Geometric Archipelago:Dragons on Semicircle Island/Chapter 21
Chapter #21: Resolutions
The following was played on November 24, 2017
<mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
- Nenni goes and asks Lauren and Fluffy if there are any openings in GATO for a telepathological cat.
<mainstreet> Lauren nods happily. "Probably. Talk to Captain Kerth about that. He'll sign you up. Not sure where he is right now, though. Somewhere in town."
<mainstreet> The President sighs and writes off a quick note, handing it to Hans. "Take them to the jail yourself, if you insist. But please don't blame us if there's an escape. We've already warned you against this course of action, especially with this very dangerous gang leader. But so be it." You look at the paper and see it's an arrest warrant for each toad, as well as a brief description of their original identities and crimes.
<Nenni> ("After such a showy entrance, I'm surprised he hasn't been more visible since. I'll track him down and ask him. Thanks.")
- Vivi_ confiscates the toads from Hans and delivers the non-Leo one to the jail, along with its appropriate letter.
- Vivi_ puts Leo-toad on the floor and prepares to crush him under her heel.
<Ascii> "Are we really going to just leave her toaded?"
<Ascii> "Whoa! What the hell, Vivi!?"
<Vivi_> "He's evil, and we don't want him to come back and kill us later. What's the problem exactly?"
<Ascii> Ascii snatches up Leo. "The problem is that you're about to murder a guy who can't defend himself. That's low, even for me."
<Hildyr> "I certainly see no problem in killing someone that vile."
- Nenni interposes himself between Leo and whatever threatens him, if at all possible. Even vulnerable criminals deserve to live happily ever after as a harmless amphibian.
<Vivi_> "He's Going TO KILL US," Vivi repeats. "He almost killed Hildyr in one blow. You're that 16yo girl in the horror play that lets loose the chainsaw murderer in Act 2 so he can come back and kill her in Act 4."
<mainstreet> Heather simply watches the debate, carefully listening.
<Nenni> "If he'd been slain in Mortal Combat, that's one thing. But crippling him and then executing him is close to barbaric. Even if that's what HE would have done, that's what separates US from people like HIM."
<Ascii> "Look, I agree we can't just turn him loose, but we can't just kill the guy either. There has to be a better solution. I'd persoinally vote prison, but the prez doesn't seem to be willing to take the chance."
<Nenni> "I would think we could incarcerate him in prison in his toad form - he isn't going to be able to save himself."
<Ascii> "Yeah, well, yo be honest, letting him stay a toad and lose his mind is still dangerously close to murder in my book."
<Vivi_> "Any random Dispel Magic spell could set him loose again, no matter where we put him. We can't contain him, they can't contain him...who exactly do you think is going to hold him prisoner?"
<Hildyr> "There comes a point when someone is too dangerous to let live. I believe Leo has crossed the line, there. He caused great suffering and will do so again if given the chance. We should not let him have that chance."
<Vivi_> "Yeah, what she said."
<Nenni> "If we were to cast Baleful Polymorph on him three times a day for a week, he isn't going to keep his inhumanity. I dunno many rescuers would try Dispell Magic 21 times to get him back, either. Because once cast, your curse is Permanent and needs to be dispelled to be lifted, each time requiring the dispeller to beat the original caster's curse."
<Vivi_> "We're out of options here. Just because you want there to be another solution doesn't mean there is one."
<Vivi_> "But the dispel could happen at ANY time in the future."
<Hildyr> "All we have to do to stop a lot of potential suffering is snuff out one life who has shown he doesn't respect other lives."
<Hildyr> "Not just suffering, but potentially more death."
<mainstreet> "Ribbit ribbit ribbit!"
<Nenni> "We all cause suffering to a greater or lesser extent. All we have to do to prevent a lot of potential suffering in the future is to kill everyone. That's not the solution."
<Ascii> Ascii looks like he's about to say something, but then gets an idea. He uses Aeth to talk to Leo. "Okay, how about this - what do *you* think?"
- Vivi_ allows Aeth to listen to Leo's ribbitting, in case Leo has something helpful to say in his defense, rather than just words unfit to print.
