtained it.
The Data dates back to your last jobs, when that hacker you worked with changed some of your information to get you inside a facility.
But that's the problem. It's the most recent change, and they still have it.
I stare hard at the binder, like it had done something personally evil to me.
Set it down on the table.
"Aqualesia. They vanish, for years, and now they suddenly reappear, and have information like this?"
"Or would have if I hadn't intercepted it.."
They all stay quiet for a moment.
"Companies get bought out and come back all the time. Happens with my clothes all the time." Cita finally says. "But, they do that to make money. What could they possibly do with us?"
"The same thing." I reply flatly with a scowl, getting up from the sofa and going to closet. Look for something suited for an office job. '1d10'Roll #1 3 = 3
Cita's spruced up your clothing, there's a decent pair that could pass for work safe in there.
"How, how are we supposed to make them any money? They made us, but then they let us go, and now they want you back?"
I whistle a low tune as I change into that.
"Worst case, they want to resell us as companions or spare parts for our sisters. Best case, they are just checking on our health for scientific reasons. Dream case, they want us as various employees for some kind of theme,
"Why do I have a feeling it's going to be worse than the worse case scenario?"
Cita frets while Acino stays with the children.
"Wait, what are you planning?"
"Going to the office. If I can pretend to work there, I might be able to look around. Find out what the end game is."
"But if I'm honest I could use a tech on this.. Maybe.."
check the binder for a clone which was marked as doing IT fields '1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
Most of your remaining clones are secretaries at best, the rest are trophy wives.
There are two on the list, but they're only marked as working for tech companies.
"This is so messed up! I was hoping we were just going to be ransomed or something, that we could go home, but they probably even know all about those!"
Try the first one, does the information look current, number or email listed?
Yup, the information was updated last month. Her election information was even updated just two weeks ago.
"Do you want me to come with you? I can operate a radio, or drive you, or do something but stay here and worry."
I nod at Cita, make note of the tech clone's name and location and contact info.
"You want to make the approach? I think you're the friendlier of the two of us. And we really
need her to like us, if she's gonna hack Aqualesia for us."
"Give me her info. Oxcy Stratus, her address puts her within flying distance, but not really much else to go. Listen, are you sure about this? Maybe there's something we missed, some other clue or something, because walking into Aqualesia seems like a plan I would come up with, not one you would…"
I put a claw on my head and stop.
"..I used to work for them, before they went under.. When they vanished, I suddenly had no resume, no contacts, I was out in the cold.. I.. I always felt betrayed.. and now this.." Sigh and close my eyes.
"..In cases like this." I do an open clawed gesture to Cita. "Usually someone else would take command, so, what do you say Cita. Feel up to leading a mission today?"
Cita is silences by your admission.
The she furrows her brow and smiles at you. "Yeah, I got you. I can't forgot your still a regular Gryphon deep down. Leave the recruitment to me, but I'll be counting on you to watch my wings, got it?"
I give my old simple nod and straight face. "You got it, Boss."
"Leave the first part of Operation: Stop Aqualesia to me!"
She gives you a pretend salute before looking for her own 'camouflage'.
Despite the activity, it's quiet. Acino and the kids are sorting the papers, putting all the clones separate from the rest and separating them as much as possible. Cita is doing her own research, looking up details regarding Oxcy that she can use in the recruitment.
That just leaves you. Grab what you need, it might be a long time before you'll be able to come home.
Did I still have that suitcase from the bar?
Yes, just as clean as when you found it
Nothing inside of it?
Roll #1 5, 5 = 10
Basic clothes, a simple Com-Link, and a wad of cash totalling $1000 bits.
Check the com-link out, what's on it?
Booting it up, it asks you to set it up. It looks like it was just taken out of its plastic container. A very old, cheap model, but it works.
A clean phone and some cash are always good.
I take 500 and give 300 to acino, and 200 to cita.
The clothes can stay in the suitcase.. look around for weapons and bandages and spare batteries.
Except for your sword, only a pair of personal safety devices Cita picked up. Pull the pin and they start flashing and making an extremely annoying noise.
Guns can be acquired a few floors down, but be aware of Seaddle's harsh gun laws.
Only if we get caught.
Still it might be good for the others to have one. I will go ask
our friendly neighbor.
This contact is 'special' and very, very
cautious. He's hacked the elevator system so that inputting a special code, and taking a trip to numerous floors, is the only way to even get him to look at you through a camera.
"Signals isolated, checking the infrared, please look at the camera." A voice over the intercom says. "No funny business."
Peek at the camera.
"Good, good, that'll make things easy. When the doors open, put your Com-Link on the garbage can, it'll block signals from it. Security, you understand? Then, walk to the 5th door on the right and knock five times."
place the new com link there and go knock.
The door lock unclicks, letting you inside. But instead of leading to a room, there's only a camera, a hard metal door, and a service robot awaiting orders.
"Ah, yes, you. I had already written you off since it's been so long since you've come, or even sent someone to me. I'd ask how you've been, but I take it you aren't in the mood. So, what can I do you for?"
"That easy to read huh? I should work on that." I squint at the robot.
"I need a weapon, something for a gryphon, like maybe a gun."
"Not really, it's just business. Your expression didn't change until you made that quip. I don't mind selling to you, but I would never want to meet you in the flesh."
The robot moves towards a few containers grabbing the boxes.
"Don't worry, this one won't drop the weapons. Now, I know I still owe you from last time, so I don't mind putting this one on the house. Not the prettiest thing, looks like something a kid make for a science project, short range only, but it's got a few trick bullets I can kick in. Don't feel too bad about throwing it away either."
"Or do you want something a bit more, you know, like a proper gun?"
Roll my eyes a bit at his joke but hold the freebie gently turning it over checking it out.
"Yea, so how much for a real weapon"
"Don't knock it till you try it, or throw it away. I guarantee it's effectiveness, I just can't make it look good."
"Now, if you're willing to spend, I do have two proper ones." The robot hands you the box with the 'homemade' gun, then brings up two others. "Here we go, a simple, silenced pistol. Sneak up to someone, point at the head and pull the trigger, then you better disappear the body. It's almost completely silent, but don't fire it next to someone and expect them not to notice. Second, my favorite, is one of my Betty's. Go in loud and proud, aim wherever you want. I'll give you a deal, $600 for each. I'll toss in 20 rounds for free."
Check my wallet out to be sure of how much I had.
You have $500 from the stash, and enough bills on you to comfortably pay for one of them.
Give his robot the 600, "That Silenced Pistol, it whispers to me."
"It says quite a bit to me as well. Pleasure doing business. I'll send the fake details about this purchase to the usual locations?"
"Don't worry about it." I shrug and take the two weapons with me.
"See you next time pal."
"Always happy to do business with you." The robot puts the other gun away, then powers itself down. The elevator door is already open and waiting.
How nice, make sure to grab the new com-link as I go.
There are some fur marks near the garbage can, but looks like the people on this floor are smart enough not to grab it.
Where are you headed?
I will go back to the room.
The kids have finished sorting the clones. There's a hefty number of missing clones, but the number of dead ones can't be ignored.
"Almost ready!" Cita shouts from the other room.
I frown intentionally, and place a claw on the stack of dead clones.
"This stack. Its not getting any bigger. Not by their hooves."
The kids stay quiet, not really able to handle the severity at their age. Acino pats them on the head.
Cita looks at you from the door, then nods her head.
Then its time to go. com links and spare clothes stashed away in the suit case, bring that along. It goes with the almost suit too. Wait until we're out of earshot of the kids and ask Cita.
"Got a weapon boss?"
"Just some of your memories and this thing." She flicks a razer's safety.
hoof over the silenced weapon.
"Remember how to use this?"
I wasn't popped out of the tube just yesterday, you know." She flicks through the safety after looking at it, quickly putting it back in. "We're we created in vats? I said tube, but I don't actually know, or know if I want to know."
"Gonna have to find out when we smash all of their tubes tonight." I smile at her.
"First, let's get our hacker. I think seeing your reflection face to face to face will be our best ice breaker, sort of. She can't deny the truth when we're right in front of her. Let me do the talking, but I'm counting on you to keep an eye out for us."
"I will be right behind you."
'2d10' already looking out as we leave.Roll #1 5, 2 = 7
It's going to be a busy night in Seaddle. Gangers can be seen ferrying their wares around the few street lamps, more than a few fillies running around with ominously sized bags. Pegasus lookouts you recognize are flying around.
It's like Seaddle is waiting for one of the many explosives it is sitting on to go off and set them all off.
Oxcy lives in some nice apartments. Nothing too fancy, but you can tell the 'bad guy/good guy' ratio starts to skew in your favor here.
"So, will you accompany me to the door, or do you think she's a flier?"
"If it was me. I'd fly away." I comment vaguely. "I'll be by the window. That apartment should be hers? The third on the right?" ask to be sure before stealth flying up there '1d10+2'Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
There's a strong wind kicking in. This won't help with the city's struggles.
"I know it's hard, but you think you can hover in front of the window instead of clawing on it like a crazy bird?"
scowl at the wind. But try to hoover against it.
'1d10' stronk burd.Roll #1 10 = 10
"You doing okay? Feels like I can hear your wings flapping from over here." Cita says over your Com-Link.
"This wind is making it impossible to be quiet. I'm going to the roof." I reply back in defeat.
'1d10+2' hide on the roof, where I can still see the window.Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
The wind is carrying the faint smell of ozone. Looks like you should expect thunder soon.
"Alright, I'm knocking on the door in 3… 2… 1…" You can hear the sounds of talon on wood, and someone yelling as they approach the door. "Hi Oxcy WAIT! Ahh, don't throw beer bottles at me!"
YOU'VE GOT A FLIER!
'1d10' chase her!Roll #1 3 = 3
You dive after her, but the wind is shoving you around! It's hard to stay on her tail as both of you are being shoved around!
'1d10' its hard but I won't give up yet.Roll #1 10 = 10
You fold your wings in and catch up to another of your duplicates and grab her with your talons.
She's passed out drunk! And pulling you down to the ground with her weight!
make an emergency landing.Roll #1 5 = 5
Your wings pop open to slow the descent, and even Oxcy seems to lend a wing once or twice during your fall.
You land on soft grass, but your legs still feel the pain of such a sudden landing.
"Ugh, I need a drink." Oxcy says, the drop waking her up.
"Sure, you I'll buy you one even. Just hear us out, Oxcy."
She looks at you, then sighs in despair. "You are real, aren't you? I'm not that wasted that I can't see the similarities."
"I'm real. Real irritable too. I suggest we go back to your place and talk to other one."
"Yeah, yeah. Sorry for the freakout. I'm not that sober that jumping out the window seemed like a good idea in this weather. Let's stop by the soda machine, and you can explain to me why I'm seeing double."
