Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent.   Posted by Retro DM.Group: 0
Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 5 posts
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 16:25
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
"Thank you, Mr. Cornall." Whitney made to step off the bus before hearing Mr. Drake's question.

He should have offered to escort Ms. Malun home before leaving. It wasn't that she wasn't capable of going home on her own, but that absurd bag of hers would make the prospect unpleasant. Especially for someone with such a small frame.

Clicking his tongue to himself, Whitney made it back to the group.

"Ms. Malun, I suspect that bag is quite heavy. I would not mind assisting you on your way home. Hopefully we may even run into Woolsworth along the way."

Whitney turned to July and Mr. Drake, "I suspect this group won't immediately be heading home given present company. Fortunately, I seem to have spare time."

In truth, Whitney was curious about the train. By being a gentleman, he could also indulge his own curiosity instead of heading straight home. Garrett's undisciplined energy would no doubt be attracted to the novelty.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:50, Fri 29 Mar 2019.

July Coates
 player, 8 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 19:39
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
So much for getting home faster.

Unfolding her legs, July had already swung her pink bag across a shoulder when Garrett offered to walk them home. She meant to protest, honest, because there was no really need for him to go that far out of his way, but he was smiling in that way that promised shenanigans, and her brain went a little fuzzy. She couldn't bring herself to refuse. July told herself she was tagging along simply to keep him out of trouble. Herself knew better than to believe that.

"Like I'd let you wander off and have all the fun without me? I'm too selfish for that," July flashed her teeth in a grin, a small laugh bubbling out.

July was a little surprised by Jason's invitation to Whitney--and more than a little surprised that her prickly friend had deigned to accept it. More progress? July allowed herself to be optimistic that somehow they could all manage to successfully cross town without Garrett and Whitney breaking out in a fight. It was possible, right? Between her, Jason, and Malun, they could probably keep the two from killing each other. This is fine!

"I don't know what could have possibly given you that impression," July said to Whitney, as innocent as a unicorn for a beat, before her grin turned several shades more fiendish. Bounding forward, July practically skipped as she lead the charge off the bus.
Retro DM
 GM, 15 posts
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 21:31
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
When the five exit the bus, they are greeted by the smell of car exhaust and the sound of idling engines all around. There is a line of cars between them and the sidewalk, but it sits still long enough for them to pass without a problem. Walking towards the direction of the train, they can more clearly see that there is caution tape set up in front of it, running along it's length where it can, and there are police cars parked in front of it as well, lights on (which were much harder to see from the bus given how bright it is outside).

As they approach, Officer Bailey notices them, and moves to intercede.

"Hey kids, listen, you really can't come closer, sorry. There's a problem with the rail up ahead, not sure what exactly but the train is stuck till that's fixed. You should be able to..." he stops to look around for a minute, before pointing eastward "If you walk down about two blocks, you should be able to get around the train. You'll hit the edge of town, you know, where the high fences are, but it should be safe."

Anyone who likes can roll investigation, but at disadvantage because you arenít allowed to closely inspect the area.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:33, Fri 29 Mar 2019.

Garret Blake
 player, 10 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 00:13
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
"I don't think I can leave you behind even if I want to, Jules, It's not--aaaaaaaand she's already gone. Welp!"

Garret followed on July's heels as the tall girl suddenly shot forward. A small laugh and a shake of his head came next as he grabbed the rail on the way out and swung himself off the bus with a lazy sort of explosion of movement. Then he skipped and came up beside her just in time to hear officer Bailey.

He didn't offer complaint at first, but he did shift slightly sideways to look further down the way to see if he could spot anything. One eyebrow cocked and his boots shuffled as he shoved his hands in his pockets and trying to see what he could observe.

Uuuuuuunfortunately he was also... distracted. By a number of things. Not all of them tall and female. But at least one.

"Huh. Any kinda ETA, officer?" Garrett asked. Probably not entirely coming off as innocent.

But that was just his face.

Investigation 5. Insight 20!

This message was last edited by the player at 02:14, Sat 30 Mar 2019.

Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 6 posts
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 00:49
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Whitney rolled his eyes as July shot off from the bus. Her enthusiasm was contagious and he couldn't help but let out a smirk. Whitney made his way of the bus with the group.

As they gathered in front of Officer, Whitney surveyed the scene in front of them. Garrett almost immediately shot off a question with no sense of propriety. The schmuck could at least exchange the barest polite greeting.

"Good day, Officer Bailey." Whitney moved to stand next to Garrett, "So you have been told it is unsafe near the train."

Investigation 5.
Insight on Bailey 21

This message was last edited by the player at 02:02, Sat 30 Mar 2019.

Retro DM
 GM, 16 posts
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 11:18
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Officer Bailey scratched his head under his police cap, and put a hand on his hip as he thought about Garret's question.

"Uuhhh, maybe an hour? I know they have a crew up at the problem area now, but I don't know exactly what they are doing."

He was quicker to answer Whitney, however.

"The train is carrying some industrial waste, so its best that folks don't go nosing around near it, just in case."
July Coates
 player, 9 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 16:10
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Don't be nosy, July could practically hear her mother's admonishments as she blatantly ignored them, craning her neck to get a better view of the train. It went a ways down, and while July was relieved to see a lack of disaster, she was still a bit disappointed by how mundane it all was. It was just a stopped train, with nothing obviously out of the ordinary.

Down here, at least. Rocking back on her heels, July flashed a polite smile to Officer Bailey.

"Thanks for the heads up, Officer!" Grabbing Garrett's elbow, she tugged in the direction the ever so helpful lawman had indicated. With luck, they'd be able to find a way to double back on the other side of the train. "We should get going, yeah?"

This message was last edited by the player at 16:10, Sat 30 Mar 2019.

Garret Blake
 player, 11 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 20:03
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
The moment officer Bailey spoke, Garrett seemed to shrug it off with an irritating nonchallance. Okay, fine. I get it. He was about to turn and ask the question when July suddenly grabbed his elbow and started hauling him off. A laugh escaped him, abrupt and amused, and--he hoped anyway--not too nervous.

Live wire. Jeeeeeeeeesus. When did that start happening? Balls.

Allowing himself to be pulled, he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his jeans and gave Jules a sideways sort of half-smile. "Yes, we should get going. To the place that we are definitely both going to. The place that is interesting, and might require a weird kinda roundabout way to get to, yeah?"

He cleared his throat and looked at the others. "Game?"

For all the smiles, though, this was eating at him. Something was up, and waiting to find out later on the news felt... well, it felt wrong.

And wrong wasn't an option.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:04, Sat 30 Mar 2019.

Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 9 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 20:44
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Malun followed along, and made sure to wait until after she was certain Officer Bailey was no longer listening to them before speaking, "I presume you intend to investigate further?" Her voice was half bemused and half annoyed, a tone Garret and Whitney certainly heard far more than the other two did, "I suppose I should assist, that way we might get somewhere before dinner. Which I would like to be home in time for."

Having to jog slightly to get next to July and Garret, she began to lay out the basis of a simple investigation, "To begin, is this simple garden variety curiosity and a convenient distraction from studying for finals, which Garret you especially should be doing, or do you have a reason to believe this is something other than a mundane problem with the tracks causing an inconvenience?"
Jason Drake
 player, 6 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 22:03
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Jason didnít really get a good look at the train itself, but it was a train, and it definitely wasnít moving. Bailey was as honest as any cop might be with a local group of teenagers, saying just enough to satisfy the question without giving all the details. Hmm, alright.

As they started to walk and talk, Jason interjected. ďStudying is important, sure, but more to the point snooping around means ducking the cops. Not that Iím a big fan of police, but thatís harder than it sounds, at least when they are out in force. I donít know about you guys but Iím not that sneaky.Ē He sighed, looking at each one of his friends. ďSo, If weíre doing this? We need a very good plan. Iím not trying to get arrested on the weekend.Ē
Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 7 posts
Sun 31 Mar 2019
at 19:48
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
"Good Day, Officer Bailey. Thank you for your time." Whitney had to jog to catch up to the group. They had already launched off following July's break neck exit.

