The Von Blum household had been brought together again in full on this day, and the manor had been prepared for such an event properly, the best wines prepared, the petty nobility given their space in the courtyards and city, and blue and silver pennants and banners put up in such density as to rival Langenachtfest extravagance. For most, merely an excuse to celebrate Lord Von Blum’s generosity this day. For the nobles, perhaps a chance to put themselves in greater favor with the territorial lord, but the family themselves, the main branch, were away from any of the public. Only the most trusted servants were even allowed in the dining chamber, on the surface just a dinner where the chefs made every attempt to outdo themselves, but only a fool would not recognize that there was a miasma of intrigue to be smelt by even the most oblivious.More important than the blackened Jolly Grouper, the honeyed whole South Sea Puffin, garlic snails in peppercaps, or any of the slew of various other table accoutrement that might have been plainer at first glance were it not for presentation and cost of far eastern and western spices alike, was that all of Barnabas Von Blum’s children were there with the Lord himself. The extended family was absent from the room- only the Lord and his own progeny were present. The Heir, Bastian Von Blum, Countesses Marlianne Von Blum and Miriam Von Blum, who had been married to lower nobility in the Blumlands to strengthen the state, Manfred Von Blum, known as the Blue, last son of Barnabas Von Blum’s first wife. At entirely separate places from one another were the children of Lord Von Blum’s second marriage, Maddalyn Von Blum and Mathilda Von Blum. The latter two did not feel like family to Bastian Von Blum, a difference of thirteen years between him and Maddalyn. The two young half-sisters were unsettling in how alike they looked, like twins despite a six year age difference, even more so than his sisters who actually were twins. Bastian held resemblances to his siblings, but Maddalyn and Mathilda were identical, save for the makeup that hid bruising upon their faces (apparently inflicted by one another, if the servants’ rumors were accurate). He’d heard of Maddalyn’s abduction, and had been baffled when his father had not taken any steps whatsoever to rescue his half-sister. Bastian had two children of his own now, and he couldn’t fathom acting as his father did, and once, Barnabas Von Blum had doted upon his blind daughter and her mother to the point that the rest of the family had been practically abandoned. Yes, Maddalyn was back now, though having lost an eye, a glass facsimile in its place, but it felt so strange.
Bastian had an odd relation to her more than the rest of the family, however, and it was concerning Maddalyn’s husband to be. A few years ago, in attempts to secure his political future, Bastian tried to acquaint himself with the then Crown Prince of the Archduchy of Strossvald. That had ended in disaster when the man turned up dead, with Bastian accused of his murder. Things looked hopeless, until the talented lawyer Geraldt Von Tracht, brother of the famous rogue Heller, who had been the best man willing to take up the case, had managed to find contradictory evidence to the prosecution’s case. Further investigations led to the trial falling to pieces, and Bastian escaping being accused of murder of the Crown Prince. In return, his lord father had offered Geraldt’s son the hand of his most favored daughter in marriage- at least, such was what Bastian had assumed.“Bastian,” Barnabas Von Blum spoke loud enough to include the whole dining hall, sunset casting through the stained glass portals on the westward face of the room, “You have been staying informed upon the status of the Almizean Pact, yes?”Its formation was the most significant event for Strossvald directly, as of late, but Bastian had many matters to keep up to date with. Thank goodness for the trust between him and his younger brother, who was far more acquainted with the international- he’d repay him handsomely in time.“I am, yes,” Bastian said, eyeing the rest of the hall. None were inattentive. “The Archduke has called for troops concerning the risk of a conflict between the Pact and its northern neighbors. Will Harlopf be assigned, or is our commitment not to include our elite?”“Risk would imply there is a chance of peace,” the Territorial Lord said with a snort, “No, there will most definitely be an intervention. However, Siegfried Von Strossvald seems wary. I trust we all know of the disappearance of the Crown Prince?” No voice was raised to the contrary, quiet dining done in the absence of comments to make. “The courts whisper that he has been found, dead. Assassination or accident, it matters not.”Bastian silently thanked himself for not getting involved with any more Von Strossvalds, considering his history and what had happened now.
Barnabas continued. “The Archduchy’s crown now falls to the present Archduke’s young grandson upon any misfortune to the Lord Von Strossvald, and concerning his habits, his health could certainly be better. A situation many in a position like mine own are uneasy at.” Siegfried Von Strossvald was known for a love of rich food and young women, at parties of variable rowdiness, and though none said it openly, there would be little surprise at the usage of cocaine, opium, not to mention various other more esoteric drugs. “Much as the Archduke may wish to unite the territories against an external threat, Plisseau will not do as a proper foe, especially as the city states lack any capacity or willingness to engage in an extended conflict, regardless of upset of status quo. Not with matters as they are presently. Other lords have whispered to me of…taking matters into our own hands to ensure the security of our lands.”“Pardon me for making an assumption, father,” Manfred said from beside Maddalyn, “but you speak of something that the Archduke would not wish to hear of, don’t you? Despite the lack of action over recent instability in our territories, oh so recently resolved…”Manfred naturally spoke of the debacle concerning Imperialist agitators. Since the most grand incident where many army personnel were captured and held prisoner, there had been little said nor done. Life had returned swiftly to normal in time for the matters with Valsten to take precedence. Maddalyn looked somewhat discomforted by talk of this event. Her husband to be had had some part in its resolution- and he was sent away quickly afterwards. The man had not returned to the Blumlands since, and Maddalyn’s marriage ceremonies had been twice delayed because of events afterwards.“The present Archduke would not be happy to hear of the plans, but in the scenario they would be acted upon, he would not be in a place to object, complain, nor act at all upon them.” Lord Von Blum announced firmly. The intent of the statement was clear- should the Archduke die, there was to be a contingency. “You are all to be made aware of this, and to be prepared to act accordingly for the survival of our family, and of Strossvald. The Archduke is not an unhealthy man, but his heir is merely six years old. Not even Kaiser Henrik was so young when forced to take the throne, and the threat of puppeteering over there was significant enough then. The realm can survive a young lord, and them being influenced- however, the Archduke has been attempting to centralize the nation, to reform its armed forces and industries into one that weakens the territories. The strength of Strossvald is a goal all territorial lords may agree upon, but being too hasty may result in loss of autonomy, our own people’s rights and powers…you all understand, yes?”Murmured agreements about the table.
“You will all remain informed. If you are ignorant of related affairs, make an effort to learn. Thus is my command to you.”-----You are Richter Von Tracht, and you were stuck in a rough place, a rough situation, with not much in the way of resources or time to resolve it. Yet your present preparations weren’t enough, despite an opportunity appearing for you. Maybe you’d have gone for such a risky play once, but not now. Your mission to capture or kill Andrej Gerovic, an easterner with far more significance than one would assume and a penchant for causing chaos, was not so simple as it might have seemed to execute. Rather, doing it might be simple, but you’d only have one chance at it- a chance you didn’t think you could reasonably spend at the moment. You had to make further preparations while Gerovic was still relatively ignorant of the moves being made against him.A sacrifice being made for the sake of keeping your cover over the border, in Twaryian occupied territory, was not informing your comrades of Gerovic’s intent to make a night raid upon your base- not something you knew for certain, but something very likely. You could only hope they would understand why you couldn’t advise them to prepare…and that they could resist Gerovic despite that. Instead, you’d use that commitment by the enemy to sneak supplies and men over the border. Your current allies over here, as far as fighters went, were largely children, and not particularly well armed ones. That wouldn’t do. With another day, though, you would have some proper ERA operators, as well as potentially some of your own Ellowian troops, and you’d also have the benefit of having delivered captured equipment to the ERA and better secured their favor. The chances of actually bagging Gerovic would be far greater- and given but one opportunity to do so, you wanted your chances to be as good as they could get.
It would be several hours now, estimated, before Gerovic either went out with or sent his newest attack force. It was time in which you could get things ready to go- though how to arrange what was sent, and how, hadn’t been decided upon. Mabel could go and request things from your camp and the UGZ, but on foot, she wouldn’t have much time to arrange things before Gerovic embarked. The Eastern Resistance Army had a few portable radios (by generosity of His Majesty, apparently) so that you could potentially send a message to your people, but there was the matter of Twaryian listening posts Mabel had warned you of. Naturally, the Twaryians at large didn’t speak your language let alone understand your radio code, but what you didn’t want happening was any awareness that cooperation over the border was taking place. Would merely sending a message potentially indicate such? You hoped not, if you were to go through with that procedure.>Haul the radio out and send out what you want prepared to be dropped off- to be picked up by the Orders under your supervision. (What do you want dropped off?)>Have Mabel go to one place to request what you want- though that won’t give you much time before the raid…(What to tell her to pass off as a message, requests?)>Wait until after Gerovic’s raid to try anything. Even if you couldn’t warn your people, you didn’t want to disperse and weaken them before the raid either.>Other?As far as what you have back over the border to potentially dump off, there’s the equipment of your company, as well as-3 Combat Cars1 Small Train (ten cars)2 Armored Cars (Engines+Wheels removed)10 sets of Twaryian Infantry Squad EquipmentSuch is loot, and while the Infantry Equipment has already been promised, you aren’t limited to only pushing that over. Perhaps other things can be considered “borrowed.”Past Threads are collected here: https://pastebin.com/UagT0hnhTwitter for announcements and various horseshit is @scheissfunker
Additionally, this is your current tank roster- for the sake of having all your resources compiled.
>>4237119>>Haul the radio out and send out what you want prepared to be dropped off- to be picked up by the Orders under your supervision. (What do you want dropped off?)The guns and a few men seem good enough. It's a risk but given the limited time we have everything is a risk already.
>Haul the radio out and send out what you want prepared to be dropped off- to be picked up by the Orders under your supervision. (What do you want dropped off?)Of course infantry kits for our child soldiers.We're definitely going to need some heavier stuff to take on armoured units. At least we need to make sure we radio in some munitions casters and some ieds and stuff for traps.
>>4237119>Haul the radio out and send out what you want prepared to be dropped off- to be picked up by the Orders under your supervision. (What do you want dropped off?)How much difference would a car (or even maybe 2?) make?
>>4237221ThisWhere is the archive of this so I get read up the 60 threads I wasn't here for
>>4237569Cool. I got some reading to do
>>4237119Going with this >>4237221, boss.>Begin Richter's Child Soldier Boogaloo, Act 3aaaaaaaaaaa
>>4237119>>4237221I like this
>>4237142>>4237221>>4237225>>4237260>>4237432>>4237586>>4237649Calling Pizzahaus for a delivery, need a ten order of infantry equipment with stuffed crust, ie whatever heavy stuff you got.Maybe a combat car or two. Possibly, depending on circumstances.Writing.
The prospect of losing even more time to travel made you uneasy- thankfully, Mabel had already convinced the Order of the Red Arrow to allow you their radio. Less graciously, you were still well out of radio range, especially for a portable piece. You’d have to hike it elsewhere.Yet not as far as you thought, as it turned out, traveling north and around Dymny.“…Surely we’re not close enough…” You huffed to Mabel as she decided a hill’s flank was decent enough, but only after a healthy wait and observation. It was a two piece apparatus- and Mabel had elected to dump the far heavier pack onto your shoulders.“Ellowie was the birthplace of the wireless radio,” Mabel lectured, was that a hint of pride in there? “This was one of the very newest types of set. No other nation could claim to match Ellowian mastery of electronics, transmitters, detection and interception…”“…Is that so…” you squinted at the set as it was laid down. You could remember how they worked, at least- that knowledge hadn’t slipped your mind.“It is not a strength boasted about often,” Mabel said as assembled the thing from two machines into one, “Some inventions remain a secret even now, to the point that even His Majesty knows naught about them. Mostly concerning the Air Force of the Republic.” You did remember Ellowie’s mastery over the skies- it was the sort of thing that was difficult to forget. It was more than good planes and pilots, there was also an inexplicable luck to their famed victories. “Go ahead.” She stepped back, and pointed to the telephone apparatus at the device’s flank.A moment to be reminded of an remember your fiancée’s skill with similar technology. She bemoaned being of no use to you in a tank, but Maddalyn was far from such… “…You’re sure we’re close enough..?” You had shown Mabel where your camp was on the map, but you were well familiar with even your tank’s radio range, and-“This is not the first time I have had to do this,” Mabel said impatiently, continuing to point. “Speak, and don’t expect a response, not if whoever is on the other end has a head on their shoulders. We will need to move immediately after you finish.”Were the Twaryians that capable at triangulation and interception? Probably not, but everything about Mabel you’d observed told you she was a “better safe than sorry” type. There was at least no chance whatsoever at the Twaryians actually parsing the contents of the phrase you sent- it was not only in Naval Code, as to avoid giving away an incriminating voice and accent, but also in Strossvald code, something they would have absolutely no exposure to, and you wouldn’t be transmitting enough anyways for the Twaryians to try and decode it, let alone parse what it might be from. Netillian code might have been more natural, but there was too great a possibility that the Twaryians might have cracked that.
The request was simple. The acquired Twaryian armaments, a slew of Ellowian origin troops to guard them and also come over the border (a single squad would about do it- fifteen men), a pair of the Twaryian Combat Cars if it was feasible (most Twaryian vehicles were very noisy, as it turned out, and you didn’t know exactly why), and whatever could be spared and more of whatever blew up or launched things that exploded. The munitions casters, most certainly. The time and place of where to drop the lot was included- as was mention of Mabel’s involvement (though in very much shorthand). It’d be a lot of materiel, and you had no doubt that the Orders would have to take it in installments and hide it the rest of the time, given that the amount of equipment involved could arm a small company, but you trusted that they would be able to handle such a thing. What mattered the most to you was getting those members of 4th platoon and the munitions casters over.The message was sent on the headquarters channel- one, two, three…three times was enough. Somebody was always listening there, and anybody competent would have gotten it at least on the second broadcast. You hung up the set, and no sooner did Mabel start breaking it all down again.“Hurry up.” She said firmly, “You did arrange the location and time I said, yes?” You nodded. “Then everything should be meeting up in a few hours.” Right when Gerovic would embark on his raid, you thought grimly. You didn’t know how it would be done- would it be a two pronged attack like before, or would he use all his resources in one greater convergence upon the camp, or- no, you had to stop thinking about it. The Fear was raising a familiar head as your anxiety amplified.“…What about in the meantime?” you asked as you hauled up the backpack with the larger part of the equipment in it. Carrying it as far as you had was a brutal affair- you couldn’t imagine transporting it with a full battle kit. “Should I come with you…?”“No.” Mabel said firmly, a bit quickly for your tastes. “I’ll move faster.”That was a decent point with your bad leg, so you didn’t argue, but you couldn’t help but be sullen nevertheless. That same pain in your leg led to other thoughts on the way back- such as, why had you been assigned this in the first place? Well, it was because you had asked for help from the IO, and that was your assignment in return for said help. Yet why didn’t they protect you as a default? For a long time you had assumed that the IO had simply been acting for the good of the Archduchy, but that no longer made sense to you. Hadn’t you already done plenty for them as it was? Was this some sort of strange test?
It wasn’t like you had much choice anyways, your frustration cooled to resignation as you shuffled behind Mabel. It wasn’t like you could just ask to go home, with how much punishment your allies had taken. Or could you? It wasn’t like you had actually asked. You merely asked when you’d be finished here. Then when asked if you wanted to take up another duty or finally go back, you had told the Major you wanted to stay at the front.You were only acting as a Von Tracht should. Or were you just too stubborn for your own good? Your crewmen had come forward asking about a reprieve, your officers were tired and beaten. Were you keeping them here just for your sake, with how much you depended on them now?Maybe after this debacle with Gerovic, it would all calm down. Maybe after Bertram was handled, you could ask for the unit to be withdrawn. Or maybe your presupposition at victory was false, and you’d have more of your allies hurt and killed for an Intelligence Office game before ignobly being gunned down by some crazy piece of shit from the Varbonnlands. No, you’d have to live, for spite’s sake at least. To not have an epitaph that read Here lies the Last Von Tracht, a fool who died for nothing.Having a better mark on your grave wasn’t terribly motivating but it did mean that when you slumped back into the Order of the Red Arrow’s Hideout you were in a less ugly mood. Still not feeling like addressing any of the buzzing of the children as Mabel left you behind without even a parting message. You weren’t going to be helping your allies against the coming attack, you wouldn’t be out getting the materiel and men to strike at Gerovic later…what were you to do now?>You couldn’t just sit about doing nothing. Maybe you could look about Dymny now.>Best to stay here. It’d be dull, but it’d be for the better to wait until you were more in this element.>Maybe you could talk with the Order about some things. It’d pass the time. (What?)>Other?
>>4239305>You couldn’t just sit about doing nothing. Maybe you could look about Dymny now.Should go find the IO guys and see if they've got anything new
>>4239300>mastery of electronics>inexplicable luckSo they invented radar, I see.>>4239305>Maybe you could talk with the Order about some things. It’d pass the time. (What?)About the routes of infiltration and exfiltration from Dymny, as well as any hidey-holes. They're locals, there's no better source.
>>4239305>You couldn’t just sit about doing nothing. Maybe you could look about Dymny now.
>>4239317Talk with children about getting into holes>>4239312>>4239437>>4239577>>4239649Get into town and see what's happening.Writing.
>>4239924>Talk with children about getting into holesBeen two or three threads since Richter got called a pedophile, huh?
>>4240040Well, given that we have a picture of Mathilyn von Blum in our possession it'll happen sooner or later
>>4240040>Been two or three threads since Richter got called a pedophile, huh?wait a moment, was it in-story or just anon fucking around ?
>>4240076He's been called it in-story.
>>4240076It's only because his wife looks like reverse jailbait.
Juior Lieutenant Frederick Krause wasn’t particularly ready for the weight that had been dropped on his shoulders just recently- yes, junior lieutenants were prepared to take over leadership of a platoon, but a company, and more? He had joined the army, even shot for a place of prestige (for his class) in the armored corps, for Rondo’s sake rather than any ambition at a military career. The level of authority he was given blindsided him. Was he ashamed that he took to it more poorly than both the practically cherubic Captain Kelwin, or Nowicki, a wildlander woman, had? Not particularly. He had no pretense at particular pride for not doing something that wasn’t his place. He was, however, irritated that the bloody mercenaries kept wasting fuel keeping their tanks running at odd hours, especially since their insistence upon doing it convinced other crews to start doing it too.“We have watches and pickets,” Krause stood up the mercenary leader and lectured the lanky, greasy haired man called Illger in front of amused mercenary crew. “We’ll be in plenty of trouble if you run the tanks all night and we have to move come daylight.”“Your watches won’t stop another tank attack like the last one,” Illger said back, unconcerned, “They got away with more than we’ve got, and how many tanks are we down now? If that other guy isn’t right on top of helping us, we’re dead meat. Eakova told me that her sort like to even the odds in the dark, too. They’ve been beaten up, so I’m prepared for tricks.”“We’d have time to man the defenses,” Krause said back.“Defenses?” Illger echoed disinterestedly, “Nah, not putting much stock in those. I’m more thinking that they would need to be slowed down…they have more than we’re ready for like last time, and the trenches are tombs, see.” Krause rolled his eyes at that. “Look, if it’s a problem, take it out of my pay, aight?”The Junior Lieutenant shook his head and left. He had a dozen other things to take care of, and he had the feeling that even if he was more forceful, if Anya was any indication of these people’s behavior, this Illger would just start doing it again when Krause was distracted. Though a hunch from a veteran mercenary was an eerie thing, wasn’t it…-----
Satisfying as it might have been in a way to sit in a hole and sulk, you had to do something, even if it was to just look around. Dymny beckoned in such a way, and you would answer the town’s call. You had the ability to just walk in now, after all this time where it had taunted from across the border, a mysterious source of random sporadic aggression until recently it had been thrown into direct focus as a foe. An Order initiate accompanied you out, and apparently you’d have an eye kept out for you for any return trip, but you wouldn’t be accompanied into town itself. Your papers were evidently enough to properly get you in and travel about, though, you were advised, that you’d probably have some eyes on you if you didn’t actually look busy. Fair enough. Weiss’s cover was as a launderer in town, and much as the IO condescended you, they had no option but to cover for you properly in this territory.The place where vehicles for the coming raid were being assembled was clear to you even as you trudged up the road, but a cordon stretched out far beyond where a fence had been erected- and it was well enough established that you couldn’t peek further in to find out anything further than the agents had already told you without arousing a dangerous level of suspicion. That assembly area was given a wide berth as you headed right for one of the heavily guarded checkpoints to the town, itself spread oddly over the land like a strange creature grasping for the railway. It was a squat place, and clearly less significant than Kamienisty, though it was perhaps a good reference for what Kamienisty looked like before the Netillians transformed it into its current state, economically and architecturally. It wasn’t as formidable as Kamienisty either, but the defenses still looked decently developed. The thickly clothed black uniformed men at the checkpoint looked little different from any other Twaryians you had seen outwardly, but they seemed seasoned enough to not be lax. Most of them were keeping eyes out everywhere but on you, and though the checkpoint’s armaments consisted of but the weapons of the soldiers themselves and a light machine gun mounted on the passenger side of what was recognizable as a smaller model of the combat cars you had captured, you felt far more pressure on you than you would have expected.
There was no exchange of words. You showed your papers, and the Twaryian who looked through them made a gesture to a pair of others, who searched you, and well. It was a good thing you had the sense to leave anything that would be contraband at the Order (including your pocket watch, for its value)- if you were carrying it anywhere but inside yourself, it would have certainly been found. There was a heartbeat of concern when the photograph of Maddalyn was pulled out- but besides a brief glance and a flip of the picture, there was no response from the bored guard as he put it back in your pocket. A sharp report from the searchers, and the paper checker tossed the leather envelope roughly into your breast and pointed you along with his submachinegun. Behind you, there was some muttering in Caelussian going on. They’d better not have been calling you Veal Pounder, you thought blithely, before thinking you must have been confident in your cover indeed to have that distract you from the more obvious threat of being suspected despite being let through.There was a disconcerting lack of foot traffic in town, when you went in. Yes, you saw workers, stalls, but nobody was going anywhere in numbers save for Twaryians. Maybe that should have been a clue that stuck out earlier.Looking for the launderers, and not even for that long, you made the mistake of straying too close to a tavern when Twaryians who had been let off far too early and drank far too much stumbled out. You hadn’t even given it mind- until a leg had swung out and caught your wounded limb and sent you tumbling down, to the tune of mocking Caelussian-toned sneers.“Ey, ey, shuka, where frens now? Ugh.”Just your luck, you thought sorely as you got up…only to find that the person who aggressed you was smaller than you, and they didn’t like being looked down on. A strung together burbling of Caelussian assaulted you- they put their fists up like they wanted to fight.It didn’t seem like something you had a choice in.>Fight back. You at least had a semblance of pride, didn’t you?>Purposely take a beating. If you laid on the ground long enough they’d get bored.>Try and run. Maybe you couldn’t get far, but you might be able to find shelter or help if you were lucky. (Where or who to seek?)>Ignore them.>Other?
>>4240554Do we recognize this one? If not:>Purposely take a beating. If you laid on the ground long enough they’d get bored.Can't run and fighting back would only encourage more Twaryians to join in.>Other?Blubber and tear up like we're afraid of him. Reminisce about sweet, sweet cocaine.
>>4240554>Purposely take a beating. If you laid on the ground long enough they’d get bored.
