Doggon Day

Notes: Hitomi, Janie and Lilith are donating the sum of their run earnings (less the Draco foundation at level 1 contact), to the building the watchers base fund.

The message is a simple one.

The Message to the ladies was simple. Field exercise, report to the location listed below, Signed Johnny.

The meet

Janie acknowledges the message, then takes a few minutes to get and check her gear before knocking on Hitomi's door, two levels below her own.

Hitomi is glad she's got her gear not long ago, and when she gets the message, she spends the time it takes Janie to get there to make sure she's used the bathroom, and then squeeze herself into that undersuit, and then of course she pulls on the rest of her outfit ontop of it. When Janie arrives, she is just stumbling out of the door.

Janie nods at Hitomi. "Ye got th'message?" she asks. "My bike's down below. Ready t'go?"

Hitomi nods her head, locks the door, and follows Janie out down tot he bike. Soon the two are headed for the meet

Once on the bike, Janie taps the navcomp to plot out the safest and quickest route to the Love Shack. "I don't suppose y'r message gave out any more details as t'what we'll be doin'?" she asks.

Hitomi shakes her head then, "But, it's Johnny. I figure it's something important." She comments then, as she clings onto Janie while the bike rides, "I'm a little worried. My last run meat-side didn't go so well. Well, it went ok overall, but… I'm just worried. I don't wanna scew up something important."

Janie nods. "I understand what ye're sayin'," she replies. "But before ye start doubtin' y'rself into turnin' down th'job, there's one thing ye might want t'keep in mind."

A pause. "Well, two."

Hitomi tilts her head to the side, "Two things?" She asks then.

"First, Johnny wouldn't have called on ye f'r this job if he didn't have confidence in y'r ability t'handle it," Janie points out. "An' second… If /I/ didn't have confidence in ye, I could've driven off without ye an' make up some kind o'excuse."

Lilith strides into the bar in her high boots, grumbling as she wraps a slightly worn winter coat around her shoulders. She ignores the leers of a few of the patrons and squints as she peers around, trying to find the group.

The Love Shack is a sticky little strip joint, the low rent kind where the paint is peeling in the shadows, the drinks are watered down and the girls have a shelf-life thats measured in weeks, not years. Johnny is in the quintessential back corner, his feet propped up on a stool as he examines the orkish dancer on stage. She's got a desperate look to her, moving her hips in an almost violent fashion. It's hard having the morning shift at a strip club, because you have to work three times as hard for a tenth of the pay.

Lilith eyes the stripper objectively for a moment before heading to the corner. Even dressed like this, she's probably a step above the locals. 'Ey, guv, how's about sometime ye find someplace classier?" Dropping her Cockney h's, wrinkling her nose at Johan.

Hitomi nods her head then and sighs a little, "I guess you're right. I just don't want to dissapoint." She murmers as they head towards the joint.

Johnny takes his boots down off the table. "How about I don't." Says he, sitting up right in to his chair. "Where are the others?"

Lilith shrugs her shoulders, still clutching her coat around herself as she warily sits in one of the extra chairs. Her tail twitches itself out of the way. "Comin', I suppose."

Janie nods. "Try not t'worry about lettin' anyone down an' instead concentrate on doin' th'job," she advises as she pulls up to the Shack. She looks the place over while Hitomi dismounts and frowns. "Y'gotta hand it to him, he takes us to th'nicest places," she drawls.

Hitomi nods her head, "Y-yeah, I'll try." She offers, and then giggles at Janie's comment. "I dunno. it has a kind of rustic charm." she says flatly, as they all head in to meet Johnny.

Once all the girls are at the table, Johnny sits forward, his elbows on the table and his drink held between two hands. "Good Morning, Angels." He greets. "I had intended this to be an introductory meet and greet with an asset I'm currently sounding out. But she can't make it. So this is a simple enough mission for itself."

Lilith nods, folding her arms across her chest. "Aye aye, sirrah."

Johny glances to Lilith. "Disrespect me again and I'll show you how the Ororborus eats, girl." His features don't betray any hint of a joke. "This isn't any sort of funtime or sarcasm-play-house."

Hitomi heads into the club complete with somewhat lumpy back-pack, as she heads towards the meet. She nods at what Johny mentions to her, then, and goes quiet when Lilith gets told off.

Lilith frowns in return. "I wasn't disrespecting you." Her accent disappearing. "I was making an idle joke, and I acknowledge it a poor one. Sorry." She sounds sincere, and akwardly bows her head to him.

Janie sits down and nods at Johnny. "Anyone I know?" she asks - then shakes her head, suspecting she already knows the answer. "Never mind. What've ye got f'r us?"

Johny nods to Lilith, looking back to the others. "An errant word at the wrong time can be.. disastrous to an operation. Remember that and the matters closed." He loeks back to Janie… "Serel Ringas, an elven operative who seems to favor stealth and trickery to bloodshed. She's solid and clever. I want to sound her out for the team." A pause then as he leans back. "You three are headed to Ten Killer Lake in the CAS. Ten Killer Lake used to be part of the Cherokee Nation, back before the NAN wars and the breakup. Big indian reservation. Now its anglo land again as the Cherokees moved in with the other tribes."

Lilith looks properly ashamed and listens in, nodding.

Hitomi nods her head to Johny than, and says, "Ten Killer Lake. What's the op?" She adds.

"The job is a simple enough one on the surface. Bob Woodard is a rancher who bought himself a small island in Lake Ten Killer and some property fronting it on the shore. Recently, his dog dug up some bones. Wouldn't be an issue, if one of the bones didn't have a fetish attached to it that shows magical activity. From a 400 year old fetish. So. You are to investigate."

Janie's eyes widen slightly and she lets out a low whistle. "I take it one o'our jobs will be t'verify th'accuracy?" she asks. "What d'ye want us t'do if it turns out t'be legit?"
«OOC» Janie says, "Negotiate and purchase, steal, destroy, disrupt enchantment, etc… Lots of options."

Lilith wrinkles her nose. "Hmm." She looks thoughtful, wheels turning in her head, then turns to Janie. "My magical history is sadly lacking…I take it that this is an unusual occurence? Was there even any magical activity 400 years ago?

