Motor City Burning
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Long hard road

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:36 pm

"You will come, or I will make you come." he says, returning to the room and flashing her a smile.

"Call the cab."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:39 pm

"At once." No arguing with that. She picked up the battered Nokia, relaying the address off quietly and clicking it closed. She dropped it down in to the military bag that served as a purse, realizing how out of place she looked. Faded t-shirt, men's camo pants.. She'd stick out like a sore thumb.

"Five minutes and they'll be here."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:42 pm

"Let's wait outside." he says, emerging out to the open and pungent air.

"You did well. It looks good. I hope you found something you liked."

He climbs on the cab and sits distractedly, gazing off the window, letting Lillian take care of giving directions or paying.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:47 pm

"Chaldea Town property." Lillian spoke to the driver as she got in the back beside Anasztaz. She'd settled in the back as much as possible, closing her eyes for the journey there.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:18 pm

On the way over the cab driver starts to make small talk. He shakes his head at the neighbourhood given, but reciprocating gleans only that Chaldean Town is somewhere a lot of drivers fear robbery. Conversation grinds to a halt fairly soon into the ride over and the cab driver regards you coldly through the rearview, slightly nauseated.

After taking the scenic route, the cab eventually pulls into Annin Street, a blasted part of town with overgrown gaps between abandoned homes all but consumed by the vegetation poking through cracked asphalt. The given address sticks out. It's better kept for one thing. Even the boards over the windows look clean. The urban prairie next to it could have a couple of corpses at the base of it, but the home Bergman keeps looks as though it still belongs to an older, prouder era.

The driver peers back, tapping the meter, reluctant to converse any more.
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:21 pm

Anasztaz steps out of the cab, looking at the property with a wide smirk. Contrasts were good, and among the rubble he looked his best. The house in many ways was like that. Rotten deep within but with a mask of shine. He and the property were akin.

He waits for Lillian to pay the man and exit the cab before heading towards the door.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:23 pm

"Doing your part to make the people of Detroit broker? I'd have given you that much in a tip if you'd just went from point A to point B without the detour." Lillian is confrontational, at edge, and maybe showing off a little. She pays exactly the fare indicated before getting out, not giving a damn what the driver might have said in return. She closes up the door, looking to Anasztaz and trying to take on some resolve.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 pm

Anasztaz grins a bit despite himself. That had been precious. He might have even wanted to encourage that kind of thing. Bravado might get an important asset terminated, though, so he just left it at that.

He motioned towards the door with a slight nod. As to indicate her to lead the way.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:27 pm

Lillian makes her way to the door, straightening out her t-shirt and trying to look as presentable as possible before she knocks. Just twice but loudly enough to be heard through out the house hopefully.

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:30 pm

You notice bars between the front door and the screen door, and a little camera tucked up in the corner of the porch as you near the front door. There's an old intercom with a blank label over it to the side of the door.
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Asisaiah on Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:33 pm

Lillian looks back at Anasztaz, realizing he wasn't about to step forward and do anything on his own. She grimaces. She looks for a button or anything that might need to be pressed as she goes to the intercom and buzzes in.

"Protege Lillian Page by command of Anasztaz, Supplicant of the Void."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:10 am

The box crackles and Bergman's hollow voice seeps out, apparently exasperated.

"Yes, yes... I'll let you in."

There's a harsh buzz and feedback as the front door bolt latches back with a *thunk*

"The door is open. Step through."

The area beyond the door is caged off. You see a dark hall. Any furniture is shrouded in white sheets, mercilessly clean. After a few minutes Victor Bergman arrives. He cuts a wan, weary figure in a slightly oversized tweedy jacket. The black slacks and white shirt he wears are dishevelled with whatever his labours might be.

"Ah, Idling Supplicant. welcome to the land of the busy.... Notice that I did not say land of the unliving, nor living."

His voice buzzes slightly, like a radio's last gasp.

"I am Victor Bergman, Invincible Scholar of the Carnal Hunger."

Spoiler:
2010-07-16 02:07:31 Anas rolled 4 dice to "Int+Status" 9,5,2,1 (1 successes)

Anasztaz recognises the ciphered part of the title. It means 'Enemies watch us'

"Please close the door, Supplicant." Bergman asks, as he produces a large ring of keys and starts unlocking the cage.
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:19 am

Anasztaz bows briefly but politely, more a dipping of the head. The one before him was a superior, and the host. Courtesy was important, even for one as irreverent as him.

"Glad to make your acquaintance at last." he says, deciding to not make any overt notion that could have hinted that he got any hidden message - but at the same time refraining from blurting out anything compromising.

He steps in and closes the door. Standing in wait for the cage to be unlocked.

"I am certain you will find my waking hand alleviating the toils, whatever they might be."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:43 am

"Yes, yes... I have no doubt. Now, follow me.

Bergman casts a wry eye at Lillian's attire before leading you into a similarly sterile kitchen and down some stairs. Beneath the house is a modest office area, cold and grey. Filing cabinets and books choke the area, some old enough to be bound in dubious material and written by hand. There's a CCTV feed on a desktop monitor of six people wearing hospital gowns, some sitting and some crouching in a bare room. The footage is jerky, but they are visibly coughing. A seventh wanders past, though this one is a blotchy blur, sleepwalking into the frame.

Bergman ignores the screen and motions towards a single chair as he procures a seat for himself.

"Now Supplicant," Bergman begins, "we can speak freely down here."
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:52 am

"Thank you for receiving me. I am certain I am taking valuable time, I won't take it for granted." Anasztaz says, making himself comfortable.

