01 23 09

<GM> (Alright. Last we left off, there was a knock on the door.)
<The_Physician> I look through the peephole.
<GM> Through the fish-eye lens, you see a man. Looks to be alone. He's about 6'2", short blond hair. Kinda looks like James Marsters mixed with Sting.
<GM> Only without the perpetual smirk.
<The_Physician> Shit.
<The_Physician> Sorry, that was ooc.
<GM> The man is smiling, standing just a bit back from the door.
<The_Physician> OK, in my sweet little old lady voice…"Who is it?"
<Person_Knocking_On_Door> Good evening. I'm Jack Hofner.
<The_Physician> What can an old woman do for yo so late, Mr. Hofner?
=-= The_Physician is now known as Dude_looks_like_a_lady

  • Jack smiles

<Jack> I'm an agent of the Royal Houseguard, seeking information on a foreign espionage agent. He is cunning, ruthless, possessed of an array of tricks, each deadlier than the last.

  • Jack pauses

<Jack> And is also reputed to be a master of disguise.

  • Jack may have been slightly sarcastic?

<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> I crack the door, and look at him with my sweet little old lady face.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Well Mr. Hofner, I do hope you find this scoundrel.
<Jack> Ah, indeed madam, so do I. But you see, the very trick of it, he was last seen in this hotel.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Is there something I can do to help? I have not seen anything suspicious tonight.
<Jack> On this floor.

  • Jack pasues

<Jack> In that room.
<Jack> You see my problem?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> *blinks, trying to act surprised*
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Well, there is no one like that in here, I assure you sir!
<Jack> Of course not. Who could suspect such a wonderful lady such as yourself?
<Jack> I merely wish to ask you a few questions.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Of course, deary. Ask away.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> *yawns, trying to act like he interrupted her sleep*
<Jack> Wonderful. When, exactly, did you check in?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Just a few hours ago dearie. I got into town late.
<Jack> Wonderful. And did you arrive alone?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> I did. This is a stop along the way. I am visiting some relatives in *inserts name of small British town a few hours away from here*
<Jack> And have you left your room at all?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Only to get some ice dearie, but I locked the door when I left.
<Jack> And what name did you register under?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Nelly Reman.
<Jack> Interesting.
<Jack> Very curious.
<Jack> Madam… did you know that you're not registered at this hotel?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Well, that is curious dear. I'l have to check with the front desk in the morning on that.
<Jack> Ah, my dear lady, never fear! As a member of the Royal Houseguard, we can investigate these matters immediately!

  • Jack is so very, very cheerful.

<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> If you don't mind dear, I am REALLY tired, and I would like to go back to bed.
<Jack> I'll get the hotel manager out of bed post haste, and have this grave injustice against you redressed.
<Jack> No, no, I insist. As a servant of Her Majesty's fair country, I cannot harbor such rampant in hospitality against such an esteemed personage as yourself. Twould, indeed, shame my noble honor.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> You can do that deary, but I am going to go to bed. I hope you find who you're looking for.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> *begins to close the door*

  • Jack slips his foot into the doorway.

<Jack> Now now, I understand your upset. Truly, we have been less than polite.

  • Jack smiles. Not quite as nice.

<Jack> Neither one of us has been truly honest, have we?
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> Deary, I have been honest with you. I don't know anything about who you are looking for. Please just let an old woman go back to bed.

  • Jack half-bows.

<Jack> As you like.

  • Jack pulls a cel-phone out of his jacket

<Jack> Mister? This is Jack. I need the hotel manager. There is a horrid, horrid discrepancy in the records that needs to be redressed immediately for the comfort of one of our patrons.
<Jack> (our should be your)

  • Jack pulls the phone from his ear as it spits sparks.
  • Jack smiles charmingly at…. Nelly.

<Jack> Never fear!

  • Jack pulls out another celphone.

<Jack> Mister? Sorry about that. You know how those Nokia can be.

  • Jack frowns as the second phone spits sparks

<Jack> Et tu, Samsung?

  • Jack wavers, eyes flickering.

