What Lies In Shadow (Game Thread)

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Looking over the information presented by the vampire, Olivia started prioritizing over which area she went to first. She figured that she would have luck with the Blossomers, not being all that much for fighting as well, unless the Black Fang was concerned. Still, this Drudge business would be the most damaging of the three so they also held a kind of priority on their own, if they were to go public then Gareth Corp. would be halfway screwed in the underworld. the problem was that she'd have to kill them, something she didn't take a favorable stance with but...if it was necessary then who was she to complain. Her uncle would certainly have a talk with her if she did anyways, what with the fact that she knew she would be in such a situation anyways, when the time came. The Mech felt like an afterthought to her, not being that familiar with goblins and not being a techhead herself, she'd leave it up to anyone else if they showed interest and swing by later to help, play to your strengths as she supposed.

She briefly wondered what her uncle was doing right now and why he wouldn't be on this mission...he was probably on some other mission at the moment and they couldn't pull him out, or whatever. She doubted that they would give her a straight answer anyways, they usually didn't and neither would he. The more things change, after all...in the end, even as an adult, she still wasn't let into the loop. Oh well, back to business.

"So we're looking at getting the Blossomers riled up, getting the Mech on our side, and whacking these individuals...any spare information that would help, or is this it?"

Yuki frowned as the Ork spoke, this wasn't 'an a minor issue best handled with out side help', it was a full on gang war, the kinda of thing she generally preferred to stay out of due to her not feeling any need to 'join' any faction. 'Note to self; kick Tyler's ass later' Yuki listened to the briefing silently, she had nothing to added and really didn't want to draw attention to her self, not in this group anyway. Even as the briefing ended she simply stood there, waiting to get this selection process over with so she could get on with it.

Kingdom Come Bar

"Hah!" Johnny said to Sean who had just barely managed to catch up with him, "Looks you owe me a beer. Let's go in you goofball."

He flung the door open wide and sidled over to where the Fae was starting his... her... its debriefing (Johnny could never tell with the Fae), joining the rest at the table, "Sorry we're late. We just took out a gaggle of Black Fangs."

Hopefully this faerie won't be a drama queen... he thought as he ducked the oompa loompa's glare.

"What we thought was a blessing has turned to a curse, and we find ourselves back on the razor's edge." The fae paused, as if to let its words sink in.

"Oh, motherfucker," Mr. D'Ville muttered under his breath as he threw a scowl in the fae's general direction.

"The Templar's last attack against the Chosens' frequent haunts has sent the depraved cults to the backfoot, but instead of simply taking what they pushed the Chosen out of, the Templars seem to be preparing for the killing blow. Weapons of all sorts have been coming through the ports, all paid for by known Templar members all over the world. However, in our attempts to track the shipments, we've hit a snag." The Fae produced what appeared to be an aerial photo of a city block-sized complex. "Once a Baptist church and community facility, the Templars bought the place a few years ago. All the shipments have at least been routed through here, but members we sent there never came out to report what they found. Which is why we've decided to send more than one person this time."

"Oh nice," Johnny said, his voice rising to normal levels, "So that's where you jackasses upstairs have been throwing the younger members. Nice. I'll be sure to tell all of the rookies about this when we get back, Jerry."

Johnny wasn't entirely sure if that was really the Fae's name, but it certainly looked like a Jerry to him. Well, to be honest, the Fae looked like it should be mining ice cream and drawing chocolate from a river in fucking Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Johnny spun the sharp end of his knife on his thumb.

Ari appeared to sleep through the mission briefing, but he was wide awake and absorbing and turning over every detail. He had a reputation to maintain, after all. Both as a nut and as a premium operative.

Mechs- I'll look into alliance. Ask Mael about anyone he knows there. If no, blackmail is always a handy solution. Get some dirt on a couple people at the top if I can, flex some figurative muscle. Not exactly preferred, but doable.

Blossomers- Me and Stubbe'll pull some recon and see if we could push them around a bit covertly. If not, Stubbe wolfs out and goes to town. No great loss there.

Drudge- I've had dealings with the Drudge. Nasty folks. Surprised Gareth would touch them with a ten-foot pole. Easy assignment though, like it's made for me. Info retrieval and dissemination. Easy enough. The other two I'm not sure about, but we'll see.

With his mission plan so set, he yawned and stretched, pretending to have just woken up.

"Any questions?"
"I'm gonna assume you're not gonna go back over all of that for me, so I'll ask Stubbe on the way. Also, why can't it be clouds? The Underworld is so... dank."

He stood now- having been sitting on the lushly carpeted floor like a right proper knave- and looked towards Stubbe.

