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Gatac posted in OOC on 2019-04-22 10:35:36
You know what time it (finally) is.

That said, we're gonna have a few quiet moments yet. If there's anything you guys want to get off your chest before Toshi is declared Emperor, now's the time.

Re: Shadow Warriors

Gatac posted in Shadow Warriors on 2019-04-22 10:31:28
It is the morning after and five incredible things are happening.

Incredible Thing #1: for the first time in untold years, the Council of High Lords will actually convene in the eponymous Council Hall of the Imperial Palace. The occasion merits it, but this requires you traveling to the actual Imperial Palace. Situated an hour's ride to the west of the capital, it sits on the side of a mountain, looming over a farming valley. Though its vast grounds, lush parks and splendid additions over the centuries have long since sprawled all over the mountainside, the resemblance of the original palace to the ninja clan fortresses does not escape you.

Incredible Thing #2: The artificial lake in the valley has never seen a ship like the Gungnir, but there it is, its new "fire engine" having proven its worth in getting the ship up the canals without any wind to help it. How Ueki managed the feat of navigation seems unclear, but the refitted Hanse warship doing a round of the lake must clearly be counted as some sort of victory lap. "Well, we're going to need some fireworks to celebrate?" Ueki said when pressed, and you have to admit that a bit of color to the proceedings - assuming the vote goes your way - wouldn't hurt.

Incredible Thing #3: As the guard detail (and what more thankless job is there than guarding a palace that's gone unused for a decade?) undoes the vast crossbars that hold closed the gates to the palace, Ishikawa-dono - in a fine black kimono and a matchingly-painted mask - clears her throat, catching the attention of everyone assembled.

"I know we have not properly convened," she begins. "But I propose that we admit a few...witnesses to the council session." She looks over to you and nods.
"That is highly unorthodox," Shira-dono hastens to reply, Ryusei swinging at his side as if to emphasize his point. "The sanctity of these deliberations -"
"Oh, give me a break!" Boota-dono comments, wiping sweat off his greasy brow. "Sanctity, proceedings, I ate a dictionary for breakfast! Why are we even here? Why even have a vote?"
"Because it's the right thing to do," Hetechi-dono says. Kichirou waves to him from his carriage, clearly enjoying a bit of peace and quiet.
"And, uh, the proper procedure," Tsukareta-dono says. His fingers still have ink stains from the various documents he tried to work on on the way here.
"I don't like to agree with Boota-dono," Shintaro-not-quite-but-kinda-dono weighs in, "but all this for a vote does seem rather ostentatious. Now, about that proposal..."

Everyone looks at him and his ratty, dirty kimono.

"...I see no reason to turn it down," Shintaro adds.
"Neither do I," Homi-dono adds. By his side stand Sidewinder and - Incredible Thing #4 - Copperhead, clad head to toe in armor and looking like one big walking bandage underneath. "There is a certain consideration of merit here. After all, we would not be here without them."
"You say that like it's a good thing," Boota snarks.
"Regardless of the way we took here," Ishikawa says, "I think we're all agreed that a candidate for the Throne must be tested and confirmed by us." Besides Boota's murmurs, nobody disagrees. "So that's settled. Now, my proposal. I count three Ayes. Anyone else?"
"Oh, whatever," Boota grumbles.
"You're abstaining?" Ishikawa asks.
"Yeah, sure, call it what you want," Boota says.
"I cannot consent to this proposal, as it is highly irregular," Shira says, then turns to you and nods his head. "Regardless of our friendship, I must be full-throated in my vote for tradition. Nay."
"Good thing some of us are voting for the future instead," Shintaro says.
"Yes, the, uh, future," Tsukareta says. "I mean, Aye."
"I see no reason to be intransparent about the most important political event of this decade," Hetechi says. "Aye."
"Five Ayes, one Nay, one abstention," Ishikawa sums up.
"The motion is carried," Shira says. "Come then, friends."

The big gate is unsealed and creaks open. That makes it the only thing in the palace that lacks maintenance, however. As you enter, you see terraced gardens tended to by legions of servants, monks raking gravel in front of the Emperor's family shrine off to the side and several groups of armed guards patrolling the grounds.

"Incredible," Yukio whispers, holding on to Toshi's arm. Befitting the occasion, she is dressed in full Matsumoto family armor with a bow on her back and her sword at her side - a marked contrast to Toshi, whose simple and elegant kimono plainly hides neither weapons nor armor.
"It is," Toshi tells her, holding back tears. "Isn't it."
"I'm here for you," Yukio replies.

