13 Aug. 2013: Venison, Volunteer Work, and Door-to-Door Cult Application

The team set out from the east side of town in the truck with the alleged Avis Sinclair tied up in the back. Quintos tried to conceal the destination by taking a different route than we took there, and in the process got so lost that Luck and Severus had to help navigate. It was decided that it might be best to just take the prisoner out to the woods to interrogate him, since they were close to the forest by that point anyway. They arrived at the forest and exited the truck, and Zuriel was promptly traumatized by a nearby deer.

Haxtes held up the prisoner to interrogate, and there was a pause while they tried to decide who was actually going to lead this interrogation. While they were determining this, Miranda did have one question for the prisoner: what was his name? As soon as he was un-gaged, he told the group that his name was Charlie Corgan, and he was a dock worker. Quintos asked if he had any proof of this, and the man cited the identification papers in his pocket as evidence. When the team realized he was probably telling the truth, they asked why he ran when they knocked on the door. Apparently, they sounded like a cop who he owed money to. Whenever people came to ask questions he would end up shoved against a wall with a pistol in his mouth and his money taken from him. He did know Avis Sinclair, however: he rented from him. The apartment was Avis’s, but he had been away for a while. Avis’s “lady friend” helped Charlie out with his broken arm a while ago. This piqued the team’s interest, and they asked how people contact her. However, Charlie told them that “she comes to people, they don’t contact her. She hears about injuries and shows up.” When she healed him, she laid her hand on his arm and it just snapped into place.

The team asked why he didn’t join the Companions, but the Companions did not want people like him. He was a dealer. The team convinced him to write a note to Avis that he was injured for them to leave with his rent. He just wanted to leave this planet. That statement inspired Haxtes to call Cigargent to see about having Charlie put in a “witness protection program”. The program would amount to shoving him on a shuttle to Severus Secundis, a mining world with a slave-based economy, but it would still be better than killing him as they had been planning. Cigargent agreed, and also mentioned to Haxtes that they were all over the news because of the shootout at this point.

Charlie wrote a note that “Some crazy people shot me, can Becca come heal me? Also, can you please tell Riley to stop shaking me down”. The team had him rewrite the note without the last part because it might have been some sort of code. He told them that rent was due in 3 days and would be 300 gelt. He typically was shaken down for the rest of his money 2-3 days later.

Before they left, Haxtes built Charlie an articulated brace for his leg out of sticks and stones, and Quint set the deer that upset Zuriel on fire. The now-panicked deer charged Severus, who applied his “grab life by the horns” philosophy inappropriately to the situation and grabbed the deer by the horns. He was promptly engulfed in flames, so Haxtes, who had taken to carrying a fire extinguisher with him, put the fire out. The deer died and Severus lost his eyebrows and got frostbite from the fire extinguisher. Quintos brought the deer home with them, so they had venison for dinner.

They headed home, and Haxtes decided to have them drop him off at the Mechanicus Temple on the way. Miranda decided to go volunteer at a homeless shelter during dinner and Severus decided to try to join the cult of Becca by going door-to-door. The others stayed in for the night.

At the homeless shelter, Miranda asked a nun in charge if there was anything she could do, and was given the job of serving dinner to the many people who had come there for shelter and food. She used this as an opportunity to speak to them and get more information and potentially useful contacts. One group of guests stood out to her as they were all wearing the same uniforms. She asked them about their uniforms and what they did, and learned that they were a group of rangers that go into abandoned cities and find old technology to give to the Mechanicus. The leader introduced himself as Artyom, and she told him her name was Alison. He mentioned that tensions were high lately, partly due to rumors that the Red Line council of the neighboring city Zhitomir had found a cache of atomics. Miranda was curious about that city, he told her it was about 3 days away by horse. There were other sources of tension as well, though. For instance, there were off-worlders bringing up strange ideas. There were a bunch of religious fanatics in this city united by some sort of healer who says she can unite the cities. However, their definition of “uniting” is a bit too bloody for Artyoms taste. He told her that his group of rangers was passing through on their way to mountains to the west, to explore and see if there is anything too dangerous there and to give it to the proper authorities.