>>4240554walk away we can't risk getting injured
>>4240554>Fight back. You at least had a semblance of pride, didn’t you?We got to grow some balls like our uncle. Rekindle our flame. They're drunk, we have a better chance then y'all think.
>>4240554>Fight back. You at least had a semblance of pride, didn’t you?How do you spend 60 threads playing a military quest and not have any balls?
>>4240554>Fight back. You at least had a semblance of pride, didn’t you?
Mathilda is a homunculus created by the Hermit to replace von Blum's wife. You heard it here first.
>>4240554Try this >>4240623>>4241311Back in the vault with you, Phantom
>>4240835>>4241097>>4241097We were told specifically not to get into any fights. Don't compromise the mission because of ill placed pride.
>>4241545Really, we all just want Richter to get beat up so him and and his retinue can have matching bruises afterwards
>>4240623>>4240638>>4240744>>4241416Close your eyes and pretend it's a foul mouthed blonde.>>4240797Just walk away.>>4240835>>4241097>>4241284If you're going to take a beating, you won't take it for free. They're not the boss of you!Writing.>>4240623>Do we recognize this one?That would be quite difficult even in the case that you had met. While this lot aren't currently hooded, the on-duty soldiers near universally wear hood-masks under their helmets that are only really open around the eyes.>>4241311This is a scandalous implication.>>4241606This is an even more scandalous implication. Though hardly unknown by Von Trachts whether it's their retinues or they are serving as retinues.
>>4241620The idea of Von Tracht woman all dying in battle for being huge battle thots is both hilarious and sad.
It was an offense, an insult. A demand to fight that you choked back only out of interest in maintaining your cover, and not provoking more attention or retaliation. You’d have to take this undeserved beating with as high a head held as possible, good as it would have felt to at least try your luck, to fight back even if you would be demolished swiftly. Hell, you might have had a better chance than usual, but this wasn’t the place, much to your chagrin.So you stood tall and glowered down at the Twaryian, all but daring him to hit you.He obliged.A silent thanks that he didn’t sock you in the face was the small relief you had, as even though you had planned to fall over after the first strike no matter what, the fist that sank into your stomach was plenty motivation to fall as it was. You curled up and covered your head and neck with your arms, and flinched each time a boot drove its way into your body. Curses fell as frequently as the kicks and stomps, and just about when you were afraid he wouldn’t stop, your guard over your head loosening from being kicked repeatedly, there was a final snap of Caelussian. The last insult, then a ptoo! followed by the wet splat of a phlegmy wad of saliva against your face as you peeked out. Satisfied, the drunks went past you down the street, cackling, the last one making sure to drag his boots on you as he left.You unfurled yourself, sat up. Stayed that way for a full minute as the throbbing all over slowly subsided to the point you could get up again. Yet you hadn’t been afraid; you’d been furious, and getting spat upon and trampled set you off to the foulest you’d felt in a while. You finally wiped the spit off your face and began a hobbling once more. If you saw that bunch when you were making your move against Gerovic, you wouldn’t spare a second thought about shooting them all. A petty humiliation in the grand scheme perhaps, but somehow one that stung more than it should have.It was a lesson learned. Any Twaryians were given a wide berth, and from what you saw of Ellowians on the street, they either did the same or kept in groups. That you happened upon the laundry before finding more trouble was sheer luck rather than deduction on your part, and you half-stumbled in, still very sore from a dozen new boot shaped bruises. They had been clumsy strikes; the sort that hurt more than they actually damaged. It still must have made you a sad sight when you made steep, leaning steps, looking about for Weiss in the place.A slight tap on the shoulder- there was the sly looking fellow, smiling at you like a thief who’d caught a rich man alone at night. A gesture to follow, and you both went into a side room that had the smell of smoke- a break room, for how often those might have been granted. Nobody was in it at the moment, at least.“You found yourself in altercation?” Weiss asked coyly. You nodded grumpily. “Did you fight back?”“…No.”
“Good, good,” Weiss sat down on a wooden stool in the corner, “Don’t let them become cautious of their own domination, their might. A falsely self-assured enemy is far easier to deal with.” He reached into a pocket and withdrew a cheap, brown papered cigarette. “Speak freely. No Twaryians are about biting at the laundry’s heels. Are you here to make the strike tonight?”“…No.” You repeated your answer from before, “I don’t feel confident enough in it, and we only have one chance at it…I’m using the distraction to ferry more people and arms over, and wait for specialists from the ERA- I want to be as well-equipped as possible for this…”Weiss leaned forward and closed an eye. “If that’s how you want it. No trouble for us. Heh. Though if you want to be best equipped…” He dug in a pocket and handed you a folded paper. “A map of the town and immediate surrounding area. Good for a newcomer, heh heh. Don’t bother opening it now. Invisible ink. You’ll have to heat it up. Rather suspicious for somebody to be walking about with a map of this place in pocket after all.”“…” You took the paper and pocketed it quickly. Useful indeed- perhaps this trip was already worth it. “…I don’t suppose a tour about the town would be viable…”“No.” Weiss said immediately, “Wandering wouldn’t do right now. I can keep you occupied, and then after the sun sets, or if one wanted to be safer, when the raid departs, we, or you, are more free to potentially stick our noses about. Such would be the hour the natives would be entertaining themselves anyways, heh.”>You had places you wanted to poke around now, actually, before they left- that assembly area.>Advice to be followed. You could feign dumb labor, then head off work…somewhere. (What places or sorts of places to look for/look into?)>You wanted to arrange plans with Weiss and Rot themselves, actually- you would discuss that (What plans?)>Other?
>4241777>>You had places you wanted to poke around now, actually, before they left- that assembly area.
>>4241097I think it was within the past 10 threads where we hard reset all of our direct combat capabilities.>>4241777>Advice to be followed.I'm surprised Richter is still functional, its been a busy week and he's had like what, 12 hours sleep total? Probably should rest up.
>>4241777>>Advice to be followed. You could feign dumb labor, then head off work…somewhere. (What places or sorts of places to look for/look into?)Ask him if they've tracked down Lucia yet, maybe we can familiarise ourselves with the area around the brothel
>>4241777>>4242019A good idea
>>4242019I thought snooping around the brothel was a bad idea, I remember it being brought up a couple threads ago causing an IO agent to leave?
>>4241777Rest the boot wounds>>You wanted to arrange plans with Weiss and Rot themselves, actually- you would discuss that (What plans?)I think a general plan would be either attacking Gerovic as he returns from the battle (hopefully to the brothel) afters he's tired or strike him while he's sleeping.Or potentially start a big distraction somewhere that attracts his attention and nab him while he's about to depart. Do they have any local resources that they have prepared in advance for this operation?Questions:-If he's traveling normally, how much of an entourage does he keep with him usually?-Anything interesting they've learned about Dymny to use to our advantage?-Advice for planning this attack?-If it was down to them, would they risk capturing Gerovic or would they rather kill him?
>>4242056That agent left because they took a photo of Gerovic and got noticed. As long as we don't do something so conspicuous as that we should be fine.
>>4241777Unrelated to the vote, but did we get Hilda's preggantioncy confirmed by a doctor before we sent her packing?
>>4241781Check out the tanks.>>4241884>>4242019>>4242025Rest some, check out the brothel. Last time you did that by yourself nothing bad happened after all, right?>>4242061Amongst other questions and queries- though attacking Gerovic relatively soon has been...questionably practical without the requested resources.Writing.>>4242088>Unrelated to the vote, but did we get Hilda's pregnancy confirmed by a doctor before we sent her packing?Yes. It was one of the main motivations behind sending her home in the first place.
>>4242512>Yes. It was one of the main motivations behind sending her home in the first place.Cool. I went re-reading a few earlier chapters to refresh myself, found Fie's explanation of presence creatures manifesting as false pregnancies/Hilda's greater potential for possession after losing her eyes and became deebly goncerned that Bert might have seen something inside that her we missed, hence why he seems extra pissed now. But, if the doctors say it's real, that's good enough for me.
“…Hmm…I’ll stay in, but…” The fresh kicking you’d taken didn’t leave you in much a mind to work, and last night’s rest certainly hadn’t been as restful as it should have been. “…I’d like to lie down rather than work. Can that be arranged..?”“Heh heh. Here I thought you had a work ethic. No, you can rest- though if a heavy load comes in, there’ll be an inspection, and you’d best be prepared to be doing something, unless you want to be beaten again, heh.” Weiss’s insistence on a short cackle every other sentence was a disturbing tic, but you were getting used to it. “There are no accommodations here for sleeping, though. You’ll have to rest on the floor here.”“…It’ll have to do…” You sat down for now, though. “I was thinking after, I could look around the area that brothel Gerovic is fond of…have you and Rot tracked down the woman called Lucia yet..?”“Rot had peeked about, kept an eye on comings and goings from a place of easy observation but, heh, walking into the place is another matter. I’m sure you know that men do not walk into brothels to simply have a look around. Rot and I have rather well established characters. We would not be stepping in, not unless we were sure we no longer needed our identities.”A blink. “…So you’re saying that I should go in..?” There were multiple reasons for you to not like that, including just finding the places particularly off-putting now.“If you want to track down this Lucia quickly, then I know no better way, heh. Though you shouldn’t look so ill right off. Just because brothels dislike window shoppers doesn’t mean you have to buy the whole shop. There is the massage, the bath, and the bed itself is complimentary, heh.” You were informed after that the place’s location; it didn’t have a proper name, being a converted inn whose original owners no longer had possession of the place, but an indication of the building’s purpose would be displayed in dual-language signage, as well as a red hanging lamp.You were no more tempted than before. “…We’ll see. What about Gerovic in the meantime, what sort of entourage does he usually travel with..?” It hadn’t been particularly detailed in the dossier, for lack of actual encounters, but you wanted to press the point.It bore fruit, as Weiss continued to smirk greedily. “He dislikes a crowd, it seems. Spare glances stolen at him- he’s hardly ever alone in public, but there is one man who is always near- his Sergeant-Senior Grade, a dour, hawkeyed sort. Apparently the ego to his id, if you are familiar with such terms, heh. If Gerovic is generally observant, the Sergeant is even moreso, in regards to direct threats on his superior’s person. He does have a name, but none refer to him by it. Much like our own beauteous overseer, heh. This name is Razomir Mogelschick, should it become relevant, but I doubt it.”
“…And the Major’s name..?” You asked.Weiss smiled a toothy grin. “Heh. Nice try.”You wondered if it was really that much a secret or if you were kept in the dark for the fun of it, but there wasn’t more you could press on that with such a firm refusal as that. “…Our task is to dispatch Gerovic,” despite being alone you’d kept your voice lower yet than Weiss’s, “Do we have a preference for whether he is alive or dead? Is it worth a risk to you to capture him..?”“As they say, dead men sing no sonnets, heh. Though in the greater scheme of matters, would you believe me if I told you that the Intelligence Office does not consider Gerovic himself very important? He is troublesome, yes, but the overall objective behind removing him, is to see if any masters react in certain ways, or if he is indeed entirely self-motivated.” Weiss turned strangely serious explaining this bit, you couldn’t help but notice, “He could speak freely of his masters, should he have particularly influencing ones, but if taking him alive would incur a risk to our own persons…well. Heh. Unfortunate for him, then. It would be better for his health if he cooperated as much as he was able.”To you, that meant your optimal move was shooting him as many times as possible, before burning what was left in case he somehow refused to die, like somebody as driven to being a pain in the arse would do. “…Did you have anything prepared, readily accessible, for if we were to make a sudden move..?” You asked, hoping your only assets weren’t what you had to bring in yourself.“Heh. No, we have some basic equipment, should the opportunity have presented itself, but thus far our best chances would have been suicide to attempt. We are spies, not fanatics or anarchist rabble rousers. We are far more useful alive, heh.” Weiss ran through a list. A pair of suppressed, single shot breach-loading pistols in a small caliber (still plenty able to take a life with the right shot placement). A vial of potent poison mix, though such was unexpected to be useful. Tranquilizing solution also to potentially be ingested or injected with a syringe, a small fragmentation explosive no larger than a hand, disguised as an innocent cigarette case, of limited guaranteed fatal potential outside a very small range, though. Sharp knives, also able to be envenomed, but more useful for stabbing and slicing, of course, but what Weiss put the most emphasis upon was a complete Twaryian enlisted uniform, painstakingly assembled from laundry runoff to ensure missing pieces would not be noticed, only completed quite recently indeed. “The means are there, but the chance is ever unpredictable, mostly. Heh.”“…Nothing noticed in Dymny to help us..?”
“One of the least comfortable factors is escape,” Weiss said to that, “Dymny does not help us with its geography. It is quite open for a good ways around. Retreat after a daring move would be undoubtedly harried, and would require too much luck. That is the risk of an outright attack. Acceptance that you will have to have sacrificial lambs, heh, even before any reprisals.”That was hardly what you wanted to hear, but an important factor nevertheless. The local terrain would give no advantages, beyond the natural setting of low-urban ground. “…What would you advise, for when we make our move..?”“Act quickly. Decisively. If at all possible, avoid the act being detected until you have a head start on fleeing, heh. Definitely do not have the enemy in a position of strength nearby- if at all possible, they must be elsewhere…hence why the raid tonight was thought ideal, though if a coin flip upon Gerovic’s location was not good enough, I understand the apprehension, heh.”Noted. However it was done, Weiss clearly preferred a method where an escape would be quick, clean, and unhindered by a ready enemy mass suddenly on the hunt.“…That’s about it, I suppose…” Could you lean against something? Sleeping in a chair might be better than the damn floor. “…Wake me when it is safe to prowl, I suppose…”You were left alone, and resting was easier said than done, but once you did your best to empty your head of thoughts you did manage an uneasy, strained nap, that was blessedly uninterrupted.-----“So then. Were you conspicuously floating about for fun, or did you want to talk?”“…Yeah. I wanted to ask about a few things.”“Go on, then.”“So…the Caelussian Federation. They’re interested in this place, this continent, can I ask…what they want to do? What they want with it?”“An odd concern for one your age and lack of mortality, but can you not make an assumption?”“..?”“Tell me, what have you seen to be more expedient? Cowing a rival in a moment of weakness, or aiding them in their time of need? The answer is subjective, of course. Sometimes it may be too costly in the future to not attack given the chance, other times generosity may be necessary to gain an ally against a further, more dangerous threat.”“You’re not answering the question.”“The Federation is a large place with many interests. I can’t tell you what it wants as a single entity; more can be deduced from political reality than what they might claim.”“Okay then. What do you want them to do?”
“You would have to know more than I think you do of the Federation and Twaryi to understand it fully, dear. Most want a redressing of grievances, others an expansion of power, conquest, reunification of the church, perhaps, but they often do not take into account what I do. The passage of time. The Grand Maelstroms. The Vitelian Empire was cut short by such, as was Valsten’s time in the sun, despite their southward expansion into a rich and untapped new continent. It is only a matter of time before Twaryi’s fellowship with the Old World is of no aid to it, and it will once again be isolated, in a time when a war to surpass all others is steadily brewing on this continent. My sole desire, is that this inevitable conflict begins-and ends- as quickly as possible. This may only be done through Twaryi being force to realize the might it has at its disposal, whatever means must be taken for them to exploit such.”“…So you want war?”“War is inevitable, dear. Diplomacy is simply putting it off until it is more advantageous to strike, in the current state of the world. We are small players, you see. Even one such as I cannot swim against so great a current, or if you will, fly against such a maelstrom. Ask whoever put you up to this, if they would do differently. If they do as they would proclaim.”-----You were shaken awake suddenly, though not urgently. “Up, then,” Weiss said to you in a smooth droll, “The raid is freshly off, and the town is nice and quiet. The workers have taken to the streets for their sustenance and entertainment.” Weiss proffered you a simple wallet. “I believe you lack for local funds. A mix of old and new, in here, as would be typical for an Ellowian. The Republic’s currency hasn’t quite been stamped out yet. There should be enough there, if you do pass by the brothel, to pay for something or other, heh. Perhaps with some negotiation.”“…Hmph.”“Stow away the sour face, I know well enough your disposition,” Weiss held up the photograph of Maddalyn you had- when you snatched for it he held it away. “Ah-ah. I’ll give it back, when you return. Until then, we don’t need this falling anywhere it could be found-and recognized.”“…Fine.” You couldn’t argue with that logic, as you rose. Where to, then…>You’d go directly into the brothel. There’d be little point in prowling around it compared to looking inside, and maybe a massage would be nice.>Only walk about outside and in the vicinity of the Ellowian brothel. It was hardly like there’d be a hidden fortress waiting inside the place, and all you intended to need was to see your target arriving and leaving.>You’d sit and wait outside the place. From where Rot was claimed to observe, perhaps. You wanted to wait and see when and if Gerovic would be there.>Other?
>>4243120>You’d go directly into the brothel. There’d be little point in prowling around it compared to looking inside, and maybe a massage would be nice.It's not cheating girl, it's just a dick suck.
>>4243120>>You’d go directly into the brothel. There’d be little point in prowling around it compared to looking inside, and maybe a massage would be nice.Wait a little outside to observe any useful escape points just in case this gets bungled. Also to see if Gerovic enters/leaves so soon after the raid left.I don't like the idea of staying outside too long for any perceptive Twaryian to wonder why the fuck we don't just go inside.>Other?We need to find Lucia, best way might be to ask for a massage and ask for, uh, more matronly attention and hopefully we'll get to pick out attendant after they are introduced to us.Figuring out if she has a regular room with a window, facts about her day (and Gerovics day), if she serves her customers any particular drink (for poison).
>>4243120>You’d go directly into the brothel. There’d be little point in prowling around it compared to looking inside, and maybe a massage would be nice.>>4243181Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but why would we need to find Lucia?
>>4243215She's the one Gerovic is currently schtupping, and her son is Kryz one of the ERA kids in the Red Arrow hideout.
>>4243120>You’d go directly into the brothel. There’d be little point in prowling around it compared to looking inside, and maybe a massage would be nice.
>>4243232>You’d go directly into the brothel. There’d be little point in prowling around it compared to looking inside, and maybe a massage would be nice.She's just doing it for the money right? What if we offered to pay her off, reunite her with her son, and then take them both somewhere safe in exchange for her poisoning Gerovic? Even if she likes the guy I doubt she would choose him over continuing to be a prostitute and her son continuing to risk his life as an insurgent.
>>4243169A suspect disposition right here.>>4243181>>4243215>>4243625>>4243945Walk right in there and find yourself a mommy. Another one. Jokes about liking older women would be more pointed if your fiancee wasn't older than you as well.Writing, then.
>>4243945That could be the best way, but what if she refuses? Or pretends to agree then gives us away?
>>4244107We'll have to see if/when we meet her. Leading questions about her origins and how she feels about Ellowie before all this would be good.
>>4244107Maybe we could send the kid himself to approach her with the plan. No way she would betray him then, and it'll be much more convincing if she has him in the flesh telling her that he's willing to live with her again. And I would think he would happily go for it since it's a special mission only he can do and it saves his mom from being a prostitute which is the whole reason he joined the insurgents in the first place iirc. Win/win
>>4244123She still needs to make an income somehow. She'd have to flee Dymny at the minimum and a fugitive on the run isn't going to get many jobs unless we smuggle them across the border or something.
>>4244140We can probably smuggle them over the border with us and set them up with a place in the UGZ and enough money to cover a few months' living expenses. It'll be a bit shoddy but they'll be safe from both the Twaryians and the Netillians, they won't have to be insurgents or prostitutes, and they only need to stay there until Ellowie is liberated...not that we would know anything about plans for that, of course...
Sleeping away a few hour didn’t make you feel much better as far as your bruises were concerned, but you at least had the energy to pick yourself up and go right out. There wasn’t much sense in messing around loping about outside the place, the IO agents had done that enough. You had a new look, a new identity, and the freedom to just walk right in. If Gerovic took this raid seriously, he wouldn’t be screwing around here, and if he was…well, your hair color was the wrong hue anyways. Some apprehension was felt as you walked through the now dimly lit and dark streets, though the roads were suddenly more populated with Ellowians than roughhousing Twaryians, the ones present looking far more dour than the sort you’d taken undeserved punishment from. It wasn’t the foreign environment nor the chill blowing through, fresh flakes falling from the sky in a light shower of sparkles. There was something beautiful in that. No, it was the subject of where you were going. You couldn’t help but be a little uncomfortable around prostitutes considering that one thing that happened, but now you were meant to feign at least some interest, and you…were unsure precisely how to go about it. It’d have to come to you as divine inspiration, you thought as the red lamp’s glow came sooner rather than later.The place itself was a shabby but homely unpainted wooden building, built long and stained dark, build of wood that was clearly not Kalamarz. Orange and yellow light leaked through the seams in heavily curtained windows, and from outside the door you heard the oddly mournful tinging of a gently played piano. With little thought put to it, you went in through the door, uncertain as to what would be beyond. Would it be like the places in Sosaldt? Such had a tackiness to them, it felt, but it wasn’t like you were an expert on whores or where they did business.This place wasn’t at all like it would have been in Sosaldt. There was more a modesty to it- you could tell who the ladies of the night were as a glace, of course, with how they were made up, but their blouses and dresses were neither particularly low nor high- though they were certainly tightly fitted,and some translucent enough in parts to see beneath a portion, ever so slightly, if a light was at the right angle. Maybe it was a combination of this place being appropriated for another purpose, and some Twaryian custom you were unaware of. The place didn’t seem very busy. There was a sum total of two other men in the lounge, outnumbered by prostitutes (one of the girls, it turned out, appeared to be the pianist) three to one here alone, but nobody seemed to be particularly eager to do more than sit and talk.Was this place strange, or was Sosaldt strange?
“Evening, mister.” A scratchy voice addressed you. There was a counter, where the original inn management must have once arranged rooms for travelers, but now there was a scruffy, freckled young woman, probably right over the edge of adulthood, but not made up or dressed like a prostitute here. She held a cigarette between her knuckles and leaned forward on the counter, beckoning you over with the glowing smoke. “Haven’t seen ya here. New to town, or new to here?”“…Erm.” Few words. Not enough to give away your accent. “…Both…”“Nervous?”“…No…”“Okay, okay. It’s fine to be, you know,” the girl shifted her stance and rested her hip sideways against the desk, “Everybody has a first time and all that. What sort are ya after?”“…A massage…”“Yeah, that’s uh, not my deal,” the scruffy girl coughed out a puff of smoke, “You set that up with the girl, not with me, I’m just tryin’ to help ya get somebody ya like.”Oh. Right. She had a guarded expression like she was expecting a joke, but you were just trying to accidentally summon Lucia forth. You didn’t actually know what she looked like, or even what her son looked like- just that if she had a son old enough to be in the Order and she had been previously married, she was at least in her thirties or so.“…Somebody…uh, matronly, I suppose..?”“Ah. A mommy sort, huh?”Well. Uh. “…Sure.”“Lotta guys want to that treatment, turns out,” the front woman snickered slightly, “Whatever. They pay. Ya got cash, right? All up front. Ya cause trouble, you get too rough, the girl has a word with our two finest over there and they toss ya out, beat the tar outta ya if ya show up and ain’t proper sorry.”Oh, the two men you presumed were customers were actually bouncers. Judge above, this place was idle tonight, wasn’t it?“Ray!” the clerk (Madam? You didn’t think so, they seemed far too young) barked over to a long table, and one of the prostitutes, a woman with long black hair and a wide-hipped figure lazily looked over, stood, and stepped beside you. “Go wake up Lucia, it’s either you or her.”This woman called Ray gave you a disdainful look, before going upstairs. Was it the eyepatch? You didn’t care anyways. She came back in some minutes, as you expected to exchange more words with the desk girl, but she instead focused on blowing smoke rings, her part apparently played out.Ray came back down, and leaned against the wall facing a square angle away from you, drumming her fingers on her arm in annoyance, while Lucia came down at a more steady pace.