Hand in hand, they follow the High Lords up the enormous stone-hewn steps to the palace proper, with their own personal honor guard of friends flanking them, while the palace guards bring up the rear. Behind the procession, with another creak, the gates are closed again.


You don't see Incredible Thing #5. Incredible Thing #5 is the gasp from Lady Ikishi as she recovers from a fall onto forest soil and tries to right herself with only one arm. Her clothes and face are covered in dirt, but she's got more important things to do, like casting her gaze around the clearing and turning on hand and knees, looking, searching - oh no. Her eyes see the markers in the distance, the forest graveyard and its legions of fallen soldiers.

"DO YOU SEE IT NOW," a voice booms from the shadows of the trees around her. "THE PRICE OF YOUR PRECIOUS THRONE."
"No!" Ikishi cries. "You're gone! I cast you out!"

She tries to stretch up the stump of her right arm, as if to demonstrate the truth of what she's saying. Still, as she looks around, she considers her options. Being spirited out of her prison cell just like that...well, the chance to escape her fate should not be discarded lightly. Maybe, a little voice inside her pleads, maybe Himiko will understand. There is no punishment to fit Lady Ikishi's crimes, none but death, and who is so righteous as to not want to flee from death? Himiko would understand. Wouldn't she?

"DID YOU," the voice continues. "YOU RENOUNCE MY POWER?"
"I renounce all of you!" Ikishi shouts, scrambling to her feet. "Look what you've cost me -"
"DO NOT PRESUME TO LECTURE ME ON LOSS, SUMIKO," the voice booms back at her; Ikishi feebly tries to cover one ear with her remaining hand, but it's no good. "MY PATIENCE IS STRETCHED FAR BEYOND ITS LIMITS. AND YOUR DEBT WEIGHS HEAVIER THAN YOU REALIZE."

As the voice thunders, its power gathers into shape, drawing darkness from the shadows, life from the trees and wetness from the ground; then, birthed in a five-meter circle of pure desolation, stands the shape of General Noronu, looking just the same as before Kirika sliced him apart. Only the light of the sun shining through his shape betrays the lack of substance behind it. Ikishi's eyes flick to the side of Noronu, where the Ayami clan's "Master" Sinan appears, leaning his shadow form against a tree with his arms folded.

"THREE APES," Sinan and Noronu says in unison, and Ikishi finds herself mouthing along with them. "YOU ALL CRAVED POWER. AND YOU ALL WASTED IT."
"No," Ikishi whispers. "No, it''s over..."

In a flash, Sinan's shape is right in front of Ikishi; he stabs a shadowy hand straight into her chest. Ikishi's face contorts into pure agony. She can neither scream nor close her eyes as Sinan lifts her easily off the ground, hand wrapped tightly around her heart - or what would be her heart.

"Please," Ikishi stammers, the last of her warmth escaping between her tight lips. "My daughter..."

But it's no use. Sinan's shadow-shape flows into her, forcing little glowing trickles of raw chi to erupt from her skin and drip down onto the forest floor. Noronu's shadow-shape bites into her stump, pressing one last howl of pain from her, then contorts itself until it resembles an arm, the same way a bleached skeleton in the desert resembles a horse. Her skin goes pale and taut, and when only her darting eyes are left, frantically searching for one more trick, one more option, one more way out, they flood with shadow, too. What gently sets its feet onto the forest floor is no longer the delicate trickster noble, no longer even vaguely human. Black orbs peer from a face as hard and white as marble, while the body is clad in shimmering chitinous growths, as if someone painstakingly painted Ikishi's family colors onto an enormous rhino beetle.

"No..." she stills echoes from underneath.

The Ikishi-shape waves its shadow-hand over the ground. With a rumble from beneath, the ground shifts and shakes. Within seconds, the ashes of the dead rise from fissures in the forest floor; cold though they are, they gather more substance from the shadows until a lost battalion of damned souls marches through the forest - and towards a mountain on the horizon.


" feel that?" Toshi whispers to you as you ascend the steps. "Like a...tremor? In the distance?"

Shadow Warriors

Gatac posted in Shinobi on 2019-04-22 08:48:31
IC Thread 29 - The final thread! At last!

