Author Topic: 03A- Hemel  (Read 14372 times)

Dom

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03A- Hemel
« on: March 16, 2011, 01:14:56 PM »
19:21

Gastown, Noctis City

The sun has set and the neon lights turn on in Noctis City's entertainment district. As the area is closed to vehicles, Ace leaves his electric bicycle in the nearby parking lot, walking the rest of the way. Meier said he was in a bar called Hemel, around one of the more up-scale areas of Gastown. The district has a pseudo-Victorian feel: gas lampposts line the streets, brass gear mechanisms open and close doors to the stores, ridiculously antiquated machines with no evident purpose spew steam and smoke. Many of the people walking around dress in neo-Victorian costumes- many of the women are wearing gowns and bonnets while men wear frock coats and top hats. A synthmorph passes next to Ace, complex mechanisms and gears exposed to the air and a coal stove strapped to its back.

After a bit of walking, Ace finds Hemel. The bar is unassuming in appearance; one would almost pass it by if one did not have a waypoint marker right on it. The entrance is a single doorstep with gold rails. A large man, wearing a tuxedo and a monocle, stands at the doorway. While Ace stays back surveying the area, he sees a couple step to the entrance. The large man takes a scanner out of his pockets and checks both of them for weapons. Finding none, the man wishes them a pleasant evening as the couple enters the establishment.

[OOC] You can give me either a Concealment check to hide your weapons or just turn them in to the doorman before entering. You could also try to persuade the doorman, though that will be difficult. (-30 penalty.)

Moondog

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2011, 01:23:59 AM »
Many people would complain about being forced to walk instead of taking the faster, more 'efficient' cycle, but not Ace. He's always thought that you could never truly get a measure of a place until you pounded the pavement, saw the sights you could only see at a slower pace.

He takes in the sights as he strolls, his walk confident and with purpose without being overly rushed - one of the first things he learned on the force. If you walk like you belong somewhere, like you're on your way, you were much less likely to be singled out by the less. . . pleasant elements of transhumanity. He'd never quite. . .understood the fascination some people had with the Victorian era, much less the gaudy gears and billowing clouds of steam that seemed to accompany it, but a closed mind learns nothing.

After observing the security check, the detective shrugs and undoes the straps to his shoulder holster, removes the vibroknife from the boot-sheath, and even remembers to remove the densiplast gloves from his inner jacket pocket. These, he passes to the doorman with a 'Eh, what can you do?' smile.

Ace had always liked bars, even before he was of legal age to purchase and consume the many and varied beverages served in said places. Memories of his father, plates of steamy, salty fries and a coke after work helped, but more than echoes of his childhood, bars were unique places. History was made in bars and their cousins the cafès, where people got together and threw around ideas like 'freedom' and revolution.

Heck, in a more. . .philosophical mood, Ace could even appreciate the door to a bar. Many classier establishments back on Earth had heavy, solid wooden doors that seemed to be there to serve as a wall between the interior world of the bar. . .and the outside, as it were.

'Course, just standing and staring at the place isn't going to get him any leads, so assuming the doorman'll let his type in, in he goes.

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Dom

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 01:58:56 PM »
The doorman looks unfazed as he touches the wall behind him where a previously unseen panel pops open. He grabs the weapons and places them there. “You’ll get them back on the way out” he says as he closes the panel.

Ace moves towards the door and notes that they don't open automatically, it takes some effort to push them open.

Inside, the bar is pretty large. A stage takes up most of the area, where an attractive woman plays down-tempo jazz on a grand piano. Round wooden tables are set around, where people sit around and drink various wines and spirits and talk in somewhat hushed tones. The bar counter is set opposite of the stage, two bartenders sleeved in an Exalt morphs serve drinks on the polished wooden surface of the counter. Ace notes that the pleasing atmosphere brings a smile to Joe, who remains silent.

When Ace enters, a cocktail waitress approaches him. “Hello Mr. Harding, Mr. Meier has been expecting you. He is in the VIP lounge, please follow me.”

The waitress leads Ace up a set of stairs to a second-story balcony. Modular aerogel sofas are arranged in a semi-circle overlooking the stage. There is also another bar counter, with its own bartender. Sitting at the counter is the man Ace recognizes as Diederick Meier. He wears a dark blue business suit speckled with silver, one of the newest fashion designs from House Skade. In front of him is a glass of whiskey, about one-third full.