"Well… 400 years ago is slap bang in the middle of the 5th world. And there wasn't any real magic in the 5th world, at least, there shouldn't have been." She comments then. "Maybe… I dunno… an immortal might have made it…" she comments then, not really sure how such a thing would happen. "Might just be a hoax though."

Johny stands up and goes to the bathroom. "You girls chatter about it.. Back in a jiff."

Janie shakes her head. "There wasn't /supposed/ t'be as far as we know," she replies. "On th'other hand, th'Awakenin' wasn't like a thrown switch; th'mana level's been on th'rise f'r th'past two millenia at th'very least. Theoretically, someone or somethin' with sufficient magical talent who lives in th'right place might be able t'manipulate mana before th'global level got to th'point where th'Great Dragons woke up…"

Lilith nods, tapping her fingers on the table. "It seems to me…all through the 5th world…that while magic itself was no longer existant, that it weighed heavily on people's minds, especially in the earlier centuries." She nods to Janie. "Could be….400 years would've been in 1668, give or take. Close to the plague year and the great fire, and people were still rather excited about witch trials and all that bollix."

«OOC» Johny says, "Anyone with basic history knowledsgw would know that in that era, the cherokee were further east, not moved to the oklahoma area (Trail of tears) by force until the 1800s."
«OOC» Johny says, "So this item probably came from further east."

Hitomi continues thinking to herself, and she says, "Well… who knows. I gues… the easiest wya to find out is going to be showing up and just… asking, right?" She says glancing btween the other two. "Will you be abel to… you know… magic eyes thingy. Assense it?"

Janie nods. "Shouldn't be a problem," she replies. "As long as I c'n get a good look at it."

Johny returns, zipping up his fly as he does. "So ladies. Any thoughts on what you may be facing?"

Hitomi shrugs, "Not a clue. Magic isn't really my thing, although…" she murmers, grabbing her phone out of her pocket, and then connecting up to the matrix that way. it wasn't ideal, but it;ll do. "I'll see what I can dig up here."

Janie ponders, then speaks up. "If it's legit, then someone managed t'enchant a fetish over three hundred years before th'global mana levels were high enough t'support it," she states. "Whoever did it must've been inhumanly talented, or workin' in some kind o'major mana line junction, or both."

«Auto-Judge[]» Hitomi (#8620) rolls Computers + Task Pool: 2 vs TN 4 for "Simple Search on: 5thworld AND Magic AND Foci OR Fetish. Double time for accessing in tortoise mode.":
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 9 11 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Hitomi (#8620) rolls 1 for "4x Minutes":
«Plot» Hitomi says, " takes 44 minutes- so I'll be searching on the way."

Janie glances to the other girls to see if they realize the implication or whether she'll have to spell it out.

Lilith looks to Janie. "She's probably got a better idea then I…aye." She places a hand on the table, or starts to, thinks better of it and places on her lap. "What?" She arches a brow at Janie. "I'm taking that could be a serious problem? I'm not up on my magical history."

Johny settles back in to his seat. "Could be nothing. Could be anything. You, are going to go and investigate. Now, I know we are not the -only- ones who have heard this particular story or gotten this particular lead. So maybe yall girls should be -running along- and doing this talking and planning in the air. Your mission is to collect any magic related evidence and prevent it from being looted or sold."

Lilith nods briskly.

Hitomi nods her head then, and waggles her phone, "I can do this on the run. Let's go."

Janie nods. "I'm good t'go as is," she says, then looks at Johnny. "Ye've an address?" she asks.

Johnny reaches in to a pocket, sliding out a data chip. "Remember, this should be as nice and gentle as possible for the property owner, who seems to be playing ball. Mind, the Sioux Nation probably won't be playing ball. Not by the same rules, Nor perhaps, local yokles looking for fast cash."

Janie nods. "If we c'n keep th'latter from strongarmin' him, he might be a lot more amenable t'our offer."

Hitomi nods her head then at Johny, "We'll be gentle." She says with a bit of a smile and then, when the other girls are ready, heads out.

Janie nods as well and gets up, then looks at Lilith. "There's only room f'r one passenger on my bike," she says. "d'ye still have that car?"

Lilith nods to Janie and smiles a bit. "I took a taxi out."

Johny just sort of watches the women for a moment that just says 'awee jeeese, not this crap again…" He reaches in to his pocket, tossing a set of keys on the table. "Don't scratch the paint."

Lilith looks back to Johnny, smiling faintly. "I won't."

Lilith looks at the keys. "Then again, I need to change and get me gear before we leave, obviously. I can take a taxi home and then my own car to the airport.

Annie has arrived.

Johny glances at his watch. "Aight. Go to MccCarron. Planes already there and fueled. You'll meet up with Annie there. Janie, you brief her on the situation so she's up to speed."


The plane

McCarron Airfield, where the private jet company that Johnny hires to shuttle people around, is located. Black swept wing aircraft. It's a decent craft, and presumably Annie is around here somewhere. Marcus stands by the plane in question, apparently the pilot.

Lilith parks her Shelby, locks it down, and heads out to the plane with her usual canvas roll pack over one shoulder. She spots Marcus and nods as she approaches, smiling a little. "G'evening, Marcus. How're things with the old fella?"

"The old man is… Old." Says Marcus, gesturing to the plane. "And annoying. His bowels are acting up and he has a touch of the rheumatism. His shingles are powerful bad and his glaucoma is annoying. He cannot get or maintain an errection and he is prone to shooting at children on his lawn."

Hitomi hops off the bike when they arrive, and she smiles at Annie and Marcus, as she ehads towards the plane. however, while she waits, she looks back to her phone, still poking through search results.

Lilith lips thin in a tight line as she tries to repress a sudden burst of laughter. "I see. Aging can be awkward." She then smiles at him, friendly enough as she heads up and into the plane. "I do hope he's not bothering you too much."

Annie sits in the plane, waiting for takeoff, leaning back in her chair and reading something on her pocsec while she waits for the others to arrive.

Marcus steps up on to the plane and starts the whole preflight gobbledygook that pilots do. "Flight time to TenKiller Lake is about 3 hours. Brief the old woman, and we'll get there as quickly as possible."

