logs:Snakes and Secrets

[19:05] <gumbal1> Danielle reports to the motor pool
[19:05] <padri> Laura arrives.
01[19:06] <Nemi> In the motorpool! There's a thick layer of slush that has somehow infiltrated the garage door despite best efforts of maintenance staff, so it's wet, grey, and icky in here. A young man in suit and a wool coat is standing next to a car, holding a clipboard, and looking expectantly toward the arrivals.
[19:06] <gumbal1> "What's with the slush?"
[19:06] <padri> Laura is wearing her red coat.
[19:06] <Proto_Lost> He arrives after grabbing his sidearm and his beloved flask, looking at the young man. "Well, ain't you looking young for a suit."
03[19:06] * Wixelt (ten.58231sa.CAD4309D-CRInys|tibbiM#ten.58231sa.CAD4309D-CRInys|tibbiM) has joined #tooltime
[19:06] <Proto_Lost> Harley's wearing his trenchcoat!
[19:07] <Wixelt> Wilson enters the motorpool
[19:07] <Wixelt> "So what we got this time?"
[19:07] <padri> Laura waits for info.
03[19:08] * DrSavage (ten.tsacmoc.aw.1dsh.08BA7CA6-CRInys|egavaSrD#ten.tsacmoc.aw.1dsh.08BA7CA6-CRInys|egavaSrD) has joined #tooltime
01[19:09] <Nemi> "Only one janitor, ma'am," He replies to Danielle, then clears his throat. "Alright! Last night one of the newbies caught a delivery, a message from someone identified only as 'K'." He holds up the clipboard. "The transcription is here, but the short of it? K apparently knows something about the Tear Drinkers and is willing to tell us about it. Naturally, without providing us any other info besides a meeting place."
01[19:09] <Nemi> The sheet of paper on the clipboard reads 'HEARD YOU'RE HAVING TEAR PROBLEMS. MEET ME AT THE WANDERING HOUSE, TROY. -K'
[19:09] <padri> Laura frowns.
[19:09] <Wixelt> "Tear Drinkers. Who the hell are they?"
[19:09] <Proto_Lost> He frowns. "Smells like a setup."
[19:09] <padri> "You mean the Unity cult?"
[19:10] <gumbal1> "Was that the cult monsieur Harkness talked about?"
01[19:10] <Nemi> "The Tear Drinkers, as we've come to call them.. Yeah. The Unity cult. These guys are apparently a branch of them who've been drinking of His Tears for a while. Turns them into superhuman monsters. Don't suppose you all heard about what happened to the last team who went to check them out?"
[19:10] <padri> Laura nods. "And I was on the team before that."
[19:11] <Wixelt> "That wouldn't happen to be the church would it?"
[19:11] <Wixelt> Wilson shudders
01[19:11] <Nemi> The suit tucks the clipboard under his arm and makes an emphatic 'splosion' gesture with his fingers. "Okay, good. Nah, Elliot. I'm talking about when Winsthrop led a team that ended up arrested after they smashed a ship into the Dunn Memorial Bridge in Albany."
[19:11] <gumbal1> "Which Church?"
01[19:11] <Nemi> "Real fuckin' nightmare that was."
[19:11] <Proto_Lost> "God, I still laugh a bit when I see him."
[19:12] <Wixelt> "Really? When was that?"
01[19:12] <Nemi> "Anyway, aftermath of that mess? We're no closer to figuring out where the Tear Drinkers and Robert Lindquist, the captain of that ship, went. Though they spotted Lindquist before being arrested."
01[19:12] <Nemi> "Just a couple days ago, Wilson."
[19:12] <Wixelt> "Huh, guess I missed that completely. Was wondering why Luvi was so injured"
01[19:12] <Nemi> "And now we've got this mysterious letter promising us info from an unknown source. You bet your ass it's a setup, but it's a trap we want to spring, because right now ANY possible lead is something."
[19:13] <Proto_Lost> He smiles at the man. "I like the way you think buddy…so where is this wandering house?"
[19:13] <padri> Laura nods. She's not looking forward to this.
[19:13] <Wixelt> Wilson nods "Understood
[19:13] <Wixelt> "
[19:13] <gumbal1> "So…will there be someone to cover for us in case we can't escape the trap?"
01[19:15] <Nemi> "Yeah. We've got some agents watching the site. So if bad things happen, just be sure to make a ruckus. Anyway, the Wandering House was located in the city of Troy. Old industrial mill city, kind of fading in import and wealth nowadays. Right across the river from Albany. It's on Broadway, right up by the waterfront, past the newspaper."
[19:15] <padri> Laura wants the answer to be yes.
01[19:15] <Nemi> "Apparently it's a coffee shop. So that's neutral ground if I've heard any. Big glass window too, so we can keep eyes on you and make sure nothing off happens."
[19:16] <Wixelt> Wilson relaxes slightly at the prospect of backup
[19:16] <padri> "Good. What, exactly, are we looking to find out?"
[19:16] <Proto_Lost> "Right, mill place, good visibility, both the cult and us have a good view of shit going down…this is starting to look like a cakewalk buddy."
[19:16] <Wixelt> "I just hope nothing like the whole church incident goes down"
01[19:17] <Nemi> "Ideally? Get the info K is promising. A lead on the Tear Drinkers and Lindquist. Failing that, at least figure out who K is and how they figured out to send us a letter directly."
[19:17] <Wixelt> "I don't think i'd like to take being shot in the collar area as a hobby"
[19:17] <Proto_Lost> "I do, because fuck if fighting some kind of weird sludge fucker in the middle of town wouldn't be great."
[19:17] <Wixelt> Wilson nods, getting the messgae
[19:18] <padri> Laura pointedly ignores Harley.