She excused herself and served the other patrons for a few more hours, until it had mostly died down. When most of the others had left, she noticed a man with a face that looked young on the left and old on the right. She went over and asked if he needed anything, and he asked for water. On her way back she tried to think of a way to start a conversation without offending him. When she brought it to him, she settled on blurting out “What kind of lotion do you use on the left side of your face, it looks amazing!” He started laughing, and told her he had expected her to ask, but that was too funny for him to be annoyed. He asked her to sit and they spoke for a while. He told her he had been disfigured in a fire years ago when he lost his family. A few weeks ago a short blond woman healed him, she touched his face and her hands glowed blue with her bones showing through. It hurt growing in, though, as it was all new skin growing in gradually. Miranda asked him if he thought she was the same woman from the rumors, and he confirmed it. He didn’t think she was a saint, though, just a healer. The Companions certainly weren’t saints. They had been shaking down the people she’d healed down for money, and hung around in places like the homeless shelter recruiting. They seemed to be raising money for something. Miranda asked him how she would meet the companions, and he told her that she could either keep hanging out in homeless shelters or find them by the emblem they wear: a white hand with snakes wrapped around a scepter and an open eye at the top. Miranda noticed it was getting late and she should head home, she introduced herself as Alison and he told her his name was George.

Meanwhile at flat 118, Luck watched Space Reality TV.

Severus had more ambitious plans, and was trying to join a cult. The plan he had concocted brings to mind the idea of a confused Jehovah’s Witness: he went door to door, asking people to tell him about their religion in the hopes of joining. More specifically, he was going to the homes of those who had been healed about Becca. Dinner time may not have been the best time to do this, however, and he was made aware of this at the first door he arrived at. Kaylee Smith was rather confused to have her dinner interrupted by the man who enthusiastically introduced himself as “Sven”. Severus told her he was trying to contact a woman named Becca and that he needed information from Kaylee to help him find her, because Kaylee had met her. He claimed to be a member of the Adeptus Arbites and showed her his fake badge as evidence when she questioned why she she should tell him anything. She told him that she does not know how to contact Becca, she didn’t even know who she was when she healed her. She was in the hospital for kidney stones when “some random black lady” came up to her and laid her hands on her stomach. Suddenly the kidney stones were gone.

Severus moved on to the next house, which belonged to another person from his list, Gerald. He introduced himself as Sven again, and wanted to know if Gerald would assist him in making contact with Becca. Gerald wanted to know how “Sven” got his address. However, as he had said earlier, he is Sven. Gerald could not argue with that fact but still wanted to know how he knew his address and why he should have been expected to tell him anything. Severus told him he was a member of the Adeptus Arbites, but this was just a personal trip, he wants to thank her. Gerald didn’t have much information for him.

He moved onto the next door, and once again introduced himself as Sven. the man who answered the door was surprised, and told him that he is also Sven. Severus-Sven told Sven that he was looking for Becca, and because Sven was healed by her, can he help Severus-Sven find her? Sven asked for his badge, and Severus-Sven was happy to hand it to him, explaining that he was a member of the Adeptus Arbites. Sven took it and after examining it for a few moments observed that it was a fake. He asked Severus-Sven if he was aware that he was walking around with a fake ID, and Severus-Sven replied “And? I wouldn’t be carrying it if I wasn’t.”

“Do you know that it’s a felony to forge an Imperial ID? You can go to jail for that.”

Severus was not particularly concerned, and replied “No, I won’t. But if you can’t assist, I’ll be on my way.”

Sven hurriedly assured him that he could help him, and extended his hand to shake. Severus did so, and immediately heard a click as a handcuff closed on his wrist. Sven introduced him as Officer Sven Hartson, and informed Severus that he was under arrest. Severus’s response was “Well officer, I’m afraid that’s not going to happen”, which led to a short-lived fight and Severus being brought into the house to wait for more officers. Sven called the station to have police come to take Severus in, and while he was out of the room Severus tried to escape his handcuffs, but only succeeded in cutting his hand. He asked Sven to check his pockets for his real ID, but Sven refused as it would probably just be a fake.

While they waited, Sven decided to talk to Severus. He asked why he was impersonating an Adeptus Arbite with a silenced hand-cannon, he looked more like an assassin. Severus told Sven he was with the Inquisition. Sven was skeptical, and asked why Severus was looking for Becca. Severus explained their mission. Sven just told him that they would see about that when they got to the station. He told Severus that he was either crazy, legitimately a member of the Inquisition, or a very good con-artist, and he was leaning toward the latter. Severus asked him if he would be willing to assist him if he was really Inquisition, and Sven was willing to discuss that while they waited for the police.

