$Insert_Title, Episode 23: Camile Maria Bourbon-Anjou

"Aired" on: 2018.10.20

Cast: Mr. Fahrenheit, Hueco, Vince, November?! DECEMBER?!


The show opens on an establishing scene of an autumnal Seattle and a long panning shot of an airport, with the sound of airplanes overhead. We see a private jet with a French flag emblazoned on its tail assembly. The plane opens and the staircase folds out, and a young woman descends. During this we see a group of four people from behind, and as the young woman's heels click the tarmac the camera switches to a slow pan across the characters. We pan left across Hueco, dressed in a rented suit that does not quite agree with his augmentations, and Mr. Fahrenheit, who is dressed like one of the Blues Brothers. The camera continues across two new people. The first is a well-dressed woman, though her clothes show signs of wear and minimal care and upkeep. The second is literally just Matt Bomer from White Collar, that's it.

The woman glances across the team, then addresses the new man.

Woman, with French accent: I take it you're in charge?
Man, with English accent: Yes, my name is November. I am your head of security for your trip.
Woman: Have someone collect my bags. Where is the car?

The woman, December, moves to the plane to retrieve the woman's bags while November and Mr. Fahrenheit escort the woman to a Saeder-Krupp-Bentley Concordat, a high-end luxury (armored) car.

The opening credits play, with some minor changes: Madoka and Engie are not featured, and instead they feature December, and Matt Bomer as November. In addition, Fearless and Manifest are not featured, though Stella and Stargazer are included.

The show fades back in on the port/industrial district of Seattle. In a dimly lit parking lot, Mr. Fahrenheit and Hueco pull into a parking spot. As they exit they exchange dialogue establishing that it has been about a week since they arrived back in Seattle, which was two weeks after Madoka and Engie had. They also mention having to find a new base of operations as The Arcade isn't an option since Madoka disappeared.

Shortly after they arrive, a BMW 400GT, a four-seater sports car, pulls up next to them. November exits, speaking to December in Russian, with subtitles for the audience: "I do not see my friend. He must be late."

November: Hello, I am November. This woman is my associate, December. Ah, you must be Quaker. I've heard much of you from Engie.
Hueco: Huh, I've never heard of you.
November: Where is our fearless leader, Engie?
Mr. Fahrenheit: All we got was a message to be here. November's commlink buzzes.
November: Oh dear. I'm afraid Engie won't be coming. It appears he is quite busy at the moment. There is also an invoice here for several grenades for you, Mr. Oats.

November hands Hueco their commlink. We get a tight shot of it in Hueco's hands. The image features Engie on a beach in shorts and a t-shirt, one arm around his roto-drone Kevin, decorated with a festive Hawaiian tourist lei, and the other holding a coconut drink. Hueco scrolls down to see an invoice of several hundred nuyen worth of grenades that Engie had yet to be reimbursed for. Hueco remarks that if Engie wants them he can come and get them himself.

November: Now, as I am in charge, I will handle the negotiations with the Johnson.
Hueco: Wait, what?
Mr. Fahrenheit: Now hold on there, Hueco. This is very good for us. November, was it? You're saying you are going to make the decisions and be responsible for them?
November: Yes, that comes with the job.
Mr. Fahrenheit: Amazing. Hueco, this is excellent. November, we are at your command. Lead away!

Mr. Fahrenheit is visibly and audibly excited that someone else is now in charge of the team. An interesting development from the previous run, where the responsibility of presumed leadership had been shunted onto him. As a GM, I am very interested in seeing how this develops now that Fahrenheit will no longer be de facto in charge.

The scene cross-fades into the meeting with a wiry man in a nice suit. The man speaks with a softened French accent. The man explains that the group is being hired to be security detail for a young woman, Camile Maria Bourbon-Anjou, age nineteen. November perks up at the name, though says nothing. The man explains that she is here on business as a VIP and her family would prefer a low-key security detail off the books. She has several engagements planned, and will be in Seattle for about four days.

  • Day 1, arrival in the evening. No engagements.
  • Day 2. Meeting at 10:00 with the Dean of Admissions at the University of Seattle, and some faculty associated with studies in metahumanities.
  • Day 3. No engagements.
  • Day 4. Meeting at the French Embassy at 11:00, followed by a meeting at a Sader-Krupp owned office at 14:30.