She was about in her early thirties, you guessed, with a sleepy countenance even without having apparently been woken up. She had wavy, golden-brown hair, with a few stray gray strands sticking out of a bed head, and one set of bangs tumbled down gracefully over an eye. Her figure was…indeed motherly, you supposed, appropriately to what you’d clumsily asked for, and she was only somewhat shorter than you. She walked to the bottom of the stairs, and gave your face a long look, her sleepiness turning coy.“Oh, Ray, what were you talking about, he’s adorable,” she cooed in a husky, gentle voice, and she reached out to stroke your face. “Poor thing, you’ve had a hard life lately, haven’t you? Come along, I’ll take good care of you, there’s no need to worry…” Despite yourself, you relaxed- her voice had a familiar sort of cadence and tone, like…Viska’s, though natural here, rather than a tragic mutilation. No choice was had in the matter. You were pulled along, up the stairs, and into a room. A plain one- there was the curtained window, a humming orange electric lamp, a few candles with a gently sweet aroma, a bed for two (quite a decent one), even a bathroom and table with chairs. The Inn’s history, a hominess unexpected for a brothel of all things.
“You poor dear,” Lucia continued to stroke your face, your hair, and you continued to be caught completely off guard, “The way you walk, you move, and you stumbled in here all by yourself. I’m of the mind to make this a treat, but…” She put a hand into your back pocket and took out your wallet, “You did come prepared, after all.” She laid the wallet on the table, and spun slowly back about, her hand drawing forward to pet you on the head again. “A massage, was it? Ha ha. Mm. Are you sure that that’s all? You look like you’ve had some rough days. A hot bath should fix you right up. You’ve got enough to spoil yourself, I can tell.” She stared into your eyes, her own grey and pale blue, “You’re lucky, you know. Normally I’d be busy, but the usual friend’s letting me have a night off. You can stay until the sun rises, if you like. You’re so tired, I can tell. But you look like you have so many stories to tell…” Her hand went away from her face and over her own mouth. “Ah ha ha, but aren’t I rude? My name’s Lucia. What’s yours?”“…Sieg.” You were still reeling, catching your balance.“Well, Sieg,” Lucia took your shirt and straightened it out some, “What would you like first? Your massage? A bath? If you like, we can take some drinks up here and relax some. You certainly need it.”You’d expected to come here and unleash a barrage of questions, but you’d near forgotten them with this peculiar assault. They could be grasped back…but you did have time, and maybe, you should indulge a bit instead of simply launching into your original purpose here.>A hot bath wasn’t something you’d had in entirely too long. That’d be a good start.>You’d come for a massage, and you needed it the most sorely. Being dusty and beaten was normal now. The aches were not.>Drinks? You could hardly say no.>You came here to talk. Only talk. Sorry to disappoint. (What about?)>Other?
>>4244283>>A hot bath wasn’t something you’d had in entirely too long. That’d be a good start.
>>4244283>>A hot bath wasn’t something you’d had in entirely too long. That’d be a good start.Stay sober, who knows how perceptive she can be. Gotta be careful Richter has more than a few scars to only have ever been nephew(?) to the launderer. Any tenseness can be explained away as nervousness.That and going right to questions would suspicious as fuck. If we don't go with trying to recruit her then it'd be better if she mostly forgot about Richter.Light questions:She seems experienced, doing this long?If not, what was life like before the war, does she miss it?Wouldn't she rather have the night off if she's so busy?
>>4244281>a sleepy countenance even without having apparently been woken upThat's the most apt description of the "hentai milf eyes" I've ever seen.>>4244283>You’d come for a massage, and you needed it the most sorely. Being dusty and beaten was normal now. The aches were not.She's just trying to part us with more of our money, and quite professionally. Stay strong, Richter.
>>4244308If it comes up just say we were in Sosaldt for a while. Would also explain why we 'picked up' a foreign accent.
>>4244283>You’d come for a massage, and you needed it the most sorely. Being dusty and beaten was normal now. The aches were not.Richter kept a cool head and asked plenty of questions whilst getting that albeit-less provocative wizard massage from Fie way back when, so I'll stick to this. Keep it PG (Poltergeist Guidance Advised) though.>>4244308 >>4244328 These guys raise good points too, ask her a few warmup questions to keep her occupied and avoid letting her see any of the recognisably military scars Richter might have wherever possible between dressing and undressing.
>>4244283>A hot bath wasn’t something you’d had in entirely too long. That’d be a good start.Ok young blood, focus up! She's a whore and a hag, not your new caretaker. Remember the prime cut of veal you got back at home and how you plan to get back to her and pound that shit till she's the mommy. Keep your beloved in mind and refuse to faulter. Now, we both know who the "usual friends" are, but we can't ask without seeming too obvious. So the plan is to play up your weakness. You're a broken stuttering mess, she can tell and probably thinks nothing else of you, so play that up to make her drop whatever gaurd she might have. Also adding a whore mother to "Seig's" backstory, might also work in gaining her favor if it doesn't contradict too hard with the current story. Either way, phrase all questions like small talk and nervous virgin questions and she'll play right into your hands. Or she'll dodge all your questions and just make you look like a fool, but it's the best way to go about this regardless!
>>4244283>>A hot bath wasn’t something you’d had in entirely too long. That’d be a good start.Ask if business is normally this slow
>>4244283>>A hot bath wasn’t something you’d had in entirely too long. That’d be a good start.We should use this opportunity to relax and take some care of ourself. If we do ask her any questions it should be after spending some time together anyway so it seems more natural; if we come in and immediately start asking personal questions it would seem suspicious. Make small talk about her work for now and only get personal once it could be believable that we're actually starting to like her. Also keep the water away from our hair just in case since we don't know how strong this dye is and we don't need it fading prematurely.
>>4244284>>4244308>>4244344>>4244380>>4246533You need to find yourself in hot water, and not metaphorically for once.>>4244321>>4244343You've got the touch.In addition to certain questions and concerns, with a mind to being familiar- and certainly not intimate. Boundary is set at the beltline. Keep your scars to yourself and your pretty hair dry.Writing.
You swallowed hard, tried to blink away the fuzziness in your head. You weren’t here for the comfort of it, you were here for a reason, and you had to keep focused on that rather than getting distracted. Not by any womanly charms, heavens no, but you’d been struck in a spot you didn’t know had been so sore. If you had to be a customer, though, there wasn’t any reason to not spoil yourself, relatively.“…A hot bath would be nice…” you also hadn’t had one in entirely too long. Cold showers were the standard, and about as pleasant as it sounded in winter.“Ah, good, good,” Lucia gave you a final head rub before turning back about to your wallet, “A bath and a massage…” she took out a surprisingly small amount of bills, “You know,” she lilted in a soft voice, “A bath usually means a shared one, but you tumbled in here, not knowing a thing, I’ll try not to scare you.”Uh. “…I, alright…” You didn’t know why you were surprised, this was a brothel, not a public bath. “There’s no need to be scared now, nobody’s here to get you,” the older woman pulled your jacket off of you and tossed it casually on the bed, “I’ve seen that sort of look you have before. You’ll be alright, come along, honey.” Again, you were tugged along more than led, though you were able to actually get a word in edgewise now.“…Is it usually this slow here..?”“Hmm, no,” Lucia didn’t sound very interested, nor distressed or relieved by that, so it couldn’t have been too unusual, “Part of it is the time, and most of the eastern soldiers prefer seeing women from their own homes. We get by. This is your first time to a place like this, isn’t it?”You didn’t answer, because while it wasn’t, the other times had been combination places with more normal establishments, or utterly abandoned. She also seemed incredibly unlikely to believe you if you were truthful on it. A sidestep seemed best, when the lack of response prompted a disheartened hum from Lucia, as you were led back downstairs to what must have been very hard work by the original inn owner to have decent baths, set in the floor as permanent fixtures rather than utilizing portable basins.“…How can you tell?” You asked, “You seem…experienced? How long have you been doing this..?”“Not long at all. It just happens to be something I’m good at, it’s just how it happens. Before I was married, I…ah ha ha, you don’t want to hear me talk about other men, do you? Even if they’ve passed away years ago.” Lucia went for a faucet, and tested the water. “…About time they kept the heat on…” the hint of a grumble. “Alright now, are you going to take them off, or are you going to make me do it for you? Don’t be modest, you aren’t the first boy I’ve ever seen, and if you wanted to wash your clothes you should have gone to the laundry.”
You were wary of showing not only your body, but your growing collection of scars. Ellowie might have been a country that knew no shortage of war, but you were gradually growing too work-shaped to hide your history. The cover identity you’d been given was enough to fool Twaryians looking for documents, but could you pass off clearly having been in recent combat? More than a few of your scars were quite new…“Hmmm,” Lucia observed you as she filled one of the square-stepped baths set in the ground, made of stone tile, “My, you’ve had a worse day than I thought. Did you make some easterners angry? You should be more careful.” Lucia noticed you had paused at taking off your underclothes, and you flinched in alarm as she grabbed at them. “Ah ha ha,” she put a hand to her mouth as you stumbled a step away, “I’m only teasing.” She started unbuttoning her blouse, and you averted your eyes. “Hmm? I want a bath too, honey, but alright, I won’t take it all off.” You still kept your head down and made yourself nude before sitting in the bath, the water coming up to your waist when it was deemed full enough.“…You were sleeping, right…” you tried to talk again when Lucia had begun to sponge you down, gentle as to where you barely felt it- a mind for your bruises, “If you’ve been busy, wouldn’t you rather have the day off..?”“Oh, I couldn’t let Ray have you, could I?” Lucia said in a laughing tone as she spun your hair between her fingers again, “I’m not so exhausted that I could say no to tending to a boy as needy as you are.” She rubbed your shoulders with a twirl to her wrists, before returning to soaping you once again. “We can see about changing those bandages, too, they were getting rather dirty, weren’t they?” It was unavoidable that those had to be noticed- you were thankful that, for whatever reason, they weren’t being probed into. Yet. “…If you’ve only been doing this a short time, what were you…how were you doing before all of this? The occupation, of course…”“Ah ha, you want my life story without saying a thing about yourself? You seem so interesting, too,” She put down the sponge, and her fingers brushed against old shrapnel scars on your chest, “Believe it or not, I was an author. I went to an academy for culture before I was married. Oh, Kryz was a fine man, sweet, modest…you remind me of him, to be honest,” a little laugh, a squeeze of both sides of your collar, before she took up a small dish to take hot water and pour it over your shoulders, steadily. …Wasn’t Kryz her son, you thought a moment, but said nothing.
“We only had one child.” Lucia went on unbidden, “His name is Leon, and he’s been…troublesome. He’s run away from home, though sometimes he leaves some sign of being back…he is angry at me, I suppose. Easterners killed his father, after all, and I know better than him how it felt. Burning with hatred and naught else forever is foolish, though. Back then, it ate me to my core, and I was an empty shell for so long…my son carried me through those days. Just when I was in a proper mood to write once more, ah ha ha, the Twaryians took over this region, and they don’t have much interest in my work. They did have an interest in my body, so…as it goes. Ah ha ha.” Lucia pressed down on your shoulders, and you slipped into the water to your neck. “Relax some more. You’re wound up tighter than a clock spring, and I’m not allowed to fix that the normal way, it seems.”Nevertheless, Lucia kept playing with your hair as you let the warmth of the water sink into you. She started to hum some old song softly- one you’d never heard before, but you couldn’t help but find pleasant, and you almost drifted off before being sharply tugged back up.“Ah ha ha, hey,” Lucia’s hands gripped firmly under your arms, “The bath is no place for sleeping. You’re doing good, though. Let’s go back up, alright?”You didn’t want to stare at Lucia, but you didn’t feel as threatened when you were dressing yourself again, so a good look seemed obligatory. She hadn’t taken much off, thankfully, only her blouse, though the chemise she wore beneath wasn’t exactly modest. She was…about Hilda’s size, if not a little more, across the chest, but the neckline of the thin cloth slip was such that if you tripped and fell forward into her you’d never be heard from again, lost to some abyss. No matter what Hans insisted to you, you didn’t really see the appeal, though.Once more, you were dragged along, as despite you feeling calmer, more relaxed, and far cleaner, your pace wasn’t up to Lucia’s standards. “Go on and take off your clothes again,” Lucia pushed you in, “I’ll be right back. We can change those bandages you have.”…Damn, you had hoped she’d leave those alone. It’d be nice if it was out of a nurturing nature rather than a curious one. What could you do but obey, though? You will wanted that massage, and it wasn’t like you expected Gerovic to be the next to walk through that door with ten eastern goons. No, Lucia returned, and shut the door behind her, though when you looked back you noted she still hadn’t bothered to put her blouse back on.“I’m not much a doctor,” she said as she clipped away the bandages with a pair of scissors, “But it’s just wrapping these, right?” It was done well enough. A few days of healing meant you weren’t exactly about to spring leaks at the slightest notice anyways. “…Hmm, you’ve been shot?”
“…The Twaryians beat me into a pulp, is it a stretch that they’d put a bullet in me..?” you made up a plausible sounding story on the spot.“Hmm,” Lucia wrapped you up again. “I suppose. Lay back down again, on your front?” You did so, and you felt Lucia’s weight on your back before her hands pushed into you. “So…I’ve said plenty, but I want you to talk about yourself, alright? It’s cruel to not give some in return, even if I’m being paid.” She gingerly avoided your bruises as she pushed into other sections of your back. “You’re not from around here, are you?”“…”“There’s no need to be afraid,” Lucia laid down on top of you, and pushed her chest into your back, whispering in your ear as she toyed with your hair with both hands, “In this line of work there’s plenty of secrets kept. You’re not very good at acting like a man who’d go to a brothel, you know. Most boys want to touch, grope, feel, and there’s no excuse not to do that with a woman you paid for…but you shrink away, even now. I can tell…it’s because you have somebody already, don’t you? Somebody you don’t want to set aside. It’s charming, you know. But you don’t really want to be here, do you?” Despite unraveling your story in moments, her tone and touch were as ever soft. “You’re here for something else…I’ve heard that there is a group of soldiers from the Archduchy across the border, here. You’re quite obviously a soldier, are you with them?”“…”“I said that it’s alright, didn’t I?” Lucia said with a hint of sadness, one hand on your shoulder and the other ruffling the top of your head, “Tell me about yourself. I love hearing stories, and no matter who you are or where you’re from, you’re here now, and I’m going to take care of you for tonight. If you want to go, I won’t stop you, but maybe we have more to talk about than you think?”>There wasn’t any point in hiding it. She was being nice about it, even. (Tell her about yourself. Write in what.)>Construct some fake story. Maybe she could see through you, but it wasn’t like you were crystal before her eyes. (Make up your false story, write in)>Say nothing. You’d like her to finish up and you’d be gone, if possible.>Other?
>>4247435Ah shit she's onto us, in that case:>Other?Tit for tat... as it were.We will tell her a story about a boy named Kryz (Leon) who's fighting a losing war, worried about his mother, and now she has the opportunity (if sufficiently helpful) to reunite with him and escape Twaryi occupation together.In exchange she tell us us a story about a man named Gerovic, his habits, his schedule, and perhaps how that same clever woman helped stop him from making this war any worse. Especially for her son.I'm very worried that unless we convince her she currently feels like she will get more out of ratting Richter out to the Twaryians if we simply play along and trust her. We need to shake her out of this little game she's playing, and see how much of her "friendliness" is genuine.
>>4247435>>Construct some fake story. Maybe she could see through you, but it wasn’t like you were crystal before her eyes>We used to be a mercenary in Sosaldt, but our group broke up in the wake of the birth of the Republic. We wound up with no money and nowhere to go so we ended up drifting across the border into the occupied Ellowian territories and fell in with some resistance types. At least our work experience is appreciated here. >But doesn't she mind having a customer who's in the business of killing Twaryians? With so many of them as her customers, there must be at least a few of them she wouldn't want to see dead?Hopefully the mercenary story is enough to explain our wounds and our clearly being foreign while drawing suspicion away from us being from the Archduchy. If she suspects we're someone that valuable there's too much chance she'll turn us in. Also hoping to subtly probe how she would feel about someone like Gerovic being killed.
>>4247758This, just lift most of it from Anya's backstory
>>4247435>Hagwhore is playing Richter like a damn fiddle.To be expected really, she's a good one.>>4247758Gerovic already knows Richter has hired guns, so if we use that story that implies that Richter has some agents over the boarder, which would definitely be enough to spook him if he were told.Instead maybe we could tell her about how we're: >Ex-Ellowian freedom fighters>We grew up abroad, but came rushing when we heard shit was going bad out of a sense of patriotism.>But we came too late to help in the real fighting and then got stuck with our uncle when things turned for the worse and things finally settled.>We found the ERA, and was doing some work for them, but ended up getting big hurt and brain scrambled.>The one we're sweet on is a girl from the home we left to try and save the one we never knew.Gerovic still might be spooked about even the sniff of danger, but way less so if we go with this instead of the mercenary angle.Also, a sentimental kid getting in way over his head also plays way better with Richter's current image I feel.If the ERA affiliation is too much just say that we did make it for the tail end of the fighting only to get our ass beat or something, hopefully our wounds are old enough to make that a possibility.
>>4247435Supporting >>4248536, I suppose.
Sorry for the wait folks.>>4247746Be right up front with her.>>4247758>>4247904>>4248526Pretend to be the most important blonde in your life. Your gunner.>>4248536>>4248599Make amendments to the story.Writing.
No, you couldn’t spill your story. Not to her- not to somebody whose loyalties you weren’t absolutely certain of. She’d already turned out far more perceptive than you bargained for, you weren’t about to reveal anything more than what Lucia had already presumed. You had to come up with something else- some fake life story, a fictional motivation to how you’d come up here, were doing what you were doing. Maybe she saw through you, but you weren’t made of glass, after all. There was still a chance to trick that penetrating eye, to misdirect it.“…I’m…a mercenary,” you decided, such being a people you’d been oddly close to, “Used to be, I mean. My family, I think we came from Ellowie…a long time ago. Anyways, the mercenary band I used to be with broke up, when Mittelsosalia came up…” you weren’t sure how much of the specifics were in the public consciousness, but it would have been remarkable for anybody to not hear about the new country springing up. “The group didn’t want to join up with the army, and we split on that since we couldn’t work anymore…I ran out of money, when it turned out, I didn’t do anything else well…” You had begun reaching into Anya’s past and picking things out. You doubted her claim of not doing anything else well, considering how much clerical work you could heap upon her, but you didn’t need to be a duplicate of her for this, complete with taking a rude tone and talking through your nose. “I heard about what happened here, and came back. Too late for real fighting, but there were sorts who appreciated my work experience, at least…Insurgents. Freedom fighters. I’ve taken some hits, as you can see…”“Hmmm,” Lucia picked herself up, thankfully getting her chest out of your back, and wrung the meat of your shoulders in a normal massage again, “I suppose room and board is standard, but I wouldn’t think they’d give you the money to go to a brothel, would they?”“…Er, they wouldn’t…I found that myself…”“Ah ha ha. A thief, are you?” Lucia laughed as she tended to, her hands moving up to the back of your neck and collar, “Yet you came here, not interested in spending it the right way…no answer for that, hm?”“…Uh…hm…”“Honey, I’m the mother of a delinquent child, I know well enough when somebody’s looking for a lie,” her touch was gentle on the cords of your neck and head, “If you don’t want to say, then don’t, okay? I won’t take offense.” Further stroking along the tops and front of your shoulders, “Talk about her, the lucky girl who’s keeping you from wrestling with a fierce old lady like me, ah ha ha.”“…” A vague description of where “she” was from. Another fairy tale. “…She’s still in Sosaldt. In the home I left, to save the one I never knew…”
“Hmmm…’ Lucia moved to your lower back, “You’re unbelievably cruel, you know that?” Despite yourself, your breath was strangled somewhere between your neck and chest. “The last conversation I had with my husband, I was angry with him, I called him a fool as he left to fight for his country. When he died, I didn’t find out for a month afterwards. That was when this country was strong, and could afford to send word. I know the sort of place Sosaldt is, even with the recent changes in it. You went off, and stay with people who couldn’t send word back if they wanted to, if you perish, how long will it be before your sweetheart hears about it? Will she ever?” Her tone had gone from amused and curious to weary condemnation, “If you die up here, how many more nights will you force her to cling to false hope, how many years? Foolish, selfish boy. Go home. Whatever fight you thought was up here, isn’t yours. Enough people have thrown themselves into these wars that never end.” She lifted her hands, “Even my own child. I have to do as I did for his father, and hope that he is still safe, that he’ll return home soon. I could never have expected I might be left alone in the world in a way like this…”“…” Lucia resumed her rubbing, pushing, squeezing, but she wasn’t as talkative all of a sudden, so you asked something yourself. “…Must be a change, tending to somebody who’s in the business of shooting at your current usual clients. But aren’t there a few you wouldn’t mind ending up dead..?”Lucia sighed slowly, keeping up her work, “There was one a time I felt like you did, but all that shedding each other’s blood does is create more people who feel the same, being done to people who did nothing to deserve it. I’d much rather things be like they were before, but that isn’t how it is now. Besides, my usual customer treats me very kindly, despite his origins. Out of all of them, I think I’d least like him to end up dead. Ha ha, no, it isn’t love, or the like. I’d like to think that we’re very good friends, though, despite how we tend to spend our time.” She lifted her hands once more, and got off of your back. “Ah ha ha. Well, this would normally be the point where I roll you over and you have a happy ending, but you’ve wandered into a bar and asked for milk, it seems. Ah ha ha.”
You rolled over uncomfortably and reached to put on your shirt. You were thankful for the job she’d done- you felt as loose and relaxed as a silk sheet on the wind. “If you’d like to spend the night here instead of whatever hideout you normally have to cram yourself into, feel free. You’re safe here.” Lucia said, sitting at the small table at the other end of the room. She gave you a small smile, and closed her eyes at you, “But I do intend on sleeping in my bed tonight, so you had best be willing to share. Ah ha ha. Or, we can talk some more, perhaps play a few games to pass the time,” you only noticed now that the small boxes on the table were just the right size for board games. An odd predilection to indulge in inside a whorehouse. “I suppose you could leave. You’ve gotten what you paid for…but perhaps not what you came for, hm?” She frowned again, “Though…when you leave, do go back home. Your actual home. Not everybody has one to return to, even if it’s in an unpleasant place. You should not discount such a thing.”>You’d be fine with talking more. (About what?)>Sleeping would be good. You didn’t care if you had to hide in half the bed.>It was time for you to leave. You’d risked your neck enough with chatter.>Other?Also->Make a move- you’d try and get Lucia’s help against Gerovic. (How? What will you ask her to do, and how would you be convincing?)>Leave things lie. Despite her closeness to Gerovic, she probably wouldn’t help you.