01[19:18] <Nemi> "Apparently Luvi was one of the people who met the deliveryman.. said he wore a uniform for a company that didn't exist. So there's some weirdness going on there. Just clear that up, aight?"
[19:18] <Proto_Lost> "You got it chief…what're we taking today?"
01[19:19] <Nemi> The suit thumbs over his shoulder at the car behind him. Good size black affair, kind of squarish but easily enough to fit all four team members.
[19:19] <gumbal1> Danielle gets shotgun
[19:19] <padri> Laura looks at it and nods. "Nice enough."
[19:20] <padri> Laura will sit in the back.
[19:20] <Wixelt> "Understood. We'll get that inofrmation sir"
[19:20] <Proto_Lost> "Thank God, I thought we were taking Rape Van number 6 or something." He says with a laugh, getting in the driver's seat.
[19:20] <Wixelt> Wilson takes the front passenger seat in the car
01[19:20] <Nemi> "Newclear, we only got Rape Vans numbers one through five. Six is in the shop." He says, entirely deadpan.
[19:21] <Wixelt> "…Ok thenĀ£
01[19:21] <Nemi> And with that, the suit steps back and waves to someone unseen. The doors open, and the car is free to proceed onward. There's even a map leading to the address. Handy.
[19:21] <Proto_Lost> "Wonderful! Make four bright pink so we're not completely inconspicous!"
[19:21] <Wixelt> *"
[19:22] <Proto_Lost> He then leans out the window to shout at Wilson. "Get in loser, we're doing spy shit!"
[19:23] <Wixelt> "I'm right here" Wilson's sitting next to him
[19:23] <Proto_Lost> Oh, in that case…Harley starts up the car, and soon they're cruising along. As he's driving, he gets music dibs, and he turns the station to smooth jazz.
[19:24] <padri> Danielle took shotgun
[19:24] <Wixelt> Wilson nods his head to it
01[19:24] <Nemi> Static. Static. Numbers station. Static. <the flesh the flesh the flesh the flesh the flesh…> Static. Jazz, finally.
03[19:24] * Daedalus is now known as Daedaleft
[19:24] <gumbal1> "…merde."
[19:25] <padri> "Go back."
[19:25] <Proto_Lost> He pauses a bit to wonder if he heard that proprerly, but promptly forgets about it. "What was that?"
[19:25] <padri> Laura needs to know if she heard it properly.
[19:26] <gumbal1> "Does this car use a shortwave radio?"
[19:26] <Proto_Lost> "Really? Christ it took me forever to find this station…never had this in Michigan." He says, grumbling a bit as he switches it back.
01[19:27] <Nemi> It's a talk radio station, where a man is commenting on local news. The drive is otherwise uninteresting. It's raining heavily, large droplets of freezing rain spattering against the windshield and bouncing. The car's path takes it through the scenic, snow-frosted Catskills and its local forests to the interstate, and eventually they cruise into Troy across a broad white bridge.
03[19:27] * Wogglebot (ainoelggoW.grebelggoW.notelggoW.ellivelggoW|gubelggoW#ainoelggoW.grebelggoW.notelggoW.ellivelggoW|gubelggoW) has joined #tooltime
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[19:27] <Proto_Lost> "Fucking hell, now I'll have to find it again." He tries to crank it back a few turns.
[19:27] <gumbal1> "I thought Troy was burnt to the ground."
01[19:29] <Nemi> If it was, it sure doesn't look it. Nestled against the Hudson River, this city looks downright depressed, grey under the dark sky above. Paint peels from mouldering buildings, manufactories long-abandoned, and housing for those commuters who make the drive into Albany. Rain continues to pelt the area without pause.
[19:30] <gumbal1> "Reminds me of London."
[19:30] <padri> She knits. She brought her knitting this time cause travelling sux without i.t
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01[19:31] <Nemi> A long ramp off the bridge takes the car to South Main, and from there it's not long before a right-hand turn onto Broadway, which is incidentally not terribly broad, being only one lane in either direction and choked with on-street parking to either side. And from there it's only two or three lights down to the waterfront, where the first floor of a simple brownstone building displays a glass front and a lit sign reading WANDERING HOUSE in gold on green.
[19:32] <Proto_Lost> "That looks like the place." He says, nodding to it as he tries to find a parking spot. "…fucking parking."
02[19:32] * Wixelt (ten.58231sa.CAD4309D-CRInys|tibbiM#ten.58231sa.CAD4309D-CRInys|tibbiM) Quit (Quit: http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client)
[19:32] <Proto_Lost> "Right, you guys get off while I try not to drive this thing off the goddamn pier."
[19:32] <padri> Laura just knits while Harley searches for a parking spot.
[19:32] <Proto_Lost> He pulls up beside shop as best he can.
[19:33] <padri> When he pulls to a stop, Laura hops out of the car. After a brief mental debate, she brings her knitting basket with her.
01[19:33] <Nemi> Just past the Wandering House is a triangular square around a statue and its associated yard, with various homes, shops, and other curiosities, mostly closed with the weather. There's parking in front of a donut shop.
[19:33] <padri> ~We're not going to be fighting today. I can bring it.~
01[19:33] <Nemi> The rain keeps pouring down, making icy beads or bouncing off the sidewalk and pavement when it lands. Naturally, with this weather, there's almost nobody out.
[19:34] <Proto_Lost> "Go on in, this rain's starting to pour!"
[19:34] <padri> Laura rushes into the Wandering House.
[19:34] <gumbal1> Danielle gets out and goes into the Wandering House.
[19:35] <Proto_Lost> Once everyone's out, Harley eases the car into the parking spot by the donut shop, and gets out, only to head into the donut shop for a bite.
01[19:36] <Nemi> Despite the glass front of the Wandering House, it's very hard to see in, with water beading on the window and the glare from city lights outside. The green wooden door bears a half-circle shaped window at its top, too high off the ground for anyone to peer out of.