Crossing his legs and leaning back, arms resting upon his lap, he allows a moment of polite pause before continuing.

"Is the area outside actively being watched or was it a healthy precaution?"

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:19 am

Bergman puts down the pen in his hand and launches his retort back at you, hands animated and eyes wide.

"I'm unsure. It has been said that something within the city bears our number ill will. Wants to stop us. This once seemed a convenient mythology for an Illuminus to concoct and feed, thereby tightening his grasp over the Ordo, but I now have my doubts."

The blurry figure on the monitor leaves the frame. Someone vomits on the floor.
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:52 am

"I see. I will keep it in mind." Anasztaz says, meaning it. It wasn't simply a passing dismissal of it. For one such as him, with secrets that needed to be kept secret, such risk was dire.

"Especially as I've decided to finally reintegrate. In fact, that brings me here. It was my hope that I could put myself in debt to you by having you facilitate this process."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:49 pm

Bergman turns his back to you, catching something on the monitor. He scribbles sloppy notes into a pad before facing you once more.

"So you wish to rejoin us busy few," Bergman begins, with a blistered chuckle. "I'm sure the Illuminus would be pleased for me to take you on. However, let us first discuss debt. Perhaps you'd like to tell me what you had in mind before I tell you what I have in mind."
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:12 pm

"Why, one as out of touch as me would be hard pressed to put down fair conditions of exchange in modern terms." Anasztaz says, with a strange fluctuating tone that bordered on humorous.

The comment was a satire of its own obvious intent, to hide just how much he was willing to pay. He wasn't fooling anyone as much as presenting himself as tentatively cautious, that was the underline.

"But I will defer to your good sense of trade."

He pauses for a moment, rehashing his wishes from abstract to verbal.

"First, I need somewhat guidance to the city of tonight. If I am to move, I will make it so I don't step on any toes. Truth be told, I don't know who claims any territory anymore. Second, I had wished to continue my work on the study of crucibles and related rituals. Again, in a way that doesn't intrude upon the work of my esteemed colleagues"

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:08 pm

"Ah, you have awoken in a state of helplessness..." Bergman notes smugly. "I imagine you feel a sense of displacement. Future shock if we are to borrow from the pulp canon..."

Bergman raises a hand and takes a considerable amount of time adjusting the lamp on his desk until its armature juts at precise angles, while the light on his side of the office is diminished. He composes himself and resumes his pompous spiel.

"I believe I can help you, though I confess I have little patience for the politics of the city, I have a fair grasp of regencies both contested and undisputed. As for the latter, I am willing to offer tutelage in shared concerns, in exchange for minor boons... provided they do not intrude on the works of esteemed colleagues."


The last part is said with a weary contempt. Bergman gazes into space for a second before meeting your eye.

"In exchange for bringing you up to speed, I would want to examine you. Nothing beyond vivisection, I assure you. Procedure. Failing that I would require another one recently risen from torpor..." He scrambles for his notes, peering down at them thoughtfully.

"Perhaps one still in torpor? ... No, no. Risen is better... Preferably you." He folds the notes away. "Rest assured that no lasting harm would come to you. I also require some surveillance done. Oh, and Skinner asked I relay to you his request to conduct a field interview with you. Concerning your recent torpor, I'm sure."
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:37 am

"Not quite as dramatic as displacement, I assure you. I have kept myself up to speed. Just uninvolved in the social arena. Now that I am to step out of my small hole in the world, this becomes an issue." Anasztaz asks, waving his hand dismissively. He didn't want to be vivisected to receive instructions on how to operate a TV.

"Skinner does not ring a bell, but it is perhaps best if I do such before I subject myself to a vivisection that likely will leave me reeling for nights on end until I fully recover? Perhaps I might even find a better suited specimen in the process."

He leaves a moment pause and crosses his other leg, gazing curiously at the displays on the monitors. Fascinating, a bit sciency for his own tastes but he could see the merit of it nonetheless.

"I have heard I am a mean patient, you see."

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:30 pm

"I do see," Bergman answers, jotting something down in a little red book.

"I suppose I'll give you the basics pro bono. The Ordo in Detroit is now a cipher: a fairly well kept secret. It's just safer that way. I suggest you conceal your Dragon leanings to all outside of our number. You make your haven in Delray, correct?"
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:15 pm

"That is a good thing to know and keep in mind." Anasztaz says, grooming his eyebrow absently with the tip of his index finger.

"But yes, that is correct. A small place in Delray that I'll see about making somewhat more cozy sometime. Is there any notables in the area that I would do well to acknowledge?"

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Re: Long hard road

Post by Dean on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:11 pm

"Delray is the Gray Lady's patch." Bergman answers, ponderously, glancing over at Lillian. "It's my understanding that the Lady reigns over it as a spectre rather than a regent. I don't know of anyone else in the area. Delray is a place we go to be forgotten... or to eat each other."
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Re: Long hard road

Post by Nil on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:36 pm

"All the better. Or worse. Hard to tell so early." Anasztaz says, with a bit of hesitation in his voice as his mind goes over the implications at the same time he was already speaking.

He taps his lips and thinks it all further. There were many different tails on this dragon.

"Is the territory an unofficial decree? Or does she simply chooses to not regulate activity in the district?" he asks, crossing his arms as he dumps all the doubts that had already formed in his mind. "An in an unrelated manner, how do we handle Court business if we are to remain secret? Do we have an official stance?"

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