Old Dorks Zeitgeist

Update Six

Not all that explosive

Zeitgeist Six — Not all that explosive
Oct 19, 2011

Scott:
Massarde and his engineers get the engine room under control. Blake finishes her sweep of the observation suite.

After everything is sorted out, there are several casualties to deal with. Four people are dead: a halfling chef named Ilton, an engineer named Jenner, the duchess’s handmaiden Sokana, and a guard who was stationed at the ship’s magazine, Divianne. The Duchess is missing. Cazara also seems to be missing at first, but she eventually turns up on the top deck, mixed in with the party guests.

One engineer is under arrest: a man by the name of Ostman. The Assistant Chief Inspector is practically foaming at the mouth to interrogate the man, but Principal Minister Harkover Lee is currently “talking” with him in the officer’s quarters.

Delft uses the time to gather Blake’s team in the observation suite. Shutting the door, he addresses the team. He paces, digging around in a pocket of his coat for his chew. He beats on one of the plush couches with his cane a little too fervently before collapsing himself into it, setting his very fine hat on a nearby end table.

“Someone want to tell me what the fuck just happened?”
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
“We just saved the ship and the King,” Blake explains smugly.
Oct 19, 2011

Erin Lee Newburn:
“A failed attempt at industrial sabotage, possibly assassination.” Malkie tries to comb out most of her blood from her hair before it coagulates. She doesn’t have much luck. “And by appearances, our saboteurs were being harbored, if not sponsored, by the Duchess of Shale. Also, the ladders aboard this leviathan are a crime against safety. I shall have to speak with Grimsley about a guild demonstration for hazard pay next week.”
Oct 19, 2011

Scott:
“I see,” says Delft. “Anyone have anything else to say before I check on Lee’s ‘questioning’ of our one surviving subject?”
Oct 19, 2011

Michael:
“Is nothing to say,” Qarina says, shrugging. “What Blake said. We save king, stop saboteurs. Time for drink.”
Oct 19, 2011

Scott:
“Yes, that’s very good with the talking,” says Delft dismissiveley. “Nicely done. Sergeant, please show your charge here how paperwork works when you lot get back to the station.”
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
“I do have a question, however,” Blake says, turning to her comrades as well as Delft, “How was our visitor able to teleport onto this ship? I thought the Coaltongue was secured against such an obvious attack.”
Oct 19, 2011

Kat:
Cazara looks puzzled.
“Um, you mean the Duchess’ handmaiden?” she says.
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
Blake ignores the question and waits for an actual answer.
Oct 19, 2011

Kat:
“‘Cause she didn’t teleport on. She walked on. With the Duchess.”

She quails a bit at Blake’s steady stare.

“She was disguised as an elf,” she goes on. “A glamour.”
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
Blake dips her head gratefully.

“Then perhaps my question should have been – how did she leave..?”
Oct 19, 2011

Scott:
Delft looks confused. "Er, we picked this ‘handmaiden’ up off the floor. She’s quite dead. Looks like someone’s axe had its way with her. Possibly some contusions from a spiked chain as well. I believe the body’s down in sick bay.

“Do you need some time to confer with your team on the details, Sergeant?”
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
“Apparently,” Blake responds.
Oct 19, 2011

Scott:
‘You have ten minutes. I’m going to see what Lee’s come up with."
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
“Fine. Don’t forget to look into whatever forms are necessary for our medals and bonuses,” Blake says altogether seriously, as she turns to her team dismissing Delft with her body language, she gestures to Cazara, “Let’s start with the Other One – what exactly happened once you went below?”
Oct 19, 2011

Kat:
Cazara blinks at Blake for a moment, and then lowers her eyes.

“I saw the glamour – I’ve seen it before – and I thought it was interesting, but not immediately suspicious. There are plenty of reasons an Eladrin woman might disguise herself, you know? That’s why I didn’t come and find you right away. I thought I’d gather some more… Well, I went and listened at the door of the observation deck. I didn’t hear much, really, but enough to alarm me. And then I was caught.”

“I was perfectly stealthy.”

She sends a look around the group, defying anyone to imply otherwise.