Cita comes flying by. "You two okay?"
"Or is it 'I'm seeing triple'?" Oxcy states as she leads you to liquid refreshment.
"We're clear boss. She wants to talk now." I nod and keep going with them.
'2d10' always watching our backs.Roll #1 10, 10 = 20
You're getting a few weird stares from the local hobos and wanderers, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Someone did drop a single bit coin!
"Uh, I knew I shouldn't have taken them up on their offer. Even if they were paying, I can't take my alcohol. Neither can you two, right?" Oxcy asks as she gets a soda for herself. "Which one do you want from the machine?"
"The tea, plain if possible." I will pick up the bit and offer it to her.
"It's good for you, but I can't run without my caffeine." She puts your bit in the machine, saving herself some money from her card.
"So then, while I'm still lucid, care to let me know why I'm standing in two other places, looking at myself buy something from this machine?"
"Because they know about us. They see us as mistakes. And they are recalling
us. Because you don't want to think about what happened to the cop that looks just like you, or that waitress at the club that looks like you, or why they might be missing, permanently." Step closer. "Because you already know why."
"I'm just a programmer. How did I get involved in this clone war or something? Come on, let's go to my apartment and close the window before the neighbor kid tries to sneak in again. Ugh, I just managed to get the smell away from that apartment." The beer buzz causes her to complain for a bit longer. "So, who or what is after us, if I believe you, which I sort of do at this time? Why'd they wanna 'recall' us?"
I nod. "Best to go inside.. And have you heard of Aqualesia?"
"Yeah, my company tried to go for one of their IT contracts. Didn't get it, but what do they have to do with this?"
"They are the name of our enemy. The name they have taken anyway. Perhaps to mock me. Perhaps because our Mother
has a weird sense of justice. I can't say until I get in. I'm a physical gryphon. You see. I need to touch things and, Aqualesia, was collecting very touchable material. Pages. Like this one." I show her, her own page.
"What in Celestia…? Where did you get this? How? Dang it, I don't even want to know." She goes through her notes, dejected as she walks into her apartment. It's dirty, with the smell of stale pizza and cheap beer everywhere.
"So are you trying to beat them to us? Help me get out of town, or at least hope the forest doesn't eat us?"
Shake my head. "Not exactly." Close the door behind us.
"I can't force you to come. It wouldn't do any good. But these Aqualesia ponies. They have our code on a file somewhere. I can't.. cut that. It won't work.. and as long as they have our data, it won't be over. Even if I did hide all of you, they would still be out there. Looking."
"I need somegryphon who understand that to help end this."
Sniffing at the scent. "Or maybe who just wants to earn a good meal."
"It was worse before." She droops her head. "Guess it still hasn't improved since then…"
She starts giggling to herself.
Then she looks up, eyes bright and full of stars. "You want me to break into their system right? To crack their codes, or maybe you stole some hard drive from them!? Did you, did you? Oh, I've wanted this since I learned to code!"
She opens a closet to reveal a massive computer.
Roll 2d10 for spotting
"I want you to break in yes. You can check this com link out if you like. It might have hidden data." I offer her Mother's com-linkRoll #1 9, 6 = 15
She start salivating, making childlike noises as you hand it over. She takes it, looking it over with glee. Cita looks at you with some concern.
Outside, on another building roof, you see your clone from yesterday. She might have thought she was in the clear in the dark, but you can see she's looking around for something with her binoculars.
"Right. You two stay here. I will check the peremeter. I just don't feel safe.." Then look at Cita. "I mean, if that's okay with you Boss."
"Negotiations seem to be going, smoothly, so it's fine." Cita says as she puts her talons near her gun, nodding her head.
I nod at her and go outside appearing to go toward the street away from that building then circle back to it trying to get close to her.
'1d10+2' sneak?Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
You're pretty fast for being in an unfamiliar area. The place has good cover and few crowds, so you easily dart between alleys without being seen.
You get up to the roof top, walking behind her. She's got a sheet of paper with her that she keeps looking at, and you can guess that she's getting closer to finding Oxcy's apartment based on where she's looking.
I will try to quickly pin her to the roof.
'1d10'Roll #1 4 = 4
You manage to tackle her, but she isn't some hatchling! She's struggling in all the right ways to get you off of her!
'1d10' "Stop." I tell with a growl and try to get a better grip.Roll #1 9 = 9
She's slowed her actions down as she looks at you, but she still twitches her limbs as you press on her. She's cooperative, for now…
"Why are you betraying your own? Money? Loyalty to them?" I question her harshly, try to grab the paper from her.
After a few seconds of thinking: "Not anymore." She says with an emotionless tone. "Save." She points to the paper with Oxcy's information. "Fly away."
I suppose with that kind of reply I won't know if she's lying.. but still try to see. '1d10'
"Then we're on the same team. I am going to save them all. Where did you get this?"Roll #1 7 = 7
She racks her brain for a moment before settling on: "Former coworker."
Her slow speech aside, she doesn't betray anything with her expressions. Just like you, seems this clone has stayed active, just like you.
Just like me.
"Okay. I'm going to let you up. Show me your weapons, I'll show you mine. Maybe we can help each other."
I wait for her to agree, and slowly let her up.
This time she shows a hint of sadness. "Weapons, all locked up."
"…" I take her claw and lift it to her eye level. "No. They can't take it all away from you. You always have something."
Lifting up her claw, you can see that her talons have been filed down. She motions to the side, towards a broken piece of rebar. Her clothing, while functional for exploring in the night, is very basic. Not even room for hiding a Com-Link.
Then I step back and show her my sword and the makeshift gun.
"Whatever happened, its not safe to stay up here, too open."
Lead her to the apartment.
Cita looks at you with concern as you come in with another duplicate, then brings over some leftover snacks. "I expected as much, and to be honest, this seems like the best thing that could have happened with an outside excursion of yours, Hawknia. Hi, I'm Cita, what's your name?" Even with her cheery tone, your new clone here stays quiet.
Oxcy has the ComLink attached to her closet sized computer, lines of code flashing before her eyes. "Haha, oh wow. In a matter of minutes, I've learned everything about me is a lie and that people in suits deserve to be burned at the stake. I think I found what you wanted from this ComLink, if you want to hear it."
"I'm calling her Double until she feels like saying another name."
"I'm Hawknia." I inform the new girl and Oxcy at once. "And I very much want to hear what you found." Sit somewhere nearby staring at Oxcy.
Double gives you a sullen look after you named her.
"Judging by what Cita and you have told me, 'Mother' wasn't too happy with the new owners. I can't get to the files she keeps referring to, but I can tell they didn't just want to recall and dispose of us, they wanted to change us
. Like a hotfix, but all she sends is that it's too much, that it goes against the original designs and purposes of us. Oh, I will mention that she never goes into detail about what those were. She just gives the old corporate lingo when asked. So, any idea on what they wanted to change about us? And why now?"
I get the same sullen look at the questions.
"Double and I, we're what she wanted. Predators, Assassins, to fulfill some mad dream of hers. You remember the training right? Hard coded to be killers, that's what she did to us."
Then point with a claw. "Not exactly a profitable thing, considering most of us were being bought as pets to look at."
"So that's why I jumped out like that, huh?" Oxcy says as she keeps going through the ComLink. "When I started running, which I don't do as a programmer, every step of the way felt natural. Incredible, we were programmed…" She continues to click through on the computer, not looking back.
You can see tears forming thanks to her reflection in the monitor.
"…This is why you were supposed to do the talking Boss
." I frown and look out the window. '2d10'Roll #1 7, 1 = 8
"I filled her in, but it's hard to take in. At least she didn't go through what I did."
"Haha, what do you mean? You didn't tell me about that Cita." Oxcy yells, in a clearly stressed voice.
"I'll tell you after we do what we came here to do. Promise." Responds Cita with convivtion. "But for now, we need your help to make our plan work. Hawknia, what do you need from Oxcy once we're done copying the data from the ComLink?"
"I know that our DNA is." Put extra effort into remembering the term. "Stored remotely. Probably inside the HQ?? We need to eliminate it. Find it. Delete it. Delete all information about us. If she can get rid of cameras or security system that would help too."
"Okay, I'm in control. I got it. Now, data like that still takes up lots of space. I know they had remote storage, so it's entirely possible we passed by those servers during our pitch. I can do a wipe if I get access, but I'll probably need someone on the inside to actually get me authorized. You think you can do that?" Oxcy asks you.
"Get in, steal an employee's access, open the doors. I would say easy, but I've never seen the place. You know what its like?"
"Only a brief tour right to the lawyers. All you'll get from me is that the place was barebones. Whoever is running it wants it up, but didn't pay for anything fancy. Two metal detectors at the door with three security guards, but the cameras that are there were quickly put up. You could cut their cables with a butter knife." Oxcy tells you.
"That'd be simple. When we get close I'll be able to take a better look. I don't suppose you have a way to access their building blueprint from here?"
"The building's? Yes. But not what they've done to the place. There were still construction crews going around two weeks ago. It looked closer to a Stable Depot with more registers than some high tech cloning facility."
"Pull it up then, even if its old information it could help, like if they decided to close off a large area or some such.."
"I'll pull up the electrical grid. Might make it easy to tell what side of the building might be drawing power for their needs." Oxcy says as she opens up another window on the computer.
"So, what do you want me to do about Double here?" Cita asks reluctantly.
Double raises a claw, puts it down, then raises it again. "Tawny."
"Tawny." I nod. "Thanks for telling us."
Then to Cita. "She's quiet, but she told me she's trying to help, had a page like the one we found.. got it from her old job.."
"Who was it you worked for Twany?"
She glances at you, then Cita.
I slowly nod.
"That's why then. That night. You were after the pony."
I sigh getting sad look.
"And I messed that up for you, and now you can't go back to your life."
"Unrelated." She says, flashing a really forced smile while waving her hand.
"So, should I take her home?" Cita butts in. "I still have some money, so maybe a motel for the night. Your call."
I look between the two of them.
"Well. I don't think she's with the Corp, she would have attacked by now…."
"Who knows what's really inside of that building, you could come back us up. Or… You could go see the other clones, make sure they don't get abducted and altered
while we work."
"We might run into the same situation as Oxcy if we meet someone in this weather. I'll take her home, maybe we'll go get others if the weather clears up. How's that sound?"
"Is it really that late?" I look for a clock. "Okay Cita, but, go for a hotel, I'm gonna be sleeping in my own closet if we try to all bunk in." Smile slightly. "And using our shed feathers as a bed."
"You could all stay here…" Oxcy interjects. "I know it smells, and the neighbors can be loud, but…"
It's obvious that Oxcy is still frightened as she fidgets around in her chair.
"…" I sit and unimposing as possible, speaking softly.