Hitomi takes a seat, continuing to rifle through her phone… and then she sighs and shakes her head, "Nothing." She says to the others, and shrugs a little. "Whatever it is, it's not documented on the 'trix." She murrmurs, and puts her cellphone away.

Lilith snorts as she finds her spot, nodding to Annie as she takes a seat. "Good evening, ma'am." She waves an hand to Janie and Hitomi. "And good to see you too."

Hitomi suddenly becomes acutely aware of the fact that… she's never flown before. She glances around, out the window, at the others on the plane, and then bites her lip, deciding this would be a bad time to bring up her fear of heights.

Janie boards and finds herself a seat near Annie. "Hey, Annie. How much o'a briefin' did ye get?"

Annie turns off the pocsec as the others clamber aboard then offers each a smile of greeting as they take their own seats. She looks over at Janie, "Not much. Pretty much 'I have a job that is right up your alley. Meet the plane and Marcus at the airport.'

Janie chuckles. "Succinct as always," she replies. "We'll be headin' t'TenKiller Lake - an' hopin' it doesn't live up to th'name - t'investigate reports o'a four hundred year old magically active fetish havin' been dug up."

Lilith settles her bag down beside her, buckling in. She glances at Hitomi. "Feeling all right, miss?"

Hitomi nods her head at Lilith then, and she says, "I just… well… I've never actually been on a plane before." She murmers.

Annie nods, "Sounds interesting. Is this a group fund run, or are we going to get paid?"
Lilith smiles gently at the girl, nice enough for her. "Don't sweat it. Save for take of and landing, you'll hardly notice it. Might be a touch motion sick, but just pretend you're in a car. And we'll discuss the mission, so that'll distract you."

Marcus puts the plane in the air with smoothness and then enters the cabin. "Here's the briefing chip. There's payment available, rate of 30,000 per person." Says the younger man as he hands the older woman the readout. "In short, a dog disturbed a grave on an island in Ten Killer Lake. Grave held what amounted to a low power foci of an unknown type." He leans back as the planes autonav does its thang. "Only the foci dates back 400 years and the body was wearing garb that goes back to the same era. GRave itself, is maybe… 200 years old."

Lilith blinks as she hears the new details. "Damn strange. Any sign the body been moved at all?".

Annie shrugs, "Anthropologically it would not be unheard of.", she accepts the proffered readout and quickly scans it over.

Hitomi nods her head a little absently at Lilith, and even though the takeoff is smooth, she still grips the arm of her chair so hard that her knuckles turn white as the plane begins to rise into the air, breating deeply.

"Not unheard of, maybe - but not exactly common either," Janie points out.

"No, definitely not common.", Annie replies absently as she considers the possibilities.

Nodding to Annie, Marcus sits down, looking over the ladies. "Not unheard of. But not, as Ms. Blair points out, common. Nor is the possession of a bonafide orhicalcum foci of unknown construction, common."

Lilith keeps an eye on Hitomi as she nods, listening. "Mmm. I'm afraid I can't be much help, as usual. History is a hobby of mine, not a specialty." She murmurs quietly to Hitomi.

THe plane banks out over the Pueblo Corporate Council, headed for the CAS. Handoff to the CAS will be in a few moments, and then its maybe another hour to Tusla. From Tulsa, it's not a long ride to Ten Killer Lake and Bob Woodards property.

Mid air legwork

«OOC» Johny says, "Okay. Annie got any other questions, or do we continue to Oklahoma?"

«OOC» Annie says, "Nope. In flight I want to get maps (local, road, geological survey, topo) of the region. Also names and dossiers of local law enforcement officials if we can get em."

«OOC» Johny nods. You can get a work up on the county sheriff. Goddamn, now I gotta look up what county its in.. ;)

«OOC» Johny says, "How apropos."
«OOC» Johny says, "Its Cherokee County. James Cash, County Sheriff and also a local land owner."
«OOC» Johny says, "No city police out here, it's mostly rural. Also, it's unpopular land, as it used to be the Cherokee Nation Reservation before they all sort of moved to the NAN after the war."
«OOC» Johny says, "Lots of bad blood in the area."

«OOC» Johny says, "Anyone else got midair legwork?"
«OOC» Hitomi is busy trying not to barf.
«OOC» Johny says, "Always a positive in an enclosed space"

On the Ground

The plane comes in for a landing on an airstrip just outside the veritable ghost town of Tahlequah. Situated north of Ten Killer Lake, it was once a thriving city of nearly a hundred and fifty thousand. A hundred and fifty thousand Indians, that is.

Now, 40 years after the NAN wars and the break up, it's depopulated, looted, burned out and otherwise disused. A truck sits by the airstrip, provided for local transportation.

Lilith peers out the window and just sighs a little

Annie doesn't bother looking out the window as the plane lands. You seen one poverty infested area, you've seen em all. The plane finally stops and Annie is waiting at the door to disembark, her eagerness to get going barely repressed.

Lilith unbuckles, stands, and stretches. "Lovely…" she looks to Annie and appears curious. "Excited, ma'am?"

Janie follows behind Annie. "Who wants t'do th'talkin'?" she asks.

Marcus wouldn't get off the plane in this place if you paid him. Paid him lots and lots of money and you offered to bend Johnny over with a sign over his ass that said 'insert rapidly'. This just isn't his scene.

Hitomi pulls herself out of her seat, a little shakily, but glad the plane is on solid ground again now- the color is already returning to her face. To her, that's part one of the mission successful. Plane ride without puking or having a panic attack. She is still very quiet as she follows along.

Leaning on the side of the truck, is a young man, maybe 19 if he's a day, in blue jeans, boots and a flannel button up shirt of red and blue. He's got a classic cowboy style hat on, with an honest to goodness piece of hey in his mouth.

Lilith looks to Janie, to Annie and Hitomi. "I could, but I think Ms.Annie or yourself might be better…"

"GET OFF MY PLANE!" Calls marcus.

Annie nods to Lilith as she heads on down toward the tarmac, "Yeah, I am. There should not have been any orichalcum created during the fifth age. It should have been impossible. So a genuine puzzle.", she pauses and considers Janies question, "Well, I have a NAN sin. As far as that goes with the locals that is."

