You are in a dark, cramped room with your assigned mark who is injured and isolated from his allies; you will probably never have a better opportunity for a coup de grâce. To whom does your allegience belong to though?
>The janitorial closet should hold quite a few cleaning chemicals that can be dangerous and caustic. Surely those can be rather useful as impromptu weapons.
While technically true you would rather chug the jug of bleach than be subjected to lugging around even more junk like a common baggage carrier. Besides, your entire body is a dangerous weapon so you are not worried about getting caught empty handed.
>You are in a dark, cramped room with your assigned mark who is injured and isolated from his allies; you will probably never have a better opportunity for a coup de grâce. To whom does your allegience belong to though? >Peer over Blake's shoulder in the hopes that a second pair of eyes will speed up the search for a useful object. >Rebel Leader: now is an ideal time to trip up your enemy
“What you're trying to achieve here?” “Right now, to find a waterproof bag or sack. Ultimately, to prevent knowledge of our location reaching Imperial ears.” “That's not what I meant, and you know it! I'm your enemy yet you arrange to be alone with me in a dangerous location.” Blake doesn't turn around but keeps focused on rifling through the shelves. “Why shouldn't I attack you and blame the pirates? Taking you out is my duty as an Imperial officer, and there's just the two of us here, none would be the wiser”, you continue talking to his back. “I've fought you before” he sounds completely nonplussed “I have nothing to fear from your skills.” “So, what, you dragged me along just to gloat? I won't stand for this!” Your anger and resentment boil over, and you grab his shoulder.
He swirls and lashes out like a tightly wound coil, slamming you against the wall roughly. “Do. Not. Try to second-guess my motivations, pup.” “I refuse to take part in your sick mind games, you psycho. Either release me or kill me, but do it now!” “You and your stupid pride…” he shakes his head, but eases the pressure of his palm on your chest. “I do not wish to harm you nor force your hand. Rest assured that what I want from you goes beyond both the Empire and the rebellion.”
“Alright. Tell me what is really going on, and I will consider it.” You are not sure even yourself whether you are lying or not. “I... can't. Not yet. It is a matter of trust.” “Yet I'm supposed to trust you? You say you need my help, I say you need to earn it.” Blake does not say anything leaving both of you in a moment of tense silence, broken only by your breathing. You decide to push your luck. “What is the Earth Crystal? Where is it now?” He grimaces and swipes away with his free hand. “It's not about that!” He seems sincere but there is something odd about the way he looks at you, frustrated yet anxious... “...waitasecond.”
“Ha! Looks like your interest in me turns out to be a very, very personal one.” “T-this isn't a proper time to talk about that!” “Oh I disagree, this conversation has just gotten to the good part!” “After the mission, okay? And please don't talk so loudly about...this.” “We’ll see. I'm going to hold you on that promise, this is something I just have to get to the bottom of!” Blake flinches and shudders, but does not say anything. Instead he brushes past you towards the undership’s bridge, and you follow with a gleeful step.
Of all the ridiculous things you have ever heard this one takes the cake, but that does not matter because you have found leverage. Besides, while you prefer girls you have to admit that the big pussycat is...palatable to you. You can work with this.
You are now Vivian, and you cannot shake the feeling that someone is watching you. Your gaze keeps flitting between the doorway and the ladder at the end of the ledge, both opening to a gaping darkness, dreading that someone strange will pop up any moment yet they never do. It is nerve-wracking, and you almost wish that-
A voice like snarled bleating cracks the silence. “Hail, Blessed Mother. Humor me, in what, do you believe? Fate?”
Vivian Quest Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
>If fate were real than that would mean we live in a deterministic universe. nobodies choices would mean anything because the outcome is already decided. no free will, no choice. that's a real super bummer so I'm gonna have to take a hard pass on the believing in fate thing.
>If fate were real than that would mean we live in a deterministic universe. nobodies choices would mean anything because the outcome is already decided. no free will, no choice. that's a real super bummer so I'm gonna have to take a hard pass on the believing in fate thing. >Vivian: Scream.
