$Insert_Title, Episode 27: Family, Part One

"Aired" on: 2018-11-24
Cast: Vince, Engie, November, Hueco, Mr. Fahrenheit, December


Episode 26 opens with a shot of a private jet flying across the Atlantic. A subtitle lets us know this happened sometime in the past couple weeks, before the previous episode. An internal establishing shot shows Engie with a lei around his neck from his trip to Hawaii sitting with Kevin, his drone, away from Vince and Manifest. We come partway into a conversation in which Manifest has been happily nattering on about different topics, mostly personal. The story she's just finishing is about a woman she knows in Japan who is a sword smith and who crafts some of the best katana in the world.

The conversation turns when Manifest notes she's been talking for a while. She asks Vince about his team, and how they've been doing since they returned from the jungle. Vince attempts to be vague about it, but lets slip that they've been joined by two new people, one a brawler of small stature and another a man who reminds him of Manifest.

When Manifest starts asking questions about what he means by that, Vince attempts to steer the conversation elsewhere and asks Manifest why she has no augmentations. He notes particularly that she is clearly not lacking the means to acquire augmentations, and that they would afford her significant advantages in combat.

Manifest: I can handle a pistol better than most, but if my ability to handle that pistol is the deciding factor in any situation then I have already failed.

Manifest explains that her primary experiences involve logistics, planning, and procurement for other people's operations. She notes that she employs people like Tek and Fearless for the explicit reason that they are trained and equipped for high-intensity combat situations, and in those situations Tek is in charge and any decisions he makes goes. The team moves where he directs, fires on his command, retreat when he calls for it even if it means failing an operation.

Manifest: I am not nearly as tyrannical as Hueco or Fahrenheit might want to believe. I know my team's skills and while I make the larger decisions about our operations, I defer to them in their areas of expertise.

Manifest returns from her tangent to cybernetics. She notes that people with augmentations often face bias in the public eye.

Manifest: It is the flip-side to transhumanism, in a way. There are theories, some with more substance than others, that augmentations - the introduction of foreign, processed material such as metal and circuitry to the body - reduces one's ability to express themselves and understand others in a social context. Not that one is lesser for having them, merely different, and sometimes too different.

The conversation returns to Vince's new teammates. Vince explains that November reminds him of Manifest in that they both look like government-suits, to which Manifest nods, saying "I get told that a lot. That I look like a cop." When Vince says that he suspects that November is only pretending to be British, Engie jumps in and confirms that November is indeed British.

Engie talks a little about his past, that he was a criminal. "But never charged?" Manifest asked. Engie said yes, and that his record was wiped, and that no trace of him in the criminal system was left. Manifest mentions she offered Slag a similar deal, but had included legitimate citizenship in the UCAS, but that their relationship after that hadn't been worth pursuing. During the conversation, Engie says, "I am dead." Manifest gives him an understanding nod.

Manifest: Anyways, my first joint field operation, I ran logistics for some blokes from MI-6. Fucking bastards, the lot of them.

Commercial Break

We open on a scene looking down at November staring up at the ceiling, laying on his back on the Engie's couch, with a bottle hanging from his hand. We hear Lady Argon's voice from the previous episode, "Since when do we pay dead spooks a salary?" November loudly exclaims a single word: Fuck.

We move to Hueco, who is currently at a bar where his bartender contact works. He brings up that he's looking for a fixer, as he needs to procure a number of illicit objects. An old man who was sitting next to Hueco at the time gruffly asks what kind of things he needs. The man is white, looks to be about 56-57, stubble, and has a scar in his right cheek. He introduces himself as Nail.

Nail passes Hueco a card, similar to the one that Lady Argon had given him, except in matte black, and asks to be sent a list of the things that Hueco needs. Hueco sends the list, and Nail says he will find them for ¥1,500, but he'll have to pay for the items himself. Hueco agrees.

Nail: Do you run alone, or do you have any friends?
Hueco: I have some friends that I run with.
Nail: Tell me about them.
Hueco: Two sams. Brawler. Mage. Face.
Nail: Noted. I'll keep you and your friends in mind if I come by a job.

Meanwhile, at Hueco's house, a woman knocks at the door. Fahrenheit checks through the peephole and sees a bundled up Lady Argon. She's wearing a jacket over a sweater, with a beanie pulled down over the metal side of her head. He announces through the door, "Hueco's not here."

Lady Argon looks up at the door and asks, "Is that Fahrenheit?" Fahrenheit sighs and opens the door, and steps out of the house, closing it behind him.

Lady Argon: This is great, because I wanted to talk to you, actually. I wanted to know if you've heard anything from Noe.
Fahrenheit: Not since we last talked. Is something wrong?
Lady Argon: She's just been out of contact for a few days. I'm a little worried about her because it looks like she's got some heat. If you hear anything, or hear from her, can you let me know? I mean, let me know if she's okay. I don't have to know where she. She has a right to be... missing, if she wants to be.

She hands Fahrenheit a card, similar to the one she gave Hueco originally, except in green rather than pale pink. Fahrenheit takes it, and she's about to walk away but stops and turns. "Please don't tell Hueco I was here, thanks." When Fahrenheit scans it into his commlink, the name that appears associated with the commcode is Bitrat.

Hueco returns not long after, in a very good mood.

