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 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet

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Scarlet
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PostSubject: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Thu 15 Jul - 14:57

That godforsaken bastard left me, on Dusk of all places. Bless him and that Moritat bitch! But rumor has it that a certain hover bike made its way to this smoke-filled hell hole, so here I am. His stuff was left to me, and now I've come to collect the last of it.

The transport is cramped, but nothing worse than that. For which I suppose I should be greatful. At least the food they've served was actually food, and not alge cubes. Or worse. The memory still makes me throw up in my mouth a little. I manage to convince someone that they should let me have the window seat, since I've never seen a hive before. Let alone from the sky. But I'm on the wrong side of the ship to see it on approach. Just my luck. And now that asshole thinks I owe him some sort of favor as payment for the seat. I let him keep the hand he puts on me, but only because I don't want to get blood on my new boots. But the smell of him as he walks away lets me know his small clothes are in need of a change.
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PostSubject: Welcome to Gunmetal City   Thu 15 Jul - 15:29

A rush of hot sulfurous air greets you as you step off the lander. Above you the gleaming steel spires of Gunmetal City tower through the clouds of ash and smoke, allowing those with the money to afford it a view of a clear blue sky. As for the rest of the city, the view is bathed an unwholesome yellow as the sunlight (such as it is) is filtered through a millenia of airborne pollutants.

The crowd of passengers pushes past you, off the docking ramp and into the streets, between the Spires. At the bottom of the ramp they're mobbed by a gang of small children offering to carry their bags for a few credits.

Your eyes are drawn back down from the spires. That's not where you need to go.

You'll need to go lower to find what you're after.

From somewhere close within the city a series of shots ring out, and a crowd cheers.

Welcome to Gunmetal City.

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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Thu 15 Jul - 16:46

I try, I really do, not to stand there with my mouth gaping like some country bumpkin. Last thing I need is to get singled out as an easy mark. But those towers are higher even than the mountains at home, and the city is ten times as big. The number of people don't faze me so much, used to crowded places, but the smoke and the spires take my breath. I cough. Right, first order of business is a mask. I scan the space port looking for a vendor selling respirators, and pass by the first two I see. Too close to the dock, not trustworthy. I pass by second hand gun sellers hawking badly refurbished pistols at sky high prices, and the occasional ornamental single shot dueling pistol I hear this place is famous for. But I'm pretty sure these are the dregs. I keep an eye open for a good piece, at a good price just in case. A Lady can never have too much firepower.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Fri 16 Jul - 0:07

As you continue deeper into the city, the quality of the arms being hawked deffinetely increases. You even start seeing a few actual Gunsmiths out alongside the road here. Small time business, mom and pop sort of things, not the stuff being pumped out of the major fanes in the middle hive, but some pretty remarkable craftsmanship nonetheless. You see a couple of the infamous "Valentine" dueling pistols and the old man peddling them talks your ear off about the history of that particular piece.

Ahead of you a tavern brawl has erupted out into the streets, momentarily blocking the road down through a larger entertainment district. Looks like some of the local PDF troops on leave have gotten a little out of hand.

You can wait and continue on through the entertainment district, but to find what you're looking for you need to start moving down. You can see a lift to your right. It won't take you all the way to the Infernis, but it's a step in the right direction.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Fri 16 Jul - 19:15

I watch the PDF troops, noting arms and armor. Looking for the way they move and the way they handle themselves. The info could come in handy later on down the line.

I find my resperator vendor, and make a note of his location. The shop has that vibe, that shady back room vibe that I know and love so well. While I'm here, I size up the help thinking one of them will make a decent guide to get me to where I need to be.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Fri 16 Jul - 20:00

The PDF guys get cleared out by more PDF guys. Standard flak armor, and some non-standard pistols. It's pretty clear to see which ones have been newly stationed here: They still carry their Las guns.


The general store where you found the respirator lurks off to the side of the avenue, a little niche carved into the side of one of the spires. At the back of the store a huge industrial fan churns, keeping the air fresh. Mostly. The humming of the fan fills the room.

Nice merchandise for sale though. Respirators, filtration plugs, water purifiers, and a few different odds and ends. Comm beads, a beat up Vox unit resting in the corner, some ration packs consisting of a kind of dried meat. You don't ask.

The shopkeeper is a nice enough sort, middle hiver, clearly. Seems that his two sons are helping him run the place. You catch one of them looking at you out of the corner of your eye.