"Are you really okay with that? You just met us. Even if we are sisters, there's no need to feel obligated. You're already doing a lot to help us."
"I could have been disappeared." She turns back towards the computer and starts typing, "There's a good chance it seems I could have been killed." Her typing slows down. "I wouldn't mind some company, at least for tonight." Typing stops.
Smile naturally at her.
"Thank you Oxcy."
"Well team, this is our base tonight, let's make sure its safe."
'2d10' search the place carefully. Even if its just for show and a little late, bug sweeping is a good practice. Might make them feel safer, and I can look at the entrances carefully.Roll #1 4, 9 = 13
Tawny makes quick work of the windows, closing them and taping them with Oxcy's computer tape to prevent gas from being used against you guys. Cita goes on cleaning duty as Oxcy keeps pecking at her computer.
As you go around checking the walls, you hear a the sound of a bunch of metal cans landing on the tiny porch of the apartment.
Of course, I investigate the porch.
The can fell from the apartment above. As you walk out and look up, you see the face of a filly looking at you from.
"You're not Oxcy, but you look like her." She says. "Do you like soda too?"
I tilt my head.
"Soda? Yea its fine.. water's better for you thou.. kid."
"Yeah, but it's water. It doesn't have any flavor or gas in it." You can tell she's looking you over quite a bit, even her ears seem to be trying to get a sense on you. "Do you know how to paint?"
"Sorry, I'm not that sort of artist."
"Are you sure
?" She asks with a raised, or lowered from your perspective eyebrow. "Have you tried?"
I float up and poke her nose.
"Nope, no time, no time to try tonight either. Why don't you play inside?"
"Because there's nothing to do. I'd rather paint that be on the computer." She huffs, then looks at you for a moment. "Can I ask you something then?"
"When ponies say that, its always offensive." Roll my eyes. "What it is?"
"Well, uhm, what does fish taste like?"
"Depends on the fish, salmon has a smooth salty flavor. Swordfish is bitter and chewy."
She looks at you attentively before accepting your answer.
"Okay, I know when someone's busy. But if you can't paint, ask Oxcy to show you how. You can come over for the lessons with me."
"I'll let her know you suggested it." I nod and go back inside.
You hear the little pony messing with her supplies and spilling a few. At least she isn't skipping her lessons.
Cita is still trying to clean some of the stains around Oxcy's desk, but Tawny just keeps looking at you.
"It was just the neighbor, no threat." I tell the worried groof.
"Are you. Original?" Tawny asks you.
Sigh and look directly at Tawny.
"No. I killed her. She was insane."
"Understand." She states, before rolling herself up onto a couch. "Get rest." She points a few blankets in the corner.
"Wake me when its my turn." I tell her and go curl up in the nest of blankets.
It's hard to sleep with the constant click and clacking of Oxcy's mechanical keyboard. It's a wonder the neighbors haven't made more noise complaints against her.
It's the printer that really wakes you up. It's been printing a few pieces of paper already, some of them are on the floor.
"This is insane." Is all you hear from Oxcy.
Okay. I get up and sneak over to look, wings folded, crouched low and steps light. just out of habit really.
Oxcy reaches over and grabs some tape, putting the pictures together to make a simple floor plan for you.
"Yeah, this is wrong." She mutters to herself.
"Wrong how?" I ask ask I look at her page.
"For one, it's three stories tall. Not that big, not that busy, but no way this is true. But no matter where I looked, the same thing kept showing up. See the top left side, Office 2 and 4?"
"Yea, strange door placement choices there." I comment.
"I'm sure I saw a bunch of people coming and going. More than what could fit in a room like that, you know." She turns towards you. "There's one other thing. There was, or maybe still is, some construction going on right nearby, but it isn't on any of the city plans. Even a megacorp isn't stupid enough to just build, ya know?"
"Do you know what construction company they're using? The ones building it have to know what they're making at least."
"That's just the thing. The construction company didn't exist until a week ago. All the papers are pending
, which means they are someone's desk, I can't hack that." She sits down as Tawny joins you. "Aqualesia. They've only just recently come back. Within 2 months at least, but there isn't much to go on, at least from what I can gather here. There's a few references here and there, but it just seemed to have reappeared suddenly."
"We could steal the papers but, at that point its just another delay.."
"No, it's fine." She turns back to the computer. "It's enough to know it exists, or doesn't or whatever, I mean, that it's happening. It would have been less suspicious to us if they did put some stuff out there, but I'm guessing it is going to be up to you guys to figure this out."
She turns towards you and Tawny and the newly awakened Cita. "I don't know what's going on there. And it's utterly horrifying to me."
"You're scared then? That's good. That means you're smart." Smile at her.
"I don't know about that." She starts digging through her desk and pulls out some USB sticks. "You're going to go in there. I don't think that's smart." She hands starts uploading some files to them.
"I've been on worse missions." I shrug. Even though, its a lie, this is the worst mission in my life and its not even started.
"Here, you'll be needing these." She disconnects the USB drives and passes them around. "If you find any of their laptops and can get the password, try to get these in there. It'll let me connect and try to get more data out of them." She looks at the group. "Just, don't tell me how
you get their passwords, okay?"
Put it securely in a pocket.
"Just plug it in to a logged in PC and that's it?"
"Basically. Best I can really do is steal some PDFs and let someone else try to connect the dots. See who is paying for all of this, what's the benefit, heck, just finding out what company they hired to fix their toilets might be what unravels this whole mess!" She pops open one of the soda cans she had lying around. "Anything you can find and hide, take it. We don't need a smoking gun if we can build our own to shoot this dragon with."
"And remember to come back alive."
"I'm fine at that part. Uh stealing files, sounds useful but, if I find the machine with the DNA, can that thumb drive let you delete it?"
"I can scrub the data, yeah, but…" She looks around before looking back at you. "Back up your data. Then back it up again. Back it up again.
" She leans back into her chair. "If it was important enough to save, there's probably some backups. If they went through all that expense, tapes and stuff aren't too much more to ask. You know what that means, right?"
"…Tapes? Uh, like antique movie reel tapes?"
"Well, yeah. That stuff lasts forever. It's a big machine to record data to it and it's slow, but anyone who pulled this off can write off hundreds of the things. Perfect for data you can't lose, like say some DNA data." She puts her head down, trying to think. "If any of you see some shipping data, take it. Tapes aren't small, it's not something you can keep under a jacket. If you don't want to be searching forever, look for that kind of information."
"Shipping records." I nod and rub my chin. "If they want it to never be lost, someone must know where its kept. The one meant to use it probably.. the highest ranking lab tech then. Do you have any kind of employee list?"
"Even better, I can direct you straight to him. A white Earthie named Lipizzan, Office 3. Real talky type."
"So he's met you before, that might be useful."
"'Met' would be a figurative term." She does the air quotes with her talons. "He was on the phone the whole time. He was in the room physically, but he was sending messages before he ultimately had to leave. Get into his office and you might find what you need."
"Doesn't pay attention to his surroundings either? Its as if he wants
to be kidnapped." chuckle softly.
"I'll be sure to search his office."
"I'll guide you from here. I don't have any other way to get into their system." She brings up a pack of soda, still connected to each other in their little plastic container. "Not often I get to drink soda with myself before a big job like this."
Pick up a soda from her pack and open it.
"You should cut back on this stuff. Your friend upstairs thinks its all your drink."
"Next time, we'll invite her to have one with us."
The Sun is starting to come up in the Gryffindale Business District. There's plenty of activity going on in the neighborhood at these hours, as security guards do their rounds and janitors rush to clean up the last bits of trash.
The Aqualesia building's stand out point right now is the construction going on. As you pass by, you can see some construction ponies going on break while others haul around hammers and other heavy equipment. A few bring in wires and other cables, but they just seem to be installers. A truck is waiting outside, waiting to be cleared to go in.
"So, you could head out there and try to sneak in before the people get there. A few would come in early, so it seems it won't trigger the mainframe's alarms if a few PCs are turned on. But, the problem is you won't be able to overhear passwords if there's no one there to accidentally say them, ya know? Or are you willing to try and infiltrate as another IT person? They were so busy last time, they didn't even blink at me." Oscxy says as he starts switching to other camera viewpoints.
"As you, you mean?" I whisper into the com link.
"Nah, I think I'll try something simpler."
Sneak after the ponies going on break. '1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
Sneak in during the break of the Construction ponies or the Aqualesia workers?
The employees then
Keeping an eye on the building as you approach, you catch a gaggle of employees heading towards a food truck. There's already a crowd there as the group struggles to find a spot.
There's a Goat struggling to keep the door open, he'd appreciate the help of a coworker to go get a chair or something to prop the door open…
As in the door to the building itself?
"Hey, can you get a chair from the office? Someone took the manual." He states as he tries to keep the door open as the gears above try to close it.
"Sure, hang tight bud." I reply and go inside while he holds the door.
So far, it looks similar to what Oxcy showed you, but there's already a hallway that has been added.
There's a few, basic chairs in Office 1 that the Goat is waiting for, but you can already see plenty of other signs of construction from the uncarpeted waiting area to the overflowing closet.
I will go up to the hall way, what's it lead to?
"Office 2" to the right of the Hallway looks like it'll be important. You can see some fancy furniture that has been left around. A whole bunch of computer cables lie on the side for future PCs.
However, Office 3 is nearby. Lipizzan, the computer head, has his stuff in there. It doesn't look like he's there.
"Hey, don't take too long! I want to get a Hay Burrito before they sell out."
I roll my eyes and grab him a heavy looking chair.
"You're a life saver! I skipped breakfast." The running goat says as he joins the rest of the herd at the food cart. A pair of employees are walking down the hallway, chatting about simple things on their way to get their own food, and once they get past, you'll have some time to start looking around.
Just occupy myself 'adjusting' the chair in place, basically just touching it.
They pass by, barely acknowledging you long enough so they don't bump into you.
The sound of the construction equipment occasionally deafens you, but it's otherwise a quiet office. You've got a few minutes to explore the place.
Is Lipizzan's office unlocked? Try going inside.
It's not locked, as some of the manuals and magazines might have to be organized properly, otherwise they wouldn't be keeping the door from closing all the way.
Okay, searching his office, particularly draws or cabinets. '1d10'Roll #1 9 = 9
Far too many post it notes and USB drives for a non-techy to take in. But several of them stand out with names and what looks like passwords scribbled on them, along with some future dates.
Oh, and one very important item. A container of tape, but it's closed.
How big is that container? Does this comlink send pictures? Whisper to the comlink. "Got a tape here. Sealed."
It's about 7 inches in diameter.
All comlinks can send pictures.
"Can you get it out of the building? No matter what, that stuff takes forever to read."
"I can carry it, sending a few pics your way."
Take some pictures of the thing and send them, text her the possible passwords and names too.