01[19:36] <Nemi> Harley: The donut shop's proprietor, a rather sleepy-looking older man, is all to happy to share his selection of various crullers, donuts, and assorted pastries. You're the only customer in the palce.
[19:37] <Proto_Lost> He picks out a small half-dozen box for Laura and Katie, and orders two donuts for himself.
[19:37] <padri> Laura walked into the shop. She doesn't want to get soaked.
[19:37] <gumbal1> Danielle follows Laura
[19:38] <padri> Who's inside?
01[19:38] <Nemi> Laura and Danielle enter, a small bell ringing gently as they do. Despite how it looked from outside, the place is actually fairly cozy, with a brick-lined fireplace and seating near one corner, and various tables and chair setups throughout the rest of the relatively narrow place. There's an assortment of people present, about a half dozen young people— probably students, a couple older business types. [Cont'd]
[19:38] <Proto_Lost> Once that's done, he heads out into the pouring rain, dashing across the street into the Wandering House.
[19:39] <padri> Laura approves. Were they told of any way to recognize K?
[19:39] <padri> Or let K recognize them?
01[19:40] <Nemi> There's a broad wooden counter with a clear shield on one side, protecting various baked goods and breads from the sneezes and fingers of customers. Behind the counter is a bewildering array of brushed metal-surfaced machines, stacks of green ceramic mugs, and a cheerful chalk-drawn menu listing baffling Italian names and prices. [Cont'd]
01[19:41] <Nemi> Beneath the menu is a wooden plaque, upon which rests a long, sleek, gently-curved sword of simple but elegant design. It looks somewhat Persian in origin. "One minute!" Comes a woman's voice from the back. Perception, everyone inside.
[19:41] <gumbal1> Danielle looks at the baked good
[19:41] <gumbal1> s
[19:41] <padri> 4df+6 Percep!
[19:41] <Glacon> padri: Percep!: 7 (4df+6=3+, 0, 4-, 3+)
[19:41] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail| searching for K
[19:41] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail| searching for K: 7 (4df+8=0, 3+, 4-, 4-)
[19:41] <gumbal1> 4df+4 wha
[19:41] <Glacon> gumbal1: wha: 6 (4df+4=0, 3+, 3+, 0)
01[19:43] <Nemi> Everyone is very perceptive! Enough to note a few anomalies. The books the students are studying from appear to have glyphic symbols where one would expect to see gold-embossed titles, and one of those businessmen seems to have a pair of tiny horns jutting from the brim of his hat. And that's about when a woman hurries up to the counter. [Cont'd]
[19:44] <padri> Laura does /not/ approve of this. She isn't comfortable surrounded by so many uncontained anomalies.
[19:44] <padri> She holds her knitting basket very tightly.
[19:45] <Proto_Lost> Harley smiles, seeing as things just started to get interesting.
01[19:46] <Nemi> She is, in simple terms, stunningly beautiful. Intimidatingly so. And obviously of some Middle Eastern extraction, with caramel skin, long glossy black hair, and intense mixed green-and-hazel eyes. She is wearing a pale green sweater that easily betrays her somewhat idealized athletic build, over which is worn a simple white apron with a nametag reading "Kaira". There's a heart over the 'i'. She leans against the countertop and smiles.
01[19:46] <Nemi> "Hi there, what can I get you?" Perception, everyone.
03[19:47] * Wogglebot is now known as Wogglebug
[19:47] <gumbal1> 4df+4 wha
[19:47] <Glacon> gumbal1: wha: 5 (4df+4=3+, 0, 0, 0)
[19:47] <padri> 4df+6 Again!
[19:47] <Glacon> padri: Again!: 9 (4df+6=3+, 0, 3+, 3+)
[19:47] <gumbal1> "Uh, a croissant would be nice."
01[19:49] <Nemi> [ We seem to have lost Proto now too. ]
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01[19:50] <Nemi> [ Well, I'll assume he's getting donuts. ]
[19:51] <GottaGoFeast> [Can I join?]
01[19:51] <Nemi> [ Suuure. One moment and I'll pastebin you what yu missed. ]
01[19:53] <Nemi> Assume Gordon (or whoever GGF is bringing) was just slow to exit the car). Resuming when he's caught up.
[19:54] <padri> Laura narrows her eyes at the woman. She's not going to order any anything here. She plans not to consume anything until she returns to the site.
[19:57] <GottaGoFeast> [I've caught up.]
01[19:57] <Nemi> Her smile is a little offputting as she grabs a croissant in a piece of tissue paper and hands it to Danielle. "Of course. On the house.. Anything for you?" She peers at Laura, clearly either missing the narrowed eyes or not caring. And then she tilts her head, almost imperceptibly, to one side. "You must be my.. friends."
[19:58] <gumbal1> Danielle stores the croissant.
[19:58] <padri> "I … suppose so."
[19:58] <padri> She doesn't trust this woman.
[19:59] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail! He's jsut been nomming his donut quietly.
[19:59] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail! He's jsut been nomming his donut quietly.: 7 (4df+8=4-, 3+, 4-, 0)
[19:59] <Proto_Lost> "I'm good, thanks."
01[20:00] <Nemi> She laughs, and pauses to fill a mug of her own before emerging from around the countertop. "Fair enough. I suppose you got my letter?"
[20:00] <padri> Laura nods. "We did."
[20:00] <Proto_Lost> "If you mean the one tied to a rock that wondered if they could borrow sugar, then yeah we got it." He says, chuckling.
[20:00] <padri> She doesn't really like being in this shop, surrounded by potential hostiles.