When Ace enters, Meier looks up and grins. “Ah, Mr. Harding, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please have a sit and have a drink, it’ll be on my tab.”

Moondog

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 04:15:36 PM »
Joe isn't the only one pleased by the joint's vibe, Ace has a wry half-grin that doesn't fade when the waitress greets him. He nods, following along quietly, to soak up the atmosphere.

"Who woulda thought. A bar that matches the AR back at my place. Think I found my new favorite place. "

Despite the relaxing ambiance, old habits die hard as Ace takes careful note of possible escape routes and vantage points for snipers. As often as he mentally kicks himself for doing it, making use of the mild paranoia he'd developed over the years on the beat has saved his life numerous times, even if it probably sent his hair to grey a little earlier than it should have.

Catching sight of his contact, Ace nods, taking a seat beside Meier. "Likewise, great to make your acquaintance." He flags the bartender and asks for an Old-Fashioned. Something classic to match the décor, without being overly pretentious.

"Great place, this. 'Preciate you meeting up with me like this." For now, he'll just do the pleasantries. No sense in rushing through things, 'specially in a nice place like this. Hopefully, the drink will help get rid of the slowly building sense of unease Ace's feeling.
 

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 02:29:48 PM »
"So Matthew- may I call you Matthew?- I did a bit of research on you. A Loonie turned Ruster, huh? It seems like you did some police work in earth back before the Fall, then you stayed in Luna working as a detective, am I correct? I was wondering, what brought you to the big red one? If you don't mind me asking, of course." Meier smiles, but at the same time his eyes stay fixed on Ace, measuring him up.

[spoiler]Kinesics 65 Rolling 1d100:
(58): Total = 58
[/spoiler]

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 04:04:23 PM »
Ace grins and shakes his head. "Please, call me Matt. Only person who's called me Matthew in years was my ex, and only when she was pissed. And yeah, from the Earth, to the Moon, to Mars. Funny how life does that, huh? Back in the day, people'd live and die in the same patch of land."

Absently, he fishes around in a pocket for a pack of cigarettes that aren't there. Old habits die hard.

"You did your homework. Figured, y'know, after the big F, there'd be a lot of people misplaced and just as many to try and take advantage of it in all the wrong ways. Lots of call for a badge, right? And hell, it's what I did before, so, why not? A cop's a cop, no matter the planet."

Ace shrugs, leaning back and into the bar stool. Were he younger, he'd have tipped the front chairs off the ground, balancing on the back two just for kicks.

"Well," Ace begins, setting the stool back on all four legs and setting his arms on the bar counter. "I lost somethin' important in the Fall." He studies his hands for a moment, eyes resting on where a silver ring used to be. "Fast forward a bit, and I think I caught wind of a  hint of a trail. Nothin' major, but..." He grins.

"What good's a man if he doesn't chase after what matters, right?" He pauses there, angling himself forward towards his inquisitive contact.

"Speakin' of what matters, you said you had some information about Riviera. Whatta ya got?"

EDIT: A study of Ace's posture and body language reveals that the man is in a state of relaxed wariness common to professional bodyguards, security guards, and beat cops. While not actively looking for any threats, he is nevertheless paying close attention to his surroundings and seems ready to move at any second.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:03:34 PM by Moondog »
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Dom

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 03:19:27 PM »
Meier looks at Ace intently while he answers, then seems satisfied. He takes a drink from his whiskey before answering.

"Riveira came in here three days ago, asking questions that only someone with certain... contacts... would know their answers. A Barsoomian friend referred him. See, Barsoomians see themselves all righteous and holy, but in the eyes of the law they're nothing better than us. They need smugglers to bring in their supplies past Consortium checkpoints. Others do jobs that might almost be considered acts of terrorism. In the end, Barsoomians need a criminal underworld in which to rely upon. Some are more than happy to oblige. "

Meier absentmindedly scratches his temple as he speaks.

"Riveira came in here came about a new petal on the market, called Key. It came out three weeks ago, and it has become popular since then. It's seriously expensive, a single petal will cost you over six hundred credits, a flower costs ten times that amount. And the thing that bothers me is that it has stayed at that price. See, no nanofabber in this whole city could replicate the petal, not even analyze its content. You'd need some serious government hardware to be able to do that. Riveira was the only one that had that info."

