Geometric Archipelago:Dragons on Semicircle Island/Chapter 19
Chapter #19: Family Matters
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN GAME---
<mainstreet> Hans tries to pass the wands to the woman standing there more subtly. Unfortunately, one of the other women picks up on it immediately and hisses at her. She ruefully hands them back. "Nice try, but not good enough. Don't try again, please. They'll be looking for this now."
- Vivi_ looks in dismay at the women, a feeling of helplessness and frustration washing over her.
<Ascii> ("Now you know how I feel when dealing with you sometimes, Vivi. Just *calm down*. We can come back and deal with this problem *after* we prevent a hostile takeover of island government.")
- Vivi_ uses Aethnet to say, only to the more poorly dressed women, "If you DO convince the other two to leave, and want some help, I'm willing to. I don't have any good way for you to get a message to me, but if you can...")
- Vivi_ changes that to more nicely dressed women
- mainstreet will fix in postprod
<Nenni> Before the *clank* gets any closer, Nenni asks one of the better-dressed women when exactly it was that Cecilia retired "sick" and asked the others to cover for her.
<mainstreet> The woman frowns at Nenni. "Three days ago."
<Ascii> ("Three guesses how long Not Lauren has been around...")
<mainstreet> Leo comes back into the room in a hurry. "This is an outrage! And all of you helped her!" He breathes heavily. "I... will deal with you all later. For now..." he stares at the Party. "There will be an attack. Fine. We will obliterate all who stand in our way. We will be ready for them. And I will kill the traitor myself. There will be nothing to worry about in the morning. Go to your homes, and sleep well."
<Nenni> ("So he (and they) are staying here? It sounds like it.")
<Ascii> "What can you tell us about this Cecilia woman?"
<Vivi_> "You have a way to get past Presidential security?" Vivi asks, with just a hint of skepticism.
<mainstreet> "She's a traitor and will not be alive come this time tomorrow. She is apparently more skilled than I anticipated. No matter, she will die by her own foolishness. And ha, there won't BE much presidential security after this foolish attack she's running."
<Nenni> ("I would have thought if she's lived with Leo, that she would know his abilities well enough to only launch an assault if it had a good chance of succeeding or was a distraction for something else.")
<Ascii> "You didn't answer the question. Are you planning to march on the Rainbow House or something?"
<mainstreet> "That is none of your concern."
<Vivi_> "It rather is, actually."
<Vivi_> "For one thing, the President owes us money."
<mainstreet> Leo sighs. "The President will not be harmed. Anarchy benefits no one. I will simply kill the traitor."
<Vivi_> "And all the President's men?"
<mainstreet> Leo shrugs. "If they attack us."
<Ascii> "We kind of need her alive, though. We need to prove she's an imposter and find out why she did all this."
<mainstreet> "I don't see how any of this is my problem," Leo interrupts.
<Ascii> "We know she's a fake, but they don't. As far as everyone else is concerned, you'll be raiding the presidential residence and murdering the Prez's daughter. Won't that destroy any attempt at maintaining your organization?"
<mainstreet> Leo steps back slightly. "I was under the impression you had the *real* daughter. Surely, no one will mistake a dead fake for the real one in the presence of the *real* real one?"
<Vivi_> "Then you would need to give us time to take the real one and her siblings to the President and convince him of the deception *first*, before you kill the fake."
<Nenni> ("Sounds like the perfect way of installing a fake to me, to kill off the real one and sully her reputation as a fraud to prop up the fake you just installed...")
<Vivi_> "Otherwise, how would they know you weren't attacking the real one?"
<mainstreet> "I see little reason why that can't be done after the fact. Or even at the same time. You are welcome to join me tomorrow morning."
<Vivi_> "Because the guards come first, and the President and the fake are on the other side."
<Ascii> "Even if she is a fake, you'd still be guilty of openly assaulting the Rainbow House."
<Ascii> "Would they really let you get away with that and continue your work here?"
<mainstreet> "Perhaps not, but I cannot let this treason go unpunished."
<Ascii> "Even if it means the destruction of your ga--er, your fine group of compatriots and their proactive wealth redistribution system?"
<Vivi_> ("I hate the thought of letting him get his hands on Cecilia, but what if we try offering to hand her over to him? That might be better than wholesale slaughter.")
<Nenni> ("Looks to me like Cecilia's aim (or at least one of them) is to force Leo's hand in order to undermine his empire one way or another. And he's complying so far, as she likely anticipated would happen if he or his gang spies were to catch wind of the encounter.")
<mainstreet> Leo pauses, then shrugs. "I can always rebuild. The Island simply does not have the willpower to keep us suppressed. Groups like ours... they pop up because the people have been abandoned by their supposed government, to the point that it might as well not exist. We cleaned up this part of the city, and we are the de facto leadership here. That won't change."