"Can I help you with anything?" he asks.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sat 17 Jul - 12:13

Credits, barter or both? I ask. Best to know the prefered method of payment before I do any serious shopping. I'm hoping credits are good here, though I've heard otherwise. But the stuff I own is either not valuable, not for sale, or not generally moveable without knowing the buyer really well first.
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PostSubject: All things Gold   Sat 17 Jul - 14:30

He shrugs Thrones are still good here, if that's what you want to trade in. Otherwise, you can trade in shells, most of the locals do. Anything else you want to trade... Well we're open to suggestions. We do move a little merchandise here, if you understand me. He watches you for a moment, sizing you up.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sat 17 Jul - 17:46

Oh? As it happens, I'm heading down into the Infernis to do some business. I don't see escort services on the shelves, but if you know of a trust worthy lot, the recommendation would be appreciated. I pick up a decent looking filtration plug knowing full well it's the rebreather I'll be wanting for the trip. But if he's willing to sell me the filtration instead, it'll tell me something about his character and the reliability of his recomendations.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sat 17 Jul - 18:13

*he shakes his head* The Infernis? I don't envy the business that takes you down there. But you'd best stick with the Respirator. The Air is foul down there, and the respirators gonna provide better filtration." *he thinks for a moment* You might want to consider pickin' up a photo visor though. The generator's are iffy things as you go lower, whole sections down there without power.

"as for a guide, most folk steer well clear of the Infernis, but... Well, we do business with this guy called Verbal. Him and his crew run some salvage up from the Infernis. Most times, we can clean it up and re-sell it, rest gets scrapped. Their a tougher lot than they look, and they should know the place well by now. If you want I'll give him a call for you. He's probably plannin' on coming in today anyway, and it's not like him to want to pass up a job."
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sat 17 Jul - 18:36

Visor won't be needed, but the respirator I'll take. What time do you expect your friend? I'd rather not be waiting around here for too long. I have photo lenses stashed in my gear, but his suggestion puts my esitmation of him up a few notches. A Carnoden and a box of amo wouldn't hurt either. Manstoppers if you have em. Might as well get some extra firepower while I'm here.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sun 18 Jul - 17:03

His smile says the extra business is appreciated.

He goes behind the counter and unlocks a metal safe. He slaps a box of manstopper rounds on the counter. 10 Thrones for a box of 12, he tells you.

He disappears into a back room, a back room with a heavy metal door you note. As he rummages around in the back, he continues to talk. Verbal should be in sometime this afternoon. You're welcome to wait, if you like, or he could see if Verbal could meet you somewhere. Your choice he says, Verbal won't miss an opportunity to grab some work, or hell, just to chat your ear off.

He returns with a Carnodon pattern hand cannon, his face beaming. He checks the magazine and slide, then proudly hands you the weapon so you may inspect it.

"you've a fine taste in arms. Did you note the balance? The Westingkrups are master artisans. 200 Thrones, and I'll throw in the belt and holster."
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sun 18 Jul - 21:14

200 for the gun, belt, holster and box of amo. I counter. I know it's a decent deal for the gun. Not a great deal but a decent one. I could probably haggle him down but I'd rather head to one of the pubs for a bite to eat and a cold beer. I'm sure something around here passes for beer.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sun 18 Jul - 21:26

(passed Barter check) *considers you for a moment, taps his fingers on the counter*

"Allright, allright 200, including the manstoppers. And Emperor have mercy, on any other merchants you pass by today." He laughs, and grabs the belt and holster for you.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sun 18 Jul - 21:35

I shift around the various guns, moving the Puritan to my thigh holster so the new piece can sling low on my hip. 200 Throne goes on the counter from one of the various pockets. Having a pickpocket design your gear has advantages. I keep the funds just out of his reach as I heft, check, remove and insert the clip and just generally feel out the gun. It's smooth as silk, something he would have enjoyed. I slide the payment to the merchant and holster the gun. Amo gets stowed away for now. I'll load up later.

Where's the best place around here for a cold drink and a hot meal? Tell your friend Verbal I'll be there for the next two hours. He'll want to show before then if he wants the job.
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PostSubject: Verbose Verbal   Sun 18 Jul - 23:25

The place the shopkeep directs you too isn't that far out of the way. He sends you past the bar the PDF troops rolled out of "Nothing but rowdy soldiers and rot gut ale there" to a pub up the street. The sign out front reads "The Vault" and upon entering it does indeed look like a vault. Probably a re-purposed Ammo store house, probably from back in the early days of the Hive when this was all foundries.