<Jack> No… wait… what about… customer…. service……

  • Jack thuds

<The_Physician> OK, I drag him into the room and run over to Water Elephant and Paladin's room,trying to wake them.
<The_Physician> I close the door behind me and take the key with me so no one sees the unconsious body in my room.
<Paladin> %c3*wakee up to the knocking*
<Paladin> %c3Who is it?
<The_Physician> *quietly*
<The_Physician> The Physician, we have a situation
<The_Physician> Actually, two situations. Please wake up, get dressed and come to my room.
<The_Physician> *knocks on Water Elephants door*
<Paladin> *Rolls from the bed, padding across the room and out the door, letting it lock behind him and head to the Physician's room*
=-= Stock-Extra is now known as Jack
<The_Physician> Water, we have two situations, please come to my room and I'll explain.

  • Jack looks simply fabulous, even when unconscious.

<Paladin> *waits outside the locked door*

  • Elephant opens door

<Elephant> Back in college my RA was a sadistic bastard and loved to rouse his floor with impromptu fire drills and the like. After doing four in one week the strangest run of bad luck kept hitting him. His car kept on breaking down, his files kept getting corrupted. And I feel that if this is not extremely dire, and bear in mind I'm already staring down the end of all human life, history will repeat itself.

  • Elephant goes to Physicians room and trips over Jack.

<Elephant> Okay, who's the blond?

  • Jack is just a lump on the floor… but now, a bruised lump.

<Paladin> *Checking Jack's vitals*

  • Jack has a healthy pulse, and seems to be in a very deep slumber that will last another 55 minutes or so.

<Paladin> *Roots through the jacket pockets looking for ID*
<The_Physician> He claims to be Jack Hofner, Royal Houseguard,
<The_Physician> But that is only situation one.

  • Jack has no id, no wallet, but you do find half-a-dozen more cel-phones.

<The_Physician> The part of the circlet we are looking for is a fake. It has a strong magical aura around it. I am assuming this is to attract would be theives.

  • Jack All of which are off.

<Elephant> Okay…. And he is here on your floor asleep… why?
<Elephant> At least have the decency to give him a spot on the bed.
<Paladin> He has no ID. He may not be who he says he is. How do you know that the piece is a fake?
<The_Physician> They had an aura around the place and KNEW we were looking at their stash of fake goods.
<The_Physician> The items are mundane, I was able to scan the area more fully from a closer distance.
<Paladin> Which means that they wanted to find people who knew about the circlet and the other artifacts and had the means to use them.
<The_Physician> They just have a magical aura around them to make them LOOK authentic.
<Elephant> So how did you figure out that they aren't?
<Paladin> *lifts Jack onto the bed*
<The_Physician> A sorcerer can tell these things.
<Paladin> Can a sorcerer also tell who owns that vault?
<Elephant> No no. I really want to know. How did you pierce a trap that was obviously designed for people like you?
<Elephant> And while I do admire your speed at picking up dates, is now really the time? Why is he *points at Jack* here?
<Paladin> He is here to bring Niles to whoever owns that vault.
<Paladin> I doubt that he is a member of the Royal Guard.
<The_Physician> I concur with Paladin.
<The_Physician> Water, he was here investigating my prying "eyes", such as they were.
<The_Physician> I tried to make him go away peacefully, but he insisted on being a thorn.
<Dude_looks_like_a_lady> I thought this would be enough to convince him, but he sort of saw through my disguise.
<Elephant> Okay, we leave now. You've been made, so you go first. We'll meet up outside London Tower. Paladin will follow about five minutes behind you and I'll follow five minutes after him.
<The_Physician> Agreed. I will get going now.
<Paladin> One of us should go first
<Paladin> ((brb))

  • Elephant pushes Physician out the door

<The_Physician> *starts cleaning up his room, clears up the circle completely. He does this all by hand so as not to leave a magical trace to potentially follow*
<Elephant> Do you really think he's alone. Go. Now.
<The_Physician> OK, but please clean up the circle.
<The_Physician> *grabs his still packed suitcase, and heads out the door.
<Paladin> *Checks Jack for a wire on a hunch*

  • Jack is wireless. Must be radio controlled.