Re: Empire

Gatac posted in Empire on 2019-04-22 08:46:54
An hour or so later, Kirika and Yukio sit together underneath a blanket, arm in arm on the elevated bed platform Ozaki had thoughtfully moved into the upstairs loft above the bathhouse. Following the baths, Kirika's serenade, subsequent...activities, and then a second bath, the windows upstairs were thrown open to vent any remaining heat. The view from the upstairs windows was fantastic (Kirika and Yukio suspect that the view from any window larger than a unfurled scroll on Hetechi's property is fantastic), and the two were luxuriating in the romance of the moment - as a grey sash billows in the breeze outside as it hangs tied from a rafter. It's reporting time.

"I thought we were going to sleep," Yukio half-pouts.
"We will, love," Kirika says. "Probably."
"You're incorrigible," Yukio says.

Just then, a soft rap is placed on the door leading into the loft. "Pardon me," says the servant/Shadowwatch agent with the slight scar on her cheek. Her name's Akina, as Kirika surreptitiously learned from another Shadowwatch agent checking in. "There is a report I must make," she adds. "May I enter?"
"Yes, please," Kirika nods.

The agent opens the door and quickly closes it behind her. She stands at ease before the bed, her eyes fixed forward. Definitely not on the sight of the Shadowguard and the future Empress in bed together. No Sir.

"Pardon the intrusion, Shadowguard," she says. "I must report that Homi-dono has been gone for longer than usual without sending word of his whereabouts. Per his orders, I am to report such occurrences directly to you. He was last seen leaving the mill outside the city four hours ago."
Unlike the other reports tonight, this one actually gives Kirika pause. "Are there any further reports coming?"
"No," the agent says. "I was the last one. There is nothing else to report." Her gaze falls just a bit at Yukio and Kirika before straightening out in a snap. "May I be excused now, Shadowguard?"
"Yes, Akina," Kirika replies with a nod. "Thank you."

The agent tries to meet Kirika's eyes, realizes what a terrible idea that was, blushes and turns on her heels in less than half a second. Another half second and she's out with the door closed behind her. Efficient.

"We're going out to look for him, aren't we?" Yukio asks.
"Only if you want to," Kirika says, drawing her in for a kiss.
Yukio returns the kiss. "I wouldn't sleep well worrying about him," she says. "Come on. The bed will still be here when we come back."
"There's just one thing that we'll have to do," Kirika says, standing up out of the blanket and taking the sash off the rafters.
"Yes?" Yukio asks.
She sits back down - and ties the sash around Yukio's eyes. "Sorry, love," Kirika says with a kiss. "But I promised him."


A degree of speed is essential, and as such Yukio is led by Kirika down a set of stone steps into a small nearby bay, where a barge waits to take you directly to the Homi family shrine. That it is on one of the many small islands out in the bay is enough of a revelation to the uninitiated, but by the time the blindfold comes off, Yukio and Kirika are already deep in the thicket of a dense grove of bamboo, with only stars and small glimpses of distant lights illuminating the way back out. At a clearing in the grove, a well-worn stone shrine with a small roof made of lacquered wood is situated. Sitting in front of it in deep meditation is Hiro Homi. His weapons and clothes are neatly piled up at the edge of the clearing, leaving him in one of those rare situations where he's just an old man in a plain gray kimono with nothing up his sleeves. In front of him sits a bowl of black sand, with a few smoldering incense sticks stuck into the sand. Kirika takes a seat and motions for Yukio to do the same. Hiro already knows someone is there, and who it is. He will respond in his own time.

Quiet settles over the grove as Yukio and Kirika join Hiro in meditation. The smell of incense wafts throughout, its heavy and smooth fragrance creeping up their nostrils. The bamboo stalks sway in the soft night breeze and soften the lapping of the waves against the island's shore into a distant murmur. The sense of peace here is almost addictive.