“But they were doing some sort of magic. They probably had a ward up.”
Oct 19, 2011

Kat:
After a beat, Cazara goes on, rather sheepishly.
“They, um, they kind of bound my tongue against saying much. It’s more magic, I think. I’m sorry.”
Oct 19, 2011

Me:
Blake nods and turns to Qarina…
Oct 20, 2011

Michael:
Qarina listens to Zara’s story, the line of her mouth unreadable. Occasionally, she flips a coin into the air, snatching it nimbly between finger and thumb as it tumbles end over end, the coin’s movement in stark contrast to the stillness of her leather-wrapped head. As Blake turns toward her, she sighs, palming the coin.

“I want to look at engine,” she says. “I figure, what better way to kill king than blow up shiny new ship?” She shrugs with her hand. “Is easier than fighting crowd. To engineer Fitzcairn I talk. Is good man, very smart. Everything a-ok. But when whistle blow, I think, wolf attack when sheep together. Is old Tsaylani proverb. So I stay. Avoid herd. When song begin, eladrin woman appear, ambush me. But I ready. I kill three pet fire demons, try to kill her, but too strong. I run to get comrades, find Malkie and Durakh-al. We kill woman, save ship, almost die.”
Oct 20, 2011

Erin Lee Newburn and Scott:
Malkie sneers through a particularly clotted-up tangle. She pauses, looking at the streaks of blood between her fingers.

“The halfling. The one I…dealt with.” She shoots a knowing look at the space Delft occupied before he went to talk to Minister Lee. “He was wearing a chef’s uniform. Did anyone else think to inspect the food?”
Oct 20, 2011

Me:
“We aren’t food inspectors – hopefully whoever was in charge on the ship thought of that,” Blake grumps as she makes a note to pass that detail along to Delft.

“What about you, Muscles,” she asks turning to Durakh-al.
Oct 21, 2011

Scott:
Before Durakh-al can respond, Delft bursts back in. “The King’s sister is missing! Lee says no one has seen her since she came below — and her handmaiden was the one tried to blow up the ship — who knows what she did with the Duchess! On your feet, everyone; we need to turn this ship upside down and find her!”
Oct 21, 2011

Me:
“How can these people be the last to know that?” Blake grumbles under her breath. “You all seem to be adequate at finding trouble by wandering around aimlessly – so wander!”

Blake goes back to the Duchess’ quarters to examine the window that was left open – she had assumed some tampering with the gold ring for teleportation.
Oct 21, 2011

Scott:
SInce the briefing is taking place in that room, it’s a short trip. Blake finds no evidence of tampering; the gold inlay is intact.
Oct 21, 2011

Me:
Blake takes the long way around. :P She leans out and sees if there is any obvious means of escape or evidence of perhaps a boat having come up, etc.
Oct 21, 2011

Scott:
She sees no obvious means of escape, short of jumping to the sea below (and no boat).
Oct 21, 2011

Me:
Deciding that perhaps there is more magical disguisery going on Blake is going to start on the top deck to ensure no one is being allowed off the ship yet (if that’s even a possibility where we are), and she’ll couple of a peering at people for disguisery with a thorough search deck by deck.
Oct 21, 2011

Me:
She’s also going to see if she can find someone who was aft at the time of the incident who may have heard or seen something. A water or air escape is likely in Blake’s mind – she had assumed the baddies had come in the open window and not that someone had gone out until she got the stories from everyone.
Oct 21, 2011

Michael:
Qarina stands. “Back below,” she sighs, heading towards the berth deck, where she first encountered Sokana and giving it a good once-over.
Oct 21, 2011

Kat:
Cazara shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot, but says nothing.
Oct 21, 2011

Erin Lee Newburn:
Malkie watches the constables scurry off before she can get a word in edgewise. She sighs and turns to Delft (or whoever’s still in the room). “The duchess isn’t on the ship. She jumped out of the observation room window.”
Oct 21, 2011

Michael:
Qarina pauses just outside the doorway, grumbling silently.
Oct 21, 2011

Scott:
Delft sighs a bit overdramatically. “And…”

He sits.