<mainstreet> "I don't think you're getting anywhere here. Perhaps you should leave," your former 'guide' breaks in. She stands up. "I can escort you back out."
<Vivi_> "What if we deliver Cecilia to you?"
<mainstreet> Leo chuckles. "I don't believe you have the capability to do that. Now, I think you should leave, before I decided to start engaging in sword practice. On you."
<mainstreet> Nenni: Your Detect Hostile Intent begins to twitch. You can sense three of the ladies mentally preparing themselves to fight, as well as Leo.
<mainstreet> The two well-dressed women slowly start to inch towards the back of the room, well away from the scene.
<Ascii> Ascii rolls his eyes. "Ugh. Fine, we get it, Mr. Badass. We'll leave."
- Nenni begins trotting toward the door they came in from and looks up at its handle entreatingly.
<mainstreet> The guide starts to lead your way back out, giving a quick bow to Leo as she leaves the room.
- Nenni follows her.
<Ascii> Ascii trods along, in a rather grouchy mood.
<mainstreet> You all find yourselves in the bar you started from. Your guide closes the door with a firm *clunk*.
- Vivi_ allows herself to be removed from the room, but stares at the closed door for a moment, wishing she'd been able to do something to help the women.
<Ascii> "I know how you feel, Vivi, but you have to choose your fights. If it makes you feel better we can come back later."
<Vivi_> "You say that, but WILL we? And will it go any better, if we do?"
<Nenni> ("Maybe we can convince the town guard to use non-lethal force against any women opponents in the gang.")
- Vivi_ despondently pulls herself away from the door and heads out of the bar and into the fading day.
<Ascii> "Vivi, you have to think like Batman. Batman wouldn't start a fight hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded. Batman would fall back, disappear, regroup, and come back with stealth and a well thought-out plan."
<mainstreet> "Want a drink?" the barkeep asks you.
- Vivi_ blinks. "Disappearing and regrouping does sound like bats, but sometimes humans have to take a stand. Anyway, I'm here. You got what you wanted. Where to, now?"
<Nenni> ("Humans take a stand while bats just hang around. It's all about posture.")
<Ascii> Ascii leads the group back to the safehouse, for want of anything better to do.
<mainstreet> You make it back to the safehouse without incident. The same guard as before doesn't comment on your continued passage.
- Vivi_ lays down and promptly falls asleep.
<Ascii> Ascii walks in, tips over, falls onto his bedroll like a log, and snores.
<BLusk> Hans plops down for a night's sleep
<mainstreet> Nenni: You wander off to try to help people. You get over to Lodrano territory, and realize that any helping you can do is going to be rather ineffective. You're seeing a great deal of destruction, and little accomplished. You don't see any faces you recognize -- on either side -- in the areas you wander. You do occasionally manage to help bystanders by giving them a path out of the area they otherwise wouldn't have had, but there's little you can do for the fight itself without getting in the way and risking yourself. After the battle is over, you manage to find a few guards who are not quite dead yet and heal them up to conscious. Overall, it looks like a huge percentage of the guard force has been wiped out, and there seems to be little of the Lodrano gang left to speak of, though Leo himself, and all of his harem, were quite conspicuous by their absence.
- Nenni is satisfied only armed men capable of defending themselves (albeit ineffectively) were present.
<mainstreet> You return to the safehouse in the morning, frustrated with your lack of abilities to do much, but at the same time grateful for what you could do.
<mainstreet> Everyone else is just starting to wake up.
<Ascii> Ascii: *SNOOORE*
- Vivi_ begins to prepare her spells, and then starts copying the Teleport spell from the other wizard's spell book into her own.
- Vivi_ continues to copy the spell throughout the day, whenever she's walking between places or otherwise has a spare moment.
<Ascii> Ascii snorts and wakes up. "Buh...?"
<Ascii> "...oh, right. War. How'd that go, Nenni?"
<Nenni> "War, huh. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. That's what."
<Nenni> "Bunch of stiffs in the streets. Most of the guard faction is decimated. Didn't see Leo or his harem - their goons took the brunt of the assault, even if they came out on top, just."
<Nenni> "It was kind of hard to tell."
<Ascii> "They're probably making plans to go after their 'traitor'. We need to round up the usual suspects."
<Ascii> "Let's go collect our set of wayward siblings."
<Vivi_> "And hope the palace isn't gone before we get there."
<Ascii> Ascii leads the way out. "Who should we go for first?"
<Ascii> He makes for the Kelda office.
<mainstreet> You make your way back to the pawn shop. Melissa sees you and instantly closes up. She leads the way back to the shack you were in before, and simply hands you the rope. "You're expected this time, I don't think I need to explain how to operate this. I'll go back and run my business. Please put this back when you leave."