"I suppose I wanted you to see it, but I could not find the right way to invite you," Hiro offers, by way of explanation for dropping off the grid. "I apologize for worrying you."
"It is more than understandable," Kirika says. "I heard from Akina what happened. No one should have to do what you did, let alone twice."
"I barely did anything," Hiro says. "Your friends fought it. I merely had to consent to having the mainlander destroy whatever was left of my son." He takes a deep breath. "I pray that, despite all, his soul can rest now."
"Did your shrine give you any clarity?" Kirika asks.
"Some," Hiro says. "I think after we put the matter of Toshiro's ascension behind us tomorrow, I will prepare for a journey. I've spent too much time looking at the empire's ugliest sides. I should like to balance it out with some beauty." Hearing Kirika suck in the breath for an objection, he keeps talking. "Don't fret now. I won't be gone in a flash, though I suppose that is expected of me. I know there will be a thousand things to do even after the boy is on the throne. I'll be at your service for nine-hundred and ninety-nine of them."
Kirika releases her held breath. "I just...I have grown accustomed to leaning on you these last few weeks. It is just nerves about there only being one Shadowguard."
"Do you know what I see when I look at you, Kirika?" Hiro asks.
"A bit of a mess?" Kirika answers with a smirk.
"I see change," Hiro says. "I see someone who has defied a false fate put upon her by others...and embraced a legacy thought lost. I see someone who believes in everyone but themselves." He pauses. "Nothing in your life has ever come easily to you. This won't either. But I know you will bloom on this field...summer flower. My time is over. But yours has finally come."
Kirika wipes her eyes. "I was going to hug you anyway but I'm going to hug you now, okay?"
Hiro gently rises off the ground, turns and walks up to Kirika. He gives her a smile and a bow. "I would be honored," he says.
Kirika wraps her arms around Hiro and hugs him tightly. "Thank you, Hiro," she whispers.
There's a tear sliding down Kirika's cheek as Hiro returns the hug. It must be one of hers, surely. "And thank you, Kirika," he whispers to her.


Gatac updated in Wiki on 2019-04-22 08:39:58




  • Human Terrain 2
  • Languages 3
  • Law 1
  • Military Science 2

  • Bullshit Detector 3
  • Flattery 2
  • Flirting 3
  • Interrogation 1/2
  • Negotiation 1
  • Tradecraft 2
  • Streetwise 1/2

  • Notice 3
  • Outdoor Survival 2

  • Athletics 8
  • Conceal 4
  • Cover 13
  • Disguise 2
  • Driving 4
  • Explosive Devices 2
  • Hand-to-Hand 4
  • Health 8
  • Infiltration 6
  • Mechanics 2
  • Medic 4
  • Network 7
  • Piloting 2
  • Preparedness 8 (MOS)
  • Sense Trouble 8
  • Shooting 8
  • Stability 4
  • Surveillance 4
  • Weapons 2/8

Cover Identities
Stef Heimans, ABP - BURNED

  • Alira Holden, ex-ASIS agent and fianc√©¬†(8 points left)


Mason also brings with him 4 points of Extra Heat: 2 points in Colombia and 2 in Chechnya. But surely, the hateboner of two major groups of organized crime are not gonna create any problems for you at all.


Drive: Altruism. Mason's all about doing the right thing. He just lives in a world where the Right Thing usually is to kill bad guys.
Symbol: A family on their knees with guns to their heads. The names, the faces, the blurs together for Mason, who's seen this too often. The people just outside that neat little picture, the ones holding those guns? Mason's gonna bury them, bury them all, so he never has to see this picture again.
Solace: Alira Holden, ASIS. Mason and Alira have crossed paths before, both professionally and...less professionally. And unlike the rest of Mason's conquests, Alira was a good choice. Would be a great choice, even, now that she's got a medical retirement and is out of the game for good.
Safety: A farm deep in the outback. Breed ostriches, drive a fuck-off big ute, keep an arsenal of "hunting" weapons large enough to repel an invading army. What could be safer than that?
Trust: Tim 1, Luc 0, Blake 0


Gatac updated in Wiki on 2019-04-22 08:39:18

Summary: Chief Petty Officer Leonard Weldon Blake (you don't want to call him by that, trust me) is a man of many hats. He's served the Navy as a munitions technician. He's resolved hostage situations and removed warlords, both with extreme prejudice, as a SEAL. His work with ONI has involved deep cover infiltration and discreet surveillance with very thorough reports. With commendations, letters, and a few medals to show for all of the above, it is safe to say that Blake's greatest talent is being whatever we need him to be - as long as he can be a little reckless, too.