He told Severus that he met Becca when he had been fatally shot. A woman in her mid twenties appeared and healed him. When he woke up, the bullet was laying beside him. Severus wanted to know where he was going to be taken, and Sven told him they were going to the precinct where Arbite Anderson would determine his real identity. Severus asked which precinct, and Sven told him it was the 16th. The team had been listening to this over the microbead back at the flat, and this was their cue to head out. The doorbell at Sven’s house rang, and Sven was surprised the car was there so soon. he went to the door and realized the people there were not the police he called. The door blew up and 3 men in green camo barged in. Sven immediately grabbed Severus and their guns and led him out of the room. They rushed through the kitchen and out the back door, and once outside Officer Sven un-cuffed Severus and re-cuffed him so that his hands were in front of him. He told him to keep going, so Severus vaulted the fence. Severus shot at their attackers and followed him. They vaulted another fence and Severus was shot in the head, but his skull deflected the bullet and he was left with only a gash on his head. They kept running, turned a corner, and hit a dead end. Sven finally decided to give Severus his gun, telling him it was time to prove who he was. There was a shootout in the alley, and as Sven and Severus were starting to win, one of them fled down the alley, only to be cloths-lined by Haxtes, as the rest of the group had arrived.

There was a lot of shooting, and Luck shoved one of the men in the truck so they could question him later. The last of the men who was alive shot at Haxtes, accomplishing nothing because he had shot at Haxtes’ (metal) chest. Severus tried to shoot him in the hand, but his gun blew up and severely injured his hand. Zuriel tried to shoot the man with his las gun, missed, and accidentally shot Haxtes in the leg, leaving a bad scorch wound. Officer Sven shot the man in the leg twice, breaking it. Haxtes then crushed the man’s head with his mechadendrite and shot him repeatedly with his las gun, carbonizing him. As Haxtes and Zuriel were in close proximity when he did this, they were both burned. Luck was a bit traumatized by this incident and ran and hid. Severus and Sven put out the flames on Haxtes and Zuriel.

 

6 August 2013: A Shootout, a Hospital, and a Priest

Zuriel and Severus brought Luck back to the flat as the sun rose. Upon their arrival, the rest of the group, understandably, had a few questions about what happened. Haxtes showed them the recording from the servo-skull by way of explanation. Because Luck was now injured from her adventure at the club, it was decided that she would join the team heading to the hospital so they could kill two birds with one stone: she would make a good justification for their presence there, and they could get her patched up in the process.

Haxtes, Quintos, and Luck headed off to the hospital, and Zuriel, Severus and Miranda went to the Ecclesiarchy. Team Hospital arrived at the hospital, and sat in the waiting room (Haxtes, being too heavy for a chair, stood) until a nurse approached them. She asked if they were here to visit someone or if they needed help, then saw Luck’s injuries. Haxtes picked up the chair Luck was sitting in with his manipulator mechadendrite and asked the nurse where he should put her. The nurse was confused and alarmed to see him waving Luck around, and told him to put Luck down, so naturally, he dropped her and the chair on the ground, breaking the chair and further injuring Luck. Luck began yelling that she would sue the hospital, and loudly wishing that there was an alternative to this place. The nurse made a note to add the cost of the chair to their bill, and that the tech priest may have been the source of Luck’s injuries. She let them know that the doctor would be with them shortly and left. Haxtes had his servo-skull follow the nurse.

After a brief wait, the nurse returned and called Clarissa Pinkerman (the alias Luck had given her) back. Luck continued to complain about the hospital the whole way, still insisting that there must be something better than this for healthcare. Haxtes and Quintos followed her as her guardians. They were led to a room, and the nurse let them know that Doctor Bliss would be there in just a moment. As soon as she left the room, Haxtes used the terminal there to try to hack into the hospital’s network. He was successful, and was able to look through the patient history. The last person admitted to the hospital was a man named Daniel Shogen, who had arrived in police custody with a gunshot wound, although there was a note that police custody was to be removed due to a military override. He was more interested in the records relating to the miracle healings. These he stored in his brain, noting that most of those who had been healed lived in the poorer areas of the city near the shipping docks. Before he logged off, he deleted the nurse’s note that he might be the source of Luck’s injuries and transferred the cost of the chair to Mr. Shogen’s bill.