"Getting them now. Some of these will be useful. Since Cita mentioned it, I asked Tawny to go investigate the warehouse from earlier. I'm expecting some news from her in a moment. Now, have you run into Lipizzan, or are you going to try to do something else in the office?"
"Haven't seen him, he's got.. well you saw the list I sent, which one of those would I even try on his office computer?" I look at his desk PC at least.
"None, they're too short to be a real password for an IT person. His would be something that makes sense only to him. Look around for an office belonging to a Beags, Birhorse, or Mau."
I scoff a little.
"Right, decoys then. I'll let you know when I find something else."
Bring the tape tin with me.
There's still only a few constrction personnel passing by as they move stuff around, but you still have a little more time for the lunch break. You can hear some loud conversation going on in the kitchen that gets drowned out by the noise, but all else is quiet right now.
to the other side, where office 6 should be.
You pass by the waiting room under construction and the empty desk areas without interruption.
"Horse, do you know when they're going to finish all this work?" You overhear from a worker.
There's a sign on the door to Office 6.
"Under Construction: Do not Enter!"
I see, what about office 5?
Office 5 seems much more normal, with a desk and chairs, though there's one laptop put on top of plastic cases doubling as furniture.
tap the laptop mouse, is this logged in?
Looks like it was just set to hibernate.
And look, it has a familiar name on it.
Plug in the usb that ocxy gave me, whisper to the com link. "found birdhorse's laptop, you seeing it on your end?"
"I'm getting a connection link now, but, how good are you at typing?"
'1d10' how good?Roll #1 7 = 7
Looks like you've got a pretty decent typing speed.
"I need you to input a few extra things. It'll go faster if you do it on your end."
She sends you a few commands to input. Roll 3d10
Groan in reply. "Fine, but I can't stand here forever."
'3d10'Roll #1 3, 5, 4 = 12
It takes far longer than Oxcy anticipated it would for you to run her massive programs, but they seem to be running and hiding themselves now.
"Hold on, I think I have one."
Hoof steps are getting closer to you.
Stupid techie should have come herself, grab the usb again, can't leave it behind as evidence.
'2d10' spot check and then try to walk out of the office.Roll #1 2, 8 = 10
He's a little too close to look around the messy office.
"Oh, hey, are you the furniture lady they sent? Do you have any brochures on you, I'd like to pick my own furniture, since I, uh, have some back problems."
>>682358I meant the hallway to see who was the source of the sound
"I'll ask my manger to leave you some. Gotta get back with the measurements now." Try to walk past him.
>>682359He was walking to the office you were in.
"Cool. I know they were more expensive, but I'm sure HR will approve of a couple. Here, have this if you need to reach someone in the building." He hoofs over a business card.
Nod and accept it, tucking it into a pocket.
Then move to the hall, toward the end where infamous incorrect office 1 and 2 are
The construction work gets more and more obvious as you head down the hallway. Lots of lumber and equipment laying about as you approach them. Looking at them, they are obvious. Office 4 is stairs upwards, but Office 2 is now stairs leading down.
Only problem with the stairs leading down is they don't exist after a few steps. Looks like the employees here don't go down normally.
I simply must look.
Glide to the bottom quietly. '1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
They certainly are adding a lot of offices..
Go back upstairs and try office 4's stairs.
This one looks like more traditional offices. Lots of rooms and cubicles with computers everywhere, but less signs of construction going on here. Along the walls, you can see equations and people putting up notices for projects.
"Poor Beags, he's got the big projects again. They pay way more, but it's nowhere near enough to make up for that stress." A Diamond Dog with a coffee states.
"He's going to tear all his fur off by the end of the year, just watch." His Donkey companion states.
Oh, interesting, check out the board, maybe someone that ocxy mentioned, or project locations are listed here.
'2d10'Roll #1 2, 7 = 9
Mostly payments and due dates, but there's a simple sign that stands out.
"Don't bother the delivery drivers!" is written out formerly.
"That Crystal pony driver is a real jerk." Someone scribbled under it.
"Cleaning staff comes in at 8PM. Anything not in the fridge or cabinet gets chucked!"
Could be good info.
Now to approach the conference room..
There are two of them. The first one has a lone Diamond Dog, ticking away at three different computers while balancing a ComLink conversation.
The Second one is quieter except for the humming of numerous computers and fans. Even you can tell the work here was done quickly.
slide into the second conference room and talk to ocxy again.
"How did go with the system? I'm in a room full of computers here, also do you know who [describe diamond dog] is ?"
"It's going good so far. No alarms seem to have been set off yet. As for your Diamond Dog, hold on, I'm getting the HR stuff now. Just don't stick in any of my USB into the machines there. Those are
tracked, and they'll know if you plug in so much as a mouse." You hear a ton of clicking and clacking from her keyboard. "Beags, right? Woah, whoever this guy is, he is making 3 or 4 times more than the others there. He must be super talented or something. Why'd you ask about him anyways?"
"Thanks. Gotta go for a moment."
I sneak into the office 1, trying to get behind beags '1d10+2'Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
You could probably stand in front of him and he wouldn't notice. There are jugs of coffee everywhere and any extra space is taken up by coffee energy drinks. He's jumping between several computers at once, and the laptop isn't even right side up!
He barely seems to even complete words when talking, but he seems to be getting his point across as he keeps filling out forms.
poor guy. really needs a nap.
KO him. '1d10'Roll #1 5 = 5
He drops his ComLink as he slouches over. All his computers are now yours to use, and all his coffee is free for you to drink.
hang up the line for him, wouldn't want him to get charged.. or someone to hear us.
Whisper to my com link "So, this Beags has 3 computers, should I.."
"All of them as long as they aren't mainframes." You hear her breathing as she stops typing. "You didn't kill him, did you?"
"No." I reply calmly and plug the usb into one of the computers. "Should I?"
"Uhm, please don't. Most of the people seem to be actual regular workers with regular lives. These folks don't really seem like any kidnappers, ever."
I sigh. "Yea, I can see they aren't fighters.. doesn't mean they're innocent."
"Also, I heard this guy was put on the 'big projects', look for his recent assignments."
"Got it. I'll check his stuff out. If you can, run the USB program on all the computers. Anyways, shouldn't lunch time be ending soon. Unless you have something in mind or you can mess with people's mind, aren't you going to get noticed?" She stops for a moment. "Can you mess with people's minds? Have you been messing with mine?"
I groan even harder. "Now's not the time to stop trusting each other. Go an eye on the cameras?"
Try to run her program on all the PCs.
"Not yet, most of the people only have authorization for basic things. Hopefully the next person has more access." Oxcy takes a sip of her soda. "Tawny is approaching the warehouse. I'll keep you informed, so be careful."
Check that the programs keep running and then move the diamond dog to a less obvious corner, checking his pockets. '2d10'Roll #1 10, 10 = 20
There's lots of hiding spots if you move some of the computers in the corner. They're already loosely placed there, no one will notice if they block the Diamond Dog in.
As for his pockets, he's got a pair of key cards. They're sratched up, so they've certainly been used a lot, but you haven't seen doors that require them in the first two floors. Maybe the next one?
To make things a bit clearer:
There is another set of stairs leading up where the X is.
I think oxcy wanted me to leave, since she didn't have the cameras yet.
Check on her little hacker program now.
"Okay, I'm going through his documents now." hear her click and mover her mouse around before swallowing her saliva and taking a big drink from her soda can. "Big thing I just found, this guy has almost all of the names of the disappeared clones in his files. Nothing more than the regular water bill stuff, but why does he have them is still odd. Anything else weird nearby that could tip you off?"
"I'll look, but judging by using three machines, I'd bet this guy is 100percent digital."
'2d10' look around the roomRoll #1 6, 1 = 7
There's still plenty of paper around, but this guy is a mess who was running on pure caffeine. Lots of post-it notes everywhere with phones and account numbers, but there's a small bunch of stapled papers that stand out.
It reads, and it's full of clone names. He's scribbled a few notes on it, but it'll be hard to read as the power goes out around you.
Grab the 'priority accounts' papers for later. Hiss into the comm link. "shiiit oxcy was that you?
"No, that wasn't me! I lost some access with that! Look around you, did you trigger an alarm?"
Pull her thumbdrive out of the machines, don't want to leave evidence.
Exhale sharply at her question, "Doesn't matter, its time to pull out of here." Look back at the dog, asleep in his corner, time for a split decision, just one question. "You got what you needed off his machines?"
"I'm fine on my end. He let me get in deeper anyways. I've got a few cameras now, so what's your plan?"
"Leave and hope they don't deactivate these keycards by tonight. Talk to you at base."
to the stairs and make my way to the ground floor.
"Did someone plug in another coffee maker!?"
"My files! They weren't backed up!"
Assorted screams and yells from the office come around. They sound to be regular bill collector shouts, even the IT guy is yelling at some underlings.
You hear Oxcy over your Com-Link: "Scratch that, looks like the others are having trouble on their end. I sent them to look into the warehouse, but it seems the place is much livelier than any of us anticipated. Fly over there if you can."
"Copy that." I whisper to her.
Okay, sounds like there is chaos everywhere, the last thing I need to look at, is Office 3 down here still silent?
The occupant is still not in, he's trying to handle the power outage. A few Ponies and Donkeys are squeezing past you to get out.
Right, no time to look for him then.
Get out of the building.
It's easier to blend in now as there are lots of Equestrians outside who were waiting for a chance to pay their water bills. Normal bystanders make the crowd bigger, easier to disappear.
The warehouse, the one you learned about from the bodyguard, is dangerously near the edge of town. The directions that Oxcy sends you include a warning about the weather and the neighbors that sometimes show up. Head there now?
I must, my sisters need me.
But take a cab. '1d10' rolling luck.Roll #1 10 = 10
There's a couple leaving their Pegasi Yellow cab right in front of you. If you don't tell them the office is closed, you could get him to carry you most of the distance.
I will climb into the cab.
"I need to go to this address." I tell the cab driver and give him one next to the warehouse.
The Cart of his takes off into the skies. "All the way over there? I'll drop off you near a place I know. Gotta be careful near those woods, hear too many stories about cabbies being plucked outta tha sky ya'know."
"As close as you can get, its important." I insist.
"Then don't mind if I happen to helkp myself when I get there."
He takes you higher above the city than you're used to, the cart's aerodynamics helping with the higher altitude. From here, you can see the electrical lights that stretch for miles. He's keeping his head on a swivel, as this height is packed with plenty of large containers being carried around, though he takes it easier when he starts to descend.
He lands in front of a small bar, about a mile away from the Warehouses. You can see the Forest off in the distance, but still much more dangerously close.
"Smooth flying." I compliment him and pay the fee, stepping out to the street.