>>4250647>Sleeping would be good. You didn’t care if you had to hide in half the bed.>Leave things lie. Despite her closeness to Gerovic, she probably wouldn’t help you.At the very least, we know the room Gerovic sleeps in
>>4250647>>Sleeping would be good. You didn’t care if you had to hide in half the bed.>>Leave things lie. Despite her closeness to Gerovic, she probably wouldn’t help you..
>>4250647>It was time for you to leave. You’d risked your neck enough with chatter.If we sleep here you just know Gerovic will come in, and we don't have any weapons.>Leave things lie. Despite her closeness to Gerovic, she probably wouldn’t help you.The Twaryians broke her. When people say that wars are fought to break the opponent's will to resist, this is what they're talking about.In unrelated matters, I think Lucia would be a great friend for Emma.
>>4250647>You’d be fine with talking more. (Board games, they get people talking and while we're more likely to learn more about her than Gerovic, I'm sure she'd let something slip.)>Leave things lie. Despite her closeness to Gerovic, she probably wouldn’t help you.
>>4250714>The Twaryians broke herThey really did. Poor collaborationist whore.
Mumbling virgin quest protagonist gets outplayed and has identity rumbled by alpha-female boardgaming whore in less than an hour. /tg/ wins again.
>>4250956SecondI still think we could ask her son to approach her with the idea of killing Gerovic. We now know that she's definitely concerned about her son's safety and she's afraid of being left all alone if he dies too. And most importantly even though she likes Gerovic she's not in love with him, whereas she undoubtedly loves her son. So if put in the position of sacrificing Gerovic to ensure the safety of her son I think she would agree to go along with it, even if she wouldn't be happy about it.
>>4250647She saw through that pretty quick. No matter what option wins, we need to fucking DESPERATELY convince her that we weren't here for information about the Twaryians. We need to bank on her believing Richter to be nervous and shy because of the situation and not because of an ulterior motive.>You’d be fine with talking more. (About what?)Play a board game as >>4250956 something tactical and wargamey. Questions:Ask about life in Ellowie before the war, did anyone ever anticipate losing?She was a writer correct? What did she write about?How does she feel about the Netillians?>At the very end before we leave for good:I like having a safe place to relax, if I came back to visit you, what time would be best? I don't to get in the way of you and your, uh, usual customer whenever he gets here? ( Need to get her to believe this wasnt a reconnaissance mission no matter what)>Leave things lie. Despite her closeness to Gerovic, she probably wouldn’t help you.She likes him too much and hates the Twaryians too little to make a good asset. There is still the opportunity of her son still.
>>4250691>>4250704Crawl under the sheets and stay.>>4250714Get outta there.>>4250956>>4251307>>4251349Play games. Chat more. Apparently setting up dates?Writing.Everything's all good up north, probably.
“…I’d be fine talking more,” you got up off the bed and sat across from Lucia. Part of you wanted to stay in that surprisingly comfortable bed, no matter the conditions, but you wanted just a little more from the woman. You couldn’t try and make an alliance with her- but perhaps you could, through her son. Most importantly, though, you didn’t want to leave her off tempted to tell Gerovic that you’d been poking about for him. “Playing a game would be good, too.”“Ah ha ha,” Lucia crossed a leg over the other, leaning forward and resting her chin on the back of a hand, “You came to a cathouse to take a bath, get a massage, and play games. It sounds like a caught cheater’s excuse, doesn’t it? I hope you aren’t expecting gambling, though. The easterners don’t tolerate that vice at all. They’ve got the sense of humor of a beetroot, mostly.”A beetroot, huh. Salty beetroots. You glanced at the boxes. “…What do you have there, then?” You hoped for something nostalgically martial. Not a few weeks or months back, but years. The like you entertained yourself with before being shifted off to begin combined training and officer education. “Anything like a war game? Siege of Kardeholm? Dragoon?”“Ah ha ha, it’s like you’re trying to be my son,” Lucia laughed again, “You’re going to make me feel guilty about wondering if I should have pushed you down on that bed with that sort of preference. Hm, how about Shadowplay? Do you know that one?” You shook your head slowly. “It’s from Ellowie, and its original title was Feeling in the Dark or something around that.” She removed the other boxes and brushed off the one remaining, “It’s all about keeping what you have hidden from the other player, until it’s the perfect time to strike. Games can last some time, but they tend to be short. The best players can make a single mistake fatal. Poker without cards, Zhantaoan Majiang without tiles. You’ll see. I’ll warn you,” Lucia half shut a sleepy eye at you, “I’m quite good at it, but I suppose I’ve been going easy on you already, haven’t I?”
You took off the box’s lid yourself to get at the guidebook, and read through it, asking for the odd explanation here and there. The era of the game was rather fluid, anywhere within the last century might have been appropriate, beyond the necessary abstraction of a game. It was a simple conceit- two armies planned to attack one another in the dark of night. Waiting too long would result in morning coming and both players having to reveal their forces, which were tiles faced towards themselves and away from the other player. There was, of course, artillery, cavalry, and different sorts of infantry, but exactly what they were was hidden from the other player. Terrain obstacles like forests and hills were present, in a board constructed by both players before a match, but of additional importance were towns and villages. As the battle took place on a border, there was a chance of enemy infiltrators and civilian observation- one might be able to hide their forces or be revealed, depending on a dice roll. There was a hidden element, advised on in a limited quality in the book. This was a game, after all, and you could tell plenty to an opponent by the movement of pieces. If pieces moved too quickly, they were clearly cavalry, though there was also an element of uncertainty even to that with Shadow units. Duplicates of real units in every way, but they could not attack, and if attacked up close, would disappear. However, they were unaffected by artillery.Combat was quick and decisive. A unit struck once was turned upon its side, then the next hit against it would either force it out of position or destroy it. Only attacks by units of equivalent or greater strength could destroy a unit- other weaker attacks could merely make a unit vulnerable. Different units handled these rules slightly differently. A charge by heavy cavalry could crush weaker units in one blow, while the Elite Infantry could resist said charge even when shaken. Artillery had strength to weaken any unit, but could not destroy a unit by itself.Different rule sets were listed, but Lucia told you to stick with the Capture the Flag setting. More rewarding of creative strategy, she claimed, and it wasn’t as though destruction of the opposition wouldn’t result in a capture regardless.“Normally,” Lucia’s voice still had that airy, tired tone to it, though it had lost its former flirtatiousness, “We would either have equal armies, or both draw from a random pile, but since it’s your first time, how about this? I’ll let you pick out what you want, then I’ll draw from the pile left over. The Shadows stay out of the pile, of course.”
You glanced over the unit tiles facing up, each with varyingly faded print illustration on it. Three types of infantry- Skirmishers, Line Infantry, and Elites. Two types of cavalry, heavy and light, one for scouting and the other better at attack. One sort of artillery, mere cannons, but could strike from further away than any other. Was there another level of game here? Following Lucia’s conditions, you could pull such a move as denying her valuable units like the Elite and the Heavy Cavalry, who were stronger than all of the other units and also the most rare, in equal quantity as artillery. Or perhaps limiting less powerful but still vital reconnaissance units would help? Or perhaps you should keep things balanced, for your first game? The Draw and number rules you two were using would mean there would be units left over in the pile. There was a chance that happenstance could still mess with Lucia’s composition.There were things you wanted to ask Lucia about, but that could wait for the game to start. It’d be a bit rude to hold things up with chit chat, after all. >Hoard all of a particular unit. This might be your first game, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t toy with the structure, did it? (What units?)>Keep yourself balanced. Best to play it safe.>You wouldn’t be underestimated. Turn the tables- say you’ll draw, too.>Other?Also->What will your general strategy be? Aggressive, conservative, offensive, defensive, a blunt and simple execution in making the first move or an attempt to lure your opponent into a trap?Going for summation instead of giving terrain details and everything because I think you want to get out of this place sometime in the next century.
>>4253978>Hoard all of a particular unit. This might be your first game, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t toy with the structure, did it? (What units?)This side quest is the Boat of Panzer Commander
>>4253978>>Keep yourself balanced. Best to play it safe.>What will your general strategy be?Conservative while we observe her movements and get a feel for the game
>>4253978>Hoard all of a particular unit. This might be your first game, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t toy with the structure, did it? (Arty)>Defensive- don't be aggressive, attempt to get her to commit to attacks which you can punish with Arty
>>4254087>>Keep yourself balanced. Best to play it safe.+1
>>4254091>which you can punish with Arty+counterattacks
>>4253978>Keep yourself balanced. Best to play it safe.If we hoard a particular unit it will pretty easy for her to figure out what that unit will be and come up with a counter to it since she won't have any of that type, or at least as much.>What will your general strategy be?Conservative just to get used to it, but overload one side of the field in a particular unit like cavalry, since she will likely spread her forces out it might surprise her if she doesn't anticipate us lopsiding it like this.
>>4253982>>4254091Hoard the arty.>>4254087>>4254176Balanced and keeping safe.>>4254091>>4254093Balanced and defensive.Keeping it safe as can be, then. Writing.
>>4253978>Hoard all of a particular unit. This might be your first game, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t toy with the structure, did it?All of the strongest ones>What will your general strategy be?Lose pathetically to dispel any suspicion Lucia might have that we're a spy
>>4254057pls>>4254210You are acknowledged as well. Though maybe you'll get that outcome unintentionally anyways.
It wouldn’t be safe to go with an out there tactic just learning the game. The ideas were there- but they didn’t charm you enough. Somebody as observant as Lucia might even notice a what was missing, and formulate a counter against it with ease. Best to keep to the mold, and have a strategy of simple caution and observation. This was a game, after all, not a grasp for life or death.“…I’m done,” you said after you’d assembled your perfectly balanced troop. Kept facing you- no need to have such be an easy reference.“Mm, alright,” Lucia turned the pieces over and muddled them up, before sweeping a general selection to herself and tilting them up. “Mmhm,” she acknowledged them disinterestedly, “The field, then.”From one side of the table to the other, the field was steadily constructed. By nature of the ratio of land tiles it was half open terrain, enough woods and hills and such to allow for tactical movement, though rivers and streams were noticeably absent. The end result was a snaking line of forest crisscrossing the fields, the hills sparse between the edges of the map. You’d thought about using your artillery defensively, but the way the map had formed meant there wasn’t much in the way of forward positions to set that up.“Since I handicapped myself,” Lucia trilled with a slight smile, “I’ll go first. Go on and set yours up, then.”The size of the field allowed for some flexibility. Both armies came in at opposite sides and corners, in one or two waves depending on the size of the player’s collectives. The “flag” objective was a unit like any other, though if it was taken, the game was over. It was thus important to defend it, but also try not to reveal where it was so easily. To prevent each player from huddling into a hole, there was also three town objectives to be captured, a majority of such after enough turns being a victory if neither player decided to move further, but the clear and intended method of victory here was taking the flag, as towns risked leaking information and taking them all stretched one’s forces somewhat thin, potentially.Like they were here. Spattered in the center, irregularly. Certainly not to a defensive advantage to either of you.“…What was like here before?” You asked, perfectly within the bounds of being, supposedly, not a national. “Was this anticipated? You know…all of this…” you waved a finger all about.
“It was better,” Lucia said as she considered her pieces, and moved one a single space. “We were together against our enemies. The Republic government supported Leon and I well enough after my husband was killed. We didn’t want for much. The constant reassurance of heroism was awful to hear, though. I shut myself away from those I considered friends before. There was never a shortage of hope, but all of us saw the writing on the wall with this last war. We’ve been battered continuously for a long time, and no matter how we won, how superior our weapons or spirit, when both of our traditional enemies joined hands to fight us, we saw the end. In that end, we lost our community. People went every which way, with different ideas of what to do next. Some want a return to the old, others think there needs to be something new, and they can’t agree as one like they used to. It’s an unpleasant change, worse than being conquered and occupied.”“…It really wasn’t like that in Sosaldt…” you had both moved completely as Lucia spoke, and you gave that short statement before concentrating more on what you were going to do. “Sosaldt is a place of those who didn’t fit elsewhere, people who either didn’t want to be there, or really do, so I hear.” Lucia’s eyes passed over your tiles, some weighing going on behind them, “Ellowians have been born and raised and died here for centuries. The Kingdom laid strong foundations, and the Republic built upon them. That the Reich was merely a master instead of a conqueror gave us a sort of shelter. We didn’t lose because we were weak, you see. We only lasted this long because we were strong.”“…Yet you’ve said you want an end to fighting..?”“I’m tired, Sieg. Many people are, but they won’t say it. I just don’t want our reward for enduring so long to be to fray and fall apart.”The skirmish lines were forming, the towns given a wide berth. You couldn’t tell what Lucia’s strategy was yet- it seemed to simply be fanning out into a line, but the Shadows meant that any part of this supposedly even line could be false. “…You said you were an author?” you asked, hoping it was something she wasn’t sensitive to. “What do you write..?”
“Hm? Oh, the spark hasn’t come back yet all the way anyways, but I liked to write thrillers. Have you heard of the infamous thief, Koenig?” you shook your head, and Lucia gave a short explanation. “He’s a rather famous burglar. He first appeared with Koenig as his calling card eighteen years ago, when he plucked the jewels right out of the Vitelian crown, and replaced them with glass baubles If you ask anybody who knows much about the artifacts of the world, they’ll know who he is- and what he’s taken. I was inspired to write stories based on such a character, a master burglar…of course, a handsome and charming one. Ah ha ha. I can’t help but have my indulgences, after all. I had quite a sequence of events plotted out…but I only completed the first, and it’s been so long since then, I doubt I can keep that same beginning point, no matter how fond of it I am.”“…The Twaryians aren’t interested in that?” you asked, as you started to mass your cavalry, slowly, on one side, moving your Shadow Cavalry to indicate otherwise. “Shows a lack of taste…”“I’m afraid not. Ah ha ha. Maybe they’d like the earlier writing I did, adventures exploring about the world, but I found it cheap. Lacking in the danger I liked in a story. Maybe it felt nice to read, but I didn’t want to write walks in a sunny park.” Lucia looked straight at you again, “Oh, the good one’s called Sunset Stolen Into Night, but I doubt anywhere you’d find it would be paying royalties, ah ha ha.”More movements made. The lines were about to clash- the stage near set, and against your expectations, you managed to get your cannons to a mostly acceptable position. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough for all of them, but it would have to do while your others continued moving to the place they could occupy and still fit within your plans.“…So what about the Netillians,” you brought up next as tensions on the board’s fictive battlefield began to surely strain the imaginary soldiers waiting to fight proper, limited skirmishes having revealed little. “What do you think of them..?”“I don’t know much about them personally, besides what everybody knows,” Lucia moved up a unit and revealed it- the actual battle began. Units had to be revealed to the other player if they attacked, as to prevent misuse of Shadows. As you tilted units in response, it was gradually being revealed that Lucia was…shaping up for a huge attack. On the periphery of the two cannon positions. One of them wouldn’t be able to reach. Worse still, it was right around where you had erected a fortress of arms around your Flag unit. The temptation was to yank it away, or plug a gap, but any adjustment would tell Lucia she’d struck at a soft spot. “Oh? Is that place important? You do need to have a better poker face.” Damn it all.
“I do hear plenty about the Netillians from the other man I’ve spoken with you about, though,” Lucia let slip as her forces hammered a tough, yet not unbreakable section of line. At least it appeared she hadn’t been able to put her cannon in the best position for it. You weren’t sure whether to try and not react to that, or that Lucia might tell something about Gerovic. “The way he puts it, they are the weaker between Twaryi and Netilland, but whenever he comes back from the front here, he is quite tired. Energetic when he rises, but I can always tell if he comes by after a fight…it isn’t often, though. He’ll talk about it the day after.”Even with this fortuitous reveal of timings, you were still wary. Was this a trap? Perhaps not, if she wasn’t sure what you were or what your goal was. She’d not once mentioned a name, after all. “…If they’re the lesser of the two I’d prefer they strengthen themselves quickly,” you murmured, remembering to imply the ERA’s political leanings, “At least to distract the Twaryians from here…” How would you solve this mess? The answer was, you couldn’t. It wasn’t time to forfeit, though, because you had your own strike planned, and with luck, it would prove to be far harsher and more decisive.“They’re awfully fond of black pepper, too. Funny, isn’t it, with the name people give the easterners?”They certainly were, awfully fond of black pepper. You set your mouth into a line as your massed cavalry made a daring strike at the flank, only for the testing brushes of the Light Cavalry to reveal…naught at all. Lucia’s entire flank had been a shadow. Shocking, surprising- but, not all bad. You could adjust, continue the rush. It was a race now.A close race, as you did your best to both block the path to your flag while not revealing its precise position. The cavalry, massed as they were and unopposed, made a move to smash into a mass to the flank of the main effort. It was close, but while this may have been your first game of Shadowplay, it wasn’t your first tactics game. After a harrowing turn where the flag was nearly taken, a pair heavy cavalry unit smashed aside infantry, and in exploiting the breach happened upon the flag.Satisfaction. For a mere game, yes, but nevertheless.“My my,” Lucia turned her head up, “I wasn’t even holding back very much. You could be better, but you’re certainly not bad at all.”“…Thanks…” It was expected that she’d hold back, but the praise was mildly appreciated nevertheless.“So,” Lucia swept the pieces up, “Want to play another?”“…No thank you, I need to…go, but uh,” Lucia’s shoulders slumped a bit as you rose, “I did enjoy myself, and…I like having a place to relax. If you don’t mind me coming here…when is a good time for that? I don’t want to get in the way of your…other customer, after all…”
“Ah ha ha,” Lucia held a hand to her mouth, “And here I was worried you didn’t like me. No, it’s alright. The best time would be…” she tapped on her cheek in thought, “The morning, I suppose. Early morning. His definition of a morning is rather different to ours, so there’ll be time…not to sleep here, though. Ah ha ha.” She stood up herself, and put her hand on the top of your head, again. “You shouldn’t play with old ladies like me at the brothel, though. I’d be happy to have you, but you should go home. To your sweetheart. Or leave them. Don’t do the cruelest thing and make them wait for eternity.” A more joking tone, as she took her hand off your head, “If you do the second thing, then maybe next time you can be a little less shy? Ah ha ha. I’m only kidding.” As you uncomfortably grunted and made out the door, she made one last wave, with a “See you around.”-----Back at the Order of the Red Arrow’s hideout. It had been well and dark out, theoretically easy to be evasive if need be, but you put some confidence in your papers as you went out. It took a little wandering before an Order Initiate found you- the eldest boy from back when you first entered- but you didn’t find yourself in an incident, and that was the important part.Soon after you had returned, Mabel did as well- with fifteen plainly dressed, but plenty recognizable folk. They recognized you just as clearly, but said naught. Not until you could get your own space, perhaps. It was a reminder of your own people though- those from Strossvald, who might have been fighting at this very moment…and you wouldn’t hear anything of it until it was long over. Another arrival. Somebody with an oddly reminiscent hair color to yours- and facial features like his mother. Kryz was pointed out to you after you had idly asked about him, and he regarded you with a suspicious glare. He slipped in with the Ellowians you’d had Mabel fetch from over the border, and apparently, he’d been told by another Initiate that a Twaryian raiding force had recently returned. Hope and trust, Richter. Have hope and trust them. Either your comrades had prevailed, or not…or at least lived.>Talk with Kryz (Leon) first. You had much to discuss. (What to talk about, and how?)>The members of 4th platoon were instrumental to your plan. It was time to get them up to speed, and plot out what to get ready.>You had to get up and out again. Checking on that raiding force’s condition yourself was the only clue you’d get to how your people did.>Other?
>>4254450>>The members of 4th platoon were instrumental to your plan. It was time to get them up to speed, and plot out what to get ready.
>>4254450>The members of 4th platoon were instrumental to your plan. It was time to get them up to speed, and plot out what to get ready.
>>4254450Good, at least it seems like she didn't catch on. Least I hope considering Richter has no deception at fucking all.>The members of 4th platoon were instrumental to your plan. It was time to get them up to speed, and plot out what to get ready.>Other?What are they armed with and what presents did they bring over the border?Since it sounds like he's coming back later this morning and tired it'd be a perfect time to strike, we know where he is and with proper specialists now we have a chance.
>>4254599Our main problem is actually escaping after. We'll need a separate group covering our retreat with an ambush, we'll need a gathering point, we'll need local guides, we'll need a hiding place. Also we should at least draw a plan of the brothel and ran everyone though it.
>>4254450>>The members of 4th platoon were instrumental to your plan. It was time to get them up to speed, and plot out what to get ready.So what is the plan exactly? Raid the brothel with the Ellowian troops once Gerovic is inside?
>>4254469>>4254496>>4254613Get the boys ready.>>4254599Inspect the contraband.Though one should note that Lucia didn't say he'd come back to rest there. The opposite, actually.>>4254997Ask the guys who just got here what the plan is. Just kidding.Writing.
The squad from 4th platoon that Mable had smuggled over would be instrumental to your plans- whatever they ended up being. The Grandmaster’s direct contribution wouldn’t arrive until “tomorrow,” but you finally had a contingent here you could trust, along with whatever they’d brought over the border. If the transmission had gone as it should have, they should have been loaded down with whatever heavy equipment they could carry.“Sergeant Pikkarski,” the leader of the squad introduced himself to you, feeling no need whatsoever to salute. “What’s the situation, Coordinator? Not going to ask why you’re blonde now.”“…Firstly,” you said to the men, “What did you bring over with you..?”“Munitions caster, four explosive shells, two smoke, four tear gas. A machine gun, new type, bulkier but works better. Took five of the Twaryian submachineguns from the stash too, those are pretty nice things while the ammo lasts. We’ve got enough for now. One fight, yeah? Got plenty. Besides that, double load of grenades, a couple of bundle head charges, one of the scuttling charges from a tank. Besides that, just rifles. Gas masks for the squad. That about accounts for what we got. So we’re here to put Gerovic in the ground?”“…More or less.” You explained what you learned and what felt important- save for the Intelligent Office’s particular participation and concerns. Along with this, you spread out the map you’d received on the table. With a pencil, you circled where you knew the brothel was, and you’d sought out a few other spots of interest too, also marked. “…This is a place he likes to frequent, and there are checkpoints on the roads, though soldiers wander the streets too. There’s also the assembly area here, the barracks here for a garrison unit, the logistics area where a forward supply point is…”“Checkpoints, huh,” Pikkarski muttered to himself, looking at the map, “And no papers for us? Not that we wouldn’t be patted down anyways. If we want to use our big stuff and all be there, we’d be running and gunning. Into a town covered in Twaryians.” He squinted up at you, “Just going to put it out there, we didn’t come here to commit suicide.”“…Neither did I. I just want to have an array of options. Gerovic is tricky, and we’ll need to be able to be at least as much so to get him…”
Pikkarski had a point, though. Entry to Dymny was barred to most, and sneaking in with fifteen heavily armed men was unlikely to work out. If you were detected it’d all be over before it even started. This would either require great preparation, or careful allocation of what resources you had. As far as that went…>Order Manpower- 60, Maximum 120 fighters at short notice. Potentially more over time. Equipment shortage remedied due to use of captured Twaryian equipment. Unknown amount of Revolutionary League double agents- at least two. Relatively long range portable wireless radios are available, but not distributed among every order. Tomorrow, a team of specialists will be arriving.>IO Tools- A pair of suppressed 7mm single shot pistols. Poison solution, with syringe. Tranquilizer Solution. Rochefort-Type Close Combat Knives. Cigarette Case Low-Yield Fragmentation Bomb. Complete Twaryian Enlisted Uniform.>Pikkarski’s Squad- 15 Men, Five submachineguns, nine rifles, one munitions caster (four HE, 2 Smoke, 4 L (Lachrymator) Tear Gas shells), one machine gun, twenty eight fragmentation grenades, four bundled explosive grenades, one scuttling charge, which upon further examination is several different charges tied together into an intimidating package.You did have the capacity to be any variation of loud or quiet, if you were able to get to Gerovic in time. It would require speed, certainly, because you had a good feeling that if Gerovic realized he was in danger, he’d make himself as inaccessible as possible, and if he realized he was the target of anything and was able to properly react, you’d surely be finished. It’d be all you could do to escape with your lives.If you did manage to get to him, though, he would be absolutely screwed, no question about it. Unless he was sitting in his tank.“What’s the plan, Coordinator?” Pikkarski cleared his throat. Right, you probably should at least formulate something, no matter if you planned to add anything after the face.>What’s the plan, then? The trigger won’t be pulled until you want it to be, but with the available information you have you should be able to decide on the baseline of what you want to do with what you have. Another windfall of resources or information is unlikely, to say the least.