Industrial waste would make some sense, Whitney considered to himself. There were what looked like yellow warning signs placed on the train cars. The story added up, but Whitney couldn't shake the feeling the officer had held back. Which he would have no real reason to. Cargo trains pass by all the time, industrial waste needs to be transported, and sometimes dangerous thing turn up on the tracks. None of these things were secret worthy.

They came to a stop and Ms. Malun and Mr. Drake both made excellent points. It would do to get a look as inconspicuously as possible. Two thoughts came to mind.

"We need a place outside of the perimeter where we have a vantage point to look down on the train. Alternately a building or something we can hide behind that's near the train or whatever is blocking it." Whitney didn't know either good place however, he seldom explored the area himself.

"I am hoping Ms. Malun has a more detailed plan. I do not wish to run afoul of the law if we are to do this." Her insight would no doubt be invaluable.

Ms. Malun had made a good point. If this was passing curiosity, then was it worth the risk. Yet why hold back information? He could just let it go. Is there something to hide? It was probably nothing.

And yet.
Garret Blake
 player, 12 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Sun 31 Mar 2019
at 22:32
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
"Something about it bugs me," Garrett said as Malun kept pace beside himself and July. Here the smirk dropped. Now out of earshot from officer Bailey, the other familiar look Garrett's friends knew so well crept over his features: mind set on something he was concerned about. Once that look showed up, it became almost impossible to dissuade him from chasing whatever had wedged its way into his brain. "I trust that Bailey's got the best of intentions and isn't giving us any sort of runaround, but he also wasn't telling us everything and that makes it feel worse."

Calls for a plan got a nod from him as the tall boy picked up his pace a bit. "Hundred percent," he said. "I just want to walk around the other side of the train and see if we can get a glimpse of where that actual 'derailing'--" he made air quotes "--happened."

He was walking at his full stride, now. Eyes focussed ahead. Garrett was a wide-receiver, never a quarterback except when practice had necessitated it. But he was also a solid lead when it came to teamwork, and the first lesson of that was listen to the people who know things.

"So," he said in response to Jules, Malun, Jason, and maybe Whitney. "Lets take that as a base play. We got a short distance to walk so there's a few seconds. Give me add-ons or alternatives. Go."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:09, Sun 31 Mar 2019.

July Coates
 player, 10 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 01:08
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Planning wasn't really July's... thing. She could follow along, could do as she was told, but she'd always been more comfortable in the free fall. There was momentum in a plan, and there was value in that, sure, it just wasn't her forte. She preferred to improvise, to adapt.

"Don't get caught?" July said helpfully, offering an exaggerated shrug. After a moment, she continued, nodding towards the approaching end of the train. "If we do get caught, play dumb and apologise. But maybe we should just like...see what we're working with before we commit to an idea?"
Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 10 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 20:22
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
"Committing to a specific strategy without information is foolish," Malun actually nodded to July, "the first step is simply to reach the other side and observe from a distance, without looking obvious about it."
Garret Blake
 player, 13 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 02:42
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
"Alright, no more dicking around, then," Garrett said, picking up the pace. He flashed July a sideways glance. "Don't get caught it is."

Doing his level best to remain innocuous, the tall boy kept walking, eventually passing around the rear end of the stopped train. All the while he was sort of casually keeping an eye on the cars, wondering about what was in them. It was odd. Something about it--he couldn't place his finger just on what. And the fact that Bailey had known more than he was telling them made that brain-itch worse.

Soon they were across the tracks, and he was leading them a block further down so that they could get a look at the train while walking parallel one street over. "So," he said, now a significant distance from the police. "I figure we see if one of these side-streets gives us a view of what's what... and if not, we keep inching closer until we spot a vantage point that can."

Uuuuuuuuunfortunately he just FUCKED that up with a Nat 1 Perception check.
Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 8 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 02:56
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Scout a route. Simple enough. Best laid plans of mice and men. Whitney pondered if that meant planning was pointless.

