The Found Arcana – Chapter 6 [IC]
MemberAugust 9, 2020 at 2:01 pm
AM says ” Mr. Cunningham, you might have noticed that the *dress code* in this neighborhood would not be acceptable by his Lordship.
The last thing we want to do is stand out, we’ll need at least two sets of proper clothes for work so that we can always wear something clean. We’ll also need something to wear in public off duty, something that would blend in. Also, do consider that what you really pay us for is undercover security, and people that work security need some form of socially acceptable armor. There is also a very short notice to get these things, so I am not sure if we can get them on our own so quickly. Can we add clothing needs for this week as part of our employment perks?“
OrganizerAugust 9, 2020 at 2:18 pm
Cunningham nodds thoughtful:
“You are of course correct. A full set of uniforms, work wear and off duty clothes are in order – especially since you’ll be there on boxing day. Here.” Cunningham transferred and ARO to AM.
“That’s the address of our local tailor. He’ll take your measurements and deliver the full set this evening so you’ll be able to start tomorrow fully equipped. I’ll arrange to run all costs through the clothing budget, so don’t worry about it. Just tell him what you need and he’ll make sure it fits and fits in.”
OrganizerAugust 9, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Jawsey nodded to the team, and agreed “Of course clothes. More generally, aside from the nuyen, we of course expect you to be invested in our success in all ways possible. Faking credentials and appropriate backgrounds that will not be obviously incorrect to other servants, and which will cover cyberwear, concealed weapons, and magic as appropriate. Making sure we have the right clothes and the right introductions. Lists of servants and guests and any concerns or dirt you have about them. Making sure we have access to the infirmary in case our duties take a mildly hazardous turn. Having our back if any minor irregularities come up because of our unfamiliarity with the details of the roles. Providing ways for us to communicate to you securely, and for you to communicate to us at a level beyond what you might do to someone in our roles. I presume you have already been thinking of all these things, and they are part of what needs to be discussed before you leave.“
“This sort of charade is complex and has too many fail branches to prepare for all of them. So we need to be as credible as possible, so that those around us will make up their own explanation for any failure on our part to meet normal expectations. Any sort of charade is ever so much easier when the observer does most of the work. Failing that, having back up plans in terms of leverage on some people or ability to have you ‘punish’ us by re-assignment of duties or something, rather than dismissal, could still salvage a situation that takes an odd turn.“
OrganizerAugust 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm
“I see. I’ll make sure your legends are waterproof. I’ll try to provide you with the full dosiers of all the people attending and the other servants, but I can’t promise you’ll get them before you start your first shift. There are quite a lot of people around – and unfortunately his Lordship likes to bring in new… friends at short notice. It is most vexing, I assure you.
There will be a certain need for improvisation, I’m sorry to say.
But from all this I gather that we have an agreement? Splendid. Let me just pull up the first rate as you laid out and set up the contract.
I apologize for the unseemly hurry, but my duties require me to be back at eight.”
Cunningham pulled out a credstick from his pocket and inserted it into his – quite expensive – commlink.
“8.5k as your downpayment with the rest as agreed. Visit the taylor at your earliest convenience. The sooner he starts, the sooner your new wear will be done.”
MemberAugust 9, 2020 at 4:54 pm
AM grins as she sees the credstick, that Genius Jawsey has just made sure that she is going to have enough money for interest on the debt, and perhaps even reduce it at the end of the month. 2/3’s of the money almost unconditionally – and before the end of the month.
She says “Thank you for your trust, Mr. Cunningham.” She rises to shake his hand.
OrganizerAugust 9, 2020 at 5:44 pm
The man’s handshake was firm, but not hurting – a practiced gesture for sure:
“Thank you for your service. You should find a file with all necessary information on your account in short order.
Please don’t inconvenience yourself on my part – I’ll find my way out.
Lady and Gentlemen, it was a pleasure. Until tomorrow. Cheerio.”