The group is given a credstick linked to a credit account for expenses. They are encouraged to give her relative freedom, as she is from a French noble house - though far from any line to the throne herself. It is implied that she will be a hassle to deal with. [The group scores two net hits on their Negotiation roll for this run.]

The show fades out from this scene back into a scene of the groups arriving at a hotel. From the first vehicle, the Concordat, November and Mr. Fahrenheit exit. Their car gets valet service and Camile's luggage is brought inside. From the second vehicle, Hueco, Vince, and December exit. We overhear December speaking, "Wanna fight?" Hueco laughs it off.

Inside the hotel, the group surveys the lobby as November gets Camile checked in. Vince spots a troll in a black tailored pinstripe suit wearing a fedora, sitting with his leg crossed so that the audience can see his  shiny leather shoes, reading a newspaper. Vince asks if Hueco has a camera, remarking that he'd "never seen a troll in a suit before!" Hueco correctly assesses this as being incredibly racist, and then undermines the point by telling Vince to use his cybereyes to capture a picture.

Next to the troll sits a man, who I closely associate visually with Firo Prochainezo from Baccano!, who was leaned back on the couch reading a book entitled "When your feelings are Knives".

The group inspects the suites that they have paid for ahead of time. From the full-length windows we see that this hotel is in downtown Seattle. Camile, jet-lagged and too tired to be fucked with any of these people, has her bags taken to the master bedroom of the penthouse and closes and locks the door, not to be heard from for the rest of the evening.

While discussing dinner options, the group sees a group of chefs enter the room, loading the kitchen of Camile's penthouse with food, and then cooking a meal. They can be heard speaking French to each other. The group decides to order in pizza and do some planning for Camile's engagements.

During the group discussion, someone posits that the meeting with the French Embassy followed by a Saeder-Krupp representative is a little odd.

November: If two parties wish to do business but do not trust each other, it makes sense to do it in a situation where, for example, one party is protected by extraterritorial laws and the other by diplomatic status, and both surrounded by a third party. The details of that business are not our concern.
Mr. Fahrenheit: They hired us rather than a security company. So I take it this is supposed to be under-the-table. So, the meeting at the University is probably for deniability.
December: Who cares? We do what we're told. If someone tries to fuck with the subject, we lay them out.

November asks how the group feels about Engie, and about their last operation.

Hueco: We got onto a plane and were flown into the deep south, told fuck all about what was going on, and then after we started discussing an exit plan Engie sold us out and we got abandoned for several weeks out there.
November: I can only assume that Engie was doing what he thought was best for you. Despite his... affect, he is a loyal friend and would never knowingly put anyone in danger.

During this conversation, Fahrenheit switches to astral perception to assense his new companions. He notes that December is not only awakened, but empowered by magic. An adept, he assumes. November on the other hand is completely unremarkable. He is neither awakened, nor has any detectable augmentations. A forgettable aura. We get a brief flashback to a re-shot scene where Mr. Fahrenheit assensed Manifest, coming to the same conclusion. He also makes the connection that these two have been the only people he has dealt with while being a runner who were this unremarkable.

While the show is still in astral space, we get a medium over-the-shoulder shot facing Fahrenheit, and we see a small green snake-like creature. Synced with Fahrenheit blinking back to regular perception, the snake disappears, since it only exists in astral space.

We get a brief cut to a dark room lit dimly by a number of small greenish LED units positioned at the end of large painted circuit traces on the floor that branch out from a central point. In the center a hooded figure (reference image, it's close enough to what I'm going for) is seen from behind, moving their arms as green motes of magic hang in the air around her. In an extreme close up shot of her lower face it is revealed she is wearing a subvocal microphone and speaking softly. "Five and the mark. One orc and one elf, males, both with visible cyberware, three humans, two males and one female. Human, male, mustache, stage microphone, breast pocket. [pause] Yes, I assume they are a magician. Proceed with caution."

At some point, later that evening we get a short scene of November taking a stroll around the area, looking for places around the hotel where one might set up surveillance. We also get a scene of Hueco at the hotel gym working out, and he sees the human man they saw earlier in the hotel lobby running on the treadmill.