"Don't wander into the woods at all. Nothing in there is worth it, so don't let cusiosity kill another half-cat." He hollers as he enters the bar.
Here, near the edge of the city. It's darker. The air feels different.
You get a message on your Com-link. It's the picture of a building, with a single word attached. 'Roof'.
"Appreciate it bud." I wave to him as we part ways.
walk a bit from the bar's view, and try to spot that building. '2d10'Roll #1 2, 4 = 6
You fidn the building but it's a good distance away from the warehouses. Good height though.
However, the big signs nearby will make your presence obvious when flying in/out of it.
You get a Com-Link picture of you from Cita, but it's not that good.
I frown at the picture, but instead I'll walk around to the back, and fly up from there so the signs are providing cover instead. '1d10+2'Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10
That's the thing, there are glowing signs all over it. It's the last beacon of electrical light, or at least the bright stuff. After this, it's just warehouses, abandoned warehouses, and The Forest.
On the rooftop, you see Tawny with a new pistol, using binoculars to spy on the warehouses.
"Trouble, lots." Tawny says.
"Fill me in." I tell her, shielding my eyes from neon lights with a wing.
She points toward the door to the stairs. The door has been left opened.
You hear the door open and Cita pop her head out. "Thank the Sisters you are here. Help me calm her down, we managed to pull another clone out of the fire."
"Explain on the way." I follow Cita down.
"Yeah, looks like they are bringing some clones here. Help me calm her down." She heads back down, where another clone is whimpering to herself, curled into a ball with tattered clothing.
I sigh and dig around for one of the sodas that oxcy gave me earlier.
The clone looks at you, then the soda, then back at you.
She quickly grabs it and starts chugging the thing.
I nod, speaking cheerfully at her. "Yep, you share our taste too. You're our sister alright."
"What do you mean?" She says, obviously confused and struggling to think straight. "Clones? Is that why you look like me?"
I nod "Sharp too. Like Oxcy maybe? I'm Hawknia, what they call you?"
"My name is Alti. Why are we here? What's happening?"
"We're here to find you. To save you."
I kneel down with her. "Do you remember anything?"
"No, just those two Yaks approaching me, then everything went black."
She points to two well dressed Yaks, unconscious, down. On the other end of the stairs.
Acknowledge the Yaks.
"Did you hear or see anything when they got you? Feel anything off? See a logo or hear a name or odd phrase?"
"I though they were some co-workers of my husband. They had my information, and I've done it often where I help him run the business. Are they after ransom money?"
"I'll find out exactly what they wanted soon. Sister." Leave her in Cita's care and grab one of the yaks.
He says in his unconsciousness, showing a black eye as he moves his head.
Take him up to the roof, slapping his cheek a few times as we go.
"Hey big guy, its morning, don't sleep in."
"Huh, wuhh, but it's my day off Ma." You can see his eyes start opening. "Woah, just how wasted did I get?"
"I was wondering the same thing. Just how long were going to keep us waiting? What happened to picking up that business girl? It was an easy
mission." I drag him closer to edge of the roof. "I'm gonna need a full debrief before we can take you back to the office."
His head continues to move around like it was on swivel, he's clearly not all back yet.
"We did! We brought her over, the rest was all on you. What*blurgh!*"
He throws up, hopefully there aren't people walking down there.
pat his back.
"Tell me how it went, from the start."
*We got the call like always.* He tries to say through a vomit coated mouth, then spits. "Same dude as always called us up that someone was late on their payment or something, we brought them over here to do the frighten thing we due, do, and hoofed her off to the other guys. Thas' it."
"How did you know it was the right 'other guys' ? "
"They paid cause I'm drunk horse, or donkey, or whoever you are." The clearly messed up Yak goes through a few more species before throwing up again. "I didn't have mah wallet, so they paid, they was the dudes."
"Fine, whatever, I had to get a new comlink because of this mess, give me the boss's number so I can fix it."
He manages to give you two numbers before passing out again. Looks like Tawny did a number on them.
Well that's the first two, maybe I can see the rest in his contacts?
"Did you take his com link?"
"I copied everything over, just how Oxcy said." Cita states, as she flashes their ComLinks.
"Lots of gangers. High Security." Tawny says in her strange voice, handing you a pair of binoculars.
"Okay, any contact with [first two digits] in there?"
"A couple. We can probably clear them up by looking through MyStable." Cita starts going through them as Alti holds on to her for support.
"Oxcy, you getting this?" I confirm through the comlink as I go to the edge of the roof to look myself at the warehouse. '2d10'Roll #1 2, 7 = 9
You almost slipped and fell off, but you have wings.
"Yeah, I'm going through a few checks myself, but this seems to be Cita's field of expertise. I'm not exactly one for social media, if you catch my drift."
Looking out at the warehouses, you can see why even Tawny waited for support. These places are being watched. Lots of cameras and plenty of low level thugs out and about.
I groan deeply.
"Fine. Oxcy. can't you do something about those cameras?"
"Same thing as last time. Look around for a computer and plug in my USB stick, I can take it from there. Thing is, whoever set these up didn't buy cheap, those are good cameras they have their. Best I can do will be to make them look away when you're passing by, so be careful."
"Seriously? Aren't you supposed to be amazing?" I reply in a sarcastic tone.
"You've been watching Tawny, any patterns in their watch?"
"None. Walkabout. Lazy. Low level." She states before standing up. "But there, there, and there, dangerous."
"They have a whole fleet in there." Cita says as she comforts the kidnapped clone. "I saw a ton of vehicles in there, and if the movies are half-height, they also have a chop shop in there. Those aren't warehouses, they're a business district for gangs."
"Then they must be taking the clones for their parts.." I frown deeply.
"Okay, so any idea where we're going when we do
get in?" Look at the pictures from Mother's com link again.
"There seems to be one drawing a lot of power. Looking at the expenses of the warehouse guys, one in particular has been drawing lots of power." Oxcy says over the ComLink. "Get this, it's the same construction company as the one in Aqualesia."
My wings angle naturally, like a hawk about to dive a rabbit.
"Great job. Now.."
'2d10' spot a car that's going towards thereRoll #1 5, 5 = 10
There's an Equestrian Postal Service truck coming to deliver some messages, but behind it is a mana-cart with what looks like a father/son combo. Other than that, most of the cars are avoiding the area.
Okay, signal tawny to follow me.
'1d10+2' sneak to the postal vehicleRoll #1 8 + 2 = 10
It's a big and blocky Mana-mobile, the driver can't see much even if he wanted to. It's taking him a while to get buzzed in too, so there's plenty of time to sneak.
Climb inside the back and just wait to get through.
"Just make sure to lock up the boxes. I got complaints that someone or something was trying to get into them."
You hear the mechanical fence start pulling back and the engine of the Mail-Cart start to pull you into the warehouse district.
You share space with countless packages, envelopes, and cardboard boxes. Plastic bins are full of mail that would get ruined by the humidity of Seaddle, and some of them are about to fall out of them. That's probably why you fell behind on some bills…
The gate starts closing behind you as the Mail-Cart drives up to the mail bins. You can hear him turn it off, think for a moment, and take the keys with him.
"He's out, now's your chance." Your Com-Link states through a text message from Cita.
Maybe I should switch to emails instead..
Well, look outside, is there any cover to move to out there?
Plenty. Tons of abandoned and chopped up vehicles, lots of leftover boxes from older deliveries, and countless large knickknacks from the nearby business.
"Oi, so I go into the club, and guess who is there with a smile
but Fergy! I don't know what happened, but I'm glad." You hear coming from a short distance away.
I'll pick the empty box stack. maybe hide inside of it
'1d10+2' stealthRoll #1 5 + 2 = 7
There's a stove box someone left outside, a Gryphon should be able to fit inside, but two might be cramped.
"After what you did, I thought she'd have torn you apart and fed us your guts." One of the other guards states as he walks past. You can tell by their hooves that one is an Earthy, but the other seems to have a wee bit thinner frame. Maybe a Pegasus or a Unicorn?
"If I were you, I'd stay awake. Maybe some mind ray hit her that time, but I wouldn't risk it."
I'm getting in that box. Tawny knows how to get to cover, I hope.
There's a nearby refridgerator box, one of those small ones, so she has to hold on to her tail.
"Nah, nah, I'm sure she's over it." You hear one of the guards say as they get further away now. "Maybe I should buy her something nice, just in case, right?"
As the chatty guards move away, you can hear the Mail-Cart power up and start to move off. You're left in the southwest corner of the warehouse district, your target lies closer to the northeast, which means you'll have to pass by a number of patrols with only Cita as your spotter.
Nothing I can't handle.
Look around for Tawny, did she make if off the cart?
She's in a box next to you. You can smell the Lemon sodas that were dumped into it.
"About 4 groups walking around, but they go into the warehouses at time. Can't tell why." Another text from Cita.
"Thx Keep watching"
I'll move to the north.. staying under this box
'2d10' perception for the next patrolRoll #1 9, 10 = 19
As you both move up North, you hear the sound of electrical saws cut into the management carts and a good number of hoof carts moving things around.
But as you round a corner, you manage to stop just a bit away from a pair of guards who are taking a soda break. "You see those new guys? Give me Pegasus bumps just looking at them."
Better stop and listen to this..
"Those guys are way above my pay grade. And education level." A massive Yak interjects.
"Listen, I understand when smart people make bad decisions. It happens to everyone. But these guys, they chose to be here. And they're hauling in who knows what. I for one, have seen enough crime vids to know this is going to be way above me when it goes wrong and I'm willing to take anything that gets me out of here."
"Sheesh, they really unnerve you that much?"
Wow, turn on my mic so that Cita can hear this, text "sounds like someone moved up in business, enough to hire pros."
"Last time I saw stuff like this happening, most of the guys guarding the creepy guys wind up eaten." The Pony guard adds before chugging down his drink.
"Yeah, the guys they mention are well dressed. It's basic looking, but I can tell they're rocking the good clothes. Not cheap." Cita texts back to you.
"Move on?" Tawny asks.
"Yea, just be careful." I reply back, hopefully they don't turn back around.. move north still.
"They'll probably just move on. Nothing to worry about." The yak adds as he goes to put his drink in a grabage can. They head back inside of the warehouse.
As you continue to move on, you spot a pair of cameras crudely nailed to the outside of a warehouse. The main door is open, and you can hear some laughter coming from inside.
'2d10' get close enough to look inside the door?Roll #1 8, 5 = 13
The mobile boxes scoot towards the big door, letting you peer inside.
"Here's your 5 bits, kid. Didn't think you'd have it in you." A Diamond Dog in dirty overalls says to a young, shaggy Goat.
"Yeah, but he looked like he was going to wet his pants every step of the way. You shoulda seen his face." A dusty Donkey says. "Here, I even took a picture."