<Vivi_> "The rest of us usually bring about happy good things that make the suffering we cause worthwhile," Vivi points out to Nenni in the meantime. "Leo seems to only be on the pain-causing side of things."
<mainstreet> ("You know, I'd really like to know what your problem is here. She BETRAYED me, okay? Why am I not allowed to deal with that? Every power EVER has had zero tolerance for treason!")
<Ascii> ("That's kinda how treason works, dude. You let people get away with it with just a slap on the wrist, and next thing you know you're dealing with a coup.")
<Vivi_> "The image of a woman you are supposedly fond of flying across the room in front of me comes to mind," Vivi says drily.
<Ascii> ("Plus you're a wanted criminal already, given the whole 'gang leader' thing.")
<Ascii> ("Any reasonable government would improsino you fairly, but apparantly the Prez here thinks you're too dangerous and he doesn't want to have to deal with you. Which is bullshit in my opinion, but if he won't take you, that leaves us to decide."
<mainstreet> ("What do you think a government is? It's just a gang on a large scale. Organizations like ours step in when governments can't or won't. Ask Kelda, they'll tell you the same damn thing. And the President is afraid of me. As he should be.")
<Nenni> ("Agreed! Government is just the gang that looks presentable.")
<Vivi_> "You treat your own people horribly. Kelda doesn't do that, and the President...well, probably isn't as bad as you in that regard, either. You mistreated your female followers and led all the gang members to their death."
<Ascii> ("I'm not going to argue political philosophy with you, Leo. Make your choice. Death? Life as possibly a mindless toad?")
<mainstreet> ("I could give you my word that I'm not going to do anything to escape before the trial, but it feels like you've already made up your mind not to believe what I say. You don't approve of anything I do or say anyway. And don't give me that crap about those two options not being the same thing.")
<Nenni> ("Hey!") says Nenni, ("I jumped to your defence. I'm open to hearing your justification. Even if the president doesn't want to deal with you.")
<Nenni> ("It seems to me maybe the people who know you best would be your entourage we met earlier in your private chambers. I wonder what their decision would be regarding your immediate fate?")
The following was played on December 1, 2017
<mainstreet> ("Feel free to ask,") Leo replies. ("My ladies are loyal. Except for the one.")
<Nenni> ("Are they loyal of their own volition? There is no compulsion in effect?")
<mainstreet> ("I am not foolish enough to engage in magical compulsions. Those wear off far too easily.")
<Vivi_> "Well, we can ASK for their input at least, I guess. I'm not promising not to stomp him even if they want him alive, though."
<Ascii> "Yeah, we can't exactly let him go."
- Nenni is surprised - ("You let all the others go")
<Nenni> ("But yes - I expect the Ladies will have more insight into Leo's true nature behind the scenes than others of his faction will have")
<Vivi_> "Reluctantly, because there wasn't a better choice."
<Vivi_> "And I think he just let everyone else in his faction die, so there's not much to be said for that."
<Ascii> "Besides, the others were mooks. This is a gang leader, and a damned tough one besides. If we let him go now we may not get another chance to take him down. You saw what he almost did to Hildyr back there."
- Vivi_ nods in agreement, thinking Ascii is finally starting to make sense.
<Hildyr> "Only almost."
<Ascii> "And he's clearly a sociopath. I'm surprised they haven't already tried to take him down before now."
<Nenni> ("So are we done here in Rainbow House?")
<Nenni> ("Or did we need to ask Cecilia any questions, such as about her motives against Leo or against the presidency, etc?")
<mainstreet> Jack takes hold of Cecilia the Toad. "Okay. I see the charges here. Simplest option is to throw her in an antimagic cell. She'll change back, but she won't be able to get herself out before then. Unless there's an objection?"
<Ascii> ("I'd like to, yeah, although I doubt she'll be cooperative. Hey, Cece, why *did* you do this anyway?")
- Vivi_ shakes her head 'no' to indicate she has no objection, while listening for Cecilia's answer to Ascii's question.
<mainstreet> ("I wanted that <bleep> <bleep> <bleep> over there DEAD, that's what. And, I suppose, a chance to actually do something for myself for once.")