"Anyways, I say we hit up these... Grudge? Droogs? These Droogs first, pay a few calls and see how much incriminating evidence we can scrounge up. I've always enjoyed putting Gareth Corp's schemes back a few paces." He grinned, and headed out the door, and onto the street. He thought for a moment. "Let's see. If we're heading towards the Droogs' holdings, we oughtta take the... No, can't. Asura business, right. Hm. Three blocks down, through the alley on the left. There's a false wall back there, and a ladder down into the depths. Not the most elegant way down, but something tells me nothing about tonight is going to be elegant." Or easy, he added to himself.

The Brass Wench Pub

Daniels had just finished his drink when the notification tone on his cell phone chimed. He quickly traced the unlocking pattern on his screen and what immediately came up was an overhead image of an old church. What followed was an address and a brief list of instructions.

Weapon shipments.
Find evidence.
Use stealth.

There wasn't much to go on, but it was something. He was hoping he would actually have a sit-down with the guy, but it seemed that he was using him like some sort of errand boy, especially with this list. Had he not proved that he was willing to work? Regardless, this was more or less what he was looking for, which was simply a place to start. "Well, O'Malley, you up for a little bit of work?"

James, hunched over in a crooked wooden seat hidden in the shadow, tentatively raised his hands. The Fae looked over his glasses at him for a couple of seconds too long, then sighed and waved his hand vaguely in James' direction. "Yes. You. The fellow in the back. Jon or Jim or whoever."

"Name's not Jim," said James automatically.

"And I could not care less. Ask your question, pal."

James twiddled his fingers nervously. "Gianomo, Miazzo, Tiela, Witra, Elzo."

The Fae stared at him. "What on Earth are you talking about?"

"Those are the names. The, the ones you were talking about earlier."

"I know. I was there. What's your point?"

"Well, uh, you said some, some were more important than others. Who're the important ones? Don't wanna, uh, waste our time frying the, uh, the smaller fish, uh, I guess."

Anything Goes

-Gareth Corporation-

"...any spare information that would help, or is this it?"

The vampire thought for a moment before collecting four photos and presenting them to the gathered groups. "Thanks for the reminder, might actually help you tie up the loose ends we have with the Drudge if you actually know who they are..." The woman chuckled at her own forgetfulness as she pointed to a photo of a grotesque-looking Nosferatu. "This one is Gero, or at least that what he calls himself. Serves as a sort of "bump in the night" kind of guy, scaring people into paying protection money. As far as we can tell he's a Virtuoso in Geomancy. He keeps to himself and moves through the tight passageways in the sewers. My advice? If you going to hit the Drudge, try and stir up a name for yourself and be ready for him to come to you."

The woman's finger moved along the table until it found itself over a picture of a surprising average-looking humanoid, probably a Fae. "Matthew Reginald, a shadowmancer of unknown strength, is more hired help than a member of one of their gangs. He likes to haunt the local bars and clubs when not on the job, but he visits so many its hard to trace a pattern. If you find him, make sure you're ready to go in for the kill before approaching him, or he'll disappear in a puff of smoke."

Another deft move across the table, and the new picture to be looked at was one of a burly-looking Ork with long hair, possibly a woman. "Mother Ester..." Gender confirmed. "...runs a cutthroat gang that been trying to win supremacy in the area for years. No doubt she's holding her tongue for ransom to elevate her status. She isn't an Artist, but she keeps herself surrounded at all times, the best way for you to get close here is to feign interest in joining her. Luckily, with all the stuff happening down here right now, you won't have to wait long for a chance to prove your loyalty."

The final picture, this one of a Troll with an aged and scarred face. "This guy isn't like the others, and is sort of the odd one out. Anyway, his name is Gaius and hasn't been playing ball with the Drudge for sometime. Originally, he was like Mother Ester and trying to unite the gangs into a force to be reckoned with, and was having some success. Then we came into the picture, and the obvious threat of a united Drudge was too much to ignore. So, we pulled some strings to have him ousted from his seat of power. Once 'de-throned', he sent himself into exile, where we eventually lost him. However, he's back, and we're sure he's trying to rally support with the information of our involvement. He needs to be taken out of the picture before he word get credibility. However, be careful, he is Virtuoso Caller, and he seems to have good luck when it comes to summoning Guladar's Spawn."

The woman leaned back, away from the table. "Ok, that should be everything, there should be enough copies of their photos and maps of their recent sightings for everyone."

Union Breaking

-Black Fang-

The Ork nodded, satisfied that everyone apparently knew their role. So, he picked out the container full of addresses and mixed it up a bit. Then, he held it out before the group. "All right, pick your-one at a time!" His growl caused the eager members, already trying to rush him, to back off. "There's enough for all, wait your turn!"


-Emergence Coalition-

"Who're the important ones? Don't wanna, uh, waste our time frying the, uh, the smaller fish, uh, I guess."