>>4256017Gotta go to work, but I think it should be some variation of using the Order to infiltrate and cause a scene to distract the garrison while their Vengeful Phantoms bag/tag/frag Gerovic. Pika-Pis squad is used for the exfiltration and heavy support. Or we ambush Gerovic on his way somewhere and just unload on him with the Squad and use the Order/Phantoms to help get the fuck out of there or cause the initial distraction that forces him on the move where we can ambush him.
>>4256017Holy shit, this is hard.We can't kill him quietly if we're not willing to kill Lucia as well, and I am not.We also have to remember Gerovic always has his sergeant bodyguard with him.This will probably fail horribly, but I have something of a plan. It hinges on the ability to get at least a couple people, local or not, inside Dymny. If ERA can't do it, this plan won't work.>The RL double agents bring as many pistols inside Dymny as they can and hide them.>The operatives infiltrate Dymny and get the weapons from the dead drop>A few kids also infiltrate and stake out the brothel>When they see Gerovic entering, they notify the assault group and retreat>The assault group waits for Gerovic to exit and guns him down>If waiting is unfeasible, the assault group barges in, shoots anyone who resists and kills Gerovic>The assault group then exfiltrates to the south>If/when the forces from the outpost and/or the checkpoint try to stop them, the support group, made of our heavily armed guys, covers them with MG fire.>We exfiltrate back across the border as soon as possible
>>4256062>>4256017This is a good enough plan. Although, maybe we should send the assassination team in as doorkickers first rather than waiting
>>4256242Gerovic's sergeant will likely wait in the lobby and we'll have to shoot him, which will warn Gerovic of the danger. He won't have a lot of time to do anything, but he's not an intercontinental adventurer for nothing. Thay's why I'd prefer to get him at the exit.
>>4256017Honestly if we want this to work we should enact multiple plans at the same time. At the very least let everyone on our squad and the Phantoms see our picture of Gerovic so they know what he looks like.>>4256062 suggestion would probably be best because then we would have accurate visual on the target and we can quickly confirm the kill with enough bullets. It then becomes a matter of timing and smuggling folks in.Having the Munitions Caster would make this very easy if we could get Lucia out of the room the same time Gerovic is in it. Just pop HE once or twice and problem solved. We should talk to Leon once we meet with the Phantoms and see if he'd be willing to lure her away.BUT assuming that doesn't work we could also smuggle in some explosives and using two Phantoms we could rig Gerovics car to explode. It's unlikely the Sergeant will be watching the car, and using the Twaryian Uniform we could have a "soldier" watch a civilian "fix" something that was wrong with the engine or undercarriage. Or even worse comes to worse have our saboteur ready the bomb and then the "soldier" come along and escort him away for questioning.Regardless having a few backup distractions go off as needed would be helpful and probably would limit the danger to any Order kids, especially since they seem to have some experience in sabotage. Things like:- Loudly and violently sabotage the rails heading north if we want to exfiltrate south- Stage an attack and fade on one of the checkpoints- Start a few fires at the laundry/near the barracks that would have to be dealt with. Hopefully the Twaryians don't have a dedicated fire brigade and would need to use soldiers instead.
>>4256413- Loudly and violently sabotage the rails heading north if we want to exfiltrate south- Start a few fires at the laundry/near the barracks that would have to be dealt with. Hopefully the Twaryians don't have a dedicated fire brigade and would need to use soldiers instead.I really like these diversionary plans. If we could use the radios to coordinate, we could have these actions begin at some point during the stakeout. Judge above, maybe the diversions could be what draws Gerovic out of his fun.
The problem with diversionary attacks is that we have reason to believe Gerovic spooks easily and has a sense for danger, so if a sudden commotion or attack occurred somewhere outside town I wouldn't bet on Gerovic striding casually out the front door of the brothel- he might use a back door, a cellar exit, or even a window. Hell, we don't even know for sure that he uses the front door regularly. So in order to guarantee he doesn't escape we would need to have enough operatives to completely surround the building and to smuggle in enough guns for them all, which obviously increases the risk of being detected.I think using Lucia to do this quietly is still our safest option. Gerovic seems to spend a significant deal of time with her on his visits so if she poisons him and then slips out of the brothel she would probably have a few hours to get out of town and rendezvous with the resistance before anyone realizes Gerovic is dead. Hell if we move fast we might even be back over the border with Lucia and Kryz before anyone even starts looking for us.For the sake of redundancy I would recommend combining both plans and setting up the dead drops while we approach Lucia with the plan and get the poison to her. That way if Lucia loses her nerve or if she gets caught sneaking out after the fact the operatives will still have a chance to get Gerovic or rescue Lucia.
>>4256612I see no way that "Sieg" or anyone else can convince Lucia to poison Gerovic. Beyond being fuckbuddies, she has little reason to wish the man dead and clearly lacks the will for further sacrifice and suffering.Also, I would hope we position agents around the whole perimeter rather than just covering the front door.
>>4256858Like I suggested earlier the deal we would send Kryz to offer is that he will quit the resistance and we'll set the both of them up somewhere (relatively) safe where they can live together without having to work as a prostitute or resistance fighter. She already expressed her concern over her son's safety (as she well should be) and I'm pretty sure she cares about his safety a lot more than Gerovic's.
>>4257026Perhaps we should approach Leon about the viability of this proposal first- I remain doubtful.
>>4256612I agree with this man. Set up a clandestine poisoning, but do not rely on it. Might even put him off guard because he may not expect both to happen at once
>>4257185Actually, maybe use the tranqulizing solution instead, if we're going to bother to set up both. Then in a best case we can capture him, and in a worst case we're still poised to kill him.
>>4257190Even if you manage to tranquilize him, how are you going to move him out?
Back now. >>4256062>>4256242>>4256413>>4256612>>4257185There's, uh, a lot to process here, to be frank. Best to just go over every step and angle in writing though. Which I'll get on with now.
You rubbed your head and thought again over all the assets you had- and maybe didn’t have quite yet but hoped to depend on. “…This’ll depend on if we can get people inside Dymny, at least a couple. If not, we’ll have to think of something else. We’ll need to sneak weapons in, and then one group will move here,” you pointed to the brothel on the map, “Where we’ve found out Gerovic spends plenty of time…”A snort from one of the Ellowians. “…When it’s time to strike, we’ll have to be in, and out, preferably without being noticed in wiping out Gerovic. We’ll head out the south. Once we get there, we’ll probably be stopped at the checkpoint…which is where your squad will intervene, and shoot up the place so we can escape. They aren’t manned too heavily. The outposts are another story, apparently, but if they send help, you’ll also need to delay or suppress them while we exfiltrate first from the town, then over the border as soon as we can…That’s the broad strokes, at least. We still need to hammer out the details. Potential distractions, who to do what with, multiple angles of attack…” “Multiple angles? How many fuckers do you think you can even get in that place?” One of Pikkarski’s men asked bluntly, any mask of particular respect for you discarded away from Netillian land, apparently. “Hey, watch your mouth. Place is full of kids.”“Go to hell. Lady said that Dymny’s crawling with troops. It’s the forward supply point, has a garrison, the services for the troops…”“…The other angle isn’t for you or the assault team,” a modest but cool correction, “The woman that Gerovic’s got a fondness for may help us…with some convincing. If we can smuggle some poison, maybe tranquilizer, we can try multiple things simultaneously…” The tranquilizer, if administered, would even make capturing the man instead of killing him, child’s play. How would you get him out afterwards? You had time to think on that. Maybe if you could merely deliver him to the IO agents, that would take care of things on your end, but what would the Major think if you delivered him yourself? No need for you to share credit with your life at the present amount of risks both present and future.Nobody had any idea what you were talking about with Lucia, but they didn’t really need to know anyways. What was more important for them was the infiltration and exit afterwards…regardless of the mission’s success. Crawling back over the border, Gerovic allowed to continue his plots, would be humiliating but ultimately preferable to being killed or left to rot in whatever prison he might have imagined for you.“…The first matter, the infiltration…” you looked to Mabel, “The ERA has Revolutionary League double agents, nearby, for certain, and they know you…can you get their help for this? Otherwise, we’ll need to smuggle in arms using the Order…”
Mabel narrowed her eyes at you. “If any members of the Order, child or no, are caught smuggling weaponry, they’ll be hanged. Any reasonable hand is forced by this.”You took that as a yes, and relaxed some. “…Alright. So…members of another resistance I came into contact with, have tools we can smuggle in. They have the poison, the tranquilizer, suppressed, concealable weapons, among other things.” Maybe they could get those things into the town themselves, but you might be able to afford simply carrying it in on proper uniformed “authority.” “They also have a complete Twaryian uniform, so that’s three people, at least…do the checkpoints force their own kind to show their papers..?” Moving in Twaryian uniform would also allow you to actually go in armed with proper weaponry, an indisputable advantage.“They are far more relaxed with their own kind.” Mabel said, “The cultural rift is enough that if you, say, speak their language, they suspect less. If you intend to disguise yourself, however…you have been seen with that eye patch. You will need to mask that wound another way, at least. Even the coverings of the usual winter Twaryian headgear will not hide that as well.”It would have to be dealt with- potentially simple enough, but you weren’t about to let somebody else take your place, not when you had to ensure this was done. “…That can be done. As for other aspects…distractions, diversions. I’d like, if possible, for the Order to…maybe not openly attack,” they were still child soldiers, after all. A firefight would be plenty distracting, but they appeared better at sneaking about and fighting indirectly than actually getting into a shooting match. Perhaps, better than a firefight, was merely a fire. “If they could set a fire, a few fires…perhaps that would distract the Twaryians that way. Soldiers needed for fire brigades, if they don’t have one, the natural disorder of it, spectators…Explosive sabotage of the rails would also be quite a diversion…” Much as you would have liked to utilize radios to aid in coordination of such things, what the ERA had access to, while long ranged, was barely man portable and extremely bulky- far too conspicuous while also too valuable to risk, potentially, for them.“Just going to say, Coordinator,” Pikkarski spoke up, “If it were me in the Twaryians’ shoes, if too many things happen at once, I’ll be trying to look for the next thing instead of dealing with the old ones. Too many distractions and anybody with their head screwed on straight’s going to start looking for what’s the thing they’re trying to be distracted from.”
Noted, with a nod of your head, but this would be the next day, anyways. Lucia had said Gerovic wouldn’t be returning, most likely, until the next day. You had time still. Time to figure things out the whole way, but not that much. “…For the other parts, so you know…” You were relatively sure the squad was better off outside the town, but you would rather have everybody up to speed anyways. “The infiltrators and I will keep a watch on the brothel, waiting for Gerovic. I know what he looks like now, so we can properly tell. If we can wait, we’ll wait for him to exit, and blow him away there. If for one reason or another we can’t do that…we’ll walk into the place and gun him down there. Or capture him, if we can, I suppose. He won’t be under heavy guard in private, after all…” “What if he doesn’t leave through the front door?” an Ellowian trooper asked, “You gonna have enough guys to cover all the exits? Might be for the best to just stick with walking in.”It was true. In order to actually cover the perimeter of the place, you’d need to sneak in more people, more people than you could conveniently pretend were Twaryian, and even if you got the IO agents in directly that was only five. The more people that snuck in, especially those unable to identify themselves on demand, the greater a risk there was. Being caught before you even spotted Gerovic would have been an inglorious end to this whole operation.Of course, if your entry into the Brothel went bad and Gerovic made a break for it, not even having a perimeter could prove just as bad. Perhaps, then, that was motivation to at least try the clandestine approach simultaneously. It would, however, require the help of Lucia’s son. Pleasant as the woman was socially, by your measure, she didn’t have the will to work against Gerovic as an enemy. Her love for her son, however, was not in doubt at all. Could you have persuaded her using her son as leverage? Perhaps, but it was better in several ways to have the request for aid come from the wayward son himself. Called Leon by his mother, but Kryz by his friends. You’d seen the boy about. What time was there but now to finally meet him?To rest the stage for the troops though, you answered that concern simply. “…We’ll see how it goes. Depending on the preparations we need to make. Speaking of, Mabel, can you go and ensure the help of those Revolutionary Army double agents?”Mabel gave you a look of utmost weariness, hard eyes sharp as a dagger that threatened to bury itself in your head for how much she suddenly smoldered. “I have run all about today,” she said haggardly, “I have not rested more than moments since last night. However, for His Majesty, I will test the limits of my person.”
“…If you’re-“ But Mabel was already on her way.Pikkarski’s eyes had rolled into his head upon the mention of his majesty and his men were muttering similar tones of criticism. There was a world of difference between Mabel’s fervent loyalty to the new old monarchy, and Ellowians such as these whose opinion of Wladysaw XI was summed up by the monikers Weasel King and High Leech. They were left to theirs, however, as you sought out Leon.The young man had that same odd sleepy heaviness to his eyes as his mother, hair like his mother’s, the same rounded features, though as they would be on a…perhaps twelve to fourteen year old boy. Short, but with a wariness to his eyes that told of growing used to a life away from the home he’d abandoned, he stared you down as you approached him, and you noted how he was keeping away from the others. Was his friendliness to Emma rather than fear a reflection of some isolation, or was he just moody?“What the hell do you want?” He snapped at you when you came close and waited a moment. Moody, certainly. “Who are you? Leave me alone, I’m tired.”>You’re a servant of His Majesty. Refer to him by the name he adopted- his father’s name. You need his help.>An enemy of Twaryi. Refer to Leon by his birth name- and say you met with the mother who gave him said name. That you need her, and his help.>Say that you’re a friend of Emma’s. Ask if he likes blonde girls or seagulls.>Other?
>>4261901I don't know how to approach him, so I'll leave it to you, anons who wanted to go this way. But I'd like to note that the signs like taking his father's name and not mingling with the others point at him being alienated from his mother and wanting to prove himself a real fighter and patriot. As such, the promise of a safe life with his mother might not motivate him. Even if he agrees, he might escape from her later and make the situation really awkward and unpleasant.
>>4261901>You’re a servant of His Majesty. Refer to him by the name he adopted- his father’s name. You need his help.It's been mentioned before that one of the reasons he joined the ERA was because his mother chose her new line of work. I think it would be a strong motivator if we can just convince him to get her out of the brothel and over the border. There is a life in the UGZ, not a good one but surely better than this.I think if we try too personal a touch he'll react poorly even if he would be amenable to it otherwise. Plus when he offer them a way out he can always come back if he really wants to. Frame our plea as an opportunity for his mother to escape and isolate an important target for the resistance. It's not too many Red Arrows that have helped assassinate/kidnap a Twaryian army captain.>Other?If he reacts favorably then I would be curious how he met Emma and what she's been doing over here. We can tell him a little bit of our adventures with her if he seems interested. He'd probably be curious to know she was once just a chubby ball of flame once.
>>4261901>>You’re a servant of His Majesty. Refer to him by the name he adopted- his father’s name. You need his help.
>>4261901>>You’re a servant of His Majesty. Refer to him by the name he adopted- his father’s name. You need his help.>>4261928I'm anticipating him not being thrilled with the idea, but the gist of our pitch to him is that this is a special and extremely important mission which literally only he can perform and which will allow him to be of utmost service to His Majesty and will likely save the lives of countless fellow Ellowians if all goes well. By joining the resistance he's already demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice his life for the cause, so he should certainly be willing to make the much smaller sacrifice of going to live with his mother instead, if it's what's necessary to get the job done. He might not like the sound of it but if it's necessary for the mission then it's his duty as a soldier as much as anything else he might need to do.
>>4261988>>4263332>>4263424By Royal decree, for the country, and tell us about your ghost.Writing.
“…I am a servant of his majesty, as you could ask your leader about if you require proof,” you told Lucia’s son, “You are Kryz, yes..?” Not his true name, but the name he took up. He wanted to be called by the name he associated with a warrior, you assumed in your head. You were going to request that he perform a mission, not a friendly favor. You couldn’t act like you were already acquainted no matter how much you knew about him already. “You can call me Sieg. I am on an important mission, which I need your help with…”Kryz blinked at you, and shifted slightly towards you in a muted physical response. “My help? Why mine?” Natural suspicion.Best to get to the point with that. Kryz’s age might have been vague in adolescence, but he wasn’t tall or broad at all. It was easy to see why he wouldn’t assume people would come to him for something important.”…I am after a very deadly Twaryian officer called Captain Andrej Gerovic. He’s difficult to get at, let alone fight, but he isn’t without weaknesses. It’s there…that only you can help me with. Help his majesty, with. You see, Gerovic is fond of a woman- he sees her frequently. Your mother, Lucia…”Kryz’s eyes widened, then narrowed, “…How do you know my mother? How do you know she’s my mother?” His face began to redden, taking in an assumption.A carefully weighed answer in response to that sudden flash of anger. “…Emma told me...”“…” Kryz’s anger vanished, and his face blanched, “You know her?”“…She is who I found out about your mother, and about you. I talked to Lucia afterwards. I didn’t tell her who I was, or that I knew who you were, or why I had really gone to talk to her.” Not that she didn’t seem far too clever to have not suspected it, if not figured it out. “She talked about you, about how she was worried about you. I know why you’re here, though, and not at home. Which is why I want to ask for your help, instead of telling you to leave…”“It’s humiliating,” Kryz muttered spitefully, “Not just for herself, but to me, to father. We’d be better starving than…than that disgusting submission. I don’t understand how she doesn’t see it as the insult it is.”“…She would listen to you now, though,” you set up a possible, grander idea. “She wants for safety and security, and that can be provided over the border. However, Lucia needs to be convinced to help remove Gerovic from the picture. She’s in an ideal position to poison him, or give him sleeping drugs, so that we can kill or capture him…I want your help there. To convince her to do it. We’ll be in position to secure it, to ensure the deed if it doesn’t go through…but we need your help, to try and make sure this is a success…we’ll get you and your mother out after, to the protectorate north, and to a place where you’ll have food and shelter…”
A UGZ wasn’t exactly luxury, but with Maenesko in charge of UGZ-09, your Ellowian platoons garrisoning it and the abusive penal troops removed with Von Metzeler’s intervention, it was probably a brighter place than many other UGZs.Kryz stared at you, put a hand to his chin, clearly rolled it over in his head. “…Even if it doesn’t work out, can you get my mom to a safe place?”“…Of course…” It would be the height of dishonor to refuse such a request. “I’ll do it. I’m sure I can convince her to do…something.” Kryz stood up, “Do you have the…poison stuff?”“…I’ll have to get it from my contacts…” you told Kryz. Part of you hoped that you could rest here at the Order’s hideout, but you could rest all the same at Rot’s house, you supposed. “You know the way to Almny..?” Kryz nodded. “…I need to go there to get the things you’ll need, and other things…”-----When you were out in the night again, the Ellowian countryside looking idyllic in bright moonlight and snowfall, but an even more careful eye kept out for Twaryian patrols. The Easterners were apparently not intolerant of curfew being pushed should one have proper papers like you did, but the undocumented were absolutely not tolerated moving about in the middle of nowhere at night. Or so you heard. Apparently Kryz had plenty of practice, so you could trust him at least to move about.He had less discipline than Mabel, however, or at least greater curiosity, as he began a whispered conversation.“You know Emma?” he asked, “I can tell you’re not from around here, but Emma said she was from Valsten. That’s real far. Not to mention that you can see her, she talks to you, and…sorry. It’s not like I’ve never seen a ghost before, it’s just that they’re like,” Kryz pointed up to the sky- to one of the migrating, softly glowing translucent ribbons of presence flowing towards the mountains. “Like that. Not like…a girl.”“Mm…”“You said you served the King, and I won’t say you’re lying, but,” Kryz screwed up his face at you in the moonlight, “You’re awful weird, is all.” He paused in going forward, “Can I hear about it? I asked Emma how she got here, and she didn’t really say. Not here, I mean, but maybe, when we get to your people..?”>You can’t say. Sorry. Secrets you have to keep.>Sure, talk about where you’ve been, what you’ve done. Primarily concerning yourself, though. (What in particular?)>Talking about yourself isn’t possible. You can talk about Emma, though. (What about?)>Other?
>>4263899>Other?We could just pull a Locke and be super vague about everything and/or make shit up. Maybe hint at parts of the fake story we told Lucia, but not mention exactly where we said we're from or what we used to do. Have Richter say he hadn't known Emma for long, but where he'd come from, talking and dealing with ghosts wasn't that unusual. Tell him fake stories of fictional ghosts we meet previously to build or creditability as someone experienced with ghosts (A noble boy that wanted to defend the weak and died trying, a poor girl that followed her unrequited love into battle and suffered greatly before death, based on Von Metzeler and Hilda respectively. ) and tell him that Emma is a sweet girl so we wont talk about her behind her back, but that ghosts like her can be dangerous for "the soul", so he should keep visits to a minimum. That should be enough to make his child imagination to run wild about who we might be.
>>4263899Supporting >>4263993Also tell him that despite how bitchy Emma can be, she really wants friends.
>>4263993This works great.Also do we still have the tin can with our spooky eye scavenger protoplasm inside? If so, show him.
>>4263993>>4264017>>4264137"Pull a Loch"Right back to Mittelsosalia to lead on Signort again then.>>4264135That is back at camp. The primary use for it hasn't really come up, what with knowing where the Soulbinder is rather reliably now.Writing.
Kryz couldn’t hear your name and story- not from you, at least. Here, you were Sieg, not Richter Von Tracht, but if he wanted a story, the least you could do for him accepting your request for aid was to indulge him. You’d have plenty of time to think of yarns to spin anyways, on the way to Almny.“…Sure. Once we’re there…”The boy gave a small nod, and waved along for you to follow once more. He wasn’t as excitable as Will, with a pace more tolerant of your (now very aching with all the abuse upon it) limp, but the temptation to stop for a breather had become near overpowering when finally the few lights in the town were visible. The Twaryians were still there, as expected, perfectly accustomed to night. That was no deterrent to the ERA. The Twaryians might have remained active, but just because they did not fear the dark didn’t mean the night was their ally, as Kryz proficiently proved when he guided you far enough into town that you could navigate back to Rot’s house easily enough without a single patrol passing you by.Before you could even knock, Rot was at the door and pointing you inside. He gave Kryz a long look as you both went in, and after he shut the door behind you, he asked, “Friend of yours?”“…Yes…”“How good of one?”“…He is vital in the plot to take out Gerovic. We need the array of gear you have, but for this young man, the poison and the tranquilizer…”That was good enough for Rot. “A moment. I’ll have to go down to the cellar for some time. Keeping things good and inaccessible.” With that, he left for a basement, for…who could say how long. Enough for you to talk freely about ghosts without sounding like a nut, at least, or worse, like you might actually know something the IO was curious about. No more freebies than they were already getting, as far as you were concerned.Kryz looked around, uncertain, until you sat on a chair and he took that as an invitation to make himself comfortable.“…We’ll probably stay here, until morning at least, unless you want to go earlier,” you sighed, stretching your legs out, even the wounded one- it was too sore not to try, despite the groan it elicited. “I’ll be resting until then…unless you’ll stay and listen a bit, to my stories…” All of a sudden you felt awfully old, despite yourself. “…I haven’t known Emma for very long, but I come from a place where these sorts of spirits aren’t so uncommon…”“Huh? Where’s that?” Kryz furrowed his brows.
