Day Zero: Karl.   Posted by The Blight.Group: 0
The Blight
 GM, 17 posts
 I am nothingness.
Tue 8 Oct 2019
at 00:31
Day Zero: Karl
Keep in mind this will be a joint effort between both of us to develop your back story so if there is something you want to change, feel free to mold it to what you want. The point of the Zero day story is to work on your back story and also go through some of the settings.

Karl had been traveling always looking for a place to stay since money was running low. He had been hired by someone outside of Amsterdam who had a job for him to do. Apparently an older fellow who was interested in having you stay on his land.

When Karl arrived at the older home, he quickly realized that the home is very secluded from the rest of the community but still not far away from big community. While walking up the house, Karl quickly surveys the home before knocking on the door.

He is quickly let in by a strong deep voice from the man inside sitting down at a table drinking some tea.

Who is this man? What job did he hire you for?
Karl
 player, 10 posts
Tue 8 Oct 2019
at 18:52
Day Zero: Karl
Karl hadn't been in Amsterdam for long, but he had already been working for Jens long enough to know that it was not a good idea to take on outside work. He'd also been working for him for long enough to know that when he made a friendly suggestion about taking on a job for one of his friends it was a good idea to listen to that suggestion and take the job. Which was how he'd found himself here.

If it hadn't been for Jens this was the sort of situation Karl would know enough to avoid. Isolated place, unknown employer, a strong smell of something illicit. His instincts were telling him to turn and run. Karl liked Amsterdam well enough, though. There were enough tourists that people didn't ask questions, he had a small but serviceable apartment to himself, and working for Jens wasn't bad as unskilled labour went. It was also close enough to aunt Katya's hospital for him to visit if he wanted. Even ignoring all the logical arguments Karl also had a stubborn desire to stay in the same place for long enough to actually get bored of it.

There was, of course, the stipulation that he moved to live out here. That worried Karl. He valued his privacy. And even Jens couldn't make him ignore his survival instincts enough to embrace that condition. There was always the chance that it was optional.

Grunting under his breath at that unlikely hope Karl brought his bike to a stop and looked up at the house. He ran his hand over his chin, the gesture an unconscious one; he took comfort from the feel of the stubble against his palm. He needed the money and he needed to stay in Jens' good books. So he ignored the worry gnawing at the pit of his stomach and knocked on the door. Jens had said it was a simple delivery job - a favour for an old friend - so how bad could it be?

After being invited inside Karl propped his bike against the outside wall and stepped inside. He didn't like leaving his bike like that, it was his livelihood, but he suspected that this was not a man who would appreciate having a dirty bike cluttering up his front hall.

"I am Karl. Jens said you have job?" Karl said, speaking English because Jens hadn't told him otherwise and in a touristy place like Amsterdam it was a common enough language, and letting his accent thicken because it was often safer to let people mistake him for stupid.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:57, Tue 08 Oct 2019.

The Blight
 GM, 19 posts
 I am nothingness.
Wed 9 Oct 2019
at 01:11
Day Zero: Karl
The old man looks up at Karl with a smile. His older wrinkled face shows a certain kindness that you instantly realize rather than someone who is more traditional.

"Ah! Yes, Karl. Welcome, welcome. Please come in and take a seat. I have a small courier job that I will need your help with."

The old man pushes out a chair for Karl to sit that is far away enough to avoid any personal space issues. He stares at you a bit before you see him stand up and move around the chair with a renewed vigor that seems to energize the man.

He walks away for a second while you watch him rummage through old artwork. He pulls a few pictures of artwork which appear to be more modern artwork. The man gently hands you the artwork and lets you take a look at it.
Karl
 player, 11 posts
Wed 9 Oct 2019
at 07:06
Day Zero: Karl
When he was offered a seat Karl sat down, his stoic expression not changing. He'd seen the kindness on the man's face, he'd seen similar kindness on other faces. Some had been genuine and some had not, but none of them were in his life anymore.