The goat grumbles. "Well, at least one of us went to talk to them at all." He tries to compose himself, but you can see him hold his chest.
text cita "how far is this from the target location?"
"Four more buildings, shortest route. Be careful, patrol incoming." Cita replies.
"Worst part, they made me haul that container for them. Thing was heavy." The Goat complains.
exhale in annoyance, stay still until the patrol passes by.
"Alright, back to work. These cars aren't going to disassemble themselves you know." The Diamond Dog hollers back as he closes the doors to the warehouse house. "Johnny, didn't I tell you to get rid of the boxes?" He shouts out before vanishing behind the door.
You still have some cameras in your way. How will you deal with them?
Cameras.. scowl grumpily at the commlink, but can I get close to their wirings?
Yes, these haven't been professionally installed, or even as good as someone who tried. The cables are visible, all on the outside of the building. They were screwed in with basic hardware store nails. The cables lead to the next warehouse, one in the direction you have to head.
sneak close and cut the wires..
With a *snip* from your talons, the deed is done.
A large Mana-Cart approaches and passes you by shortly. It's nice, white, and clean. Not the usual vehicle the chopshops here usually take apart. It's heading the same direction as you would be.
get the plate numbers and text it to cita.
then keep going toward the north east.
You hear a door open from behind you and a goon walk out.
"Sheesh, the rats are getting bolder, maybe next time they'll just hire them since they get into our stuff so often." The Unicorn says into his Com-Link.
"Oxcy running plates." Cita messages you. "Stay hidden."
"Guards incoming." Tawny tells you, as a large group of gangers walks out from the warehouse ahead.
It's the guys from Fergy's bar. And they have a clone with them.
Not for long they don't.
I've had about enough of their games.
"How many?" I ask and look myself too.
"Too many. I'm counting 8, 9, 10 so far. I don't know if they're all together, but they're headed in the same direction you are." Cita replies.
I make a fist with my claw, whisper harshly. "They have one. Do we really need to just watch instead of act?"
"What if they have more? What if they're taking her to where they are? I'm not trying to stop you, but can you take on so many and still protect her?"
"Fine, shadowing them. Going radio silent.
" I reply, leaving the call on so she can hear.
'1d10+2' stealth to follow those guys?Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12
The loud noises of the chop shops and radios blaring ethnic music help conceal your presence. The clouds moving in add more shadows for you to hide behind.
The clone they have with them is limping, you can see they've been rough with her, but she doesn't resist. There's a big Yak hauling her along and the guys from Fergy's bar talking about what they are going to do after this, like it was just a normal job ending when they finish the delivery.
There are two unicorns carefully carrying some boxes, plus a Pegasus looking up something on his Com-Link.
"These guys have weird tastes, but who am I to judge? At least they aren't into the stuff Parlag here!" All except a Donkey burst into laughter.
Scowling deeply, I'll keep following, where are the exits to this place? Is Fergy bound or something?
These are the guys from Fergy's bar, but you get the feeling they'd be singing a different tune if it was Fergy. But a girl who looks 99.8% they rough up and bring here doesn't speak well of their character.
They're walking past one more warehouse before they get to the one you were already headed to, but everything is suddenly much quieter. Seems even though gangsters and gunrunners don't want to get on the bad side of the folks in the suits. Even the group you are tailing gets quieter as they pass the doors of the barely open warehouses.
In a few more steps, the clone will be in the building that all the others have been sent to, with you only a few feet behind.
You can see one of the well suited Equestrians come out of the Dark Warehouse.
The suits are probably management.. keep that dark warehouse in mind for later, can't break away to check it out until the delivery
"Oy." One the more fashionable gangsters utters. The Yak pushes the clone further to the new Equestrian, a Goat on closer inspection. He lifts her head, as if to inspect her.
The sound of electricity cuts through the air as the clone is tasered. The Goat catches her before she falls to the ground and puts her on a cart that was off to the side.
"Sheesh, treat the goods with some respect…" You hear from one of the gangsters as the Goat signals for the door to be opened.
A cart, okay, creep just close enough to see inside it. Is she okay? Any other things inside of it? '2d10'Roll #1 3, 8 = 11
The cart is little more than something from Stable Depot, she's just plopped on it like she was a bag of sand.
"Huh, did you say something?" One of the Gangsters asks. The Goat is at the door, he just seems to be flashing something at the camera.
I squint at the camera, is it gonna be an issue following this cart inside?
The Dark Warehouse, while sporting more security than the others, is still a mass produced box like all the other warehouses.
"Don't dawdle you two. Get the wires connected to the place." The fashionable gangster yells. "I don't know why they use so much power and I don't want to find out first hoof. Get them wired up and leave them alone." The Gangsters start leaving, letting the two Unicorns and Pegasus to do their job in the alley way between warehouses.
Okay, well, I'm going to dash into the warehouse when they open the door.
'2d10' perception for security and general areaRoll #1 8, 4 = 12
The only chance at an open door you have is right now, as the Goat finishes pushing the Cart inside. It will be a tight fit…
Roll Stealth one more time if you want to do this
'1d10+2' Going for itRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
And no distance between you and the Goat who let the door close behind you.
He starts pushing the cart, unaware of your presence, towards what looks like a small industrial elevator.
Computers and monitors line the walls, but this place still looks like a chop shop.
Just me, myself, and a goat.. did Tawny make it in here?
Looks like she didn't make it. Maybe someone was in the way?
The Goat pushes the Cart to the Elevator and swipes his ID. The mechanical whirring on the elevator starts up.
Okay. Elevators are too risky without knowing where you're going and without backup.
I'd like to KO this goat now.
'1d10' sentried backstab rollRoll #1 9 = 9
The Goat is out instantly, his body barely having time to react to the sudden loss of consciousness, and simply Ragdolls to the ground.
The elevator continues its voyage up, it's sound only being interrupted by a question on your Com-Link from Tawny.
quick, which floor is this taking me too?
"Yes, good idea." I reply back.
On the elevator console, the lowest light has been lit up, so you're going to be heading down. You can see the walls of the elevator shaft are still being worked on and there are some shovels and helmets nearby.
"they wanted to take her to the lowest floor, got any clue what's under this place?" I ask the commlink
>>683541Hit button too early
However, once you give the signal, the Power to everything goes away. You can hear and see the warning lights/sirens go off and some worried talking nearby.
The elevator only went down one floor before stopping. You can force the door open and investigate the first floor, or float to the Second or Third floor.
"Nothing good from what I've gathered." Oxcy replies. "I'm warning you now, it won't be pretty but I think you should hurry. Lots of dangerous chemicals and expensive analysis equipment. You might be in a hole under a ratty warehouse, but someone spend good money on that hole."
First try to wake up the copy.
"They've certainly got alarms too, must be protecting something big.."
The tazer is still affecting her.
"I'm trying. Breathe slow okay."
Check her for other wounds, remove anything hurting her.
There aren't "wounds" on her, per se, but they are much worse. As you look her over, you can tell she's been prepped for surgery. Vital areas have had their feathers removed, there are several indication marks a surgeon would follow, and she's even had her talons cut.
I am very alarmed by this, try to sit her up.
"Can you move? Do you know how to hide?"
"Who.. are.. you..?"
Her eyes are messed up, you can see she will have trouble focusing.
"There…" She points to a high shelf, struggling to raise her limb.
Look up on that shelf.
There's lots of boxes, full or car parts. You could make a hiding place for her, at least keep her out of sight of someone just rushing in.
"Okay, just hold on."
carry her up there and hide her among the least trashy looking section of the boxy mess.
'1d10+2' using stealth hereRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
Not too good. You can hide her from someone quickly looking up, but the shelf is covered in oils and chemicals you wouldn't want anyone to sit in too long, so don't forget about her.
"…" Well, that will have to do. force open the door now.
Heading to First, Second, or Third Floor?
the lowest possible.. so 1.
As you float down the stalled elevator shaft, you hear more and more noise. You can make out individual generators nearby, which means they don't want to pull the power on something important. It's super dusty down here, but you see plenty of construction tools too.
At the bottom of the elevator shaft, you can hear a lot of people on the other side of it. Fortunately, it's a solid chunk of metal door between you and them.
..any kind of sledge hammer among these tools? Can I get through to a vent from here?
'2d10'Roll #1 6, 5 = 11
No sledge hammer in this area, but there are a few ominously heavy wrenches and screwdrivers. You can see a decent sized vent above them.
Looks like they were wiring the place.
"Ugh, I didn't go to Eferus University to work in a five like this!" You hear some mare complain through the door. "Is reliable power too much to ask?"
I will take one of those large wrenches, and go into the vent.
'1d10+2' sneaky birdRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
Looks like letting Cita fluff up your feathers and fur is working in your benefit. They deafen the noise you make as you start squirming through.
Directly below you, there's a group of 6 Equestrians, most of them looking like they belong in a lab, except for one Dog with a stun prod.
"Hey, they did say they were working on it today. Besides, it's not like you didn't say no to the paycheck." A lab Donkey responds.
Creep further down the vent.. can I see what they are doing?
The dim lights conceal a bit, but even you can tell that these intellectuals are just waiting for the door. You can tell by their tails and ears that they aren't comfortable being down here without power. The Dog is just leaning against a door, checking his ComLink.
"Wait, didn't you say you blackmailed the Professor?" Another of the scientists asks the Mare.
"Hey, I did my research on him too plus the material. It was extra credit. Honest." She gives him a malevolent smile.
Further down, it turns right. There's a vent you can push to get down and two rooms to the side of the hallway.
You can hear medical machines beeping.
Okay, I definitely want to drop down here and check out that beeping.
'2d10' listen close to follow itRoll #1 6, 2 = 8
You quietly push the vent out of the way and quietly drop into the Hall. You have doors to your right and left, and a hallway ahead of you that turns left. There are red lights flashing, but these are just the warning lights to let people see.
The issue with the medical machine noise is that it seems to be coming from everywhere around you. You can't specify it.
Try the right first.
You open the door and a powerful chemical smell hits your nostrils. You've taken whiffs of stuff from drug houses less powerful than this.
There are twenty barrels of different colors and sizes stacked up here. The room is clean, equipped with some safety equipment and checklists that wouldn't be out of place in a proper laboratory.
Hold my breath, and go to the left path instead.
"Is anyone there?" You hear the Dog ask from the hallway. Good thing you decided to move on.
"Are the fans failing already? Gagtaculous." You hear her complain.
The machine beeping noises get stronger here, and some of the doors have Windows, so you can see the generators in them, plus a good number of biological waste bags. There are lots of needle containers here. There's another solid door to your right, but you can continue down the hall.
The noise of the machines drowns things out.
Try to open that heavy door on the right.
It resists against you. Looks like this door is electronically assisted.