01[20:02] <Nemi> A few of the patrons glance up as Kaira approaches the Agents, but then shortly return to their own diversions. "Come with me, sit." She slinks her way (though Laura is SURE it's more of a slither) to the comfortable seating by the fireplace and pulls an ottoman aside to perch herself upon it.
[20:02] <gumbal1> Danielle sits.
[20:02] <Proto_Lost> Harley follows, handing the box to Laura. "For you and Katie."
[20:03] <padri> Laura sits as close to the door as propriety will let her get away with.
[20:03] <padri> She sets the box in her basket and her basket in her lap.
[20:04] <Proto_Lost> "Right, so we're going to keep this short and sweet, and maybe we can all go into that nice donut shop for a round of crullers and bearpaws on me, you cool with that Kaira?"
02[20:05] * Daedaleft (~moc.rr.ser.lacos.8FDB40BE-CRInys|enahtanoj#moc.rr.ser.lacos.8FDB40BE-CRInys|enahtanoj) Quit (Ping timeout: 188 seconds)
[20:05] <padri> Do we know her name is Kaira?
[20:05] <Proto_Lost> She has a nametag
[20:05] <padri> Ah. Duh.
01[20:06] <Nemi> The seating consists of well-stuffed chairs upholstered in.. corduroy? Somewhat unusual choice, but they're comfortable nonetheless. Kaira's forced-sweet smile turns serious as she speaks, tone low. "Sure. Now, I know you don't trust me. And I don't trust you. Which is why I'm not planning on going outside where you have six armed agents watching."
[20:06] <Proto_Lost> He grins. "Well, that didn't last long did it?"
[20:06] <padri> Laura narrows her eyes at her. "Then don't make us bring them in here."
[20:07] <Proto_Lost> He holds a hand out to Laura. "Relax Laura, we're all friends here."
[20:07] <padri> If Laura were a cat, her ears would be flat against her head and her fur would be on end.
01[20:07] <Nemi> "I don't plan to." Perception.
[20:07] <padri> 4df+6
[20:07] <Glacon> padri: 4 (4df+6=4-, 0, 0, 4-)
[20:07] <Proto_Lost> "Just a bunch of guys and gals bonding over pastries and coffee."
[20:07] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail all over my perception gurl
[20:07] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail all over my perception gurl: 7 (4df+8=0, 4-, 3+, 4-)
01[20:09] <Nemi> Laura doesn't see anything out of the ordinary. Danielle has a croissant.
[20:09] <gumbal1> "So, what exactly is thhis unity cult up to?"
[20:10] <Proto_Lost> He runs a hand through his hair, looking at Kaira. "Look, they're just there as insurance. I can send the word right now to have them grant you safe passage…that good?"
[20:10] <padri> Laura turns to Harley. "Not until we have this little talk straightened out."
01[20:11] <Nemi> Kaira leans in. "Yes. All friends." As Danielle speaks up, she winces. "Getting direct, okay. Fine. Look— I don't like you people very much. You have a terrible habit of locking away or killing anything that's different from you. But I'm not very happy about the .. different people who just moved in here."
[20:12] <Proto_Lost> He whispers to her. "Laura, we're not going to get anywhere unless we get the informant comfy." He looks back to Kaira. "Right, those unity fuckers."
01[20:13] <Nemi> "So. Business. You help me out, I help you find them."
[20:13] <gumbal1> "What do you need us to do?"
[20:13] <Proto_Lost> "Scratch my back and scratch yours eh? Fair enough."
[20:14] <padri> ~I'm not scratching any scales.~
01[20:15] <Nemi> "There's a bookstore down the street. It has a copy of a very old book, an antique, even, called the Codex Ophidianus. Get that for me and I'll tell you where to find your black-blooded friends."
01[20:15] <Nemi> She's back to smiling. It's blatantly forced.
[20:15] <GottaGoFeast> "What is this book about?"
[20:15] <padri> "What do you need it for?"
[20:16] <padri> Laura isn't even pretending to like her.
[20:16] <Proto_Lost> "Got interest in reptiles do we?" He says with a chuckle.
[20:16] <padri> ~She's a bloody snake.~
01[20:16] <Nemi> "Do I need to tell you? Green cover, gold embossed text. It's in Latin."
[20:16] <padri> "And, more importantly, why can't you get it yourself?"
02[20:17] * @Wogglebug (ainoelggoW.grebelggoW.notelggoW.ellivelggoW|gubelggoW#ainoelggoW.grebelggoW.notelggoW.ellivelggoW|gubelggoW) Quit (Ping timeout)
[20:17] <Proto_Lost> "Either she's banned for a previous offense, or there's something you ain't telling us, little lady."
[20:17] <gumbal1> "Perhaps she's just trying to maintain cover?"
[20:18] <padri> "Whatever it is, I think we should know." She crosses her arms.
[20:18] <gumbal1> "It would be suspicious for the shop owner to get out after lunch but before closing time."
[20:18] <Proto_Lost> "Thought of that myself honestly."
[20:18] <padri> Laura doesn't care. She's busy staring down this serpent.
01[20:19] <Nemi> Kaira groans, and mumbles to herself. Snippets referring to ".. swore an oath," and ".. can't do it myself.." are heard, before she finally lifts her head. "Let's go with that." They say that serpents of old had powers of hypnotism. If that's the case, this one lacks it. She seems almost awkward.
[20:20] <padri> Laura shifts into a more menacing position. "I'm not buying it."
[20:20] <padri> There is nothing subtle about Laura right now.
[20:21] <Proto_Lost> "Laura, relax. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, remember? The little lady just wants to get the fuck out of here with us on the tail of those cult fuckers."
[20:21] <Proto_Lost> He places a hand on her shoulder, looking apologetically at Kaira.
[20:21] <padri> "I'll decide for myself who my friend is. My enemy is the last person I want picking my friends." If you want me to, I'll roll intimidation.