Cunningham got up, picked up hat and umbrella, tipped the rim of his cap and went for the exit.
MemberAugust 9, 2020 at 6:05 pm
Mato watches the gentleman go.
“I should shower and shave for the tailor. Where is he sending us? To Lordstrung’s hall of measuring and pampering downtown? There will be holiday crowds.”
He rubs his chin again. “How does one discretely tell the tailor that one may have some less-than-legal cyberweapons for the tailor to accommodate?” He absentmindedly rubs his right arm where his cyberspur extends from his forearm.
He heads to clean up. He’s been taking better care of his appearance since he learned he might have elven ancestry.
OrganizerAugust 9, 2020 at 7:52 pm
Jawsey stares into space for a moment, then suggests “Amy, you should take from the advance whatever you need to cover your debts for the month, and go today after the tailor. I have enough set aside for my own payment, but likewise I had best go visit them early since I’m not likely to make it there by the end of the month otherwise. I’m sure they’d love an excuse to extend their hold on me. “
“And before I forget, I don’t trust our employer farther than I can throw Bobby in orangutan form. Lots of big names and big money tossed around in his pitch. It could all be flim-flammery and fakes. Glass jewels and posh accents covering up nothing. Not aimed at us, we aren’t rich enough to target with a scam, but possibly to rip off rich guests? If it is, we could get left in the lurch, or we could even be the poor suckers they intend to blame it all on. Hopefully this is not the case. Even if it is not, a bash like this could well be the target of other cons, which could backlash onto us. So I think our first priority is survival, individually and as a company. Second priority is the job we were hired for. I know it is not professional to put things in this order, but this time … I think we owe it to ourselves.“
After a moment he adds “And I suppose priority three is to make as much along the way as we can, if there really are a load of rich people there.” He smiles happily at that thought.
MemberAugust 10, 2020 at 1:28 am
Mato doesn’t look convinced.
“Deltaware datajack,” he says as a rebuttal. “Any con operator can talk themselves into some nuyen, but deltaware says ‘access’. How many delta clinics can you name? How many doctors have that level of expertise? Think of the connections you need to have just to find the location of one, and that’s before the privilege of plunking down your nuyen.
“There are plenty of red flags, but I don’t suspect a con is one of them. He made multiple allusions to His Lordship’s ‘friends’. He talked about larger firms and their conflicts of interest. The mansion is in Snohomish, which is one of the least meta-friendly districts in the ‘plex. We should be prepared for racism, both subtle and overt. If I’m concerned about anything, it’s that a meta-majority firm like ours is being employed. We must be careful to avoid suspicion. While a certain level of discretion is necessary, I am tempted to document our activities in case we are confronted with … accusations, especially given our relative inexperience. I, evidently, will wait tables.”
Mato furiously fills ‘master of the hunt’ into Aetherpedia to try to get a sense of his duties.
“Let’s start cross-referencing Cunningham’s story. His Lordship, the Blue Admiral, Maria Josefina Isabela … uh, Marlena… Ludolotta… uh, Bourbon. Her. Once we get dossiers, let’s get Lysander and Janet Dime on the line, see what they know, see what gaps they can fill.”
OrganizerAugust 10, 2020 at 3:23 am
A look at the taylors address made the team scratch their heads. “Thatcher, Techné, Suman and Kuchenmeister” sounded more like a lawfirm than a taylor outfit. Furthermore, the company lacked a matrix page, but only had a discreet commlink number. Yet the address was in one of the most expensive parts of Bellevue. Included to the address was the necessary invitation to actually be let into that part of the city.