Meier takes a pack of cigarettes from his jacket, takes one and pushes the end against the ignition patch. He offers the pack to Ace. "You want a smoke, Matt?"

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 05:46:36 PM »
Ace listens intently, nodding here and there as Meier fills in some of the blanks in the detective's theories. Now he knows what's in the case. With that done, there's just the matter of opening it for confirmation, then passing it along to the proper people. No sense in letting more poison get out onto the streets.

The offer of a 'cig is tempting. . .but, though the habits remained, he'd left those behind. Ace shakes his head. "No thanks. Quit years ago, haven't quite decided on my newest bad habit yet."

He takes a sip of the booze, temptation passed. He's always liked the stuff. The sheer variety of brands, flavors, heck, even colors between two brands could keep him occupied for years, just experimenting and trying things out. In a less post-apocalyptic time, he'd considered retiring and trying his hand at being a brewmaster or a vintner. With modern technology, getting the grapes to act just right would be a snap.

"Wait, are you sayin' that Riviera had the tech to do what nobody else has been able to, yet?"
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:03:14 PM by Moondog »
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Dom

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 02:54:32 PM »
Meier pockets the pack of cigarettes and takes a drag from the lit one. After exhaling the smoke, he nods in answer to Ace's question. "Yes, technology that only government officials would be able to access. Being employed by the TTO has it's own rewards after all. Supposedly, Riveira used some sort of high-tech analyzing machine that was for TTO use only."

Using his Eidetic Memory implant, Ace remembers the large machine that was in Riveira's and Yamaguchi's office. Yamaguchi had asked Ace not to touch or inquire about the machine.

"The thing is, Riveira has some sort of defective memory and we weren't able to... extract the information out of him. We tried several methods but the guy wouldn't spill. After the questioning, we dumped him back on the street, he probably went back to his Barsoomian friends, so If you're looking for him you should try talking to them."

Finishing the cigarette with surprising quickness, he places the stub on a glass ashtray. He studies the last embers of the cigarette, concentration marked on his face "Have you wondered why I'm telling you all of this, Matt? I work with a criminal syndicate after all, yet I'm giving you all of this information. Wondering why I would do so?" He turns to face Ace, a sly smile on his face.

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 01:02:03 AM »
Ace knocks back his drink, closing his eyes as the warmth spread from the stomach to the extremities. As Meier keeps fillin' in the blanks, Ace repeats the words to himself, mentally. 'Active listening' they'd called it at the academy. Totally useless what with the eidetic memory implant, but he was nothing if not a man of habit, whether or not they're obsolete.

"Not surprised. Government issue science morphs routinely get wipes and edits as the beurocracy demands. I think it's all crap, but hey." He shrugs helplessly. "What do I know? I'm just a guy with a badge."

Down on the floor, the piano lady catches the detective's eye. Nimble fingers on ivory keys, teasing a tune out of a belly full of wires and levers. Nowadays, where musicians can, with the right devices, manipulate sound so fully it may as well be a puppet on a string, a piano, an actual, wood and wire piano, is hopelessly antiquated. But in truth, that's a part of their charm. Even when young, Ace had always marveled at the process of a note being hit. A press of a key, a raise of a lever, a strike of a hammer, all that, just to make a piece of sound. It almost made him want to join in with his 'french harp,' as he'd always jokingly called his lovingly played, slightly battered, hand-me-down harmonica.

"Nah." Another shrug as Ace turns and focuses back on his criminally inclined contact. "I mean, if it isn't my stunning good looks. . ." he grins, hoping to lighten the mood a bit. "It's 'cuz, at the end of the day, there's somethin' you all can get out of this whole deal, and figure if I know just enough to do what you need, it'll get done. Am I warm?"

« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:03:00 PM by Moondog »
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Dom

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 03:07:13 PM »
Meier laughs, "Of course, you've dealt with businessmen such as myself before in your policing days, right? You know how this works."