01[20:21] <Nemi> She gives a wry, thankful look of her own. And roll it!
[20:22] <Proto_Lost> Harley laying on the charm though :<
[20:22] <padri> 4df+4 I never liked snakes.
[20:22] <Glacon> padri: I never liked snakes.: 4 (4df+4=0, 0, 4-, 3+)
01[20:24] <Nemi> Kaira grimaces for a moment. ".. fine. The store's warded. I can't enter."
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[20:24] <padri> "… alright." Laura seems willing to accept this.
[20:25] <gumbal1> "…I'll find out what that means later."
[20:25] <Proto_Lost> "Now, was that so hard to say? You had to get bad cop here all wound up." He says with a chuckle as he gets up.
01[20:25] <Nemi> Academics.
[20:25] <gumbal1> 4df+3 I is smart
[20:25] <Glacon> gumbal1: I is smart: 3 (4df+3=3+, 4-, 4-, 3+)
[20:25] <padri> 4df+3
[20:25] <Glacon> padri: 4 (4df+3=3+, 4-, 0, 3+)
[20:25] <GottaGoFeast> 4df+1
[20:25] <Glacon> GottaGoFeast: -1 (4df+1=4-, 3+, 4-, 4-)
[20:26] <Proto_Lost> Harley not smurt.
[20:27] <padri> Laura isn't gunna back down off of her bad cop routine. Because it isn't a routine; she sincerely believes this whole shop is bad.
[20:27] <gumbal1> Danielle pulls out and munches on her croissant. She doesn't care at this point.
01[20:27] <Nemi> Kaira visibly exhales. "Thank you. It's the amusingly named 'Witch Store', just down the street." The croissant is delicious and has no side effects.
[20:28] <Proto_Lost> He tips his hat to her. "Right come on gang."
[20:28] <gumbal1> Danielle smiles. "Thanks for the croissant."
[20:28] <padri> Laura stands, basket in hand.
[20:28] <gumbal1> Danielle stands with the others.
01[20:29] <Nemi> "Welcome," says Kaira, in response. She seems visibly nervous, now, watching the door warily.
[20:29] <padri> Laura notes this.
[20:29] <padri> She doesn't like it.
[20:30] <padri> She will follow Harley as he leaves.
[20:30] <Proto_Lost> He heads on out, eyeing the assets the Foundation loaned to them. Whoever these guys were, they could pick them out without even trying it seemed…food for thought.
[20:30] <gumbal1> Danielle will do so as well, waving to Kaira on the way out.
01[20:30] <Nemi> Ringa-dingding. The bell rings gently as Harley opens the door. Kaira herself returns to the counter. Harley, perception!
[20:31] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail
[20:31] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail: 7 (4df+8=4-, 3+, 0, 4-)
01[20:31] <Nemi> Harley: You can pick out your guys. There's a couple people sitting under an umbrella in the little park around the Triangle down the way, and there's another black car. At least, you think it's your guys. Hard to tell.
01[20:32] <Nemi> The people in the park have Significant Briefcases nearby.
[20:32] <padri> Very subtle, guys.
[20:32] <padri> Although Laura doesn't notice.
[20:32] <padri> She's looking for the bookstore.
[20:33] <Proto_Lost> Well, they certainly looked like Foundation assets…if they weren't, their best course of action was to assume they still were. Regardless, he leads them to wherever the bookshop is.
01[20:35] <Nemi> The Witch Store! The pounding rain makes progress a bit uncomfortable, but it's soon in sight. It looks as if converted from housing, as it's tucked down a short flight of stairs beneath a taller brownstone, with only a sign featuring a book-carrying witch's silhouette betraying its existence. The door is large, solid, and painted white, but unlocked.
[20:35] <padri> Laura opens it.
[20:35] <padri> And steps inside.
[20:35] <padri> She's p determined to find this book.
[20:36] <gumbal1> Danielle follows
[20:36] <Proto_Lost> Harley stops at the doorway, eyeing it to find whatever those wards were.
[20:36] <padri> Perc to find it?
[20:36] <Proto_Lost> Perc to find the wards?
01[20:37] <Nemi> There's no cheerful ding, and unlike the cozy confines of the Wandering House, the Witch Store just looks confining. Claustrophobic rows of tall shelves wall off vision of much of the store from the door, and the dim lighting is unhelpful at best. Per for whatever you're up to!
[20:37] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail| magic crap!
[20:37] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail| magic crap!: 8 (4df+8=0, 4-, 0, 3+)
[20:37] <padri> 4df+6 Find that book!
[20:37] <Glacon> padri: Find that book!: 3 (4df+6=4-, 4-, 4-, 0)
[20:38] <gumbal1> 4df+4 wha
[20:38] <Glacon> gumbal1: wha: 4 (4df+4=3+, 4-, 0, 0)
01[20:38] <Nemi> There's all sorts of clutter up from the ceiling, ranging from what look like forgotten Halloween decorations dangling from exposed pipes to actual legitimate spiderwebs. But Harley's keen eyes spot subtle symbols etched into the wooden doorframe, easily mistaken for cracks or weathering. They pulse slightly when looked at directly. [Cont'd]
[20:39] <Proto_Lost> "…wards huh."
01[20:41] <Nemi> Laura: You set off into the aisles! You find what looks to be history books, mostly on mythology and occultism in European and American history. No green-bound Codex Ophidianus yet, though.. Danielle: You set off into other aisles! These appear instead to just be fiction pieces, predominantly horror and similar genres. Though as you poke around you are met by a plump, cheerful-faced woman in her 60s, with a whimsical pink scarf about her shoulders. "Hello, dearie, welcome! Can I help you find anything?"
[20:41] <Proto_Lost> He heads on inside, shaking his head. This was storybook shit, and now he was in it.