The next morning, the group holds a planning meeting. November lays out a plan that involves him and Hueco escorting Camile on the university campus, while December, Mr. Fahrenheit, and Vince remain in the parking lot, watching out for suspicious things. Mr. Fahrenheit and Vince get very pedantic about what suspicious entails.

We get a couple short clips of Camile talking to various University faculty in a really thick French accent, apparently struggling with English somewhat. We the audience, know she's fluent and just doesn't want to deal with these people. During the meeting, we get a scene in the car where Vince radios that someone is inspecting all of the cars. December radios immediately after, "It's just a guy checking for parking slips."

Camile: People like you? What exactly do you do?
Mr. Fahrenheit: I'm the manager and announcer for a luchador, I also work special effects at the arena.
Camile: Did they hire the least qualified people possible for this job?
November: It feels like it.

The group attempts to figure out what Camile wishes to do with the rest of the day, since her schedule is very sparse.

November: What would you like to do?
Camile: I don't know what to do around here. What do locals do?
November: I'm not sure.
[radio chatter]
November: How about we find somewhere and watch Mr. Oats and December slug it out. Would you like to see that?
Camile: Yes.

It should be pointed out that throughout these conversations, December has been interjecting with "Wanna fight?" and "You wanna start something?" at Hueco. They have been bonding over violence and now they get to see what the other is made out of.

The scene is a parking lot, fairly empty with a large chain link fence around the sides of it. The scene strongly echoes the pilot of the show, with Mr. Fahrenheit casting an illusion for stage effects and making his voice boom like an announcer's. Hueco and December stand a bit apart, while Mr. Fahrenheit does the intro.

Mr. Fahrenheit: AND IN THIS CORNER! The pint-size package LADY of MYSTERY, the LIGHT at the END of the YEAR - DEEEEEEE-CEMBER!

Echoing the pilot episode as well, where the group set up a similar situation as a fight between Hueco and some random dude in the Barrens, this fight is also over incredibly quickly.

December pulls her telescoping staff, and when the fight starts she's the first to react, just barely. She slams Heuco's leg attempting to sweep the large man, then pushes the tip into the dirt behind her to propel her forward over Hueco's head, doing a backflip for kicks. When December lands she spins, roundhouse kicking Hueco in the back. Hueco spins around, attempts to throw a haymaker at her but she cartwheels out of the way. Moving especially quickly she moves in under his guard and finishes Hueco with an uppercut to the jaw, not having been so much as felt the wind from any of Hueco's attacks.

Camile: Oh. That was fast. Is he dead?
November: I'm not sure. December, is he dead?
December: Alive, but needs a doctor.
Camile: Is emergency services on their way?
November: Ah, no, I'm afraid not. The poors don't have insurance, like you.
Camile: Ah, right.

The episode closes on the group dragging Hueco into the back of the Ford Americar they rented for the non-escort group.

Post-Session Notes

Doing some catch-up from last mission, since we just jumped into this one.

  • If/when Madoka makes her return she will do so with a pool of bonus karma and maybe some new equipment.
  • Engie and Madoka receive 6 karma [2 character survived + 2 complete all objectives + 2 overall challenge]
  • Mr. Fahrenheit, Hueco, and Vince receive 4 karma [2 character survived + 2 overall challenge]
  • Engie and Vince get a favor from Manifest, which is a substantial boon. It didn't pay the bills, but they can get access to equipment they wouldn't otherwise be able to get.
  • Hueco, and Vince get +1 Notoriety [planned desertion], Mr. Fahrenheit gets +2 Notoriety [planned desertion, "reckless and thoughtless actions endangering those around them"].
If my players are reading past here, minor spoilers.

Alright! This episode was a lot of fun, got to foreshadow a good amount, and subtly at times. Drawing a lot of parallels between November and Manifest as a set-up to some plans that November/Engie's player and I have in mind. (They even drive the same car.)

There's a lot of good dialogue and character building that was difficult to fit into the synopsis between December and Hueco. December knows who Hueco is, because he's an ex-wrestler, and she's a pugilist. If this was a TV show, then we would have seen December last season in the background of Steve's street clinic when the group brought Sprint there.

I think I am going to work with December/Madoka's player a couple runs from now to really tie together the plot-strings left at the end of last season. Madoka hasn't up and quit being a runner, but instead she's got her own spin-off series where she joins Manifest's team as their hacker and learns to be a cool bad ass.