[DVFP] Here Comes the Governor! (E 2.6, S 2.6)


Four DVFP hovercars skim across what passes for roads up to The Irons. They slip around the scorched remains of a van that once had a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on it, but was blasted to bits and burned to a tarry, smoky husk. They arrive at the mouth of the mineshaft and gently settle onto tires that slide into place.

There are a score of legends about these hovercars. They range from having ordinance big enough to topple the walls of The Depot to devices that defy logic. Lasers. Rail guns. Microwave projectors. Sonic emitters that break bones. Crazy stuff.

Eight DVFP agents in riot gear with DNA-sequenced smart weapons exit their vehicles with military precision, weapons scanning over the few visible denizens of The Irons who are too old, too homeless, or too foolish to hide.

No guns or weapons are raised on these Fippers. Not a one. Woe unto the Prisoner who harms a Fipper and gets caught. A chum, anyone who arrived during their lifetime, they'll be hunted immediately and without error. That is known. A lifer, someone born here naturally? They can run for the rest of their pitifully short lives. Entire gangs have been immolated as a result of one Fipper getting a broken hand punching one of their number.

The jackbooted thugs march down the shaft, pausing to scan and intimidate those who cannot escape their night vision goggles and AI-assisted scanners. After ten excruciatingly long minutes, they step foot into Diamond's bar.

This is how they're currently dressed:

Esco, tell me about your new security. From what I hear, they're a gang of road agents you're re-purposing. Were they raiders? Did they run protection gigs, what? Who is their leader, and how did you convince them to take this job?

Sierra, where are you right now? Marigold is nearby, and Reese came out of his room, hobbling on his new prosthetic. What did you tell him when he came up to yoy, obviously intent on protecting you when the Fippers come in? Did you let him stick around?


  • edited December 2016

    The unit leader scans the bar, hands gripping his rifle. He looks to JD, "Who is the owner of this establishment? I will ask one time and one time only."
    What do you do?
  • edited December 2016
    I can't help but pace nervously as we wait for the fippers to show their hideous faces, in those feked uniforms of theirs. It don't matter that I may've given' them a reason to come down here — in all likelihood, they'd have ended up down here anyway, after some other reprobate come here on the run. Now, I can just add them to the list of fekers who step foot into the Irons, and immediately come lookin' for me.

    Since you asked, I guess it's time I fill you in on all this nonsense about the added security — who I'm suddenly real glad showed up today. Vince and his boys worked with me almost as long as I've been out here at the Irons. They're road agents — not exactly bandits, per se; but not much more than that, neither. I've been tipping them off to folks passing through with lots of jingle, who they would then ambush in the middle of the night, and rob blind, for a cut of the spoils. It kept the folks comin' here to those able to hold their own in a fight, and convinced them folks who actually made the trek that it was safer to consider it a one-way trip. It's served me well, and kept the image of the Irons as dangerous. The way I want it.

    So anyway, Vince was my middleman for all them violent young arseholes lookin' for a way to vent their frustrations. He's gettin' a bit old to be out in the Valley all the time; and frankly, he's a tough sonovagun that knows how to put the squeeze on someone.

    I step forward, tryin' to look non-threatenin' — disaffected. "I am. Esco. What's all this about, then?"
  • I'm behind the bar with JD. It let's me still be in the room, but with the most obstacles between me and them. When they come in I feel the gooseflesh rise on my arms, but I keep cleaning glasses.

    Reese is standing at the entrance to the bar, pistol stuffed into the back of his pants. I tried to get him to go back inside, back to his room, but he refused unless I came with him. I said I couldn't do it, and he said he had a job to do. Stupid, honorable, but stupid.

    I watch Esco step forward, my knuckles white and still around the glass.
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    The Fipper, who stands slightly taller than you, Esco, with a big, muscular body, moves closer to you. His goggles hide his eyes, but the angle of his face is right on you. "A lifer, hunh? Well, Esco..." he draws out your name. "Looks like you've got a nice little business going here. What is this? A bar? Lots of pretty girls here in the middle of nowhere for a little bar. Tell me. What is this place?"

    Sierra, one of the Fippers, a woman with a tight, muscular body, she's looking right at you and JD. She whispers something into a mic, sounds like "affirmative. target sighted."
  • I can't see well enough through her visor to tell which one of us she is looking at. For a terrible second I hope the target is JD. Which would be a remarkable coincidence, but is also a horribly unkind thought. JD has never been anything but kind and helpful to me. What I should want, what I do want is to get through - not out, there is no out, I know that now - this situation with little to no bloodshed.

    I don't want my friends to be hurt on my account.

    I put the glass down on the bar and start to move towards the bar exit, looking to see if the Fipper tracks me or darts their eyes back to JD.
  • I stand tall, unflinching, when he starts throwin' around words, and asking questions. I don't like this one bit.