He wordlessly watched the man busy himself, and he took the offered pictures and looked at them.
The Blight
 GM, 21 posts
 I am nothingness.
Thu 10 Oct 2019
at 00:42
Day Zero: Karl
The old man gives Karl a helpful smile.

The artwork in front of depicts in no slight words really "fucked up shit". The artwork has people in pain and sometimes what appears to be some sort of Nine Circles of Hell vibe.

You can't help but make a face looking at the weirdness in your hands. The man quickly picks up on the lack of interest in the work but still stays fairly joyful.

"I am sorry young man. These are what I would call fluff pieces. You see people enjoy pain, they won't admit it but at the end of the day it's the truth. Pain, loss, death and everything in-between is what forces us as human being to evolve past what we are capable of. Of course I am just rambling now."

The old man sits back down and then points behind him.

"I've got ten pieces in total that need to make their way to this art collector."

He taps an address that is written on a ripped sheet of paper.

"He purchased them all and delivery needs to happen soon. These type of people do not fair well with waiting. I would take it myself but it's two hours drive and I don't have the time as I have more commissions. Would you mind delivering these?"
Karl
 player, 12 posts
Thu 10 Oct 2019
at 21:12
Day Zero: Karl
Karl's childhood had been anything but consistent, but one thing that was fairly constant was Katya's disdain for censorship. While he hadn't quite had Hieronymus Bosch board books he had seen plenty of images as a young child that would be consisted disturbing by most toddlers. So it took a lot for a picture to rattle him. That these pieces of art managed to evoke a visceral reaction in him caught him off guard.

That the pictures managed to break through his mask and made him visibly react was unheard of. Karl could not remember the last time anything - let alone a picture - had managed that. His apparent indifference to the world was both his security blanket and a well honed survival tool. This breach in his defences left him feeling shaken.

He stared at the pictures, trying to tease out what it was, exactly, about the images that had affected him and only half listened to his host as he spoke. Which, he realised, was possibly a mistake.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. First he let some picture freak him out. Now he was ignoring the man Jens had sent him to see. He was smarter than that.

"Two hour drive?" Karl asked, making an effort to look away from the pictures he'd been handed and to look at the man he was speaking to "it will take longer on my bike. In the city? It is faster than driving. But for long distances" Karl shrugged; over a two hour drive a car would beat cycling every time unless it was a very peculiar route "I can still do it. I don't mind. But it will not be two hours" he said, feeling uncomfortable saying no to this man, but also feeling fairly sure that no was better than making a promise he couldn't deliver on.
The Blight
 GM, 24 posts
 I am nothingness.
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 12:53
Day Zero: Karl
The old man keeps looking at Karl with a smile. He walks over to his computer and points to a map that is up on the screen.

"I clicked the bike button on this map thing, it told me two hours because of that. Is that correct? I hate technology, I'd much rather paint. Still I am willing to chip pay heavily to make sure these paintings are not damaged. Weathers good so you shouldn't have any problems there."

Upon looking at the screen you can see that the old man is right partially. Maps routes on bike are never as accurate as they look, flat country makes for an easier trail than uphill but it still seemed fairly easy. The hardest part would be an area that was close to one of the many rivers that run through it but had no way to cross other than going around.
Karl
 player, 13 posts
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 21:22
Day Zero: Karl
"If two hours for bike not car, then two hours" Karl said, glancing up and across the room at the computer screen the man had walked over to, then looking back down at the pictures that had so affected him "you paint this?" he asked.
The Blight
 GM, 29 posts
 I am nothingness.
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 21:45
Day Zero: Karl
"Why yes, yes I did. I enjoy art in all it's forms but my muse has always been misery and death. It concerns some but it has never jolted me, there is always something for everyone in this world." The old man smiled as if he had said all of this before.
Karl
 player, 15 posts
Fri 11 Oct 2019
at 22:05
Day Zero: Karl
Karl didn't return the man's smile, but he did arch one of his eyebrows in recognition of what he'd said. "You paint from" he paused to search for the word in English, and touched his temple "from imagine?" he asked.
The Blight
 GM, 30 posts
 I am nothingness.
Sat 12 Oct 2019
at 14:07
Day Zero: Karl
"Ummm let us say I paint from my soul. These darker things come from a time in my life when I was not...in a good place. I have seen many things in my life and all of them have been things which have scared me in some way. Painting allows my soul to drift and calm it."