But even with the little you have open, another strong smell overcomes you, but this one feels Familiar…
'2d10' rollinRoll #1 4, 8 = 12
You recall the smell from when you were being trained. It's a smell that came from a section of the building you weren't allowed into, but passed by often. You saw some lab assistants bring things into it, but never out.
I'm going inside.
'1d10' pry it open, with that wrenchRoll #1 10 = 10
You force it open, but you do it quietly. The door barely whispers as you play it open.
Inside, you see shelf's full of containers. Some of the containers are shoved and barely staying on their shelves.
As you look into them, the blue liquid gives way to countless clone parts. Arms, wing parts, and several hearts and lungs, with many others, all packed inside.
This is a chopshop for Clones.
Take an arm that might fit Acino, the left front. '2d10' searchRoll #1 2, 3 = 5
You found parts of an arm, but they'll have to be assembled if you want Acino to get her limb back.
The red lights outside now start flashing harder, and a siren sound can be heard. You can hear some yells from the Scientists nearby, and it sounds bad.
A decent surgeon should be able to manage that.
Time to leave, go down the hall further, and bring my wrench too.
There's a strong set of doors at the end. Real solid steel, but there's yelling behind it.
You can tell someone on the other side is trying to open it, the door seems to try and move.
Take my handy dandy wrench and get to work. '1d10'Roll #1 10 = 10
A little leverage and talon grease makes the door start opening smoothly.
Just as you open the door, an Earth Pony scientists manages to squeeze through. Or at least half of one. The front half of the Earthie starts laughing as he moves ahead, only to expire after a few inches.
A roar goes out from somewhere in the massive room you just opened. Followed by a tingling feeling and what few lights there are left going out.
I really wish I had some of those fancy augmented eyes now.. just carefully go into the room.
'1d10+2' stealthRoll #1 4 + 2 = 6
It's not your typical horror story quiet in here. There are cries and screams coming from all over this massive, warehouse sized room. Worse, there are things that approach cries and screams, but aren't.
The power is cut, so all the lights above you are dead. Some glow with heat, but many more are shattered. There's about 30 sealed tubes here, but only the last few at the other end seem to have some light.
Not 5 feet ahead of you is the other half of the scientist.
Can't see anything like this.. get as close as I dare to those lit up pods and look around
'2d10'Roll #1 2, 4 = 6
A voice rings out.
"Help me! Someone help me!"
Then it is silenced.
Roll #1 2, 9 = 11
You approach the pods and use them for cover. They are thick items, with a strong metal case and loads of wires running into and around each one.
But you only manage to pass 5 rows before some unusual growling can be heard ahead. The flickering lights show a Jenny scientist crawling away from something.
Pick her up, "You. Where do they take they clones?"
AS you try to lift her, you quickly feel the fact that her front right leg has been shredded.
"Here! Now get me out of here!"
"Do you have access to them?" I ask her, carrying her to the side. "What's your job here?"
"Also, don't lie, I'll know."
"No, I don't have access. Who are you? I haven't seen you before. I was just in charge of feeding, I didn't have anythingelsetodowiththis."
She's panicking, you can hear her breathing and her sentences are getting harder to understand.
"Right, miss innocent, let's get you a bandage, try to think, who has the most access you know of."
'2d10' find something to wrap up her wound in.Roll #1 1, 4 = 5
Everything that might have been a bandaged is covered in some strange goop, and that's there was very little of that around. At best, there are some industrial strength rolls on a nearby desk. A few of the pods have been broken and are leaking onto the floor near you.
"The Supervisor is the only guy I could think of. Hesupthere." She tries to point, but a pang of pain goes through her body and she goe silent, trying not to yell.
"Hesupthere. What's he look like? How does his access work exactly?"
Wrap her with those rolls I suppose.
'1d10' try to stop her bleeding.Roll #1 9 = 9
No sane Doctor, Nurse, or Nurse Practitioner would call it good idea, but you do slow down the blood flow.
"Ah-ahRAH!" You hear from the other end of the room.
"Right. I'll figure it out. Try not to die lunch mare."
'1d10' dash fast to that side of the room.Roll #1 4 = 4
As you run forward, two of the pods suddenly have banging coming from inside of them. It's panicked, with no pattern to it.
You see a scientist in the moments of light, and he sees you, reaching out for help.
Roll my eyes and go for the pod.
'1d10' cut it open. sentry'dRoll #1 7 = 7
Try as you might, you can't get enough of your talons through to start opening the pods. Thre more pods start banging.
Above, you see a Diamond Dog shoot at something, only to fall from the footpaths and rooms that make the second story of this room.
The lights all seem to shut down at once, even the emergency lights are out.
Okay. Try going the way the food lady was indicating.
Look for something like an office or security area '2d10'Roll #1 6, 8 = 14
You hear something breathing
near you, but then it darts off as you were looking above.
There are what look like three hanging trailers above you. One is separate from the others and lies towards where the food lady pointed.
The banging intensifies as more pods start shaking.
click on my commlink, and speak pretty loudly.
"I need a way to open these pods, anyone?
Go up to that trailer.
"Send pix." Oxcy replies.
You stand in front of the door, but you can feel someone, or a couple someones, looking at you.
"Hello, respond, can anyone hear me! We have a BREACH! I repeat, BREACH!" The door is locked, but it doesn't seem all that special…
"Okay, I'll try."
'1d10' first try to force this door openRoll #1 1 = 1
"They're coming for me! Help, hurry, anyone!"
You push with your body, but the door only gives a short distance before ramming into a whole lot of things and stopping.
I sigh, and call through the door.
"Listen. You're alone. I killed your security. You want to live, make a deal with me. Help me free my sisters and get into the server room."
You hear whoever is inside the try their radio a few times as their brain tries to process what's going on.
"I don't have access. Who are you?" The feminine voice inside whispers.
"I'm one of the old ones. Do you know The manager? What unlocks these pods? An emergency release even?"
"Oh Celestia, what's happening?" You hear her squeak, then the noise of cabinets being moved. If you're looking for the Supervisor, he's gonna be in one of the labs. If you promise to get me out of here, I'll come along and open it for you. Promise."
She stops moving stuff from the inside as you feel other things moving, and screaming, below you.
"…Deal, bring any flashlights you have in there, I need to take a few good pictures."
You hear some papers and cabinets being thrown all over.
As she starts opening the door, a high pitched sound can be heard coming from seemingly everywhere.
"Hey, what are you doing, you said you'd help me."
"I am, climb on." Draw my swords and back up so I'm crouching near the door.
The whirring intensifies as the person behind the door opens up, revealing another Diamond Dog, this one a scientist.
"Once you get the Supervisor, get me out of here, okay?" She says as she gets on, holding a flashlight in her mouth.
"I promise to get you out after this is done."
Okay, try going to the pods, poke at the dog's side to get her light on them, and take a picture.
You take a few pictures as you fly towards another door, this one separated from the rest of the steps by a mechanical bridge.
You take pictures of the pods, but you seem some vague forms dart into the darkness as gun shots ring out in one of the corners.
Suddenly, the whirring stops.
You're blinded by a sudden flash of light everywhere
! Try not to lose control!
'1d10' groof is totally in controlRoll #1 8 = 8
"What was that!?" Your passenger yells as she hold on tighter to you, making your in-air recovery even harder.
You manage to stay the course and dig into the wall, next to a pawprint scanner.
As you look back before the lights die, you catch glimpses of things that look like your clones, but aren't.
Reply coldly, in a still whisper that cuts the air.
"Why don't you tell me. You made her.
Send those pictures to my back up, and carefully bring her to the scanner.
"Hey, I was just hired here. Someone else put this stuff down here and it wasn't me." She says as she puts her paw up to the scanner. "Don't think of dropping me here, you need me."
The door opens only to jam halfway.
The rest of the lights finally die, only the emergency lights managing to hold on.
The banging intensifies.
"No, I'm not a traitor like your Employeer. Light off.
" I tell the scientist dog.
Then to the commlink. "Hurry with a way to open those things, the girls can't survive long like this.
'1d10+2' sneak inside.Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
The door still has some give in it and lets you chuck the Scientist Dog inside without much trouble. You're in a hallway that's still under construction, leading left and right, but the Dog is already walking towards the left.
"This way, you'll need me to get him out of the Laborato"*THUNK*
The body of a guard is hurled towards the corner ahead of you and drops its flare. The guard is torn up, shredded all over his body and through his armor.
In the shadow of the light, you can make out someone who likes you, but has some strange growth over where the beak should be. The eyes are covered in bandages and wires. It picks up a pipe and points it at you.
"This one's my hostage. I don't have time to explain, the other clones are dying." I quickly inform the clone with the half operated on face.
"She… Them…" Your clone responds with visible difficulty and pain.
The Scientist Dog says nothing, but she does take a step back.
"Follow, Step aside, or Fight me over her. I'll help you after I save them."
Pick up the scared science mutt in one claw and hold my sword in the other. Taking steps forward.
Your clone stays silent and leans up against the wall, weapon raised at you, but she doesn't move from her new position.
Keep walking past her.
The occasional flashes highlight the fear in her eyes. She keeps looking at you as you pass her, then she collapses.
There's a door ahead of you with a Pawprint Scanner.
Her eyes that are covered in wires?
"I don't suppose you're a doctor-scientist are you dog?" Put her down next to the scanner.
Occasional flashes from the overhead lights. But your collapsed clone does have a few cables and tubes in her.
"I'm a Geneticist." She answers quickly. "I'm only opening this door for you, but it's where we lost contact with everyone first, so I'm going to let you go ahead first."
She puts her paw on the scanner and the locks give way, but the door does 't open. "Stupid thing." She mutters. "You can push if you really want to go in there."
"No. You are staying until I see the manager, and he
opens those celestia damned pods. For all I know this could be a room full of turrets." I reply with a scowl.
'1d10' strength push it open.Roll #1 2 = 2
It's heavy and thick, you barely get it to budge at all. An icy blast is your reward for moving it a few inches.
"That's, not how it's supposed to be inside there." The Dog mentions. "The containers are going to break if it stays this cold."
You hear whirring and some motion from inside.
"This is taking far too long.." Check my com link for a reply about the pods yet.
then use the oversized wrench to pry this thing open
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
"Compiling now! Sending to Tawny!" The ComLink message states.
The wrench proves it's worth, helping you move the door before it started to bend itself. As soon as you open the door, you're blasted by the heat coming from infrared lamps above strange, circular containers.
"At least those generators kept going." The Dog says sarcastically. "Don't touch them and hurry up. Door to the Supervisor is over there." She points towards another door ahead, this one newer with plenty of dust everywhere.
Roll to spot, 3d10
"Really? Why's your supervisor in a dusty room?" I reply skeptically, bringing the dog with me.