The doctor arrived and introduced himself as Dr. Jeremiah Bliss. He checked Luck’s injuries and asked about the nurse’s mention of possible abuse. Luck told him she was not comfortable talking to a male doctor about what had happened, so he told her he would get a female doctor and left. After a few minutes, a female doctor entered and told them her name was Dr. Rebecca Grace. Quintos’s interest was piqued by this, and he asked if she prefers to be called Rebecca or just Becca. She told him Rebecca would be fine. Haxtes informed her that the human female had become injured and required repair. The nurse acknowledged his astute observation, and examined Luck. She patched her up and asked what happened. Luck still was not comfortable discussing it and did not want to go to the police, so Dr. Grace offered to talk to her about what happened with the others out of the room, and when that offer was also declined, gave her a reference to speak to a therapist later. Luck thanked her and told her that her kindness had been a comfort to her, and the doctor remarked that the tech priest must not be much of a comfort. Quintos joked that sometimes you just need a mechadendrite to cry on, and the doctor laughed and showed them out. Once Quintos and Haxtes were out of the room, she handed Luck a card for an arms dealer. She thought it might be a good idea for Luck to be armed. After all, people in this area have been scared lately, and people do terrible things when scared. She told Luck to tell the dealer that Rebecca had sent her.

She asked to speak to Quintos for a moment, and wanted to know why he let Luck go to bars on her own when she’s so immature. He told her that he just met Luck and didn’t know she was going to go off on her own, so there wasn’t much he could have done to stop her. She realized at this point that they were off-worlders and advised them to stay away from the lower districts on the east side. There have been a lot of fanatics in that area, and last night there was a shootout in that part of town. The doctor suspected that Luck had been involved.

The three left the hospital, and saw three naval officers escorting the one-legged Daniel Shogen from the hospital. He glanced over and, noticing Luck, shouted, “Hey! That’s the bitch who got my leg!” One of the others asked “Are you sure, Danny?” and he confirmed that she was the one who had been at the club. Haxtes could see from his servo-skull that they were reaching for their weapons, so he pointed his las gun at them and told them to stop in the name of the Omnisiah. They raised their hands and asked if he knew that it’s a crime to threaten Imperial Officers. Haxtes acknowledged that was true, but countered that it is also a crime to threaten a tech priest of the Omnisiah.

He raised an alarm with his servo-skull, and the naval officers decided that it wasn’t worth it to get into a fight at the hospital. They took Danny to the car and left, saying that they would see Luck and the team later. Haxtes put away his gun and headed down the street to where a police officer was getting out of his car. The officer demanded to know why Haxtes had pulled a gun in front of a hospital, and by way of explanation, he played the video of what happened from the servo-skull, showing that the officers had been reaching for their weapons first. He then played the video from the night before at the club to give more context to the situation. The officer took down Daniel Shogen’s name and told them that he would make sure they got him off the streets. With that, the team from the hospital headed home.

While all this was happening, Zuriel, Severus, and Miranda were at the Ecclesiarchy. Before they headed out, they asked Cigargent about their contact there. His name was Father Zachariah, and Cigargent had known him for years. Father Zachariah was a no-nonsense former guard. Cigargent gave the group headed to the Ecclesiarchy a Terran cigar, telling them to be careful with it because it is “quality shit”. They would Father Zachariah the cigar so that he would know they had been sent by the Inquisitor. With the information and the cigar, the team headed to the church.

They arrived as a service was ending, and were greeted by a friar. He asked if they were there looking for someone, or if they needed somewhere quiet to contemplate. They told him they were looking for Father Zachariah, and the friar asked them to wait while he rests after the service, but the Father would be happy to speak with them. While they waited, Mirada prayed and lit votive candles at the saints’ shrines. They waited for about twenty minutes, then a seventy year old, six foot tall man in an impressive robe approached them.