“…The mountains.” A vague answer, like one you imagined a proper enigma like Loch might give, where they may have been truth or falsehood but either way it revealed little. “I’ve known a few phantoms,” yes, there were more Embers…well, Emma was a Blaze, now, but there had been other Embers in the manor basement, though you wouldn’t be talking about them. Rather, you’d substitute people, you had decided on the way here. “One was a warrior who wanted to protect the weak, and paid for it with his life. He had a noble heart…but no luck, it seemed.”“Where did you find him?” Kryz was immediately interested.“…An old battlefield, around the northabouts of Sosalia. Go around to enough old battlefields and there’s bound to be that brand of regretful souls somewhere. Like one of the other ghosts I’ve encountered. It was a girl, who followed unrequited love into battle, and…” You had taken a shortcut in describing your acquaintances as the cast in your ghost stories, but unlike Von Metzeler, framing Hilda from an outside perspective was…it wasn’t just that it was macabre, but the next part of your statement froze you, and you hadn’t predicted it at all. “…she suffered greatly…” When you’d apologized for everything that happened to you, she didn’t hesitate in giving forgiveness. Of course she didn’t hesitate, of course she forgave it all. Did you really deserve that, though? Her brother had certainly taken it all as an affront. Was his fury how Hilda should have felt? Recounting it from another perspective made what happened to her fictional counterpart sound terribly cruel. Yes, you could say that she had a definite hand of her own in what happened to her, as Poltergeist said, to allow her to take her rightful share in control over her life, but at the same time, she hadn’t had what happened to her done for the sake of the Archduchy, for the future of the Republic of Mittelsosalia, she wasn’t decorated for it, she had a share of the Intelligence Office’s provided gold, but she hadn’t seemed very interested in it.She had done it for you.What had she gotten for it? Very few people had all these factors put together. One of the only ones you could think of who saw the whole picture and all its pieces might have been Emma. You certainly hadn’t told anybody of it. Could having your family care for her truly be enough? If not, what could be?“Sieg?” Kryz asked, snapping you back to reality, “You just trailed off there, looking sad. This girl…was her unrequited love you?”Damn this kid. Those same eyes as his mother, seeing through far more than you cared for.
A firm frown returned his speculation. “…No. I’m just reminded of when I took my fiancée along elsewhere, and she was hurt. Anyways, regarding Emma…I won’t talk about here, because she’s a sweet girl,” Ha. “She can be grating, but all she wants is friends. Though, that sort of ghost can be harmful to the soul. Keep your visits with each other far apart, keep a little space between you. Just…be careful…”“Well, maybe so,” Kryz admitted in a tone you didn’t wholly like, “I know she’s lonely. It does feel wrong when she reaches her hand out and I reach back, but I don’t mind feeling a little sick from time to time. I know how it feels to be that alone, even with people around…” A pinkness to his cheeks. It hadn’t occurred to you that Emma might be reaping unsaid benefits from her appearance of being a cute young woman just slightly older than Kryz, and what was more, wearing only a chemise. The thought of Emma being predatory was concerning as it was funny- you’d have to give her the benefit of the doubt.Soon after, you heard the creak of Rot coming back up the steps, and you deemed that to signal the end of ghost talk. He had come back with a wooden chest, and placed it heavily on the tea table before you. “Everything that you’ve been briefed on having here,” he said, “There’s a file with a spare picture of Gerovic too. He’s a plain fellow, hard to describe off hand. Just don’t let it float out.” He picked a pair of what looked like prayer books out of the box, and opened one to reveal that a cut out space within contained one of the suppressed pistols referred to early. It was an ugly thing, a simple mechanism with a bulky suppressor, and the grip was a folded-in deal that aligned itself with the barrel. A small retainer kept five bullets alongside it on one edge. “Breach loading, single shot. You’ll have to operate the mechanism to eject and put a new one in yourself, but it’s quite as a whisper for the first few shots. That should be all that’s needed if you do it right. These rounds are rather low velocity, though. You’ll need to be decently close, and place your shots well. If he’s got a few heavy coats on these might not even hurt him badly through them.”Good to know, but you bitterly doubted you’d be doing any shooting yourself if things went to plan. Not with any sort of precision at all, at least. Your embarrassing contest with Anya had proven that well enough.
To Kryz, Rot showed a pair of small, cylindrical glass bottles, unlabeled, one made of dark glass, the other light, each with a syringe accompanying it. “The dark glass is the poison solution. You shouldn’t need much of it, but it’s never bad to put in too much poison to kill somebody, especially if it’s odorless, colorless and tasteless like this. It can be absorbed through the skin a bit, so don’t splash it on yourself unless you want a bad day. Where measurements matter is the tranquilizer. Ten milliliters in a drink for a medium sized man, don’t combine it with spirits or too much alcohol. Less for a smaller person or a woman, more for bigger guys. Do too little and they won’t be knocked out, too much and you’ll poison them. Got it?”“Uh, yeah,” Kryz choked uncertainly, but there was sharpness in his eyes. Resolution. He was handed the tools.“And you,” Rot crossed over to you and put his now free hands in his pockets, “When are you doing this?”“…Tomorrow…”“You have a plan?”You did. Not a full one yet, but you got the message. It was time to decide fully on the exact execution.>Finalize your plan of operation. It will be based on the earlier voted idea- but any modifications or specifications must be decided now. Numbers->How many operatives will enter Dymny? Who and how? Remember that you have IO agents with proper papers, as well as Revolutionary League double agents with uniforms and their own clearance, as well as a spare Twaryian uniform. Any fighters not taken here will support the distraction/exfiltration.Equipment->What will you enter equipped with? Anybody martial looking will be able to openly carry weapons as well as not be searched, though obviously Netillian origin weapons should avoid being displayed.Diversions->What manner of distractions do you want? How many?Allocations->Will you utilize any Order members in the extraction firefight planned?>Do you want to try and call across the border for anything?Execution->Finally, what’s the plan for grabbing/bagging Gerovic?The time is already deemed to be late morning-midday, as when Lucia stated Gerovic would have dropped by for some time, so the matter of when the operation starts is rather set.
>>4265342Gonna leave this to the big brains
>>4265342>Numbers-Two of our Ellowians plus us, one of them in the Twaryian uniform with an SMG. If Kryz could get us in, he or someone else can get in two more people.>Equipment-One SMG, two pistols hidden in clothes, one suppressed pistol>Diversions-A fire plus a rail explosion. The fire will look like a diversion for the explosion. Also you can't ignore a fire even if you know it's a diversion. Finally, if we have to fight, hopefully the Twaryians will think it's another diversion and sit tight instead of pursuing us.>Allocations->Will you utilize any Order members in the extraction firefight planned?The "specialists" as a reserve ambush on our extraction route. They're to take long-range potshots on any pursuers then retreat. If everything goes well they won't have to do even that.>Do you want to try and call across the border for anything?No. They might not have anything there after that raid.>Finally, what’s the plan for grabbing/bagging Gerovic?Don't even try to kidnap him. How will we transport him out in the middle of the day? Go for the kill from the start.Finally, we'll need to confirm the kill. I won't trust Lucia's word. Also, if she backs out we need to know somehow and prevent her from warning Gerovic.I have no idea how the anon that proposed using Lucia imagined these crucial details. My plan is go to the brothel as a client again after Kryz speaks to Lucia, confirm her willingness to help, hide in her room (ostensibly to protect her if anything goes wrong), confirm the kill, shoot Gerovic with the suppressed pistol if something goes wrong. If Lucia betrays us, try to signal our people outside, though we're probably fucked in such a case.We'll need copious amounts of plot armor for this one, anons. Remember fucking Liemanner.
>>4265405I can go with this for now. Also something is definitely bound to fuck up here, just a matter of what goes wrong.
>>4265405You're right that confirming the kill could be an issue, but we might have to forgo doing so because my plan ideally involves Lucia and everyone else quietly exfiltrating the town before anyone notices that anything is amiss, thus avoiding the need for overt action entirely. I'm going to make some alternate suggestions and hopefully other anons can pick and choose which they like best.>NumbersOnly the IO agents and 2-3 RL double agents, to avoid suspicion. The RL folks can hang around in front of the building, perhaps one can enter the brothel and act as a customer to give the other ones an excuse to be outside waiting for their buddy to finish up. The IO agents can filter in around the sides of the building and watch in case Gerovic leaves through any side or rear exits. As deep undercover operatives they have plenty of experience blending in so they shouldn't have any trouble with not making themselves noticed or coming up with excuses if questioned.>Equipment-Concealed weapons for the IO agents, standard small arms for the RL agents>DiversionsI think any diversions should be reserved for if things go hot and the Twaryians are alerted. We should have order members loitering in the vicinity of the brothel to serve as messengers; if they hear gunshots or know the Twaryians were alerted they should run to the waiting diversion teams and tell them to initiate diversions in order to spread the attention of the Twaryian response teams and prevent them from efficiently hunting down our agents. But otherwise no diversion as they'll only serve to put Gerovic on edge.>>Finally, what’s the plan for grabbing/bagging Gerovic?No attempt at kidnapping. Lucia should poison Gerovic, make sure he's deceased, then slip out of the brothel. If questioned on her way out she can give some excuse, like Gerovic is sleeping and she's going out for a walk to avoid waking him, or he asked her to go buy something specific he wanted. The same order members who are loitering in the area as messengers should notice when she leaves, then subtly pass the message to the waiting IO agents and RL undercovers so they'll know they're clear to also leave. Then Lucia meets up with us and Kryz and we all slip back over the border with our Ellowian squad to protect us if we run into trouble.
>>4265435Your plan hinges on Lucia's consent. Do you have any plans in case she refuses? What if she tries to warn Gerovic?
>>4265342To make thing difficult I have a third plan, but way too tired to type it out before I go toslepp.The gist of it is use Phantoms, 4-5 if they are actualyl any good at their job. Someone gets the Munitions Caster loaded. Kryz signals to us when Lucia has left and Gerovic is sleeping. Pop two HE into her room window the same time, or after the 2 diversions go off. Anything involving us going into the brothel short of a full attack is a no go. Gerovic has his eagle eyed Sergeant who'd see through this shit immediately, plus at least two bouncers and any Retinue of his own that he's brought. We should also consider the overkill bomb the Ellowian squad brought and perhaps sabotage his truck. That way if we can attach it cleanly we won't even need to risk Lucia, we can just watch as he blows up with his ride.>Will you utilize any Order members in the extraction firefight planned?Should just be the Ellowians, maybe volunteers if they realyl want in but the wohle purpose is to cover an escape, not expand the war.
>>4265447That's what the agents outside the brothel are for, which Lucia won't know about so she can't warn Gerovic about them even if she wants to. In the worst case scenario the poisoning plot serves as the ultimate distraction, in that Gerovic will be led to believe that he's already successfully uncovered the plot against his life and dodged the proverbial bullet. Even the most cautious person is very unlikely to expect that there are also gunmen waiting outside his building to shoot him at the very moment that he was supposed to be poisoned. In that scenario he'll most likely leave out the front door with Lucia in tow so he can bring her back to his base and question her further about the plot and her resistance contacts, which is when the RL agents will gun him and his sergeant down and escape with Lucia, and the order members will initiate the diversions.Though I think it's very unlikely that Lucia will betray us, because her own son's life is in the balance. She seems intelligent enough to know that Gerovic won't just take the news of his planned assassination lying down; he'll surely do whatever is necessary to discover the details about who was planning to kill him, which would put Kryz's life directly at risk. If anything she'll just reject Kryz's request entirely, which will force us to come up with an entirely new plan.
>>4265448I'm for this. The poisoning sounds really sketchy considering we'll just have to take Lucia's word that it actually worked, but going in there ourselves to confirm is almost certainly a bad idea, since if anything goes really wrong Gerovic could probably kill Richter with one arm tied behind his back, even if we're armed. I would not expect a scenario to develop where we can just shoot Gerovic and leave, realistic or no.
>>4265405>>4265413Plan A>>4265435Edited Plan A>>4265448>>4267328Plan BIn the interests of wrapping this thing up this thread, for better or worse, I'm giving another couple hours before rolling off between the two main proposals and writing.
Rolled 1 (1d2)Alright then-1 for A, 2 for B. Though I do have to say, I hope it's been considered that a Munitions Caster is a Netillian Weapon with a rather distinctive report when firing, and that firing explosives off in the middle of a town crawling with Twaryians is bold, to say the least.
“…It’ll go something like this. Two of my people will go into Dymny with me. One as a Twaryian, the other as…new work, I suppose, since I will be documented, but not him. With the concealed suppressed pistols. The false Twaryian will be more heavily armed, with an SMG. Some ERA specialists will help our people in distracting a checkpoint so we can escape, potentially, though if all goes well, that won’t be needed… that’ll be on top of diversions being made to distract from something else happening. A fire set at…the Laundry…”“Weiss won’t appreciate that. On the surface, at least.” Rot said in a grumbled tone.“…It’ll be safer for a young arsonist than setting the barracks aflame. Shortly after, a bomb will be set off to sabotage the rails. Ideally, that’s the thing that the fire will be interpreted to be the distraction for, instead of any move against Gerovic. That’ll be after we’re in, though…I’m going to meet with this boy’s mother, the woman who Gerovic makes frequent rendezvous with, and if she’s agreed to help, hide in her room until Gerovic appears. Confirm his death, then escape with Lucia…”“With?” Rot asked with an eyebrow raised, and gave Kryz a glance. “Hmph. So you don’t want to capture him, then.”“…Too risky. Wouldn’t be able to move him without trouble…” Taking the man himself as a prize would have been gratifying, if you didn’t have to haul him away on foot, and even then, who could say how much the weight would delay you when his mention faithful sergeant (senior grade) Razomir Mogelschick came after you. Judge above, it might be a good idea to try and shoot that man right off.“Getting rid of him is good enough, anyways.” Rot didn’t seem to care much either way. “What’s the backup plan?”“…We get a munitions caster and blow the absolute shit out of him…” a very truncated version of what would actually be done. You almost went through with that idea just because it’d mean you wouldn’t have to risk being interdicted, but the last time you didn’t personally see a target’s dead body the worm crawled right back up to you and sent you your wife’s eye in a box.“Whatever you do, do it well.” Rot said gruffly, “Weiss and I will be in town just in case. If you do need our help because of an unexpected emergency, at least try not to blow our cover, though.”Kryz went back out soon after- he needed to talk with his mother good and early, but you also had to leave early in the morning. Unenviably, you had to also get to Lucia well before Gerovic. Before that, you had to get what small rest you could.
-----“Mmm…At the window. Who’s there?”“...It’s me, mom. I-mmf.”“Shhhh.”……“You look so tired…have you been taking care of yourself? Running away was so, so foolish. Don’t do it again.”“I have to. One more time.”“What could you possibly need to do that for? Your father did not die so his son could follow him to an unmarked grave.”“Mom, please. This one last thing. We’ll be taken over the border, and we’ll be safe, cared for. Under the reign of Wladysaw, the King. The bloodline that guarded this country through worse times than this, and didn’t fail its people. And…I’ll need your help.”“…”“Mom, would father want this? Scraping by on being used, insulted, shamed?”“I have never, ever been ashamed of caring for you, Leon.”“…”“What did they want you to do?”“Will you help?”“That depends.”……“So they want to kill Gerovic? Or capture him?”“Yeah. If you just mix it in his drink, or something…”“Which is the poison and which is the sleeping drug? Give me the sleeping drug.”“Why? He is a Twaryian, an enemy, an invader and conqueror. If he didn’t want to die he should have stayed home.”“He trusts me, in spite of our people’s enmity from the day of them meeting. Is this world so far gone that trust cannot at least be repaid by refusing to trick a man to kill him?”“…Fine, this is the sleeping drug.”“Good boy. Of course, we’ll both be drinking it. It would be the least suspicious, wouldn’t it?”“...Wait, that’s, er,”“You thought you could trick your mother? Leon, dear, I’ve held you from the moment you were conceived. I know you too well.”“…”“Leon, did you think I lacked resolve? That the easterners had conquered my soul? Think what you will, but this Gerovic is not like most of his ilk. It would be far more severe a blow to them to keep him alive. Deviant Twaryians tend to leave their country, you know, rather than remain and change them. A dead man can change nothing. Someday, the world will go back to normal, and the east will need men of compassion and open mindedness instead of being left with hate and spite, like they were so many years ago.”“They can just kill him in his sleep anyways.”“They could. It’d be easy to kill a man in his sleep like a coward. They can go ahead and do that, and nothing will ever change. But, I will trust you, Leon. To do the right thing. To tell your friends to look further. If they don’t listen, then at least you tried. You will not have been craven.”“…Alright, mom. It’ll all be okay. I’ll-mmf.”“Be careful, my baby. Be careful. Come back to me soon.”-----
“Will this work?” An Ellowian soldier whispered nervously as you walked up the road, checkpoint coming into view. Sergeant Pikkarski was with you, a Twaryian submachinegun held loosely in his hands. He had been selected for the role because he had the best knowledge of Twaryian, a boon for actually pretending to be one, though apparently his accent was awful, so actual speech would be limited. In a stroke of good luck Mabel (presently unconscious, and last seen snoring in an undignified way in a hammock, your plan to be relayed to her once she had rested her requested time) had delivered two of the Revolutionary Army undercover agents. Your backup plan involved them, not your primary, but having them around town if needed wouldn’t be a bad thing, and unlike other operatives, instead of having to be snuck inside, they could move freely.It also made actual entry easier. The spare Ellowian didn’t have papers, after all, but three uniforms would help grease the wheels, even if two had Revolutionary Army armbands.Leon had been at the Order’s hideout as well when you’d visited- he said his mother would go along with the plan. Little elaboration when pressed, but despite that he seemed to be holding something back, he was certainly telling the truth. Fortune smiling upon you again.The checkpoint had four soldiers staffing it; when you got close enough, one raised a hand in greeting, almost, and said a long series of words in Twaryian. Pikkarski raised a hand back, and with a cough and a scratchy voice, kept his response to two words. Clever- a sore throat would excuse not being conversational.Your papers were handed over for a glance, but suspicion was raised at the other’s lack. Suspicion disarmed by hasty explanations and pleading and apologies from the two Revolutionary Army people, smoothed over more with donations of money for the guards’ hard work. Both you and the plainclothes Ellowian were patted down, but there would have been nothing to find on your persons anyways. Pikkarski carried both prayer books in a satchel, and each of those contained the suppressed small caliber pistols rather than the divine words found carved into the stones upon the Isle of Prophecy, commented by whatever sect had sponsored the book. It also helped that it was early enough in the morning that there was foot traffic besides you- other Ellowians off to work. Hopefully not to many at the Laundry. The railroad was at least isolated enough- safe enough for the Order to sabotage using the bounty of explosives they’d recently been gifted. A closer-than-usual distant explosion would be the audible signal of it being time to leave, hopefully, with the appointed time you’d given for it.
Pikkarski and his man were left away from the brothel, as you closed to it, after a brief duck into the Laundry to arm yourselves properly and conceal said small armaments. Who in the world visited a brothel first thing in the morning? As if to answer your question, a drunk Twaryian stumbled for the door, and in. The end of his working “day,” maybe. You’d heard the place with eastern prostitutes was far more preferable to Twaryian soldiers, but then, this man might not have been able to navigate properly with his current lack of faculties.A careful look around. Then in you went, to the immediate sight of the Twaryian assaulting one of the prostitutes at the bar. The bouncer present looked furious- but apparently, an easterner was allowed the run of the place, no matter their station or intoxication. You tried to ignore it as you hit up the smoking front clerk.“Back so soon, huh?” she chirped, “Ya gonna actually let her touch ya dick this time?” A tired stare was the only reply you felt like giving. “Go on up. She said you’d be back this morning.”…Did she? Had Kryz shared too much? You were about to find out, for better or worse. Up the stairs you went.The door was locked when you tried it, so you knocked carefully, as the scene downstairs developed into a louder protest. Apparently the drunkard was getting touchy in places where one had to pay for, and this was being pointed out firmly- to no avail. Within the room, you heard nothing. Another knock, this time prompting a sound. Your ear to the door, you heard a grunt, a sigh of the sort one made when stretching, then the padding of feet towards the door. Lucia cracked open the door, then opened it fully, and you looked to the side- she was wearing nothing on her upper half, and but lingerie below.“…Oh, morning, honey.” She took her hand and turned your chin back to her, “Looking’s free, you know. Ah ha ha…” A long yawn, which she covered her mouth for. “Judge Above, you’re early, aren’t you? Come on in…” She grabbed your arm and pulled you bodily into the room, practically tossing you in before closing the door- and locking it. “Honestly, honey, you act like you’ve never seen breasts anywhere outside of a magazine or a painting.” Lucia squinted at you, “…Have you?”...Maddalyn had never let you look at them. She became extremely uncomfortable even if you tried to touch them. Lucia didn’t need to know that.She could tell anyways. “Ah ha ha. Go back home and take your sweetheart’s clothes off already, trust me, she’s been waiting for you to do it deep down.”
Another long sigh, and a yawn as she picked a button-up blouse from the end of the bed and thankfully began to don it. “Last night, my son came back to see me. Funny, isn’t it? He asked me to do something, too. Something to help his majesty, an offer to escape across the border, people who’d give us a place to stay, said that the person helping that would come around…” She looked at you again, fastening buttons, “You aren’t anybody called Sieg at all, are you? That accent was funny, but I suppose it is appropriate. You’re Von Tracht, aren’t you?”You said nothing, glanced about the room for anybody hiding, listening, despite knowing there wasn’t any way anybody else was here.“Relax,” Lucia sat down on the bed, “If I wanted to, I could have had a mob of Easterners here ready to capture you. I could have put you in Gerovic’s hands, and I’d be rewarded more than I could imagine. But, they can’t give me anything I want badly enough.”Yet you could? You stared, then nodded.“I told my son I would help him, help you,” Lucia said, “But I am no blind, unprincipled fool. We have to talk about this.” Uh oh. “He told me he wished me to poison Gerovic. I don’t know how things are done in Strossvald, but as far as I have ever been taught, poisoning is a low act. Hardly fitting to the character Gerovic thinks fits you. He spoke of you frequently enough. He’s very interested in learning about you. Not so much in killing you. Funny, is it not?” Lucia shrugged, “I’m hardly going to tell you to change sides. My son thought I did, but if I did, well, we wouldn’t be talking now, would we? Ah ha ha.” A firmer tone adopted. “Understand this, though. I do have principles. I will drug him. I will drug myself in doing so, as well. Nothing you do will change this. I refuse to bend on that matter. Understood? I would rather, also, that you capture him alive, but nobody would be able to stop you from killing him in his sleep, I suppose. Though,” her eyes narrowed to slits, “The Captain always spoke of how he heard that the Kommandant of Mittelsosalia was clever, brave, and honorable. I would consider if you want such to be lies, were I you.”>Fine. Idiotic as it was, you’d been accused of being an idiot plenty before. You’d drag out Lucia and Gerovic alive- even if it was sure to result in disaster, by your reckoning. The principle of it mattered.>Agree to it. Though not really. Dragging out Lucia unconscious would be hard enough, Gerovic’ dead weight would remain in here. Dead. (Deceive)>To hell with what Gerovic thought of you, and to hell with Lucia’s principles. This was for a greater good, and a struggle for your life as well as that of others. Tell her that if she doesn’t use the poison and kill Gerovic herself, she’d never see her son again.>Other?Big delay due to early call home improvement. Apologies.