[20:42] <gumbal1> "Out of curiosity, how do you arrange these books?"
[20:42] <padri> Laura puts her finger on the rows to focus her eyes as she searches. (If she touches anything anomalous, ask me to roll?)
[20:42] <gumbal1> "I'm looking for a few in particular by my favorite author."
[20:43] <Proto_Lost> He decided to let the ladies handle this, keeping his eye instead on the lady in case she tried something.
01[20:43] <Nemi> "Oh, by genre! We've fiction here and here, non-fiction here and here, antique books against the wall here.. It's all alphabetical by author's name!" The old lady is all too happy to help. For some reason, looking at her makes one think of a name like 'Esmerelda'.
01[20:44] <Nemi> Laura, as you browse along, you do catch a few strange feelings.. Roll your sense!
[20:44] <padri> 4df+6 Woot
[20:44] <Glacon> padri: Woot: 7 (4df+6=3+, 3+, 4-, 0)
[20:45] <gumbal1> "…erm, by chance, is your name 'Esmerelda'?"
01[20:46] <Nemi> "Why, yes! How did you know?" She reeeally looks like an Esme. Curious that.
[20:46] <padri> What feelings does Laura get?
[20:47] <gumbal1> "You seem like someone my friend once met."
01[20:48] <Nemi> The old lady laughs amiably. "People tell me that a lot!"
[20:48] <padri> Laura doesn't much like this bookstore. She keeps looking for the Codex.
[20:48] <padri> (I'm assuming she hasn't overheard Esme."
[20:48] <padri> )
01[20:49] <Nemi> [ Probably not! The wall-like aisles also block sound rather well. ]
[20:49] <gumbal1> "Well then, thanks for giving me directions." Danielle looks in the antique section.
01[20:49] <Nemi> Laura, Danielle: Perception!
01[20:49] <Nemi> Harley: Perception as well.
[20:49] <gumbal1> 4df+4 wha
[20:49] <Glacon> gumbal1: wha: 1 (4df+4=4-, 4-, 4-, 0)
[20:49] <padri> 4df+6 !
[20:49] <Glacon> padri: !: 6 (4df+6=3+, 3+, 4-, 4-)
01[20:51] <Nemi> Following the strings of letters and phrases, Laura's attention is drawn to a dusty corner of the store where the fluttering sentences seem to twist into serpentine forms that snap and chase each other about. There, tucked behind a Treatise on Abstract Ornithology, she sees a hint of green leather.
01[20:52] <Nemi> Danielle, however, strolls toward the antiques… and shortly realizes that she doesn't know where she is. The store seems far larger than it has any right to be, and the maze of aisles a literal labyrinth. Where'd Harley and Laura go? Where's Esme?
[20:52] <gumbal1> Danielle frowns.
[20:52] <Proto_Lost> Harley stays by the door, observing the runes.
[20:52] <gumbal1> She tries to make her way back to the others
01[20:52] <Nemi> Harley! Perception!
[20:53] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail!
[20:53] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail!: 7 (4df+8=3+, 4-, 0, 4-)
01[20:54] <Nemi> Danielle: As you turn… The aisle you entered doesn't seem familiar. It seems to lead on toward an endcap you don't recognize, but turning around places you in another aisle entirely.
[20:54] <padri> Laura goes for the green leather.
01[20:54] <Nemi> Harley: You realize that when Danielle left one aisle, you didn't see her enter the one next to it from your position by the door. What the..?
[20:54] <padri> She pulls the book out.
[20:54] <padri> Roll anomaly?
01[20:54] <Nemi> Laura: This has to be it.. Roll anomaly.
[20:54] <Proto_Lost> "…the fuck?"
[20:55] <padri> 4df+6 what's up with this book.
[20:55] <Glacon> padri: what's up with this book.: 4 (4df+6=3+, 4-, 4-, 4-)
[20:56] <Proto_Lost> "Hey, Danielle? Where are you?"
[20:56] <Proto_Lost> He moves a little bit from the door, not wanting to leave the relative safety and assurance that the door gave him.
[20:56] <gumbal1> Danielle stops and looks at the books. Maybe their arrangement can help.
01[20:57] <Nemi> Laura: Your scalp itches. A strange feeling, like shedding old, dead skin. An impression of eggs, of soft leathery shells. A nest of serpents, old and forgotten. Whispered secrets, twisting primordial things. Your legs feel foreign.
01[20:57] <Nemi> Danielle: Academics!
[20:57] <Proto_Lost> Can she hear Harley calling?
01[20:57] <Nemi> Danielle can hear Harley calling. It sounds like he's just ten feet away.
[20:57] <padri> Laura hisses.
[20:57] <padri> Then she blinks as she gets a hold of herself.
[20:58] <gumbal1> 4df+3 Am smart
[20:58] <Glacon> gumbal1: Am smart: 2 (4df+3=4-, 0, 3+, 4-)
01[20:58] <Nemi> Danielle: These titles sound like fiction. 'Warlocks of Elden Bridge'. Pfft. So if you're in the fiction section, if you turn right at the end of this aisle you'll be in nonfiction…
[20:59] <Proto_Lost> "Laura? Danielle?"
[20:59] <padri> Laura puts the book in her basket. She doesn't want to touch it. She hates this strange knowledge. She turns to look for the exit.
[20:59] <gumbal1> Danielle does that. Fantasy fiction is for nerds
01[20:59] <Nemi> Laura: Following the trail of words in the air is easy. It clearly leads you back to the door, to Harley.
[21:00] <padri> She walks back to him. "I've got it."
01[21:00] <Nemi> Danielle turns, expecting nonfiction! Instead she finds.. antique books? There's a glass case, walled with wood, where Esmerelda appears to be busily dusting. She peers at Danielle. "Hello again, dearie!"
