$Insert_Title, Episode 24: Camile Maria Bourbon-Anjou, Part 2

Aired on: 2018-11-03
Cast: November, Mr. Fahrenheit, December, Hueco, Vince


The episode starts with scenes from the previous episode except from Camile's point of view. Following her arrival, see that she has augmented reality, including many advertisements. With a number of over-the-shoulder shots while the rest of the scenes play out, we see many advertisements for Tech Red, a nightclub, and many shops located at a specific mall. We see these advertisements in about six different shots very prominently, as well as Camile acknowledging them, because we really want you to know that she's being specifically targeted by advertisements.

After the shows opening credits play, we drop back in on the final lines of the previous episode.

Camile: Are emergency services on their way?
November: Ah, no, I'm afraid not. The poors don't have insurance, like you.
Camile: Ah, right.

The group patches up Hueco using first aid and Fahrenheit's magic. The group takes Hueco to Steve, their street doctor.

Steve: What happened to you?
Hueco: I got into a fight with a cricket.
Camera pans as Hueco walks into the street clinic.
Steve, noticing December: Ah, that'd do it.

Camile and November talk while Hueco is patched up. Camile suggests that they should do the nightclub the following day, seeing as Hueco is all beat up and the group would not fit in any club in their current attire.

Camile: So, tomorrow we should probably go shopping. Northgate seems fine. Don't worry about the cost, we can expense it after all. You'll thank me later.

Once Hueco is patched up, the group escorts Camile back to the hotel, where she dives into her commlink and hangs out. November decides that they should do a walk-through the mall ahead of time, and Vince and Fahrenheit tag along to add their expertise to the exercise. Hueco and December hang back at the hotel and watch over Camile.

The show cuts to the mall, where November, Fahrenheit, and Vince are walking through the area. The discussion is brief, but the group establishes several notable positions for an ambush or attack. Vince notices that some of the windows in the ceilings can be opened. November spots several ambush spots, one being at a cross-roads area that is nearby an entrance to the service areas of the mall. Fahrenheit checks the astral space, and spots a watcher spirit floating through the mall, and the watcher spirit stops and regards him briefly before continuing.

The three speak to the mall security, show their paperwork signed by the French embassy confirming they are doing security detail, and gain access to the roof of the building to do a check. Vince leaves two hornet-sized (and shaped) drones behind to surveil the area.

The next day, driving to the mall, the group splits into their two groups and drive to the mall. November, Fahrenheit, and Camile are in the first car, with the rest of the group following in the second car. November takes care to take an extended, circular path in order to see if they are being tailed by anyone. We get a shot of the group in the rear car.

Hueco: We're driving in circles.
Vince: Is... November lost?
December: Well he has been in the country for less than a week.
Hueco: Has he made a left turn yet? I think he's afraid of left turns.

There is a short shopping montage to jaunty music, containing all the shopping/makeover montage tropes. Camile shows incredible proficiency in Fashion (as a specialization of Artisan), and gets the group three outfits that look incredibly good, befitting the show's new higher budget. Hueco gets an armored suit, the same kind that November wears, tailored for him at a high-end shop in the mall - which is required because of his inhuman muscular proportions from all his cyberware.

Camile announces that they are going to the food court for lunch, much to the confusion of the group. We get another shot over her shoulder showing her AR field, being filled with advertisements for fast food available in the mall. The group begins marching, with shots of the group at attention when they are passing the areas they noted previously.

There is a long, straight sight-line towards the food court. During this sequence we only get high shots, looking down on the group from various angles. We get a couple shots of/from the drones that Vince left on the roof. Then one long far shot of the path leading to the food court, from somewhere above it. We get a zoomed shot from the scope of a rifle that passes over the group. It hovers over Camile momentarily, with November ahead of her on the edge of the shot, before moving down and tracking November for a moment. It returns to Camile, hovering first over her head and then moving down to her abdomen.

We get a shot back with the group, at about eye-level, chatting and laughing. November turns to Camile to speak something when he sees her stop and fall into him. We get a slow-motion cross-faded shot of a similar scene, in sepia so we know it's a flashback, and then a close-up shot of November with a heartbeat sound over top. The supersonic crack follows, and things begin moving at regular speed again. November shouts at the team to take cover and drags Camile behind a nearby bench/faux plant fixture.

At the same moment, we get a shot of the people in the food court, beginning to react to the sound that came from directly above them (though it is difficult to tell where it came from). The troll and human in the suits and fedoras are eating lunch, and we get a slow-motion shot after the gunshot goes off of the troll reaching across the table and pulling it back to lay down as a barricade, and the human in shock and mild distress that his meal is flying away from him. The troll moves across the way and flips another table and gets people down behind it, taking cover behind a pillar. We see them both draw guns from inside their jackets, keeping them pointed at the ground as they watch the scene from cover.

November does a quick check to see if the bullet is a through-and-through, and upon finding that it was not puts her on her back and applies pressure to the gunshot. He sees on Camile's wrist a bacelet, with a blinking red light.