    "It's a brothel," I answer, "The Diamond. We serve drinks, and we offer gamblin' — if you're into that sorta thing..." I never met a man who wasn't, in some degree, interested in snatch, booze, or gamblin'. Maybe not all three at once, but definitely one of them. "I don't suppose you folks are lookin' for a good time?"
  • edited December 2016
    OOC: Read a Sitch

    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 1, 1. Total: 4) Gain EXP
  • OOC: Well, that went terribly... "Who is in control here?"
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    The Fipper's upper lip curls into a sneer, "I'm sure whatever intoxicants you serve here isn't worth the effort, Esco. As for your girls, I'm sure they're all ridden with disease, like the rest of you lot." He turns his head to look around the place. "We are here to inspect this place. You will take me and my partner on an exhaustive walk-through of your establishment." He leans closer, "If you're good, we won't arrest your staff for infractions."
    He pulls out a shocker baton, "Shall we get on with it, then, Esco?"

    Sierra, first and foremost, that female guard is tracking you. Her chin moves when you slide away from the bar, and she's slung her rifle, pulling out a shock stick. As for who's in control? Gloriana is in control here, of course. She isn't here, but these guards are here on her order. They are here to hurt Esco, you're rather sure of that.

    What do you do?
  • I cough, smiling politely, gaining attention. They can't take Esco somewhere on his own...

    "I'm a partner here, I'd be happy to show you around." I make my way forward, exiting the bar, and crossing in front of Reese. "What would you like to see first?"
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    The Fipper talking to you, Esco, he looks to the female guard who has eyes on Sierra. She whispers into her mic, waits a moment, then nods back to him.
    The guard with the shock baton taps it on your chest, Esco, "Alright, partners. Pimp and Madame," he chuckles derisively. "Take us on the grand tour of the best little whorehouse in Death Valley."
    The female guard moves up to follow you both, but it looks like the other six are remaining in the bar.

    What do you do?
  • OOC: Reading Fipper-One. Roll+Sharp.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 5, 6. Total: 12)
  • Fek... Why's Sierra gettin' in on this now? I don't mind if I gotta take a beatin', but I don't wanna have her watch... I've been dealin' with folks out to kill me my whole life, and these arsehole Fippers are no different. If these arsehats intend me harm, I'd rather get it done here and now...

    OOC: Spending hold 1/3: What does Fipper-One intend to do?
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    He is going to get you alone, Esco, then he's going to come up with some excuse, any excuse, to beat on you. He's also angling to get a look at your office.
  • I walk up to the male guard, doing my best to come off shy and sweet. Doing my best to be Gloriana's pretty pet - beautiful, quiet, harmless. "Well, we all can't have important jobs like yours." I walk right in front of him and very slowly put my hand on his shock baton to move it down and off Esco's chest. I keep my hand on it.

    I'm betting a lot on the idea that they wouldn't hurt me, but I don't know if that is true anymore. I don't know what Gloriana's feeling.

    "Esco's busy with all our customers, it's a busy day and now even more so with the lot of you. I can take you around." I smile brighter and lean forward, letting my jacket slide off my shoulder just a bit as I do... showing a little skin. I whisper, "I bet you want to get into the office. I'll just take you there. We don't have to play games, hmm?"
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    Sierra, you feel the guard's gaze, probably even the woman behind him, both looking at your exposed shoulder for a moment. There's a moment that moves like molasses before he responds.

    "No... no, ma'am. I have orders for him, too." He says quietly, his tone suddenly like an apology. "You can show us, but he's coming, too."
  • edited December 2016
    I watch on in confusion as Sierra starts offering to... I don't even know what she's offering. But she's stripping again, and fella's of in la-la land. I think this might be my only chance to glean something useful from them.

    I siddle up next to Sierra, aware that she may have to relay these questions for me... Given how intensely he seems to be caught up in her snare.

    I whisper, "See, now this is fekin' tedious. You haulin' your arse down here to kick the shite out of some lifer who's not causing nobody any trouble. What's it gunna take to make you and your crew happy enough to walk out that door, and never come back to bother my partner and me?"

    OOC: Spending hold 2/3: How do I get the fippers to leave us alone?
  • edited December 2016
    Esco doesn't get past his first sentence before my heart is in my throat and I have to rely on everything Gloriana ever taught me to stay supple and still. I can't help but wonder what he is doing, out in the open like this. My plan was to get them up to the office. If she cares so much about that one camera, it must be either the only one up there or the only one with a good view-point. So, it's clean. Or clean enough to attempt to persuade them, in private. The main level of Diamond on the other hand is covered in cameras and unless he removed them all when I was sleeping, this is not a gamble I would have taken...

    Maybe he just never really understood Gloriana's power here. Or believed me. For frack's sake she sent eight Fippers here for one camera, one. She has the whole force under her control, no deal a brothel owner inside the DVFP can make them is going to be worth the risk of Gloriana's wrath, especially out in the open like this...

    What does he think they are going to do? Say, yes, take a deal? In front of the whole feed and have Gloriana kill them and their families for disobedience. It's true Gloriana, the sub-warden, doesn't normally care about the internal workings of the prison -- but clearly that has changed.

    I have no choice but to look questioning at Esco and smile at the Fippers, pretend innocent until this plays out. Interrupting Esco and talking back to the Fippers wouldn't supportthe persona of the good and loyal pet. Best see how this plays out.
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    The Fipper stiffens when you start whispering to him, Esco. He reaches up to shove you ahead, "Get a move on, Pimp. Sooner we do this, sooner we're done here." He flicks a glance over to the female guard, who wears a cruel grin.
    If you let them run the place, just roll over, then they'll be gone after carrying out whatever mission they were sent on. After what Sierra's revealed to you about the cameras, you notice how both guards are "performing" right now like perfect little soldiers. Get them into your office where there are no cameras, maybe the tone of the conversation will change.
  • I swallow, unsurprised. I smile and nod at the male gaurd and turn to face the female one. Going to her side, I lightly place my hand at the crook of her elbow.