<Paladin> I will grab some things from my room and be along in five minutes. I'll see you at the tower. be careful.

  • Paladin Shoves his personal affects into his duffel bag and waits for the designated five minutes to pass.
  • Paladin Find the telephone book in the bed stand and rips out the page containing the map of the local area, looking specifically for London tower in relation to where he is.

<Paladin> Five minutes are up…here we go.

  • Paladin Shoulders his duffel bag and heads down to the lobby
  • Elephant grabs my stuff and heads out.
  • DoorMan bids each person adieu as they move out.
  • Paladin steps out of nothingness in an alley a block from the tower and immediately dismisses the armor

<GM> A dark night, in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. Like most London nights, the clouds are thick as thieves and twice as stealthy. Rain threatens the way your landlord threatens to evict you when you're 15 months behind in the rent.

  • Andre Slips out of the alley and toward the tower, his duffel covering covering the majority of his back…especially where his shoulder blades itch.
  • Andre Pauses in front of the tower, leaning back against the wall.

<GM> The base of the tower is mostly deserted. There's a gent in a trench coat on a bench taking a late night fag (and make of THAT what you will).

  • Elephant steps out of a taxi.

<GM> You could slice the smog with cudgel, and still it would cling to your ankles in a dramatic fashion.

  • Niles Steps out of a taxi as well

<Elephant> Where's Niles?
<Elephant> Never mind. Clearly you don't tip very well.
<Andre> I haven't seen him yet.

  • RandomStranger lays back on the bench, tapping ash onto the ground.

<Andre> The real question is why you split us up at all.

  • Niles approaches his comrads.

<Andre> Never mind that though. Give him another ten minutes. *glances at the stranger*

  • RandomStranger seems to politely ignore you, while sending off a none-too-subtle vibe for you to do the same

<Niles> Hello friends. Are we ready to depart?
<Andre> Niles…*nods*
<Andre> I am ready whenever you two are.
<Andre> Is there a place where we can grab a lat enight bite to eat?
<Elephant> Okay, we're all here. Lets find a nicely lit public area and commence.

  • RandomStranger glances over at the crowd, then stubs out his ciggy.

<Elephant> Like that little pub that's open over there. I could murder a Shepard's pie right about now.
<Andre> Let's see if the beer really is better.
<RandomStranger> Pie might murder you, mate. You want lil' pub cookin, gotta go out into the country.
<Elephant> It is. It really is.
<Niles> Oh, it is.
<Andre> Any suggestions on where to go then, friend?
<RandomStranger> Yeah. Nothin beats a home-cooked meal.

  • RandomStranger reaches into his coat, pulling out a badge.

<RandomStranger> Rowe Rickenbacker. Royal Houseguard.
<Elephant> …
<Niles> Good evening sir, how can I help you?
<Andre> I'll keep that in mind then next time I am home.
<Elephant> Oh I get it. It's a pun. This is the infamous British humor.
<Rowe> Well, ya could keep yer 'ands in your pockets. Where's Jack?
<Niles> Who?

  • Andre remains silent

<Rowe> My partner. The man you floored with a sleep 'ex and left in your hotel room. And, dare I say, you simply do not have a lady's face, mate.

  • Elephant looks at Niles.
  • Niles acts dumbfounded

<Niles> Sir, I have no idea what you are referring to.
<Elephant> Well he's right about that last bit. Not sure why he said it, but he's right.
<Rowe> So, are we gonna continue this little song an dance?
<Rowe> Or shall we just flit ahead to the slow one?
<Elephant> I hope so, I just got to the dance floor.
<Andre> What is it that you want, sir?
<Rowe> Seems your partner here is wanted on 1 case of espionage, 1 case of assault and…

  • Rowe pauses

<Rowe> Two counts of cellular homicide.
<Rowe> Though that last is most recent.
<Rowe> I do take it somewhat personally.
<Andre> *arches a brow at Niles* Espionage?
<Rowe> E's a baddun, a'right.
<Niles> I do not know to what you are referring sir. Please explain.
<Rowe> Oh, come on. I thought we were past the tango.
<Rowe> You.