  • Architecture 1
  • Human Terrain 2
  • Languages 2
  • Military Science 0/1

  • Bullshit Detector 2
  • Cop Talk 1
  • Flirt 1
  • Interrogate 1
  • Intimidate 1
  • Negotiate 1
  • Reassure 1
  • Streetwise 2
  • Tradecraft 1

  • Chemistry 2
  • Data Recovery 1
  • Electronic Surveillance 2
  • Notice 2
  • Outdoor Survival 1
  • Photography 1
  • Urban Survival 2

  • Athletics 8
  • Conceal 2
  • Cover 10
  • Disguise 3
  • Driving 2
  • Explosive Devices 3/8 (MOS)
  • Hand-to-Hand 8
  • Health 8
  • Infiltration 5
  • Mechanics 2
  • Network 15
  • Pilot 5
  • Sense Trouble 9
  • Shooting 8
  • Shrink 2
  • Stability 6
  • Surveillance 8
  • Weapons 5

1 Build point in reserve


Drive: Mystery. Why go to all the trouble to set up the bombings? Blake needs to get to the bottom of this, no matter what.
Symbol: Poetry, the only way to express what's behind Blake and what's ahead of him still.
Solace: Mama. Still keeping a light on for the son who's going everywhere but home.
Safety: Tibetan Monastery. One summer in college, Blake found something he didn't even know he was looking for up in Tibet. If he had to run...really run, it seems like the only place it could end.
Trust: Tim 3, Luc 3, Mason 1

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-04-22 08:38:44
You all get a quick catnap and a few too short hours later, it's 0430 - time to get the party started. One entrance over from the strike team's hidey-hole out in the wastelands, you've quietly made your way into an apartment sharing a wall with the targets. Mason keeps watch at the apartment door and motions to the scared-shitless evicted resident of their entry point that no, he's not about to be killed or hurt, they just need him to not run out and alert anyone for a minute yet. Inside the apartment, Blake's hard at work gently sticking shards of C4 to the wallpaper and wiring them up for a nice little mousehole. Ideally they'd have the fridge or something else in front of it on their side to direct the blast, but scraping heavy furniture over the floor would rather defeat the purpose of keeping their approach quiet. Plus there's no fridge in here. One of the downsides of going through a never-sold, squatted apartment.

Finally, Blake has everything rigged and backs out of the "bedroom" into the foyer, where Operations has already taken position with a ballistic vest and C8 automatic carbine, as well as the thickest piece of earpro you could find in the stash. Blake signs for Mason to stack up behind him, then checks his own weapons one last time. Clap on the shoulder from Mason to signal that he's ready, too, then Blake says a quick prayer and hits the big red button.

Remember kids: when you know there's gonna be a boom, keep your mouth open.

(Blake's Explosive Devices to initiate Player-Facing Combat = (3)+5 = 8)

The BANG! is a hell of a go code as Blake, Operations and Mason rush in, darting through the dust and debris into the apartment occupied by the strike team. Looks like you've come out in the "bedroom" there as well, with nobody inside but a couple of rolled up sleeping bags and other sundries. The foyer outside has a muscle-packed man in a t-shirt and 5.11 pants standing with his hand against the wall, MAWPing and shaking his head as he tries to stay on his feet. That's Elroy Mcdonald, if the pictures from the file are correctly labelled. To his right in the foyer (if that apartment has the same floorplan as your point of entry, just mirrored) should be the "kitchen", to the left the "bathroom" and apartment door, and straight through around a little corner, the "living room". Woulda been nice to get eyes on more than one hostile right on entry, but woulda coulda shoulda - if you want to use the element of shock you've got, now's the time to motor.

Blake moves to secure Elroy, stopping more than an arm's lunge away with a gun pointed directly at Elroy's head. He'll notice soon, and if he doesn't cooperate, that's fine by Blake. He'd prefer alive, but he'll take dead. This careful and measured approach to Elroy Mcdonald has it's place, but what it seems to be saying to Mason is "go ahead, I'll be your safety". And so Mason charges in, intent on feeding Elroy some buttstock for breakfast.

(Mason Weapons = (1)+2 = 3 NAH)

It's a close shave for sure, but young Elroy's just that bit faster than Mason was expecting and whips his arm up in time, taking the butt stroke to his chin on his block instead, shoving Mason off him. Well, shit, are we shooting him now?

(Operations Weapons = (6)+3 = 9 More like it)

No, we're not. Just as Blake's finger tightens on the trigger, Operations strides in and - this is a technical term, pay attention - Krav Magas the shit out of Elroy. Stab with the carbine's muzzle to Elroy's side, whip around the carbine's buttstock to slam it into his now-open head and then a quick forward kick that sends Elroy against the wall, from where he tumbles to the floor. In a flash, Operations is on him, knee pressed into his spine to keep him down.