    I have to work to ignore the acidic twist in my stomach at her cruel demeanor.

    Smiling pleasantly at her, I twist some of my hair to one side, letting the long line of my neck show to both of them. "Of course, I'm sure you all have somewhere more important to be. Let's start upstairs." I start walking, playing guide, and leading her up to the office.
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    Any parts of Diamond that you show off before leading the guards into your bedroom / office?
  • My jaw clenches involuntarily as I start showing him around the rooms. I don't spend much time showing them the other rooms, since I guess they're only really interested in the office. I skim over the bar, stocked with some of the best (and worst) booze jingle can buy, the private rooms Rufe's been keeping clean of late for the customers, the girls' boudoir, filled with perfumes, and cat-calling ladies, and finally bring them up to my office, where I conclude the "tour" with a plea, "shut the door behind you, would you please? I've got a request to make of you folks... I'd rather the blazebrains downstairs not hear it.".
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    Sierra, the female guard is quiet for the whole tour, and she keeps watch on you. She doesn't touch you, not even close. In fact, when you happen to move near her at a point by the private rooms, she side steps you.
    The male Fipper during the whole tour has dropped little threats, snide remarks about the staff, a low rumble of abuse. When you come into the office and make your plea, he taps a button on the side of his helmet and his visor slides up into the helmet. He fixes you with his brown eyes and nods, "What's your request, Esco?"

  • I make my way over to my desk, and lean against it. "This here is the only room in this establishment lacking in a camera — now I don't know why you were sent here, but I'd wager it was one of two reasons: her, " I nod over to Sierra, "or the camera we smashed that was invadin' our privacy. I get the impression you're here for her, though — on account of the hostilities. If you've gotta beat the shite out of me for the cameras, to appease whatever witch sent you here, then fine. Do it. But that ain't gunna stop me from doin' what I'm doin' — it'll just make me get smarter about it. I figure you folks have some tool for findin' those cameras — maybe some hi-tech shite that lets you play with 'em, and the like. I let you beat the crap out of me, for appearances, you sell me one of those things, and I make sure you and yours never gotta come back down here again..."

    I hold my hands out, presenting the situation to him. "Sound good?"
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    Esco, that's an interesting attempt to Manipulate these two. I'd like to see some dice, here. Sierra, if you're helping, feel free, but I'd like to know how, of course.
  • OOC: Manipulate Fipper-one & Fipper-two. Roll+Hot (Highlighted).
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 3. Total: 10)
  • edited December 2016
    I listen and continue to play dumb, this is Esco's place, it's his face they want to smash in. Given the Fippers reluctance to touch me, I figure they have been given orders not to lay a hand on me, which means they probably aren't here to take me away. Esco's not wrong though... they are here because of me. I doubt his camera's office got much action in the feed before now.

    Watching them mutter and talk through their mics is a weird kind of torture. It struck me part way through the tour that I could probably talk to her if I wanted. If I asked real nice. The weirder thing is that I want to. I haven't heard her voice in months, except in my own head, and sometimes the silence between us is maddening, sometimes it's peaceful, but right now it feels like an itch I need to scratch.

    I don't.

    Or I am going to try not to ask.

    When we get to the office I make sure the door is locked before sitting on the bed, opposite the desk where Esco stands. I chose the bed for two reasons 1. It makes me look even more harmless and 2. I left Esco's dagger under one of the pillows this morning. Letting my hand slide over I feel the hilt -- still there.

    I'm ready to offer myself, or to threaten them if necessary, but Esco's call is a good one - so I will let it play out. I'm not sure they can do what he is asking, but Esco can be very persuasive.

    I do have some questions for them before they leave though... but Esco should go first.
  • edited December 2016

    The male guard looks over to his partner, then to Sierra, back to you, Esco. "I doubt we're going away. Someone has a big eye on this place."

    The female guard points at you, Sierra, explaining, "Kettle, just say it. Sub-warden wants eyes on her. She laid out two orders. Replace the camera, and beat this one", she points at you, Esco, "Senseless. Why are we even talking about this? Orders is orders..,"
    Officer Kettle clears his throat, holding up a hand, "Pellet, take it down a notch." He shakes his head, looking at you, Esco like "the shite I hafta deal with". "What exactly can you offer me, Esco? I mean, your jingle's worthless. Your alcohol's third rate compared to what I have access to outside." He seems to be leading somewhere, Esco, and as a man running a brothel, you get the feeling where
    What do you do?
  • Glori...

    Pellet mentions her, like it's common knowledge, like it's normal to hear, and see, and talk about or to her and... does she just want to keep me in this cage? She sent a message - but she isn't killing Esco. Does that mean she loves me less?

    What a fracking zaridann thing to think.

    I don't want Esco dead. Still, what does it mean that she is letting him live.

    "But the beating is a message for me, " I shrug and smile, "a love note."