  • Rowe points to Niles

<Rowe> Did willfully.
<Rowe> And with forethought.
<Elephant> and malice.
<Rowe> Engage in espionage.
<Niles> I did nothing I would consider espionage. Please explain.
<Rowe> Upon the sovereign territory.
<Rowe> Of Her Majesty's Soil.
<Niles> Well, aren't we a bit melodramatic.
<Elephant> Don't interrupt him. He's clearly been saving this for weeks.
<Niles> Please explain, if I am to be charged with something, what, pray tell it is, that I am occused of.
<Andre> Let me see your badge please, Mr. Rowe.
<Niles> Correction: "pray tell is it*

  • Rowe tosses the badge to Andre

<Rowe> Ere, keep it, got a dozen I do.
<Rowe> Spying upon the whereabouts of certain artifacts held in trust by a reputable company, such as, perhaps, Lloyds of London?
<Andre> Which would imply that this one is a fake.
<Elephant> Niles… is there something you would like to tell us?
<Rowe> It's as fake as this accent, mate!

  • Rowe cheerfully

<Andre> Which could be entirely.
<Niles> Then are you to bring me in, sir?
<GM> The badge is metal and has a stylized imprint of an old style manor house. Royal House guard is across the top, beneath the manor is Rowe Rickenbacker, and underneath that, L/R.
<Rowe> Certainly.
<Niles> And you have proof of these activities, I assume?
<Rowe> And I'd appreciate it if you didn't resist. Do you think the Royal Family's treasures are worth dying for?
<Andre> Then I will need to be keeping this for when we contact his lawyer, Mr. Rickenbacker.
<Elephant> L/R? The famous L/R? Rowe Rickenbacker! I knew that name was familiar.
<Elephant> So tell me… Are you the L or are you the R?
<Rowe> Oh, not this again!
<Rowe> Really, its whichever you like.
<Andre> I am afraid that I am missing something here…
<Elephant> Mr. Rickenbacker, may I speak with my colleagues for a moment.

  • Elephant pulls Andre and Niles into a huddle

<Rowe> A'course mate.
<Rowe> Just don't make me run after you.
<Rowe> I smoke too much, y'see.

  • Niles whispers

<Elephant> Oh no worries on that score.
<Andre> You have a plan? *whispered*
<Elephant> *in hushed tones* Worse. Reality is glitching again.
<Niles> How do you know that?
<Andre> What do you mean?
<Elephant> L/R is a fictitious government agent yarn in the same vein as Ian Flemming's work. It's not real. It's fiction. And too many people know it for it to be a plausible cover. Houseguard does not exist.
<Elephant> So either we have two lunatics who looks way too much like L/R for their own good, or we have a reality glitch.
<Elephant> I really hope it's a reality glitch.
<Rowe> There is a third answer.

  • Rowe 's voice has lost its accent entirely. Flat, unemotional, almost mechanical.

<Elephant> Or it could always be Doom-bots.
<Elephant> I really really hope it's a reality glitch.
<Andre> Or a facsimile thereof, yes. So we leave then, yes?
<Rowe> Doom bots!

  • Rowe 's voice is now distinctively feminine, and more than a little bit insulted.
  • Andre looks to Rowe, amazed at the hearing…

<Rowe> I am certainly more advanced than anything that half-wit crackpot inventor has ever developed.
<Andre> Accept our apologies then and please tell us who you really are.
<Rowe> I told him it wouldn't work. It was a silly idea.
<Rowe> I am a viral nanite colony working for the man who owns the artifacts that you were spying on.
<Niles> What, pray tell, wouldn't work?
<Niles> Oh, shoot.
<Andre> Good.
<Niles> Paladin, drop that badge now.
<Andre> I would very much like to speak to this man if at all possible,

  • Rowe form shifts, then dissolves into a particulate cloud. The badge also dissolves, flowing into the larger cloud
  • Andre drops the badge