Lilith nods, looking intrigued. "It's made of that metal, then? I thought it was a construction of some other, more common material…that the magic was in the creation and object itself, not the materials, if that makes sense."

Lilith gets off the plane, to please Marcus. Sorry bastard.
Janie nods to Annie. "Ye're probably our best bet," she agrees. "We'll act as y'r backup an'security detail."

She then turns to Lilith and explains. "It's possible t'enchant literally anythin' with magic," she agrees. "But usin' orichalcum in th'process c'n make things infinitely easier — somethin' which'd be pretty crucial when tryin' t'enchant somethin' three hundred years before it /should/ be possible…"

Lilith nods as understanding dawns. "Ahh! Yes, of course…this is starting to make more sense to my unAwakened mind."

"I'll let you guys talk- you know more about this stuff than me… I'm just here…" Hitomi trails off a little, not sure why she was here after all. But she was here, so she livens up a little, now her feet are on the ground, and she tugs out her lumpy backpack once more.

Annie stops at the bottom of the ramp and waits for Hitomi, "Well, it would be a big help if you could find out which planes have landed and their passengers manifests. See if we are up against any corporate groups with an interest in this find. Also find out the flightplans of incoming flights. It would be useful to us if say, some of our competitors flights got rerouted to Dallas."

Hitomi nods her head a little at Annie, "Right… Right." She says then, "I'll go look for somewhere to jack in. Johny said this would be a meatside thing so I took my helmet instead of my wireless links."

The man by the truck pushes up off it with his backside, stepping closer to the people coming off the plane. "Well now. An'tchall quite the… uh… collection."

Lilith grins lazily at the man. Good thing she dressed down…jeans, old t-shirt, boots. She bobs her head in greeting and lets Annie do the talking.

Annie chuckles as she turns to look at the driver, deciding to take a few minutes to let Hitomi do a little misdirection with the air traffic control mainframe. "That we are. I suppose you are going to be our driver and guide?"

"Norman Greene. I run a fish and game travel service. Usually it means I show city folk where to put a line in the water to catch a fish. Today, it means I'm your babysitter."

Janie offers Norman a smile. "Thanks f'r y'r assistance, Mr. Greene," she replies. "We'll try not t'make too much o'a nuisance o'ourselves."

Lilith slides her hands into her pockets. "It is kind of you to help out, sir. Much of a trip out to the site?"

"Not really, no. Woodard's place isn't that far from here, as the crow flies, but the road got washed out a while back, so we need to do some ridge-line driving. Take us about 2 hours to go about 30 miles."

Lilith nods. "Ye know what the weather will be like? Any storms coming in?"

Hitomi glances about- towards one abandoned building, and then to another. Then to Annie, "I think… that air traffic control here consists of a guy with some flags." to the Elf then. "Not much i can do with that."

"Weathers been clear. Theres some murmurs about one of them mana laced storms coming in from Ute and Pueblo, but so far, scopes are clear. What we got here is just mid-winter cold."

Annie nods to Hitomi and grins slightly, "Ah well…it would have been fun.", she turns her attention back to Norm, "Well, let's get on the road then." She picks up her own duffle bag and tosses it on the truck before following it aboard

Lilith chuckles a bit and give Greene a wink before sliding into the truck. "No other problems ye can foresee, Mr.Greene?"
The truck is a Ford F-950, a large pickup with an extended cab that is used by rangers, ranchers and other such people. A ground clearence of nearly two feet lets it cross the land without a road fairly easilly. "Well, you got the county mounties sniffen around WOodwards place. Crooked as a whores zipper, he is."

Lilith checks her zipper. "I see." She looks back up, straight faced. "Crooked? Perhaps you could give us some more background on the man and why they're checking him out?"

"I take it they're lookin' f'r an excuse t'confiscate th'find so they c'n conveniently make it disappear in th'red tape?" Janie asks.

Hitomi puts her gear in the back, too, and then climbs into the pickup herself, "Has anything like this happened ebfore?" She asks then.

"Like what?" Asks Norm, as he pulls himself up in to the trucks drivers seat. There's one other front seat, and a bench in the back that will fit the other three ladies. "Bob found somethin, ain't said nothing about what it was, but theres all sorts of rumors flyen. Everything from a Dragons hoard to a civil war cashe."

"People finding stuff that everyone wants to take a look at. The mounties poking around, people coming from out of town to check thigns out." Hitomi says to him then, not wanting to be /too/ specific after all.

Lilith nods, sliding into the back seat. "I bet. I wonder how big a problem these mounties will be."

"Well, that's what we are here for. To determine what the old fellow actually found.", Annie replies as she takes her seat, "Maybe we can even quash a few rumors."

The man starts the truck and starts the ride out to where the site was located. He plays country the ENTIRE WAY, maybe as a sort of way to annoy his passengers. It's pretty racist shit, really. Anti meta, anti native, anti mexican… it's the heart of American soul.

Lilith just closes her eyes and placidly lets it roll over.

The music does a good job of shutting Hitomi up. She doesn't like it, but she knows that she can't exactly go and piss off their tour guide so she just bites her tongue. Literally.

The driver pulls to a stop about an hour and thirty minutes later. Up on the ridge, he pauses. "Hey, ears." He says to Janie… "Pass me them binocs on the floor back there… Looks like theres a boat out in the water of the lake…"

«OOC» Johny says, "Anyone who has vis-mag can do roll me perception"

«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Intelligence for "Optical Mag 3, Thermal, Low-life":
2 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Intelligence for "Vision mag adept power.":
1 4 5 5 7 22

You paged (Annie, Janie) with 'Okay. You can both see the boat clearly. It's a police style lake-patroller, sitting at anchor about 300 feet in the water. There's a man on the prow, looking at you, looking at him.'.

Janie pages: He wearing a cop-like uniform?

You paged Janie with 'He's wearing what appears to be a Sheriffs outfit. you can see the glint off his badge and his gun.'.
Lilith opens her eyes and looks over.

Annie peers that direction and then nods at Janie's interpretation, pulling a small box out of her pocket and twiddling the knobs a bit as the truck bumps along.

Hitomi looks out there, and squints a little, "I can't see anything." She comments, and passes the man the binoculars in Janie's stead.