    I bite my lip looking innocent. "Message received. I am sure there are other ways you would prefer to spend your time here." Again, I lean back and let the jacket slip off a shoulder. The move is meant to look unintentional, and my hope is while they are looking at me, I'll be able to get a better look at them.

    [ooc: can I either read a person or read a sitch in this situation?]
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    Sierra, you can Read one of them, or the other. Read the sitch doesn't feel as appropriate, though.
  • I run my tongue along my teeth nervously, following Kettle and Pellet's brief conversation. I don't mind taking a punch in defiance — but that don't mean I've gotta like it. I look over to Sierra, "I appreciate the vote of confidence, love, but I'd wager someone's gunna want to see me stagger out that door, beat to hell... If roughing me up averts her gaze for a bit, then so be it. Won't be the first punch I've taken for this place, and it won't be the last I'm sure..."

    Fek. I feel like shite. "What'll it be then, Officer Kettle? Snatch? Snatches? A specialty act? My booze and gamblin' may not be the best in town, but I guarantee I can provide you the best sex you could ever imagine under that fine helmet of yours." I stand up and adjust my jacket, "I'll even lend you the use of my bed, so you can do it all discreet like."
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    Officer Pellet lifts her visor as well. "Listen, Sierra," her tone is flat. "We can make all of this go away if you come back with me. Crawl on the carpet a little, take your licks, and you're back in good graces. You know her, she's not going to let this go."
  • [ooc: I want to read Pellet]

    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 1. Total: 5)
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    Sierra, Officer Pellet's watching you. She's trying to get a vibe off that comment about a "love note". Please answer honestly, What are you really feeling?
  • I'm terrified. In every direction I look I see pain and hurt for myself or my friends. This last week, of me coming into my own, of my defying her it seems like a dream. A dream of a stupid girl with stupid fantasies, who wants the prince to come wake her and take her somewhere safe. But it's what I have been trying to tell Cinch and Esco and Fleece - I am not safe.

    Well, that isn't true. I am safe. It's the people around me who aren't safe.

    And I will never be safe. Not if I stay here, not if I go back with Gloriana. Either way, people will die because of me. Either fracking way.

    I'm terrified, because I am weak. I am terrified, because part of me just wants to hear her voice.

    There is one other way...
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    Officer Kettle removes his helmet, ignores Pellet's overture to Sierra, and answers you, Esco, "Esco, we'll need to keep most of the cameras up, to avoid suspicion. Important eyes are on this place. But, I can sell you a device coded to control the ones in the Irons. You can see what they see. You can turn them on, turn them off, put them in a loop. All the privacy you want." He gives a crooked grin, "And all I want for that is whatever Pellet wants, and that tatted neck girl. Plus the dark-skinned one with the short black hair. And not just one time. I'd like... several visits. Now, you see your way through to that, then we've got an accord, Esco"
  • "I understand," I answer with a nod, "I'll see to it. You wanna come here off hours? To keep up appearances? Or should I get the girls now?" I look over to Pebble, and Sierra, worried about whatever the fek they're talkin' about...
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    "Not this trip. I'll be back around tomorrow. A follow-up. You arrange for both of them, and I'll hand over the device." He looks at Pellet, who's focused on Sierra, then back to you, Esco, "Plus whatever she wants. And the others outside? They don't know shite. If they hear shite, deal's off, and I lay waste to this whole place. Get me?"
  • I nod, "understood." The fewer of these fekin' fippers I gotta deal with, the better...

    OOC: Out of curiosity, spending my last hold: How can I make Officer Kettle regret beating the shite out of me?
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    Esco, he hates being sent on this stupid, petty mission, to ride into the DVFP to beat up some lowly pimp for the sake of some higher-up's pride. Remind him of that, right before he does it, or right after, it'll stick with him.
  • I look at Pellet. It takes me a minute to find what I want to say, but I do. The handle of the knife is reassuring in my hand. "Gloriana, " I pour into that one word all misery and hearbreak I can muster. "...she's never going to let me go. I'm curious, how much of the story has made it onto the feed? Do people know why I left?"
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    Despite Kettle's rough barter nearby, you see compassion in Pellet's eyes. The visor hid it, earlier she masked it with her expressions. But now, here with you without cameras, you see her true face. "The story is that you cheated on Gloriana with a Phoenix noble. There's a whole subreddit on the evidence for it, all trumped up. It's always trending. Some call you #lamb, others call you #dove." You get the feeling she's called you both.
  • Cheated? I suck in a breath, short and sharp at the word. It feels like a slap.

    Gloriana doesn't think that, surely. She knows I would never... then I remember the message she left me and she know. She knows. Regardless I can feel water at the corner of my eyes. Cheated.