The old Fae blinked for a moment as he thought about the question. "Well, I guess then you should shoot for Witra, but the Black Fang still has them playing to their tune. They're large enough to help the Lugato, but getting them to their side will no doubt be the most difficult of any of the other families." He shrugged, shaking his head as he put his spectacles away. "If you're willing to try, good luck."

Temple Run

"So that's where you jackasses upstairs have been throwing the younger members. Nice. I'll be sure to tell all of the rookies about this when we get back, Jerry."

The Orange Fae was a bit dumbstruck by what Johnny had said, even more so by the fact he had somehow figured out his name. "I'll have you know that we didn't send 'rookies' in on this job. Those skilled in methods-!" Jerry stopped for a moment and though better of his words. "We don't just throw meat into the grinder, but we had to make sure that the initial loss wasn't just a fluke. It wasn't, so here we are. Now, do you have any questions or are we just going to keep throwing barbs at each other all night?"

"We don't just throw meat into the grinder, but we had to make sure that the initial loss wasn't just a fluke. It wasn't, so here we are. Now, do you have any questions or are we just going to keep throwing barbs at each other all night?"

Mr. D'Ville rolled his eyes through most of that, and cackled sardonically when he was addressed directly. After a moment, he settled down enough to ask a serious question.

"Very well," he said, cracking his knuckles, "How many of the buggers can we expect to trade bullets with? Any idea on the layout of the place? Any other chores you'd like done while we're out there? How would you like your eggs, rock-hard, or callgirl easy?"

Olivia picked up a set of pictures and a map, staring quizzically at it in an effort to decide who to go for first. She thought about the drunkard for hire, Matt, but that seemed like too much of a waste of time...best to go for him whenever she got a chance, she'd probably be in a bar at least once tonight anyways. This Geno fellow...he'll probably show when she kills one or two of the others, so she would deal with him then, when she had enough of a rep. That left two others... She turned to the Vampire rep. and said a simple but grateful, "Thank you. ...I'll get to it.", before walking out of the room and out of the bar.

She decided to take the Deeptram to the her destination quickly and hustled on over to the nearest station. As much as she hated it, the Drudge were on first and she had to get there quickly and take them out before anything else.

The cramped apartment wasn't to Drusus' liking. He wasn't a people person, and being in such a crowded room only made him anxious. Every so often someone he would notice someone gandering at him out of the corner of his eye, and every time he met their gaze with fierce intensity.

He was relatively surprised at the amount of people that turned up. Some of the faces he knew, but the majority he had never seen before. Typical. The Black Fang always had a decent turnover of muscle, either through new blood or permanent 'retirement'. Out of the entire room, he could only spot maybe three other people who had been with the organisation as long as he had been.

An Ork appeared to take control of the proceedings and was quick to the chase. The plan as outlined was relatively straightforward. A one night blitz of enemy strong houses to take the Lugato as surprise, with the humans most likely acting as meatshields.

"All right, pick your-one at a time. There's enough for all, wait your turn!"

"Wait...You can't be serious. This is the plan? Picking our targets out of a hat?"

Drusus' comment drew some whispers from some in the crowd, probably remarking on who he was to question the Ork's word.

"Now in my opinion..." he started, hunching over with his hands on the table to take a closer look at the map, taking careful notice of the locations circled. "We should be more tactical about this. I mean, don't we have any more information available?"

He sighed to himself, the exhalation of breath seeming to crackle as it left his mouth.

"And I have to ask one more thing. What is our end game? Are we leaving anyone of these sonsabitches alive?"

Yuki just hung to the back while the line 'formed' to get their numbers for who would go where, which was stupid sounding, even she knew they should be pooling their assets better then that, but she gave a little flick of her wrist and levitated a slip of paper from the hat to her hand anyway, and resumed waiting.

"We don't just throw meat into the grinder, but we had to make sure that the initial loss wasn't just a fluke. It wasn't, so here we are. Now, do you have any questions or are we just going to keep throwing barbs at each other all night?"

Sean smirked and rolled his eyes as Johnny antagonized the Fae. "Another thing. If we know where they are, and as your lads got found out, they know we know; what's the point in sneaking about pretending otherwise? We could go in and deal with this right quick, but we can't because..." He let the question hang.

Temple Run

"How many of the buggers can we expect to trade bullets with? Any idea on the layout of the place? Any other chores you'd like done while we're out there? How would you like your eggs, rock-hard, or callgirl easy?"

The Fae rolled his eyes with a snort as he pulled out a slip of paper. "Anywhere between twenty and forty, which is why you might want to try to be on the quieter side. Obviously, get any information about the weapons if they're not there, and make sure to cover your tracks. As for the eggs, I enjoy them hard-boiled."