The power seems stable though, which is a good sign. A bad generator might mean bad food. The food is decent though, and the beers are cold, which is never a thing you take for granted in this part of the hive.

You've been lingering over your food for about an hour, when a short scrawny fellow slides in through the door. A few people greet him by name as he comes in. Clearly Verbal is a regular. He looks around the bar and catches your eye. He nods, and threads his way through the tables to yours. His big smile seems genuine. He extends his hand in greeting.

"I understand this is supposed to indicate we're not carrying. Well I know I'm lying, and I hope you are too, otherwise you might be in the wrong town. All lies aside, I think the gesture still means 'I mean you no harm" and I "come in good will" or however you want to say it. I'm called Verbal, what shall I call you?"
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Sun 18 Jul - 23:40

Verbal indeed... I flash a little thigh his way, or at least I flash a little thigh holster and grab his wrist to shake like we do back home. And to feel for a forearm mount. Scarlet. Buy you a beer? I shift over so he can sit in the booth next to me. Lets me keep a watch on the bar, and on him, while making it so he can't reach for a piece under the table without my noticing. Unless he's really good, which he just might be. All that talk distracting people. It's a good cover.

I signal to the bar that we'll take another round. The proffering of his hand, the offer of sustenance... now we're ready to do business.

Can I assume you know what I'm looking for?
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Mon 19 Jul - 13:10

He takes the offered seat, and the beer.

"Thanks. Well Scarlet dear, I only know that you want to go poke about in the Infernis, which just so happens to be my office." he laughs a little at this and then quickly moves on "I somehow doubt you're there for the stunning views of Mount Thollos, so I think we should probably discuss what exactly it is you're looking for, and whether or not I'm actually willing to help you find it" He's flashes another big grin at you and reaches for his beer.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Mon 19 Jul - 14:00

I'm looking for a bike, I hear it's down in the Infernis. Probably in the posession of a man named Jeffy. Or Heavy. Not sure, the roumor came through a little garbled. But, they say he's the tops when it comes to unusual weapons and armor and the like. You know the Infernis do you? Puzzle it out from the clue and you have a job. Probably.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Mon 19 Jul - 14:52

It's funny how things change. One minute he's Mr. Verbal, the next it seems Scarlet has stolen the words from out his mouth.

"It's pronounced Heffe." he says very very quietly. "And if I was you, I'd be most certainly careful where I used his name... A bike? Aye Heffe makes bikes, and other things. It's.. well it's deep into the Infernis, and Heffe has his own.. well I don't know that I'd call them a gang, they're a bit more organized and equipped than that." He thinks for a moment, pondering his beer.. Then a moment later he's all smiles again "Well dear Scarlet, if it's Mr. Heffe you want, it is Mr. Heffe you'll get. If you're moneys good, that is."
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Mon 19 Jul - 15:33

Dangerous? Oh goody. I like dangerous. At least he's not likely to drink my soul and us my parts as fodder.

My money is pleanty good, but lets talk muscle and numbers first. I need to get down there and back in one piece. Team of three or four should be enough. Including me. To few and they'd be easy pickings. Too many would attract attention. And if they could handle themselves as well as she could, two or three others would be all she'd need.
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Mon 19 Jul - 15:43

He nods. "Aye. Me, you, and I've a couple of guns that work for me that are good in a pinch."

"And when would you like to be departing this quaint establishment? I'll need at least an hour to gather the troops and equipment we'll need."
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Tue 20 Jul - 11:50

Sooner is better than later. I'd rather not have to find lodgings. No way to trust the various rentable places here, don't know anyone. And while I'm happy to take a recomendadion for work, I am not ok with people knowing where I sleep. I smile at him, cold eyes telling him I know what his vitals taste like. Now, what kind of equipment and what kind of price are we talking about?
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Tue 20 Jul - 14:27

"Oh I've got equipment handled. Respirators, Photo visors, but also welders, bolt cutters and combi tools. Whole levels can collapse in the Infernis, and sometimes you've got to make your own route. Better safe than dead, my daddy used to say, Emperor rest him. Said the city was too dangerous, moved out to some blasted Agri-world, then got eaten by a Grox." he laughs. "Ah now price... For what you're asking me to do, considering the extreme risk of my own and my teams lives... 200 gelt."
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PostSubject: Re: 7.15 Prologue for Scarlet    Tue 20 Jul - 14:42

I should pay you 200 throne to escort me, whan I'll be doing fully 1/4th the work myself? You think I'm some kind of delicate lady that can't handle herself. 100 throne. Let the bartering begin. I always like this part of the game.
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