It seemed prudent to put on your best clothes to just visit this taylor…
MemberAugust 10, 2020 at 4:09 am
AM says “I could not identify a lot of dishonesty with him, and Iktomi was helping. The one thing that was obvious is that we are not actually invited by his Lordship. This means that if we are exposed as criminals Cunningham is going to be in trouble considering that he gave us uniforms, and paid us, and forged credentials for us. Criminals we are, despite our effort to appear legit. “
For me the most dangerous part is that his Lordship has a fancy SIN scanner, and I doubt that my SIN will pass scrutiny and if they find out that I am not who I say I am. I’ll be kicked out of the mansion, and possibly get Cunningham into trouble and expose our mission.
OrganizerAugust 10, 2020 at 9:54 am
“He won’t even be back to his employer yet, let’s ping him now and resolve this. “
Following the discussion of SINs and SINlessness, Jawsey put on his good suit, pulled out his sword cane and his Glock machine pistol, and prepared to visit the tailor. Whether this was the sort of tailor who could include a hidden holster he didn’t know, but he figured it didn’t hurt to ask.
MemberAugust 10, 2020 at 10:29 am
AM texts Cunningham >>> One thing, How do I pass inspection at the mansion? I might have a SIN problem.
OrganizerAugust 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Cunningham replied: <<Not to worry – I’ll enter your data myself. I had to register a few SINless servants before – it should be no problem.>>
MemberAugust 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm
AM receives the answer and turns on some music and begins to dance spontaneously. Trouble seems to enjoy the sudden change and tries to join AM, that happily lifts him and dances with him as if he was a person.
She feels him asking through their spirit link.
Trouble: “What happened?”
AM: “He pays in advance, rent covered, debt covered.”
Trouble: “You enjoy paying rent?!”
AM: “Now, there is hope. I’ve been down for a while.”
Trouble responds a bit shocked “As long as you are happy, I think I like music and dancing.”
AM: “You had to think about the H-word? Just enjoy it before I ruin it.”
The joy does not last long, AM becomes self-aware of her emotions, and then she feels worried about feeling it. Spider frowns at excessive happiness. “I better get dressed
Trouble: “Is it something I said?”
AM: “You are perfect, sweetie.”
The state of her closet is depressing. Her “best” clothes are likely still not enough for Bellevue – but she is getting new clothes. Strangely that brings another smile to the modestly dressed tomboyish girl . Shortly after, she leaves in a clean white shirt, and jeans carrying her usual heavy jacket that obscures her small frame body. Most representative she can muster under such short notice.
MemberAugust 10, 2020 at 4:58 pm
Mato showers and shaves and goes to put on his pride and joy, a Zoé Executive Suite suit that should make him fit in Bellevue.
Except it doesn’t fit! His recent mass gains are causing the suit not to fit correctly. The buttons on his shirt bulge out as they struggle to contain his chest. His jacket looks tight and awkward, and his waist is constrained painfully by his pants.
“Bollocks!” he shouts, getting into the role of a British porter, albeit a foul-mouthed one.
Trouble comes to investigate.
“Not your fault,” he assures the inquisitive cat as the suit goes from looking good to looking silly.
Mato and Trouble have a good relationship. Trouble is the only one who sleeps even less than Mato does, and so keeps him company in the middle of the night while the others sleep. The cat has a perch on the windowsill next to Mato while Mato watches the street, and asks Mato questions with various “mrrowr” and trilling purrs. Or, at least Mato thinks Trouble is asking questions. Questions seem to pop into his head from an unknown source so he answers them out loud, which seems to please Trouble so he keeps doing it.
Trouble wraps himself around Mato’s ankles, then his wrists when he bends down to scratch the cat. He’s sure his titanium-and-carbon-fiber digits aren’t as pleasant as flesh-and-blood fingers, but Trouble’s black fur looks so good with his matte black limbs…
“Well maybe the tailors can fix this suit too,” he says to AM and Jawsey as he comes out looking like a father wearing in his teenage son’s suit. “I guess I better bring some back-up clothes to wear out of there… or buy something else while we’re there. I wonder if the only do custom work or if they sell the Rapid Transit line…”
He wishes they had a better car to drive around Bellevue in than the Americar or the Shin-Hyung. The Americar is just impossibly un-wiz. The Shin-Hyung would be fine… if they were teenage brats.