<Ascii> ("I assume you mean Leo.")
<Nenni> ("Or did you mean a president?")
<mainstreet> ("Yes. Leo.")
<Vivi_> ("What changed, that made you want him dead?")
<Ascii> ("So, what, you got in good with the President so you could march a government-sanctioned death squad over there and try to kill Leo and his followers?"
<mainstreet> ("Of course,") Cecilia gloats a bit. ("It was a grand revenge. Really, the end result is not unsatisfying for me, despite my current situation.")
<Ascii> ("I take it you didn't care for having him lording over you all the time.")
<mainstreet> ("He's an abusive <bleep> who has no respect for anyone other than himself. He controlled his territory purely on physical strength and terror. I'd been waiting for many months for an opportunity to do something like this. When Lauren disappeared, I took my chance. I could have pulled off a Heather as well, had it come to it.")
- Nenni thinks Cecilia pulls off a pretty convincing Toad, too.
<Vivi_> "Well, I relate to your goals, if not your methods," Vivi says to Cecilia. "At least you'll be human again soon. Try not to give the staff here a hard time, eh?" Vivi nods politely at this "Jack" fellow and heads out of Rainbow House.
<Vivi_> "Let's go see Leo's girls."
- Nenni trots after Vivi.
<Nenni> "For great justice!"
<Ascii> Ascii clanks along with the others.
- Hildyr tags along
- Vivi_ heads for Leo's bar/den/lair.
<mainstreet> You walk through the eerily quiet streets.
- Nenni tries to not step in blood, guts, or chalk outlines.
<mainstreet> You pass through the bar unchallenged, and make it into his house area. You quickly go through and it's a wreck! Everything looks trashed; there's clearly nothing of value left. Except for a single locked door, where logically a bedroom should be, the place appears to be deserted.
<Ascii> Ascii keeps his eye out for anything interesting-looking on any of the corpses.
<Nenni> ("Hmph. Nothing here guys. We should split up and search the town.")
<Ascii> "Hmm. Either the ladies decided to jet, or else the gubmint got in here too."
<Ascii> Ascii peeks through the door.
- Nenni faces the locked door and attempts to Dimension Door forward 2 squares.
<mainstreet> Nenni: You door over to the other side, and see three of the ladies from before, sitting on the bed, whispering to themselves and each other over a piece of paper.
- Vivi_ knocks on the door. "Anyone in there?"
<mainstreet> The ladies look up, and one of them goes carefully to the door... then stops. "Hey, how'd this cat get in here?"
- Nenni vocally says to them, "Hello. We met before."
- Nenni explains further, "I'm glad to see you're safe. Would you mind opening to door and having a chat with my friends? It's about your benefactor, Leo."
<mainstreet> Nenni: You can see this is a fairly typical, if large, bedroom. It's all in blue, as you might expect, and the bed seems large enough for a handful of individuals. Dressers line the walls, and you see another door opened a crack and it appears to lead to the bathroom.
<mainstreet> "...a *Talking* cat, no less. What," the woman blinks, temporarily unable to parse.
- Nenni starts scratching his head (with his hindleg). If there's a red dragon, and a green dragon, and a silver dragon on this island, and Leo is a half-blue dragon, Nenni really wants to ask him, "Who's your daddy?"
<Ascii> "Yes, yes, talking cat, it's old news." Ascii chimes in from beyond the door. "What're you doing in there?"
<Nenni> "Stranger things happen at sea" Nenni hopes to assuage their fears.
- Vivi_ gets impatient and uses her Knock spell to unlock the door.
<Nenni> Nenni manifests Attraction on the girl who spoke, with a target of Ascii. The girl really wants to meet Ascii now. He hopes.
<mainstreet> The lady sighs and opens the door. Light floods in a bit from the hall, and you can see that these are the three women that were, and still are, quite threadbare in their attire. The opener frowns at Ascii. "We were waiting. And the door was locked for safety. But I can tell you would have just busted your way in, anyway. Hmmph."
- Nenni slips into the bathroom to check if the other ladies are in there.
<Ascii> "To be perfectly honest, yes, I probably would have. But in my defense, that's only because you locked the door." A pause. "I mean, why are you huddled up in here? The soldiers are gone."