Zuriel gave him the cigar Cigargent had given them, and the Father was surprised and pleased to see the gift. He explained that it was Terran, and that he had been trying to figure out where the Inquisitor was getting them for years. He had tried asking Cigargent (who hates being called that, and is only tolerating it because the Inquisitor won’t let him kill them), but could never get a straight answer.

He led us to his personal quarters in a separate building, and asked Zuriel to hand him a rosewood box next to the desk. From the box he removed a cigar cutter which he used on the cigar. There was a bit more small talk before he told us what he knew about the situation with the healer. Apparently, about six months ago rumors began spreading of a healer named Becca. The Father does not know where to find her, as none of his contacts have actually seen her. They do know who some of her followers are, however. Avis Sinclair is one of the lieutenants in the group of followers who call themselves The Companions. They view themselves as the protectors of a new saint. As for Becca herself, all that is known for certain is that she is young, she is not from this world, and she is very talented.

The reason her description is so vague is simple: everyone has described her differently. One man described a young, blonde, pale woman healing him, while another described a black woman. Others who were healed had completely different descriptions. The only characteristic that remained the same across all the descriptions was her eyes: they were consistently described as bright yellow, almost gold, like a wolf’s eyes. Because of her constantly changing appearance, it was possible that she might be a psyker or a mutant.

Father Zachariah told us that the people who had been healed were consistently those who lived in the workers’ districts, the poor, run-down east side of the city near the seaport. That part of town had been ruined economically when the spaceport opened. He gave the group a list of names, addresses, and the nature of the wounds healed for each of the people he knew of. He told them he would stay in contact with them, and asked them to find out where Dmitri gets his cigars.

Zuriel, Severus, and Miranda headed back to flat 118 and the whole team discussed what they had learned. After everyone was filled in, Zuriel asked about the cigars. Cigargent was amused that Father Zachariah was still wondering about that, and told us where they came from. The Inquisitor owns a plantation on Luna, at the orbital defense station. Each cigar is worth 10,000 gelt, but since the Inquisitor has plenty of money he does not mind giving so many of them to Cigargent.

The group decided to rest and prepare to investigate the east side of town the next day. There was one dissenting voice: Luck. She wanted to go out at night because “everything happens at night”, and they were losing valuable research time by staying in. Severus countered that if she does things during the day, things will happen in the day, too. Haxtes stood in front of the door to prevent her from leaving.

Zuriel read through the documents Father Zachariah gave him, and Miranda joined him to ask if he had found anything useful. He had noticed that the people who had been healed were often easily malleable targets such as drug addicts. These people were looking for someone to save them, and it seemed they had found that in Becca.

In the morning, the whole group (except Cigargent) headed to the workers’ district. They could smell the coast, which was overwhelming to Zuriel who had never smelled it before. The place looked like it had seen better days. They went straight to Avis’s address, and on the way, Haxtes decided to fix flickering lights. He went into the basement of one building and used percussive maintenance to accomplish this. When they arrived at Avis Sinclair’s address, they knocked on the door and Haxtes announced them as “hookers and blow”. The man inside answered that they must be ugly hookers, then, so the others told him they had a few questions.

At this, the man decided to flee through the window, and jumped on a neighboring rooftop. Haxtes tried to grab him with his mechadendrite and missed, Severus tried to shoot him, and Quintos tried to set him on fire. After all of them failed, Severus and Miranda gave chase. Miranda misjudged the distance to the next rooftop and fell, so Haxtes caught her and tossed her onto the roof. While they chased the man, Haxtes shot at him and successfully hit his leg, melting part of his thigh. Severus moved to tackle him, and the man shot at his left leg, glancing it but not seriously injuring him. Severus grappled with him and was able to get him to the ground, knocking his pistol away. Severus and Avus took him down to the street through the building they were on.

Once everyone was back on the street, they stood outside the truck talking to the man they had captured. He was uncooperative, believing that it would have been stupid not to jump out the window when they told him they had questions for him. Quintos was irritated with the man’s unwillingness to cooperate, and showed him his tattoo branding him as a psyker, whispering in his ear that he would light him on fire. All the while, Miranda kept suggesting that they take the man back to flat 118 to ask him questions, as there was a crowd gathering. Haxtes finally agreed with her, and the rest of the group conceded that might be a good idea. Haxtes restrained the man in the back of the truck, and the group headed back to the flat.