You want to say something cool or witty or deep, but what comes out of your mouth is a high pitched squeak before your fear strangles your throat. If the goat notices your discomfort he (or she?) does not show it and carries on without waiting for your reply.
“Because I find it hard to believe that someone like you was fated to receive the Source and become the Herald of the New Era.” You can hear the reverence in his speech for these terms, but they mean nothing to you.
Vivian: Blessed Mother? You? You haven't laid down with anyone! Why do you pin that accusation? >I've never seen a hovering ungulate, nor one with a flickering sigil between its horns, so to encounter a creature that does BOTH is .. well .. surprising to say the least. >Discussing your values with unholy spectres is not the greatest of ideas. Ask for their name and their intent, then you might consider answering. >Vivian:Explain how meaningless and pointless the idea of fate is. >Nah. You believe in the, what do you call it, the stuff just happens around you all the time, for mostly inexplicable reasons. That philosophy. *deadpan face*
“B-blessed mother?” You find your voice, small and warbling. “You must be mistaken, I'm not - I haven't… like that. Ever!” “Then again there is a kind of irony to it. The Empire steals the Crystal Egg on their conquests, and sits on it for decades because they don't know what it is. Then we take great pains to steal it from them, and then...you happened”, the one track goat carries on. Seems like he has had lots of time to rehearse what he is going to say to you. “I didn't mean to!” The mysterious crystal was literally shoved into your lap by a stranger who was being chased by these cultists. All you ever wanted to was to scavenge food scraps from the marketplace after it had closed, not become entangled in apocalyptic prophecies. The goat smiles. “You are fortunate, Blessed Mother. A while ago we would have torn you apart to get back the Crystal, but now things have changed. You have changed. You will usher in the Rebirth of the Earth Dragon, and I will guide you just as planned.” “Wait, you chose to haunt pirate ships on the off chance that you'd meet me? That is not a very well thought out plan…”
“Duh, obviously not! I picked up your signal a while ago and located it in the middle of South Sea. I snuck aboard this pirate ship because it was headed for the general area”, the goat chuckles like a dying engine, “and here we are, as if brought together by Fate. Which reminds me that you haven't answered my question: do you believe in it?” “Uh, not really I guess? To be honest I’m not very comfortable talking about these matters with floating ghostly strangers...who are you? What do you want from me?”
The goat settles down comfortably in the air. “Good, good, people who do are fools. But what is also true is that believing anything is possible is equally foolish”, he replies without even listening to your answer or questions you had. Instead he takes out a coin, a standard Imperial gold sovereign. “Most people imagine themselves as main characters of their stories, when in reality they are all acting out roles handed to them.” He flicks the coin up, its twirling accompanied by a faint metallic noise. “Heads”, he calls without looking at it and flicks it again, “and tails. Always one or the other. This is the Great Truth how the world works behind the scenes.”
The coin sails through the air in a hypnotic manner. “A person can choose whatever they want, as long as they choose what has already been decided for them.”
“No one can tell beforehand how this coin lands, and it matters not the slightest bit. Even if I toss it a thousand times it will always land as heads or tails and nothing else.”
“Thus, to bend the reality to your will you need to be the one who picks the choices. You have already done this without knowing it, but your power could go so much farther. I can show you how.”
The coin slips between his hooves, bounces off the railing, and rolls on the floor wobbling wildly as it goes until it comes to rest squarely on its side.
“Welp! Ain't this a pumpkin pickle! Just my luck ladies and gents! Puts a real damper on the point I was trying to make!” The goat does not look amused with the dramatic irony nor the statistical improbability of the situation. “Anyway! Free will is a super stupid thing and the rebels don't really care about you or good and evil and you will never belong among them yada yada yada, so I’m right and you should come with me instead!” He crosses his arms in a huff and fumes at the treacherous coin.
Vivian Quest Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
Wait a minute, I think I know this "goat" ... It's Baphomet! Don't tell it any more than is absolutely necessary, for it already knows the rest - and what it doesn't know, it will automatically (Baph-o-matically) assume!