Garrett was obviously trying not to be obvious. Which was just made him stand out. Whitney rolled his eyes with enough torque to move the sun.

Time to see if the coast is clear.

Perception 16.
July Coates
 player, 11 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 03:53
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
It was all a little silly, July mused, as their ragtag group doubled back, peeking through side streets in hunt of what was undoubtedly an incredibly mundane answer. That this was one of the most notable things to happen in Gridley in weeks was just sad.

God, I can't wait to get out of this stupid town.

Shaking her head as if to clear the thought, July quickened her pace. Silly or not, sad or not, July wanted to know what was going on.

July Coates rolled 18 using 1d20+1. Perception.
Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 11 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 13:47
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Malun was lost in thought for just a moment, considering how best to approach the situation once they had a better vantage point, but that moment was long enough for first Garret then Whitney and July to leave her further behind than she hoped they intended.

"Hey! Will you all stop speeding up so much?" She broke into a hustle to try and keep up, but between her short stature and her heavy bag she wasn't having much success, "I! Am! Short!"

OOC: Malun has a 25ft move speed instead of the usual 30 due to being a "halfling"~
No perception from Malun, she'll take her turn on the Investigation once we get close enough to use it.

Jason Drake
 player, 7 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 16:46
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Walking along with the rest of the group, Jason kept an eye out to make sure they weren't going to run afoul of the police, and maybe for a good vantage point they could get a better view from. He slowed down for Malun instinctively, being aware of her shorter stature, and would have said something but Malun beat him to it. He was a lot less tense than the rest, despite being alert, probably due to his previous training. No need to get hyped up unless you see something.

Rolled a 26 on Perception, keeping an eye out
Retro DM
 GM, 17 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 17:00
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
As the group made their way around the back end of the train, no one seemed to pay them much notice. They kept a good distance, and while they could still see police at every intersection, they were all quite busy keeping other onlookers away.

The train itself was long. Very long. The five walked along for at least two miles, going out of the commercial district and into tall residence buildings, and then the packed residences broke up into sparse houses. There was less to hide behind, but it was easier to see the whole of the train.

Finally, after an hour of walking, they could see the front end. It was currently surrounded by cop cars with their lights on, with caution tape set up between wooden barriers. The perimeter was probably 100 feet wide, with over 20 officers patrolling. They could also see a news van on the opposite side of the train, stopped farther away from the cordoned area.

Getting close seemed impossible. But they could go higher. At the next crossroads there was a hill rolling upward to the south east, high enough that they might be able to see whatever was being guarded by the cops, and it had a spot where they could hide behind some overgrown brush.

Your collective Perception checks allow you to see the van, and an area of cover on top of the hill where there is some thick brush. There's almost no cover between yourselves and the police cordon.
Mariko 'Malun' Lunesby
 player, 12 posts
 Obligatory child genius
 Don't touch my PortCon!
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 18:34
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
After the first mile of train, Malun began to grumble about how long this was taking and if there was really anything worth bothering with. As everyone just kept going, she occasionally spoke up to remind people that she WOULD like to be home before dinner and at this rate that was looking unlikely.

Once they reached the area where they could see the front, Malun stopped her complaining(for now) and observed the area, "...getting close will be difficult. Fortunately for you all, the amazing Malun is here~"

With a self satisfied, one might even say smug, laugh, she plunked her bag down and opened it up, "Let's see...what do I have to work with in here? Aha, perfect!"

Working quickly, she pulled out a cardboard tube and a black marker, using the latter to completely darken the former. Then she took off her glasses, popped one lens out and used a tiny x-acto knife(where was she keeping that?) to make an incision in the tube to slot the lens into.

Finally she pulled out a magnifying glass and some duct tape, holding the tube and the magnifying glass out to Jason, "hold this flush against the end while I tape it, then we'll have a way to see what's going on without needing to get close!"