<mainstreet> "Yes, of course they are. There's very few left. We were hoping the Master would come back. Preferably before Kelda decides they want this area, and takes it over themselves. I have no idea what they'd be interested in doing with us."
<Ascii> "Yeah, about that...your boss got toad."
<mainstreet> "Towed? What? He doesn't have a cart..."
- Nenni was hoping to find and get the input of the more independent women if possible.
<Vivi_> "Where did the other women go?"
<mainstreet> The lady gives a sour groan. She goes back to the bed, grabs the paper, and flips it into Vivi's face. "They abandoned us."
- Vivi_ looks at the paper.
<mainstreet> Nenni: The bathroom is deserted.
<mainstreet> Vivi_: The paper reads as follows...
- Nenni comes back out.
<mainstreet> You're an <bleep> and we are sick of your <bleep>. Now that you've finally lost all your enforcement, and are gone yourself, we're getting out of here. You're never going to see us again. Don't even try to find us. We'll attack you on sight, you <bleep>. We're leaving this note because we know those little brainwashed monk <bleep>s of yours will try to stop us. If we could help them, we would. But we're through here.
<mainstreet> --Linda and Susan"
<Ascii> "I guess that answers that question."
- Vivi_ looks the ladies over. "I suggest you move on now."
<Ascii> "Ahem. I think that Vivi means is, what're you planning to do now?"
<mainstreet> The ladies look at each other uncomfortably for a moment, then glare at you all. "WHAT DID YOU DO?" they yell at once.
- Vivi_ attempts to look as if she has no idea what they're talking about.
<Nenni> "Well, after we tipped him off to the raid Cecilia was organising against him, we went and confronted her. Leo barged in, and a bystander put an end to his efforts."
<Ascii> "He's not *dead*, if that's what you're panicking about."
<Ascii> "Just...wartier than before."
<Ascii> "We told you, he got toad."
<mainstreet> "But what does that *mean*?"
<Ascii> "He's a toad now. Like, the hopping kind."
<Nenni> "He's smaller than me."
<Vivi_> "One of the Rainbow House people turned him into a toad. Cecilia got toaded too. Not for long, because, you know, the jail folk put their prisoners in antimagic cells."
<Nenni> "At least he isn't so blue now, even if he feels kinda down."
<mainstreet> "I see..." the lady frowns. "Can you change him back, please?"
- Vivi_ starts wondering how to extract them all from this awkward conversation.
<mainstreet> "...so we can have our master back? Why is this hard?"
<Ascii> "...because he's kind of an ass?"
- Nenni compares Half-dragon Leo to a donkey. Then compares Toad Leo to a donkey. Does not see the semblance.
<Hildyr> "Only kind of?"
<mainstreet> "Well, yeah, I guess..." she admits slowly. "But... we still need him."\
<mainstreet> "Well... he's the most powerful person around. Best protector. I don't really think I want to go out... out there... unprotected."
<Nenni> "Want me to protect you?" Nenni purrs.
<mainstreet> "Um... no offense... but you're... a cat."
<Vivi_> "Perhaps we could escort you to the Rainbow House. Lauren might be willing to help you out, since we helped her."
<Ascii> "You could go to the Kelda. They're bound to be nicer than Leo was."
<mainstreet> "Why would they be nice to their enemies? That doesn't make sense."
<mainstreet> "And, no, the government just tried to wipe us out. That also seems like a terrible idea."
<Ascii> "Well, you're not exactly their enemies anymore, are you? Leo's done, you're not affiliated with him anymore."
<Vivi_> "I think Kelda hated LEO, not YOU."
<Vivi_> "As long as you don't try to give them trouble, you probably won't be seen as a threat."
<Nenni> "ARE you capable of being a threat to anyone?" Nenni kinda doubts it.
<mainstreet> The ladies look at themselves uncomfortably some more. "I suppose... I guess we should think on it. And of course we're a threat, we're quite well trained, thank you very much. Well, a threat to most people. Probably not to any of you."
<Vivi_> "The government just had a bunch of their troops wiped out. Maybe they'd like to hire you."