(Mason Weapons = (2)+4 = 6 That'll do)

Mason's got no time for his ego to be bruised - on hearing more movement from the living room, he unclips a flashbang from his assault gear and pitches it down the hallway into the living room. There's a flash and also a bang. Does what it says on the tin, you gotta give it that. Mason pushes into the devastated room to find Dana Lamb on the floor, right next to a pistol, also on the floor. Dana Lamb isn't just lying on the floor, though: he's rolling around and holding his left hand, which looks like it's got some first-degree burns from getting too grabby with the still hot flashbang casing. Why you'd go to a place in your mind where you try to throw back a device that has already gone off is a question best left to combat psychologists, but sometimes stupid shit happens under stress and Dana's in no condition to resist Mason applying a generous dose of zip tie. Mason pointedly does not miss the laptop on the wooden table, either, whose exterior took a bit of a beating from the flashbang but whose internals are probably salvageable.

Blake, meanwhile, kicks down the door to the "kitchen" and does a quick Z sweep - no hostiles, but four bowls with little bits of Instant Ramen (Shrimp Flavor) and a cellphone on the kitchen table. "Clear!" he shouts because somebody needs to start actually communicating here, but seeing as both Operations and Mason have a prisoner to handle, he proceeds to do the "bathroom", too. This one's gear storage, apparently: Blake gets eyes on several sets of export versions of Chinese "Protector" type medium body armor, as well as H&K G36E assault rifles and older-gen Glock pistols for days. One gets the rather distinct impression that the whole lot is part of a very hasty effort to reequip the strike team after the loss of far more expensive gear in Amsterdam.

"All clear!" Operations calls, having finished her own wrangling of Elroy.
"Smash and grab!" Mason replies.

It ain't pretty but it is what it is: with two hostiles down, two in the wind and a hell of a ruckus you just made in hostile territory, you do not want to be here when people come investigating. While Operations babysits the captives, Blake and Mason go apeshit on the apartment's decor, smashing open as many potential slicks as possible as quickly as possible. The usual stuff, then: backup pistol in a kitchen drawer, passports and money in a watertight plastic bag sunk in the toilet's reservoir, yet more passports in the mounting hole of an LED spot in the living room, plus a hole behind the bathroom mirror that yields a Chinese codephrase book. If there ever was the pretense that this team is not working for the MSS, it's been blown wide open now.

"Hurry up, boys," Operations says.

It's a good bit of loot, almost too big for your pockets, but they don't ask how, they ask how many. Three minutes later, you bust out of the apartment block entrance, prisoners in your center, duffel bags over your shoulders and guns up - definitely warranted, as you can spot several groups of local bad guys on something of a perimeter behind parked cars, AKs and Galils at the ready. However, they see two things: one, you're obviously Americans and two, you're after the foreigner assholes, not any of them. At this point, someone with authority seems to file you under "Do Not Fuck With" and gives a quick signal to the rest of the crowd. Quickly as they appeared, they disperse again, clearing the way for your escape.

The one local faction that didn't show up for the occasion: the cops. Well, no time to second-guess your good fortune. Laith brings the van around, you pile literally everything and everyone into the back and then it's off to the highways again.

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

skullandscythe posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-04-22 03:08:43
Zaef looks over the trucks, the soldiers on patrol, wondering how they feel about the Imperial presence; the Turai seem to look down on their 'allies.' Just one problem with finding out...

"Does anyone speak Chinese?"

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

skullandscythe updated in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-04-22 03:01:50
Just outside the door, Blake is leaning against the wall, looking up after trying to bore holes into his little pocket notebook. "Couple questions. I'll be quick," he appends with a questioning tone. Alira just raises an eyebrow; Ops - Jessica, still, just blinking at him. So Blake leaps into it. "You say you have enemies. Anyone we should be aware of?"

"The Chinese," Jessica answers drowsily. "They've been trying to...take me out..."

Thirteen is
our lucky number

Blake glances up as he jots down. "Did you go by any aliases in your reports?"

"Yes, I..." Jessica says, then seems to catch herself. "I have...many aliases. I'll...try to remember them..."

Blake frowns. Could be trust issues...could be tranqs. Only one thing to say either way. "I understand." A short pause. "I am sorry for ignoring you, and locking you away again.

She looks at him. "You just did your job," she tells him. Blake shakes his head. "I try not to hurt people when I do my job. Sometimes it's unavoidable. I'm...not sure that one counts."

"Okay," Jessica says weakly, the tranqs clearly having kicked in by now. Alira gives Blake a "She's done" look and leads her away to get some rest. Blake himself stays against the wall, looking at his notes and wondering when he'll get to follow up. Sotelo, Khoury, Fractal...Now MSS and Jess/Ops.