"We could go in and deal with this right quick, but we can't because..."

"Because once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times..." The Fae stopped himself as he thought it better to just drop the metaphor. "The Templars aren't the sort to risk a large-scale move of operations just before an offensive, unless they have good reason. A couple of freaks poking their noses in where they don't belong is easy to excuse, a large skirmish at their routing facility is not."

Union Breaking

"We should be more tactical about this. I mean, don't we have any more information available?...And I have to ask one more thing. What is our end game? Are we leaving anyone of these sonsabitches alive?"

"No, we don't. That's why we're doing this blitz first." The Ork rubbed his jaw as he looked at Drusus with an intrigued stare. "It will get us better information about what the Lugato have been up to while knocking them on their ass. Then, with the information we get, we can move in for the killing blow. As for dis 'end game', we just want to leave enough alive to warn others what happens when you break ties with us. Basically...leave only one to run away."

Yuki sighed internally at what she'd gotten her self into, but she was here, no sense in backing out now "Wouldn't leaving no one alive send the same message?" she asked, not really understanding the difference.

Olivia sat, quietly thinking to herself, as the Deeptram went along it's path. She mulled over her first target and how to find her in the Drudge's territory. She wasn't too familiar with the area, having promised to herself to not touch the area with a ten foot pole and keeping herself to that diligently. Now that decision was coming back to bite her in the hindquarters but how could she have known that this would happen.

She supposed that she could check in a bar or someplace like that. There was bound to be someone there who knew how to join up with Esther, some local scouter or associate. It wasn't that illogical now that she thought about it, after all, she just came from getting her mission in a bar so the same setup may be happening elsewhere. At worse, she could just try to ask or pay the bartender to see if he had any info...maybe she should visit the bartender first, actually.

She didn't know why she automatically assumed she'd find a bar in that part of the underworld but she didn't have tome to wonder as they reached her stop. At least she had somewhat of a gameplan as she jumped off the tram and headed off into the Drudge's home turf. Luckily, most bars tend to advertize themselves so as to attract customers so after a little wandering around and trying to remain inconspicuous, she found one and headed in.

She immediately felt eyes on her as she came in, unnerving her but she pretended to not notice them. She walked over to the bar and sat down, ordering a beer, something she didn't like but could at least stand, and waited until those that were staring had gone about their buisness. She stopped the bartender and asked in a low voice, "You wouldn't know anything about Mother Esther, would you? Anyone who talks about her or where i can contact her group would also be helpful if you can't."

Anything Goes

-Drudge Turf-

As one would expect from a place run by lowlifes, the Drudge's territory is in dire need of maintenance. Several pipes from the above-ground system poked through the upper levels of the area, most dripping something foul. The "buildings", aside from a few well-established places, were nothing more than scrap metal and rotting wood. Some places were only lit by low flames, electricity suddenly a commodity in the neighborhood.

"You wouldn't know anything about Mother Esther, would you? Anyone who talks about her or where i can contact her group would also be helpful if you can't."

The bartender stopped wiping away the filth on a glass when Mother Esther was brought up. "And just why would you want to see Mother Esther? Most who come asking don't come back..." The bartender grumbled as he waited for an answer, eyes scanning the rest of the bar.



-Mech Turf-

Under the east side, the Underworld was much more well-kept. Quality concrete filled the open spaces and everything appeared to have its place...until one ventured near the workshops.

In the places where the tinkerers worked, various half-finished mechanisms littered the ground. Computer servers, car engines, toolbox upon toolbox marked where the Mechs worked. Most of the technicians keep to themselves, but others are known to ambush any passer-by, hoping to find a new guinea pig.



-Blossomers Turf-

The trees in Central Park have roots that run deep, and the Blossomers have used this to their advantage. At the upper levels, the walls and buildings are completely made of the roots. Some of the Biomancers in the gang have even encouraged the roots to grow their own flowers.

However, further down, things take a darker tone. With fewer roots to use, the use of special fungi is employed. They illuminate, they provide food for the poorer classes, and some have even been cultured to protect the Blossomers' territory. It is believed that the Blossomers' most "holy" site is deep within this area, but no one from outside the group has ever claimed to see it.

Union Breaking

"Wouldn't leaving no one alive send the same message?"

The Ork heaved his shoulders in what appeared to be a frustrated shrug. "A horrified survivor paints a much clearer message, but if you don't want to leave anyone alive...feel free."

Yuki nodded "Then lets hurry with drawing lots and be about this then" she said, replying to the Ork, and looking at the lot she'd drawn, wondering where it ment she'd end up going.

Her hunch was correct at least, but now what? Was he a recruiter? Or did he just not support Esther and anyone who talked of her. Only one way to find out...

"I heard that she was looking for recruits and i decided that i should join up."

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