<Rowe> That would be difficult, since you knocked him out and left him in your hotel.
<Andre> Doubtful.
<Rowe> When exactly is he supposed to wake up?
<Elephant> Well if you knew where he was, why did you ask us?
<Rowe> Part of the silly game he wanted to play.
<Rowe> Some kind of test.
<Elephant> Aren't you guys a little… un-gothic… to be LARPing?
<Niles> About one hour, and "Jack" will be fine.
<Elephant> Actually a lot less by now.
<Viral_Cloud> So, he'll be alright then?
<Niles> Of course. He was only knocked unconscious.
<Niles> What I was doing meant no harm to anyone. I was merely looking for something that a friend had lost. Now that I am aware that the artifacts in Lloyds of London are fake, I intend to be on my way.

  • Viral_Cloud chuckles

<Andre> Unless they ar enot fakes.
<Viral_Cloud> They're not fake.
<Niles> But I assume it will not be that easy, am I right?
<Viral_Cloud> Which artifact are you looking for?
<Andre> 'Jack' either employs someone very powerful or is himself a wizard I would guess…
<Andre> I need to borow the circlet.
<Niles> That is none of your business…and yes, I was thinking the same thing Paladin.
<Viral_Cloud> He is, indeed, a wizard, but purely of the technological kind.
<Viral_Cloud> The circlet?
<Niles> Or, you could tell it our business. That works too, Paladin.

  • Viral_Cloud confused. You confused a viral cloud.

<Andre> *ignores Niles's snide comment* Yes. The circlet.
<Viral_Cloud> Why?

  • Elephant hits Nigel on the back of the head.

<Viral_Cloud> It doesn't have anywhere near the myth-lore that the other pieces have.
<Elephant> *hisses* Identities. Secret. Do you understand the concept?
<Andre> The fate of human kind is at stake and it may help increase those chances.
<Jack> So, that's all you're after?
<Andre> Can I set up a meeting?
<Andre> Yes.
<Jack> Fate of the world, you say?
<Andre> To borrow it for awhile.
<Andre> Yes.
<Jack> Ah, excellant!

  • Jack rubs his hands together

<Andre> Pardon me…?
<Jack> Come then. You're invited back to my place. We can take some tea and explore the ramifications of the world destroying.
<Andre> How is thefate of man excellent?
<Elephant> Why not. I enjoy talking to fictions.
<Jack> Risk, dear boy. Danger. Mankind needs something to test it, to prove their mettle. To show that they deserve that most excellent gift from the creator!
<Andre> *looks to the smart people for guidance*
<Viral_Cloud> Oh no, he's at it again…
<Elephant> He's talking about Alcohol.
<Jack> Which is the third most excellent gift, after life and gambling.
<Andre> Is that yourdecision to make?
<Jack> Decisions are made by those who step up to the plate and make them. Tarry not, dear boy.
<Elephant> He's right. It's the Johnny-on-the-spot clause.
<Jack> Dear girl, some transportation!
<Viral_Cloud> Of course.
<Andre> This is quite an..astonishing..transport.

  • Jack grins the grin of the brilliant and the insane

<Jack> Science!
<Niles> So are we all to go then?
<Elephant> Adisa's face turns the green of the brilliant and sane when forced to be the company of the brilliant and insane.
<Andre> Alright..
<Jack> As you like.
<Elephant> Oh dear.
<Jack> This gentleman (Andre) must so we can talk. And you (Niles) I would like to speak with as well. But everyone is invited!
<Jack> For I am certain we all have much we can learn from each other.
<Niles> OK, I am willingto attend, but I would like to get there under my own power, if that is alright.

  • Elephant steps into the crazy man's transport.

<Jack> As you like, but do not dawdle! For fate waits for no man, and destiny is waiting for us!
<Andre> Follows after Adisa

  • Jack hops into the car

<Andre> Something like that.
<Jack> To the manor!

  • Jack leans back, getting comfy in the seat.
  • Elephant sits on the edge of the seat ready to fling himself bodily at the slightest excuse.
  • Andre holds on

<Jack> Tally-ho!

  • Niles gets in th car as well.
  • Car takes off at speeds that are only legal for the very, very rich. And no one is driving.
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