Lonely Divide

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Chapter 8

First Mission

You are the scary guy with metal arms, stepping off the plane.

The first thing you do is go into the bathroom and get your guns out of their case, load them, and put them into your inventory, ready to be Quick Drawn. You feel better now. Magics and ESPers and all that are fine, but you prefer to rely on something a little less prone to being distracted at a critical moment. With that taken care of, you meet up with the others and check into your hotel room. You're sharing a double with Jake, who you've been getting to know on the plane ride over here, and he seems to have an average personality, just like you. He doesn't know too much about guns, but he did describe all the ESPer stuff he knew how to do, and he did know a little about hacking, so you were able to talk with him about that. His EPSer stuff is actually pretty interesting, you'll be looking forward to seeing what he can do in the field. Jaden and Rose got a single room, which made them both blush a little, which you can't figure out. She's a fairy, she can sleep in a drawer for crying out loud, what's the big deal? You can't figure women out.

You do notice Jaden moves with a confidence she doesn't seem to display, like her body knows something she doesn't, so you're pretty sure she'll be okay if it comes to a fight. The fairy is another story, if she's a magic user she could be capable of anything, based on what spells she's learned and the planets she's studied. She stayed away from you on the flight over, so you're not sure exactly what spells she can cast. Her size will put her in danger regardless, so you'll have to watch out for her, you decide. In fact, you wonder if that would be good enough to play card 23, and while Jake is distracted with taking stuff out of his inventory to put into drawers here, you quietly make that declaration. The Narrator seems to approve, the card appears and shimmers, letting you know it's active, and then fades away. Good, you protect the fairy for this adventure and you get two more XP. Sweet. You're down to just two cards, and you know you'll be playing another in just a few minutes. You shake your head, the adventure has hardly begun, thank goodness you get an extra card. Maybe you should check your guns again? You resist the urge and go down to meet up with the others in the lobby to discuss what your next move is. They, like you, are wearing their uniforms at present, and people nod to you respectfully as they pass. That'll take some getting used to.

The fairy is off sitting on top of the register and chatting with the girl behind the counter. She's kicking her little legs back and forth, obviously oblivious to any danger, so you scan the area for anything that might threaten her. There doesn't seem to be anything, but you can't be too careful. Your obligation satisfied for the moment, you turn to the other two.

"Let's get this going," you say. "I don't want to be here for days. I can use my next to last card, number 41, and get us an in with someone in the local area who can help. The rest will be up to us, but at least it'll save us some time. Unless someone has Information Gathering?"

You wait, but both of them shake their heads.

"The best I can do is just sense around with ESP, see if I get any bad vibes. That will take way too long though."

"Yes it would. Okay, I'm declaring the use of card 41."

Again a card appears, which seems to depict a black haired girl talking angrily on a phone, shimmers, and disappears. Everyone in the place stops to watch as this happens, it's a rare glimpse, as most NPCs never see a card being played in their lives. When the sparkles fade they go back to doing whatever they were doing, and conversations start up again.

"Oh yeah," you recall. "I know someone around here, he used to run in a gang back home, but after I had a talk with him, he decided it would be better if he left town. I've kept tabs on him, so I know where he works. Come on."

Strange how you didn't even think about this guy until you played that card. You could get to like having such a powerful tool at your disposal, no doubt about that!

You make sure the fairy knows you're leaving, and you stick close to Jaden, who she flies over and sits on again.

"Did you see how cute that girl behind the desk was?" she whispers to Jaden.

"Oh, um, no I guess I didn't," says Jaden, looking away sort of embarrassed.

You're a bit perplexed- that girl was average looking, just like every other NPC in the world. What was Rose talking about?

You and the group head down to a sandblasting place you know Van works at which is coincidentally not that far away, so you don't need to take the rental car. It's in the back of a large complex of buildings, and the fairy goes and talks to the squirrels and birds nearby.

"Learn anything useful?" you ask as she comes back.

"Just saying hello, it's the polite thing to do, after all."

You wouldn't know, not being a fairy, and all.

"Also I don't sense anyone who means me harm around here, so we're probably all okay."

You give a grunt, and push the door open to step inside. You make sure Rose is in before you close it, you don't want her wings getting caught in it! To your left is a glassed off area with some computers, and both a man and a woman inside doing office work. You see the door through the glass, and motion the others to wait there. Stepping around the corner you fish your badge out of your inventory and open the door.

"Can I help you?" asks the man, rising from the chair.

You flip open your badge and he glances at it. "Is Van Levengood around?" you ask.

"Yes he is, may I ask what this is about?"

"It's nothing serious. We're on the case of some magically poisoned food and I thought me might be able to point us in the right direction because he lives around here." You put your badge back into your inventory.

"I read about that in the paper, that people should be extra careful. Glad to see the NPC-PS is looking into it. Do you think he's involved?"

You shake your head. "No, just a convenient starting point. Unless he became a wizard since I last saw him!" You laugh.

"If he had, he wouldn't be working here," the man says. "Come on, we'll go find him."

The man takes you out of the office and down a couple of steps into a large garage like area.

"Hang back," you tell the others. "If he sees a whole group he might bolt." The fairy is looking around interestedly, but the others nod.

The man takes you further into the building and you see a couple of workers inspecting some large piece of steel framing, obviously something they have or are just going to work on. You spot Van rolling a large wheel like object out a side door onto a truck elevator, which rises and lifts the wheel into the truck, where another man rolls it into the front and begins securing it. Van turns around and spots you.

"Clayton?" he asks, surprised. He looks you over. "You're a PC? No way!"

"That's right, so you better show some respect."

"Whatever, man. What you want me for, I haven't been running with gangs no more since I left town, just like you told me."

"I'm here to see if you know anything about this magical food stuff going on around town."

"Oh, that? I don't know much, but I guess I did see one thing-" he trails off as a loud vacuum sound starts up, and a faint cry for help is heard. Everyone looks over to the right and you see your group frantically looking around.

"For Pete's sake, what are those clowns- I mean, uh, your fellow PCs doing over there?" says the manager, rushing off to investigate. You both follow, and he hits a button that turns the machine off. Rose Petal stops hanging on for dear life and weakly flutters back to Jaden.

"Thanks," she weakly says, dropping to sit on Jaden's shoulder. "Didn't know that button would do that."

"This is where we do the sandblasting, that turns the vacuum on that sucks up the dust." the manager explains.

"What the heck were you thinking!" you shout. "You could have been killed!"

"There was a button, I wanted to see what it did," she answered simply. "I can't see a button and not press it."

"Well next time you better not press it. You're supposed to be representing the best and the brightest, remember? We're PCs, you can't just go around touching stuff, especially in a place like this."

"I'm sorry," she says, looking down.

"She really can't help herself," Jaden says, "I'll try to keep her out of trouble, but she really didn't mean any harm by it."

Unfortunately, you roll minimum on your RESolve check, a 6, so it takes you a little while to calm down. As you're railing against Jaden for not keeping her pet in check, Rose for being air headed, fairies for being dumb in general, you fail to notice Jake declare the use of card 21.

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