“And you didn’t think to include that in your report? Wow… okay, uh…”
Oct 23, 2011

Erin Lee Newburn:
“My apologies, I thought ‘The Duchess is a traitor to the crown and harboring terrorists’ conveyed the salient bits.”
Oct 23, 2011

Scott:
“Groundless claims against a member of the royal family with no evidence andalso then failing to inform your superiors — or anyone else — of the location or last-known whereabouts of your so-called traitor grossly fails to convey the salient bits. We are not in the business of rumormongering, Ms. Vienne. I would think you’d know that by now.”
She grabs a lock of her clotted hair. “I’ve had my brains dashed against the deck twice in less than a minute. Small details tend to escape you after major head wounds.”

She huffs and slumps in her chair. “Bang-up job of summoning the medics for your wounded operatives, Delft. Good to know you care.”
Oct 23, 2011

Scott:
“Sick bay has not moved. Go there when you’re done magically rebuilding your flesh with the blood of one of our suspects.”
Oct 23, 2011

Erin Lee Newburn:
“Fresh out,” she mutters to herself, but shuts up, slumping into her chair. Delft knows as well as she does that she can’t go to medical aid—revealing her nature outside the RHC that way would be a violation of her work contract. She makes a note to work on harder bluffs to call.
Oct 23, 2011

Scott:
(And not leave dead guys with their throats ripped out in range of one of the most powerful wizards in the country who likes to Speak with Dead when he really wants to know what’s going on.)

He mumbles to himself as he leaves the room again.
Oct 22, 2011

Michael:
Qarina slumps against the wall outside the room, ignoring Delft as he walks past.
Oct 22, 2011

Me:
Blake folds her arms irritably under her poncho and leans against a bulkhead.
Oct 23, 2011

Scott:
Delft comes back into the room after a brief time

“What we know: the Duchess’s handmaiden tried to blow up the ship. Near as I can tell, when Malkie and Durakh came to her door, she and her three accomplices attacked Malkie and Durakh while the Duchess dove out the window. Is that about right?”

Delft waits a moment to see if anyone interrupts him.

“So, the only ‘evidence’ we have against the Duchess is that she fled the scene after having been alone in the room with known conspirators against the crown. I think it’s reasonable that she could have been their captive and was only able to escape when Malkie and Durakh interrupted the conspirators. She escaped the doomed ship as quickly as she could. Sailors are searching for her around the ship as we speak.

“Tell me where I’m wrong…”
Oct 23, 2011

Me:

Blake shoots a hard gaze at Malkie but remains silent, her arms folded against her. Hest beneath her poncho.
Oct 24, 2011

Michael:
Qarina steps into the doorway. “In, out, in, out. You make dizzy.” She steps towards Delft. “Malkie have opinion, you have opinion. I have headache.” She shrugs. “Maybe Duchess plot against king. Maybe not. You tell us what you want, yes? You want ignore, we ignore. You want search, we search. But stop making dizzy. Talk talk talk is nothing.”
Oct 24, 2011

Eric:
Durakh-al shrugs and cleans off his long handled axe.
Oct 25, 2011

Erin Lee Newburn:
“Fine, I have nothing but circumstantial evidence, coincidence, and what sounded like a threat against Cazara’s life through a wooden door, which would easily be discounted as hearsay.
Oct 25, 2011

Kat:
Cazara, who has been trying to quietly back out the door, looks up at the sound of her name. She blushes, and tries to look smaller than her already slight frame.

“We also have a very powerful noblewoman, with rumoured magical aptitude, confirmed magical helpstaff, and a less-than-favorable attitude towards her brother’s industrialization campaign. One who ’unknowingly”—Malkie makes fingerquotes—"brings an eladrin anti-industrial saboteur on board a high-priority target—not a mere member of her entourage, but her personal handmaiden, no less. The woman who tightens the Duchess’s corset in the mornings. I don’t know if you can appreciate that, Delft, but professional ribcage-crusher tends to be a position of trust. And all this just as we receive reports of Gale’s vekeshi terrorists making a move.

Malkie throws her hands up “Motive, means, opportunity. Can we not at least call that ‘suspicious?’ Possibly ‘warranting further investigation?’ If we don’t have the authority to move on the matter, wouldn’t Minister Lee like to be appraised of the situation?”
Oct 25, 2011

Scott:
Delft concedes that further investigation may be warranted and then the scene starts to fade…

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