>>4269223>Fine. Idiotic as it was, you’d been accused of being an idiot plenty before. You’d drag out Lucia and Gerovic alive- even if it was sure to result in disaster, by your reckoning. The principle of it mattered.Despite the extra trouble, if we bring him alive it's extra points for us to get help against Bertram
>>4269223>>Fine. Idiotic as it was, you’d been accused of being an idiot plenty before. You’d drag out Lucia and Gerovic alive- even if it was sure to result in disaster, by your reckoning. The principle of it mattered.We'll try our best but if things go to shit no way he's staying alive
>>4269212>Razomir MogelschickJust for anons' information, this means approximately "Worldhurter Gravedigger">>4269214Yep, the first trouble. Better this than a Twaryian ambush, I suppose.>>4269223>Other: Ask her how the fuck do we get two unconscious bodies out of the city. Ask her how many of our men's deaths she considers a good price to keep Gerovic alive, and whether it would be honorable to sacrifice them. Ask her whether she understands it puts her son at risk as well. Do it until she either provides a good plan or relents.If she doesn't reconsider, deceive.
>>4269223>Addendum: explain that we would prefer to take Gerovic alive as well, and killing him is dictated solely by our limited resources.
>>4269237>>4269267Do you guys have a plan or are you hoping something will just come up?
>>4269405Personally I dgaf whether he makes it out alive or dead though I'm willing to see how it goes. Otherwise we can go with >>4269276 first and see what she says
>>4269276Second. Explain that we'd be happy to keep Gerovic alive if possible but how does she expect us to carry two unconscious people out of the brothel and out of town without being noticed by Gerovic's bodyguard or Twaryian soldiers in the streets and at the checkpoints? If we were capable of such magical feats we wouldn't be asking for her help in the first place. We understand that we're asking her to do something terrible here but we didn't ask because we thought she would enjoy it, we're asking because it's the only way to save the lives of who knows how many people who will otherwise die fighting Gerovic, possibly including her son. Maybe if she could somehow enlist the help of everyone in the brothel to distract the bodyguard and carry them out, but I have no idea why they would do so considering the incredible risk and lack of reward, and even so that would only get us out of the building itself. Maybe if the RL agents could appropriate a cart and get it through a checkpoint uninspected...?Also I have to say I'm a little confused about how the part of the plan with Richter hiding in the closet is supposed to work. When Gerovic comes in to see Lucia won't the girl at the front desk realize that we never left?
>>4269968>won't the girl at the front desk realize that we never leftIf Lucia comes out herself there'll be no problem. Maybe the receptionist will be confused, but we only need the ruse to hold for a little while.I hope.
>>4269405well, tell her that if she drinks the sleep drug it'll make it harder by adding another sleeping body to carry and th rest it's just rolling with it, maybe trying to get something to help us carry them
Updates likely to be sporadic because of home improvement but I'll try to be quick to mitigate that some.>>4269237>>4269267Fine, you'll accommodate. Pushy women...>>4269276>>4269968>>4270017Hold up a moment there.Writing, hopefully quickly.
An indignant huff from yourself, into a bitter diatribe. “…I’d prefer to take Gerovic alive, of course, but how would you propose to do that? Both of you will be knocked out, and how am I meant to carry the two of you out of this place, out of town, through checkpoints, when if anything goes wrong we might have to fight our way out…how many of our lives is Gerovic worth? Does that include your son? Is it honorable to sacrifice them instead of him? If I could simply float whatever I wished in and out with sorcery, I wouldn’t be asking for your help…”“Is it that unfeasible?” Lucia was unfazed by your frustration, “You have several hours. The drug lasts for several more. Gerovic’s men respect his privacy- we’ve never been interrupted. Or are there other factors at play that I do not know about?” Lucia stood up off the bed, and beckoned you to sit at the table. She still wasn’t wearing trousers or a skirt or any sort of bottom covering, so you were thankful that the conversational view would now be torso-up for this. “Maybe I can help you more than merely being a tool.”Did you really have time to discuss this so much if there would be amendments to the plan? With a thought that, if the plan proved insufficient or too risky, you could take the pragmatic procedure anyways, you relented, and told Lucia about what you had ready- what would be happening, including the distractions. It was a risk of its own, but Lucia had at least earned enough trust for you to not think she would sell you out.“The laundry, hm,” Lucia thought for a minute after you’d given her all the pieces, “There are wagons used for transporting such. Small ones. They should be sufficient, and if the distractions are what you say they are, I doubt there would be much protest for uniformed Twaryians escorting a wagon out, especially a lightly loaded one. Especially if one of them is an officer. Perhaps Gerovic’s clothes will not fit perfectly, but the visible rank should have a certain weight. The wagon can be placed outside, near the window, and you may take Gerovic and I out of the window. I can ask everybody to be a little distracting- that I'll be a bit noisy. Ah ha ha. That will make it so his guards downstairs do not notice you exiting with us. How about that?”“…Hm…”“You staying in here should not be a problem either, by the by,” Lucia waved something you had a slight concern about away, “Ray owes me a few favors. I’ll be available downstairs. Say that I’m tired, and Ray will be servicing you. She won’t be, of course, but who can turn down being paid to sit in their room?”It was a plan. You weren’t sure if it was better than what you had, though.>Accept that plan. It was worth the try.>Feign accepting the plan. Put your own plan into action as soon as she and Gerovic are knocked out. (Deceive as before)>Propose an alternative, or suggestion (What?)>Other?
>>4270288>Accept that plan. It was worth the try.
>>4270288>>Accept that plan. It was worth the try.>Propose a suggestionSince we have to get word to Weiss to bring a wagon anyway I would suggest that we leave the brothel to go tell him ourselves and then have the other IO agent visit the brothel in our place and be the one to hide out and pretend to be serviced by Ray. That way we don't need to stay in the brothel for a suspiciously long amount of time, and he'll also be more physically capable of lowering the bodies out of the window with less risk of fumbling around and making noise. Plus he doesn't need to leave with the wagon so he can leave the brothel later on and exfiltrate on his own, making us look less suspicious. I don't like the idea of us dressing up in Gerovic's uniform anyway since soldiers might expect to recognize an officer and we can't speak any Twaryian if anyone addresses us, so I'd rather just rely on the Revolutionary Army guys to get us through the checkpoints.
>Other?This plan only works within the time frame before the bombs/fire go off. Ask her how long Gerovic stays with her, and if his bodyguards typically stay in the brothel. Anything violent and the Sergeant is going to come knocking.>>4270389Supporting this so far.This is great for getting them into the wagon and out of the brothel. But I seriously doubt it won't be searched if we try to leave the city with them. If there are no "Twaryians" walking with the cart the actual guards will be getting everyone off the street anyways and it will be mighty suspicious to see a bunch of people hauling a cart out of there unless we can try and blend in with a possible, even hopeful mass exodus of people.And if it is getting "escorted" away the guards will ask the fake escorts why the fuck they are worried about a cart instead of manning their posts, it might even be more suspicious if a goddamn Captain is walking around with them instead of driving to his destination. >Propose an alternative, or suggestion (What?)Either we should use the carts to get Gerovic to the Laundry and hideout away in there until the heat dies down and find another method of extraction.Or We go with the disguise plan, dump them into the cart out of the window and steal Gerovic's car, transfer them to the trunk and get Pika-P to act as driver. This one would have to be fucking fast for all we know he sits by the window, or in the drivers seat. This suggestion also doesn't factor in if Gerovic has the key to the ignition or not. The Sergeant might.
>>4270690Wait, amendment to the disguise plan:Richter has an eyepatch and blond hair, he'd never pull of as a Twaryian Captain. So then either someone else would pretend to be the Captain or we leave the clothes on Gerovic, stuff both of them in the back leaning on each other and pretend they're sleeping drunk, and the drivers are taking them away.tanq, do Twaryians drink? If they don't then nevermind.
>>4270690I agree that getting out with the cart might seem suspicious in the middle of an attack, but I would suggest just cancelling the distractions entirely and only going ahead with them if the Twaryians are alerted at some point and start going after us. I don't see that they serve very much purpose if we have the chance to do this quietly, and if Gerovic's sergeant is used to him sleeping at the brothel for decent lengths of time then we might even be able to make it back over the border before anyone realizes he's missing, let alone making it out of town. So why bother alerting them at all?
>>4270302>>4270389>>4270962May as well try it. It's good enough. Though a little change...>>4270690>>4270702Specify timings for potential conflicts. And other things.>do Twaryians drink?They do, plenty. Old World faith doesn't ban drink, the main difference is its concept of Penance.>>4270901Potential reassessment of distractions.Writing.
“…It’s worth a try…” if it didn’t work out, Gerovic would be knocked out anyways. He could be dealt with easily after that, even in the worst case scenario.Though you didn’t feel like sacrificing your life for some Intelligence Office whim, did you?“…Though,” you had a few amendments to this plan that you thought would be beneficial, “That means I ought to go no and tell my people to get a cart ready, and to…send somebody else in here instead. Somebody better at what would have to be done…”“Hm?” Lucia raised an eyebrow, “How come? I would think you’d like to listen to what Gerovic might have to talk about. It isn’t like we get straight to business. I’d have performance anxiety in this case anyways, ah ha ha.”“…They’d be better at keeping quiet, still, and it would mean I wouldn’t be here for a suspiciously long time. He’s stronger than I, and he can leave on his own, rather than with us. Potentially less suspect…”“Gerovic went to raid over the border last night. You don’t want to hear about that?”You shook your head slowly. You honestly didn’t. There was a feeling of dread about it- some feeling of knowing that you’d be returning to potential ruins. “…No. I want to clear a few things up. How long does Gerovic stay here? Do his bodyguards stay here too?”“Hmm, hours, sometimes,” Lucia tilted her shoulders up nonchalantly, “Sometimes there’s a couple people, but the only person who stays the whole time is that Sergeant of his, with the hawk eyes. He’s a prude, I’ve heard. He sits about and broods, never gets a girl or a drink. The muscle here doesn’t like him, but he seems like he could take them both on at once.”“…Does he drive here..?”“Sometimes. Not usually. He doesn’t drive out often either. He says he likes to walk in town, which isn’t normal for an officer, as far as I’ve heard.” It was hardly unreasonable, but even you yourself had found a car was ever necessary for getting about, and Gerovic seemed just as well traveled if not moreso than you. A pity that it wasn’t a certainty- a car would have been more useful than a wagon, whether it was empty or you would have to hijack it.He must have still been on guard constantly, though, if he walked about but it took long for the IO to produce a photograph of him. Did he walk shaded paths, or what? “…There’ll be a fire set at eleven thirty, and a bomb will go off on the rails at eleven forty. Will we have time to leave town?” You had the distractions planned for half an hour after Lucia had said Gerovic tended to visit.“You really didn’t think you’d be able to do this, hm,” Lucia mumbled, “You wouldn’t be able to amend that, would you?”“…Maybe. It won’t be your concern at the time, in any case. Sleeping drugs and all. Did Kryz tell you what the proper dosage was..?”“Kryz?”“…Leon..”
“He should call himself by his name,” Lucia sighed, “Yes, he did.”“…Alright. Be ready, then…” You got up to leave, and Lucia cleared her throat. “…What…”“Consultation fees.”“…Really…” you dug about for your wallet.“I’m a working woman, honey. If you walked out without paying somebody might think something is up.”Fair enough. At least this wasn’t actually money you’d worked for.-----Rot and Weiss were at the laundry- waiting, anticipating. When you shared the amendments to your plan, they seemed pleasantly surprised, for one.“Those laundry carts are usually horse drawn, are they not?” Rot asked Weiss.“Normally, yes. A pair of people could pull them in a pinch. How far would it have to be pulled?”“…Just out of the city, to the southern checkpoint. Worst comes to worst, we have the people there ready to attack the checkpoint, and we’ll have help with the unconscious at that point, even if the hive will be stirred up by that. Alternatively, we can take Gerovic here to the laundry and you can extract him later, though the place would have to not be set on fire then...The new wrinkle makes me tempted to not have distractions at all, quite honestly…”“It’s a decent plan. Not what I would have done.” Weiss said with his usual odd smirk. “Two bodies are more difficult to transport than one. If you had stayed with killing him, an easy scapegoat could even be placed upon the other.”“…Well, we differ there,” you said lowly, “This wouldn’t be happening if I wasn’t here, so you’d best stick to the plan…” You mostly spoke to Rot for this, who would be taking your place in the room, hiding, waiting for Lucia and Gerovic to drift off to sleep.“Oh ho, the dog is barking now, heh heh.” Weiss mocked you, but neither agent objected. “What is it then? Faith in the prostitutes’ quiet plotting and smuggling, or will the resistance here still have much to do?”>Final decision. Operation is go after this. Modification to the plan is final.----->Keep the distractions going. You’ll need them in case you run into difficulties.>Cancel the distractions. They’ll only hinder you, though keep people positioned just in case.>Other?
>>4271409>Other>Cancel the fire, tell the rail explosion team to go ahead if they hear gunshots in a specific pattern from the town.If we have to shoot our way out, hopefully the explosion will attract potential reinforcements more than the gunfire.
>>4271409>Cancel the distractions. They’ll only hinder you, though keep people positioned just in case.
>>4271409>Cancel the distractions. They’ll only hinder you, though keep people positioned just in case.If it wasn't so certain that the Sergeant would barge in they we could use those distractions, but it'd be better that we have a few hours to work with.This way we can also still use them if something gets violent at the checkpoint
>>4271511>>4271607>>4271628Abort children. No, wait, it's "Abort, Children.">>4271439Perhaps a fire in the underwear followed by railing and then an explosion is too on the nose. Skip to the climax.Writing, same situation as before, but hopefully this won't be delayed too long!
“…I’m calling off the distractions,” you decided with a sigh. The Order would be disappointed, but that was just how it would be. “The railway bomb can be set, but not touched off unless the town gets a gunfight in it. I’ll relay that to the Revolutionary League people…I shouldn’t be moving about too much…”“S’pose I’ll be on my way then,” Rot adjusted his collar, “Time to sit on the can for a few hours, without the newspaper, even.”“It’s a brothel, Rot,” Weiss leered with that predatory smirk, “There’s plenty of diversions. I’m sure this Ray will be bored too, heh heh.”“Unlike you, I am happily married,” Rot retorted with a scowl, “The only way I’m entertaining myself is if the Twaryians suddenly start demanding a show.”That possibility, however slim, made you doubly thankful for your change in plan.-----“Good morning, Lucia,” the Captain came up behind Lucia, who was seated at the dusty small bar inside the brothel, in the same space as the little foyer, and squeezed her shoulders playfully, “You aren’t still worn out, are you? It’s a little early to be drinking, after all.”“Oh, ah ha ha, this is a aperitif, it’s perfectly in form to drink it, especially now.” The Captain cocked his head questioningly. “An aperitif? That isn’t a northern term I’ve heard you use before.”“It’s a light alcoholic drink,” Lucia stood up and put one hand on the Captain’s chest, before groping him between his legs with her other, “taken before a meal.” The Captain smiled at her, then looked helplessly back to his guardian, followed by a cheeky smolder from Lucia in the same direction. “You might want to tell your dear, prudish manservant to cover his precious ears.”“You should drink your aper-itif before that, no?” the captain laid a hand towards the glass, crystal bought a long time ago by a hopeful entrepreneur that made this once inn, “It seems you’ve hardly touched it.”“That is because the true one is up in my room,” Lucia trilled as she pulled the Captain by the arm.“Is that a metaphor?”“First something not one, then one that most certainly is.”“Oh ho, “ The captain chuckled, “Twice the temptation. We shouldn’t tarry then, hm?”
Up to Lucia’s room he allowed himself to be pulled, the door shut and bolted behind. Indeed- upon the table, two glasses, and a small bottle. “I’m not going to be paying for that, am I?” he said, as a joke.“You already did, didn’t you?”“True enough. To be quite honest, I had rather wanted to tell you about last night, before taking you. Despite your making fun of my poor [Serzhand, I was coming in here intending to do exactly what you warned him of.”“Ah ha ha,” Lucia poured two drinks, “We shall see, hm? To good fortune and health.”“Hopefully for me,” the captain accepted the toast and clinked his glass against Lucia’s. The way she’d handled him made him dump that drink down rather quick, despite it being a sweet thing clearly meant to be savored. “Last night, you see, was both a joy, and a disappointment.”“Mm hm,” Lucia took her drink a little slower, letting the Captain talk.“The bad news to start, I suppose. It seems that my lost son of the Archduchy has gone absent. At least, he was during the raid. A pity. I had hoped to make it a surprise party just for him. I thought he might have been unsatisfied with the first battle, despite my efforts to make it climactic. Though, he did orchestrate a large scale night attack…or at least, helped with one, so I thought, why not return that favor? To let him see what it was like on the defensive? Alas, he was not there.”“How did you know?”“There was a different character to last time,” the Captain set the glass down and tapped his finger on the table, looking to the wall, “Von Tracht was aggressive, you see. The defense of his base, resolute. They remained in their positions and endured until aid relieved them. Yet this time, they fled. A pair of their tanks harassed my own assembly, and when they were dealt with, the enemy had fled their stronghold. They did take some of their vehicles away, yes, but there were others left there.” Lucia stood up, walked over with a swaying step, and knelt down by the Captain, undoing his trousers.“…I didn’t think I was boring you already, was I?”“Ah ha ha,” Lucia reached into the Captain’s underclothing, a sultry upward tilt to her lips, “No, keep talking. I just don’t want to wait long after my drink, you see…” “Hah, don’t let me push you away.” Indeed, Lucia pushed her way in, and the Captain kept his hand upon her head. ”Damaged vehicles, and the like, it seemed. They had done their best to destroy their documents, and the like, but they couldn’t evacuate everything. I caught the tail end of their efforts and sped along what didn’t fall. Three vehicles lost, two damaged in the skirmish before, but after, we were barely touched. Whatever hired help that Von Tracht brought along was impressive while it lasted, I suppose…goodness, you’re doing your best to disrupt my tale with that sort of treatment.”“Mm hmm hmm.”
“I did take my own prizes,” the Captain gestured near Lucia’s face to turn her gaze up, and he dangled a pair of black lady’s undergarments. “The fiery one’s room. I am a red blooded man, and since it was left unguarded…” He buried his nose in the panties and took a deep sniff, “Ah, not cleaned since they were last worn, either.”Lucia withdrew and laughed, “Ah ha ha, what a disrespectful act, thinking of another woman while I go down upon you.”“Hm? Do you mind?”“I do doubt whoever Von Tracht’s woman is, is quite as good at this.”She probably wasn’t, the Captain thought as she renewed her efforts with new vigor. “…Egh, You remember what I told you of her? I wouldn’t mind such a fantasy, but…hrm, hrgh.” The Captain stopped being able to form words for a few moments. “…Ahhh. You could have been less violent about it, we could have actually started the main event.” …The bliss after the moment always gave some light-headedness, but was it supposed to be this much? “…Hmm, Lucia, you naughty wench, did…you…” He should have called for his Sergeant instead of trying to be a smart aleck- by the time he thought to, Lucia’s hands were already clasped over his mouth.“Ah ha…no worries…you’ll be able to talk with…when…”Both Lucia and the Captain collapsed in a heap on the floor. The last sliver of consciousness from the Captain let him hear the bathroom door open, and soft steps come from within. Damn, could he at least have waited for me to get in my tank?-----More to follow after work for day is done
>>4271955Imagine if Lucia miscalculated the dose and nodded off before Gerovic.Wouldn't that have been a twist.
>>4271955>“I did take my own prizes,” the Captain gestured near Lucia’s face to turn her gaze up, and he dangled a pair of black lady’s undergarments. “The fiery one’s room. I am a red blooded man, and since it was left unguarded…” He buried his nose in the panties and took a deep sniff, “Ah, not cleaned since they were last worn, either.”Anya is going to enact the coffin meme
Nerves wracked. Vision blurry at the edges. The Fear had taken an unexpected hold, but how couldn’t it? This would have been severely stressful even without it. The laundry cart, a thin and recalcitrant mule front of it, waited with you and the plainclothes Ellowian soldier around the corner from the brothel where Weiss had reported Gerovic recently entered. Upon a signal out the back window from Rot, news of such transferred by Revolutionary League double agents and Pikkarski in disguise, you could move in with the wagon and do your best to smuggle contraband aboard. It wasn’t an open flank by any means, but if anybody happened to see you in those few moments of transfer…An instance of heart freezing terror, all of a sudden, as around the corner you saw…Sergeant Mogelschick, Gerovic’s man, pass by. Not close to you, yet…what was he doing here? Had he seen you? Did he suspect anything?A hand on your shoulder. “Calm down,” the Ellowian who wasn’t Pikkarski hissed, “You’ll make us stick out. We’re just waiting for soldiers to escort us, we’re not doing anything wrong.”“…R-right…” Knees quaking. Leg wound acting up. You hadn’t eaten for a while but you still felt ill in the stomach. Judge Above, if you just had a little Wakeleaf…or maybe spirits…It felt like hours you had to endure it, just waiting and hoping, but then…relief. Pikkarski came over, and up to you both.“We’re on,” he said simply, and waved you down the street.Inertia would do its job from here on out, Fear or no Fear. Gerovic was vulnerable now- it was just a matter of leaving with him in tow, and if that became suddenly infeasible…the silenced pistol was in your waistband. Even your now-awful aim didn’t matter now. All it would take it putting the gun to his sleeping head and pulling the trigger.Up by the Brothel, not. Baskets of sheets and cloaks laid aside, black and pale checkerboards of typical Twaryian miscellaneous cloth. Good enough cushions for if taut sheets proved insufficient to brace the fall completely. Silence- a careful eye kept out- then a waved signal from the window, and out tumbled a dark shape. You didn’t spare a moment to look at Gerovic once he was caught- he was immediately wrapped up. A pile of rumpled cloth was easier to explain away than a body. Wordlessly laid down, then the next subject. Another lucky catch, then Rot himself hung out the window for a final message.“I’ll be gone,” he said very, very quietly, “I need to remain here, after all. Just not in this room. Best of luck.”
