03.04: A Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan, Vanessa)   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
Narrator
 NPC, 63 posts
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 15:12
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Once it had been a Japanese restaurant and while the front room screamed bohemian cafe, the back rooms still held the tatami mats, the rice-paper walls, the smaller rooms off of the main area, where groups of up to eight could sit.  In between each chamber were book-shelves filled with various donated books puzzles and board-games, in ancient mismatched bookshelves.

There were four of them there.  All of them contacted via the Seattle Paranet boards.  The Moonrise Cafe had become the unofficial "Neutral Ground" for the Paranet, allowing those who had been too nervous or paranoid to come out before to--slowly--start revealing themselves.  But it was slow-going.  The recent change in White Council meant that the region was getting used to the new Warden--Noriko.  But it was also her less threatening demeanor that encouraged stepping out.
Willa
 NPC, 34 posts
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 15:12
03.04: A Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan, Vanessa)
"I'd like to thank-you for taking the time to meet with me." The woman led them into the back room of the little coffee shop--The Moonrise Cafe.  "My name is Wilhelmina Porter.   You may call me Willa, if you prefer."

The name Willa Porter was very prominent in Seattle.  A software developer who founded the Porte Operating System, then later revolutionized data storage and information system functionalities.  She is a billionaire who now focuses on philanthropic pursuits under guise of the Porter Foundation.

Willa was dressed in black jeans and a black turtleneck, looking either like a beat poet or a movie-parody of a seventies spy.  She was probably in her early forties, with bottle-black hair and a style of movement that made her seem like she was more comfortable in a boardroom than in a coffee shop.   Her eyes were a gold-fire hazel and unflinching when she made eye-contact with each of them.

"What we say here is private.  I am told that this room has been prepared to discourage eavesdropping.  But let me assure you that I wish you no harm.  If you don't like what I propose, that's all there is to it." Willa led them to one of the larger side-chambers.  slid open one of the rice-paper walls and slipped her shoes off, before stepping inside.

"You've decided to meet with me.  So, I know that there's some interest.  I've asked you here because I have a problem.  I suspect we all do.  I feel that if we work together, we can overcome the problem and create some strong positive changes.  I need friends and allies.  And I'm very much hoping that you will be among them."

This message was lightly edited by the player at 15:26, Mon 04 June 2018.

Vanessa
 NPC, 1 post
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 15:25
03.04: A Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan, Vanessa)
Vanessa wasn't certain she really belonged.

She wore faded denim jeans that accentuated her hips, cute little boots with the hollow shaft for the lock-picking tools, and a simple whit shirt.  The little leather jacket did make her look a little younger than she'd prefer, but that often led people to underestimate her.   Vanessa's long brown hair was tied back in a pony-tail, and she wore white-rimmed sunglasses on top of her head.  She chewed her gum with an exaggerated motion and pretended to absently play with her iar as if she were bored or distracted.  But all the while she was assessing the location, looking for an exit-path and figuring out what she would do if...

Vanessa hadn't planned on attending the meeting.  She'd met with Willa before, and done a little digging on the older woman's behalf.  Her unique gifts had meant that getting places that were difficult to get to weren't all that difficult for her.   But the risks she had to take sometimes.... Well, Willa had asked her to go to some pretty dangerous places.

But it was Vanessa's meeting with Willa's handyman, Julian Singh, that really convinced her.   He told her a story of how he'd come to work with Willa's husband, and why he'd lie, cheat or steal to protect them two of them.  That kind of loyalty meant something.  And Vanessa felt an ache for lost ties, for family long past gone to her.

So, the least she could do was hear Willa Porter out.  Besides, Porter was a billionaire.  And that had to be good for at least a free meal!

"Okay." Vanessa said slowly, following suit and removing her boots.  She climbed in to the zashiki.  "But I'm just hear to listen to your pitch."

She looked over at the others.  "I'm Vanessa.   I haven't used the paranet much, but  I've been posting under the name "GladDOS""

This message was lightly edited by the player at 15:26, Mon 04 June 2018.

Nathan
 Prospect, 11 posts
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 15:36
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
 Nathan removed his shoes then followed Willa and Jennifer into the side room of the coffee shop. He looked like he stepped out of a 1950's detective comic. He wore a brown trench coat and matching fedora hat. But instead of a cigarette hanging from his lips, it was a stick of pocky. Smoking is a filthy habit after all.