OOC: Malun rolls a 20 on her Tinker's Tools check to make a simple telescope out of materials in her bag.
Garret Blake
 player, 14 posts
 Do good deeds
 Stay out of trouble
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:15
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
Cresting the top of the hill, Garret paused for a moment to breathe. He then turned crouching down on one knee and peering towards the train, peering down at the kerfluffle below. "Sorry guys," he murmured as he squinted. "Looks like we're getting home late."

Then he waited, staring straight ahead at whatever he could perceive below. "My bad."

Fingers flexed against the dirt while he crouched, letting his backpack thump onto the ground. It was probably nothing, the nagging in the back of his head be damned. Nothing ever happened here, ever. Nothing ever was going to happen.

But maybe between now and when everyone scattered to the ends of the earth, leaving him here at the end of next year, something important would have a use for whatever he had to offer the world, little as that might be.

"C'mon," he murmured under his breath, a small flame of guilt in the back of his head. "Be something."

11 on stealth to reach the top without drawing too much attention.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:40, Wed 03 Apr 2019.

Whitney Zabka-Cabot
 player, 9 posts
 I will not bow
 I will not break
Wed 3 Apr 2019
at 00:47
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
At least an hour had passed. Woolsworth might be beginning to look for him by now. The gentleman was liking driving around town in the car, looking for one of the few haunts Whitney frequented. The young man made a mental note to make it up to his butler somehow. The older man had a presence Whitney always respected.

But right now, something was quite off. There were a lot of police for something that was blocking the train. The air was electric, something tingling in the atmosphere. These were familiar nerves he felt before any competition, before he was put to the test. Whitney couldn't help but smile to himself.

Garrett went up the hill first. Ms. Lunesby was fiddling with something, probably making an impromptu telescope out of hopes and dreams. While that would probably work, Whitney had faith in his eyes. Besides, Garrett would no doubt mess up on his own.

Stealth 12 to reach the overgrown bush with Garrett.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:47, Wed 03 Apr 2019.

Jason Drake
 player, 8 posts
 Welding, forging, wood
 Working with my hands
Wed 3 Apr 2019
at 01:29
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
The walk wasnít too much, or at least not for Jason. The approaching sunset meant the air was cooling off, even though it was a slow cooling, it was nice. The scene ahead of them, however, was not. He took in the numbers of police, positions, spaces for cover. That TV van being blocked was typical for the cops, but this wasnít a typical situation. He was happy to hel Malun with her telescope, and was impressed by her enginuity. ďThatís actually really good. We can get a way better view with this, especially up the hill.Ē

Jason followed the rest up the hill, as quickly and quietly as he could. When they reached he bushes, he stopped to voice his assessment.

ďThat is a lot of cops. Thereís no way this is just a break in the track, you donít hide something like that or have so many people guard it.Ē

Rolled a 13 stealth, hope thatís good enough

This message was last edited by the player at 02:26, Wed 03 Apr 2019.

July Coates
 player, 12 posts
 i'll sing along
 yeah with every emergency
Wed 3 Apr 2019
at 04:54
Chapter 1: An Ominous Advent
That's...a lot of cops.

All thoughts of the stalled train being merely novel were thrown out at the sight of what looked like the entirety of the Gridley Police Department swarming the area. July drew to a halt, her oft-ignored self preservation instincts making themselves known. This was...She didn't know what this was yet. She needed to know what was going on, more than she needed to breathe, but July forced herself to slow down and think. The consequences for getting caught would probably be a bit more serious than just being shoo'd away. They might tell her dad.

July opened her mouth to suggest reconsidering their plan (or lack thereof), only to find Garret and Whitney were already well on their way up the hill, and Jason setting off. Too slow.

"Come on, lets put that telescope to good use. We can't let them have all the fun," July shot Malun a grin over her shoulder as she followed, sounding a hell of a lot more confident than she felt about the situation. It'll be fine.

July took her time heading towards the now very crowded bushes, determined to both avoid detection and allow Malun to keep pace. Finally rejoining the others, July squinted down at the train below.

"This is weird, right?"

July Coates rolled 20 using 1d20+4. We gotta be sneeeaaaky Charlie....sneaky.