'3d10'Roll #1 5, 10, 10 = 25
"Well, if you came in through any of the entrances, you'd have seen all the building material. This place is a work in progress." She says in a matter of fact tone.
Then the lights turn on and stay on for a few seconds more. The Dog's got a Communicator in her ear, and it's vibrating!
"Answer it, on speaker." I tell her.
"There's no one on the line." She protests. "That's why I was on the radio."
But you know it's on, and that someone is on the other side, since it's glowing green.
"Done, Tawny will send it over the air." Your own ComLink starts up as a
"Really? I love music. Let me listen." and take the communicator from her putting it into my own ear before she can do anything about it.
"Minea, unlock the door! Respond!" A rather thickly voiced tell comes through the headpiece. "We're on the other side! Open the door!" The thing is, you hear that voice coming from the other side of the door as well thanks to your enhanced hearing, but he doesn't sound panicked at all…
Is this a recording? Can I maybe tell? '2d10' listen for mic feedback from their end that might indicate a recording instead of a ponyRoll #1 5, 4 = 9
The only feedback you get is when the other pony starts banging on the door. Except it no longer sounds like one pony, but a bunch.
"Stay clear of the door, we're going to break in!" The voice behind the door and the earpiece you have blares.
"Plus in your ComLink to the pods and we can unlock them!" Your ComLink adds to the cacauphony.
Give the dog a pissed off scowl, and talk to the comlink.
"Are any of you even the Manager?" Push the dog toward the door. "Go on, open the door."
Then to my comlink. "Gotcha flying there."
She slams her paw into the scanner, but this door jams just as it starts to open.
"Minea, respond!" Someone from the other side yells as a gun's barrel is pushed through the small opening the door has made.
"She's fine." Look at the gun, and back away. "And you were never going to help the clones… I don't have time for you assholes, deal with your own shitty door.
" Drop the dog's ear piece and dash out of here. '1d10' fastRoll #1 9 = 9
Vague yelling can be heard as you leave the room, getting louder as more voiced yell.
"Find this item, it's the central command unit!" Oxcy tells you through your ComLink. "Plug it in and we'll handle the rest." It says as you leave the room.
Your unconscious clone is still there, fallen on the floor.
Pick up the poor girl on my back, and keep going to the room with the pods.
"I hope we're not too late."
There's a few stations of the type you're looking for.
Only problem is that there's another altered clone blocking your path, growling at you.
Her legs are mangled, with strange masses of muscles and bone growing around them. Despite having a break, she bears her teeth at you.
"You feral?" I ask the injured clone in as sweet a tone as I can manage. "That why they're trying to kill you off?"
She tries to talk, but her voice comes out convoluted, something is wrong with her throat. But she nods her head and backs away.
The Console is to her side.
"You need a doctor." I tell her, and approach the console, plug into it.
>>684001>Connecting…>Establishing Remote Link…>Launching Executable…
The yelling from the other room is getting louder as some of the tubes start disconnecting to the pods.
The altered clone looks above in worry.
Follow her gaze, what's she looking at?
'2d10'Roll #1 5, 5 = 10
It's not that she's looking at something, but listening. You hear a small group of people moving through the hall on the second story.
The Pods continue their opening, losing more cables and pipes. A few are starting to whirr as the motors inside begin opening them up.
"Guess they figured out how to open their door after all."
I sigh. "Just let them flee."
The footsteps get closer to the door, then they stop.
"Erase this place, but secure the drives! Or I'll feed you your own check!"
They're not leaving, they're getting ready to shoot the place up!
I set down the injured clone here, I need my mobility. "Make sure they don't kill her."
'1d10+2' sneak toward the one giving the orders.Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7
There's a half-broken door and darkness between you and them, and they have a few laser pointers glowing from the other side of the door. There's a few ledges and hiding spots nearby.
"Whoever finds my daughter gets double pay, so watch your fire."
The pods finally release, losing their gases and liquids and letting all the clones fall to the floor.
I don't need to hide for long.
'2d10' use both blades to cut the two guards nearest the boss. Leaving them helpless will be fine enough.Roll #1 4, 5 = 9
The first enemy who was about to breach into the Pod Room gets slashed and falls to the ground in pain, but the second one is able to move just out of the way, but still takes a large cut.
"What in Luna's?!"
"It's a clone! Shoot it!"
There are three healthy looking armored guards here, a Donkey, a Buffalo, and an Earthie yelling out orders. The guard you stabbed, a Goat, reaches for his sidearm.
"We aren't programs to be deleted." I declare coldly.
'2d10' go for the donkey next.Roll #1 8, 7 = 15
"Gah!" The Donkey yells as he drops his weapons to the floor.
"You might as well be, you're all copy-pasted brains!" The Earthy yells as he uses his shotgun, some of the pellets scratching into you. The Buffalo gets ready to pull the trigger on his oversized machine gun, but he's also trying to reach for his partner.
'1d10+2' try jumping to the ledges to avoid their sight a moment. stealthRoll #1 10 + 2 = 12
You dive back into the Pod room before the Buffalo can fire, hiding in the many books and crannies.
"Damn it, it's just one of them." You hear the Earthy yell. "Regroup, fast." The Buffalo sticks his weapon out of the door but doesn't dare show too much of his body, only briefly moving his head inside.
"Machine is on the ground! He's been cut up but still breathing." The Buffalo yells back with a thick accent.
Now I need to sneak up and backstab the earth pony boss
'1d10'Roll #1 1 = 1
>>684076You're in the Pod Room. The Soldiers are in the hallway, but there's a small door that the Buffalo is currently holding.
The Goat at the bottom pulls out his pistol and starts shooting randomly, he's going to expose you!
Okay. I'd like to look for something big to throw at them, maybe kick an empty pod over.
'1d10'Roll #1 7 = 7
A pod is a heavy thing, but a piece of one is easier to manage.
"Just get in there and liquidate any clone you see!"
Who do you throw it at? The Buffalo above or the crippled Goat shooting into the room?
Even with your poor light situation, you manage to hit the Goat square in the chest and he finally falls limp to the ground.
"Go, go now!" The Soldiers yell as Tawny appears in the other side of the Pod Room!
Okay. What I want to do is go in front of the hallway with a piece of a pod, and scowl, growling at the buffalo. "You think you're in charge?"
You push the Buffalo back, the sudden mass ramming into him and a predatory animal rushing him makes him hesitate and slip.
"Shut her up!" The Earthy yells as he tries to aim his shotgun at you.
'1d10' try flipping above and using backstab on the buffalo. "You don't like our voice? That why you stole with theirs? Replaced it with growling?"Roll #1 7 = 7
The meat of the Buffalo hitting the floor isn't as loud as the machine gun clanking against the ground, but the effect is the same. Screaming and yelling fill the hallway as the Buffalo writhes in pain, trying to reach for the source of his pain and failing.
"I'll give you something to cry about when I shove you into one of those pods! Or maybe I'll have them take it from you!" The Earthie yells as he keeps walking away, resistant to shooting his colleague.
The lights flash and go out again, letting you see his fear.
"You might want to save that pod for yourself."
'2d10' leap over and attack the earth ponyRoll #1 10, 8 = 18
A sudden flash of light makes him miss his aim, giving you an opportunity to rush in, pull away his weapon, and start beating him senselessly in a pool of blood from his comrade.
The Earthie continues to resist.
'2d10' I will keep attacking him.Roll #1 9, 6 = 15
The pool of blood gets bigger as you co time to thrash the Earthie. But he doesn't give up, attempting to punch you between several of your attacks.
'1d10' one deep strike then, backstab
.Roll #1 8 = 8
The blade cuts through everything in its way, causing irreparable damage going in and out. He'd scream if his lungs weren't full of the blood from the beating you gave him.
Take a breath, pulling my sword away and stepping back into the pod room's shadowy cover.
The failed electric system makes it easy to hide where you want, but being the only one breathing loudly like that makes it easy for Tawny to find you.
She approaches and stops a few feet in front of you. She looks towards the brutalized guards, bit doesn't say a word.
I don't say anything, just nod at her presence.
Anyone left alive in the hall?
Lots of scared and crying clones.
Without the fear of being shot, you can see them clearly. Most of them have strange and unique alterations, some are on the ground crying into their cut up limbs.
Tawny just sits there, then turns a ComLink towards you.
I accept the comlink, putting it to my ear so I can hear.
"Hey." Oxcy replies, a cold silence filling the air. "You're not going to like this, but I'm pretty sure I found some other clone storage facilities."
"Most of these girls need hospitals or they won't last a day out of here.." I tell her.
"Yeah, I don't think we can hide them in our apartments. The only solutions I can think of blow all our covers, but I can't help but feel bad about worrying about that."
click my tongue against my beak, "Lay it on me."
"Feels like it doesn't even matter, but we need to call the cops, call all the ambulances."
"Something like this, it's going to make all the news. The world wakes up different tomorrow, and we still don't have enough to see who is behind this or why."
"…I suppose we aren't strong enough to lock down a hospital for our flock of injured clones.."
"Just give the word and I'll have everything ambulance and officer on the way."
"Before you do that, the pony here, he mentioned wanting to save some kind of drives. They must be in this room, we should secure that before some paid off police pony does."
Plug me and I'll copy everything I can. Salvage anything not plugged in."
"Okay." Go toward whatever looks like it would store the most data. '2d10' search
"Tawny, Help me look for drives."Roll #1 4, 1 = 5
There's only a few spare USBs one of the Techs probably used to load the software. Tawny plugs in her ComLink to the system she finds.
"I'll set it to just copy everything."
Outside of the room a few clones have gathered.
"Okay.. I'll just pick up these then.." I gather all the USBs up. "One second."
Go to the clones. "Hey, you're standing, that's great."
"Who are you?" One of them asks, a clone now sporting a more Pony like muzzle.
"Where are?" Another with a hoof leg asks.
"Hawknia. I'm Hawknia. You don't look hurt. Will you help get the others to the surface level for rescue?"
"Yeah, but what happened? Do you know what happened to my family, my children?" Another chimera clone asks as a few start heading towards the elevator.
"I don't have those answers." I say simply.
And motion for them to follow, pointing them toward injured clones on the pod room floor.
"Hey, O-clone. Make that call. I don't think we'll get much more from this place."
'2d10' but do a sweep just to be sure.Roll #1 9, 7 = 16
It seems Tawny roughed up a good number of gangsters topside, there's a lot of unconscious people as you move up. Even better, a neat stack of computer drives, just waiting to be looted in a nearby room.
It's a difficult trip out, as more than a few Clones have to be carried out, their muscles and limbs twisted into strange forms, a few resembling serpents more than legs.
You can hear the sirens approach as you and the others reach the doors. Many of your clones are crying, calling out to their husbands, some simply trying to make any noise at all.
Outside, it is dark, but the Moon is providing its light.