"Thank you for inviting me Willa. You may call me Nathan. I assure you, as a client, anything you tell me will be kept strictly between us. My profession relies on discretion," replied Nathan. His brown eyes kept her gaze until she looked away to Jennifer. He then glanced over to the third person in the room. Unlike Willa, Nathan had no real idea who Jennifer was. But by the circumstances, he could guess she had a 'talent' like him.

 Then Vanessa entered the room. Nathan was about to order a cup of coffee and settle in a little, but the girl in leather didn't want to beat around the bush. Young people these days. "I'm Nathan, on the parranet I'm FireDrake. Though I do more lurking then posting," he added off handed and gave Vannesa a quick smile. Turning back to Willa he added,"You have the floor Willa. What do you want done?"
Control
 GM, 393 posts
Mon 4 Jun 2018
at 15:53
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Also, since we're here, let's derive some basic Aspects for the scene at the Moonrise cafe:

I propose:
(FORMER JAPANESE RESTAURANT NOW BOHEMIAN CAFE), (UNOFFICIAL NEUTRAL GROUND), (PRIVACY-INSURED BACK-ROOM)

You are welcome to add additional Aspects.  I don't mind if they advantage your characters or others.  So long as they make narrative sense.

Jennifer
 Prospect, 13 posts
Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 06:10
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Jen took a deep breath as she followed them into the room and sat down. She rubbed her ankles in her cowgirl boots as she stretched her neck. Her apron on her black pencil skirt was covered in what smelled like rum and some kind of meat. The top blouse clearly a waitress uniform was stained a bit as well but it looked like dirt from her job.

She brushed her brown hair back as she took another slow calming breath. "My name is Jennifer Taisce, I have heard rumors of the paranet from some local drunks and I guess I am wide known in the area for helping some dogs behind the bar...I have no idea nor reason why I am here unless you want me to babysit some mutts."

As Jen spoke her eyes would glance to the side almost like she couldn't make eye contact. She felt her hands becoming clammy as she took another deep breath, "Calm thoughts Jen....your safe....no one knows..." She covered her mouth as she heard her voice. She shook her head as she quickly snapped defending herself, "IT WAS NOT MY FAULT THE MAN WHO I DEALT WITH HE HE WAS A MONSTER OF PURE NASTY EVIL HE BEAT HIS WIFE AND HIS PETS I JUST I TOOK CARE OF HIM LIKE ANYONE ELSE WOULD AN ANIMAL IS SUPPOSE TO BE HUNTED BY AN ANIMAL AND DAMN IT I AM NOT HUMAN ALRIGHT MONSTERS HUNT MONSTERS END OF STORY!"

She crossed her arms as she quickly sat down looking at her feet. "Besides friends of mine said it was not going to be mentioned on the paranet so why the hell am I brought to some place where a detective and a friend plan to handle this...I mean that is the only reason that pi is here right." She just glances to Nathan as she speaks.
Nathan
 Prospect, 12 posts
Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 17:07
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Nathan invokes (PRIVACY-INSURED BACK-ROOM)

 For just a brief moment Nathan almost freaking choked on his Poky as Jessica began spilling the beans on something no one asked about. "By the flying spaghetti monster keep it down woman! This is not about that. We are invited to a job opportunity by Willa. Now I am all for blindly ignoring everything you just said and hearing Willa out. Seriously, take a second to get your shit back together," replied the one trick private dick. The key to Nathan Drake living a long and happy life was not asking questions he didn't want answers for. Sometimes it is best to leave some things alone. This seemed to be one of those times.
Willa
 NPC, 35 posts
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 00:34
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Willa took a long moment to regard Jennifer withopen speculation.  She wasn't overwhelmed by Jennifer's admission, btu did appear to have been put a little off-guard.

"Mr. Drake is right." Willa said.  "I'm not here to put the iron to anyone's feet.  That's not my role.  Not my role at all.  Are you familiar with the Benandanti?"  she asked.  A definite non-sequitor.

"In the the seventeenth century, the Italian Inquisition set about creating an atmosphere of fear and paranoia and eventually they wiped the Benandanti out."  Willa said.  "All for believing that they did battle in their dreams against a malevolent force that wanted to unravel the ties of community.  I seriously wonder what might have happened if the communities had come together, if the Benandanti had not been isolated."
Vanessa
 NPC, 2 posts
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 00:35
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)

"They'd still be dead." Vanessa offered.  "The Church was a massive dominating force."
Willa
 NPC, 36 posts
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 00:42
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Willa inclined her head. "But perhaps more would have survived.  Perhaps there'd be more acceptance of the weird in our lives.  People today, they crave it."