    "I would have never... I've loved Gloriana for my entire life. She..."I take a steadying breath, and tighten my hand on the hilt of the dagger, the wood digging painfully into my palms soft flesh. "I've been her... her slave since I was five." I laugh, I've never told anyone this part. "She was going to recognize me, did you know? Make me her official courtesan."
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    Though it's doubtful Pellet knows all the intricacies of court life, she probably doesn't follow all the vlogs and emags, but every body knows about the strata among the houses. Her mouth opens slightly with surprise. "What... really happened?" Her voice is low, barely a whisper, she's moved closer, curiosity coloring her face.
  • edited December 2016
    I'm feeling vulnerable, my eyes hot. I wrap my free arm around my stomach. "It wasn't always bad. It was good. When we were younger, she spoiled me... got me music, taught me to read. She was gentle and caring, if I followed the rules." I took in a shaky breath and forced myself to look at Pellet. "The number one rule, no one else could touch me." This story was hard to tell. "When I was young, very young, an old woman - another slave - saw me trip and fall. She helped me up." I shake my head as if to dispell the memory. "It was innocent. Gloriana had her beaten for an hour and then killed in front of me."

    I'm shaking now. I can't help it. Oh hoolies, Esco is going to get hurt because of me.

    "She was making me official, because she wanted me to give her heirs. Which... I would have done. I would have..." For this part, I look her in the eye and I don't blink. "but... the "cattle," the "steers" she planned to breed me with... It didn't matter what she did to me, but I...I couldn't let her kill anyone else... for me."
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    Esco, you heard that revelation.

    The truth hits Pellet, the idea of her breeding you, it's repulsive, you see it in her reaction. "She was going to kill the breeders who touched you, but let you carry their seed to term? That's... horrific."
  • I nod. It was. It's why I ran.

    "I can't let her hurt anyone else, because of me..." I say as I slide my hand holding the dagger out from the pillow. "I'm not worth it."
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    Kettle ignores the chatter between Sierra and Pellet, looking to you, Esco, "This sounds like a good arrangement, Esco. Those girls are mighty fine, despite what all I said out there. That was playing for the cameras." He cracks his knuckles, "Speaking of which, I'm going to pull the punches, but only as long as you sell it. You want to cut up your forehead a little? If we show some blood, it will do wonders to make her happy."
    What do you do?
  • edited December 2016
    Sierra, Officer Pellet doesn't really have an answer for that bit about you "not being worth it". She thinks otherwise, but she's not sure what to say. When you bring the knife out, she freezes, reaching for her shock baton.

    You hear Kettle crack his knuckles and it looks like he's working out this beat down.
    What do you do?
  • I'm catchin' bits and pieces of Sierra's story as she talks, piecing it all together while Kettle gets ready to put the hurt on me. I'm about to accept his terms when I hear Sierra mention she ain't worth something and I hold up a hand to pause him. "Sierra — as if you ain't worth..." I look over and notice the knife coming out from under the pillow — my knife. My eyes widen, and I move to close the distance between us. I don't know who she intends to hurt with that thing, but there ain't a single person in this room that should be bleedin' except me.

    "Woah! Wait... Sierra...." I stop just shy of entering her personal space. "First off, it ain't like that — this witch ain't hurting anybody. I'm choosing this. I'm choosin' it 'cause I want to put the hurt on her for a change." I take a tentative step forward, suggesting subtly motioning that she put the knife down, "and second — you are worth it to some folks. You're worth it to me." I pause, and hopefully let that sink in. "Please put the knife down."
  • edited December 2016
    I watch Esco come towards me, I hear him, but it's like an echo chamber. Everything but the handle in my hand and the breath in my body feels unreal. Even as Esco begs, I place the blade along my throat.

    "You may be choosing this Esco, but I don't want you to. And Marigold and Sasha, do they have a choice? Did Reese? What about anyone else who dares touch me in here?" I feel a hot tear tumble down my cheek, but I force myself to keep going. "It's not going to end with you."

    I look at the guards now, my eyes darting between them. "I'd bet there was a third order, an order not to harm me. Not to touch me, am I right?"
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    They both hesitate, not answering out loud, but well, it's obvious they have a third order. Pellet's torn up about it, Kettle's frustrated as hell about it.
  • edited December 2016
    The knife goes up to her throat, and my knees go weak — this is going so far sideways it's practically upside down. "Sierra," I plead, "don't. Please."
  • edited December 2016
    Sierra, are you Going Aggro here? If so, what do you want these guards to do?
    Esco, are you trying to Manipulate Sierra here, with your leverage being how much you value her?
  • edited December 2016
    I ignore Esco. It's not that I don't care, I just need this to end. I have two options left at this point, and he is helping to sell both.

    "What would happen, if I came out bloody or dead. What do you think she'd do?" I let that hang in the air for a second. Let is sink it. What would Gloriana do? To them? To their families?

    "I don't want more death." Another tear falls, "I don't want to die. But I don't want to be haunted by Gloriana for the rest of my life either..."

    I'm angling for a better deal, let's see if having their lives on the line gets us a better bartering position.
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    Sierra, after some thought and discussion, I'm calling for a Manipulate here. Let's see some dice.
  • OOC: *breathes* Rolling to minapulate

    (Rolled: 2d6+3 . Rolls: 1, 1. Total: 5)
  • edited December 2016
    Pellet moves scary fast and draws her sidearm, then shoots you. An arc of electricity fires out of the gun and hits you in the chest. Your whole body short circuits and the knife drops from your hand when your brain can't tell it to do otherwise. Your knees buckle, and then you fall towards the ground. I'm guessing Esco catches you?

    You can hear, and see stars, but your muscles spasm and even your chest is tight for a few moments.