01[21:01] <Nemi> Laura: You walked only about ten feet from where you found the book to Harley.
[21:01] <gumbal1> "Er…hi, Esme. Out of curiosity, what is "Warlocks of Elden Bridge" about? I noticed it earlier."
[21:01] <padri> "What's wrong, Harley?"
[21:02] <Proto_Lost> Harley spots her. "I didn't see Danielle come out of the other aisle."
01[21:02] <Nemi> "Why, it concerns the life of Edgar Marcus, the founder of the occult society of the same name! Rather dry biography, really, but it's required reading for some university course or other."
[21:02] <padri> "Oh? Which way did she go?"
01[21:02] <Nemi> She tuts, apparently amused.
[21:03] <Proto_Lost> "That one, the antique books." He points to the aisle.
[21:03] <padri> Laura nods, heading that way.
[21:03] <padri> She follows the words. Can she follow them to Danielle?
01[21:03] <Nemi> Laura: Oh, there's Danielle. That was easy. How strange.
01[21:03] <Nemi> Danielle: Laura just walked into the aisle behind you!
[21:04] <gumbal1> "Sounds interesting. What is this society based around."
[21:04] <padri> Laura frowns. Why does everyone think this is so difficult?
01[21:04] <Nemi> Harley: With your eye following Laura, you spot Danielle as well. Weird that you couldn't locate her earlier.
01[21:05] <Nemi> Esme muses. "Occultism of some sort. One of those old high-class high-society things that men like to amuse themselves with if they can't do politics." She tuts.
[21:05] <padri> "Do you work here, ma'am?"
[21:06] <Proto_Lost> "…fucked up magic shit."
[21:06] <padri> Laura is the anti-magic!
01[21:06] <Nemi> "Oh, yes! What can I do for you, dear?" Esme gives Laura a broad smile. She's like the round cheerful grandmother everyone wishes they had.
[21:07] <padri> Laura takes the book out of her basket, supressing the urge to flit her tongue about like an animal. "I'd like to purchase this?"
01[21:09] <Nemi> "Oh, that old thing?" She puts on a pair of round glasses fished out from some pocket and examines the book. "Well, I'll be. I forgot I had that. You know.. I've enough old stock, and I didn't think anyone would be interested in it.. Feel free to just take it!"
[21:09] <Proto_Lost> "Are you sure? I'd gladly pay for it."
01[21:10] <Nemi> "Mm, alright, if it makes you feel better." She clucks to herself, like a cheery mother hen. "That will be a dollar, dear."
[21:11] <padri> Laura lets Harley take it. He is the man, after all.
01[21:11] <Nemi> With the dollar given, she happily hands the book to Harley. It's surprisingly heavy in his hands. The contract is sealed.
[21:12] <Proto_Lost> "Christ, the fuck's this book made of…leather?" He says with a frown.
01[21:12] <Nemi> Perception if you examine the cover closely.
[21:12] <padri> Laura doesn't want any more to do with the book.
[21:12] <gumbal1> Danielle doesn't really care at this point
[21:13] <padri> Laura leads the way out of the store. No one else can seem to find the way.
01[21:13] <Nemi> "Do stop by again!" Says Esme, before the team has even left.
[21:14] <gumbal1> Danielle follows Laura
[21:14] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 doing just that.
[21:14] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: doing just that.: 9 (4df+8=4-, 3+, 3+, 0)
01[21:14] <Nemi> And back outside! The steps up are slick with frozen rain, and it's still coming down. The night sky is dark with cloud cover, hiding the stars, but for a sliver of moon that has somehow snuck past.
[21:15] <Proto_Lost> Harley stays in the back for now, covering their rear.
[21:15] <padri> Laura sighs and heads back to the shop.
[21:15] <gumbal1> Danielle heads back with the others
01[21:15] <Nemi> Harley: The green leather cover, on closer examination, appears to have a subtle pattern, like scales. Though it is smooth to the touch and feels like soft leather. The cover is unusually sturdy, as if what lies beneath the leather is a metal sheet instead of cardboard or wood.
01[21:17] <Nemi> The Wandering House is as the group left it. Heading inside, they'll see that the crowd has cleared out somewhat, only three or so apparent students remaining, and they have moved to the comfortable seating by the hearth to talk. Snippets of conversation are heard from the beard-wearing young men, something about '.. yeah, so my character crit the ogre and dropped it in one hit..' 'Really? You're a wizard, that's lucky..'
[21:17] <Proto_Lost> "…god, fuck this magic shit." He says as he tucks the book under his coat to keep it from the rain, before following after Laura and Danielle.
[21:17] <padri> Laura's gait gets more and more agressive the closer she gets to the coffee shop. When she actually arrives, she stalks in.
01[21:18] <Nemi> The students glance up at Laura as she stalks in, but shortly return to their conversation over their steaming drinks. Kaira is seen leaning against the counter, eyes on them.
02[21:18] * GraemeCracker (~ten.elbacwahs.mf.8FEFB825-CRInys|criigc#ten.elbacwahs.mf.8FEFB825-CRInys|criigc) Quit (Quit: ban /everything/)
[21:18] <padri> "We brought it."
[21:19] <Proto_Lost> Harley heads on over to Kaira, holding up the book. "Now, your end of the bargain."
[21:19] <gumbal1> "She wanted to givce it for free."
01[21:21] <Nemi> "Thank you- er. I know. Politics, though." Kaira takes a deep breath. "Alright. Robert Lindquist and his men have moved into the third floor of the Albany Coliseum. It's a retail space on South Pearl Street."
[21:22] <padri> Laura nods.
01[21:23] <Nemi> "The book, please?"
[21:23] <Proto_Lost> He hands it over with a smile. "Pleasure doing business with you…of course, I'm no stranger to mixing both…you up for dinner some time?"