"Several months ago, I became aware of another malevolent force, right here in Seattle."  She took a slow breath, obviously still somewhat uncomfortable telling this particular story.  "Shortly after my husband became ill*, A black dog took up guard duty on our property.  Right up until the night someone tried to invade my house and take my husband.  It was only because of friends--friends with gifts--that Doug is still with me.  And that I am alive today."

"I believe you have the skills and associations to best help me out with a task."  Willa said.  "I need some background information on someone... someone who has proven difficult for my regular investigators to follow.  I think they are a threat to me, to you, to a whole lot of people, but I'm not certain.  I don't want to commit myself to an aggressive action if it isn't required.  That's where you three come in."

"Miss Taisce."  Willa laid both hands on the table, palms up. "This is business, only.   Say no if you want. Walk away.  But I have extensive resources at my disposal, and I am willing to pay well for this job.  And your discretion.  I want to see a brighter future, a stronger community. But I need to know who--or what--I'm up against.  And I need allies to safeguard the future."


--
It's been in the news.  As a local celebrity, the PCs might have heard of him.  Might not.
 Your call.  Douglas Porter, husband to Willa Porter, Software engineer and reknowned philanthropist had been in a coma for several months.  He had been cared for privately at their Medina estate.  He was recently moved to one of the residential suites at the Four Seasons Harbourfront.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:09, Fri 08 June 2018.

Control
 GM, 397 posts
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 19:18
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
It should be clear that Willa isn't prepared to name the guy she wants background on until you've all bought in.

Of course, your character can say no.   But it'll make things a whole lot easier if you say yes.  This is a negotiation, though...   So, if you want to broach types of payment, now's the time.

For Jennifer, it might make sense to invoke Blackthorn Services, to suggest that Willa get financially involved with the social services group, on top of whatever payment she wants for this.

For Nathan... Well, it is a job.    Standard fees.  As Willa is a primary GM-NPC, it might be worth it to say that she has used Nathan in the past.  Background profile work is a pretty standard gig.  If you're interested in this, I'll dump a small list of other investigations she's used you for.  Nothing terribly exciting, yet.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:18, Fri 08 June 2018.

Vanessa
 NPC, 3 posts
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 19:27
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
"Look, I've done some things for you in the past."  Vanessa said. "I've seen some of the shit that comes out when you poke into the dark places.  I get why you want to be careful."

She glanced at Nathan and Jennifer.  "I used to live here."  She, too, took a breath.  "And I'm here now because of family.   Since the Red Court up and disappeared, pretty much everyone has lost their mind.   Addiction issues, cravings, withdrawal.  Do you have any idea what the going rate is, right now, for an ounce of Red Court spit?  Fucking astronomical!"
Narrator
 NPC, 67 posts
Fri 8 Jun 2018
at 19:28
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Both Vanessa and Willa watched Nathan and Jennifer for a reaction.  They obviously didn't know if they were clued in enough to know who and what the Red Court was.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 19:10, Sat 09 June 2018.

Jennifer
 Prospect, 15 posts
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 17:41
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Jen blinked as she took deep slow breathes. She looked up seeing the others and her ears twitched sort of like a dog as she listened. Her eyes widened a bit listening.

She kicked her feet a bit from her chair onto the table as she smirked with a toothy grin,
"Well well so if it isn't about that and its a proposition...I will help you gain this blood sucker's blood thing resolved on two conditions....."

She slid off the chair as she got her feet planted on the ground, "One you can help bringing some donations to the Blackthorns...there are many here in this great city that need help to keep off their feet...I donate a lot of time to them but lets face it a barmaid waitress does not make a great salary."

She walked over leaning towards the rich bitch speaking of spit. "Second as I mentioned salary....what kind of sum are we talking...I mean I am all for hand outs but that never puts food on the table and I am a big shot around with all the mutts on the street....I mean they are not humans but the wild strays are my responsibility....I would like you to help keep them well cared for and fed....so if you are willing to take one of the newer pups off the street to be your kin in your house I will be much obliged....As for my personal pay....keep it to raise man's best friend....I love dogs and feel like they get the shit end of the stick compared to our feline friends."