Vivian: If you ask about its colleagues you will regret the answer. Unless it decides not to answer, which would really be the best outcome.
Viivan --> Steal the coin. He clearly threw it away, albeit in a fancy coin-toss way, so it's free game to you. Woo! Making a living!
Ask about the Earth Dragon. Why does it need to be reborn? Why couldn't it just stay born the first time, and why does it need another person to bring it back? That all seems terribly complicated and doesn't foster in you much confidence for the sustainability of Dragons.
> Man at first you act all creepy, now I just see you're just acting. Cut the high goat act and could you try talking like a normal person? >"A while ago we would have torn you apart to get back the Crystal" He said 'we', ask him who 'we' is! >i'm not comfortable with anyone that at any point would want to tear me apart. at least for something that isn't my fault. >Vivian: Try to act more Motherly. >Vivian --> Steal the coin. He clearly threw it away, albeit in a fancy coin-toss way, so it's free game to you. Woo! Making a living! >Ask about the Earth Dragon
“Aw elderberries, I've been waiting to meet you for a long time, and wanted to make myself look cool and mysterious...and now it's all ruined!”, the goat mopes. “For what it's worth you left a lasting impression.” “Oh!” he perks up. “Not a good one, mind you.” “Oh.” “Let's do this again but properly this time. Start by telling who exactly is this 'we’ that no longer wants to tear me apart? That part really caught my attention!” “Simple, I work for the Eternal Order, an ancient organization that seeks out to control the world, but only as a stepping stone for our real plan-” “Isn’t that-” “Yes it is a pun. Don't interrupt me. Anyway our ways are Mysterious and Inscrutable, our Dreadful Secrets shrouded-” “You know, that's why no-one likes you.”
“Waitwhat? …seriously?” “Yeah. That kind of self-aggrandizing and pompous way of speech that tries to make yourself sound more important is a really off-putting quality in a guy.” “But I'm not-” “A girl, person, whatever you are.” “Now you're being a bit rude!” “Sorry, it's a lizard thing.” “For your information I am The Rebis, the Mystical Hermaphrodite, the Alchemical Union, the Reconciliation of Spirit and Matter-” “There you go doing it again!” “Oh. Sorry. It means I have both bits.” “There, that wasn't so hard was it? My point is that bragging like that doesn't make you cool, it makes you come across as a try-hard.” “Oh. Oh my. Nobody ever told me!” “Why don't you try being just - yourself - instead, hmm?” “I don't get what you mean.”
“Well, you must have all kinds of interesting qualities that you don't need to exaggerate. Like the floating thing, it's really unusual!” “Supreme Mastery of the Sacral Geometries?” “No.” “Okay it's just a combination of healthy diet and meditation, I could do it even before joining the cult.” “...why did you join an evil cult anyway?” “I wouldn't call them outright evil. More like, pfft, nefarious? But to answer your question, mainly to be accepted by someone. I was always an outsider among my people, but the Order took me in, encouraged me…” “So you kept up this ridiculous act because you thought it made you popular?” “You don't get it, these people look up to me because I'm weird. If I were just normal then I'd be….nobody.” Oh dear. “I've been whisked away from my family and into a world spanning adventure by powers I cannot even begin to understand, and even then I think I'm the less confused one out of us two.” “I...feel like that sometimes too.”
There is a groan emanating from the undership's metallic guts, and you can feel the steady thrum of its engines powering up.
“Sounds like your fat friend has finished his sabotage. You need to get moving soon!” Rebis floats next to the big, red valves and gives them a tentative yank. “I can handle everything here for you. There is an exhaust port on upper deck you all can use to escape - it was built to be torpedo resistant but a couple good kicks should loosen the shielding.” “Wait, I have so many questions about what is happening!” Rebis scrounges something from their pocket. “Take this, it is the Wispfly. It's harmless (unless you feed it after midnight) and it allows you to contact me. I was serious about teaching you because your...contribution is central for completing our Great Work, and I kinda like you too.” “But-” “No time! The Wispfly can show you the way out, but you need to leave now. Contact me later if you want to know about the dragon's prophecy, or just you know, chat and stuff…please think about it!”
