02
Aug
10

Mission 01 – Parliament of Thieves

MISSION 01 – PARLIAMENT OF THIEVES
Written by: Levi           Played on: 14 Mar 2009
PREVIOUS: Mission 00 – The Mission
NEXT: Mission 02 – Best Served Cold

(Dialogue from Levi’s tape collection. He sounds somehow inhibited during the monologue.) 

Second run. Day begins with a ride across the border to the PCC. Goes as expected. Glad to not be border monitor. Too many faces. Like working at meat packaging factory where you must socialize with the beef as it travels down the assembly line. On other hand, sealing them in airtight plastic could be rewarding.

Arrive timely at outskirt bar in Denim. Lowlife tribal fodder watching news, nothing mentionable. I recall something about arson on the television. I order vodka shot, am informed the drink is on the Johnson. I respect his decision by not tipping the bar tender. Runners are easily spotted as they arrive. Most tip, a peculiar social gesture for murderers and criminals. Perhaps guilt. Perhaps dissociation with accountability while doing job. Was bar tender attractive? If so, sub-awareness mating ritual. Then if successful, is it prostitution?

Upon final runner’s late arrival, we were led into a backroom setup like a medicine lodge. Fire burned inside, hint of herbs. Some faces strained to put forth serious expression, aura of professionalism. The moody flickering of flame mocked those sensibilities, as did the eccentric tribal mask resting upon the Johnson’s face. I might have felt absurd had I been any of them.

The team eventually learned this Johnson was commonly called “Raven” and that he was a Johnson for the Koshari.

The Johnson offered us twenty-five-hundred per runner. Sterile looking human haggled us an additional three-hundred. Upon our agreement to take part, Johnson introduced himself as Raven, and revealed the mission: Deliver sealed letter to location two borderlines away by seven pm, three hours from now. Weak details on letter spoken of, not yet intriguing enough to remain in mind. Gave us names and numbers for border smugglers for each line, in case required; Stalker to CAS; Peaches UCAS. Gave us address of drop point.  Warned us private and government parties would be interested in obtaining letter. Paid us half, second half to be obtained upon completion. Said we would know buyer when we saw him. Dwarf mage tried to use magic on Johnson to detect lies. Johnson noticed. Mage tried to play it off cool. Otherwise, content not worth mentioning.

Company was giddy with the idea of performing something dangerous, so much they opened up discussion before leaving bar. Took degree of coaxing to get them to step outside. The rougher elven fellow wanted us to talk in his van. Personal rule to never to accept invitation to talk inside someone’s van. We walk instead.

Introductions are made. Other mage is dwarf named Clint, focuses on damage performance. Perhaps compensating. Later behavior supports this hypothesis. Large troll named Jade, alternate line of work not well hidden, in fact almost advertized. If not for physical danger might have found self enticed. Marius and Cho, elf and human respectively, are only ones who seem comfortable in this line of work. Only ones who appear to fit in job. The last one, Wheeler, is a close third to fitting. However, something crossing in his nature. Dry sense of iconisism not yet solidified, attempting to mold into two very different people at the same time. Alternatively, may take job and reputation too seriously. Willing my first guess to be correct, I may live to foresee him split personalities. All together, six packing delivery men. Dull day expected.

Marius carried cargo in van, with troll and dwarf as company. Rest biked in front and behind. Beat rush hour to border. Control group went first, Wheeler and I. Slight hold-up but no sign cargo was being watched for. Border-crossing assistance from Stalker would not be needed. Van went through, was not inspected. The first line crossed, we proceeded through the city to the next border.

Traffic congregated midway through journey. Allowed mind to wonder from pure observation. Wondered to purpose of my actions. Why was I here? Money not issue. Overpaid pizza delivery. Idling in traffic, body began to feel numb from engine. Thought of man spending life behind wheel of truck. Thought of meat potatoes connected to machinery. Dumb brain, did not notice car pull in beside Marius’ van. Did not notice small group of thugs approach from Mexican restaurant alongside road.

The two groups, one a Triad and one a Yakuza, converged on the van at the same time. The players had the opportunity to try some negotiations… a course of behaviour I eventually came to learn they would repeatedly shun.

The Yakuza thug leader was killed, but the second, An Peng, had her first scene here and ended up turning into their most hated foe to date. She appeared in several other runs which always managed to grab the team’s attention. She was not intentionally played this way, but evolved that way over the first few runs she appeared in.

Also, it should be noted that An Peng was played as a slightly different character than she was written. In the origional write-up, An Peng was a male  troll shaman and was accompanied by several thugs, one of whom was female. I got my notes confused and An Peng became a troll female shaman. I ran with the new gender rather than retroactively fixing it, though it led to some odd situations later on.