<Ascii> "Of course."
<Ascii> Ascii uses the rope.
- Vivi_ grabs hold.
- Nenni rubs ankles with Vivi.
<mainstreet> You all grab the rope, and transition back to Kelda's personal lair. Danielle and Kaitlin are waiting for you in the room.
<mainstreet> Kaitlin sees you and gives a small smile. "I'm going to try this," she announces. "I got Mistress to agree to come! Just in case things go wrong..." Kaitlin drifts off nervously. "But I think we'll be fine. I hope. Especially after last night."
<mainstreet> Danielle nods. "After last night's events, there are no reasonable threats to ourselves. I can be spared. My sister will be sufficient to protect the area. I have no issue helping Kaitlin here." Danielle squeezes Kaitlin. "I'm still responsible for her safety, and I will make sure no harm comes to her. If any does, we will have a problem here. Clear?"
- Vivi_ nods.
<Ascii> "Crystal. What exactly happened last night, anyway?"
<mainstreet> "Guards burned a few empty buidlings on our side, got pretty much hammered by Leo's group... but Leo's group wiped themselves out in the process. I doubt there are even a dozen full members of Lodrano still living right now. Kelly and I are still discussing whether to take advantage and take more territory or simply to leave things be," Danielle replies.
<Ascii> "So he really just threw his forces at them and destroyed his whole operation in the process?"
<mainstreet> "Yeah. He's arrogant like that. He's convinced that he's the most powerful being in Rainbow City. He might be right about that, but he forgets that his members aren't him."
<Ascii> "Is he really that strong?"
- Vivi_ absentmindedly shakes her head at such hubris, as she continues to write the secrets of teleporting in her spellbook.
<mainstreet> Danielle shrugs. "He's probably marginally stronger than Kelly is, but I think with me helping her, we could take him, no problem."
<mainstreet> Kaitlin holds her hand out for the rope. "No point in waiting around here."
<Ascii> "Let's-a go." Ascii uses the rope again.
<mainstreet> Kaitlin and Danielle grab the rope. You find yourselves back in the shack. Danielle gently pulls the rope away and puts it back in its slot.
<mainstreet> Danielle starts walking out. "I will be... in the general area. You'll see me. When I want you to. But know I'm always here. Have fun!"
<mainstreet> She walks out of the shack, and you no longer see her.
<Ascii> "Okay, next up is the bar."
<Ascii> Ascii goes to the bar first thing in the morning, as per usual.
- Vivi_ writes in her spellbook on the way to the bar.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You're back in the bar. Most of the tables are empty this early in the morning. Heather's sitting at a table. Hey, she's reading a book this time.
<Ascii> Ascii grins. That's a good sign. He approaches. "Morning. Look who we found."
- Vivi_ would hold her hand up to high-five Heather for reading, but she needs both hands to keep writing.
<mainstreet> Heather turns around and sees Ascii... and Kaitlin. "Well well well. This shall be... fascinating."
<mainstreet> Kaitlin nods. "Heather," she says neutrally.
<mainstreet> "Aww, don't you miss me?" Heather leans in towards Kaitlin. Kaitlin takes a step back.
<mainstreet> "No," Kaitlin replies.
<mainstreet> "Fine, spoil my fun," Heather sniffs. She stands up slowly and stows her book... somewhere. "Okay, I assume we're off to find Allan next? Party office, right? Should be simple. Convincing him to actually help might be less so. But we'll see."
<Ascii> "That's the idea."
<Ascii> Ascii leads the way to the party office.
<mainstreet> You begin your way to the party office...
<mainstreet> A large shadow passes overhead!
- Vivi_ frowns when the shadow dims the page she is writing on.
<mainstreet> You look up, and it's a silver dragon! More interesting than this, is that it's actually a *cat* riding a silver dragon!
<mainstreet> The dragon lands directly in front of you.
<BLusk> Hans turns on the lights to get rid of the shadow
<mainstreet> The cat hops off, and the dragon polymorphs! You see a fit, greyhaired man, dressed in a neat silver suit, giving off an aura of quiet authority and power.
<Ascii> "...who are you?"
<Vivi_> "Kerth, obviously," Vivi mutters without looking up.
<mainstreet> "Captain Kerth, Geometric Archipelago Treaty Organization, Special Agent," he introduces himself.
<mainstreet> The cat looks at you all. ("Hey, it's still me,") Lauren announces to the group. ("Figured this was a good time to drop in. I see you've found two of my sisters. Good, good.")
<Vivi_> ("Just off to pick up the last one,") Vivi says, including Kerth in the Aethnet.
<mainstreet> "Now, I don't think we have a whole lot of time here. I made this big an entrance deliberately to cause general confusion and give us a greater chance for success. But that will fade in time."