<mainstreet> "Um, we have a criminal record. I don't think that's a good idea. Plus as I said, they tried to wipe us out."
<Nenni> "Other than protection from other gangs, and being patted, what benefit(s) did YOU get out of Leo's arrangement? I'm curious."
<mainstreet> She shrugs. "I've never really thought about it."
- Nenni checks his watch. "If you were to think about it now? We've got time."
- Vivi_ glares at Nenni.
- Nenni looks innocently up at her with big, soft eyes. "Whaaaaaat? C'mon - the guy's powerful and protective. If those are the only two qualities someone who's lived with him for... a long time... can come up with, I reckon there'd be plenty of people who could satisfy such standards."
<mainstreet> "Possibly. Thinking is... not something we do a lot, really. It's hard."
- Nenni thinks Leo Thinking For The Herd is part of the problem.
<Ascii> "It's only hard 'cause you let Leo do it for you for so long."
<Ascii> "Personally, I suggest counseling."
<Hildyr> "There are plenty of benefits to thinking. It's worth it."
<mainstreet> "Perhaps. But it's not going to be quick..."
<mainstreet> "It's... been a while."
<mainstreet> "Do you have a suggestion that doesn't involve putting ourselves in the hands of people that have tried to kill us?"
<Vivi_> "Start a clothing shop?" Vivi says, trying not to look at their clothes while saying so.
<mainstreet> She frowns. "Having money is a good way to wreck our abilites pretty heavily. That's... a big concern, really."
<Ascii> "Wait, what?"
- Vivi_ blinks in surprise.
<Nenni> "Are you ascetics who have taken a Vow of Poverty?"
<mainstreet> She nods in confirmation. "We are."
- Nenni purrs in admiration.
<Ascii> Ascii glances at the girls, then at Heather, who is presumably still hanging around. "Hmmmmmm."
<Nenni> Nenni reasons with them along these new-found lines. "So, the Vow of Poverty sets you on the Exalted path. Your allegiances and behaviour as an Exalted person must be exemplary and good and upright and just. I wonder whether some of Leo's activities would have been difficult to rationalise for you? But freed from that paradigm, you can certainly make your way in the world bringing charity to those in need."
- Vivi_ thinks. "Renounce your vow, become beggars, go live off the land, or...start offering your services to some wealthy people in town. The Winstara lady might want some guards?"
<mainstreet> The lady frowns at Nenni and sighs. "You're... not wrong. That's why we didn't let ourselves overthink things. Just trusted him."
- Nenni glares at Vivi. "Don't renounce your vows. Stay true to yourselves!"
<Nenni> "I too am ascetic. You are looking at everything I own."
<Ascii> "By which he means us humans."
- Nenni wishes Fluffy were about to ask whether GATO would consider them as covert operatives.
<Hildyr> "I prefer larger, stronger animals than cats. Speaking of which, we need to go pick up Terry some time."
- Vivi_ suddenly remembers that she's still supposed to be copying down the Teleport spell. She resumes doing so. "We'll get him tomorrow!"
- Nenni wishes Lauren were about to ask whether GATO would consider them as covert operatives.
<Ascii> "Say, Heather...you've got more money than you know what to do with, and you're looking for something meaningful to do with it..."
<Vivi_> "Studying magic IS meaningful."
<mainstreet> Heather smirks. "You... aren't wrong." She takes a look at the ladies. "I could probably use some helpers. Want to come with me?"
<mainstreet> The ladies look at each other. "I suppose it's worth a try."
<Nenni> Nenni suggests to the team ("Kerth is a dragon with GATO. These guys could work with him. In their rags they could easily gather information and be overlooked by the crowds trying not to see them.")
<mainstreet> They get up slowly. "Well, let's go then, I guess?" one asks.
<Ascii> "I think we found a solution, Nenni."
<Vivi_> "Yay us," Vivi says distractedly, as she continues to write.
<mainstreet> And amidst the ever-changing debate over what to do with The Toad...
<Ascii> "Well, then. I guess we've got Heather and three hirelings now. Finally we outnumber the cats."
<mainstreet> ---THE END---