Van-tombed runners subvoiced situation. Rearview mirror and turn of head confirmed situation. From one side, four well dressed men approached side of van from car. From restaurant, four poorly dressed thugs approached other side of van. Groups eyed each other warily, distracting them from noticing van’s nearby escorts. Each group offered driver money for package. Marius saw possibilities. Jade stayed quiet in back.  Dwarf fucked shit up. During negotiations, the mage blew up well-dressed thug’s vehicle.  Instigated combat. Second mission where potential avoidance of direct combat or use of negotiation sloppily lost due to dwarf’s need to be awesome. Perhaps not dwarf. Perhaps large infant.

Couldn’t see action well. Weapons fired into the vehicle, passengers apparently survived. Troll exited back of vehicle to take incoming gunfire. Monster from dungeon depths. Cho, who had been biking behind group, caught up. All this was gathered as I turned my bike around. Noticed leader of the gutter thugs retreating towards restaurant. Noticed leader was woman. Thought to approach and hit with bike. Thought hostage could open negotiation possibilities. Slight desire to perform greater talents in deluded mailman quest. Speeding back, found the sterile human Wheeler had same idea. He hit leader with bike tire, dismounted and put knife to throat. Hostage. By time I had caught up, prettier thugs were handled. Dwarf levitated someone into air, dropped. Stopped bike by Wheeler. Frisked thug leader for weapons. Covered Wheeler while ceasefire was negotiated. Team mates were slow to take hint, but eventually stopped firing. Momentary panic as van members looked for package, found it had fallen out the door during fight. Obnoxious.

Package under control. Van full of holes, but drivable. One group dead. Leader of second group in submission. Curious to know more about situation, curious how we were noticed. Taking hostage in van for questioning was bad idea past initial thought, but never made past initial thought. By then, sterile human had allowed thugs to walk back to restaurant, and promptly released them. All other members valued execution, for sake of mission security. “That is not the way I do things,” said Wheeler. I was last to ride off from scene, roads now cleared of squeamish civilian vehicles. Angry expressions on thug’s faces. They’ll come to terms with their release in time.

Levi originally wanted to take the thug leader, An Peng, hostage for a questioning and torture session while they drove. The party eventually talked him out of it.

Group agreed quickly to lay low for remainder of mission. Wheeler contacted Peaches, our border assist, near end of earlier social disagreement with thugs. Peaches seemed friendly. Marus asked if she could get a badly bullet-riddled van smuggled across border. Peaches said she could get anything across border. Led us into subterranean passage, sewer networks navigating between CAS to UCAS.  Curious venture. Passed by noisy complex behind door. Was informed name of place: Five by Five. Was informed it was smuggler haven. Knowledge utilizable in future. Exited passages to the UCAS. Peaches asked for no fee, apparently pleased to help. Eyed Wheeler lustily. Was reminded of bar back in PCC. Was still content to have not tipped.

Peaches didn’t ask for pay because her fee was covered by the Johnson. Mr Johnson told them this at the begginning of the run, though Levi appears to have either not been listing or did not care.

Her interest in Wheeler, however, has become a long running gag amongst the group. It was a random detail I threw in there (as I recall, I even rolled a die to see which party member she would show an interest in) but it grew over the course of the story into an integral part of Wheeler’s life.

Rest of ride goes uneventfully. Arrive at pleasant complex. Pleasant driveway. Pleasant abode. Monkey-suited thugs at doorway. We are led inside. Objects in house considerably expensive looking; the suckled rewards of great human leeches. We’re shown into an indoor shooting range, and discovered residence was that of Omar Chavez, of the Chavez mafia family, for he now stood before us.

Aging creature, power still being enough to distract him from the great clock hanging above his decaying figure. Omar Chavez sent squeamish servant to hold a target downrange before engaging in business with us. Omar Chavez removed a pistol from his coat. Omar Chavez tested his aim on target. Neither security nor arrogance were required to grant him comfort enough to casually draw a weapon in front of us. People stand still for their executions due to fear of being shot at if they were to move. After gun was emptied at target, Omar accepted package, paid us second half of fee. Rambled some. Wheeler sold himself for future business. Rest seemed glad to be alive. I was anxious to leave.

Between them all, there’s little sign they harbor anything more than their surface shows. One is a step up from a whore, another is a step up from a thief, and so on, if this career could be called a “step up” from anything at all. Need to find way to turn this farce into something constructive. Perhaps opportunity will make itself known. Until then, perhaps I shall update my tools.

PREVIOUS: Mission 00 – The Mission
NEXT: Mission 02 – Best Served Cold
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