November: Stay down. Hold positions.
Hueco: Where'd that shot come from?
Vince: I see them. I'm going after them.
November: Medical team is on the way, hold your bloody position.

Vince ignores the order, and sprints off down the hall toward the food court, launching a grappling hook from his arm up to the open window. There is an extremely short chase sequence as the shooter has a head start, and the bees only get a brief chance to follow before they lose the shooter. By the time Vince gets to the roof and gets to the edge of the building, the shooter is gone.

Fahrenheit casts a spell, creating illusions of the group splitting off, to create confusion about where the group is positioned. This spell persists for a moment before it is dispelled by a middle-eastern woman in the food court, who is taking cover with two people in their early twenties.

We see a doc-wagon ambulance, with the sub-label "armed response unit." Inside, in the front cab we see the driver and an orc talking, wearing identical jackets with the medic patch stitched into the shoulder that Tek was wearing in the jungle arc, though theirs has the doc-wagon logo displayed on the chest. A voice comes over the radio, reporting a shooting at the mall, which we can see out the passenger-side window. The team radios that they're off-shift, but they are right outside so they're taking the job. The vehicle swerves across traffic and into the parking lot, stopping briefly as a group of four armed personnel exit the vehicle.

The shot pulls back, overhead, as the crew exits the vehicle and move towards the mall entrance. Their brown jackets shift to high-visibility yellow. The shot fish-eyes, and cuts to what appears to be a boiler room. The mage from the previous episode is seen sitting cross-legged in a makeshift Circle of Power, making vaguely magic motions with their hands. We hear her say, "Trauma team entering west side, vehicle moving to food court entrance. Plans within plans, I suppose."

The medical team approaches, meeting security along the way, and move towards the trauma scene. The Ork is carrying a thick shield, and the rest of the trauma team are moving in a straight line behind them, carrying SMGs. They approach where November, Camile, and now Hueco, are crouched. The group makes space, November announcing that they are her security team.

The Ork holds the shield towards the food court, keeping an eye out for activity. The lead medic prepares her to be moved, while a second one unfolds a collapsible stretcher. The third medic, a woman, unpacks Camile's purse, laying out every object on the floor, and then placing them all back in the bag. We get a low shot past her doing this to November, to establish that he has taken note that this is happening.

The medical team leaves through the food court, with November accompanying them to the hospital. The rest of the team looks around for a moment, and then decides to leave before the cops arrive. After the group passes the cross-roads, we get a shot of them walking away, and then the mage exit the service hallway into the mall and leave down a second path.

After the Break

At the hospital, tensions are high. Camile Maria Bourbon-Anjou is in surgery, security from the French embassy are working with Lone Star, and the man who contracted the team is speaking with November. November turns to the rest of the group, who are just arriving.

November gives the groups the details. Camile is alive, in surgery, nothing vital seems to have been hit. November then calls Vince aside, and they speak along in the stairway.

November: What the fuck was that? I told you to stand down.
Vince: So? I don't know you. You aren't in charge.
November: Yes, I am in charge. Hueco agreed to it, Fahrenheit agreed to it. When I give you an order, you follow it.
Vince: Well, I'm not Hueco or Fahrenheit. I could catch them.
November: Catching them isn't our job. Protecting Camile was. If you ran into an ambush you would have had no backup and could have died. Do not go against a direct order like that again.

More dialogue between the two happen, some that faintly echos the sentiments that Manifest expressed regarding leadership and being responsible for failures and the safety of the team. We hear the escalation to shouting from the waiting area, where the rest of the team is. Hueco steps in, and breaks up their shouting match. Vince storms off, and an exhausted November asks Hueco to go and talk to him.

Vince is down the hall, around a corner, crying.
Heuco: Dude, you okay?
Vince: This is all my fault. I was covering the roof. I should have seen them.
Hueco: I got punched out by a cricket-sized woman yesterday. We're all a fucking mess right now.

November walks back into the waiting room, and Fahrenheit approaches him.

Fahrenheit: Pretty glad you're in charge now.
November: I honestly don't know what's more frightening. That you are all... [motions vaguely] ... or that you're all self-aware.
Fahrenheit: Might be a weird time to ask, but after all this is done, you wanna cook a pizza together?
November: Why the hell not, it can't possibly be worse than this.

Post-Session Notes

I'm really proud of how this session turned out. I felt that as a GM I did a very good job giving the players multiple chances to spot and counter problems throughout the run, and I gave plenty of set-up to everything that happened. I also love the amount of character development that happened with inter-party conflict, and stuff like Vince blaming himself for what happened while November is trying his best to be a leader, despite his tragic backstory.

For the next session I have a page full of Fronts and I am ready to party. The French Embassy is going to argue to try to not pay the runners because Camile did get shot, so they'll have to show that they did their due diligence and that this didn't happen because they were inept. Then, out of this run, a couple of these characters have got some external problems they're going to have to deal with in addition to the internal ones that are developing.

This whole season should be excellent.