Annie pages: Gonna try to get the local smokey frequencies if that boat is transmitting our arrival.

Lilith chuckles. "Neither can I. Do they look like they may be a problem, ladies?"

«OOC» Johny says, "Annie, gimmei an electronics test."

«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Electronics (to Johny):
2 9 11

It doesn't take long for Annie to find the local police frequencies. "Ah yeah, Jimmie.. Got Norms truck up on the ridge. Looks like he's got some ladies with him. Looks to be headen to Bobs place… Might be somethin to that find rumor…"

"Well, that actually took longer'n I'd expected," Janie murmurs. "We still have a head start, but not much o'one."

"Looks like we've been spotted." Hitomi murmers, and then glances uncertainly at the others.

Lilith grunts as she overhears. "Let's get out there then."

Annie toggles a few switches and shunts the scanner feed to a sub frequency on her comm unit, then places the scanner unit back into her pack.

«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Intelligence (to Johny) for "Assensing. Any spirits or mages around?":
1 2 3 4 4 11

Hitomi glances between the other women present then, and she asks, "Should I get my helmet out? No that would look suspicious… don't want tog et shot at if I don't have to. but what if I get shot at and I DON't have it on?" She says then. Panicky.

"Nobody's goin' t'be doin' any shootin' at anyone if we c'n possibly avoid it," Janie murmurs reassuringly.

Lilith gives Hitomi's shoulder a squeeze. "Just relax, that's the most important thing." She nods to Janie.

The boat starts to pull up anchor as the truck makes its way down in to the valley. "Now, Bobs place is just in the next holler. He does some sheep, some cattle, a little corn on a plot a little further inland, but mostly, he's just the local Army Vet. Lost his family in the -old- days when Redondo burried his folk out near Alamagordo."

Janie looks at Annie. "Out o' curiosity, d'ye have anythin' that could put our sherrif friend t'sleep f'r a little while?" she asks. "It'd be convenient if th'local police response were a tad delayed…"

Lilith peers out over the landscape. "Pity about the old man…"

Hitomi peers at Janie as she starts talking about police responses, and she comments, "I thought we were just chatting with him, and seeing if it's worth our benefactor's money." she comments.

Annie looks over to Janie once the scanner is secure, "The fellow in the boat? I could probably knock him out if need be."

Bob's Place.

The truck bounces over the last rise, revealing a large ranch house with an ATV sitting out front of it, a truck parked on a gravel driveway, and an old man with a rifle, currently shooting at you.

A round slams in to the hood of the truck, rebouding off the metal and shattering the front windshield. "GODDAMN IT BOB! ITS ME NORM!"

Lilith immediately grabs Hitomi and pushes her head behind the seat. Otherwise, she looks blankly outwards. "Ah, charming. The traditional American rural greeting."

Hitomi squeals as the round comes their way, and is already duckign when lilith pushes ehr down. She swears, loudly, in Japanese.
«OOC» Johny says, "TN is 6 for his WP, no background count."
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 10 vs TN 6 for "F6D Stunbolt.":
2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 10 - 1 (successes) vs TN 6 for "F6D Stunbolt. kp 1/22":
1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 13 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Sorcery + Sorcery Pool: 10 - 2 (successes) vs TN 6 for "F6D Stunbolt. kp 3/22":
1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 9 10 11 14 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 1 for "Mystery":
«OOC» Hitomi says, "You expect Annie tog et at least 20 successes on any given spell :3"
«OOC» Johny says, "Pose the spell. I'll pose what happens."
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Willpower + Sorcery Pool: 1 vs TN 2 for "Resist 2d drain.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 4 5 7 9 10 17 = 9 Successes

Lilith murmurs softly. "Thank goodness I wore a baseball cap today."

Annie glances momentarily toward the boat and there is a soft nearly inaudible whirr as her goggle optics zoom in on her target. She doesn't gesture or do much out of the ordinary on the physical realm. On the astral realm, the glow of mana surrounds her for a moment then streaks off toward the distant boat like an arrow loosed from the string.
On the Astral realm, it's… odd.

The spell is targeted well. Right at the man. But as it passes over the small island just off shore from the main home… the ball of mana deviates. It dives right in to the ground, and is gone.

Annie blinks and looks over at Janie, "Interesting", she mutters after a moment, "I need to get out to that fucking island."

Lilith looks to Annie. "What happened?"

Janie raises an eyebrow. "That was interestin'…" she murmurs.

The old man seems to chamber another shot, aiming at the truck again, when Norman dives out, his hands in the air… "DONT SHOOT! I'M UN FUCKING ARMED YOU CRAZY OLD GOAT!"

Lilith turns her attention back to the shooting. She checks up on Hitomi, and then idly checks her canvas pack.

Hitomi stays down, behind the seat, "What the hell is with this guy! Is he freaking crazy!?" She yells to no one in particular. Totallt at a loss as to what to do.

Lilith murmurs. "Shhh. Keep your voice down…goodness, you kiss your mother with that mouth? I don't think even I've heard of some of those words."

Annie leaves the explanations for later seeing as they have a cop they can do nothing about and a crazy old geezer with a gun that they probably can.

Bob Woodard raises his rifle then, pointed to the skye. "Normy? That you? Well, why didn't you say so! come on down, I got squirrle chili on the pot!"

Norm comes back to the truck. "Lovely. He shoots anything that moves for food, and expects us to eat it…" He slides in to the drivers seat, and just puts it in neutral to coast down the hill to the house. "Be nice. He's old, not stupid. Much."
"Somethin' on th'lake swallowed th'spell," Janie murmurs to Hitomi and Lilith, then nods at Annie. It's her show now.

Lilith nods to Janie.

Hitomi nods her head then, picks up her backpack, and then creeps out of the car veeeeery slowly. She doesn't want to be mistaken for a racoon and shot, or something.

Bob steps forward… "You all them Dragon people that Skinny Pete said was gonna be comen?" He asks, shaking the rifle as if to speed up the response. "cause I don't want no visitors! No solicitors! No revenuers and for god damn sure, no injun loven mongoloids!"