<Ascii> "You mean, you wanted them to see the dragon."
<mainstreet> "Of course."
<mainstreet> ("Alright, let's get a move on,") Lauren comments.
- Vivi_ continues heading toward the office.
<Ascii> Ascii continues leading the others toward the office.
<mainstreet> You make your way to the office. You walk in. Rachel is standing there, as are two other individuals. You recognize Voranath in human form, her eyes blazing with bare restraint. Her husband is well-built, a solid fighter in every way. He's much like his counterpart with Lamaranth, really.
<mainstreet> Voranath's eyes light up even more when she sees your group. "Okay, where is she?"
<mainstreet> Lauren shifts out of cat form. "Right here."
<mainstreet> Voranath breathes a few times. "...Okay. It's good to see you're safe. I'm really beginning to regret supporting your father, you know, if he's so gullible like this. Should've just supported you," she sniffs.
<mainstreet> Lauren frowns. "I wouldn't have won. Yet. Plus, I work for GATO now. Bad idea to get entangled to that degree..."
<mainstreet> Voranath rolls her eyes, then looks over and spots Kerth. She gets a smirk on her face. "Well I can see where you're actually getting entangled, dear..."
<mainstreet> Lauren sighs. "Can we please not go there? Not today?"
<mainstreet> Voranath hesitates and nods. "Fine. Go talk some sense into your father. I'll be waiting here for a report."
<mainstreet> Allan nods and gets up and goes to join your group.
<mainstreet> Lauren raises an eyebrow. "You're not coming?"
<mainstreet> "Of course not. I'd prefer not to announce my presence to the whole Island so blatantly. Like a certain *someone*," Voranath looks pointedly at Kerth. Kerth mutters something under his breath.
<mainstreet> Lauren nods. "Okay." She shifts back into cat form. ("Necessary to travel this way for now,") she comments. ("I'll shift once we're *into* the room with Father again.")
<Ascii> "Gotcha. So...uh...now what? Do we just walk up and knock...?"
<Vivi_> "Just some kiddos here to see their father... and hope Leo isn't already there."
<mainstreet> "Basically, yes. I live there. I can bring whoever I want. And I can take people to see my father if I want," Heather replies.
<Ascii> "I assume we'll have to check our weapons..."
<Ascii> Ascii leads the way once more.
<Vivi_> "Oh, by the way... are you wearing any armor, Heather?"
<mainstreet> Heather shakes her head. "I'm a society girl. Armor is not fashionable. Nor can you move in it."
<Ascii> "Sure you can. See?" Ascii does a littlle (and quite loud) jig.
<mainstreet> Heather rolls her eyes. "Not what I mean, and you know it."
- Vivi_ pauses her writing long enough to touch Heather's arm and mutter a spell at her. "Here, this should help."
- Vivi_ casts Mage Armor on herself, as well, while she's thinking of it.
<mainstreet> Heather blinks at Vivi. "You don't actually expect me to *fight*, do you?"
<Ascii> "Two words: chainmail bikini."
- Vivi_ shrugs. "It's just a precaution. I know you were worried about not being as battle-capable as your siblings."
<mainstreet> "That's an understatement. Look around you. Everyone here is a highly accomplished individual. Except me. I guess... I've been a little spoiled. Never really done much. I know enough not to get myself killed, but I don't actually own anything but a simple dagger. Um, if anyone has something I can use, I guess I can try?"
- Vivi_ rummages around in her bag. "Wand of Summon Monster, or crossbow?"
<Ascii> "Here, you can use this." He holds his mace out towards her, but then looks at it, then at her, then back to it. "...hmm. On second thought, maybe try this." He hands her the Wand of Hold Person.
<mainstreet> "Um..." Heather takes the wands. "I could use the bow, but I'm not sure me missing a lot helps anyone. These, at least, will do *something*."
<Ascii> "Be careful about summoning, it leaves you wide open. Use the wand of holding if you need to get away."
<mainstreet> "Right. I figured I'd stay well behind all of you anyway," Heather comments nervously.
<Ascii> "That's the idea. It's pretty much my job description to stand between squishy people and dangerous critters."
<Vivi_> "Yep," Vivi says agreeably. "You can even stay behind me, and I'm usually aaaallll the way in the back."
<mainstreet> "Okay!" Heather agrees cheerfully. Kaitlin scowls at her.
<Ascii> Ascii resumes the journey to the Rainbow House.
<mainstreet> You find yourselves at the gate to the Rainbow House. Heather gets to work on the guards, being her own cheerful self, flying though issuing of guest passes, and getting you all inside as nameless guests but personal friends of Heather.
<mainstreet> You proceed towards the President's office.
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---