    When Kettle looks at her, Pellet replies defensively, "What? I didn't touch her. And I couldn't let her kill herself!" She holsters the gun, walks over and kicks the knife away.

    "I'll wait outside for a minute, let you take care of her. A couple punches, and we're out of here." They leave.
    What do you do, Esco?
  • edited December 2016
    In the midst if pain I can feel my mind opening up.


    (Rolled: 2d6 . Rolls: 3, 5. Total: 8)
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    What does the psychic maelstrom look like to you?
  • At first it's just peaceful darkness, but then a lilting piano theme, quiet but intriguing comes forth. It sounds intimately familiat. Then a loud brassy trumpet kicks in, neautiful, powerful, intrusive. Gloriana. After that sounds poor in, interweaving with one another till it's an overwhelming cacophony.
  • image
    Sierra, The musical sequence rises as you lie there, open to The Feed. The trumpet that heralds Gloriana vibrates in your chest, it has been so long since it was this clear. The notes seem to be coming from Pellet. She's a part of the symphony playing the song you're in, Sierra. Kettle is third chair in the orchestra, playing to play, but not involved. Pellet though, she's a soloist, she'll play your song, she's aching to be part of this, to be involved, to be important.

    Esco, though? He's playing a completely different tune. Something on an acoustic guitar, easy to miss, but clear. There's some scratchy sounds as fingers slide along the strings, but the sound is genuine.
  • "Wot the fek!" I shout, as Sierra seizes from Pellet's taser. I barely have a second to think before I'm diving to catch Sierra, and make sure she doesn't land on the knife, or hit her head... I used to have a brother that seized from time to time — they're a danger to themselves when they're stuck like that. You gotta make sure they don't bite their tongue off, and all that. I guess I fall into old habits when I see Sierra like that.

    Thankfully this one fades almost as quickly as it came, and I look back up at Pellet, demanding an explanation — her blasé dismissal of it all boils my blood, but there's nothing I can do. I turn my attention back to Sierra when they leave. I'm blissfully ignorant of the tears building in my eyes.

    "Why?" I ask, "why would you threaten to do that to yourself?" It hurts me more than I expected. I grit my teeth, "can't you see I fekin' care about you?"
  • edited December 2016
    I come back out off the dark haze, the sounds receding. When Gloriana's trumpets fade out, I can hear Esco's scratchy guitar playing against a trailing piano. Then nothing. Then I open my eyes.


    He's close and it's immediately unsettling, tears shining in the corner of his eyes. He's worried, I think. He's speaking loud, and it's hard to concentrate on all of it, but I get the gist. And anyway, the last question was clear.

    He cares about me. Even after all of this, how can he not get it. That caring about me is a potential, a very REAL potential death sentence. How can anyone love me, when I'm not even a person.

    I don't know what to say, so I just say what's easiest. "I'm sorry. I wasn't going to..." My throat is dry, and my attempt to explain is interrupted by a dry cough.
  • I don't fekin' understand... But I need to. I don't open up to many folks that come and go in my life, and Sierra's the first person where I find myself actually givin' a shite about her.

    If I let this go — what the fek is left?

    OOC: Reading Sierra. Roll+Sharp.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 5. Total: 10)
  • She wasn't going to... What? Hurt herself? It sure as shite seemed to me like she was ready to do that. I wait until she stops coughing before I start talkin' again. I wanna hug her... Comfort her... I just don't know if that's what she wants. I don't know if she feels the way I do about her...

    "I don't get you, Sierra... I'm tryin' — fek knows, I'm tryin' — but you've got a wall around you. I know it ain't your fault. I know it's probably this Gloriana witch pullin' strings on you, lockin' the gate, and throwin' away the key. I'm tryin' to get through..." I pause, and take her hand, "but if I'm gunna break through, I need to know you're diggin' on the other side of that wall, too."

    OOC: Spending hold 1/3: What is Sierra really feeling?
  • My head is still buzzing and I want to be able to pay as much attention to him as possible, but it's hard. He's making quite the confession though... and it sounds like it doesn't matter what I am going to say, I am going to disappoint him.

    Is this what falling in love is supposed to be like? This isn't like my books and falling in love with Gloriana was one part a natural tumble and one part survival, and I've never read anything that described my complicated feelings about her. But, love in the novels, it's supposed to feel bigger than myself - and the only thing that feels like that is... well... her.

    And the walls - I don't know what he means. I just don't know what he means. I'm trying to break free of Gloriana... I am... but how is him digging going to get me out? And if he is trying to help, is it because he sees me as a prize?

    Am I just trading one cage for another?

    "Esco, I... I don't know enough about myself to know what I want. I'm barely a person... I... just don't know where this is coming from..."

    I take a deep breathe. steadying myself. The spots are finally easing from my vision. "I'm trying to find out who I am, but I cant... I can't do that with Gloriana hanging over my head. You have to see that now, she's relentless. Eventually, she will tire of this game and yank me out of here or..." I don't say it, because a part of me honestly can't believe it. Can't believe she would kill me and I can think it, but saying it out loud is too real for words.