Lilith sticks her head out and scowls at the old bastard. "Am I white enough for you, sir?"
Norm sighs as Bob aims the gun at lilith. "SHES GOT A VARMANT TAIL!"

Hitomi eyes the old man, and then once more bites her tongue to avoid saying something she might later regret.

Lilith sticks her head back in and mutters. "Ye gods."

Annie hops down out of the truck, about as spryly as can be expected for a ninety year old. "That would be us.", she replies simply as her staff expands to full walking length with an audible crack. "I would appreciate it if you didn't shoot my associates. They take a long time to train up properly and I don't have the years left to commit to another batch."

«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Charisma:
2 2 3 4 4 4 5 9 13 17

Lilith grunts and slides out after the older woman. "I'm glad to know I'm of some use, ma'am." She keeps her accent down a bit, less posh and more street level.

The old man seems to think that over then, eyeing Annie. "A'right. Get them ass-grabbing shitclowns out of that truck and get em inside. Mr. Johnny Law's out on the boat and watchen you."

Janie nods as she emerges, standing slightly behind and to the left of Annie in just the right position to provide covering fire if need be.

Hitomi is already out of the car, so she moves uinto slightly plainer view now the immediate thereat of being shot is over, and self consciously plays with the zipper on her jacket, while Annie does the talking. She does take a moment to lok around, mind.

«Auto-Judge[]» Hitomi (#8620) rolls Intelligence:
1 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 8 11
«OOC» Hitomi is just jenerally keeping an eye out.

You paged Hitomi with 'In the failing light, its hard to for a city girl like you to spot anything out of the ordinary.'.
Annie takes a gander up at the sky and the rapidly setting sun, "Mind if we take care of business first?", she inquires politely, "It's getting awful close to dark in these parts and my night vision isn't what it used to be back in the twenty-teens.", she shrugs, "After we have a look at these pieces your dog dug up, we would be happy to come inside. Talk a bit. Have some chili."

Lilith chuckles a bit. "I've never 'ad chili like that before. Curious about trying it."
Norm returns to the truck while Bob thinks that over. He reaches one hand up to scratch behind his neck, the rifle rested on his hip. "Yeah, we kin do that, I suppose. I got a small launch out back… Now, the dragon folk who called said there may be a RE-ward for what I got here… Didn't know there was a bounty on Dead Injuns again."

Lilith glances at Annie a moment, arching a brow.

"We'll need to see what it is before we can say for certain." Hitomi pipes up then.

"Very well could be a nice reward involved depending on what you have there.", Annie replies after a moment, "Remains located in this region could have a dramatic impact on the archaeological and anthropological communities.", she chuckles as she considers that probably doesn't mean much to the old coot, "Maybe enough to turn your small launch into a nice big boat."

Lilith watches silently from the sidelines, nodding faintly. Listening.

Bob seems to like that as he slings the rifle over his back on a strap. "Lets stop with the lollygaggen then and move yer cabooses! Lights failen." He moves around the back of the house, where there's a bass boat. Silver metallic, with a trolling motor, a front-seat and a large beer-cooler. It will carry everyone, but it won't like it.

Lilith slings her pack across one shoulder, the strap crossed over her chest for added security. She hums lightly. "Over on the mountain, thunder magic spoke…"Let the people know my wisdom, fill the land with smoke."

Hitomi eyes the boat, and blanches. Planes, Pickups and Boats. She rather carefully tries to get herself into the boat, and nearly falls out as it rocks.

Lilith rather gingerly steps or slides onto the boat, trying to find a spot, stilling humming old tunes to herself.

Annie follows along after Bob and takes a seat on the boat when offered. While waiting for the others she checks out where her friend the cop is currently keeping himself. She's already monitoring the police bands, so not too worried about what he may be doing at the moment.

"Yeah… he's got em out by the boat… You best get the fuck away from that island… Figured they'd go inside with the failing light. Looks like the Geratric one's in the lead. No, the other one. The one with tits, though I don't think they count at that age…" Says the Scanner in Annies ear.

Lilith just rolls her eyes at the scanner.

Bob moves to the controls of the boat. "Yall get yer shitmakers on board." With that, he does't really WAIT for people to get situated as he takes the boat out under power, the 200 or so feat to the small island. A moment later, he grounds the front end of the boat on the small stone shore. No damage, the boats built for it.

Lilith falls on her ass as the boat takes off and immediately latches on to the fishing chair, then calmly releases once they hit shore and jumps off.

Hitomi jumps out of the boat at the first opportunity, and then has to jump again when a wave fills her shoes. Good job she's wearing armored, waterproof socks. She glances about on the island then, "So you found the thing out here?" She asks Bob.

Annie hops off the boat as soon as it touches the shore, taking the moment to re-expand her staff once more. She switches her vision to the astral once more and takes a moment to look the island over for anything immediately apparent as being out of the ordinary while waiting for Bob to lead onward.

Janie steps off the boat lightly, then keeps an eye on the surroundings. This would be a very bad place to get ambushed.

Bob tromps his way to the front of the boat, tossing the anchor (A five gallon bucket of cement) off the side on to the land… "SHERIFF CASH! THIS HERES MAH LAND! GET YER ASS PICKEN NOSE RUBBEN INJUN LOVEN COMMIE PINKO POINT EARED ASS OFF MAH LAND!"

Sheriff Cash picks up the loudspeaker mic. "Ah.. Bob. Calm yer ass. I'm not on your land. I'm on your water, and I got a pressing public safety issue that by the laws of the great state of Oklahoma, allows me to violate your civil liberties and your ass, if you give me any trouble. I hear we got shots fired round these parts."

Lilith hops neatly from the stones to shore, dryfooted, and looks around as well, crouching slightly on her feet.

«OOC» Johny says, "Okay. tHose of you inspecting the island, can roll me perception."

Hitomi blushes faintly at the threats that the sherif was making, as she glances around her companions. "I can't wait to get this over and done with." She says, taking the time to look around herself.

«Auto-Judge[]» Hitomi (#8620) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 2 4 5 5 8 9 9 17

«OOC» Johny says, "Smart Otaku is Smart."
«Auto-Judge[]» Lilith (#8983) rolls Intelligence:
1 2 4 5 5
«OOC» Lilith mutters
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 1 3 4 4 5 8 9 9 10 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Janie (#4136) rolls Intelligence for "Hmm. (Astral as well as physical)":
2 4 5 5 5 8

«OOC» Johny pages info.