She shook her head a bit as she sat back down and clapped her hands almost all cheerleader like, "Well with that put on the table I will totally toast to this proposition if those terms are met."
Nathan
 Prospect, 14 posts
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 21:55
03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
 Nathan steeples his fingers in concentration for a moment. A person could almost hear the gears of his brain turning. Then he took the pocky stick from his mouth and used it to stir his coffee. "It seems to me that your problem will become everyone's problem if left unchecked. I will take the job and ask only for my usual rates," Nathan said. He then took a long drought of his coffee. He looked to Willa waiting to see if she was going to continue.
Willa
 NPC, 37 posts
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 23:00
Re: 03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
\"Oh no, we're not after Red Court saliva."  Willa said, a look if distaste etching across her face.  "That's just... ugh."

"What I want is information on a lawyer.   Martin Kildaaw of the Tsing't Nation, and the legal representative of Black Cod Enterprises.   Black Cod is on the verge of monopolizing the import/export sector in Seattle and three months ago, it wasn't even a blip on the radar."

"I am familiar with Blackthorn Services.  Your terms are acceptable."  Willa nodded.  "But my lifestyle doesn't lend itself to a canine companion.  Not directly.  I would be pleased to adopt, but you must understand that I won't be there for it.  It's why I don't have any pets right now...  I do, however, have staff.

Actually, I see this as a nice potential for a long-term arc as Willa does, actually, get closer to her canine companion.   

"So.  Martin Kildaaw.  I have a friend who met with him to discuss a potential merger, and the next thing he knew he was signing over his company.  I need to know if Kildaaw is on the up and up.   If he's..."  She scrunched up her face, then shrugged resigned to the term, "If he's mortal, then I can probably deal with him directly.  But if he's something else...  I need to know.  I also need to know more about the Tsing't and Black Cod Enterprises."

"I choose you three because there are a couple of hurdles.  First, this may require getting access to Tsing't tribal land.  Second, the Tsing't are nearly opaque to state and federal oversight.  The tribe is exceptionally defensive, and tourists who visit their lands get what I suspect is a very manicured experience.   The reality is that I have absolutely no idea what you might find."

"But you, miss Taisce.  I do know that Martin Kildaaw is a dog-lover.  I hope that this might make you somewhat endearing to him."
Control
 GM, 401 posts
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 23:01
Re: 03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
I've a little info-dump on the Tsing't, Black Cod, and Martin Kildaaw coming later...
Vanessa
 NPC, 5 posts
Sat 9 Jun 2018
at 23:04
Re: 03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)

"Right.  So, Tsing't.  They've got the land around Hoodsport, don't they?  Lake Cushman and Kokanee?  I'm going to have to do some research.  I don't know of any path that'll get us there right quick.  But I can do some digging."

Vanessa glanced over at Nathan.  "I'm a traveler.  I'm pretty good with the Ways.  The Nevernever is often my bitch.  But this... I'm gonna have to do some serious digging to get us a way in or way out."
Nathan
 Prospect, 15 posts
Mon 18 Jun 2018
at 18:29
Re: 03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
 "I walk through walls. Like I can literally become a ghost and just go through a physical wall. As long as this place doesn't have a threshold or ghost countermeasures getting in for me is a snap. Now opening the locks and letting you two in is the hard part. But Vanessa is right, we need to dig. Floor plans, security details, and so on," explained Nathan.

 He then scratched the back of his head nervously,"I have never been to the Never Never. I suppose simply driving up there in the real world is impossible? Right, I'll try my best not to cheese off the fairies while we cut through there." Though he never been there Nathan heard stories of the Never never. They were not nice stories with happy endings either.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:30, Mon 18 June 2018.

Jennifer
 Prospect, 19 posts
Thu 28 Jun 2018
at 13:22
Re: 03.04: Contract and Covenant (Jennifer, Nathan)
Jennifer smirked a bit as she sniffed the air, "You know sometimes I wonder I mean I know everyone means the best of what they do and some are trying to make it easier for their friends and themselves....so question is what impact does this mission have on those we are gathering intel on."

As the werewolf listens to the chit chat she closes her eyes, " So your danny phantom Mr. Private Eye. Well I thought that went out in the 90s.....to be fair I am alright with our arrangements to this whole thing but I do want to let you know this all does not come without risks....if we get in a jam I expect Miss Willa will take care of my canine friends or at least get someone to aid them in food...I am one of the few who hunt for these wild dogs in the streets."