    OOC: Sierra is confused Esco. From her perspective something this strongly worded is just coming from basically nowhere. Esco only started noticing her, once she used her stripper power and she knows you've slept with other women as recently as this week. You guys have had "revenge sex" once, and then it was almost right to business (except for the bath) and yeah, you took care of her when she was drunk, but she doesn't know why and you were gone when she woke up. And she got drunk, because of her sexual issues with women, which she thought she told you... Now, that doesn't mean she isn't interested. Sierra likes you, may even like like you a bit but you haven't been romantic towards her. Sierra has so much to worry about, adding your feelings to the list - especially right after she was tased and out-played - it's overwhelming.

  • edited December 2016
    I drop my head into my hands, the weight of all this suddenly too much to bear. She's confused... Maybe I've been too busy to devote a hundred percent of myself these last couple days, and I guess that makes me to blame — not that I could devote all of myself to someone for that long... The Diamond is a living, breathing thing, and it requires a guiding hand from time to time, in order to run smooth.

    Nothing, it seems, has been running smooth lately.

    I look up, the days of missed sleep showing through my usual visage. "Gloriana just sent a bunch of her fippers to come in here, and scare me away from you — but Gloriana ain't here, and we just proved that fippers can be bought and sold."

    Imagine that... Had I known that back when they raided the brothel where my Ma raised me, maybe she wouldn't have ended up in solitary all those years ago. I slide off the bed onto my knees, and pull her hands into mine. "I grew up in this place, Sierra... My world is filled with fippers, and raiders, and guns, and Fat Men, and violence... It's dangerous in here. All the time. A fipper comin' in here and killin' me 'cause I had dealings with some blazebrain that killed another one of theirs was, and will always be, a possibility. Cookin' off some "sub-warden" for fallin' head over heels with someone she treated like dirt her entire life is par for the course. It's my lot in life. I've accepted that."

    I shake my head, and try to collect myself. "Whatever world you come from — whatever it's like "out there" — you're the only bit of it I've ever seen, likely the only bit of it I'll ever see. If you need somethin' from me — somethin' that helps you understand how I feel, or somethin' you need from me to prove how I feel — then you're gunna have to show me..."

    OOC: Spending hold 2/3: What does Sierra wish I would do?
  • I listen wide eyed and unbelieving. It's like he didn't hear a word I said, and worse, like what I said doesn't matter. He pushes away my issues and reservations, and ignores the part where I said I don't know what I want... and just...

    'head over heels?' I'm the only bit of the outside he'll ever see? is that all I am here.

    Do I do this to people? Is this part of what I fracking am?

    He's a lifer, he doesn't understand the implications of the outside and the feed and what real power is. He'd make the Irons my new cage. A kinder nicer cage. but a cage. And there is no way Gloriana wouldn't eventually notice the loops. I need... I need a permanent solution.

    I bite my lip. I'm not going to get it here.

    Esco... And the sad part is, I did like him. It could have worked... he's beautiful and kind and he seemed to want what I wanted, but for his own reasons... I just thought those reasons were the Diamond, not me.

    or maybe it would have never worked. Maybe I Just couldn't have done this... bartering with these woman's lives and bodies without their consent... or maybe when you sign up, that's just part of the deal.

    I look into his eyes and they are so green. And I so wished I loved them, but I don't and he might as well be asking me for the moon.

    "I don't require proof. I require time." Time to understand what and who I am without this pressure. of this. "Esco please, listen...this, what is happening to me. It's the first time anything, has ever happened to me, because of me. It can't be about you."

    OOC: Esco, buddy, you did not take my advice earlier. You've officially overwhelmed her. All she ever wanted from you was an ally. You could still be that, but anything else at this time and place is unwanted.

  • edited December 2016
    That stings enough that it shows in my face. In part because I thought maybe there was something mutual between us... And because I've always tried to be nothing but welcoming to Sierra. I thought maybe we shared some form of loneliness, or responsibility, weighing us down. A resolve to do whatever needed to be done. My eyes find the bottle of booze next to the bed. I guess I was wrong about that...

    I back off, and grab the bottle of swill as I rise from my knees. Yeah. This is about her. I can't bring myself to look at her right now... I pound back the sizeable contents of the bottle, to numb myself from the pain... 'Cause me gettin' my face caved in has nothing to do with what we've done together these last few days... Fek the choices I've made, of my own piece of shite feelings. I'm just some fekin' pawn in someone else's story, eh? Like that entire sob story she just unloaded on Pebble — or wotever her fekin' name was — was nothin'. Like this fekin' bar just materialized here the moment some cooked up witch decides it's right for some fekin' story.

    Well this next bit? This is my fekin' part in this story — and the part after that? It's mine.

    I drop the finished bottle on the floor, feelin' light headed, and cocksure. I slap myself in the face a couple times, to get the heart pumpin'. Rah, rah, and all that shite. I make my way over to the door, swingin' it wide open, and look Kettle dead in the eyes.

    "You," I slur, stabbin' him with my finger, "you think you can come here to my fekin' bar, and tell me who I can, 'n can't Fek under my own fekin' roof?" I spit on him, "Fek you, and the shite horse you rode in on, cowboy. Fek you, and whatever piece of shite lowlife coward sent you here."