“Let’s take the Hyundai,” he sighs. “I’ll drive. Bellevue might accept an ork bodyguard as a driver more readily than an elf driving me around. You two sit in the back and act important.”
OrganizerAugust 10, 2020 at 5:59 pm
Jawsey’s spirits sink as they drive further into Bellevue. He forgot just how ritzy some parts of the city are. He’s wearing a decent suit, but he’s suddenly sure that it probably makes him look like a low grade imposter here, and that he would have done better in jeans and a flannel shirt, like all his relatives had worn back home. Well, maybe if they made enough on this job he’d invest in a truly good suit.
To distract himself, he asked the others “Either of you ever done servant sort of work before? This is new territory to me. I’ve seen them on trids, but mostly historical. Got any idea on what real servants are like these days? We can copy others once we get settled in, I’m sure, but I’m just trying to wrap my head around how much freedom to keep an eye on things and communicate with each other we’ll have.“
MemberAugust 10, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Mato drives, having left his weapons at home except the ones embedded in his cyberlimbs that he can’t really leave behind without chopping off his arms.
“My parents were corpers. We had a part-time cook and a part-time cleaner, but nothing like this ‘Lord of the Hunt’ business. I imagine that many of these roles are fairly traditional, in the sense that the existence of the role is about conspicuous consumption. Nobody needs a Lord of the Hunt; they have one because they think it’s good fun, or because it’s worth social cachet among their peers.
“So I think our official roles – not our undercover ones – are acting a part just as much as they are providing any sort of valuable service. I expect to say, ‘Yes, m’lord’ and ‘Yes, m’lady’ quite a lot, on the rare occasion when it’s appropriate for me to say anything at all. I imagine we’ll be subjected to a good degree of derision and verbal abuse so that the guests can feel better about themselves.”
MemberAugust 11, 2020 at 3:05 am
AM laughs “Never done that, never even met nobility and was trying hard not to laugh at the person offering money because of his strange terminology. I honestly do not understand why I need to pretend to be a maiden because I take care of the AR scenery. I’ll do my best, and play the part. Iktomi teaches us to be flexible and embrace change, and I’ll definitely embrace some good clothes” she says excitedly.
OrganizerAugust 11, 2020 at 3:32 am
The taylor’s shop is not well advertised at all – it takes the combined power of matrix tracking and the teams keen eyes to spot the discreet little bronze plaque to find the shop.
Once through the dark green door though, it is as if you have entered a completely different world. The floor is made from real hard wood parquet. The walls and cabinets along the walls are likewise made from dark walnut wood with intricate carvings and adornments. Behind polished glas suits and dresses are displayed – not just as AR constructs but the real deal. Directly before and old fashioned counter (also walnut of course) with an absolute antique looking register an honest to god persian rug allows customers to stand comfortably.
The man behind the counter is a dwarf with a very well tailored suit and a small pincushion fastened on his upper left arm. A pair of rimless spectacles turns in your direction with a smile.
“Ah, you must be the special guests that Monsieur Cunning’am ‘as announced to me. Eh bien, I see there is a lot of work to do. Madame, if you please move through ‘ere, my assistant will take care of you.”
He indicated a very discreet side door to his left and turned to the two men: “Follow me please.” Indicating to this right to a similar door.
Following him through there, reveals a slightly more modern environment: Although still held in wood and natural fabrics, there are a few objects that tell you, that this shop does in fact live in the modern 21st century. A very sleek looking mechanical arm with a scanner head descends from the ceiling as the taylor says: “Please disrobe to your underware, so I can take your measurements again. I’m afraid we need slightly more precise numbers than Monsieur Cunning’am provided.
Meanwhile AM found herself in a similar situation, only that a stunningly beautiful elf girl, who introduced herself as Florence, asked her charmingly to disrobe.
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