I don't recognize hitomo.
Idle message from Annie: @Work
You paged Annie with 'You scan the island, and at first, you don't see anything. It juest doesn't seem to be anything on the island. On the second pass however, something catches your eye. You blink, and realize there's a small masonry tomb built here, in to the side of the island. At least, the entrance. It's concealed, and Annie, with her magical background, will realize its an anchored form of illusion.'.
You paged Hitomi with 'You scan the island, and at first, you don't see anything. It juest doesn't seem to be anything on the island. On the second pass however, something catches your eye. You blink, and realize there's a small masonry tomb built here, in to the side of the island. At least, the entrance.'.

Hitomi looks up, and she nods her head, "That it over there?" She asks, nodding her head towards the clearly man-made structure.

Lilith blinks and looks in the direction Hitomi is pointing out.

Annie takes her time looking over the island, getting directly to business. "Hmm. Looks like a small masonry tomb. Someone tossed an anchored or quickened illusion spell. Someone did not want it to be found.", she leads a few steps toward what she sees and indicates the area to the others.

Lilith follows Annie, looking out as much as her mere human eyes can accomplish. "Well, that's to be expected."

The tomb, once pointed out, is pretty obvious. How you missed it the first time around, you'll never know. A spotlight comes on, from the boat, illuminating the area… "Now, yall got fish and game licenses?" calls the sheriff over the loud speaker. "Or… Aww shit, Jimmie, what do they need to fuck with places o' historical importance?"

"I dunno boss!"

"SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE, YOU TIN PENNY COPPER" Calls out Bob, though he wisely declines to shoot at the police officer.

Janie blinks once - she hadn't seen anything - but doesn't turn to look; Annie can handle the investigation but someone should keep an eye on the sherrif.

Lilith crosses her arms, narrowing her eyes in the light to peer out at the light. She smiles a bit and tilts her head to Janie. "Don't think they'd mind a few tourists just havin' a peek around?"

Annie glances toward the cops, then to Janie and offers an understanding nod to the other woman. She turns back toward the tomb and takes a few more steps forward, raising her hands as if trying to feel the illusion spell that cloaks the edifice.

Hitomi for the most part ignores the police since the old man was dealing with them, and it was apparently his propertyty after all, she figured that would be good enough, right?

«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Intelligence + 3 (1.5 magic bg dice):
1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 9 11 11
«OOC» Annie says, "Er, .5 that is :p"

Annie feels the magic, sensing it. It does not flow like magic she's used to. Not hermetic. Not shamanistic. It's a Older than those simple concepts and paradigms. Once she enters the crawl space, it appears to be in remarkably good condition, but then, its only about 200 years old. Dog tracks are visible in the mud at the bottom of the small crawl way, maybe 2.5 feet tall at its fullness. Designed to keep people out, in a fashion.

Lilith smiles at the coppers out on the water, raising one hand peacably in greeting. "Evenin', gents."

"I don't know boss! I ain't a fucken encylcops of legal code! I'm just a fucken deputy! I pull cars over, bust the occasional head and keep the peace!"

"Well get on the radio and ask Sally to look this shit up. We ain't got probable cause and I ain't no goddamn fool." Says the Sheriff.

Hitomi makes her way torwards the ruins with Annie, and then just waits outside for the more magically inclined to investigate further.

Janie leans against a nearby tree, arms crossed and waiting for the sherrif to decide what to do.

Annie continues moving onward, the vid camera in her goggles rolling continually as she pans her vision back and forth looking for whatever may lie within this tomb.
Lilith slides her hands into her pockets now, casually watching the sheriff, tossing a glance back to Annie. SHe turns back and shrugs gracefully. "Oi, sir, we ain't causin' no trouble. Granny's just doin' some sight seein'."

You paged Annie with 'The vidcamera shorts out.'.
Annie pages: Not my camera!
You paged Annie with 'OH NOES!'.
Annie pages: How about my other electronics?
You paged Annie with 'Pretty much anything not built in to you and defended by your personal aura is offline at this point.'.
Annie pages: Ok.

The interior of the tomb appears to be a simple natural cavern, just the entranceway exists as masonry. The interior is dark and it's pretty hard to see anything in the near total darkness. The setting sun provides some light, as it hits the right angle to send light down the entrance tube.

Hitomi calls down the hole, "Can you see anything in there?"

Outside, the Boat motors a bit closer… but doesn't come too close. The sheriff knows he's outgunned and he doesn't really have any legal pretext.

Annie stands up once inside the main part of the tomb and casually dusts herself off as she looks for whatever is causing the effects she is noticing. Finally she shrugs and casts a simple spell, observing the reaction of the magic. trying to discern what is causing this phenomenon.

You paged Annie with 'What kind of spell?'.
Annie calls back after a moment, "Not yet.", she hesitates a moment and adds, "It's not really tech friendly down here either."
Lilith continues to smile at the sheriff and relax peacefully against a tree trunk. "Having a good evening, sir?"

Annie pages: I will toss a weak powerbolt at a rock or other item in the tomb.

Long distance to Annie: Johny nods.
Annie's spell launches out, but circles back around. It rotates the room twice, before being sucked, like a drain, down in to the ground.

Annie frowns slightly and walks over to where the spell got sucked into the ground, kneeling down and examining the area closely in both the physical and astral realms.

In the astral realm, the spot glows slightly… a faded pulse that cycles up and down about once every minute… Something perhaps burried a in the ground here. In the real world, it looks like… mud.

Annie reaches into one of her pockets and pulls out a pair of latex gloves, pulling them on with an audible snap. She doesn't hesitate and plunges her hands into the mud, trying to find whatever it was that seems to be wreaking havoc on her spells.

The old woman's hands move in to the earth and push it aside without seeming effort. Maybe the dirt is real. Maybe its an illusion, maybe you're the illusion. Who the hell knows. The earth is pushed as side, and from it is birthed a bust. A head, of some sort. It's caked with dirt, making fine detail impossible. From the heavy brow and steep nose, it appears to be native american, but the carving style is simply inconsistent with any known carving cultures of the area.