The man seems a bit more relaxed and then waits for more questions from you.
Karl
 player, 16 posts
Mon 14 Oct 2019
at 21:43
Day Zero: Karl
There were a few moments of silence from Karl as he translated and then considered what the man had told him. After thinking about it he nodded his head. "You give address for delivery?" he asked "is there name for deliver to?" he knew that this might be the kind of job that didn't come with a name, but he also knew that he didn't want to deliver to the wrong person.
The Blight
 GM, 34 posts
 I am nothingness.
Tue 15 Oct 2019
at 13:10
Day Zero: Karl
The old man hands Karl the information that he needs on what appears to be a packing slip of sorts. The name and address clear in Google so Karl doesn't feel slighted regardless of the old man's request and weird habits. He also has what appears to be a mount for Karl's bike if so he chooses so he can carry the painting. There is some minor wrapping which go around and also strap to the bike. With any luck Karl could be back before sun down if everything went to plan.

OOC: Any questions you want to ask feel free otherwise, we will continue on with the story.
Karl
 player, 17 posts
Tue 15 Oct 2019
at 21:24
Day Zero: Karl
Karl took the information from the man, checked that the address was complete enough to be Google-able, and nodded. He took the paintings and carefully secured them to the back of his bike, double checking they weren't going to come loose before putting the address into his phone and climbing onto his bike so he could set off.
The Blight
 GM, 37 posts
 I am nothingness.
Wed 16 Oct 2019
at 11:28
Day Zero: Karl
As Karl sets off on his journey most of the ride is pretty nice. The sun is out and the day is giving Karl some much needed sun which always makes you feel better.

After about an hour of traveling, Karl checks his phone for directions and making sure he is making good time. Google updates his route and gives him the okay that his time is still doable but about 10 minutes later than when he had previously started.

He looks around about to ride off when Karl sees another man riding toward him on a three wheel bike tugging what appears to be junk behind him. His old leather skin shows signs of heavy wear as Karl gets a closer look at him.

You think hmmm odd. Cars are more of the choice out here, you are one of the few bike couriers that you know and you wouldn't even call yourself that. However, this fellow appears homeless and you write him off.

As he get closer he calls out in a dry voice, "Only death that way friend. You need to turn back."

You being more confused can only mudder, "What?"

"The road is tricky, lots of low lying water areas better for vehicles, not bike. You need to turn around and go get a car."
Karl
 player, 19 posts
Sun 20 Oct 2019
at 00:03
Day Zero: Karl
Speeding past pedestrians consulting maps or stumbling about high and cars trying to navigate Amsterdam's narrow streets was what Karl enjoyed most about his job. There was a rush involved in being the fastest thing moving, and in threading his way through narrow gaps, barely avoiding collisions. Even the smell of the canal, and its damp threat should he time a corner wrong, was familiar and almost comforting now. Long distance travel along roads more suited to motor vehicles was not Karl's comfort zone. It was a nice day, though. The sun was warm but not too hot for physical exertion. He was getting paid to go for a cycle. Life could certainly be worse.

When he stopped to check which turning to take next and saw that he was running behind Google's estimate Karl frowned, frustrated with himself. He took the times Google provided as a challenge, and falling behind with no obstacles annoyed him. He'd have to stop enjoying the day and start making a proper effort if he wanted to make good time on the trip.

He was getting back on his bike, having given his legs a bit of a stretch, when a fellow cycler passed him. Although aunt Katya had always done her best to keep a roof over their head Karl was no stranger to the homeless, and he didn't apply any stigma to someone who didn't have a permanent home. So he gave the approaching man a friendly nod.

The foreboding warning brought a frown to Karl's forehead, but he still climbed back onto his bike. "No car" he said "is there better way to get through?" he asked.