You hesitate for a moment trying to mentally catch up to everything that just happened, then snatch the coin off the floor and scurry towards the doorway as fast as you can just in case Rebis has a change of heart. As you are about to exit you glance behind you to see the goat floating all alone in the darkness, waving and emoting “call me”. You wave nervously back and run off to find your crewmates.
“You heard that? We need to evacuate the ship now, Mourad!” You still have not found the good stuff, the Porbeagle Fleet sea charts. All their secret routes and hideouts are mapped on them, and in right hands they could be used to strike a devastating blow to that scourge of the shipping lanes. The amount of favors and wealth you could trade them for boggles the mind! If only you searched for a little while longer...
Vivian Quest Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
Just grab a lot of random stuff and skedaddle. You can sort it out at leisure when you're back safe on your own ship.
(Rebis: Manifesting red glyphs between your horns is also a pretty cool ability. Don't let any meddlesome busybody tell you to stop acting weird though! Weirdness is your thing; it's what you do. How can anybody simultaneously tell you to "be yourself" and "stop acting weird" without being a TOTAL HYPOCRITE?? You go ahead and be as weird as you want.)
>Mourad: Attempt to delay the escape for a little while longer >Grab as many uninspected containers as you two can carry and hightail it outta there! >Just grab a lot of random stuff and skedaddle. You can sort it out at leisure when you're back safe on your own ship.
You sift through the useless bric-a-brac with feverish hands, the groaning and shuddering of the undership around you urging you with haste yet the golden log book keeps eluding your grasp. You start pulling desk drawers open and tossing their contents onto the metal floor with little patience or planning just in the hopes your eye would catch your prize.
“Mourad, we have to go, now.” A heavy hand lands on your shoulder to stop you. “Nonsense!”, you shake Blake away, slapping his paw like a trifling insect, “we haven't yet found what I'm after.” He grabs you pinning your arms against your sides and turns you around, staring you straight into eyes. “Joe, listen to me. I know all about taking risks. It's all I've been doing these last few years, and I'm telling you this. Isn't. Worth. It.” “What’s with you suddenly? You were acting all meek and timid just a moment ago”, you scoff and try to shake yourself free but he does not relent. “Because you’re in danger, you idiot!”
The charged silence between you sparks and raises your hackles, but Blake does not back down. Your hand curls into a fist on its own. You can smell fresh blood on him, and a telltale damp patch of exudate has seeped through his coat. A quick jab into his hurt midriff should be all that it takes...
The ship rumbles again then lurches, hissing steam and starting its slow but undeniable rise. Several warning klaxons jump to life, alarmed that there is something seriously wrong with the lumbering behemoth.
“Fine.” You shrug and give up. Blake visibly relaxes and for a half a moment you think sucker punching him anyway before deciding to let it go. You are not a petty man and have been called worse than an idiot, and despite whatever misguided ideas he has about you he probably has your best interests in mind. “Fine, let’s grab everything we can and run!”
You have been forced to loot in a hurry, thus a roll is made to see the quality of the goods you found.
Neither characters nor the location have any applicable Traits.
Stress break initiated! Stress break happens when a roll is called for but no traits apply to it. Readers may suggest a Trait that would be relevant to the situation, and if I think it fits the character then it applies to that single roll. At the end of a chapter Stress Break Traits can be bought at a discount - in other words, putting characters into unfamiliar situations is a good way to develop them quickly!
Suggest a Trait for either Joe or Blake!
Vivian Quest Tale of a small lizard, crime, and weird biology!
hm... I'd think it'd be interesting for blake to have [navigator] as a trait, and in the US military you're trained to cary heavy loads of gear on your person for missions. so maybe... ooh ooooooh how about like the fallout perk?