Smooth as one could hope with the ornery beast of burden you had to utilize, the cart was moving again after your illicit cargo was loaded, naturally, under watchful eye of Twaryian and Revolutionary League “minders.” All of you rode in the wagon with the sheets, cloaks, and the sleeping bodies beneath, carefully arranged as you could so they wouldn’t be potentially smothered. Was it possible, you thought as you rolled along steadily east towards the main road south, that this would go off smoothly? With no complications despite all the agonizing over any perceived inevitabilities? It’d be nice for something too good to be true to not turn out to be such.…There he was again, passing back again. The Sergeant, who beheld you…coming down the road opposite. He passed by you, a broad paper bag held under one arm that he didn’t have before, but you could feel his eyes the whole time…there was no way he could know. Not even suspect. Yet...no, he was the sort to always be suspicious, wasn’t he? That must have been why Gerovic valued him. There was nothing to be suspect of as of now, but how long would that last? Was it possible he’d press an ear to the door? He’d gone out for some reason, but now he’d be coming back. Would he check just in case..?>Somebody needed to follow him back. And take care of him if necessary. To delay the alarm being raised. (Who?)>Stop off early at the Laundry. The IO Agents still had somewhat of a hideout in that, right? You could drop off there.>No delays. Keep going. Hesitation might doom you in the worst case scenario. The only exit for you now was out the south road you came in.>Other?
>>4272257>>No delays. Keep going. Hesitation might doom you in the worst case scenario. The only exit for you now was out the south road you came in.
>>4272257>No delays. Keep going. Hesitation might doom you in the worst case scenario. The only exit for you now was out the south road you came in.Keep our focus and eat that horse
>>4272257>Three vehicles lostDamn that probably included the X-80.Also Jesus, Twaryian clothing sounds depressing as fuck.>No delays. Keep going. Hesitation might doom you in the worst case scenario. The only exit for you now was out the south road you came in.Stick to the plan, no one in this group can fight him with acceptable odds of success.If he knew, he wouldn't have walked past. And if he does find out at the brothel one of the first places he will look is the Laundry due to our carriage.If we had a completely unrelated bolt hole I might have said go there until we can get a distraction going but until he figures it out, time is on our side.This shit is tense.
>>4272257>No delays. Keep going. Hesitation might doom you in the worst case scenario. The only exit for you now was out the south road you came in.
>>4272257>No delays. Keep going. Hesitation might doom you in the worst case scenario. The only exit for you now was out the south road you came in.I can't believe this is what this entire thread and the last one built up to. To be fair, that's how espionage usually goes.
>>4273177It was like this with Lem too.Let's hope we don't get fucked over by any plot twist this time and Maddalyn's eyes stay in their pockets.
>>4273190That's fair enough, but I more meant how we spent 40 days preparing for a plan that we pretty much only came up with yesterday, and now it's already been put into practice and we're seeing results. How many ingame days have passed since we crossed the border at the beginning of the last thread?
>>4273177This is the paradox of planning in quests and tabletop games. If your plans go off without a hitch, it's anticlimactic. But if your plans always go to shit, it feels artificial.
>>4273177>>4273190>>4273193>>4273208We still have Bertram after this let's not forget even if we have Poltergeist on our side for that one
>>4272276>>4272279>>4272307>>4272930>>4273143>>4273177Moving right along.Writing, today should be last day of outdoor remodeling, at least.>>4273193>spent 40 days preparing for a plan that we pretty much only came up with yesterdayThis is rather my fault, more for slow pace of writing than anything else really, though much of this was discovery process as well. I think you've found knowledge useful for things outside of dealing with the thorn in your side, though. Hopefully.>How many ingame days have passed since we crossed the border at the beginning of the last thread?It's currently your second day over the border. Bertie deadline's two days. Quest time dilation, don't you love it.
“…Speed up a little,” you couldn’t help but say to the disguised 4th platoon soldier driving the cart along, “Not too much…”The stubborn mule was given encouragement, and you were heading south in good time. How fast could you be out of here? The less time you were here the better. The worst time to be suddenly snatched by the jaws of defeat would be when you were so, so close to accomplishing your goal…Out of town, with a breath of relief. As it became smaller behind, all there was in front was the south checkpoint. If it was anything like your last visit, it should be as simple as flowing out like water.-----The Sergeant was oddly disturbed. There was such a thing as going off one’s gut, but that was a roll of the dice. Gambling was more the Captain’s vice- the Sergeant was the dark side of his bright moon. Stability, form rather than light. Yet, he was ever uncomfortable when left away from him for too long. ”Well then, Razomir, how about you join me? We can share a woman.” The crass offering was only tried once, for how well the Sergeant took such a suggestion. The moon was incomplete without its light as much as its dark, however, and the Sergeant’s doubts turned to concern, worry. That laundry cart…something was off. It was coming back, after going one way, with the same, clean cargo. A simple mistake? Probably. Yet, he couldn’t help but feel something was off. A normally dismissed feeling stuck in the head. Caution fled, as he went back into the brothel, and up the stairs.A listen at the door. Nothing. “Captain?” The Sergeant beat on the door, then tested the lock. It should have been…It was unlocked.The door was swung open, and the Sergeant barged inside, and saw naught. Nobody in here. Just the remains of a cordial drink…Startling. Yet, with a problem identified, the Sergeant’s mind could finally work for him.-----
“Oh, shit.” One of the double agent Revolutionary Leaguer said, as a short, chirping horn blared. “…What is it..?” unease settled into you again.“Enemies in the town. Lockdown.” The same man said, “What’re we gonna do? We’re out of the town, but-““It’s four on four when we get to the checkpoint,” Pikkarski said coolly, “If we have to force it, we can do it with the benefit of surprise. Or we delay and wait for my men to take the initiative.”“Will they know to help right away?”“…I do not know if they will be as quick about it as they need to be, without knowing exactly what is happening.” Pikkarski admitted, “We have our signals, but doing them too much will arouse suspicion with the checkpoint men.”“We can’t take too long,” the other Revolutionary League man said warily, “The outpost folks will fan out and form a perimeter.”“Alright then. Coordinator.” Pikkarski put the burden back on you, “What do you want to do?”>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.>Stall at the checkpoint. You could protest emptily easily enough, until help started shooting…>Try to avoid the checkpoint entirely. You’d have to abandon the wagon, but maybe you could slip out…>Other?
>>4273689>>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.Time to go loud
>>4273689>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.Delaying gives their reinforcements time to catch up and we aren't going to be able to go round.
>>4273689>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.Time to get wounded again. Hopefully not in the dick, or all this will be for naught.
>>4273689>>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.They know which way we were heading so we can't wait. Damn, I was optimistic about the Sarge not immediately checking.>Other?Tell Pikkarski to signal when it's best to fire. I don't trust Richter not to hesitate.
>>4273689>>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.
>>4273689>Make a surprise attack on the outpost. Equal odds, the benefit of surprise- Pikkarski had a Twaryian submachinegun that sprayed bullets like a burst pipe spewed oil. You could do it.
>>4273712>>4273744>>4273837>>4273867Even odds is good enough...considering.>>4273801Make an emphatic request to not make it so your midget can't molest you again.>>4273826Trust the timing to better judgment.Writing.
Rolled 3, 5, 27, 76 = 111 (4d100)“…We’re hitting it,” you decided, steadying yourself with a breath and feeling for your pistol. You had one shot, practically- the way the breach loading pistol functioned, the fight would either be over before you loaded again, or you would wish it were. “Pikkarski, you take the first shot, or signal when you want us to start shooting…”“Pick out the targets,” Pikkarski said, “The two together there, those’ll be mine. Jacek, you back me up with your pea shooter. You two,” he pointed to the Revolutionary League imposters, “You remember your reserve training, or did you get anything past that?”One nodded, the other grinned sheepishly. “Alright.” Pikkarski withdrew a knife and handed it to the one he called Jacek, “Go for the one at the post. One who didn’t shirk the training, go for the one up there by the fortifications. Lazy guy, back up Jacek. Commandant, you back me up. Thought you were a crack shot, but I hear lately your aim turned to shit.”Good to know Anya’s contest with you had inspired confidence. “…What will the signal be, if not gunfire..?” You didn’t mention that somehow Pikkarski thought there were four of you instead of five. Somehow, you knew it was related to you not being able to shoot straight.“Fuck yourselves, slone.” Straight and to the point. “Don’t you two pull out your pieces until then. They can’t have even the slightest advance warning. No thumbing around your pants either, so quit that.”Judge above, your nerves…at least you could lean on Pikkarski instead of having to fret over being unable to take the shot- then getting shot yourself.The men at the checkpoint certainly wasted no time in heading up the cart, though the two in more cover still saw no reason to come out. Twaryian jabbering from the leader up to Pikkarski as he heaved himself down and over, submachinegun held at his side. Pointing at the town, insistences of some sort. Pikkarski gave a gruff response- from the tone, it must have been dismissive, and such was practically confirmed by the annoyed outburst that followed from the guards. They had their weapons in hand already, prepared to enforce the perimeter- you’d have fractions of a second, beyond any initial surprise they were under attack.Finally, Pikkarski with a slight raise of his gun, said loud and clear, in New Nauk, “Fuck yourselves.”>DCs are 70, 60, 50, 40, roll under. Hold for your own- it’ll come next.
>>4274056Oh god.This is either really good or really bad.
BRKRKRKRRKAK, BRRKKKRKRAKK. Judge Above, Pikkarski was fast- you’d barely pulled out your pistol and already he had dumped two bursts into each guard facing him. Meanwhile, the guard at the post was overwhelmed by the sudden offensive of Jacek and the ERA man revealing himself as a turncoat to the easterners. A crack from the left, however, as the other ERA Revolutionary League man missed his shot, and as he worked his bolt for another try, was struck himself with a return shot, crumpling in the middle and falling like a puppet with its strings cut loose.“Shit!” Pikkarski dove for the dirt, and you went down too, squinting at the sandbag wall where the sole remaining Twaryian was. He loosed another burst at the sandbags, but suddenly…click. A jam? You looked over in fright and saw a smoking casing sticking out of the breach.A dangerous moment. The Twaryian peeked up over the sandbags…>Take your own shot. Maybe you could get lucky.>Maybe you couldn’t hit anything, but you could keep this Twaryian from taking a shot, surely. Stumble up and dive over the sandbags, to try and wrestle them to the dirt.>Get away, take cover. You were no help except as a vulnerable target.>Other?
>>4274072>>Take your own shot. Maybe you could get lucky.>Other?Then just start rolling towards cover.If only to keep the Twaryians head down until someone competent can hit him.
>>4274072>Maybe you couldn’t hit anything, but you could keep this Twaryian from taking a shot, surely. Stumble up and dive over the sandbags, to try and wrestle them to the dirt.Time for all that training with the boys to pay off!
>>4274072>Maybe you couldn’t hit anything, but you could keep this Twaryian from taking a shot, surely. Stumble up and dive over the sandbags, to try and wrestle them to the dirt.Time to make our mountain man proud
>>4274072>>Take your own shot. Maybe you could get lucky.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4274117>>4274083Take the shot. Then roll on the ground. I didn't know Anya was here.>>4274085>>4274100Start gabbling in foreign tongues and leap at the easterner like a crazed ape.It's rolling time! 1 for former, 2 for latter.
You wanted to run, but you knew that if you did nothing, Pikkarski might be shot. Would a Von Tracht throw a comrade into danger to save his own skin? No, you decided, not today. You did your best to line up the shape over the sandbags in the sights, but…you swayed, your eyes blurred, it all felt…so foreign. So unknown.There wasn’t time to fret over that, though. Only time to have faith in yourself and pull the trigger, no matter if you drew attention to yourself, no matter if you hit or missed.>Roll 1d100. DC 10. Good Luck.
>>4274257Roll under, of course, I should say.
Rolled 45 (1d100)>>4274257Nat 1 don't fail me now. Btw shouldn't our train have made this a little better ?
>>4274264F.>shouldn't our training have made this a little better?A little. But you're under pressure from a psychological affliction, using an unfamiliar weapon, against a target in heavy cover. It's very difficult!
Rolled 34 (1d100)>45- FailurePkkk. The gun gave a pop, but instead of sailing into the Twaryian, the bullet visibly impacted against a sandbag, sending a spray of dirt down. Damn…damn! You thought to reach for a bullet to put in the breach to try again, but the Twaryian’s eyes turned towards you…and you thought better. Maybe you couldn’t shoot, but may the Judge Above curse you for the worthless fool you were if you couldn’t take evasive action. The Twaryian lowered his rifle, and that was all you saw before you tumbled feverishly over and over, flailing about like you were a shell pushed up the beach by a wave- a wave of terror, in this case.>You’re being shot at! DC 30 Roll Under, reduction to enemy skill with barrel rolls.
A crack from the rifle, and you felt the heat of the bullet graze just past your shoulder, the pain sudden, but reassuring. You’d managed to avoid a direct hit…and the Twaryian would have to take a moment to work the bolt again. A moment that never came, as you heard the familiar BRRKKRBBBRRKK, BRRAAAKK. Pikkarski cleared his weapon, and you ceased rolling just in time to see the Twaryian get the rest of the gun’s drum emptied into him.“…Shit,” Pikkarski coughed, as he got up on a knee, “Good job, Coordinator. I owe you one. He had his eye on me.”“…Any time…” your throat was burning from sucking in cold air, the sides of your skull throbbed. Your body was refusing to calm back down as quickly as you wanted it to. “…Ah, the Resistance fellow…” You got up as Pikkarski checked to see if the man he blasted had truly gone down. You rolled him over…right through the heart. The poor man didn’t stand a chance.A flash of sadness, as you tried not to think about how this man had given his life for you, whether he knew it or not.“Oh, shit!” the other Revolutionary called out in a wail, “Hey, hey, is he-““…I’m sorry…” you offered a wholly insufficient consolation.“I… the other Ellowian ERA fighter knelt down, “No, he isn’t-““No time, kid.” Pikkarski wrested the young man back up again, “We have to move, now. Save the mourning for when we aren’t going to be in a grave beside him.”A sniff, but Pikkarski’s admonishment was impossible to argue against, and you were all moving again…the town of Dymny uprooted itself for a threat that had already left, behind you. As if to try and upstage your battle, an explosion boomed to the west- enough gunfire, apparently, that the ERA saw fit to touch off their bomb. Down the path, Pikkarski’s squad rejoined you, looking alert and ready for a battle they didn’t get the chance to fight.“Gee, if you didn’t need us,” the machine gunner tried to joke, “We could have saved hauling all this shit out here.”“Stow it,” Pikkarski replied, “We need to move.” A look back to you, “We had a foot route plotted out, but who knows if now’s the best time. Might be quieter about, might be more hornets rustled if they fail to find anybody. We do have the hideout, after all.”>You couldn’t wait to get back. Foot route it was.>Return to the hideout. You could wait until things calmed down some- though the sleeping drugs might wear off by then. You’d come back on foot later.>Go get the big, bulky radio and make another call. Get picked up by your people instead of walking the whole damn way back.>Other?
>>4274274Roll, Abu Hajaar, roll!
>>4274298>>You couldn’t wait to get back. Foot route it was.Better to take advantage of the current confusion as the Twaryians are still only just mobilizing and have multiple incidents to respond to. Who knows how tight they might lock things down once they realize what happened and start looking for Gerovic in detail.
>>4274298tanq if we call our people is it going to be like the last time where we just send out a signal and hope they hear us?If so then instead of signaling: >You couldn’t wait to get back. Foot route it was.That distraction only lasts as long as the Twaryians investigating it think there is a threat. The Sergeant will never, ever stop looking and at least this way it will be just him instead of the whole enemy army searching for us if we leave now.
>>4274335>tanq if we call our people is it going to be like the last time where we just send out a signal and hope they hear us?Last time a direct instruction to not reply was part of the gambit, so if you want to wait for a reply, potentially no.Though maybe you shouldn't expect one right away anyways.
>>4274274judge bless>>4274298>You couldn’t wait to get back. Foot route it was.
>>4274298>You couldn’t wait to get back. Foot route it was.
>>4274298>You couldn’t wait to get back. Foot route it was.How far are we from the border?
>>4274335Call a cab.>>4274319>>4274403>>4274422>>4274484Take a hike. Rock paper scissors for who gets to carry Lucia. Her son can come later, what a dork.[/spoilerWriting.>>4274484>How far are we from the border?There is a map of the general region here- >>4237119 You're a klick and a half out of Dymny, about. Suffice it to say, you're going to be hoofing it for some time. It's good exercise for your bum leg.But hey you've got a munitions caster and a machine gunner in your squad of seasoned Ellowian troopers, things can't go too bad, right.
>But hey you've got a munitions caster and a machine gunner in your squad of seasoned Ellowian troopers, things can't go too bad, right.Why are you doing this to me?
Rolled 4, 3 = 7 (2d4)“…We’re not waiting to get back.” The longer you waited, the more this reaction might turn to a dedicated search. More time that the confusion might settle into focus, and who could say if their reaction to the abduction might be to ramp up security even tighter? Gerovic was an important figure, after all. There was no way that, once the news was disseminated, they’d simply shrug and let him go.That, and you couldn’t wait to get back. Back with comrades, friends…you hoped. You still knew naught of the results of Gerovic’s raid last night.“Foot it is, then,” Pikkarski decided for you, as everything important was unloaded. After that, all the laundry baskets were put back up, and with all the passengers off, Pikkarski gave the now one remaining Revolutionary League imposter a nod and a point, and he took the laundry further down the road. “Let them find that wherever it goes. Listen up, men! You humped all your shit here, time to hump it all the way back over the border, plus extra. One of you per these people,” he pointed to the two wrapped shaped now on the ground, “Treat them roughly or drop them and you’ll be shot. Got it? Sometime today, people!”The Ellowians formed up to move out admirably quickly- you only wished you’d be able to keep up, with how you were. The nick in your shoulder was given a touch. Ah, that was more blood than you expected, but it seemed to have already slowed. Good thing that bullet didn’t shatter your arm a mere two days before you were expected to fight Bertram…a long sigh, as the Ellowians began to march at a brisk pace. Your troubles were far from over.----->Encounters->1-Nothing>2-Revolutionary League Squad>3-Twaryian Regulars>4-ERA Opportunists
During the march back, weaving between more visible formations heading for Dymny, your squad and its escorts caught an unexpected sight.“Insurgents,” one of Pikkarski’s men reported with a squint as he peeked over a slight defilade, the crack of rounds temporarily dropping you to the earth before you realized it was shots not meant for you. “There’s a bunch fighting Twaryian regulars to the north. In our way, through the woods, where the hill starts going up. Two hundred meters.”“A bunch?” “Can’t say for sure, but judging from the sounds and moving around,” The man handed Pikkarski’s spyglass back, “A dozen against a dozen, or something. Two squad sized elements.”“…Right in the way too, huh,” Pikkarski thought, “We can go further east then north. We aren’t getting caught up in that.”>Object. The ERA fighters would surely lose even odds against normal troops- it’d be quicker to barge through, too.>You didn’t see a problem with going north, still. It was a distraction, right?>Agree. The sound of fighting would draw other Twaryians, exactly what you didn’t want to encounter.>Other?
>>4274619>>Agree. The sound of fighting would draw other Twaryians, exactly what you didn’t want to encounter.
>>4274619>Agree. The sound of fighting would draw other Twaryians, exactly what you didn’t want to encounter.
>>4274619>>Agree. The sound of fighting would draw other Twaryians, exactly what you didn’t want to encounter.Also who knows if the ERA have further shenanigans for the Twaryians that'd we get in the way of.
>>4274620>>4274622>>4274623>>4274632>>4274642Got mine! Should have waited for the battle agreed upon.Writing.
“…” You nodded quietly. The sound of fighting would likely draw more Twaryians- the last thing you wanted right now. They hadn’t gone into this expecting reinforcements, so you weren’t abandoning them, but you couldn’t help but feel like you were dooming what were most likely child soldiers hungry for glory. “…Let’s go…”The gunfire continued to prompt doubts to gnaw at you, but the battle turned out to be quite the sufficient distraction. You recognized the border coming up, the hill behind you, after quite a while walking…and long after the gunfire from that direction had gone silent.Straight for the camp then, you breathed a sigh of relief. There would be a patrol about, no matter what. Even if you weaved in between them somehow, the camp would still be there, and you had your own escort to it.Hopefully.-----
The first troubling sight was two stark white tanks, frozen in a duel with black opposites south of the Big Hill. The Iron Hogs tanks- they’d been knocked out, and across from them, two T-16s, as well as a T-8. Their hatches were still open from whomever was left after being struck several times, bailing out. You wouldn’t look inside. A closer look from afar, though, told you their tread tracks were only theirs. Did they embark alone?Your answer came when you arrived back at camp, failing to have met any of your patrols the whole while.The headquarters camp had been ransacked, razed. What hadn’t been set on fire last night had been blown up, scattered, or knocked down- at least, on the surface. The tunnels appeared intact. Detritus and garbage rustled about in the breeze. The husks of burnt out tanks, still in the motor pool, were visible beyond the shreds of their former shed. The X-80 and a captured T-16, as well as several trucks, sat in the center of the destruction. None others, though. A lack of bodies, too. Had your people been lucky enough to escape before Gerovic’s attack struck at the base? They must have gotten some warning of the force coming for them…and decided they weren’t ready, or couldn’t fight it. So they had retreated. To where? The camp itself now housed nobody. Only you, and your similarly awestruck escort.The sack that a pair of Ellowians carried made a yawning noise. Wriggled. An unfamiliar voice, surprisingly unaccented, spoke.“Mmahh. Hello? Whoever’s decided to kidnap me, I’d like to request parley, about now. Or at least a returning to a bed. You rather interrupted my plans for the day.”Gerovic’s voice was not anything like you expected. It flaunted itself with a pride unbefitting a common man, a self-assured cadence and an energy that didn’t reflect what you remembered of his utterly plain appearance. His carriers looked dumbly at you, unsure what to do.>…Well, you weren’t going anywhere. You had a few things to discuss, anyways. (What?)>He could “parley” with the Major. You’d only unwrap him to stuff a gag in his mouth. He was your prisoner, not a guest.>Say some smarmy self-assured boast to provoke him. You’d beaten him- you had the right, respect and courtesy be damned. (Write it in)>Other?Last vote of the thread here, since we're close to falling off the board. I'll have a new thread up soon after this one goes off- if it isn't off by tomorrow or so, I'll make a new one to bump it off. Thanks for playing, and enduring this long ass mission.
>>4274740>>He could “parley” with the Major. You’d only unwrap him to stuff a gag in his mouth. He was your prisoner, not a guest.Head towards New Jorgenstohn and see if we can contact the UGZ; I'd bet our guys are there.
>>4274740>…Well, you weren’t going anywhere. You had a few things to discuss, anyways. (What?)First of all, how he managed to have so many resources at his disposal this entire time, specially how he quickly mounted a raid party after being repelled by your defenses and reinforcements
>>4274740>>He could “parley” with the Major. You’d only unwrap him to stuff a gag in his mouth. He was your prisoner, not a guest.He's already escaped our custody once before. Even if we didn't know about it earlier.>Other?I don't trust the new mayor of NJ, lets just head for the UGZ.
>>4274742Actually yeah go to the UGZ directly like >>4274749 says. Send one or two guys ahead to tell Wielzci we're returning.
>>4274740>>Other?Ask him if he has any idea which direction our allies retreated in, since he was the one who drove them off. The sooner we find them the sooner he can stop being carried around like a sack of potatoes after all.
>>4274754This, might as well save us some walking if he's talking. Also maybe tell him he is as good for our purposes dead as alive, so attempt anything funny at his peril.
>>4274749>>4274754Supporting both of these
>>4274754Knowing Gerovic he'd just give us some snarky answer.