    I raise my chin, and invite him to beat the livin' shite out of me. "Wot're you gunna do 'bout that?
  • edited December 2016
    I watch him drink way too much, way too fast and the guilt of that is laden in my stomach. There was just nothing for it, he's scaring me, he's still scaring me. Maybe this is how men are, bursts of brightness and nobility, touched with casual violence.

    Not that I am not used to violence. But violence at the hands of Glori, that was calculated and cold. Esco runs hot, hot, hot. And it is as attractive as it is terrifying.

    Esco gets in the Fippers face and I know he's aiming for real hurt. That zaridann floop. I immediately get up and put my body in between them.

    To Esco, I whisper, "Don't do this, please. Let it be easy. You don't deserve a rough beating." I look at Kettle, "Please."
  • edited December 2016
    I huff an angry breath through my nose, and stagger a bit as Sierra inserts herself between us. I try – fek knows, I try – to ignore her. To bluff the same hand. To pretend all that shite I said back in there wasnt real...

    But it was, and I feel my eyes fall to her. They fill with sadness, and I shrink a bit. Maybe it's too late to pull up on this stick, but I stumble back against the doorframe, pretending to be drunker than I am — though admittedly it's not much of a stretch at this point.. "Y'fekin' — fipperpizzashite..."

    I fall back into the room.

    This must be wot it's like to beg...
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    Sierra, Esco has pushed Kettle on this, and it's on camera. He moves past you, around you, grabs Esco and pulls him forward and away from you. Pellet puts her hand on her holster as a warning and begs you with her eyes. She'll zap you again for her partner, and it's probably her death sentence.

    Esco, he punches you, hard. Three shots to the face, and your knees buckle. You taste blood. He kicks you, but it isn't nearly as hard as it should be Once you're bleeding, and as long as you sell it, Kettle is like a wrestler, emphasizing more than connecting. Take 1-Harm AP, and roll the Harm move, please.
  • OOC: Rolling the harm move! Roll+Harm Dealt.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 3, 3. Total: 7)
  • edited December 2016

    Esco, like I said, he makes a show of it, but it does hurt, your bottom lip is bleeding pretty badly. Lucky you, you're drunk enough that you can't feel it (yet). He leaves you roughed up but alive, and then the DVFPS turn and head out of Diamond.

    Sierra, Pellet watches you with worried eyes, her hand on her shock pistol warning you away, and you see a savage beat down, all for the cameras, all for her. What do you do?
  • Once Kettle has Esco I know there is nothing left to do unless I start stripping and that is not something I think would be welcome here. And even if it was, to what end? The sick sound of flesh on flesh rips through the air and I can only think about how much she must be enjoying this.

    I look at Pellet. It's funny, I really thought Kettle was going to be my sympathetic ear, but looks, especially looks when cameras are on, can be deceiving.

    I step back into the room, my hands up, showing no weapons and give pellet a nod, hoping she follows.
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    Pellet, who is wearing her visor as well as her nasty disposition again, moves over with you into a side room.
  • As soon as we are in a dark corner I move to clasp her hand. Holding it in mine, rubbing my soft thumb against her palm.

    I don't know what I am doing, I don't know what I am asking, but I think she might be willing to help.

    "Please," I whisper, "I can't live like this. Please, help me."

    [OOC: We have physical contact and emotional sharing, I'd like to initiate hypnotic, if you agree.]
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    Sierra, Pellet freezes, looking at your hand on hers.

    Go ahead and roll Hypnotic before she responds. Let's hope you don't roll snake eyes again, right?
  • edited December 2016
    [OOC: Why would you even SAY THAT... *sigh* *crossesfingers*

    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 5, 3. Total: 11)

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    Pellet takes her free hand and taps the button so her visor slides up so she can look in your eyes, "Sierra," she breathes your name with adoration. "I won't let her hurt you." She closes the distance between you, and tilts her head, diving in for a kiss.
    She breaks the kiss reluctantly, "I'll come back with Kettle, to see you, to help you. He can scrog the whores, you're all that matters here. The rest of them are trash. You are the diamond, Sierra."

    You've had trouble when women touch you recently, how are you feeling right now? What do you do?
  • There is something very wrong with me.

    I feel Pellet's mouth close on mine and there is nothing in this small dark room I can do about it. I don't know how this happens. How this complete stranger can go from listening to my story, to shooting me, to calling me a diamond.

    It has to be me. It must be something I do. A skinner thing. All I wanted was for her to help me, all I did was touch her. Maybe this was why Gloriana never wanted people to touch me. Maybe it was never about protecting me. Maybe it was always about protecting them from me. Frack.

    "You've got to let people know why I am really here." Even as I hear it coming from my mouth, I am surprised. "If they knew the truth, maybe... maybe popular opinion would turn on her and I could be released, on my own."

    Maybe, I'd actually get to walk about those doors, free?
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    Sierra, Pellet nods, her eyes serious. She steps back, fingers coming to touch her lips, the lips that kissed yours. After a moment, she drops her visor, then heads out of the small room, leaving you alone.

    The guards stomp off and out of Diamond.

    Sasha runs out to get Fleece, and Wanda and Marigold come over to try and help you back to your room, Esco. JD stays by the bar, taking charge of the cleanup of things here, since the Fippers shoved people around and flipped a few tables in their "inspection" while you were both in the office/bedroom.

    End Scene
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