Mr. Fahrenheit: You look like you're in a good mood.
Hueco: I am! I need to buy weapons and I was at the bar and gave an old man ¥1,500, and I'm not sure if I'm going to get anything from that. When I say it out loud, it sounds really dumb.

Fahrenheit mentions that he went out and met with some friends, and Hueco asks if anyone came to the house. Fahrenheit dodges the question by stressing that he went out of the house to talk to his friends, which is technically true. There is no Con roll involved because Hueco trusts Fahrenheit.

Later, November calls Hueco asking if he knows any runner clubs he can hit up. Hueco recommends "The Sky", the club from episode 2 where the group met Slag, and November goes to investigate. He takes a quick look around and spots every hacker type in the bar, and then heads to the bartender. After downing a drink and getting a second, he stumbles towards every hacker-looking person in the bar and asks them if they know Lady Argon, looking as drunk as one can be.

We get a little montage of him talking to each hacker in turn, and on one side of the screen a text chat between the hackers. They start talking about how there is a "drunk British cop asking around about Lady Argon." The hackers find this amusing, because nobody has contact for Lady Argon, she's either considered 'not real' or 'a legend'. Among the list of names is Bitrat, also laughing along with it.

November leaves the bar, instantly straightening up once he exits the bar, and heads home feeling that he's made enough noise to get Argon's attention. He gets home, and very shortly receives a call from a blocked number. He answers, and hears Argon's voice, "What do you want?"

He says they need to talk, and she hangs up, a couple moments later she knocks at the door. Once inside the two have a brief, but to-the-point conversation. November asks what she knows about him, and she says nothing more than he's ex-MI-6 according to the sharpshooter she hired for a previous job. She off-hands mentions their name, Weaver, and agrees to tell Weaver that November is looking for him (she's lying and November knows it).

Before Lady Argon leaves, she pauses, and asks if November has heard from Noe before realizing that he'd never had contact with her before. She gives him the same card that she gave Fahrenheit earlier that day, and asks that he call her if he hears anything about her.Elsewhere, December hits up her fixer, Ink, for work. Ink is a Seattle-native, white woman in her mid thirties. Ink gives her an address of a restaurant in japan town, which December recognizes as a yakuza hangout. Ink tells her that some old Japanese woman is looking for her missing daughter, and to go to the meet to get more information. December calls the team.

At the restaurant they are greeted by a young woman, who immediately escorts them to a private tea room because they all stand out like hell in an area primarily made up of Japanese people. In the room, an elderly woman sits at the end of a table, drinking tea. When everyone is settled, she explains the job.

Our family has been... priests, since before my own grandparents. My daughter was particularly devout, and skilled. My granddaughter was, for a time, the same. When her awakening came, my daughter became frustrated by her, ah, limits. She could not connect with the spirits, nor create o-fuda, talismans.
My daughter and granddaughter did not have a good relationship. My granddaughter began to act out, eventually abandoning the study of our religion in favor of... structured magic. A hermetic mage, in a family of Shinto priests. She ran away when she was fifteen.
But her mother has passed, recently. It is time for her to come home and honor her mother. We have reason to believe she is here, in Seattle. Bring her home.

The woman shows a picture of her granddaughter, before she ran away. The photo shows possibly the coolest fifteen-year old. She has her hair swept to one side, in a short cut. She's wearing small circular shades, black lipstick, a black and white Sukajan over a Bomb Threat band t-shirt on it, and torn black jeans. The backdrop of the photo is the family's shrine, out of focus.

As the group looks at the photo, we get shots of Fahrenheit interwoven with short flashbacks of Noe at the cafe, Kirk whispering the words 'aspected', and Lady Argon saying that Noe has some "heat" on her right now and that she's gone missing. For Fahrenheit, the resemblance is unmistakable. The team is looking for Noe. Fahrenheit does not share this information during the meeting.

The woman remarks, at the end of the conversation, that her granddaughter was disciplined in her studies and would likely be a powerful magician after fifteen years of practice. Should they need to take her by force, she is not to be underestimated.

[The team rolls 2 net successes on their negotiation roll]

Post-Session Notes

Last session was mostly between-run stuff, like preparing for things and spending karma. There was some of that this session as well, as the group begins to deal with their problems. Currently there are a number of Fronts that I am tracking for this campaign, and for this run. The campaign fronts are:

  • Old Friends (Dead Spooks)
  • Hung Out To Dry (Brittany Spears' Toxic)

The first regards November, and the persons who know about his history as a spy. The second is Fahrenheit's entire mess. At some point the team is going to have to solve both of these problems at the same tie, and will have to let one slip.

As for the run, there are several things going on in parallel, some already started before the team officially got the run. Which, of course, is the way of things. But if the team has to capture Noe, a member of Lady Argon's team, then it means that there will inevitably be conflict both professionally and personally in the case of Hueco.

Lady Argon, or as they're better actually known, Bitrat, has spoken at length about runners having to look out for each other. She is unlikely to let anyone get to Noe if she can help it.

I'm just excited to see how this all plays out.

Oh yeah, and Hueco now has the negative quality Paranoid, which means he has to move every couple of months and gets a -2 to all social situations with people he is unfamiliar with. This was assigned to him because this is how his character has been acting, so we mechanized it.