[21:23] <padri> "Why don't you tell us who you are, anyway?"
[21:23] <padri> She means this whole place.
[21:24] <padri> She doesn't like this cozy coffee shop.
01[21:24] <Nemi> Kaira takes the book, gingerly, in slender hands. "We're probably not compatible." She takes a breath. "Me? This? I'm retired. This is just something I do to pass the time, and because I like it."
[21:25] <padri> "And all of this?" She gestures to the whole cafe.
[21:26] <Proto_Lost> "Eh, it was worth a shot."
01[21:26] <Nemi> "Sometimes, ma'am, a cafe is just a cafe."
[21:26] <padri> Laura doesn't like the answer, but she's not going to press it.
[21:26] <padri> It's not what they're here for.
[21:26] <padri> She also doesn't believe the answer.
[21:27] <Proto_Lost> On that note, Harley scans the cafe for any suspect details
[21:27] <gumbal1> "Why does it attract such colorful people?"
[21:27] <Proto_Lost> 4df+8 eye for detail
[21:27] <Glacon> Proto_Lost: eye for detail: 7 (4df+8=0, 4-, 4-, 3+)
01[21:27] <Nemi> Kaira turns, book in hand, and slink for the door to the back room. "Because I don't turn anyone away." Perception.
[21:28] <Proto_Lost> Shall I roll again or will that do
01[21:28] <Nemi> That'll do.
[21:28] <padri> 4df+6
[21:28] <Glacon> padri: 7 (4df+6=4-, 3+, 3+, 0)
[21:28] <gumbal1> 4ddf+4 wha
[21:28] <gumbal1> 4df+4 wha
[21:28] <Glacon> gumbal1: wha: 4 (4df+4=0, 3+, 0, 4-)
01[21:31] <Nemi> Everyone: As Kaira goes, there's the faintest flash of scales, and oddly, a brief impression of multiple arms, like some kind of Indian goddess. Laura, Harley: Looking around more closely? There's a ton of books. Some belonging to the students, some simply being available for reading. But nothing overtly weird. No eerily smiling nurses and YELLING doctors.
01[21:32] <Nemi> Kaira is gone for only a few moments, before she emerges again, seemingly composed and cheerful once more. "Oh, before you go! Can I interest you all in anything? On the house."
[21:32] <padri> "No." Laura is terse.
[21:32] <padri> She doesn't take food from Indian goddesses.
[21:32] <padri> There's all sorts wrong with that.
[21:32] <gumbal1> "…another croissant?"
[21:32] <padri> First of all, people shouldn't be goddesses.
[21:33] <padri> Second of all, Laura is firmly Southern Baptist.
[21:33] <Proto_Lost> Harley just chuckles. "Not at all, but dinner's still up."
01[21:34] <Nemi> "Of course." It's bagged and handed to Danielle, just as smoothly as before. It really was very tasty. She watches Harley for a moment, seemingly amused. "Maybe later. Good luck on your hunt."
[21:35] <gumbal1> "Merci, Madame."
[21:35] <padri> Laura turns to go. "Let's go home."
[21:35] <gumbal1> Danielle turns to follow Laura.
[21:35] <Proto_Lost> He tips his hat to her. "Good luck with the cafe miss, I like the atmosphere." He says with a grin before heading out. "I parked it in front of the donut place, come on ladies."
[21:36] <padri> Laura nods. Once she gets out, she waits to follow Harley.
01[21:36] <Nemi> Outside, the people in the park are gone, though a man in a wool overcoat is waiting near the car. "How'd it go?" He asks.
[21:37] <padri> Laura just holds her basket, letting Harley or Danielle talk.
[21:37] <Proto_Lost> Harley just shrugs. "Eh, I might have a date in the near future with a hot cafe waitress."
[21:37] <gumbal1> "Pretty well. The croissants in the bakery are pretty good."
01[21:38] <Nemi> "Heh. Nice. We'll stay here for a bit longer. Take care of yourselves." And with that the man makes a mock-salute and strolls off into the rainy night.
[21:38] <padri> Laura climbs in the car. She knits furiously for the whole ride back.
[21:38] <gumbal1> Danielle gets inside.
[21:39] <Proto_Lost> He tips his hat to him, and heads on into the car. "God, arms like those would be AMAZING in bed." He says once it's all quiet.
01[21:39] <Nemi> Danielle's second croissant is just as good as the first. Light, flaky, a little buttery. Though like all croissants you get tired of them eventually.
[21:39] <padri> Laura takes a sharp, disapproving breath, and keeps on knitting.
[21:39] <padri> The clicking of her needles is loud and sharp.
03[21:39] * WetBeard (moc.rr.ser.cn.14D278B9-CRInys|tibbiM#moc.rr.ser.cn.14D278B9-CRInys|tibbiM) has joined #tooltime
[21:39] <padri> It's not the usual peaceful sound. It's actually kinda intimidating.
01[21:40] <Nemi> The trip back is entirely uneventful, though the radio seems to be set to a talk program where a man is talking about snakes.
[21:40] <padri> This does not improve laura's mood.
[21:41] <Proto_Lost> He seems to either be oblvious to the threatening sound of angry knitting, and keeps going. "I mean…you think she'd know anything about that weird sex magic book? Cahma something? Because damn…just, damn."
[21:41] <padri> "Harley, stuff it."
[21:41] <Proto_Lost> "Okay okay." He says, laughing quietly to himself.
[21:41] <gumbal1> "I believe bestiality is illegal in this country. Or is it not?"
[21:42] <Proto_Lost> "It ain't bestiality if it's a lady who's half snake goddess."
[21:42] <padri> Laura wants out of this car. Her opinion of Harley and Danielle is quickly plummeting.

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