"Like I said, there is a lot of interest in that formula, and I happen to know about a criminal group that popped up in Noctis-Qianjiao as soon as the drug hit the market. They are known as the Heptad, a group of Kurdish authentics. They don't peddle the petals personally, instead they have found group of enthusiastic individuals that handle the selling. The hanger-ons don't know anything about the formula, but the Heptad most likely do."

Meier downs and finishes the glass of whiskey, then motions the bartender to fill the glass again. The bartender silently pours whiskey and then retires. "You'll think, why should you help me? After all, I'm a criminal, and you, Matt, you're the cop. Well... let's just say I like to do my homework." Meier looks at Ace directly in the eyes, a serious look on his face. " I know why you came to Mars, to this city. I know what you're looking for.... or should I say... who you're looking for."

[spoiler] Kinesics 65 Rolling 1d100:
(53): Total = 53
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:12:47 PM by Dom »

Moondog

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 12:55:54 PM »
Ace nods, amiably. That's one thing he's always. . . counted on. He couldn't quite say he 'liked' it about upper-crust-ish criminals. Sure, they'd shoot you and your family to make a point. But it wouldn't be because they hated your guts. It's just business. Nothin' personal.

He listens, busily thinking about ways to skirt around doing anything too morally bankrupt for him to sleep easy at night while Meier talks. Perhaps just go through by the strict letter-of-the-deal. 'Course, all that goes straight out the window once the contact gets serious.

Lock it down. He's tryin' to get a rise out of you. See what he knows, but keep it calm.

There's no dramatic standing and grabbing of collars, no angry raising of voices. Ace just leans forward a bit, a look of measured interest on his face.

"Alright, you do do your homework. I'm listening."

A while back, he happily jumped through hoop after hoop, chased wild geese, you name it, all for just a chance of a lead. His enthusiasm has been dulled by a layer of weary cynicism, but as he had said earlier, a man wasn't worth anything if he didn't chase after what mattered.

No matter how many dead-end leads he found himself following, he'd never stop looking. Not while there was a chance, however slim.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:02:33 PM by Moondog »
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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 01:10:51 PM »
Meier stares at Ace intently, unblinking. His expression remains that of calm, yet deadly serious. "Get me the cortical stack of one of the Heptad. It will give the Night Cartel all they need to hunt them down and shut down their operation. It will also give us the formula to Key. Do this, Matt, and I will tell you where she is."

Strangely enough, the music has faded away. Ace barely registers that the performance has ended and the piano is being wheeled away from the stage by two servitor bots. From the balcony, the low voices coming from downstairs are muted to the point of being almost imperceptible. Even the bartender has silently stepped away from the bar, leaving Ace and Meier alone in the VIP balcony.

Meier waits for Ace's response, not even paying attention to the glass of whiskey in front of him. It almost seems as if he were holding his breath, to not take away from the silent atmosphere.

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Re: 03A- Hemel
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2011, 11:53:10 AM »
It doesn't take a kinesics roll to notice Matt's knuckles going white as he grips the bar counter for dear life, as if he's afraid he'll suddenly fall upwards. Or knock Meier's block off, one of the two. He'd shot men before on cases - self defense is a grim necessity, after all. But to hack out a man's stack - even a criminal- and hand it over to a group of other crooks? That isn't justice. That's not even right. How dare he ask something like that?

Lock it down.

The first sound to break the silence of the VIP lounge is Ace sighing his shoulders dropping as the breath (and a good measure of anger) left him. It was to find what he'd been looking for, and it wasn't like he was RD'ing an innocent citizen, just letting a crook feed on another crook. They'd do it eventually without his help anyway, right?

That's right. Rationalize.

He grimaces, the whole business leaving a foul taste in his mouth. He was considering it. "I don't like this - and, not to call you a liar, but for all I know, you could be bullshitting me. My past is public record, as it was, so anyone who did a bit of digging would know." Ace stands, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

"Pony up some proof, you've got a deal. But. . .and I don't usually say this kind of thing." The detective's voice is calm. Almost frighteningly so. "Don't screw me over on this. Even running through a Pandora Gate won't be far enough to get away from me."

"Make It Personal, sir? I always did find it odd that a fine detective such as yourself would agree with Quell.

"By and large, I don't. But there are times when the only way to get things done is to do just that. Make it personal. It's not 'just business' when families are at stake. You know that."

"Just so. "



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