Annie takes only the barest moment to examine the prize, then wraps it tightly within her jacket before performing another brief search to make sure there aren't any other artifacts present.
Lilith continues to look pretty for the sheriff!

The Sheriff is unsure what to do…
«OOC» Johny says, "Annie, gimmie a perception check"
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Intelligence for "No mods since all my electronics are shorted out.":
1 2 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 9 11 15

Annie is able to see, as her eyes adjust, a celto-European burial chamber, with a variety of paintings on the walls that are in various states of disrepair. A few Egyptian motifs crossed with some knotworkish looking things, a few norse futhark and even a bit of what will one day be Sanscrit.

Annie looks around and blinks as she notices the mishmash of cultures represented in this tomb. "Someone needs to learn how to make up their mind.", she mutters to herself as she heads off down the tunnel toward the exit with the head wrapped in her jacket and tucked under her arm like a football.

«OOC» Johny says, "Hold a sec here.."

«Auto-Judge[]» Johny (#799) rolls 20 vs TN 11:
1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 10 11 15 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Johny says, "Annie, Willpower, TN is 10."
«OOC» Johny says, "Actually, everyone, willpower 10."
«Auto-Judge[]» Lilith (#8983) rolls Willpower vs TN 10:
2 2 4 5 16 = 1 Success
Janie has disconnected.
«Watchfor» Janie (#4136) just disconnected from the game.
«OOC» Lilith says, "kp?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Annie (#5398) rolls Willpower vs TN 10 for "Bwah?":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 11 13 21 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Lilith (#8983) rolls Willpower - 1 vs TN 10 for "kp 1":
5 5 5 13 = 1 Success
«OOC» Lilith will hold!
«Auto-Judge[]» Hitomi (#8620) rolls Willpower vs TN 10:
2 2 3 3 5 5 5 5 11 28 = 2 Successes
«OOC» Johny nods. HItomi we will assume is assleep with a waffleface
«OOC» Johny says, "Oh, wait, she's not."
«OOC» Hitomi says, "Almost :p"
«OOC» Johny says, "Hitomi, lil, +prove will?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Hitomi (#8620) has the Attribute Willpower with the value '10'.
«Auto-Judge[]» Lilith (#8983) has the Attribute Willpower with the value '5'.
«OOC» Lilith sucks!
«OOC» Johny poses.
«OOC» Annie says, "Hitomi is probably the most willful teenage girl evah"

As Annie moves for the door, and then through it, there is a sound of shattering from her bundle. She didn't jostle it, she didn't harm it, but as it crosses the boundary of the circular interior chamber, it cracks in to four distinct pieces…

When it does so, all hell breaks loose. A wind like a hurricane bursts forth from the stones, throwing Annie against wall, a wave of pure mana radiating outward like a pulse wave. Everyone, while strong willed, is thrown to their feet, minds screaming in pain as imagery and ideas flood through them. Fifteen thousand years of memory and ideas compressed in to a single moment, and then decompressed in your head.

Nothing remains when the wind passes, nothing at all but the ears that bleed, the nose that pours and eyes that can't see straight. (S Wounds, every one)

Lilith screams and twists as she falls, spinning as she hits the ground. "Eris save me!"

Oh shit my brain is on fire! … And I'm not even jacked in thinks Hitomi, as she drops to her knees, and clutches the sides of her head, once more reverting to her mother's tongue as she swears for Japan at the pain.

Up top, the old Man Bob sort of just goes to one knee, then slumps over, clutching his rifle, a grunt escaping his lips. The sheriff does the same, keeling over and slumping over the front of the boat.

Annie staggers to her feet, still holding onto the bundle. "Crap", she mutters to herself as she shakes her head against the lingering pain. Fortunately her trauma damper probably managed to absolve a fraction of that damage, but not enough to make more than a trivial difference. She continues cursing as she once more checks the chamber for any other nasty surprises, and if none are found she attempts to exit the chamber once more.

Nothing else is seen in the room, though Annie DOES only take an M stun wound.

Lilith groans as she tries to stagger up the beach, fails, falls to her feet. She attempts to get up again, muttering creative blasphemy to Eris and the situation in general. "Boat…Boat…get outta 'ere…"

Hitomi eventually drags herself to her feet then, her ears still ringing from the pain, she shakes her head a little. She calls into the cave- "Are you alright?" and then winces at the pain caused by raising her voice.

Annie heads on out of the tomb to join the others, checking the old mans vitals when she notices he is down.

He's bleeding from the ears and nose, but otherwise, he's okay. The pulse is fluttery but coming back stronger as time moves forward. The police boat is drifting now on the current, its motor in neutral. Away from the island.

Lilith will attempt to stagger to the boat, trying to see if the old fella is all right…when Annie arrives, she defers to the older woman, wincing as she raises her hands to peer at the Sheriff's boat. "S-sir? You all right out there? Sheriff?"

Lilith shouts and curses colorfully again.

Once satisfied that the old man is fine, Annie heads back to the boat. "Let's get out of here before anyone else arrives.", she looks around, "Except for a headache is everyone else ok?"
Lilith grunts and nods. "Aye."

Lilith will continuously mutter vile Cockney curses and blasphemies under her breath till she gets the fuck home. :)

Hitomi nods her head then, and says, "Feels like dump shock. I saw a bunch of… well, I don't know what. Things. Like I had a really long dream in fast forwards." She murmers then.

Lilith nods. "Aye. Fuckin' life flashin' before me eyes."

Annie helps to load the old guy into the boat, then assists in getting him into his house and bed.

Hitomi see's annie shift the guy back into his home, and helps explain the situation to Norm… the best she can. Hitomi would likely spend the rest of the way home in quiet contemplation… that is, after complaining about the need to pee on the drive back to the airport, and some more swearing, banging and shuffling as she tries to escape a form-fitting armor fullsuit in the confines of an aeroplane bathroom.

Annie examines the skull, cleaning it a bit on the way to the airport, then rewraps it once more in something a little less personal than her own jacket before delivering it to the DF representatives, suggesting that perhaps the old fellow could use a reward.

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